Analysis of the Feb 22 Hunter hotfixes

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

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. 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:


24267 dps


24559 dps

Beast Mastery

25037 dps

Yep, that’s right. Beast Mastery on top! 😮

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).


24431 dps


Aimed: 27908 dps (+-0%)
Arcane: 23456 dps (-16%)

Beast Mastery

25068 dps

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.



About Gavendo

I write a World of Warcraft blog called "Rapid Fire" on the topics; hunters, pets and achievement hunting.
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22 Responses to Analysis of the Feb 22 Hunter hotfixes

  1. megapull says:

    same results here. bad thing that I cant even go close to the femaledwarf BM dps 😀

    • Gavendo says:

      Did you remember to set up the glyphs? BM uses Kill Command, Arcane Shot and Kill Shot and the Bestial Wrath major glyph.

      Did you remember to set the default BM rotation? Arcane Shot should be in it.

      Did you remember to enable the extra talent points for your pet? (These are disabled by default)

      When switching from SV/MM to BM in Femaledwarf there are a lot of extra things to consider. 🙂

      • megapull says:

        of course, i use bm for pvp since years, i dont fall into these beginner’s traps 😛

      • Gavendo says:

        Ah wait… I misread that, I thought you weren’t getting the right results in femaledwarf, you meant you weren’t getting the right results in-game! My bad.

        This could be due to several factors such as not doing the rotation right or just lacking the right buffs. The first thing that comes to mind is, are you handling Bestial Wrath right? It is recommended to use it just before Kill Command so that you are able to fit two Kill Commands in during the same Bestial Wrath and to only spam Arcane Shot during Bestial Wrath and no Cobra Shots at all.


      • megapull says:

        guess its just careful aim kicking in. but it feels so strange :p going from pwning noobs with big red kitty to doing some pve.

  2. Tshaku says:

    I think you are wrong regarding SV. SV should use now a 3/7/31 by using 3 OwN and 2 CI and zero points in Sic’Em. Additionally SVs has to respecc their pets by using two points in shark instead of one shark and one wild hunt. With this change SV is even more competitive. 😉

    • Gavendo says:

      I just tried this and I got 24432 dps (+165 dps compared to the previous build). Nice!

      Thanks for the kind words and don’t worry about the spelling. 😉

  3. Tshaku says:

    type .. CI = CA (Carefil Aim)

    • Tshaku says:

      omg keyboard hates me.

      typo .. CI = CA (Careful Aim)

      Sorry for spam. Just delete this post if you like.

      PS Amazing blog. I just discovered it a few days ago.

  4. megapull says:

    I just read the long wall of text bluepost about the hotfix… full of major flaws (aspect gcd? 2arcane>aimed?). amagad

  5. Anna says:

    Considering AP only affects auto-shot for a survival hunter, I think 3/3 in OWN is unnecessary no matter what female dwarf says.

    • Gavendo says:

      Any shot that scales with Ranged Attack Power will get buffed by this talent and that is almost every shot, even as Survival.

      Most shot formulas look like this:

      X * Weapon Damage + Y * Ranged Attack Power + Z

      On Wowhead the formula for Explosive Shot is:

      RAP*0.232 + 386

      As you can see it is definitely affected by ranged attack power and therefor also affected by the One With Nature talent.


  6. Anna says:

    I am seeing a 1k dps decrease on test dummy though. Anyone else getting this? I get around 15200k dps on dummy without using any CD abilities or trinks, just basic survival rotation. I get 14200k dps with 3/3 in OWN as in the proposed spec.

    • Gavendo says:

      Do you have Careful Aim in both speccs you’re testing? Are you using the same pet? Are you shooting from behind when trying both speccs? Is anyone else debuffing the dummy? Are you using buffs? etc.

      Also remember that the spreadsheet calculations are based on having all buffs and debuffs available to you, for example lacking the +10% Attack Power buff will definitely skew the value of the OwN talent to appear less good.

  7. Anna says:

    Ah yes, you are right about CA, bosses drop below 80% relatively fast. But I do keep 1/2 in CA even with OWN.

    • Gavendo says:

      Well if you have 1/2 CA in one spec and 2/2 CA in the other spec it will dramatically alter the results you see on target dummies because they are always above 80% health.

  8. megapull says:

    New calculations are not wrong afaik, many many people were stating that before the fix came live.. :/

  9. Jonker (Zul'jin) says: on two days of raid scenerio’s what are we seeing..I Personally saw the other hunter in my guild pass me in DPS (not the norm) by going SV (BoT first 2 and BWD first 2 and I am MM).
    1. So according to this MM SHOULD still be the top spec? Y/N…
    2. As I havent played SV in a while, what is the rotation of choice now?

  10. Gus says:

    Reading comments I am not sure which is the best right now. I really hate MM so I am back with SS and BM. I feel like I was doing more dmg in SS then MM anyways, and I thought I had the rotation down. I am trying to learn BM now and am wondering what the best gear is? With SS I was going for lots of crit. Does BM require more mastery and haste?

    • Jonker (Zul'jin) says:

      I would think mastery with the pets, as the is a huge portion of DPS for BM, but crit is always good.. If BM is that close, I would go BM, cause I like the rotation and can concentrate on spacial awareness more..”is that fire that I am standing in?”.


  11. Gavendo says:

    To answer your question of what spec is the best; it depends on the encounter. Marksman provides the strongest singletarget dps provided that you don’t have to move a lot, you aren’t gonna get knockbacked and you aren’t dpsing adds.

    Most encounters don’t look like that, most encounters will actually force you to move quite a bit or even dps adds! In these scenarios SV and BM will probably perform better than MM. Both of them seem to be very equal atm. I have been raiding as BM the last two night’s just to try it out and it has gone very well, been competing for top dps on every encounter and I’ve been very similar in dps to the SV hunters.

    So to sum up, if you don’t like MM, don’t force yourself to play it. Both BM and SV are very strong and competitive dps speccs and tbh, more versatile and reliable than MM. With SV being the most reliable and versatile due to it’s superior AOE and not relying on your melee-only pet to provide half of your dps.


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