Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hunter DPS Pro Tip #1: Plan Your DPS

Get a mental picture of the important things you're going to do before you start a boss fight.  Specifically, think about the transitions, think about if you're going to need any burn phases or any AoE phases.  Understand what talent tree will get you and how you'll operate with that spec.   Plan when you want to rapid fire(s) to maximize its use but also to maximize it against specific targets (e.g.- when they're > 90% health).  Plan your on-use trinkets based on the rapid fire and bloodlust/heroism.  Plan when you need to already be at max focus for a phase transition instead of trying to scrape together focus.

Somewhat independent of the particular fight transitions, you should know how long the specific fight will be.  How many times should you be able to use Rapid Fire?  When will bloodlust/heroism kick in?  For on-use trinkets, how and when will you use them?  Will you be using a DPS potion or a health potion on the fight?

Generally, you want to stack your "power up" buffs.  Use your trinkets as often as possible, but do use them during rapid fire.  For proc events, monitor them.  They'll usually pop pretty soon into a fight, when they do pop your manual power ups to multiply the benefit.

This doesn't happen much in Cataclysm, but it used to sometimes be prudent to not blow everything at once.  There were some level 80 boss encounters where you might blow everything and then find yourself incapacitated for a substantial amount of time.  In those types of fights, spreading out some of the risk was more prudent.


  1. i know stacking rapid fire and heroism are not optimal, but is it viable during burst phases?

  2. Good Rapid Fire question. I don't have the numbers, but no I suspect it isn't optimal. And possibly very not optimal for every spec. The main problem is that you'll be constrained by your global CDs and some specs will not be able to make use of their best shots.

    Marksman will be okay with it as they can always dump all their quickly gained focus into Aimed Shots which will also have extremely fast cast times and no CD on the use.

    SV and BM will both be doing very fast cobras, but SV will need to dump with non-optimal shots. BM should be okay with Kill Command and Arcane Shot being available, but their auto shot and cobra shot will be insanely fast with Focus Fire rolling. The 6 sec CD of Kill Command will even be felt.

    But if the fight is only 6mins long and you're SV or BM, you're still best off by leading with a Rapid Fire and having a second one before the end of the fight.

  3. rule of thumb for stacking RF+AH:

    -yes: MM, but you might want to be careful if you're already at high haste levels (ie because of a haste proc like the long lasting ragna trinket). as long as you're at or above 0.9 AiS cast time, you're fine.

    -no: BM/SV. there's no point in having a CS cast speed below 0.9. as a BM (my main spec in raids atm), make sure to monitor your CS cast time very closely generally because of focus fire. you don't want to blow it if you're already at 1.0 CS speed. there're lots of situations where that can happen, especially because you're hasted for quite a long time.

    test and check which proc/CD combinations push you below a certain cast speed