Friday, November 28, 2008

Another milestone

In other Ahn'kahet guild run last night, I managed to hit 3000 AP with Expose Weakness when both group and self buffed. I am not entirely sure whether or not that is still lagging behind most people, but it felt good for me. ;-)

This is the spec which I am currently planning to initially test with instancing/raiding at 80. An offline friend wants me to go straight Marksmanship, although for me that would probably translate to something like this. With lesser gear at least, I'm aware the latter spec would probably do a lot more for me, but really being able to see what a combo TSA/EW spec could also do is something I've been wanting to do for a while. I'm also aware that deep Marks is probably going to give me better mana efficiency than a hybrid, even with 3/3 ToTH, so we will have to see.

Also, Rilgon; as far as the Cobalt Slicer argument is concerned, while I may not be aware of the particulars of the argument, my own experience would lead me to suspect that from his own perspective at least, BRK is right.

The modification to the Agility/AP ratio in TBC (1 Ag = 1 AP, rather than the old rule of 1 Ag = 2 AP, as well as the fact that in itemisation terms, it often ended up being closer to 1 Ag = 2-2.5 AP) introduced a tradeoff effect between Agility and pure AP. With the PvP gear in particular, this was even more the case; the S3 Axe has no base Agility at all. Hence, if you tried to itemise primarily for Agility, you would end up with extremely low AP, comparitively speaking.

It may also not be true in WoTLK, but in TBC anyway, Blizzard overwhelmingly itemised for Beast Mastery (pure AP) rather than the other two trees, (just as they tended to balance us around BM in PvP as well) especially in terms of the PvP gear, as mentioned. It remains to be seen whether or not Blizzard's focus on Hunters will continue to be primarily BM-centric in WoTLK, but the amount of base Agility which I'm already starting to see on new gear gives me cause for optimism.

As I've said before, the TBC Beast Mastery monoculture has not been in anyone's best interests, and it is my earnest hope that as we move into WoTLK, it will start to gradually dissipate. It certainly doesn't serve users of the other two trees, and it doesn't even really benefit the minority of genuine, skilled natives of Beast Mastery either, such as Pike or BRK, because the tree's social reputation is tarnished when it is used by flavour of the month types, or as a crutch by novice players.

To illustrate the above mentioned tradeoff, though, I had 800 base Ag pre-Kara, but was struggling to maintain 1500 base AP, and the tradeoff was never really resolved before T6 gear, which, admittedly, I myself never got. (Although I was still able to observe that by looking at various numbers) Nearly everyone I saw with 2k+ AP during TBC (pre-T6, anywayz) had south of 700 base Ag, including Surv.

To some extent this tradeoff has been alleviated for Survival in WoTLK with the addition of Hunter VS Wild, but because Beast Mastery has nothing like this, the tradeoff is still going to apply until they start to get gear where the numbers of Agility and AP become close to equal, which, if the historical pattern holds true, will not happen until the very end of this expansion.

Thus, although they are still going to need a minimum of 7-800 base Ag (primarily for crit actually, more than anything else; but also to give them a decent base for scaling with raid buffs) I am estimating that before T8-T9 gear at least, once they get past that minimum Agility requirement, pure AP will be much more important for Beast Mastery.

No comments: