Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cooldown Management

Warcraft Hunter's Union and OutDPS recently interviewed Kripparrian and wrote a couple posts about cooldowns as a result of that interview. The WHU post is here and the OutDPS post is here. These are some great posts, but they definitely create some difficulties for me. There is of course the obvious problem with taking Furious Howl off of auto-cast: that's sort of an annoying additional ability to manage for the length of a boss fight, especially if you're trying to match it up with greatness procs. It's also pretty much impossible to model something like that within the confines of a simulator like the spreadsheet or Female Dwarf, so it's hard to know how much - if any - benefit you'd see from the additional overhead. When you get down to it, though, cooldown/proc matching isn't really the thing I'm worried about.
See, I've been popping all my cooldowns at the start of fights, which is fine, but I've been using Berserking along with everything else. I've been well aware that I'm not seeing any benefit to my steady shots from using both at once - the fastest you can get with those is 1.5s, or the speed of the global cooldown. Auto shot will still see a benefit, though, so I've been thinking that the gains in auto shot damage would outweigh the wasted haste as far as steady shot is concerned. On the other hand, my trinket cooldown is shorter than my rapid fire/readiness cooldown combo, so it's conceivable that I could save Berserking for the second AP trinket use.
This possibility raises the spectre of the (for me) dreaded action bar and keybind bloat monster. The reality is that I already have three rows of action bars scaled down and tucked into a niche in my UI and I'm running out of keybinds I can conveniently hit while I'm running away from fire. If I split my cooldowns macro into two different macros, where do I put the second macro?  Maybe I should make one or more of my current action bars invisible to create space for more seldom-used abilities to be on screen, since I'm more likely to actually have to look at them. But then I need to figure out a way to solve the binding dilemma. I really do have almost everything on my keyboard and mouse bound. I could move to alt- and control- combos, but I often struggle to hit those during tense moments when I have to be running at the same time.
I guess what I don't want to admit to myself is that I'm probably going to have to spend the time to totally redo my keybinds. I'll have to re-think which abilities I use the most and put them on 1-6 and then re-train my fingers to use those keybinds. I'll have to finally get around to copying an intelligent macro that calls, mends, or revives my pet as appropriate. Sigh!  At least this might be the impetus I need to make my UI a little prettier.

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