Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gundersson on Survival's rhythm in 3.1

Gundersson wrote to me close to a week back about how Survival's shot rotation is shaping up in 3.1. His comments are in italics. My responses are below his quotes, in normal text.

Finding the rythm of survival a bit.. broken. Dunno what it is really. I don't like black-arrow. It's taken something iconic to Survial, traps, and replaced it with just another shot.

Not for me it hasn't. I don't have exact numbers in front of me due to maintenance, but for me, Black Arrow wouldn't do much more than 2k damage, tops, and Immolation Trap does nearly 5k with the glyph, and in less time. Immolation Trap still has a 10% periodic chance to proc L&L as well, which is the same as Black Arrow itself.

Immolation Trap also costs more on paper, at 9% base mana, but with Resourcefulness it actually only costs 3%, due to 60% reduced mana cost.

Black Arrow is meant as a mobile L&L proc during raids (I saw GC say as much in the DPS forum) or Heroics when you want to stand still and shoot, but you also don't want to use Freezing Arrow because you want damage attached to the proc ability as well. I also use it at times for reach; if I'm in range of a group of mobs and don't want to pull the others, depending on their distance away, I will use Black Arrow, Serpent, (or Wyvern, but if so, I'll fire Wyvern first) and ES to kill one of them.

While I'm farming, if I really want to drop a single non-elite target quickly, I use an Immolation Trap, Serpent with points in Imp Stings, (which gives me close to 7k damage in dots) and Explosive Shot. (6k if all three charges crit)

That is mana intensive, but it still does more damage than Serpent, Black Arrow, and ES. It will also more than kill any non-elite mob (12k-ish health, tops) in the game that I know of. Other than for pulling isolated mobs out of groups, I never use Black Arrow outside an instance.

Black-Arrow makes your immolation trap redundant. It makes moving around useless now. You kinda just stand there and repeat a shot rotation based on priority.

Mobility would only be redundant for single targets. For multiples, I tend to use a Frost Trap and for up to 3 targets, one Explosive Shot each from the Lock and Load proc, as well as Serpent on one of them as well. Once Frost is down, circle strafe around it at range, and use Thunderstomp to hold targets in place.

It feels like they've made Survival's playstyle the same as Marksman now. Considering that crowd control from what I've heard still doesn't exist in Ulduar, our strengths are pretty much still wasted.

I don't raid, personally. I wouldn't have even done more than one Heroic in the last month. I'm farming for my epic flying mount, and a few epic rings on the AH as well. I didn't go to Naxx other than three nights in an initial week, and I've only been to Sarth once as well. Naxx bored me, and IMHO the equivalent of T7 can be had outside it, as well. The Argent Crusade rep chest is at least on par with T7.

Aside from farming, I will very occasionally do battlegrounds, but that is rare due to the Paladin and Death Knight still being the OP abominations that they are now. The DK isn't actually entirely unkillable if Army of the Dead is on CD, but the Paladin is ridiculous.

Sniper training is even more reason to just stand in one place and hit buttons.

In an instance, sure; but the only time we've ever not had a stationary rotation in instances was for a very brief time between 3.0 and 3.0.8, before those unutterable %^&* (there simply are not words) on Elitist Jerks told everyone to abuse the proc rate of Lock and Load.

The timer on Black Arrow also throws out the rhythm. It's got a 30 second cooldown but a 15 second duration or something like that.

I probably wouldn't use it, but then again, I've never really worried about L&L procs in Heroics at least. Caring about it in raids is up to you, but if you use Serpent instead, if you've got the glyph you're still getting the +10% damage to Steady Shot, (which badly needs it) and given that it has a 20% RAP coefficient rather than Black Arrow's 10%, will likely do more damage as well, even after the +6%.

Monitoring it doesn't really add to the fun of gameplay. Serpent sting handled everything well enough. You got your serpent sting on the target and then you got into your rotation, you were left free to manouver and react to things.

Personally, I felt as though even Serpent slowed things down way too much. With Hunter's Mark, it meant two GCDs before I was into my full rotation. Now if you use Black Arrow as well, that's three.

Now it's like you're almost required to have tunnel vision.

As I said, I don't raid. I got 200g from a couple of guys to do a Scholomance run the other night; most fun I've had with the game in months, actually. I saw parts of the instance that I haven't before, and in addition to the money, they were very grateful, as well.

Some people might enjoy raiding, but personally I find I have a lot more fun if I don't go near it.

If you want to have fun in this game, stay up until 3-4 am one morning and look for a guy levelling his way through HFP who never got a Ramps run, or find four kids and have them give you 50g each to take them on an Emperor run in BRD. It might take you 2-4 hours, but you'll have a blast, and said kids will love you for it afterwards. It's the closest I'm ever likely to get to real fatherhood.

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