TotS - WoD Predictions: Rapid Fire during Careful Aim

As we've covered here on the Thrill of the Wild,  Rapid Fire is getting a major buff in Warlords of Draenor, adding the Careful Aim buff anytime Rapid Fire is up.   As the Beta comes out, and we start to get a look at how things will shape up, I thought I'd take a stab at whether or not we'd want to use Rapid Fire on the pull, or if we'll be saving it for when the target's health is 80%.

To do this I'm going to be using haste rates from tier 14 hunter gear.  This was the 496 "normal" gear, and though the numbers will be very different, the relative amount of haste should be somewhat similar in the first tier of Warlords.   

To get us started, let's imagine a 6 minute fight, and let's say we spend 15% of the fight with the boss above 80% health, with the Careful Aim buff.   We'll have to map out the first 20 or so seconds of the fight with our Pot, which we can compare to the same time with rapid fire up.   

Not stacking Rapid Fire:
If we don't use Rapid Fire at the pull,  that means our first Aimed Shot will take 2.24 sec, and our first steady shots will take 1.79 sec.   With the new Draenor Perks,  we'll be able to cast 2 Aimed Shots and a Chimera Shot before casting any Steady Shots.    2 Aimed, a Chim and 2 Steady Shots bring us to the 9.06 sec marker.

At this point Steady Focus will kick in, and our cast times will go down,   Aimed shot to 1.95 and Steady Shot to 1.56.   After casting our CDs at the beginning,  we might get 20 seconds that look like this:

Shot      Cost   Focus after  Cast time        Time 
Chim -35 89 1 1
Aimed -30 69 2.24 3.24
Aimed -30 49 2.24 5.48
Steady  16 73 1.79 7.27
Steady  16 97 1.79 9.06
Chim -35 67 1 10.06
Aimed -30 46 1.95 12.01
Steady  16 69 1.56 13.57
Steady  16 91 1.56 15.13
Aimed -30 70 1.95 17.08
Aimed -30 49 1.95 19.03
Chim -35 18 1 20.03
That's 5 Aimed Shots, 3 Chim Shots and 4 Steady Shots.   

Stacking Rapid Fire:
If we stack Rapid Fire at the beginning of the fight with our procs/pot, the same time period might look like this:

Shot     Cost   Focus after  Cast time        Time 
Chim -35 89 1 1
Rapid Fire 0 89 0 1
Aimed -30 69 1.6 2.6
Aimed -30 49 1.6 4.2
Steady  16 73 1.28 5.48
Steady  16 97 1.28 6.76
Aimed -30 76 1.39 8.15
Aimed -30 55 1.39 9.54
Chim -35 26 1 10.54
Steady  16 49 1.11 11.65
Steady  16 72 1.11 12.76
Aimed -30 51 1.39 14.15
Aimed -30 29 1.39 15.54
Steady  16 52 1.11 16.65
Steady  16 75 1.56 18.21
Aimed -30 54 1.95 20.16
Chim -35 23 1 21.16

It looks like a lot more shots, but I could actually only figure out how to squeeze in 2 more Aimed Shot, giving us 7 Aimed Shots, 6 Steadys and 3 Chim Shots.  

One issue that will come up is fight length, which will be incredibly important.  If instead of a 6 minute fight, we have a 7 minute fight in which the boss is >80% health for 15% of the time,  and we wait until that time is over to use Rapid Fire,  then we'll only get two rapid fires.   If instead we use Rapid Fire on the pull, we'll get three total: the same number while the boss is <80% health, plus an extra Rapid Fire during the pull.

Other than the fight length issue, going forward into the beta, we'll have to look at whether or not 2 extra Aimed Shots with trinket procs and pre-pot are worth more damage than 6 extra guaranteed Crit Aimed Shots.

Remember that a Crit on an Aimed Shot is not just double the damage,  thanks to Draenor Perk Enhanced Aimed Shot we get back 20 focus, and thanks to Piercing Shots we get that extra 30% damage as a bleed over 8 sec.   That bleed makes the crit a 260% increase in damage.

With the changes to how Weapon Damage is scaling with AP, it could be a lot closer than it would be with the current MoP Aimed Shot Scaling.  Unfortunately, we'll have to wait and see what happens.  As the alpha expands and the beta comes out, hopefully there will be some good logs to pore through.  

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