On Welfare

December 28, 2007 at 9:00 am (World of Warcraft)

I haven’t posted much because, I’ve been very unfocused with my WoW time lately. I worked on the new Duskwallow Marsh content quite a bit until level 70 horde started camping. I’ve been killed within 5 min each of the last 4 times I logged on my Shaman. The lowbies are on hold at the moment because I was leveling with a friend and his computer went fubar for the holidays. So that left me back no knowing what to do with my main.

And then I remembered PvP now gets season 1 rewards. In about 3 weeks I’ve managed to replace both my leggings and helm. With the added bonus that I already look less like a clown. After the first week, I respeced from BM to an unconventional MM/SV build which gives lots of nice AP bonus without the pet micro management. I pretty much just put my raptor on aggressive and let him do his thing.

I’ve also been thinking of starting an arena team just to get some points there. All I really want is the new hunter axe, and enough points to get the bow once season 3 ends and the 1800 requirement goes away. I tried the 2v2 with my previously mentioned friend before the crash and it was miserable. 10 min between each match means almost 2 hours for the required matches. I’m thinking of making my own 3v3 team or 5man and just taking whoever wants some free arena points just to cut down on the waiting time.

The downside is that it’s quite a grind to get a full set. Netherwing only took me a month or so, but it looks like it will probably take until season 3 ends to get all my season 1 gear. At that point it won’t matter anyway. I hate the way the S2 stuff looks enough not to even try for it. Can’t wait for the bow tho.

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Fixing Hunter Shot Rotation

December 12, 2007 at 10:35 am (Hunter, Warcraft, World of Warcraft) (, )

This post on TKAsomething does a great job of outlining the issues with hunter shot rotations.  Hopefully it’s a good starting point for discussion of solutions.  The issues are these:

  1. Steady Shot is our most mana efficient special shot.
  2. Steady Shot has no cooldown, but instead a cast time
  3. Auto Shot which even more mana efficient (cost is 0)
  4. Steady Shot’s cast time can delay Auto Shot causing a loss of DPS.
  5. On the flip side, the time between the end of Steady Shot and the next Auto Shot is time that could have been used for another steady shot.  (EX: With no haste modifiers and a 2.8s speed weapon, there would be 1.3s every rotation that could have been used for a Steady Shot.  With a 1.8 speed weapon, there’s only 0.3s wasted.  If the actual DPS of the weapons was the same the faster one is much better because there will be more Steady Shots in the same amount of time.)

Basically, if you’re not paying attention to your main special shot, you’re going to lose DPS from the cornerstone of your DPS.  The problem is it may not even be your fault.  The loss can be caused by reaction time or lag neither of which can be fixed in the game.

Most of the suggestions I’ve seen (including my own) have focused on  point #2 up there.  After all, the cast time is the cause of the problems.  However, I noticed that there is a backdoor solution to the problem.  Point #1 states why we’re using it, but we’re actually taking that for granted.  Say for instance, what if a new shot, Fix Shot, was introduced that was even more mana efficient.  Let’s try some examples.  Since this is meant just as a PvE replacement and the cast time is the issue, I’m going to assume it’s an instant shot, has the same DPS/mana efficiency as Steady (this would actually have to be slightly better I think), but with a cooldown.  I’m also just going to assume zero reaction time, zero lag and a 2.5s weapon speed for a convenience.

Fix#1  – 3s cooldown

Rotation (Fix priority over steady):

0 Auto, Fix (GCD and 3s cooldown start)
1.5 GCD ends (not enough time for steady)
2.5 Auto, Steady start casting
3 Fix CD ends
4 Steady shot goes off, Fix
5 Auto
5.5 GCD ends, steady
7 Steady goes off, Fix CD ends, Fix
7.5 Auto
8.5 GCD ends, Steady
10 Auto, Steady goes off, Fix (Repeat)

Results: 4 Auto Shots, 2 Steady Shots, 3 Fix shots

Discussion: Well it looks like my numbers fit too well together.  Lag and reaction time would basically decide when the last steady goes off.  A slightly faster 2.4 weapon would feel those effects even more, while a slightly slower 2.6 may compensate enough to make the shot’s fit ‘perfectly.’  Basically, we’re still dependent on weapons speed, reaction time, and lag.

And now that I think of it, that will always be true.  When trying to eek out that last bit of DPS, you’re always going to be cutting it close and that means at some point the ending of Steady Shot’s casting time is going to get dangerously close to the next auto shot.  At that point, any little lag or reaction time is going to come into play.  The more often it happens (faster weapons / more shots) the more DPS will be affected.  But play conservative and, well, you’re no longer min/maxing are you?

I think the only solution is to take Steady Shot out of the rotation, and replace it with some 2 or 3 second instant shot that still requires standing still and is equal to Steady Shot’s DPS and mana efficency.  Let’s call it Fix Shot.  Now a steady (heh) rotation of pure Fix Shots will maintain the optimal DPS and efficiency of a 1:1 rotation, but it adds a possibility of a even higher DPS, but less efficient rotation for the final burn down because the GCD finishes before the shot cooldown.

I ‘m thinking I’ll have to think of this further, and do an actual writeup for the suggestion boards.

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Class Feeback Requested

December 7, 2007 at 10:28 am (Game Design, Hunter, Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

Please add your own or quit complaining.

My response:

– Beastmaster/MM

– Solo/Questing

Issues:

1) Pet family diversity. Tanking pets cant hold agro and do less damage while in a group, why take anything other than a DPS pet? Lack of family abilities. All families should have a movement ability (dive dash charge) and a focus dump (claw gore LB). I don’t mind there being a ‘best’ pet as long as there’s a best pet for many different situations: best raiding pet, best solo pet, best PvP pet, best off-tank pet, most generally useful pet, etc. Right now there’s no reason to take anything other than a ravager/cat/raptor or a boar. That leaves 19 families sub par.

2) Itemization. Difficult to have personal preferences in stats. Some want to stack AGI (Survivalists), some Crit (PvPers), some AP. Gems help but when the item already has 80 AP but only 2 gems slots it’s already stacked the wrong way for someone that wants AGI. There is a lack of slotted items while leveling. There should at least be 2 sets for hunters focusing either on AP or AGI. (I realize a SV could take rogue gear for additional AGI, but the drop in armor is counter to the talent focus.)

3) Stable slots / pet taming. We’ve been begging since Beta. I’d love to have 5 pet slots instead of 3 and I really wish that there was some other way to learn new abilities without having to have an empty stable slot. We were actually told this was already incoming prior to BC release.

Abilities:

1) Steady shot – Makes weapon speed a greater factor than listed DPS. Some solutions would be to only make ranged weapons at specific speeds (2.5, 2.8, 3.2) and then have different versions of steady shot which would fit the weapon speed. In other words, design weapons around specific shot rotations for specific specs (a BM 1:1, a MM 1:1.5, a MM 1:1). Don’t forget to account for lag when doing so.

2 & 3) Pet abilities – Some scale(scorpid poison/lightning breath), some don’t (claw). Some have ridiculous cooldowns (thunderstomp, shell shield). Some families get 6 (have many cat lovers working at bliz?), some don’t even have one. Caster stats make some useless (nether rays), and improved armor and heath become wasted stats because the pet can’t create enough threat to hold agro. General +threat / attack and -threat / attack abilities would be nice

4) Aimed shot – Takes as long as 2.5 Auto Shots (3s cast + 2 sec weapon speed for me) and does less damage. The 50% healing is mostly useful to PvP. As an opener in PvE, it’s useless as we want our pet to gain initial agro and using it would be counter productive. Would be nice if threat would go directly to the pet. I also don’t like that such an undesirable talent is required for Mortal Shots

5) Silencing shot – Does this have an interrupt yet?

I also have some talent suggestions for you.

Explaination here:

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Origins

December 5, 2007 at 3:04 pm (Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

I was reading a post of someone’s scariest TV characters and they mentioned the sesame street monsters. The video they posted was mundane. Nothing truly scary about it, but through the magic of youtube’s “related” videos, I stumbled upon this piece of my own childhood terror. Sure, my mom tells stories about how I hated the pastry chef that exclaims 10 vanilla cupcakes and then falls down the stairs, but I seriously got shivers when I watched the video below.

Check it out and then tell me Blizzard did not capitalize on my fears when they created merlocs:

Aside: Corki has got to be a play on Corky as well.

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