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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:

  1. Patch 2.4 Haste gear, and
  2. 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:

\mbox{Attack Speed} = \frac{\mbox{Weapon Speed}}{\displaystyle \prod_{n} (1 + \mbox{Haste Pct}_n)} \times \frac{\displaystyle 1}{\displaystyle 1 + \frac{\sum_{n} \mbox{Haste Rtg}_n}{1570}}

(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.

5 responses

  1. This may totally change if they do take away the clipping of autoshot in WoLTK. It may be just the reason they are doing it, that no one wants the haste gear they are giving us.

    10 July 2008 at 11:45

  2. Fearstalker — I think it might be something other than that though. Haste is too minor to be a factor for a change that big. It may be that Blizzard is trying to make the hunter a more “playable” class, meaning anyone can pick it up. I’m actually not sure what to say about this clipping thing because if Haste will no longer cause it, hunters will burn through a lot of ammo. *sigh*

    10 July 2008 at 15:27

  3. Interesting article Lor :) What would your thoughts on haste for a BM hunter be? I tend to steer clear of haste items and go for ignore armour but I had a young BM hunter in my guild ask me my thoughts on it and wasn’t really sure beyond saying as I understand it 2.0 – 2.10 is the best shot speed for BM hunters according to what I’ve read… can you tell I’m no theory crafter? :P

    10 July 2008 at 21:08

  4. Jezrael — I’m also far from being good in theorycrafting. From what I can tell, that speed range is the correct one for BM hunters. I had a friend tell me the other night with all the Haste Rating he has along with Serpent Swiftness and Rapid Fire, he achieved an attack speed of 1.5. If you remember, Steady Shot has a cast time of 1.5 seconds. Depending on how bad your latency is, I think you’d want your buffed attack speed between 1.5 to 2.0 seconds for an efficient 1:1 rotation. Anything lower than 1.5 will result in clipping of Auto Shot, which is a possible reason why Blizzard wants to remove this clipping as Fearstalker mentioned above because no one wants too much haste and clip their shots. But I don’t think that this is the root of the problem. I think it’s just that Haste appears on the most random pieces of gear sometimes…

    11 July 2008 at 08:12

  5. Well put! Its all too easy for people to forget that there’s much more to analyzing a player’s effectiveness than just what the damage meters tell you.

    15 July 2008 at 07:04

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