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Hunter damage cycles breakdown (Nerubian Slavemaker update)

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I can't really come up with any way in the current mechanics to fix it without adding something kludgy.. if Blizzard really takes a good look at this they'll probably nerf it by making aimed reset the auto shot timer.

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I can't really come up with any way in the current mechanics to fix it without adding something kludgy.. if Blizzard really takes a good look at this they'll probably nerf it by making aimed reset the auto shot timer.

according to what I've read that's the way it used to be, but those same sources said it was an across the board hunter DPS nerf. It'd be a dangerous thing to try again.

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Aimed shot used to reset the auto shot timer, but was changed to its current form in the hunter review patch (1.7)

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They could fix it by continuing to run the autoshot timer even when an autoshot is 'banked' during the casting of aimed shot (essentially completely decoupling specials and auto).

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Anybody good at math want to calculate the equation to figure out at what speed/dps a weapon becomes an upgrade over smiting xbow? :)

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well, the issue is that the slower your weapon is, the more contribution you get from AP, and the way hunter damage mechanics work, FAR more of your damage comes from AP than from actual weapon DPS. these calculations are based on 1400 AP, which actually significantly undershoots realistic raid buffed numbers with naxx gear (i have over 1700 raid buffed already), so the gap will just widen.

the optimal weapon speed for a ranged weapon is fundamentally tied to the cooldown of aimed shot and how many shots you can take during that cooldown/what percentage of shot time you 'lose' during the casting time of aimed shot. with current quiver haste being what it is, ash has pretty much the perfect weapon speed possible - as slow as you're going to get that still allows you to fit two shots in between your aimed shots. it's possible that a weapon that can fit three perfect shots in 6 seconds (with sufficiently high base damage to make up the multishot/aimed shot gap) could outperform the 2-shot cycle, but that's speculative math that i personally can't really do at work, or maybe even at all :)

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How sad. Well, the best way for Blizzard to get around this without nerfing hunter DPS is to make all the weapons 3.3 speed or slower, but I doubt they'll do that. Instead, they'll probably do something that nerfs Hunter DPS accross the board again, or speed up the crossbow of smiting.

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They could fix it by continuing to run the autoshot timer even when an autoshot is 'banked' during the casting of aimed shot (essentially completely decoupling specials and auto).

They could also just reduced Aimed's casting time to 2.0 or even 1.5, and then add the remainer on the cooldown. It'd allow for much fewer, if any autoshots to be lost during aimed; however, I'm sure there'd be some PvP pushback about a 1.5sec aimed.

Banked shots could be a problem too, because it's going to mean an even bigger burst coming after an aimed. People already are pretty annoyed by an Aimed/Multi/Auto combo hitting them, throwing in an extra auto is just asking for more whining.

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One random idea completely off the top of my head would be to add a new hunter passive skill (might be a good example of a mid-60s skill for the expansion) called Quick Shot, that, when you do a special, simultaneously fires off a weaker autoshot, which is regular autoshot multiplied by [(time elapsed since last autoshot) / (autoshot cooldown)], above some minimum floor like 0.2.

So if your autoshot time is 2.5 sec modified, and you shoot at 2.5sec, then again at 5.0 sec, then when you do Aimed/Multi at 6.0 sec, you'd also immediately fire off a Quick Shot that does (1.0/2.5) = 40% of your normal autoshot damage. This way you could recapture that lost damage and autoshot would be weapon-speed-independent as always intended.

I can't possibly see them going to that high a level of complexity for a sake of mathematical soundness. If they were so willing, many more things in this game would be different.

--------

As to the question at hand, we have a sort of resonance phenomenon. Weapons perform best when their speed (after all modifiers) divides evenly into 6s. Ashjre'Thul, at 2.96, hits right on the mark. It's because those speeds minimize the lost auto-shot time in a 9s cycle. If your speed is slightly slow, say 3.1, it will still be optimal to wait the extra 0.2 seconds for Aimed, but your Aimed Shots still come less frequently than the guy with the 3.0 weapon. If you're slightly fast, you lose the minor amount of time between the last Autoshot and the beginning of Aimed. At 2.9 speed, you wind up taking 6s to do an amount of Autoshot damage that was scaled for 5.8 seconds.

Basically, if you have the capability do to this with a spreadsheet or something, plot optimal DPS as a function of weapon speed, holding all other things constant. The peaks will be at 2.0 and 3.0.

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Basically, if you have the capability do to this with a spreadsheet or something, plot optimal DPS as a function of weapon speed, holding all other things constant. The peaks will be at 2.0 and 3.0.

that's basically what i was saying but with more math :)

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Nerubian Slavemaker [Praetorian style - converted to a 2.3 weapon, same DPS]

Average damage: 131.48

Speed after 15% quiver: 2

Set Auto Shot to 446

Set Aimed Shot to 1158

Set Multi-Shot to 760

Optimal cycle:

2.0 Auto Shot fires

4.0 Auto Shot fires

6.0 Auto Shot fires

6.0 Start Aimed Shot

9.0 Aimed Shot Fires

9.0 Auto Shot Fires

+ Multi-Shot

Optimal cycle DPS:

= (4*Auto Shot + 0.86*Multi-Shot + Aimed Shot) / 9

= 399.51 DPS

----------

1900 RAP before weapon equipped

5/5 Ranged Weapon Specialization

3/3 Barrage

3/3 Slaying vs target

+7 scope

Jagged Arrows

Nerubian Slavemaker

Set Auto Shot to 677

Set Aimed Shot to 1293

Set Multi-Shot to 914

Optimal cycle DPS: 456.67

Nerubian Slavemaker [Praetorian style]

Set Auto Shot to 521

Set Aimed Shot to 1250

Set Multi-Shot to 864

Optimal cycle DPS: 453

Ashjre'thul

Set Auto Shot to 727

Set Aimed Shot to 1278

Set Multi-Shot to 896

Optimal cycle DPS: 469.95

Sorry for the late post, had some trouble getting logged on...

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Interesting -- thanks.

You gain 50 autoshot damage per cycle, but lose 93 damage from specials, so it's a net loss.

So basically 3.4 speed (for just barely squeezing in 2 shots in 6 seconds with a quiver) is the optimal speed for a ranged weapon?

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Interesting -- thanks.

You gain 50 autoshot damage per cycle, but lose 93 damage from specials, so it's a net loss.

So basically 3.4 speed (for just barely squeezing in 2 shots in 6 seconds with a quiver) is the optimal speed for a ranged weapon?

looks that way. 2.96 speed with quiver gives you the best AP contribution/time for your autoshots and weapon damage contribution to your specials. the fact that both the cooldown and cast time of aimed shot are divisible by 3 means that you get pretty much exactly two autoshots off during the cooldown and pretty much don't lose any time from your auto shot when you cast aimed shot. sort of an artifact of hunters sharing the same attack power and weapon speed mechanics as rogues and yet having an attack with both a cast time AND a cooldown, which is unlike warrior/rogue specials (well, at least the specials that get used - lol slam) that only worry about cooldowns, so weapon speed is only relevant for damage range after normalization.

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Disregarding lag / human response time etc

The best speed is something that

A) Does not lose any Auto Shot DPS while using Aimed Shot (so at least 3.0 seconds)

B) Fits the cooldown period without having to delay the cycle time to get the extra shot in (so, dividable with 6.0)

= 3.0 after quivers

Best quiver ingame = 15% haste

3.5 weapon --> 3.04

3.4 weapon --> 2.96

3.3 weapon --> 2.87

Slowest ranged weapons ingame are 3.4.

So... yeah, basically :P Unless you get something super fast, where you gain more from using Arcane Shot and Auto Shot than using Aimed Shot. Which is highly doubtful will happen.

Edit: B) is a silly smiley.

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It's kind of interesting that a player using Ash with the ideal shot rotation wouldn't see a DPS increase after getting a faster quiver (16% or greater).

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Wouldn't they see a dps increase because they are getting more auto shots in with the same damage of their specials? Or more importantly, how much of a haste bonus would you need to grant an extra auto shot in the rotation?

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Wouldn't they see a dps increase because they are getting more auto shots in with the same damage of their specials? Or more importantly, how much of a haste bonus would you need to grant an extra auto shot in the rotation?

you'd have to go from 3.4 to 1.9ish (rather than 2.96, which is the current quiver'd speed)...so yeah. tons of haste :-P

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So with the quick shots proc, you go from 2.96 to 2.023 speed. With an Ash, Does the decreased casting time on aimed shot combined with the increased auto shot speed provide any kind of dps increase?

It would be interesting if IAotH was effectively worthless with a 3.4 speed weapon.

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Even if the proc doesn't make it worthwhile adding an extra Auto Shot, you'll still gain from it. Worst case scenario is doing the same damage as your regular cycle (Multi-Shot cooldown ignored for now), just faster. Same damage / Less time = Net gain.

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Moridin -- What do you mean by noticably? Talking pure self-buffed RAP, you can't possibly that much higher than me, you don't have tier 3 yet :P

Good point regarding flawed cycles btw.

Well, noticably was maybe a bit of an exageration, but a bit into the 1500s self buffed (not done anything but raiding on my hunter for about a month, which included a gear change, lots of resist gear using, and raid buffs, so dont remember exactly, but 7-8% above the ap mentioned in your post. And when you then also add all the raid buffs, the change will indeed be noticable (and really, how often do you use cycles outside of times when you also have raid buffs anyway?)

The strict theory (and shot cycles) analysis of ranged weapons always makes a bad assumption - an unlimited source of mana (probably not a bad assumption for alliance :( ).

Once out of mana (if not potting or FD-drinking) then the Slavemaker would obviously do more significantly more damage whenever the hunter is just autoshooting. And for each raid setup (gear/spec/buffs) what is the breaking point between the loss of DPS from FD-drinking to the gain of having a full mana bar to return to full DPS cycle... as straight autoshot DPS increases FD-drinking becomes less likely to provide a positive DPS return over simply continuing to attack.

As alliance I can tell you that thats nowhere near true, you run out of mana FAST, even in a quick fight like broodlord in bwl, I'll either have to pop major mana + dragons + runes, or I will have to slow down/sit and drink. The thing most cycles dont take into account, is mana from shooting. You have, as far as I know, 3 actual and potential sources of this. Black grasp or whatever they are called, mail gloves, that give 8 mana per hit, which will of course mean a bigger dps increase for faster weapons, due to them shooting faster as well as the 50 mana per crit bonus from tier3 6 piece, which again will benefit faster weapons. The biggest help though, for half the hunters out there (this however, is alliance) is the judgement of wisdom (applied by a paladin on the target mob, lasts for 30 seconds, if I remember correctly). Will give you some mana back from hitting it.

Might be an interesting thing to try to find out just how much mana you could get from these 3 put together, if it could in fact make you untappable (should have 5 iaoth and test it out with precise boomstick or hurricane, some fast weapon like that. A 1%crit bow with 60dps and around 1.5speed after quiver might actually have been a good thing if they made that the third ranged from naxx (loving guns as only a guy with +5 guns racial can do, I'd not have minded a 4th ranged there, to make for a usable gun since the toxin thing is a joke).)

ps.

if I seem to be rambling, it's due to lack of sleep, and I appologize for any reduced coherence in my comments that this might have resulted in.

(edited to respond to snowcrasher)

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Hmm, looking back, I can't remember why I based the calculations for Nerubian Slavemaker on 1400 RAP, since I'm sitting at 1497 (ish?) selfbuffed atm... It might have been to compare it with someone else said on some forum :P Hard to keep track...

I agree with raid buffs making the numbers quite different, hoping the 1900 RAP post above serves as a good enough example for that.

The only things I'd like to mention is the global cooldown not being factored in, and the same with crits.

Using the 9 second cycle I propose, I'm saying you fire 6 Multi-Shots every 7 cycles. The global cooldown messes this up a bit. However, in worst case (I think), you'll have 5 Multi-Shots every 6 cycles. Difference? 0.02 - not something I feel is important enough to try figuring out new formulae for it based on every weapon speed. Suffice to say, the global cooldown doesn't hurt the overall DPS of a theoretical cycle much.

Crits aren't added since it's a constant multiplier, the ratios will be the same regardless. This is also the same reasoning behind disregarding armor mitigation and misses =)

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JoW is 10 sec duration, refreshing on a melee hit by the casting paladin. A 3 pt talent in the holy tree can make it last 40 secs.

It looks like it was just a slip up of blizzard that 3.4 is hasted down to 3.0, which is optimal for hunter DPS. Note that even when you go down to 2.0, you lose 1sec of autoshot in the cycle while aimed shot is casting. It's like point allocation in the budget, 3.4 is so nearly perfect that it takes a truly fantastic weapon to make it worth dropping. Time for someone to post the forehead in hand ascii art.

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This thread has math and thus I will just assume that it is correct.

I am confused easily. :(

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something i was just considering:

aimed shot is affected by haste effects, like rapid fire and quick shots. what i don't know is whether it's affected by quiver haste - how would that change calculations?

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something i was just considering:

aimed shot is affected by haste effects, like rapid fire and quick shots. what i don't know is whether it's affected by quiver haste - how would that change calculations?

It's not affected by any haste effects of any sort.

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