The Hunter hotfixes that were first announced on February 18th have now gone live and been slightly adjusted. Below follows the new adjusted notes (Source):
- Aimed Shot damage has been decreased to approximately 160% weapon damage (at level 80+), down from 200%.
- Aspect of the Hawk now provides 2000 attack power at level 85.
The thing that has changed here is that Aspect of the Hawk doesn’t provide an “additional” 2000 attack power anymore. Instead it provides more like… about an additional 1400 attack power. Which is still good news. :)
Aimed Shot does a little bit less damage now. We need more data to be absolutely sure of what has happened but for the moment I’ll give my own choddy Recount findings. I see my own Aimed Shot non-crits hitting for ~21k now rather than the ~25k that I saw before the hotfix. That is roughly 16% less damage. And with the buff to Aspect of the Hawk, every other shot does a bit more damage, including the Auto Shots that you’d lose during the casting of Aimed Shot. What does this mean? Does it mean we want to stop using Aimed Shot as a focus dump? It might.
I spent a few hours on the Raider’s dummy in Stormwind trying out both the “Aimed Shot as a focus dump”-rotation and the “Arcane Shot as a focus dump”-rotation. Both of these obviously in the Careful Aim phase since target dummies are always above 80% health. For the Aimed Shot rotation I used the Aimed Shot glyph and for the Arcane Shot rotation I used the Arcane Shot glyph.
The differences between the two rotations was 600 dps (~3%) which is well within the margin of error. This means that even in the best case scenario, the Aimed Shot rotation is only barely better than the Arcane Shot rotation, if at all. I think that we’ll soon find the great number crunchers of the hunter community discover that we don’t want to use Aimed Shot as a focus dump outside of the Careful Aim phase anymore and maybe not at all.
Femaledwarf.com supports my theory and puts the Arcane Shot rotation, with glyph, in my gear at 24559 dps and the hard-cast Aimed Shot rotation, with glyph in my gear at 24238 dps. So besides the fact that the Arcane Shot rotation is infinitely easier and more reliable, less susceptible to failures due to the need to move or knock backs it is also better even in an optimal “standing still and dpsing”-situation.
Aspect of the Hawk
With the changes to Aspect of the Hawk comes a greatly added value to the One With Nature talent. Since Aspect of the Hawk now provides 2000 attack power, each talent point spent in One With Nature gives you an additional 200 attack power and should therefor be prioritized.
For Marksman this means taking a point out of Bestial Discipline to get that third point in One With Nature.
For Beast Mastery, no talents are switched around since you already have 3/3 in One With Nature.
For Survival this means adjusting your talents quite a bit. You should take almost all your points out of the Marksman tree and put them in the BM tree. Going from 1/9/31 to 8/2/31. This will give you a net dps-gain (only about 10 dps though) but more importantly it will mean more dps on average in an encounter since you aren’t relying on the Careful Aim phase to bring you extra damage anymore.
Update: Tshaku recommends a different specc for maximizing Survival dps, I tried it and it appears to be better indeed!
The Great Beast Mastery Comeback of 2011?
To round up, here’s the best possible dps numbers I got on femaledwarf after lots of tweaking:
Yep, that’s right. Beast Mastery on top! :o
Keep in mind that these numbers are purely from the spreadsheet at might not be totally accurate. Zeherah’s spreadsheet has proven to be a very reliable source of data in the past though.
The percentages displayed are how that spec compares to the top spec (BM). As you can see all specs are within 3% of each other which is quite amazing and is truly a real feat by Blizzard since before this small hotfix we saw variations up to 10% and even more.
I take back what I wrote in my previous post about hotfixes, Blizzard really do seem to know exactly what they are doing. :)
Update: Zeherah’s spreadsheet has been updated! And it’s altering the results greatly. I am not sure if the current version is more correct than the old version but I am now seeing these numbers with exactly the same speccs, rotations, etc, etc as before (I saved the presets).
Aimed: 27908 dps (+-0%)
I really hope these new calculations are just wrong… If this is what we’re actually seeing live in-game now then the Aimed Shot nerf didn’t actually stick at all and we’re likely to see another one sometime soon.