Elitist Jerks Weekly Recap 9/7/12

Every Friday Tabana brings you the latest discussions straight from the Elitist Jerks forums with a recap of what was discussed and links to the full posts so you can stay on top of the latest in hunter theorycrafting.

Unable to Loot after using only Kill Command Part II 9/2/12

In the Beast Mastery thread, Pathemeous followed up on a previous discussion regarding unlootable mobs after using only Kill Command, “On the topic of tagging mobs and your pet: I soloed Azgalor in Hyjal Summit pre-5.0.4 with only Kill command and pet attacks. I couldn’t loot him after killing him.”

Nooska replied, “I have confirmed Kill Command does not let you loot the mob in beta either. That leaves me with 2 tests to do to see if I can explain how I could loot a mob my pet had killed without interaction from me (and indeed far away from me).

  1. Lynx Rush may be considered the hunter (at least it sometimes seems as if I get threat from it, which may be a bug then).
  2. Another player has damaged the mob, meaning any player damage makes a mob lootable, by the one that tagged it (and a pet tag points to the owning hunter)
    If anyone else do these tests, please let me know.

Pathemeous  replied, “1) Lynx Rush is considered the pet […] 2) Tested with a Disc Priest in Tol Barad. The pet had attacked a spider and the priest finished it. The mob was lootable by me (the hunter). This would suggest that option 2 was the cause.

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Beast Mastery DPS Considerations 9/3/12

In the Beast Mastery thread, Pathemeous wrote, “On the topic of BM DPS, I have a few considerations.

Considering an opener of BW+KC-> LR + Readiness -> KC -> AS -> AS -> AS -> AS -> AS -> KC (allowing 3 KCs in the first BW duration), would it be wise to spend a RF somewhere before Readiness (I made a macro with RF + LR), seeing that the CD will be reset anyway? The haste itself is not very useful, but the resulting increased focus regen comes in handy when doing two BW in quick succession (~3 seconds gap to let the CD on KC get low enough to allow 2 KC in the next BW. In this gap applying SrS and popping DB).”

Doing some napkin maths:

4.40 base focus regen
6.16 when affected by RF (+40%)
5.72 when affected by Chronohunter (+30%)
8.01 when affected by both RF and Chronohunter (+82.0454545%)
Especially because stacking them increases the focus regen exponentially, it is free focus without execution time.
Considering Dire Beast, how do others use this in the opener? I hear of people popping DB before doing BW, I heard of people macroing DB into BW (lines out nicely every minute). I use Dire Beast after applying SrS when my first BW has ended (might consider whether to prioritize SrS or DB). Due to all the haste effects (as I mentioned above), and me using a CS to get at a more comfortable focus level for the next BW, I often end up capping focus a little during the BW (8Focus/s + 5Focus from DB = 13 Focus, while AS only spends 10Focus during BW). I could consider leaving the CS and starting the next BW one second earlier, which should still allow 2 KC during the second BW. Interested to hear how others value the short CD of DB in the priority with 2xBW happening.
How do others handle LR? Personally, I use 2x LR in the opener. I tried leaving them out but that greatly reduces the burst potential (8K difference IIRC). This would suggest that spending a GCD on Lynx Rush during BW as opposed to an AS is a big gain and therefore LR should be stacked with BW as much as possible without lowering the amount of LR in total. In a fight that lasts less than ~3:12 minutes, which means there will be room for 3x LR (one in both BW in the opener, one after the CD has ended mid-fight), it would therefore be beneficial to delay LR by 30 seconds after it comes off CD to spend it during the next BW.
Do others use KS during BW? The focus cost reduction of BW is lost when doing so, but seeing that KS hits for 420% Weapon Damage it would seem obvious to make it benefit from the 10% damage bonus from The Beast Within. Mind here that you’d not delay KS at any point to make it line out inside the BW, it’s simply a matter of whether or not to delay it during BW.
Does anyone manually control Rabid in the same way as I described LR; by stacking it with BW whenever possible without lowering the amount of Rabids in total?

Nooska replied, “I would suggest macroing Rabid with LR. As for opening, I am not quite ready to make a final determination on what to suggest, but I would currently say something on the order of: SrS, BW, KC, LR, GT, Readiness, KC, LR, GT, AS, AS, CoS, BW, KC (etc). I would pop SrS first to get it up and running, and I would add in that CoS before the second BW to extend SrS.”

As to popping RF in there for the increased focus regen, that does sound like a good idea, but I’ll remain neutral on it for now, until I have some time to test it specifically – it would make sense in regards to keeping up SrS with a shorter CoS though, so another win there (remember to add in Glaive Toss or Powershot, currently Glaive Toss) before and after the Readiness.

Pathemeous replied, “Ah yeah, I’m not taking GT into account in my previous reply. Actually I’m on about lv85 scaling (I know the topic is meant for lv90, my bad). Macroing Rabid with LR seems like a good plan, I’ll take that advice. By adding in GT it will become practically impossible to have a 3rd KC in the first BW.”

This brings me to another point. I’m not a long-time BM player, but using logic, would it be safe to say that having 10 GCDs that are affected by BW is impossible? Without doing proper logging, it seems that the following factors cause this:

  1. Inaccuracy with popping BW. You’ll very probably pop BW a little bit before the GCD allows any action. You don’t want to ‘wait’ for the GCD to end (visually watching it) for the known latency reasons, to try to reduce this factor, it’s not worth it and won’t work anyway (see 2).
  2. Latency between shots. While in theory there’s literally 10 GCDs, only the slightest bit of latency (which is unavoidable, regardless of your localisation) will bring this down to 9, as the 10th will fall just outside the BW frame.

Could anyone state if this is correct?

Pichuca replied, “I´m pretty sure you just forgot it, but you should also pop Dire Beast just after LR, then Readiness, and DB again, you can have the two dire beasts at the same time. You need at least 4 or maybe 5 instant shots between each LR to make sure you cast the second when the pet has finished the first one, as it takes 4-5 secs for the 9 hits.”

On live I´m doing almost exactly what you suggested: SrS, BW+RF+PVP trinket, KC, LR, DB, Readiness, KC, DB, LR, AS, AS(At this point BW is just about to drop, so I may overlap it for about 0.5 sec), BW, KC and then pop the second RF asap im out of focus after some more ASs+KC. I don´t really enjoy refreshing SrS during this phase, so I would just cast it again just before popping the second RF over refreshing it earlier with CoS. It is a small DPS loss (not even closely noticeable). […] Don´t think that the opening sequence would change a lot at 90, just adding GT for another 2 GCDs.

Nooska replied, “Correct, I forgot about DB, as I’ve been using TotH extensively on the beta (toth is better for questing), and yes, DB should be popped in there – will remember to make a specific mention of having 2xDB up via readiness when I get to the talents – hopefully later this week will see some time to extend what’s currently up.

Adding DB (x2) should also remove the need/want for an RF in there […] that just means we may want to delay readiness till after an RF sequence after the first BW (which also builds up focus, and helps not grabbing aggro on non hit-capped tanks for example) – will have to do some more analysis of that though.

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Lock and Load Mechanics 8/31/12

In the Survival thread, CamelKnight wrote, “[…] You still get 8 ticks (5 dots, 3 normal hits) from Explosive Shot after getting Lock and Load. An “interleaving” shot, as it’s called in the link I posted, isn’t necessary anymore. I thought I’d mention it since you do point towards the Lock and Load section but you seem to have missed it while writing this

Esoth replied, “I did miss writing that and will do so now, thank you for pointing that out. You are correct that it only does 8 ticks, but as mentioned here the damage on one or more ticks compensates for it. No damage is lost – it just does the total damage over 8 ticks instead of 9.”

Lokrick replied, “The important thing is that the number of ticks no longer matters; you will get all the damage. The reason I point this out is that what’s actually going on is slightly more complicated, and the difference matters in some cases. Each explosive shot is an immediate direct damage impact (and so triggers trinkets and effects based on direct damage) and two ticks of “rolling” dot. The dot mechanics are unusual, however; the key characteristics are:

  1. Like the standard “dot refresh” behavior, if the dot was already present, it will get one more tick plus the two new ones. Thus there will be exactly three ticks after the last impact of a set of explosive shots, and they will follow the same tick period as the previous dot (e.g., if ticks were happening at 1.15, 2.15, etc., additional ticks will be at approximately 3.15, 4.15, etc.).
  2. The total damage for any remaining ticks of the prior dot will be summed with the total damage for the new ticks, and that total will be split across the new tick count (which will be 3 ticks).
  3. Each tick can individually crit.
  4. Crits, damage reduction, target debuffs, etc. are decided at the time of each tick (e.g., with Zakalwe casting Curse of Elements between ticks, we saw the difference from tick to tick).

This is similar to “ignite” behavior for mages, except that the ticks individually crit. Since the number of ticks no longer matters, the primary reason for spamming explosive shot is simply to get it on cooldown as soon as possible. However that may not be important: dire beast, glaive toss, and and kill shot all are short cooldowns with higher impact, and so may be higher priority than any of the individual explosive shots, especially the third focus-costing explosive shot of a lock and load sequence. It turns out to be quite nice that the rolling dot behavior basically doesn’t influence that priority at all.

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Relative Values of Buffs 8/31/12

In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Rivkah wrote, “For those wondering about the relative value of buffs per spec (presumably when you are short more than one and trying to decide which to prioritize), I thought I’d make a little chart. This is based off my site calculations in the T14N gearsets and assumes you have all buffs except the one specified.”

Missing Buff Damage DPS Difference % Difference
SV Base 82475.14
SV Crit 79161.53 3313.61 4.02
SV Attack Speed 79748.35 2726.79 3.31
SV Magic Damage 80470.68 2004.46 2.43
SV Mastery 80662.92 1812.22 2.20
SV Weakened Armor 80782.34 1692.80 2.05
SV Physical Damage 80922 1553.14 1.88
BM Base 89314.37
BM Crit 85501.25 3813.12 4.27
BM Mastery 85641.7 3672.67 4.11
BM Attack Speed 85642.47 3671.90 4.11
BM Weakened Armor 86285.52 3028.85 3.39
BM Physical Damage 86535.41 2778.96 3.11
BM Spell Damage 88501.93 812.44 0.91
MM Base 85373.95
MM Attack Speed 81345.59 4028.36 4.72
MM Crit 81694.92 3679.03 4.31
MM Weakened Armor 82545.82 2828.13 3.31
MM Physical Damage 82779.14 2594.81 3.04
MM Mastery 83010.34 2363.61 2.77
MM Spell Damage 84521.13 852.82 1.00

 Nooska asked, “What races are this based on? (DPS neutral races?)”

Rivkah replied, “Yes, these are all using a tauren with no professions, which is as neutral as you get. They were using the T14N profiles that I linked in an earlier post.”

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Kill Shot Mechanics 9/1/12

In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Eluniar wrote, “As Whitefyst noted over in the “[MoP] 5.0.4/5.1 Marksmanship Guide […] ‘recall that although KS has a 10s CD, if it fails to kill the target, the CD resets with a 6s CD on the reset. Hence, you can theoretically do 2 KSs every 11s, but it actually takes a little longer since it takes time for the server to confirm that the target did not die before resetting the CD.’ […]”

It’s true that if there were a significant amount of server latency it would affect the cooldown reset of Kill Shot, but it seems to be primarily determined by the distance our hunter shots have to travel to reach the target. The following are rough guesstimates based on LFR Ultraxion here – it appeared that when I was within normal melee distance of him (5-8 yards) Kill Shot refreshed immediately and was able to reliably hit the ideal 2x KS per 11 seconds as listed above. When I was about 20 yards away or so, there seemed to be about a 1 second delay between the KS fire and the KS land resetting the cooldown, and at max range (about 40 yards) there was about a 2 second delay between KS fire and cooldown reset.

With the above in mind, I would imagine it to be ideal for hunters to be within close enough range to ensure immediate KS cooldown reset during KS phase, which seems to be about 8 yards or closer. The question then becomes – is it worth hunters staying in and dealing with extra boss mechanics if they are present (such as AOE damage, movement, knockbacks, etc) for the shorter Kill Shot cooldown resets? And if it’s -not- ideal for a hunter to stay sufficiently close enough, would a hunter want to stay within a specific range area to plan a certain amount of time between KS fire and KS cooldown reset to weave in another shot every time?

TheRazorsEdge replied, “This would be highly dependent on the encounter and on your healers. I imagine knockback would make it a DPS loss due to interrupted Steady/Cobra casts, or at least make it DPS neutral (and thus less of a heachache to just stay at range). Even at very close range, it can take slightly more than a GCD for the shot to hit and trigger the reset. Finally, server latency is an uncontrollable variable. I have seen KS reset almost instantaneously, and I’ve seen it take almost an entire extra GCD. I don’t believe it is consistent enough to optimize in this way; I will probably use an instant between the KS pair.”

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Marksmanship Simulation Modifications 9/1/12

In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Whitefyst wrote, “I took your linked MM simulation and made some modifications to increase its DPS by about 770. Note that your link currently does 85641 as is. I got it up to 86411 with this saved setting: Zeherah’s Hunter DPS Analyzer. The changes I made for this simulation and the reasons are:In the Shot Priority, I moved KS before GT […]

  • In the Shot Priority, I moved Stampede to after RF. […]
  • Changed the setting for “Minimum focus to cast Arcane Shot” from 67 to 61. […]
  • I did 2 regemming […]
  • I also messed around with reforges for a bit to increase DPS more; however, some of these increases may not be real and just shot shifting.
  • I also changed the “Maximum speed to cast Aimed Shot (suppressing arcane shot)” settingfrom the Cata 1.8s value to 1.4s. This did not affect the results since all AIs previously being casted were all below 1.4s. […]
  • One correction over previous statements that I have made is that it does now result in maximum MM DPS to overlap BL and RF affects, preferrably during the CA phase. The reason for this is the low maximum speed to cast AI. […]
  • After looking through the shot logs and comparing it with target dummy testing, I realized another needed settings change in the Shot Priority. This is moving AI below AS. I know that this may seem counter-intuitive since AI does so much more damage than AS, but this priority ordering along with other settings like suppressing AS during CA phase, maximum speed to cast AI, and minimum focus to cast AS makes everything work as desired. […]

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Beta Build 16048 9/7/12

In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Rivkah wrote, “I’ve made updates to support the latest beta build (16048). This only reflects changes in the patch notes- I’ll have to wait till I can check on beta to see if they changed MoC to be affected by BM mastery.”

The changes only affected SV. In my T14N profile, I had 82724.78 dps before and 82621.47 dps after, which is roughly a .125% dps decrease. This is still not a fully optimized profile and it’s possible it actually ends up being a net single target dps increase if the shot selection is more accurate. The big difference will be making it less murky to decide whether to spend effort on explosive shot.

One consequence of this change is that it’ll significantly weaken our AoE damage as SV, as such a large chunk of it comes from improved serpent sting. I’m not sure if this is a problem- I don’t know how strong we are now at 90 on AoE fights and whether this makes us weak or just balances us out more (I had heard SV was fairly strong relative to the other hunter specs for AoE at 90). I’m also not sure if they addressed the issue with improved serpent sting not proccing when the duration on serpent sting is too high, which will also impact our SV AoE burst.

Rivkah added, “murder of crows definitely scales with BM mastery now. I also confirmed that they fixed stormlash to scale with RAP instead of melee AP (not sure if it scales with hunter’s mark, the range is too large to be sure). Froststorm breath now scales with physical haste. The improved serpent sting refresh issue appears to also be fixed. I’m sure there’s other stuff still that needs testing, but that’s all I thought to check. My site’s been updated with the latest mechanics.

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Glaive Toss Bug 9/7/12

In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Wyxz wrote, “I was testing Murder of Crows which are aparently scaling with BM mastery now and something bizarre happened. On one of glaive toss casts my damage goes from 60k to 90k of nothing. When I analyze recount I saw Glaive toss doing an insane amount of damage. It happened twice, on second time I was at very beginning of combat. […]

Glaive toss did 296 hits in 42 seconds of combat on a single target combat. It took 23% of Dummy HP. It happens randomly, but I think is something related with Murder and Glaive Toss because every time it happened the dummy are with Murder on himself. Probally a Glitch with Glaive Toss. […]

I stayed alone hitting one full health dummy till he dies, the Glaive toss Bug triggered 3 times. 943 Glaive Toss hits in a 11 minutes single target combat. […] On an 11 minutes combat you can only get 176 hits from glaive toss if you use it every time when it’s up.

Read full post to see screenshots demonstrating the Glave Toss bug.

Analyzer Tweaks 9/1/12

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Rivkah wrote, “I’ve made a couple tweaks that folks might want to know about:”

  • At Nooska’s request, focus fire is now restricted by the haste cooldown restriction (i.e. it won’t cast it if your current focus shot cast speed is below the configured amount)
  • I’ve modified my support of autoshots so they are directly implemented in the simulation (although I didn’t include them in the simulation report). Previously they were estimated based on haste data. This means autoshot counts should more accurately reflect the stacking of haste buffs at various points in the fight and I was able to more accurately reflect the autoshot suppression from aimed shot (which resets the timer and suppresses until the shot goes off) and barrage (which does not reset the timer but prevents autoshot from going off until the channel is over)
  • Because I now support autoshots directly in the simulation, I was able to change my support for go for the throat. Previously go for the throat procs were estimated before the simulation and applied as passive pet regen. Now they are tracked directly in the shot simulation. This will give more accurate representation of the peaks and valleys of pet regen during the fight
  • While fixing other things, I noticed that barrage and powershot weren’t being scaled with haste in my simulation. I’ve fixed this. It doesn’t seem to have made either perform better than glaive toss, but the gap is lower
  • Due to the autoshot changes I was also able to more accurately reflect wild quiver proc rates. I’ve also corrected which shots are actually proccing wild quiver and applied the 1/6 chance to proc for each tick of barrage and the 2 separate tick chances (one for each hit) for glaive toss

From what I could tell, most of these changes didn’t have a significant effect on dps, but I wanted everyone to be aware of the status of how things are implemented. Next on the list is to add support for stormlash. I’ll also probably modify pet melee attacks to be supported in the simulation directly instead of estimated at some point, but that’s a lower priority.

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Serpent Sting Settings, Crit Value Fluctuations 9/2/12

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Nooska wrote, “[…] I notice that for BM SrS actually falls off quite a bit. Saving focus for it is a dps loss (simulated of course), but in a real world situation, I would always advocate not letting it fall off. Would it be possible to have a checkmark setting that forces a CoS (after KC) if SrS has less than 7 seconds to live (like the ISS setting really, but not so complicated in choice).”

[…] could you see if you have affected agility’s coding in any way? Suddenly crit is consistently showing as being worth more than agi, per point, and changing out agi for crit is showing a dps increase when looking at sane amounts (like hybrid gemming over straight agi). […] crit’s value now seems to fluctuate as much as Agi’s – are the autoshot crits averaged or calculated per, per crit chance? If averaged, then I guess we will see the same fluctuation with crit as with haste – where crit is worth significantly more when it adds 1 more crit AS, then worth almost nothing until the next crit percent with another AS crit.

Whitefyst replied, “for the BM setting from Zeherah, I see agi well abive crit at 5.8 to 1.9. However, from a theoretical point of view, I can see how crit is very important to BMs and changes to it can cause crit to be greatly valued in the simulation. Besides each crit increasing hunter and pet damage, the biggest impact for crit that I can see for BM is the interaction of GftT with WH affecting your pet’s basic attacks. ”

In FD, the pet’s basic attack was a little over 10K DPS out of about 89K total DPS. Hence, the pet’s basic attack accounted for about 11.2% of the overall DPS. That is a large amount for an attack whose damage level is so finicky currently and which is not only affected by crits, but also WH and attack rate.

In MoP, pets are generally very focus starved. This holds true for BM pets too, although the situation is not as bad with GftT and FF. Despite those two talents helping pet focus and basic attacks, the BM pet still had its basic attack delayed due to being focus starved on 24 of 130 attacks or about 18% of the time. Compare this to my MM pet whose basic attacks are focus starved 70% of the time with the only times it is not focus starved is during BL and RFs. […]

I will not fully discuss the FF benefits here since they are not affected by crit and is off the topic. But I will mention a few items. [See original post for discussion.]

Rivkah replied, “I think Whitefyst did a good job of explaining why you’re seeing the crit fluctuations due to the changes in my autoshot support. Before, the go for the throat procs were being averaged over the course of the fight, so the pet focus was flatter. Now you can see the effect of peaks caused by go for the throat, but it will create more issues related to shot shifting. Simc would probably be a better source for actual dps per stat values as those things can be averaged over a longer period.”

I’ll give some thought to the serpent sting option- I need to get a better idea first of whether it’s actually worth doing that in game before I add in special code for it. Setting it up in simc may give some idea.

I did just add support for SV to suppress multishot except for when serpent sting needs applying. This should mean that you can replace serpent sting with multishot in the shot priority to simulate if it’s worth using that instead of serpent sting to apply your sting. Since you get the damage from improved serpent sting and the damage from multishot, it’s a better option unless that 15 focus difference is going to cost you more elsewhere. This wasn’t as attractive in Cata due to weaker focus regen and sting from multi having a shorter duration, but now that it’s a full 15 seconds it seems to math out as a win.

I also added in support for stormlash totem based on the known implementation data. This isn’t a perfect representation as it doesn’t perfectly reflect the 0.1sec ICD on it, but it gives a decent idea. There is a field in the buffs now where you can specify the number of shamans who are casting stormlash totem in your group. It will assume that they get cast in series, so essentially if you specify 3 shamans, stormlash totem will be up for 30 seconds (duration * 3) every 5 minutes. Based on my tests, stormlash totem does not stack, so I think this is the best way to represent it. By default I am not enabling stormlash when you turn on raid buffs, as I have no reasonable way to guess how many shamans will be in your group, so you will need to turn it on manually.

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Pet Focus Levels 9/2/12

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Whitefyst wrote, “[…] I am really concerned about pet focus levels for all specs, much mostly for MM and SV, which do not have GftT and FF and for which Fervor is currently not the best overall DPS option. For MM and SV hunters, pet basic attacks are delayed by the pet being focus starved about 70 to 75% of the time, with the times that they are not focus starved being during RFs and BLs. Furthermore, WH might as well be a BM only ability since MM and SV pets rarely see it currently.”

With the pet basic attack costing 25 focus and a base pet regen of 5 FPS, with no haste on gear or dynamic haste effects, it takes 5s to regen enough focus for a pet basic attack. This is about 51% longer than the ideal pet basic attack rate of 3.3s. Even with MM’s recommended haste amount of 12.93% haste from gear from rotation analysis, the pet regen rate is only 5.65 FPS, still requiring 4.43s to regen enough pet focus for a basic attack. This is still 34% longer than the ideal pet basic attack rate and results in the loss of many pet basic attacks. Over each minute of a fight, this results in a loss of over 4.6 pet basic attacks per minute, which is 23 over a 5 min fight. The situation is even worse for SV hunters who have even lower amounts of haste on gear.

For a MM under BL, the per focus regen rate is 7.34. Even this rate is not enough for preventing focus starving and pet basic attacks being delayed since it still takes over 3.4s to regen enough focus for a basic attack.

For a MM under RF, the per focus regen rate is 7.91. This is barely enough to keep the pet from being focus starved with generating about 26.1 focus over the 3.3s time between pet attacks. Hence, a measly 1.1 extra focus in generated every 3.3s during a RF for a whole net gain of 5 pet focus during a RF. This is not enough extra focus for a pet to get into the WH range. The situation is even worse once again for SV pets.

I believe that this is a major factor for why I have seen FD favoring haste levels beyond the 12.93% recommended for MMs.

I really think that this is something that Blizzard needs to address. Options include:

  • Reducing the focus cost of the basic attack. Even with making a pet basic attack only cost 20 focus, that still requires 21.21% haste from gear and applicable haste effects to make MM and SV pets not be focus starved. Hence, even at this level MM and SV pets would still be focus starved most of the time but would be experiencing less of a delay in pet basic attacks but would be at full performance during BL and RFs with generating a little extra focus over the periods where we might actually see WH once in awhile. Lowering the pet basic attack cost to 15 focus would probably be too low though since then pets would never be focus starved even with 0% haste effects. Although that would bring WH into play more often for SV and MMs.
  • Provide MMs and SVs something similar to GftT where they can periodically get pet focus boosts.

Rivkah replied, “[…] I raised the issue previously but Blizz doesn’t seem to have a problem with it, and it looks like pet dps as a percentage of hunter dps for MM/SV hasn’t really changed much, so I guess it’s not a huge deal. I am concerned about being able to cast things like dash, which we don’t dare leave on autocast anymore. But we don’t have other buffs on us as MM/SV that rely on pet casting the basic attack on time so it’s not as big a problem now. I was thinking about suggesting they remove WH for non-BM specs, but it’s actually still of use on stampede since the stampede pet initial casts will use it, which may mean they get in a higher amount of total damage before despawning depending on regen.”

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Marksmanship Simulation Part II 9/3/12

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Lokrick replied to a previous post by Whitefyst, “I realized I don’t understand where your 1.25 [autoshots suppressed during Aimed Shot] comes from, and since some of your other recommendations rely on it, it’s worth reviewing. I think the correct number should be derived similar to: (Average Aimed Shot Shot Cast Time / Weapon Speed + .5) * Aimed Shot Count = Autoshots lost [quoted from Rivkah in this post].”

Basically when aimed shot starts, it may be interrupting autoshot anywhere in its progression. Since it resets the swing timer, the cast so far is simply lost. Thus on average you will lose 50% of an autoshot. You further lose the time while casting the aimed shot. Since aimed and autoshot are affected identically by haste, all that matters is their ratio, as above. Since all the relevant weapons are 3.0 second cast time, that leads to: 0.5 + 2.9 / 3.0 = 1.47 So there’s 1.47 lost autoshots per aimed shot, independent of haste level.

Whitefyst replied, “Thanks for the information. For clarification on my part, I fully know the affect of weapon speed on the analysis, but since it affects the analysis very little for most weapons that are between 2.8 and 3.0s speed, I choose to ignore it and keep things simpler since it only has a 3% impact on autoshot to AI duration. Since autoshot damage is a small portion of the analysis, 3% difference in it is really noise. That amount is important for your simulation accuracy, but it does not make a big deal in the analysis on whether to use AI or AS as the focus dump.”

Concerning the autoshot behavior, I was not on beta so originally used estimates of 1.5 and 1.25 in my analysis for to give using AI the benefit of the doubt. Then someone on beta said that AI behavior was improved where is was only suppression and not reset. Thus, I changed my analysis to use 1 and 1.25. I can see now from testing it myself on live that it is indeed both suppression and reset. Thus, I will update the analysis when I do the 5.1.x version. However, since autoshot damage is a small part of the analysis, it does not change any of the recommendations much. AI is still a poor option to use outside the CA Phase unless its cast speed is severely hasted. […]

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Readiness Delay Time 9/7/12

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Whitefyst wrote, “While doing some analysis of SimC results, I noticed an unideal situation in FD. It involves with how the second use of Readiness is being used. It was used immediately off CD with no regards to how soon other abilities are coming off CD. […] Is there anyway to make FDs usage of Readiness be a little smarter and to be delayed if for instance DB has less than 10s left on its CD to wait for DB to be cast first. I probably would not worry about making it smart for GT, and it is probably not worth it for CS.

On option could be to add a new option for Maximum Time to Delay Readiness. I would have a default of 15s and have it basically ignore GT and CS CDs. If major CDs like DB, MoC, RF have less than 15s left on its CD at the time that Readiness becomes available, then Readiness will wait. Once those CDs are used or more than the delay time has elapsed, then the criteria for delaying is no longer in effect and Readiness is used.

Rivkah replied, “I’ve been trying to brainstorm on the best way to address this. There is currently some behind the scenes code which delays readiness for rapid fire if it’s close to coming off CD, so I could do something similar for other abilities, but I would need to identify which abilities this makes sense for. 15s I think is what it’s set to now. I’ll see if I can find time to work on that this weekend.

I should also note that I did finally add support for stormlash totem. During my testing, I determined that currently stormlash is actually using hunter melee attack power instead of ranged attack power to calculate the damage our stormlash procs do, which is making them quite weak. I’ve reported the issue and I hope they’ll address that. Stormlash also uses spell crit chance instead of physical crit chance, which is disappointing- it would seem to be fairer to physical classes if it picked the higher number like it does for AP/SP, but I guess they’ve decided it should just be treated as a spell.

I also was informed that Skull Banner might be worth adding support for, so once I can do a little testing to verify whether it applies to pets, I’ll add in support for it (technically you could fake it using the custom buffs but I suspect it’d be useful to have more direct support for it).

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Careful Aim Analysis 9/3/12

In the SimulationCraft for Hunters thread, Lokrick wrote, “Currently, beta support requires setting the ‘ptr’ flag. Thus, the T14 normal gear run can be invoked in the appropriate profile directory with:”

> simc ptr=1 Hunter_T14N.simc

 84610  34.0%  Hunter_BM_T14N
 82273  33.1%  Hunter_SV_T14N
 81920  32.9%  Hunter_MM_T14N

As an example for analyzing the careful aim period, here is an invocation to run the sim and produce results just for that period. This also outputs the result into the local file ca.html for more in depth review. [See original post for data]

The “Action Priority List” section for each spec entry shows both the action list used and an example action sequence. Numerous further details can be explored with the log. To focus down onto just MM, we use the MM profile only: [See original post]

The log itself has lots of information, including focus gains, pet activity, buffs applying and dropping, etc. A surprising amount of analysis can be performed with simple text searches: [see original post]

The number at the beginning is the time of the action (time 0 is special in that any number of non-harmful actions can be packed into there, on the assumption that you do them before combat). The number in parentheses is the amount of focus at the time the ability is performed. The wild_quiver and ranged entries are not explicitly fired by the hunter, of course. Even the little snippet above shows that the default action list is sitting at focus cap for much of the first 10 seconds of the fight. The spoiler below filters the ranged and wild_quivers so that it can show the entire sequence of actions for the CA phase. [See original post]

When I first did this to start writing this message, rapid fire was after stampede, resulting in initially lower pet focus regeneration. The additional regeneration can make the difference in whether each pet can afford one more basic attack during its stampede. That’s provides a noticeable dps improvement. I also incidentally noticed that simc was still implementing the old form of the master marksman buff in which an aimed shot in progress would also be free. That’s fixed in game and now fixed in simc. Those changes and fixes led to the above action sequence. There are clearly remaining issues: There are a surprising number of unpaired steady shots. There are also several places during which focus caps. I think these are related. The unpaired seady shots are to add enough focus for an aimed shot. However because it does not then complete the pair, it requires a full pair of shots later to keep teh buff up. What other issues might this indicate. The action priority list is below, where the talents are dire beast, lynx rush, and glaive; all talents comments (e.g., /powershot) for unavailable talents will be ignored: [see original post for action priority list]

Whitefyst replied, “Concerning your CA phase post and the shot order in the spoiler, I suggest disabling GT during the CA phase to increase the MM DPS you are simming […] At my request, Zeherah has added an option to FD to disable GT during CA. Doing so is about a 400 DPS improvement in her sim.

Another item to check is how the second use of Readiness if being used. In the FD sims, Readiness becomes available about 2s before the 4th RF. It is better DPS to delay that Readiness use by a few seconds until after the RF is cast so that you can get an extra RF. Also, this Readiness in FD is being used a few seconds before MoC and a DB. Its is better DPS to delay it a few more seconds until after their uses so their CDs are reset too. If your second use of Readiness is being used too early without resetting key CDs, then your sim is definitely undervaluing it.

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DPeB: Damage per Button 9/6/12

In the SimulationCraft for Hunters thread, Lokrick wrote, “There’s been some discussion on Wow Hunters Hall and thegrumpyelf about the number of new buttons to press for dps. I was noting a similar thing and looking at optimizing the “DPEB” with appropriate macroing (e.g., Rabid goes well with Lynx Rush, Readiness could be sequenced with bestial wrath, etc.). But to motivate actually skipping some abilities altogether, we need more information. Inspired by the above posts, here’s the simc results of turnign off some individual abilities. I didn’t do any other action list changes other than suppressing the particular abilities, but I’m surprised by the results.

The results below are made using the corresponding T14N profiles; these have constraints like “no professions, neutral races”. I used simc’s “modify_action to suppress a single line of the profile’s action list  [See original post for profile] The results are:

Name DPS Delta
Hunter_BM_T14N 84,800 0.0%
BM_no_Re 82,625 -2.6%
BM_no_KS 82,624 -2.6%
BM_no_ST 82,623 -2.6%
Hunter_SV_T14N 82,210 0.0%
Hunter_MM_T14N 81,914 0.0%
BM_no_GT 81,717 -3.6%
BM_no_BW 81,125 -4.3%
SV_no_ST 80,652 -1.9%
SV_no_Re 80,493 -2.1%
BM_no_LR 80,481 -5.1%
SV_no_KS 80,307 -2.3%
MM_no_ST 80,200 -2.1%
MM_no_KS 80,015 -2.3%
MM_no_Re 79,921 -2.4%
SV_no_GT 79,561 -3.2%
SV_no_LR 79,557 -3.2%
MM_no_SrS 79,541 -2.9%
MM_no_GT 79,399 -3.1%
MM_no_LR 79,263 -3.2%
BM_no_KC 78,821 -7.1%
BM_no_DB 78,583 -7.3%
SV_no_AS 77,550 -5.7%
MM_no_AS 77,511 -5.4%
MM_no_DB 77,203 -5.8%
SV_no_DB 76,933 -6.4%
SV_no_ES 76,088 -7.4%
BM_no_AS 75,714 -10.7%
BM_no_SrS 73,223 -13.7%
SV_no_SrS 71,582 -12.9%

I included the profile above so you can locally generate the html file to verify any particular version. Zeherah is graciously hosting the result of this run on her beta site.

Since these do not otherwise include copying and modifying the action lists, I didn’t bother with removing aimed (e.g., since the action list is designed around using aimed in the CA phase). I spot checked the various scenarios (e.g., the no ST really doesn’t trot out Stampede). I’m particularly surprised at how small the impact of readiness is (“Re”). That may be an artifact of poor Readiness usage, of course (run an individual profile with log=1 to look at the precise timing of it).

Edit: I since learned that this kind of test is more directly supported than I thought. I updated the profile above to use “copy=SV_no_ES skip_actions=explosive_shot” to suppress a “/” separated list of actions, which woudl make testing combos easy (e.g., no Glaive or Lynx Rush).

Whitefyst replied, “Concerning combining keys, the obvious one for me is Stampede and RF. In the vast majority of cases, you do not want to use Stampede unless it is being hasted, ideally by RF, for maximum DPS. If you are using RF off CD with a little bit of a delay in the initial cast due to casting instants first so that they will reset with Readiness, the second Stampede becomes available about 4 to 5s before the 4th RF. Waiting 4 to 5s to cast Stampede due to combining the buttons is not a big DPS deal. Since the next Stampede is not available until over 10 mins into the fight, you will not get to it for most fights.

If you combine ST with RF, then the only additional keys left for MM (and the other specs) are DB, MoC/LR, and GT. These do complicate things a little, but this is alleviated some by their uses ideally just replacing an AS in your “rotation/priority”. […]

One question for my edification since I have not yet played BM in 5.0.4 and really checked it out, but what makes not casting SrS such as big DPS loss for BM? I am not aware of anything that makes SrS so important to BM. It is important to SV, but I am surprised how much of a loss it is for SV.

Rivkah replied, “I suspect there is something else going on with sting that having it missing in the profiles is screwing up the rotation. When I have more time later I’ll try to see if I can spot it. The damage loss isn’t even close to that amount when simmed on my site, and although simc and my site work a bit differently, I don’t think it makes any sense for both BM and SV to lose the same large amount when serpent sting is removed either. Sting is worth a sizeable amount for SV given improved serpent sting’s multiplier, the focus regen, and the mastery bonus, but it still shouldn’t be that large.

Lokrick replied, “We do end up with less uptime on Lord Blastington’s scope, but the real problem is that arcane shot is also suppressed. The recently added line to ensure SrS stays up gets triggered if serpent sting is not up at all, and so it was always trumping Arcane. So the BM_no_SRS number is really “without arcane and serpent sting”. SrS is 2600dps in all the other sims, so that’s approximately the real loss for that scenario.”

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Soloing Kael’thas post-patch 5.0.4, Part II 9/1/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Arcane36 wrote, “Soloed Kael Thas and he is not that much of a big deal even without the staff. He has some pretty nasty stuff in his sleeve. First of all, AOEing the weapons is a piece of cake, multishot now does so much damage that it is pretty easy. Second, the kill order of his advisers is the same, kill the mage first, then the one that is walking towards you, then the engineer and last is the one with bellowing roar. The periodical stun is not that bad. I had no problem whatsoever with spirit bond.

The fun begins with phase 4, with 5.0.4 the pet behave how it is suppose to and when you tell him to go somewhere, he actually goes there!! WoW so staying behind the statue is without any problems, you just have to get him down with the fact that he will disorient you sometimes for 7s or so and that if you are not BM, you will not have kill command. My spec was Survival, with murder of crows and Spirit bond. Also the mind control is bugged, I have heard that he puts it even on solo classes. When he puts it on you, you will just stand still. Sometimes you will change aspect but that is all, you will not kill your pet.

The worst thing about this fight is phase 5. When he throws you in the air and summons his orbs which take down your HP by %, they WILL NOT despawn. They will be there even after the whole gravity phase. I learned it the hard way, so keep your pet on passive by your side and heal him, while dpsing the boss. It will make it a little bit longer without the pet damage. When he does his second gravity lapse, he will spawn another spheres so there will be even more of them. They also don’t despawn after the fight is done or reset via FD so beware.

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Hodir 10 Hard-mode Soloed 9/1/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Durendil wrote, “So, spirit bond is working perfectly now. Yahoo! However, pet is still getting his butt kicked. I tried 25-man bosses, but my pet couldn’t even handle xt 25. I also tried the faction champions in heroic. But I had Paladin (stun) and warrior (stun + disarm).

However, I (barely) managed to kill Hodir 10 hardmode. So we only need to solo Yogg 0 and Ulduar 10 will have been fully soloed by hunters. I did it in survival with thrill of the hunt, which made my rotation totally hectic. But, in the end, I managed it (I was at 38K on that try, instead of the 30K of the other ones) .

My tries on different bosses in different specs made me realize that BM is probably the best spec for pet survival and dps, even with a tenacity pet.

Video here: Durendil vs Hodir Hard mode (hunter worldfirst) – YouTube

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Peroth’arn Soloed 9/2/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Durendil wrote, “Peroth’arn down! Rspca is going to kill me, pet probably died 20 times in this fight Also did a “speedkill” of Tyrande. 11 minutes instead of 77 seems better Durendil vs Peroth’arn heroic (hunter worldfirst) – YouTube

Update: Actually, you can dps echo of tyrande with the lookaway strategy, so she died in 3-4 minutes. I’ll upload the video. Also got Mindbender Gur’sha. Just had to LoS him. And be BM.

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Ignis Speedkill 9/2/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Caribald wrote, “When I killed Ignis today he died super quick compared to before patch, so speedkill was easy. I think the kill was 2 minutes and 42 seconds or so, DBM was broken so I just compared timestamps from the pull emote to the death emote. Anyway, Ignis speedkill achievement easily soloable.

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