Monday, January 28, 2008

Saving My Cool Downs

Everything I know about managing resources really came from me playing Magic: The Gathering. Back in the day, I was a big fan of saving my bombs for exactly the right moment. Unfortunately, I found that sometimes I was stuck at the end of the game with a handful of cards that could’ve come in useful when I was still alive.

To some degree the same principles apply in WoW. We’re all used to resource usage. You have a finite amount of mana, rage or energy. There are only so many reagents, bullets and potions you can carry. There are whole discussions in the blogoverse about it’s better for healers to have a larger mana pool or a greater rate of mana regeneration. And warlocks are constantly faced with the decision about conversion of one resource type (life) to another (mana).

But we all have at our disposal another resource type – time. I’m used to time as a resource as far as potion timer goes. If I drink a mana pot early, I’m likely to be able to drink another in the later stages of a fight. At first it was counter-intuitive to drink a potion when I didn’t really, really need it. But it turns out that this is quite often the best solution.

Of course, this article isn’t really about potion timers either. It is really more about abilities we all have that have a longish cool-down. I’m talking things in the 3-6 minute range rather than the cool downs that are more easily measured in fractions of hours.

I’ve always been a big saver of cool downs. For instance, I only tend to pop my Rapid Fire on bosses. However, I think I’m playing wrong. I should be popping that skill each time it comes up as long as it’ll also be available for the upcoming boss.

I think the thing that needs to be kept in mind is that these abilities have a cool down because they are very powerful. More powerful abilities tend to have longer cool downs. So as long as you can use the cool down and still have it available for key fights, you should. You’ll have better luck knowing when you can use cool downs on bosses that you’ve cleared before, but for the most part it’s never “Surprise! Here we are at a boss!”

I tried to follow my own advice on the guild Karazhan run and I noticed some improvement in my overall performance. Of course, I don’t recommend this for key abilities that more appropriately belong to your raid leader than you (battle resurrection, enervate, and the like). Good luck out there!

1 comment:

Noosh said...

Ahh i love MT:G such a good game of strategy and resuorce management. But now to the topic at hand; cool-downs I as a pally tank have become quite the cool-down master the whole setup of pally tanking is about the cool-downs and managing properly. But, most people don't worry bout there 10 sec cool down overlapping with there 8 second; most are worried about there 5+min longer cool-downs (and maybe 2min trinkets or 3 min racial for alliance, depends on the fight). Thats because that many of the long cool-down ablities are just plain awesome. It is true that blowing a 1hr cool-down in a fight because its use-full but not needed is always tempting. But remember that the longer you run with a group the better you get to know them so therefore you get a feel of when you should pop that 1hr cool-down. I guess what im tryn to say is that alway be wary of blowin huge cool-downs in a new group because it might just be plain unneeded.