Hunter DPS Post Patch

Posted: by Frostheim


Now that patch 4.0.6 has had some time to settle in and our trusty World of Logs has had time to get lots of tasty new data from the new patch, I thought it’d be a good idea to see just how the patch 4.0.6 changes played out for us hunters in the raid world.

Pre 4.0.6 Numbers

Now the numbers we have from before 4.0.6 from World of Logs data are from pretty early on in the expansion, when people were raiding with mostly poor gear (except for the top guilds of course). When we looked at the World of Logs data for the median of the top dps parses for each spec (25normal) here’s what we saw:

Over at the far right, the top DPS overall (excluding Halfus) is survival. MM and BM didn’t have high enough raid representation at that point to get meaningful numbers from them, but it was very clear that they were crazily low. 10-man numbers, by the way, showed SV ahead by an even larger lead.

Based on this and similar data, I thought that SV, DKs, and ‘Lock damage looked like it was too high, while BM and MM damage was clearly too low and needed buffing. I’m guessing Blizzard was looking at data somewhat similar to this — though certainly more comprehensive than what we can get from WoL — when they worked on their patch 4.0.6 class and spec balance.

Current stat of spec and class balance

For current number we can, of course, look at StateofDPS.com. Back when I first put this data together State of DPS wasn’t enabling sorting by median or excluding Halfus (which really screws with dps averages). Since being injected with awesomesauce, they now do, which makes our data analysis much, much easier.

We saw many very nice buffs for BM and MM, and some pretty steep nerfs for SV (much more than the 5% I was talking about certainly). Specifically, SV’s 15% bonus to agility was knocked down to a 10% agility bonus, and their Explosive Shot was nerfed by 15% as well as a smaller nerf to Black Arrow.

Here’s where we’re at now. Obviously as people have geared up and become more familiar with the fights, overall numbers have inevitably increased. What we’re really interested in is the comparative positioning of the specs.

Post 4.0.6 25 normal mode median top dps, ignoring Halfus.

So we’re seeing here the MM buffs vaulting them up toward the top of the dps charts in terms of dps potential in current raid content, while SV is currently sitting right about dead center in the middle of the pack. Sadly, BM is still languishing in the bottom cluster, though nothing like subtlety rogues. It’s worth noting, however, that BM has been steadily rising since 4.0.6, and many top geared hunters are reporting impressive BM numbers on movement-heavy fights (including Onymas, who we interviewed in the podcast over the weekend).

It’s probably worth noting that the 25 heroic spread looks pretty similar. But what’s really interesting is if we look at the 10-man data. I didn’t actually put together a chart of that back in January, but remember I mentioned that SV was performing even better in 10-mans than 25? Well that trend is continuing in 4.0.6:

Post 4.0.6 10 normal mode median top dps, ignoring Halfus.

In the 10-man data, we see that SV is basically neck and neck with MM up on the very top of the dps charts — implying that SV is less buff-dependent, or has fewer important buffs than many other classes. BM still sits in the bottom cluster, even in 10-man data.

Another interesting thing here is when we look at the sample size. MM and BM have close to equal representation, but we actually have significantly fewer people raiding as SV. My hunch is that the reason for this is that “common knowledge” says that MM is the top spec again, so “ur a noob” if you don’t run as MM, which drives most people to MM. BM hunters, however, have always been the most fiercely loyal to their spec, and now that they’re competitive in raids (and remember, the benefit of that 3% damage buff, if needed, more than makes up the difference) they’re all about rocking the big red pet.

Should SV have been nerfed? Were they overnerfed?

So now that we have some solid before and after perspective, let me ask you guys this: should SV have been nerfed at all? And if so, were they overnerfed?

On the one hand, it’s kind of hard to yell about being dead in the middle of the dps cluster, but on the other hand we’re hunters darnit, we should be in the top cluster!

Back when I first looked at overall WoL dps results at the end of December and early January, I took a ton of flak for suggesting that, based on the raid data, SV probably needed it’s dps nerfed by a comparative 5% (along with DKs and Locks). Of course they ended up being nerfed far more than that, but I’m curious where opinions stand now.

Oh, and as a response for the record: a lot of people actually blame me for the nerf, suggesting that it’s because I stated my opinion that SV got nerfed, and nerfed hard. This is just silly. If I had that much influence over the developers we would no longer have a minimum range, be able to reforge our bows into guns,  have pet collars, and no more elves. And what seems always to get ignored is that I also argued for buffs for BM and MM. If you’re gonna blame me for the nerfs, I should at least get credit for all the buffs, right?

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  1. petepegleg67 says:

    Frost, asshats will be asshats! Keep up the good work! (even though your alliance scum :D FOR THE HORDE . . . wait that means I have to cheer for Garrosh . . . For Thunderbluff!!)

    Seriously though I agree with you and appreciate all the effort you put into the site

    • Fellish_Beast says:

      For Zul’jin!!!
      Not sure why the heck we Darkspears cheer for him, though. He’s sort of our enemy.
      Ah, screw it. He’s a badass anyhow.

      • Kalven and Hobs says:

        Trolls:Horde::Dwarves:Alliance?

    • Bignard says:

      lol, hey there is always a few that slip through the cracks!

  2. Alph says:

    Interesting stuff, seems to match what I’ve seen in 10 man groups as well. I’m curious what buffs MM might be missing in a typical 10-man vs. 25-man group that can make all the difference. I would have expected SV to be more affected by buffs because of the agi bonuses.

    • Lewelyen says:

      I think the 10% haste is a very important one.
      SV brings the haste buff… if you go with MM it is very likely that your 10-man misses this buff.

      It can screw up your rotation if you go into fight as MM without this buff.

      • dream says:

        Yes, I’ve noticed this as well. MM feels rather clunky in 10-man without the 10% haste buff. And providing the 10% haste to the melee and tanks is quite nice, so I’m gonna stick with SV for now.

      • Whitefyst says:

        The 10% haste buff is key to both MM and the rest of the physical DPS in the raid. Hence, although I am an MM advocate, I strongly suggest playing SV if your raid does not have the 10% haste buff otherwise.

        For MMs, it makes a big difference to your DPS. It affects your buffed autoshot frequency and reduces the cast time of your AI hardcasts and SSs (when not GCD capped), all of which results in more attacks and more WQ procs. Without the buff, you basically need 10+% haste on gear to be able to perform the same rotations as you can without it.

    • Zeherah says:

      There are 4 buffs that MM might commonly be without that would siginificantly weaken it compared to SV:
      - 10% haste (which SV provides)
      - armor reduction
      - physical damage debuff
      - bleed debuff

      SV will see far less loss missing armor or physical damage debuffs, and no loss from missing a bleed debuff. It will however notice a missing spell damage debuff far more than MM. It’d also be hurt hard by missing 10% AP, but that buff seems easier to come by.

      In my group we’re missing both 10% haste and bleed debuff, so I go SV to not only provide 10% haste but because the missing bleed debuff cuts down the dps gap between the two specs.

  3. MischievousMonKy says:

    Kinda sums up what I’ve experianced as a 10man raider and also heard about from ppl in 25m raids.
    The thing I’m wondering about is if the ‘Into the Wilderness’ nerf will have a bigger effect in the coming tiers with gearscaling compared to MM. But time will tell.

  4. Vlademier says:

    The data seems consistent with my experience as I have geared up and along with the nerds to SV. But the bigger question is about bow will Blizzard handle the scaling issue. When 4.2 hits with better gear, and MM scales better then SV, will they tone down some of the SV nerfs?
    For the record I was one of those who flamed you. (though not as bad as some) I still think the nerf, at least the degree of it, was a mistake; however, I do still feel MM and SV should be a little closer IMO on single target.

    Again thank you for all you do for the hunter community.

  5. Tibbelkrunk says:

    I think the disparity between MM and SV in 10s and 25s has a lot to do with the presence of buffs, especially the less common ones. In 10s, we sometimes sacrifice one of our own best buffs to bring a better one for the raid.

    30% bleed damage does nothing for SV or BM but does wonders for MM. Only arms warriors and feral druids (two lesser DPS specs) and hyenas bring this.

    4% physical damage taken has a much greater affect especially on MM’s DPS, but also that of BM, than it does on SV’s. This buff is only brought by combat rogues and frost DKs (again, two lesser specs) or ravagers.

    Meeanwhile, some of the most important buffs for SV are brought by the most common classes. Unholy DKs, boomkin, assassination rogues, and all specs of warlock bring the 8% spell damage taken debuff. SV hunters brings their own 10% ranged haste, which otherwise is only brought by frost DKs and shaman who aren’t dropping the 5% spell haste totem instead.

  6. Vlademier says:

    Nerds=nerfs Darn autocorrect

  7. Kuno says:

    I see also similar results. In 10-man raids SV is better then MM if you I don’t have group build around meele DPS. In 25-man it depends on boss. MM is generally better, but SV is still quite good in few encounters ( Magmaw, Halfus).

    As Tibbelkrunk mentioned, it’s really annoying bringing buffs for MM. In most cases we are raiding with 2-3 hunters and we have bring buff for us by ourselves and if we are missing some other buffs ( 5% crit or sunder armour) we have to give up bleed or physicla dmg, because RL demands that from us. It’s just annoying.

    Considering MM spec I’m just a bit confused with rotation ( prior, w/e you call it). Here on WHU in guides we have analysis that using AS as focus dump gives better results. On EJ there is VEEERYYY long topic about using AS/AiS in different phase of fight, but for me I see always much better results with using AiS. No idea why, but AS always gives me worst results. When I’m going to use AS on fight I’m below even SV hunters ( Valiona&Theralion encounter )! With AiS I’m in most cases in Top3. Maybe I just don’t know how to play MM with AS as focus dump :(

    Cheers :) Writing here post is much more interesting then classes I have right now ;p

  8. Turelak says:

    “we’re hunter’s darnit, we should be in the top cluster!” I think that 3 nerfs was too much. At least the Black Arrow dmg should stay the same… but I’m happy with it anyway. I just think that a awesome good Healer class shouldn’t be top DPS… we are DPS only class, so as locks, rogues and mages… all this classes should top DPS, not DKs and Priests…

    • Tullwinden says:

      DK’s I can understand their DPS because of their combo/hit moves, and their DPS can be really high, but a clothie S-priest? Proves me that this patch was more caster oriented. I am an engineer by trade and most of the new tinkering is designed for characters that uses mana. So imagine the possibilities of all that tinkering plus a buff in your DPS!

  9. Ril says:

    i just want to point out the big standard deviation on BM dps. this, along with the fact that i was once rated top 200 on a nef fight despite the fact that i died in early p3 (darned pet bug! i tried to run out of pet range to be able to call it again :D) and wasn’t ressed, shows that we still got much, much too little data about BM.
    and yes, bm is quite a viable spec for nef. the pet nearly always has something to bite; the “air phase” usually is very short (my pillar group tends to be the last).

    i won’t talk about mm because i simply didn’t spec into it. my fellow hunter of my 10 man does, that’s why i went into BM (we don’t usually have the 3% dmg buff). and the rawr rawr ofc.

    SV definetely is over nerfed. they either should have left the 15% agi or the BA/ES alone. whatever scales better i guess.
    despite this, SV still is unbalanced, because it’s the only viable spec for AE and single target. BM has bonbing potential too, but seriosely, why should a hunter gimp him/herself with a ugly worm or complicated chimera micro-management when the alternative is tossing a trap and spamming MS?

    so yes i do think that the spec-balance is ok (as of 10 man) dps-wise… ok, bm could need a little extra-help, sure. and flying pets should become viable for air phases. seriously, why not? why shouldn’t my parrot fly after that darned dragon if it takes off? doesn’t make any sense to me. and it would add a little to the flavour, right now its just “bring whatever pet has the best buff”. boring.

  10. refire says:

    ” If you’re gonna blame me for the nerfs, I should at least get credit for all the buffs, right?”

    No you shouldn’t. What you spew on here is spread about the misinformed hunter community tremendously. When you made a horrible post, with poor data concerning only the best players in the world, four weeks after an expansion, people are going to listen. Somehow what you’ve done has been credited enough to get an item named after you. Congrats, somehow making a random blog, with data that other people find and you just restating has now placed you in the same category as Landsoul and Aldriana, while Zeherah is left with nothing other than the greatest tool the hunter community has seen.

    • Ril says:

      so what are you doing here, reading that “random blog”?
      go away.

    • Frostheim says:

      Poor data? Care to expand on that? We were looking at the median of the top dps parses, and the top 200 is the standard way (and imo the best way) of evaluating class balance and dps potential. What better way would you recommend?

      Misinformation? Care to support that claim in any way? Please link me the guide that is incorrect for the majority of hunters. As always, if I’ve made a mistake somewhere, I want to know about it.

      Data other people find? Again, what are you referring to specifically? Though, really, between spreading misinformation and using other people’s info… you should really just pick one and go with it. The combination of the two is kinda funny : )

      • refire says:

        Poor data? This is how you claim you did your data in your first article. “The following chart takes the median of the top 20 benchmarks for each spec for every boss.” You took 20 people from each spec. The top 20, will obviously be of a much higher playing level. Already you have discounted the 90% of WoW that is casual by only comparing the 20 best parses per spec. What would have been a better comparison was at least all of the top 200 per spec, although even this would have produced skewed results which is why nothing other than internal testing by Blizzard can truly produce accurate results.

        Misinformation? Misinformation has been going on for a long time. Do you remember your armor pen article where you said you wouldn’t suggest changing to it because the dps gain was minimal at best? What about the misinformation for you doing MM plateaus without 3/3 pathing, which is clearly the best talent setup at the moment rather than 3/3 frenzy. Maybe you making haste plateaus with every spec but never including a filler shot within the haste plateaus (an arcane shot in an SV rotation makes a 4 gcd haste plateau not only plausible, but possible as well in this gear level) until you realized you forgot one of BM’s biggest focus gains and continually told a poster he was wrong until you realized your own mistake.

        More Misinformation? “Technically the glyph of Chimera Shot is one of the best hunter glyphs; however, that big dps gain immediately turns to zero if you delay your Chimera Shot by a second — since a second is all it’s buying you. ” Glyph of Chimera Shot shortens your cd no matter what. If a player would be delaying their chimera shot with the glyph, why is it assumed they wouldn’t without the glyph? No matter what for an average player the glyph is great now that hard casting aimed is essentially out of the equation for any player that isn’t making top 20 parses. If a player would have started a steady at 9 seconds before, and fired his chimera off at 10.5, he lost 5 seconds. Now that same player fires a casted gcd at 8 seconds, and fires the chimera at 9.5. He’s still seeing the full second of glyph. Making the assumption that the player will have zero delay without the glyph, yet suddenly delay with the glyph doesn’t make sense.

        I picked two does that work?

      • refire says:

        Edit: Lost .5 seconds. My apologies.

      • Frostheim says:

        Excellent, let’s discuss those:

        Firstly, if you are taking the stance “…nothing other than internal testing by Blizzard can truly produce accurate results.” then we disagree fundamentally. I would argue that player data is in some ways more accurate than internal testing — after all, who cares what internal testing shows if it doesn’t model what’s actually happening in the game? Similarly, we have always evaluated the dps of specs based on the top cluster (which is a fraction of a percent, if it’s 20 or 200). This makes sense: after all, if your dps is significantly lower than theirs, then the problem isn’t your spec or class, but instead your optimization or skill.

        Armor pen — yes, I do remember. You are referring to the Ulduar version of the armor pen article, a point in time when the vast majority of hunters could get at best the tiniest of dps upgrades by chasing ArP, and when many more hunters were tanking their dps by chasing the BiS ArP recommended by EJ, not realizing it only applied to those with BiS gear. Later when more ArP gear became available, the guide was updated to reflect the current state of the game. I would argue this is a strength of the WHU, not a weakness. It applies to the majority of hunters seeking information online — the normal-mode raiding cluster — and it is updated as the game changes.

        I think 3/3 pathing can be worth it for MM, depending exactly where you are in the haste plateaus. For many hunters it is not. Keep in mind that the value of haste, both from gear and talents, varies based on where in the plateaus you are. It isn’t the black & white, static thing, that some people like to make it out to be. Fortunately, I provide the exact steady cast time you need to reach the plateaus, so people can easily calculate it based on their own raid buffs, talents, and racials.

        Glyph of Chimera shot: do you disagree with the statement? If you delay your Chimera Shot by 1 second with the glyph (because of the state of your rotation) then it’s useless. That’s just fact. Also, the value of the Chimera glyph varies greatly based on where you are in the many MM haste plateaus. But wow, you’re quoting *that* as a source of misinformation, a place where I recommend the glyph, say how great it is, but point out that if you can’t manage the tighter rotation you should go with a different glyph? If that’s really the top examples of misinformation I think we just have wildly different definitions of the word.

      • refire says:

        “Nick – it sounds like you may be basing your math on pre-nerf armor pen stats (if not I’d love to see it, because your results seem to be radically different). At 350 armor pen, arcane shot will do substantially more damage than steady shot, and unless you’re soft-capping, hunters will do more damage from agility gemming than armor pen gemming. Furthermore the top hunter dps in the world comes from agility gemming (Kripparian) and the Ensidia hunter argues that agil gemming and armor pen stacking are about the same.”

        That’s from 2009. The best hunters were already full ARP, hunters in bad gear should have at least dropped arcane shot from their rotation with an extremely easy to hit armor pen number of 350. What was your advice to hunters?

        “Agility is better than armor pen (for MM and SV). You should not use armor pen gems, and you should not use armor pen food – you should stack agility. You will do less damage stacking armor pen than if you use agility/attack power in those slots. Obviously BM hunters prefer attack power over agility or armor pen.”

      • Frostheim says:

        Actually, at the time the very best hunters were using arcane shot — including Kripparrian (at the time that was written — he obviously switched as he was able to get more armor pen). Likewise Kruf from Paragon argued that armor pen and agility were about the same for those levels.

        Furthermore all hunter math at the time — including FemaleDwarf’s simulator, showed where the armor pen vs agility breakpoint was. And if you were under 350 armor pen, agility was still netting your more dps.

        This is a good topic to debate about, because the math was pretty clear at the time. The problem that hordes of hunters were having was hearing that armor pen was the way to go and they took their 100 armor pen rating hunter and gemmed away all their agility and didn’t understand why their dps went down.

      • refire says:

        “I think 3/3 pathing can be worth it for MM, depending exactly where you are in the haste plateaus. For many hunters it is not. Keep in mind that the value of haste, both from gear and talents, varies based on where in the plateaus you are. It isn’t the black & white, static thing, that some people like to make it out to be. Fortunately, I provide the exact steady cast time you need to reach the plateaus, so people can easily calculate it based on their own raid buffs, talents, and racials.”- Frostheim

        Except that’s wrong. Any haste value just increases the value gained from the Chimera shot glyph more and more (Ranging from 2.65% haste to 14.06% haste). There aren’t set plateaus until 14.06% haste from gear, assuming full raid buffs and 3/3 pathing. At 14.06% you’re gaining 100% of the bonus from the Chimera Shot glyph with maximum gcd usage in between the Chimera Cd’s. Any point between the value you’re still lowering from the normal time it would take to cast Chimera. EX. on a normal rotation when you’d normally fire every Chimera,at 10 seconds, you’re now firing it every 9.5 at 8.05% haste. That 9.5 second number is consistently lowered with more haste and any benefit off of the 10 second normal cd is a benefit to the glyph.

      • Frostheim says:

        Exactly what are you considering a normal rotation?

        Assuming raid buffs and 3/3 pathing then, with no t11 set bonus:

        Steady Shot has a cast time of: 1.535
        Aimed has a cast time of: 2.226

        4 Steadies, 2 arcane, and 1 chimera would be 1.914 seconds — with zero haste from gear.
        4 steadies, 1 aimed, and 1 chimera would be 9.366 seconds with zero haste from gear.

        You need a very small amount of haste to benefit fully from the glyph (assuming that you aren’t delaying anything, using spell queuing). Thereafter the additional haste isn’t helping you nearly as much, because it’s not letting you cast your Chimera Shot any faster, until you reach the point that you can actually squeeze an extra shot into the rotation — the next haste plateau.

        That’s what I mean when I say that the benefit of haste is variable depending on your position in the plateaus. Haste is always good — it’s still boosting our auto-shot, our focus regen, our pets attack speed and focus regen — but sometimes it’s letting us fire our signature shot more often as well, and other times it’s not.

        And as the dps value we get from haste fluctuates based on our plateaus, so too does the value of attack speed talents.

      • Giix says:

        I don’t usually post … but i cant help but wonder if recount can track frost schooling upset posters with sweet logic.

    • Killian says:

      I’m guessing someone has a hunter blog no one has ever read.

      • Sathien says:

        “You took 20 people from each spec. The top 20, will obviously be of a much higher playing level. Already you have discounted the 90% of WoW that is casual by only comparing the 20 best parses per spec.”

        A. State of dps chose those numbers, not Frost.
        B. It shows those casual players/raiders what is POSSIBLE for us to achieve.
        C. Before I found WHU I had no clue about any of this. Since I discovered this blog, my knowledge, dps, and skills have increased. I have yet to find another site that is as informative (without screwing with my brain with theorycrafting). Perhaps you could suggest one?

  11. Taira says:

    Zeherah actually spends a fair amount of time here, and works with Frost on some of the data presented. She may not have her own item in-game, but that doesn’t mean she’ll never get one. Zeherah has also publicly endorsed Frost’s work.

    So, with the person credited with the greatest tool the hunter community has every seen making statements about the work Frost is doing here, and Blizzard caring enough to name an item after him, your drivel is next to meaningless.

    Carry on, mister troll. We’ve greased the door jams so your head should squeeze through without much issue on your way out. Do mind the door though, it has a tendency to catch people who doddle in the doorway.

    • Kalven and Hobs says:

      Proposed in-game item: Zehera’s Goggles.

      *dawdle, btw

  12. Gerloth says:

    @Refire.
    More times than not EJ is wrong instead of Frost. Sure Frost did talk a lot about how powerful survival was, but he was not wrong. We were doomed to get nerfed, and certainly blizz has a very strong tendency of swinging the nerf hammer too hard. But I think we did well readjusting after 4.06. Be thankful for these blogs for it’s a stepping stone for many hunters. Ultimately it is the hunters job to come close to perfection.

    I raid 10s and find myself unable to raid MM mainly for the buff issues. Survival is my primary spec with BM being my offspec. I am still not a fan of the clunkiness of AiS rotation. And I beliieve that is why Frost suggests AS is a good focus dump after careful aim. Some fights are too punishing to plant feet and shoot. And I do know almost all hunters on my server that are in 25s do raid MM.

    • refire says:

      While I agree it’s a great stepping stone for hunters, the author doesn’t stop there but instead continues into realms that he has barely seen. Raid experience doesn’t exist yet he writes an article on how hunters are OP in raids, using data from only the top 20 parses per spec. This continues into writing an article on how to maximize damage on certain encounters in which he has less than 5 kills.

      • Frostheim says:

        And to be fair, I was clear that it was the *current* state of raids, with only a few hundred parses for each spec, and I made it clear exactly where the data was coming from. I showed the facts as they existed, then stated by analysis based on those facts. Interestingly, Blizzard’s data seems to have agreed with that.

        I do indeed write articles on hunter tips for bosses for which I have less than 5 kills — sometimes far less! But that’s an ad hominem argument — the question is whether the information is useful. Keep in mind most top kill guide videos are made by raid teams with only 1 or 2 kills, after all : )

      • Hunter7890 says:

        YES, YES, YES

        Agreed completely…although this site has its merits Frost often oversteps he minimal raiding progression experience and what not.

        This site should be called Hunter Knowledge Very Casuals, Noobs and Baddies. Any serious hunter should be aware of this stuff way before it and realize what he is getting wrong.

        Now flame away fan boys.

      • Hunter7890 says:

        To clarify I think this site is great for a certain type of more casual players and does a lot to eliminate huntardness. It is largely opinions and his interpretation of the data he produces in his tests. It is not anywhere near cutting edge and he does get things wrong (which is NORMAL). Also, he talks about things he has little or no experience with.

  13. Ozolin says:

    For me, staying SV with the release of Cata and through 4.0.6 and all the hotfixes, I’ve seen my DPS increase significantly, but that’s because I’ve improved my gear, which is only logcal. My raid sample size is very small, but I’m very happy with averaging 20-25K in my 10man group right now. I still think the nerf to SV was too much, but it’s not been the end of the world as I was led to partially believe it would be.

  14. Ambor says:

    I never posted here but read a lot. But couldn’t resist creating an account after reading refires post.

    This site has so much valuable information on it for the hunter community. The data is almost always very good up to date. There are not much mistakes and if they are there, than it will be corrected. You are coplaining about an item in game. Well, if someone deserves it, it’s Frost. He really did a lot for the hunter community. I switched from BRK to here after BRK quit his job. Still miss that site, but this one is also very valuable.

    What is your problem with the posts here? Mad that “your” class is nerfed? It should have and has nothing to do with the posts here, trust me.
    You also state that the number of raid boss kills is not big enough to write something about it. Are there mistakes in the post? And if so, what? Give something that helps if you think it’s wrong or don’t say anything that doesn’t help your credentials at all….

    One more thing to say. Very good job on the site and keep posting!

  15. Brock says:

    I think the worst part about nerfing SV is that it will scale worse with the next raid tier. Blizz will have to bring back the 15% agility buff, maybe even more, in order to have it scale as well as MM does with increased weapon damage.

    Furthermore, they nerfed Black Arrow into the nether as far as PvP goes, creating hybrid specs which they wanted to avoid. Even in raids where the boss stands still Explosive Trap works as well as Black Arrow. They need to buff Black Arrow damage, increase it’s duration to match it’s CD or remove the CD, and they need to add a HoT component to it because SV has no self heal unlike every other spec.

    • Brock says:

      Also, I would like to speak to my previous posts about how SV is bottom of the barrel. My testing was based on simcraft, which it seems is very, very different than how things are actually playing out in raids as evidenced by stateofdps. So, in the perfect world of simcraft SV seems like crap, but it actually has the tools to perform well in this raid tier. My apologies for my negative remarks on prior posts.

      • Lokrick says:

        When running Simcraft for such things, it can be useful to also look at results with “skill=0.8″. Imperfect execution impacts BM the most, then MM, then SV. That can correlate with player skill, familiarity with fights, etc. One of the nice things about SV is that it is best for keeping up the desired execution even in the midst of chaos.

  16. Imrak says:

    @Refire
    Frost provides Hunters with a service that I greatly appreciate. He provides me with all of the theory crafting I need, but have neither the time nor the skill to conduct. I find it here in plain English, with sensible caveats and with a best-by date that lets me know I can trust it.

    I can understand you taking issue with specific points of data or representation with Frost – though TBH, these seem unfounded. But why the tirade? Why the ad hominem attacks on Frost? I must tell you your post seems emotional and unreasonable.

  17. Dorianchika says:

    @ Refire.

    I refuse to rage at you Refire. I don’t think that critical means morally backward in any case but would appreciate the “troll” aspects of your first post to not interfere with your arguements. Frost is a big boy and he works with folks as you pointed out; even if he comes out wrong occasionally. He’s not working for Blizz, this is all on his time and his dime. I prefer to avoid shooting volunteers in any aspects of my life and I’ve always admired Frost’s “Pay your dues” attitude.

    The point I did like that Refire made was about serving the “average” player and comparing with the top 200. Although accurate, its just a matter of watching the road signs of the Top 200 and seeing where we will all be 3 weeks down the road.

    @ Frost. Nerfs… yep, they sure suck and they are pretty obvious hmmm buddy? Thanks for advocating for moderate reactions from Bliz. I find the peacekeeper approach gets me shot in negotiations in RL by friend AND foe, LOL. Keep up the fine work and fair representation for our class.

    • Imrak says:

      That’s a fair point, Dorianchika, about the performance of the average raider. I look at myself on WoL and I’m getting 18k DPS on fights not 24k. I raid 6 hours a week, we are 8/12 and I’m a happy hunter. But I think part of what set Refire off is this idea of the top parses vs the average parses.

      Is there merit, Frost, in saying Most hunters are seeing these numbers as well as showing the a spec’s potential as evidenced by the top parses?

  18. rob says:

    I think Blizz did a great job, hunters can be on top in 10man and in 25. The cry for OP was so big, that even hunters couldn’t claim skill to be the reason for their dps pre 4.06.

    I roll 10 mans SV and love that I don’t have to respec to MM to be competitive. Now when I top the meters I have three things I didn’t have pre 4.0.6: 1) Competition, locks, mages, rogues and SPs can come close and 2) I can feel pride that I topped the meters and at least know some measure of skill was involved. 3) Bragging rights without cry’s for OP.

  19. kirikawind says:

    I switched from MM to SV for my 10 man raids just because the rotation was easier to manage in movement heavy fights or when I have to put kitty away and bring out Terrorpene just to pet tank that last few % on a bunch of mobs. I think SV gives me the flexibility to do all the things that make us hunters the best class to have in a raid.

    • kirikawind says:

      also, it’s nice to finally be able to dps race with my guild leader’s boomkin. Last raid we were seperated by only 30K total damage after 2 and a half hours of raiding. Let the wagering of top dps begin!

  20. Omogon says:

    Good info Frost. If the stars align and the wind is in the right direction I can get within about 10% of the median dps for 10 mans. That’s mostly because of all the bad data and misinformation I read here ;)

    Thanks again for the work you do

  21. Lóse says:

    It’s a hard thing to say, I certainly don’t like the idea of a class who can tank or heal in addition to DPS beating, on average, a class that can only DPS. However, in 10-man’s, I can’t complain, as I am still pulling on average more DPS than anyone else in the 10-man. But I can’t claim that we are all playing on the same skill level. I think we were over-nerfed, by just a little.

    @refire I think taking information from the top 200 raid parses, which logic dictates, will have the highest skill level as well, to make your decisions is the only way to go. If we buff or nerf to the lowest common denominator of skill, then as one improves at playing their class the game becomes unbalanced. But, personally, I think you came here just to “troll” and start an argument.

  22. D3thray says:

    I’ll give my viewpoint as a 25 man raider. When 4.0.6 hit the PTR I was on-board with the projected 5% agility nerf. By the time 4.0.6 went live the data no longer supported the nerfs and now of course it definitely doesn’t support the nerfs. SV will definitely run into issues in the next tier and I’ll be very disappointed if Blizzard doesn’t revert some of the nerfs. SV didn’t deserve to be hit as hard as it got hit.

  23. Killian says:

    Refire, I don’t always agree with Frost (although I often do), but I certainly recognize his contributions to the community. You know what I always agree with? Math. And facts. Sadly, neither of those are in your corner.

    Frost’s dataset is small, but I think it’s a little unrealistic to require him to compile all the possible sets out there. And what, exactly, would including middling numbers prove? The point of the exercise is to demonstrate how specs perform relative to one another. If we proceed with that as our goal, we need to control for skill and gear differences as much as possible. The best way to do this is *exactly* what Frost has done, since gear level is almost completely flat at this level and while it’s much trickier to quantify skill, I think it’s fair to say if you’re in that group you are, “extremely skilled.” Of course if the most skilled Fire mage decided to play Frost instead, there’s a good chance he would be an outlier in the Frost group. But he didn’t. He’s playing Fire. And that choice, in and of itself, is significant.

    You don’t need raid experience to analyze data just like stock brokers don’t need to own a stock to know if it’s a good or bad investment. Indeed, a lot of highly experienced raiders I’ve read suffer from confirmation bias–the boss died, ergo what they do is correct/most efficient. I’m all for a healthy debate, but ad hominem attacks aren’t very constructive.

  24. Xyriin says:

    I’ll start by saying that way back I was very adamant that SV didn’t need a nerf. I clearly stated my reasons that content favored ranged over melee (which Paragon mentioned upon their completion of content) and that SV AoE was very powerful. I know that back on his initial blogs on the topic Frostheim and I counter posted comments more than once on the topic.

    I think if you look at SV single target DPS it is pretty clear that SV was given a nerf it didn’t need. As it stands right now with full raid buffs and full raid roles SV is very much just the AoE spec.

    As for the state of SV now…10 man and heroic content will trend SV higher. First off in 10 man content AoE tends to draw out longer because you usually don’t have the % of AoEers/target health as you would in a 25 man. As more AoE is offloaded to the SV hunter the DPS gets padded and numbers end up inflated. Also in heroic content the amount of AoE situations increases. Halfus has more drakes up, Maloriak gets another add phase, and all of the existing adds have their health increased.

    The above are a lot of the same factors I pointed out when SV nerfs were called for before. This time though instead of making SV look OP they make SV look acceptable.

    As for BM it is currently under-represented in parses. Before when running SV/MM I’d manage a couple ranked parses on WoL. Frankly my raid isn’t of the caliber for fast enough kills to really boost the numbers by cutting off phases and minimizing the DPS decay of pots/Heroism/CotW/etc. Since running BM I’ve maintained a dozen or more parses ranked on WoL. On top of that, the best raiders aren’t running normal content…take a look at heroic only and you’ll see BM much higher. Also post-4.06 numbers skew in favor of the broken MM AiS and if you limit data to more recently after the nerf MM doesn’t look quite as strong. Likewise when compared overall to MM the Atramedes fight gives BM a pretty rough hit.

    • Frostheim says:

      I’m not sure why people are thinking that BM is under-represented… unless the theory is that the better players just aren’t playing it? StateofDPS does give us representation numbers.

      For 25-mans:
      MM: 2,160
      SV: 780
      BM: 2,098

      For 10-mans:
      MM: 2,160
      SV: 1,190
      BM: 2,092

      SV is the only under-represented spec, though their numbers are still high enough to be statistically significant.

      • Xyriin says:

        I should clarify that BM doesn’t have the same number of top people providing parses that MM does at the moment.

        A few data points…
        Heroic Nefarian 25: 12 BM parses, well over 200 for MM
        Nefarian 25: 19.0% split between 1 and 200 for MM, 28.7% for BM
        Omnotron 25: 17.9% split between 1 and 200 for MM, 31.1% for BM
        Nefarian 10: 24.2% split between 1 and 200 for MM, 73.9% for BM (only 169 for BM)

        While these were just quick data points I snagged from WoL I hope it clarifies the point I’m trying to make. It would also explain why MM quickly hit a peak and as you pointed out BM continues to steadily climb. There is a big difference between the top 200 from 200 parses and the top 200 from 20,000 parses.

        I mean which would make a better raid…making a raid out of the limited pool of your guild or making one from the best players on your server? While both would produce a raid it should be fairly obvious that they aren’t a very fair comparison.

        As an afterthought I’ll provide some more data…
        http://raidbots.com/dpscurrent/
        Take a look at MM overall. 1326 records ranging from 18663 to 56371.
        Now look at BM overall. 1496 reconds ranging from 1298 to 48770. (not a typo, actually 1,298)

      • Frostheim says:

        Right, so what the data is telling us is that BM has just as many parses as MM, but has a lower median and radically fewer parses in the top 200. That data by itself confirms that BM is underperforming MM.

        We can certainly speculate that BM is capable of equal performance (outliers aside) but that the best players aren’t playing BM… but with the quantity of parses, we should have a fairly accurate picture of BM with well-geared, and well-skilled players.

        I suspect that what’s really happening in there are some fights for which BM is a strong spec, but overall the combination of everything (air phase fights/aoe fights) BM is worse on average.

      • Xyriin says:

        I would agree with you on under-performing if the large gap didn’t exist on the BM parses from top to bottom. I can’t believe anyone would say that a 1300dps BM parse is accurate for the spec. Yet, that number is being averaged into the BM totals. I mean, I could afk and my pet would do more than that. But for a BM parse that low to make the top 200 one of two things is happening. Either there aren’t enough parses for a proper sample or there are a lot of really horrible hunters that are raiding as BM. Either result would unequivocally make BM look worse than it actually performs.

        For you to say that BM is under-performing MM you would have to accept three things as fact which I don’t think you can.
        1. 1300dps would be typical dps output of a top 200 in the world BM hunter.
        2. The steady increase of BM dps as you mentioned is some factor other than good BM hunters pushing out bad BM hunters from the rankings.
        3. The top to bottom differences in BM vs MM are something other than skill related.

        I really am not understanding how you can look at a BM parse of 1300 dps and say that it confirms BM is outperforming MM. What would MM totals look like if the worst parse wasn’t something around 18k, but instead something around 3k?

        As if further evidence is needed…there are still pre-4.06 BM ranked parses that haven’t been pushed out yet.

      • Xyriin says:

        And of course, post-4.06/pre-AiS nerf MM parses.

      • Frostheim says:

        Wait, are you saying that the lowest top 200 BM parse (so, number 200) was 1300, or that the lowest of all parses was 1300?

      • Xyriin says:

        From the website…
        “This script pulls all the top DPS/HPS reports from World of Logs (up to 200 results for each spec/fight combination) and calculates various stats of the top players.”

        So those ‘total’ numbers for BM are only ranked parses. Which means for some boss BM has that abysmal 1300 dps parse. So comparing BM has some really low parses averaged in while MM is enjoying a low parse of 17810 dps.

      • Frostheim says:

        I’m pretty sure you’ll find that what you were seeing was the dps for the highest, #1 record, and the dps for the lowest, #1496 record.

        However, at least for StateofDPS, the median is the median of the top 200 — which isn’t affected by those super low outliers, and not by the super high outliers. That’s the beauty of the median, even if that 1,300 dps was #200, it still wouldn’t influence the dps of the median (but if it was 1300 and in the top 200, that would suggest that there aren’t a lot of competitive BM parses; however, I strongly suspect that is not the cast — I don’t think the vast majority of BM parses were doing under 1300 dps :)

      • Xyriin says:

        Ok, by your logic 1300 dps is the lowest BM parse that wasn’t ranked. Following that logic the lowest MM parse that isn’t ranked is 18k dps. Does that seem even remotely likely or realistic?

        The fact is simply that as stated all the parses ARE ranked. If you want an explanation of more than 200 records there happen to be multiple bosses available right now. The fact there are less than 200×13 records is that those numbers are current new parses. So BM posted more new ranked parses than MM and also posted horrible ones like 1300 dps. The median listed is the median of all those brand new parses that made the rankings. StateofDPS only has a single cutoff…4.0.6 and the median is based on that cutoff. But at what point are outliers cut off?

        The median is still affected by bad data. If all the outliers were cut out then the top to bottom spread of BM and MM would be far closer yet they aren’t. As an example some of the ranked pre-4.0.6 BM parses are in the 150 range…are 50-100 parses being removed in some cases as outliers? If they aren’t then you might as well say that BM dps hasn’t changed since pre-4.0.6 because you’re taking sub 4.0.6 BM dps as accurate world best dps.

      • Xyriin says:

        More clarification with a quote from line two of the RaidBots info…
        “Only parses from the last 2 weeks are used. I cut the top and bottom 5% of those to reduce the effect of bad parses on the numbers.”

        Notice the precise wording…reduce, not eliminate. RaidBots data also culls the top and bottom parses and gives the median. It should be pretty obvious by now that 1300dps was not in the bottom 5%, so it wasn’t removed, and therefore it is affecting the median!

        Since you keep referring to StateofDPS let me show you those numbers…
        There are 2160 MM parses and 2116 BM parses sampled of a possible max 2400 since Halfus is excluded. Exactly 10% of the MM parses being culled (5% top, 5% bottom) and exactly 11.8% of the BM parses being culled (5% top, 5% bottom, 1.8% not enough parses).

      • Frostheim says:

        Okay, I don’t think I’m making myself clear here — and talking about state of DPS — not sure what the other site does with culling — but if you’re using a median then cutting the top and bottom 5% makes zero difference anyway.

        My point is we don’t care what the lowest parse is. There are 2,000 parses, and one of them in a poor BM hunter on Atramedes who died early and has crazy low dps. He does not affect our results in any way at all — we are only looking at the top 200 of those 2k results, and we’re taking the *median* of those (thus removing outliers — the guys who had some crazy good fortune & every rogue tricksing to him, warlock love, etc).

        What happens at the bottom of the parses doesn’t matter — this is the whole reason we only look at the top — as long as our sample size is large enough we can be pretty sure those guys are all skilled, geared, and experiencing decent RNG.

        You can argue that the very best players just aren’t playing BM, and that the guys who are suck, but you can’t argue that they’re underrepresented — and I don’t know of a better data source than World of Logs.

      • Xyriin says:

        It isn’t that you aren’t making yourself clear, it’s that you’re wrong.

        The overall dps values on StateofDPS are not 200 total parses. Those results are 200 parses times the number of bosses (200 parses for each boss, essentially all the lower tables combined). Look at the sample size. Now look at the overall dps values (non-adjusted) with Halfus. If there were only 200 parses total being used then all 200 would be from Halfus and the medians would be in the 50k range. It just makes sense.

        Also if you read the StateofDPS blog he clearly states he removes the top and bottom 5%, just like RaidBots does. So that 5% culling applies to both websites, not just one (I was hoping you’d be able to understand if you looked at another reference source that did the same thing). The 5% culling makes sense. It tries to eliminate any fluke RNG parses at the top and any bad ones at the bottom. However, when you have a lot of low trending parses (like BM and Sub) the 5% off the bottom doesn’t catch them all. Likewise if BM doesn’t have a lot of awesome parses yet and only a handful of world rank hunters run as BM then they get their parses removed from the data skewing a particular spec even lower.

        The point is that the low parses show that you should expect the median to be lower because obviously there isn’t an accurate enough data set. Lets take a small sample data set and look at the median.
        1000, 900, 800 (20% delta)
        1000, 600, 200 (80% delta)
        A nice straight line of trending dps values, yet the median values are different even though they represent consistent trends from top to bottom. I already showed you the data for this with different trending deltas between MM and BM. BM continues to rise in the dps rankings because that delta gets smaller each week with more data. Likewise with more accurate data from world ranked hunters you’ll continue to populate the data set and as the data set comes up so will the median. The median is not a static unchanging value. It can and will shift depending on the accuracy and quality of the data set. So yes, while you may not care about the lowest dps parse you do care about the trend it shows. If there aren’t enough BM parses to push out a crap value like 1300 dps there can’t be that many BM parses.

        The plain fact that the lowest top 200 parse for MM is 18k and the lowest top 200 parse for BM is 1.3k is pretty good indicator there are a whole lot more quality MM parses being dumped to WoL right now.

        Further data for how the median is lower with lower trending parses…
        MM – BM (Omnotron 25 since it was referenced earlier)
        1. 33056 – 29957 (3099 difference)
        50. 29172 – 24184 (4988 difference)
        100. 28306 – 22843 (5463 difference)
        150. 27727 – 21478 (6249 difference)
        200. 27209 – 20710 (6499 difference)
        If there are plenty of parses why does BM drop so drastically compared to MM? I mean from top to bottom BM more than doubles the gap behind MM. If there were even parses of skill on both sides then the differences would be much closer than they are. If BM’s 200th parse were 24110 then I’d say yes, BM is getting plenty of quality parses and the data is trending as expected. But that is not the case. And to finish up the point check out the median…the median is skewed lower on BM due to the sheer fact there are a lot of bad parses in there. Looking at the median you’d blindly say MM is 5.5k dps higher! While all the time you’d be wrong because the lack of quality data is skewing the results.

      • Frostheim says:

        Yes, it’s 200 from each fight, but it’s the *top* 200 from each fight. So those silly 1300 results are not a part of the top 200. That’s not altering the data.

        If the lowest top BM parse is really 1300, I agree that there’s a data problem — but I’ve been poking around WoL, and I can’t find BM with any kind of crazy low parse like that in the top 200 — even at atramedes #200 is over 15k. I *think* you’re not looking at a top 200 result, but instead the lowest result of all their data sets. If it is a top 200 result, then please let me know what fight it’s in (and if it’s 25n or something else).

      • Xyriin says:

        RaidBots’ current numbers track the last two weeks of ranked parses for the a good picture of “right now” dps. Hopefully that awful 1300 dps has already been pushed out of whatever boss it was on. I’m sure when it did BM climbed just a little bit more. That said, it was a ranked parse for BM on some boss within the last two weeks. Just from checking a few suspect fights, Nef10 has a top 200 parse of a rocking 3978 dps on WoL right now. So there are some stupidly low numbers popping up in the BM ranks that don’t exist in the MM ranks.

        I think we can all agree 4.0.6 buffed BM in a major way. Yet look at these top 200 parse dates from BM on Nef10…
        #122 1/11
        #123 1/30
        #147 1/21
        #148 2/1
        #159 2/2
        #179 2/2
        All of these pre-4.0.6 BM parses aren’t the worst in the listing. Granted there are only 186 Nef10 BM parses but yet only 121 parses managed to beat out pre-4.0.6 numbers. The reason I picked Nef was because it happens to be an end boss and the least killed boss. Anyone can kill Magmaw or Omnotron so Nef will really lay bare the lack of quality parses there are for BM.

        Lets ignore the hunters barely scraping by on Nef compared to pre-4.0.6 BM dps levels and assume that the full 121 hunters above pre-4.0.6 BM dps levels are world class top ranked hunters. Let’s say those hunters also ran Magmaw but the weaker hunters that can’t kill Nef compose the rest of the parses. Best case scenario less than half the parses being posted are from top ranked hunters in raids capable of posting ranked kills. More realistically out of those 121 there might be a dozen that are even close to performing at the potential of the spec.

        If you shift on over to MM on Nef not only are there a full 200 parses, all of the parses are post 4.0.6, and all no more than a month old except for two on 2/10. BM and MM were both horrible before 4.0.6. And they both had horrible parses before 4.0.6. The big difference is that MM replaced all of those pre-4.0.6 parses and can continue to regularly cycle out all 200 parses in the span of a month. On the other hand BM is struggling to even get 200 parses, and in some cases hasn’t replaced some parses since Cata launched.

  25. Cinterclaus says:

    The only value Refire’s remarks brought to the table IMO, are that they were a perfect example of the “talking points” that people like him use whenever they post their flames against Frost. Almost every one of them that I saw on the Forums over the weekend were making these exact same points, using the exact same words.

    When that happens, it’s pretty clear that you have people who are jumping on the latest bandwagon, parroting what they’ve heard other say rather than sincerely discussing conclusions they’ve arrived at independently. At that point, they’re also showing that they’re not interested in a genuine discussion of the issues they bring up– they’re just pooling their ignorance in an attempt to drown out any other voice that presents itself.

    OK, there is one other value– Refire proved wrong another claim that everyone makes: that if you criticize Frost, he just deletes your comments.

    • Frostheim says:

      Lol, the comment-deleting accusation is hilarious. If you look at almost any guide — almost every guide on this site, probably even the hit cap one — you will find comments disagreeing : )

      Other than spam, I’ve deleted less than a dozen comments in all the years of the WHU, and those were almost personal attacks and use of vulgar words in a derogatory way. So if you say “You’re totally wrong about that you f*g” the comment’s getting deleted, but it has nothing to do with the disagreement : ) And honestly, most of the personal attacks stay in if they’re just calling me an idiot — but the attacks against other commenters get nuked far more easily.

      • Hunter7890 says:

        Although I’m not the biggest fan(see my other posts about this article). Frost does NOT delete posts. I remeber A post he took down but that was at the posters request. He leaves all ost up for discuession. Silly accusations like that do nothing but weaken any argument you are trying to make.

  26. Factoid says:

    I agreed with the nerfs at a time when I was out dpsing people sometimes by 20% of over all dmg. Currently I still believe that SV needed the nerf; however, the 5% agi nerf should have been the end of it and anything else is a bit excessive if Blizz was truely trying to make minor adjustments to the classes.

    And it is just silly to blame one person for any nerf or buff to the respective classes/specs. I agree with you Frost, if you had that much power hunters would be constantly be gemming for strength and using sporebats in raids just to dull the blinding light of awesomesauce that surrounds us at all times.

  27. Xyriin says:

    As a side note on the perceived BM movement penalty…
    It really doesn’t exist. No really, it doesn’t and hasn’t since the pet talent trees came into their current state. Even if you haven’t run BM, check out your pet’s active time on a parse with your MM/SV pet. I bet its pretty much 100%. And that active time is the time your pet spent dpsing. Now granted there will be the occasional slightly delayed KC on very high movement fights but the extra pet talents for BM dumped into movement boosts really minimize those occasions.

  28. Cedrus says:

    “Let me ask you guys this: should SV have been nerfed at all? And if so, were they overnerfed?”

    No, SV should not have been nerfed and it was most definitely overnerfed. One hugely important variable that was not considered in the discussion of SV’s OP-ness was the fact that at that time, it was MUCH easier for hunters to get gear than many other classes. We were crafting and using our epic lw gear while tailors and blacksmiths were waiting weeks for their dreamcloth and truegold cds so they could craft gear for themselves. Tailors couldn’t even purchase dreamcloth from others; it’s BoP. Yes, I was doing more damage than other classes back at that time, but my ilvl was also substantially higher. As they started getting raid gear and getting the mats to craft their pieces, they quickly caught up and then began to surpass me in damage because they scaled better with gear than I did. It was very sad to see sv nerfed to near uselessness for anything but an all out aoe fight… the spec worked well, it flowed, it was adaptable, it was enjoyable to play.

  29. Beergasm says:

    As a pure dpser, seeing these charts and seeing classes with the supposed “hybrid tax” outdps pure dps classes is annoying but whatever…what can be done about it? I’m consistently 2nd place in my 10 mans (sometimes first, depending on fights) as SV, being outdpsed by that pesky ass. rogue with slightly better gear than myself. It works for me for the time being.

    I do feel the SV nerf was a bit too hard, to answer that question. I was always top dpser in my 10 mans until that so……

  30. Kelros says:

    I am in a 10 man raiding guild currently playing SV. The patches definitely decreased DPS a small amount, but was not horid. Typically I start high then my DPS wanes over time. I am assuming this is due to focus regen. I remember seeing blue post acknowledging that the focus regen needed to be adjusted, yet I am still not seeing any mention of this in patch notes. Is Blizzard going to address this, or sweep under the rug hoping we will forget? Longer single target fights were our strength, now they are a weakness. My DPS is better in 5 mans than raids at this point, which is frustrating.

    • leetarrows says:

      My peers hunters in the 25-man guild raid we run switched to MM while I stayed in SV. I see the opposite — they blow me out of the water when they unload on the boss — between the pre-pots, trinket procs, two rapid fires, and bloodlust, I see the meters go green with 40-50k dps for several seconds. Then the adds come out, I catch up and we even out at around 20k.

  31. leetarrows says:

    This is not a huge issue, but there’s a typo in the sentence “SV probably needed it’s dps nerfed by a comparative 5%” … you don’t need the apostrophe in the word “its” because it indicates a possessive. Should just be “its”.

  32. Rolgorf says:

    WOW, I’m shocked that we can all get so testy over a game…… having said that Mr Frost, I’m sorry to say, I blame you fully and completely for the SV nerf. Your punishment – yes, you guessed it…..

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Frostheims-Hairy-Wrists-Advocacy-Group/201400439888272

    Oh, and I’m adding a request that the in-game item be “Recovered” and that your in game corpse be skinnable to obtain the mats for this.

    With tongue planted firmly in cheek!….. Keep up the great work! (Just kiddin about the skinnable corpse…… but you better get on that min range thing or I may change my mind) :)

  33. stick804 says:

    “Should SV have been nerfred at all?” NO
    “And if so, was SV overnerfed?” YES
    I remember listening to a podcast where Kruf from Paragon was featured on it. Kruf mentioned (pre 4.0.6 patch) that at higher gear lvl’s SV was not scaling well with gear and not top on the dps charts. I think he mentioned boomkins topping the dps charts. I believe Blizz nerfed SV due to the dps we were dealing at low-mid lvl gear, and not taking into consideration the effects it will have on SV at higher ilvl gear. On top of that, they nerfed the explosive shot dmg (which is where I think Blizz went a little to excessive with the nerf). I think dropping our passive 20%agl to 15%agl would’ve been a decent nerf imo.
    I’ll get off my soapbox now. Keep up the great work Frost!

  34. Kensdisguise says:

    “Should SV have been nerfred at all?” NO
    “And if so, was SV overnerfed?” YES

    Either way, I will continue to play Survival spec since I really like it. I have played Survival since I started my raiding career in late WotLK, and even though I know my class is designed for maximum DPS, I think people should play what they enjoy too.

    I have consistently topped the meters in Survival and love the flexibility that it brings with it. What I would really like to see is a way to bring them closer together, so that we can play whichever class we like, with being called noobs for not following the cookie-cutter mentality of most serious raiders.

    Keep up the great work….your site should be copied be each and every class for it’s ease of navigation and upkeep on your information. Great work Frosty.

  35. Orceni says:

    First time post, gotta ask a question that I never seen anybody mentioned..

    For SV spec, it has the potential to do multi-dots through the full length of the boss fight, if there are more than one targets in the fight, like the Valiona & Theralion fight in BOT. SV has this advantage b/c its talent boost it’s SrS dmg and CS is our filler shot in the rotation. MM does not have this pleasure since the rotation is very tide on a single target already.

    This is my observation, however, due to my skills and lack of experiences on the fights, I haven’t got a chance to test this yet. Is there anyone doing this? How is the result come out as compared to MM then?

    Thank you :)

    P.S. The state of BM is not as bad as it shown in the chart imo…BM performs really well in stationary fight, as ilvl 356, I did 21K on Valiona & Theralion fight last nite. The problem is that there are a lot of fights that aren’t melee friendly, plus the requirement of AOE spec…I think that’s why the BM number doesn’t look so good on the chart…

  36. I-CEE says:

    Ok SV over nerfed yes just a little bit but we can live with it SV and MM are nice at the moment and I am enjoying the challenge on marksman I am hitting 26k some times on HC bosses movement bosses well 16kish still top of the charts most of the time.
    Got to say Frost I swear by your site not just because you give use the facts but you are open to debate the ways of the hunter you present everything in a well ordered way and with out this site I would not have the dps I have or be able to jump shot and a lot of other skills I have learnt, not just from your guides but from helpful Hunters who post here your only fault is you never put the times of your podcast for England GRRRRRRR lol any how keep up the good work mate you are a credit to hunter community .

  37. Dialg says:

    I must admit. This is probably the most interesting to read thread of comments on all of the WHU website. It kept me entertained, made me want to go all PvP on a particular comment poster and was the first thread I actually read every response. Haha. Keep it up!

  38. GTyoungblood says:

    Well, this was quite the informative read this afternoon.

    Is all of Frosts information 100% accurate? I have no idea. From what I read here everyday, he seems to try to give us accurate results, without skewing the information one way or another. That’s why I like reading his blogs; however, I don’t take it as absolute gospel. I realize he could be wrong. Bug I don’t care if he is.

    My first hunter had something like /played 100 days at level 80 before Cataclysm arrived. I was a very mediocre player at the time. I had not read anything about playing hunters at all. I did however discover many tactics on my own, that I had passed to others that were also mediocre hunters. In short, we could survive solo encounters that other classes couldn’t, but our DPS was bottom of the charts.

    I wanted to find out what other hunters were doing, and how they fared. I had already been playing with macros, and doubled my DPS by using them (that alone tells you how bad my DPS was). Hunters in my guild began asking me for advice, as well as hunters I had never met, but heard about me. So I knew I had some responsibility to get things right, and get myself schooled by the best. I went to EJ’s.

    Don’t get me wrong, they have lots of information. But I just couldn’t seem to find what I was really looking for. I had already been listening to WoW podcasts, several in fact, and they were all generic. I found OUTDPS! simply by accident, and loved how it was a Hunters podcast, woot! That of course led me to this blog.

    Shortly before Cataclysm I started coming here. I quickly realized this was exactly what I was looking for. Tips on how to play a hunter, better. Not “this IS HOW a hunter must be played”. I never got that vibe here. I was given tons of info AND what the info meant. After the first hour reading the guides, and learning why I should spec certain talents, I went back and respec’d my hunter. Not a cookie cutter, though I was tempted, I just used the knowledge I gained from Frost, and made an awesome killing machine. I tripled my DPS.

    Everyone else in the groups I ran with were very impressed. I was easily doubling the the DPS of anyone in the #2 spot in recount, and I wasn’t ven trying hard. I simply learned my rotation and spec’d my talents logically.

    I’m no expert, I’m no EJ, but I have a lot of hunters coming to me for advice from macros to gear, and from talent builds to jump shots. Most of them have doubled their DPS while some have tripled or more. I never take credit, and always point them here.

    So if Frost is giving out any bad info, that’s just fine with me. Keep doing what your doing Frost, I have no intentions of getting upset about bad data. This is my leisure time. It’s a game. I enjoy it, and you have made it that much more enjoyable. The info gleaned from your site has also kept several hunters I know in the game, who would otherwise given up, due to being called huntards. Ok, not because of that, but because they just couldn’t catch on. Now they understand shot rotations, pet healing, and aggro control (well, still learning aggro control, now that their DPS is so high that need to learn to hold back, LMAO).

    So thank you Mr Frosthiem!
    Cheers

  39. Papaoomowmow says:

    On the SV nerf…

    Personally it drives me bonkers to see a player of ANY class advocate a nerf…it does indeed seem like Stockholm Syndrome to me….and MM was topping the charts by a pretty huge margin for many months pre cata and I just do not recall any cries for a nerf….SV had maybe 5 weeks in the sun before they started flowing in…

    BUT I’ll gladly throw away my intrinsic prejudices in return for all the excelllent, well presented discussion and information on this site. Frost is the hardest working man in the Hunter Bizz…and we get all of this for free….. now if that ain’t a fine deal, what Is?!?

    • Papaoomowmow says:

      PS one more all but important opinion.

      I’ll echo others in the fundamental point that 4 classes cannot really tank or heal…so at least one build for each of those classes should always be in the top 5. And we are in that group right now so I’m fine with that.

      If Blizzard wants to let a shadow priest etc build bask on the mountaintop for awhile, I don’t begrudge or care. I do hope those players enjoy it while they can…it will not last of course…. (and also hope they don’t cry out for nerfs)

  40. Hunter7890 says:

    I do hold you in lage part responsible for the over- nerf of SV. Playing that “what…who me” game is BS and come on, be honest you know that and you feel guilty. You don’t control the devs, but your support for nerfs made it much easier for them to do….and in turn over nerf. I can’t believe you had the audicty to try act like you have now sway when the previous post is you talking up the weapon the named after you.

    TL’DR – you’re like a well followed community leader you don’t set policy but your support for policy enables it to get passed.

    • Frostheim says:

      So I’m in large part responsible for the MM and BM buffs then?

      • Xyriin says:

        Yes!

        You can take credit for advocating MM and BM buffs, but only if you take responsibility for advocating the SV nerf. >=)

      • Hunter7890 says:

        ABSOLUTELY NOT…generally people are accepting of buffs. They do not need to garner support for them.

        Again, I’m disappointed in you for trying to use that argument because you know that already.

      • Frostheim says:

        Wait… of course people are accepting of buffs for their own class. But the argument here is whether I actually influenced the designers. If I influenced them into nerfing SV (and far, far more than I suggested) then it stands to reason I also influenced them into the buffs, no?

        For the record, I do not think I influenced them at all. I think they were seeing similar, though more comprehensive data, and Blizz has a history of balancing around the way things are, rather than the way they will or might be.

      • Hunter7890 says:

        Yes, that is my point and is very pertinent to the discussion. With someone who has the following you have so publicly supporting and defending your stance for nerfs it made it all that much easier to nerf it the way they did. You made their arguement for them pacifying a significant amount of the hunter player base that takes your opinion as gospel. They would have been more reticent to nerf so drastically if hadn’t been out there pre-selling the way you did.

        I don’t know if you really can’t see this or your just being stubborn.

        Just admit it Frost the frostheim cloak is your payoff for selling the nerf for Blizz…completely kidding.

      • Frostheim says:

        Well, I suppose it comes down to a debate about the inner working’s of Ghostcrawlers mind at this point then : )

        But if my influence made them think the nerfs would be more palatable, and thus was the cause of the nerf… why did they nerf so very much more than I suggested?

    • Hunter7890 says:

      Give an inch and “x” will take a foot

      Balancing is not an exact science – they had two choices one that might be less than needed the other might be more than needed. I think what you did made it easier for them to try the bigger nerf and this is the result.

  41. GTyoungblood says:

    LMAO… no Frost, you don’t understand. You are only responsible for making nerf’s more palatable, not for heralding in positive aspects to those that truly need it, like Beastmasters.

    Sorry for the novel in the previous post. I didnt realize I was so long winded. Must be getting old.

    Cheers !7:^)

  42. Fillmore says:

    I think a lot of people (like myself) play BM because its better than Ret and Arcane for the 3% raid buff. With Ret getting some love and soon arcane I’d be curious to see where BM goes from there…

  43. Cydearrm says:

    These comments are hilarious.

    So in a blog that has no connection to Blizzard whatsoever, Frostheim basically states the obvious, that SV is a little out of line and needs a tweak (along with DKs and Locks iirc) to bring it back into line. So when Blizz goes overboard, it’s Frost’s fault?

    However, when Frost has a face-to-face with Ghostcrawler about a variety of hunter mechanics, which results in changes (pet crit immunity immediately comes to mind), nobody says a thing. Great job guys.

  44. Valilor says:

    Hey Frost, another good post and as a professional number cruncher, I like your analysis.

    Buffs and Nerfs aside, one thing that has happened in Cata that I didn’t see before was the opening damage we do on a boss…I love it when I blow all CDs and see my damage sky rocket in the first few seconds waaaay above everyone else (I also raid with a S.Priest and Fire Mage) – it was never that way around before!

    I’m also equally geared with the S.Priest and Mage and exclusively do 10 mans (Usual set up is Prot Pala/ Blood DK, Disc Priest/Resto Shaman/Resto Druid, Frost DK/Combat Rogue/Fire Mage/S.Priest and MM Hunter aka me) and I will consistently come out top on nearly every fight other than fights with adds (although even depending on that one I still can if I mainly single target over multi shot) so I’m quite happy with the current balance. pre-4.0.6 I felt DKs were too high but now it’s a lot better.

    I hate aspect switching though.

    • Kalven and Hobs says:

      I use an aspect toggle macro set shift+space keybind. It makes it much easier. I even applied the concept to my Priest, with Inner Fire/Will.

  45. Kayko says:

    This sure was a lot to go through here. So, lets start out with the ‘Frost is always wrong’ guy A quote was posted about MM haste in were the line “Keep in mind that the value of haste, both from gear and talents, varies based on where in the plateaus you are. It isn’t the black & white, static thing, that some people like to make it out to be. ”
    I’m not sure, but it looks like that quote states that there are variables that change the actual value of Haste for a MM hunter. I guess since it was only “gear and talents” listed and not gear, talents, and glyphs, that Frost is horribly wrong in the numbers he provided. If you people want to find fault in anyones theorycrafting or number crunching, read the entire thing first, then reread it to make sure that its clear whats being explained.

    Every time (that I remember) in the past, a reader will post a -This is wrong- type responses and Frost has been fairly quick to admit his mistake when something was overlooked. I have to back up Frost on many of the theorycrafting done since I am fully aware of what it really takes to gather the information and compile it into valuable readable info.

    As for the StateofDPS and (Raidbots) info when it comes to where the specs are and should be, its very obvious the scaling issue with Survival is absolutely terrible! The amount of self stats gained from a normal 10 man to 25 man through typical buffs is incredible. (go ahead, take a look yourself, check your stats before and after buffs go out) If you look at these increases and think of it as not a buff, but as better gear, you can see that the increases in Survival stats are not doing as much as they should be. As you get better gear, damage output does not increase along the same lines as the stats warrant.
    The Survival nerf + Hawk buff was fine for THIS tier of raid content. The problem is that a Survival Hunter in 5-man blue can compete in damage with a pre raid heroic geared survival hunter and you can see that in the gathered parse information. Raid tier attempts made in the first few weeks were similar to the week leading up to the nerf and that damage has been fairly maintained through the most recent parse information.

    Frost responsible for the nerfs? NO, not even a little bit! Its Blizzard thats responsible for not listening to the community (oh , and they admitted to not listening too!) but the Hunter community is free from blame as well. We are Hunters damnit! We made things work, we always have, we always will. Since 1.0, many Hunters have been very good at finding every little nich/trick/tactic not written in the books and able to get a lot more out of each and every shot. Blizzard has an idea of how hunters should be working ( i.e. Aimed Shot) but given to the hands of the player, all the suddon, we found a way to hard cast the shot even though (at least I don’t belive) it was ever intended to be that way in the rotation.

    I really think that Blizzard needs to think about getting rid of base damage for the most part. I think that is what is really causing the issues with scaling. Just because I am Lvl 85, that doesn’t mean my shots should hit for at least X amount. If I go run around naked sporting a lvl 1 gun/bow that does 1-3 damage, I shouldn’t be doing all too much more then 1-3 damage. Before I get flamed, I understand there MUST be some sort of base damage based on level else the first few levels would be impossible with grey/white statless items on, but by level 15-20, most players are sporting at least greens and have stats to balance off of, If they don’t want to take the time to do the quests to get the items, they don’t deserve to automatically do a certain amount of damage.

    I dunno, all these changes have really got to me as a player. I’m just not having fun anymore with how things shook out with Cataclysm. I don’t think the changes made and in the way they were done is headed into the right direction. I really believe that there are more raiding hunters then any other dps class/spec so the chances of a Hunter getting the top spots is greater by simple rules of population. If there were only 1000 Hunters, 1000 mages, 1000 locks, etc in the game, the top dps class/specs would look a lot different then what we (players) and Blizzard is seeing.

  46. Killian says:

    Given the parity in current 10man content, going back on the SV nerfs seems like it would throw things out of whack on that level on content, at least at the current iLevel. As it stands, SV is competitive/better for a few fights and MM is the most skill-dependent spec out there that also yields the highest single-target dps. I’ve been playing a hunter since launch–this is one of the better periods in our history in terms of balance between specs.

  47. Itukaaj says:

    When I first read your posts on SV nerf requests (indirect though they may have been) I had to check the top of the web site to make sure I wasn’t at the “hairy wristed pally” site. I had doubts for a while till you did shots on the podcast… then I realized only a hunter would speak as you did and you were not a hairy wristed pally in disguise you were indeed a hunter.

    My argument to you at time of your original posts was someone had to be on top and I was happy it was me. Blizz eventually nerfs everyone. Shadow priest are on top. I looked I didn’t see any shadow priest sites advocating for nerfs for balance.

    This site is valuable to everyone who plays a hunter for PVE. The information presented is useful for anyone. For those who feel comfortable with disputing posts I would comment it is only through contributions by Frost and the rest of the great hunter community that you are confident enough in your role to find a difference in the facts.

    I just switched from PVE SV to MM so that I could work on the rotations which in Cata are more complicated than WOTLK if you want to play to your max ability. I didn’t do it cause any one blogger advocated or not. I did it becuase the information posted here and on other sites gives me an intrinsic feeling that come next patch we will see increases in MM and rather than just assuming the spec will make anyone best it was sites like this that realized MM requires preparedness.

    TLDR thanks for your site

  48. Cinterclaus says:

    OK, now that I’m back home from work, my 2c on the original question: Should Survival have been nerfed, and was it over-nerfed?

    My answer: affirmative to both. Now, granted, I would rather have seen the other lower-performing classes and specs buffed to SV’s level of performance. That would be emotionally satisfying. However, the devs can’t just raise everyone to the level of the over-performing class/spec. That kind of inflation just makes everyone OP compared to the difficulty of the content. So of course if a class/spec is OP, they’re going to nerf them. It’s not fun, it ain’t pretty, but it’s really the only way to deal with it.

    And was SV OP? Yes, objectively, I think it was. Obviously Blizzard thought so, they’re the ones who nerfed SV. And that’s really all that matters (more on that in a bit).

    Of course, they also buffed other classes/specs. MM and BM got buffed, although not enough (yet) in the case of BM. (But there I’m a bit biased.)

    Was SV nerfed too hard? Yep, I think so. I don’t think they needed to be hit as hard as they were. Still, it’s hard to whine about doing solid DPS that is still above (some) other specs and classes.

    Now to the most ridiculous part of this whole controversy, in my mind. That is, the concept that by Frostheim writing about the fact that SV was out-DPS’ing everyone else by several thousand DPS, _he_ is responsible for Blizzard nerfing SV. The idea that he has that kind of influence with the devs is just laughable, especially when the people making this claim are also claiming he’s some kind of hack amateur who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Logically, that just doesn’t compute. He either is such an influential figure in the WoW universe that he has the power to command nerfs just by suggesting that Blizz will probably initiate them– or he’s a no-name, no-account clod. He can’t simultaneously be both.

    And like Frost says, if he’s responsible for the nerfs, then he’s also responsible for the buffs (which he also pointed out the need for). Those claiming he’s the all-powerful villain here, but had no influence over bringing about needed buffs, just come across as ridiculous to me.

    The argument that no one needs to advocate for buffs, as if they just naturally happen all the time, is silly. Blizz is conservative about buffing, especially when it comes to hunters. If someone like Frost has the influence to produce nerfs, surely he also has the power to call for buffs.

    You can’t have it both ways. That way lies schizophrenia IMO.

    • Akkal says:

      I couldn’t have put it better myself.

      Additionally, what I absolutely don’t understand, is this idea that Frostheim should have been silent when the best math he could preform at the time clearly showed that Survival was preforming just a little bit too well in raids (and yes, for anyone who’s taken even a rudimentary college statistics course it was clear that his math was exceptionally sound). Why do people feel that we should try and hide these thing? As if it’s Frost’s job to “protect” the hunter community by sweeping his results under the rug and hoping that it prevents a nerf! That’s just ludicrous in my mind.

  49. Hanelf says:

    Hi there, first time posting but longtime (daily) reader. First off, I deeply appreciate Frost’s contribution to the Hunter comunity and thank him for the multiple tips that I’ve read here and have been able to apply to my game with some sweet results. I don’t have a lot of time to do research, neither do I have the patience to do multiple tests on how to maximize my dps and, to make things worse, I suck at math so that should give everyone an idea of why I consider this blog such a valuable asset for us hunters. By doing my homework consulting WHU and using Zehera’s DPS analyzer, I manage to keep at the top of my raiding party’s recount.

    Now, as to the question posted by Frost, yes, I think SV was overnerfed. Once the nerf hit, I adapted and went back to MM, no biggie… but boy was I having the greatest of times playing my badass SV spec. Which brings me to the real reason of my reply here, I just wanted to get something off my chest, I guess it’s been mentioned before but I still don’t understand it:

    Why would a certain class player (hunter in this case) call for a nerf to his class? And I’m not in any way blaming anything on Frost (that’s preposterous), he certainly wasn’t the only one asking for it, I just don’t get what happened, I’d never seen anything like that before. Was it spec rivalry or something? I don’t want to believe we’re that inmature… Don’t know if Blizz listened or not, don’t care, the nerf was coming no matter what, why not just enjoy the ride while it lasted?

    I guess that’s all I wanted to say. Thanks for everything Frost, I mean it, keep up the good work and I hope you realize how much your work helps us improve our game (or mine at least).

    • Ghedrhalla says:

      Heya Hanelf,

      While I can’t speak for Frost, at the time I also was looking at the same data when it was being posted over at World of Logs and agreed that a rebalance of the damage was required for SV (as well as 2 other outlier classes). I prefer not to use the word nerf as if is tossed around incorrectly.

      My stance has always been more of the ‘police our own’ meaning that we hunters should be the ones to acknowledge if a spec is underperforming or overperforming. Do you want a Ret pally to say hunters are OP? What is his word worth to you as he probably has not played one nor know how hard it can be to be one? I can dislike specific abilities of multiple classes, but I will only comment overall on the ones I play. Others are not so restrained.

      Some people believe that to call for a ‘nerf’ to one’s own class is a blasphemous act but this is just a game, at least to me anyways, and so I think if you know nothing about the hunter class you shouldn’t have any input to the debate of that classes buffing/nerfing.

      On the off chance that a Blizz developer was actively reading the discourse (and vitriol) on these message boards, why didn’t they only down-tune SV by the amount WE hunters had proposed? The math was there and the theory sound. Plus, all the opposing voices of which there were many, could just as easily swayed those same devs into not doing anything. They too had some good arguements.

      Again, just my view on it but I would think Frost was of a similar mind. Hope that helps.

    • Frostheim says:

      Why? Because I want the game to be balanced. The data at the time showed the SV was unbalanced — not just on top, but on top by a disproportionate amount.

      This is part of seeing life through the Frostheim Goggles — I promise you if it was rogues performing the way SV hunters were, every single person here would have been shouting for nerfs.

      Personally, I do think that SV was overnerfed, but then again, it’s really hard to say that with a straight face when the spec is dead in the middle of the dps spread (where ideally everyone would be), and when the spec is still the right one to play any time your raid needs the buff, and even with the don’t, it’s still the spec to play on several fights — and in 10-man (the most popular form of raiding) it’s in the top dps cluster.

      • Tovo says:

        The one thing I don’t understand is why you didn’t get on board with the “it’s too early to tell” crowd. There was a clear trend in SV being caught and surpassed as more and more classes got equivalent gear value, long before the nerf when live. You recognized this by saying some of your opponents thought it’s too early to tell. I feel like you didn’t give the obvious trend out of the top spot enough credit before taking a hard stance on a nerf. It may have been due to your lack of raiding experience in Cata at the time, but the statistics were clear that we didn’t need this nerf once gear became more readily available to all the classes. I think people get worried about your other advice when it seemed so obvious about this issue and you were on the wrong side of it. And still continue to back the decision today. My opinion may be unpopular, and I’m not trying to flame, just giving my opinion why some feel you may have discredited yourself a bit.

      • Frostheim says:

        SV had two separate problems. 1: it scales poorly. 2: it was doing too much dps.

        The scaling issue was not going to be a problem until the next tier. The dps problem was going to remain an issue for this entire tier. Unfortunately they fixed the dps problem by making the scaling problem worse, rather than better.

        I think that SV needed to be nerfed, and I still do, and I think the post-nerf data supports it. I also think they were overnerfed. But if SV was not nerfed at all, it would still be the only raiding spec played by the majority of raider (if us not sv ur a noob) — not just in 10-man, but in 25-man as well — being more forgiving, better at aoe, and the same or better at single-target. That is not balanced : )

      • Tovo says:

        I wasn’t referring to the crap dps MM and BM were doing pre-patch. Those were obvious issues as well. Those buffs were obviously needed and welcomed for balance.

        I think not looking at hardmode fights is an issue. You wanted to keep taking the top parse data but you kept doing it from normal modes. Why take top parses if you aren’t going to include where the best players are playing? Using the top 200 normal modes parses just dilutes the point that SV was beginning to do much more poorly at a higher level of raiding/gear. “It was doing too much dps,” when? In lower gear levels? Yes you’re absolutely right. At the highest level of raiding? Not even close. My point is, why say you are using the data from the best players, top 200, then completely ignore the fact that the best players aren’t even fighting those same bosses, they’re on hardmodes.

        The conversation shouldn’t have been “omg nerf SV,” it should have been “omg change SV scaling.” It seemed Blizzard could only focus on the “nerf” because of the outcry from the community not addressing the actual issue.

      • Hanelf says:

        Thanks Frost and Ghedrhalla for your responses, I see the logic behind the “police our own” politic and can say that now I have a better understanding of why the nerf was called for by a significant portion of the hunter community.

        It takes maturity and professionalism to take a stance like that, to be able and willing to call not only for buffs but nerfs as well when the situation requires it, I guess that’s what separates WHU from the other blogs out there. Cheers.

      • Frostheim says:

        Tovo — go ahead and check out the heroic mode fights — the spread isn’t a whole lot different. 25-man is about the same, and MM fall farther behind SV in 10-man heroic.

      • Tovo says:

        The median overall for 25H has MM 2k above SV? That includes all of the fights where SV gets boost from AOE? SV 13th overall spec? Is that the data you’re looking at? So with the nerfs reverted, don’t you think that would put us right around where MM sits on that list? Wouldn’t that be better balance?

  50. stabbykiwi says:

    Its adorable that people think frost is actually responsible for Blizzard’s class balance decisions. There are literally teams of people whose job is to develop this video-GAME, but I’m sure they don’t do any real work other than read blogs and forum posts. How do you imagine the designers do their jobs? “Wow guys looks like every class is perfectly balanced …wait all these forums said SV needs a nerf …oh and so does a guy with a podcast. Well if its on the internet it must be true, NERF” Grow up. Its a multi-billion dollar company with the best professional game developers in the world, but yeah they TOTALLY do whatever frost says.
    waaaaa waaaaa frost influences people who post on the forums and that has an impact on design decisions. Really? You REALLY think frost’s opinions push a critical mass of posters onto the forums that causes designers to make counter-intuitive decisions about the game? Again, that’s adorable.
    waaa waaaaa Frost has only done certain raids FIVE TIMES, he is not nearly leet enough to express an opinion about a video game on his free entertainment blog. I guess they’ve got you there Frost, better take down any content referencing fight that you haven’t cleared at least 22 times.

  51. Zeherah says:

    A big part of the problem with the SV nerf was that it didn’t address the basic scaling issues with the spec. Rather than adjust the base ability damage so that at the low gear levels SV was more in tune with other specs, the scaling was nerfed. Since SV already had somewhat weak scaling, this just exacerbated the situation.

    I assume part of the reason they felt justified in additional nerfs on top of the 5% agil is that they were buffing arcane shot and kill shot. However, arcane shot makes up an extremely small fraction of SV damage and kill shot is similarly a small amount of our damage. Plus SV benefits the least from the later buffs to hawk. The nerf to BA in particularly was extremely poorly thought out, given how weak it is relative to explosive trap in the first place.

    SV could definitely use some adjustments to balance the spec out a bit more. As gear improves SV is going to fall further behind. At the very minimum they should revert the black arrow nerf. We’ll see if Blizzard does anything about it- they seem to wait till things are pretty seriously wrong before they address problems.

    With regards to Frost’s influence, I would say that I highly doubt Blizzard takes his input into consideration more than slightly. He does his best to advocate for us as a class, but they trust their internal data a lot more than they trust anything we say. When they do implement nerfs and buffs, they almost never take the form that we suggest as a community. I don’t think for one minute that Blizzard wasn’t already looking seriously at what to do with SV dps when Frost posted his analysis.

    As I’ve said in the past when comparing the weaker specs in conglomerated dps sites like stateofdps, all those sites can tell us is the performance of the current “best” spec to a reasonable degree of certainty. We can get an idea of the relative ranking of specs to each other within a class, but being able to tell how far behind the weaker specs are is not something those sites are good at. This is because of the self selecting nature of the data- the better players will always gravitate towards the strongest specs, so the average player submitting logs for the weaker specs won’t be contributing as competitive data. So yes, you can look at stateofdps and say BM is behind. But that doesn’t mean it’s the 4-5k behind that the stateofdps numbers make it look like- more than likely the gap is much smaller.

    • Hunter7890 says:

      With all due respect to someone who deserves a tremendous amount of respect I disagree somehwat I think certain bloggers Blizz follows and takes into consideration there opinion. One example bringing back BRK for the Alpha.

      BRK had two roles provide valuable insight and blog for public relations(PR) purposes. The PR part is at the heart of where I think Frost was wrong and partly responsible for the nerfs/over-nerfs.

      • Akkal says:

        Honestly, I think you’re giving too much credit to Blizzard in assuming they put this much stock in a few players opinions – regardless of how popular they are. I find it hard to believe that Blizzard, who can literally log and view every single aspect and number within their game, and who probably have professional mathematicians working for them (particularly statisticians) would put more than the minimal stock in Frost’s math and analysis there of. If Frostheim had any influence on there decision, it was only a rough confirmation of internal analysis they’d already conducted many times over.

        Just take a look at what was happening with Paragon and their first attempts on HM-only Sinestra. Blizzard was literally hot-fixing the game AS Paragon was putting attempts in. Blizzard is clearly very VERY aware of what is happening in their game, and I simply can’t believe that an analysis made by a single person using far less accurate data nearly 2 or 3 weeks after the content was live weighed very heavily on their decision. Truthfully, Blizzard had already made conclusions and begun work on reacting appropriately before Frostheim had ever even sat down to do his math.

    • Xyriin says:

      Exacerbated, I love that word!

      But yeah I’ve been trying to point out the self-selection you mentioned above to Frost with no luck. BM is really not the 4th or 5th worst dps spec in the game. ;)

  52. Anzor says:

    A few points from a PR guy who tracks blogs:

    Companies use blogs to track public opinion. They also present ideas from a new perspective. Sometimes you are too close to a project to see the big picture.

    Frost, you do an excellent job because more than the articles, the COMMENTS are important. The topics you discuss and how the community responds is what affects Blizzard’s thinking and possible game design.

  53. Papaoomowmow says:

    Frost wrote

    ” it’s really hard to say that with a straight face when the spec is dead in the middle of the dps spread (where ideally everyone would be), ”

    That’s your ideal, Frost? Kind of a drab vision. Prefer more variety myself.

    • Frostheim says:

      Heck yeah that’s my ideal — every spec & class is (on average) capable of the same dps. Then we top the charts based on our skill and knowledge — as opposed to having a class top the charts simply because the class/spec mechanics yield more damage.

      In my way you play whatever spec you want and are held back only by your skills, knowledge of the fight, and optimization.

  54. Kayko says:

    I think that many readers are overlooking the fact that the data compares the top 200 survival players with the top 200 MM, BM, Mages, rogues, etc.
    If the data could be gathered with some accuracy of the middle 200 or middle 20,000, then that data would be used. I suspect the results are the same no matter what rankings are used.

    • Frostheim says:

      Actually, I did this once back in ICC days. The World of Logs guys gave me a massive data dump of every single parse for the 10% raid buff period of ICC, and I used it to calculate the dead average dps. It turns out that in many cases the average dps positions were different from the top — which makes sense when you think about it. What we frequently saw was that classes that were easier to play, or relied more on auto-damage, did much better on average.

      However, I don’t think that looking at average damage is useful for much other than possibly balancing class/spec difficulty.

      As Blizzard once said — if you are doing 5k less than those top parses, you’ll get a lot more improvement in your dps by improving your skill than you will through any balance tweak that’s made.

      Classes should be balanced around their realistic dps potential, rather than average player dps.

      • Xyriin says:

        While I disagree with Frostheim on something every other month or so this I adamantly agree with.

        If you’re average then quite honestly your dps doesn’t matter. You’re not going to be pushing content where it matters and you’re going to have a ridiculous amount of gear to compensate for the skill deficit. Well, either that or dungeon nerfs and/or zone wide buffs like ICC.

      • Zeherah says:

        There unfortunately really isn’t a good way to analyze best dps at lower gear levels (or filtering out certain raid or individual buffs such as dark intent), so we’ll never really have an ideal picture of whether the numbers at the top are reflective of potential in more limited circumstances. The numbers at the top are a combination of the best skill, gear and buffs available. Numbers below that can be low on any one of those factors.

  55. Devoid says:

    I think the real answer to the SV nerf issue will be more evident toward the end of the next tier. Survival scaled poorly from the start, even more so after the nerfs, and that will become much more evident as gear progresses. I think it will be pretty obvious that survival was overnerfed, and that an untouched survival would have ended up in a good place eventually. The thing I’m waiting to see is if blizzard will allow survival to fall behind or if they will revert the nerfs as gear improves. I’m really sick and tired of flipping to whatever spec they decide is allowed to be best for a few months though. Plus, if survival falls too far behind, (non burst)AoE fights are going to become a huge pain for 10 man guild that take hunters.

    • Devoid says:

      Oh…I was going to edit in a comment about Dark Intent and survival having a huge impact on what caused the nerf in the first place. You can say all day that the top parses are better data, etc, and I agree with you, but when they have buffs that the majority of players are unlikely to see then that become unrepresentative of the whole.

  56. Jaxarale says:

    I do not know how much influence Frost has if any… the fact that they named a cloak after him in a major content patch does mean something tho… lets be a little real here guys.

    I would think, and I may be crazy, but something like having a epic named after you should speak volumes about how much Blizz pays attention to you…

    just sayin….

  57. ninjamoo says:

    Honestly I doubt Blizz is influenced much by Frosts posts. Just because he has an opinion on something doesn’t mean that Bliz will agree with it. They have their own internal tests and data gathering tools with more resources at hand than Frost will ever have so it’s silly to assume that they don’t pay their employees to “do the math”.

    With that said, however, I’m exceptionally pissed off that a lot of hunters are complete idiots. Wait for Frost to post something and then the next day many hunters will just regurgitate that info without any processing or thinking on their part. They take what Frost says for gold and then, in their mind, it becomes fact and anyone that doesn’t agree with them gets flamed along with a link to Frosts blog.

    It’s rediculous. Frost is right a lot of the time, sometimes it’s not as black and white as people make it out to be though and that’s where the problem is. 10vs25 man, Normal vs Heroic raids, current gear setup etc, all play a part and people don’t seem to understand that.

  58. Khris says:

    Why is a predominantly healing class topping dps meters?

  59. Whitefyst says:

    To anyone blasting Frost or EJ (I am currently the author of the MM guide) or both, keep in mind the following:

    1) No one knows everything. There will be things that guide authors did not know or did not consider. If you know something that is wrong or was not considered, point it out in a constructive way. Most guide authors will take your information, analyze it, and update their guides appropriately. Remember, although there is a single author of a guide, it is really the work of the hunter community.

    2) There are many different ways to approach maximum hunter DPS depending on your preferrences, playstyle, and raid situation (buffs, role, strategy). It is difficult for a guide author to objectively not bias the guide towards their preferences, whether they are the best way or a near alternative. Although two hunter guides may tell you some different information, it does not mean that either is necessarily wrong or that you cannot perform well with using either’s recommendations.

    3) It is difficult to write a guide that fits the majority of hunters in the game, much less them all since there is a wide range of skill level, gearing, playstyle, buffing, strategies, etc. An author has to limit the scope of their recommendations to primarily fit a certain subset of the hunter populace; otherwise, they would be analyzing and writing guides always with no time to play.

    4) Even if all hunters were similar, there are still many variables to take into account while trying to maximum DPS. Some of these include:
    - There are 4 phases of the fight: Careful Aim (100%-80% boss health), Standard (80% to 25 or 20%), Termination (25% to 20% if talented for it), Kill Shot (20% to 0%).
    - There are different shot selections that can be made depending on the situation or preferences. An example is whether to use AI or AS as the MM focus dump. Math-wise, AI is the better focus dump in almost all phases. Realistically, AS is the better focus dump when not hasted due to movement and interruptions.
    - The impact of glyphs
    - The impact of static haste on gear
    - The impact of various dynamic haste effects and the variability of when they can be used in a fight
    - The different boss fights and mechanics
    - Missing raids buffs from the ideals
    - Which pet type you need to use to provide any missing raid buffs
    - Latency and reaction times
    - Etc.

    5) Writing guides like Frost does takes a lot of time and effort that could be spent doing other things. That sacrifice should be appreciated, and when you find a possible problem, provide constructive criticism as suggested in 1) and work respectfully to resolve the problem.

    6) These are guides not bibles. For players that are less into maximizing DPS, following the guides suggestions exactly will provide you with pretty good DPS. For those wanting to maximizing DPS, it is important to take the recommendations in the guides and then adapt them to your personal situation and preferrences.

  60. Shadrik says:

    As someone bringing up a new hunter, reading this thread…

    Even though I see that SV is performing well overall (not nescesarily boss2boss) in 10 mans (my raiding preference) I am coming to the conlcsusion that I am loathe to even bother with the spec because of the obvious scaling issues that the 25-10 man comparsion obviously displays. Watching my friends play hunters in the last Xpac I saw a lot of spec swapping when certain trinkets were aquired with (arp-no longer a stat). I like to hang on to a spec for purpose 1, and another spec for purpose 2. Right now I have a friend in a 10 man that switches between MM and SV depending on the raid make up (this includes his pet choice) and/or encounter.

    Just looks to me like one who would be running 10 mans would be wise to maintain both specs (SV, MM). I know BM is a nice solo spec and has some purty pets, but right now I am questionig even having a BM spec at all.