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Three-point-one: The Morning After

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

It was a long day yesterday, waiting for the servers to come up.  I didn’t mind it too much – Blizzard did a much better job of keeping the public informed, and that’s all I ask.  Even if they were just copying and pasting the same message and changing the time… at least we knew we could stop checking for another hour, instead of continually refreshing, letting the anticipationg get to us!

Hydraxis finally came up at about 9PM EST.  I got two achievements upon logging in – Fool for Love and Brew of the Month!  That was nice.

I did all the things on my to-do list, and then headed out to the Argent Tournament.  It took me forever to figure out where to find the people I had to get advice from for Master of Melee and it’s partner quests.  And those goblin quests?  Yeah, that’s not going to happen.  Do they give anything other than gold?  Because if they don’t, I’d much rather just do something that doesn’t involve me flying all over the map (such as my Hodir dailies!)

One of the dailies for the Argent Tournament was something about a sword.  I had to pick some flowers in Crystalsong and then go to a lake in Grizzly Hills.  I find it a bit annoying that you actually have to jump in the middle of the lake and then swim all the way back out – shoulda used a water-walking potion!  Had the same quest again this morning.  At least I only have 1 more day of these dailies to do!

I didn’t really test out my spec much, other than while I was grinding.  But generally, things seem to be dying faster.  Hopefully tonight I can spend some time with a target dummy.  I still need to pick up Glyph of Chimera Shot… anyone know where I can find it?  I’ve been told the recipe is a world drop.  That’s lame.  Maybe I’ll just get Aimed Shot while I wait for someone to find it.

It’s driving me crazy that WoWhead is broken.

We should be heading into Ulduar tonight – I’m excited!  I’ve been told by a few people that I should pick up Silencing Shot for the fights, and I believe them… but I don’t want to respec again already.  I’ll see how this week goes and then maybe change something around next week.

OH!  And is it just me, or was the Kill Shot being put on the GCD not in the patch notes?  I was so confused when my macros didn’t work.  Hrmph!  One more keybinding to add, I guess!

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My 3.1 To-do List!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

1. Update UI.

Ithato on No Stock UI has posted a guide about how to handle the patch, including a list of popular updated addons.  Luckily most of mine are up there, and I hope the ones that aren’t will be still functional!

2. Respec.

Here’s the plan.  Yep, I’ve decided to stay MM for the time being.  I might test out BM soon and see how it’s improved, but right now I’m just really into Marksmanship!

I’ve moved some points around, gotten rid of Improved Revive Pet and Aspect Mastery so I could take advantage of the new bleed stuff and some additional regen.  Also put the 2 extra points from Ranged Weapon Specialization (it was reduced to 3 instead of 5) into Focused Aim so I can equip my Mirror of Truth and my Darkmoon Card: Greatness without feeling guilty!

3. Tame a Wolf.

Actually did this last night, and it cost me 75g because I had to spec to BM to release my Rhino and then back to MM.  They really need to add a way to release a pet without actually removing them from the stable – that’s silly!  I shoulda just stayed BM for the day, if only I knew the patch would be coming!

This is where his talents are going.  Valdyr is still only 78, but hopefully I’ll be able to get him to 80 before the raid tonight (assuming the patch goes well enough to let us raid!)

4. New Glyphs.

Glyph of Aimed Shot or Glyph of Chimera Shot, Glyph of Serpent Sting, Glyph of Trueshot Aura.

I’m really still debating between Glyph of Aimed Shot and Glyph of Chimera Shot.  Not sure if 1 second reduced cooldown will make much of a difference with Chimera.

5. New Bag Slot.

I’ve got to remember to get rid of my ammo bags!  I still have an extra 18 slot sitting in my bank from when I picked up a Dragon-Hide Bag, so that’ll do for now.  I really should invest in some 20-slot bags though… Hmm.

6. Acquire Flasks.

I need to get some of those nice new 1-hour Flasks of Endless Rage made up for Ulduar attempts.  I should have bought the mats before the patch… but I forgot.  That’s gonna cost me!

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Cat vs. Moth!

Monday, April 6th, 2009

catvsmoth

For the last few months, my constant companion has been Ambrose, my pretty blue moth from Netherstorm.  I picked him up the day they became tamable and he’s been my companion in most of my Wrath raiding career.

I’m not one of those people who has something against cats.  Especially now that pets are much more equal and there is a lot more variety, you don’t see cats every where anymore.  I’ve always had a cat, leveling through old world, I had Echeyakee for a long while and I also had Broken Tooth when he was still OP.

I know that Moths don’t do the best DPS.  Raptors, Devilsaurs, Cats are all higher in DPS right now, from what I’ve heard.  But how much higher?  Is it enough that I should switch?

Today I went to Silvermoon to test out my cat and my moth to see how much a difference there was.  First, I’d like to point out that the patrolling NPCs in Silvermoon don’t like people in combat… they all would bug out and get stuck in place when they were walking by me… I managed to collect a whole group of them over my 10 min tests! :)

Anyway…

I didn’t do any real attacking myself (other than an initial auto-shot to get Recount going), both pets had identical talent specs and I had Call of the Wild turned off for both.  Their other special abilities were all on auto-cast… except Serenity Dust, since that stupid spell HAS to be manually cast every minute (a bit of a negative point in the Moth column already).

I set them on the Heroic Training Dummy for 10 minutes each.  Here are my results:

ambrosedps

rajahdps

Well, as expected… kitty (Rajah) is coming out on top.  Nearly 20 DPS difference, in fact… here’s the breakdown, if you’re curious:

ambrosedps2

rajahdps2

So what do I do?  Is 20 DPS enough?  Keep in mind, this is completely unbuffed and without Cobra Strikes and all that good stuff… maybe it would be an even bigger difference then?

I think I’ll bring Rajah along to the raids this week and see if I notice any difference.  It will certainly be nice to not having to manually cast Serenity Dust…

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The Dual-Spec Decision

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

dual-spec-003

As patch 3.1 approaches, many of us are trying to consider our options regarding dual-specs.  Which characters should we get it for, and why?  Well, as I’ve been quite enjoying the Marksman tree lately, I started to consider whether I should get it as a secondary spec, just for fun.  Then I thought, maybe I’ll pick up dual specs on my mage, try some Frost for PvP!  And I’ve already given up on leveling my priest until I can get him his dual specs.

But all this thinking started making my wallet scream at me.  So I defined a few key points which would help me decide whether it’s worth getting or not.

From my humble point of view, there are 3 reasons one would be willing to get dual specs.

  1. A likelihood of respecing mid-raid.
    If you are an off-tank and can find yourself often being asked to switch to your DPS gear for some fights, having a dual-spec option would be beneficial to both you and your entire raid.
  2. Constant swapping between 10-man and 25-man specs, or PvE and PvP specs, or grinding and raiding/PvP specs.
    If you have two specs you swap between often, you’ll be able to save time and more importantly, money by picking up dual specs.  It isn’t necessary, since you could pretty easily just visit a trainer between your arenas and raids or your 10-man and 25-man, but if you think you’d like to do this more than 20 times between two specific specs (20 x 50g = 1000g), it certainly a worthy investment, and it will allow you to do this much more often than you might be doing now.  Keep in mind though that if you are someone who likes to test out different talents often, this isn’t a ticket to change your talents for free!
  3. Convenience.
    Maybe you occasionally change between two specs.  Every few weeks you like to spend a day doing PvP, or once in a while if a healer is nowhere to be found you like to shake your branches or shed your shadowform.  Well, now that change will be much more convenient.  This change won’t make you PvP or change roles more often, but when that situation presents itself you won’t have to make the trip back to the old world and pick your individual points.  It’s only 1000g anyway, right?

I have characters that fall under every point.

My Hunter falls under category 3.  She doesn’t need a trash or farming or PvP spec.  I have never paid more than 35g to respec, and I can probably count the number of times I’ve respec’d on my fingers.  But I wouldn’t mind being able to switch to MM on pet unfriendly fights.  I wouldn’t mind being able to do a bit more damage on the off chance I decide to hit the BGs or arenas. I wouldn’t mind specing for a pet tank should the situation where it’s needed arise.

My Priest falls under both 1 and 2.  I love leveling as Shadow, but I hate grouping as Shadow.  It is the opposite for Holy.  Being able to switch to Shadow easily while I work my way through Northrend would be a huge incentive for me to play him.  And if I ever get to the point where I’m raiding, I know we wouldn’t need all the healers in ever single trash or boss pull, so I could always make myself more useful by switching.

So what’s my decision?  Well, as much as I’m enjoying MM, I don’t mind manually respecing when I feel like switching.  It’s certainly cheaper, since it’s a rare thing.  However, there’s no question for my Priest, he’s going to camp out at the trainer until the patch hits.

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First Impressions: Raiding as MM

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Last night I headed into Naxx donning my shiny new 13/53/7 spec.

I’d only tested it out briefly, a few minutes with the Target Dummy in Silvermoon (no one else ever uses the ones in Silvermoon!) and then a short romp through Heroic Violet Hold this weekend.

My overall impression from the raid?  MM is fun, but sometimes watching all the cooldowns feels like it’s just busywork.  But I think I’ve found my temporary happy medium between the horrible DPS of Beast Mastery and the unbearable clunkiness of Survival, so I’ll probably stick it out at least until 3.1 hits.

When the raid started, I was… a bit lost.  I am still new to this, and I’ve had to move my buttons around.  “Where’s Volley?!” I found myself panicking.  I couldn’t remember what the icon even looked like, I just knew it was always ’6′.  Well, now it’s ‘Alt-2′ apparently.

The first thing I noticed was my Volleys were critting SO much.  I check my character sheet… I’m up to nearly 47% crit while raid buffed… holy crap!  I’m sitting at 36% unbuffed, which is a lot more than my 30% in BM.  Crits are shiny.

The second thing I noticed was on our first boss fight – we started with Military, and we were fighting Instructor Razuvious.  About 30 seconds into the fight, I glance at my mana bar.  I’d used only a scintilla of mana, sitting at 92%!  CRAP!  I forgot to take Viper off again! I thought to myself.  But I check and double check, and I’m most definitely rocking the Dragonhawk.

Even with just 2 points in Efficiency and 1 point in Rapid Recuperation, I don’t think I dropped below 50% mana on any fight.

/melt.

Things I’ve learned:  I need to bind Readiness to a key somewhere.  I have all my cooldowns bound to mouse buttons, except for that one.  I wonder if I can find another button on my mouse that I’m not using…

I also need to pay more attention to when I need to use Aimed and when to use Multi.  I try to switch between them depending on how many mobs I’m fighting, but sometimes I just hit one without paying attention.

I’m glad I’ve decided to try this spec out, though!  And I was happy to see myself hit 3rd on DPS for one of the boss fights :) It’s no 1st place ZOMG OP BM, but it’ll do!