Elitist Jerks Weekly Recap 10/28/11

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.

Tracking Internal Cooldowns with Addons 10/21/11

In the Simple Questions/Simple Answers thread, redjohnsc described a problem using addons to track trinket internal cooldowns:

In the past I used addons such as Heatsink or NeedToKnow to track internal Cds of trinkets thus allowing me to stack my trinket procs with cds for maximum uptime. I have noticed that in Cata it seems that the trinket proc rates are much lower [...] or perhaps I’m just using the wrong trinkets? Many times my Icd of a trinket will be expired and I will go through a full RF without the proc. Is this still an efficient method to gain extra dmg?

Kaitain replied:  “Never once experienced your problem using NeedToKnow to track iCDs on The Hungerer and Matrix Restabilizer, they proc within a few seconds of the iCD finishing. [Is it] possible your values for the iCDs are wrong?

Read full post

Updated Shot and Ability Information, Definitions of Terms 10/18/11

Whitefyst updated the Marksmanship Guide to provide additional information on shots and abilities and to further define and clarify terms.

The Standard Shots and Abilities section has detailed, up-to-date information regarding each shot/ability a Marksmanship hunter would use in a typical boss fight. An example:

Arcane Shot (AS): AS is a magical attack. It costs 25 focus, with the cost reduced to 22 focus with Efficiency. When moving, in threat of cast interruptions or pushback, or when at low haste levels, AS should be your primary focus dump. The exception is during the CA phase when AI should be used as the focus dump instead due to 60% crit buff on it in that phase. Even during the CA phase, you still may want to use AS as the focus dump when moving or when experiencing a lot of interruptions/pushback where you cannot effectively cast AI. Additional benefits of AS include its crits generate pet focus due to Sic’Em and it also applying the MfD effect on targets. The AS glyph increases its damage by 12%.

Concepts related to hunter rotations and abilities are defined in the Shots and Shot Priority/Rotation section. An example:

Focus Dump: A high damage ability that costs focus but does not have a CD so that we can use it as often as we want to utilize our focus. For MMs, the two focus dump choices for single target combat are Aimed Shot (AI) and Arcane Shot (AS). Although attacks like Chimera Shot (CS) and Kill Command (KC) do large damage and cost focus, they also have CDs, meaning that they are not focus dumps (although in special cases MMs may periodically use Kill Command like a focus dump). For AoE situations, Multishot is the focus dump.

For a complete list of updates to the guide see Marksmanship Guide: History.

Relative Value of Haste 10/18/11

In the Best Possible DPS thread, Kushana considered the relative value of haste:

Part of the weirdness around haste has to do with the haste plateaus of the simulation. For example, in my current best Surv build, there are 261 discrete events in the simulation. That represents a plateau until I can fit 262 in, that is, an extra shot. As a result, in most cases adding 1 haste to my build gives +0.5dps. In fact, only when I add 200 haste to my build do I see any reasonable average haste benefit, and even then it’s only about 1.4dps/haste, far short of the 2-3 shown by the spreadsheet.

This gives rise to a couple of observations. One is that people may want to extend their simulation to, say, 10 or 15 minutes. While this is a poorer simulation of an actual boss fight, it does gives a smoother gradient for comparing haste to other stats.

The second observation is that a large chunk of the benefit of haste comes from fitting extra shots into a given fight. If you are in fights where you are losing shots due to mechanics, poor behavior, or any other reason, you should be lowering the relative value of haste.

Shadowwaltz agreed:

I agree with all of that Kushana. There’s definitely situations where you would want to use 20 agi/20 crit gems in yellow slots instead of 20 haste even tho haste sims higher than crit. There’s also times you should reforge a piece or two out of haste and into crit.

But even with all that said, haste is still the best stat and you want more haste than anything else.

Whitefyst added:

This is true, but it is also true that the same scenario lowers the relative value of all of your other stats as well.

Less shots, means less chances to crit. Less chances to crit means less of the bonus damage, especially with PS and the meta bonuses. It also means less GftT and Sic’Em procs lowering pet WH uptime and DPS.

Less shots means less chances to proc WQ, lowering the value of mastery.

If you are losing a chunk of shots due to mechanics, then that pretty much affects all stats roughly the same. You are not doing anything at all during that period (except maybe autos which provides some value to crit and mastery but also to haste since it affects the frequency). Once that period is over, you should be back to normal.

Losing shots to poor behavior affects all stats as well. The only cases I can think of that lowers the value of haste more that it does other stats are fights with a lot of movement where we are forced to use a lot more ASs than AIs so that we are performing a smaller percentage of shots affected by haste or AoE situations where our predominate shot is instant cast MS. AoE situations really favor crit and mastery over haste.

Read full post

Mists of Pandaria: All Specs (Original Post) 10/26/11

Carebare started a new thread, Mists of Pandaria: All Specs to discuss hunters in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Guidelines for the thread were established:

Avoid excessive wish-listing and whining. Constructive criticism is fine. Make sure you are making a useful post. “I like X” is not useful. “I like X because it allows this or that” is useful. Common sense applies, if you’re not sure feel free to PM a moderator or administrator. Thanks.

Read full post

New Talents 10/27/11

In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Nooska said, “I’ll start the ball rolling with my thoughts on the new talents unveiled – of course there is the caveat that anything and everything can change, but I will assume the latest info to be the way things are (otherwise a discussion will be meaningless).”

Level 15

  • Frozen Arrows Your arrows and ammunition are chilled with frost, causing your Auto Shot to have a 30% chance to reduce the target’s movement speed by 30% for 10 seconds.
  • Arcane Arrows Your arrows and amunition are infused with arcane magic, causing your Auto Shot to have a 50% chance to restore 5 focus when it deals damage.
  • Venom Tipped Arrows Your arrows and ammunition are mixed with serpent venom, causeing a stacking poison damage over time effect on the target dealing Nature damage. Stacks up to 5 times.

The first tier of talents seem pretty clear cut. Frozen Arrows is – in end game terms – a kiting talent and the other 2 are dps talents in some capacities. Looking a bit more at Frozen Arrows, it is only autoshots and it’s a 30% chance. Since the effect lasts 10 seconds you should, rng aside, be able to keep it up 100% as long as you are facing your target; however, unless ranged speed is lowered, it could potentially take up to 10+ seconds to get the effect on the target. My feeling is the proc chance should be upped (40-50%), with a lowering of the duration possibly (6-8 seconds) for reliability. Arcane Arrows and Venom Tipped Arrows are a bit harder to quantify without hands-on testing. AA is a focus booster, and thus will boost damage as long as we can utilize the extra focus, while VTA is a direct damage boost – VTA is the talent to pick when focus is no longer an issue [...].

Level 30
Silencing Shot, Wyvern Sting and Intimidation are all the same as today.

For end-game purposes, I very much doubt if Intimidation is going to be picked up; a 3 second stun and temporary threat just doesn’t seem useful. That leaves an interrupt and a CC, and I dare say the most useful in an end-game environment will almost certainly be the interrupt, as long as Wyvern Sting has the dot and is non-renewable, we have better and more reliable CC [...].

Level 45

  • Posthaste 60% movement speed for 4 seconds after we use Disengage.
  • Evasiveness 100% increased chance to dodge attacks and resists spells for 3 seconds after we use disengage.
  • Exhilaration 15% selfheal when landing after a disengage.

Posthaste is an amped up version of the current MM talent, Evasiveness screams PvP, as I doubt anything worth using it on in a raiding environment will be subject to the effect. Exhilaration seems to be the safest choice here, though Posthaste can definitely have some situational use where moving fast is critical periodically; however, unless disengage itself gets an overhaul so we aren’t technically left in position until we land, it seems more for soloing than group play. An on demand 15% selfheal every 25 seconds seems very useful.

Level 60
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera and Spirit Bond are known quantities with Aspect of the Iron Hawk being new and reducing all direct damage taken by 15%.
In a raiding perspective AotIH could have some situational uses in a fight where dps needs to “tank” a damage source [...]. Outside of this, Spirit Bond seems to be the better option of the 2, and CT,HC is, in reality, useless for a raiding environment.

Level 75
Fervor, Readiness and TotH [Thrill of the Hunt] all make a return, and this will probably be the most interesting talent tier for raiders. All 3 talents are the same as we know today (though TotH has been changed slightly to include all focus costing shots of course) and all 3 options are good in different ways. Looking more closely, I don’t think Fervor will have much going for it though – not on the current 2 minute CD, seeing as Readiness is only on a 3 minute CD, and will almost definitely provide a bigger boost (or burst) of damage output than Fervor’s 50 focus. The choice most likely comes down to Readiness or TotH, and that is an interesting choice, but along the same lines as the first tier of talents, TotH is based on focus generation, which has a possibility of becoming either a must have or a moot point.

Level 90

  • Flash Freeze Your Freezing Trap no longer has a cooldown, but only one target can be afflicted by it at a time.
  • Black Ice Increases the movement reduction of your Ice Trap by an additional 10% and when you move through your Ice Trap you gain 50% movement speed for 4 sec.
  • Transmorph Trap Place a nature trap laced with a special toxin that will transmorph the next enemy into a beast, reducing their movement speed by 60% and causing them to be unable to use any of their normal abilities.

The last tier is all about traps. Not so sexy, but there are some very interesting implications here I think.

First let’s look at Flash Freeze. On the surface not so interesting; all it does it remove the CD on Freezing Trap, and unless there are habitual trap breakers around, it’s not very useful – but! The next part of Flash Freeze implies that the restriction of only one trapped target at a time is going away again – if it isn’t, this is the one talent presented that I really think should simply be made baseline.

Black Ice is also an interesting talent [...] Definitely a must have for any kiting situation, between this and the Frozen Arrow’s intent, we are very well covered for kiting.

Transmorph trap is a whole new trap that looks interesting and less than useful at the same time. The trap doesn’t state a duration which will be what this trap hinges on. It doesn’t look terribly useful for raiding on the surface, but if it works on mob types that are hard to get CC on, it makes them the target of other CC options as well (Hibernate, sheep and Scare Beast come to mind); however, if it doesn’t work on these types of mobs it is more or less a PvP option.

[...] The talents most in need of tweaking [are] Fervor [...], Wyvern Sting and Frozen Arrows. Wyvern Sting and Frozen Arrows are good options, but they are just a bit too unreliable – Wyvern Sting I would like to see as a sustainable CC option[...] and Frozen Arrows are a bit too rng in getting up [...].

Mericet replied:

I think you have to sort of have to guess at Blizzard’s intentions with some of these talents and figure out where balance will eventually end up. Like on the first tier, I’m guessing they want VTA [Venom Tipped Arrows] to be strong enough that it’s better on a single target when you can stack it up, but weaker than Arcane Arrows otherwise.

Nooska, when you talk about Spirit Bond are you taking into account the changed version? It heals twice as fast now (2% every 5 instead of 10 seconds) but the increased healing received is gone. For standard raiding purposes it looks to me like iron hawk will be the stronger choice, especially since without Glyph of Raptor Strike (unless they work the 20% DR into some other ability I guess) hunters don’t have any other % damage reduction abilities or passive traits, which is fairly unusual. [...]

I agree that Fervor is likely to see a change. The cooldown is too long and the effect too small to ever be worthwhile over Readiness or Thrill of the Hunt. I’m also a little disappointed with the level 90 talents having minimal effect on raiding in most cases. Black Ice is probably the best by default [...]

Feanoro replied:

Nooska, your initial analysis is not surprisingly well written, so I’ll simply add my thoughts to it, rather than restate. As I understand it, a stated goal for the new talents is that there’s no “bad” talents. Thus, the current talents seem to be more situational, and not as simple as pve vs pvp, though some tiers certainly argue as much.

Level 15

  • Frozen Arrows I have nothing to add on effectiveness, but rather purpose. Seeing this along with the later trap talent makes me hopeful that we’ll see a resurgence of kiting, since the mechanic started being downplayed as far back as BC. Any kiting now is far more likely to be given to a frost mage or dk. I would personally welcome us regaining our spot as top kiters, as it provided gameplay variety as opposed to simply pumping out damage.
  • Arcane Arrows As we’ve seen, there can and have been issues of focus capping, (which leads me to think Blizzard might adjust the model slightly) in which case AA becomes almost useless. For MM, coupled with Rapid Recuperation, the problem is even more pronounced. Thus, I suggest that AA will be more our choice for fights involving mid to heavy aoe, target swapping, or those frequently requiring extra shots such as Tranq. Arguably, we could simply save up enough AA focus refunds to power single target shots as well, but I don’t anticipate them completely abandoning Steady/Cobra granting focus.
  • Venom Tipped Arrows Since this has a ramp up, it’s fairly obvious that it will see its best use on sustained single target.

Level 45
Intimidation, unless reworked, seems like it will be relegated to a pvp talent, though I’m not fully clear on its effective usage. I haven’t extensively pvped as BM to see how it currently feels, but doesn’t it suffer the same basic problem as Kill Command? IE, if the pet doesn’t reach the target by the time the buff expires, too bad?

Level 60
Going by past raiding, I’d almost certainly pick Iron Hawk, as we are relatively very poor in defense. Consider that our health pools can be around 150k now (rounding for nice numbers), 2% is only 3k. Even every five seconds, that won’t keep up with any raid wide damage, and becomes nearly useless in the absence of such.

All in all, I’m not completely sold on the system yet, but I’m very interested to see the iterations it undergoes.

Dibbler speculated that Venom Tipped Arrows might be synergistic with Survival’s mastery bonus to elemental damage.

bjorn9486 said “the level 90 talents all seemed to be based around PvP or dungeon PvE. [...]”

Raid bosses are currently immune to our traps, so unless there are more bosses with adds [...] these talents are pretty much worthless.

Mericet replied:

Well, with the new “endgame” options such as challenges and scenarios, there will be PVE situations where the level 90 trap talents are useful; maybe Blizzard designed them with the purpose in mind that they wouldn’t be very useful in traditional raids but would be more potent for those other options. Whether or not those other types of content end up mattering to the endgame raiding scene is something we’ll just have to wait and see about.

Read Full Post

New Soloing Blog 10/24/11

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Durendil announced a new blog on hunter soloing:

Adamjmac was nice enough to make me notice that except [for] this thread (and articles linking to it), not much existed as far as hunter soloing was concerned. So I decided to create Durendil : Hunter soloing. I will put there soloing news, guides and strategies to farming each boss. [...]

Read full post

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.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...