Some PvP Stat Clarifications

Since I started PvP'ing (even if just casually), I've always struggled with the first season of an expansion.  With no crafted PvP set to get me started, and a few horrible experiences in Ashran right after hitting 100, I pretty much have just been ignoring PvP.  After all, it's not like I haven't had plenty to do to get ready for raiding.

Well I suppose I should have queued for a couple random BGs sooner.  Somehow I missed the implication of getting a chance at a piece of gear; it means people actually have a reason to try in random BGs.  Instead of queuing with half the people in the group just sitting there, tabbed out, slowly grinding out some honor, there is now significant reward from winning (well, at least before conquest gear comes out later today).  And there's another big benefit of the loot boxes system, and that's that even when you're with a horrible team, there's a reason to stay to the end, because even the losing gear has a chance to give you gear that's the same ilvl as the Ashran gear.

I imagine random BGs were mostly fun because they had a lot of great PvPers in them, since there were no RBGs or ranked Arenas open yet.  Still, it was fun while it lasted, and now I'm getting excited to get into RBGs and some Arenas as the season opens.

PvP Stat Changes

I didn't, until last week, know about all of the various changes to stats in Warlords.  I suppose I had heard that there multistrike would work differently, but even that, I was still working with outdated information. Dillypoo mentioned this on Arena Junkies, and over on the Battle.net forums, hunter Mejjmejj recently posted a fairly detailed guide to hunter stats in PvP, and I've since found confirmation of all of these in logs and Dev posts.  

The big changes are that Crits only do 150% damage (instead of the 200% they do in PvE) and Multistrike only has a chance to do 1 additional shot for 30% damage (instead of 2 in PvE). What that means for the stats, is that you'll need more crit or multistrike stats in order to increase your dps by the same amount.  For example, where before (and currently in PvE) you needed 110 crit to raise your overall DPS by 1% (not including its other effects, like focus return), now you need 220 crit to raise your overall DPS by 1%.

So the immediate DPS effects of our basic damage multiplying stats look like this:

110 Crit = + .5% damage
110 MS = +.5% damage
110 Versa = +.85% damage

For Mastery it's going to depend on playstyle (are you focused on all Pet Damage as BM, etc..), but just as an average from a few BG logs, using the same 110 stat as a comparison, my mastery weights looked like this:

BM: 110 Mastery ≈ +1.2% damage
SV: 110 Mastery ≈ + .75% damage
MM:  110 Mastery ≈ + .55% damage (assuming you have 100% uptime on ST)

Based on these numbers, only BM mastery is going to out perform Versatility, especially once you consider the other benefit of Versatility, reduced damage taken.  However, there needs to be an addendum, in that Crit's value isn't only in doing more damage.

For MM hunters, Aimed Shot Crits return 20 focus.  This can be crucial when trying to burst someone down, as getting that extra focus could mean you can cast an additional damage dealing ability before they have time to heal, where as otherwise you might need to use Steady Shot, delaying your big damage dealing abilities, and possibly giving your opponents healer time to catch up.

For BM hunters, Auto Shot crits give your pet 15 focus, do to the Invigoration mechanic (formerly called "Go for the Throat").  This, in turn, can lead to a higher number of Claws, Bites, or Smacks (pet basic attacks) or a greater number of Wild Hunts (which double the damage of your pet's basic attacks).

Both of these mechanics are very difficult to quantify as a "% damage increase", but should still be considered when looking at ideal stats.

Anyhow, we should have some better ideas of Strategy Dependent stat weights as we the new season opens (today!), and hopefully, more info on determining the best gearing strategy for PvP Hunters.  

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