Saturday, December 6, 2008

Master Nesingwary, I presume

Ding 77, and I finally arrived at Nesingwary Base Camp this morning, in Sholazar. The preliminary quests were a little tedious, but then there was the Great Hunter Challenge! For most of you, winning that might not be much of a challenge; but here's another challenge I'll set for anyone who hasn't done it yet. Do it from start to finish, (60 mobs) without having to drink once.

I did, and not only that, I was still at 23% mana when I'd finished. I could be wrong here, (I really sucked at mathematics at school) but I think that works out at an average of 1.28% mana per mob. Of course, I was also getting Replenishment ticks as well at times. Still, even with that, my mana usage was utterly minimal.

So how did I do that, you ask? There are a couple of things I rely on.
  • The first thing is the pet ability, Charge. Charge is available for both Ferocity and Tenacity pets, and assuming you're not using a Gorilla, or actually, even if you are, there's really no reason at all not to have it, since it still offers the 1 second stun, +25% melee attack power on next attack, and is faster than Dash, too.

    The single main reason why it's important for me though, is because of what it allows for mob positioning. I'm talking the ability to make a mob stop on a proverbial 5c piece. (A nickel I think, for my American readers) This is good because it means I can pull from a very short distance away from a target, and still not have them touch me. I'll explain why that sometimes happens in a moment.

  • This particular piece of magic - Crude Throwing Axe. Remember BRK's low threat pull shot trick, Rank 1 Arcane Shot? I do, and I loved it. Unfortunately however, with the end of downranking, we can no longer do that. The Crude Throwing Axe is our salvation. It does roughly the same amount of damage as Rank 1 Arcane did. The only downside is that Thrown unfortunately doesn't benefit from Hawk Eye, so its' range is only 30 yards.

    The fun part about using Thrown is that it almost involves a certain amount of actual stalking, since getting an axe on a moving target while still allowing yourself some margin of range between yourself, the mob, and the trap can be a bit fiddly. I sometimes had to wait a few seconds for a mob to stop at exactly the right point, (30 yards from me, with the trap set at 15, dead centre between the mob and max range) before throwing.

So, the sequence/rotation:-
  1. Using RangeDisplay, measure 15 yards from your intended target, and drop Snake Trap. Remember, we want Snake because of Crippling Poison. If you're not able to get enough range in time, this will give you more of a margin for error, without letting the mob touch you.

  2. Move back out to 30 yards, and throw a Crude Throwing Axe.

  3. Backpedal constantly as the mob comes towards you. Send your pet the moment the mob hits the trap, and Charge will stop it at that exact position. This is important because the distance between you at that point will probably only be around 10 yards.

  4. Once you've sent the pet, side strafe back out to 25-30 yards.

  5. Face forward again at that range, fire Serpent, and then use a Lock and Load proc with Explosive Shot. Fire Explosive, then wait one second for the DoT to finish working, and then fire it again. Once the second Explosive DoT has finished, the mob should be dead.

For a per-mob comparison with Beast Mastery, also:-
  • 1x Hunter's Mark = 3% base mana.

  • 1x Serpent Sting = 9% base mana. (Assuming Steady Glyph)

  • 4x (5% each) Steady Shot = 20% base mana. (conservative estimate; assumes manual timing. For macro spammers, 5-7 steadies would probably be more realistic)

  • Total = 32% base mana.

    This is consistent with my own experience with BM, where I was having to drink every 3-4 mobs. This also includes the conservative four steady estimate. That number would be 37% of base mana with five. Use of Bestial Wrath on kills when it is up would push this up to 47% of base mana, or almost half the Hunter's total mana pool for a single mob. This is approaching a degree of mana inefficiency more commonly observed with the Mage, (in the neighbourhood of 60% per kill in some cases) rather than the Hunter.
For Survival:-
  • 1x Hunter's Mark = 3% of base mana.

  • 1x Serpent Sting = 9% of base mana. With Improved Stings, on a mob with 10k health, Serpent will account for 20% of overall damage, or roughly 2k. This maintains a damage to mana ratio of slightly over 2:1.

  • 1x Snake Trap = 9% of base mana.

  • Total = 21% base mana. (Explosive is used twice, but is free in mana terms due to Lock and Load)

    Although I don't have 5/5 Hunting Party at the moment, for the sake of argument, in order to make things easier, I will assume that I do. Even with an assumption of a single crit per kill (conservative to the point of unrealism) Hunting Party thus gives us 3.75% mana back total. (0.25% mana per sec for 15 sec)

Our adjusted total per kill mana cost for Survival while farming/questing assuming the above sequence, then, is 21 - 3.75 = 17.25%. This also does not take passive mp5 regeneration into account, either.

The downside here, however, is speed, or a lack thereof. With probably a good 5 seconds spent on initial setup prior to the trap going off, and another 10-12 seconds after the trap goes off, I'm looking at around 17 seconds per kill.

On the other hand, given that I could expect to be drinking for probably 10 seconds after every third kill with Beast Mastery, (which I don't experience with Surv) in actuality, it probably works out about even.

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