[Hunter] Survival Viability and Comparisons
So, I am trying to convince my raiding group that it would pay for one of the hunters in our raid to be Survival and stack agility gear. I've looked around at some of the other threads and saw bits and pieces of Survival theorycraft floating around, but I thought it would be beneficial to compile it all in one thread for reference.
Has anyone done any formulating or modeling of the personal DPS losses associated with going Survival as opposed to Marksmanship or Beast Mastery? If we can begin to get a picture of the opportunity costs of Survival (say by comparing DPS of equaly "ideal" gearings for MM, BM, and SV) we could proceed to find at what points the added raid-wide damage increases of Expose Weakness pays off as a net gain (aka at what Agi level/raid make-up is personal DPS loss < raid-wide DPS gain from EW).
On a similar and separate note it would be interesting to see if we can find the DPS costs and benefits of the trade offs for taking MT/Readiness vs say IAotH.
A tall order I know, but I plan to take some stabs at is myself time permitting (work and raiding take up a lot of time, ya know?). Anyways, any initial thoughts or pre-gathered knowledge/conclusions?
Survival's biggest problem is the tree has 5 tiers of marginal talents.
Really, the only desirable things in that tree are LR, EW and TotH (MT is okay, nothing stellar). Survival's high crit chances means you are going to want 20 point in marks for Mortal Shots. This marginalizes the benefit you get from the glancing blow change and resulting increases to pet dps.
A 41/20/0 or 20/41/0 build is going to jump ahead of your personal DPS by a pretty large margin on any fight where a pet is viable. Pretty large meaning 10%.
Another difficulty is finding a ranged weapon with a suitable speed (about 2.4). This allows you to maintain a 1 shot per second rate of fire. Anything less detracts from the value of MT and EW.
Unless you run with a melee/hunter stacked raid you need to be pushing 1000 agi to give other classes a respectable bump in their AP.
Lastly, aren't rogues/warriors/shaman going to be threat capped in 2.1? I think that is probably the most important question that needs answering. If they are, then increasing their DPS means nothing, increasing your own would always be preferred in that case.
In reference to the making of a decent Survival build, I'm leaning towards http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=cxZVxbRVZIhoMhfMhVhh or some similar variation. That is under the assumption that IAotH has more damage increasing value than MT and Readiness (I've anecdotally found that Readiness allowing for back-to-back rapid fires seems to realistically close the gap of damage loss compared to MM/BM, though I can't even begin to imagine how we would model or compute the actual damage gain from it).
Also, if you don't mind me asking, where did you get the 10% number for the personal DPS loss compared to a BM/MM hunter?
As for the melee being threat capped in 2.1, I haven't heard anything regarding that (besides the shamans who are already threat capped). Also, don't forget that hunters are included in the benefits from EW. For specifics, my raid typically has around 8 physical DPSers, which currently means my EW is adding upwards of 100DPS. Also, I suspect that with a few more upgrades and somehow swinging an enh. shaman I can break 1000AGI (broke 900 last night fully buffed when I had a shaman drop GoA just to see how high I'd go).
All that considered, I'd like to try and find some actual mathematical comparisons between SV and BM/MM. I'll see if I can't start the ball rolling with some math behind SV personal DPS and the effects of EW on raid dps in a bit.
Anyone have an idea of what should be a minimum agi to shoot for going survival? I really like this build if I can get the gear to make it work, but seems like 800ish agi raid buffed is too low. Opinions/ideas/theories/etc?
Having only recently arrived at these forums and having read the threads about Hunting Hunters and the BM spec theory, I've finally plucked up the courage to ask about this.
I'm going to be the "EW-martyr" come 2.1, and while I accept that my current agility isn't as high as one would want, I am working on it from my current mediocre MM/SV build. There two possible builds I'm aiming at:
So it's a toss-up between iAotH and Scattershot/Barrage/Deterrence. While aware that Scattershot is not a DPS boost, my guild still does do heroics/karazhan, and is thus utility.
The second issue I have is Imp HM vs Efficiency. My guild runs with 2 hunters in 25mans, and so Imp HM will always be there (I know one of us is staying full MM, and if the other goes BM, then it's still there), and thus efficiency coupled with TotH would greatly help mana issues (granted not entirely)?
Consequently if you're looking to recoup some of your lost personal dps by taking EW, I would highly recommend iAotH. The haste benefit will also aid you in keeping up EW more consistently (even if it's currently up 90% of the time anyway...).
You have a few choices. With your current bow you are going to want to increase your rate of fire over an auto-special-auto rotation.
You can do that by slotting 2 specials and clobbering auto shots, this will increase your mana usage, but keep you up at the 1 shot per second rate (3 shots / 3.5 seconds). If you go this route then IAotH has no value to you. You are already delaying every auto shot in favor of more specials.
You can try to get a barrel-blade Longrifle. You are going to want to do this anyway so you can slot 2 agi gems in it. This takes your auto shot speed down by a good amount and you can fall back to an auto-special-auto rotation. With this weapon IAotH has value again, it can cut the 0.2 seconds of dead time out of your rotation.
The best group makeup for you as a Survival hunter puts you with a feral druid and shaman for obvious reasons. Putting a shadow priest in that group wouldn't be a very good use of it so I would say go with efficiency. Hopefully that along with TotH and fel mana pots can sustain you.
Edit, regarding scatter utility for Heroics: I don't think I would want to run heroics without either wyvern, intimidation or scatter. Scatter shot is obviously the best of the three but all of them will save a caster from getting gibbed, or save you when a trap resists. Without scatter you have to be much better about getting solid threat on what you are trapping, and getting far away from it after it ices. You will need the time it spends running.
Here's the survival spec I'm looking at: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=VxZVVbRVzZIu00pfMhVbh
I'd gear myself with something like this:
Assuming raid buffs of Major Agility (+35), Warp Burger (+20), MotW (+14) and Kings (+10%) I'd end up with about 950 agil, 32% crit and around 2289 RaP (assuming Might as well).
I don't think I would have any trouble keeping the EW debuff up so that'd be an additional 237 AP for the entire raid.
Also assume a standard raid composition of 1 hunter, 3 rogues, 1 enhance shaman, 1 DPS warrior, and 3 tanks.
It seems to me like EW would be adding roughly 200-300 raid DPS. So my question is this; is it worth bringing me as a survival hunter in place of one of those three rogues? Or do they still outclass hunters enough that it's not worth it?
For 25 man raids I'm thinking:
Although I'll prolly go 0/24/37 for PvP and see how it goes.
(maybe something like this: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=VZE0moVzhZcGhzpcMuNu
but probably a mix between pve and pvp talents)
I figure if you're speccing deep survival for the benefit of the raid, the BM/MM hunters in the guild can pick up Imp HM, so I left that out. This also should help you quite a bit, since you can pick up 5/5 eff and 2/3 TotH and hopefully not have to rely on consumables/sp's so much.
I'm shooting for 700+ agi unbuffed at the moment. This is easily attainable imo, although some depends on 5 man blues(i.e. wastewalker gloves until you down Gruul) until you get farther into content. With 25% more agi(kings and LR) and ~70 agi from GoA, you hit abut 1k agi(my goal for now).
If you're just entering kara, you might want to try and get equal status on rogue agi gear(except maybe edgewalker, since we can get fiend slayer as a decent alternative) so that later on, when you're trying to get a rogue leather piece with 40 agi on it instead of a hunter mail piece with 0 agi but tons of ap/crit, you don't get into a QQfest.
Gear choices(I wish I'd saved me earlier wishlist)
Head: t4 or leather engy if we're allowed to wear it
+8 agi gem +agi meta gem(2.1). Can't recall if there's a +4 agi yellow gem for the +4 agi socket bonus, but it might be worth getting that or just +8 crit / +8 hit(if you need it). Overall much better for personal dps at a cost of 1 ap to the raid
Neck: heroic neck / jagged bark pendant / bone chain necklace
Shoulders: Assassination(+8 agi gems)
Chest: Beast lord/laughing skull(+8 +8 +4 agi gems for beast lord)
Cloak: heroic cloak. maybe cloak of the craft(ah blue, like 25 agi and hit and weak ap). I believe the new slowfall cloak(2.1) has like 20+ agi as well, so that could work.
wrists: felstalker(+8 agi) or attuman bracers(21 agi in 2.1)
boots: edgewalker or fiend slayer
belt: felstalker, girdle of treachery, dunewind sash(heroic UB)
legs: scaled greaves of patience(+8 agi gems), t4, void reaver greaves(if you're lucky enough), emerald scale greaves(though heroic durnholde was annoying compared to regular)
gloves: gruul's gloves(+8 agi gems), wastewalker(+8 agi gems), t4 gloves, gloves of dexterous manipulation
rings: garona's(20 agi post patch) and either averinn's ring of slaying(heroic ramps), pathfinder's band(25 agi 34 ap boe blue), or truestrike ring(boe epic, gl...). The 24 agi, 27 stam, 54 ap ring from Mag's head is also an excellent choice(2.1)
trinkets: bladefist'd breadth and hourglass are what I'm thinking atm
2h weapon: legacy(40 agi in 2.1), crafted BS swords(like 26 agi per) or stellaris should be good options as well. Sonic Spear should also work.
Stuff like this is pretty easy to get. Then just get +12 agi enchants to boots, +15 to gloves, +35 to 2h, +12 to cloak, etc. etc.
This should easily get you in a good range of agility. If you really think some choices are bad(wastewalker might be questionable, for example.) it might just be better to improve your personal dps by wearing lesser agi/no agi(god forbid) items. With the buffs to epics in 2.1, i can see a lot of the blue items I've listed becoming obsolete.
[Edit:] I'll try to make this more presentable tomorrow, but for now I think it lists all the key stuff.
Found my old post: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...48615&sid=1#10
Good info there imo.
Anyway, I guess this is a little OT for the OP. But speccing survival shouldn't be the end of the world for you. My biggest concern atm is whether i'll still use a Marks rotation, or whether i should go with a faster weapon(like barrel-blade) for the agi increase(using Glad Xbow atm)
Also, I don't think that the 12 agil meta-gem is worth using as it has such a high activation threshold (5-5-5 I believe), you'd end up losing a lot of agil to get that 12 out of the gem. I think that either going with a helm that doesn't have a meta gem slot (Stalker's helm comes to mind) or just going with the 24 AP one.
I thought it was 2-2-3. Which isn't too bad, especially if you're going to be using 1-2 shifting nightseye to get some of the +3 or +4 socket bonuses anyway.
Also, why not go 12 crit rating instead of 24 ap for the meta gem(it apparently works now).
The reason I added that caveat, is that the wastewalker gloves have all of 16 ap. Compared to Beast Lord(which I didn't look at), you lose 7 agi and gain 18 ap and possibly a set bonus. So your raid is losing 8.75(7*1.25 rounding up to 9)*.25 ap per physical dps, or about 18 ap total(8 physical dps) if you use the beast lord, but you're gaining 18 rap. Hence, although wastewalker and other high Agi items might be drool-worthy I'm saying they might also not really be as good as they initially look.
Also, I can't think of any 0 agi items out there that would improve your dps sooo much more than somewhat lesser dps items would improve the raid's overall dps. But I think this example shows that there might be several high agi / low ap/crit items that aren't really any better than well balanced agi/ap/crit items of higher quality.
I'm also very eager for 2.1 to arrive so i can mess around with survival. I'm starting to collect some agi-heavy gear already, but DKP and rogues stand in my way =P I think the 12agi metagem is very worth getting simply because it makes every crit that much more valuable.
I've done some Boom testing on PTR with Barrel-Blade gun and 0/20/41 build, but the results are less than desirable. I'm using the 1 auto and 1 special priority queue, and the dps that the gun yields is quite a bit lower than the Glad xbow using a auto/steady/special rotation. It just seems to me that I'm not getting in enough shots per minute, since there are times when my 2/3 EW wasn't up for a good amount of time. I'm assuming that I'm running into some unlucky crit droughts, and the problem could be alleviated via raid buffs such as Kings, GoA, and LotP.
Survival looks very promising, but it's still hard for me to gauge the spec without great survival gears and the raid buffs.
Given that the spec is crit heavy with Mortal Shots, you probably just want to stay with the slow weapon and increase your number of shots, although that's just my unsubstantiated opinion.
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