Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Playing Too Conservatively

Last night was a frustrating night of raiding for me.  I don't know what was going on, but I was constantly behind our other moonkin in DPS.  When I have issues, I always go back and review my spec, spend some time on the target dummy, and make sure my gear is enchanted, gemmed properly, etc.  I noticed two big things.  One, I really need to finish grinding out Hyjal and Therazane rep to get those enchants.  Second thing I figured out took a little bit of thinking.

When we are trying to find DPS problems, we check the spec, rotation, etc. to make sure it is all correct.  I thought the spec I had was good to keep mana mangement better.  I had both Moonglow and Dreamstate, two major mana saving capabilities.  However, looking at the other moonkins spec, I noticed one major thing.  He had neither.  He was going with a more damage oriented raid spec, I was going towards a mana conservation spec, and he was winning.

I mentioned a few blog post ago that I figured out in 25 mans that mana doesn't seem to be as big of an issue as in 5 mans or questing.  This is where I started putting the pieces together.  Why would I take a mana conservation talent over damage talents like Owlkin Frenzy and Master Shapeshifter?  I haven't had mana issues.  The reason I took it initially was obvious.  I specced this way right when I hit 85 when I was having serious mana issues.  Now, most of my gear is 246 with a few epics from Wildhammer Clan. (Yes, despite my advice, I loved the Wildhammer questline, so I was almost revered with them before hitting 85.) and the mana issues seems to have resolved a lot, especially with going with spirit for hit.  The reason I had kept the spec for so long was I was playing on the safe side of mana while ignoring what the main role of moonkin is in the first place, damage.  I was playing too conservatively.

After changing my spec, I decided to go whack on the target dummies for a while. (No comments from the LeetSauced group.  I know you want to, but no.)  I found it was a DPS increase despite not being able to proc Owlkin Frenzy since nothing is hitting me.  I'm sure in a raid enviroment with some fights have raid wide damage, it will proc to give more DPS increase. In addition, I was playing too conservatively with my trinket.  I have the Figurine - Jeweled Serpent, which is an awesome caster trinket and a reward for being a jewelcrafter.    Besides having a little snake follow me around for a bit, which is cool, it is a huge DPS boost.  However, I had it macroed to each of my nukes.   This would have been the conservative route.  The better route was to not macro it and hit it when I proc the next Eclipse after it comes off cooldown.  Again, doing this lead to a DPS increase.

When you are diagnosing problems with your damage or whatever your role is, look at all the normal stuff.  However, also look to see if you are playing too conservatively.  If you had your spec when you hit 85 and did not account for new gear, you likely are playing as a new 85 versus a geared level 85.  If you can change it, you can take away the conservative choices you made early and make you more effective in the job you are doing.

Also, just a reminder, please vote for the winner of the Header Contest.  I'm sure the makers of all 3 headers would greatly appreciate it.

P.S.  After posting this blog post to Twitter, I got the natural question of what is my current spec.  For my new moonkin spec, I would refer you to Quieth's Quips Guide to Moonkin.  He has a damage focused spec and a mana focused spec.  I went with his damage focused spec.  This only goes to level 79, so you will want to pick up the two talents in Resto to get to Master Shapeshifter.  I also put the last point in Solar Beam.  He also has an in-depth guide to moonkins that go into more details than my quick and dirty moonkin guide.

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