Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sometimes it all just clicks

A month ago I posted a series with the Meta-title "Finding My Niche." As a raider, this is an ongoing journey that I expect will never quite end. At least, I hope not! At the end of the month-long testing I was doing, I concluded that for single to 3-target fights Blood 2H spec fit me best, and Unholy 2H fit best for add/aoe fights.
Since then my blood spec has taken on a rolling diseases approach.

For whatever reason, last night, things just seemed to click, and yet there was no Blood to be found anywhere!

Now, standard disclaimers apply. To some readers, this might seem an e-peen post. My recount might seem impressive to some people. Others might feel compelled to write, 'you suck. I do way more dps.' Fine. Raiding is about the dps, but raiders know comparing screenshotted recount meters is a tricky subject, so don't take my specific numbers too seriously.

What I really want to look at today, is what happened in Monday's raid that seemed to work so well for me. In my testing a month ago, my best dps results came from blood. The screenshot from that article shows 5800 dps for a night's raiding. Since then, I've certainly added gear. So why was I so pleased with Monday's 7000 dps?

Well, It was a full raid, with clears of the three bosses in Vault of Archavon as well as a full clear of 25 man Trial of the Champion, so there was ample opportunity for 'good dps fights' and 'bad dps fights.' I had a 'milestone' dps on the Twins fight. :) 10000 dps for any boss fight just feels so good (I died about 10 sec before the end because I ran the wrong way and got blasted). I do more dps on Onyxia, but the aoe on the whelps dramatically affects overall dps. Yes, the Twins fight gives some impressive buffs, but it still felt great to do 10k dps with only two mobs not named Hodir. I topped 6k dps on every fight of the night, so the spec (and myself) did well consistently.

What do I think caused my satisfying results?

The biggest changes in my gear include getting Death's Verdict to drop and obtaining the 4pc set bonus, but I'd done a few raids with the 4pc and not quite seen this performance before.
Probably the biggest change in my raid behavior is that I stayed Unholy 2H the whole time, even on those single target fights! I'm not sure exactly why Unholy did so well on those, except that perhaps the set bonus on Unholy's powerful diseases results in a synergy that overcomes the controlled burst of Blood and the effectiveness of a (slightly nerfed) Heart Strike build.
Perhaps the RNG (random number generator) gods were kind - although for that to last all night would be unusual.

In any case, the build, the gear, the comfort with the rotation, all of it came together, and I had a very very pleasing raid night!

What's next? Hopefully, a 245 weapon. :) I've been using my Fordragon Blades since my first 10-man TOC clear. I'm still second in line for a 245 two-hander as the other dps DK in my guild has been saving his epgp (our loot system uses gear points) for Justicebringer or the like for a long time.
I may also toy with a rolling disease spec for my Unholy build as well; I haven't seen much theorycrafting on it, but it seems to me that rolling Unholy's buffed diseases could compete with the latest cookie-cutter Death Coil based builds.

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