Friday, December 14, 2007

"The Don"

So I've been trolling various hunter forums looking for information on ranged weapons. Since my Steelhawk Crossbow dropped in Kara, I haven't really had a sniff of an upgrade. We're still not consistently getting to Prince, so the bow is not a given upgrade for me any time soon.

Mostly I've been poking around TKASomething and ElitistJerks. (Not gonna link 'em... feeling lazy today.)

Current wisdom for a Beast Master spec'd hunter seems to be that the gun from the Big Bad Wolf in Karazhan -- the [Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle] -- is the shizznit when it comes to weapons right now, outclassing the bow from the Prince and a few other weapons with higher reported "DPS" values. The problem? It's a low drop rate off a boss that only shows up once in three weeks of Kara runs -- if you're lucky. I haven't seen him in two months. (My guild dropped him this week when I wasn't available. No gun, though, thankfully.)

The issue with the reported DPS on weapons is apparently that faster weapons hit more often and therefore can be more effectively weaved into shot rotations. I tried a shot macro for a while, but it didn't work for me. I still try to use an Auto/Steady rotation for most boss fights, but throw in an Arcane every so often and multi when I can and think it'll do some good. I'm just not a min-max'er and can't be bothered worrying about that perfect rotation. I'm typically 2nd or 3rd on the DPS charts in Kara -- behind better geared rogues, usually -- and am often the top DPS'er when you look at just the boss fights. As it should be, I guess.

In my quest to find a new weapon that I have more control over getting, many of the forums talk about [Don Santos' Famous Hunting Rifle]. Really? The "paperdoll" DPS reported is only 73.7. My silly crossbow from Attumen -- at 79.1 -- beats that, right? Apparently not. "The Don" is apparently one of the best weapons until you start doing SSC and TK and my guild is nowhere close to those instances right now. Even then, the weapons that beat it are from the end bosses, primarily.

Based on all the various reports, the Don Santos' rife and the one from the Big Bad Wolf are neck-and-neck for DPS. The math still hurts my head. The big thing with the Don Santos' is that it has this nifty proc on it which increases RAP by 250 for 10 seconds. That 250 RAP is conservatively, about 17 DPS, which means that the 73 reported by the tooltip becomes more like 90... when the proc is active. Again... based on reports, that happens about 30% of the time, so the real up-time on the proc adds about 6 DPS, which puts it basically tied with the Wolfslayer if you just look at raw numbers.

I'm still not sure I'm even explaining this right, so I think I'll shut up now and leave it up to you to decide. The wonderful "Cheeky's Spreadsheet" can provide a wealth of information, and while it's telling me that the gun is better, I'm not sure the slight boost that it's reporting offsets the cost. I paid 1100g for the gun, but haven't yet soulbound it. WoWHead lists a typical buyout of 1700g, so I figure I got a bit of a deal. I don't spend gold in WoW easily. (I had nearly 6000g when I bought the gun and still don't have my epic flyer.) If you're a hunter out there in the know and can offer any advice about "The Don", please speak up.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

PVP Gear for Upgrades...

My guild has kind of been in a holding pattern until this week. We've been getting deep into Karazhan, but either time or bad luck or class composition has prevented us from downing the Prince. This week, that feat was accomplished, albeit without me.

Raid sign-ups have been light enough and my schedule hectic enough -- holidays and all -- that I simply haven't bothered to sign up. I never know when another holiday event will pop up unexpectedly, so I haven't signed up so as not to be a tool and make them hold a spot when I can't come. Monday night, after having spent two previous nights during the week clearing the early bosses, I got bumped by at least two people who either hadn't signed up at all and/or hadn't participated in any of the "clearing" runs. Oh well. One was a healer and was needed. One was a DPS'er and had signed up. My fault for not signing up. Still kinda sucked to miss a guild first after having put in all that time in Karazhan for so long. I'll get over it.

I guess the point of this was that because I had gotten all the purple love that I was going to get out of the bosses that we had on "farm status", I started doing PVP. We formed a 2v2 team and that's going OK. We don't do it much, so we're hovering around the average 1500 score. Still gets us about 250 points per week and in a few weeks, I will have enough to get something. I've also been doing my daily PVP quests (when it's not WSG), and trying to put in two or three rounds of some battleground to get at least 1000 honor per day. I'm up to around 12,000 honor, but I'm short some marks for what I want, so I'll continue to build up a bit of a bank.

Pending what happens in Karazhan this week, I think I'm going to spend some honor/arena points. We won't be doing Karazhan for another two weeks because of sparse attendance during the Christmas/New Years holidays. Here's what's on the list:

[Vindicator's Chain Girdle] - This is probably first on my list. I'm still using a blue belt from Shattered Halls. It's OK, but nothing great. This is a pretty hefty boost, isn't too horribly expensive, and we're not even trying Illhoof yet in Kara, so getting the belt from him is unlikely any time soon.

[Gladiator's Chain Helm] -- This is my 1B option. If Prince goes down and I'm lucky enough to get my T4 token, this can go on the back burner, but I don't really want to wait another month for a shot at a Kara boss while I can be upgrading and earning more honor. If I can acquire about 30K honor *and* don't get the T4 helm, I'm getting both this and the belt. :)

[Vengeful Gladiator's Waraxe] -- This nifty little item showed up on Hunter's "radar" everywhere with the advent of Season 3. It's only 1000 arena points, requires no rating, and is Hunter-only. Pretty nice stats when equipped with a +35 Agility enchant (or +70 AP, I suppose). Not sure I want to splurge and drop 1000 arena points yet, but I'm getting sick of how goofy Legacy looks and this axe is just mean looking. There aren't too many upgrades beyond Legacy in sub-25-man content, so I might just have to get this.

Anyone else using PVP rewards to fill in gear "holes" from their raiding gear? Comment away! :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Such a deal! Buy two! :P

I suppose complaining about a silly computer is along the lines of "there's no such thing as bad publicity", but I'll do it anyway. Not really complaining, I guess, just surprise. Dell has just announced (as reported over on WoWInsider) a pair of XPS "Gaming" laptops themed for World of Warcraft. $4500. Ouch!

Granted, these puppies sport some neat stuff like SLI video and 2GB of RAM and some sort of LCD panel -- I haven't seen detailed pictures -- akin to the one on the Logitech G15 gaming keyboards. I'm guessing this will show things like who's speaking on Ventrilo or TeamSpeak and be configurable to show other things. Again... I haven't really looked. Once I saw the price tag, I pretty much lost interest.

Wow... they have WoW pre-installed, some neat graphics on the case, and a couple of nice features. For $4500 they should be cooking my breakfast and one-shotting Kara bosses.... at least.

There's no such thing as a "gaming laptop". I bought a laptop about two years ago. I did splurge for a dedicated video card with the intent/hope that I would be able to play games. For some older games, it's perfectly fine. For WoW, which isn't exactly power-hungry when it comes to CPU or GPU, it's marginal. I can play solo fine in most places. Cities are iffy. Raiding is not so good. It's manageable, but FPS are quite low and that can cause enough delay and lag in fights like Shade of Aran or Prince to actually kill you and contribute to wipes. For any newer games, forget it. Granted, I only spent about $1000 on it, but that's still a good chunk of change (for me).

A $4500 computer with dual video cards will *never* sit on your lap. :) You can call it a portable computer if you like, but it's not a laptop, unless you're 100% certain that you're done procreating or have legs made from asbestos. My $1000 laptop is too hot to sit on my lap and it's not putting out half the heat this beast is going to.

For that much money, unless you travel a ton and have to have your WoW fix along with you, you'd be better served getting a *really* extreme desktop PC that would probably be about as portable as that laptop. But... if you buy one and have some spare change, feel free to send one to me. :)