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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Aww, I missed the leading edge of the tank/healer brouhaha.

January 22, 2010 at 9:21 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Oh well!

So aparently, while I was slacking off, a small little WoWgument broke out over some guy’s post with his assertions that tanks and healers a) are more integral to progress than dps, and b) thus deserve preferential treatment and additional rewards. I heard it via reading Ky’s reply, over at Casual Hardcore.

Now, ‘unfortunately’, this hit the blogorum over two weeks ago, and even Ky’s post was three and change days ago, so plenty of posts in reply and comments have hashed and bashed this, and I missed out. I am currently a sad little spacegoat with a pout because I didn’t get to be all topical on this topic. Though it is kind of amusing, as over the past couple days, both ignorant of this, Atropus and I have been kicking the idea around. He contends that DPS is the most important role in a current-content raid, though I maintain that they’re all equally important. If any of these three components functioning are functioning below par, the group will fail.

Rule 4) Pay attention. If you die in a fight because you weren’t paying attention or weren’t listening, you will be called out for it. It is not a healer’s job to keep a dps alive if that dps is just being foolish. It is not a tank’s job to keep threat off a dps if they aren’t bothering to use their own threat control measures.

I’ve been in that guild. I’ve been in a guild that really did bring in the loot council to override dkp by saying that if a tank or healer wanted something in new content, dps couldn’t bid. I’ve been in a guild that wiped repeatedly on Thaddius, but still, priority went to tanks and healers even though we were dying on enrages. All of this gets my middle finger.

Basically, everything that I have to say has already been said, I just wanted to express my own D: over this whole thing. Though it amuses me – it seems only some tanks and some healers agree with the thesis, while no dps seems to; meanwhile all dps BUT ALSO AND many tanks AND many healers disagree with it.

In fact, outside of the one time I tried Trial of the Grand Crusader, the vast majority of wipes I’ve seen in Ulduar, in Trial of the Crusader, and even in Icecrown Citadel, haven’t been from the gear of anyone, especially not healers and tanks. Wipes are generally because we tried to do it wrong (21 man Marrowgar, use two tanks on Patchwerk 25, etc), someone made a mistake (standing in something glowing on the floor, crossing the streams, etc), or because dps didn’t put out enough numbers. While there’s a huge component of competency to putting out maximal dps, only one of these problems, with them taken as current content, is gear related. Hint: it’s not one dealing with healers or with tanks. Iron Council stands out as an exception, but that’s Iron Council.

In Summary: I appreciate my tanks. I appreciate my healers. I don’t appreciate the attitudes some of them get, or trying to write me and my fellow great dps – or even just my dps brethren in general – as less vital to the raid effort, and I certainly don’t appreciate the condescension. Frankly, if any of us want prog, we all need each other. So…

Tread light… lest we unionize. o/

(Incidentally, this is my first post with the “beware: opinions!” tag, but as time goes on I’ll probably post quite a few more of them, especially as Cataclysm draws near. I can be a bit vocal and outspoken at times; but if people disagree with me – my email is public (or it should be), and I will approve any comment posts – speak up! I welcome it.)

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What Is This I Can’t Even Funny Title

January 13, 2010 at 6:10 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

In general, I’ve had good luck with random dungeons. Had some scrubs, some assholes, some tanks who quit within five seconds (often on UP for some odd reason), some runs rush quick, some do random things that made no sense and started fights that surprisingly didn’t get me kicked despite me actually being kind of an ass* … but in general it’s been positive. Math has her title, Fari has her little pet, both are close to buying the first thing they really want with Frost emblems …

… But today set an all-time low.

Utgarde Pinnacle. Been running it every day on Fari to try and get the Whetstone, ’cause she’s still got damn green trinkets. That, her neckpiece, and her belt are the only items currently under 213. She’s getting close to raid geared for ToC 25 / maybe poking toes into ICC Pugs?

Let’s start off on a high note. Somehow, when the notice comes up, “click okay for dungeon”, despite there being so much dps we need to wait for 1000% longer than tanks or healers (hm, 6 seconds vs. 10 minutes, yeah, that’s about right!), when we only get four checks and a red x, it’s ALWAYS another dps who’s the red x. What? How does that even happen? Get another one to come up, get inside, and then, fuck, the tank just up and leaves. Healer does so, too. What? Fuck you, Tank. It’s UP. What the hell.

Get a new tank. Get a new healer. The first two bosses and all the trash before are pretty smooth, even though we’ve got an Arms Warrior in decent gear, and a Beast Mastery hunter in confusing gear and with a really sloppy spec, neither of who’s more than a hair over 1k DPS, it’s a Panzerbear and me, so we’re killing stuff quick enough even though Shamans TOTALLY don’t have mana problems in 5 Mans WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT and I’m running Water Shield and OoM on most non-boss fights. Auto Attack ftw? I guess.

And then comes the gauntlet. Scrub hunter dies before the boss is even down. O…kay? Warrior is shit on harpoons, we probably had to fire nine, to hit him with five, to bring him down. If you click at the right time, the harpoons are 100% Hit! My fault, I guess, for not speaking up- I was trying to grab them, but she beat me to it most of the time. I think three of the ones that hit were my three. Boss hits, tank picks him up, Warrior dies.

ARGH. But, okay. I’m ~5k on this guy when he’s not whirlwinding, Bear does okay dps, we can DO THIS.

And then suddenly the healer is failangel. Uhm? I eat a whirlwind because with the healer dead I couldn’t even take one hit trying to get out. Okay, he gets off, I pop Reincarnate. Can we kill him before fail angel wears off?

… Ha ha ha no. Can I off-heal the bear? While near oom? And skewered on a poison spear? Ha ha ha no.

Okay, dumb wipe. Hunter, and maybe warrior, are scubmotrons. Healer? Doesn’t want to do it again. Quits. Okay, it’s crap, but I can understand.
Tank? Quits without a word. What? Fuck you, too, bear. If you were here we’d have a new healer in 10 seconds, and we’d be done before you deserter debuff clears and you requeue.
Hunter? Pulls the gauntlet again, without tank or healer. Dies. Leaves. The world does not mourn this loss.
Warrior? Leaves.

And I learn a new lesson! I go “eh, didn’t need any of ’em, let’s queue for more” – because, damnit, I want my Whetstone!

… And because I’m the only one, even though I’m party leader, I can’t, apparently, look for replacements. But I’m still saved to UP. Which means I won’t be completing it today.


On the whole it’s not been to bad and it’s why my Shaman is geared senseless and has a pretty good Resto offset. But stuff like tonight – well they can’t be all winners. This is what I get for running heroics at midnight and solo instead of grabbing at least one guildie for it.

*It was Nexus on my Shaman. I’m a newb Shaman a bunch of the time and forget about cleansing or tremor unless I’m told; though I’m getting better. I forgot about the fear on the Frozen Orc, and they were yelling at me for not dropping tremor. I retorted that if they’d done the fight right, and pulled him back, you don’t get run into the more adds and almost cause a wipe, like what happened, and so it should have been a non issue. That was the same instance with the fail druid that, were I Resto, I would’ve let die – turning into cat form and dashing ahead of the healer to jump into the next pack, sometimes running through IT to grab the one after? Yeah, die, thank you, check before doing something that dumb. I would have dropped stoneclaw then earthbind and been running for the door.

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