Today we’re going over hit rating. You are all aware that there’s something magically special about hit, I’m sure, due to the ambient information on the internet. What you may not know is exactly why people are always worried about getting hit capped! Well, I’m going to de-mystify this today.
First thing: why is hit so important? Why does all advice given on forums begin and end with instructions to get hit capped at any cost? Well, the answer is deceptively simple. Hit rating increases your DPS because missed shots decrease it. Also, we know that on boss encounters (what we design our whole setup for), we have a baked in chance of 8% to miss before hit rating. What happens if through a combination of hit rating, talents, and racial abilities, we end up with +9% to hit? All the gear, talent points, and racial buffs that went into pushing us past 8% is wasted. Not one effect if it were to disappear. Thus, the hit cap. Every point of hit rating after 8% is a write-off.
Now before I answer the question about how much DPS you lose per chance to miss, lets go over how much DPS you gain by avoiding misses. Load up your friendly DPS spreadsheet, import your character, and look at the bottom right of the overview page. There’s a handy little grid that tells you how much DPS a point in any stat is worth. For example, in my survival build, a point of agility is worth 1.6 DPS, and a point in hit is worth 2.6 DPS.
Now, armed with the knowledge of how much DPS we gain by adding a point of hit, let’s work logically backwards and figure out how much we lose by losing hit: that’s right, exactly the number above. But wait, what about being hit capped? All the napkin math I’ve seen indicates that missing a single shot can wipe the raid, cost me my firstborn, and make god kill a kitten. It has something to do with the fact that we can miss crits… No. While that may have been true at some point, it’s certainly not now. The only reason we look at the hit rating on a piece of gear first is because it gives us the most bang for our buck. Being under 8% to hit just means you will lose the DPS you could have gained by adding it. There is no reason to be hit capped other than the fact that until you’re at 8%, it’s the fastest way to increase your DPS.
If this means that you’re 3 points away from being hit capped, you do not need to go and add 8 hit rating at the expense of 8 agility. This will result in a net DPS loss. It also means that you should never ever put on a piece of sub-standard gear (for example a hit and spell power trinket) just because it has hit.
Now, in patch 3.2, hit rating also gives our pets expertise, reducing their chance to be dodged and whatnot. Unfortunately, focused aim and the Draenei hit aura are not working properly. The hit aura provides absolutely no expertise, and focused aim seems to be about half as effective as an equivalent amount of hit from gear. This change largely magnifies the DPS per point of hit, so factor that into your calculation when trying to decide if you’re going to be 1 point over or under hit cap.