Arktem (Enigma on US – Deathwing) is writing a blog on the MMO-C Hunter Forum describing Enigma’s race through Dragon Soul heroic modes from a hunter’s perspective:
So the race to world first is on and I figured some people would be interested in the Heroic fights from a Hunter perspective. Enigma is currently World 3rd 25 man, progressing on Warmaster Blackhorn (At the time of writing this).
I will try and keep this updated as best I can with new information. I can’t give away too much information on strategy or the like (The race is still on), but there are definitely some things that many people will be interested in. This is not a “QQ DPS thread” by any means, but I will give my thoughts and comparisons as best I can.
You can think of this as a blog of sorts
Tuesday (Day 1): 10:00am
Everyone’s sitting in mumble trying to figure out exactly what’s going on. Many people log on “Servers up yet?” After painstaking minutes of waiting, it hits around 10:50 and we can already tell the servers will be down for longer than the scheduled 11. The first pushback was until 1, and then another pushback until 2. This left many of us… aggravated… to say the least, but it gave many of us time to chill and talk about strategy and such.
Servers come up and we immediately enter and start trash, people are really pumped and wanting to set a good pace for world firsts.
-Insert trash dying here-
Morchok was a very simple fight mechanics wise, and after some crappy RNG with the Resonating Crystals, we kill him on our 2nd attempt (2 minutes behind world first). This saddened us greatly.
Hunter wise Morchok was nice, I went the traditional MM build as I hadn’t tested Survival as much on the PTR, and it’s a pretty standstill ish fight as long as you swap to Arcane shot when moving to crystals, and make sure to Disengage on cooldown. A major drawback here was our lack of Damage Reduction, although it didn’t actually kill me, did cause much more added pressure than was necessary.
I went the standard Crit > Haste > Mastery build here, along with getting lucky the previous week in LFR for 2p t13 (Shoulders and Chest, although I would of preferred Shoulders/Legs).
I debated going Survival for Zon’ozz, but finally decided on MM same build as Morchok. The fight as a whole is pretty simple, but our strategy had us stacking in the center, (Deadzone), so I eventually decided to stand fairly far away from the raid due to not being able to stack completely. The Orb explosion has a ridiculously large range and myself, and a couple others, were instantly killed a couple times due to standing slightly further out than the raid.
Phase 2 was also hectic, and scary, but popping Deterrence right at the start of phase 2, before the damage actually goes out, helps a lot in terms of keeping you alive. The damage slowly goes down as the phase lasts and you kill adds, and the initial burst of the phase is what causes most people to die. Doing this meant I didn’t really worry about dying during that phase. I made sure to stand near the large tentacle (Claws? I think is what it was called) and Raptor strike while killing the Flails and Eyes first. It can be beneficial to spec into Silencing shot for this fight to interrupt the Eyes, but as we had a few Boomkins it wasn’t really necessary for me.
Damage wise this was not a good fight… The modifier is definitely nice, but I definitely could feel a large difference in DPS between myself and the others. I have heard since then that Survival does great on this fight, but at the time I felt severely gimped. I ended the fight at 39.2k DPS, which was significantly behind most people who averaged around 42k. If you have found you got better numbers as Survival I would be happy to talk about it.
The first two fights in Dragon Soul were pretty simple. With the exception of a couple dumb wipes, we pushed through this content rather fast. The true wall came after.
Wednesday (Day 2): 11am
Yor’sahj the Unsleeping
I did 2 pulls here as MM, but the AoE was just too low for our comp, so I ended up going survival with Crit > 1250 Haste (No reason for this, I just can’t get any lower on haste) > Mastery > Haste.
The AoE of Survival was nice, although definitely not competitive with other AoE classes. One thing I did like about this fight is our large mobility, plus our lack of mana, made this fight fairly decent for Hunters.
One thing that did cause me some hassle is the stacking + Adds phase, but you can easily bypass this by just targeting Yor’sahj during the AoE phases and multishotting directly off of him, obviously keeping your Cone effect directed at the adds as best you can. During the Red you should definitely use Raptor strike, and stack as close as you can to the boss. Doing that I didn’t really have any crazy deaths, although I did explode once even though I was right on top of the boss. Could of been a bug, but who knows.
Damage wise I really felt… lacking… in comparison to other classes. Especially considering the lack of defensive cooldowns I had, it was definitely brought up more than once for me to be replaced on that fight. I ended the fight at almost 40k DPS exactly, which was not actually last, but still felt really “Meh”.
Everything else was pretty simple, but the fight mechanics and learning all of the combinations and how to deal made this fight extremely taxing, and most definitely the first “Major” brick wall most guilds will run in too.
Hagara the Stormbinder
OMFG I LOVE THIS FIGHT!
But seriously, after wondering why I still have my raid spot on many of the previous fights I finally get my chance to shine. This is most definitely a Hunter fight and if you can properly stance dance you should finish this fight easily in the top 5, probably higher.
Make sure to save your DPS cooldowns for the burn phase after each of the phases end.
There really isn’t much to this fight, Masters Call is a godsend, and I really liked having Raptor Strike for the Lightning phase (We had most of the raid stack in the center, and once the add is dead you literally have nothing to do but sit there. Hence, raptor strike on CD.
One thing to mention is to make sure you either 1.) Manually move your pet right next to you during Lightning or 2.) completely dismiss it. Obviously option 1 is slightly better DPS wise, but 2 works just as well if you’re really worried about the little guy chaining lightning.
The DPS requirement and the changes from Regular –> Heroic are minimal. So this fight was very easy and only took us a few tries to clear him and continue onward.
This fight will definitely be the one that stops most guilds. If Yor’sahj is the Brick Wall of the first couple bosses then Ultraxion is easily the Baleroc of Dragon Soul. The DPS requirement, while vastly over-hyped, is definitely the largest we’ve ever had to deal with. On top of that, the stupid Twilight Shift/Heroic Will mechanic is BY FAR the most annoying mechanic I have had to deal with. (Yes, including Engulfing Flames).
DPS wise this was the worst of them all. I could barely get above 36k DPS, which might seem like a lot, but is nothing compared to the 40ks I was competing with. Our saving grace here is that our Deterrence completely blocks all damage from the Hour of Twilight.
I was MM High Haste Crit > Haste > Mastery build sitting at around 2100 haste for this fight. Aimed Shot dump full time due to 0 movement. Changing your boot speed from AGI + Movement to straight 35 AGI can help slightly, although the enchant can be rather expensive.
One thing is that if you are not in the Hour of Twilight rotation, it is still a DPS gain to simply deterrence through the Hour, and then use a Cancelaura macro to get rid of it immediately. Although small, you do gain about a .5 second advantage on the players who shift.
Again, I did not test Survival at all on this fight, but from what I have seen it doesn’t do any better than the MM Aimed Shot dump.
We are currently working on Warmaster Blackhorn, and I haven’t had quite enough time on him to really give an accurate rundown on the fight. I will keep this updated as people progress like I said before.
If anyone has any questions or tips on the earlier encounters I will be happy to answer them as best I can.
Kisho: “Thank you for the write up. I was expecting Hunters to be low on DPS, but it doesn’t seem to be quite as bad as people were expecting (though obviously, we are still low). It’s nice to know that there’s a fight where Hunters shine on, too. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what the last 3 bosses are like for Hunters. Again, thanks for taking the time to write this.”
Arktem: “Mmm, actually for myself it seemed a lot worse than I was expecting, at least at the start. A lot of the enrage timers are fairly hard to hit and any DPS disparity is enough to warrant being sat. Sadly I hope Blizzard sees this and includes us in the 10% Melee Buff.”
Dexiefy: “being like 3-4k behind others is HUGE considering he has 2pt13 and gear hasnt improved that much yet after 1 week… now its only gonna get worse, not better… so expect falling like 6k dps behind(if not more) others when nearing bis hc gear then add up lack of defensive cd’s and no utility and you have perfect setup to replace the hunter with anything else really… great write up btw
Arktem: “Well, the t13 is a large upgrade, but the stat loss was pretty hefty. It’s still easily a DPS increase, but I really wish I had gotten my hands on legs instead of Chest. Hopefully I can get a couple more pieces soon to close the gear gap. “
Kanzai: “Awesome write-up, keep updating please it’s very interesting and quite helpful”
Arktem: “Thanks, I’ll try as best I can”
Beace: “It’s a depressing read, but thank you for typing it up. I only hope Blizzard is taking notice and is planning something.”
Arktem: “That makes two of us “
greenbay924: “Nice read, good to see hunters doing (relatively) well. As a typical MM user, I’m interested in the comparison between MM and SV on the fights. I did all of T11/12 as MM, and have switched to SV for DS, so far have noticed increased numbers on the majority of fights. I was hoping to switch to my rogue (not so much for the legendaries, but because our 10m group is lacking in dps) but alas, 3 melee/2 ranged isn’t a great build. Do the heroic fights you’ve done so far seem to favor ranged heavy comps? Or would bringing maximum dps be more optimum?”
Arktem: “Sadly I tried very hard not to make this thread a cry fest about DPS. To be honest, I am very unhappy DPS wise compared to the rest of this expansion and, like many people have said, it will slowly get worse due to scaling.
I am also very interested in the Surv/MM comparison, and I fully plan on doing more testing during farm content, but right now I just can’t seem to stay Survival long enough to really get a feel for it. MM is the spec I am the most comfortable with and, depending on the fight, the one I feel can pull the most competitive DPS.
Right now all the fights seem to favor “Classes” rather than Range/Melee. Especially considering the strats we used. Blackhorn is the only fight I can say so far that strongly “Favors” a specific class. If you don’t have a strong Multidot/Cleave then you are not going to be competitive on this fight. I am currently sitting out, and I can’t see myself being able to compete with any competent Multidotter.
refire: “There are two comments like this and they simply don’t make any sense. Nothing about his post says hunters are doing relatively well. There is one boss where he actually considered himself competitive. All the others he mentioned that he was taking too much damage or having a hard time doing enough damage and was considered as a possibility to sit.”
Arktem: “This about sums it up. “