Elitist Jerks Weekly Recap 11/11/11


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.

Haste Build vs. Mastery Build 11/7/11

In the Marksmanship thread, Whitefyst did an analysis of a high haste vs. mastery build.  “For this analysis, I used my character instead of the BiS setup in the Best Possible Thread since I am more comfortable with the setup for my character.”

The haste build is the setup currently on my character where I have just enough haste rating to be barely above my crit rating so that Matrix Restabilizer will always proc haste. FD does a great job of modeling the haste proc anytime it occurs. [...]

For the mastery setup, I kept all talents, glyphs, and shot priorities the same and only reforged gear to get as close to the 1235 haste rating for the 12.93% haste case with 3/3 Pathing. For reforging, crit still had priority over mastery when I could reforge into either. The main difference in this setup beyond the reforging is that Matrix Restabilizer no longer only procs haste. If Hungerer is not currently procced when Matrix procs, then Matrix procs crit instead of haste. FD does not model the crit or haste proc dynamic choice and instead assumes it is always a crit proc. [...] In actual game play, Hungerer will usually proc first at the start of the fight making Matrix proc more useful haste during the CA phase. [...]

As can be seen, the total DPS loss is 342, which is the equivalent of replacing about 2.7 AIs with ASs, when moving. Considering that AI cast time should normally be longer than the AS GCD and costs more focus, you should be able to replace more ASs per AI than 1 for 1 when on the move. Hence, I can see how the mastery build can be comparable DPS on small movement fights and maybe better DPS on high movement fights. Also better modeling of Matrix dynamic haste or crit procs will add DPS to this case as well. [...]

Maleman84 replied:

So what you’re saying here is that around 378 ilvl you should theoretically switch over to a 2/3 pathing and bump your haste upwards to compensate. If you are using the Hungerer/Matrix combo, you can go to 1372, but it would make more sense to just keep going to 1652 since its only 280 more, and that will allow Aimed Shots as a focus dump during hungerer procs?

I have a heroic Hungerer and regular Matrix. No real chance of my guild going 7/7H before 4.3. I switched to 1372ish haste with 2/3 pathing. Should I just bump it up to 1652? Or is that a little too much since I have heroic Hungerer? You say you only need 1454 “if you have heroic trinkets” but what is the middle ground if you have 1 heroic hungerer and 1 regular matrix?

Whitefyst replied, “Concerning the 2/3 Pathing comment, the statements you quoted are not meant to mean that one should “switch over to a 2/3 Pathing and bump your haste upwards to compensate”. The 2/3 Pathing in the quote is due to previous spec comments that I had stated earlier in the guide where I cannot assume that people spec 3/3 Pathing since it may not necessarily be ideal for everyone.”

If you are using the 5.4% or 12.93% haste cases or a similar haste amount, then you can more easily meet the haste rating requirements from gear with T12 gear without necessarily going full Pathing. Furthermore, since Pathing is multiplicative with haste rating, each point in Pathing is worth more with the more haste rating you have, which also means that the more points in Pathing you have to meet a haste requirement that each point in Pathing is worth less since the amount of haste rating used to meet the requirement is smaller. For some situations, it may be better to place the 3rd point in Pathing in something else, such as Frenzy, especially if you are an orc with Command.

If you are stacking haste to be able to cast AI more often and not just to make a certain haste level, then in most cases, having the third point in Pathing is very beneficial since at the high haste rating levels, each point in Pathing is worth a lot of equivalent haste rating.

Also note that if you want to guarantee Matrix to proc haste always that your static haste rating has to be higher than all your other ratings. Which option you want to do is your preference for what you think works best for your situation.

CedricDur asked, ” in what does this high mastery build differs from the normal 1235 haste one? In the normal 1235 haste build we get to the hit cap, we put our haste as close to 1235 as we can and then put all we can manage in crit with the left over stats in mastery.”

In the way you word your testing of the high mastery build you did pretty much the same since crit was given priority over mastery (with good reason) thus no special emphasis was given to the later. Or am I misunderstanding and you tried to have both balanced?

Whitefyst replied, “You are correct. The high mastery build I did still prioritized crit over mastery, so it is just like the normal 12.93% recommendation. The reason I called the cases high haste or high mastery is because those are the stats that were traded off in the two cases.”

CedricDur then asked, “Which begs the question of where did those 2-3k difference in DPS went from an aimed shot rotation to an arcane shot one, since you came out with only a 340 DPS loss. Something seems a bit off.”

Pichuca replied, “The difference is in practice you usually reforge out of mastery on every piece, even to haste above the 1235 cap.”

The same way you don´t usually reforge haste to mastery when above the haste cap. Also eith a 4 stat combination you can reforge out of hit to crit/haste when possible and reforge mastery to hit when possible. On the other hand, I would not call a “high mastery build” one that doesn´t, at least, prioritize mastery over haste.

Whitefyst replied, “The reason the DPS difference is small is because the modeling I did did not replace all AIs with ASs. It still did AIs when sufficiently hasted. You were just sufficiently hasted less often. In the high mastery case, it still did AIs, during the CA phase, during RFs, during BL, and during Hungerer procs.”

CedricDur replied, “So it boils down to the Hungerer procs? I assume that even in the old spec we all cast Aimed Shot during RF/Heroism/etc since it was the normal advice. That’s quite the jump for a single trinket.”

As Pichuca mentioned, when I reforged out of my haste-slightly-above-crit build (I really dislike standing still and casting and since I’m on add duty so often the extra AIs weren’t really happening anyway) and went to a 1235 instead of my old 1800, I took care to reforge all my extra hit and haste first and blimey, there was amply enough to reach both hit and haste cap without needing to touch my mastery. Of course the left overs went mainly for crit but there was still a bit that remained to be turned into mastery.

It’s quite the difference from the earlier days when we killed mastery to the bottom of the barrel to feed the other stats.

Whitefyst replied, “You have to realize that the analysis was done using my 385-6 ilevel and not full 391 ilevel gear. Hence, after reaching hit and haste caps, I only had about 750 rating points to reforge from haste into crit and mastery. At more BiS gear level, there are more rating points available to switch between the two cases.”

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High Haste: Theory vs. Logs 11/4/11

In the Marksmanship thread, Neith asked about a possible discrepancy between the theory regarding high haste levels presented on Elitist Jerks vs. practical results observed on World of Logs:

Looking thru the highest dps MM hunters on WoL shows quite clearly that the vast majority do not use high haste builds, but rather stick to either 12.93% or 5.4% and prioritize either mastery or crit over haste. [...] We do have to take into account that T12 is mostly a very movement heavy tier of raid, but even on fights where it is possible to minimize your movement’s negative effects on DPS, it is still quite clear that haste is far from the best possible stat.

In the best possible DPS thread, I posted about latency affecting the instant cast shots and was told that adverse effects of latency can be mostly overcome with ‘custom lag tolerance’ option. [...] Even with the option enabled I can still see the GCDs being at approximately 1.3 seconds with 300 ping. [...] If this is the case, would that alone not stand very strongly against the high levels of haste on premise that adding extra shots also adds your latency into the equation? In which case it would make a lot more sense to have less shots that hit harder via crit as well as more mastery procs.

KaneParker7 replied that most of the top parses from Baleroc 25 heroic are from hunters with a high haste rating:

Rank 3 Skunkzy – EU Nathrezime
Rank 4 Geoph – EU Nathrezime
Rank 9 Eiwo – EU Auchindoun

These characters are all over 1850 haste rating with 3/3 pathing included.

However, I don’t think you are wrong. [...] From my own personal experience, it’s difficult to judge what is better. High mastery is nice for fights like Beth’tilac where we are AoE’ing but on fights like Ragnaros, when you need massive amounts of single target dps to race the Meteor spawns, it seems better to have high haste.

Whitefyst replied, “The guide is not meant to say what spec or approach to use on a specific fight, although it does provide some recommendations in a few cases (such as for the AoE build). The guide is meant to provide a hunter with a a bunch of information, tools, and options so that they can pick the best option for their situation and/or specific fights.”

I do provide recommendations for some general situations, but they are meant only as starting points in your decision process or for routes for those people who do not want to think and optimize. Ideally, each player should experiment with the recommendations and pick the option that fits for them.  [...] I see the pros and cons on both approaches depending on the situation and try to find the middle ground that supports either route.

Concerning the latency on instants situations… If latency is indeed a problem on instants still as is suggested, then doesn’t that favor cast time shots like AI on which latency is not as much of a concern as often?

Concerning the current setup of end game hunters, their current setup is usually for whatever fight is considered the “progression” fight at the time. Since they usually can’t change reforges in the middle of a raid, their stat set up is usually for the fight of concern with the farm fights just using that setup as well even if it’s not ideal.

I will readily agree that depending on your raid’s strategy and your role in it, there are many situations in FL where the high haste AI build may not be ideal, but it is not neccessarily bad either depending on your ability to maximize cast time shots while moving. They key is using the setup that is best for your situation and with which you feel comfortable. [...]

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Shot Comparisons Section Updated 10/30/11

Whitefyst updated the Shot Comparisons section of the guide to include the 391 gear set and updated understanding. The recommendations in this section are summarized below. For the rationale behind each point please see the corresponding sections of the guide:

See the History section for a complete list of updates to the guide.

Is Survival Being Played Optimally?? 11/10/11

In the Survival thread, Dibbler wrote: “Taken from the Blizz Class Q&A:”

‘Q: Why won’t Blizzard hotfix overpowered classes between major content patches more often?
A: Sometimes a spec is genuinely broken and trivializes the other classes. In those cases, we try to address the issue. However, sometimes players just haven’t discovered the optimal way to play a particular class. For example, Unholy, Survival and Subtlety have the capability to perform far better than most people realize’

So what are we missing?

R00k!3 replied, “I doubt he claims SV is competitive with top tier DPS, it’s just not as bad as many people think. There [are] not a lot of things a player could change to optimize their DPS as SV currently and there is nothing that could make it go through the roof with current gear.

Dibbler replied with a quoted response from the Blizzard forums:

“Please teach me Blizzard!
When looking at the big picture of class design and performance, the answer is kind of both. I think the point is that specs not played nearly as often as others aren’t necessarily underpowered. Our data may show a much smaller percentage of players using certain specs, though a good amount of the people who do use them competitively tend to do very well.

Here’s a follow-up from Celestalon:

Unholy and Survival are definitely underpowered in 4.2, and are getting buffed to compensate in 4.3. However, the point that Xelnath was trying to make, I think, is that they’re not as far behind as people think they are. With just a couple minor buffs, these specs are able to be competitive, in at least some encounters. Subtlety is a good example of this already: Subtlety is a very difficult rotation to play, and suffers quite a lot of drawbacks. But in some encounters, those drawbacks can be mitigated, such that it becomes the optimal spec. For example, the top Subtlety rogues are beating the top Combat and Assassination rogues on Baleroc, since that fight plays to Subtlety’s strengths. Will Subtlety win on every fight? No, probably not. But they’re not nearly as far behind as most players think, and sometimes can even be better. We’re hoping the changes to Survival and Unholy (and Destruction, and Beast Mastery) in 4.3 will help push those specs into a similar situation. We really hope people give these specs a chance.

[Click here to see the original post on the official forums]

I find this to be a bit of double talk. One designer says Survival is not being played to its max potential while another states Survival was underpowered and is getting a buff. [...]

Bovii added, “What they’re saying is true. They made a HUGE mistake by making it sound like the player base is dumb and doing it wrong.”

You get a value for each spec on a tank and spank fight. We know this, they know this. But what they’re saying is that we, as the community, are looking at this in a vacuum. [...] Is SV below MM? Yes, of course it is and it is getting buffed in the next patch. But, overall, it isn’t in such a poor position that it is totally unplayable. [...]

Shadowwaltz replied, “It’s not unplayable, but it’s not exactly rewarding if you do play it well, either. It’s a press-me-when-I-come-off-cooldown spec.”

Then you have marks, which is the definition of a rewarding spec with how big a difference in DPS there is between a hunter who AIs every chance he gets and one who doesn’t (or, goin the other way with it, the difference between one who tries to AI too much and one who has that perfect balance between shots). Surv would have to be flat out better (like it was in 4.0) for most people to want to play it unless it gets completely changed.

It’s gonna be nice having a 2nd spec that’s not just the same set of talents just with 2 points moved around. But I don’t think anyone that raids (or PvPs) is gonna call themselves a survival hunter in 4.3.

Goldengiff replied, “There are actually quite a few reasons to raid Survival. The rotation requires less attention which allows you to pay more attention to fight mechanics and proper execution rather than which of your abilities you should be using next.

It also brings one of the more important raid buffs, which is far more important for your raid if you don’t otherwise have it than the difference between Marks and Survival personal dps.

Also, you are saying that the higher skill cap of Marks is the reason for it’s higher theoretical dps, which isn’t true. Marks has a higher variation in dps when you factor in player skill, but that has nothing to do with it’s potential dps in comparison to Survival.

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Haste Points with Tier 13 11/7/11

In the Survival thread, D3thray said,” It’s probably time to at least talk about SV in 4.3 and I’ve done a bit of math using my own gear to find new haste points with 2pcT13.”

Essentially the 2pcT13 allows a very strict rotation to emerge at very low haste values (~100 haste rating for this soft plateau).

ExS, BA, CoSx3 … (ExS, AS, CoSx3)x3 (I call it a 3+1+1 for brevity)

Handle LnL as normal. Above 100 haste rating, haste overtakes mastery in value for single target damage up to a hard plateau of over ~4100 haste rating.

The 4pcT13 also presents a rotation you can fall into when above a secondary soft haste plateau of ~1390 haste rating during the 4pc proc or under any other dynamic haste effect of at least 30% in magnitude.

ExS, AS, CoSx4 … ExS, ASx2, CoSx3 (A 3.5+1.5+1 rotation)

BA may be substituted for any AS in this sequence.

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Crowd Control in PvP 11/10/11

In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Lilbitters wrote, “With the confirmation of being able to Scare Beast out of a Transmorph Trap, it seems like hunters are going to be expected to maintain a rather ludicrous crowd control chain on a target [...].

In an arena situation, we still would run into the issue of Scatter Shot pathing being unreliable at times, or another target eating the trap, as we still can’t “target and apply” our traps.

Even with diminishing returns, a clever hunter could infinitely CC a target without any outside interaction.

PVP duration : Ability Name
04: Scatter Shot
08: Freezing Trap
08: Transmorph Trap (4 sec with Disorient DR)
10: Scare Beast
03: Intimidation
02: Pet ability Stun (1 sec with Controlled Stun DR)
30: total duration with DR, start chain again with Scatter Shot

While you would have to dismiss and switch pets once per cycle due to the 60 second CD on Bat’s Sonic Blast, 45 second CD on a Wasp’s Sting, or 45 second CD and BM requirement of a Shale Spider’s Web Wrap (which also would last 1.5 seconds under DR), it’s still pretty crazy, especially if you add in a real stun like Hammer of Justice or a Cyclone in place of the pet stuns, you will end up around 32 seconds and don’t have that issue.

And yes, you do need some overlap to actually get everything to work. As neat as infinite CC sounds, I really hope we aren’t balanced in PVP around the expectation that our CC will always land either. Mind you, I’m not really a PVPer currently, but am hoping to get more into it in 5.0 to try out the changes with no minimum attack range and the new MoP talents.

Namarus replied, “TBH this sounds pretty dubious, making the assumption that you have no pressure from the person’s team mate. Although I personally would go with Wyvern Sting rather than the pet intimidation.”

Kaitain added, “Whilst the ability to use back to back traps and also use Scare Beast on any player has the potential to be very powerful, it would be quite easy to disrupt as Namarus says.”

Skilled players can often intercept the first trap after a scatter shot, but almost anyone could interrupt the second trap, or even send a pet to stand on the trapped healer. Furthermore the Scare Beast cast would be so predictable that it would provide a clear opportunity to break the chain. The beast can move also (although slowed) so LoSing the fear is another option.

I’d expect them to address the problem by making Transmorph Trap share a cooldown with Freezing Trap (or all traps), rather than compensating with damage changes.

Interestingly it doesn’t mention damage breaking the effect so using Transmorph Trap into Silencing shot might be a nice way to kill healers/casters.

TrevvyTrev replied that it would be unlikely that the problem would be addressed by “making Transmorph Trap share a cooldown with Freezing Trap (or all traps), rather than compensating with damage changes.”

During the class balance Q&A they said that the point of Transmorph Trap was to have a CC that wasn’t on the same CD as Freezing Trap, which is why they made it a nature school trap.

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Crit Depression11/7/11

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Gada asked, “Does the spreadsheet calculate in the crit depression vs. boss level mobs?”

Rivkah replied, “Yes, crit depression and armor reduction are calculated in the context of the target level specified. I will note that the numbers should be correct for boss level mobs but it’s possible the formulas I have for lower level mobs could be off.”

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Kiril, Fury of Beasts vs. Spire of Coagulated Globules11/4/11

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Aleo posted that Kiril Fury of Beasts has a 60s ICD.

The agility stacks along with size, so the 403 ilvl version goes up to 1070 agil. Duration starts when the proc occurs and stack increases with each second after the proc, so you have the max 10 stacks for the remaining 10 seconds.”

Neruse replied, “With a 60s ICD, the proc is underbudget and Kiril ends up being a dps loss over the lower ilvl Spire of Coagulated Globules. Or I did the math wrong and should try again later.”

Lilbitters replied, “So you’re saying a 15% chance to proc the Fury of the Beasts buff (which has a 60 seconds ICD), therefore the first second of the proc is X, next is 2x, then 3x, etc. up until 10x at 10 seconds which lasts until 20 seconds, and then the next 40 seconds are 0 from ICD.”

Overall that’s mathing out to:
Raid Finder’s 390 Polearm Kiril, Fury of Beasts: proc averages out to 245.4 Agi (vs. Raid Finder’s 384 Staff’s secondary stats Spire of Coagulated Globules)
Normal’s 403 Polearm Kiril, Fury of Beasts: proc averages out to 276.4 Agi (vs. Normal’s 397 Staff’s secondary stats Spire of Coagulated Globules)
Heroic’s 416 Polearm Kiril, Fury of Beasts: proc averages out to 310.0 Agi (vs. Heroic’s 410 Staff’s secondary stats Spire of Coagulated Globules)

Well a little less since I didn’t calculate the initial 15% proc chance, so maybe more like 219.8, 247.5, and 277.6

Rivkah replied, “Based on the data on the proc, I’ve implemented the staff procs on my site.”

I’ve just modeled it as a standard agility proc for now (since agility procs are averaged over time anyhow) at 7.75x the value of the agil proc listed on the weapon (basically 1 sec each up to 9 stacks, then 11 seconds at 10 stacks if I’m understanding this properly, averaged over the 20 seconds). I’ve set it up with 15% proc chance and 60 sec ICD. Let me know if you see something wrong with my math.

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Definition of an Exploit 11/4/11

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Sepultura expressed confusion over what is considered an exploit and what isn’t, for the purpose of having a solo listed in Durendil’s lists.

Durendil replied, “For me, there are two kinds of exploit:”

  • add bugging: despawning adds, making them stand there and do nothing… it isn’t glorious, but I consider it legit, especially since most of the time, the boss is impossible (at current gear level) without doing it (Noth 25, Anub’rekhan 25, Yogg-Saron…).
  • boss bugging: half-resetting the boss (reset enrage/abilities without resetting health), fighting half of the boss… the exploit is just too big to be ignored.[...]

Not all exploits are equal – some would say that none is legit others that all are. I’m more relative: some bugs are just too big to be accepted by me. [...] If you want to consider all downs, whatever the method, legit, it’s your choice. But my list, my rules.Razorgore is an exception because he’s simply impossible without the bug.

Onin said, “I agree with Sepultura here. [...] There’s no reason why exploiting Twins or C’thun is less legit than exploiting Yogg-saron, just because the element of the fight you’re exploiting is linked to the bosses rather than to mobs that may not have the same name as the boss but are equally if not more important mechanics of the fights.

If you want to argue that a Twins kill is only legitimate once someone has achieved the gear necessary to outDPS their healing, then in the same vein you should argue that an Anub’rekhan kill is only legitimate once you’ve achieved the gear to deal with all the adds. [...]

Durendil replied, “I will modify the list to encompass all solo’d bosses regardless of bug. However, since there is a difference between a legit kill and an exploited one, I will add a mention of any bug/exploit used, no matter how small, to differenciate bosses killed without any bugs and bugged bosses.”

The categories would be as follows:

  • Add despawn: all kind of add despawning
  • Aggro ignorance: when creatures don’t attack you anymore, like the scions in Malygos fight and Yogg-Saron in phase 2
  • Special description of the bug for some bosses

However, there is one bug I will never ever consider as far as soloing is considered: boss half-resetting. It can easily lead to abuses like the total ignorance of any berserk timer (Patchwerk 25, XT-002 25,…). If I have forgotten to modify something in the list, do not hesitate to point it out.

Grimmarg asked, “Considering your exception, wouldn’t that make soloing Razorgore impossible? You do sort of half-reset him with the bug that despawns adds.”

Bovii replied, “Razorgore is a special circumstance. There isn’t anything about that fight where you can feel good about doing it solo. You HAVE to exploit it or you simply won’t do it.”

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Rankings/Progress for First Solo Kills 11/5/11

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Krelle wrote, “Hundreds of raid bosses have been killed solo now by hunters and I have been thinking a bit about some kind of ranking system for the bosses that have been killed in the past plus the ones that will be in the future, to try and keep a track of just who killed that and that boss first.”

Perhaps something along the way of Durendils killed/not killed chart for bosses throughout WoW but just with an added name of the person that got the first kill, [...] a precise date [...] and perhaps some evidence [...]. The result could be something like Wowprogress where you can look [...] and see when a boss was downed first and by who [...]. It will take a lot of work to find all the dates/people and some of the boss kills simply wont be able to be tracked. Suggestions/opinions are very welcome.

Onin replied, ” I doubt it’s possible to trace the accurate details of some of the earliest kills (lvl 70 Onyxia/MC soloes, for example), especially when you can’t assume everyone who attempts soloing actually finds this website. [...]

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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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