Warning: Educational Content!

February 17, 2010 at 5:58 am (Hunter) (, , , , )

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.

Viper Sting:

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.


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Hey, Math, what do you want for Cataclysm?

February 9, 2010 at 8:17 pm (Hunter) (, , )

Well, Papa Winter Veil, since you asked …

0) Non-consumable Ammo: WE ACTUALLY GET THIS ONE. I am please.

1) The abilities we were almost given @80 in Wrath!Beta to come back @85: Camoflage and the awesome Trap Thrower. Maybe also Explosive Shot resetting the duration of Immolation Trap; though I’m not sure from the theorycrafting angle if that would ever eclipse Black Arrow’s functionality, epecially when well-timed / transitory buffs are intersecting.

2) Beast Mastery: The ability to dual-wield pets. “Because fuck yeah” is all the argument this needs at all.

3) A Hunter-specific quest chain. Class-specific quests and rewards in general, sure. I’d like to see Warlocks get a flying mount, and Hunters get at least a ground mount. Specifically, a quest where you go forge the saddle and the barding and then out into the wilds (of Un-Goro) and tame your personal mount of sheer win: an armored devilsaur. Pallies have their chargers, Warlocks have their felsteeds, but seriously, if any class in the history of ever had the most fitting flavor for a class-specific mount, it’s Hunters. Tame Beast, anyone? And if you could Tame a beast and ride it around, and you tell me you’d pick anything other than a devilsaur, you’re a dirty stinking liar. 😛

4) Or how about an ability that you can ride an enlarged version of your pet (which granted might cause a lot more graphical work for just one class) which then shrinks when you ‘dismount’ by leaping off it to go on the offensive. Just because it’d be lulsome.

5) Gun models that are two pistols in terms of looks and models but mechanically are still a single item. An alternative is a talent to carry a second ranged weapon of our same ammo type in our normally-melee slot, but I’m not sure that the overall loss of stats on our stat-stick would be made up by a sort of Titan-Grip talent, unless it maybe doubled up on any shot we use instead of just auto-shot.

6) Some sort of functionality to hunter’s mark beyond a class-specific RAP-buff. Mark it on party/raid minimap, increase range / no deadzone (but see below) against the marked target, maybe – I don’t know what. Just that right now there’s no reason not to put it up but it’s not really anything beyond +lots of RAP.

7) Pet’s Wrath! – sort of like Raise Ally for Death Knights meets Eyes of the Beast. If a hunter dies, with his pet active, rather than the pet vanishing, the hunter can take control of his pet which gets some buffs and/or new abilities (making it in this form equal to a raised pc!ghoul in utility and damage regards) to keep fighting until the pet dies or a certain duration passes. REVENGE OF THE SPIFFYKITTY. Plus, I want to hear Amber go “Omnomnom! AVENGE ME!”, because it’d be awesomely hilarious.

8) Play Dead – srsly. When the Hunter FDs, the pet should, too! Also, being greedy, purely greedy, a 90% damage reduction of AoE damage like our pets’ ‘avoidance’ – ’cause I’m sick of FDing and not surviving because someone pulls over a cleave or whirlwind or nova or something. ^^;

9) Rapid Fire makes haste speed up our GCD while active. Yeah, it’d throw rotations a bit out of whack and, under focus, might make us a bit more focused-starved (unless it also slowed down focus consumption), but haste is fairly useless to hunters (less in Cata, but still!) – this would give us, a fairly purely sustained class, a 3m CD for burst (sorta) and make it a more useful talent for more than eking out a bit of White DPS.

10 and Finally: an end to this asinine new!deadzone. Some might argue it makes no flavor sense – which I don’t usually truck much with this argument as normally presented, fuck that! I want to redneck motherfuckers in my flying magic space goat game! Some might argue it’s for balance purposes, but I don’t really think it’s that bad. Might it make hunter pve too easy? I dunno, we still go squish. But I don’t really think of Arena as the best of balance points. Maybe I’m just a casual pvper who needs to LEARN TO KITE PLAYERS NEWB, but honestly I’d rather not have the be the ONLY class who has to worry about shooting range – and if it costs us Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite, and Wing Clip to get it well then BOO HOO melee hunters are a myth and it’s a steal at twice the price. We’re not a melee class, and we’re the only ranged class who can’t pointblank. Either make us able to shoot at melee range OR cause a lot of QQ by forcing other ranged classes to need to dps at range.

Just some scattered hunter thoughts and a bit of content. Although we’d always all like New And Shiny things, the class is fairly fun and a bit diverse- but yeah. Gimmie shinneh.

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