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[Hunter] - Dungeon tacticsFollow

#1 Jan 11 2012 at 3:33 PM Rating: Good
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Wanted to start a discussion about hunters' (and maybe DPS generically) best tactic when in a group, especially a dungeon.

I', moving from the "Oh, good, I'm still alive at the end" level to "what should I be doing to maximize my value to the group." In part, this is driven by starting to use recount and finding that I'm usually no better than 3rd in dealing out the hurt. I usually use the MM spec because it seems to offer more hitting power, but could o BM if it would improve my stats. Next question is how it has to do with my play style, particularly in two circumstances:

1) Enemy groups. The tank(s) is/are engaged in a melee with several foes. I don't usually use any of my debuff shots since they are mostly DOT or restrict healing things. Instead, I either (a) drop in multi-shots to weaken as many of the enemy combatants as I can; R (b) pick the biggest baddie I can target, hit twice with aimed shots for maximum damage, then start cycling steady shots, after every six or seven throwing in more aimed shots as I can without bottoming my focus, and switching targets as each falls.

2) Boss fights. Once Tank(s) establish aggro, target boss with following sequence:
Mark
Rapid fire
Widow venom,
Cobra strike,
serpent sting,
Then start cycling steady shots. Reset debuffs as needed. Once mob falls below (approx) 1/4 health, alternate in aimed shots every 4-5 shots. If boss goess neutral and calls in minions, generally much weaker, engage, using multi shots in particular.

It seems effective, but I can't help but feel I could be doing better. Any ideas would be welcome

Edited, Jan 12th 2012 2:06pm by Xsarus
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#2 Jan 11 2012 at 5:49 PM Rating: Good
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Are we talking raid dungeons or 5-man dungeons?

My Cataclysm raid experience on my Hunter is limited to... nothing. I do, however, have a lot of experience with all three talent builds in 5-man dungeons, including heroics up to the new Hour of Twilight heroics.

Heroic tactics

1. AOE

Similar for all three specializations is that you'll want to use Multi-Shot and Explosive Trap. A lot.

Beast Mastery

Marksmanship

Survival

For AOE that takes a while to kill, I vastly prefer the Survival style as you can keep up high DPS for a long time.

Use Misdirection as often as possible when in AOE fights. Don't pop it mid-fight, but use it before the fight if it's ready. It costs a bit of focus, yes, but your tank will love you for it and the DPS loss is minimal (nonexistent if you use Misdirection some time before the pull).

If Misdirection isn't ready, use Feign Death as soon as you pull aggro. Don't wait until the mobs are almost in your face. As a tank I can assure you that the most annoying thing in the entire world is when a Hunter pulls aggro on multiple mobs and then begins running around or waiting with Feign Death until the last moment.

2. Boss fight

Beast Mastery

Marksmanship (what a mess, holy sh*t)

Survival

Edited, Jan 12th 2012 1:00am by Mazra
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#3 Jan 11 2012 at 9:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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Your tactics will also depend on your tank and healer. If one or both grossly out-gear the content you're doing, you can focus on dealing out the maximum amount of DPS without regard to kill priorities. If you're working with an appropriately geared or under-geared tank or healer, you should focus on killing a single add at a time, and possibly finding ways to trap or otherwise CC mobs to reduce incoming damage. The point being, 3 mobs at 50% health deal more damage than 2 mobs at 100% health.
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#4 Jan 12 2012 at 8:45 AM Rating: Good
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I can give you a pretty basic breakdown of the MM "rotation" (I use rotation loosely because it's more of a priority system than anything else).

Open with Serpent Sting
Cast Chimera Shot every time it comes off cooldown
Use either Arcane Shot or Aimed Shot to burn off focus
Steady Shot 4-5 times to rebuild focus
Once the enemy is at 20% Kill Shot once (or twice if you have the glyph, which I recommend)
repeat cycle

You can also pop Rapid Fire when you start the fight which will slightly change how many Steady Shots you will need. In some cases you might consider saving Rapid Fire for a burn phase or something, but that's situational.

For AoE (Area of Effect) situations spam Multi Shot until you are out of focus, Steady Shot twice for the buff, and spam Multi again. Rinse Repeat.

Some other things to note-

You should be using Arcane Shot for your focus dump unless under a dynamic haste buff such as Rapid Fire or Heroism/Bloodlust. When under a major haste effect use 2x Aimed Shots, Steady Shot for focus, 2x Aimed Shots again (mixing in Chimera Shot when it comes off cooldown).

As Marksman you shouldn't need to cast Hunters Mark every time you switch targets due to the talent that applies it on Chimera Shot. It's good to Mark when you can, but when quickly switching targets it doesn't need to be manually applied.

You want to try to keep the Improved Steady Shot buff up as much as possible. Always try to use Steady Shot in pairs.

This is just some basic information that I could think of off the top of my head. I'll update with anything else I remember. This all may seem confusing at first because frankly it is. Hunters are a great class to play, but very difficult to master.
#5 Jan 12 2012 at 2:24 PM Rating: Good
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If I were starting over I'd maybe not go MM as a primary. At low level and probably all the way to 85, I still think its the best for a solo quester, but at upper levels, that explosive shot makes me downright envious, esp in a group.

BM still, I think wouild be my preferred second. It doesn't seem to be as deadly soloing, but does play well in groups, and taking a T-Rex to Deepholme or a Corehound to Uldum has some serious pluses. One thing I most certainly DO NOT want to do is change now. It would take forever to reselect the skill set (I assume the basic skills would simply fall into place), and then there's the problem of resetting the bard - it was bad enough before bartender - and relearning the buttons.

I have a couple of high-ish abandoned alts on other servers - maybe I'll try a career path change on one of them to see how ad it is and whether I'd evn like what I get.
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#6 Jan 12 2012 at 2:43 PM Rating: Good
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Changing specs may seem scary but it really isn't that bad. Resetting your action bars and stuff is a one time thing that only takes a few minutes. As for relearning the buttons, it's still not that bad. Most of the abilities are the same, and the ones that aren't you can just pop into the now empty hotkeys. (i.e. put Kill Command in the place where Chimera Shot was, etc.) After you change, do a round of dailies and/or a random dungeon or two. You'll get used to it quickly.
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#7 Jan 12 2012 at 3:53 PM Rating: Good
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I agree - I tried it on an unused alt (only level 73) and it was pretty smooth, especially since I only had to wipe my primary but kept my secondary intact.
One question though - re explosive shot. In resetting the alt's skills, survival panel, nothing like this ever came up. I then backchecked the spellbook - noting there either. so where DOES it come in? I'm assuming its not a version thing, I'm fully up to date on the CATA releases. Or is it a level thing? I am reluctant to change the main that I have played for so long without knowing that I'll get the main ability that justifies the switch.
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#8 Jan 12 2012 at 4:10 PM Rating: Good
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Bah... double post.

Edited, Jan 12th 2012 4:12pm by Karlina
#9 Jan 12 2012 at 4:11 PM Rating: Good
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Explosive Shot is the one you get automatically just by choosing Survival as your spec. (just like Aimed for MM.) It should show up in your spell book as soon as you set your new talents.
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#10 Jan 21 2012 at 3:23 PM Rating: Good
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OK, I bit the bullet and changed my main spec to survival, keeping beast mastery as my second. The result seems to be detrimental. I can hold my own in regular Cata dungeons, but in the heroics, I just don' seem to be doing much damage.

My usual rotation is two-three explosive shots, then spam steady shot for the buffs and to regain focus. Against bosses I try to throw in some debuffs like widow venom and cobra, shot. For groups, multishot if I have the focus, plus explosive traps set on the fringes of the melee and freezing traps to block reinforcements. My dungeon pet is usually a cat in survival or a corehound in BM.

My gear should be OK, level 344, with both ranged and melee weapons doing a base DPS of around 490. My actual profile is here: http://www.mywowarmory.com/profile.php?id=24911

Its a lot to ask, but if an experienced hunter could take a look and maybe offer some advice on what I may be doing wrong or could do better, it'd be welcome.

TIA
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#11 Jan 21 2012 at 5:40 PM Rating: Good
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Ollamnh wrote:
My usual rotation is two-three explosive shots, then spam steady shot for the buffs and to regain focus. Against bosses I try to throw in some debuffs like widow venom and cobra, shot.


Smiley: dubious

Take Steady Shot off your action bar and put Cobra Shot there instead.

Single target:

  • Always keep Serpent Sting up.
  • Use Explosive Shot when ready.
  • Use Black Arrow when you have the focus.
  • Use Explosive Trap if there is more than 1 enemy.
  • Fill in Cobra Shots between Explosive Shots.
  • Dump excess focus via Arcane Shot.

You want to be casting something at all times.

AOE:

Spam Multi-Shot and use Explosive Trap when ready.

Edit: And change your Survival talent build to this.

Edited, Jan 22nd 2012 1:28am by Mazra
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#12 Jan 22 2012 at 1:15 AM Rating: Good
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As for your gear get rid of anything with Intellect/Spirit/Strength/Expertise. As a hunter all you want is Agility/Hit/Crit/Haste/Mastery. Everything else doesn't benefit you.

Your hit rating is very low because of the wrong gear to. You want to be at %8 in heroics to be hit capped, which means you won't miss anymore.

Changing out the bad pieces of gear for appropriate pieces will make a big difference in your damage.

Maz has the right shot priority for ya in his post. Along with taking Steady Shot off your bars as Survival take Widows Venom off as well. That ability is pretty useless.
#13 Jan 22 2012 at 2:03 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah. You shouldn't be using steady as SV ever (or BM for that matter.)
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#14 Jan 22 2012 at 2:19 PM Rating: Good
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CaptinXeith wrote:
Your hit rating is very low because of the wrong gear to. You want to be at %8 in heroics to be hit capped, which means you won't miss anymore.

Changing out the bad pieces of gear for appropriate pieces will make a big difference in your damage.


Just when I think I know what's up, more comes up. I've seen noted about seeking better gear before, but the question is where? I did buy a few high level pieces at the AH when I was trying to force my gear level for basic Cata dungeons, and in past 'lives' I have bought weapons at the AH. But as a general rule, the stuff there isn't anywhere near as good as what I already have. Same for the high level quartermasters - my stuff's better. Same for dungeon drops, though I hope that will improve in the heroics. I roll greed on almost everything because the gear drops aren't as good as my own stuff.

Now I'm questioning my choices when I have one. Generally, when evaluating whether to equip a new piece, I look first at its armor class or damage. If there's a difference, I pick the higher unless the lesser piece gives a big boost in agility, hit rating or haste.

So how does one go about selectively upgrading gear - reforging? I haven't tried that yet.
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#15 Jan 22 2012 at 3:13 PM Rating: Good
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Basically you want to grab any agility mail item with a higher item level than what you currently have. This is because higher item level means more primary stats (agility, stamina) and what you lose in secondary stats (haste, hit, crit) is usually outweighed by the additional primary stat.

The item's level should be somewhere in the tooltip. Take these bracers, for instance. The item level is located just below the level required by your character to wear it, in this case it says "Item Level 346".

Survival Hunters usually want more crit and mastery than haste, but any item with a higher item level is an upgrade. You can always reforge unwanted secondary stats to whatever you need. Take the above bracers as an example. As a Survival Hunter, you might want to reforge the haste to mastery or crit, unless you have more than 8% hit, in which case you'll want to reforge the hit to crit or mastery instead.

Recap: Look at the item's level (below the level requirement). If it's higher than what you have, roll need on it. Use the reforger to move around stats to optimize.
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#16 Jan 23 2012 at 2:00 AM Rating: Excellent
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Ollamnh wrote:
Now I'm questioning my choices when I have one. Generally, when evaluating whether to equip a new piece, I look first at its armor class or damage.


Go all Agility mail and agility stuff that isn't mail.

Agility is your best friend.
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#17 Jan 23 2012 at 12:43 PM Rating: Good
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Horsemouth wrote:
Ollamnh wrote:
Now I'm questioning my choices when I have one. Generally, when evaluating whether to equip a new piece, I look first at its armor class or damage.


Go all Agility mail and agility stuff that isn't mail.

Agility is your best friend.


This first then what Maz said. Anything without agility is bad.

When picking a new piece first make sure it's a hunter piece (i.e. agility mail). Then do what Maz said and check the item level, higher item level = more agility = better piece. From there it comes down to if you need more hit/crit/haste, but to be blunt right now you just need to get actually hunter gear and ditch the intellect/spirit/strength/expertise stuff.
#18 Jan 23 2012 at 1:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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Mazra wrote:
Basically you want to grab any agility mail item with a higher item level than what you currently have. This is because higher item level means more primary stats (agility, stamina) and what you lose in secondary stats (haste, hit, crit) is usually outweighed by the additional primary stat.


Also, avoid the temptation to get any agility leather. The 5% Agility from Mail Specialization trumps any minor benefit from breaking your mail for one "better" leather piece.

Mazra wrote:
Survival Hunters usually want more crit and mastery than haste, but any item with a higher item level is an upgrade. You can always reforge unwanted secondary stats to whatever you need. Take the above bracers as an example. As a Survival Hunter, you might want to reforge the haste to mastery or crit, unless you have more than 8% hit, in which case you'll want to reforge the hit to crit or mastery instead.


Gearing for haste is perfectly viable. I basically only reforge to keep the hit cap (8% for me, since I CBA to keep a separate gear set for heroics since BC days) with minimal loss of secondary stats. The goal for haste gearing used to be to squeeze an extra cobra in between explosives - which still works, but focus regen is so crazy in T13 that there's seemingly always either a LnL proc or a focus dump, so the nominal C-C-C-Ex happens very rarely.

femaledwarf.com says that the secondary stats are basically the same value to me.
#19 Jan 23 2012 at 4:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'd not recommend that a new Survival Hunter starts fiddling around with avant-garde reforge optimization. Sure, you might increase your DPS, but we're talking minimal gain and maximum confusion.

I find it better to let people figure that out on their own as they get more comfortable with their class. I could write a 1200-word essay on the optimal Marksmanship rotation (ElitistJerks did), but I'd summarize it as:

Use Chimera Shot when possible, regenerate focus with Steady Shot and dump excess focus with Arcane Shot. Use Aimed Shot when the buff procs and always cast at least two Steady Shots in a row for the speed buff.

Done.

Sure, you can dump focus with Aimed Shot instead of Arcane Shot during haste periods (BL/Hero or Rapid Fire), or you can reforge all to haste and just go balls to the wall Aimed Shot spam in between Chimeras, not to mention you can substitute one (or is it two?) Steady Shot(s) every round when Kill Shot is up.

Confusing as sh*t. Much easier to just spam Steady Shots, dump focus with Chimera Shot when ready and Arcane Shot when not. Guaranteed 15k DPS (I've tried it). If you're feeling frisky, weave in Kill Shots once the boss drops below the threshold (20% health?).

Same goes for Survival. As long as you're able to use Explosive Shot and Black Arrow when ready, you're pretty much set. Explosive Shot and Black Arrow on cooldown means you're using Cobra Shot right. Problem solved. Bonus stage: Use Kill Shot when boss is near death without losing Explosive Shots.

There's an expression in Denmark called "hjælp til selvhjælp," meaning to help someone help themselves. I'm a huge advocate to this method of teaching. If we tell people how to play the game, we'll end up with a bunch of nitwits who don't know how to react to unexpected events. Like the 10+ people I ran LFR Madness with last night who did not have the imagination to even consider clicking the green button when the boss charges up his world-ending spell. First time I was there, I had no clue what the green button was for, but I imagined it was meant to be used in case of something bad. When bad happened, I pressed the button and lived.

Hooray for me teaching myself instead of someone going "um, and 18.6 seconds into the fight, click the green button, unless you're about to use <ability> and there's still 0.6 seconds left on the boss's cast gobble gobble..."

Meh, long rant is long and unnecessary. I just feel that people have a tendency to make things more complicated than they have to be (look at me being a hypocrite, wooh!) when it comes to this game. The difference between gearing haste for the extra Cobra Shot and not is minimal at the most. As long as you know the basic shot priority, you'll do better than the average Hunter.

Edited, Jan 23rd 2012 11:23pm by Mazra
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#20 Jan 24 2012 at 2:02 PM Rating: Good
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Since I assume that last rant was aimed at me, from what actual content I was able to pick out of it, I'll bow out here.

But not after congratulating Maz for alienating someone who was trying to be part of the solution. From now on, I guess I'll just +1 everything and talk about *******.
#21 Jan 24 2012 at 4:56 PM Rating: Good
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Wasn't aimed at anyone in particular and it wasn't my intention to alienate anyone from anything. I was just trying to explain how sometimes you'll want to go with the short version, even if it might not be the most accurate version. Ironically, it took a wall of text on my behalf to explain this and it apparently still failed. Which... actually proves my point, I guess.

I'm sorry you found offense in my rant. Again, it wasn't directed at you in particular, I've just seen way too many times how people, wanting to help, make things worse by providing way too much information way too early. Ollamnh is relatively new to the game and is only just beginning to delve into the mystery that is optimization. I saw no reason to start paraphrasing all of ElitistJerks to him.

Also, and I know this card is pretty worn by now, I have to pull the foreigner card here. I may have written something that came off as offensive unintentionally. As such, I'd appreciate it if you could tell me what it was about my post that you found offensive so I know what to careful with next time. I hail from the land of the Jante Law and sarcasm. We tend to use insults in a jesting manner which does not translate well to other languages or text.

Oh, and don't let someone knock you on your *** with a single rant. This is a forum where a myriad of people voice their opinions on just as many different topics. Conflicts are bound to happen and they often do. It's only natural, given that we're all different of mind. If you believe in your post then fight for it with everything you've got. Just don't get personal or demeaning.* I've got a younger sister who goes from sweet to demeaning in one sentence if you try to argue with her. It's just not nice.


* The difference between saying "You're wrong and the reason why is because I'm right" and "You're wrong, your post is incoherent and your general contribution to the community consists mainly of mammary gland diatribe and otherwise shameless inflation of your post count." Smiley: wink2
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#22 Jan 24 2012 at 10:12 PM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:

Ollamnh is relatively new to the game and is only just beginning to delve into the mystery that is optimization.


There's the thing. I am relatively new to it, and while I think I play competently, especially in open questing and basic dungeons, nobody is perfect. So if I see an area where I think improvement is needed and logical trial and error fail to show me a solution, I'm not so insecure that I can't ask for advice. I'm not wedded to manuals and FAQs. Too many decades in the data 'biz' convinced me long ago that consumer software that isn't intuitive isn't wort spit. Mostly WOW is very intuitive. But it is HUGE. I can ask for help - or I can waste countless hours I doing research that I'd rather spend playing the game.

And believe me, I am not in the least put off by intelligent advice or even constructive criticism. If I can improve, I'd rather find out HERE than when 4 or 24 other players are depending on me in game. I other words, thanks to all who responded. It may take me a while to digest all of it, but I've never been one to expect instant solutions.
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#23 Jan 27 2012 at 8:56 PM Rating: Decent
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1. Misdirect to tank (or a clothy that is irritating you).

2. Open up on the primary target with your biggest shots available. (primary target would be hopefully marked with a skull by the tank or party leader).

3. Surprise your party members by using an ice trap on the caster mob that will usually hang back from the melee.

4. Kill stuff in the usual priority (marked with skull, then X, then whatever....)

5. Feign death.

6. Use misdirect often.

7. If no trapping is required because your group is all in 'gogogo' mode or just too uber, use your trap launcher to fire an exploding trap in the fray if there is multiple mobs, or toss an ice trap in front of the healer as a precautionary method.

5. Feign death, have I mentioned that yet, or misdirect?
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#24 Jan 28 2012 at 9:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sorry, Maz. I was reading forums at work where things weren't going as well as they might, so I wasn't in the greatest of moods.

I only have 800 or so posts, but I've been hanging out here a few years - if you look at my posting history, I'm an explainer. I try never to put anything forward without justification, and sometimes that does get a bit thick for a newcomer, I agree. But still I'd rather say too much (at the risk of being confusing) than too little (at the risk of being vague).

My advice is basically the same to the original post:
- Start acquiring mail when you hit 40. Have all mail when you hit 50.
- Agility is king. So gear with a higher item level is usually an upgrade, since it will have more agility (and stamina) regardless of what secondary stats it has. For gem slots, it's perfectly fine to use half-agi orange or purple gems to match socket colors.
- When you hit 85, think about reforging to match your (6% or 8%) hit cap - you don't want to be below it, but (especially if you have certain trinkets) not too much above it either.
- When fighting a boss: (1) Keep Black Arrow and Serpent Sting up, (2) Explosive shot whenever it's off cooldown, (3) Cobra Shot to fill in gaps. Kill Shot at 20% is a nice bonus if you can work it in. Yes, this means you don't do anything special for Lock-n-Load procs - depending on your latency, you don't have to even if you're optimizing.
- For AoE, multishot. This is a serious focus hog, so I try to target something that won't be dying quickly (the boss, the big scorpion in firelands trash, the add with highest HP). This is because cobra shot has a cast time, and if your target dies during the cast, NO FOCUS FOR YOU. AoE phases basically end up as multi-cobra-multi-cobra...
- Keep your pet on passive and practice sending her in and bringing her out.
- As another poster emphasized, misdirect as much as you can. Try not to misdirect to a healer unless it's a friend of yours. Also, never forget that feign death is not just reactive once you get aggro, but it also drops all the aggro you have, so you can use it proactively.

Edited, Jan 28th 2012 10:19pm by ElMuneco

Edited, Jan 28th 2012 10:22pm by ElMuneco
#25 Jan 29 2012 at 7:05 AM Rating: Good
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ElMuneco wrote:
Sorry, Maz. I was reading forums at work where things weren't going as well as they might, so I wasn't in the greatest of moods.


Happens for everyone. We're only human. No hard feelings, etc. Smiley: smile

ElMuneco wrote:
But still I'd rather say too much (at the risk of being confusing) than too little (at the risk of being vague).


I'd agree. I've spent the last two weeks with my face planted in books about learning theory (educational reasons) and I guess a bit of it spilled over on the board (see above). Smiley: tongue

Good summary, by the way. Smiley: thumbsup
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