Elitist Jerks Weekly Recap 12/30/11

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.

Cunning Pet Talents 12/27/11

In the Beast Mastery thread, erple2 wrote, “I was looking at the Pet talents, specifically the Cunning Pet talent tree. It doesn’t make sense to me to put more than 1 point into “Mobility” – your talent choice of 3 points of Longevity makes the cooldown for Dive/Dash 22.4 (70% of 32 seconds) seconds long.”

The first point of Mobility would lower the Dive/Dash cooldown to 14.4 seconds. Given that the pet Dive/Dash duration is 16 seconds, there’s 1.6 seconds of overlap there. Even without the Mobility Talent, the pet would only be non-dive/dashing for about 5.4 seconds out of 22.4 seconds. I don’t know where I’d put the 1 (or possibly 2) free talent point(s).

Nooska replied, “Except that that isn’t how the calculation is done. The CD reduction from longevity is applied to the reduced CD after reduction from Mobility. This means that Dive/Dash has 32 second cooldown base, which correctly transforms to 22.4 second CD without any points in mobility.”

1/2 Mobility gives a base CD of 24 seconds, which, after Longevity, becomes 16.8 seconds. Now it’s only 0.8 seconds without dash/dive, but seeing as we have more points than we can use for dps gains when chosing a cunning pet, I have chosen in the “standard” build I present to make sure that Dive/Dash is up 100%, even though the Longevity reduction is wasted on it because Mobility reduces it to the duration – however, no talent points are wasted.

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Is Survival Being Played Optimally? Part III 12/28/11

In the Survival thread, Althorius wrote, “I am concerned that the OP has not updated the top of this thread since last March. [...] What concerns me most is no one seems to have mentioned what Blizzard said about SV not being played to its full potential a few months back. [...]”

Perhaps since MoP is right around the corner, no one wants to scrap everything we think we know about SV and try to take a fresh look at things since we’re going to have to do that in a few months anyway, but the fact is Blizzard said SV was not being played to its full potential, and instead of figuring out what we’re missing, people in this thread are having to figure things out in all these spread-out posts and we seem to be building info relevant to T13 bonuses on top of the previous (faulty) information, further complicating the situation.

Grigorim replied, “[...] Blizzard states that “In 4.2 encounters, the three hunter specs were not as far apart in DPS as many players believe”, but the EJ and Simulationcraft theorycrafting aren’t “most players”, and their results already agreed with that quote. It doesn’t seem likely that anything fundamental is being missed.”

Neith replied, “I find that EJ provides a lot of interesting insights and information, but it’s also very healthy to look into the ‘actual’ results of performance from various specs.”

Pulling some data from WoL [...], basing it on the commonly accepted ‘Patchwerk’ style of fight – Ultraxion 25 man normal mode:

1 43’280 44’586 41214
25 40’153 41’051 36359
50 38’950 39’938 34515
100 37’791 38’923 33225


I think this really is what Blizzard was referring to – the top end DPS is very competitive for all 3 specs, surprisingly SV leads over MM with BM being slightly behind. However, if you look at the drop in the DPS from the top few to the 100th position it’s a disaster in BM, which was the case in SV until 4.3 when it was buffed. Even now, if you go past the top 200 rankings in SV you will see a massive drop, far stronger than that observed in MM; this is the ‘majority’ of players under-performing by a vast margin. [...]

There is a drastic gap between the players that are able to pull those numbers and the ‘majority’ of players, but that gap is not in spec or reforging / gearing [...], the gap is in ability to min-max the execution of the fight and ability to minimize the impact caused by detrimental mechanics of the encounter – that is where a lot of players are lacking.

[See recaps of previous discussion of this topic here and here]

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Survival Guide Updated 12/29/11

In the Survival thread, Esoth wrote, “I updated the OP with a couple changes to LnL behavior and the default talent spec. I obviously don’t have much time to dedicate to it anymore though, if someone else wants to take over.”

The default talent spec is shown here.

The new recommendations for Lock and Load are:

With damage over time abilities now refreshing without wasting a dot, “interleaving” a cobra shot between procs is less viable. Instead we can more quickly use our explosive shots without wasting charges. Simply spamming Explosive Shot will result in 8 ticks, with 1 lost. Before 4.2 this would have been 7 ticks. If you wait a small fraction of a second after the 1 second GCD, it should be sufficient to get all 9 ticks quickly. This would be 9 explosive shot ticks in about 3.3 seconds assuming you wait 0.1 between each. This is almost always the best usage on single target, although there may be times when filling in an instant cast ability such as kill shot is worthwhile.

Celfydd asked, “We have been able to cast Auto Shot while moving since the beginning of Cataclysm, right?”

Esoth replied, “I think it was a patch after the launch of Cataclysm? Either way, I updated the OP. Also put in corrections for Explosive Trap now being able to stack and Flintlocke’s scope.”

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Stat Weights 12/27/11

In the Survival thread, RaXoR asked, “Do we have any *accurate* values for stat weights?”

My ilvl is ~390 and FD is spitting out abnormal values. From my understanding, SV stat weights are not that much different from MM, however I loaded my character today and was seeing values of mastery/crit at 1.9/0.2 respectively when I suspect they are closer to 1.2/1.4 like MM is. Also, hit was valued higher than agility. Haste was all over the place, as expected.

Slight changes to crit values (~10) returned expect MM-ish values. Sure haste goes wacky due to shot shifting, but there also seem to be “pockets” of crit/mastery/hit/agi inconsistencies where some equation buried deep in FD goes haywire.

I am really wanting to trust the default WoWReforge values at this point. Does anyone know how to produce consistent, accurate values on FD?

Mericet replied, “The usual suspect when it comes to strangely low crit values is wild hunt uptime (shown the pet stat box at the bottom), which can sometimes swing a few %s at the wrong amount of crit.”

Artificially changing your crit rating a bit should return the value to close to normal without upsetting the relative balance between stats, as you found. It’s safe to go with the more expected, “MM level” value for crit.

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Lock and Load Part II 12/25/11

In the Survival thread, Lokrick replied to a previous discussion of Lock and Load: ” Because AS triggers Sic ‘Em! and the T13 4-set bonus, the results of trading AS for KCs is not obvious. I just created several scenarios in simc and ran the simulations.”

When I looked at the shot sequences, they weren’t what I expected. Two particulars: the trailing ES after a Lock and Load was often missing, or there were always at least two shots before it. I’ll post more on this after that gets debugged. But it provoked me to look further at the LnL sequences, because several people have reported that “ES ES AS ES” gets all 9 ES ticks. [...] I ran with 120ms custom lag tolerance on 100ms latency, standing at minimum distance from the target dummy. I too had no trouble consistently getting all 9 ticks with “ES ES AS ES”. Inspecting the logs [...], the refresh event for the DoT seemed to immediately fire a remaining tick, and realign the ticking of the renewed dot. [...]

I ran two further experiments: ES ES ES, and ES ES <pause> ES. [...] “ES ES ES” always clipped one or two ticks [...]. ES ES <pause> ES always got 9 ticks in my sample runs. [...] The pauses were generally 0.5 to 1 second. I have not yet managed to simulate this in simc. This inspired two question: how small a pause is allowed before it clips, and how small must the pause be in order to be higher dps than ES ES AS ES. There’s enough of a timing interaction around when the dot ticks and when it renews that for example FD already delays the second ES. So then would “ES <tiny pause> ES <tiny pause> ES” work (because if so, it would likely be better than ES ES AS ES because ES is on CD sooner)? The last log snippet [...] shows an example of that sequence, and how it clips a tick. The problem seems to be the timing of the 3rd ES vs. the tick time introduced by the second ES. If the second ES shifts the tick time of the DoT forward to around when the shot lands, delaying the second ES means we don’t shift as much, and therefore have more risk of clipping the second shot.

The timing [...] was strange enough that I looked at my other samples. The shot seems to act more like its tooltip description than I’ve seen before. My current theory: when ES hits (SPELL_CAST_SUCCESS or SPELL_AURA_REFRESH), it immediately applies damage, independent of the dot. It also applies/extends the current dot using normal Cata rules. Thus, the apparent dot shifting is from ticks of the dot on a 1 second timer and the interleaving of shots landing (on a 1 second GCD Timer, but possibly offset from the dot). If this is true, there are only 2 ticks per shot. [...]

Note that the initial dot may be shifted in time from the initial hit. If this is the behavior, then:

  • the third ES can land as early as 3 seconds + “time to apply the dot”. Any later and the ES is on CD later.
  • because of the two ES and their latency, squeezing in another instant will delay the ES CD by 3*latency

TL;DR at low latency, ES ES AS ES works and is almost certainly worth the minor delay on the ES cd. At latency of >400ms, ES ES ES shouldn’t clip and therefore would be higher dps.

Read the full post to see Lokrick’s data.

Explosive Shot 12/28/11

In the SimulationCraft for Hunters thread, Carlaena wrote, “I’m not sure what it is, but there is a very large discrepancy with ES damage being modelled by SimCraft.”

The model is showing ES doing about 28% damage if using Explosive Trap, and about 25% if using Black Arrow. The vast majority of us use Black Arrow and not traps, and get about 3% more ES damage than Simcraft is showing. Zeherah seems to have the percentages really close to what we are seeing in-game.

Lokrick replied, “In 4.2, I believe that the implementation of Explosive Shot was changed to extend the DoT with three ticks.”

If my analysis in the SV thread is right, then 4.3 requires another code change to ES (mostly back) to instead apply immediate shot damage and extend the DoT with two ticks (or start a new dot that doesn’t tick until the first tick). Also the current action list typically inserts two actions before the third ES of a LnL, whereas it now appears that only a single action is required. Changing the time window on the ES action may be sufficient to address that once the ES implementation is changed.

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One With Nature 12/24/11

In the SimulationCraft for Hunters thread, Lokrick wrote, “The talent changes to take advantage of the improvement to One With Nature (sometime during T12) did not get propagated to the normal mode survival hunter (Hunter_SV_T13N). [...]

The hunter profile was taken from today’s SVN repository, with 10k iterations and all buffs. The only change in “fix_OWN” is to use the OWN talent string from Hunter_SV_T13H, which I think reflects the typical talent spec. Also, though T12 is no longer compelling, it would be great to apply it there as well both for consistency and because that’s where it was originally validated. [...]

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R19 Threatfinder, Lock and Load ICD 12/28/11

In the SimulationCraft for Hunters thread, jescide wrote, ” I just uploaded my hunters armory profile. It has an R-19 Threatfinder that it isn’t counting for my hit rating; is this a known bug, or am I doing it wrong?”

I’m also curious about how to change the sim from using ExT to BA, for exploratory purposes. (I have no real programming knowledge, I’m sorry.) Also I was reading on the SV thread that the ICD of LnL seems to be lower (~10-11.5 seconds), is there any truth to this? If so, then the sim is still running at the old 20 sec ICD. Is there any way to change the sim while we wait for a confirmation/update? Source: [Cataclysm] – Survival Hunter

Zimeron replied, “R19 Threatfinder is implemented and we would need a profile to see why it’s not working for you.”

I’m not sure how you’re coming to your conclusion that the sim is using 20 seconds for LnL’s ICD, as it has been set at 10 seconds since it was posted here: Hunter DPS Analyzer. You also don’t need any programming knowledge to run SimC, you just need to glance at the documentation, StartersGuide – simulationcraft – A starters guide for Simulationcraft – World of Warcraft DPS Simulator – Google Project Hosting.

Jescide replied, “[...] on the ‘Simulate’ tab most items had enchants on them but it was not showing the enchant on the Lavabolt Crossbow.”

Whether this was a loading error that occurred multiple times, a bug, user error, or something else entirely is beyond me. I also figured out the Black Arrow problem, and it is due to my first-time-user incompetence, my apologies for that.

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First Kills Lists 12/27/11

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Krelle posted lists of first kills by hunters. The lists were derived from the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread and YouTube videos:

Ignis the Furnace Master 12/30/11

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Szalor announced soloing Ignis the Furnace MasterSzalor vs Ignis: hunter soloing (hunter world first) – YouTube

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Thorim 10-man Hard Mode 12/28/11

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Szalor announced, “Thorim 10 HM soloed: Szalor vs Thorim: hunter soloing (hunter world first) – YouTube

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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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