Monday, February 22, 2010

Rotation will Spin you Right 'Round Baby, Right 'Round

That is a (bad) screen cap of "the business end" of my rotation. It starts at 5, and goes to the right. The spells are in "collision order"/priority order, in that I have:

#5 - Hammer of Wrath (HoW) - note it's only available when enemy health = low
#6 - Crusdader Strike (CS)
#7 - Judgement of Wisdom (Jud)
#8 - Divine Storm (DS)
#9 - Exorcism (Ex)
#0 - Consecration (Con)

What this means is that, assuming all 6 spells are "ready", I go with the one furthest left (HoW) because, by doing so, I will be doing the maximum possible DPS. (please note that these are based on the end of patch 3.2, and I know that different Tier armor pieces can affect the optimal order)

Per the 3.3 patch, it should be:
HoW > Judgement > CS > DS > Consecration > Exorcism

#5 - Hammer of Wrath (HoW)
#6 - Judgement of Wisdom (Jud)
#7 - Crusdader Strike (CS)
#8 - Divine Storm (DS)
#9 - Consecration (Con)
#0 - Exorcism (Ex)

I guess I should be switching a few around. Oops. That happens when you don't read EJ often enough. I have a bit 'o tweaking to do tonight!

SO, in a "perfect" DPS setting, I will be standingbehlind/side of the boss, hitting the left most button that is lit up. (generally though, only 1 will be lit at any one time)

Yes, for the most part, it's a "whack-a-mole" of casting whichever spell is coming off cooldown (CD) If 2 or more happen to cool at the same time, left one "wins". This is the old "First Come First Serve" (FCFS) rotation. Yes, it kinda sucks, but it's what we're stuck with.

Now, the above "perfect" situation does happen once you are into an encounter (boss especially) but isn't always the best (for me).

So, here is how *I* handle a few different situations:

NOTE - please refer to my last post about focus, following the tank, and general buffing info! HERE

Generic Trash Fight, Multiple (3+) mobs

1 - Target the marked mob, or use the /assist to hit the tank's target
2 - let the tank fight for 3-5 seconds BEFORE MOVING
3 - Spam the Judgement attack as I run into melee range.
4 - As I run into the middle of the mobs, drop Consecration
5 - Get placed behind the mobs (ideally facing the rest of the group for good visibility)
6 - Divine Storm (right as the Global Cool Down (GCD) expires

"Drum the keys". I posted this quick video a while back:

This will keep the 4 highest DPS spells humming along without ANY need to keep your eyes glued to the action bars. You WILL need to glance down to see if HoW or the lowest DPS need to be hit - you can't ignore your action bars. But, you don't have to focus on them, just glance over every 2-3 seconds.

Absolute "nth degree min/maxers" (folks that focus to the extreme on maximizing DPS and minimizing inefficiencies) will probably cringe at this. However, I have one HUGE reason to do this:

Situational Awareness.

Because Rets don't have an established, repeatable rotation, it forces you to keep a rather close eye on what spells are coming off CD. Every second you are focused on your action bars is one second you are NOT focusing on the rest of your group.

"But you are losing out on 1%, 2%, 3%, 5%, or more % DPS!"

Big deal.

If you are grouped with comparably geard and comparably skilled "pure" DPS class (mages, warlocks and rogues come to mind) then you are not going to be topping the DPS meters. Worrying about getting to 4,400 DPS instead of 4,000 DPS really doesn't matter; the others probably doing 5,ooo+ anyhow.


Here's where Ret "utility" comes into play. While you're drumming your fingers and looking the whole situation over, YOU can taunt off any baddies that aggro onto the healer, or any overeager casters/etc. YOU can keep a closer eye on your surroundings to make sure you aren't "standing in the bad" or watching for spawns or pats (patrols) that wander in.

No, you can't tank 'em, but you can gather 'em in, and bring them over to the tank to take care of. (you can survive a few seconds of that)

It puts you in a MUCH better position to notice when the "oh shit" moments I mentioned in my last post happen. There's nothing worse than watching your rotation, TRYING to stay out of the bad, only to notice your health bar is about zero, and you are the last party member left standing.

I'm not saying that all (or even MOST) wipes can be avoided, but some can, and looking like (and feeling like) the hero is nice.

One other note about my rotation and start - yes, I start off "out of order", but with multiple 3 or more mobs, DS and Cons will MASSIVELY bump your DPS because of their AoE nature.

Single/Double Trash Mobs - Just kill 'em.


Pre-fight, do any buffs you need/want.

The are only a couple differences here:

1 - Hit sacred Shield as I run in (out of range
2 - Spam Judgement as I get closer
3 - Get into position
4 - Start (and keep) finger drumming/rotation
5 - Occasionaly hit Divine Plea (for mana) and if able, Sacred Shield (or any other "helpful" spells)

Other than that, same as above.

One other (major) thing needs to be looked at, but it's a modifier for all of the above situations:

In An Organized and Trusted Raid Group (with Vent)

A couple things are different here:

1 - You can "let your guard down" a little bit.
2 - Go ahead an pop your wings
3 - Don't drum your keys, WATCH your cooldowns
4 - LISTEN to your raid leader (RL) and rely on THEM to let you know when an "oh shit" is about to happen.
5 - If you don't have vent? Well, maybe you *do* drum the keys for a bit. It's hard to even read raid chat if you're whacking the FCFS mole... but you should be able to trust the group you're with, you can focus on your DPS rotation.

You don't get to totally ignore your surroundings, but you are now in a situation where your primary focus needs to be DPS. (unless you are assigned to "protect the healer", etc) You were brought in your Blessings, Auras, your durability and your DPS.

Hope this helps!

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