This is brought to you by Blog Azeroth‘s shared topic. Every week they pick something to write about, and it’s a good source of inspiration. This week, it’s about tunnel vision and situational awareness.
Hunters have to be very situationally aware. In addition to the fact that many of the Ulduar encounters have environmental DPS buffs, some of our most popular abilities require us to be situationally aware. For example- doing the Iron Council encounter as survival requires having the ability to find a safe way to stand in the rune of power (which moves around) while losing as little sniper training uptime as possible, and avoiding the much larger rune of death. If you can do this, you will see your DPS go far and beyond what you would get in a simple patchwerk type fight.
Basically, most of the encounters in Ulduar will significantly reward your situational awareness, or seriously punish your lack of it. So what can you do to prepare? First off, read the fights ahead of time. Be aware of what you should look for. Secondly, and this is very important, ensure that projected textures is checked in your graphics settings. 90% of environmental DPS buffs or dangerous areas are visible only with this on. If you need to reduce your settings to keep your frames per second high, reduce particle density and view distance.
Next, get good at using camera angles. I typically play from close to max camera range, set to an angle where I can see the boss and whatever’s behind me, however sometimes this isn’t the best. For example- in the Hodir encounter, I have to zoom in a bit so I can more easily find the fires. I am also looking into a way to set up my Power Auras addon so I can visually see when I’m in range without looking at my buffs.
Next up, learn to use targeting macros. You can’t always /assist off the tank, sometimes (like on Freya) you need to be able to switch between targets without breaking a step, and zooming out while trying to find them and click on them is not optimal. On this note, use enemy name plates. Whenever you’re working on more than one target, if you can see their health without stopping your primary actions, you can judge whether to make a quick change for a kill shot.
Also, try to be aware that healers have a maximum range. If there’s any way to avoid getting out of it, do that. These people are good at what they do, but you’re just not as important as a tank.
Lastly, use deadly boss mods and some sort of visual damage indicator to see if, whether you can see it or not, you’re standing in a fire or void zone.