Monday, November 16, 2009

The more-appropriate (for me) DPS "not a meme", a blurb about why I fail at melee, and E is 66 and climbing

Well, I did the healer "not a meme", but I'm not a main spec healer. D weeps every time she's forced to heal.

So here we go, Death Goddess has converted the "not a meme" into a DPS version, and here are my answers for both D (yay, shadow!) and K (yay, maces axes!).

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary dps?
D the shadow priest (spriests are a class of their own, buddy!) and K the enhancement shaman.

What is your primary dpsing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Everything, actually - I do 10, 25, regular and hard modes, 5-mans, the occasional battleground - everything but arenas.

What is your favorite dps spell/ability for your class and why?
Mind Sear! I love MS for D, it's insanely powerful with a large group of mobs (think whelps on Onyxia or the groups of lashers in Freya's room) and unlike poor mages or warlocks, our AOE is mobile. I love shadow form in general, too - no other class comes close to looking as cool as us on a mount. For K, well, so many things to love. But my favorite? Heroism/Bloodlust. No other class provides it and it is a very, very significant dps increase for not only myself but the entire raid, and many groups specifically "bring the class" to raids because of it (fail Blizzard). I lurve it!

What dps spell do you use least for your class and why?
On D, I actually use them all. I guess VE counts as a dps spell? It doesn't provide any dps but it's a talent in the shadow tree. I only use it on bosses, really. On K, there are a ton of dps tools I never use - some totems like Fire Nova Totem, any pvp-ish totem (Grounding, Earthbind, etc) and weapon imbues that never see the light of day (Frostbrand, Rockbiter).

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your dps class and why?
Single target dps for both K and D. If it's a relatively stationary, single boss? I'm golden. I can do massive dps. Shamans are also, in my opinion, the best buffing class in the game.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your dps class and why?
Very easy to answer this one - on D, definitely having no burst damage and a slow (six global cooldowns worth) ramp up time, and on K, sucky AOE if the mobs are mobile (Magma Totem is okay, but not super awesome, and of course it doesn't move if the mobs move.)

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best dps assignment for you?
On both D and K, the best assignment that will get the most dps out of me will be to stay on a stationary boss and single-target dpsing. D will get some high numbers if there are a lot of mobs to AOE as well, but there are not a lot of those fights in ToC. Having to switch targets constantly (boo, TOC) will lower dps on both of my raiding toons, especially on D with her slow ramp up time.

What dps class do you enjoy dpsing with most and why?
Mmm - elemental shamans? Love Totem of Wrath and the Totem of Air's spell haste in addition to my own enhancement totems, and those two benefit D as well. I also love boomkins (free 3% hit and extra crit? Thank you!) and paladins (kings, yay!).

What dps class do you enjoy dpsing with least and why?
I like buffs. Sorry rogues/hunters/dk's/warriors! Sucks to be you! :-D

What is your worst habit as a dps?
On D, probably not watching my own health. I have the ability to heal myself or pop a health pot, but .. well, I guess I expect healers to keep me and everyone up. I don't stand in fires or make it harder on the healers, but if I'm low I don't stop dpsing to help, even though I'm paying this stupid hybrid tax for the ABILITY to heal. For K, definitely neglecting to use Earth Shock - ever since the last patch when Flame Shock entered our rotation, I have the extremely bad habit of using Flame Shock in the "rotation" instead of Earth Shock, and I'm absolutely certain that is why my dps has not gone up since the patch. I really need to work on SS-FS-LL-LB/CL-SS-ES-LL-LB/CL-SS-ES-LL-LB/CL instead of using FS every time.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while dpsing?
Lazy dps. I don't mean the ones that do crap dps, I mean the ones that sit and dps and get tunnel vision - they will stand in Emalon's lightning nova and expect healers to heal them through it so they can do their max dps, or they will not switch targets because it cuts down on their numbers, or especially if they don't watch their threat and don't back off if they pull something, because they just have to be top of the charts. So you out dpsed me, you stupid rogue? Yeah, I could pull high dps, too, if I stayed on the light twin valkyr instead of switching to that dark one that just got their shield, you blowhard!

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other dps?
Um ... a big fat no on the shadow priest. DPS isn't scaling as well with gear as other classes, it's been an issue for the past several patches, and I cry myself to sleep seeing myself at number 9 or 10 on Recount when I used to be 3 or 4, even though I'm currently (true story) the best-geared person in the guild. We don't bring anything to the raid that another class can't bring. Hybrid tax my big fat yellow ass - give me a reason why I'm paying a hybrid tax (can't heal in shadow form, so why am I paying a tax for the ability to heal? I already have to shift OUT of shadow form to throw a heal or two and then spend a global cooldown to shift back into it, which is usually enough time for some DoT's to fall off thus lowering my dps already.) Hopefully, the buffs will increase our dps enough to make the negative points of shadow priesting (no burst damage, very slow ramp up time) worth it. For enhancement shamans, however, I definitely think we have it made even MORE than some classes. Our AOE is kind of weak in some cases (boo, whelps in Onyxia's Lair) but we get lots of things that make up for that, like constant high single target dps with no ramp up time whatsoever. Our dps sort of flounders a bit when there's a lot of movement and switching targets, but what melee class doesn't have that problem? Enhancement shamans bring so many buffs that are unmatched by any SINGLE class in the game (paladins do ONE buff at a time PER PALADIN, for example, while shamans can cover Horn of Winter, Blessing of Wisdom, AND an extra haste and spellpower buff PER SHAMAN). I can't sing the praises of the shaman class enough - they truly do have it made over other classes, and I'd say enhancement shamans in particular are extremely powerful and great, while still having to pay for that greatness in certain situations.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a dps?
Combat logs and Recount. On D, I can check her guild's World of Logs, er, log. My shaman is never logged onto someone else's combat log thing, though, and I find it would be too much trouble to do it just for myself (I'm lazy), so I always check my dps against others and notice what makes it higher or lower and adjust what I'm doing. I do check it during fights and after fights for every dps toon. If I die, I look to see what killed me and whether or not I could have done something to prevent it.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?
For shadow priests, I actually haven't come across any misconceptions - the general consensus (and I agree) is that we have no burst damage and 2-3 mob pulls aren't ideal for us (too few for Mind Sear, but more than one generally means they go down too fast for our DoTs to tick). Anything that requires super high dps at the start sort of leaves us at a disadvantage. For enhancement shamans, I've also never come across misconceptions - no one has ever said anything about us that I disagree with. (I know, lame answer).

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new dpsers of your class to learn?
For shadow priests, it's how to manage the DoTs and "priority" list. It's not difficult once you get it, but getting into a pattern of knowing what to look for and when to refresh your DoTs is probably a bit complicated at first. I even know a noob shadow priest that once used a macro for their "rotation" until I schooled them (hey, they asked, I promise) about the error of their ways. For enhancement shamans, how to use EnhSim and Rawr? It's extremely hard to get answers about gear and stuff from "the experts" because most will just tell you to "sim it" and that is, for someone stoopid like myself, almost impossible.

What dps class do you feel you understand least?
Oh, where do I start? Hunters (P is only 30)? Rogues (T is only 32)? Mages (I have one on my second account at 60, but that was leveled purely by Recruit a Friend - I have NO idea how to play it)? Often when I'm raid leading for K's guild, I'll say "that cheater-y rogue stun thing" or "the frost trap thingy that hunters do" or "the multiple-mage thing". I have no idea what the cooldowns or limitations on those are. :-P

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in dps?
Honestly? I have no clue what addon it is that keeps track of Maelstrom Weapon on K, but I do have one that tracks it. It's not ShockAndAwe, though - I've tried several times to figure out how to make that one work for me, but I just fail at addons, and I never liked it. I use ForteXorcist for tracking my DoTs on D (I love being able to see when SW:P is about to fall off of a target I'm not targetting, like ramping up a trinket/Pot. of Wild Magic-buffed SW:P on Gormak the Impaler in ToC, switching to the snobolds, and then clipping a MF on Gormak to refresh SW:P so I don't lose the maxed-out DoT) and .. well, I actually use that addon for all of my toons. It's invaluable when healing on S and keeping track of those HoTs on people. Of course, I also use Recount.

One stat above others, or balanced stat allocation, and why?
For any, any, any DPS class, I'd say getting to minimum hit cap (17% for casters, 8% for most melee) is the NUMBER 1 priority. Whatever the class and spec, if you are not hit capped, then hit should really be ranked WAY above everything else. After that, for shadow priests, spellpower has been ranked above everything else for as long as I can remember, though that may change in this next patch. I try to balance things, though - currently I do value crit over haste (again, other way around when the next patch hits) but I gem for spellpower (or enough spellpower+spirit or spellpower+crit to meet the meta gem or worth-it socket bonus requirement). For enhancement, I typically go for attack power first since we get no extra bonus to attack power with agility. However, enhancement shamans are dual wielders AND half of our special attacks are considered spells, so we need to be spell hit capped at the minimum and OVER that amount if we want some of our white damage to land. So any hit over spell hit cap is gravy, up to some insane number that I don't care to look up because it's not practical to reach. Er, long answer short on K is that I do a balance - expertise, hit, attack power, crit, haste, armor penetration - everything is good.

There wasn't a request to tag folks, but everyone who hasn't done it (here's looking at you specifically, shadow priests and enhancement shamans) should give it a go - at least it's more fun for me to read than those silly healer answers! And it's definitely better than the me-no-understand-tanky-stuff tank answers.


failure is funny

On Saturday night on her "regular" ToC 25 pug run, K finally got rid of her ghetto mace and nabbed herself a yummy axe. Since it dropped off of Anub and it was late, I only spent time vendoring the ghetto mace, enchanting a Beserking scroll on D and sending it to K and applying it to the axe. On Sunday, K was invited to an OS 10 3D zerg run (we failed), and I went resto for all the trash before switching to enhancement for the boss. (**pro tip, you can throw an earth shield on the tank and then switch to your dps spec, if you're a dual-specced resto/dps shaman - the earth shield stays on for 10 minutes and DOESN'T GO AWAY if you switch specs - any amount of healing is a bonus on that fight**)

You can guess what happened, right? My 1h axe skill was at 300. FAIL MELEE! If I had gotten a new weapon on D it wouldn't have mattered, but melee can't have their weapon skill less than maxed! Man, I suck. My dps that attempt was 2500. /facepalm And I had vendored the ghetto mace the previous night, so I had nothing to switch to.

I endured the ribbing from my raid-mates (thank goodness it was all guildies and not a pug) and hearthed to Dalaran to check my bank on the off-chance that I had thrown the mace in there instead of vendoring it. Nope - but I did find the mace from ToC heroic in there with an attack power enchant on it. Better than nothing, but I was super disappointed that I couldn't use my shiny new axe.

I ended up doing between 4500 and 5k dps every attempt with the fail mace, on the plus side.


Got from 64 to 66 on E this weekend - I tanked a few instances, did the Nesingwary quest chain and Ring of Blood in Nagrand, and ran a couple of battlegrounds. Paladins are the second best class after shamans, I am pretty much convinced. I can't believe how powerful ret is when you get Divine Storm - I can tear through anything. And prot? Nothing can beat me down. I can't wait to get Divine Plea so I stop running out of mana.

Is there seriously anything that paladins can't do?