Elitist Jerks Weekly Recap 3/2/12

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.

Hunter’s Mark 2/27/12

In the Simple Questions/Simple Answers thread, R00k!3 asked, “I always wondered if there is a magic spot for applying hunters mark on short living targets like the tendons on spine or the dragons at Blackhorn. Did anybody come up with a number and would share it?”

Whitefyst replied, “There is no one definitive answer that fits all situations.”

The tradeoff for casting HM or not depends on several factors including:

  1. Your spec. If you are MM with Marked for Death, you do not cast Hunter’s Mark, instead you start with CS or AS to get the pseudo Hunter’s Mark.
  2. Your DPS on the target […]
  3. if they are other hunters in the raid that benefit from the mark

For a given scenario, you can figure the value out in a sim for configuring the run per the scenario. Do two runs, one for your DPS with HM and one without HM. Then find the time where the runs intersect in damage done when you start the DPS for the HM version 1 GCD late due to casting the HM.

Here is an example using my character as SV for a 1m (unfortunately FD cannot do shorter) run with using RF and with all buffs/debuffs immediately on the target (this assumes you can perform a perfect rotation like FD does):

DPS with HM: 47903 = a
DPS w/o HM: 45828 = b

Hence, the formula for the crossing point is:

b * t = a * (t - 1)


b * t = a * t - a
(a - b) * t = a
t = a / (a - b)

So for this idealized case: t = 47903 / (47903 – 45828) = 23.09s

Hence, considering how small HM’s AP is to our overall buffed AP, the decision to cast HM for you being the only hunter on the target is a lot longer than it was in previous expansions and vanilla. Assuming that your actual DPS scales the same for both cases with and without HM the timing should still apply.

Rivkah replied, “Just to clarify, you can do shorter on my site- you can enter a decimal place (like 0.2) but it looks like my error checking for it doesn’t account for leaving off the 0 before the decimal. I’ll add to my list of things to fix.

Note that there may be some things which don’t smooth out properly over very short fights as my testing hasn’t ever really focused on them. In some cases buffs may be assumed to run full durations which could throw things off (and I believe BA damage is calculated just by casts and not how many ticks completed). I’ll take a peek at this as well next time I have some free time.

Best DPS Pets for Marksmanship 2/23/12

In the Marksmanship thread, Kazms wrote, “I keep a Cat, Wolf, Ravager, Hyena, and Raptor on me at all times. These were the best DPS pets for Marks, as my memory serves from my information. Now, I do remember that the buff from Cat is top priority to have, followed by Wolf. As far as the next 3, I can’t remember their weighting for certain.

I’d believe the Mangle Debuff from Hyena is better overall DPS than the Physical Vulnerability from Ravager, with Armor Reduction from Raptor being lowest priority… But I figured I’d ask those more math-y than me. Hell, for all I know, the information I read is wrong and I should’ve been carrying a Dragonhawk on me…

 Whitefyst replied, “Well, if you raid 10-man and may be missing the 8% spell dmg debuff sometimes, a Dragonhawk/Wind Serpent is good to have around as an option. So of the 6, the 5 to choose depends on what buffs/debuffs are sometimes missing in your raid.

For personal hunter DPS, you can get a good feel of the impact of missing a buff by removing it on FD. Here is the data for my character with assuming a Ferocity pet, and it can change some depending on your actual spec, gear, shot rotation, and whether the pet is cunning instead:

Cat – Str/Agi: 2364 DPS
Wolf – 5% crit: 1982 DPS
Ravager: 4% physical dmg debuff: 1341 DPS
Raptor – 12% armor debuff: 1317 DPS
Hyena – 30% bleed dmg debuff: 1248 DPS
Wind Serpent – 8% magic debuff: 710 DPS

The two buffs if missing tend to be the best DPS option for you personally, but also for the raid as well.

  • Since Cats are the best solo DPS due to agility being our primary stat, I usually carry one although odds are usually that you will have this buff present in raids since it takes any DK or Shaman or any warrior that is willing to perform that shout. Thus, it’s an option for 3 full classes besides the hunter.
  • Wolfs provide the next best buff by a large margin over the rest since MMs are so dependent on crits. This is also a relatively scarce buff with only 4 specs or 1.3 equivalent classes that provide it.

The debuffs are well behind the buffs in personal DPS, with three of them being close. The worst of these (8% magic dmg debuff) can be so important to the raid though that your loss of personal DPS over other options is more than likely out weighed by the DPS gain of the raid.

  • I usually have a Ravager with me since our raid is often missing the debuff, which is provided by […] Unholy DKs, Arm Warriors, and Combat Rogues […].
  • Since bleed damage provides a hunter the second least benefit and tends to provide most raid groups the least benefit, it is an option to leave behind. However, I usually have [a hyena] with me since only 3 specs (Feral Druid, Sub Rogue, and Arms Warrior) […] provide the debuff. Hence, it is one of the debuffs more likely to be missing. […]
  • I usually carry a Wind Serpent since my raid is usually short the buff, and it helps the casters a lot. […] Another benefit of the Wind Serpent is that it provides a pet that can attack at ranged too, which is useful on some fights.
  • I usually leave my Raptor behind since the debuff is middling for me personally, my raid is not overly physical dmg attack based, and […] a raid is rarely without [the armor debuff].

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Haste Values on FemaleDwarf 2/28/12

In the Survival thread, gexstar wrote, “I noticed that FD lists Haste as the most valuable secondary stat for my SV Hunter Twink (ilvl 383 atm). The SV Guide for Cataclysm claims crit is the best… I’m not sure what to do now. Crit or Haste ?

I’m currently reforged on crit and […] did 29k on Ultraxion today, which is pretty decent for that kind of gear imo… ^^ Oh, and I’m a little confused that FD spits out only about 28k for my char with best raid buffs enabled while Simcraft is at roughly 30-31k on a 6m Ultraxion fight. Shouldn’t a theoretical maximum be always higher than an actual fight ? At least Simcraft always was, I never managed to get above simcraft values. Or did I miss some option where I can set movement/encounter properties?

Nooska replied, “While it may get buried from time to time, it is a well known and acknowledged fact that haste is overrated in FD (I dare say in any simulation) – the guide is right. You can test it yourself by reforging on your FD profile from haste to crit (or from mastery to haste, and compare it to a mastery to crit on the same item).
The issue is that FD (and most other simulations) are, because of their nature, not able to reliably reproduce human reaction time, and assume a perfect or near-perfect execution.

As to the theoretical maximum, yes it should be higher than an actual fight – if the theoretical is calculated from the actual real world situation that the actual fight takes place in, including gimmicks that increase your damage, your specific raid composition, timing of phases, timing of bloodlust and your latency (this one is actually quite big, there is about a 5k difference in my theoretical max as BM from using standard latency and switching it to my actual latency at around 25 ms). If you exceed the theoretical maximum, you probably haven’t used the right variables.

R00k!3 replied, “Actually it seems like FD has recently been fixed and shows more realistic haste values. At least for myself it is way behind crit and mastery now with more than a .5 difference and since I am in full DS gear, I guess this is true for other people too.”

Gexstar replied, “I reloaded my Hunter into FD today and it shows completely different DPS and Stat values. 33k DPS, which could be about right on a stand and nuke encounter and it shows haste as the worst stat by far… even mastery is about 0.8 better now. Really strange, maybe I had a bug in calculation last time or something.”

Whitefyst replied, “Another thing to realize is that the stat table is an ‘estimate’ of the DPS benefit of adding 1 point in a stat. This estimate is smoothed out over a small finite range of the stat as opposed to a single point sample. It is not an evaluation of the value of all of the previous points that you have in each of those state. As such, as you near a local DPS maximum of a stat, its value for stat + 1 can be higher since you are on a relatively high slope for the stat.”

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Haste vs. Mastery, Part IV 2/29/11

In the Survival thread, Belgicanofl asked, “Can anyone tell me why exactly you should go for high mastery when high haste just feels better when playing it?”

Andil replied, “[…] My feeling from playing around with FD and Simcraft, from the discussion here and also taking into account my practical experience is, that the difference between haste and mastery is very small dps-wise. So maybe it really comes down to the personal preference and how it fits your play-style and maybe also the boss mechanics.”

Nooska replied, “Theorycrafting shows that mastery is more dps for BM and SV than haste. It should also be more dps in actual play as the more haste you add, the more demands are layed on you to not waste a single millisecond. The big difference between haste and mastery is that mastery gives you a passive damage boost, while haste requires you to be active and have good reaction time to reap the theoretical benefits (and being human rather than machine, you will never reap 100% of the benefits of haste).”

Belgicanofl replied, “So If I read correctly, mastery is for lazy people and haste is for people with extreme reaction and rotation skills? Because if you look at top hunter parses, there [are] no mastery hunters in any spec in any size/difficulty for the entire top 10. I’ve also read something about a haste point of 2300 for survival being the best dps spot you can reach… Your thoughts?”

Shiina replied, “Looking just at Ultraxion, most of the top parses are favoring mastery over haste. And Ultraxion’s the fight where haste would be favored the most (stand still and do your rotation, no AoE, only one target so you can’t keep SrS ticking on multiple targets, no Spellweaving being increased by SV’s mastery). Not sure where you’re seeing haste>mastery dominate the charts.”

Nooska replied, “This is about theorycrafting, and theorycrafting with a bit of sense. For SV, haste can theoretically yield the same dps as mastery in perfect execution with no hesitation and perfect timing and absolute decision making.”

In reality […] haste is subject to human reaction, decision making processes, and most of all, does not apply to anything more than autoshots and CoS. CoS is also something used less and less the more haste you get, so it’s the first 100 haste that grants the most benefit, not the last 100 haste, due to switching to increasingly more AS as AS is more DPET than CoS. No human has the extreme reactions and “rotational skill” to gain full benefit from the extreme haste scenarios, since every relevant fight (including Ultraxion) requires decision making – not to mention the procced decisions (LnL) switching it up. Mastery on the other hand linearly buffs all damage except autoshots.

Rivkah replied, “Just a bit of clarification:”

  • haste also directly affects pet attack speed and pet focus regen
  • haste has an indirect effect on your other shots because faster casts on cobra can affect how many other shots you get in over the course of a fight or how much focus you have to use other shots. How large this effect is will obviously vary on circumstances
  • mastery does not buff kill shot, the direct damage portion of multishot, or pet damage in addition to not affecting autoshots

The logic behind why we lean towards mastery over haste with SV is sound (although the gap really doesn’t seem that significant in most fights) but I wanted to make sure all the points of consideration were phrased accurately.

Whitefyst replied, “First, saying that hunters that do not employ the same strategy as the top hunters are lazy is not only unfair but is also incorrect. The top hunters tend to have closer to best in slot gear. As such, their gear has the maximum number of stats on it that allows for some stat options to possibly increase DPS that may not provide increased DPS for people with lower total ilevel of gear.”

Thus, maximum DPS options that may work for the best geared hunters may not work for hunters behind the gear curve – even by a little bit. […]

In addition, your argument eliminates the fact that different hunters have different play-styles, such that one build for one hunter may not be ideal for another. Your statement also overlooks the fact that some builds are more ideal for some fights and not for others. There may be a certain build for a hunter that is the best build for a standard fight. However, for a progression fight with which the guild is struggling, the hunter may make short term changes in order to optimize their performance for the mechanics of that fight.

For those that are interested the remainder of the post below the line is some SV rotation theorycrafting for pros and cons of possible SV base rotations, including the 2265 haste rating level rotation previously mentioned. […]

[See Whitefyst’s post for extensive theorycrafting]

Andil replied, “When looking at possible SV base rotations, one also has to factor in TotH proccs. I’m not sure, if you did this in your calculations Whitefyst, maybe I just overlooked it. My experience is, that these proccs can scramble the whole base rotation. Thus, my “base rotation” is changing on the fly, as you have to react on TotH and LnL proccs.

All in all it is hard for me to think in “static” basic rotations, when it comes to SV (in contrast to MM). That makes it hard for me to evaluate the value of haste. I also think, that haste can sometimes also be valuable in AoE or movement heavy fights, e.g. if you can get in that extra Multishot or finish the CoS-Cast before you have to move or rebuild your focus faster after wasting it during movement phases, where you did not switch to AotF. […]

Whitefyst replied, “[…] Concerning lack of factoring in TotH in my analysis, in the on average point of view, TotH is only a gain of 2.55 to 4.95 focus per ES cycle depending on how many ASs you cast from 0 to 2. This is a gain of about 5 to 10 focus over the 2 ES cycles on average between LnLs. This really does not impact the analysis much.”

[See Whitefyst’s post for extensive theorycrafting]

Haste really has very little impact on SV AoE. […] In AoE situations, the only focus gain from focus regen due to haste is the additional 0.49 focus regened per MS, which requires about 80 MSs to be cast to regen enough focus to cast an extra. Thus, as can be seen, the difference in focus regen due to haste has very little effect on your DPS.

Between the traditional 5.914% and the 17.682% haste cases being debated, the difference in CoS cast time is 1/6s. That means in an AoE situation that you have to cast 6 CoS to gain the additional GCD for an extra MS with the reduced cast time due to haste. Considering that you do not gain any extra focus regen over those 6 faster CoSs, you do not have any more focus to cast the additional MS than you would have at the lower haste level beyond the small amount regened over each MS as mentioned previously. The only difference is that for each CoS cast, each subsequent MS cast occurs 1/6s sooner than it would have at the lower haste level, which is indeed beneficial.

Neith replied, “Whitefyst, I believe you missed out on the fact that with the last patch LnL procs do not get used up by AS, only ES can use up LnL procs now. Recently there has been a pretty long discussion about the way to use LnL proc as well and it basically appears that to avoid the ES dot clipping you have to stick a single AS in between the ESx3. For Example ES-ES-AS-ES would avoid dot clipping. This however is only the case for low latency. On higher latency you do not need to have that AS or delay to avoid dot clipping.”

While I might agree with you on the rotations, which are really a good starting point in MM, for SV – it really is quite impossible to predict the rotation and has to be done on the fly as you play. LnL procs, as you suggest every 3rd ES cycle and TotH procs, the two combined together and you may only see 1 in 3 cycles using the suggested rotations. That is a really low to base the haste breakpoints on. Quite honestly, I don’t really know how else to approach this matter, but the ‘rotational’ theorycrafting is really not a good starting point for SV.

Rivkah replied, “Actually, the latency issue affects whether you need the slight (.1 sec or so) pause between 2 ES to avoid dot clipping, not whether you need to have an AS after either the 1st or 2nd ES (ES ES AS ES and ES AS ES ES are both viable options since AS was removed from LnL).

Because of the way the dot refresh works, it only extends the last tick, so if you do ES ES, there will be more than one tick left if you do a 3rd ES, regardless of latency, since the partial tick from the first ES has to be added into the duration of the second ES. For example:

0s ES – expires at 2s
1s ES again – adds in the 1s left on the first ES and adds 2s duration, expires at 4s

Now if you ES again at 2s, you will lose a tick, because there are still 2 ticks left on your previous ES, if you add an AS in first, you will get the full ticks. The latency issue affects whether you need to wait till 1.1s to cast the 2nd ES to make sure that there is slightly less than a tick left to refresh instead of slightly over a tick.

Whitefyst replied, “I took the updated LnL into account in my analysis but went with the ‘safer’ always having an AS/CoS between the ESs. This is shown by where I reference the different LnL options like ES-AS-ES-AS. I do not show the third ES since that is the one that costs focus and is the start of the next ES cycle since it elicits the CD. If some hunters want to do the LnL cycle differently, it does not change my analysis much since it was more focused on haste effects on the non-LnL cycles.”

[…] You cannot do the haste analysis without knowing what shots you want to ideally take on average and the ideal cycle time. If you do not make those type of assumptions, you cannot perform the analysis.

[…]The base cycle is meant to indicate the rough average cycle you make on none LnL proc cycles and needs to be adjusted to the situation of procs and current focus. I agree that you will only actually perform that base cycle on a small set of cycles. However, when it is all said and done, your ratio of shots taken minus those involved in the LnLs should roughly align with the ratio for the base rotation. The extra focus from TotH should roughly make up for the extra focus cost for BA replacements of ASs. I also prefer to defer my focus balancing decisions when possible to the LnL procs when there is more freedom in deciding to perform either an instant or a CoS to balance focus without hurting your ES cycle timing.

[…] I prefer to have the ideal number and combination of shots in my head for an ES cycle so I can try to make it happen more often than I otherwise would without the goal. This is more of a preferential play style on my part to help me better make shot selections. It is definitely important to make shot decisions on the fly with taking into account your focus levels and procs. But if you only take into account that information and not the ideal shot combination, you are more likely to have non-ideal cycles. There are many shot points in the fight where you are somewhat in the middle of your focus bar and can either take a focus costing shot or perform CoS. If you are not careful, you can take an extra instant on a cycle than what you had to and end up with wasted deadtime (this is not bad when you are using focus that would otherwise be wasted, but it is bad when you are not). On the other hand, you could take an extra CoS and end up with delaying your ES cast when you did not need to delay it. Furthermore, when you screw up the decision on one cycle, your focus levels will often result in you having to perform the other case to correct focus levels, meaning that unideal cycles often come in pairs – the initial offender cycle and the focus corrector cycle. Thus, for me it also helps to know ideally how many shots you want to take between ESs (3 or 4) and how many of those should be instants or CoS so that when I am not at either end of the focus bar I can make better decisions to increase my overall DPS.

Let me illustrate my thoughts more fully in all of the cases that we need to adjust. […[ Let’s use the ES-ASx2-CSX2 base rotation as an example.

Let’s assume that there are no TotH or haste procs and that all LnL procs occur immediately after the 2 ES cycle. In this case the base cycle can be performed forever with performing the shots after the ES in an order that balances focus and the shots chosen between the ESs during the LnL are used to help balance the overall focus and the net focus loss of the bas ES cycle.

Now what happens if there is one or more TotH procs? Even if you get 2 TotH procs on a single ES cycle, the about 25 focus just makes up a little more than the focus deficit for that cycle. You can either choose to make no adjustments that cycle and wait until the LnL to use the Maximum DPS LnL cycle or you can chose to cast an AS instead of a CoS that cycle since that roughly balamces the focus and then perform the whatever LnL cycle is necessary to balance the focus.

If you only have a single TotH proc on ES, the same decision process as above applies. If you only have a single TotH proc on AS, then no adjustements are needed in the base cycle.

Any other TotH case is exceedingly rare since with only 6 instants in the 2 ES cycle, the chance to have 3 or more TotHs is less than 5%. But even in the rare cases that it happens, you handle it similarly with a combination of performing ASs instead of CoSs as needed in either the ES cycle or during LnL.

Now let us explore dynamic haste cases. For T13 4P and Bloodlust, with two CoSs in the base rotation, 0.7s is saved in the ES cycle. For unglyphed RF, 0.86s is saved in the ES cycle. Even with normal Starcatcher Compass procs, you save 0.56s. In any of these cases, the best option is probably to perform the additional AS and to make up for the focus deficit during the LnL. With factoring in the increased chance for TotH procs too, taking the extra AS seems like the best option.

Now let us look at LnL procs occurring at anytime, as will usually be the case instead of at the end of an ES cycle. Since LnLs are the situation where you can make decision to balance focus one way or another, it really does not matter that they occur randomly. Your choose what shots to take in between the ESs dependent on your current focus levels and come out of the LnL with sufficient focus to perform the base cycle. […]

Thus, the complete philosophy is the base ES-ASx2-CoSx2 cycle on all non-proc/dynamic haste cycles, with possibly performing AS for CoS replacements for TotH procs depending on resulting focus level, performing an extra AS during dynamic haste, and using the shots between ES to provide focus correction as needed during LnLs.

Pichuca replied, “Not only Latency, but travel time can also affect dot clipping. HC Warmaster P2 is a good example. At the start of the fight when downing Goriona to 80% you are mostly at max range, while when she comes down and when downing Warmaster you are very close to minimun range. In that case you´ll need to wait more than .1 sec to avoid dot clipping.

Said that, you can on paper (almost) always be on mid/high focus for LnL proccs. When above 60 focus, if LnL proccs you can do EX AS EX AS which is the highest DPS option out there. Since it is really difficult to have recurrent proccs each cycle, you will have a cycle at least between proccs to pool focus so you can do Ex As Ex As. that is on paper, of course.

Nooska replied, “While you are correct in theory, I will link to a discussion on the Wowhead hunter forums where a few people did some testing on the clipping of the ExS dot.”

Talk me down on SV vs MM in 4.3.2 – Hunter – Wowhead Forums which showed quite consistently (for the dataset) that the final of the three ExS shots (the one not under LnL) will clip a tick off the LnL-ExS applied just before. So even though there is no difference in theory between EAEE and EEAE, the former will pretty consistently loose you a tick. (Screenshot provided in the Wowhead thread)

Waat replied, “Travel time isn’t relevant as it’s constant for all the shots (unless you’re getting closer to your target during the LnL). If you and your target are stationary, your 2nd ES will hit 1GCD after the previous point blank or max range.”

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Clarification of the Concept ‘Overpowered’ 2/24/12

In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Pathemeous continued last week’s discussion of MoP talents, “[…] about the general thoughts of our last tier talents: OPness seems unpredictable. They do seem like very ‘big’ abilities, but mind that other classes are getting abilities of the same size. It won’t necessarily make us OP, it’ll just mean that there are ‘bigger’ attacks from all classes to watch out for in PvP, more ‘pewpew’ and epic magical effects happening in PvE. […]”

Nooska replied, “I will just make a comment about OP distinction in my posts.”

I am not looking at Powershot and saying hunters will be OP, I am saying I think the ability is overpowered (almost regardless of cost or CD) – I haven’t looked analytically at other classes, and I don’t think it’s necessary to analyze hunters. While we don’t exist in a vacuum, whether or not another class has overpowered or underpowered abilities doesn’t change how we work after all.”

TrevvyTrev replied, “Even if I understood the distinction (and I don’t), I don’t believe the responses are inconsistent with what you said. The argument is that you can’t make a judgment about whether an ability is overpowered (even as distinct from a class being overpowered) without considering how it stacks up against other abilities that are available, including existing pre-MoP abilities. That still requires an accurate understanding of what the ability actually does (and costs, and how often it can be used).”

Nooska replied, “The distinction I’m making is that I’m not comparing hunters to other classes – I don’t find that interesting at all – I am looking at the specific abilities and considering how they will feel or where I could imagine using them – and then I consider the implications of said usage.”

For Powershot I first look at the requirements for both stun and damage, and see; If I want to use this optimally I need to be 30+ yards away from my target(s). Then I think about how much of a bother it has been over the course of my hunter days to be forced to be a given distance away from my target – be that minimum range meaning we can’t stack in melee, or an ability like Sniper Training in the old incarnation. I then look at the doing away of minimum range and call out a completely new ability that goes in the completely opposite direction for being a counter to the very clear design descision.

Further I look at where I could imagine using the ability to the best, and as I’ve mentioned a few times, standing at one end of the alliance bridge in AV would be a perfect example of how OP the ability can be – I hit everything in a 20 yard wide 50 yard deep square and deal damage (significant damage to the furthest targets since its tripled) and stun them all. Being able to single-handedly stop an undetermined amount of players in PvP (even if it’s only for a second or two) is simply overpowered. This could be remedied with a cap on number of targets, a change of the area of effect or numerous other tweaks, but then it impacts the ability’s usefulness in other situations.

So while I may have been a bit short-winded on it before, I will also make sure to be specific about calling out Powershot on 2 points, 1) its overpowered (in my opinion, for the reasons stated above) and 2) it’s going against the called for and clear design changes for hunter range.

Starwind replied, “The term “over powered” is relative, not absolute. Stating that something in and of itself is OP without the context of the metagame is pure speculation at this point.”

I’d keep the discussion centered around the design issue rather than whether or not someone believes something is OP at this stage of development. There is no evidence supporting one position or the other at this point and there will be plenty of time during non-production trials to provide feedback regarding not only how this specific spell performs on its own but also how it performs in the metagame.

TrevvyTrev replied, “Without belaboring the point any further, I’ll simply say that if every healer had access to group stun immunity or even high resists, then AoE stuns go from “overpowered” to “almost useless”. I am not remotely suggesting that will happen, but it’s the kind of thing that drastically changes your assessment of the ability, which is why people keep saying that you probably need to have some idea as to what else is out there before making a declaration.

The same goes for triple damage. You can’t conclude that the triple damage is “significant” without knowing what the base damage is. If the base damage is “insignificant” then the triple damage might be insignificant too. Finally, I’m at a loss as to how the ability to stop a group of people on the AV bridge for 1-2 seconds is overpowered. I’ve been stopped on that bridge with existing AoE CC’s that last for significantly longer. It’s annoying, but it’s the other team’s job to do annoying things that keep you from your objectives.

The design direction point is more interesting, but ultimately I think it too is crushed under the weight of unnecessary assumptions. I don’t think it’s safe to say that the removal of minimum range means that the design direction is for hunters to never care about how far away they are from their targets. As a threshold matter, I’m less convinced that hunters are going to obsess over getting 30 yards away to maximize the ability, because the key difference over the status quo is that the ability still functions at melee range up to max range.

All we can infer from the removal of minimum range (and melee weapons) is that the designers didn’t want hunters to be cut off from using the overwhelming majority of their abilities in melee range, and that they also didn’t want hunters (or anyone, in light of changes to thrown weapons, etc.) to rely on two different weapon types based entirely on the distance that they were from their targets. Powershot doesn’t change that in the least — it still works (ostensibly) in melee range, so it’s consistent with the design that hunters should be able to use ranged attacks in melee range.

If anything, I agree with earlier posts that the ability emphasizes that there is some advantage to being far away, or in the case of runners, that being far away isn’t a free pass to escape that it might currently be, because the slightly longer stun gives the hunters’ teammates more of a window to catch up. In a world where the hunter’s ranged advantage was eroded away, an ability that makes hunters more dangerous from range seems worthwhile.

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Sporebeard Gauntlets vs. Tier 13 Gloves 3/1/12

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, gexstar asked, “Hey guys, I’m kinda wondering if FD considers the T13 4p bonus. Or is it just really weak?”

I have the choice between 397 Morchok Gauntlets and the 384 Set Gloves which would grand me the 4p bonus. I put it into Female Dwarf and it says it’s a 130 DPS downgrade… does the bunch of agi on the 397 gaunts really outweigh a 30% (!) haste proc for 15 secs ?

Couldn’t believe that so I ran it through simcraft… and simcraft said it’s an increase of about 300 DPS. I already heard that FD isn’t that great for calculating haste values… but that’s a kinda large difference between simcraft and FD.

Whitefyst replied, “Actually, of any type of dynamic effect modeled in FD, FD generally handles haste effects the most accurately since it applies the haste over the applicable periods after determining a proc has occurred.”

If you enable the setting to see debug data, you can clearly see when FD models the T13 4P proc occurring. It is shows as ‘T13 4pc’ in the Notes column of the shot simulation table. Also in the gear bonuses section, it estimates the benefit of the T13 4pc for your set up. […]

For my hunter as SV having the LFR tier gloves to get the T13 4pc is about 175 DPS better than the 397 off-tier gloves. For MM, the benefit of the T13 4P is even larger as long as you can use that haste proc to fire more AIs instead of ASs. I do not know much about BM, but I believe that the BM case will see similar results with the 4pc winning.

If you are not getting similar results in FD, I would suggest making sure that you have it set up properly and that you are properly adjusting reforges after gear swaps.

Tricks of the Trade Supported, Specs Updated 2/27/12

In the Hunter DPS Analyzer thread, Rivkah announced, “I added support for the tricks of the trade to the buff list on the site. This buff will not be enabled by default when enabling best raid buffs (since it’s a single target buff), you need to turn it on manually if you want it included in your calculations.”

I also filed a bug report on the WoW forums since I verified that pets do not inherit the tricks of the trade damage buff from the hunter (unlike the 3% dmg raid buff). I also updated the default specs as they were pretty out of date.

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Pet Damage 2/24/12

In the SimulationCraft for Hunters thread, Hirgux wrote, “Hi, when sim’ing my char I see a big difference in the Sic’Em uptime that simcraft (432-2) gives me for my char and the one I got on several Ultraxion fights:

Start	Refresh	Interval   Trigger      Up-Time	Benefit
35.4	2.6	12.4sec	   11.5sec	13%	26%

Simcraft shows me 13% uptime, while on several Ultraxion fights 50%-55% – Any idea why this might be?”

Also I tried to sim whether to spec into 1/2 or 2/2 Wild Hunt; in contrast to the beliefs in the community at the moment 1/2 gives me ~100dps more than 2/2.
For the damage of claw I get:

non-crit 4147 crit 8295 with 1/2 WH
non-crit 4113 crit 8214 with 2/2 WH

whereas claw as the basic attack should benefit from WH and do more damage.

Pichuca replied, “It does more damage, but the average is lower. SimC undervalues WH and overall pet damage. My pet is already doing more damage on 10m H Ultraxion with 399 ilvl than the pet from the BiS profile, and still the 3% damage buff missing”

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Illidari Council Soloed 2/29/11

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Caribald wrote, “Illidari Council down legit. Damage on me was pretty low tbh, I don’t know why that is… I guess I just got more used to the mechanics and was able to avoid them better. Currently there is a bug so they go down to the health they had last time you wiped, so I had to one-shot this reset to get a legit kill.

The strategy I used is as follows:

Pull with misdirected Multi-Shots. Attack the Paladin (Gathios the Shatterer) mainly and have him tanked close to the two casters. Sometimes I send pet on Lady Malande (priest) to accomplish this, but also because it feels like she sometimes doesn’t cast on me if she can melee my pet.

Mage (High Nethermancer Zerevor) hits VERY hard so make sure to never get aggro on him, or at least Deterrence or FD if you do (can also send pet on him then, just like with Malande). Only use Silencing Shot to interrupt Malande’s heals (Circle of Healing), never her damage spells. If she has Melee immunity up, don’t waste it. In any case where the heal can’t be interrupted, get Widow Venom up on the paladin (not sure whether this actually works or is worth it… could be it just reduces healing on HIM by 25% and therefore is only ~30k out of a total of ~500k healing combined).

Once the rogue (Veras Darkshadow) goes out of stealth, make sure to MD him to the pet and maybe hit him a little with the pet, since aggro on him will be reset. I use Intervene when I get poisoned by the Rogue to absorb ticks as well as the next spell from Malande, and I use Feign Death to cancel out one of her spells. Be sure to cast Feign Death well before the cast is done, or it might go through anyway. Continue until they die or you do.

Video: World first hunter solo: Caribald vs Illidari Council – YouTube

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Gothik the Harvester: An Easier Strategy 2/28/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Durendil wrote, “Just uploaded a video where I kill Gothik with a much easier strategy than the old chaotic one: Gothik easy way – YouTube

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Instructor Razuvious (25) Soloed 2/29/11

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Caribald announced, “Instructor Razuvious 25 man down. Took me over 70 wipes to finally get it right.”

Since you can’t Mind Control adds like on 10 man, they must be tanked by the pet while doing the Distracting Shot kiting as on 10-man. Jagged Knife does more initial damage and is cast more frequently (almost chain dotting you), so Chimera Shot only will not actually keep you up. The hardest part is damaging adds while kiting Razuvious without getting hit. Normally you would cast Distracting Shot at max range when Razuvious is not all the way at the pet yet, but to damage them you need to be closer, and you still need to keep Razuvious off your pet.

One thing I did was that every minute, Shell Shield + Cower would be up, so for the duration of those, the pet can actually tank. This is also useful for reapplying MD threat on the adds. I also marked each add so I could know the difference, and sometimes switch which one the pet was attacking. After getting adds down, the fight continues as on 10 man, except it’s quite a lot longer and a single mistake can still cost the kill. You can barely keep up your hp by pet tanking every minute and doing an intervene, while spamming Chim Shot every time it’s off cooldown. If you don’t get melee hit by Razuvious when adds are up (or by an add for too long), hp shouldn’t be a problem, but that’s easier said than done

Video: World first solo (hunter): Caribald vs Instructor Razuvious (25 man) – YouTube (keeping video private until AudioSwap has kicked in.)

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The Lich King (10) Soloed 2/27/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Durendil announced, “Lich king solo’d! Finally!”

About 15000 gold and 625 tries (counting the one called “press disengage after the pull”) later:

[…] Here’s the quickie (but lacking some important information)

  • Phase 1 was all about add control and feigning death at the precise right moment to modify the infest timer, misdirection and multi-shot, intervene and chimera shot…. No mistake allowed. I learned everything possible about focus management, since I also had to take in account the passive regen if I wanted to multishot/chimera/multishot without capping focus too much.
  • Phase 1.5 was a dps race to kill first spirit then feign death before taking too much damage. Infest coming right after!
  • Phase 2 was Sindragosa style. You can disengage from a val’kyr, but it’s really hard. So disengaging from 6 of them… Better be a tank. Except that tank cannot be critted, so a 50K crit then an infest… ouch. Oh, and taunting just before he casts soul reaper? Bad idea.
  • Phase 2.5 could have been all hell breaks loose. But there was phase 3. So it’s only half of hell that breaks loose.
  • Phase 3, all hell breaks loose. 3 spirits, one lich king, vile spirits, and Sindragosa-ing because taken into frostmourne: instant kill a la C’thun
  • Got him 30 seconds before berserk, but I could have taunted less and less healed my pet. I played it safe in this try. Of course, since this was my first phase 3 that lasted longer than 30 seconds, I didn’t cope very well with vile spirits at the start, and accidentally bugged some (about 1/4).

Next challenge: disengage off all val’kyrs (could be at the limit of possible with the real parachute cloak, 30sec CD, but it’s only a +8 agility cloak), no bugging any vile spirits (totally possible) and surviving frostmourne (the instant kill happens 15 seconds after you can attack the warden, and he’s probably 2-shottable). Oh, and if you’re really picky, no resetting frost spheres. Should make transition phases fun fun fun!.

Seriously, it’s a bad idea. I spent at least 24 hours on this boss, and got him in 2 hours after forgetting about disengage and starting Sindragosa-ing.

Caribald replied, ” I have tried LK a bit myself but never gotten past the very beginning of phase 2. It seems you were doing some things I had never thought about (FD to modify Infest timer and in phase transition).

I only got through phase 1 a few times and most of them it would be instant wipe after that. Many many congratulations on your kill, I really didn’t see that coming and would probably have fought harder for it if I knew :P I can’t wait for your video and to attempt doing it your way, would be pretty sweet to get him down. As for phase 1 focus management, I can confirm that… SUPER tight and no room for mistakes

Durendil replied, “The lich king video is now being uploaded! Will be here: Durendil vs The Lich King (hunter world first) – YouTube. For the moment, the recount is already online for those interested Roi liche recount (teaser) – YouTube

Caribald: I had gone to see the lich king, since my dps isn’t good enough for Naxx 25 I didn’t go insane with the infest timer, just delayed it for a second once. And I didn’t think about it, I just did it naturally without realizing it^^ Actually, I discovered it by pure randomness, after spending days thinking that hey, he casted infest a second too soon about once in 10 tries, and there was nothing I could do about it. Also, Stoneform rules! That’s the awesomeness of the best-looking race on Azeroth. Who needs +1% crit?

Without stoneform, I would suggest, for the second plague, using a restorative potion at about 12 seconds left, take the tick, then intervene + chimera. That way, the potion clears the 3rd plague. And get him to P2 before the 6th plague. Downside is: no healing potion during the fight, and farming the potions… About 9% (60 earths in 750 elementals for me) drop rate for the elemental earths on the elementals south of Everlook (they respawn faster than you kill them, luckily), and goldthorn is best farmed doing arathi highlands/hinterlands/scarlet cathedral. Make sure you use a potion master (although not everyone has the recipe).

Caribald replied, “Hmm, I managed phase 1 by just Raptor Striking 1st tick with the glyph and intervening tick 2 and 3 every time, but indeed, sometimes he’d infest and even being above 90% for a second before a plague tick would sometimes not clear Infest… To elaborate, if he cast Infest with about 1 second or less to a plague tick, even when being on full hp, a small delay causes the Infest to not get cleared in time, and the tick will put one below the 90%. […]

I never thought of tanking him like that in phase 1 to effectively cut the possible spawn point of adds in half. My Lich King dps-time should definitely increase by doing that, as well as feigning every time to clear healing aggro from the adds. Also, having Charge on the turtle is brilliant, I used Boar’s Speed for Algalon so it could run faster from him following an Intervene / Master’s Call, in case I needed to “pet kite”… and I just never thought of respeccing it.

It’s kinda funny, your phase 1 tactic seems to be about finding a way to have Infest hit at a perfect time, where instead I had thought the damage was unavoidable and solved it by using Raptor Strike glyph on first tick, intervene on the next 2… Which was enough to be above 90% hp the one time where Infest would hit before the third tick, and I’d usually have enough time to heal up before the next round (bandage could be used here).

Interesting, the Vile Spirits who went away at about 12:41 seemed to behave exactly like the Living Constellations on Algalon, except they also despawn in the Algalon encounter. It’s a good thing their explosions are aoe and don’t count as direct hits lol… otherwise that damage seemed a bit too high to tank every time

I have a few questions: In phase 1, you have your pet set on Stay and then Attack once LK reaches him. Once you Intervene, what do you do to place it again? I couldn’t see you doing another Move To out to the edge, did you just let it attack again by itself and hope it danced around to that spot? :p And Valkyr grabs, how exactly do they function? I seem to remember from your Sindragosa kill that the timer to not get hit by Ice Tombs was 30 seconds after being hit, but since Intervene is also on 30 seconds I doubt that was the case here :P Also, what makes already spawned Val’kyrs grab you (phase 2.5)? Are they still on the “Sindragosa timer”? And if so, how come just one tried to grab you? […]

Durendil replied, “The audio has been removed, so I guess I will work on it again, until I find which music I’m not allowed to use. Seems WMG is unhappy about the epica musics . I heard something about “licenses” but I didn’t find anything well done on internet to explain it. Anybody know how it works? Anyway, I’m going to try my luck with warcraftmovies, wish me luck.

In phase 1, I had a macro to put my pet on passive, in case it moved. Also, I macro’d passive + target lich king + petattack + defensive in that order, sometimes makes the pet not move (or rather, move then go back to his stay point so fast you don’t see it).

Guide at Durendil : Hunter soloing: Long live the King!

Movie has been released! Durendil vs The Lich King (hunter worldfirst) By durendil – World of Warcraft Movies

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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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