Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Some bad news

The external video card for this computer apparently died the day before yesterday. I'm currently using the motherboard's on-board graphics card, an ATI card of indeterminate model. I attempted to log into WoW yesterday, and average between 9-20 FPS.

I'll still post periodically, since many on the forum would likely claim that I could still have the same level of knowledge about the game without playing it anywayz. ;-) So I'm not going anywhere.

For the record, I loathe ATI's cards. I owned one a year or so ago and was appalled with its' performance, (or lack thereof) whereas my experience with the three nVidia cards I have had has never been anything short of superb, in either Windows, Linux, or FreeBSD. I've consistently seen them being reviewed as being grossly inferior, as well.

I will freely admit to the probably deeply bigoted opinion that with many things, there is usually something which is the genuine article, and then there's the cheap knock off. For me, in terms of cola, that's Coke, in terms of processors, Intel, and in terms of graphics cards, nVidia. ;-)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Survival weapon comparisons

Some might say I'm pilfering BRK's content, here. My apologies, BRK...but you have provided me with fodder for a post of my own. Think of it as an annotation to what you've stated, from the Survival side of the fence.

Someone wrote to BRK and asked which bow they should go with, out of one that dropped from the Shattered Halls, and Valanos' Longbow.

Valanos' Longbow
130 - 242 Damage Speed 2.80
(66.4 damage per second)
+10 Intellect
Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 10.
Equip: Increases attack power by 22.

Skyfire Hawk-Bow
108 - 202 Damage Speed 2.40
(64.6 damage per second)
Equip: Improves hit rating by 14.
Equip: Increases attack power by 26.

As BRK stated, out of the two of these, I feel that for Survival, Valanos' is the better choice, for a couple of reasons.

  • +Crit.

    Although at first glance, this one might seem obvious, it deserves a slightly closer look. While I've said in the past that I believe it's true that Agility should be Survival's single highest priority, my own experimentation with Cheeky's spreadsheet suggested that Agility alone isn't going to get you much higher than 28-30% (prolly 35% max) base crit. If you want to keep going up from there, (and of course we do ;)) that's when crit rating enters the picture.

  • Intellect.

    I may not have said it directly before, but I feel that Intellect is probably the single lowest priority stat for Survival. Yes, we do use mana, and a lot of it, but Efficiency from the Marks tree and our own Thrill of the Hunt massively reduces real mana consumption. Not only that, but you'll likely hear about Marks Hunters with a mana pool the size of the Sigsbee Deep who still end up needing to pot during long instances.

    The moral of the story is thus that if we come across gear which throws us some Int on top of stats that are a lot more important, (like Agility) it's icing on the cake, and by all means, take it and enjoy it. Just don't go out of your way for it.

  • Higher Base Damage.

    2.2 base DPS might not seem like much, but as I've said before, for damage, Survival isn't a free lunch. We get crit bonuses, yes, and 4% ap from Survival Instincts, but the rest has to come from gear. More noteworthy is Valanos' extra 40 damage on the high end. Higher base damage means higher damage crits. 'Nuff said.

  • Slower attack speed.

    BM is going to want the faster attack speed to capitalise on Serpents' Swiftness. We on the other hand tend to want slower weapons in order to try and compensate for lag when performing a 1:1.5 rotation. BM usually only does a 1:1, or Steady, Auto rotation with some extra shots situationally, so for them having a fast weapon is a plus in pretty much every regard. For us on the other hand, a fast weapon makes it more difficult to time our shots, when then translates to less damage overall.

This might also offer people an idea of why developing good instincts for gear selection is also very important for Surv. At times you'll come across pieces of gear in your travels which you'll think looks cooler, and that you can also slap on interchangeably without too much of a problem. For Beast Mastery, that to some extent might be true...but for us, it generally pays to look a little deeper.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

New Blog Link: Freejack

I've just added another link to my own blog list; the World of Freejack. Freejack is a level 70 41/20/0 Beast Master Hunter from Maui, in Hawaii. Coincidentally, Hawaii was the home of one of the earliest people I regularly communicated with online, back in 1995.

By another coincidence, Freejack's home server is Aman'Thul, an Oceanic PvE realm where I myself have a couple of low level Alliance alts.

He writes about some interesting stuff, including guild dynamics and experimentation with the macro system. However, when looking at technorati a minute ago I noticed he still didn't have any linkbacks there, so I thought I'd give him one to help get him a bit more publicity. Go forth and check it out. ;-)