Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sometimes, You Gotta Roll Your Own

There's a proliferation of hunter blogs in the world.  I'll wholeheartedly admit that I don't read most of them.  But I do keep an eye on some of the bigger names -- especially those that I know newer or less community-aware hunters are going to flock to.

The one thing I notice a lot of is the use of hard limits.  Numbers telling you when to do certain things with stats.  If you have X armor pen, you gem for armor pen instead of agility.  If you have Y amount of crit, you drop Arcane Shot from your rotation.  If Z is less than A then ... you get the picture.

I understand the thinking behind it: it's simple.  It's a crib sheet, and most of these rules are at least somewhat approaching correct (at least in concept if not execution).  But for us crazy min-maxing motherfuckers, us people batting frantically at Arthas' heels, they... well, I don't want to say they completely fail, but...

They completely fail.

There are certain hard limits in the game for hunters, yes.  Here they are:
  • The raiding hit cap is 8%.  If you are Marks, you can put up to 3 points in Focused Aim to drop your gear cap to 5%.  If you are a Draenei, or will always have one in your raid, both of those numbers go down by 1%.
  • The hard armor pen cap is 1400.  The soft armor pen cap is 1400 minus any additional armor pen procs you have from gear or trinkets.
  • The crit cap is like 104% or some shit.  More than is worth worrying about.  MOAR CRIT.
  • The haste cap is irrelevant.  Don't stack haste.  If you get some, fine, but don't chase it.
Those are the hard numbers.  Those are the ONLY hard numbers.  Those are the only magic thresholds that can be crossed to change how you gear/gem/spec your character.  The answer to any other gearing and gemming questions?

Import yourself from the armory.  Set up the buffs/debuffs you have in your standard raiding environment.  Hit Update.  Click DPS Scratchpad and write down the number.  Make the changes you're considering, and hit Update again.  Compare the two numbers.  If it went up an amount worth the cost of making the changes?  Do it!  If not, stay put.  (I seem to recall Rilgon would gain like 60 DPS by gemming for armor pen, but it'd cost him like 1300g in rubies to do it.  Wasn't worth it for him; your mileage may vary.)

This is not difficult, guys.  It really isn't.  If you have Windows and Microsoft Office and want it more accessible, you can download Shandara's spreadsheet (which Zeherah's is based off of) here.

I know how tempting it is to find the easy button, but you know what?  At the top levels of raiding, there's not one.  It is really not that much extra work to do your own damn math if it means maximizing your performance and making your guild's kill happen.

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