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The Survival Hunter in WotLK


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#21 Rivkah

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 11:18 PM

I'm not sure I like the talent sniper training that much. It seems that on a lot of fights, we are stacking up together very close to the boss and aside from the 15% kill shot crit, the 3 points in sniper training just aren't that great.


Sniper training is a poorly designed talent, there are so many fights where we're expected to group up close to the tank or where staying at more than 30 yds will cost us other benefits. That being said, there aren't really other places to put those points that would give you more damage benefit on average- the only other logical spot to put them I see is to get extra points in expose weakness or hunting party, which would marginally improve uptime but not by enough to really justify giving up sniper training on the fights where you can use it. The only other option would be to put it in utility talents such as trap mastery or scattershot, but I wouldn't expect those would be of much use in a raid build.

#22 Smoggers

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 11:46 PM

Sniper training is a poorly designed talent, there are so many fights where we're expected to group up close to the tank or where staying at more than 30 yds will cost us other benefits. That being said, there aren't really other places to put those points that would give you more damage benefit on average- the only other logical spot to put them I see is to get extra points in expose weakness or hunting party, which would marginally improve uptime but not by enough to really justify giving up sniper training on the fights where you can use it. The only other option would be to put it in utility talents such as trap mastery or scattershot, but I wouldn't expect those would be of much use in a raid build.


Sniper training is garbage. I see far far more use out of scattershot and entrapment, on fights like malygos to stop the sparks or kel to temporarily disable an mc'd raid member, then I would ever see out of sniper training. Again, people that dismiss these utility talents because they don't yield raw dps on fights like patchwerk aren't looking at the raid setting as a whole.

#23 Rivkah

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 12:56 AM

Sniper training is garbage. I see far far more use out of scattershot and entrapment, on fights like malygos to stop the sparks or kel to temporarily disable an mc'd raid member, then I would ever see out of sniper training. Again, people that dismiss these utility talents because they don't yield raw dps on fights like patchwerk aren't looking at the raid setting as a whole.


Entrapment is a double-edged sword, it carries the risk of getting people killed because a mob got rooted right next to them. Scatter shot is nice, but given that wyvern sting is already a standard part of the survival spec, it's rare that I'm feeling like I need scatter on top of it- between traps and wyvern sting I usually have enough tools to deal with situations, and scatter shot really doesn't last very long and has such a short range. If you don't consider sniper training to be any value, then I could see taking those, but it's not like survival hunters have no other tools available to them when trouble arises, and I find I can use sniper training enough to justify it over other talents. That being said, I think Blizz really needs to rethink the talent since it runs counter to so many other priorities in raiding.

#24 Korvek

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 07:19 AM

What is the feasibility of using traps on fights in our rotation? Standing the minimum 5 yards from patchwerk and doing our normal rotation while stepping in during an explosive shot GCD refresh to get in position and drop immolation trap and stepping out during immolation trap refresh. For the cost of a GCD, we could get 3-4k dmg off our immolation trap with we have trap mastery as well as having lock and load guarantee proc every 30 seconds.

EDIT: Just shot dummies in ogrimmar at minimum range. and found out you can place immolation trap down without having to move for it to activate. With glyph of immolation, we'd be replacing a steady shot with a ~5k+ immolation trap + L&L procs.

#25 Smoggers

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 07:59 AM

What is the feasibility of using traps on fights in our rotation? Standing the minimum 5 yards from patchwerk and doing our normal rotation while stepping in during an explosive shot GCD refresh to get in position and drop immolation trap and stepping out during immolation trap refresh. For the cost of a GCD, we could get 3-4k dmg off our immolation trap with we have trap mastery as well as having lock and load guarantee proc every 30 seconds.

EDIT: Just shot dummies in ogrimmar at minimum range. and found out you can place immolation trap down without having to move for it to activate. With glyph of immolation, we'd be replacing a steady shot with a ~5k+ immolation trap + L&L procs.


You can, the problem is chancing eating a hateful strike.

#26 Cilithan

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 08:04 AM

Yes, Ive tried this, and have found the range where you can shoot and place a trap within triggering range. However, and thats what I mentioned in the first post in relation to PoNE, for any Boss that moves even an inch you will have problems. If a trap you placed doesn't trigger because the Boss just moved a yard you've wasted mana and a GCD. I think any necesity to move will probably negate the benefits, but it's worth a try.
I did however in my long chats with mr. Dummy notice the damage per GCD for Immolation Trap and the L&L component too. It is a feasible rotation I think in terms of max damage, but if you can pull it off at Raidbosses...

Nice that a discussion is starting btw

#27 Moshi

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 09:18 AM

Great that a survival discussion has finally started, i have always been mostly a BM hunter but with the new Dual Spec feature coming up i think it would be beneficial to be able to play both specs in a raid environment as we generally are short on replenishment classes oddly enough - with all the ret paladins running around who would have thought?

I have also done some testing on dummies with traps and found there is a few yards worth of leeway (about 2-3) on it but i would much like to test it on bosses with much larger hitboxes to see if the bigger hitbox makes it easier or harder to get a trap onto. From what i have found raiding the content thus far there is a fair few encounters that require raid stacking making sniper training somewhat not as useful as originally thought so that sitting close to the boss may be more beneficial as it allows you to *maybe* place traps and be in range of things like Tricks of the Trade, Leader of the Pack, Unleashed Rage etc that you wouldn't be able sometimes get standing at long distances.

That being said if Smoggers points about going into Imp Aspect of the Hawk is theorectically uneccessary being only an autoshot DPS gain seeing as our gear, specifically our tier 7 set is laced with haste and ofcourse that it is possible to stand at a distance where traps can go off as well as being able to shoot - perhaps a spec like or similar to this may be viable?: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

#28 Smoggers

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 10:50 AM

That's why you itemize correctly and don't blanket yourself in so much haste to remove iaoth as a viable talent. Our tier7 is garbage and nearly every single slot that it would occupy has a much better alternative.

#29 Nandei

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 11:08 AM

I would like to emphasize the value of Explosive Shot on single target dps. At least from what I have seen it seems quite a few of SV hunters are using Arcane Shot on single targets instead of Explosive.

Explosive Shot does RAP * 0.08 + 238 damage on minimum per charge so the total damage on minimum is 3*(RAP * 0.08 + 238) = RAP * 0.24 + 714, while Arcane shot does RAP * 0.15 + 492. Just from comparing the scaling part of the damage the tooltips show that Explosive does ~60% more damage than Arcane per cooldown. Add to this the added crit rate with T.N.T and the total damage difference will be even higher.

I went and tested this on the heroic target dummy in Silvermoon, it is far enough away for others so that Explosive's AoE part doesn't affect the results. I shot at the dummy alternating between Arcane and Explosive on the cooldowns, in total 400 Arcane shots and 1200 Explosive charges, until I got totally bored by it. The ratio of average damage of both normal hits and crits showed the same ~60% more damage for Explosive shot. In total damage Explosive did about ~80% more than Arcane, this is because of the higher crit rate. I actually had 12% more crits with Explosive than Arcane, but that might be just random because the sample size is only a few hundred for Arcane shot. Spec I had at the time: (2/18/51). I was hit capped wearing mostly level 70 gear and couple of level 80 blues, but using the cheapest arrows there is.

I have to say that I do not see a Survival build without Explosive being viable. Explosive is simply too much damage to the spec. The way I see it, Survival is wanted because of Replenishment and to get that you already need to spec 45 points into the tree + the points in Hunting party. So why not go all the way and get Explosive shot too?

#30 Korvek

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 11:33 AM

Does hit rating affect immolation trap? I'm at the 8% hit cap but every now and then I still see my immolation trap missing the heroic training dummy. Is it possible that 8% hit cap is only for ranged attacks and 9% is for everything else?

#31 Nandei

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 12:07 PM

Does hit rating affect immolation trap? I'm at the 8% hit cap but every now and then I still see my immolation trap missing the heroic training dummy. Is it possible that 8% hit cap is only for ranged attacks and 9% is for everything else?


At least in TBC traps used spell hit, not normal hit. Even though the ratings have now been combined to just one hit stat, spells have higher hit cap, 17%. I do not know if spell hit cap has been lowered like ours has been, but even then it is likely a lot higher than 8%.

#32 KraxisSingular

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 01:01 PM

At least in TBC traps used spell hit, not normal hit. Even though the ratings have now been combined to just one hit stat, spells have higher hit cap, 17%. I do not know if spell hit cap has been lowered like ours has been, but even then it is likely a lot higher than 8%.


Undetermined if the spellhitcap is lowered. It is after a little harder to test out, casters can't just autocast-AFK. ;)

However, traps are still spells *grumble grumble*, but spellhit is thankfully less points per %. So we are not sitting at 9% miss for them at least.

#33 Enova

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 06:54 PM

Undetermined if the spellhitcap is lowered. It is after a little harder to test out, casters can't just autocast-AFK. ;)

However, traps are still spells *grumble grumble*, but spellhit is thankfully less points per %. So we are not sitting at 9% miss for them at least.


I wonder if shooting a wand would be subject to the spell hit formula. That would make for a sure way to find out.

However, my question is different. I'm looking at Nandei's idea about Explosive shot. So, why Explosive over Arcane Shot? Why not use both? I've not tested Survival yet, I'll admit it, so the answer might be just as simple as that, but unless Explosive Shot and Arcane Shot share a cooldown, I see no particular reason not to use it. It might be less dps, but Arcane Shot seems to get quite a bit of attention in the SV tree anyway. This might only be my old school mentality from my days as an EW bot, but I just kind of like the idea of weaving some more shots between my steadies.

In summary, TBC raiding is easy. 9/10 encounters can be summarized with 1 phrase. Stay out of the fucking fire. If this is too difficult BWL was still there last I checked, so go have at it for some practice.


You people are idiots

Guilty as charged ^

#34 Cinderglow

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 09:12 PM

but unless Explosive Shot and Arcane Shot share a cooldown, I see no particular reason not to use it.



They do share a cooldown :)

#35 Zerlu

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 09:15 PM

I wonder if shooting a wand would be subject to the spell hit formula. That would make for a sure way to find out.

However, my question is different. I'm looking at Nandei's idea about Explosive shot. So, why Explosive over Arcane Shot? Why not use both? I've not tested Survival yet, I'll admit it, so the answer might be just as simple as that, but unless Explosive Shot and Arcane Shot share a cooldown, I see no particular reason not to use it. It might be less dps, but Arcane Shot seems to get quite a bit of attention in the SV tree anyway. This might only be my old school mentality from my days as an EW bot, but I just kind of like the idea of weaving some more shots between my steadies.


Arcane and explosive share a CD. Also, Arcane doesn't provide enough of a DPS boost (if any) compared to its high mana cost to warrant using it over Steady. The increased Viper uptime will completely negate any benefit.

EDIT: The most intriguing idea I've seen so far in this thread is the fellow who stands just outside the boss hit box, and drops Immo. to proc lots of LnL. While mana intensive, the guaranteed LnL every 24s may just be the damage boost survival could use. Of course thats on top of the nice bonus of NOT having to spam steady shot non stop.

#36 Arcazua

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 11:12 PM

I've always been both a math-head that min/max'es and a heedless player that throws all that knowledge to the wind and does other things. My current spec I'm playing with says quite a bit about that.


A few side comments about SV builds, though I have no LK raid experience yet (even Naxx 10) to draw from, just my theorycrafting:

* Don't forget that SV is about utility. There are a great many talents that might not translate into DPS, but are still remarkable to have under other circumstances. Having traps last an extra 6 seconds for 1 point and maybe a shorter cooldown, or having extra range, or reducing FD resists, or maybe even (dare I say it) having 6% extra dodge are things to think about. DPS? Definitely not. Perhaps even laughable in a raid environment. But you'll have a hard time convincing me not to take up Scatter Shot for 1 point.

* I question the usefulness of Lock and Load if you aren't trapping. Lock and Load has a max of 6% chance per tick to go off. Serpent ticks every 3 seconds, so you have an expected trigger rate of once per 50 seconds. With the unpredictability of these procs meaning you often miss out on some charges due to timing, and the awkwardness of working the GCD around the 2 second explosions, I'm not sure if you get much from a serpent sting proc other than some saved mana. To be sure, that's worth something, but I don't know HOW valuable it is.

* I also question the usefulness of haste. Although it is true it hastens the triggers of MT, IAotH, and EW slightly, I don't think it really does much for a rotation. People like to use the "but 6 / 1.5 is an integer" argument, without any consideration for the fact that you will never ever fire in exactly 1.5 seconds. With latency considered, 1.7 is a much more reasonably value...after one explosive and three 1.5-speed steadies, you've used up 6.8 seconds. With no haste rating, it's 7.4. Is improving your specials DPS by 8% -- assuming it's even better to keep spamming rather than wait for explosive's CD -- worth over 500 haste rating? Yeah, you get autoshot increases as well, but you're also assuming a perfect rotation of XS-SS-SS-SS with nothing else...you'll fire serpent every 18, you'll have these weird random serpent sting procs if you stick with Lock and Load, Improved Hawk will make it worthless, Rapid Fire will make it worthless, Heroism or any other haste triggers will as well. It seems like way too many itemization points for the cost. Give me an extra 561 agility instead please!

* If Shandara's spreadsheet is to be believed, EW seems to suffer dreadfully diminishing returns per point. I guess I shouldn't be wholly surprised, but 2/3 is good. I would not leave out EW as I have heard some mentioning, because it increases the scaleability of the surv hunter. The only other real advantage surv has in gearing is that stamina actually gives 0.3 AP. With LR and EW, a point of agility gives .63 crit rating (rather than .55) and 1.44 AP. For other specs, it's generally more valuable to stack AP over agi, but this difference essentially reverses the difference. It's not super huge in either direction, but agility is still better. I did a little bit of estimating and decided that it's about 9:4 agi-AP ratio (remember AP comes in twice the quantities) for surv, as opposed to 7:4 for marks and BM. So within about 12%, but swinging the other way.

* Neither PoNE nor Sniper Training are good at all. My instinct is to say that you should use that row to backfill...of course, you'll be backfilling more on the next row since you don't really want more than 2 points in Hunting Party either. Ironic that we have ~3 real points to spend in the last two rows of the tree to reach the ultimate, and then have to plunk 7 randomly, but that's better than 5 points of dead weight (old Master Tactician), right?

#37 ihatepeople

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 12:31 AM

Awesome thread on the Surv spec, i have been anxiously awaiting this thread. Now for my .02 hehe. My armory is up for everyone to see btw, here it is.

The World of Warcraft Armory

I run a sort of "safe" as i like to call it build. I have IAOTH, Careful Aim, and full EW. I took those talents because starting i was severely handicapped in each dps category (haste, hit, crit/agi). However, since upgrading most of my gear, a few of those talents can be revisited and points redistributed.

1. Haste- Since we have a tremendous amount of haste on our t7/t7.5 gear, coupled with the haste we get from rings/boots/capes/weapons, i believe that IAOTH is a beginning talent at best. I currently have 303 haste rating and will only tack on more from gear stats alone when i acquire another 2 pieces for the 4set bonus. We need 523 haste rating to cap steady shot casts, and i firmly believe that hunters can come close to that number with naxx tier pieces and off pieces (10 and 25man respectively). That being said, i think IAOTH is a talent that can be spec'd out of when you acquire more gear upgrades.

2. Hit- Hit is a bit of a bigger issue, as hunters have to compete with rogues (and sometimes warriors and pallies) for off pieces that have hit on them. Again, just like haste, as more hit is gained with off pieces and/or weapons, you can drop points in focused aim. It's just a bit harder to get hit IMO because of different classes needing hit. Of course there is theorycrafting that supports the notion that focused aim is not needed at all, but i like to be capped anyways. I also dislike gemming for hit.

3. Master Tactician/Sniper Training- I never liked MT in BC and for some reason i don't like it in Wrath. I still believe that 5pts to spend for that 10% chance proc is way too much. But, Sniper Training is not really a better option. It seems to me that Sniper Training is a pvp talent for when you are in the open fields ( or in arena) mowing people down. As has been said in this thread numerous times, being 30+ yards away from the boss means you are also 30+ yards away from a healer or buffer. IIRC shaman totems have a 40 yard range. I tried Master Tactician for awhile, and i still didn't like the proc rates on it. However, Sniper Training doesn't seem like a very feasible talent either. So it's a tossup imo between whichever talent is mechanically more sound for you.

4. Expose Weakness- Since i have been combing these forums since Wrath came out, i have found that 3/3 EW is not necessary anymore (wasn't really in BC either in endgame). As Smogh said, with the rogue poison bug still going strong critting and keeping EW up is not a real big issue. Also with a feral druid in raid, any decent gear surv hunter imo should/could be sitting on 40% crit (relative to the current ingame gear levels). I will be speccing to 2/3 very soon as unbuffed im at 33%.

My ultimate goal once I acquire the gear that lets me spec completely out of IAOTH and Focused Aim, is to use a spec like this:

WorldofWarcraft.com -> Info -> Classes -> Hunter -> Talent Calculator


I plan on trying out my dps in raids with that spec and seeing how i fare from a Surv aspect.

#38 Zerlu

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 02:41 AM

* I question the usefulness of Lock and Load if you aren't trapping. Lock and Load has a max of 6% chance per tick to go off. Serpent ticks every 3 seconds, so you have an expected trigger rate of once per 50 seconds. With the unpredictability of these procs meaning you often miss out on some charges due to timing, and the awkwardness of working the GCD around the 2 second explosions, I'm not sure if you get much from a serpent sting proc other than some saved mana. To be sure, that's worth something, but I don't know HOW valuable it is.

* I also question the usefulness of haste. Although it is true it hastens the triggers of MT, IAotH, and EW slightly, I don't think it really does much for a rotation. People like to use the "but 6 / 1.5 is an integer" argument, without any consideration for the fact that you will never ever fire in exactly 1.5 seconds. With latency considered, 1.7 is a much more reasonably value...after one explosive and three 1.5-speed steadies, you've used up 6.8 seconds. With no haste rating, it's 7.4. Is improving your specials DPS by 8% -- assuming it's even better to keep spamming rather than wait for explosive's CD -- worth over 500 haste rating? Yeah, you get autoshot increases as well, but you're also assuming a perfect rotation of XS-SS-SS-SS with nothing else...you'll fire serpent every 18, you'll have these weird random serpent sting procs if you stick with Lock and Load, Improved Hawk will make it worthless, Rapid Fire will make it worthless, Heroism or any other haste triggers will as well. It seems like way too many itemization points for the cost. Give me an extra 561 agility instead please!


LnL is indeed a faily weak talent, but it is still a DPS increase, and there really aren't any better places to stick the talent points. Being bad at math, I really can't do much theorycrafting, but as soon as I get off work tonight I will be trying out the above method (dropping a trap to initiate a LnL proc) and generating some data from that. While Immo. trap in general isn't very a very good source of damage, with Ebon Plague and Trap Mastery, there is a chance the benefit of being in melee and dropping traps may outweigh our more turret-like method for dealing damage.

I'm going to use WWS to record any numbers, and this (Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft) spec

As for the usefulness of haste, we can essentially assume that its importance isnt as high as when we all only used steadyshot. While it is nice to get our Steadies to 1.5s, I'm not sure it should be a priority ahead of agi and RAP. Right now haste only increases white and steady damage. While these are significant sources of damage, it will not be near as important as stats that increase our damage across the board(like RAP and Agi.)

EDIT: Began testing, then had errors with WWS. I'm not sure if its just me, or the new WWS is quirky, so will hopefully have that figured out soon.

#39 Smoggers

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 10:41 AM

People that are saying iaoth is a poor talent because it's scales poorly against our t7 are contradicting themselves. If you're looking at iaoth assuming end-game gear, then you need to be weighing it against the actual best-in-slot items for us, which isn't our tier7.

#40 Nandei

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 10:43 AM

Some more about Explosive shot:

Explosive and Arcane Shots indeed share a cooldown. They also have the same mana cost. These things were so self-evident to me that I forgot to mention them, sorry for that. (I have been Survival myself already in pre-Wrath 3.0, to provide replenishment for the raid, so my perspective is a bit biased towards the SV spec :) )

There are some more added benefits to Explosive besides just the damage, which alone is in my opinion enough to justify using just Explosive. Unfortunately I haven't had any addons to see it properly, but with just the default scrolling combat text, it does seem to me that all three charges of Explosive shot give a mana return when in Viper. Each of them also have a change of critting and proccing Thrill of the Hunt. I haven't really been paying close attention to it but I would think that any of the three ticks can also proc Replenishment, Expose Weakness and Master Tactician.

So it seems to me that Explosive shot is not only better dps, but also more mana efficient than Arcane shot because it is returning more mana with more Thrill of the Hunt procs and when used in Viper.

I will try to test this later on when I get back home.

Edit: Each tick of Explosive does give as much mana back as one Arcane shot in Viper, but Thrill of the Hunt ticks are only 1/3 of an Arcane proc.




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