Elitist Jerks Weekly Recap 2/17/12

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.

New Talent Calculator 2/15/12

In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Nooska wrote, “Okay, new talent calculator is out. Not a lot of changes, but I’ll sum them up here.

  • Level 15
    • Gone are the ammo talents, which , in my opinion were actually interesting, and they have been replaced with the previous level 45 talents, Posthaste, Evasiveness and Exhilaration
  • Level 30
    • Unchanged, Silencing Shot, Wyvern Sting and Intimidation.
  • Level 45
    • The previous level 60 talents have been moved down here, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera, Aspect of the Iron Hawk and Spirit Bond
  • Level 60
    • Again, the talents here are the ones that was one tier up last time, Fervor, Readiness and Thrill of the Hunt
  • Level 75
    • The former level 90 talents, all about traps; Flash Freeze, Black Ice and Transmorph Trap

Thoughts: So far there is nothing new, its all been shifted, except for level 30, and the previous level 15 talents are gone. The new stuff comes next:

  • Level 90
    • Glaive Toss
      • You hurl two glaives in front of you 30 yards, dealing 1,X damage to all enemies and reducing their movement speed by 50%.
      • The Glaives will return back to you, also dealing damage and snaring targets they hit.
      • If Glaive Toss hits at least 2 enemies in both directions, the cooldown is reset.
    • Powershot
      • You wind up a powerful shot, dealing 1,X damage to all targets in front of you withing 20 yards (width).
      • The damage done is increased on targets further away:
      • 15-30 yards: Double damage, Stunned 1 sec
      • 30-50 yards: Tripple damage, Stunned 2 sec
    • Binding Shot
      • You fire a magical projectile, tethering the enemy and any other enemies within 10 yards to the landing arrow. Increases all damage they recieve from you by 15%.
      • If they move 15 yards from the arrow they are stunned for 10 sec (5 sec PVP)

Thoughts: First thought, these are all 3 new, and interesting mechanics.

  • Powershot is an ability that is badly designed as it is right now – hitting all enemies in a box (from how its worded) 20 yards wide and 50 yards long in front of you stunning everything thats 15+ yards from you? That’s overpowered in PVP, almost regardless of the amount of damage (just imagine a hunter on the bridge at the alliance base in AV), and for PvE, with the doing away of minimum range this takes it in the directly opposite direction – stay as far away as possible? Add to that that the “normal” shots still have a max range of 40 yards, and something is hinky here. The blues did say that “For shaman and hunters, we still have a ways to go with the revamp of talents, and this latest calculator doesn’t have some of the changes that we’re currently working on” so lets hope they do give this another pass.
  • Binding Shot is also an ability that seems a bit OP for PVP – especially combined with multi-shot and SV getting Serpent Spread as a spec bonus (at level 68). It does seem like a possibly good tool for PVE on add control, which, were I to guess, I would assume it was designed for. I like the ability, but I think there is a big possibility that it can be OP in PVP.
  • Glaive Toss is clearly an AoE ability, and I like the idea, this is the go-to aoe ability (if you have it picked up) as long as at least 2 mobs will survive both passes – the snare on this and Binding shot seem to indicate that the current design thoughts for PVE are headed in the direction of more add control needed – the question then remains what kind, is it Gluth zombies, or Valithria Dreamwalker type adds. Either way I’m excited about getting tools that indicate that we get to do more than just stand still (and move a bit) and mash buttons.

All in all I like the thoughts of the current level 90 talents more than the previous ones (which are now level 75), and it seems like the class designers are pushing the envelope on actually making interesting – and possibly hard – choices for at least some of the tiers. I still think the (now) level 60 talents should go the way of the dodo for something else, they are far too theory-craftable and susceptible to being moot – as I went into some detail with in my first post in this thread. I am definitely looking forward to the next set of changes for hunters, as I like where we seem to be headed, despite some issues that I call bad design or design flaws, and overpowered-ness – the latter can be tweaked on one ability, and the other (Powershot) in my opinion has to go for something else simply because it works against the way hunters are headed in general.

Tobensen added, “There are some changes for SV as well.”

Lock and Load:
You have a 100% chance when you trap a target with Freezing Trap or Ice Trap to cause your next Explosive Shot to cost no Focus, trigger no cooldown and deal double damage.

Black Arrow: (40 Focus; no CD ?)
Fires a Black Arrow at the target, dealing x% Weapon damage as shadow damage to enemy target.
In addition, Black Arrow deals x damage over 20 sec to the target and any other enemy within the path of Black Arrow when fired.

Starwind replied, “The change that excites me is: Camouflage – Can now be cast while in combat. Lasts for 6 sec if cast in combat, otherwise, lasts for 1 min.”

Also, In general I wouldn’t state that something is OP before it even hits beta testing. We have plenty of time for mages to chip away at hunter talents without doing so ourselves before the code is even testable.

Davek replied, “Doing away with the minimum range is a more [Quality of Life] thing for players and developers – in that neither side needs to come up with solutions for stacking bosses to work around it – but I think the developers would steadfastly argue that Hunters are still a ranged class that’s not intended to be stacked in the melee pile all the time.”

With that taken into consideration, I would expect having a talent like Powershot – PvP balancing issues aside – that reminds and encourages Hunters of their place as death dealers who keep their distance while someone or something ties up their target is not necessarily contrary to design goals.  Meanwhile, In those situations where keeping distance is bad/stacking is required, under the new talent tree design you just swap to option two or three and rock on.

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Wait for Lock and Load Internal Cooldown Before Applying Black Arrow? 2/10/12

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Gada wrote, “Would you be able to reproduce [the] following scenario – since the internal CD on LNL is 10 seconds, and you get a proc of the last tick of it, with your BA coming off cool-down in 2 seconds, you have an 8 second window where you can’t get any procs, basically reducing the chance so you virtually waste 4 out of 10 ticks. Wouldn’t it be profitable to wait for lnl to come off CD before reapplying BA in such cases ?”

There [are] of course different scenarios with wasting less ticks, but still it’s something worth thinking about.

Rivkah replied, “My instinct tells me that at most your suggestion would be at most minimal gain if not a loss (since you do lose the BA tick damage and push back all future BA) and a fairly large amount of micromanagement. There is normally only a 4 second window in which BA is not applied to our target out of every 24 seconds.”

The best I can suggest is to setup Simcraft to see if it can reproduce those mechanics. If it turns out to be a noticable gain in Simcraft I’m happy to try to implement it on the site, but complicated rotation mechanics aren’t easy to add so I’d rather not do it unless I can see evidence that it would be worthwhile, and Simcraft already has support for the more complex rules that would be needed to simulate this case I believe.

Gada replied, “I dont think it will be a huge dps loss, even if you delay it by ~8 seconds, which was the maximum I had , getting an extra LnL off the same BA is way more damage than the 4 ticks you would lose, even if they were all crits. Unfortunately I have no idea as to how to reproduce that in Simcraft.”

Rivkah replied, “I have a simple script that simulates LnL frequency, so I modified it to test your theory. I ran it for 60000000 seconds worth of fight time.”

With standard behavior (i.e. firing BA on CD):
LnL per min: 2.9999649500006
BA Tick per min: 25.000000583333

With your suggested behavior (delaying BA till the ICD on LnL is up):
LnL per min: 3.0095089498415
Tick per min: 24.324745594588

So basically over an extremely long period of time you gain about .00954 LnL procs per minute and sacrifice about .67525 BA ticks per min. Based on those numbers, I don’t see an indication that it’d be worth micromanaging.

Gada replied, “I actually wrote something similar for myself, and the difference is indeed too minor to be worth it.”

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Prepotting Now Supported 2/11/12

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Rivkah announced, “I’ve added pre-pot support to the site (with a 1 sec reduction in duration for the prepot). Currently it is not enabled by default when you do best raid buffs, but I’m considering adding it to that since on most fights if you’d be bothering to pot you’d probably want to also prepot.”

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Algalon World First Solo 2/10/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Caribald announced soloing Algalon for a world-first kill: “ALGALON DOWN!!!!!!!!!!”

Video: Hunter soloing: Caribald vs Algalon (10 man) | World first solo kill

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[You can read our WHH recap here, and Caribald's full account including strategy is posted on the MMO-C forums.]

Issues with Azgalor 2/12/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Dartemis asked, “Has Azgalor been fixed in some manner? Anyone done him recently? My pet keeps despawning as soon as I’m out of range for hunters mark (ie, 100 yards). Does the nature of the pet matter? Do bears stand further away from a boss than owls or wolves?”

Onin replied, “I’ve found Hunter’s Mark’s range indicator is working rather weird. There’s a point in between in range and out of range when it says ‘Target is not in line of sight.’ I’m guessing that the range indicator works with hitbox, while the ability to actually cast it works with the centre of the model.”

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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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