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.
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:
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?