Elitist Jerks Weekly Recap 10/14/11

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.


Chance on Hit Trinkets

In the Marksmanship thread, Mericet asked, “Has anyone else experimented with unequipping and reequipping ‘chance on hit’ trinkets before a fight starts so as not to proc them right away?”

I ask because the haste from The Hungerer and the crit (or haste, if Hungerer procs first, which it always seems to) from the Matrix Restabilizer are largely wasted during the first ~30 seconds of the encounter since you are already under the effects of Rapid Fire and Careful Aim. [...]

Alienangel replied, “Unless you were already at 1 second Aimed Shots without the haste trinket procs, the haste from the early double proc isn’t wasted though – any speed up to your Aimed hard-casts during Careful Aim is worth it, likely more so than deferring the procs till after RF wears off and risking losing a proc later in the fight. [...]”

Whitefyst added, “The haste trinket procs at the start of fights is not actually wasted, in fact, it is pretty ideal (with the exception being if you have Bloodlust at the start of the fight as well). This is illustrated well in both the MM cases in the Best Possible DPS threads, which are extreme haste cases. And this is true even if you are a Troll and use Berserking to start too.”

  • We do our most damage during the fight during the CA phase, where our number one damage shot is AI. The additional haste from the trinket procs has several benefits during the CA phase:
  • Reduced AI cast time so you can perform more of them during the CA phase. Even with the extreme static haste amounts in the Best Possible DPS cases, glyphed RF, and both haste trinket procs during the CA phase, AI cast time is still above is at 1.007s. If you are a Troll, the AI cast time may be down to about 0.84s briefly, but that means that you can queue them better. If you have less than the static haste in these cases, then your AI cast times do not get as low and the trinket procs are even more beneficial.
  • Increased autoshot frequency so that you can still do a lot of autoshots despite the lockouts from the AI casts. This increases the chances for a T12 4-set proc.
  • Increased focus regen helping to power more AI casts with less SSs needed.
  • Using the trinkets earlier will generally increase their uptime during the duration of the fight.

The only waste in regards to that haste is that your SS casts are already below the GCD soft cap even without the trinket procs, but that is really not a big concern since you should not be performing too many SSs – just enough to maintain ISS and provide enough focus for AIs. [...]

Thus, save yourself the trouble and the DPS loss and just keep the trinkets on at all times. The haste being wasted on fast SSs is overcome by the haste’s benefit to allowing more AI casts during the CA phase when they are pretty much guaranteed crits. [...]

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Weapon Speed and Normalized Damage

In the Marksmanship thread, Repins asked if older formulas for calculating normalized weapon damage were still correct:

Below is what I assumed was the correct way to calculate it, although where I got my information from seems to be a bit outdated so it’s left me questioning its correctness.

normalized damage = base weapon damage + (2.8 * Attack Power / 14)
Base weapon damage is top end of the spectrum + bottom end of the spectrum divided by 2. [...]

From how I calculated it weapon speed definitely plays a role in damage still, albeit a rather small one while top end damage has no effect.

Warper replied, “In short, [the formulas are] still correct, no changes in ranged weapons normalization were introduced since that time.”

Meanwhile it’s somewhat incorrect to compare weapons looking at their speed only.

  • Autoattack depends on weapon dps only. [...]
  • Weapon contribution in special shots depends on base weapon damage only. Speed is irrelevant [...]

Still out of 2 weapons with same dps the one with lower speed is a bit better, because lower speed weapon will have higher base weapon damage. [...]

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Rapid Recuperation Changed on the PTR?

In the Marksmanship thread, Whitefyst asked, “Can someone on the PTR checkout Rapid Recuperation please.”

MMO Champions is reporting a change to the effect that seems to indicate that the synergy with Rapid Killing – gaining 25/50 focus when gain it – is being lost. If this is really the case, this is a big loss to our AoE DPS as well as on trash and certain boss fights with adds.

Mericet replied, “For what it’s worth, the note about a rapid recuperation change was removed completely from the “finalized” list of ability changes on mmo-champion.”

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High Haste Recommendations, AoE Spec, Updated Talents and Glyphs

Whitefyst has updated the Marksmanship Guide with recommendations in the preface for the high haste case, a suggested AoE spec, and additional information regarding talents and glyphs.

The preface to the guide summarizes recommendations for those who want quick answers without elaboration and can be found here.

The Spec section of the guide has been updated with an AoE spec useful for encounters where the hunter is controlling adds such as Magmaw or Beth’tilac:

The main difference between this spec and the maximum DPS spec is that it primarily gives up pet damage to increase AoE damage and add control. However, it still maintains most of your non-pet talents so that hunter DPS is mostly unaffected for parts of the fight when you may not be AoEing. The pet talents sacrificed include Frenzy, Bestial Discipline, and 1 or more points in Sic’Em. In this example spec, the point in Termination is removed as well since when AoEing you will be doing less SSs in general and especially when adds are dyeing and focus is being returned via the RK [Rapid Killing] and RR [Rapid Recuperation] synergy. The main goal of these changes is to pick up Entrapment in the Survival tree to help control adds. The other major change is to pick up Concussive Barrage to also help with add control. [...].

The updated Talent section includes additional notes for Efficiency, Sic’Em, and Frenzy, and can be found here, while updated information regarding Prime Glyphs can be read here.

See the complete list of updates to the Marksmanship Guide.


Practical Application of the Best DPS Template for an MM Build

In the Best Possible DPS thread, Stìlgar asked, “What is the purpose of this thread?”

Would it offer any insight on what to actually do or how to prepare for any boss fight, even a target dummy? Forgive me if this seems obtuse or if I’m being dense, but I don’t see how this could compliment what is already posted in the other threads. In other words, should I start prioritizing haste over crit for an arcane dump build? I think this generates too much hypothetical discussion that may detract from or conflict with real boss fights.

Whitefyst replied, “I have been meaning to update the guide for this case for a while but have been busy and had hoped that the posts in the MM thread would be sufficient; however, since the posts are now a couple pages back, it seems people are missing them.”

I have updated the recommendations section in the MM guide to talk about the case. In addition, here are links to the posts discussing it:

  1. Initial post after the Best DPS Thread started is here.
  2. Follow on post answering question on ideal haste cap for a tight CS cycle for the AI hardcast case and where I conclude that there really is not a good feasible one is here. Hence, the goals are as stated in the updated MM guide. Get enough haste to allow Matrix Restabilizer to always proc haste and where your AI casts are sufficiently hasted during haste trinket procs.
  3. This post explains taking the Best Possible DPS thread in context and some of the benefits it provides. In it I provide an analysis with my current gear at the time. As my gear as improved and I have obtained Matrix, I have gravitated to doing more and more AIs but still doing a decent number of ASs when I think it is necessary to do so (moving, interruption/pushback threats, out of range of melee haste totem, ect.).

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From T12 to T13: Relative Effects on the Hunter Specs
In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Whitefyst considered how the loss of the T12 tier bonuses and gaining of the T13 tier bonuses will affect each spec and hypothesized that the change will help to even out the dps of the three specs a bit:

Let us check this out using the maximum DPS cases from the Best Possible DPS thread since those are the ones that are the most readily available to me and apply correctly all of the knowledge of the other hunter specs of which I am ignorant.

Losing the tier 12 two-piece bonus will affect Survival the most; however, the difference is small:

[...] the T12 2P helps SV the most [...] The DPS difference here between the specs is small and within 170 DPS.

Losing the tier 12 four-piece bonus will affect Marksmanship the most:

[...] MM benefits from the T12 4P bonus the most despite the fact that the MM cycles perform the least number of autoshots. This is because each proc for MMs saves a lot more focus since MMs shots cost more focus on average than the other specs and since the shots on which MM uses that extra focus does a lot more damage on average.

Losing both tier 12 set bonuses will affect Beast Mastery the least:

[...] The benefit of the T12 4-sets affects MMs (both focus dump cases) and SV about the same. Hence, losing it will not allow SV to close the gap on MM at all. However, BM DPS was much less affected by the T12 set by about 400 DPS. This will help close the gap for BM a little, but the gap is still large.

The tier 13 two-piece bonus will help Beast Mastery and Survival more than Marksmanship:

The T13 2P bonus doubles the base focus generated by Steady/Cobra Shot. The result of this bonus is focus savings similar to the T12 4P except that it is not proc based and is a consistent and predictable benefit. Furthermore, is benefits are derived from Steady/Cobra Shots instead of autoshot, and the amount of focus saved is not dependent on the shot that consumes the proc.

Since MMs perform more Steady/Cobra Shots than the other specs, they will gain more focus from this set bonus; however, this is somewhat countered by the fact that their shots consume more focus on average as well. [...]

Overall, this change benefits BM and SV a lot more than the primary MM AI rotation since the focus savings for BM and SV allows more focus dumps to be performed. However, this change is still rather small compared to the overall deficit.

The tier 13 four-piece bonus will help Beast Mastery and Survival much more than Marksmanship:

The T13 4P provides 30% for 15s with a 40% proc chance from AS. [...]

For the MM AS case, the situation will be to still use AS as the focus dump at all times when unhasted, but the T13 4P proc will result in haste causing the use of AI as focus dump during the small haste period. This set bonus will make the MM AI and MM AS cases a little closer together in that one will perform more ASs and the other less. [...]

I expect that the T13 4P will benefit SV and BM much more than MM. How much more will depend on whether there is an ICD and how long the ICD is if so. A short or no ICD benefits BM and SV more since they continuously cast AS and will have a much higher T13 4P uptime. MMs will be casting AS less often and will have fewer procs and a lower uptime. A longer duration ICD will even out the procs and uptime a bit, but SV and BM will still have more T13 4P procs.

Overall, changing from tier 12 to tier 13 will benefit Beast Mastery and Survival more than Marksmanship, but not enough to close the gaps:

[...] BMs and SVs should see a considerable DPS gain from the loss of the T12 set to the gaining of the T13 set over what MM hunters will receive. This gain will close the DPS gap a little but not nearly enough.

A 10% Attack Power buff would benefit Beast Mastery more than Marksmanship and Survival:

[...] Such a change would really buff BM relative to the other hunter specs due to its 15% AP spec buff. The affect on MM and SV is comparable, so it would not help SV as much relative to other hunter specs, but it would help it relative to all other DPS specs.

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Tier 13 Four-Piece Bonus and Autoshot Frequency

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Whitefyst said that the implementation for the T13 Four Piece proc was not being applied correctly to autoshot frequency:

Here is data on the change in the number of autoshots for 4 spec cases with adding in the T13 4P:MM AI only: 0 (T13 4P never occurs so this is correct)

  • MM AS unhasted: -6 (negative due to casting more AIs but maybe no benefit from haste)
  • BM: 0 (with AS performed all through an increase in autoshots should have occurred)
  • SV: +2 (do not know enough about SV to say what caused the increase in autos)

It seems that an increase in 30% haste for large durations in the fight for BM and SV should cause a large increase in autoshot rate. In the BM case, the autoshot frequency number in the table was unchanged. With assuming a 2s autoshot frequency before the buff, a 30% buff would reduce the cast time to 1.54s for 195 autos over a 5 min fight instead of 150 autoshots if the buff had 100% uptime. Assuming a 50% uptime conservatively with your implementation, one would still expect an increase in autos by 21.

The haste does seem to be correctly affecting other items affected by haste such as cast times and focus regen.

Rivkah checked and found that the uptime calculation that was being used was bugged and stated that it should now be fixed. Rivkah also explained that the uptime for the buff in her implementation includes an internal cooldown:

My current implementation includes a 45 sec ICD, so you wouldn’t see a 50% uptime with a 15 sec buff, it’ll be closer to 33%. I have no idea what the actual implementation is (hopefully we’ll have more test data on it soon), but I’d be surprised if a 40% proc rate on the set bonus didn’t come with some sort of ICD.

Whitefyst replied that the autoshot problem was indeed fixed and that Beast Mastery gained 15 autoshots.

My bad on assuming no ICD in your implementation. When I looked at the MM AS case, I only saw ASs before the procs and assumed no ICD. Now that I looked at the case again with the better understanding of your implementation, I see that I was misreading the situation.

Beast Mastery should see the largest T13 four-piece proc uptime, with Survival not far behind:

Definitely with their more consistent and frequent use of AS in their rotations, BM should see the largest uptimes of the T13 4P proc. Even with their significantly lower use of AS, SV’s uptime should not be far behind BM since they still use AS consistently. The difference here is that it may just take a little longer for SV to get the proc naturally unless they decide to shoot additional ASs when the proc is off CD to get it sooner. MM will definitely have the lowest uptime naturally unless we game the ICD. Even with that, we probably will not even bother worrying about the proc until after the CA phase, which will put us behind BM and SV even if we game the proc perfectly afterwards.

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Tier 13 Simulation

In the SimulationCraft for Hunters thread, Caltiom announced creating a new report simulating tier 13:

I created a simple report at Simulationcraft.org simulating Hunters in T12 heroic gear, but with their tier12 set bonus disabled and tier13 activated. The old MM Aimed shot profile is renamed to MM_Aimed, and the new MM basic profile is using both Arcane and Aimed, trying to get the Tier13 4pc buff and dumping focus with Aimed until the buff expires. My changes were very rudimentary and certainly a lot more could be tweaked, but it clearly shows two main points most people already guessed:

  • MM should really use the strong 4pc bonus with a combination of Arcane and Aimed. Pure Aimed Shot now performs even worse than Arcane Shot.
  • BM closes much of the gap. You can clearly see in the ability breakdown how the BM decreases his need for Cobra Shots because of the 2pc bonus and therefore increases the number of Arcane Shots, thus guaranteeing near constant 4pc buff uptime.

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High Priestess Kilnara in Zul’Gurub

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Itzaic reported soloing High Priestess Kilnara, the panther boss in Zul’Gurub.

The probability of surviving phase one depends on how many times the Priestess casts Lash of Anguish:

Getting through phase 1 can be painful because of Lash of Anguish. You can absorb most of the lash’s damage through pet intervene. [...] Stay out of her melee range to avoid Tears of Blood. For the panthers, you want to pull them individually and kill them fast [...].

Gear is important for surviving phase two:

[...] As the phase goes on, she stacks up her damage/haste buff and eventually it’ll become unhealable even with pet cooldowns. You’ll want to save any of your damage cooldowns (like rapid fire and agi pot) for this. [...] When you see her camouflage, dismiss your current pet and pull out a fresh tanking pet. [...]

See our WHH recap for Itzaic’s full strategy and a video of the kill.

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Twin Val’kyr, Anub’arak, and Jaraxxus

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Durendil announced soloing the Twin Val’kyr, Anub’arak, and Jaraxxus in the Trial of the Crusader raid instance. Durendil said the Twin Val’kyr and Anub’arak fights were “pretty much tank and spanks.” See videos of the kills at Durendil vs Twin Val’kyr and Durendil vs Anub’Arak.

I also managed to kill Jaraxxus undergeared by feigning death and kiting him along the walls. It won’t despawn the Shiva, but she won’t attack you either.

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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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