A Tale of 2 Hunters

So I have been quiet for a while, there are several reasons for this.  One of the main reasons was, I was waiting on Beta information about the Resto Druid Mastery after the it was mentioned that they may change it.  Then after it was finally released I did not feel it was worth discussing since every Resto druid Blogger has already talking about it ad infinitum.

The other major reason which I going to be central to the next several posts is I have recently got engrossed with Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO or lotro).  I have to say so far, since I am not in Beta, the leveling experience when compared to Vanilla, BC, and even WotLK WoW has been better overall.  Now I am not anywhere near endgame and I did subscribe so I am not going to compare lotro Free-2-Play(F2P) to WoW subscriber experience.  But comparing Subscription content to Subscription content is somewhat valid.  I will get into all of this in a different post.

Now the first character I have gotten into skirmishes was a Hunter character I made, named Lavata.  When I went to make my blog persona named character Malchome given the context of how I decided upon the name I could not resist choosing the Captain class for the character.  Anyway back to Hunters, as there are several differences between the classes.  Now I have had a little play time on the PTR before the second 14G download was required.  I am not going to wait for almost 1.5 days to the bloody thing to download, curse you Comcast to experiment more when Lissanna is in Beta anyway.

Major Similarities

  • Ranged DPS Class – Using Bows/Crossbows – WoW has Guns but same thing.
  • Has a few limited Melee abilities.
  • Can crowd control with some forethought.

Major Differences – When Comparing LotRO Hunter to WoW Hunter.

  • No Pet
  • Can only set a trap when not in combat
  • Only 1 type of trap so far, seems to deal physical damage.
  • No Minimum Range
  • Melee abilities interact and either buff or are buffed by ranged attacks.
  • Did I mention No Minimum Range

So ya the main point of the comparison was to yell/shout/beat over head that the LotRO Hunter has no minimum range requirement to use its special shots ability, yes they get push back while casting their non-instant cast abilities but so what.  In WoW if you can get inside the minimum range of a Hunter you have them beat most of the time.  I must also add that the interplay between the melee abilities and the ranged are interesting and fun.

Honestly I think it is time for WoW to get rid of the Minimum range requirement on the special abilities of hunters.  Do I think hunters should just be using autoshot when the target is in melee, no.  I think if the auto attack was started as ranged it should finish as ranged and then switch to melee attacks, additionally all of the various shots and stings should be usable as long as the target is within the maximum range and therefor the minimum range should be removed.

Even with all of the fun toys a WoW hunter has over their LotRO cousins the LotRO Hunter is IMO more fun to play just because there are not annoyingly stupid restrictions placed upon the mechanics of the class.  Can you shoot someone with a bow or gun at point blank range? Yes. Why can we not in the game?  There are no good answers to this one.  Balance and PVP are bogus answers because Balance can be maintained by tweeking numbers.

Resto Druid Mastery – Further Contemplation

Well time again for some arm chair designing,  one of my favorite past times when it comes to WoW, … hell it is the purpose for this blog.

Read Lissanna’s post here before as this is a follow up with my 2 cents.

Before I go into theory land lets look at all of the healing masteries.

Druid - Restoration: Deep Healing – Increases the potency of your heal over time spells by up to 20% based on the current health level of your target (lower health targets are healed for more). Healing increased further by mastery rating.

Paladin – Holy: Illuminated Healing – Your healing spells also place an absorb shield on your target for 8% of the amount healed lasting 6 sec. Absorb increased further by mastery rating.

Priest – Discipline: Shield Discipline – Increases the potency of all your damage absorption spells by 20%. Absorption increased further by mastery rating.

Priest – Holy: Echo of Light – Your direct healing spells heal for an additional 10% over 6 sec. Healing increased further by mastery rating.

Shaman – Restoration: Deep Healing – Increases the potency of your direct healing spells by up to 20%, based on the current health level of your target (lower health targets are healed for more). Healing increased further by mastery rating.

Ok so here we see Druid and Shaman have nearly the same mastery bonus, this needs to change.  So lets for sake of argument say that Deep Healing will now be the following.

Deep Healing – Increases the potency of your healing spells by up to 20%, based on the current health level of your target (lower health targets are healed for more). Healing increased further by mastery rating. (Tool tip is copied from shaman but would be either Shaman or Druid.

So what would be the new Mastery for either Druid or Shaman, who ever did not get Deep Healing, well I have an idea for it as well as naming.

Druid : Touch of the Dream, Shaman : Ancestral Guardian – Your healing spells place a stacking buff on the target where each stack give X/(# of stacks)% reduction to all damage taken and lasts for 6 sec.

Now the range should be between ~5% and 15% for the total effect and of course the amount gained each stack would be based on mastery.  How this interaction would stack or not is a complex interaction.  But it is the last “Buff” healing effect that is not currently assigned.  I looked in the healing trees and Shaman still have the 10% physical damage reduction and this should definitely stack with that buff.

The 3% damage reduction talent is gone from Discipline priests which is where I got this idea in the first place, it is surprising but that 3% really adds up over the duration of an ICC fight.

Additionally Disc. Priests are another group that seems a bit screwed in their mastery unless it also effects Divine Aegis which in the wording does not seem like it would, time will tell on that one.

New Side Project and Raid Strategy contemplations.

Well at the rate I am going it may be patch 4.1 before I get my new side project “ready” so I will just reference it early and hope it is enough incentive to get me going on it.

Recently in our guild, i.e. the last few months, Conspiracy has been working on the Lich King on and off.  One of the areas of discussion was what raid strategy we were going to use.  So the raid and guild leadership would tell us to go and read up on the LK and watch some videos.  This led to us coming back and trying to process about 4-5 different strategies into 1 cognizant form for our use.  Over the course of a few weeks a general strategy was developed and the only way to pass the information was word of mouth and demonstrations while everyone was in the LK room.

Anyway throughout all of this many of the old raid strategy websites that I would use during tBC have since up and disappeared.  Now the best information available are Tankspot videos and WoWwiki fight summaries.  You will find the occasionally graph or chart strewn across the web but nothing really cohesive.  So for our guild I took it upon myself to create such a resource even if I end up being the only one using the resource.

http://raidstrategies.mmo-report.com/

So it is a work in progress and will mainly be focused on content starting with the release of Cataclysm.  I plan to over time flesh out more of ICC with normal and hard mode strategies but I promise nothing until Cata.  My goal in Cata is to have a clear set of strategies for raiders to use if they so wish.  Ideally if a few others would like to collaborate on developing strategies for Cata and posting them on the raid strategies blog with me that would be great.

Now on to the contemplations.

So I have been looking at the various Festergut and HM-Festergut strategies for a week or so now and near the end of the week last week I had a epiphany on something that should have dawned on me ages earlier.  It was a general rule/guide for creating clusters in a raid based on encounter criteria.

For example in Festergut we know the ranged must stay at least 8 yards apart when there is no spore up.

The formula for all of this is the following.

“# of people in formation” = Floor(6.28 * (New Radius / Min Radius))

“# of people in formation with 1 stationary as central point” = Floor(6.28 * (New Radius / Min Radius)) + 1

In the second formula the actual diameter may actually be 2r + hitbox of central figure.  But it does give you a good estimate of how many players you can pack into an area depending upon range of boss ability splash effect.

This also allows for an interesting double circle like a bullseye if the New Radius > (2 * Min Radius)