Update: Now the PTR is showing 3.3.3 buffing steady shot the 9%, but no longer nerfing the arcane shot bonus. So that will mean an overall total of 1.5% dps boost for BM.
I feel like there has been some misunderstanding about the BM dps changes announced in patch 3.3.3. The change is incredibly minor, and does almost nothing for the beleaguered BM spec.
Today I thought it might be nice to walk through some of the math to see exactly how the BM changes affect overall dps. As is my general preference, we’ll be doing some qualitative theorycrafting rather than absolute — the most accurate way to theorycraft (when you can) is to use actual raid results as your base numbers. It’s not always possible, but for changes that are a percentage change to abilities, it’s very easy.
So for BM I’m going to pop over to World of Logs and find the highest dps BM hunter report for Festergut, since I think we can agree this is someone doing it right :) Just to be on the safe side I also took a loot at other high dps reports to verify that the shot breakdowns were consistent, and they look to be pretty spot on.
Our hunter did 8,778 dps on Festergut — impressive!
Let’s take a look at the breakdowns:
Hunter: 5,638 dps (64.2%)
Pet: 3,140 dps (35.8%)
Breakdown by Shot
- Auto Shot : 46.6%
- Steady Shot: 27.4%
- Arcane Shot: 13.6%
- Kill Shot: 4.6%
- Serpent Sting: 4.1%
- Multi-Shot: 2.7%
- Quick Shot: 1.1%
So here we know that Steady Shot is about 27.4% of the hunter dps (about the same as for me as well!). So we know:
27.4% * 5638 = 1544.8 [total steady shot dps]
Further we know that Arcane Shot is about 13.6% of the hunter dps. So we know:
13.6% * 5638 = 766.8 [total arcane shot dps]
Now let’s take a look at what’s changing in patch 3.3.3. First we have our Ferocious Inspiration changing to an aura. That could be nice for people far away from us with the 100 yard range, but the way FI works now is it already provides 3% damage buff to raid and party members whenever our pet crits, and lasts for 10 seconds. In other words, it’s basically a 100% uptime as long as our pet is attacking.
So even ignoring that the same buff is provided from other classes, this is not a dps increase for BM hunters. They already have the 3% damage increase from FI. The FI changes expand the range and will stay up if our pet dies, but don’t really change the dps that we get from it. So no change to our dps there.
The big one is that instead of giving us (not other hunters btw, just us) a 9% boost to arcane shot, it will instead give us a 9% boost to steady shot. This is good, since as we’ve seen, we get more damage from our steady shot, because it’s fired more often than arcane.
So, the total changes that we’re seeing is a loss of 9% damage to arcane shot and a gain of 9% damage to steady shot. Well, we’ve already calculated our steady and arcane damage, so let’s see how it changes our overall dps.
1544.8 * 9% = 139 [steady shot dps gain]
766.8 * 9% = 69 [approx. arcane shot dps loss]
139 – 69 = 70 [total dps gain from changes]
The Final Result
Now instead of the hunter doing 5,638 dps, he’s doing 5,708 dps, and of course the pet is still doing 3,140 dps. Thus:
Old dps total: 8,778
New dps total: 8,848
Total dps Increase: 0.8%
In other words, the BM change is netting less than a 1% gain in BM dps.
Of course the easier way to calculate the same thing would just be to take the percentages — hunter percentage * steady shot percentage * 9% steady gain and subtract hunter percentage * arcane shot percentage * 9% arcane loss.
(64.2% * 27.4% * 9%) – (64.2% * 13.6% * 9%)
1.58% – 0.78% = 0.8%
I think we can agree that BM need more to be competitive. Hopefully they’ve got more planned for the patch!