Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pulling Aggro

I got issues. Anybody who knows me or reads my stuff knows this.

But I got one in particular for which maybe there's an answer. Maybe you know it. Maybe you'll share it with me.

As a non-tank, pulling aggro sux. I try to avoid it. No big surprise there.

Why I write this, though, is that its happened to me three times recently. And I need your help figuring out why.

Some background....

I feign death proactively during Boss fights (and trash, but w/e). That is to say, I don't wait until I've pulled aggro, but rather, I FD just about whenever the cooldown is up.

Given the dramatic disparity between my two raid tanks' ability to generate threat and my own, the initial parts (a minute, a minute and a half) of a boss fight are dicey.

Naturally, I open up with a Misdirect. I generally go Aimed, Arcane, Auto for the 3 misdirected shots.

Then I fly on auto-shot for a little bit. If I had at least two crits during the Misdirect, or if there's a second Hunter throwing a Misdirect on after mine, I can go 1:1 Steady:Auto for a little while.

Doing this, I'm up my tank's butt in about 6 or 7 seconds, so I nail my first FD.

In the ensuing 30 seconds of FD cooldown, I generally start off with 1:1 Steady:Auto. And I need to get Bestial Wrath, Bloodlust Brooch, and Drums of War/Battle going, so their cooldowns will be ticking and ready for reuse later in the fight. Before Bestial Wrath is up, probably 15 seconds into it, I normally have to go Auto-only, and perhaps even just stop firing all together, because I'm tailgating the main tank pretty closely by this point.

Second FD. Generally somewhere around 40 seconds into the boss fight.

During this next 30 seconds of the boss fight, I go balls wild with the 1:1 rotation. During this stint, its usually near the end of the 30 seconds that I'm switching to Auto-only, but even at this point in the fight, I'm still pretty threat-bound and FD-cooldown bound.

Third FD, Generally somewhere around the 1:10 mark of the fight. Now its mostly free sailing, hitting FD pretty much as the cooldown is up, but not staring at it, trying to burn a hole through my FD button with my eyes like during the first minute or minute and a half of the fight.

Heaven forbid one of these first three FD's resist, then I just stand there and twiddle my thums regenerating mana doing nothing but allowing Condoleezza gore the hell out of the boss and Commanding her to Kill should I actually get a chance to fire and crit.

So the problem.....

The problem is that three different times over the past 2 weeks, I pulled aggro. Nightbane. Prince. Nalorakk.

And I don't know why.

My eyes are pretty much glued to my Omen window. Like a hawk during the initial stage of a fight. Attention shared 49% Omen, 49% FD Cooldown, and 2% rest of what's going on. Later in the fight, when there's more cooldowns to manage (Hunter's Mark, Fel Mana Potion, Bestial Wrath, Bloodlust Brooch, Drums, Feign Death, Misdirection), my attention is a little more spread out, but I also have a much bigger threat buffer to make up for it.

First unexpected time that I pulled aggro was on the Prince. We're chugging right along like normal. Beginning of fight goes fine. No resists. No aggro.

I keep my Omen window sized such that only the top 5 people on the threat list are showing. I recently did a FD, so I was nowhere to be seen on Omen.

Next thing I know, Target of Target shows AMAVA and Prince runs at me and squish, enfeeble main tank, wipe raid.

One person claims to have seen me on top of the threat meter during this. The rest of the people who were looking at Omen did not see Amava near the top.


Different day. Different computer. Different version of Omen.

Nightbane. Mid-way through the second ground phase of the fight, well past any aggro resets associated with phase transitions, within 5 seconds. 5. f'ing. seconds. of a non-resisted FD, I pull aggro and get spanked. Tank had tons of threat advantage over me. Tank got feared. During the fear, I did get a few crits in a row, so it is possible I blasted out substantial burst of threat, but again, on my Omen, I was not appearing in the top 5 most hated players. 5 f'ing seconds after a FD.

Perhaps an aggro reset when he casts fear? Perhaps my burst was bigger than I thought? I dunno, but this is getting old.

None of the other raiders noticed Amava on top of Omen, but then again, none of them also reports having been looking at Omen at that moment.

Yet a different day. Same Computer as Nightbane. Different version of Omen.

Nalorakk. Late in the fight. Tanks have giant threat buffer. I've been proactively FD'ing through the entire fight up to this point. Admittedly, when the sht hit the fan, I noticed FD was not on cooldown, so I did miss an opportunity to reset my threat. My bad. But. But. But.

I was staring at Omen at this point. S.T.A.R.I.N.G. In fact, my Warlock buddy was exceeding the tanks by 10% at this point, so I was moments from chiming in on voice for him to watch it. Sure, you don't pull aggro until 130% when at proper range, but we all generally try to stay below 100% to protect from this bursty maddness.

Top 5 threat table members are Warlock, Warrior, Warrior, Mage, Rogue. Big big gap between position 4 and 5, which means that Amava wasn't lurking just a smidge below the tanks, but still off the radar due to a closely packed top-5 hated group. So Omen is telling me I've got nothing to worry about.

Also, not closely associated with any phase transition, so no suspected aggro resets are in effect.

And this was not his charge attack he randomly does to raid members. This was a bona fide aggro pull and turning a Hunter into peanut butter and jelly.

Once again, mixed reports from other raid members looking at Omen. One says I was way over the top with aggro. Others saw me way down low on the threat list.

Is Omen busted? Are there aggro resets or other such nonsense I'm unaware of? Am I just stupid? WTF?

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