Monday, August 1, 2011

Closer to Rhyolith video, but...

I've been playing with Vegas' export functions, and I've gotten my filesize to a much more manageable point. The videos it's producing are still larger than the original fraps capture, though, which is a little strange. I'm playing with codec and compression settings to try and get a smaller filesize without turning it into a blurry soup. We'll see how it goes.

Other than that, people in this game confuse me sometimes. I'm not always right about things, but I generally have reasons for what I'm doing. I decide to spec or play in a certain way because I've read tooltips, or read comments on wowhead or EJ, or observed some in-game behavior, and I decide something based on that. It often seems to me like a lot of players decide things for no reason. They don't think about it or read tooltips or anything - they just decide a thing is true.

I read and sometimes post on the official WoW forums, and there was a thread today from a guy confused about marksmanship hunters and haste (by the way, these threads are posted daily - haste is the armor penetration of Cataclysm). There's a small cadre of very knowledgeable, highly progressed hunters that try to help people out, but none of them had posted to that thread by the time I saw it.

Who had posted was some guy that just copied and pasted the links to WHU's old "haste plateau" posts that are problematic for several reasons, not least the fact that none of them actually explicitly state the haste breakpoint that most hunters are going to be looking for. They just sort of state rating numbers in a vacuum.

This person declared that the links he posted contained "everything any hunter would need to know," which just isn't true. But this guy had for some reason decided that, without even reading the OP's question, he could answer them by posting links that could as well have been from a recipe site for all the good they did.

Very frustrating.

A little later on, I offered to heal on my priest for one of the extremely common T11 pugs that started showing up with the 4.2 nerfs to that content.

Now, I realize that it's rude to offer advice to someone who hasn't asked for it, but... Sigh. Their hunter - who is a main raider in their guild, and seems to be of an officer rank - is not specced into any points in Bestial Discipline or Frenzy, but has 2/2 Improved Serpent Sting. For a Marks hunter especially, those two talent points are going to get you extra damage maybe 3 or 4 times in an encounter where you switch several times between large-healthpool targets; despite this, he dismissed Rapid Killing as "too situational". His raid had several druids and a paladin and yet he put a point into True Shot Aura and both points into Termination. He has over 16% haste and has put the new scope on his 378 crossbow (about a 20 DPS upgrade), but has neglected to put the 50 agility enchant on his bracers.

Perhaps most tellingly, at one point he said on vent "oh yeah, I forgot I was playing with my wolf now, 5% crit is nice" and summoned his wolf. I mentioned that the feral druid supplied the 5% crit buff, and he said that they were unique buffs and they stacked.

It was at this point that I heaved a heavy sigh. To his credit, I noticed shortly after that I'd gained the furious howl buff, then gained it again once it wore off. He'd clearly opened up his character sheet and was looking at it and seeing his critical strike chance not change. He then brought out his fox (without saying anything, natch).

I don't expect everyone to know everything about the game - I sure don't. But there's no reason for you to only be testing out how buffs work in a raid. If you'd read the tooltip for improved serpent sting you'd know that it's borderline useless for MM. If you thought things through, you'd realize that if you're putting talent points into Go for the Throat and Sic 'Em, maybe your pet is worth the talent points in Bestial Discipline and Frenzy. If you paid attention to the constraints placed on your DPS, you'd think maybe Termination's extra focus would be pretty much wasted.

These are all things that people can mostly reason through and test for themselves. The exact haste breakpoint to squeeze the maximum DPS in between Chimera shots: sure, that's finnicky. But we all know that other people have already done that finnicking for us, right? You just have to do a little looking.

The alternative is just sort of slapping talent points down based on the pictures in the icon, and I think our fellow raiders deserve better than that. This guy's fellow raiders certainly deserved better than his 13-15k DPS with a 378 weapon.

As is often the case, the lesson for me personally is "be thankful for your guild, dummy." I've had a couple of these moments recently, where I've looked at parses from people in the Dungeons & Raids forum hitting Baleroc's enrage, or struggling with other encounters, and I really have to be grateful. Everyone in VA has put in more effort than a lot of people ever have.

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