Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.

Back to the topic of racial abilities. The elves' +1% to dodge would have been nice for Mongoose Bite, but it seemed weak compared to Stoneform and Gift of the Naaru. The few times I've played Draenei, their Gift of the Naaru spell has essentially worked as a very strong damage mitigator -- once it lands, you have a few seconds where your HoT is ticking for near the same rate as the damage that's incoming from a single mob. Used as a damage mitigator it compares favorably with Stoneform. Gift, however, can be used out of combat to reduce downtime, whereas during combat Stoneform shines, as it reduces damage by increasing armor by 10%, and also grants immunity to bleed, poison, and disease effects. Since I'm always carrying so much food from cooked meat, I'm not especially worried about having another means of healing myself out of combat.

There is a thread on Thottbot regarding dual-wield that I found enlightening. In particular, one post relays information from Blizzard employee Kalgan's response to warriors about dual-wield. The relevant portion of Kalgan's post is as follows:
While you will kill more quickly using 2h, you are expected to end the fight with a lower remaining health compared to the same fight using 1h+s. In the 1h+s case you will be killing more slowly, but have more health at the end of the fight, and therefore less downtime over the long haul (and yes, it is balanced to account for the fact that killing more quickly implies taking less hits from the enemy).
For a class not specifically designed with melee as a primary combat style, it seems sensible to take the approach that should, theoretically, end with me having taken less damage. Additionally, I have a second weapon providing an additional stat boost. So when level 20 rolled around, I definitely decided that dual-wield was the right way to go.

Conventional wisdom dictates that when dual-wielding, you should place a slower weapon in your main hand and a faster weapon in your off-hand due to the increased miss rate for your off-hand weapon. In terms of roleplay, this is perfect for my Dwarf. His main hand is the one that was crippled by his pet, so he would strike more slowly with it. And any person striking out with their non-dominant hand is sure to land fewer attempted blows.

As WoWWiki notes, since patch 2.0.1 traps can be placed in combat. Although I didn't initially anticipate it, traps are a valuable part of my play. When pulling a mob, I lay an immolation trap, send in my pet, have him grab the mob's attention and then bring it back across the trap to apply a DoT as I jump in with a Raptor Strike and a Wing Clip. (I always keep a Wing Clip up in case an unexpected crit sends the mob running.) When I charge into a mob along side my pet, I don't always drop an immolation trap right away. In that case I usually wait to see if I need some more DPS in the fight. The reason I wait is because I prefer having my freezing traps off cooldown, either to trap an unexpected add, or to trap my combat target so I can back away and bandage. I prefer freezing traps to fearing beasts for crowd control since runners sometimes bring friends back with them.

I also didn't quite expect the utility of Entrapment or Improved Wing Clip to be so helpful. Both of these talents sometimes give me a surprise moment where I have the luxury to back out and decide to heal myself or my pet for a little extra security.

Similarly, in a pinch I may choose to use Disengage and momentarily activate my pet's Growl to drop aggro and cause the mob to focus on my pet while I heal. Aggro sharing with my pet isn't optimal since it limits my opportunities for Mongoose Bites and Counterattacks, but it's a valuable tool when necessary.


Anonymous said...

Ughh, long time hunter here lvl 70 raid guild leader blah blah blahI have been around the block ad back agian. As much as the thought of a pure melee hunter pains me I will look beyond it.

You would be better off taking a big slow 2 handed weapon over a pair of 1 handers. As a good chunk of your dps will come from raptor strike you want those raptors to hit like trucks. Combine a nasty 2 hander with savage strikes and your raptor dps will increase even more.

I saw your post on the official forums, I imagine you already know this but posting melee hunter on there will get you crucified.

Hunters are a ranged class... But good luck with your project.

Beclemund said...

I think you're misinterpreting Kalgan's comment. It is regarding a one hand weapon + shield not dual wielding two weapons. Because, at early levels you can't really compensate for the increased miss rate of dual wielding with many + hit bonus items (nor do you have talents to overcome the dual wield penalty that a rogue would have), a two-hander may be the way to go for a melee hunter. You need to be as accurate as possible for every hit and dual wielding artificially decreases your chance to hit (24% vs. 5% miss chance with a two-hander).

Gweryc Halfhand said...

Maybe not misrepresented, but misunderstood. I was taking that statement in context of other advice I'd heard regarding dual wield.

Thank you both for your feedback. I think I'll set up an experiment to test the differences.