Mana management is not tricky. We all do it, and we’re all good at it. This post is going to go over a new macro that I believe could increase your damage throughput!
Right now, we melt face full throttle until we get the warning that our mana is low. It doesn’t happen every fight, but when it does, we can either pop a mana pot (thereby costing us 15 seconds of increased DPS if we use another potion normally), or hop into aspect of the viper. This is off the global coldown.
Aspect of the viper cuts your damage done in half. In return, you get a percent of your mana back every 3 seconds, as well as a fixed amount of mana per shot (based on your weapon speed, so if you have a 3.0 speed weapon, you get 3% of your max mana back). Your goal when you’re in regen mode is to try and get the minimum amount of mana needed to finish the fight. The closer you are to 0 mana when the boss collapses (/explodes/implodes/walks away a reformed man), the less damage you wasted in viper.
If you want to refill your mana bar quickly, you can just do your rotation as usual. Many people do this. It’s not a bad thing, however sometimes you don’t want to go full throttle regen- you just want to splash-n-go (like a NASCAR driver) that will get you to the end of the fight. Timing that is tricky, but I’ve found some macros (written by Ongor of the Nozdormu-EU) that help.
Change your steady shot macro to include this:
/cast [modifier: alt] !Aspect of the Viper
/cast Steady Shot
This will let you hold alt while you fire a steady shot to put yourself into viper. Do this when you can afford to fire two in a row, so you’ll also get the 3 second viper percentage tick. This little splash of mana should be enough to keep you going in your rotation until you are back down to steady shots.
You can macro all your non-steady shots in a similar fashion to get you back into aspect of the dragonhawk. The reasoning is that since all shots (edit: except explosive shot, which you can use for a massive blast of mana during viper) return the same amount of mana, you should use your cheapest shots in viper, and keep your heavier hitting (more expensive) shots for when you’ll do the most damage with them.
/cast [modifier: alt] !Aspect of the Dragonhawk
/cast Kill Shot (or whatever)
This aspect dancing will probably cost you DPS if you do it by hand because you can only move your fingers so fast. It’s also barely better than just staying in viper and firing your normal rotation until you’re at your target mana. The DPS increase is negligible, I believe, however the advantage of being able to get mana efficiently in such small chunks should allow you to finish the fight off closer to 0 mana.
Here’s the usage guide: hold alt when you’re about to fire a steady shot, and you’ll be changed automatically. After firing your second steady, hold alt while you fire one of your other shots to leave viper.