Tuesday, March 18, 2008

There are only two ways of telling the complete truth -- anonymously and posthumously.

I have been thoroughly humbled by the wisdom of a recent anonymous poster to this blog. Unsure as I am how many readers or subscribers to this blog visit the comments, I felt that the very clever points made were wholly worthy of a post to the main blog.

In summary:
  • Three things dramatically reduce threat generation for any tank, whether their class was intended to tank or not: misses, dodges and parries. Misses are counterbalanced by Hit Rating; dodges & parries are counterbalanced by Expertise.
  • Mend Pet can be used to generate additional threat by way of healer aggro.
  • Mana Potions, Healing Potions and Healthstones all generate threat equivalent to the amount of health/mana returned. Also, use of Fel Mana Potions is probably your best angle here, since it returns mana over time and gives a guaranteed 3200 mana. Additionally, since hunter mechanics don't work off of spell damage, there is no drawback to these potions.

The observation about Fel Mana Potions is simply brilliant. With a healer behind me, it's fairly safe to consume these instead of healing potions, and they don't cause me to suffer an important stat reduction in the way a Fel Regeneration Potion would. In practical terms, a Fel Mana Potion is like a bottle of Liquid Threat (base threat is 0.5x Mana gained). WoWWiki spells it out in their post on Threat:

Threat caused by beneficial effects is divided amongst all NPCs that are aware of the character. This global threat applies to heals, bonus threat from buffs (such as Battle Shout or Arcane Brilliance), and power gains (such as a Mana Potion or Rage Potion).

What's more, the observation about healer aggro positively shamed me. I should have been far more conscious of that. I've mentioned before that I also play a druid. In fact, Gweryc is the first character I've ever really played that wasn't a healer. As many times as I've yelled at my computer screen, fists pumping and voice quavering with nerd rage about tanks that don't understand what healing aggro is -- how could I have overlooked that? I may have been aware of it, but I never considered that it might be exploitable.

This concept is enough to make me reconsider my entire combat strategy and even my spec. Given a patient enough team and a pet trained in Cower, I should be able to send in Cafall first and let him take some damage, then pick up the "bonus threat" from Mend Pet while I immediately take aggro off Cafall with a Raptor Strike or an Explosive Trap. I will absolutely be playing with this idea, and if I can work out how to reliably exploit it, I may even respec into Improved Mend Pet.


Anonymous said...

Hehe, I'm flattered that I earned an entire post all to myself! I'm sorry that I continue to post anonymously, but let's just say that I'm shy. ;)

In case you hadn't guessed, I have a 70 hunter as well--though not a melee based hunter like yourself. She's fun and I love her, but I also love every aspect of this game. My main is a 70 rogue, so I tend to focus a lot on Hit Rating and Expertise--which is why I know a lot about it. I also have played 2 different 70 warriors--both to tank, incidentally--so I've become very familiar with tanking mechanics.

In regards to the Improved Mend Pet comment, I don't really know that you're going to get a lot out of it. The Improved effect is that you reduce the mana cost and have a chance per tick to remove a status ailment; it doesn't actually heal anything more.

The Fel Mana Potion trick wasn't my idea, sadly; the hunters in my guild have been using them to completely hack their way to the top of the DPS meters for almost a year!


Anonymous =P

Gweryc Halfhand said...

It's not that Improved Mend Pet generates more threat, it's that it costs less mana. My investment into that talent would be based on the mana expense of keeping Mend Pet up whenever my pet has a health deficit.

For example, if I decided to hit my pet with a fortitude scroll before every fight to artificially create a health deficit, then removed the buff at the end of the fight, I could reliably create a health deficit to heal every single fight. (That's an expensive way to do it, but less risky than causing him to take damage and possibly die.)

As far as posting anonymously, I certainly understand your desire for privacy. I can count the number of WoW players that know my real name on one hand. Gweryc may be (in-)famous, but I, as his player, like to keep a lower profile. If you're going to contribute tips like those to the project, I don't care if you're a Martian!

Anonymous said...

As it turns out, I am a Martian. Okay, that's a lie, but my main is green, does that count? :P

Anyway, you're right about the health deficit, though if you have a healer behind you--particularly a priest--I'd recommend maybe having them continually rebuff with PW:Fort after just before each fight; it's much cheaper than scrolls, provided they're using the single target versions which have no reagent. Also, if you happen to be with a resto shaman or druid, remember that Earth Shield and most of the druid HoT spells--as well as Renew and Prayer of Mending form a priest--all count towards your threat and not theirs. ;) More free threat!