Monday, April 5, 2010

Maul, Melee Haste, and Maul Macro

I'm going to ramble a bit about Maul.

Maul is, currently, an "on next swing" attack that does not set off the GCD: that means it can be tied to other abilities in a macro so that it will be triggered while you're using that same GCD to do another attack, like swipe or mangle.

In low-rage situations you don't want to be using it--mangle and lacerate are better threat builders per mana cost and are instant attacks that don't rely on your swing timer--but in MOST cases, a bear tank wants to use maul on every autoattack (which has a slow 2.5 second "attack speed" anyway, impacted by haste). It's a way to use up excess rage and build extra threat.

Full Raid Buffs include a Moonkin aura or Ret Pally aura 3%, and a Imp Windfury Totem or Imp Icy Talons 20%. The formula for druid bearform melee attack speed as of 3.1.3 is

speed = 2.5 base / {[1+ raid buff .2] * [1+ raid buff .03] * [1+ (haste rating/2522)]}

Macro Rambling

To make use of Maul, I have chosen to tie it to Mangle. It's not the most eloquent of macros, and it could use some work, but what it does is fire off maul every time I attack with mangle, unless I hold down alt.

/cast [mod:shift,form:3] Ferocious Bite;[mod:alt,form:3]Rip;[form:3] Maim; [mod:shift] Lacerate;[nomod:alt] !Maul
/script UIErrorsFrame:Hide()
/cast [mod:alt] [ ] Mangle (Bear)()
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear(); UIErrorsFrame:Show()

Obviously, with a 6 second Mangle cooldown (4.5 second talented) and a much faster swing timer (even without haste gear or buffs), you'd want to be using maul more often than mangle, assuming you have the rage to do it. Sometimes, you'd also want to use mangle without Maul since you may not have the rage to power a maul. This is where the macro trips up, and why it has all that script stuff in it (hiding the "you can't do that yet" errors for when Mangle is on cooldown).

I'm considering tieing the maul to lacerate, too. Lacerate runs off of the standard ability GCD, which is not (to my knowledge) impacted by haste. As it's a trigger, you just have to make sure you aren't triggering it on and off with your macro, just turning it on with /cast !Maul.

/cast [mod:shift,form:3] Ferocious Bite;[mod:alt,form:3]Rip;[form:3] Maim
/stopmacro [form:3]
/cast !Maul
/cast [mod:shift] Mangle (Bear)(); Lacerate

Of course, we'd want a way to lacerate without triggering Maul in a low-rage situation. Below is one way to enable this, by having a modifier: "if alt is held, don't cast maul!"

/cast [mod:shift,form:3] Ferocious Bite;[mod:alt,form:3]Rip;[form:3] Maim
/stopmacro [form:3]
/cast [nomod:alt] !Maul
/cast [mod:shift] Mangle (Bear)(); Lacerate

...will have to try it out later. If someone gets a chance to test the macro for me, please let me know if there are any issues with it in a comment :)

Another consideration is to find a way to toggle Maul to Mangle at the same time, with a separate on/off switch. This will probably require use of a third modifier key, CTRL, one I don't usually use because I have it as my ventrilo push-to-talk. This macro will do is the same as above, and also cast Maul with Mangle if CTRL is held.

/cast [mod:shift,form:3] Ferocious Bite;[mod:alt,form:3]Rip;[form:3] Maim
/stopmacro [form:3]
/cast [nomod:alt/ctrl]!Maul
/cast [mod:shift] [mod:ctrl] Mangle (Bear)(); Lacerate

Again, the above macro is untested at the moment, and I'm thinking there must be a more elegant way to do it. I just haven't gotten a chance to test it in-game to tweak it, yet (still doing that whole moving thing!). Play with it if you'd like :)

Maul Glyph

When glyphed, it'll hit two targets. This can be a bane or a blessing, depending on whether that guy you just mauled happened to be a sheep, or if it's stealing threat off a fellow tank who is trying to keep a ton of adds off of you while you tank the big bad boss. If you have glyphed it, be sure to remember that you've got an out-of-control off-target maul that will randomly hit another mob in your melee range. Try to work with it: as many problems as the glyph can cause, it has far more benefits in the current WotLK multi-mob tanking scene, you just have to be aware of it and work with your raid to keep it from breaking CC or stealing aggro.


"All “on next swing” attacks in Cataclysm are being removed. Heroic Strike and Maul will be instant swings that cost a variable amount of Rage. For example, imagine Heroic Strike costs between 10 and 30 Rage. You must have at least 10 Rage to use the attack, but it will consume all available Rage up to a maximum of 30. Any Rage consumed above the minimum will cause the ability to hit harder, and in some cases much harder. We will tune the ability so that it’s generally not a good idea to hit it when you have low Rage (unless everything else is somehow on cooldown) but becomes a more attractive button the higher your Rage."

Given this and the other planned rage changes, I'm not sure what Cataclysm will mean in terms of how often we will be hitting our maul button to tie that extra damage to our auto-attack swing. That's one of those test-realm or "wait and see" sorts of things. I think that, ultimately, they want us using it when we have rage to do so, but with rage becoming something they want us to have to watch more carefully, maul may become less of a "default this as on" and more of a "don't use it unless I say so" ability, where a macro like the one earlier in the post would have it fire off maul only with the alt key held rather than when it's not held.

/shrug. Interesting stuff. :)


xbloodbrosx said...

Honestly, I tie Maul to Mangle, Lacerate, AND swipe.

I have two options when I become rage starved.

Option A) FFF
Option B) Enrage

As I generally do not have rage issues unless it is a heroic or a caster, I go to town. Honestly, I forget I HAVE maul half the time.

In a heroic i use FFF + Growl to get the most likely targets on me and just spam swipe. If its something that doesn't have a real threat table because the stupid boss won't HIT me, like in say, DTK, I go Kitty and say to hell with it.

In raids, if the issue becomes rage starvation due to high avoidance, I remove my weapon until I have enough rage to feel comfortable. For some fights, Marrowgar, for example, given that I have 25% dodge AFTER the CotT debuff, being the MT is almost not an option because if he DOES hit me without a weapon then i'm severely testing the limits of the healers. In this case, I just soak.

For BPC, I'm the only tank that is suited for tanking Mr. Beachball. He hits so hard and fast that a standard tank is just taking a beating, whereas I can just sit there and dodge everything he throws at me.

I could see it being an issue if they removed CotT and I went back to 50% dodge. But so far, I've managed to work it the way I like it.


Use the Barkskin Glyph or even a stupid healy glyph. Wiping on Deathbringer because you forgot you had maul macro'd to everything is embearassing.

Kae said...

Hehe, I can imagine that would be embarrassing :)

Was talking with another feral a bit ago and pretty much came to the same conclusion about adding Maul to swipe as well. I didn't think about it earlier, because I have swipe in a separate macro (out of sight, out of mind). AoE swipe + 2-target maul? Makes sense.

The irony is that so many bears complain about having too few buttons to press, and here we are macroing one to never be pressed alone and forgetting we even have it half the time ;)

Kae said...

Oh and re: "embearassing"... I see what you did there! Haha.

Alyae said...

Wait wait wait ...
The real question is....
Why do bears have something called a swing timer instead of a maul your face with my claw timer instead?

What is the bear swinging anyway?

Oh... well, I guess it could swing your severed leg ... or arm. Then I can see why it's called a swing timer.

*ponders ...

Kae said...

We swing our claws and parry with the face. True story.