Pet Hit: Woes of A Marksman
If you’ve ever noticed your combat log when you press that Kill Command button, you’d be frustrated to see that sometimes the spell goes to waste when it says
Vornskr’s Kill Command misses Coilfang Tempest.
Your pet’s hit is calculated the same way your hit is calculated.
v. Level 70 — 5.0% Chance to Miss
v. Level 71 — 5.5% Chance to Miss
v. Level 72 — 6.0% Chance to Miss
v. Level 73 — 9.0% Chance to Miss
So in a raid, your pet would miss nearly 9% of its attacks (see note in theorycrafting section about the meaning of percentage values). This is one of the contributing reasons as to why marksmanship hunters may have a lower overall DPS than a beast mastery hunter.
But why would that happen? You may remember that pet attack power is supposed to scale with the hunter’s ranged attack power. Given that marksmen on average have more ranged attack power, shouldn’t our pets be doing more base damage than beast master pets? What does a beast master have that marksmen don’t? The answer is Animal Handler. Ignore the mount speed increase. Animal Handler Rank 2 increases your pet’s hit by 4%, so against level 70 mobs, the chance of misses your pet will make decreases by 80%. Against raid bosses, your pet’s miss chances decrease by 44%.
That is not all. Say you’re a Night Elf or Dwarf marksmanship hunter, and there’s a Draenei hunter. Draenei hunters have a racial ability called Heroic Presence, increasing Hit by 1% to all party members, including your pet. Clearly, if both of you go against the same level 70 mob, your pet will miss 5% of its attacks, and the Draenei’s pet will not miss any (if they have Animal Handler specced in the tree).
Take that into a raid environment. Another method in which your pet’s hit can improve is through a balance druid’s talents in Improved Faerie Fire. Improved Faerie Fire Rank 3 will grant 3% hit to your pet if the druid is in your party.
Put yourself, the Draenei, and the druid in a party together. Your pet will gain the advantage of Heroic Presence and Improved Faerie Fire and have a reduced chance to miss of 5.0%. The Draenei hunter’s pet, on the other hand, has the advantage of Animal Handler on top of that. With this talent active, that pet will only have a chance to miss of 1.0%. The number of misses is one-fifth that of your pet’s. Talk about unfair.
So how can we try to remedy this? Remember that your pet’s attack power scales with your ranged attack power. Our only solution is to blow the beast master away with a greater ranged attack power. This is why we have Trueshot Aura. It sounds silly, but that is the balance that has been put into place. Our pets hit less for more each time, while beast master pets hit more often for less.
If Animal Handler were placed in the lower tiers of the beast mastery tree (requiring less than 25 points in the tree), we’d be overpowered.