Saturday, January 26, 2008

On Shot Rotation, pre 60

(Note: This is another post dealing with a pre-60 topic, so you raiders out there possibly won't be interested. However, if you're planning on making an alt Hunter some day, as I have recently, then read on)

Those of you who've been to level 62 before will know about Steady Shot, a skill which, rather than being used on its' own as such, is more used as the staple of a shot rotation. The other benefit of using Steady, even aside from the damage it does itself, is the timing of your shots; you can fire Steady Shot and get a white autoshot following it almost immediately afterwards, regardless of your weapon speed.

Recently though, on rolling a couple of lower level alts for different reasons, (mainly to play with various people I knew on different servers) I again found myself in a situation (at level 20 or earlier) without Steady Shot, or even without Aimed Shot, which I'm told is what Hunters used for a similar purpose before the expansion. What to do?

My own solution has been to use Arcane Shot as an opener, and then use Serpent Sting(Rank 1) as an off shot after that. So my rotation has been Arcane, Auto, Serpent, Auto, Serpent, Auto, Serpent, Auto, at which point Arcane was back up and I could use that again.

My alts are both level 22 now, though. A few levels ago they got Multi-Shot, which means the rotation changed again. After some experimentation, I went with Arcane, Auto, Serpent, Auto, Multi, Auto, Serpent, Auto, Serpent, Auto.

Some will probably call me a newb for using Serpent in this manner, and claim that it doesn't add any extra damage. Whether Serpent itself adds extra damage or not is something I'm unsure of...however what I find it does do for me is provide a very valuable means of timing my shots; I find if I get a good rhythm up I can keep the GCD on pretty much all the time, while still getting auto shots after the Serpents.

It also goes without saying that I wouldn't advocate the use of this after you get Steady Shot; this is purely for use until you do.

My results? With Venomstrike I've been getting a cruising average of 40ish DPS, (sometimes a bit over or under) and crits can cause me to spike at anywhere between 60-80. This alt's current paperdoll DPS is 31, and Venomstrike's base DPS is 15.

Here's a screenshot of a run two levels ago, with the above quoted result.

It's also worth saying that these rotations eat through ammunition at a faster level than what quivers for the level range are really designed for, especially considering that at a base speed of 2.40, Venomstrike in particular is a little on the fast side for my tastes. I've been carrying an extra bag, for a total of 3600 rounds, and a Wailing Caverns run will go through probably 1800 of that. Mana is also a concern; I tend to try and buy 40 melon juice before a run, and I'll probably go through half of that as well. I find it a lot of fun, though...that's why I do it. ;-)

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