Author Topic: Thoughts & observations  (Read 1389 times)

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Thoughts & observations
« on: February 01, 2009, 10:28:37 AM »
I thought I would post some of my observations since not much has been posted in the hunter class discussion board recently, especially in light of last night's Naxx 10 run.

Hunters have had much change since WotLK and especially since the 3.0.8 patch. I leveled up as a MM and really like what it brings to the table, but there's no denying that our DPS has taken a bit of hit with the recent changes. For instance, Steady Shot just isn't what it used to be. It's still a primary staple of our repertoire but the nerf to the AP bonus has diminished its effectiveness. The change was probably justified to a degree to bring hunter DPS back down a bit but definitely requires some changes to shot rotation. More on that in a sec. 

The changes to Explosive Shot seem to suggest that SV hunters are the ones topping out the DPS charts now. When looking at the WWS reports and in particular Ty's report, it's almost staggering to see just how much of his overall damage is coming from ES. I can't help but think that Blizz might have gone a bit overboard in the changes to ES in trying to make the SV build more attractive to play. That makes me hesitant to re-spec from MM to SV. That and the fact that I just enjoy playing a MM.

Speaking of which, I had tried out a new MM build yesterday before the Naxx 10 raid but scrapped it after seeing the results. I'm now using a 15/51/5 build. Tests against the heroic dummy in SW last night were putting me in the 1600-1700 DPS range (unbuffed, of course), which is higher than I was getting previously. I'll continue to test it more though.

As for gear, I definitely still have a few weak spots but overall, I don't think I'm too far away. One thing I've come to realize is that I should probably ditch the notion of holding out for 1H weapons and grab first available upgrade. That's mostly a roleplay thing for me with some influence from other MMOs I've played previously but I've been a little shocked at the rarity of 1H weapon drops in Naxx. In fact, I have yet to see a single 1H DPS weapon drop in there and have only seen 4 weapons total drop altogether (three 2Hers and 1 unusable mace). I still prefer duel-wielding but for the sake of upgrades, I think I'm going to look for the first available upgrade going forward.

Regarding shot rotation, my tests were using HM > send pet > Serpent > Chimera > Arcane > Aimed > Steady and then alternating between Arcane and Steady from there while refreshing Chimera every time it refreshes. I frequent the forums for both Elitist Jerks and TKA Something often and while both have excellent info, I found this thread to be the best place for maximizing DPS for each spec, including rotations:

Would love to hear any other's input or suggestions.

Offline Air

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Re: Thoughts & observations
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2009, 01:01:08 PM »
Stop using arcane shot for one thing. It's damage just isn't any good anymore. 

My rotation for marks, generally is: serpent sting to start off, chimera shot > steady shot > aimed shot > steady shot, than repeat from chimera shot. I try to manage my cooldowns so that an instant is always on cooldown.  So when I cast aimed shot, chimera shot is coming off of cooldown.  I'll sometimes after an aimed shot, do a steady shot > arcane shot.  But only if my mana was decent, and popping rapid fire.

Something else I'd like to point out that I see alot of hunter's doing lately, staying in aspect of the viper for entire fights.  This isn't how the aspect was designed, your only hurting your dps by doing this.  The idea is stay in aspect of the hawk / aspect of the dragonhawk until about 35% mana, than switch to viper aspect and continue to dps but don't pop any cooldowns / trinkets until mana is full.  Than switch back to hawk / dragonhawk aspects and continue with dps, and start popping cooldowns, and trinkets.

From what I've seen, survival seems to be the top dps spec for Hunter's right now.  Beast Mastery and Marks took just a huge beating from the nerf's.  I think a rotation of: serpent sting > explosive shot > steady shot, and weave in multi-shot mana permitting.  Keep casting steady shot until explosive shot is off cooldown, and keep serpent sting up.

Found a macro for survival:
/cast [modifier:alt] Serpent Sting

/castsequence Steady Shot,

/cast Kill Shot

/cast Explosive Shot

/stopmacro [target=pettarget,noexists]

/cast Kill Command

/cast Rabid

/cast Claw

I regularly check out a hunter blog at:  I like his writing and he does a good job of going over the in's and out's of the hunter class.
"Don't be a Dick." - Wil Wheaton
“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” - Will Rogers


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Re: Thoughts & observations
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2009, 03:21:25 PM »
Quote from: Airplay on February 01, 2009, 01:01:08 PM (Source)
Stop using arcane shot for one thing. It's damage just isn't any good anymore.

All good stuff Air. This quote is something I wanted to discuss though. Most of what I've read on the forums I linked would agree with it prior to patch 3.0.8a. However, most hunters appear to be using Arcane more as part of their shot rotations post-patch, citing the following reasons why:

1) in 3.0.8a, they reduced the mana cost of Arcane to be more inline with Steady Shot. This makes Arcane more efficient than previously.
2) the nerf to Steady Shot means hunters need to weave in other shots and rely less on Steady spamming. Arcane is the next best shot for a MM (Aimed being on a longer CD). The good news is that it's damage output can be boosted by spending a few points in Improved Arcane Shot, something most MM hunters seem to be doing.

I definitely need to refine my Viper tactics. I seem to either wait too long to use it or forget to use it altogether.  :-[ I think that was mostly due to my unfamiliarity with all of the raids. It felt more important at the time to learn the mechanics and nuances of each raid to ensure victory above everything else. Now that I've done pretty much every one though with the exception of Kel'Thuzad and understand the mechanics of those raids better, I should be able to focus a little more on maximizing DPS.

At the end of the day, I think a few gear slots are what are ultimately handcuffing my DPS a bit. I don't think it's bad but it should probably be a little better than what it is today. A few heroics and some emblem purchases should do the trick (hopefully).