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[Cataclysm] 4.3 Marksmanship Guide


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#641 Whitefyst

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 03:41 PM

I'm getting to the gear level now where I can look at making AiS my focus dump all the time (especially since I have a trinket with a haste proc, as well as the 4T13). My AiS is still about .1s slower than I'd like it to be, so I was planning on reforging some of my gear to haste to get my AiS to where I want it, but the OP recommends reforging into crit.

So what I'm wondering is, is it okay for me to reforge some of my gear into haste to get my AiS fast enough to be my main focus dump, or should I keep everything reforged to crit and just accept the slightly slower AiS cast time.

Also, now that I'm switching to AiS as my focus dump, what should I use in place of my old AS glyph? I'm currently running SS and RF, so I could either take AiS or KS, but I'm not sure which is better.

Lastly, which would be better for PvE as my weapon, between and ? The PvP one has more weapon dps, but I'm not sure how good the proc is on the Raid Finder one (I won't have access to a proper version of the PvE one, only the raid finder one).


Theoretically, at high gear levels, using an AI only focus dump (with only using enough ASs to proc the T134P when off ICD) rotation is higher DPS than a mixed AI/AS focus dump rotation. However, in practice, most boss fights, especially on heroic, have high movement requirements or interruption mechanics that make it difficult to consistently perform AI casts, which can result in the mixed AI/AS usage actually being better DPS in practice. Thus, I recommend that approach. However, highly skilled players can possibly perform the AI only focus dump case well enough to make it still be better.

For comparison purposes of the 2 cases, I will use FD and my current 397-8 ilevel gear. I currently use a balanced AI/AS approach with getting as much crit as possible, haste above the 1235 rating amount, and maintaining a good amount of mastery to increase AS and AoE DPS. FD lists this as 43584 DPS.

Going the AI only DPS route, the best stats are as much haste as possible while still maintaining decent crit levels. Mastery is sacrificed since it is worth less since you are taking less total shots with the AI cast times and autoshot lockouts. Hence, your AoE DPS will suffer a little with this approach die to the loss of mastery.

You mention using a haste trinket. I assume this is the Starcatcher Compass. The Compass provides some soft haste caps. Your AI casts are at the 1s GCD during glyphed RFs at 3292 haste rating for normal Compass and at 2918 haste rating for the heroic Compass. I definitely would not suggest stacking haste higher than that.

In FD, without doing any reforging or reglyphing but going to the AI "only" focus dump case, I get 42994 DPS for a loss of about 600 DPS, but this amount is incorrect since this FD case fired the ASs to proc the T134P immediately instead of waiting until after the CA phase. This wasted most of the haste from the proc since with the glyphed RF and the trinket proc too, AI cast time was at 0.856s. I will talk to Zeherah about this to see if it is a bug or just an incorrect setting by me. Anyway, if the ASs are cast after the CA phase, the DPS should be much higher.

Now concerning reforging, despite the increased secondary stats on most of our gear pieces with DS gear, we actually lose some reforging flexibility and do not really gain as much secondary stats as one would expect due to the BiS melee and ranged weapons not having any secondary stats. That along woth the agility trinkets not having secondary stats to reforge reduces both what the possible stat pool could be and the number of slots that could be reforged. Thus, with my gear, I could only reforge to 1890 haste rating out of the about 4500 secondary stat pool after being hit capped. This resulted in 43140 DPS, which is about 150 DPS improvement before reforging but still about 440 DPS below the mixed focus dump case, mostly due to when the first T13 4P proc is occurring. With that fixed, this case is probably a little better. With different normal gear pieces than what I have or with heroic versions, higher haste amounts can be achieved, which will increase the relative DPS.

To get a true feeling for this case, another setting to adjust is the Save Focus for CS setting. Since with the T132P focus generation, casting AIs can result in a lot of wasted focus, especially if saving enough focus to cast CS after the AI. Hence, it is best to turn this setting off in game should should try to avoid capping focus if you can with always casting SSs to gain enough focus to cast either AI or CS and avoid focus capping. Changing this setting increased DPS by 427 in this case while it only increased DPS by 157 in the original case since with using ASs, it is much easier to avoid capping focus with that setting.

The next question is which glyph to use instead of the AS glyph. The options are:
AI glyph: +255 DPS in this case (was +171 before fixing the Save Focus For setting). A quick estimation is that this glyph saved about 200 focus over the 5 min sim.
KS glyph: -40 DPS in this case. This is because between the higher damage from AI then KS, the shorter cast time with the higher haste levels making AI casts closer to the GCD, and focus not being a concern with the T132P and 1 point in Term, the extra KSs are only a small DPS gain in the KS phase and does not make up for the loss of DPS over the rest of teh fight when KS is not being performed.
Hence, the AI glyph is the best option in this case.

So to summarize, the original mixed focus dump case after fixing the Save Focus for setting is 43742 DPS, while this case is 43882 DPS. This is only 140 DPS better in FD, but the actual DPS increase is larger once the first T134P proc is corrected until after the CA phase. Even then the DPS increase will only be a few hundred DPS at most. This difference is reduced anytime you have your AI cast interrupted or fire AS instead when moving such that on most practical fights that the mixed focus dump case probably works out better. Furthermore, your AoE will be higher with the extra mastery from the mixed focus dump situation.

I couldn't see the ranged weapon options to provide a response concerning it, but usually the higher weapon DPS version wins out. However, I suggest checking FD to get another view on the situation.

#642 Kazms

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:06 AM

I've tried to find this information, and I seem to remember seeing it somewhere, but I can't find it anymore.

It has to do with relative DPS gains for Pet Buffs/Debuffs.

I keep a Cat, Wolf, Ravager, Hyena, and Raptor on me at all times. These were the best DPS pets for Marks, as my memory serves from my information.

Now, I do remember that the buff from Cat is top priotiy to have, followed by Wolf. As far as the next 3, I can't remember their weighting for certain. I'd believe the Mangle Debuff from Hyena is better overall DPS than the Physical Vulnerability from Ravager, with Armor Reduction from Raptor being lowest priority... But I figured I'd ask those more math-y than me. Hell, for all I know, the information I read is wrong and I should've been carrying a Dragonhawk on me...

Anyways. I apologize if I managed to skip over the location that this information is in. Any kinda of hints about this would be awesome. Thanks.

#643 Whitefyst

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:27 AM

It has to do with relative DPS gains for Pet Buffs/Debuffs.

I keep a Cat, Wolf, Ravager, Hyena, and Raptor on me at all times. These were the best DPS pets for Marks, as my memory serves from my information.

Now, I do remember that the buff from Cat is top priotiy to have, followed by Wolf. As far as the next 3, I can't remember their weighting for certain. I'd believe the Mangle Debuff from Hyena is better overall DPS than the Physical Vulnerability from Ravager, with Armor Reduction from Raptor being lowest priority... But I figured I'd ask those more math-y than me. Hell, for all I know, the information I read is wrong and I should've been carrying a Dragonhawk on me...


Well, if you raid 10-man and may be missing the 8% spelll dmg debuff sometimes, a Dragonhawk/Wind Serpent is good to have around as an option. So of the 6, the 5 to choose depends on what buffs/debuffs are sometimes missing in your raid.

For personal hunter DPS, you can get a good feel of the impact of missing a buff by removing it on FD. Here is the data for my character with assuming a Ferocity pet, and it can change some depending on your actual spec, gear, shot rotation, and whether the pet is cunning instead:

Cat - Str/Agi: 2364 DPS
Wolf - 5% crit: 1982 DPS
Ravager: 4% physical dmg debuff: 1341 DPS
Raptor - 12% armor debuff: 1317 DPS
Hyena - 30% bleed dmg debuff: 1248 DPS
Wind Serpent - 8% magic debuff: 710 DPS

The two buffs if missing tend to be the best DPS option for you personally, but also for the raid as well.

Since Cats are the best solo DPS due to agility being our primary stat, I usually carry one although odds are usually that you will have this buff present in raids since it takes any DK or Shaman or any warrior that is willing to perform that shout. Thus, its an option for 3 full classes besides the hunter.

Wolfs provide the next best buff by a large margin over the rest since MMs are so dependent on crits. This is also a relatively scarce buff with only 4 specs or 1.3 equivalent classes that provide it.

The debuffs are well behind the buffs in personal DPS, with three of them being close. The worst of these (8% magic dmg debuff) can be so important to the raid though that your loss of personal DPS over other options is more than likely out weighed by the DPS gain of the raid.

I usually have a Ravager with me since our raid is often missing the debuff, which is provided by the equivalent of 1 class (Unholy DKs, Arm Warriors, and Combat Rogue) not including hunters. Hence, it is often missing in 10-man raids.

Since bleed damage provides a hunter the second least benefit and tends to provide most raid groups the least benefit, it is an option to leave behind. However, I usually have one with me since only 3 specs (Feral Druid, Sub Rogue, and Arms Warrior) or the equivalent of 1 class provides the debuff. Hence, it is one of the debuffs more likely to be missing.

Although our personally worse of the debuff options with casting relative few Arcane Shots, I usually carry a Wind Serpent since my raid is usually short the buff, and it helps the casters alot. The equivalent of 2 classes provide the debuff. Another benefit of the Wind Serpent is that it provides a pet that can attack at ranged too, which is useful on some fights.

I usually leave my Raptor behind since the debuff is middling for me personally, my raid is not overly physical dmg attack based, and since 3 whole classes (warriors, rogues, druids) can provide the debuff that a raid is rarely without it.



EDIT: Fixed incorrect classes for the 4% physical damage debuff. That is what I get for replying at 2 AM.

#644 Venekathas

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 08:54 PM

So a lot of people have jumped ship to Survival, but I wanted to bring up a point to anyone still watching. We have too much haste. So much that it's getting weaker than mastery. I'd like to throw this question out there. Test mastery once you get heroic gear, what do you think our haste softcap should be?

#645 Whitefyst

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:29 PM

We have too much haste. So much that it's getting weaker than mastery. I'd like to throw this question out there. Test mastery once you get heroic gear, what do you think our haste softcap should be?


As is the answer with all such questions: "It depends."

It depends on the following:
- What trinkets do you have? Do you use Starcatcher Compass to provide haste once in a while or not?
- How do you want to optimize? For maximum DPS potential (i.e, in a stand-still fight)? For best DPS in heroic fights with high-movement?
- What is your playstyle and preferrences? Do you try to always hardcast AI? Do you use AS when moving or in threat of interruption and when unhasted?
- Other considerations, such as SS and AI haste hard caps.

The guide and posts in this thread provide many such options depending on various situations, so I will not repeat all the gory details here.

My personal preferrence (although I am not currently playing MM since SV is much easier to perform well on the high movement, frequent target switching fights that exist in DS) is a balanced approach with casting AIs and ASs that accomodates moving as well as possible while still maximizing DPS.

Doing a quick FD analysis to illustrate one situation, here is some results of various options with casting AI when below the 1.8s cast time and with using Starcatcher Compass as the second trinket (since Vial has not ever dropped in my raid once). All reforges are quick reforges and not necesssarily optimal.

1) All "heroic T13" gear with standard gemming and enchants and unreforged (this case is low hit rating):

Hit: 495
Crit: 2398
Haste : 1767
Mastery: 1291
DPS: 48781

2) Reforge mastery/haste to hit cap but do no other optimizing reforges (this case serves as the basis for comparison):

Hit: 965
Crit: 2398
Haste : 1671 (13.04% haste from gear; 47.29% overall static haste - 1.36s SS and 1.97s AI cast
Mastery: 917
DPS: 50208

3) Reforge to the 12.93% haste from gear and Pathing case that was the base recommendation in previous tiers with moving as much of the haste into crit as the priority.

Hit: 963
Crit: 2735
Haste : 1240 (9.68% haste from gear; 42.91% overall static haste - 1.40s SS and 2.03s AI cast
Mastery: 1013
DPS: 50275 (+67 DPS over 2))

This case did 42 AS and 52 AIs.

4) Reforge to the 14.98% haste from gear and Pathing (ended up about 50 haste above).

Hit: 965
Crit: 2633
Haste : 1540 (12.03% haste from gear; 45.97% overall static haste - 1.37s SS and 1.97s AI cast
Mastery: 1013
DPS: 50342 (+134 DPS over 2))

This case did 40 AS and 53 AIs.

5) Reforge to the 18.50% haste from gear and Pathing (ended up about 50 haste above).

Hit: 967
Crit: 2231
Haste : 1940 (15.15% haste from gear; 50.03% overall static haste - 1.33s SS and 1.93s AI cast
Mastery: 1013
DPS: 50221 (+13 DPS over 2))

This case did 41 AS and 54 AIs.

With the gear I selected for this case, I could not reforge to the next haste level of 21.20% from gear and pathing, even with renchanting a few slots that did not lose agi. Thus, for this case, it appears that some where around 1500 haste rating is ideal; however, this is not a big change in DPS amongst the options.

Other cases can use the Vial instead of the Compass or the staff instead of the polearm for additional stats to work with. Yet other cases can have the cast speed for casting AI adjusted to higher cast times to explore those options; however, those are not as balanced with AS to AI casts to accomodate moving and target switching as much.




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