FYTY: Tier 21 Set Bonuses - Pt 3 - Marksmanship

Tier 21 - Nagastalker

All week I've been going over my proposed solutions to the problems with the recently datamined Tier 21 set bonuses.  Beast Mastery turned out to be relatively simple to fix, though required a strong buff to the 2 piece and a slight re-work of the 4-piece (while keeping the same basic mechanic/concept) to make them viable. Survival was a bit more weird to do, as both of the tier bonuses could substantially change the spec's rotation, though we ended up in a fairly good place that would provide an opportunity for the best hunters to really shine, while mildly screwing over the average Hunter who will need to learn a very complicated rotation.  All that's left is Marksmanship.

Marksmanship Set Bonuses:

  • 2 Pc Bonus - Marked Shot Sometimes Shoots Twice - Marked Shot has a 15% chance to fire at the target an additional time.
  • 4 Pc Bonus - Marked Shot Buffs Focus Builders - When Marked Shot deals damage, the damage of your next Arcane Shot is increased by 20% or Multi-Shot damage by 20% and your next Arcane Shot will generate an additional 5 Focus (7 with Sidewinders) or your next Multi-shot will generate an additional 1 Focus.
The theme for Marksmanship's set bonuses in Tier 21 seems to be "give Marked Shot more to do?". We've seen Marked Shot go from an incredibly powerful ability in the early days of legion to a fairly meh ability lately whose sole purpose is to start Vulnerable cycles.  Let's see if these bonuses will be enough to make it worth while.  

The 2 Piece - Marked Shot Sometimes Shoots Twice

For anyone who has been playing Marksmanship this expansion, you'll of course be familiar with this affect, because it's remarkably similar to the supposedly legendary ability for Zevrim's Hunter.  The legendary ring started the expansion very strong, especially in AoE situations, but when Marked Shot was nerfed to not benefit from Vulnerable, the ring's strength was greatly diminished, to the point of even being a DPS loss in many single target situations.  

Fortunately, the new 2 piece set bonus doesn't require you to actually cast Marked Shot twice, wasting precious focus and an even more precious GCD all the while delaying getting your Vulnerable + Patient Sniper buff higher by resetting the timer. 

Essentially, we're just talking about a chance to double the damage from Marked Shot.  Even if that's not the most exiting of effects, it's fine for a 2-piece bonus, and has the potential to be a decent passive buff, that will make MM even more ridiculous on AoE fights.

Since there's not that much to look at here, I'm going to take a few types of fights for our examples. I'll start with a pure single target, Goroth, then try a mix of single target and 2-target, then try a more AoE-friendly fight with Mistress Sassz'ine, and finally, just a garbage AoE fight in which parses are even more meaningless, The Desolate Host. 

Goroth - Pure Single-Target

The Goroth top parses are a bit ridiculous right now, with the 4-pc tier 20 and 2-pc tier 19 combo, plus a crit heavy build, we're seeing upwards of 70% of a Marks Hunter's damage coming from Aimed Shot alone, and 75% of that Aimed Shot damage being from Critical Strikes.  Still, we'll still have this 4 pc when we're getting our tier 21 2 pc, so it may not be all that different then.  

On the parse I'm looking at, which is actually the second from the top parse at the time of my writing this (mostly because the top parse seemed to have a bit too favorable of RNG, and I didn't want to use it as an example, though it didn't actually affect the results too much), Marked Shot made up 13.42% of the Hunter's damage, at 45.08 million damage out of a total of 335.9 million damage in a 243 second fight.  

If we just look at the expected value of a 15% chance at getting double Marked Shot damage, that puts us at 51.84 million damage from Marked Shot, for an overall gain of 2.01%.   Not exactly much to get excited about, eh?  Let's look at AoE before jumping to any conclusions.

Mistress Sassz'ine - AoE and Single-target Mix with some Garbage AoE

Here we see Marked Shot raising up in value quite a bit.  In the top MM parse (at the time of my writing this), Marked Shot (or in this case, "Im Visier", as I suppose this Hunter whose parse I'm looking at is German) made up 31.34% of the overall damage, at 302.7 million damage out of 966 million damage total, in a 463 second fight. This Hunter cast Marked Shot 72 times, for a total of 257 hits, putting their average at 2.8 targets per Marked Shot.  

Again, if we just look at the expected value of Marked Shot going off twice, 15% of the time, that brings our total Marked Shot damage up to 348.12 million damage, for an overall DPS increase of 4.7%.

The Desolate Host - Garbage AoE

Let's be real here, at some point on these AoE fights, getting a high parse is about getting lucky with your Marking Targets procs, more than it's about playing particularly well.  There is still obviously some amount of skill involved, and a lot of hardwork to get the gear necessary, but a lot of it is just about getting lots of Marking Target procs, and getting them at the right time, and having the rest of your team not do too much damage.  My point is: take these numbers with a grain of salt.  

In this case, the top Parse for The Desolate Host did 41.72% of their damage with Marked Shot, overcoming even their Aimed Shot damage.  In a 406 second fight, this hunter cast 77 Marked Shots, which hit 441 times (averaging 5.73 targets per cast) for 368.15 million damage out of their overall total of 882.38 million damage.  

Even in this case, at only a 15% chance to proc, we don't see the 2 set bonus going too far out of hand, increasing their Marked Shot damage's expected value by 55.22 million, which makes for a 6.26% overall increase to damage.   Still, 2% is far too low.  

My Proposal

Of all the Hunter set bonuses in tier 21, Marksmanship Hunters are the only with the potential to really increase their AoE damage.  As such, it makes some amount of sense that we'd see this set bonus having a little bit lower affect on Single Target than the average set bonus.  Still, a 2% increase to single target is a bit ridiculous.  We'll see that relative percent rise slightly when we lose our current tier 20 set bonuses, as the value of Aimed Shot will go down, and we'll likely go back to stacking Mastery instead of Crit.  But, it won't affect it enough to make it worthwhile in single target. 

At a 25% chance to add a second Marked Shot, we see a 3.36% increase to overall damage on the single-target parse,  and a 7.83% increase to overal damage on the Mistriss Sassz'ine parse.  That might be getting too high for the mixed AoE fight, but it's still fairly low for single target.  It's also important to note that on the Misstress Sassz'ine fight, a lot of that AoE is from "garbage-time". If you've done the fight, you'll have noticed that toward the end, a lot of adds come out, and you're essentially racing to kill the boss in time, but instead of prioritizing the boss, you could just spam your AoE to get a higher parse.  That's what I mean by "garbage time".  It's meaningless damage.  It may make you feel fancy when you look at your overall numbers, and there may be a fun meta-game in trying to get as much of that cheese as possible, but it doesn't actually affect whether or not your team can kill bosses.  This is even more so true on The Desolate Host. So I'm not worried about seeing a slightly high number like a 7.83% increase for Sassz'ine.  

If we try raising it up to 30% chance on the 2-piece, we see a much more reasonable 4.03% increase to single target damage,  but on Sassz'ine it jumps up to a 9.4% increase, which is starting to get to be a bit much, even when you take into account a lot of that DPS being inconsequential.  So it's likely, if the Blizzard Devs are married to this Marked Shot Buff concept, then a 25% chance is the most we'll be able to see, and we'll have to hope it isn't too hard to keep up a Beast Mastery set of gear for any Single Target fights. 

Proposal Option A:
2 Pc Bonus - Marked Shot Sometimes Shoots Twice - Marked Shot has a 25% chance to fire at the target an additional time.

As an alternative, Blizzard could give MM a single-target only buff that it will desperately need when it loses the tier 20 set bonuses, and have a more substantial chance to shoot a second time, but it will only hit your current target.  I particularly like this solution because MM doesn't really need more AoE spam damage, and I like the idea of doing important damage more than I like doing more overal damage, but that doesn't really help me get kills.  

Proposal Option B:
2 Pc Bonus - Marked Shot Sometimes Shoots Twice - Marked Shot has a 35% chance to fire at your current target an additional time.


The 4 Piece - Marked Shot Buffs Focus Builders

Even though there was a bit of weirdness in looking at the AoE vs Single Target for the 2 piece set bonus, it doesn't compare to the idea of buffing the damage of our Focus Builders. Buffing the amount of focus we get back is great; I can get behind that idea, but having the damage buff on there also is just a bit strange.  Anyhow, let's take a look at the currently datamined effect.

Starting with just the straight damage percentage increase, we get an extra 20% from the next Arcane Shot every time Marked Shot deals damage.  There's no sign yet as to whether or not this will stack, which would give the 4-piece set bonus a bit of synergy with the 2-piece bonus (and Zevrim's, to some extent), so for now I'm going to assume it doesn't stack.

Goroth - Pure Single-Target

For the Goroth parse I was looking at before, we had 30 Marked Shots, which would have provided the buff for 30 of the 57 Arcane Shots.  Arcane Shots averaged about 315 thousand damage, 20% of which is 62,980.  If we add that damage to 30 of the Arcane Shots, that raises our damage by 1.89 million, which is a .56% increase from our total damage of 335.87 million.

In addition we get an extra 5 focus for each of those Arcane Shots.  That gives us 150 extra focus across the course of the fight.  That's enough extra focus for 3 whole Aimed Shots.  At 2.5 million damage each, and assuming no down-time so we'd be replacing 4 unbuffed Arcane Shots with the cast time of 3 Aimed Shots, so we'll subtract that damage, we're looking at potentially an extra 6.27 million damage, significantly more than we got from the 20% damage buff to Arcane Shot.

All together, that's a 2.43% overall increase to single target damage.

Mistress Sassz'ine - AoE and Single-target Mix with some Garbage AoE

Going back to the same parse from Mistress Sassz'ine, we have a mix of Arcane Shots and Multi-shots (or Arkaner Schuss and Mehrfachschuss, if you're into that sort of thing). Because of the increased AoE value of Marked Shot, we also had a lot more Marked Shots to proc the 4-pc buff, with 72 casts.  

A Bit of a Tangent About Min-Max'ing the 4-pc

First, just for fun, I wanted to compare the value of using Arcane Shot instead of Multi-shot, in multi-target situations when Marking Targets is not proc'ed (that is to say, when the only benefit you get is from your direct damage and your focus, not from the benefit of Marked Shot).  This is just in case the higher focus gain at low targets (2-3) might give you enough extra Aimed shots to make up for the lost damage from casting Arcane Shot instead of Multi-shot.

In the actual parse, the average damage was:

CastsHitsAvg tar/castdmg/castdmg/hit
Multi Shot1194083.43694,400.21202,132.35
Arcane Shot30301.00335,666.67335,670.17

With 2 targets, we're only getting 8 focus from Multi-shot which is five less than we would have got from the Arcane Shot.  At 202k damage per target, we'll see more damage from the Multi-shot, buffed by 20% that comes up to 485.1k damage, compared to only 402.8k damage from Arcane Shot.  However, if that extra 5 focus helps us to cast more Aimed Shots.  If we take the extra focus divided by 50, and multiply that result by the average damage of an Aimed Shot (based on the number of targets), we should be able to compare the focus gain from each.  In the case of the parse I'm looking at, that hunter averaged 2.67 million damage from Aimed Shot to the main target, and 814.7 thousand damage to each additional target (from Trick Shot).  The results are as follows for 2, 3 or 4 targets:

Arcane Shot focusArcane Shot DamageMulti-shot FocusMulti-Shot Damage% of AiS LostAS damage + AiS Lost - Multi Dmg
2 targets13402804.28485,117.65348,470.00266,156.55
3 targets13402804.212727,676.4785,988.00-238,884.27
4 targets13402804.216970,235.29-306,846.00
The last column, if that's a bit unclear, is the difference between the sum of the Arcane Shot damage and the percent of the Aimed Shot damage we were assigning based on the extra focus, and the Multi-shot damage.  In the case of 2 targets, we actually come out ahead with using Arcane Shot instead of Multi-shot. Once we get up to 3 or more targets, the difference in focus is too little, and the damage increase from Multi-shot over Arcane Shot is too great. 

However, as I stated above, this is only in the occasion that you do not have a Marking Targets proc, in which case, the damage from casting another Marked Shot greatly outweighs any of these other consideration.  

Ok Back to Mistress Sassz'ine - AoE and Single-target Mix

Because the majority of the time, you'll be basing whether or not you use Multi-shot or Arcane Shot on maximizing the damage from Marked Shot and Trick Shot, for the rest of this, I'm going to assume that we'll have little-to-no control over whether or not we're buffing Multi-shot or Arcane Shot. Because we cast significantly more Marked Shots during the multi-target part of the fight, we need to give different weight to the buff being used on Multi-shot vs Arcane Shot.  In the case of this particular parse, we had 20 Marked Shots that only hit 1 target, and 52 that were cast at 2 or more targets.  So we'll use that as our ratio of buffed Arcane Shots to buffed Multi-Shots.  

For Arcane Shots, we're looking at an extra 67,134 damage per cast; with 20 buffed Arcane Shots, that's an extra 1.34 million damage, along with an extra 100 focus.  

For Multi-shots, we're looking at an average of an excess 40,426.5 damage per target hit. Since we averaged 3.43 targets per cast, we can call that 138,880 damage per cast, which, with 52 buffs, works out to about 7.22 million extra damage across the fight, along with an extra 178 focus.  

If, like in the single target section, we assume that extra focus is not wasted sitting at the focus cap, and that it is applied to more Aimed Shots (I'm assuming Aimed Shots even during AoE time, as generally we've already cast the max number of Marked Shots during AoE fights, as they're limited by Marking Target procs more than they are by focus).  That would mean we're averaging getting to cast an extra 5.567 Aimed Shots, instead of 7.423 filler Arcane Shots,  which works out to an extra 12.37 million damage.  

Add that all up, and we're looking at 20.94 million damage across the fight, which comes up to an increase of... 2.1%.  

Fixing the 4 pc

When it comes down to it, we're talking about a bonus that buffs a miniscule percent of our damage, and provides at most a few extra Aimed Shots.  It's a nice enough idea to have Marked Shot buffing our focus builders, but it just doesn't matter enough.  

On the Sassz'ine parse, if you increased that buff to 50%.  That is, it gives us a 50% damage buff on the next Arcane Shot or Multi-Shot after casting a Marked Shot, that would only raise it up to about a 3.5% buff.  Similarly on the Single-target parse, that would only raise the overall buff to 3.27%. So we need to add to the Focus return, also.  

If we up the Focus return on Arcane Shot to +7, then that brings our single target overall buff up to a reasonable amount, 4.2%.  +8 focus would be 4.6%, which isn't unreasonable either.  Once we get up to +9 focus (remember, this is with the damage already buffed by 50%, also), then we start to top 5%. 

On the Sassz'ine parse, raising the Arcane Shot focus return to 8 without touching the Multi-shot focus return only brings our overall buff up to 3.8%.  With Multi-shot, it has the potential to scale very quickly.  At an additional 2 focus per Multi-shot hit, along with the 50% damage buff and a raising the Arcane Shot focus return to +8, we get up to a 4.6% overall buff from the 4 pc.  Which I think is a pretty good place for this fight. 

It's worth noting that there is a fairly decent skill cap on any benefit from the focus return.  If you're the type of player who, when they don't have any Marking Targets procs, just sits there and spams Multi-shot or Arcane Shot, you're not really going to benefit too much from extra focus return mechanics.  If, on the other hand, you pay close attention and mange your focus, always staying under the cap, you can get a fair bit of return off it this type of mechanic.  

My Proposal

So I feel like that puts us in a fairly decent place in general.  It wouldn't hurt if our 4 pc was tuned a bit higher, but at some point, the skill cap is going to make the increases benefit the most skilled players too much more than your average player, so I wouldn't want to push it too much, especially in the focus mechanics.  


4 Pc Bonus - Marked Shot Buffs Focus Builders - When Marked Shot deals damage, the damage of your next Arcane Shot or Multi-shot is increased by 50% and your next Arcane Shot will generate an additional 8 Focus (10 with Sidewinders) or your next Multi-shot will generate an additional 2 Focus.

TL;DR: Fixed That For You, Blizzard

Here are my Delirium-Approved Marksmanship Tier 21 set bonuses:

  • 2 Pc Bonus* - Marked Shot Sometimes Shoots Twice - Marked Shot has a 35% chance to fire at your current target an additional time.
  • 4 Pc Bonus* - Marked Shot Buffs Focus Builders - When Marked Shot deals damage, the damage of your next Arcane Shot or Multi-shot is increased by 50% and your next Arcane Shot will generate an additional 8 Focus (10 with Sidewinders) or your next Multi-shot will generate an additional 2 Focus.
*Note - anyone reading this who just googled "Survival Hunter Tier 21 set bonuses", these are my proposed fixes, not the actual bonuses. Maybe try searching on wowhead...

No comments:

Post a Comment