So, reading blogs this morning while my TPS reports… umm, I mean FMS reports are generated from the worlds…. slowest….. database……. [snore], and came across a good one by Fikkle on For the Horde!
Fikkle tells a story about how he was in a situation where his normal methods of punching a mobs’ ticket as a Hunter weren’t working, and he was frustrated enough to mention it to a non-WoW player at work the next day. His non-WoW playing friend was able to suggest a possible solution, using a Hunter ability Fikkle himself had mentioned in the past, but had mentally put in the ‘cute, but mostly worthless’ category. And it worked.
I’m paraphrasing here, don’t go flame Fikkle.
This hits home to me on several levels.
Personally, I had the same thing happen. I had asked right here on this blog for your thoughts on Magister’s Terrace, complaining about the Shadow Priests’ lack of viable CC since there are no undead mobs in there to Shackle. And the majority of you smacked me upside the head and said “Mind Control, stupid!”
It’s a good thing Elystia/Shadewynn doesn’t play Alliance anymore, or she’d have probably beat me up in the game for being dumb.
Anyway, I had done the same thing with Mind Control. When I first got it while leveling, I played with it a bit. Of course I did.
And what I found was that it was situational, with a narrow useability window.
Why? Because it’s got a 20 yard range… and around 40 yards from me as the caster, the mob I MC’d would break the control and come for me. If the mob you can get near is all alone, there is no way you can get him far enough away to grab someone else. They need to be standing close together. AND, since you are channeling the whole time, you are open to attack… and if you are attacked, then you are facing the guy what whacked you, PLUS the mob you MC’d, PLUS the guy you were having your MC whack.
So, I mentally put MC into a box that said “awesome fun for PvP, but very risky in PvE soloing. Revisit later.” And never revisited it.
So you all told me to use Mind Control, and I looked at my bars in shock, saying, “Oh yeah, I got that, don’t I?”
And I played with it a bunch this weekend, testing the limits of what I could do.
And of course you are right, in an instance, with 4 other people including tank, where mobs are very often right next to each other, it is an optimum situation to use MC to have one mob take on a second, leaving the few remaining for the tank and other DPS to burn through… it’s a two-mob CC that actually whittles BOTH targets down in health, unlike Sheep or Ice Trap that leaves the mobs at full. And it can last for 1 full minute. Not too bad at all.
So yeah, on a personal level, Fikkle nailed it. I’m motoring along, I’ve leveled solo as a Shadow Priest, I’m used to doing things a certain way, and BAM! You come along and remind me that what worked fine solo is not using my abilities to their fullest potential in groups.
This is one of the reasons we blog about WoW, yes? To try and share our experiences on how to use our character’s abilities to their fullest potential?
I know that I still occasionally get emails from folks that read my Catform DPS sequences post and tell me how they had gotten used to whacking the mobs a certain way, and had never HAD to think about how to squeeze more DPS out of their playstyle. After all, when soloing, there isn’t that big a difference between burning the guy down in 3 seconds instead of 3.5 seconds in the grand scheme of things.
But when you’re a kitty in a raid, suddenly you need to know that you have to attack from behind to keep from triggering Parry or getting your attacks Blocked. All your opponent can do if you are attacking from behind is Dodge, or if you are not hit capped, you can also plain miss. Hello, if you increase your hit rating so you cannot miss, then all he can do is Dodge. Just a reminder, hit rating for cat gear is the number one reason you want to have two seperate feral gear sets.
And if you’re normal uber-OPness as a kitty with 2500 AP means you have totally slacked off on using skillz solo, and you just run on up, spam Feral Faerie Fire and then Mangle, Mangle, Mangle, well… that crap doesn’t cut it in a group or raid. Shred is your friend. As you well know.
I wrote a post a long time back about how I think this affects Hunters so much. The poor Hunter class has the huge ‘Huntard’ reputation, and I truly feel it is because there are so many awesome Hunter abilities that streamline solo play, that when it finally comes time for running instances or even grouping, many Hunters just have had no reason to learn to branch out and explore their other abilities.
Chain Trap? What’s that? Kite? Huh? Oh yeah, I heard about some dude that kited some Fel Reaver to a city and let the guards kill it, sure wish I knew how that uber-l33t guy did that.
The Hunter class, and I’m speaking as asomeone that has leveled a BM Hunter to 70, seems very easy to pick up and run with… but as BRK has shown time and time again, when it comes time to group, there are some serious skills that you can bring to the game… and you haven’t needed to develop them while leveling.
I think that this is the single most important contribution any class blog can try and make.
To let people new to the class know about things that are not apparent when you are soloing. Warn people in advance, “Hey, it was all fun and games and Sunday strolls along the beach while you were coming on up, but in a group at 70, here are a bunch of the neat things you can bring to the party to amaze your friends and make them want to play your class. And dear god, here are the things that will make them call you noob. Please don’t do those or we revoke your [insert class name here] license.”
If you write a class blog, than I encourage you to think of two different topics you can cover that would provide your readers with long-lasting benefits.
The first is a recommended gear guide for the spec you prefer, so your readers see what you recommend they look for and why. A Karazhan-ready gear list seems to be the accepted starting point, followed by a serious raiding gear list to shoot for. Start with something nice and casual-friendly, then maybe follow it up with the list of l33t drool-worthy gear most of us will never see. I practically LIVE on the Shadowpriest website because of the compiled gear lists.
If someone else has already done a gear list you use and love, don’t reinvent the wheel… just put a good link to it on your blog and point people that way.
And the second thing to provide your readers is the ‘how to squeeze more out of your class’ collection of tips and tricks you have learned the hard way.
I know that, while I read most of the blogs I do because I enjoy the writing, the stories and the fun, when I put my game face on and want to know more about a class I am leveling, I go looking specifically for those two types of info… what to look for in gear, and how to do neat stuff with the class and not be a moron.
If I had to add a third, it would be a recommended talent spec, and why you choose the different talents you say you recommend.
And a fourth would be ‘things not to do in a group or you will get flamed, blogged about, and held up as an idiot by your server forums’.
An example? Seeing a poor Hunter that didn’t know any better get his Armory screenshotted and put up on the server forums… because he had Crusader on his melee weapon. You could prevent this from happening. It is a solemn responsibility.
I think it’s why BRK is the standard for hunter blogs. He covers all such topics with style and thoroughness.
Just something to think about, my friends.