"What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

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"What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Doug on Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:57 am

I have been running heroics somewhat more regularly of late and one thing I have noticed is that group composition with buffs makes a huge difference. This is fairly obvious of course, but what I have been noticing is that shammies do something that makes threat go through the roof.

I was wondering if anyone has noticed this too, and whether anyone knows specifically what causes it.

From what I can tell it is specifically enhance shammies, leading me to think that windfury may be at work here, but I cannot see how auto attacks can be making such a big difference no matter how fast they get. The other candidate is Strength of earth, but I don't see the same effect with DK's. The same thing goes for unleashed rage and elemental oath only gives 5% extra crit.

All this leads me to an odd thought... Does [WOW]57722[/WOW] Totem of Wrath affect our pets Spell Bonus and cause this? If does anyone know of any other way to do this without having a shammie about?


Last edited by Doug on Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:41 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Doug on Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:22 am

Sorry for the cheesy double post and reply to my own question, but I think I may have an answer to the mystery:

Apparently it seems that Totem of Wrath, instead of putting a buff on you, puts a debuffs on enemies, thus allowing TS to take advantage of it.

I would have to do some testing to see if this is in fact the reason, but it kinda makes sense (except in that ToW is actually an elemental totem not enhance). If anybody gets a chance to group with a shammie, is it possible to check this out?

If I am indeed correct it bodes ill for getting the same effect in any other way, but bodes very well indeed for the off-chance that we get Spell Power scaling in 3.3. From the Wowwiki entry article in ToW it seems that it is only the crit modifier which is a debuff.
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Kurasu on Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:51 am

Have you considered that it's a casting of Frost Shock?

http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=49236

Notice:
Causes a high amount of threat.

I can also ask an Enhance shaman friend of mine about what could be causing it. I've often complained about the threat-pulling ability of HanceShams and RetPallies. So maybe I'm not the only one. Very Happy
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Doug on Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:40 am

No, I mean I see a lot more threat generated by my pet, although shamans can be terrible aggro hogs anyway.

There is some buff that they put down that is really effective for pet threat, the only other explanation could be a string of extremely lucky TS crits when running I these groups, but I would be very surprised if that were the case.
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Kurasu on Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:20 pm

Doug wrote:No, I mean I see a lot more threat generated by my pet, although shamans can be terrible aggro hogs anyway.

Oh, wow. I totally misread that, then. Very Happy

Which case, I envy you; like I said aboe, HanceShams are some of the biggest trouble I have aggro-wise. I'd like a little of your extra aggro-holding power! Wink But you're definitely right: the extra debuff would definitely add damage to the Thunderstomp, and with added damage comes increased threat. If yuo get to test it before I tag my hsammy friend, I'd love to hear it. Because who knows? Might be able to find some other debuffs that have a similar effect, and can add to our ability in a party/raid situation.

... if the DPS are willing to take some time out of their damage to throw it on, of course. Wink
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Doug on Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:49 am

I know what it is now!

It is the Flame Tongue Totem, because it adds spell damage directly. I was seeing 600 non crit damage TS's testing on TFA today. I am pretty sure it could only be caused by that totem (especially since I asked the shammy to drop it). It doesn't affect spell bonus at all it seems.

This might explain why I noticed the difference running with an enhance shammy, who would have dropped this instead of ToW which grants spellpower directly, I am 99.9999% certain that Hunter Spell Power does nothing for TS.

So the question is: Does anything else have a similar effect?

P.S. It seems I was wrong about ToW working through a debuff, it seems it is only the crit portion of it works like that.
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Kurasu on Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:17 pm

H'OK! I finally got around to talking to my Enhance Shammy friend. She wasn't positive of any of them specifically, but the ones she thought would be a likely candidate:

Flametongue Totem: Like you suggested, the addition of spellpower directly to TS.

Strength Of Earth Totem: Not only a buff to the pet directly (an extra 178 strength and agility from a hancesham) but a buff to the hunter (agility = RAP).

Unleashed Rage: Another one that's buff to both pet and hunter.

The shammy friend and I experimented some on target dummies. We did 10 thunderstomps on the target dummies, which ended up being 30 attacks altogether (thanks to three dummies being in range). Numbers were garnered with SCT (scrolling combat text), rather than directly from the combat log. The following things were noticed:

Average Panzer TS was around 370, give or take. This was on three targets (he was focused on the Heroic dummy).

Panzer with only Flametongue was a regular 368, give or take. I'm honestly not sure how it brought it *down*, but that was the case. We tested it three times (as in three rounds of 10 TS). I suspect that it was within the 'give or take' of above and just having low rolls, but it was definitely not adding to the damage.

Panzer with only Strength Of Earth was definitely higher, at around 385 on average. This shows to me that TS is scaling to the pet's AP rather than SP.

SoE + Unleashed Rage brought that number up still further, to 400 give or take. I was watching the pet to make sure, and yes. The debuff does apply directly to the pet as well as to the hunter.

Windfury applied to the pet, but since Growl and TS are both limited by their cooldowns, rather than by their haste, I doubt that this has much to do with it.

Totem Of Wrath, checking it out, didn't seem to increase the crits enough to make a huge difference. About 1 in 4 rather than 1 in 5, which is within the realm of 'luck of the draw'. And again, the damage from the increased spellpower wasn't doing anything.

From the above, my suspicion would thus be that the combination of a SoE and Unleashed Rage is the most likely perpetrator in the 'high threat' combo. Pets' damage definitely scales from strength rather than agility.

For the record, I tested a strength scroll on my pet. +20 strength = +40 AP. So the SoE totem is a *big* boost to the pet's AP as well as crit.

I couldn't get the 600 non-crit damage try as I might. I'm assuming this was with buffs on the pet as well as the shaman stuff. Panzer might be low in damage, but I didn't think it was *that* much difference from other folks' tankpets. Hopefully. Wink


Last edited by Kurasu on Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:32 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : More detail on how we did the 'experiment', so people know that it wasn't a long scientific trial, but a fairly small number of tests.)
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Doug on Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:15 pm

Aah Sad

That 600 non-crit TS was really just picked out of my combat log on TFA, it wasn't a controlled test. I assumed I didn't have any buffs active at the time, but is is quite likely that we killed the dragon quickly enough that it was under the effect of BW, or I might have popped the trinket at the start and it was still up.

The other shammy I spoke to also suggested Strength of Earth as the culprit so your analysis is most likely correct. Good to know I suppose.

Thanks for helping me test that cheers
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Doug on Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:13 pm

Double post sorry, I ran with a DK today and it does look like it is that Strength/Agi buff that makes such a big difference, especially since the strength also adds to our AP almost 1/1.
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Kurasu on Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:41 am

Doug wrote:Double post sorry, I ran with a DK today and it does look like it is that Strength/Agi buff that makes such a big difference, especially since the strength also adds to our AP almost 1/1.

Wow, really? So using strength gear wouldn't be a 100% waste after all? I may have to keep that in mind for eyeing up some of these stamina rings. Wink

When you say 'AP', do you mean 'RAP' as well? Or does it only add to melee? And does it add in to pet damage?
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Doug on Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:18 am

Ooh heck you may be right about that, I was just reading off the stat sheet, never really thought about it before...

Nope, you're right the character sheet doesn't differentiate the two Strength does nothing for us Sad , but what might at least have a substantial effect is the fact that the pet has quite low AP to begin with and Strength to AP is a roughly 1-2 conversion. That means that the 155 Strength amounts to 300 pet AP, which when the pet has only ~2k to begin with is substantial, my pet talent sheet conversion suggests 50 pet dps just from that.

By way of comparison the Agi component of the buff looks like it only adds around 7 dps to the pet's own attack and 18 spell bonus. I am not sure what 18 spell bonus means on terms of a TS though, I assume it is not 1-1. Obviously growl would be more substantially affected. I'm pretty sure that the Agi component on the pet does not make THAT big a difference to his crit (I figure about 2-3%).

What I can say for certain is that the spike threat I am seeing at the start goes up to 4k Tps at times with this buff (if this is what it is), while I normally fight to maintain 2k. Unless I am imagining things it is a noticeable and substantial difference. It is probably just a confluence of the extra CS procs, the pet AP, RAP and pet crits that makes the difference.

I think the lesson that I will take from this is probably that it is worthwhile to put a Strength Scroll on George, rather than Agi as I have been doing.
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Durante on Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:42 am

The situation as far as I can tell is that the buff improves your pets TPS in 3 different ways which combine to make a fairly significant impact.

Strength on the hunter does nothing for the pet, since pet's don't scale from a hunter's AP, only RAP.
Pets get AP from their own Strength, but not their own Agility.
Pets do get crit from agility, but its relatively small compared to the AP they would get from Strength.
Your pet's Growl scales directly from the hunter's RAP.
Thunderstomp does not scale with spell power at all.

So with a group buff that adds 155 Agi and Str, the pet will will get 310 AP from Str, and an additional 45 (155 x 29%) AP from the hunter's 155 agility, for a combined 355 AP. Multiply that by 10% for Animal Handler and that comes to a 391 AP boost from both you and your pet having Strength of Earth.

The 355 Agility to the pet give about 2.48% crit to the pet.

Assuming your deep BM, you'll gain 155 RAP from the agility which scales up your pet's Growl by... who knows.
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Doug on Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:25 pm

The only thing is that the effect I am seeing, or think I seeing appears much larger than that analysis would suggest, or that I would have guessed from just looking at the stats.

Another thing which one must include is kings (let's say the 10% for arguments sake, but I am a leatherworker so I always have a least the drums). That adds another (4.5 + 31)1.10=39, bringing the total to 430. Then one needs to add Wild Hunt as well which would bring the total to 559 if it is additive like that.

Zomg! One buff that adds almost 30% AP to my pet and adds a good chunk of crits for CS?

I must remember to make more shammy and DK friends it seems.
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Durante on Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:53 pm

If you want to see how profound a effect buffs have on your pet, you should really try out Shandara's hunter DPS spreadsheet over at Elitist Jerks.

Shandara's Spreadsheet

Depending on what gear you use when tanking you might have to type your gear into the custom gear part of the sheet, but when you adjust the settings on the buffs tab it really shows how huge of an effect those buffs have on your pet's DPS, and in turn TPS. It changes depending on your gear, talents, ect, but with 25-man style buffs your pet will do somewhere in the area of 2.5 times the DPS as he would with no buffs.
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Kheldul on Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:35 pm

Durante wrote:Strength on the hunter does nothing for the pet, since pet's don't scale from a hunter's AP, only RAP.
Pets get AP from their own Strength, but not their own Agility.
Pets do get crit from agility, but its relatively small compared to the AP they would get from Strength.
Your pet's Growl scales directly from the hunter's RAP.
Thunderstomp does not scale with spell power at all.

These are really good gems that should be kept safe. ;-)
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Doug on Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:49 pm

Thunderstomp does not scale with spell power at all.

What I had thought though, which was what prompted this thread, was that there may have been some buff that affected the pet directly that scaled their spell bonus. Sadly it seems that is not the case.

Mechanically then it seems that our pets just do not have a spell power stat to begin with and that the spell bonus is just applied directly. It is things like this that makes pet scaling with all stats a nightmare I can imagine, if they had just done a full implementation from the start they would have made there lives so much easier from a coding point of view.

It is still good to know the the Agi/Str is such a huge benefit, because I used to dismiss it as fairly moderate.
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Durante on Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:44 pm

Sorry if I'm not understanding what you're saying correctly, but I just want to make sure that people understand what's going on with the spell power issue.

Pets can get spell power directly from group buffs, and they get spell power scaling from the hunter's RAP. However, Thunderstomp doesn't scale from SP but the pet's AP instead. There are pet abilities that scale from spell power, Thunderstomp just isn't one of them.

To the best of my knowledge, all pet family spells that deal magic damage scale from spell power, so for tenacity pets the only things that will scale with spell power are worm's Acid Spit and scorpid's Scorpid Poison.
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Doug on Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:05 am

I just wrote and deleted a whole long monologue before re-reading the above post and finally figuring it out.

You mean to say that before they changed TS to "physical coefficient" this would have worked? I wasn't aware of that, I though it was only the scaling coefficient and crit sizes that was affected, not the entire mechanism for scaling. OOOOOOH....

So Thunderstomp is classified as a straight physical attack now but scales just like Growl does, i.e. not through intermediate pet stats at all?

I see now, well that sucks Sad, I only really got into the technicalities of the stats after the change so I never really worked with the pre-change scaling. Pity. When they put things like this into the game it is no longer surprising that they get into coding tangles when they want to do things like stat scaling. GC hinted that a lot of the code is really bizarre and this just highlights it again.

Imo, the right way to go about it is just to have every spell scale from a smaller pool of stats and then have the irrelevant ones simply set to zero coefficients, but this probably is not the most efficient from a computing perspective when you have a large number of stats and a lot of AoE bombs going off. I think the whole removal of things like defense and ArP and AP and whatever else is probably aimed at fixing the mess they have dug themselves into with things like this. I was just reading on the tanking forums that "Thunderclap" still uses spell hit and crit rates, you have to wonder what on earth whoever coded that was drinking at the time.

Still, it is interesting about the fact that pets DO in fact scale with Spell Power buffs, that was what I was trying to ascertain through this whole process, but it is hard to do if you don't have shammy or warlock on hand.

Incidentally I heard that there may be a plan to unlock the pet talent trees in the future: in that case Tenacity Sporebats with Spell Power stacking may well be the future of pet tanking drunken.

Exclamation Actually, this whole process has led me to a rather interesting discovery!

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=21333623208&sid=1

From this thread I gather that it may be that going for 17% hit or something close to it may be worthwhile. Does anybody know if our Growls and Taunts ever miss because of this? Or are they treated differently as well.

I cannot recall ever seeing a TS miss, I am pretty sure that goes off the melee hit cap, but I have always assumed that pet growl does too and have never seen anything to the contrary. Our taunt itself is too weak to bother with if it is off spell hit though I'm sure. I will do some testing tonight after I finish my studies...
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Doug on Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:44 am

Sorry for the double post, but Growl doesn't appear in the combat log making it hard to tell if it ever misses. I tried it on my favorite test mobs (the Bone Sentinels) with 0 hit rating for a while and couldn't see any gaps apart from one which may have been lag.

From my little preliminary test it would appear that pet Growl cannot miss. Any ideas if it is possible to find out for sure except by sitting for hours timing Silverbacks (of course assuming that Silverback won't proc if Growl misses)?
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Kurasu on Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:56 am

Doug wrote:You mean to say that before they changed TS to "physical coefficient" this would have worked?

Yes. But as that's past, it's not important any more. Wink

So Thunderstomp is classified as a straight physical attack now

Thunderstomp does nature damage, which means in effect it's being classed as a magical damage. This can be doubly-proven by watching them either not use Thunderstomp against an immune character (smart pet AI) *or* by using Thunderstomp against a group that contains an 'immune' and seeing it come up as 'immune'. HOWEVER!

but scales just like Growl does, i.e. not through intermediate pet stats at all?

Here's the mistake. As my test proved, the pet's own direct AP had a large effect on the Thunderstomp damage. Thunderstomp is classified as a nature damage effect, whose power scales with the pet's AP.

From this thread I gather that it may be that going for 17% hit or something close to it may be worthwhile. Does anybody know if our Growls and Taunts ever miss because of this? Or are they treated differently as well.

Growl (and I would assume Taunt) go off the pet's physical attack stats, and scale (supposedly) to the *hunter's* RAP. There is quite a thorough testing on this very board if you glance at it. Very Happy But to make a long story short, yes. They can miss. So make sure that you (i.e. the hunter) are hit capped (8% hit, or 263 rating without the talent) before you tank. Unlike other tanks, our pets can't afford to miss a Growl or two because we can't make it up with 'other threat burst abilities'. Very Happy

Thunderstomp can also miss, according to SCT, but I've not seen it do so unless the pet was less than hit capped against the enemy it was fighting. I suspect that you're right; it goes off melee hit, though the spell damage can be resisted in many ways. Beware nature resistant/nature immune enemies. It can get ugly trying to tank them.
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Re: "What is it with them thar shammies", or "Random Scaling Musings"

Post  Doug on Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:07 am

As my test proved, the pet's own direct AP had a large effect on the Thunderstomp damage. Thunderstomp is classified as a nature damage effect, whose power scales with the pet's AP.

Ah! But are you sure you weren't getting the effect of the totem on you as well? The size of the effect suggests that it is the 155 RAP from the Agility coming into play and not the Strength on the pet.

Growl (and I would assume Taunt) go off the pet's physical attack stats, and scale (supposedly) to the *hunter's* RAP.

The size of growl does in fact scale only with hunter RAP, I remember the blue post when they confirmed it had changed that back in 3.0 if I am not mistaken. What I was wondering about though was the hit rating:

We know that pets get 100% of our hit, but for many tank classes Taunts scale not off the physical hit rating (i.e. 9%) but rather use the spell hit cap, which is 17%. This includes the druid Growl and things like Mocking Blow, both of these abilities being classed, incidentally, as physical effects (but with the spell hit cap).

What I was wondering if our Growl was treated like this, and if there was any way to test it short of staring at Omen, since growl does not appear on the combat log. I would assume that our Taunt IS treated like this though, but that it isn't worth the bother to try to hit 17% hit just for that. The fact that it is not classed specifically as a taunt effect suggests otherwise of course, but I was hoping for a more definitive answer.

Again, my anecdotal experience is that threat can sometimes be more spiky than one would expect if growls never missed, but it might very well be a host of other effects coming into play (notably TS crits).

If growl did have a 8% chance to miss even at our hit cap, a very effective way to improve threat may be to go well over 260 odd hit cap. I think I may go test this with 0 hit on the mobs patrolling the citadel, I think they are lvl 82 and hit like girls too, but I would need to build up mental reserves before such a massively tedious undertaking haha.

Beware nature resistant/nature immune enemies.

Good advice, I have seen Thunderstomp get quite a good deal of resists on occasion, and it can easily halve your damage.

Next time I run with DK's, Druid or Warlocks I will bug them ceaselessly for the Curse of Elements buff though, it should be one of the best TS increasing buffs in town.
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