Saturday, April 28, 2007

Advance Fake Casting

I skipped classes in the morning to prep for tonight's games (I know it's an excuse). The reason why I thought it was worth it was because we now supposedly have a decent group setup. We used to play 4 dps-1 healer. It wasn't desirable. Felhunters and mages had Focus target on me and it was very stressful trying to dish out any heal, fake or not. I'm meant to be a specialist in fake casting, my record was 8 fake heals in a row vs 2 frost mages in 3v3, but it's slightly different when trying to apply fake heals in 5v5.

I'll try to illustrate why fake casting is harder in 5v5 by explaining the concept behind fake casting.

A fake heal occurs when a player begins a form of heal and cancels it before he gets counterspelled (I don't categorize hearthstones and the furbolg wand as fake casts, although they are truly fake). Notice I said 'it must be used'. The argument is simple, it is better to spend 5s fake casting then getting counterspelled (by a mage/lock). But the assumption here is that the mage/lock is intending to CS you and of course, he must have CS free from cd. So the success rate of your fake cast depends on 3 primary factors.

1) You need to establish whether the mage/felhunter has CS on cooldown. Better players will try to keep a lookout for the availability of the mage arcane tree and his general cd timer.

2) You need to know if the mage/felhunter intends to CS you. This is more difficult to establish as you need to quickly analyze a number of factors to calculate the probability of you being a target. These factors include the preference of the player, his current status (whether he's trying to achieve something else), his proximity, his ping etc. The best bet (in the past) is to check if he's targetting you, but most mages/locks use Focus nowadays, so that bet is ruled out.

3) Establish your status. This sounds basic but some healers like to brute heal themselves even when 3 targets are on them. I don't blame them, you're dieing and you need a heal. But let's be rational, are you sure the mage is going to DPS through your heals? Not a chance even in 1v1.

At the end of the day, you can actually determine the probability of you being CSed. But the problem with CS is that it's too consequential. It's like skywalking. You could skywalk in a mock situation and get across across 90% of the time. But what happens in that 10%? Hence, the various CS nerfs are very welcoming indeed.

You realize I excluded another very important factor, that is, whether your target requires the heal or not. Friends, this is why stam/resi is so good.

But anyway, we tried a double healer team tonight (Alandalf as disc/holy Priest). It went well at first, 13-1. But things started to falter against a particular team. They were in the 1900-2000 range. They had warr hunter elesham pally pally. It was really annoying. We roll war/hunter/mage so you can guess our forte - snares. Double BOF is amazing, and their hunter was very good. Scorpion pet and improved stings is seriously quite taboo -_-. Their shaman did little, but had 10k~ health unbuffed and 300~ resi. We lost around 6 games to them which cost us 120 points. We tried subbing Cyper (hunter) with Damianrx (warlock) but they still won us with the sheer ability to survive burst. Every game was reduced to attrition and the scorpion/viper rotation just owned us badly.

I'm quite optimistic actually, but I try to be pessimistic because optimism derives from neutralizing pessimism, right? :) I'm sure tomorrow we'd fair much better.