Friday, February 25, 2011

4.1 PTR Gear Improvements

I'm one daily heroic from swapping two heroic pieces of gear out for two pieces of the "tier-11" gear.  I was trying to decide if I wanted the gauntlets and chest pieces or the gauntlets and leg pieces.  I'm glad didn't buy anything yet because it looks like the crafted gear is getting buffed. These were originally slated to have the slots added, but they canceled it.  Now it looks to be back in.  But with good socket bonuses.

I currently have both of these crafted mail items.

Chest: Current - PTR
Belt: Current - PTR

As you can see, thanks to the red socket bonus and desirable +40 agility gem, these would net +30 agility each.  This is definitely worth considering if you have either and are thinking of retiring them.  So hold on to them until 4.1 rolls around!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Marksman 4.0.6 Latest Hotfixes

I used Female Dwarf to look at different talent possibilities, different shot rotations, and generally changing anything from my previous post.  There do not appear to be any significant changes.

You still will do non-instant Aimed Shots as a focus dump.  You still avoid Arcane Shot.  You have the same talents.  All good except you'll be doing less damage.  Any other alterations don't look like they can squeak out more dps.

Revised: Survival 4.0.6 Latest Hotfixes Talents and Serpent Spread

Survival Talent Overview
For Survival it looks like 3/7/31 gets me the best bang for the buck.  However, I'm thinking 2/7/32 may be better for the AoE encounters.  In both cases, I'm opting out of some free pet focus for the now very potent one with nature talent.  At 85, our Aspect of the Hawk is getting us 2000 AP or 2600 AP with a full three points in one with nature.  REVISION:  I haven't figured out the Serpent Spread question, but I'm going with a different 3/7/31.  It is a theoretical +41dps (meaning nothing) but it gives up on point in the stay-in-one-spot buff talent, which is often questionable, for an always-there buff.

Serpent Spread Now Makes Serpent Stings
While playing with the target dummy I noticed something interesting.  I do not know exactly when this happened.  I suspect it is new.  It used to be the case that when I multi-shotted, my serpent spread talent would apply a DoT very similar but not exactly the same as a Serpent Sting.   In the past, I could not "re-fresh" that DoT with a cobra shot.  But now we can.

3/7/31 or 2/7/32?
Multi-shot is generally not modeled or considered important for most fights.  AoE is kinda dumb, but we still like Survival for it's awesome multishot ability.

I don't know is if the 9 seconds of a tier two serpent spread with the improved serpent sting talent uses that 9 seconds now.  Again, this really isn't modeled anywhere that I know of.  Generally, when I am AoE'ng I don't wait 9 seconds between multi-shots.  At most, I'll do one cobra shot in-between.  That's far less than 9 seconds of DoT time.  So I don't know if I should recommend a level 1 serpent spread or a level 2 serpent spread.  I do know however that taking a third point in one with nature gets you a nice single target boost.  It would also help boost all serpent stings which use a (RAP * 0.4 + (460 * 15 sec / 3)) damage formula.

I suspect, I'll have to go back to the various forums and see if there are any claims with confirmations about the behavior of Serpent Spread DoTs.

Beastmastery in 4.0.6 Post-Hotfix

I show BM as vastly more potent than it was.  I also show it besting SV by a small margin (without factoring in AoE).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hot fix makes senseless overuse of Aimed Shot dumb

This is coming in on Tuesday:
  • Aimed Shot damage has been decreased to approximately 160% weapon damage (at level 80+), down from 200%.
  • Aspect of the Hawk now provides around an additional 2000 attack power at level 85.
It makes the senseless overuse of Aimed Shot dumb.  Aimed Shot is still a good focus dump, but it isn't something to avoid a Chimera Shot for.

The change also helps out SV and BM a bit too.

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    Marksman Hunter DPS in 4.0.6

    I am using a 7/31/3 Marksman talent build for all my non-AoE fights.  I've heard a few questions about talents in the past week or two.  First, you want one point in Rapid Killing so you can get Rapid Recuperation's big benefit of +50 focus.  Second, I put two points in Frenzy and three in Pathing.  This works best for my gear.  For other gear levels reversing the two may be marginally better.

    I am habitually addicted to double-tap Kill Shots.  A better Glyph to take would be Chimera Shot. It's not radically better especially with the current de-emphasis on Chimera Shot. If you have double-tap Kill Shots wired into your fingers and you like to hit readiness right after to do a second round, then I recommend the following.  If you don't, then go with the Chimera Shot glyph instead of the Kill Shot glyph. The major and minor glyphs are good but not huge DPS differences.

    Shot Priority
    If you have call-outs on the timing of a boss pull, you can tee-off with a manual cast misdirecting Aimed Shot against a marked boss.  Pre-pots are kinda expensive and you lose ~3sec on the AiS cast time, so it's not exactly worth it in a majority of situations.

    Generally speaking for Marksman, you want to always be casting steady shot in pairs of two to keep your haste buff up.

    You want to toss your chimera shot to refresh your serpent sting.  It is possible to get better DPS right now by gaming the system by tossing a cobra shot, saving the focus and using it on manual cast aimed shots -- while the boss is at 80% or above.  If that was a confusing sentence, don't worry.  I don't recommend this. The shot priority you want is to do your two steadies, take your chimera shot when it's off cooldown to refresh the serpent sting, and use the manual long cast Aimed Shot as a focus dump.  If you can't do Aimed Shot because of moving, then and only then you can dump some focus by using an Arcane Shot.

    You will always take the focus-free instant Aimed Shot as soon as possible.

    Definitely don't forget to use Rapid Fire twice at the beginning of a fight and twice at the end.   Not only is it better to get to use it twice, but at the beginning you are in the Careful Aim health range and at the end you are in the Kill Shot health range.  (Make sure to get an extra two Kill Shots with that readiness.)

    Your meta gem is new.  It's most likely still a little pricey.  It is worth it.  You should ignore socket bonuses in almost all cases and gem for agility.   If the socket bonus is too incredibly tasty stop and consider that agility is at least twice as good as crit.  Often it's three times as good.  Do the math.

    Reforge everything that can be made crit into crit.  Then reforge everything that isn't crit into hit until you meet the hit cap of 961 hit rating.  Then the rest to haste until your personal soft cap, and then mastery.  You can find out your personal haste soft cap with a nifty little tool.  Or you can see what works for you by playing with the shot simulator and varying your haste and raid buffs.  There probably wont be too much wiggle room anyway.

    Note: I was planning on letting things settle down, but it's time for an update.  That said, we have a nerf to Aimed Shot en-route.  I authored this post in anticipation of that, but also with the current state of play.