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[MoP] Marksmanship Guide


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#1 Whitefyst

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:16 AM

Marksmanship Guide Quick Reference

**** Note that this guide is not fully updated for 5.2 yet. Please see this post for a list of 5.2 changes that affect MMs and my initial assessment. I have updated the quick guide with my preliminary analysis and will further update it as I complete the detailed analysis. The detailed guide will take a couple weeks probably to complete all of the analysis on top of being on vacation for some of that period. I will make updates piece-meal as I complete each analysis.****

This post serves as a quick reference guide for the complete World of Warcraft:Mists of Pandaria (MoP) Marksmanship (MM) Guide, which follows in the subsequent post.

This guide is meant to be accurate for the release of the 5.1 patch, although there are a few holes that still need to be completed and some fine tunings of information. Furthermore, with all of the tinkering that Blizzard has been doing and will continue to do to hunter abilities in an effort to balance Damage Per Second (DPS), the information in this guide may be a little out of date, but I will do my best to keep reasonably on top of the changes.

Furthermore, this guide only provides full detailed analysis for the recommended spec tree spells. Since there are so many permutations with the spec tree spells with various impacts, it is too much information and effort to provide details for the currently non-optimal tier spell options.

Spec

The recommended spec can be found here: Mists of Pandaria - Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

The recommended tier choices are:

Hunter Level|Talent
15|Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
30|Silencing Shot
45|Aspect of the Iron Hawk
60|Dire Beast
75|A Murder of Crows
90|Glaive Toss


The choices for the first 3 tiers do not directly impact DPS and are preferential or situational. The choices for the final 3 tiers directly impact DPS, and these are the spells that currently increase MM DPS the most in simulations. The choices can change as Blizzard changes abilities or as gearing progresses, but for now these appear to be the best choices. Some of the other choices may be better for certain encounters though.

* 5.2 Todo: Verify that the final 3 tier choices are optimal.

Glyphs

The recommended glyphs are:

Glyph Slot|Glyph
Major 1|Aimed Shot
Major 2|Animal Bond
Major 3|Deterrence
Minor 1|Revive Pet
Minor 2|Aspect of the Cheetah
Minor 3|Aspect of the Pack


Aimed Shot glyph is the only one that directly affects DPS since it allows AI casts while moving and which is also highly recommended, especially with how the frequency of casting AI is increasing. The other 2 major glyphs are chosen since they affect our survivability. The Chimera Shot glyph is a good alternative for extra heals naturally. The Glyph of Liberation is a good self-heal option for those that use Disengage frequently. The minor glyphs are mostly for flavor, but the three chosen can have favorable PvE benefits in some situations.

Stats

The following is the stat information

Stat|Rating for 1%
Hit |340
Expertise|340
Haste|425
Mastery|600
Crit from rating|600
Crit from Agility|1259.518
AP from Agility|2


Each 1% of mastery provides an additional 2% chance to proc a Wild Quiver (the MM mastery benefit) per ranged attack, with fractional portions of the conversion still in effect although the tooltips may not indicate them.

Hit and Expertise Caps are at 7.5% or 2550 rating. The hit cap ensures that none of your ranged attacks will miss the target in normal circumstances. Although your attacks can be potentially blocked for slightly less damage when you are attacking from the front. When you attack from behind the target, your range attacks cannot be blocked. The hit cap also ensures that your pet’s melee attacks cannot miss either. The expertise cap ensures that neither your ranged attacks nor your pet’s melee attacks can be dodged. Hunters normally do not need to worry about the higher expertise parry cap since ranged attacks cannot be parried, and your pet’s attacks cannot be parried when they are attacking from behind the target, which they are normally doing if they do not have threat.

No realistic hard crit cap exists. The only crit soft caps are not anything to worry about either, stack crit as much as possible.

There are various optimal haste levels depending on your gearing, tier set bonuses, and shot preferences. Many of these are discussed in the guide. A few major ones to point out (where the Tier 14 (14) 4-Piece Bonus (4P) applies is clearly pointed out in the table):

Haste Rating|Haste% from Gear|Comment
1656|3.896%|Steady Shot (SS) cast time is at the 1s Global Cooldown (GCD) during Rapid Fire with the T14 4P
2296|5.402%|SS cast time of 1.5s unhasted allowing even number SSs for tight Chimera Shot (CS), Arcane Shot (AS) focus dump rotation
3864|9.092%|SS cast time of 1.33s unhasted allowing 3 SSs for a tight CS, AS focus dump rotation with the T14 4P- also allows each Dire Beast use to perform an extra 10th attack*
5043|11.89%|SS cast time is at the 1s GCD during Bloodlust with the T14 4P
5496|12.93%|SS cast time is at the 1s GCD during Rapid Fire
6955|16.36%|SS cast time of 1.25s unhasted allowing 4 SSs in 5 GCDs for a tight CS, AS focus dump rotation with the T14 4P
7896|18.58%|SS cast time of 1.33s unhasted allowing 3 SSs for a tight CS, AS focus dump rotation
9188|21.62%|SS cast time is at the 1s GCD during Bloodlust

* Note that further community testing seems to indicate that the number of DB attacks does not increase at discrete haste points but scales with haste consistently. Thus, at the 9.092% haste point, you can expect the 10th DB attack about 50% of the time.

At a minimum, I recommend having at least 9.092% haste from gear since it is also the recommended haste level for those with the T14 4P since it allows 3 SSs to be performed in 4 GCDs, which is important since MM hunters will perform a lot of 3 SS cycles to balance focus. For those with the T14 4P, having even more haste may be beneficial depending on your situation to counteract latency and human reaction times or to help balance focus more.

For those without the T14 4P, the ideal haste amount with performing 2 to 3 SSs per CS cycle is somewhere between 5.402% and 18.58% haste from gear. Since your SS is GCD capped during Rapid Fire at the 12.93%, I recommend somewhere between 9.092% and 12.93% haste from gear currently in the T14 gear levels since stacking more haste costs too much in needed crit and mastery. As your gearing gets into T15H gear and more stat points are available, I suggest shooting for the 18.58% haste level to make the 3 SS CS cycle tighter. You can slowly increase the amount of haste you have on gear from 12.93% towards 18.58% as your gearing improves so that you maintain high crit levels.

Stat Priority

Range DPS >> agi > hit to cap = expertise to cap = 2 AP > haste to desired cap >= crit >> mastery > haste >> stamina

This stat priority is with assuming that Arcane Shot is your primary focus dump. Other stat priorities exist in the guide for Aimed Shot (AI) being the primary focus dump and for Area of Effect attacking.

To increase DPS, first make sure that the hit and expertise caps are met; however, try to limit the amount of rating for hit and expertise over the caps since those ratings are worth 0 DPS. Also, try to meet the desired haste soft cap. Generally, reforge lower priority stats into the higher priority stats up to their caps, if any. If a stat is over its cap, then reforge as much of the extraneous stat points into the highest priority stat that is not capped.

Gems

The recommended gems options are:

Socket|Gem
Meta|Agile Primal Diamond (+216 agi and +3% crit)
Red|Delicate Primordial Ruby (+160 agi)
Yellow|Deadly Vermillion Onyx (80 agi; 160 crit)
|Deft Vermillion Onyx (80 agi; 160 haste)
|Adept Vermillion Onyx (80 agi; 160 mastery) (not generally recommended)
Blue|Glinting Imperial Amethyst (80 agi; 160 hit)


Since we can reforge for other stats but cannot reforge for agility and since agility is our number one gemmable stat, MM hunters generally want to use is the Delicate Primordial Ruby (+160 agi) in all sockets. The exceptions are yellow and blue sockets with significant socket bonuses or blue sockets when need a good source for additional hit rating. Currently in MoP, for the vast majority of sockets, we will want to use a gem of the appropriate color to maintain the socket bonus.

This list does not include the legendary quest line meta gem: Capacitive Primal Diamond

Consumables

The table below provides consumables that you should be using.

Item Type|Item Name|Benefit
Flask|Flask of Spring Blossoms|1000 agi
Food|Sea Mist Rice Noodles|300 agi
Potion|Virmen's Bite|4000 agi for 25s


To maximize the use of the potion, you want to use it during Rapid Fire or Bloodlust when you have more shots being performed. Prepotting works out nice since the benefit exists during the Careful Aim (CA) phase when SSs and AIs are hasted from RFs and guaranteed to crit at proper gearing.

Enchants

Excluding profession bonuses, the best MM hunter enchants are:

Slot|Enchant Name|Enchant Stats|Comments
Shoulders|Greater Tiger Claw Inscription|200 agi and 100 crit|
Back |Accuracy|180 hit|Although hit is the better stat, with reforging, it usually does not matter much which of these you use in most situations, although the choice can matter in some optimizing cases.
|Superior Critical Strike|180 crit|
Chest|Glorious Stats|80 stats
Wrists|Greater Agility|170 agility
Gloves|Superior Expertise|170 expertise|With reforging, these are all basically equivalent. However, generally chose the stat you need the most to make any caps.
|Superior Mastery|170 mastery|
|Greater Haste|170 haste|
Belt|Living Steel Belt Buckle|prismatic socket|Ideally for a 160 agi gem.
Legs |Shadowleather Leg Armor|285 agi and 165 crit
Boots|Blurred Speed|140 agi and minor run speed
Range Weapon|Lord Blastington’s Scope of Doom|1800 agi proc on hit


T14 Set Bonuses

The Tier 14 hunter set is called Yaungol Slayer’s Battlegear.

The 2-set bonus is CS does 15% more damage.
The 4-set bonus increases the haste bonus of SF by 10% from 15% to 25%. This change affects many of the ideal MM shot selections in various situations as well as your desired haste amounts.

T15 Set Bonuses

The Tier 15 hunter set is called Battlegear of the Saurok Stalker.

The 2-set bonus is Steady Shot has a chance to summon a Thunderhawk to fight for you for the next 10 sec.
The 4-set bonus is Arcane Shot, Multi-shot, and Aimed Shot have a chance to trigger a Lightning Arrow at the target, dealing 100% weapon damage as Nature.

Fight Phases

Every boss fight has 3 phases from a MM hunter perspective, where the abilities that we ideally use change. I call these:

Phase|Duration|
Careful Aim (CA) Phase|Target health > 80%
Standard Phase (ST) phase|20% <= Target Health <= 80%
Kill Shot (KS) Phase|Target Health < 20%


The CA Phase is special since when the boss is over 80% health, Steady Shot and Aimed Shot get a bonus 75% crit chance due to the Careful Aim passive ability. It is highly suggested to make the CA phase be under dynamic haste affects like RF and/or Bloodlust as much as possible to increase the number of Steady Shot and Aimed Shot casts. Currently, the only major change in shot selection during the CA phase is to replace Arcane Shots with Aimed Shots. All other abilities are still performed due to Aimed Shots relatively weak damage and its suppression and rest of autoshots.

The ST Phase is standard since it is the phase of the fight that applies for by far the largest portion of the fight, about 70%. It is the phase around which we design our desired haste levels.

The final phase is called the KS Phase since that is the portion of the fight when Kill Shot is available for use. The only difference between this phase and the ST Phase is that Kill Shot is added to the MM arsenal.

Shot Priority

The following is the general priority order of MM shots on a single target with assuming that the target is marked with Hunter’s Mark.

The CA, ST, and KS columns indicate whether the ability should generally be used in either of those phases. A “+” indicates that it should be used. A “+” in the AoE column indicates that the ability should still be used in AoE situations.

Shot|CA|ST|KS|AoE|Comments
Serpent Sting|+|+|+| |If not on the target and the target will live longer that 15s to get its full damage.
Kill Shot| | |+|+|If target health < 20. Affected by Readiness. It does the most damage of all of our short Cooldown (CD) abilities and has the shortest CD.
Rapid Fire|+|+|+|+|Affected by Readiness. Greatly increases our focus regen rate and autoshot frequency.
Steady Shot pair|+|+|+|+|These are the SS casts to maintain the Steady Focus buff. You want to start the buff as soon as possible to increase your attack speed, although a suggested option is to cast a couple focus costing shots first.
Murder of Crows|+|+|+|+|Affected by Readiness, but want to wait until the first use has finished before recasting.
Dire Beast|+|+|+|+|Affected by Readiness.
Chimera Shot|+|+|+| |Primary CD that defines our cycle. CS is also cast at high priority to apply Hunter’s Mark via Marked for Death glyph. Affected by Readiness.
Glaive Toss| |+|+|+|Hits multiple targets. Affected by Readiness.
Readiness|+|+|+|+|To finish hunter CDs.
Stampede|+|+|+|+|Since Stampede is effected by haste, you want to wait to cast it until after you have cast the SSs to get the SF buff and while RF or BL is up
Explosive Trap| |+|+|+|ET should only be used during combat in AoE situations. May be a DPS boost in single target combat outside the CA phase over using Arcane Shot when off CD.
MMM Aimed Shot|+|+|+|+|This instant cast, focus free Aimed Shot from Master Marksman (MMM) procs that has a 10s window to cast and just needs to be cast before the next Steady Shot that is not the second in a Steady Shot pair to maintain Steady Focus
Arcane Shot| |+|+| |Default focus dump used outside the CA Phase and when AI is not sufficiently hasted below about a 1.3s cast time.
Aimed Shot|+|+|+| |Focus dump during the CA Phase or whenever AI cast time is hasted below 1.3s.
Multi-Shot| | | |+|AoE focus dump.
Steady Shot|+|+|+|+|These are individual SSs (or even an extra SS pair) to gain focus when do not have sufficient focus for other abilities.


Additional shot information includes:
- For your focus dump:
-- Use Aimed Shot as your focus dump only when sufficiently hasted (below about 1.3s outside the CA phase and 1.8s inside the CA phase as a guideline) and when not experiencing interruptions or cast pushbacks
-- Use AS as your focus dump when you are unhasted, on the move, or when experiencing possible interruptions or pushbacks.
- Cast at least 2 consecutive Steady Shots every 10s to maintain the Steady Focus buff for 15% extra haste (25% with the T14 4p) and 3 extra focus gained with each Steady Shot cast.
- Try to avoid capping focus at 100 when possible to better utilize your focus; however, in some situations, it cannot be avoided.

Rotation Options

The MM shot selection is really a priority ordering, but to help to visualize how that priority ordering looks over time, to help to figure out optimal shot selections to balance focus over time, and to derive desired haste plateaus, I create guideline rotations.

The basic overall premise of the MM rotation is to cast as many Chimera Shots and focus dumps (Aimed Shots or Arcane Shots depending on the fight phase or haste effects) as possible with weaving in our other major CDs (Stampede, Murder of Crows, Dire Beast, Kill Shot, Glaive Toss, and Explosive Trap, when applicable) and Master Marksman (MMM) Aimed Shot procs while maintaining sufficient focus. To help accomplish this, you need to consistently maintain the Steady Focus buff to both reduce Aimed Shot and Steady Shot cast time, increase autoshot frequency, and increase focus gains from Steady Shot casts.

The following phase recommendations will only focus on combat shots. Also, the use of long CDs like Stampede, Rapid Fire, and Readiness will not be explicitly mentioned since their casts are done only when available and when optimal used; however, the effects of being under Rapid Fire are discussed.

The rotations provided are only in terms of Chimera Shot, Steady Shot, and the pertinent focus dump since those are the only shots guaranteed to be available every cycle. The analysis generally assumes that MMM Aimed Shot procs and the primary MM CDs (Murder of Crows, Dire Beast, Kill Shot, and Glaive Toss) replace a focus dump in the cycle when they are off GCD, although when using Aimed Shot as the focus dump it is better for Dire Beast to replace an extra SS instead.

Note that these rotations are just an ideal set of shots that can be performed in any order with the constraints of maintaining the Steady Focus buff, shot cooldowns, and balancing focus. The focus balancing for these rotations are also average over time with including all of your other cooldowns. Depending on what cooldowns are performed on a given cycle, you may need to cast one less Steady Shot to prevent focus overcapping or one less focus dump since low on focus.

Careful Aim Phase
Aimed Shot (AI) is always the focus dump.
Do not use Glaive Toss (GT) during this phase unless there are other targets to hit besides the primary target.

When unhasted:
- Perform a combination of the following cycles to balance focus. The cycles should be roughly alternated by just adding in the additional Steady Shots (SS). With the T14 4P, the second cycle is needed in two of every 3 cycles.
-- CS-SSx3-AIx2
-- CS-SSx4-AIx2

During Bloodlust:
- Perform a combination of the following cycles to balance focus. The cycles should be roughly alternated by just adding in the additional SS. With the T14 4P, the second cycle is needed about between 2 of every 3 cycles of 3 of every 4 cycles.
-- SSx3-AIx3
-- SSx4-AIx3

During Rapid Fire:
-- The additional haste and focus generally allows an AS for SS replacement over the Bloodlust cycle.
-- Perform the following cycle. To balance focus, either skip an SS every 5th cycle SS-AI pair or add an AI every 7th SS-AI pair. With the T14 4P, either skip and SS every 7th SS-AI pair or add an AI every 9th pair.
--- SSx3-AIx3

Standard Phase

When unhasted:
- Use Arcane Shot (AS) as the focus dump.
- Perform a combination of the following cycles to balance focus. The first cycle can be used on the majority of cycles with substituting an SS for an AS about every 11th cycle. With the T14 4P, the second cycle is needed about every 8th cycle.
-- CS-SSx3-ASx4
-- CS-SSx4-ASx3

During Bloodlust:
- Use AS as the focus dump.
- The haste from Bloodlust allows an additional AS to be included in the cycle.
- Perform a combination of the following cycles to balance focus. The first cycle is the default with substituting an SS for an AS about every 4th cycle. With the T14 4P, the second cycle is needed about every 3rd cycle.
-- CS-SSx3-ASx5
-- CS-SSx4-ASx4

During Rapid Fire:
- Use AS as the focus dump without the T14 4P and optionally with the T14 4P.
-- The additional haste and focus generally allows an AS for SS replacement over the Bloodlust cycle.
-- Perform a combination of the following cycles to balance focus. The first cycle is the default with substituting an SS for an AS about every 3rd cycle. The same ratio works for the T14 4P.
--- CS-SSx2-ASx6
--- CS-SSx3-ASx5
- Use AI as the focus dump with the T14 4P.
-- Perform a combination of the following cycles with alternating the cycles to balance focus. The second cycle just adds an additional SS.
---CS-SSx4-AIx4
---CS-SSx5-AIx4

Kill Shot Phase

During this phase, the same focus dump should be used in the same situations as for the Standard Phase.

When unhasted:
- Use AS as the focus dump.
- Perform a combination of the following cycles. To balance focus, roughly 3 of the first cycle is needed for every 2 of the second cycle. With the T14 4P, roughly 5 of the first cycle is needed for every 4 of the second cycle.
-- CS-SSx2-ASx5
-- CS-SSx3-ASx4
- This cycle has an AS for SS substitution compared to the Standard Phase.

During Bloodlust:
- Use AS as the focus dump.
- The haste from Bloodlust allows an additional AS to be included in the cycle.
- Perform a combination of the following cycles. To balance focus, approximately alternate the cycles. With the T14 4P, roughly 3 of the first cycle is needed for every 2 of the second cycle.
-- CS-SSx2-ASx6
-- CS-SSx3-ASx5

During Rapid Fire:
- Use AS as the focus dump without the T14 4P and optionally with the T14 4P.
-- The additional haste and focus generally allows an AS for SS replacement over the Bloodlust cycle.
-- Perform the following cycle every cycle which despite performing the minimum number of SSs, still overcaps focus. The same applies for the T14 4P.
--- CS-SSx2-ASx6
- Use AI as the focus dump with the T14 4P.
-- Perform a combination of the following cycles. To balance focus, 5 of the second cycle is needed for 1 of the first cycle. The second cycle just adds an additional SS.
--- CS-SSx3-AIx4
--- CS-SSx4-AIx4

#2 Whitefyst

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:18 AM

This post has been promoted to an article

#3 Tornn

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 03:52 PM

I would like to challenge your recommendation for Murder of Crows and also note that the currently linked tooltip for Lynx Rush and Blink Strike are incorrect based on the current live data.

Lynx Rush is 9 attacks at 200% pet damage with a 1.5 minute CD.
Blink Strike is 1 attack at 600% pet damage on a 20 second CD.
Murder of Crows has a 2 minute CD.

Based on current live data Blink Strike is by far the best choice as long as your pet has a path to the boss. The very short cooldown and massive damage boost of Blink Strike puts it far ahead of the other two options even when accounting for the number of GCDs it costs to cast it off CD. Of course, during non-nerfed progression content Murder of Crows may pull ahead as long as the sub 20% phase is long enough to cast at least two within it but that remains to be seen.

#4 Whitefyst

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:29 PM

I would like to challenge your recommendation for Murder of Crows and also note that the currently linked tooltip for Lynx Rush and Blink Strike are incorrect based on the current live data.

Lynx Rush is 9 attacks at 200% pet damage with a 1.5 minute CD.
Blink Strike is 1 attack at 600% pet damage on a 20 second CD.
Murder of Crows has a 2 minute CD.

Based on current live data Blink Strike is by far the best choice as long as your pet has a path to the boss. The very short cooldown and massive damage boost of Blink Strike puts it far ahead of the other two options even when accounting for the number of GCDs it costs to cast it off CD. Of course, during non-nerfed progression content Murder of Crows may pull ahead as long as the sub 20% phase is long enough to cast at least two within it but that remains to be seen.


As I stated previously, the recommendations are based on information and knowledge available at any time and are subject to change. Also, the recommendations are also affected by playstyle and preferrences.

From my understanding of the current state of simulations and live testing, BS is indeed better than MoC, but Lynx Rush is even better, especially if you align it with Rabid procs. So LR is currently the best option for MM but to mention that BS is a good option as well. However, I am not bothering to explicitly update the complete guide for this change yet since we are likely to gain even more knowledge and encounter additional changes. I probably will not do a complete update until after MoP is released.

The next question is how does this change affect the analysis and other recommendations. The previous recommendation MoC cost 40 focus every 2 mins relative to the AS replaced or 0.33 FPS. This is roughly the cost of an AS every 1 min. BS and LR are both also instant cast replacements of AS and are both focus free. Thus, they save the cost of an AS every cast.

Since LR has a 1.5s CD and saves 20 focus per cast, its worth 0.22 FPS for a total of 0.55 FPS gained over MoC or about 5 focus per CS cycle. Since the focus swing for replacing an AS with a SS is 20 (AS cost) + 17 (SS gain) = 37 focus, this means that we can replace a SS with an AS in the rotations roughly every 1 min and 7 sec or about every 7th or 8th CS cycle. This definitely has a positive impact to the rotations but does not change them significantly.

Since BS has a 20s CD and saves 20 focus per cast, its worth 1 FPS for a total of 1.33 FPS gained over MoC or about 12 focus per CS cycle. With BS you can replace a SS with an AS in the rotations roughly 3rd CS cycle. This definitely has a positive impact to the rotations as well but does not change them significantly.

Another item to note is that since LR and BS are focus free as compared to the big 60 focus of MoC, using them does make your cycles much more consistent as oppossed to the big hit when MoC occurs.

#5 Namarus

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:19 PM

Also in regards to Blink Strike and Lynx Rush are the number of GCD used.

Lynx Rush uses 2 GCD every 3 mins.
Blink Strike uses 9 GCD every 3 mins.

That is a difference of 7 addition GCD a hunter could use for other dps boosting abilities.

#6 Whitefyst

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 04:54 PM

Also in regards to Blink Strike and Lynx Rush are the number of GCD used.

Lynx Rush uses 2 GCD every 3 mins.
Blink Strike uses 9 GCD every 3 mins.

That is a difference of 7 addition GCD a hunter could use for other dps boosting abilities.


Well, its not really the fact that you "save" GCDs that matters but the fact of the overall DPS benefits of using those GCDs for these abilities over using AS.

Using data from FD at level 90 (since that is what I am more concerned about):

MoC: 381615
BS: 81338
LR: 234863
AS: 43235
SS: 16495 (with including PS)

The direct DPS benefit of using each instead of AS is the following with not including the benefits from Readiness:

MoC: (381615 - 43235) / 120 = +2820 DPS
BS: (81338 - 43235) / 20 = +1905 DPS
LR: (234863 - 43235) / 90 = +2130 DPS

On this factor alone - MoC is clearly the leader now.

Add on top of this the benefit of Readiness. Over a 5 mins fight, you can use Readiness once for an extra use of each ability:

MoC: (381615 - 43235) / 300 = +1128 DPS
BS: (81338 - 43235) / 300 = +127 DPS
LR: (234863 - 43235) / 300 = +639 DPS

Over a 6 mins fight, you can use Readiness twice. With assuming that these 2 uses result in two more uses of each of these abilities:

MoC: (381615 - 43235) * 2 / 360 = +1880 DPS
BS: (81338 - 43235) * 2 / 360 = +212 DPS
LR: (234863 - 43235) * 2 / 360 = +1065 DPS

As can be expected, Readiness uses favor the high damage long CD abilities much more than the lower damage lower CD abilities.

The final factor is the possible DPS gain from the additional focus costs or savings:

MoC: Each use costs 40 focus over an AS. Over a 6 min fight with Readiness, you can do 5 MoCs. This costs an additional 200 focus that has to be made up by doing extra SSs instead of ASs. Since each use of SS instead of AS is about a 20 + 17 = 37 + 1 (for the regen over the extra cast time) = 38, this requires 5.26 more SSs over the fight. However, these SS casts lose about 1.75 GCDs costing 2 ASs at worst. I will assume that only 1 AS is actually lost due to the extra SS casts, meaning that the real extra focus costs is 180, requiring 4.74 extra SS for AS replacements in addition to the 1 lost AS.

((16495 - 43235) * 4.74 - 43235) / 360 = -472 DPS

BS: Each use saves 20 focus over an AS. With a 20s CD, you can do 18 BSs over a 6 min fight, so 20 with Readiness. This is a total focus savings of 400 focus over the fight, allowing us to cast about 10.53 ASs instead of SSs. These replacements save about 3.5 GCDs for normal SS cast time. With accounting for RF and BL for some of these SS, lets say that 2 GCDs are earned. This is 2 more ASs and 40 more focus costs, meaning that we can really only replace about 9.47 SSs with ASs:

((43235 - 16495) * 9.47 + 43235 * 2) / 360 = +944 DPS

LR: Each use saves 20 focus over an AS. With a 1.5 min CD, you can do 6 over a 6 min fight with Readiness. This is a total focus savings of 120 focus over the fight, allowing us to cast about 3.16 ASs instead of SSs. These replacements save about 1 GCD, costing an extra 20 focus and allowing only 2.63 AS for SS replacements.

((43235 - 16495) * 2.63 + 43235) / 360 = +194 DPS

So with including the direct damage benefits of each ability over using an AS with factoring in Readiness and the AS for SS (or vice versa) swaps and extra GCDs and ASs that are gained or lost, the rough DPS benefit of using each is:

MoC: 2820 + 1880 - 472 = +4228 DPS
BS: 1905 + 212 + 944 = +3061 DPS
LR: 2130 + 1065 + 194 = +3389 DPS

So from this "quick" napkin math, MoC is clearly the favorite currently, with LR next and BS last. The large damage of MoC and LR are greatly favored by Readiness while BS benefits from its focus savings requiring less SSs to be cast.

FD seems to roughly agree with this with showing MoC as the best with LR -1100 DPS behind and BS -2600 DPS behind.

Anyway, its a good thing that I did not update the complete post for LR being better since the Rabid nerf (which is already included in the FD data in this post) puts MoC back on top for MMs.

#7 Whitefyst

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 03:50 AM

One correction over previous statements that I have made is that it does now result in maximum MM DPS to overlap BL and RF effects, preferrably during the CA phase. The reason for this is the low maximum speed to cast AI. While in Cata where AIs during BL were well below the cutoff point of 1.8s resulting in a huge DPS gain, AIs during BL in MoP are currently too slow to be worthwhile casting AI. However, the increased speed to AI during the CA phase where due to AIs always critting and the cutoff point being much higher, it is a huge DPS gain currently to have faster AIs and to cast more of them. The MoP version of FD was showing this from the start, but I just did not believe that that could be the case until I had theorycrafted it more.

So until AI damage gets buffed relative to other shots, feel free to cast RF if its available while BL is already up instead of waiting to use RF until BL is done.

Defintely if you raid is using BL at the start of the fight still use RF since the more AIs during the CA phase the better.

Outside the CA pase, it is a small benefit to overlap RF and BL; however, the benefit is small enough that it affects your DPS very little if your guild decides to use BL during a period where RF is fully on CD. Thus, do not sweat stacking them, but on a preferrential basis stack them if you can.

What also effects the situation is that we do a lot less SSs too. Hence, we haste a lot less SSs than we used to by chaining BL and RF instead of stacking them and causing SS casts to be below the GCD.

#8 Whitefyst

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 05:37 AM

MoP Stat Priorities

Now that I have had the time to research MoP stat priorities more, it appears that in T14 gear that haste will be preferred over crit and mastery. Reasons for this include:

- Crit is devalued for MM relative to its value in Cataclysm because:
-- We are using less attacks affected by PS. Although with a 9s CS CD we are generally doing a few more CSs, we are doing a lot less SSs since less are needed to maintain our haste buff and focus levels and a lot less AIs since we do not have as many RFs with Readiness on a 5 min CD and since BL does not provide sufficient haste to make casting AI beneficial during it. We are also doing less SSs due to DB gain focus for us. We are also doing less AIs due to GCDs being spent to cast Stampede, MoC, and DB during periods where we would be hardcasting AIs.
-- We no longer have some of the DPS talents that resulted from crit, such as Go For the Throat (GftT) (now BM only) and Sic'Em.
-- CA providing 75% increased crit for SS and AI devalues crit amounts over about 25% a little while in Cataclysm this situation was not in effect until about 40% crit.

Despite the fact that we are casting less shots that are affected by haste (SS and AI), haste is valued higher in MoP for the following reasons:
- With less SSs per CS cycle, it requires larger haste amounts to achieve a full GCD savings in SS cast times to achieve tight CS cycles.
- It requires are much lower AI cast time to make hardcasting AI worthwhile.
- Without Sic'Em and GftT, our pet has a lot less focus with which to work, resulting in not only a very low WH uptime, but with also being focus starved a lot and having to wait longer than the 3s CD between some basic attacks. For example, your pet's basic attack costs 25 focus, when your pet bottoms out in focus it takes 25 focus / 5.6465 FPS (the pet focus regen at 12.93% haste) = 4.43 seconds for it to regen enough focus for its next basic attack. Outside of BL, RF, haste trinket effects, and other items that affect melee haste, once our pet hits 0 focus, it is in a constant state of waiting for enough focus to recast its basic. Even during a RF with 7.9051 pet regen, it still takes the pet 3.16s to regen enough focus to cast its basic attack. Hence, unlike in Cata where our pet was almost never focus starved, our pets are now almost always focus starved. Hence, ever bit of haste we have increases our pet's focus regen and decreases its time between basic attacks.
- Haste still affects our pet's melee attack rate and our autoshot rate. Increased autoshot rate increases WQ damage too.

I am sure that there are other reasons too, but these are the primary ones of which I can think at the moment.

EDIT: While doing an anlysis of pet basic attacks, I realized that our haste rating has a bigger impact on out pet basic attacks than I had anticipated since out pets are focus starved about 75% of the time with about a large 1.1s delay in pet basic attacks and almost never seeing WH after the start of the fight. Even while under the affects of BL and at the recommended 12.93% haste from gear, our pets are still slightly focus starved and will have their basic attacks delayed by 0.1s. Thus, additional haste above the recommended 12.93% can be beneficial at certain points where it allows an additional pet basic attack. This values haste for MMs even more.

#9 Fluflis

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:41 AM

A comment I wanted to do about A Murder of Crows is that unlike Dire Beast you can't have double Murder of Crows with Readiness. You will have to wait full 30 sec till you use the second. Lynx Rush on the other hand you can use the second after 4 seconds, inside the first agility potion timer. I know it probably doesn't affect much the outcome since it is mostly dependant on the time range of a boss kill (and I assume is already included on the gain from spreadsheet) but I felt like it could be of some importance.

I haven't tested if crows continue when their target dies and attack a different target. That would be worthnoting in a fight with adds to take advantage of the reduced cooldown timer in a boss fight.
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#10 Whitefyst

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 01:44 AM

A comment I wanted to do about A Murder of Crows is that unlike Dire Beast you can't have double Murder of Crows with Readiness. You will have to wait full 30 sec till you use the second. Lynx Rush on the other hand you can use the second after 4 seconds, inside the first agility potion timer. I know it probably doesn't affect much the outcome since it is mostly dependant on the time range of a boss kill (and I assume is already included on the gain from spreadsheet) but I felt like it could be of some importance.


Good point. I mean to put something in about how MoC works, and that is how I have been playing it and modeling it, but it appears that I did not. I will put better explanations now that we know its behavior better once the 5.1 version comes out.

Note that FD does model this behavior correctly and will not use the 2nd MoC until 30s after the first. And although its true that you can have double MoC with Readiness and have it be worth while, Readiness still gives you the second MoC 90s earlier than without Readiness and is still a large DPS boost.

#11 Allara

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 02:33 AM

Not to be a nitpicker, but 5.1 will most likely be the first content patch. When MoP ships, they will most likely patch the live game to version 5.0.5 or thereabouts.

#12 Whitefyst

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 02:04 AM

I haven't tested if crows continue when their target dies and attack a different target. That would be worthnoting in a fight with adds to take advantage of the reduced cooldown timer in a boss fight.


MoC is currently implemented as a DoT. Thus, like SrS and PS, it does not switch targets if the current target dies with time left on the ability.

#13 Whitefyst

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 03:03 PM

Since it does not show up as being updated on the main hunter page, I figured that I should write a post to indicate that the MM guide has mostly been updated for MoP release. I have updated the Quick Reference post and have updated the Detailed post up to section 8. I plan to hopefully finish the updates tonight, but if I do not, then they will be complete by the end of the week.

I am not too concerned with the remaining updates since they should not be affected much. I just want to fine tune the data with T14H gear numbers. The only major change that I know that is outstanding is that Sporebats now provide spell haste, but everyone should be aware of that already if they have been paying attention.

#14 Whitefyst

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:04 PM

I have completed updating the rest of the guide for current game play.

#15 Genzen

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:02 AM

Is there any info on the priority of pet buffs for personal dps? Obviously it's usually better to go with the one that benefits the raid the most, but it would be nice to know which buffs should be brought if they're missing, and in what order.

#16 Whitefyst

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 08:31 PM

Is there any info on the priority of pet buffs for personal dps? Obviously it's usually better to go with the one that benefits the raid the most, but it would be nice to know which buffs should be brought if they're missing, and in what order.


You can determine this yourself easily enough in tools like FD and SimC by using the MM Max DPS set up and with all other buffs and debuffs present, removing one at a time to see the impact. Also this information has been previously provided in the MoP all spec threads for earlier set ups.

However, so that the information is available for all MMs with the current MM Max DPS case in FD at the time of this thread, I am providing the information below. I am also including the exoctic pets. Although MMs cannot provide exotic pets, if you have another hunter in the raid that is BM, they are applicable to MMs still.

As reference, the MM Max DPS case in FD provides 104660 DPS.

Buff/Debuff|DPS Loss|% DPS Loss|Pets That Provide It
10% Attack Speed|4805|4.59%|Hyena, Serpent
5% Crit|4139|3.95%|Hydra, Wolf, Devilsaur*, Quillen*, Waterstrider*
5% Stat|3729|3.56%|Shale Spider*
12% Armor Reduction|3342|3.19%|Raptor, Tallstrider
4% Physical Vulnerability|3067|2.93%|Boar, Ravager, Rhino*, Worm*
5 Mastery|3052|2.92%|Cat, Spirit Beast*
Bloodlust|2055|1.96%|Corehound
5% Spell Vulnerability|1187|1.13%|Dragonhawk, Wind Serpent
10% Stamina|0|0%|Silithid*
Spell Power|0|0%|Waterstrider*
Spell Haste|0|0%|Sporebat
Weakened Blows|0|0%|Bear, Carrion Bird
Slow Casting|0|0%|Corehound*, Fox, Goat, Sporebat
Mortal Wounds|0|0%|Devilsaur* - also hunters Widow Venom
10% Attack Power|N/A|N/A|All hunters provide and pets do not
* Exotic pet provided by BM hunters only.

As you can see, by far the most important buff for MM hunters in this case is the 10% attack speed buff. The reasons for this include the fact that the ideal haste amounts depend on having this buff to reduce SS and AI cast times, and not having it costs shots in the CS cycle and/or delays the CS cycle. It also affects autoshot rate. Furthermore, it affects pet melee frequency including the number of attacks done by Dire Beast. Finally, less specials performed include less chances to proc other abilities like Wild Quiver. Piercing Shots, MMM AIs, etc.

5% crit is a distant second. Crit is important not only due to the slightly over double damage with crits (and the meta gem) but also due to the increased chance to proc PS.

#17 wilegenuis

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:52 AM

There are many MOP places that require long and steady period of AOE. For the MM hunter I've a rotation of MS that usually trigger Bombardment for 5 sec. that is followed by additional MS until the focus is around 30-40. Then I hit Fervor that provide additional focus for additional 4-5 MS shots. My problem begins at this point, there are still a lot of adds around, Fervor buff is gone, my focus is under 20.
What I'm doing to maintain the Bombardment at this point is single SS and a single MS. I wonder if this is the best option to maintain long term AOE or I should change anything?
I also see that some recommend start the entire rotation with creating the Steady Focus buff. Does it worth the time for the 2 SS when I can do 2 MS at that time?

#18 Whitefyst

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 05:05 PM

There are many MOP places that require long and steady period of AOE. For the MM hunter I've a rotation of MS that usually trigger Bombardment for 5 sec. that is followed by additional MS until the focus is around 30-40. Then I hit Fervor that provide additional focus for additional 4-5 MS shots. My problem begins at this point, there are still a lot of adds around, Fervor buff is gone, my focus is under 20.
What I'm doing to maintain the Bombardment at this point is single SS and a single MS. I wonder if this is the best option to maintain long term AOE or I should change anything?
I also see that some recommend start the entire rotation with creating the Steady Focus buff. Does it worth the time for the 2 SS when I can do 2 MS at that time?


I do similar set up to you except that I use Dire Beast in my spec instead of Fervor, but I agree that if you are speccing for Max AoE damage that Fervor or TotH is better than DB.

For short AoE periods, I do not worry about SF and just generate enough focus to cast a new MS. The reasons are:
- As you stated, you can be doing much more damage with using those GCD+s on 2 to 3 MSs instead
- SF provides very little benefit in short AoE situations.
-- The haste only affects your single target damage in autoshots and the SSs to regen focus. With the T14 4P, it does save you about 0.33s per SS cast and about 0.21s per SS cast without it at the minimum recommended 9.09% haste level. You only need to cast 3 SSs in the first 20s of AoE, so SF only saves you a GCD but has not made up for the 2 to 3 spent to get SF to start. It is not until about 35 to 40s that you have done enough SSs to make up for the GCDs spent to get SF to begin with and maintain it.
-- The focus gained from SS at the start is purely wasted.
-- The haste does not affect focus regen, although the SF buff does regen an extra 3 focus per cast. With having to do 7 SF SSs to get enough extra focus to be able to cast an extra Bombardment affected MS, you are looking at needing about a 30s of AoE time.
- The haste does not affect pet attacks

Obviously though, situations do occur where you may need to cast 2 SSs just to be able to cast the next MS, in which case getting the SF bonus for free is a nice benefit.

With that said, SF is beneficial for AoE situations lasting longer than about 30 to 40s. The reasons for this is that you are now doing enough SSs to regen focus that:
- The shorter SS cast times have crossed the threshold where you are actually gaining GCDs instead of losing them.
- You have also crossed the threshold where the the extra focus regened from the SF affected SSs provide enough for extra MSs

Even for long AoE situations in which maintaing SF is beneficial, I still do not suggest starting the AoE with two SSs since all of that focus generated is lost and you are recieving enough focus from DB anyway. I would not bother getting the SF focus buff until you have depleted all of your focus and must cast SSs to gain focus. At that point is where I would cast the first 2 SSs to get SF and then start maintaining it. The only benefit of the getting the SF buff to start is the slightly increased autoshot rate on one target, which is not worth it.

To check this out and provide evidence, I did a single target analysis with AoE priority in FD. In both cases, the priortity was the same with DB, GT, ET, Readiness, MS, SS. To focus more on the AoE aspect, I did not include MoC or Stampede, although you would still want to them on long AoE situations. I also did not include RF or Bloodlust. Note that having either of these during the AoE situation does reduce the benefit of having SF some since you are saving less time per SS cast and since you need to cast less SSs for focus. I also set up the run for 3 mins.

The only difference between the two cases is that in one I had the setting to maintain SF and in the other I did not force for SF to be maintained.

The result is that the SF AoE case did over 2600 more DPS on a single target. So even on the single target it does more DPS. This is because the SS case did +4 SSs and +8 autoshots with +6 WQ procs.

However, we are really concerned about the AoE situation. DB, GT, and ET had the same number of casts between the cases. The SF case had +3 MS. So it is definitely better AoE DPS. However, the AoE benefit is not huge since that is on average only an extra MS every minute.

One major item to note in favor of SF case more is that the non-forced SF case still naturally achieved the SF buff on several occassions since it did do 9 SS pairs for an estimated 45% SF uptime since a few of the periods overlapped.

Summary:

- Do not bother with SF on short AoE situations (less than 30 to 40s), although cases that force you to cast 2 SSs to gain focus and get the buff is a bonus.
- Maintaining SF on long AoE situations (longer than 30 to 40s) can be a DPS boost, but I do not recommend casting the first SS pair until you have fully depleted your focus from the intial MS onslaught.

#19 Whitefyst

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 02:00 PM

I have finally had the chance to address the recent 10/12/12 hot fix to how AI damage is calculated.

Aimed Shot now deals 320% weapon damage (up from 280%), but the base damage component has been reduced by 65%. The damage that this ability does at level 90 should remain relatively unchanged.


The effect in the T14 gear range is not that big. With the Max MM DPS case, AI damage when including PS effect went up by about 4500 on average outside the CA phase and by about 7900 during the CA phase for a net increase in DPS by about 589. This is about a 4.2% increase in damage from what AI was doing previously in T14H gear.

With less than T14H ranged weapons, the DPS gain will be smaller and can possibly be negative if you have a poor enough ranged weapon, although no one should be raiding with that low of an ilevel ranged weapon.

The good news is that AI should do a lot more damage and DPS in future tiers as weapon damage increases with each tier of gear. However, concerning the T14 tier of raiding, the change is a nice DPS boost but does not really change how AI is used in the MM rotations. AI DPS is still too low to use AI in most cases.

At the current recommended haste amount of just over 9.09% haste from gear with the T14 4P, an AI rotation when unhasted still underperforms an AS rotation by about 28K damage per AI cast (down from about 32.5K), and the deficit is much worse without the T14 4P. The amount of overall haste from gear to make AI worthwhile to cast when not under dynamic haste effects outside the CA phase did decrease from 62.05% to 51.75%. From my calculations, this means that AI should be beneficial to cast outside the CA phase when hasted to be below a 1.39 cast time, which occurs at about 8.4% haste from gear with RF. So potentially, with the recommended 9.09% haste from gear, AI can possibly be a small DPS gain to cast during RF outside the CA phase. However, I am not recommending this since it will not be much of a benefit unless you have significantly more haste from gear and any pushback or interruption will be a large loss in DPS. Plus, FD shows casting it as a 235 DPS loss even at a 1.378 cast time. This is due to taking into account the increased focus cost of using AI over ASs.

During the CA phase when unhasted, it is still worthwhile to use SrS and CS. My calculations show using a CS instead of AI being about a 42K damage benefit per cast. Even during RF, it is still about a 22K DPS gain to cast CS. FD confirms this by it being about a 390 DPS loss when disabling SrS and CS during the CA phase.

The only change to the MM priority I see as a resultant of the AI change is that now it is no longer beneficial to cast GT during the CA phase, unless there are other targets to hit besides the main target. GT does similar damage as CS (within about 1K) but does not have the additional SrS damage to help buff it. My calculations show using GT during the CA phase when under the affects of RF being a 18K damage loss. FD confirms this with disabling GT during the CA phase being a 602 DPS gain. I will update the guide to reflect this change.

Summary:

The change to how AI damage is calculated increases AI damage in T14 normal and heroic gear. Thus, it increases MM DPS. The only change to the MM priority that I recommend is no longer casting GT during the CA phase, unless there are multiple targets to be hit by GT.

#20 Whitefyst

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:18 PM

A new MM glyph seems planned for 5.1. Its is:

Glyph of Aimed Shot: This glyph allows Aimed Shot to be used while moving.

This glyph is potentially a nice quality of life glyph for MMs; however, it is not too useful in T14 content. This is because most MMs should only be using AI during the CA phase. Getting a glyph that applies to only 10% of the fight and only if on the move during that period is probably not worth replacing the current survivability glyphs. Although there may be some fights where it is worth taking. In future raid tiers, I hope that the improved AI scaling and the additional haste on gear will make AI more viable outside the CA phase when in high dynamic haste situations, which will increase the benefit of this glyph.

However, being able to cast AI on the run still does not prevent pushbacks, interruptions, target going out of LOS, or possible being turned the wrong way resulting in cast delays or incompletions. It also removes the ability to cancel a cast (if desired to do so) by moving or jumping.

Hence, for now, I would not recommend generally using the glyph for PvE.

However, if we ever get back to the general AI focus dump case like MMs had at the later part of Cataclysm, this glyph would be a must have.




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