Raiding as Survival
The first couple of days of this patch were particularly bad for server crashes and guildmates being unable to log on. We had to cancel our Obsidium Sanctum Sapp +1D run on Wednesday night, but we were able to get a 10 man Naxx run together on Thursday to check things out. We hope to dip our toes into Ulduar tonight, although after Naxx last night I think the phrase, “you are not prepared!’ springs to mind.
My guild is a small guild, we don’t have enough people for 25 mans, but we do have 10man Naxx on farm, and it’s been easy for us for quite a while. We haven’t got Malygos down yet in Eye of Eternity, but we are working on him, and OS is easy too although not with drakes, so we are working on that too. Anyway, last night’s run to Naxx was no so easy, with so many changes to people’s specs, addons not working, or turned off in case they didn’t work, and a lot of people having sound problems and unable to speak, I felt like we were just starting this content for the first time. Granted we didn’t have our strongest team out. Almost everyone was from our main team, but three were on their slightly less geared alts, and shock (for us) we had no Pally with us, but that didn’t account for the couple of wipes we had on Anub’Rekhan of all bosses.
I am sure we will soon sort ourselves out, but it just brought home to me how big the changes were. For my part, I had a completely new shot rotation, was having to try to stand still rather than stand far away, was using the vanilla UI instead of bartender and X-Perl and found my role change for a couple of fights.
For Anub’Rekhan we used to rearrange the groups so that the tank, Anelf and myself were in gp1 with two people who could handle being dazed if hit by scarabs (i.e. not the off tank) and then I would help the tank kite Anub’Rekhan using Aspect of the Pack. Well, you can’t do that any more. Aspect of the Pack has changed it is now raid wide rather than group wide, and has a 40 yard range. It dazes anyone hit by scarabs or crypt guards, not good if that is your off-tank, so we had to try and do it without. The kiting didn’t work so well without the speed boost, and that plus our tank having a lot of problems with his UI and addons lead to a couple of wipes. On the third attempt, the tank didn’t kite him at all and stood there and took the hits, while the healers healed through it, that worked just fine :)
I ended up with the following spec for me and this one for my wolf. You can check our my gear on the armory. My spec is a slight compromise on the one I posted as my recent gear upgrades have left me severely under hit cap. I even had to pull out my Sphere of Red Dragon’s Blood trinket instead of my Mirror of Truth to make up the difference. For my wolf I decided to take Heart of the Phoenix. I was going with a pure DPS talent instead, but on further reflection I decided I had the wolf there for the AP boost to me from furious howl, something he couldn’t do if dead, and that there are a number of fights where it is very hard to keep your pet alive for the entire fight (Heigan, Sappharion, Kel’Thuzad). It turned out to be a good choice when poor Hamfast hit the dirt on Anub’Rekhan.
I tried out the shot rotation as I reported in my Survival Hunter – round 3 – patch 3.1 article. It was certainly more complex than I was using before, as I was mainly sniper (rather than trap dancing), but now I am weaving black arrow into the rotation. So a bit more akin to a Marksman’s rotation. One major problem I found was my mana conservation. I was having to drink between almost every pull, and having to go into viper at least once on each boss fight, sometimes twice. More recently as a survival hunter, I have rarely had to use Viper during fights. Now, granted we had no Paladin with us, and sometimes our 10 man raids can boast three, with kings, might and wisdom buffy goodness. Ours are not ret paladins, but there is still some mana return to the group. We also didn’t have the other survival hunter with us, so I was the only replenishment for the raid. I realized I need to change my rotation in those kind of situations, all that viper was hurting my DPS. I think the big thing was Aimed Shot. In a situation where mana is an issue, I think I need to not use it in my standard rotation. It is too mana hungry, and while it gives a nice return, I suspect that doesn’t balance out with having to go into Aspect of the Viper during a fight. So when there is lots of mana replenishment flying around from Paladins, shammies and others I will weave Aimed Shot, but otherwise I might just reserve it for those time you need an instance shot on the move, or maybe just in my Lock and Load rotation.
I have been introducing my addons back slowly. Deadly Boss Mods, Recount, Omen, and OmniCC, and PowerAuras all seem to work. These are my big five for raiding. Anything else is gravy. But I would find it very hard to raid without these. Well, OK you don’t need recount to raid, but I like to use it to analyze how I can improve, and spot if my performance is a lot lower than it should be i.e. Tinuviel do you have your lucky fishing hat equipped or something else stupid?
In all I think my DPS was a bit lower than usual, but not surprising given the group makeup with fewer raid buffs, and learning the new rotation. My wolf was lower DPS than my raptor, to be excepted, but what is harder to work out, given all the other variables, is whether his furious howl boost to my DPS is worth it over the raptors additional contribution to our overall DPS. I think there are so many variables it is hard for me to test in game, so I might wait to see what the consensus is from the theory-crafters.
For my Beastmaster off spec I went with this spec. Remember, this is a soloing/ off-tanking type spec not a raiding or DPS spec. It would be a pretty decent choice for leveling too, I think. I think this was more or less what I reported, except again, I took some points in Focused Aim to get closer to the hit cap. I took these out of Mortal Shots, as this build is more about my pets damage and survivability than my own. I haven’t done much in my off-spec yet, and what I have done has mainly been some grinding and dailies with my wolf not my bear. If you are just hitting single mobs, having your ferocity pet with your is just fine. I could not pull the mobs off the wolf even when I tried, beginning with an arcane shot before sending him in. He still apprehended the rhino and grabbed aggro from it as it charged towards me.
Of Fishing Dailies and the Argent Tournament
I have also tried out the Argent Tournament and fishing dailies. Both are a lot of fun. My level 78 Paladin was also able to do the Argent Tournament dailies. I think the minimum requirement is level 77, and you will need a flying mount or maybe a friendly warlock (there is a flight path up there). You can find out more about the tournament from the links posted by a commentator on wowhead here. I haven’t got as far as dueling another player on my horsey yet. Haha, that scares me! I hate dueling, because I hate to lose and look foolish, I just get cross at myself and embarrassed. Apparently, a blue poster has said this will not be a pvp event. So who am I training to fight against, NPCs? I do want the mounts, pets, tabards and other goodies from the tournament though, so I will carry on practicing my jousting skills and try not to kill too many horses. A couple of pieces of the gear look nice too – but most people will already have better than most of it (I certainly do). It’s a bit disappointing when they introduce new content and a grind to earn an epic gun, which is the same DPS as that which engineers can sell on the ah to any level 80, or to a crossbow which is a fairly common drop in a low level heroic.
One quest I found a bit worrying was Jack Me Some Lumber. That little goblin is sending thousands of mercenaries out to deforest Crystalsong Forest – talk about environmental destruction in the name of sport. And what’s worse is an Anelf-look-alike pops out of the tree and tries to beat me up for killing his home. Of course, I will probably keep on doing it, that goblin gave me 20G and Hollie my pally needs an epic mount :)
The fishing quest is lucrative too. I got a porcelain bell in my bag of fishing treasures – a grey item which vendored for 100G :)
Bugs and stuff
Don’t forget to update your addons. If you previously used wowmatrix, you may have to do it the old fashioned way, Curse and others have put a stop to wowmatrix accessing their files. If you are having problems, turn off your addons and introduce them back slowly, to see whether one of your addons is the culprit.
If your macros aren’t working, it may be because spells such as Kill Shot, which were previously off the global cooldown, are now on the GCD and cannot be in a /cast macro with another /cast instant spell.
The stable appears buggy. I had a moment of panic when I thought I had lost my bear and got a clone of my raptor instead. If this happens, visit a stablemaster and move some pets in and out of your stable, I found putting both raptors in the stable and taking my gorilla out, made the bear reappear in the stable – phew.
If you want to preview your talents before assigning you need to click the button in the display settings of the user interface. Though, I think Anelf manage to reset his talents doing this just after he has assigned them.
up and coming posts
I intend to write a post on power auras showing you how to add sniper training and black arrow to power auras. Also, I will try and put something together with specs and shot rotations for BM and MM hunters in the next few days. Keep reading, and keep the comments coming. Let me or the tree know if you would like posts on any other subject.
OK, so that is my first day and a bits experience, besides all the world server crashes, how did yours go?
Comments from the tree
From a Resto Druid’s perspective, the Lifebloom nerf isn’t as bad as I feared. I was still able to roll full HoTs on one tank, HoT up the other tank before Maexxna’s Web Spray, and throw around a few extra heals without being in danger of going OOM. I specced for tank healing with talents aimed at using Nourish a lot more, but I didn’t get to use it - my tank’s health was too high all the time for it to be worthwhile.
Our group is way overgeared for Naxx, but my first impression is that the nerf seemed to have taken me back to the Kara days, where I could see my mana bar going down during the fight and knew mindless spam healing would take me OOM. In pre-3.1 Naxx, I normally ended boss fights with more than 90% mana, and felt I could throw out as many heals as I liked without caring about my mana at all.
So let’s hope Blizzard have got it right. I still love my HoT healing, which is why I was QQing over an apparent forced switch to direct (Nourish) heals.