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Getting a Feel for MM Shots and Specs

April 16th, 2009

Well, so much for a free respec.

I ended up respecing again last night to test some things out.  I wanted to compare my DPS with two different rotations and specs.  Unfortunately I don’t have any solid numbers from my attempts… they ended up all being almost the same (all had attempts varying from 2400-2700), and I didn’t take my trinkets off first so that also didn’t help.  So instead of numbers, I’m going to talk about feel.  Because if I didn’t care how my play felt, I’d just spec Survival! ;)

The following combinations are all quite viable from what I can see, and it’s mostly just a matter of playstyle preference.

I tested a combination of 2 different priorities, 2 different specs and 2 different Glyph setups.

(I also switched one point from Imp Barrage to Silencing Shot between spec #1 and spec #2… but it doesn’t really change much for the following.)

Chimera/Aimed/Arcane/Steady with spec #1 (imp Arcane) and Aimed/Trueshot/Serpent glyphs.

This is what I was set up to run initially, and the rotation I’ve been using since I switched to Marks except with a shorter cooldown on Aimed Shot.  The problem with it is that Arcane does not proc Piercing Shots, so it’s not quite as useful, and I was wondering if maybe it was best left out so I could get more Steady Shot Piercing Shots.  So I decided to respec and leave Arcane out of the picture.

Chimera/Aimed/Steady with spec #2 (imp Steady) and Aimed/Trueshot/Serpent glyphs.

This ended up being a much simpler priority, with only 2 cooldowns to watch instead of 3.  But it just did not feel right.  Since I had the Aimed Glyph, my Chimera was on a 10 sec cooldown and my Aimed was on an 8 second cooldown.  Since I cast Chimera first, then 1.5 seconds later cast Aimed… they would always seem to come off of cooldown around the same time.  This cause me to push back my second Aimed by an extra second or so, reducing the usefulness of the glyph.

Chimera/Aimed/Steady with spec #2 (imp Steady) and Steady/Trueshot/Serpent glyphs.

So, I got rid of the Aimed glyph.  This actually felt pretty nice, because it basically became a shot rotation insteady of a shot priority, and I could see someone who misses the old shot rotations actually enjoying this.  My Chimera had a 10 sec cooldown and my Aimed had a 10 second cooldown, so with lag/reaction factored in, became pretty much Chimera>Aimed>Steadyx3 (repeat).  It was kind of neat to get back into a rotation… but it felt too easy, and it actually was doing a bit less DPS.  I’m used to watching for cooldowns and not hitting buttons in a particular order.  It’s just not for me.

Chimera/Aimed/Arcane/Steady with spec #2 (imp Steady) and Steady/Trueshot/Serpent glyphs.

This is where I’ve settled for now.  I get the extra damage from the Steady glyph and while improved Steady doesn’t proc as much because I use Steady a lot less with Arcane in the mix, I’m still doing more damage by having Arcane in there.  Additionally, I have more instant casts at my disposal, which is really important for mobile fights.  This is the priority and cooldowns I’m used to, which also helps as I will want to focus on learning new fights rather than learning a new spec.

As I gain more hit gear, I think I’ll move the points into Improved Arcane Shot so I can get the best of both worlds!

I also might pick up the Glyph of Chimera Shot to replace the Glyph of Steady Shot once when they are available, but I haven’t completely decided yet.  I do tend to shoot a lot more Steady Shots than Chimera Shots, but I’ll do some further tests on this later!

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7 comments to “Getting a Feel for MM Shots and Specs”

  1. Great breakdown. I’ve also settled with the arcane/aimed rotation. After playing around with these rotations, and hearing your take on this, i think i will drop aimed glyph also for steady glyph. I get the same uncomfortable feeling with the aimed glyph. Will you be doing a test with serpent/aimed/chimera glyphs? kind of curious if having both with shorter CD’s would be good.


  2. I think I’ll be sticking with Trueshot/Serpent no matter what the 3rd is, because I don’t think I can turn down an additional 10% crit on Aimed Shot… that’s just too good to pass up!


  3. Aye, my Aimed shot had nearly a 90% crit on one boss last night. It was quite happy.

    But yes, TSA > Aimed

    Negathle’s last blog post..I need about a dozen more talent points…


  4. I’m going to express my grand naivety and ask how Surv feels different from MM.

    BM is very different from the others, quite obvious.

    But I don’t really see the differences between SV and MM. Both keep up Stings, Both use Aimed (debateable I know), Both use Kill Shot, Both use some prime special (Chimera or Explosive). Seems same same to me.

    Would you be able to ‘splain to a Stupid?


  5. No problem :) I don’t know much about mages, even though mine is 70!

    One of the big (and new, since Wrath) mechanics in Survival is the Lock & Load procs. When this ability procs, it gives the player an extra 2 Explosive shots that cost no mana and no cooldown. (kinda like Hot Streak combined with Arcane Concentration, except it’s good for 2 shots) This means whenever you get this proc, you have to change what you are doing and use an altered shot rotation/priority for a little while. But you can’t just shoot 2 explosive shots, because Explosive Shot has this silly like 2 second DoT it applies. So you have to wait an extra second and a half before you can cast the second one, or you’ll miss out on some big damage.

    L&L procs now come from using Black Arrow, wish is a 15 sec DoT that has a 30 second cooldown (24 with talents), which is a shared cooldown with traps (so you can’t trap in this spec, basically).

    Another difference that MM has and the other 2 do not is that Chimera refreshes Serpent Sting, so generally I only have to put it up once and then it’ll always be there. That makes MM feel smoother as well, I find.


  6. TSA/Chimera/Serpent all the way. The Glyph realistically reduces the cooldown of Chimera by 1.5 seconds, since 10 seconds doesn’t divide neatly into our immutable 1.5 second GCD. 9 seconds does.

    Using the Chimera Glyph has made my rotation feel a lot more smooth and I’ve had a lot less “do I wait .7 seconds for Chimera or just fire a Steady?” moments.

    Rilgon Arcsinh’s last blog post..A Call for Testing


  7. I’m looking forward to testing out the Chimera Glyph when there’s one available to me! But I’m cheap so I’m gonna wait til it’s under 50g or someone in my guild picks it up :)