I’ve seen a lot of disagreement on the Lady Deathwhisper fight over if it’s better for Hunters to use Viper Sting or Serpent Sting. I take the less intuitive path of Serpent Sting is better. This has been bugging me, and as we all know, I like being right, and I like maximal dps (as opposed to Predacon dps?) – so, I sat down and ran some tests.
First, no offense to anyone in the Viper camp, but I think a lot of the love for Viper on Deathwhisper is being people don’t quite fully examine the tooltip.
Stings the target, draining 4% mana over 8 sec (up to a maximum of 8% of the caster’s maximum mana), and energizing the Hunter equal to 300% of the amount drained. Only one Sting per Hunter can be active on any one target.
I think most people look at the “4% mana” part and think, “awesome, with something like 10 million mana, that’s like 400,000 mana! That’s like a full minute of my dps in eight seconds! (Light knows I did at first!) What we miss is the second part of that: “up to a maximum of 8% of the caster’s maximum mana” (that’s you, the Hunter). Math, raid buffed, has slightly less than 16,200 mana. 8% of that is 1296… ow. Viper is 1% every two seconds for eight seconds, so each two second tick is 324 mana drained.
Plinking Serpent Sting on a target dummy with no buffs beyond Aspect of the Monkeyhawk shows that a normal tick of Serpent Sting does an average, for Math, of 494 damage. He still has his 2pT9, and about 60% (unbuffed) of those ticks of Serpent were crits, averaging 1139. Plus, being Survival (yes, there’s still some Survival hunters left), while Serpent Sting targets take 3% more damage from his other abilities, like Explosive Shot – extra dps that comes from using Serpent, lost during Viper.
While Viper Sting seems, on the surface, to be potentially good, simple math (hah) shows that for Math, going Viper is a dps loss.
This really isn’t a hard and fast rule, “never use viper on Lady Deathwhisper”, though. Really, I want to say it seems generally suboptimal, but you might be a special case – fortunately, it’s not hard to check, if you care about pulling out that last extra hundred-some-odd / hundreds-of dps on Phase 1 – calculate 1% of your mana, and see if it’s a bigger number than an average tick of your serpent sting.
Though there is a time to use Viper Sting on Lady Deathwhisper, and that’s when you run low on mana. Sure, it does less damage than normal, but getting 24% of your mana bar back in eight seconds on a 15 sec cooldown beats eight seconds in Viper by leaps and bounds, let alone the amount of time you’d need to spend in viper to get that much mana back.
I know I’m not some leading authority, but the theorycrafting here is easy enough to try this at home and see – just, don’t blame me if somehow something goes horribly wrong. I’m not responsible for horrible mutants, wipeitis, wandering dps syndrome, or any other fallout you might randomly find. The world is a buggy place!
Fair winds and good hunts. Stay owning, my friends.
I called it! Way back in August / September when some people were bitching about how Cataclysm would have almost no new raid content, because “Ragnaros is back”, “they’d just be doing what they did with Naxx, but more of it” (nevermind that to most of the population of WoW, Naxxramas WAS new content) … So I’d like to quote THE Blue, Ghostcrawler:
“I’ll also add that for Lich King we just brought Naxxramas back and adjusted the bosses for 10 and 25 raid sizes. The Cataclysm raids are new content with new maps and new bosses. We’re just trying to hit the nostalgia button with mentioning old foes like Ragnaros. Ragnaros may be back, but he’s not in Molten Core.”
What is it I said when we finally started doing Ony right, and man it was smoother? Oh yeah. Ah, vindication – the sweetest of all drops!
Man, I can’t wait for Cata.
aliens old guild expectations and doesn’t afraid of sanity.
Been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve been having to do LIFE things and then just having too much damn fun playing WoW, to post about WoW. Hrm. Maybe Teh Blogforce is weak in this one.
So, yeah. Alliance now. In switched him tuesday, after staying up late to do the Weekly – tuesday morning, woke up, found out that Faction Change resets your ID but doesn’t reset your having done the weekly. Shrug, and take advantage of SARTHWEEKLY to try and organize a zerg. And you know what?
Look at my drake, my drake is incredible, give him a lick ~mmmmm it tastes just so edible~ (warning! Link is NSFW due to brief animated horse winky).
VICTORY. Also, dear mr. paranoid guy: god forbid someone who can zerg Sarth 13 (which is a lot of people now) isn’t in guild. Out of habit, I was leading since I set it up, and set it to master looter. And so someone there starts insisting with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that I’m a ninja. I protest no, he says YES, he gets in a huff and leaves. I grumble, and set it back to NBG since, hey, that’s how it should go. And you know what happens anyway? Everyone rolls need on the Black Drake.
And I win it anyway.
The black drake was certainly a good score, but I tell you, vindication is the sweetest of all loots.
Then I switched servers, and found a new raid weekly, but no one wants to do it (’cause it’s Maly, and Maly sucks and apparently everyone becomes a Newb in it – even yours truly), and found that server change resets your raid IDs, but you STILL keep the raid weekly as being done, even if it’s different.
But oh well! Within a week I’ve come further than I’ve gone in a few months with PoV. Anub’arak 25? Dead. Raid was maybe a quarter pug, but you know what? I feels better to raid and progress and have pugs than it does to not do anything, or to do the same old Ulduar or Trial 10 instead of … oh, what’s this? Saurfang down? Saurfang down. Something else I learned: ICC is fun!
…Challenging, too, which just makes it all the better. Frustrating, sometimes. But, ultimately, rewarding.
The new guild is saner and – so far – relatively drama free (though that may just be me not being here long, or not being privy to officer chat this time around). And, goddamn, somehow, sorry my old folks, far more fun. And chain heroics on my Shaman is pretty fun. Melee is WTF omg WHIRLWIND and needing to STAYONTARGET and owning my poor little spacegoat’s face and wearing holes in her new boots, and I think she might be cursed to wear the same green trinkets forever (or at least another 22 Frost Emblems). But it’s new, and fun. From this, maybe it’s time to jump headfirst into tanking or healing (Shammy’s got a decent healing gear for non-wHoRe Heroics, just needs to get it enchanted).
Really, I haven’t been this happy with the game in ages.
Now I just need to get more than one person to switch servers to here
And because it’s obligatory:
ZOMG my hunter now has blue tits! Wtf.
Mathorvos (oh, RNG, you cad) wasn’t much of a Blood Elf Man’s name, but it was servicable. As a female Spacegoat, however, it’s a bit less fitting – though I’m attached to it enough to be keeping it.
Oh, yeah, and due to downing Lady Raving Madwoman, I have a BOW again. BOOOOOOWWWWW. No more click BANG click BANG click BANG annoying sound, just the sweet thwiptwang thwiptwang thwiptwang thwiptwang of needling people into loot-filled pincushions with a BOOOOOOOW. I’ve not used a raid bow since Naxx 25, almost a damn year ago (Envoy of Mortality ftw, Widebarrel Flintlock ftw, yes, I got no upgrade from Ulduar, but only 3 of them, ever out of my reach, were upgrades over the best-named weapon in the game).
HAPPY HUNTER IS HAPPY.