Many moons ago, Euripides put out a call to arms – would anyone be willing to write an addon to check for preventable hunter DPS losses? The call was answered promptly, but over the following months, it seemed like the hunter DPS addon was somewhere between vaporware and a blogger-style urban legend. With the ensuing rush of Cataclysm announcements, some even bet that it would be finished, but only when the stutter-step impaired could run around with adequate DPS. Well, such dismissals are no longer needed. I am happy to announce that the availability of the addon, DPSCheck.
The first function of DPSCheck is to check for sources of missing auto shots. If you fail to fire an auto shot because you are moving, it will be recorded. If you get too close to the boss and hit it with whatever stick you have handy, it will be recorded. All of these will be tallied to estimate the total number of auto shots you should have fired and compare it to what how many you actually fired. If you were moving, the half second delay until you try to fire again is compared against your current ranged attack speed to compute a fractional lost shot. If you took a melee swing, it is always counted as a lost auto shot. (Technically, melee and ranged attack speeds should be compared, but melee hunters are beyond uncool now.)
The second function of DPSCheck is to look at your shot selection and point out priority problems. At the moment, priorities are up in the air as 4.0.1 hits the live servers, so only Arcane Shot and Readiness usage are checked now. The Arcane Shot checks make sure our heavy duty shots like Chimera Shot, Explosive Shot, and Kill Shot are not skipped. Later, they will be aware of the need to save focus and switch to Steady or Cobra Shot. The Readiness checks are just a reminder to use Rapid Fire before you reset the cool down. These checks will be expanded over the next few weeks as real priorities are finalized for each spec.
Using the addon is pretty simple. First, go out and kill stuff. Then look for the DPSCheck icon on your minimap and click on it. (If you have a fancy data broker display, you’ll probably see an icon in your bars too.) Once you click on the DPSCheck icon, a report window will open up. You’ll see a row for each fight you’ve been in with a bar illustrating your performance that fight. If it is all blue, you’re doing things right. If it has more grey, then there’s room for improvement and there will be an explanation of where things seem astray below the bar. The default report is for missed auto shots, but you can look at other shot usage or filter which fights you are looking at with the pulldown menu at the top of the report window.
Developing this addon did wonders for my personal DPS. Hopefully it will help yours too. Please try it out and let us know what you think.
[Edit: Uploaded to Curse too now.]