Elitist Jerks Weekly Recap 1/27/12

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.

Reapply Serpent Sting During Buffs/Debuffs? 1/21/12

In the Simple Questions/Simple Answers thread, Grimmarg asked, “Do SV hunters (or BM for that matter), need to renew SrS when bosses get “increased damage taken”-debuffs (like ball hitting zon’ozz, or when DW is channeling Cataclysm on Madness)?”

I think it’s supposed to increase on it’s own, but I wasn’t sure. Same question when it comes to own buffs, like potions. Does it need renewal then, and if so, does it continue to tick at that increased agility level over the entire fight?

Nooska replied, “The buffs and debuffs you get are “only” checked when you apply a spell. The buffs and debuffs your target has [are] checked every tick of dots. But even if you get a buff you don’t need to reapply SrS, because everytime you refresh it via CoS it counts as a new application (checking your buffs and debuffs).”

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Optimizing Secondary Stats 1/22/12

In the Marksmanship thread, Genzen wrote, “I’m getting to the gear level now where I can look at making AiS my focus dump all the time (especially since I have a trinket with a haste proc, as well as the 4T13). My AiS is still about .1s slower than I’d like it to be, so I was planning on reforging some of my gear to haste to get my AiS to where I want it, but the OP recommends reforging into crit.

So what I’m wondering is, is it okay for me to reforge some of my gear into haste to get my AiS fast enough to be my main focus dump, or should I keep everything reforged to crit and just accept the slightly slower AiS cast time.

Also, now that I’m switching to AiS as my focus dump, what should I use in place of my old AS glyph? I’m currently running SS and RF, so I could either take AiS or KS, but I’m not sure which is better.

Whitefyst replied, “Theoretically, at high gear levels, using an AI only focus dump (with only using enough ASs to proc the T134P when off ICD) rotation is higher DPS than a mixed AI/AS focus dump rotation. However, in practice, most boss fights, especially on heroic, have high movement requirements or interruption mechanics that make it difficult to consistently perform AI casts, which can result in the mixed AI/AS usage actually being better DPS in practice. Thus, I recommend that approach. However, highly skilled players can possibly perform the AI only focus dump case well enough to make it still be better.

[…] I currently use a balanced AI/AS approach with getting as much crit as possible, haste above the 1235 rating amount, and maintaining a good amount of mastery to increase AS and AoE DPS. FD lists this as 43584 DPS.

Going the AI only DPS route, the best stats are as much haste as possible while still maintaining decent crit levels. Mastery is sacrificed since it is worth less since you are taking less total shots with the AI cast times and autoshot lockouts. Hence, your AoE DPS will suffer a little with this approach due to the loss of mastery.

You mention using a haste trinket. I assume this is the Starcatcher Compass. The Compass provides some soft haste caps. Your AI casts are at the 1s GCD during glyphed RFs at 3292 haste rating for normal Compass and at 2918 haste rating for the heroic Compass. I definitely would not suggest stacking haste higher than that. […]

The next question is which glyph to use instead of the AS glyph. The options are:

  • AI glyph: +255 DPS in this case […] A quick estimation is that this glyph saved about 200 focus over the 5 min sim.
  • KS glyph: -40 DPS in this case. This is because between the higher damage from AI than KS, the shorter cast time with the higher haste levels making AI casts closer to the GCD, and focus not being a concern with the T132P and 1 point in Term, the extra KSs are only a small DPS gain in the KS phase and do not make up for the loss of DPS over the rest of the fight when KS is not being performed.

Hence, the AI glyph is the best option in this case.

So to summarize, the original mixed focus dump case after fixing the Save Focus for setting is 43742 DPS, while this case is 43882 DPS. […] Even then the DPS increase will only be a few hundred DPS at most. This difference is reduced anytime you have your AI cast interrupted or fire AS instead when moving such that on most practical fights the mixed focus dump case probably works out better. Furthermore, your AoE will be higher with the extra mastery from the mixed focus dump situation.

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Mastery vs. Haste Part III 1/20/12

In the Survival thread, Pichuca wrote, “To check the mastery vs haste issue simulationcraft is a lot more accurate thanks to the variable fight lenght option. Since FD sims every instance with the same fight length, a variaton of 1 haste rating can push one shot out of the simulation or can add a new one, biasing the value of haste.”

This is my profile simulated on SC. default profile, default setup, etc

the mastery>haste values are consistent even if I manually drop haste far below 757

SC summons always my ravager instead of my cat, anyway changing it manually doesn´t change the stat values

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Wild Hunt + Sic ‘Em vs. Shark Attack + Frenzy 1/20/12

In the Survival thread, Jackaran wrote, “Wild Hunt (2/2), Go For The Throat (2/2), Sic ‘Em (2/2) VS Bestial Discipline (2/3), Frenzy ( 2/3), and Shark Attack (2/2.) While I understand that Wild Hunt is a fair talent, it doesn’t strike me as outstanding with Sic ‘Em, here’s why.

Wild Hunt requires your pet to be at 50 or more focus in order to receive it’s bonus effect. Go for the Throat requires your auto shot crits to regenerate 10 focus, and Sic ‘Em requires your Arcane, Explosive, and Black Arrow to crit in order to reduce the focus cost of your pet’s next basic attack.

Whereas Bestial Discipline grants an additional 20% focus regeneration […] while also having your pet stack 4% attack speed that is up almost 90% of the time it’s attacking. This is where Shark Attack gets involved; while your pet has a 20% attack speed increase they’re also dealing 6% more damage with all their attacks (white damage included).

I think that Wild Hunt is more burst damage, rather than streamline damage; I would question whether it functions with Sic ‘Em and which set of talents provides more damage. […] It would seem that *strictly* one or the other are viable. Wild Hunt starts my Cat out with 3200 Damage (without Call of the Wild) while Frenzy + Shark Attack starts my Cat out with 3000 Damage (without Call of the Wild)

Both specs normalize around 2400-2500 depending on trinket procs and Profession abilities. Mixing and matching such as Frenzy + Wild Hunt, doesn’t seem too good (2600 start for a cat), or Shark attack + Sic ‘Em (2400 start for a cat)

Character used Xaxas @ Lightninghoof – Game – World of Warcraft

Pichuca replied, “I decided to give it a try on simulationcraft. In FD, switching to 7/3/31 and 2/2 SA 0/2 WH was a 500 dps loss. But when I simmed it on simulation craft it became an almost 200 dps gain […]

I don´t really know if SC is modeling pet damage correctly. Trying both specs on the dummy for 5 min tries, the pet with standard spec is consistently doing 300-500 dps more, while missing key buffs as 5% crit, kings, and flask. The dummy is not the best place to test, but having many crit buffs missing should bias the result in favour of the 7/3/31 spec.

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Disabling Arcane Shot During Careful Aim 1/22/12

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Whitefyst wrote, “I do not know whether this is a bug or whether I just do not have the settings configured correctly in FD, but when I try to set up an AI focus dump only case with just doing ASs to proc the T13 4P, I cannot figure out how to get FD to cast the first ASs after the CA phase instead of at the start of the fight.

When it occurs at the start of the fight it is a significant DPS loss since much of the haste is wasted with AI cast times well below the GCD and since the AIs after the CA phase are much slower than if they had the proc.

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Kill Command in a High Focus Lock and Load Case? 1/24/12

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Gada asked, “Consider following scenario, your LnL procs@ say 70sh focus, your usual ES-ES-AS-ES dump would probably make you waste focus. Isn’t it feasible to implement a case (or setting in FD ) that still allows you to use KC in a very high focus case?

Rivkah replied, “I can take a look at it and see if the math supports it being a good option. Have you tested it in Simcraft?”

Bikiniwax replied, “If we are speaking about 4.3.2, why not use ES-AS-ES-ES or even ES-AS-ES-AS-ES?

As Ren posted so eloquently on the WoW Forums:

Very low focus: ExS x2 >CoS > ExS
Low focus: ExS x2 > ArS > ExS
Medium-high focus: ExS > ArS > ExS x2
Very high focus: ExS > ArS > ExS > ArS > ExS

KC also doesn’t affect Sic ‘Em where Arcane Shot does.

Gada replied, “I am very aware of that, yet with your suggestion you could very well end up with ES refunding focus back and AS refunding focus back, on top of your natural focus flow, you end up focus capping.”

Pichuca replied, “Another possible scenario is that you use KC hoping for a ToTH proc but it doesn´t happen, and you end either waiting for the last ExS or firing a CoS to regain focus. The only scenerario where I would use KC is when above 85-90 focus. Anyway in that case I would go for ExS-AS-AS-ExS-AS-ExS, delaying the second Explosive shot. What I don´t know is if delaying it several times may result in a DPS loss.”

Assuming a fight like H Ultraxion, where you fire 14 BA (the 15 one would occur in the second 360 of the fight at the very least) and you get 14 LnL proccs, you would end delaying ExS for 1 sec 14 times (that is on the very worst case, when you are always very high on focus when LnL proccs). That means you are pushing 2 ExS (and a third of ExS) out of your shot breakdown, and you gain 14 AS + (14 AS – 14KC). Let´s be very forgiving and asume you end up pushing 3 ExS off.

The average explosive shot damage for my character is 56664 per cast.
the average AS is 24682
the average KC is 25592

3 x 56664 = 169992 damage lost when not firing 3 ExS
24682×14 – 25592×14 = -12740 damage lost (KC does less damage but has a higher crit chance)
24682×14 = 345548 damage won from the 14 extra AS

345548 – 12740 – 169992 = 162816 damage won.

This is pretty rough math and I´m sure it can be wrong, but for what it seems, delaying ExS for an extra AS every time this happens is a dps gain over KC. That doesn´t take into account Sic’em procs and TotH proccs, which would favour AS over KC again.

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Illidari Council Bug 1/21/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, win5590 wrote, “Hello. I’m from Korea and like soloing. I was known that The Illidari Council has a bug, so I can kill.
This is my video of killing the Illidari Council. The Illidari Council – hunter solo

Onin asked, “Any idea how to replicate that bug, win5590?”

win5590 replied, “I started with Illidari Council’s full HP, then reduced HP to 80% and died by Illidari Council, and they were reset. But in next battle, bug was occured. I started with Illidari Council’s 80% HP!! and next battle, started with 60% HP, started with 40% HP, ….. Eventually I could kill them. But I don’t know how to generate this bug, and I think that this bug might be applied in only Korean server.

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Deathbringer Saurfang (10) Soloed 1/17/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Durendil announced, “Deathbringer Saurfang has been released! Hunters finally triumph over ‘the Lich King’s most powerful death knight.’ Ah, Icecrown Citadel, so many memories… Guide at Durendil : Hunter soloing: Deathbringer saurfang down!

I also uploaded a Lady Deathwhisper video.

Dragoran asked, “A quick question: the mark of the fallen champion is a small debuff with our lifepool, can’t it be bypassed using 2pT5?”

Durendil replied, “T5 heals your pet, not you. Besides, T5 isn’t worth it anymore: you lose dps, and your pet loses armor and healing from mend pet. Not to mention your decrease of survivability because of your lower health pool… All heals (for hunter and pets) being a percentage, it’s better to have a very big health pool.”

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Faction Champions (10) Soloed 1/23/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Caribald announced, “I just managed to kill [Faction Champions] after a number of attempts.”

[…] I had holy paladin, disc priest, rogue, enh shaman, boomkin and mage. Trapped priest and nuked the absolute crap out of the paladin. The “trick” is to get lucky and kill the paladin before she bubbles. Ice trap to slow the melees and then another insane nuke on the priest. With those two down I went for the rogue, which might have been a mistake, because the enhancement shaman at least was very easy to kite with conc shot while I was killing the last caster.

Video of Faction Champions 10 man: Hunter vs Faction Champions (10 man normal)

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Freya (10) +1, Mimiron (10) Hard Mode (Firefighter), and Yogg-Saron (10) +3 Soloed 1/23/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Caribald announced soloing Freya (10) plus one keeper, Mimiron (10) hard mode (Firefighter), and Yogg-Saron (10) plus three watchers:

Freya (10) plus one keeper

I just did Freya +1 on 10 man and oneshot it. Hunter vs Freya + 1 (10 man)

Mimiron (10) Hard Mode (Firefighter)

FIREFIGHTER DOWN! This was by far the most satisfying solo kill I’ve had… I was 30 seconds from self-destruction (looking at time from 1 minute to the death emote in chat box, DBM said 9:34 long kill but it starts counting before self-destruction sequence begins).

The fight is overall just about minimizing incoming damage while maximizing outgoing damage. Intervening after napalm shell is a must, bandage asap between phases too (but look out for Next Flames timer), I use cat and wolf buffs before the next phase begins etc. Phase 2 can be a dangerous dance since you can’t always be as close to max melee range as possible. Sometimes I went through him with a raptor strike to only take 1 tick of damage and get the raptor strike glyph buff. I tried to bandage when he did Spinning Up, but sometimes you just get instantly interrupted by his flame nova or whatever it’s called.

Phase 3 is probably the hardest; you have to manage adds while dpsing the head and not overaggroing. Feign sometimes makes some adds go back to where they came from and if you stay away from them they won’t come again. I killed one Assault Bot to get the head down for a while, followed by a feign because I would overaggro in that time.

Phase 4 isn’t actually as hard, as long as you try to keep aggro from all three parts of the robot off you it should be no problem staying alive, pet doesn’t even take that high damage; damage from adds in p3 is harder from what I experienced. The only limit here is the enrage, so if you have enough gear it should be doable. Speaking of gear, I’m at 392 average ilvl, went with full dps gear and flask, and obviously scroll, drums and food. Hunter vs Mimiron HM (10 man)

Yogg-Saron (10) plus three watchers

Yogg-Saron with 3 watchers downed in a pretty perfect attempt (post feign despawning fix). Nine minutes flat. Two watchers should be very doable I believe, I don’t see how I would have died on that attempt without having Hodir. Hunter vs Yogg-Saron + 3 (10 man)

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Issues with Auriaya 1/19/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Dragoran wrote, “I came here for some advice because I have serious issues with Auriaya.”

I can reach the stage without the cats but I take a lot too much damage from feral defender to kill her. Killing the feral defender is pretty hard to me, he always sticks on me, stuns me and I slowly die… Best try I kill it twice and Auriaya was at 55%. How do you deal with it? Do you kill it or let it and dps only the boss? Furthermore, despite 2 hours of tries, I still don’t understand why the two cats sometimes jump at me at the start (destroying my lifepool for the following) and sometimes don’t.

Caribald replied, “Auriaya took me some time to figure out, but once you do, she’s pretty easy. The cats in the beginning always jump you, you’ll want to do a line of sight pull with a trap (or you can just shoot at max range and hide right away) with Misdirection up, then go to absolute minimum range where you are still able to shoot the cats.”

I blow cooldowns once I stabilize and make sure to MD with multi-shot spam (quite a lot of times I would get Auriaya on me from healing aggro). Once cats are dead (hopefully before the first fear) you just make sure to be behind her to avoid sonic screech, interrupt her cast after the fear, and kill Guardian Swarms with a Multi-shot. I deal with the feral defender by actually having it hit me, since you can’t tank it really. This will make it jump my pet once it feels like it, giving me time to shoot at it while it’s running back to me (kiting works well here, obviously). The hardest part about this phase is just when you get a fear while the Feral Guardian is up, since you’ll need to reposition in order not to get hit by Sonic Screech.

Dragoran replied, “You sir are my new hero! I have just killed her a minute ago using the trap trick (on the cats).”

I LoSed them standing in the Freya zone; pet takes aggro, MD falls, I cast MD again and multishot. I just haven’t touched the feral defender: I have sticked to Auriaya’s back and dps’ed her as much as possible.

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[You can read earlier posts about soloing Auriaya here]

Professor Putricide (10) Soloed 1/21/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Durendil announced, “So, Putricide is down! Seems that what was meant as an impossible healing barrier can be overgeared. Durendil : Hunter soloing: Professor Putricide down!

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Razorscale, Part II 1/23/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Dragoran wrote, “A quick question about Razorscale. Even full buffed and using tol’vir potion I can’t kill [her] before my pet [is] stunned.”

I try to kite [her], I can stand maybe 30 seconds…. Best try should be 4%. Is there any trick? I can’t change pet because FD makes the boss reset. Should I just press my keys harder? Shadowmeld seems to work… nearly. It has worked once while I forgot to FD during the ground stage.

EDIT: Finally killed her… Very very hard fight from my point of view. No strat at all: turtle all the long, 3 stages before she grounded, fully fully buffed, popped all cds when she landed and kiting when the pet is stunned. […] I am so proud of this kill that I post a screen

Shadowmeld works as intended. During 20s you are out the aggro list, this can be useful if Razorscale has very [low] hp left and you can hope your pet will be able to finish [her], or to wait disengage‘s cd. I didn’t used it here cause my pet despawned with the distance….

Onin replied, “Time your Feign Death to happen during a Flame Breath. She won’t despawn while casting.”

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Sindragosa (10) Soloed 1/23/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Durendil announced, “I made a guide for Sindragosa: Durendil : Hunter soloing: Sindragosa solo’d!

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Tips for Heroic Spine of Deathwing 1/25/12

In the Survival thread, molson wrote, “With my guild starting H-Spine in the next week or 2, the focus of my preparation has been maximizing tendon DPS. […] My understanding for SV stat weights is that it’s best to reforge out of as much haste as possible with 4pT13. Does that change on this fight?”

With a 20s burn phase, does the value of haste increase at all relative to mastery? It seems reducing the cast time of Cobra Shot as much as possible would result in both more focus, and more time to squeeze in an extra AS/ES, but I’m hoping someone who’s done the fight may have more/better insight.

Carlaena replied, “The value of mastery is way above haste on the tendon phase. As SV you will be proccing a L&L in advance of the Tendon and saving it. You will also probably save Chronohunter procs. This results in you casting mostly instants during the 18s burst.”

Espallargas replied, “Some tips about Spine Heroic for hunters (not only SV) out there:”

  • All 3 specs are completely viable, as long as you min/max on every aspect of the burst.
  • Use 5 ferocity pets for 5 Call of the Wild (I had to bring a Ravager full time so I couldn’t do it). This is key for all specs if possible.
  • Use [Kiroptyric Sigil], since it’s a very nice burst and it will be up for every Tendon.
  • BM: BW is up for every exposure
  • MM: readiness is your best friend
  • SV: a well timed trap proccing LnL for every exposure is key
  • Use a macro like this:
/target Burning Tend
/stopmacro [noexists]
[insert all CDs / uses / first ability here]

It is spammable and highly efficient (make sure you are close to the plate after the Nuclear Blast so you won’t have targetting issues).

Also, I checked 25-men parses to see who did the most damage on each spec:

  • MM: Lokores total damage: 6,616,772, used 5 pets (link)
  • SV: Дэвилфраг total damage: 6,534,877 used 3 pets (link) / Saavik total damage: 6,458,992 used 4 pets (link)
  • (my parse) BM: Timor total damage: 6,133,930, used a ravager without switching, which might be the possible 7% difference (link)

These are the numbers you should be aiming for (> 1 million per exposure). A lot of hunters did way less than this but there is no reason you shouldn’t maximize damage by using the above tips. Also try to map EVERY GCD you willl cast for every exposure. Since it’s a 20-second window, this is very easy to do and with practice it will increase your damage by a lot.

Also, not many people played BM for this, so we could possibly have seen better geared BM hunter parses with 5 pets (specially ferocity) doing as high as 6.4 / 6.5 million overall damage as well.

Timoseewho replied, “I’ve managed to pull roughly around 1-1.2m on 10-man spine as survival (I’m sure the other specs are just as good, after having a glance over logs) and I favor crit/mast over haste with 4P. A few tips I have come up with are:

  • Be focus capped going into Burning Tendons (via CoS on the dying amalgamations or corruptions)
  • Drop IT/ET’s on top of the bloods while the amalgamations are dying to proc LnL (I can usually get to procs per lift, 3 if VERY lucky hehe)
  • Have the [Kiroptyric Sigil] trinket (aka. 1650 VP trinket), macro it to CotW/RF/racials/potion/etc.
  • Have 3 pets providing CotW, rotate them, the more the merrier
  • Macro /tar boss2 /petattack
  • Hold out on AS usage throughout the majority the fight to save the 4P proc (~105s ICD). However I stopped doing this because I noticed that using AS to help on grips and taking down the amalgamations in due time was more important
  • Force [Kiril, Fury of Beasts] proc by having it unequipped and equipped ~50s or so before the Burning Tendons, for me this is usually when the amalgamations are ~60-70% HP, but don’t expect to have the full 20s of this buff

NOTE: Don’t be shy to test on target dummies, add /stopwatch play to your CD macro and just see how much you can pull in 19s.

Molson replied, “It’s my understanding that the ICD on LnL has been removed, and with the hunter changes in 4.3.2 (most likely) going live next week, BA should have the same chance to proc LnL as an explosive trap. If that’s the case, would BA then be better than an explosive trap?

Consider that we can use Ice Trap right as the amalgamation dies to guarantee LnL is up as the tendon spawns. With Explosive Trap lasting 20 seconds, you would need flawless timing to have it up for the entire tendon phase, however you could potentially save the GCD of BA by using trap launcher and have the trap ticking right as the tendon comes up. I realize that latency/RNG probably keeps both scenarios close enough that it’s personal preference, but I just want to make sure I’m squeezing out every bit of DPS that I can.

Grigorim replied, “My understanding is that [Ice Trap] is the trap that Timor was referring to. Doesn’t mean he wouldn’t also use BA on the tendon.”

On multiple targets, explosive trap ticks significantly more than Black Arrow. So unless I’m missing something, it would be a question of either popping ET on bloods for greater LNL proc rate, or BA/ET for direct damage on the tendon (BA does more damage and you should get the same number of ticks, but ET launched costs less focus and can potentially save a GCD if you can work the timing out).

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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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