Elitist Jerks Weekly Recap 8/10/12

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.

Beta Build 15929 8/3/12

In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Rivkah wrote, “I can’t get into beta since the changes announced today to verify the arcane shot formula changes, so for now I’m assuming the tooltip on MMO is correct and only the base damage was reduced. Applying that change to my sims in the T14H gear setup, it looks like it amounts to about a .3% damage reduction for MM, .6% for BM and .8% for SV. In lower gear levels the impact might be more significant, although at those levels you could be using less arcane shots so it could even out. The Thrill of the Hunt change doesn’t seem to bump the benefit up enough to beat Dire Beast in my simulations at the moment. […]

Rivkah added, “Based on the changes in the latest beta build, here are the latest formulas (note that I only retested abilities I had reason to believe had changed so it’s possible other numbers have been stealth changed):

I did some raw calculations on a T14 heroic gear set. In this set I assumed 52k RAP and 15130.5 avg weapon dmg with a weapon speed of 3.0. With these stats here is a rough estimate of how much damage change there is to each modified ability:

  • Arcane Shot: 8% nerf (per shot)
  • A Murder of Crows: 13% nerf (per cast)
  • Dire Beast: 36% nerf (per cast)

Read the full post to see all of Rivkah’s shot formulas for build 15929.

Esoth replied, “I updated my spreadsheet (http://www.esoth.com/files/mop/at_download/file) and saw Fervor pulling ahead as well. MoC is still on top for the next tier.

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Thrill of the Hunt 8/3/12

Replying to a previous post in the Mists of Pandaria thread, Nerec wrote, “Just to make it clear, this would imply that it was a hard nerf to TotH when they changed ArcS to cost 20 focus instead of 22. Even greater than our gain through lower focus cost, implied with the picked talent. Don’t know if it was intended or just the reason they push TotH now to 20% base proc chance.

Whitefyst replied, “I cannot speak for other specs since I have not been studying them, but for MM I would not call it a hard nerf but instead consider it a logical and necessary change with how TotH has a chance for AS to save 20 focus when procced from a focus costing shot. Otherwise, TotH would have an incredibly high uptime with an AS rotation since AS would still cost focus when TotH was up. […]” [See the original post for theorycrafting]

This now saves a little more than 60 focus every other cycle, resulting in an average focus savings of about 100 or a little more per 30s, making it a comparable talent to Fervor, with Fervor being better since it provides pet focus as well as hunter focus and does not require an AS cycle to be affective.

This results in a better design situation for Blizzard since MMs AS rotation now has more room for improvement throughout the expansion instead of being near maxed out to start and since the benefits of ToTH and Fervor are more consistent.

Nerec replied, “[…] I don’t know exactly about travel time mechanic, but I believe TotH can only be procced after the last ArcS from the buff did hit the target? Thus after the last ArcS from TotH, there shouldn’t be used another Focus costing shot to have the 20% chance again. Or is this irrelevant because the last ArcS just consume the buff and the talent will only check against this. But this would give the last ArcS off the TotH the possibility to proc itself again.

With both option in mind, I tend to the first. This will give the problem, that after the consume of the TotH proccs we usually have a (near) filled focus bar and didn’t want to cast a 2xSteady/Cobra. And therefore cast a focus costing shot that can’t procc another TotH because the last ArcS still flying?! Or am I way off here?

Whitefyst replied, “Good question on how the mechanics work and whether the last AS can double dip and both take advantage of the focus cost from the TotH buff and possibly have a chance to proc TotH. I would assume that the implementation is similar to the free MMM AI where there is actually a different shot between the focus costing AS and the focus free AS. Hence, while TotH is up, the focus free version of AS is fired, and since it is a focus free shot, it has no chance to proc TotH even though the stacks may be fully consumed by the time the shot hits the target. […]” [See original post for further analysis]

Lokrick replied, “For clarification, Arcane Shot with TotH does not operate like Aimed Shot!. The free aimed shot is indeed a separate spell in the meta data. Arcane only has one entry, which is fired with a discounted price (you can also see that the spell effect in the log is the same for both shots). The reason none of this is an issue is that Thrill of the Hunt procs when you fire, not when it hits. Therefore when you fire, either you spent focus or you did not. Thus, the last arcane shot in thrill of the hunt does not cost focus, does not proc thrill of the hunt, and should not prevent the very next shot from proccing thrill of the hunt (even if the prior shot did not hit). Verification of the “should not” is straightforward (though perhaps tedious) from logs.”

Whitefyst replied, “Thanks for the clarification. I am not on the beta, so am only able to make assumptions until I get the actual information from those on beta to correct my assumptions. Anyway, the end results of the mechanics is the same regardless of the method that it is implemented and does not affect my analysis above.”

Whitefyst later added, “Looks like the latest build buffed TotH’s chance to proc to be 30% instead of 20%. […] For MMs with this buff, we can expect a TotH proc on average after every 2nd focus costing shot. Hence, with the max DPS CS, AS focus dump cycle of: CS-SSx2-ASx4-AS/MMM AI (with level 75 and 90 abilities replacing an AS when off CD)

Hence, in an ideal proc situation where we had a proc every time on the average proc number of shots (2), we could get a proc every cycle and have all 3 stacks of the proc used that same cycle. Thus, the focus cost per cycle would be 75 focus on average (with not including the high focus cost of MoC). Since the 2 SSs gain 34 focus, that is a focus deficit of only 41 focus that would need to be covered by focus regen, which is easily done since only 4.56 FPS regen is required.

Of course, we cannot expect this ideal average case. We will have situations where it takes more than 2 focus costing shots to proc TotH. We will also have the cases where one of the later ASs in the cyle proc TotH and where stacks will still exist when CS and/or the level 75 and 90 focus costing abilities come off CD and are performed with the high liklihood of a reproc. Regardless, the buff increases the TotH uptime considerably.

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Level 60 Talent Simulation 8/8/12

In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Nooska wrote, “Rivkah, I am wondering how you are simming the focus tier, Fervor coming in ahead of Dire Beast for BM seems off to me, as DB takes advantage of BM mastery (or will according to blue word, erhmm, last week I think it was), but also ahead of TotH seems odd. Is AS simply too low damage now or is it a matter of not being able to utilize the proc fully? Reason I’m thinking this is that I haven’t seen anything much in beta or notes to change BMs priority for sustained; ^HM>KC>^SrS>AS>CoS basically, and with more focus regen moving from CoS to AS in the 6 second cycle. Are you using FF in the simming or letting it stay on the pet (and which value do you have FF at for pet/hunter respectively?)”

Gahddo replied, “Focus fire THIS PATCH was a dps gain to consume for yourself by about ~3k in simc. Its value next patch has gone up a large amount for a number of reasons. For starter, they upped the value you get from using it, and decreased the value your pet gets if you don’t. They’ve also nerfed pet basic attack damage by twenty percent seemingly. As for TotH, the final nail in its coffin was placed this patch with the massive arcane shot nerf. It was already weak due to the previous nerf to arcane shot, and this one sealed the deal. If you’re interested in my CURRENT rotation for simc, bearing in mind that its more than likely going to change in at the very least some way next patch: [See original post for rotation data] As you can see, the value of fervor this patch is so insane that it actually takes priority over kill command.”

Nooska replied, “Disregarding that I was asking Rivkah/Zeherah how FF was simmed and not how well it or the talent(s) does in SimC, this last statement makes absolutely no sense. Fervor is focus restoration cooldown, it cannot take higher priority than a main nuke ability without any factors. Since it restores 50 focus immediately and 50 focus over 10 seconds (essentially adding 5 fps) it will be 100% wasted if you use it at 100 focus, and will only be utilized completely if used under some more narrowly defined circumstances.”

Regardless of its utility power, it will never be in a priority queue for dps, but will be valuated independantly for use and with circumstances attached (whether the circumstances are “use on CD” still does not put it in a priority queue with our damage dealers).

Gahddo replied, “The way its simulated is exactly how it functions, aside from Frenzy still being considered a pet only buff as apposed to a buff for both pet and hunter, at least in simc. I was responding to the first half of your statement because simc and femaledwarf are coming up with very similar numbers currently. Fervor functions as 50 initial focus and then 5/sec over 10 seconds. I’ve accounted for that and can’t find any fault with how simcraft is portraying this. The reason its currently a gain in the sim is because you gain more focus over the entire fight from placing it at the top than you lose from the initial cast and any casts above 50 focus from there on out. Increasing the interval on the cast of Fervor in any way, shape, or form results in a loss. I haven’t found the command line yet but I’m sure there’s some way to make it only cast if the fight duration is passed a certain point, lets say 5 seconds, so the focus has been dumped. I’m hoping that could at least reduce the impact of the first cast being so severe at 50 focus loss.
Update: I’ve been able to achieve the same DPS as having nothing modifying fervor usage through an opening sequence that casts KC -> SS -> Fervor -> Bestial Wrath, it also reduced overflow of fervor focus to just 19.8.”

Rivkah replied, “Currently on beta, DB does not take advantage of BM mastery. That may be changed in the new build (as they indicated), but since it’s not in the notes I won’t be adding that into my sim until I can verify it on the server. Fervor also is quite beneficial to BM because it gives the pet focus too, which means more Wild Hunt attacks (without it, the pet rarely gets into Wild Hunt territory after the start of the fight). Fervor’s boost to pet Wild Hunt attacks for the other specs also helps keep it ahead of Thrill.”

Thrill’s problem is that every time they bump the proc rate, they nerf the shot. Since all Thrill really does is save you focus for more Arcane Shots, it gets weaker every time they do that. It’s possible it performs better in practice than in my sims, but right now it just looks incredibly weak for all 3 specs.

With regards to FF, I currently have it simming cast at 5 stacks and I’m using the model on the MMO notes which has the hunter haste bumped to 6% but no changes to the pet attack speed from the previous patch. That change helped make the difference between using it and not using it more attractive (it now comes out at about 1k dps gain to use it) but it’s still fairly weak.

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Beta Build 15952 8/8/12

In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Rivkah wrote, “I won’t post a detailed summary of the formula changes in the new patch listed on MMO until it hits the server and I can verify them. But I did modify my dev site to use the new formulas implemented as well as I could interpret them (there are some like the Serpent Sting and Bite/Claw/Smack changes that I’m not sure I understood fully).”

Based on my limited understanding of the changes, my simulated T14H gear saw the following drops in damage:

  • BM: 12% (from 133562.78 to 117945.31)
  • MM: 16% (from 116460.24 to 98211.84)
  • SV: 11% (from 115792.27 to 102676.46)

Note that my implementation of the spec simulations still needs tweaking so these numbers should be taken with a large grain of salt.

Based on those changes, I also did some testing on relative talent value:

  • Focus tier: Fervor is coming in ahead for BM, Dire Beast for MM, and both Fervor and Dire Beast are relatively close for SV. Thrill is weak all alround
  • Pet tier: Lynx Rush and Blink Strike are now fairly close for BM (with Lynx Rush in the lead), significantly above Murder. For MM/SV, Murder is in the lead but only slightly above Lynx Rush, with Blink Strike behind by a noticable amount
  • AoE tier: Glaive Toss still dominates noticably but the lead has shrunk (for single target dps)

Lokrick replied, “My preliminary update of simc shows more significant drops, but there are a few outstanding buffs that they described that need to be verified and added to the model (e.g., wild_quiver triggering on level 90 talents, BM buff applying to some abilities, etc.). The current reference profiles (with fervor):”

Spec Before After delta
BM 131,858 101,672 23%
SV 118,901 99,329 16%
MM 116,280 92,861 20%

Gahddo’s improved profiles:

Spec Before After delta
BM 143,098 107,144 25%
SV 124,685 104,664 16%
MM 122,200 94,515 23%

Many other classes were nerfed as well, so I’m not worried about hunter vs. other classes. MM dropped more than seems appropriate to be in line with the other specs, so the highest sim priority is to find and implement and mechanics changes that are not yet incorporated. Secondarily, it’s useful to note that improved profiles and gear above make a difference!

Rivkah replied, “Based on the changes in the latest beta build, here are the latest formulas (note that I only retested abilities I had reason to believe had changed so it’s possible other numbers have been stealth changed). The nerf was larger than anticipated originally since some of the mechanics changes I was unclear about did not go in our favor upon testing.”

Spec Comparison:

Here are my current simulated damage numbers in roughly the same T14H setup that simc is using, including the % damage drop from the previous patch mechanics. Note that I’m using an orc for these tests.

  • BM- 103318.58 (23%), Talents: Fervor very slightly above Dire beast, Lynx rush on top, Glaive toss significantly on top (2672.84 dps lower for worgen)
    MM- 91673.77 (21%), Talents: Dire beast significantly on top, Murder significantly on top, Glaive Toss significantly on top (747.79 dps lower for worgen)
    SV- 95451.37 (18%), Talents: Dire beast slightly above fervor, Murder significantly on top, Glaive Toss significantly on top (990.35 dps lower for worgen)

Buff/Nerf Summary:

I did some raw calculations on a T14 heroic gear set. In this set I assumed 52k RAP and 15130.5 avg weapon dmg with a weapon speed of 3.0. With these stats here is a rough estimate of how much damage change there is to each modified ability:

  • Aimed Shot: 36% nerf
  • Arcane Shot: 34% nerf
  • Black Arrow: 20% nerf
  • Chimera Shot: 31% nerf
  • Cobra Shot: 30% nerf
  • Explosive Shot: 20% nerf
  • Serpent Sting: 18% nerf
  • Steady Shot: 37% nerf
  • Wild Quiver: 15% nerf
  • Bite/Claw/Smack: 34% nerf
  • Blink Strike: 300% buff
  • Lynx Rush: 200% buff
  • Kill Command: 42% nerf
  • Pet Melee: 17% nerf
  • Dire Beast: 19% nerf (but now benefits from BM mastery)


  • Powershot no longer suppresses autoshot
  • Combat experience pet damage multiplier was reduced from 80% to 50% damage bonus
  • Dire beast formula has changed and now benefits from mastery
  • Improved serpent sting formula probably bugged

Current Formulas:


  • Aimed Shot: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * 2.8 + 19541 (suppresses autoshot)
  • Arcane Shot: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * .75 + 1309
  • Barrage: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * 6.4 (total damage to the primary target over 16 ticks, suppresses autoshot)
  • Black Arrow: RAP * 1.6 + 1990 (total damage, split over 10 ticks)
  • Chimera Shot: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * 2.1 + 2617
  • Cobra Shot: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * .7
  • Explosive Shot: RAP * .266 + 331.5 (per tick, there are 3 ticks)
  • Explosive Trap: RAP * .0546 + 246.767 (initial damage), RAP * .0546 + 32.4038 (per tick, there are 10 ticks) – not retested (notes don’t indicate a change)
  • Glaive Toss: (RAP * .2 + 872) * 4 (to the primary target, 2 will hit)
  • Improved Serpent Sting: (RAP * .097 + 2030.22) * 5 * .3 (probably bugged, it’s using the old sting formula, does benefit from the 100% damage bonus)
  • Kill Shot: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * 3 – not retested (notes don’t indicate a change)
  • Multi-Shot: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * .6 – not retested (notes don’t indicate a change)
  • Powershot: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * 8 (damage to the primary target, no longer suppresses autoshot)
  • Serpent Sting: RAP * .08 + 1620.19 (per tick, ticks every 3 sec)
  • Steady Shot: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * .5 + 997
  • Wild Quiver: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * .85


  • Bite/Claw/Smack: (RAP * .168 + 142) * 1.5 (standard pet damage multiplier)
  • Blink Strike: pet melee dmg * 6
  • Lynx Rush: pet melee dmg * 2 per attack (9 attacks total over 4 sec)
  • Kill Command: (RAP * .7 + 698) * 1.5 (standard pet damage multiplier)
  • Melee: (RAP / 14 * 2 + 311.575) * 1.5 (standard pet damage multiplier)

Summoned Pets:

  • Dire Beast: RAP * .2857 + 1246.3 per hit (does about 8 attacks but sometimes only 7), now scales with BM mastery
  • A Murder of Crows: RAP * .206 + 560.834 per hit (30 attacks) – does not scale with BM mastery (treated as damage coming from hunter)

Rivkah added, “Since there were inquiries about the impact of the racials, I thought it might be useful to see how much impact they’re making in the various specs. Here’s the results I got in my T14H sims by spec. Note that for draenei, trolls and dwarves I replaced the hit/expertise with the corresponding crit rating so that I could use the same gear for comparison. This also assumes 300 agil food for Pandaren.”

Spec racial differences

Spec Race DPS Spec Racial Difference
BM Orc 103318.58 0
BM Pandaren 101135.26 2183.32
BM Troll 100980.92 2337.66
BM Worgen 100645.74 2672.84
BM Undead 100491.53 2827.05
BM Goblin 100406.27 2912.31
BM Draenei 100238.97 3079.61
BM Dwarf 100235.68 3082.9
BM Elf 99789.6 3528.98
BM Human 99770.12 3548.46
BM Tauren 99753.49 3565.09
BM Elf 99735.07 3583.51
SV Orc 95450.29 0
SV Pandaren 94946.92 503.37
SV Troll 94830.95 619.34
SV Undead 94587.69 862.6
SV Worgen 94459.94 990.35
SV Draenei 94119.74 1330.55
SV Dwarf 94116.32 1333.97
SV Elf 93818.51 1631.78
SV Elf 93732.24 1718.05
SV Human 93713.46 1736.83
SV Tauren 93697.87 1752.42
SV Goblin 93633.68 1816.61
MM Orc 91672.69 0
MM Troll 91367.16 305.53
MM Pandaren 91138.73 533.96
MM Undead 90929.29 743.4
MM Worgen 90924.9 747.79
MM Goblin 90605.94 1066.75
MM Draenei 90596.21 1076.48
MM Dwarf 90592.81 1079.88
MM Elf 90215.56 1457.13
MM Elf 90210.42 1462.27
MM Human 90195.11 1477.58
MM Tauren 90183.18 1489.51

O5A replied, “You don’t seem to count new Undead dps racial Touch of the Grave – Spell – World of Warcraft, they couldn’t be that low, near taurens and NE.”

Lockrick repleid, “At first I thought this was a clever joke, since the mouseover refers to the live version of the racial (underwater breathing). Then I remembered that it actually provides damage now, and following your link goes to the right place. I tested in simc; you have to specify ‘race=undead’ rather than ‘race=forsaken.'”

Spec Orc Forsaken Diff
SV 102,677 101,722 955
MM 93,366 92,296 1,070

So assuming that simc and FD will produces relatively comparable numbers, forsaken look like they are quite comparable with Worgen. The SV numbers assume that Touch of the Grave benefits from the increased magic damage of SV, incidentally. Please let us know if that’s inaccurate.

Rivkah replied, “It’s a good thing you replied Lokrick since I had the same reaction. I’ll look into the mechanics of this and add it to my site as soon as possible, thanks for bringing it up o5a!”

Are there any other racial changes this expansion I might have forgotten? I know about the troll/dwarf change to expertise and have that implemented, and I’ve updated the numbers for blood fury.

Rivkah added, “I updated my racial table above with the new undead numbers for each spec, based on the mechanics info Lokrick was kind enough to look up for me.”

Nooska wrote, “After the changes have been implemented, I’m seeing Fervor being a 0.3% dps increase over DB for BM in T14Hc gear, with mastery>crit>>haste, which is what I deduced through experimentation yesterday, with a total drop of 12% in BM damage from yesterday to todays iterations and some wasted secondary points in expertise and hit (will have to spend more time to balance them more precisely)”

Lokrick wrote, “One additional note for Lynx Rush, from the logs, it does not interrupt normal attacks against the primary target. It just adds SPELL_DAMAGE ticks that can be dodged, parried, etc. It’s not yet implemented in simc, but it looks straightforward now.”

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Pet stats in the MoP Beta 8/6/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Durendil wrote, “Still angry about the money nerfs, seems Blizzard only takes interest in soloing when something needs to be nerfed. By the way, have they finished programming pets on the beta, or do they still have 100k health and passives that don’t work? For the moment, hunter changes on the beta seem to indicate a nice buff to soloing (especially if you consider that you will be able to solo in any spec as long as Spirit Bond is enough to heal you), but if the new pet scaling reduces pet health by too much, it could be problematic.”

Steevnash replied, “Live Stats:”

Hunter: 162k health
Pet: 148k health
Stam: 8800

Pet Armor: 29,000 for 52% damage reduction
Pet Resistance: 85 for 13% damage reduction
Mend Pet Ticks: 18.4k

Beta Stats:

Hunter: 146k Health
Pet: 115k Health
Stam: 7400

Pet Armor: 17,000 for 39% damage reduction
Pet Resistance: 0 for 0% damage reduction
Mend Pet Ticks: 14.5k

Health drops a ton from losing 240 stam from the Bow and they removed Hunter vs Wild. Rest is just Blizzard telling us we can’t have any more fun.

Caribald replied, “Well to be fair, until we try soloing Cata raids at level 90, just looking at those numbers isn’t telling us much. With resistance gone from the game, perhaps magic damaging abilities are properly adjusted to compensate. Maybe armor values will look more like they do now once we get level 90 gear with MoP armor values rather than cata ones. It would surprise me if the formulas didn’t need any sort of tweaking for a new expansion.”

Durendil replied, “Hmmm… That isn’t a lot of pet health, but remember that even with 115k health, spirit bond should tick for 3220 every 2 seconds. So it won’t be a gigantic loss. However the low stats make me wonder if passives are really working (basically, have you checked if ferocity and tenacity pet had the same health and ar’mor?). If they are, better wait for level 90 before complaining, as Caribald explained.”

However, I read pets would scale with dodge and parry from their master. It could be worth a try if you find a kind of recount that works in the beta to just let a boss melee him about 1000 times in each realm, then compare (Or I could do it myself once I’m back in Paris).

Steevnash replied, “Yeah the 12% stam passive and 40% increased healing is working at the moment. The nerfs obviously only effect the few weeks between the event patch and MoP live. Tactics will certainly need to be changed a bit for a boss like Onyxia. I can see Brutallus eating the beta pet alive, but again… only for a few weeks. After that it’ll all be about as difficult as solo’ing RFC, and just as profitable too!”

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Misdirection Does not Incur a Global Cooldown in the MoP Beta 8/7/12

In the Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit thread, Caribald wrote, “Just started playing around a bit on the beta, and one thing I just noticed (don’t know if this is common knowledge) is that Misdirection neither needs nor triggers a global cooldown – at least with MD glyphed and casting it on the pet. You can basically macro it into every ability without losing dps, and you’ll never have to worry about threat again. Of course this might be changed before MoP goes live, but if it remains, it will have a tremendous impact on soloing. As an example, Lich King phase 1 would get SO much easier with this change, as you don’t have to spend globals for misdirects, and on that part of the fight you are both tight on globals and need to never overaggro any adds, which spawn rather often.”

Furthermore, this change makes Glyph of Misdirection an excellent glyph choice for leveling, as you lose absolutely nothing by casting MD, and it will prevent you from taking any damage whatsoever from mobs. I was going to say it’s will keep mobs out of your melee range, but that obviously doesn’t matter in MoP when we lose our minimum range.

Durendil replied, “If Misdirection change stays, I’d be glad.”

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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. Posts with discussions regarding soloing are archived in Hunter Soloing, from Classic to Pandaria: Tips, Guides, Strategies, and Videos.

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