I must share this excellent little addon, ViperNotify (available on Curse Gaming), with other hunters. All it does is make a ping sound and give a text warning in your scrolling combat text, when you are in combat with Aspect of the Viper on and with a full mana bar. I say all, but this simple addition has increased my DPS and made switching between Aspect of the Viper and other aspects much more efficient. Before installing this addon, I would sometimes forget that I had aspect of the Viper on, and be continuing to DPS, wondering why I wasn’t doing much damage. The addon allows me to minimize the time in AoV and maximize the time in a damaging aspect.
I have seen posts on the forums by hunters who say that while soloing they run around in Aspect of the Viper all the time. Waste of time and ammo imo. As all hunters should know Aspect of the Viper (learnable at level 20 from your trainer) regenerates our mana, but at a cost. As the tooltip says,
|“The hunter takes on the aspect of the viper, causing ranged and melee attacks to regenerate mana but reducing your total damage done by 50%. In addition, you gain 4% of maximum mana every 3 sec. Mana gained is based on the speed of your ranged weapon. Only one Aspect can be active at a time.”|
So whenever Apsect of the Viper is on your total damage is halved (meaning you take longer to kill things, and use more arrows doing so). It is actually more than halved, because when Viper is up you are not Benefiting from Aspect of the Hawk, Aspect of the Dragonhawk, or Aspect of the Beast, which increase your damage.
Used properly, Aspect of the Viper still means the hunter has almost no down-time when soloing, and during boss fights you are not out of mana at the end of a fight, despite only being able to drink one pot nowadays.
Run around with your favored DPS Aspect on (there is some debate as to whether you will get more DPS out of Aspect of the Beast or untalented Aspect of the Hawk/Dragonhawk – but if you have talents in Hawk, obviously use this or Dragonhawk when you have it from level 74). When your mana gets low switch to Aspect of the Viper. To increase mana regeneration I tend to use Serpent Sting (I get mana back from each tick of the sting) and auto-shot only – and will pop Rapid Fire if its off cooldown and I am fighting a boss or several mobs (on one mob rapid fire is wasted, I kill the mob before it runs out). When I am at 90% mana ViperNotify pings me and I switch back to my DPS aspect. (You can set the threshold at which ViperNotify notifies you.) This way you can still run around without drinking, but will kill much faster than with Viper on all the time.
It’s the same deal in a longer fight, like a boss fight. Just switch to Viper, pop rapid fire and any haste trinkets you have, auto and serpent sting, and then switch back when you have replenished your mana bar.