Sorry if this is considered a non class specific issue, but i didn't feel it warrented going into the General Discussion forum.
I'm after some impartial input from others - as I have a viewpoint, but when i put it to the Hunters and Warlocks, they tell me it's wrong - and yet I somewhat disagree with them, but don't consider I have as much knowledge first hand of their class, as they do.
This is our problem: In raids, we totally abuse Super Mana Pots, as i'm sure most high end guilds do (we're mid way through BT atm, not great, i know - but considering our attendance %s, we're happy with that atm). All healers, mages and shadow priests are spamming Super Mana Pots pretty much on cooldown, from start to end - and we run fairly optimised group setups - healers mostly get a shadow priest, barring the odd resto druid in a tank group who gets innervates - shamans normally run in addition in a caster group etc - yet still (certainly from my point of view as a fire mage), content we run still needs (and by needs, i mean "is helped by") - Mana Pot spammage.
Hunters and Locks though somewhat refuse to, and recount analysis shows in particular fights, even fights where hunters *seem* to be oom, and warlock can pull 40k+ from life tapping, these 2 classes simply refuse to use Mana Pots. They justify this on the basis that they save the pot timer normally for health pots (understandable i guess in some fights) - but even more infuriatingly, they claim that mana pots simply won't increase their DPS by much.
Now, unless i'm missing something, surely Mana Pot spamming is almost compulsory for all mana classes in the high end, where maximising DPS can easy the burden across the whole raid.
So, can some equal level raiding hunters and warlocks please give me their input as to whether they personally use mana pots, and whether mana pot spamming would increase the effectiveness, or even allow different builds to increase output based on the fact they have the mana available.
(Note: Some of the classes bring < 5 mana pots for a full 4 hr+ raid, whereas our casters typically bring 40-60, with some going totally over the top..) [Hyjal trash waves are brutal for mages, even using JoW in 4-6 mobs of the AOE)
My personal opinion is that (barring a few fights) spamming mana pots or destruction pots for locks is just as important as any other class. I always make sure I bring 40 mana pots and 20 destruction pots to raids. I don't see why any decent raiding lock wouldn't, considering the dps loss from life tapping is actually quite significant. This is talking personally from a destruction point of view, I don't see why an affliction/demo lock wouldn't abuse pots either though.
If hunters are in SP group and/or there's JOW on target, they will only need 1 pot per fight or every 10 min or so.
If not, well, hunters are the least mana efficient class in the game and they will go OOM in less than 2 min Little more as BM. Mana pots spam is mandatory at that point.
I do think you're a little exaggerate maybe saying that you spam pot every cooldown, especially considering that as your gear get better you should have better mana regen / effinciency but meh i see your point.
Unless you give a bm/surv hunter a combination of: shadow priest, resto shaman, jow, bow, they run oom EVEN with spamming the best mana potions. MM hunters use even more mana and get less back from talents. Once a hunter get's oom their dps drops a lot or they have to fd and drink and do no damage at all for 20-30 seconds.
BTW how are your hunters doing on the damage meters without using mana potions? Somewhere around spot 10?
I don't usually pot, I haven't met the pressure to do so on most fights. Because of that, I usually carry around 10 mana pots on a raid (combat/zone specific at that), that are used mostly on Hydross/Morogrim AoE or when I feel that it isn't worth it to stop DPS for tapping.
Our top (BM) hunter abuses fel mana pots and finishes usually in the top five (with me and 2 rogues being the norm).
Well we haven't reached farther than Magtheridon but i will just throw my opinion. In fights like gruul and maggy, if i don't have a shadow priest in the group i can go oom in less than 90secs. So i drink a fel mana potion at every cd. If i have a shadow priest in the group, then i have to consume a lot less mana pots. Generally an oom hunter is a huge loss in dps.
...hunters are the least mana efficient class in the game ...
Arcane and multishot have a horrible manaefficience, but I think with bm and 1:1 rotation(not throwing in arcane and multishot) a hunter is quite mana efficient, isn't he?
Concerning the topic:
I don't see how someone can make a big fuss about this:
If your hunters and warlocks go out of mana during they fight they just have to drink Manapots. There is absolutely no argumentation why they should not. If they never run out of mana they obviously have enough mp5/int or are happy with fd and drinking water(respectively lifetap). In this case Manapots will increase the performance, because of less wasted time(respectively disburdened healers).
But I'm not BT yet, so maybe some gameplay changing effects occur there which will change my opinion of absolutely clear logic concerning this question.
It depends; from personal experience, if I'm in the best shadow priests group, I usually potion every 3 minutes or so. Sometimes less. It depends on the fight too obviously, sometimes I need to spam them (Vashj) other times I don't have to pot at all (Karathress).
However, my damage suffers from being grouped with a shadow priest. I'm tending to lean these days on being in the melee group for Leader of the Pack and potential totems, and 10% AP to my pet from Unleashed Rage. Using this setup I have to spam fel mana potions every cooldown, and still end up drinking if the fight is over say 4-5 minutes long. But overall my damage is better using that setup.
Note that we normally never have a JoW up, it would help a ton, and given that setup I'd almost always prefer to be with a feral druid and enh shaman. Your mileage may vary, however.
Also, just to provide numbers, I got through roughly 50 fel mana potions in 3 nights of raiding. So yes, hunters absolutely need to potion if JoW is not present, even when grouped with a shadow priest.
OP - I think you need to compare the damage done to the potion usage. If your Hunters and 'locks are bottom-feeders on the meters, then it's time to crack the whip or tell them to stay out of the raid. If they are getting the job done somehow without pots, then I'd say it's a non-issue. From my experience as a Hunter though, I can say there is no way in hell they are approaching their limits without using pots. Another thing to check is whether they are using Aspect of the Viper on bosses...a sure sign they are not giving their all DPS-wise.
Can't say much about 'locks, but they are hackers when it comes to mana regen. =P
With JoW, BoW and a Shadow Priest a BM hunter will seldom have to mana pot. If they do, it will likely be no more than once or maybe twice in the fight. MM Hunters burn through a lot more mana in order to maximise their DPS. Their rotations will include shots with a much higher mana cost.
Any guild progressing through BT is high enough that burning consumables is a must. Like has been said already, if they are OOM and their pot cooldown is up they need to burn that mana pot, just no excuse not to.
The ladies like the bestial wrath, they don't appreciate the rapid fire.
If you are potting once every 3 minutes with a shadow priest though, your shadow priest is bad.
With JoW I might have to pot once in an 8 minute fight, and I totally disregard mana/5 and intellect when choosing my gear in most cases. With a shadowpriest, I can't burn the mana fast enough.
With both...I can't imagine a spec for a hunter that would burn that amount of mana honestly. Our shadowpriests are quite good and consistently over 1000dps, so the mana regen they provide is pretty insane. I am actually going to start giving them mana pots because them chainpotting to keep that dps going prevents me from needing to On a better note, it does allow the hunter to chain haste pots instead.
If I have a shadowpriest and JOW I can last a LONG time w/o a pot.
If I have a shadowpriest I can usually get by with super mana pots
If I have JoW up 80%+ I can usually get by with super mana pots
If I have neither when in marks spec'd I can slam fel mana and demonic runes and still OOM.
If I have neither when im beast spec'd I can slam super rmana and still run OOM.
As you can see it depends on a few things.
JoW is arguably the best buff in the game for DPS mana. For hunters it equates to about 150 Mp5 (In comparison thats 6 mighty restoration flasks stacked on top of each other).