Elitist Jerks Weekly Recap 8/26/11

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.


Soloing Adds for Heroic Beth’tilac

In the Simple Questions/Simple Answers thread, molson asked for insight into soloing the spiderling and broodling adds in the heroic Beth’tilac 10-man encounter. Molson is currently using a Marksmanship spec with Concussive Barrage, Bombardment, Rapid Killing, and Entrapment but is wondering if a Survival spec would be viable:

I’m curious what the preferred spec is – all my attempts have been as MM [...]. I seem to keep the adds pretty well grouped/slowed and my focus high enough to spam MS, but I’m wondering if it’s doable as SV, as that’s what I’m more comfortable with and my raid group is otherwise without 10% melee haste.

mako replied that the adds are easiest to deal with using a Marksmanship spec:

The spiderling/explosive adds are easiest to deal with as MM, by far. Using traps is a total waste, as the exploding adds will probably waste entrapment if you actually specced it anyway. Double deterrence for popping the exploding adds works well too. SV might be able to scrape by with the lower trap cooldown and longer duration, but it seems like it’d be a lot tighter and heavily rely on having explosive trap + slow trap down each wave. You’ll also get focus starved. [...]

Azulor offered a different opinion on using traps for the adds:

Traps aren’t a total waste. I use them all the time and proc Entrapment on the spiderlings. Certainly you don’t need it, but I don’t think it hurts, especially if you happen to be soloing a corner very close to the drones[...].

What works for me is to be sure to use traps on cooldown, even if that means casting a new trap for an arriving wave of adds before the current wave is dead [...]. If you’re on the North or NW corners, you can place the traps on top the hill right at the spawn point. Also, I pop COTW on the first set, and RF on the second and third sets.

It’s quite easy and fun once you get the hang of it.

Azulor linked a log showing that Cinderweb Spiderlings were proccing Entrapment.

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Arcane Shot vs. Steady Shot Spam and the Tier 12 Two-Piece Bonus

In the Marksmanship thread, Wrathblood asked if the analysis of Arcane Shot  vs. Steady Shot spam incorporated the Tier 12 two-piece set bonus.

In reply, Whitefyst quoted a portion of the post:

the trade off is the average damage of the 3 ASs plus their average WQ damage versus the damage of the 2 SSs that can substitute for the ASs plus 2/8ths of a AI plus 2/10ths of a FA plus the average WQ damage per shot for the two shots as shown below.

In the quoted text, FA = Flaming Arrow thus the answer to Wrathblood’s question was yes.

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High Haste and Excess Focus with Arcane Shot Focus Dump

In the Marksmanship thread, Zehluj asked for an explanation of why haste was valued for the Arcane Shot focus dump rotation:

[...] It makes no sense with the set rotation we basically have and already being way focus positive because of [the] T12 set. I find myself sometimes just spamming Arcane Shots just to not cap. How can haste be valued [...] when you can’t even use the focus?

Whitefyst replied that high haste is valuable for the Arcane Shot unhasted focus dump case for several reasons:

  1. It allows you to use the much higher damaging AI as your focus dump instead of AS during haste trinket procs.
  2. It increases your autoshot frequency (when not casting AIs)
  3. It allows you to perform more SSs (when unhasted) and AIs during the CA phase when both have the high crit rate.
  4. Increases pet attack speed

Zehluj replied:

I understand the benefits in theory, but they aren’t actually benefits when you can’t use the focus you gain. You are almost certain to proc at least once per cycle, sometimes three. What do you do with the focus? Sometimes you just end up spamming 3 Arcane Shots back to back just to get rid of focus, more haste means more focus from Steady Shots, from passive regen and even more procs.

Whitefyst explained that “the T12 4-set can be powerful, but it can be wasteful of focus especially when you have multiple procs (MMM AI and/or T12 4-set) on the same cycle:”

It is powerful when it allows you to perform less SSs to generate focus and perform more focus dumps. [...] While it would be nice to be able to use the focus instead of wasting it, it is not a bad situation. You are able to perform your maximum DPS AS focus dump rotation without casting any extra SSs.

Two options for using excess focus to increase DPS were listed, both of which benefit from haste:

  1. Decrease your SS cast time enough that you gain an additional GCD per cycle to cast another AS.
  2. Use higher focus costing shots that perform more damage, such as AI; however, to make AI worth casting more often, you need to reduce its cast speed more often. That is where the additional haste comes into play [...]

The statement “more haste means more focus from Steady Shots” is incorrect:

More haste does not mean more focus from SS. Each SS only generates a constant 9 focus per shot. [...]

Having excess focus is not necessarily a bad situation:

Also concerning more haste resulting in more procs and more wasting of focus, that is still not a bad thing as long as you are still performing a maximum DPS cycle. It is only a bad thing when the additional haste provides no extra shots or no higher damage shots but costs you crit or mastery and reduces damage. [...]  The key to keep in mind is that not being able to use all of your focus is not necessarily a bad thing as long as you are doing your best to use that focus. If changes you make end up wasting even more focus, it is not bad as long as those changes result in higher DPS too.

Bikiniwax asked, “The extra haste model that you are proposing at the end of your post above – would this be Paragon’s 1850 haste setup as you discussed in post #511?”

Whitefyst discussed the Paragon haste setup then replied:

The extra haste situations I refer to in the post [...] are ones that add significant amounts of haste to either gain a GCD every CS cycle due to reducing SS cast time by 0.25s per each of 4 SSs or reducing AI cast time significantly.

The extra haste models I was referring to are the ones similar to those in the Max DPS thread. The case in that thread is the extreme case where the haste rating is greater than the crit rating ensuring that Matrix Restabilizer procs haste always instead of crit. With both haste trinkets procing at the start of the fight and using RFs, 1s AI cast times allow a lot of AIs to be cast in the CA phase.

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Coil of Ten-Thousand Screams (heroic) vs. Firearrow Belt for MM Aimed

In the Best Possible DPS thread, Eurytos compared the Coil of Ten-Thousand Screams (heroic) with the Firearrow Belt:

I got MM Aimed up to 40539.81. The heroic Cho’gall belt and the Firearrow Belt are dead even. The Cho’Gall belt wins because it allows you to get closer to a haste plateau in the sim, but in reality I would probably wear the Firearrow Belt.

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Flickering Shoulders of the Windflurry for MM Aimed

In the Best Possible DPS thread, Serkuss suggested using Flickering Shoulders of the Windflurry for the Marksmanship hard-cast Aimed Shot template:

MM (Hard Aimed): Switching to use the crit haste shoulders from Beth’tilac (With appropriate reforge/gems) gives 40800.58. A similar setup also gives 40155.54 for the Arcane shot setting. 37450.37 for BM. 36211.59 for SV. Used 20 Agi on gloves for BM and SV.

Eurytos replied:

Great find. [...] Since that requires several gear changes (changing chest to tier chest) and all the tweaks that go along with that, I figure this as good a time as any to remove the heroic Firearrow Belt.

I tweaked the MM (Aimed) profile a bit but for the others all I did was change the heroic belt to normal. I did not change the shoulders [for] the others, so there are a lot of improvements that can be still be made for you guys to submit.

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Sic’Em and Wild Hunt, Deadly Ember Topaz in Helm for SV

In the Best Possible DPS thread, Warper suggested:

For Survival remove last point in Careful Aim, put it into Sic’Em. In pet talents remove 1 point from Shark Attack, put it into Wild Hunt. Together it adds some dps 36223.68->36413.99. Change yellow socket in helmet from 20Agi/20haste to 20Agi/20Crit -> 36451.08.

Eurytos replied: “Good work. Either of those talent changes separate was a decrease, but together they work out to a net gain. OP updated.”

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Owl’s Focus plus Sic’Em Can Produce Unexpectedly Low Crit Weight

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Brile reported encountering an unexpectedly low crit stat weight after running the analyzer:

Surv stat priority puts Crit>Haste>Mastery, however after running the analyzer I found that the stat weight for my crit is extremely low (0.308). Per the character sheet I have 26.12% crit chance (35.64% raid buffed) so I’m not anywhere near 100% crit. Am I running into a soft-cap or hard-cap wall on crit? Link to my settings

Rivkah replied that this sometimes happens with abilities that are crit-based and that in this case the issue was related to the combination of Owl’s Focus and Sic’Em:

Because the abilities don’t stack, sometimes shifts in crit rate will cause the Sic’Ems to overlap more with Owl’s Focus. This can create waste of Sic’Ems which can lead to Wild Hunt uptime going down. Adding another 100 crit rating to your setup seems to bring the crit value back to normal. It’s an unfortunate side effect of attempting to simulate randomness- in game you can waste Sic’Ems due to Owl’s Focus overlap too, but it’ll be truly random when the effect overlaps so you don’t get these kinds of patterns emerging.

When you see weird values like this, you can increase the crit value slightly and see whether the change is in the hunter dps or pet dps (in your case adding 50 crit causes your hunter dps to go up but pet dps to go down, thus the low crit value). Occasionally this happens as well with things like the Aimed Shot glyph, but the Owl’s Focus + Sic’Em situation is the most common cause.

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Firearrow Belt Gem Bug

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Eurytos reported:

There seems to be a bug where some profiles are given an extra gem, possibly from a old piece of gear that didn’t get removed somehow. An example of this can be seen here: Zeherah’s Hunter DPS Analyzer. Compare that profile to Zeherah’s Hunter DPS Analyzer and you can see that with the same gear/talents the first profile has 40 more agility and the meta activation says “Meta Bonus Activated (14/3 Red)” even though only 13 red gems are used.

Rivkah replied that “it looks like what’s going on is that somehow the Firearrow Belt heroic managed to get a gem selected for a socket it doesn’t have available.”

I believe I’ve fixed it now so when loading a saved setting it shouldn’t load in any saved gems for sockets that aren’t valid. This should resolve the issue you reported.

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Kill Command, Berserking, Bloodfury part II

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Rivkah replied to previous suggestions regarding the way Kill Command and the racials Berserking and Bloodfury are implemented.

Kill Command implementation has been updated:

I’ve modified the option which allows use of Kill Command only when T12 is procced. Now if Arcane is currently being suppressed for Aimed Shot, Kill Command will also be suppressed. [...]

The Berserking issue will be more difficult to solve:

There is the option to force haste buffs not to overlap, but Berserking gets checked for casting before Rapid Fire since Rapid Fire is actually considered part of the shot priority and not specially handled. So anytime you enable suppressing haste cooldowns if your focus shot is below a specific speed, Berserking will get used before Rapid Fire. When I have some more time I’ll look if there’s a better way to solve this.[...]

Changes to Blood Fury usage would require a complete rewrite:

Currently no AP calculations are even done until after the shots are simulated. Having to calculate the damage of each shot as it fires instead of doing it at the end would be a pretty major change. It’s something I may consider doing at some point but I’d have to find my way around some of the basic issues we already run into with haste and crit, that basically small shifts can sometimes have significant impacts when living in the world of pseudo random simulation. [...]

In response to a suggestion that users provide the actual time to use Blood Fury and other racials, Rivkah replied:

I’ve considered this, but the more settings I add to the site, the harder it becomes to use (not to mention to understand what I’m doing in the code). Again, this is something I could currently only do with haste based CDs and I’d want to find a solution that didn’t involve filling in a bunch of blanks.

For focus based cooldowns (arcane torrent/fervor) I currently just use them off CD when the focus given by the ability isn’t going to cap the hunter focus (i.e. hunter focus is < max hunter focus – cooldown focus regen – 15). It wouldn’t be hard to let people customize the -15 part to be a different number if arcane torrent and fervor are currently being used at bad times, but I don’t recall receiving complaints about that particular issue.

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Pet Basic Attack Bug Emulation part II

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Rivkah announced that she had fixed a problem that was created by the recently implemented support for the pet attack bug:

Previously I was advancing the attack timer and calculating expected focus regen for that time based on when the next pet or hunter attack was expected (i.e. if waiting on GCD or whatever). However this sometimes would happen right at the edge of a Rapid Fire expiring, which meant that when I changed the pet attack timing, this behavior changed and the focus regen was affected. I’ve adjusted it now so it never moves the timer forward more than .1 sec, which should make sure focus regen never gets very far from what it should be. The negative to this approach is it’s more calculations for the server, but so far my tests show that the dps results are still coming back quickly enough that I hope it won’t be a huge issue. It might also potentially even out a few more of the weird edge cases that get reported.

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Freya in Ulduar

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Durendil reported soloing Freya for the hunter world-first.

Phase 1

When they appear, misdirect the lashers on the pet, and keep the spirit’s aggro. Then dps like a madman the storm lasher. If there are any mushrooms left, go under. Pop rapid fire and CD asap. Once it’s finished, kill the tree that appeared. Do not kill the lasher, attack the snaplasher. Pop another rapid fire, and other CDs. When he’s low on health, misdirect and attack the water spirit. Kill them within 12 seconds of each other. Ignore the second tree that comes up. If you’re low on dps (bloody crossbow, why won’t you drop?), you will find yourself with another wave coming. If it’s a conservator, go under a mushroom. If it’s the swarm, finish the children, then FD. If the children are the 6th wave, thank randomness.

Phase 2

Tank. Dps. Heal. Loot – or not. She doesn’t drop loot if you are alone. Bad freya.

A detailed strategy guide is provided in the post along with a link to Durendil’s YouTube Channel where a video of the kill can be viewed. See our WHH recap here.

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General Vezax in Ulduar

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Durendil reported soloing General Vezax for a world-first kill. Durendil said that the one-phase fight is rather easy:

Interrupt searing flames when you can, and use a pet CD when you can’t. Avoid shadow crashes and their pools, and kite the boss when he’s buffed. Don’t forget to destroy 1 saronite vapor.

A guide to soloing Vezax is provided in the post and a video of the encounter can be seen at Durendil vs Vezax – YouTube. See our WHH recap here.

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Lady Deathwhisper in Icecrown Citadel

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Sepultura noted that Lady Deathwhisper had been soloed and linked a video of the kill: Hunter Vs. Lady Deathwhisper By Japskidin – World of Warcraft Movies. The kill was added to Durendil’s list of 10-man Lich King raid bosses soloed by hunters.

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Soul Power Achievement: Bronjahm in the Forge of Souls

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Jobby reported soloing Brojahm for the achievement: Soul Power:

Got the Bronjahm achievement solo today, would be a lot easier if pet movement always worked the way you wanted it to. Did it as MM with a pet that had dash, though any spec should work. Kept MDing to pet and FDing until he had a huge aggro lead while letting a couple souls hit him, then dropped an Ice Trap in the middle of the room and had the pet kite him around the outside while I dropped him to ~40%. [...] After the fourth one spawned, I moved the monkey down the path back to the entrance, close to the circle grate area (he despawns if you go into the circle area), dropping an Ice Trap on the ramp up to the room as I ran. When the souls were about to reach him, I smacked him below 35%, triggering his teleport back to his spawn point. I hit readiness, dropped another ice trap on the souls, ran to him (don’t use cheetah!), popped RF, and blew him up right as the souls reached him. [...]

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A full index of all Elitist Jerks posts recapped at the Wow Hunter’s Hall is maintained in the Index of Elitist Jerks Hunter Forum Posts

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