WoD Beta: Marks and the New Barrage

I finally, last night, was able to go over my logs from testing the latest iteration of Barrage.  As I've already shown relatively similar comparisons using SV, I'll try to keep this fairly brief.

If you don't remember, the new barrage has a 20sec CD, and does 960% weapon damage to its main target, at a greatly increased cost of 60 focus.  My stats were as follows:

Weapon Damage952-1430

I killed a couple of test dummies to come up with this info, which amounted to around 18 minutes per fight. Still, even at that length, there were several discrepancies that didn't regress toward the mean, so either RNG is off a bit, or I'm not testing something right.  Anyhow, here are the shot values as MM, with Lone Wolf:

ShotHitCritPer cast ave:

With each test, Chim Shot came out the clearly most valuable shot, as the highest damage dealing shot, the highest Damage per Focus, and the highest Damage per Cast-time per Focus, at 1601.65.  For comparison's sake, the DPCTF (there's gotta be a better way to say that) for the shots ended up looking like:


What's more interesting here, however, is that Aimed Shot (even without TotH procs) beat out Barrage in both Damage per Focus, and Damage per Cast-time per Focus.  If you have a TotH proc, then Aimed Shot's DPCTPF shoots up to 582.99, and when you crit with a TotH proc, the DPCTPF outpaces even Chim Shot, going all the way up to 1748.96.  (I'll add more on this later).  

The result of this is, unfortunately, for single target the fancy new buffed barrage will net you less DPS than spamming Aimed Shots.  Glaives gives you a lot more bang for your buck, so to speak, and at the same time gives the spec an extra instant to use when you've got nothing else to do.  If you aren't using Lone Wolf, the numbers do look a little bit different, but the value of Barrage only comes up to about the same as Aimed Shot, it doesn't really pull ahead.  

One of the other things I noticed about using Barrage with MM, is it doesn't play well with TotH.  That is, because of the super long cast time for Aimed Shot, you've really got to use your AiS quickly, or you'll lose your stacks of TotH.  This can be a problem if you're attempting to pool focus to use for Barrage. At the whim of RNG, getting off Barrage on CD can sometimes be troublesome.  

Revisiting the Chim Shot vs. Aimed Shot Debate

As I mentioned above, the value (as measured in DPCTPF) of Aimed Shot goes up when you get a crit, or when you use it while having TotH.  Another way to increase the DPCTPF of Aimed Shot, however, is using Rapid Fire. RF brings the cast time of AiS down to 1.55 seconds (in the 660 gear I was testing in), which brings the value of Aimed Shot up to  2493.68 (with TotH, assuming automatic crit from Careful Aim).  There is still some tuning to do, and I'll continue to check the numbers, looking at different gearing options and such, but so far I feel like we're pretty much ready to say during Rapid Fire, if we have TotH up, we spam Aimed Shot, even at the cost of delaying Chim Shots.   If you don't have TotH procs to use, then Chim will retake the lead, however.   

Stat Weights and the SimC

A quick bit extra, while I'm talking about Marksmanship, there have been some questions about stat weights due to simulations from the recent builds of SimC.  What people have noticed, is when they run a simulation using the Marksman t17(heroic or mythic) gear set and fight type, they're getting a report that says Multi-shot is, by a decent margin, the most valuable secondary stat.   

The problem with this, however, is that we now have three (four for some specs, depending on how their mastery works) which have very similar results, and furthermore, are multiplicative.   So the value of Multi-strike increases if you have a lot of crit, and vice versa.  This comes down to a very basic concept:

x*x > (x-1)*(x+1)

Of course, in the case of our stats (especially for MM), certain stats will have added mechanical bonuses, such as Aimed Shot crits returning focus. That has to be accounted for as well, but if we didn't have those, we would get the most DPS from having similar amounts (after adjusting for rating to percent increase ratios, and the stat's actual function for increasing damage) of Crit, MS, Versa and Mastery (assuming Sniper Training is up the entire fight).  

The problem with the default build on for MM hunters on SimC is that they've started you out stacked with crit; it's on nearly every piece of gear, and all enchants are crit enchants.  At that point, when you already have all of that crit gear, yes, 1 more MS rating will net you more dps than 1 more crit rating.   But if you switch the default build, and add in just a couple pieces that have MS already on them (I switched the helm and shoulders, but kept all the crit enchants), then run the sim, Crit will overtake MS in value again.  

This is going to be a continual problem in WoD.  While some specs/classes may still have a definitive stat priority, for MM hunters at least, most of the secondary stats will remain so similar in value that your goal will be finding the right balance of all  of them, instead of stacking all of one and none of the other. The exception may be mastery for heavy movement fights if you're playing MM, but in general, this should hold true through-out the xpac.  

If you're interested in more of the math behind this, check out Esoth's post on Versatility:  http://www.esoth.com/blog/versatility-and-its-relative-value

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