Jan 14: This article has received some updates due to hotfixes. Updates are in red.
Multistrike is good. Really good. You should probably enchant all of your gear and gem with nothing but multistrike for the time being. The one exception would be if you exclusively play Marksmanship. In that case, I’d probably still stick with crit — at least until your buffed crit is above 40%. After 40% (43% technically) its value starts to diminish because the extra crit is wasted during Careful Aim.
Anyway, back to multistrike. Even if one of your specs is MM, I’d still enchant with multistrike if you equally play another spec along with it because multistrike is no slouch for MM either.
For Beast Mastery, it’s not light years above the other stats. However, it’s usually at the top, or at least tied for the top (will vary slightly based on your gear). Update 1/14: With the recent hotfix to the value of BM Mastery, the Mastery stat is now the top stat for BM. However, Multistrike is still good and not too far behind. As someone who plays both BM and SV, I won’t be switching my enchants away from Multistrike at this time. Multistrike’s true value is unleashed with Survival. With my gear currently, 1 point of multistrike has nearly the same value as 3 points of haste. Wait… what?
Continue reading Hunter stats, or why multistrike is your new best friend [Updated]
Have you been enjoying the hunter spec equality we have now? I sure am. With more people playing BM and SV again, I thought it warranted a closer look at a couple of the less popular talents.
Focus Fire, aka RNG Fire
The recent buff to Improved Focus Fire (5% per stack instead of 2%) has put a great deal more importance on the Focus Fire ability. Every basic attack has a 40% chance to add a stack of Frenzy. I’ve never paid much attention to stack generation before this, but now my eye is on it constantly, and I’ve discovered just how RNG-dependent BM DPS can be now.
Sometimes my stack generation will be so high that I’ll have generated 5 stacks before my current Focus Fire buff has even expired. It feels fantastic when this happens. Other times, I’ve had my Frenzy stuck at a single stack for an entire 30 seconds. Ouch.
This RNG got me thinking about the Steady Focus talent. Delirium had done some testing in beta which discovered it also increased pet focus regeneration, but it still seemed like an inferior talent to the guaranteed damage of Dire Beast.
Continue reading Focus Pocus: A closer look at Focus Fire, Steady Focus, and Focusing Shot
Updated: These simulations and some of this information is now outdated after we’ve received more hotfixes in the weeks since this was posted. The overall point of the article still stands, but you should know the following:
- Survival has the highest single target DPS potential (especially with Focusing Shot, but also Lone Wolf in many cases). Its AoE is also very strong.
- Marksmanship remains strong single target, but has weak AoE.
- Beast Mastery has the weakest single target (just a smidge below MM), but it’s AoE is very good.
- Specs are within 5-10% of each other for single target DPS (varies depending on your gear).
- Updated simulations for patch 6.1
Original post follows.
A post I made a little over a week ago about spec inequality and bad attitudes towards players who choose not to play the “best” spec ended up generating a lot of discussion in the community. At the time, marksmanship was simply doing more single target damage. I argued it wasn’t such a gap that you should feel guilty for playing something else, but some people have a hard time just saying “no” to extra damage.
Well, we don’t have to worry about this stuff anymore. The specs are now relatively balanced after a couple of rounds of hotfixes. Here is the gist of what was changed:
- Aimed Shot and Kill Shot damage was nerfed by 10%
- Serpent Sting damage was buffed by 60%
- Focus Fire now grants 25% bonus attack power when used at 5 stacks (up from 10%) via the Draenor perk
These changes were enough to get the specs so close together that I feel comfortable in saying you can play anything you want, even in a competitive/progression group. Let’s take a look at each spec’s strengths.
Continue reading All 3 hunter specs now close in DPS, play what you want
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend as of late. Some hunters are getting kicked from dungeon and raid groups simply because they don’t conform to a very specific set of criteria: Marksmanship with the Lone Wolf talent. At first I thought it was pretty anecdotal (and it probably still is), but I keep hearing about it. Guildies complained about getting kicked before the dungeon even starts. I’ve seen people mention it in trade chat, only to get belittled by everyone for not playing MM/Lone Wolf. I also saw mention of it in some comments on this blog.
I personally had one experience in a random heroic, but it did not result in a kick. I don’t remember the specific wording, but the gist of it was “lol why are you using BM? Play a real spec, we don’t want to carry you.” Then I crushed them on DPS for the rest of the dungeon and they shut their mouth. If there was anyone else in the group who shared this delightful individual’s mindset, maybe I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to embarrass this fool.
The last straw came when I received two separate emails from readers about this issue. One of them has been repeatedly kicked from dungeon groups, and even criticized by his own guild mates for not conforming to what has become known as the “best” hunter spec/talent combo. The other person was actually kicked from Highmaul groups for playing BM. Both of them were asking for advice. They asked if BM and SV were really that bad? Should they just give up and play Marksmanship with Lone Wolf?
Continue reading Playing BM: It’s a matter of principle now
I’ve been keeping busy enough in game that I almost forgot that World of Warcraft has this thing called raiding. Also, is it just me or does it seem a lot longer than 2.5 weeks since launch? Feels like at least a month for me. At any rate, I am ready to jump into normal mode Highmaul, hopefully tonight if enough guildies are ready for it. I’m “only” ilvl 636, but that is being brought down quite a bit by the fact that I still have my legendary cloak equipped and a 615 trinket. I also have not been running challenge modes, so the rest of my gear is either crafted or 630 stuff.
I do actually have some nice pieces. Most notably is my gun, Shrediron’s Shredder of the Savage. I’ll be upgrading that to stage 3 (ilvl 660) today which is going to be a huge weight off my shoulders. Why? Because traditionally I have terrible luck with ranged weapon drops. I know everyone says this, but I truly mean it. I spent the entirety of Throne of Thunder with a 516 heroic scenario weapon. I killed Lei Shen with a heroic scenario weapon. I went into Siege of Orgrimmar with a heroic scenario weapon. My raid never sees ranged weapon drops. It never saw one in Siege until a year after the fact, and the only reason I got one before that was because of bonus rolls.
So no, crafting this gun was not a waste of money. It lets me enjoy myself without worrying when I’m going to finally get a half decent weapon. I achieved this by having 3 toons cranking out Gearspring Parts. My main crafted the gun and the first upgrade, and an alt is crafting the second upgrade. The third alt had been churning out Didi’s Delicate Assemblies so I could reroll the gun to “of the Savage” (multistrike+crit). Now that third alt will be relegated to making my Wormhole Centrifuge, Blingtron 5000, and other fun engineering stuff.
Continue reading Ready for Highmaul
I know it’s been a few days since I’ve posted, but I’ve got a good excuse with, you know, Warlords coming out and all. I was thankfully immune from most of the launch issues. I was there at the first minute, and with a group of guildies I managed to get ahead of the main crowd. I was level 99 by the time I logged off for good after a very long Thursday. Then Friday morning I hit 100.
One thing I’ve been pretty amazed about regarding the site is the insane amount of traffic the Gara taming guide post has been getting. Over 125,000 people have viewed it so far. Clearly Gara is a popular thing! As nice as it is to have a guide on how to do it all, I can’t help but wonder if we’d still be trying figuring it out had it not been possible to do the datamining… or even know to look in the data at all.
A lot of people have requested an uncorrupted version of Gara, like she is when you first find her. I think it would be amazing if Blizzard snuck in a future followup (without telling us it was going in) where you could uncorrupt her somehow. *wink wink* *hint hint*
Continue reading First 5 days of Warlords: Gearing up, garrisons, and hunter stuff
Warlords… it’s so close!
I’ve received some requests to do a post about garrisons, so here it is. It seems there is still a lot of confusion about this feature (hey, I’m still a bit confused myself!) so in an effort to help clear things up, I’m going to let you know what my first garrison is going to look like and why. I don’t claim to be an expert on garrisons — for the most detailed information you’ll want to check out Wowhead guides or Alternative Chat’s To Build a Home garrison blog — my post is simply intended to give you more information to help make your own decisions.
My main motivations for choosing what I did is probably 75% efficiency and 25% fun. After the initial rush at the beginning of the expansion (and once more alts are leveled with their own garrisons), that ratio will probably reverse. But to start, this is what it’s tentatively going to look like.
Continue reading My Garrison Plans: What buildings and why
While I think this was definitely Blizzard’s best BlizzCon yet, it wasn’t my best BlizzCon. Why? Not enough WoW! 😥 One of the highlights for me was actually the World of Warcraft: Looking for Group documentary they premiered yesterday. It was great! I highly recommend watching that if you haven’t yet.
The WoW panels themselves were simply disappointing. The “classes and items” panel was a rehash of the same information they gave us at the last BlizzCon. It was almost surreal watching them talk about stuff that has been on the live game servers for nearly a month. Yes, Blizzard, we know that hit and expertise have been removed. I’m pretty sure everyone watching did too since they are big enough of a fan to actually pay to watch it. 😉 The cinematics panel was interesting.
The Q&A panels are another topic entirely, but I won’t complain too much. All I’ll say it PLEASE, for the love of Elune, vet the questions next time! That way we won’t have 3 questions about eyebrows, some guy complaining that his account gets locked, and other wastes of time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the odd fun question like “can we get bacon in the game?” for a laugh here or there, but there was so much wasted potential. Why didn’t anyone ask about 6.1, 6.2, etc.? Gah! At least we had Red Shirt Guy. Maybe they can do half of them as Twitter questions next year? Those can at least be vetted.
I was really expecting one of the panels to be about Warlords content patches since they obviously can’t talk about the new expansion yet. I fully understand these guys have been ridiculously busy finishing the game and probably didn’t have time to make a presentation, but I still wish they would have talked about it at some point. Maybe some of the press interviews will yield some new WoW information, because the convention itself certainly didn’t. I think the only breaking piece of WoW news was the charity pet (which I’ll buy immediately — space goats FTW). More wasted potential was not having some kind of “garrison workshop” panel where they go through the buildings and explain how it all works. So many people are still confused about garrisons.
Continue reading Looking back at BlizzCon, looking forward to Warlords
Blizzard just posted some new class tuning hotfixes which should go live soon. Even though most of this is nerfs, I have to say these are reasonable changes based on where we stood after the last round of buffs we received. Combined with the changes to other classes, we were doing quite well at level 100 (at least Beast Mastery and Marksmanship).
Originally Posted by Blizzard
• Adaptation now increases Combat Experience’s damage increase to 70% (down from 85%).
• Chimaera Shot’s damage has been reduced by 13%.
• Focusing Shot now has a 2.5 second cast time (down from 3 seconds), and its damage has been increased by 25%.
• Kill Command’s damage has been increased by 20%.
I can’t help but feel like these Focusing Shot changes are Blizzard’s somewhat desperate attempt to get people to actually take the talent. I’m sure there’s some hunters out there chomping at the bit for it. However, the problem for me (and many other hunters) is that it’s just not worth the hassle. It can definitely do competitive DPS with the other level 100 talents, but it comes with a severe handicap. These changes certainly help, but it’s still not something I’m really interested in. The extra damage is miniscule in the grand scheme of things, although the faster cast time is nice. For me, Focusing Shot looked really good on paper, but in practice it just flunked out.
Continue reading More number tuning for hunters, and it seems pretty reasonable
Good news! And no, my awesome matching talbuk mount and pet combos have nothing to do with it.
We’ve been complaining about our numbers for a while, but most of our evidence was based on simulations, which the devs were quick to dismiss. Now that we have actual logs to back it up, it’s becoming clear that hunters (at least BM and SV specs) are a teensy bit on the weak side right now.
Survival actually received some hotfix buffs on patch day: 12% to Explosive Shot, Black Arrow, and Serpent Sting, but it still wasn’t enough. Even Marksmanship — our top spec right now — is up to 50% behind the currently overpowered classes. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect perfect balance in a prepatch like this when most of the balance design is focused on level 100. However, the results for hunters at level 100 are mirroring the level 90 results, just not as dramatically.
Continue reading Celestalon: “Hunters are just at the top of our list right now”