So, Daddy's Back. Kinda. In a very preliminary way.
Lets recap the past couple of weeks, performance wise....
1) Amava makes the plunge and switches servers. No friends, one level 72 gf, and a Guild who doesn't know me at all.
2) Raid with new Guild, chock full of min-maxers who really know how to pump out the damage.
3) WWS analysis shows our favorite Hunter as piss poor contributor, barely able to shoot a flea off of a mammoth's back. Scary situation in a scary new Realm.
4) The first Five Step Improvement Plan is put into place.
5) At the next raid, initial results are positive. Not quite as scary, but I like to have anxiety about, well, just about everything. So still scary.
6) Plan is updated and the revised Five Step Improvement Plan is put into place.
7) And then we raid.
There. You're all caught up to the present.
Lets see how each of the revised 5 steps is going....
1) Hodir. Been doing all three dailies daily. Reached Honored, which opened up a few one-time quests and two new dailies. One of which is absolutely cool in concept, and royally awful in implementation. Grab a dragon, keep your grip tight, dodge his claws, stab him with two different stabbers. Glitches 3 out of 4 times, and when it doesn't glitch, still feels completely random. I hate this. But will continue doing it till Exalted, just because. At Honored, was excited to get a new Shoulder Inscription. Only to discover that the Honored Hodir one is the same as the Exalted Aldor one. Ho well. However, they did give a nice belt at Honored, so I got rid of the Guardian's Belt from S4.
2) Chesty Le'franze. Still pushing slowly towards Argent
3) Pet. Tamed a Cursed Offspring of Harkoa. Cat. Red Glowing Eyes. Black with white speckles, kinda shiny coat. Love her. Named Vespa, after Princess Vespa of Spaceballs fame. Her damage output is outstanding, and I happily put Skittle the Wasp in the stable.
4) Get Ready for Readiness. Been practicing use of Readiness. On trash, just use it whenever its up for a little extra BW oomph on trash mobs. On bosses, inspect the following before triggering Readiness: BW, Rapid Fire, Kill Command, Call of the Wild, Kill Shot. If any is ready to use, use it first. Then check boss health. If close to 20%, wait a few seconds for it to drop below 20% so you get an extra Kill Shot. So far, that's about as sophisticated as I've gotten with the Readiness.
5) Head Gear. Didn't get any new helm before Saturday's raid, so I was still sporting S3 Vengeful Gladiator's Chain Helm. After the raid, got a nice blue upgrade from Heroic Something[ran 3 of them and forget which dropped the helm].
So, between Thursday's raid and Saturday's raid, I changed the following DPS-influencing things:
1) Naturally, +40 crit scope to the new Arrowsong bow which LC gave me during thursday's raid.
2) New belt (Hodir Honored). Got a belt buckle on that puppy and threw a decent attack power gem in there.
3) Gloves. I'm pretty sure these were new for Saturday, although they might have dropped before Thursday. Its starting to blur a little.
4) Vespa. Kitty, FTW
5) Went and bought a new ring for 25 Badges of 25-man raids. (valor???)
So a fair number of changes going into saturday's Naxx parade.
How'd it turn out?
I'd post a WWS snapshot, but I neglect the blog while I'm at home home and they block WWS while I'm at work. So you gotta take my word for it...
Just snapshotting a single boss fight...Sapphiron...Guild progression kill....#2 in damage done, with only Brass (my new name for the other hunter, because he's got a temperment like Brass from CSI, and he's also got a brass pair) ahead of me!!!!
Felt pretty cool (A) killing a new boss, (B) NOT feeling like I was being carried, and (C) actually doing pretty damn good.
Granted, this is just one fight, and I'm assuming it favors ranged pew pew, but even on the overall report, the performance was solid, and gave nice feedback that the Amava Improvement Plan is actually working. One week. Started out scrambling to compete with the tanks. Now competing for a position in the top 5. Rock on, and keep revising the plan for continuous improvement!
We went on to kill Kel'Thuzad as well, thus completing the full clear of Naxx-25 in our first week of official Guild raids. Is it too easy? I dunno, and I duncare, because its been fun as hell.
So, what does the updated plan look like, for anybody still reading....
1) Hodir. They remain in the plan, if for no other reason than for me to re-affirm to myself that despite starting to hate the dailies, I want to maintain progress through Exalted. Lots of work for a small DPS upgrade, but such is the life of the hardcore. Blizzard was smart to put the exceptionally fun Land Mine quest directly on the path I take when flying from Dalaran to Hodir.
2) Knights of the Ebon Blade. I got a new blue helm, and had to port/fly out to Cenarion Refuge in Zangarmarsh to get the old school Arcanum. Figured I ought to begin the journey to Revered so I can get the new Arcanum. In any spare time, quest in Icecrown. By end of Sunday, I opened up the Ebon Blade dailies, so if Hodir are done and I've got spare time, Ebon Blade dailies is where you'll find me. Again, lots of work for small performance upgrade, but its all good in the end.
3) Shoulders. With my new blue helm, the single most visible piece of gear is the T5 Shoulders. Must. Find. Upgrade. Sure, I need a better helm, but it takes back seat to the eye sore of an Outlands antique that I wear on my shoulders.
4) Wrist. Still sporting Vindicators Chain Bracers. Its my last piece of PvP gear, and I want it OUT!!! For this one, and number 3 above, need to revisit my loot wishlist and Kaliban's loot list to find which Heroics provide the best rewards.
5) Cooldown Timer. I don't run with any cooldown timer. In the past, it wasn't an issue, since the only real cooldowns I was concerned with were Feign Death and Bestial Wrath. Now I'm using a whole heap of abilities (bye bye 1:1 steady:auto macro), and it takes way too much of my concentration during boss fights to manage all the cooldowns.
You'll note Chesty Le'franze is out of the list now. She's still on the plan, but I'm not actively seeking out AC rep, just serving as their Champion in Heroics. So this one will only make the Top 5 if I cant come up with 5 others.
Thanks for reading this latest update of Amava's Improvement Project. Lets see how it works out for Malygos Monday.