Haste: A Balancing Act
If you remember hunter gear before Patch 2.4, you may recall that there were very few Haste gear pieces available for us. In general, many of these Haste items are now available from the new Shattered Sun badge vendor, from Magister’s Terrace, and from Sunwell Plateau.
If you’ve read Howitzer’s guide to marksmanship hunters, you might notice that he strongly shies away from Haste rating. Why is this so? Feanoro from Trueshot Aura can explain Haste mechanics and how it factors into the 1:1.5 marksmanship shot rotation. Because by the time your hunter is level 70 you will be using a quiver or ammunition pouch with 15% increased weapon speed, a marksman’s attack speed is cutting very close to the optimal attack speed for a 1:1.5 shot rotation.
In considering some of my gear choices, I’ve decided to stay away from two things:
- Patch 2.4 Haste gear, and
- Ranged weapons with less than 2.90 attack speed.
These two considerations go hand-in-hand. If you’ve done theorycrafting, you will know that the formula for actual attack speed is:
(LaTeX is awesome. Can you tell I’m an enginerd?)
Without any haste gear, you may drop the second term in its entirety. This leaves you with only the first term taking into account any skill-based attack speed increases such as quiver/ammo pouch effects, Rapid Fire, Quick Shots, etc. If you are using a 2.90 weapon, you will find that your attack speed is approximately 2.52 with a quiver or ammo pouch that provides 15% increased speed. Using a 3.00 weapon, this number is approximately 2.60.
With the proc from Improved Aspect of the Hawk, you are reduced to 2.19 and 2.27, respectively. The faster you shoot, the harder it is to keep a 1:1.5 shot rotation. This is why I’ve considered taking the 5 points from this talent in the Beast Mastery tree and putting it into Endurance Training instead for raids. (Readers: Good idea or no?)
Although the 1:1 rotation does fine to keep up with our DPS when we are low on mana, we can’t always tell when the Quick Shots proc will kick in. It’s best that we are able to control ourselves by using Rapid Fire or through the use of [Abacus of Violent Odds].
I’m not saying Haste is bad. As a matter of fact, hunters who use a fast shot rotation will benefit from it. But if you are a marksman, you’re sacrificing the ability to use the damage dealing special shots that we specialize in. We want to be able to minimize this as much as possible and to control our environment.
So what does this mean? No [Crossbow of Relentless Strikes] and its 2.80 attack speed, at least for now. Choose [Tunic of the Ranger Lord] over [Hauberk of the War Bringer]. Sure, Heroic Magister’s Terrace is more a pain than normal, but it’s better for you in the long run. A lot of these new itemizations will benefit the beast master more through their fast rotation and 2.0 attack speeds. There are many, better items for marksmen (especially since Intellect also adds to our attack power).
Use Haste at your own discretion. There technically is no wrong way to do it. You just need to be aware of what it does.