Friday, May 11, 2012

The Power of Buffs for Survival

Out of boredom I decided I wanted to take a look at buffs and how each one effects me on a one on one basis and collectively.  Instead of doing my normal looking at them and pondering them I figured I should share what I was looking at.

As my extremely casual guild, with two hunters and a feral druid as the top DPS in a 10 man that only plays around 2 hours each week is attempting heroics here and there, I wanted to see what we can squeeze out DPS wise to make the fights easier.  Hence the reason for looking at buffs now.  The feral in our group is already top 20 on world of logs for all fights but me and my fellow hunter rarely rank.  Me only on two fights and him only on one and all those ranking are low rankings.

Hunter background.  Standard survival spec, standard ferocity pet spec.  All 397 gear, sporebeard gloves offspec, no spine trinkets and no DW weapon or bow.  Yes, over four months of clears and not a single bow has dropped for either of us hunters. :(

Aspect of the Hawk Only:
27242.19 DPS

Now to look at how all other buffs effect the hunter, no pet buffs are enabled for any of these numbers to make them natural and be able to see the impact of each buff/debuff on its own.

5% Stats Buff (All Paladins / All Druids):
+ 1078.19 = 28320.38 DPS

10% Attack Power (All Paladins / MM Hunter / Blood DK / Enhancement Shaman):
+2110.68 = 29352.68 DPS

5% Critical Strike (Feral Druid / Fury Warrior / Elemental Shaman / Subtlety Rogue):
+1063.82 = 28306.01 DPS

10% Attack Speed (SV Hunter / Frost DK / All Shaman via Totem):
+0 of course, as I am a survival hunter to begin with and it is always with me.

3% Damage Buff (Arcane Mage / BM Hunter / Ret Paladin):
+817.26 = 28059.45 DPS

549 Agility (All Warriors / All DKs / All Shaman via Totem):
+1681.71 = 28923.90

3% Haste (Dark Intent from a Warlock):
+656.28 = 27898.37 DPS

Tricks of the Trade, on cooldown, from any Rogue:
+721.64 = 27963.83 DPS

Tricks of the Trade, Glyphed, on cooldown, from a Rogue:
+481.09 = 27723.28 DPS

So looking at the numbers, the top 5 priority for buffs for a survival hunter to perform at peak efficiency are as follows:

10% AP > 549 Agility > 5% Stats > 5% Crit > 3% Damage

Now lets take a look at common debuffs, again, without any buffs to start and no pet buff given.

12% Armor Reduction (Sunder Armor / Expose Armor / Faerie Fire):
+352.04 = 27594.23 DPS

30% Bleed (Mangle / Trauma / Hemo):

4% Physical Damage (Blood Frenzy / Brittle Bones / Savage Combat):
+358.69 = 27600.88 DPS

8% Spell Damage (CoE / Earth & Moon / Ebon Plague / Master Poisoner):
+1461.99 = 28704.18 DPS

So looking at the numbers, the top 3 priority for debuffs for a survival hunter to perform at peak efficiency are as follows:

8% Spell > 4% Physical > 12% Armor

Now to look at these all combined in terms of pets a survival hunter should have out if that buff is not supplied.  Cross the buffs off the list as they are applied and take the best pet otherwise.  A few of the top buffs a survival can not bring, these include two of the very top ones and they are 10% AP and 5% Stats, however a beast master hunter can bring 5% stats with a shale spider.

The other three of main consequence are as follows:

Cat (549 Agility) > Dragonhawk or Wind Serpent (8% Spell) > Wolf  (5% Critical) 

Now to look at other buffs we can apply ourselves.

Food: 90 Agility (Skewered Eel / Seafood Feast):
+273.28 = 27515.47 DPS

Flask: 300 Agility (Flask of the Winds / Cauldron Flask):
+1160.66 = 28402.85 DPS

Potion: 1200 Agility for 25 Seconds (Potion of Tol'Vir):*
+316.72 = 27558.91 DPS

Potion: 1200 Agility for 25 Seconds + Prepot (Potion of Tol'Vir):**
+619.22 = 27861.41 DPS

* Number will increase if used during hero/lust, proc and/or cooldown usage.
** Number will increase based on timing for prepot and hero/lust, proc and/or cooldown usage.

This basically means that you, yourself, with no buffs other then hawk, can increase your DPS by, at minimum, 2053.16 DPS.  Over the course of a raid night in DS that could very well translate into as much 4,927,584 damage done.  You might think 2K DPS does not sound like a lot but when you look at it as 5M damage over a night, it is a lot.  So eat, drink your flask and use your potions, it matters.

Now lets look at that base number again, with just hawk, and add the best raid buffs to it.

All buffs and debuffs:
+15175.05 = 42417.24 DPS

Buffs make a huge difference don't they?

You just went from doing 27K DPS to 42K DPS just by having the best buffs you can have.

In 10 man raiding you will most likely not have all the buffs but with your pet you can try to fill the spots as needed as best you can.  For me and my current raid set up I am currently looking at this for what my best numbers should be:

My 10 Man with the buffs and debuffs we have:
+7378.87 = 34,621.06 DPS

I've been averaging 33K-35K, and even can reach 39K on ultraxion, so I guess I am doing just fine.

So if you are a hunter and wondering why you are seeing the top hunters average around 44K yet you can't seem to match that look at the buffs you have and base your performance on the buffs you currently have in your group, not the best the other hunters are doing. Not only might they have gear you do not, they might have buffs you do not and we have now seen the massive effect buffs can have on your numbers.

I am almost 8K under the max number I could be, and that is all because of buffs.  Not because of what I am doing but who I am doing it with.

Hope the little list helped some people in figuring out where their DPS is going wrong, I know it helped me move from thinking I was doing something horribly wrong to knowing I am doing something right.  I am reaching my maximum potential based on the gear and buffs I am currently running with.

I guess for my raid group the only thing I need to change is to get one of us hunters to switch to a wind serpent.  That will get my 34621.06 maximum potential up to 36083.05 DPS.  Might as well be me, I am running with a wolf, see picture on the top of blog, and we already have the critical buff.  Who would have thought a wind serpent could make that much of a difference?

Special thanks to Zeherah's Hunter DPS Analyzer for crunching all those numbers for me.


  1. Thanks, that was a very helpful post. It's one thing to know *in theory* that buffs are important, it's way more powerful seeing the actual numbers showing how much of a difference they make.

    You have convinced me to bench my beloved Ramparts wolf as well, at least for a while. :)

    1. Don't forget that your wind serpent will also help any other casters in your group if your group does not have that buff, so it helps a lot more then just the numbers I show.

      There is one in SH, grab that one while doing a mount run one time. That is where I got mine ages ago. It is a nice color too.

      I know what you mean. I "knew" these things before I decided to do it but now I really know them.

      Amazing how things seem more pronounced when it is broken down like that.