Improving Hunter Raiding: WoW Web Stats
This guide was inspired by Nibuca of Mystic Chicanery. She saw the need for guides on how each class could improve their raiding performance by looking at WoW Web Stats reports. The original version of this guide was written by Arwin of Con O Sin Semilia at the Spanish-language blogging community website TodoWoW. It has been rewritten into an English version with permission.
When a hunter goes raiding, the primary data from which performance is judged upon is DPS. But what’s in a DPS number of a hunter?
We went to fight Gruul the Dragonkiller and recorded out first WoW Web Stats report ever. The catch is, Gruul is not a simple tank and spank boss fight. There’s a lot of movement required because of Cave Ins, Ground Slam, and Shatter. But since we can’t always choose what bosses we fight, we’ll take this report as a sample fight.
WoW Web Stats displays a player’s performance in a raid in a conveniently customizable way, so you can rank people by healer or damage dealers. We will focus on hunters, and because we are a Marksmanship hunter, we’ll be able to compare our performance with a Beast Mastery hunter as well.
“Lapetus” is the Beast Mastery hunter, and “Phobos” is us. We put in 9% of the damage dealt to Gruul with 829 DPS, putting us in fourth place and close very close to third. In order to look at a specific player’s performance, click on that player’s name, and it will display attacks broken down into abilities.
Now we can see the fight from our point of view in terms of numbers and percentages. As a Marksmanship hunter, we can see that the primary damage dealers we have are still Auto Shot and Steady Shot. Keep in mind that we are hit-capped. The percentages displayed above are also slightly off because we are taking away Shatter from the calculations (because that is damage dealt to raid members, not to Gruul himself).
- 39.2% Auto Shots compared to 23.8% Steady Shots of total damage.
- Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot together deal approximately equal damage to Steady Shot.
- Our pet makes up for 12.8% of our DPS.
Let’s take a look at our Beast Mastery friend and see the difference in performance.
Compare the types of damage dealt (ignoring Shatter for reasons mentioned above and Arcane Strike, the Scryer proc on [Shattered Sun Pendant of Might]).
- 40.6% Auto Shots compared to 30.9% Steady Shots of total damage.
- Pet contributes 26.6% to DPS, more than twice the contribution of our pet as a Marksmanship hunter.
- Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot contribute 1.9% to total damage as filler shots.
Unfortunately, our friend is not hit-capped, so he missed opportunities where he could have done more damage. Regardless, the Beast Mastery rotation is easier to analyze, so we’ll take a look at it first. The generally accepted shot rotation for Beast Mastery hunters is the 1:1 Auto/Steady rotation. What the selected report above doesn’t show is the number of critical strikes per shot. They are available by changing the following settings. Select the
Columns button and change your settings to the following.
The total number of attacks for each ability is the sum of the values in the Hits, Crit, and Missed columns.
As you can tell from this report, the number of Auto Shots outnumber that of Steady Shots for this Beast Mastery hunter. This is likely because repositioning during the fight causes Steady Shot to fire less often due to the casting time. If clipping is avoided from things like lag and bad macros or rotations, the total ratio of Auto to Steady should be near 1:1. Due to fight mechanics, it will probably never be exactly 1:1. For a 3:2 rotation, there should be more Steady Shots than Auto Shots in the report.
Another thing to notice in this report is the activation of Kill Command. The report above cited a total of 61 critical strikes. While it is impossible to activate Kill Command for every single critical strike, a good macro and latency should make the ratio of Kill Commands to critical strikes closer to 1. During this fight, the ratio is 25/61, or about 41%. Anytime the ability is not activated after a critical strike, we lose valuable DPS for the raid. A problem is also present if the fight is pet-unfriendly. Because pets contribute upwards of a quarter of a beast master’s DPS, not using a pet reduces one’s DPS significantly. If this were the case, a marksman is likely to overtake or equalize the DPS since his/her pet only contributes about one-eighth of the DPS output.
See also Improving Pet Raiding: WoW Web Stats
For the discussion of using Arcane Shot versus Multi-Shot as filler shots, we’ll look at a different report: Hydross the Unstable. During this fight, our build is slightly different in that we’ve added Improved Barrage and removed Improved Aspect of the Hawk.
Using these two shots are actually more of a matter of preference and playstyle rather than anything else. The only way to learn which one you prefer is to make comparisons.
- Arcane Shot is a single-target ability, while Multi-Shot is used against multiple targets.
- Arcane Shot does magic damage. Multi-Shot does physical damage, which is more likely to be mitigated.
- Multi-Shot has a much longer cooldown than Arcane Shot.
However, other factors that count are the talents Barrage and Improved Barrage. Because Beast Mastery hunters are unable to obtain these talents with a 41/20 spec, I’m under the impression that using Arcane Shot is more efficient. However, a Marksmanship hunter will find that Multi-Shot can easily out-damage Arcane Shot with fewer shots if those two talents are utilized, as seen in the report above.
Other things you can also check for are how often cooldowns like trinkets and abilities (e.g. Bestial Wrath) are used. Divide the length of the fight by the cooldown time. If these abilities are used very little compared to the number you obtain, that means you could use these abilities more often to increase your DPS.
Most of all, I cannot once again stress the importance of the hit cap. It’s very important, so I have to say it again. Any shots missed because we are not hit capped is a loss of DPS, and any extra DPS is very valuable in some boss fights.
So go ahead and try to record your own log by typing
/combatlog before a raid begins (to start) and after it ends (to end recording) and see what you can improve upon. You combat log will be stored in your World of Warcraft program folders, and you can upload them onto WoW Web Stats. Feel free to contact me if you have any comments. I will also try to answer any questions if you have them.