WoD Beta: The Focus Talents

There are a new set of patch notes out for the beta, though all of the changes are things Celestalon told us already, via Twitter or the Forums. I had a big long post about Survival spreadsheets, that was going to be up this week, but with drastic changes to LnL, I figured I'd better wait until we get the new patch and start over.

I do, however, want to give more of my perspective on Steady Focus.  As most, I'm sure, have heard: we're losing Fervor, and gaining a new(ish) talent called "Steady Focus", which will give you 50% increased focus regen for 10 seconds, every time you cast two steadys/cobras, or a focusing shot.  Because of the language in the tooltip, unless I hear otherwise, I'll assume this only applies to formal "focus regen", and not to shots which return or generate focus, like Aimed Shot Crits, or Cobra/Steady Shots.

So how does it stack up?  First, let's compare it to what we just lost.  Fervor was an on-demand huge chunk of focus that didn't even take up a GCD, every 30 seconds.  Averaged out, that's the potential to give you 3.33 focus/sec, with the perk of being able to get 50 of that focus immediately, when needed.

Steady Focus, on the other hand, gives you 50% more focus regen.  If we had that with our current gear, in 5.4 BiS BM gear (which is the highest haste levels we'll see in an expansion), we regen about 5.7 focus/second. 50% more then will work out to a measly 2.85 focus/second.  So not only do we not get the any "on-demand" focus, we also get considerably less focus.  In a 7 minute fight (assuming 100% up-time on Steady Focus, and never delaying Fervor more than 2 or 3 seconds), that's a total of  202.9 focus lost.

That might not seem like a ton, but considering Fervor is on-demand focus, and that steady focus only seems as strong as it is because I was using last-tier-of-the-expansion BiS haste values.  As a new 100 in warlords, your focus regen will be closer to 4.5 focus/sec.  That means over the same 7 minute fight, fervor would have gotten you 454 more focus.

As you can see, this is obviously a huge loss.  But, fervor has been a pretty strong talent.  And TotH is receiving a significant nerf in WoD also.  For those who missed it in the last couple of posts, Thrill of the Hunt will now have a variable % chance to proc, based on the focus cost of the shot (Focus cost * .6 = % chance to proc).

Dire Beast seems to have cleared the first few rounds of tuning free of nerfs (or buffs, for that matter).  DB gives the hunter 40 - 50 focus every 30 seconds for lower geared/lower haste level hunters and up to 55 focus for 5.4 BiS BM hunters.  Taking an easily attainable haste level which returns 50 focus per cast, that works out to 1.667 focus/sec.  Dire Beast, as has been the case since it's introduction in MoP, can't be easily compared to talents like Fervor and TotH by looking simply at focus gen/return, because it also contains some extra damage, done by the dire beast, which is why it's designed to give you considerably less focus than a talent like Fervor (although if you're really looking to compare them, it's worth mentioning that fervor also comes with extra damage due to Wild Hunt).

We'll have a better sense of how the TotH nerf is going to actually affect gameplay once they put this build onto the beta (without more info on how changes will affect our rotation, I can't come up with average TotH procs/uses, to compare the value; it will most certainly be different for each spec, though), but for now, it's hard to image Steady Focus really providing more focus than TotH saves.  Though it may become a preferable talent because of the RNG punishment involved with TotH, Steady Focus without the Attack Speed modifier (which the current in-game iteration of steady focus contains), I don't see it being a very valuable talent.

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