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.
- Mists of Pandaria
- SimulationCraft for Hunters (Panda Edition)
- T14 Heroic Profiles 7/29/12
- Dragon Soul Tricks and Tips
- Soloing Old Instances for Fun and Profit
- Old Raid Gold Nerfs Part II 7/27/12
In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Rivkah wrote, “Based on the changes in the latest beta build, I did testing tonight to verify the new formulas. I’ve updated my formula list based on my tests. [...].”
- They converted most weapon damage based formulas to a much simpler format that doesn’t involve double-dipping RAP. So the buffs are not as big as they appear when you look at the formulas
- It turns out there was a hidden 80% damage bonus to pets which wasn’t really shown before but has now been codified as part of all 3 pet specs. This explains the strange melee and bite/claw/smack formulas I was seeing before
- They’ve clarified now that wild quiver is meant to be half of the damage we have on live, but they buffed mastery accordingly (or most of the way)
- MM now gets 4% proc chance for 1 mastery (up from 2.1) and BM now gets 2% pet damage for 1 mastery (up from 1.67)
- Glaive Toss is now on the GCD (which I expected, they weren’t going to leave a damaging ability off GCD)
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 these stats here is a rough estimate of how much damage change there is to each ability (to a single shot/attack):
- Aimed Shot: 20% buff
- Arcane Shot: 58% buff
- Barrage: 100% buff
- Black Arrow: 88% buff
- Bite/Claw/Smack: 5% buff (not 100% sure if this was buffed or if I just had measured the formula slightly off before)
- Chimera Shot: 9% buff
- Cobra Shot: 17% nerf
- Explosive Shot: 6% buff
- Glaive Toss: 100% buff
- Kill Command: 90% buff
- Powershot: 100% buff
- Steady Shot: 22% buff
- Aimed Shot: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * 4 + 39880
- Arcane Shot: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * 1.1 + 5484
- Barrage: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * 6.4 (total damage to the primary target over 16 ticks)
- Black Arrow: RAP * 2 + 2490 (total damage, split over 10 ticks)
- Chimera Shot: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * 3 + 5385
- Cobra Shot: avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2
- Explosive Shot: RAP * .333 + 415.5 (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 * .1 + 436) * 8 (to the primary target, 2 will hit)
- 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)
- Serpent Sting: RAP * .097 + 2030.22 (per tick, ticks every 3 sec)
- Steady Shot: (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * .7 + 4013
- Wild Quiver: 50% autoshot damage (not normalized)
- Bite/Claw/Smack: (RAP * .21 + 208) * 1.8 (standard pet damage multiplier)
- Blink Strike: pet melee dmg * 2
- Kill Command: (RAP + 997) * 1.8 (standard pet damage multiplier)
- Melee: (RAP / 14 * 2 + 311.111) * 1.8 (standard pet damage multiplier)
- Dire Beast: RAP * .5715 + 1246.5 per hit (may have changed since last test, does about 8 attacks) – not retested (notes don’t indicate a change)
- A Murder of Crows: RAP * .1142 + 313.8 per hit (based on Esoth’s tests, 54-57 attacks) – not retested (notes don’t indicate a change)
Lokrick replied, “A few additional tidbits: Mechanically, ES does SPELL_DAMAGE on impact, and has two DoT ticks. Those go into the rolling “ignite-style” dot. It appears to reroll the damage that it injects into the rolling ignite, so the dot damage is never the same as the impact damage. I have an example in which the initial impact crits, but have not yet seen crits for either individual dot ticks or the injection into the rolling dot. I think this will only matter for FD if indeed there’s no crit damage in the last two ticks of ES. [...]” [See Lokrick's original post for test data]
Edit: I got a sequence with a tick that crits (along with an identical one that didn’t). Additionally, the initial tick damage is higher than the initial impact damage, thus reinforcing that the dot is a different damage roll rather than some function of the impact damage.
Esoth replied, “Black Arrow: 26405 AP gives a tooltip of 80590, ticks for 8059. 14101 AP gives a tooltip of 43640, ticks for 4364. I believe this suggests (RAP * .3 + 129) per tick. Playing around with different sets of AP that base damage jumps around a bit so this should only be taken as a rough estimate.”
- Explosive Shot: same as above, I got the same RAP coefficient but base damage looked to be somewhere in the 440-460 range. How was 415.5 derived?
- Chimera Shot: this also has a 73.2% RAP coefficient. So total formula is (avg weapon dmg + RAP * .2) * 3 + RAP * .732 + 5385
- I retested Dire Beast/Murder of Crows. No change.
- Stampede is 25% regular pet damage (per pet) now
Everything else matches what I tested last night and this morning. Great work!
Lokrick replied, ” Definitely great work! All the ES parameters are now in the meta-data I believe. Explosive shot’s damage range in the meta-data was changed. The average is 415, but the variance is much higher (207-623).” [see the original post for Explosive Shot parameters]
Small note: Chimera Shot still has the 0.732 coefficient in the metadata. For Black Arrow, what was your mastery and level, and can you tell whether trap mastery (and any other passives) are built into the tooltip number?
Rivkah replied, “Regarding Black Arrow, are you sure you’re taking into account the 30% damage bonus from Trap Mastery as well as mastery? When I included that in my testing, the numbers matched the formula. [...]
On Explosive Shot, it’s difficult to verify a range with certainty without an extensive amount of testing. I only did enough cursory testing last night to verify that the numbers were reasonably close to what would be expected based on the formula provided by MMO. MMO has the range at 208 to 623, which averages out to 415.5. I’ll do further testing when I have a chance to see whether it’s off a bit.
For Chimera Shot, I saw the reference to the 73.2% RAP coefficient on MMO, but when I tested it, it didn’t look like that coefficient actually was being used. My tests matched the formula once I removed it. Perhaps I made a mistake in my testing.
Looking at my notes, I was testing with a weapon with an average damage of 12, and 18603 RAP. My chimera shots were doing 16583 damage. Using the 73.2% RAP coefficient, the formula would be (12 + 18603 * .2) * 3 + .732 * 18603 + 5385 = 30200.196. When you remove that coefficient, you get (12 + 18603 * .2) * 3 + 5385 = 16582.8 which matches perfectly.
Rivkah added, “I’ve plugged in most of the changed numbers into my alpha site now (with the exception of the changes to Thrill of the Hunt and Cobra Strikes mechanics, which will require more effort to support). Based on those changes, in heroic T14 gear here’s what my simulations are currently getting in terms of spec comparison in a single target raid buffed environment. These tests include murder of crows, fervor and Glaive Toss for talents.”
SV: 14.4% increase from previous patch, 6% below BM
MM: 6.7% increase from previous patch, 3% below BM
BM: 10.6% increase from previous patch, currently highest output
Esoth replied, “I believe you are correct about Black Arrow, so disregard my comment on that. For Chimera Shot I was actually going off the tooltip in game on beta – but your number seems correct so I guess the tooltip is just inaccurate.”
Are you using Glaive Toss, Fervor, and Murder of Crows just for the sake of something consistent or are those actually giving the best results? With Glaive Toss on the GCD I was getting better numbers for Power Shot. Especially for SV, they would get no benefit of Glaive Toss over Arcane Shot on single target. Also, Fervor looks weak compared to Dire Beast to me.
Rivkah replied, “I’m not really sure why they still have the Black Arrow boost in Trap Mastery since all SV hunters get Black Arrow. They should just bake it into the shot. Perhaps that just hasn’t occurred to them yet or they haven’t gotten around to it. The purpose of my testing was to make sure that what was described in the tooltip actually matched what happens in game, since sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t know why Chimera Shot had that information, but sometimes they just forget to take info out of the tooltip I think. There was a 1.2 multiplier listed in the Kill Command formula as well that doesn’t actually seem to apply to the ability.”
Fervor was originally giving me the best results, but I hadn’t tested it since things were moved around. Dire beast does come out as a small improvement over fervor now for SV/MM- probably partly because of the change to Wild Hunt (since Fervor was basically the only thing that gave SV/MM more pet focus). Also, I haven’t yet adapted my code to support for readiness giving 2 dire beasts (currently it delays reusing dire beast until the previous one despawns) so that would make it better, and I think I still have it giving only 7 beast attacks based on my original tests. For BM I still see slightly better numbers with fervor.
Murder of Crows was giving me the best results in all 3 specs. I expect if you did cooldown stacking you could get better results with Lynx Rush in BM (I don’t see any compelling reason to use Blink Strike in PvE) but since my modeling doesn’t currently support that I’ve been using Murder.
With regards to Glaive Toss, I’m seeing it come out at close to double the damage of Arcane Shot for BM/MM and about 50% more damage than Arcane Shot for SV for 2 less focus. Does your math show something different?
Barrage and Power Shot came out less damage for me for all 3 specs, but all 3 are at least better single target than not using them, which was not the case prior to this patch. I don’t have mechanics in place to save focus for Barrage and Powershot, so that may be throwing off the simulation a bit, but Glaive Toss was coming out pretty significantly ahead.
Rivkah added, “I’ve been retesting the attack count of A Murder of Crows and I’m definitely seeing almost every cast in the range of 60-64 crow attacks. So I’m tweaking my calculations to assume 62 crow attacks on average for now.”
Lokrick replied, “A small clarification on Cobra Strikes. I verified that each proc adds 2 stacks to a maximum of 6 stacks. There were two plausible interpretations of the tooltip; this is the correct interpretation.”
Rivkah wrote, “I did a bit of Stampede testing today and here are some notes on the mechanics:”
- The primary pet does full damage, the four secondary pets all do 25% damage each (the debuff seems to delay in application sometimes and they get in a full damage attack, but I assume they’ll fix that bug)
- The stampede pets do not seem to benefit from Bestial Wrath
- The stampede pets do seem to benefit from BM mastery
- The stampede pets can proc Frenzy, but when the hunter uses Focus Fire, it only interacts with the primary pet
- I didn’t test if Go for the Throat procs benefit the Stampede pets- has anyone been able to verify that?
- I can’t tell if Stampede pets can proc Invigoration, as it doesn’t seem to indicate which pet the proc came from
Lilbitters wrote, “Did some testing for the current version on Thrill of the Hunt (Build 15913):”
- Proc chance now triggers on cast rather than on hit.
- Proc grants 3 stacks of Thrill of the Hunt with a 15 second duration.
- Once proc’d, Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot get the “Action Bar Button” glow effect.
- Buff can be refreshed before it expires and resets to 3 stacks with 15 second duration.
- Once proc’d Arcane Shot will never proc a new buff (presumably because it now costs 0 focus and therefore it no longer fulfills the “ranged attack that costs focus” criteria, however, Multi-Shot can refresh the buff (because it still will cost 20 focus).
- As BM during Bestial Wrath, when Thrill of the Hunt procs, using Multi-Shot will cost 0 focus and consume 1 stack of Thrill of the Hunt, however, it still retains the chance to refresh the buff even though it was not a “ranged attack that costs focus” (possible bug).
Esoth wrote, “I’ve been working on a spreadsheet mostly for my own edification (Rivkah has been very up to date and accurate with her web app and I imagine most would prefer that anyway), but if you are interested in taking a look: http://www.esoth.com/files/mop/at_download/file. There are a few things to be done but I think most of the calculations are accurate. One of the advantages of it being a spreadsheets is that any errors are effectively open source.”
A few things I’ve noticed with it:
- Both Fervor and Thrill of the Hunt support wildly different playstyles to fully maximize (I haven’t implemented Lilbitters’ comment about TotH not refreshing while currently up). Dire Beast is mostly just a set it and forget it ability but still out paces the other two options, even in BM spec. And even during TBW despite it not benefiting from it.
- Murder of Crows similarly outpaces its counterparts, although it is a bit more involved since it has such a high focus cost. This gives it better synergy with Fervor and TotH, but at least theoretically I seem to get best results from DB and MoC still.
I am hard pressed to see any advantage to Blink Strike in pvp or otherwise at the moment. Lynx Rush has a 100 yard range, so you don’t even get the situationally important range benefit of Blink Strike – just the CD. But the CD is also a hazard because it is on the GCD.
[Stampede pets] apply their usual pet family debuffs (probably not relevant in raiding). I suspect that this ability is not fully debugged yet, as the minor glyph (to make all of the pets the same) is just flat out broken. Have you tested whether they scale from AP? That would make its use similar to ele shamans’ fire elemental in Cataclysm, where you wait for everything to proc before dropping it.
Rivkah replied, “[...] Lynx Rush also says ‘The pet must be within 10 yards of the target to Lynx Rush.’. So I assume the 100 yd range is so that if you’re out of range of your pet it’ll still cast, but the pet must be near the target in order for it to actually work. This, I assume, is where Blink Strike comes in. That being said, I haven’t tested it much, so it’s possible it doesn’t work the way I think it does.”
Stampede pets definitely scale from AP. I haven’t tested it with the glyph, but from what I can tell they are basically just the same as a summoned pet in most mechanics, except for certain things which involve interaction with the hunter like Focus Fire and Bestial Wrath (it makes sense these would only apply to your primary pet). From what I understand they do seem to have done tweaks to avoid the issue with pet stats not updating like the fire elemental in Cata, but I haven’t done detailed tests on how well it’s working.
One issue with the current implementation of Stampede is that they will use whatever’s on autocast, which means a lot of micromanagement to make sure your Stampede pets have the right abilities enabled for whatever you’re doing. This won’t be a problem for people who only raid, but if you do a variety of tasks you’ll have to keep a close eye on it or you’ll end up with pets taunting targets or wasting GCDs and focus casting dash. If you disable autocast on Rabid to control it manually you’ll have to remember to turn it back on for secondary pets for Stampede as well.
Whitefyst wrote, “For non-MMs, all MSs can refresh the TotH buff, but MMs with Bombardment saving 20 focus, MSs cast with both Bombardment and TotH up cost no focus and will not have a chance to refresh the proc.”
In the Mists of Pandaria thread, Whitefyst worte, “I have been working on the 5.0 MM guide and have been analyzing Fervor and Thrill of the Hunt as well from a theoretical point of view. [See original post for theorycrafting] Fervor [...] provides pet focus, increasing your pet’s DPS. This benefit breaks the virtual tie and makes Fervor the clear choice in my mind.”
In the SimulationCraft for Hunters (Panda Edition) thread, Lokrick wrote, “The results presented in the first post of this thread now are for T14H profiles. Most of the new build changes are in, with still-naive integration of new talents and spells into the profiles. There are still some inconsistencies with female dwarf and expected results that we are working through. The “BIS” gear profile still has Cata trinkets; that will be updated once the new trinkets are implemented in both simc and FD.”
Read the full post for the default equipment profile.
In the Survival thread, Physiq wrote, “I was wondering what you guys use for the tendon burn on HC Spine? On the dummies I have a hard time getting over 750k dmg within 18 sec. And since I am on the grips it is hard to have explosive shot up for the start of the tendon burn.”
Pichuca replied, “I´m usually on grip duty 2 and have no problem with that. I just kill the corruption while the amalgamation is exploding, so there will be no grip during tendon phase. You can easily manage to have BA and ES out of CD for the tendon. I have a macro for SrS with /tar Burning Tendon at start, so I can actually spam it and make it sure there´s no time loss. I do not apply mark. (though there is no strong theorycrafting about if its better or not to use it, it has been pointed somewhere in the hunter forums that it might not be worth the GCD unless there are 2 hunters).”
You can also save the 4pc procc until the tendon, but that may be difficult if you are on grip duty. For the first plate I use all CDs but pot, for the second pot+ blood fury, for the third everything again plus BL. Agi on use trinket in every plate. You should do fine if you can manage 1KK damage for every exposure, for example I can do anything between 1kk and 1.5kk in 404 ilvl. If you need a more steady output, you can try BM, it`s on par with SV if not superior for tendons, but worse for grip duty.
Ardeaf added, “Use CotW on four different pets for every tendon that comes up. Tendon 1, use pet 1 CotW, then dismiss pet 1. Tendon 1 part 2 use pet 2 CotW, then dismiss pet 2, etc. Re-equip your Kiril during each phase so that you’ll proc right when the tendon spawns. I re-equip right when the amalg we are killing spawns. Put an explosive trap down where the bloods are being tanked. I usually get 2 LnL procs on every lift thanks to this.”
In the Soloing Old Raids for Fun and Profit thread, Natural20 replied to previous posts regarding the upcoming nerfs to old raid gold drops, “I do wish I had a U.S. account so I could reply to the thread. I only recently came back to WoW, but soloing old content has been some of the most fun that I’ve had. It’s also just been, as Steve said, the most fun way I’ve found to earn money (That I almost always burn on repairs for progression)”
In examining Blizzard’s decision, you have to look at the alleged problem and figure out if the prospective solution deals with it and whether it’s via the least restrictive means. The problem is apparently that people go back to old instances and earn disproportionately high money by soloing them. That’s understandable and is a problem, going back to BWL and farming up 1600g inside 15 minutes at level 90 will be ridiculous. To be clear, it’s incredibly unlikely that soloers are having a large economic impact. I would be seriously surprised if we were causing inflation of anywhere near 1% on our own. Certainly not enough to be noticeable (or meaningful) to your average player. (I would give anything for significant economic data on WoW, I’d have a field day with that)
To be fair, the solution presented does resolve the problem, the issue is that it’s in no way the least restrictive way of doing it, since it kills a really fun way to earn money in the game for a lot of us. I’ve been able to keep playing WoW primarily because when I earn money for raiding it doesn’t burn me out, unlike grinding out professions, or playing the AH. (I’ve done both in my time, I was very good at the latter)
I don’t see what’s so painful about implementing a solution that keeps gold gain from soloing viable but below the maximum possible, and capped as it is right now, the only excuse I can see is that monitoring it and nerfing every expansion would take development resources. But the solution Caribald posts just annihilates that problem. In short, while the problem exists, the solution is painfully inappropriate.
Caribald replied, “Thanks I don’t have a US account either, but if someone wants to post that, they have my consent.”
The announcement of the gold nerf got me thinking, and I’m going to do a speedrun where I clear almost everything that is possible for hunters to solo. Of course you have some bosses in ICC that are soloable but gunship would stop the soloing part, so ideally I will clear tier 1-9 + Marrowgar and Deathwhisper (ToC depends on Faction Champions). If I can get friends to help I could clear gunship, Blood wing and Valithria with them, and then solo everything else. I would calculate gold/hour for every instance, every boss etc., and perhaps make a timelapsed video of it. I think it would be a cool way for me to wrap up Cataclysm. Sadly, I don’t have heroic Deathwing bow (my guild hasn’t been raiding since D3 release (that doesn’t mean we won’t raid in MoP)). If I had it, I would attempt heroic Festergut, but then again, for the speedrun I would probably do everything on 10 man normal and only loot bosses.
Since I haven’t been clearing the bosses every week, I will practice the run now. I will most likely wipe on Algalon and possibly other bosses, but as I want to do a speedrun, a perfect clear would be awesome, just to see how fast it can be done. If anyone wants to tune in I will begin streaming my practice clear on my stream channel in a little while.
Edit: I finished the solo run, VoDs can be found on the stream channel. I spent over 15 hours, but some of that was progress in Ruby Sanctum. I killed the third miniboss, General Zarithrian (video coming up soon), which I believe is a first. I killed the other two minibosses solo as well, but I did that a long time ago. The third one is definitely harder. Once you learn the strategy it’s pretty straight forward, but it takes good execution. He puts a debuff that removes 20% armor, stacking 5 times. That makes his damage unhealable, so you must put pet on hold position while using Distracting Shot. He has Intimidating Roar though, which stuns for 3 or 4 seconds, so sometimes, if you’re not careful, you will get hit by him in melee, or he will reach pet again before debuff is gone. He also spawns adds, which are CCable, but you’ll want to kill them before the next add wave shows up. They cast Lava Gout which is a single target spell, and blast wave which does aoe to a large area (not sure if it reaches the entire room). Kill them asap to get rid of raid damage (about 200k hp each). I used a survival spec with Spirit Bond, but Marksmanship would work as well, and probably be a lot easier due to selfhealing.
I also made videos for best Halion heroic try (showing how phase 2 does too much damage and how to get through phase 1), soloing Shadron and killing Maulgar quickly:
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.