This is something we talked about on the podcast a couple weeks ago (and maybe touched on even earlier), but my email box tells me that I never actually posted about it, so…
Right now for most hunters, your secondary stat priority is going to be Crit >mastery/haste (an argument can be made on the order of the last two depending on spec and gear).
Semicolon however comma…. for some hunters, haste is first
The effect of many pieces of the new RPPM gear is being felt. This started with our trinkets using Blizzard’s Real Proc Per Minute system, that was designed to give us a random feel of procs, but with some predictability as well. The meaningful part of RPPM for this discussion is that your RPPM proc rate is boosted by haste. Thus more haste means you get more procs per minute, on average.
This gets added to the fact that haste starts to get a bit more valuable anyway at very high gear levels, and the fact that you can get more RPPM effects than just the trinkets, and suddenly at top gear levels haste is looking more attractive than even crit for all specs.
Again, this is at top gear levels.
Not only does it require good gear, but it really does require that you have several RPPM items (I’d say at least four) — trinkets, set bonuses, and the RPPM meta gem.
Zeherah first brought this issue up with me many weeks ago, and we had some discussion on it — and I do very much want to get her back on the podcast, by the way, so we can have a more in depth conversation on it (alas I’ve been sick as a dog this past week, and we already have an awesome guest lined up for this coming weekend) — and somehow I never actually got around to mentioning it on the site, despite answering all these emails on it.
Where the Fight Starts
There isn’t much question that haste becomes your best secondary stat with great gear and all the RPPM items. The point of endless disagreement is going to be exactly where the line is — when does haste cross over from a low-rate secondary stat into the top secondary stat?
I can tell you right now that there is no one “right” answer, and for a good amount of space on either side of the line the picture is going to be messy. As always with haste, some of the benefit depends on your actual ability to take full advantage of it: in a world where human optimization decisions are made on computer performance models, when you’re riding that line you may not get what you’d expect (or you may get more).
The good news is that if you’re anywhere near that line — remotely near it — the difference one way or the other is going to be so small that you won’t even be able to measure it!
But what I want to stress to hunters is that haste uber alles is not going to be the right strategy for everyone. Much like armor pen back in the day, you need to reach a certain gear level before it actually becomes better than other secondary stats (and of course agility, ranged dps, and being at the hit and expertise cap are all more important still).