Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Comparing DK's and Hunters

  Hunters have long had the Huntard image: Chinese Farmers, Girls collecting pets, everything is a hunter waepon (sic). Then Wrath came out and most Huntards rerolled DK's. That resulted in Dork Knights, Death Knoobs, Arthasdklol, and the like. Bad players will be bad no matter their class, though, so all matter of name calling aside, DK's and Hunters do share a few other similarities.

  Both are easy to play. More so, I think, than other classes, in the sense that they are both much easier to level, and can be played at a passable performance level in more casual contexts (LFD, LFR, random BG's). Spamming Steady Shot as a Beastmaster Hunter? Stuff will still die. DPSing in Blood Presence with tank gear? You'll top the meter. Noobs often top meters, and if every enemy is dead, but no one in the party is, then you win. Loot the boss, we're done here.

  But both also have subtleties that really set the skilled players apart from the Huntards and Dumbass Knoobs. Any Hunter who was triple-trapping back when that was a thing is not a Huntard. Judicious use of abilities like Tranq Shot and the Jump-Disengage also signify a well played Hunter, as does proper pet selection. I don't know much about DK's yet, but I think there's more to it than just not DPSing in Blood Presence. My point is, it's not like a Mage's "rotation".

  Cool tips and tricks aside, check out EJ's Marksman Hunter Guide, but be warned: You're in for a long read. Check out CTR #27 to hear Frostheim surprise the hosts with SV Hunter's nuances. The hosts then also mention DK's as a class that is easy to play, difficult to master.

Like chess.

  In my personal experience with Blood DK, optimizing my runes and runic power is a matter keeping Death Strike on cooldown if at less than 100% health>Heart Striking away both blood runes>using death runes for Heart Strike if at full health>dumping runic power with Rune Strike. This basic management of resources acts as a great basic priority system that maximizes survivability or threat as needed.

  This also allows me to effectively manage my cooldowns. I use Vampiric Blood/Blood Tap (VB/BT) as soon as effectively possible, Blood Tap again soon after, and another VB/BT soon after that. I make liberal, but sensible use of Anti-Magic Shell. I use Stoneform with every other Bone Shield. All these form a sort of "meta-priority".

  MM Hunter's most basic priority is: Chimera Shot on cooldown>free Aimed shot proc>Steady Shot pair for ISS>Kill Shot>Arcane Shot to dump focus>Steady Shot pair. This system is also supported by managing cooldowns: Rapid Fire, Heroism, Trinkets and/or Synapse Springs, Tol'vir Potions, ect. Some are better stacked with others, but major haste buffs should not be stacked with other major haste buffs. This also forms a "meta-priority".

  To describe both Blood DK and MM Hunter play styles, I use words like "Controlled, maintained, nuanced."

  To desribe Both Frost DK and SV Hunter play styles, I use words like "Frantic, reactive, too much coffee." But more on this at a later date.

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