The Thrill of the Spreadsheet: DoT Snapshotting for Survival

This is part of a series in which we take a technical, more in depth look at huntering and hunter abilities.  If numbers aren't your thing,  you'll likely want to skip this one. 
WoW Hunter Black Arrow Screen Effect,

On the episode 5 of the Cloak and Quiver podcast,  Solar was talking about DoT snapshotting as SV hunters, and I thought it would be worth while to take a look at the numbers.   You know, I should probably give Solar a royalty, since he keeps giving me great stuff to write about.  Let's see, 15% of the profits here sound fair?  15% of $0.00 is...  Ok, taken care of.

To start off let's take a look at the numbers we're working with.  Unbuffed, I sit at 29,419 Agility,  with all the perks and such,  that gives me 87,612 RAP.   With haromm's trinket proc'ed I get an additional 15,124 agi which makes my total RAP 87,612.  Or with AoC I get 14,303 agi,  which makes my RAP 132,215.  The two DoTs I'll be looking at are Serpent Sting and Black Arrow, and we'll use Explosive Shot as our comparison.  Just so we have a sort of starting point,  the tooltips for those three shots,  when affected by various buffs show they're damage as the following (note that BA is over 10 ticks,  SS is over 5 ticks, and ES happens 3 times per shot):
no proc Haromms AoC Both procs
Black Arrow 166,610 254,590 249,800 338,409
Serpent Sting 147,900 212,570 209,060 273,425
Explosive Shot 34,868 53,309 52,308 70,749

The question we want to answer is when your trinket proc is about to expire, is it better to reapply a DoT, or to use ES (generally considered your most powerful shot).  We can even go further and say we're in the middle of an LnL proc when a trinket proc is about to expire,  should we interrupt the ES spam to reapply DoTs?   

First we need to look at the actual damage we're getting out of these shots.  I spent some time out at the ol' training dummies.   Just comparing the shot normally to the shot with the AoC proc, this is what I came up with (for those doing the math at home, note that SS has additional ISS damage for the total which isn't listed here):
tick tick crit total w/ 50% crits
BA Unbuffed 17,463 34,926 261,945
BA w/ AoC proc 27,835 55,670 417,525
SS Unbuffed 31,059 62,118 256,238
SS w/ AoC proc 43,903 87,805 362,199
ES Unbuffed 46,070 91,957 206,356
ES w/ AoC proc 59,158 137,409 304,471

What we're looking at, line to line, is the difference between using a shot with the proc up, and without it.   For Explosive shot, using it while you have the AoC proc up nets you 98,115 damage.  Refreshing Serpent Sting while your AoC proc is up nets you 105,960 damage.  And finally,  using Black Arrow while the AoC proc is still up nets you a total of 155,580 damage over its duration.

WoW Hunter's Shot: Black Arrow
With the reduced CD of Black Arrow from the AoC CD reduction,  you can refresh it before it falls off.  In general it's not advisable to do this,  because you're wasting focus by clipping off the last couple of ticks.   However, if you have a trinket proc,  it's a DPS gain to refresh BA, even if that means your Explosive Shot will get pushed back by a GCD and won't get the benefit of the trinket proc.

If I have to make the choice of using a GCD of my AoC proc on either refreshing Black Arrow, refreshing Serpent Sting or refreshing Explosive Shot;  I'm going to gain the most overall damage by refreshing Black Arrow, even though it is generally considered the weakest of the three shots.

WoW Hunter's Shot: Improved Serpent Sting
Another thing to consider is Serpent Sting.  On our chart there you see using Serpent Sting with the AoC trinket up compared to a normal SS, gives you more net dps than the Explsive Shot with AoC proc compared to unbuffed ES.   However,  this is predicated on you getting all five ticks with the AoC buff.  If you have to use Cobra Shot before the fifteen seconds is up,  then you'll be back to a net dps loss by using SS instead of ES.

Of course,  these comparisons only apply in the case where you have LnL proc'ed, and you have AoC's proc up, or you have Haromm's Proc up.    If, on the other hand,  LnL isn't proc'ed while your trinkets are,  and you can't force a proc with Ice Trap,   then you'll have plenty of time to refresh both DoTs, and use ES on CD.

It should be noted that I used the Assurance of Consequence trinket proc, for my calculations,   but you'll get the same results, with slightly different relative value, with Haromm's (I have a heroic Warforged Haromm's Talisman,  and only a regular heroic AoC,  which certainly impacts the numbers);  in fact, this situation will come up far more often with Haromm's,  since it procs far more often.

Also, if you only have the Ticking Ebon Detonator,  it will work quite differently; I'll have to cover that in a different post.

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