Posted in Hunter, World of Warcraft, tagged cataclysm, clipping, damage over time, dots, focus, focus regen, haste, hasted dots, Hunter, hunters, pve, shot rotation, ticks on April 12, 2010 |
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Editors Note: Another big hand for Pherra, the guy who is thanklessly coding that stupid hunter DPS addon idea.
Blizzard’s announced design changes give the hunter community a lot to absorb in the months leading up to Cataclysm. The biggest change was the “ranged rogue” change from mana to focus that was announced at Blizzcon. This post looks at the various smaller changes around the haste stat and hastily concludes that haste will be a lot more relevant to Cataclysm hunters. [Edit 2010-04-12: added links below about preventing DoT clipping]
Haste and Focus Regeneration
The first new effect of haste is to improve our focus regeneration rates. How important is focus regeneration? Well, we have 100 focus and it regenerates at 6 focus per second. That means we can completely recover our focus in just under 17 seconds. How fast can we spend our focus? How much do our shots cost?
- Aimed Shot, Multi Shot: 60 focus cost
- Arcane Shot, Chimera Shot, Explosive Shot: 45 focus cost
- Steady Shot, Cobra Shot: 9 focus gain
Suppose we are Survival specced and the GCD is still 1.5s. We might start a fight as follows.
- Start of 1st GCD – cast Explosive Shot, down to 55 focus.
- End of 1st GCD – regenerated, up to 64 focus.
- Start of 2nd GCD – cast Aimed Shot, down to 4 focus.
- End of 2nd GCD – regenerated, up to 13 focus.
- Start of 3rd GCD – cast Steady Shot, up to 22 focus.
- End of 3rd GCD – regenerated, up to 31 focus.
- Start of 4th GCD – cast Steady Shot, up to 40 focus.
- End of 4th GCD – regenerated, up to 49 focus.
- Start of 5th GCD – cast Explosive Shot again…
Now, that example totally ignores Black Arrow and Serpent Sting, both of which are still likely to be early in our rotations, but the take home message is that we will be running out of focus very quickly. In that example, we had no choice but Steady or Cobra Shot after two shots. That’s about 3 seconds, well under the 17 seconds to completely recover. Without significant boosts to our focus regeneration, we’ll be casting Steady or Cobra Shot most of the time. Haste is currently the only known way of improving focus, so it will likely remain important as talents and glyphs are revealed to help our focus management.
Haste and Damage over Time Spells
The second new effect of haste is to increase the tic rate of DoTs such as Serpent Sting or Black Arrow. Hasted DoTs will have the same duration, but the time between damage tics will be decreased and more tics may occur. As Euripides noted [ed: after Pherra told me about it], this benefit from haste will not give a smooth benefit as you add more haste since you only gain tics passing particular tic rates. I’d like to add a few observations here.
- The Glyph of Serpent Sting will decrease the amount of haste needed to squeeze in more tics, since each additional tic is a smaller percentage increase. For example, to increase from the unglyphed 5 tics to 6 tics, 20% haste is necessary. With the Glyph of Serpent Sting, the first gain is from 6 tics to 7 tics, which only requires 17% haste.
- Without the glyph, Black Arrow and Serpent Sting gain tics at the same haste levels. With the glyph, they are staggered so the gains are somewhat more regular.
- Unless your last point of haste added a tic, there will be a dead time at the end of the DoT debuff. You can safely clip the DoT at this point without a DPS loss. Supposing all you did was refresh your DoTs as the last tics hit, then haste would scale their DPS perfectly linearly without a stair step pattern. Practically, you might reapply the DoT a second or two earlier, but you won’t see the smooth linear benefits with your full rotation.
- Warlocks will have it easier since they’ll always extend the duration instead instead of clipping the last tic. [Edit: Here is the warlock preview announcing this change. Also, in a comment below, Jodalpho points out a blue post following the priest preview where Ghostcrawler says they want to prevent DoT clipping in general.]
- Marksman hunters will have it even easier since Chimera Shot will take care of refreshing Serpent Sting. Serpent Sting gains from haste will always be linear for Marksman hunters.
- All these issues are particularly interesting for Explosive Shot and high haste levels. Around 33% haste, the last tic is within the same GCD, so you can’t clip it. This would make the debate over Lock and Load rotations moot. At 50% haste, you would get a 4th damage tic, which would be a 33% boost to Survival’s strongest general use shot.
As a historical aside, this haste change is a followup on a 3.3 experiment by Blizzard. Blizzard wanted to test reducing the time between tics for all damage and healing over time spells using haste. In 3.3, this became optional for Corruption and Rejuvenation by means of Glyph of Quick Decay and Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation. With those glyphs, the time between tics was reduced by haste, but the number of tics stayed the same and the duration decreased. My understanding is that these glyphs were great for warlocks and very situational for druids — some fights were better served by longer lasting HoTs. A similar issue would exist for Survival hunters would be wanting to keep the Serpent Sting uptime high for the Noxious Stings damage bonus. Keeping the duration fixed avoids such pitfalls and improves the damage or healing per cast.
We really know very little about the new hunter mechanics to be released with Cataclysm. There will certainly be similarities to rogue energy use, but we’ve already seen plenty of hints that our game play will remain quite different from just being ranged rogues. In this post, we’ve looked at a few released details and seen a surprising importance to the haste stat. At this point, we are ready to conclude that hunters should stack as much haste as possible in their Cataclysm builds. Or that just might be hasty.
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Posted in Hunter, Marksmanship, Survival, World of Warcraft, tagged beginner, dps, enchanting, ferocity, gear, gemming, glyphs, hunter 101, min-maxing, performance, pet, pve, raiding, shot priority, shot rotation, spec, spreadsheet, wolf on January 5, 2010 |
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There has been a surge in questions about the basics lately- people telling me that they are not producing enough DPS based on what they think they should do with the gear they have. I’m going to go over the basics today, and if you do everything you read here, you shouldn’t have that problem. (more…)
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Posted in Hunter, Resources, World of Warcraft, tagged agility, armor penetration, arp, dps calculator, DPS spreadsheet, femaledwarf.com, Hunter, import character, online dps calculator, online dps spreadsheet, shot rotation, simulator, zeherah on August 11, 2009 |
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[edit 12 aug: fixed broken link, sorry for fat-fingering the first link to the site in question]
You’ve probably all been told at one point or another to “use the spreadsheet”. They mean this spreadsheet, and here‘s the guide I wrote for it. Since then, the cries for a version that would work for people who don’t have access to Microsoft Office could be heard for miles. Luckily for us, the always effervescent Zeherah has created an amazing online tool that does just this. (more…)
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Posted in Hunter, Marksmanship, Survival, World of Warcraft, tagged agility, arcane shot, auto-shot, black arrow, chimera shot, common mistakes, dps, dps calculator, enchants, explosive shot, femaledwarf.com, gems, hit, Hunter, kill shot, lock and load, Marksmanship, online dps calculator, pet, pet talents, pre-raiding, pve, pvp, raiding, rapid fire, readiness, resilience, rotation, serpent sting, shot rotation, sons of hodir, spec, steady shot, Survival, traps, wow on July 27, 2009 |
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“I’d like a guide to what the common mistakes are. For instance, I have pretty fair gear and have tried to put most of your lessons to practice, but somehow I still get nowhere near the DPS(about 1600-1800) of my fellow hunters. OK, So I suck, but, WHY? (other than just general suckiness)”
I’m not the kind of guy to tell someone how bad they are- if they ask for help, that puts them ahead of 90% of the hunters who are (currently) surpassing them in DPS. (more…)
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Posted in Hunter, Marksmanship, Survival, World of Warcraft, tagged 3.1, auto-shot, cusp, dps increase, Marksmanship, mm, pve, quartz, raiding, shot rotation, sniper training, Survival, sv, swing timer, switch, wow.com on July 3, 2009 |
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Well, it was bound to happen. First, the eggheads over on the best possible DPS thread at elitistjerks.com started talking about how marks overtook SV as top DPS. Then the filter down blogs started mentioning it, and eventually it became such common knowledge that wow.com (formerly wow insider) posted it. Well, the reality is that you can’t just switch to marksmanship from survival and always expect to see a DPS increase. (more…)
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Posted in Hunter, Marksmanship, Resources, World of Warcraft, tagged aimed shot, arcane shot, chimera shot, cooldown timing, furious howl, global cooldown, keybind, kill command, kill shot, Marksmanship, rapid fire, rapid re, rapid recuperation, readiness, serpent sting, shot priority, shot rotation, silencing shot, steady shot, timing cooldowns on June 25, 2009 |
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edit: This post is outdated- all the relevant and recent advice is here.
Here’s the first in a series of guides I’m planning on writing about marksmanship. Today, we go over the rotation. As always, it’s more of a priority list than a rotation, but it certainly feels simpler than survival did.
First thing you need to determine is whether you’re expected to provide silences. If you aren’t, go ahead and macro silencing shot into something like steady shot so it will fire about every 20 seconds (its cooldown). It’s a really weak shot though, doing half an auto-shot, so if you forget, you’re not losing too much performance. If you are expected to silence something, make sure you take it out of your macro and have it on a bar somewhere with a keybind. It’s off the global cooldown, so you can use it right when you need it.
Now for the rotation itself:
- Serpent sting: you always want to open with this, and never fire it again unless you’ve let the damage over time expire. If the sting is expired, this has priority over everything but kill shot. Without it, your largest shot is half useless.
- Chimera shot: this is the largest shot you have. If the serpent sting debuff is up, use this before anything. It hits hard, and when you hit a target with your serpent sting on it, it will instantly do 40% of the total serpent sting damage.
- Kill Shot: all other rotations (SV, and BM) should use this first if it’s available, but for Marks hunters (unless you’re in top end ArP gear), this actually does less damage than chimera shot.
- Aimed shot: less important than chimera shot, instant, has a healing debuff that’s almost never relevant for PvE. This shot triggers piercing shots (our bleed talent), but can’t be used if you use multi-shot as they share a cooldown.
- Arcane shot: this can be used while moving, deals arcane damage, and ignores armor. The fact that this is magic damage is important on some fights. As for whether to fire an aimed before arcane, it all depends on your stats. I would run both rotations through the DPS spreadsheet and see which gives you more DPS.
- Steady shot: Our weakest shot, but one of our only non-auto shots that is affected by armor penetration. You can’t cast this while running. It’s the lowest priority shot.
That’s the priority list. Now we get to the hard part- cooldowns. You have rapid fire on a 3 minute cooldown that will regenerate a bunch of mana (from the rapid recuperation talent), you’ve got readiness on a 3 minute cooldown, and you’ve got kill command on a 1 minute timer. Rapid fire will not trigger a global cooldown, but can’t be cast while you’re recovering from one.
Since you can always count on most bosses taking longer than 3 minutes to fall, you should try to use a rapid fire, readiness, and another rapid fire as soon as you’ve lost enough mana [edit: leaving a couple seconds in there for the kill command to get fully used by the pet]. If you have so much mana floating around in your raid composition that you never go OOM, then just use the first one either early, or during the heroism/bloodlust if it will be early enough for you to get a second readiness off at the end of the fight. Once your first one is gone, save the readiness until the boss is under 20% (unless you have reason to believe that you will have close to a 10 minute fight, allowing 3 readiness uses). You can use the rapid fire whenever you want, but the goal of saving rapid fire until you are under 20% is that you will be able to fire a kill shot and chimera shot, readiness, rapid fire, and then fire another kill shot and chimera shot.
As for kill command, I macro it to all of my shots. Some people like to save it for specific times, but I feel that the lost DPS from waiting until the “opportune moment” to use it is more than the DPS gained by using it when it will have the greatest effect. Also, since my pet is mostly around to give me furious howl, I don’t really worry much about min/maxing his puny attacks :)
Timing your cooldowns is the only challenge here that’s different than SV- other than that, I find the shot priority list to be easier (since there’s no random procs of lock and load)
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Posted in Hunter, Survival, World of Warcraft, tagged 3.2, addon, aimed shot, dps, explosive shot, flight time, global cooldown, lock and load, macro, macros, patch 3.2, pve, quartz, raiding, shot macro, shot rotation, shot rotations, steady shot, timing on April 29, 2009 |
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Everyone has an opinion about lock and load. It used to be the bread and butter of the trapdancing spec, and is now still an incredibly nice talent that’s well worth the points spent in it. What it does is proc from 20% of the ticks of black arrow outside its 22 second cooldown, providing you with a short window of time to fire off two explosive shots without causing a shot cooldown, taking ammo, or taking mana. In effect, you can fire three in a row. This post will go over how to use these procs. (more…)
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Posted in Hunter, Survival, World of Warcraft, tagged 3.2, 3.2 survival macros, aimed shot, arms warrior, bloodlust, casts, castsequence, dps, exhaustion, explosive shot, global cooldown, heroism, instant abilities, kill command, kill shot, kill shot macro, macro, macros, patch 3.2, pve, raiding, rapid fire, serpent sting, shot priorities, shot rotation, shot rotations, steady shot, survival macro, trinkets on April 17, 2009 |
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I covered the shot priorities list. Now it’s time for macros. Some of you are thinking “Macros? I thought you said not to macro shots, just to weave them manually based on what’s available and highest priority?”. This is correct! However, and I went over this in the last patch, it’s fine to take all your instant non-global cooldown abilities that you want fired as often as possible and macro those into your shots. No /castsequences, though. Those cost you DPS, and every time you post one on the internet, Chuthlu kills a kitten. (more…)
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Posted in Hunter, Resources, Survival, World of Warcraft, tagged 3.2, aimed shot, black arrow, dps, explosive shot, global cooldown, glyph of steady shot, kill shot, lock and load, macro, macros, multi shot, patch 3.2, patch 3.2 survival, priorities, pve, raiding, rapid fire, serpent sting, shot priorities, shot rotation, shot rotations, steady shot, Survival on April 15, 2009 |
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3.2 edit: I’ve gone through this survival rotation guide and ensured that everything is accurate for patch 3.2. (more…)
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Posted in Beast Mastery, Hunter, Resources, Survival, World of Warcraft, tagged 3.0.8, aimed shot, arcane shot, bloodlust, castsequence, dps, explosive shot, frost trap, heroism, huntard, kill command, kill shot, lock and load, macros, multi shot, power auras, pve, raiding, serpent sting, shot macro, shot rotation, steady shot, theory crafting, timing, trap dancing on March 2, 2009 |
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Edit: the macros in this post are no longer valid- here‘s the post 3.1 version.
As a hunter, your job is to pump out as much hurt to your raid’s target as possible. You have a multitude of shots you can use to do this, but it’s not easy to watch so many damn cooldowns!
You think to yourself (quite reasonably) “Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could write a shot macro like I used in burning crusade to make sure I don’t screw up my rotation by manually shooting whatever happens to be closest to my mouse pointer?” Probably followed up by “Oh snap, I’m standing in a void zone- I’d better turn with my arrow keys and get the heck outta here!”, which then gives way to “Damn, I wonder if my class leader noticed I died in a void zone. If he says anything, I’ll ask for a battle res and use lag as an excuse”.
There’s a reason they call us huntards.
There is no way to make a shot macro that will do your work for you. Let’s go over the list of stuff a survival and BM hunter has to do, shall we? We’ll see how much of this can be done by the clever usage of the /m command. (more…)
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