Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SV Respec Kit for Dummies, Part 3 of 3

In our previous posts, we learned how to respec and build a spell rotation. But, the hardest part of SV isn't trap dancing or getting to range or managing your pet.

The absolute worst part about it is that none of your CDs match up. None of your procs match up. Everything, and I mean everything, is asynchronous. So, you're constantly facing shifting spell priorities -- not so much on a tank-and-spank -- but in any "real" fight, because certain phases and movements and buffs and debuffs will always be throwing off your spell rotation. The spell rotations worked out in previous discussion are fragile things, and it's an easy thing to get flustered when all of a sudden your carefully practiced rotations are boogered up by Web Spray or a polarity shift.

Three simple add-ons can give you a minimal proc-and-CD tracking setup that will let you do the very-respectable DPS that SV can bring, even as a beginner. If you are a master of DoT timers and other add-ons, by all means, go ahead and figure out a simple setup. 

GOAL 1: To know when Lock and Load procs and how long you have to get your extra Explosive Shots out (ie... can you drop a full GCD between each one, or do you have to count two seconds and fire?)
GOAL 2: To know when Lock and Load is on internal CD, so that you don't waste a 30 second trap cooldown trying to proc it with 0% chance of success

Proculas: The single most difficult thing about SV and the default WoW UI is knowing where Lock and Load is on its internal CD (the 2nd goal above). You can see when LnL procs on the default UI, but you can't see the CD. Proculas is an add-on that "discovers" your procs and their associated cooldowns for you. More recent releases allow you to set a specific CD time (30 seconds for LnL) to a discovered proc. You only need a minute at a target dummy and it will discover Master Tactician, Expose Weakness, Lock and Load, etc.
Once you have it installed and all your procs discovered, go into the interface and DISABLE everything except Lock and Load. For Lock and Load, you want to find the option that lets you set a manual CD time, and change this to 30 seconds. Now you won't have to do the dumb thing I did, which was to drop a trap on a target even when Serpent Sting had just proc'ed LnL on the target 10 seconds previously. You can move the Proculas bar around to a place on your screen that you find convenient, and use whatever signaling or colors or whatever work for you. 

Power Auras: Technically, not a simple add-on. I use Power Auras to do two things. The first is to track when LnL procs and to display an icon over my character while LnL is active. The second is to pop up another icon when Serpent Sting is NOT active on the target. I have it set up to make a sound AND shake the screen when LnL procs. It's hard to miss that. I also have recently added two more auras that pop up "Explosive Shot" in text when Explosive Shot is ready, and "Aimed Shot" in text when Aimed Shot is ready, as a sort of poor man's spell priority list. (I recently specced into Aimed Shot for high movement fights, but it makes for a fairly complicated spell priority list, so I'm not going into any detail on this.)

NeedToKnow (optional): I use this lightweight and very simple add-on to track the Serpent Sting DoT. A simple green bar shows up below my LnL cooldown bar and counts down. Easy to install and configure. Theoretically, I could move this functionality into Power Auras, but I like having two cooldowns of similar length counting down side by side. You could easily expand this to add your trinket cooldown.

Please note: You probably don't need to track the CD of the Explosive Shot DoT itself. It's two seconds. Say "One one-thousand, two one-thousand" aaaaand you're done. You also don't need to lick your finger, put it up, test for wind shear, and then try to account for shot travel time. If you are 30 yards from the target, yes, it will take a half second for the shot to get there and start ticking. No, that doesn't add a half-second extra, because the shot after it will ALSO take a half second to get there. You'd be surprised at how this question comes up with LnL discussions. Fire, count out two seconds, and fire again. 

Because these add-ons have changed in their configuration options a couple of times, I'm not going to post specific detailed configuration instructions -- they'll likely change again, and the main thing is that you know where you can go to get the add-ons that you need.

That's it! Don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions (neshura@gmail.com), and that's it for this series of guest posts on SV hunting.