A little support?

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A little support?

Post  Doug on Fri May 29, 2009 9:24 pm

I am currently in the midst of heated debate with a bunch of BM dps hunters (yes they dop still exist) in the WoW forums. A little backup would be appreciated Smile.

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=17367600002&postId=173662308858&sid=1#204
I am Petitmort.

Nevermind, it died.
Nope, picked up again.
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Re: A little support?

Post  Nordh on Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:57 am

I'm a BM dps still. I wouldn't want BM changed to be more tank oriented at the cost of a dps spec. BM talent tree has both options at the moment, and there's really not much that need to be changed with the trees today in my opinion.

I would like to see a few minor changes. Like Catlike reflexes working with reduced crit as well as the dodge for example.

Also, I don't see how better survivability for the pet would increase the BM hunters dps unless you're bad in micromanaging your pet to start with. It is rare that my pet dies during raids. I can only think of one boss that's been sort of a pet killer for me and that's Mimiron. More due to lack of focus than anything else. Plus it can be really hard to see the red circle on the ground in melee when you're on the other side of the boss Wink

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Re: A little support?

Post  Doug on Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:15 am

No No.

I am not arguing that BM dps should be reduced or that it should not be fixed. I am arguing that it is unlikely to be fixed for now because of the complicated self imposed criteria for hunter balancing imposed by Blizz.There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that the BM cannot be a full MT tank tree and a full top tier dps at the same time (not chronologically speaking of course).

However, since the tanking fix is not exclusive of any dps fix and is eaiser to boot in terms of balance, that should be given priority by BM hunters if they want their spec to be useful in the near term. Otherwise they should not reject the notion out of hand since BM tanking can only increase the overall likelihood of hunters and BM hunters of any description being brought to a raid in the first place.

It is unlikely that BM can be the top Hunter dps tree at an even level with SV/MM though, one or the other has to be higher. Because of the limitations and restrictions as well as the mechanics. Remember hunters are the only class that is tied to their pets in all specs and we have no ranged pet either.

The survivability thing just goes to the fact that micromanaging pets is more costly to BM than to any other spec, since they have fewer dots and rely on the melee damage more. Also: More survivability=fewer pet deaths/less managing=higher dps. Whether or not the pet actually dies is not really at issue.

The overall point is pet tanking is in the interests of hunters n general and BM hunters specifically since they can enhance their Raid utility at no cost to dps, and since dps is low now for all hunters, and more especially BM for the foreseeable future this is needed.
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Re: A little support?

Post  Durante on Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:26 am

It seems to me that the new stat scaling with pets is a perfect opportunity for Blizzard to bring BM to the same level as MM and Surv in terms of PvE damage. If they just added Armor Pen, haste, and crit scaling of some type without reducing DPS elsewhere, it would result in a mild DPS buff for Survival and MM, and a very large buff to BM, which has only been receiving half effect essentially from these stats. Since this is already a change that they're working on, and seem to have a solid idea on how they plan on implementing it, the problem might fix itself when its implemented.
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Re: A little support?

Post  Doug on Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:02 am

I may be completely off on this one, but if the aim is to get BM and SV/MM to anywhere near comparable dps levels in theory or in practice I cannot see any kind change that would meet the criteria. Again this is largely because all hunter specs rely on pets and hunter damage and BM has a different ratio from the other two and is uniquely impacted by specific encounter design decisions impacting the two principle sources of damage, which are a) the pet, and b) the speed of attacks requiring no movement (auto-attack + steady) as well not having many static dots to apply.

I would rather have SV/MM buffed than messing around with impossible conundrums like that. Worst case scenario, as far as I am concerned both from a hunter standpoint and a pet-tanking enthusiast standpoint, is to end up with a third major change this expac resulting in BM becoming 'the only dps spec'. Quite frankly I see that as as the absolute worst case scenario and I am highly doubtful that GC's team will go for it largely because they have been messing hunters about quite a bit of late.

Let us say the damage is equalised, but the pets are made trivial to maintain, well then you can kiss tanking goodbye, plus possibly hunters dps lead. If BM is top dps, my offspec would almost certainly be MM/SV because they would then provide greater situational utility.
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Re: A little support?

Post  Nordh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:21 am

You don't see how this would benefit BM more than MM/Surv?

Say that both Surv and BM give 100 ArP to their pets with the new scaling.

Surv pet dps is about 10% of total dps.

BM pet dps is about 35% of total dps.

For Surv you have just added 100 ArP to 10% of your dps.

For BM you have just added 100 ArP to 35% of your dps.

And that's just one of the stats. Any and all stats will increase a BMs dps more than a Survs.

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Re: A little support?

Post  Doug on Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:44 am

Except it isn't as simple as that. It is not just a simple case of buffing BM, that is not the problem and there are any number of ways to fix that.

Simply buffing pets will mean that pet/master ratio is approaching 50/50. We known this situation will most likely be avoided.

BM suffers more in melee unfriendly fights and does has fewer tools to mitigate caster unfriendly fights (it will remain the spec most affected by movement). It will never truly balance out with the other two unless it has a much higher specific dps. Even if pet and master is simultaneously buffed to maintain the present ratio BM is affected by many more encounter variables than SV/MM is. Perhaps it is possible to find an exact balance point, but it would been much more difficult to achieve and I would rank it as highly implausible.

Remember that other pet classes have specs that completely do without the pets.
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Re: A little support?

Post  Kurasu on Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:14 pm

Doug wrote:BM suffers more in melee unfriendly fights and does has fewer tools to mitigate caster unfriendly fights (it will remain the spec most affected by movement).

Actually, I have to wonder how you came up with that. I've recently changed to a BM DPS build (we needed the raid synergy, and FI would be a bigger help than Replenishment since we had so many; besides, I've been considering it for a while), and when it comes to 'caster unfriendly' fights, I do tons more damage than I ever did as Survival.

Look at it this way: as Survival, my moth would do about 10% of my damage, if that, and would keep chewing on the enemy in a 'caster-unfriendly' fight. I could Deterrence out of the way, trap them, kite, concussive/wing clip, whatever to get away potentially as well.

As a BM, I can do the exact same things to get away, and if I can't, my Devilsaur is now doing 35-40% of my damage to the enemy. And I haven't lost all that much DPS between Survival and BM.

So, as a comparison: 2500 DPS hunter (to pick a number out of the air).

At 10%, I'll have 250 DPS on the enemy at all times.
At 40%, I'll have 1000 DPS on the enemy at all times.

That, to me, sounds as if the BM is the better of the two vs. 'caster-unfriendlies'.

.... now, against *melee* unfriendlies, give me the Survival any day. Avoidance or no, the pet can be killed.
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Re: A little support?

Post  Nordh on Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:14 am

Also, Surv is the most affected by movement since their talent gives them dps if they stand still. Most of the time, due to fights being pet overly friendly (I loved the MC/BWL kind of fights where you had to know what you were doing to play BM successfully), your pet can keep hitting a target, even if you have to move. That way you lose less dps when moving as BM.

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Re: A little support?

Post  Doug on Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:43 am

As a BM, I can do the exact same things to get away, and if I can't, my Devilsaur is now doing 35-40% of my damage to the enemy. And I haven't lost all that much DPS between Survival and BM.

You would think that, but two things argue against this:

Go for the throat.
BA/XS

Both MM and SV have a greater proportion of dps coming from dots. For shorter movements such as stepping out of void zones XS also counts as dot for SV and MM can keep the bleed up while moving. This in addition to the fact that the caster dps is more tied to the 'static shots' Steady and Auto (i.e. they will generate a higher proportion of Caster dps than the other two specs).

BM's pet damage is strongly related to Go for the Throat, which requires you to be generating focus through shots. More movement = less focus = lower dps. I am not sure if the ticks set off GftT anymore, but SV has very high crit rates in any event, meaning that XS shots generate more focus while moving than Arcane does for BM. MM not only has more shots, but as far as I know, both the Chimera-Serpent and Wild Quiver will proc GftT. Player crits is also essential for proccing Cobra strikes and thereby along with GftT, which increases the number of attacks per second and therefore pet crits and Frenzy, again these will increase there own procs and FI up-time in a virtuous cycle. This is why BM has a marked butter zone for player crits.

Check what the percentage difference in dps there is for your pet with and without you generating focus through GftT, if the percentage difference is the same or more than MM/SV is losing you are most likely losing more dps overall, since BM has fewer mitigating abilities. I haven't played with SV since BA was implemented on the PTR so I am not sure precisely how that horrible Sniper Training affects movement fights, but I suspect MM is now the spec to compare to anyway.

In terms of utility BM is no better than the other trees since the FI buff is brought by Ret pallies (fairly common as far as I have seen). Again here, the MM buff brings the most utility at this point since Blood DK's and Enhance shammies in raids are fairly rare right now, at least in my experience.
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Re: A little support?

Post  Nordh on Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:42 am

We always have a blood DK or Enh Shammy, and also a retradin. Surv gives replenishment, no matter if other classes also give it though. So for us, Surv has the best utility in that regard.

I fail to see how GftT would be much affected by movement as BM. Even while moving you often get off shots here and there, and it's rare that the pets focus is below 50% at any given time. Even if I have my pet on Heigan I can keep the focus up (you can have the pet hitting him for quite a while in dancing phase without dying) in phase 2. And if that's not a moving fight, then I don't know what is.

But even if it were no difference in performance while moving, Surv would still lose more dps due to their Sniper Training talent.

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Re: A little support?

Post  Doug on Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:57 am

The reason GftT is more affected for BM is because BM has the lowest crit rate of all the specs and also has the the same number of shots that can be used on the run to proc as SV and fewer than MM. MM will proc GftT off Chimera, Chimera/serpent, Aimed, Arcane, Auto, WQ, Silencing and Steady ( 8 ) while BM has ony Arcane, Auto, Aimed and Steady (4) to work with. On the run MM has CS+CS/S+Aimed+Arcane while BM has Aimed and Arcane, both on a much lower crit rate (at least 10% before working in the 4% agility from Combat Experience).

SV meanwhile has Sniper Training which gives a 9 second window for movement before dropping off, not so great on fights like Heigan but many movement fights (Sarth for example) do allow an opportunity for it not to drop off entirely I would imagine (you need six seconds), all the while having the extra dot up giving a chance for LnL. I must confess to not having run SV in a while though, since I always pick the spec least affected by movement because I hate movement restrictions lol. SV used to perfect for that in BC when BM really lost tons of dps from moving about, but then Steady was a lot larger proportion of the dps and arcane a lot less.

One way or another, the point is that BM does not have as much of an advantage in caster unfriendly fights as one would imagine from looking at the dps ratio alone, in fact it is quite possible that it is running level with the other two specs, behind even, in this scenario.
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Re: A little support?

Post  Nordh on Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:09 am

Doesn't matter that BM has fewer shots and less crit. Your pet should still be topped up. If you're running you should almost always be able to stop long enough for auto (and multi whenever possible). As I said, if I'm able to keep the pet topped up on Heigan, no fight will ever drain its focus completely.

Taking Sarth as an example is not that good for a moving kind of fight and depleting focus, because a lot of the time when you have to move, your pet also has to move, and thus it doesn't use its focus then.

Sarth is a fight that's beneficial to any other spec than BM though due to the pet risk factors and pet dps downtime.

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Re: A little support?

Post  Kurasu on Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:26 am

Doug wrote:The reason GftT is more affected for BM is because BM has the lowest crit rate of all the specs and also has the the same number of shots that can be used on the run to proc as SV and fewer than MM.

Another argument here, from me: by spending a couple of points in Marksman, I can reach the +crit there. Those same points are spent to get to GFTT. Therefore, there is as much crit to get to that as if I were Marksman.

To get to the Survival +crit skill, that's 7 points spent toward Survival skills. So reaching the nearest +crit in Survival isn't all that difficult, either. True, it's not going to be the 60-something% crit rate that I have in my old Survival build on my Explosive Shot, but I still keep FI up 100% of the time, and am constantly hearing the hissing procs of my Cobra Strikes (which is what is keeping said FI up). Therefore, I don't think I'm missing all that much in the way of crit, and my casts of Arcane and Multishot are still instant and easy to snap off if I get to distance.

I have to say, I'm still thinking that BM has a large advantage in a caster-unfriendly fight with the damage that the pet would be able to do. Of course, that said, I haven't been in one with my raid members. Give me a good 'caster unfriendly' battle and I'll see if I can't get our two other raiding hunters up against it (one's Surv, one's MM) and we'll test it in the field rather than theory. I may very well be proven wrong. Smile
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Re: A little support?

Post  Doug on Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:35 am

Another argument here, from me: by spending a couple of points in Marksman, I can reach the +crit there. Those same points are spent to get to GFTT. Therefore, there is as much crit to get to that as if I were Marksman.

I was actually refering to the 10% crit specials coming from Marked for Death. Marksmen also can potentially get another 12% crit on Aimed from Imp Barrage but it is a rather weak way to spend talent points unfortunately.

If pets don't run out of focus during movement fights then I stand corrected on this one, I haven't played BM as dps since half-way through BC when there was a more direct relationship between Focus and crits. However the second portion of my argument still stands: MM and SV are less affected on movement fights because of instants and dots (ignoring Sniper Training for the moment) than BM is on melee unfriendly fights.

Sniper Training is a thing of horror though, I seriously cannot comprehend how anyone could have thought that something like that could be a good idea, even if it was in the MM tree where it belongs. In the SV tree it is just an abomination. Blech.

As an aside though, the point of my argument was never that BM cannot do good dps through a couple of tweaks, I don't quite understand why people (especially in a pet tanking forum and community) are so defensive about this issue. My contention is, and always has been, that the pet tanking fix is a simpler one than the BM dps one.
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Re: A little support?

Post  Nordh on Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:54 am

Far from. All Blizzard would have to do is to raise a multiplier somewhere in the BM tree and we'd be good on dps. To get a proper tank build it'd require just a tad bit more than just a small modifier. The small modifier is however something blizzard is a bit reluctant to at the moment. Overpricing talent points isn't something they like, nor do they want the pets to do too large of a portion of our dps. They want to solve the problem at the core rather than the shell. The problem with that is that if you raise something at the core, MM and Surv will get boosted as well, and thus we're stuck in an infinite cycle of buffs and nerfs between the trees.

Personally I'd rather see more pet dps, but more pet-risky fights, so that if you are going to play BM, you have to play it well to get max dps. Unfortunately Blizzard has nerfed micromanagement over and over for the last 2 years.

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Re: A little support?

Post  Doug on Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:14 am

I did a tranche of tests on this issue and would like to report my findings here. As usual I would appreciate someone replicating them, or at least some of them:

Target: Level 80 target dummies in IF (I could hit both with multi)
Gear: I had removed all proccing equipment to lessen RNG.
Aspect: Viper was used for all tests. (this was to increase the uptime of the full run)
Spec: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#ctbMztxRwu0est0eVf
Stats: AP 3429 Crit 25.84% Hit 274

Test 1) Pet only --------------------------------478 dps (+-10 mins)
Test 2) Auto shot + Pet -------------------------853*0.68= 580dps (+- 500 Arrows, I was using cheap Razor arrows)
Test 3) Auto shot + Multi + Pet ------------------998*0.59=588dps (+- 500 Arrows)
Test 4) Auto + Multi + Steady + Arcane + Pet-----1360*0.47=639.2dps (+-700 Arrows)

Some observations:

A) With 2/2 Bestial Discipline the time from 100 focus to focus starvation was about 5-6 seconds, meaning that at crit rate of about 2-3 crits per second needs to be maintained to avoid starvation. Notice that this is three times lower than the SV down-time from Sniper Training, although the dps loss may be higher for SV. Testing in my MM spec (no BD) revealed a 3-4 second period before starvation occurs.

B) Doing the full rotation (excluding Serpent Sting) there were a small number periods of starvation. In raid gear and buffs it is likely that the higher crit rate may eliminate these most of the time, although not having 2/2 BD may cancel out the effect of a higher crit rate as well.

C) Starvation in this gear cost around 100dps (+-15% of the pets dps), a significant figure.

D) A further effect not thus far considered is the reduction of procs of Cobra Strikes brought about by the decreased frequency of Steady Shots.

This all supports my hypothesis that BM hunters are impacted more heavily than at least MM in movement intensive fights, possibly also SV. Remember that CS and CS/SrS + Piercing does about the same proportion of total damage as a BM pet does.
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Re: A little support?

Post  Nordh on Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:59 am

2 crits every 6 seconds, not 2-3 crits per second. Not that hard to maintain, even when having to run around a bit. You're seldom on the move for that long, and even when moving you can stop to get off multi / auto. Even Steady has a short enough cast time with raid buffs for a good geared hunter to be able to throw in if well time on Heigan dance for example.

There's currently not a single boss (except for kiting zombies at the monster dog perhaps) where you have to run for more than 2-3 seconds at a time without stopping.


But even focus starved, your pet still does more dps than the dps a Surv hunter loses if he has to run constantly.

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Re: A little support?

Post  Doug on Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:00 am

Ah sorry yes, I meant a crit every 2-3 seconds.

I did a run in my MM raid spec for comparison:
http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#ctbMzZ0eAfoGzMIoghVox00b

AP - 3483
Crit - 31.28%
Hit - 274

Otherwise everything was the same. I did spec the wolf into Bloodthirsty this time, as happiness may have contaminated the later runs in the previous series, however since if this was the case my argument would be strengthened I will let those numbers stand and save myself 100g.

My numbers were:
1) Pet only - 146dps
2) Pet + auto (+WQ) - 467*0.41 = 191.5dps
3) Full run (With Hunter's Mark and Marked for Death) 1350*0.17= 229.5

Since I was using the Pet+Auto run to simulate firing rate during movement fights we can see that the flat dps difference was for BM roughly 55dps and for MM 40dps. Expressed as a proportion of total dps that amounts to 9% for BM and 3% MM, a 6%dps loss for BM.

I should note that here too focus starvation did occur on the full run, and I suspect if I was fully geared out and buffed it would still not have been avoidable due normal to RNG. I cannot agree that you will not run out of focus, it is simply not supported by any evidence I have seen so far. Certainly I cannot possibly agree that the requisite crit rate can be maitained in a fight like Heigan.

Also remember that during the full run I was using SS only about once or twice times per CS while BM will be using SS once or twice per ArS, a 40% difference in that most movement unfriendly shot. This is somewhat compensated for by a decreased expected frequency for Auto-shots (and therefore WQ in MM) but here again the higher BM attack speed plays a role since as MM one can move for a longer strecth of time before clipping the next Auto.

But even focus starved, your pet still does more dps than the dps a Surv hunter loses if he has to run constantly.

As I mentioned earlier this may well be true, but remember that for MM at least CS, CS+SrS and the bleed is doing roughly the same proportion of overall damage as a BM pet is doing (roughly 30%) and CS is hardly ever clipped by movement. I would imagine that XS does around the proportion of overall dps for SV hunters. I would be very interested if someone has an SV spec handy if they can test in that spec, otherwise I'll cough up the 100g and test it tomorrow sometime.
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Re: A little support?

Post  Kurasu on Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:11 am

A note here as well: a BM will usually have a different pet than a MM as well. In my case, fully specced in BM, I use The Don, my Devilsaur, who in raid is known to do over 1K damage per hit when he crits. And he crits a lot. Maybe not as much as if I had Cobra Strikes proccing constantly with all the shots, true.
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Re: A little support?

Post  Doug on Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:54 am

This is true, using a pet with higher dps will amplify this effect since you will be losing more dps from specials. Specifically it is more likely that you will be starved when Monstrous Bite wants to cast possibly allowing it to drop off. There is a two second period during which you need focus, if bite casts just before it becomes available and starvation usually adds something like a second or so in between bites it is conceivable that you might not have have enough focus at that moment (particularly if you are not running with 2/2 BD, with it you might just be safe but I am not sure what people spec into these days). Even if MB does not drop off you will be losing more dps (as a flat number) per delayed bite with the buff up. Also, a higher dps pet will increase the proportion of dps coming from the pet thereby increasing the penalty of being starved.

Incidentally I did some more back of the envelope calculations and figured out that in a four second period you would usually be doing no more than 4 attacks (two steadies or arcane plus two auto attacks) at the soft cap for haste. Since at least one of these needs to crit you are looking at 25% crit rate at maximum firing rate to avoid starvation most of the time (I'm thinking the Bell curve would say something like 50%). This does not include RNG in the calculation (this is the point where my ability in stats peters out) but clearly even at a 50% crit rate it is not likely that you can avoid starvation entirely even when you are standing still since you can't store up periods of excessive critting to compensate for dry spells (how many times did black land for the guy wo broke the bank at Monte Carlo?).

The overall point is that the 30% or so dps coming from your pet is lower than it would otherwise be on movement fights, while the 30% or so dps coming from CS is largely unaffected. This while the remaining portion of BM dps is lower than that of the other two specs, increasing the proportion of dps coming from the pet and increasing the dps loss as a percentage of total dps incurred.


Last edited by Doug on Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:13 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: A little support?

Post  Doug on Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:58 am

The man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo apparently won on 23 consecutive spins and five times consecutively on five at roulette.

But there was another story about the guy who had bet black, got into a fight and came back a while later to find black had rolled something like 20 times in a row, making him quite wealthy. I can't seem to find that story though.
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