Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Save 100% of the Aggravation for 10% of the DPS

Taking a page form a comment made by Jaeger over on a post at the hunters hall.  I decided to play around with some numbers myself and he is indeed right.

At level 90 with the starter level 90 gear, hit and expertise capped of course, I checked the rotation a lot of different ways for survival.  With dire beasts, crows and stampede, without one, without two and without all three.

The numbers were actually surprising when looking at them and I need to wonder about the accuracy of it.  I look forward to seeing if it hold true later on.

With none of those my DPS dropped 10%.  DB was roughly 5%, crows 4% and stampede 1%.

So, if you drop all the new stuff completely, with the exception of readiness, you would only lose 10% DPS.  Over all that is not a great deal of DPS when you notice that the average players can not even reach cap for possible damage done.

Lets say, for arguments sake you can pull 50K with all that stuff executing perfectly.  If you lose dire beast, stampede and crows you can only pull 45K.  However, and here is the huge part, the rotation for 45K will be a lot easier to maintain in a raid setting for most players, myself included.

So lets say you are capable of doing the easier rotation near perfect, lets call it 90%, but the harder rotation at only 80% capability, which would still be quite exceptional as less than 5% of the player base can even surpass 70%.  That would mean the easy rotation of 45K you would do 40,500 DPS working at 90% with the easier rotation and the 50K harder rotation you would be doing 40K being you are not as good with it and only doing 80% of your capability due to its difficulty.

So the question is, would you be willing to sacrifice 10% theoretical DPS, for 100% less stress?

And even possibly more DPS doing the easier rotation because you can do it better?

If you wanted to, you could even slowly work your way up to the harder rotation.  Add stampede back, it is a long cooldown.  Maybe add the others as you get ready for them one at a time.  Add them when you are comfortable, not three or four new abilities at once, but one new one at a time until you are ready for the next one.  Word to the wise when adding thing back, dire beast is the biggest reward for the smallest cost.

Jaeger did some fine work getting those numbers, thank you for doing that.  I had to check them myself of course and you are dead on accurate.  The new abilities are not all that, even more so if you are losing DPS trying to keep that harder rotation tight.

So remember, you are better off doing it old school at 90% of your ability than you are doing it new school at 80% of your ability.  If you really care about you DPS you have only 2 choices, play better and do the hard version better, or do the easier version, as it could net you more DPS in the end than mutilating the harder rotation would.

The next part is lifted from jaeger's post there, hope he does not mind, if you want it removed just let me know.  Just putting it here so people can read it.

GC sounds like a politician with that response. He talks a lot but he doesn’t say anything. The only meaningful thing is the last statement. It’s something that I was planning to investigate anyway. What happens if I don’t use Ability X in my rotation?
I tested using femaledwarf, BM lvl 90 with 496 gear (hit and exp capped) no buff/debuffs, and removed one ability from the rotation at a time. The results were interesting to say the least.
Ability – DPS – DPS loss (%)
All abilities – 61602.76 – 0.00%
Cobra Shot – FD crashed…
Arcane Shot – 56989.95 – 7.49%
Kill Command – 57749.84 – 6.25%
Dire Beast – 58003.17 – 5.84%
Lynx Rush – 58796.08 – 4.56%
Bestial Wrath – 59284.06 – 3.76%
Readiness – 59976.68 – 2.64%
Glaive Toss – 60093.76 – 2.45%
Focus Fire – 60113.03 – 2.42%
Serpent Sting – 60215.59 – 2.25%
Rapid Fire – 60412.26 – 1.93%
Stampede – 60734.85 – 1.41%
Kill Shot – 60767.13 – 1.36%
Kill Shot and Stampede are pretty pathetic. Rapid Fire, Serpent Sting, and Focus Fire while standard abilities that we used before aren’t very powerful. Glaive Toss is rather lame for a lvl 90 talent. Readiness, while a cool addition to our toolset, does not have a huge impact on our dps. Dire Beast and Lynx Rush are worth more than Bestial Wrath, which just seems wrong. Cobra Shot, Arcane Shot, and Kill Command are at least still our top priorities.
So let’s see if we can figure out what our 90% priority list might look like.
Let’s start by dropping all the new abilities: Dire Beast, Lynx Rush, Readiness, Glaive Toss, and Stampede. The Back-to-basics rotation.
54793.08 11.05%
Pretty close to 90%. Let’s add Stampede back since it’s cool and it’s not hard to deal with since it’s such a long CD.
55740.32 9.52%
So there we go. The Back-To-Basics + Stampede 90% rotation. Don’t use any of the new Talents or Readiness.
Or how about the MoP rotation. Keep the new abilities but throw out the old poor performers: Kill Shot, Rapid Fire, Serpent Sting, Focus Fire.
56000.89 9.09%
Actually a little high. Dropping Stampede takes us a little too low though.
55034.76 10.66%
There are of course several other ways to get to 90% by swapping out different abilities.
It would be very interesting to test this out in practice. If a human can do 85% of the max simulated DPS in a stand still tank & spank, they’re doing really good and it’s even harder in real raiding scenarios. A human may actually do better dps by simplifying their rotation instead of trying to pack in everything and get closer to the theoretical max for that rotation. Doing 90% of the 90% is the same as doing 81% of the 100%.
So if you’re having difficulty with the new game of whack-a-mole (I know I am), consider leaving something out and seeing if the simpler rotation gives you the same or better performance. You might be surprised at the results. And if you really get that nailed down, you can try adding things back in.
P.S. I played with a couple other things just for fun.
The Cobra Shot rotation: 30077.18 51.18%
The CS+AS rotation: 39597.64 35.72%
The CS+AS+KC rotation: 42690.93 30.70%
P.P.S. HUGE THANKS to Zeherah for all her hard work in creating femaledwarf.com and making all this possible.
Additional information for SV:

Dire Beast: 5.25%
Crows: 3.68%
Stampede: 0.8% (yes, you read that right)
Glaive Toss: 2.53%

Additional information for MM:

Dire Beast: 4.18%
Crows: 4.45%
Stampede: 1.6%
Glaive Toss: 3.62%


  1. Thanks a lot for highlighting this on your blog and for double checking the numbers for BM and testing it for SV as well.

    I'm anxious to test it out in practice in some LFR/HoT runs and see how my dps compares at 85 at least. I don't have a 90 on the beta to test it there though.

    1. I manually made a 90 for female dwarf and put on starter level 90 gear from dungeons to work it out.

      I also went over the numbers and posted the actual percentages for MM and SV. I noticed when I first tested it I forgot glaive toss, so it is 12%, not 10%, but the idea still holds.

      Seems stampede is not a lot, but being it is a long cooldown, it is not a big deal that it is such a low amount.

      In my opinion I would rather have had a whole mess if 5 minutes cooldowns than these more active ones that mess up an already really tight rotation.

  2. I agree, but to be blunt GC cs always came across as a bit...anal. Like we discussed till death, the things he's concerned with are of no concern to the vast majority of people.

    I don't think I'm alone in mostly haven taken Passive Talents, the less clutter the better.

    1. If there was a passive talent that would give me the same DPS as the active one I would take it in a heart beat.

      On my other character, where I had the choice and do not care as much being they are alts, I took passives every chance I could. On my hunter however, I always try a little harder being it is my main so I am trying to squeeze in all this useless clutter.

      They need to fire GC and hire someone that actually know something about people, gaming and complexity.

      I've said it before and it should be said again, how this man still has a job is beyond me. I'll bet he has nude photos of the owner of the company with an underage donkey or something. There is no way he would still be employed after the disaster that cataclysm was unless he had something over the person that signs the checks.

    2. I'm not sure if it's mainly GC or certain devs that are responsible for Hunter design. Either way they've completely butchered the talent redesign. If they couldn't get that right I shutter to think of what convoluted, ham fisted design they come up with for aspects. Pretty sure it's time for me to move on from the class. It's just endlessly frustrating watching them blow it every xpac.

    3. I am sure it is not GC that is all to blame but in his own words he said, anything that is wrong with the game or design you can blame on me. So I will gladly blame it on him. If he wants to take the heat for it, he should, and spend that time on the unemployment line thinking about his mistakes.

  3. They really did a number on this class. What the hell were they thinking adding 3 dps tiers? The whole idea was to give us interesting abilities that couldn't be "mathed" out. Now were left with a ton of boring dps buttons and our signature shots keep getting nerfed because of it. Really poor design.

    Also, I knew Stampede would be completely underwhelming when people were clamoring for it. Not to mention how buggy pets are. The novelty of the animation will wear off and people we'll realize they got screwed.

    1. When I got it on beta I played with it a little. Had fun with my massive call of pets and then about 4 or 5 casts of it later, I forgot all about it and never used it again.

      It is a gimmick ability that can be fun from time to time and could offer a little PvP use for burst or target disruption but for PvE its uses are limited. Sure, even a 0.8% DPS increase is fine, even more so when it has such a long cooldown we will not use it often.

      I agree however, three new buttons from skills and one more from an ability along with some minor mechanic changes is just too much. Not because it is hard but because it is not worth it.

      Like you said, keep our signature shots big instead of nerfing them over and over to try and make us use these new things.

      Who asked for 4 (or 5) new buttons? I know I didn't. The MM hunters rotation was already the second most involved in the game button wise as is, we did not need more crap on our bars. Not to mention, we have more skills, more active abilities, and more situational thing that can be used on a regular basis, we did not need more "filler" buttons when there were no open spaces to fill.

      How about giving my enhancement shaman a filler button? How about making energy regeneration higher and giving another buttons to rogues? How about adding more powerful DPS buttons for tanks being they only have one taunt so they can hold aggro though damage even easier? How about making things people might actually have a use for instead of adding buttons where they were not needed?

      And the kicker of it all is hunters now have the hardest rotation in the game button wise and do the least DPS in level 90 sims. And by least I mean they do over 40K less DPS than the top class.

      So your reward for doing the hardest rotation in the game correctly? You still get to be last in damage done.

      So were is my desire to do well? I could just slap my hand on the keyboard and finish last. If I am already a HUGE margin behind the top, over 40K, working my ass off, I'll just be 50K behind and do an easier rotation and not care any more.

      Seems the developers don't care so why should I?

    2. I'm right there with you buddy. Whats odd is we're seeing this absolutely massive dps variance with simc and yet GC said that every spec is within five percent of each other. Riiight...
      Ever since GC stated hunter damage was "a little high" at the end of Firelands, I just don't trust anything he says. Of course they ended up buffing us a month into DS which didn't do much for the hard core progression guys.
      The more I think about it the more I realize how awful Cataclysm was. The spine tendon fiasco, giving out legendary's like candy, a buggy and underwhelming final tier. Then there's the extremely poor spec balance where you were forced to spec SV then MM, then back to SV to stay competitive. BM was the cellar dweller through the entire expansion even after GC staked his reputation on making it competitive. I could go on and on...

    3. GC and math do not get along all that well. His 5% and everyone elses 5% are very different it seems.

      The reason hunters fell so badly was not really a balance thing, it was a legendary thing. Every ranged class in the game could use the legendary and like you said they were giving it out like candy, which meant the one ranged class that could not use it took a beating at the beginning of DS and needed a buff big time.

      I have never been a fan of survival. I downright dislike it but I was forced into it all expansion. I do like BM but not for raiding, pets are too unpredictable and they are much weaker now, I do not want random AoE to kill 50% of my damage. Personally I just want MM back. It is my favorite and now it is the lowest. Oh well, BM lovers have had to wait since BC to play again competitively, so I guess I'll have to wait a while as an MM hunter lover.

      Just think, he said only last week he likes where hunter DPS is right now. So looks like we are starting the expansion with three of the worst four specs for DPS being hunters. Woohoo, all specs are now frost mages. Oh wait, frost mages are good now. Darn.