We had a neat little tidbit trickled to us from Ghostcrawler in response to a mage question on DoT behavior. The short version of it is that in Mists of Pandaria our Explosive Shot ticks cannot be clipped, and during Lock and Load we will be able to spam Explosive Shot with no danger of lowering our dps.

Here’s the relevant quote; it’s long and you can skip past it if you want:

We’re also really wondering about the various “ignite-like” mechanics in the game….

Ahhh, Ignite mechanics. What a storied history they have.

While there have been several versions of Ignite and similar effects, historically, the general goal for quite a while now has been for this sort of effect to be simply a way to move part of the damage from an attack into a DoT, to reduce burst, and add flavor. And since these attacks were likely to happen again before the DoT finished, each one needed to “roll” the damage left over from the previous DoT into the new one. However, that damage rolling processing has always been somewhat delayed. That leads to the “munching” problem (two hits could land at nearly the same time, and the first one wouldn’t have been processed yet when the second one lands, leading to the first one’s DoT getting overwritten by the second one’s).

However, we got some code changes done in 5.0 that handles rolling periodics better. If Blackout Kick does 20% of its damage as a DoT, then at the end of the fight, Blackout Kick’s DoT should have done exactly 20% of the damage of Blackout Kick (barring any rounding errors or overkill of course). The actual logic involved is rather simple: When reapplying this DoT, take the damage left in the previous DoT and distribute it evenly across the new DoT’s ticks. Do remember that refreshing a DoT refreshes it to the full duration, plus the next tick (so that you can clip DoTs by 1 tick and have no loss).

For example, suppose Blackout Kick does 20% additional damage as a DoT that ticks every 2 sec, for 4sec.

0sec: Blackout Kick lands for 100 damage. DoT applied, with 4sec remaining, doing 10 damage per tick.
2sec: Blackout Kick DoT ticks for 10 damage. 2sec remaining, still 10 damage per tick.
3sec: Another Blackout Kick lands, and this time it crits, for 200 damage. The DoT is refreshed and extended to 4sec past the next tick; 5sec remaining, or 3 ticks. It needs to do a total of 10 damage still from the previous DoT, and 40 more for this one, for a total of 50 damage over 3 ticks, so ticks for ~17 damage, 3 more times.
4sec: Blackout Kick DoT ticks for 17 damage. 4sec remaining, still 17 damage per tick.
6sec: Blackout Kick DoT ticks for 17 damage. 2sec remaining, still 17 damage per tick.
8sec: Blackout Kick DoT ticks for 17 damage, and expires.

Hope that helps.

Spells that use this mechanic include: Ignite, Blackout Kick, Echo of Light, Devouring Plague, Touch of Karma, Hand of Gul’dan, Bloodbath, Temporal Shield, Piercing Shots, Explosive Shot, and several set bonuses.

One additional addendum on the Ignite things: Explosive Shot does not do this in your current build, but will in the next. The others should all work that way in your current build.

In MoP, Explosive Shot ticks are going to work more like how Piercing Shots works: if you apply another Explosive Shot while an existing Explosive Shot DoT is on the target, the game will add an extra tick like it does now, but then it will add the total DoT damage of the new shot to whatever remains of the old shot, and then divide that entire number by 3 (the number of ticks with the one extra added) and that will be the new damage per tick.

Thus no damage is ever lost:  (Total damage of new DoT + Total damage left undone from old dot) / (# of ticks + 1) = damage per tick

Let’s take a look at an example to illustrate. Let’s say for the sake of easy numbers that our Explosive Shot hits for 100 damage, and then ticks every second for the next two seconds for another 100 damage per tick. Thus our numbers look like this:

0:00: shot lands for 100 damage
0:01: tick for 100 damage
0:02: tick for 100 damage

Thus we fire Explosive Shot and we do 300 damage total. Now let’s say Lock & Load procs, and gives us the ability to fire three Explosive Shots in a row. This is what would happen:

0:00: shot lands for 100 damage
0:01: tick for 100 damage and 2nd shot lands for 100 damage.
RECALCULATION: There is one tick left for 100 damage from the first shot, and two ticks for 100 damage each for the second shot. Add it all together for 300 damage; add one tick for 3 ticks. Divide 300 dmg by 3 ticks and we now have 3 ticks to go for 100 damage each.
0:02: tick for 100 damage and 3rd shot lands for 100 damage
RECALCULATION: There are two ticks left for 100 damage each from the last recalc, and two ticks for 100 damage each from the third shot. Add it all together for 400 damage, add back to 3 ticks. Divide 400 dmg by 3 ticks and we’ll now have 3 ticks for 133.33 damage each.
0:03: tick for 133.33 damage
0:04: tick for 133.33 damage
0:05: tick for 133.34 damage

Thus we did a total of 900 damage with three Explosive Shots. 300 damage for one, 900 for three — this way even spamming the shot we will never, ever clip a tick. Note that you’ll also never have more than 1 extra tick on your DoT.

Of course it isn’t really necessary that you understand how it works (though this is how Piercing Shots works too) — the only important thing to know is that you will, once they make this change, be able to spam three Explosive Shots in a row when Lock & Load procs. And that is good news for the SV hunters of the world.

A very nice little quality of life improvement, and very much appreciated.

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  1. Kheldul says:

    Sweet. They really are doing nice things for people with a bit-o latency.

  2. Turrble says:

    Just to be clear, given that there is a possible scenario in which 4 Explosive Shots can be fired in quick succession (fire one on normal cooldown, Lock&Load immediately procs, fire the two for L&L, then fire the refreshed Explosive Shot’s cooldown [assuming you are under a haste buff or Thrill of the Hunt procs, so you have enough focus to pull it off])…

    ^ All that being said, will all the damage pan out the way it should, and thus will we be free to fire every Explosive with no regard for the ticks on our target?

  3. Patrick says:

    I thought the new L&L mechanism is a single free Explosive Shot but double damage? Is this not the case anymore?

    But its still a really good quality of life change, for the rare instances it can happen in Mists.

    • Skarn says:

      Welcome to beta, friend! Where things can and DO change often.

      Currently Explosive Shot and Lock & Load are functioning like they do on live, giving two free Explosive Shots for normal damage.

  4. Cryptfire says:

    Other than general character movement and positioning, managing L&L procs effectively is one of the obstacles that separates the great Hunters from the average ones, and the removal of this mechanic will likely put the average Hunters up among the great ones when it comes to DPS. While the average players who may currently be struggling to hit high numbers will think it’s Christmas come early, the great players will be letting out a dejected sigh at the thought of their rotation becoming roll-your-face easy. Weaving shots inbetween those free procs was the only thing that made our rotation remotely interesting!

    • Worph says:

      If I’m not mistaken, it was actually a DPS loss to weave a shot rather than strafing away from the target and spamming Explosive Shot. Frost wrote an article about it a while ago.

      Someone correct me if I’m wrong!

      • Itukaaj says:

        This post is saying that this will change in MoP. But currently, yes, you would be correct.

    • Zeherah says:

      Personally I’m quite glad they’re changing this. Having our highest damage shot as SV be designed around this weird mechanic where we couldn’t fully take advantage of the burst offered by LnL without managing our timing around these 1 second ticks was always strange. Especially given the fuzziness surrounding the timing of the tick refresh and how it interacted with latency and movement. Now our burst shot will be a proper burst shot and not a weird half dot half not dot and we can stop having constant arguments over the best use of LnL.

  5. randy says:

    i really like some of the new abilities, they add some flavor to the hunter kit. murder of crows sounded really cool before they neutered it. i think i would like to see crows turned into a proc maybe. i like the idea of my enemies being swarmed by murderous crows, and i sure hope they can find a way to make this an ability that is worth taking.

  6. Snakefinger says:

    Love this news.

  7. Morgatho says:

    After reading this I’m reminded of a post I read (I think it was on BRK’s old site before he stopped blogging) were a hunter was applying to a guild and they had him run ICC as part of the application process. After the raid there raid leader told the hunter that he was playing SV wrong by not spamming Explosive shot when LnL procked. To me this change seem to have come from people like this raid leader who assumed he knew how our class played and giving out the wrong info to others.

  8. Frozenwing says:

    This is not entirely true… When spamming Explosive shot 3 times in a row. (lock and load) I get a total of 8 damaging shots / ticks (combining the 5 from ticks and 3 from the shot itself.) When i weave a shot in between those 3 explosive shots.. i end up with 9 total damaging shots. 6 from tick.. and 3 from shot.

    So It definitely does still clip.. In a way.

    • Frostheim says:

      It doesn’t clip — that lost tick is actually added on to the other ticks so that the shot still does full damage. Read this whole post for a full explanation of how it works with examples.