I was finally able to sink my teeth into some PTR goodness over the weekend!
I’d logged Tigerfeet over to Broxigar (the PvE server) and romped around for a while in cat and bear form. The Orgrimmar barber shop was teeming with druids and there was much fun to be had in /s while we gamboled about with new forms.
During this time I gallantly answered a plea for guildies and found myself in a decently-sized guild with decently competent people.
I say decently competent because our 10-man foray to the new Vault boss didn’t go too well. Grouping problems aside (I’m now immensely grateful for well-organized guilds) we tried to 9-man the guy with no luck.
Long story short, there’s fire everywhere and we didn’t have enough people sticking it out to actually start to LEARN the encounter to actually be able to… well… learn the encounter.
The vast majority of the people were, in fact, pre-made characters. Now, pre-made characters come equipped with the best of the best from Tier 8 content. Over by the Argent Tournament there’s tier 9 available for purchase for about 50g apice. It looks goofy as all get-out (go go placeholder graphics!) but the stats aren’t anything to sneeze at.
So, we get into vault and start whomping on things and I find myself in a curious position. Me, in my Tier7 BIS with the odd T8 upgrade, am sitting comfortably at the top of the DPS meter. The closest contender was a pre-made rogue who was only 2-300dps behind me. Barely keeping ahead of the tank were a mage, a hunter, a warlock, and an arms warrior.
They were all fighting to keep 3k dps.
I was rolling comfortably in the mid to low 5k range.
On live, for a 10-man encounter, I usually see numbers in the upper 5k range, so my damage was right where I expected it to be considering the feral nerfs.
Well, as can be expected, a hue and cry arose about my dps. What’s wrong! I was cheating! No way should a live-transferred character in Tier7 be out-dpsing pre-made characters wearing BiS Tier8 gear with Tier9 upgrades!
Hax Hax Hax!
So, I knew I wasn’t cheating, but is what they say true? Was there a bug that prevents premades from doing their proper damage, or was there a bug that kept the nerfs from affecting live-transfers?
To the Target Dummies I went!
I was able to steadily break 4k on live, but just barely. You know, just me and the target dummy, no mangle bot, no nuthin’.
On my live-transfer I was doing 3.5k. It’s a sad drop, but much more difficult to tell considering the amount of use the target dummies are getting. (on another note, I got the ‘track others’ debuffs’ to work with RPB!)
Then I tested it out on a pre-made druid. I kitted her out with all armor-pen gems (naturally her crit was about 53% in full tier 8), got her glyphs (I started testing without them and was wondering what was wrong) and set to work.
The result? 3.8k with spikes up to 4k.
I’d made a preliminary post on the PTR forums about the seeming discrepancy between live-transfer characters and pre-made characters. The general consensus was that people playing pre-mades are generally terribad and suggestions to me to check my buffs and make sure they’re consistent.
I think a little of both were responsible. Many people take the option of pre-made characters to test out the playstyles of a new class without the drudgery of leveling (I myself have a max-level shaman waiting to be transferred). The high-useage of the target dummies on the PTR goes a long way to making testing difficult.
The feral cat rotation is subtly different when a mangle-bot is present as opposed to when you have to apply your own D@mn mangle. When there’s randomly a mangle bot for maybe 20 seconds out of a 5-minute test period, it can just throw the rotation into complete chaos.
Needless to say, testing’s a little difficult, and I’m not very scientific about it at all. I’m sad to see my DPS down, but I know it had to happen.
On another note – I downloaded and installed Feral By Night. I spent some quality time on live with it and a target dummy.
The result? I did everything the addon said, pushed every button exactly how I should have, etc, etc.
I did on average 3.5k dps with spikes up to 3.8k.
Remember? I’d clocked myself on live as rolling in at a solid 4k dps.
So, with a program telling me what buttons to push I did LESS dps than I’m able to do when I’m driving!
Why don’t you stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it?
(PS – smoking’s bad, k?)