Thursday, October 28, 2010

Marksmanship Test Night

Well, I think I may have to eat my own words, here. I realized I would be remiss if I didn't try out the new Marksmanship, so I respecced my BM spec to MM and did a little reading. I did actually find it as fun - or perhaps more fun - than Survival, a conclusion that was helped by finding out that the game has gone back to a state where it's more efficient to launch explosive traps on a boss than it is to use black arrow.
MM has the same central starvation-versus-surfeit resource model that all three specs share now, but I really like its twist. Survival has to watch two dots and keep an eye out for LnL procs. BM has to keep on top of using its DPS cooldowns, hopefully stacking them with focus fire and similar effects. MM has to maintain the Improved Steady Shot buff, which is just a little longer in duration than the (glyphed) chimera shot cooldown. That means you're juggling trying to find space to fit in two steady shots in a row, arcane shots when you can for extra damage, and the occasional free instant aimed shot from Master Marksman.
There's a little bit of leeway here. Under the effects of rapid fire, especially, you an let the ISS buff drop off because you can pretty easily just spam arcane and chimera shots. And I've just realized that if I were a competent hunter, I'd be misdirecting under rapid fire, popping readiness, and misdirecting again right at the start of fights - this would be an insane amount of bonus threat for the tank. So I should be doing that. But anyway, that's the new MM (as I understand it) in a nutshell. I do have one thing that bothers me, though.
The interaction between Resistance is Futile and Marked for Death is very non-obvious from the tooltips as well as dissatisfying. Apparently, for PvP reasons, targets marked by the MfD talent will not proc free kill commands from RiF. This means that I honestly can't think of a reason to take the MfD talent as a fairly strictly PvE hunter. I raided for years without needing to have my hunter's mark automatically applied and its duration is still five minutes - I can keep a mark on the boss, and regular hunter's mark will proc RiF. So then what do I do with those talent points that went into MfD? The only thing I can think of is putting them into Bombardment for trash convenience and the bosses that summon packs of adds.
So yeah, I'm not totally happy with that. The wording on the tooltips absolutely doesn't imply that RiF wouldn't work with MfD, and I seriously think it should. Ghostcrawler is I guess worried that it would be too powerful in PvP if not, since you can have multiple targets under the affect of MfD, but even that seems doubtful to me. It lasts fifteen seconds and is a fairly low proc chance, and anyway all it's doing is giving MM free kill commands - not a big deal. And Kill Command has a cooldown anyway! So... so what? Sigh.
Other than that, I picked up these bracers and they're disappointingly awful. I really don't need the hit, and they actually have less agility and crit than my old bracers from ToC25. But they've got a lot more stam! Again: sigh. So, still wearing the 245 bracers. Fester also failed at dropping boots again. Ah well. We did miraculously find a really good feral/resto druid in trade who seems interested in being a regular member of our runs, so... that's totally awesome. Having someone that's happy to DPS the first 10 bosses and then swap to a healer for the final two is really tough, and a druid fits into our raid composition very well, so I'm excited.

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