Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Level 80 Shot Rotation

In a recent comment to a recent post, Durgan asks...
...I would be curious to know your shot rotation and macros your using for the raids.With all the new abilities that I'm getting I'm having trouble making sure I'm using all my abilities to their fullest.

Lemme start by saying, I hear ya, brother.

I've been a long time advocate of the Burning Crusade beauty for Beast Masters, the 1:1 Steady:Auto macro, with Kill Command baked in for simplicity.

Arcane shot was only used while mobile, and Serpent Sting only if I was drinking IRL.

The bottom line was that cooldown-wise, the only things I was concerned with were Bestial Wrath, Feign Death (back when tank threat was actually a limiting factor, not the post-3.0.2 where tanks do so much threat its as if it the mechanic was taken out of the game), and potions.

So, on the surface, two of those cooldown's were removed. Potions are only once per fight, and Feign Death, while still on my action bar, is much less of the make-or-break the raid type of ability that it once was. Because of auto shot clipping, I rarely even used Rapid Fire in those days.

Well, where does that leave us today? If you want a thoroughly theorycrafted shot rotation, go visit elitist jerks, they've got the maths taken care of.

On this blog, we talk about intuition and gut feel. Lets start with the basic concepts, and then move into the specifics.

Firstly, don't worry about clipping. I still find myself trying to time steadies between autos. Silly habit, hard to break. Likewise, variable haste effects (Rapid Fire, Improved Aspect of the Hawk, Heroism, Haste on-use trinkets, etc) don't cause you to change your rotation like they did in the past.

Secondly, stings are your friend. Serpent Sting does enough damage to be worth the mana, and if you use the highly recommended Glyph of Steady Shot, you get 10% more damage from steady when one of your stings is active on the target. Keep Serpent Sting alive and ticking.

Thirdly, Kill Command is not part of your rotation any more, its just a "hit this button every minute" kind of thing.

Fourthly, I don't spec for Aimed Shot, so its not part of my routine at all.

Fifthly, tank AoE threat is so high, Multi Shot is a normal part of life. In the good old days of first entering Karazhan, crowd control (shackles and freezing traps) were such a big part of our game, that Multi wasn't even on my action bar. Now its bread and butter.

Sixthly (is that even a word?), Kill Shot is a beauty, but only useful when mob is below 20%, and has a long enough cooldown that you likely only get to fire it once. If the boss has massive health like Sapphiron (10 minutes to kill her, two Kill Shots, FTW), you might get a second Killer in there. Readiness also might add an additional Kill Shot.

I think that's it for the basics.

So, lets put those six concepts to use and pour out some major damage....

Conservative Approach: Many sources still indicate that 1:1 Steady:Auto is a very solid choice for a Beast Master.

As long as you ensure Serpent Sting is ticking continuously, this will do very good damage over long periods of time because it is very mana efficient. For simple minded folks like me, having to only time my shots based upon either the Steady Shot casting time or the GCD (variable haste effects might make one or the other faster for different periods of a fight) is a very nice thing.

Theorycrafters or min-maxers might call you a noob, but then again, folks like that tend to call everybody a noob for just about everything. 1:1 remains a decent choice.

Roll Your Face on the Keyboard: Amazingly enough, Brass mentioned that ever since the unlinking of autoshot, he just rolls his face across the keyboard and delivers chart-topping output.

Perhaps there's more to it, and I suspect there is, or else his face has an uncanny dexterity and knowledge of in-game mechanics. But, I surely can't argue with his numbers, because they're rock solid on trash pulls and bosses alike.

Fire Every Available Shot: This one is my "rotation" of choice right now.

There might be a macro for this, but I don't use one. Yet. Managing all these details is cumbersome, so I may have to go macro.

At a high level:

1) Make sure Serpent Sting is active. Always. Watch the DoT countdown and be aware of your GCD so you can time when you need to fire the next one. If you fire it too early, you're wasting mana which leads to extra time in Viper (bad). If you fire it just a smidge too early, don't cry over the mana. If you fire it too late, you waste (A) damage from the Sting, and (B) damage from Glyph of the Steady Shot. So make sure its active.

2) Hit Arcane and Multi whenever they're available. I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not, but I've been pretty happy with the results.

3) If you can predict when you'll need to be mobile during a fight, feel free to wait a few seconds with Arcane on cooldown so you can fire it while on the move. Same for Serpent. Sometimes I'll fire Serpent early if I'm moving around, since, for the price of a little mana, I'll have an extra "standing still" GCD later which means an extra Steady Shot (that hits for 10% extra thanks to the Sting/Glyph combo).

4) Any time you're standing still and have a GCD to spare, Steady Shot.

Is it perfect? I bet its not. But it is pretty good. Or maybe BM is just OP.

Next Steps

As you can tell, I'm never quite done tweaking things.

Things that need work:

1) I'm not sure what the experts think about Multi in a single-target fight. For trash when it hits three mobs with three separate chances to crit? Outstanding. For a single-target boss fight? Not sure.

2) DoT timer. It is a pain in my ass trying to watch the Serpent Sting timer. In my current UI setup, it appears as a little debuff box on my target's unit frame. Challenging to keep track of. Need to find a better display for this.

3) Cooldown Timers. Also, I currently don't use any cooldown timers. Managing all the cooldowns (Arcane, Multi, Kill Shot, Kill Command, Bestial Wrath, Rapid Fire, Readiness, Trinket #1, Trinket #2, Hunter's Mark) simply by watching the sweep of the cooldown on the action bar button is too hard. I've got to focus on the cooldowns so much, it makes it hard to also watch your toon and stay out of the fire during a raid.

4) Find a damn macro. I'd love to spam one button and make all this magic happen. I'd much rather watch the fight.

So that's my shot rotation. Not much of a rotation, sorta close to mashing my face on the keyboard, but its all I've got for now.


Durgan said...

Thanks for the post Amiva or Amava, how ever you like to be refered to.

You have basically the same rotation as me, trying to hit everything at once. I've been reading about some macros that you can use, but most of them don't do a whole lot.

I'd love to see a post like this that lays out any macros you use right now.

I've finally set up a misdirection macro, but its a unique name macro, and not based off of who my focus is, which I don't use either.

I've also got into the habit of using my hunters mark pet attack macro as well.

For my serpent sting cooldown I lucked into a nice fit with X-perl which makes my debuffs on the target larger, and other peoples debuffs smaller, and mine are always displayed at the top left hand side under the targets unit frame. It makes it easy to watch my cooldowns for my debuffs.

Stuff like using my trinkets timely or rapid fire is another story. With so many buffs that we can get both from our pet and ourselves now, sometimes I find that my cooldown timer showy thingy is a mile long and good luck knowing whats up or not. I'm thinking of getting a mod like what BRK is using to show the cooldowns right on the buttons themselves.

Thanks again for the post, if you keep posting, I'll keep reading.

Daxenos said...

I've always been a big fan of rolling my head around the keyboard or "If it's on cooldown, I'M MASHIN' IT!!!" type of DPS.

Is it the most efficient? Probably not.

Is it a hell of a lot of fun? YUP!


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