Haste plateaus were a big hunter topic back in Cataclysm, and as a result I’ve gotten several questions about where they are in Mists of Pandaria.
Put very simply, for all practical purposes there are no hunter haste plateaus in Mists of Pandaria.
With all the new buttons added to the hunter dps toolbox in Mists combined with our focus regen talent tier making our focus bar somewhat more erratic, we no longer have a base “rotation” that is used for any very significant portion of a fight. As a result we don’t really need to worry much about nuances of how many of what to put in between our signature shots — the answer is changing constantly during the course of a fight.
Haste Plateau Recap
Just for the sake of recap, because some people use different definitions of haste plateaus — when I’m talking about haste plateaus I’m talking about the point at which you’ve shortened the cast time of Cobra Shot or Steady Shot enough that it’s worthwhile putting another shot in between your signature shots.
Because at the point where you include another focus shot you’re pushing back your signature shot slightly, the value of haste rating changed slightly depending on where you were in the haste plateau (sometimes the extra haste would shorten the delay between signature shots, if you were at the point where you pushing back your signature shot slightly).
No Base Rotation Means No Haste Plateau
The key to the haste plateau was that for a good amount of the fight — usually 50% or more — you were using something close to a standard rotation — cobra, cobra, arcane, explosive and repeat.
While we haven’t actually had a hard “rotation” for a long time, we did have rotations for good portions of the fight. But in Mists that is straight out the window. Our level 75 and 90 talents both give us abilities that interrupt that base rotation, and regardless of what focus regen talent you choose in the level 60 tier, the talent also radically changes the order of shots fired.
A couple questions came up about Dire Beast and haste plateaus so it’s worth noting that there are in fact no haste plateaus or break points for Dire Beast. There appears to be a decent amount of misinformation about it, so here’s how it works.
Icy Veins testing confirms that as you increase in haste, you slowly increase the chance for Dire Beast to get an extra attack. It’s just like when you have an ability that deals 1.5 damage — half the shots will do one damage, and half will do 2 damage. Of if your shot should deal 1.33 damage, two shots will deal 1 damage, and the third will deal 2. The fractional gain evens out over the course of many uses of the ability.
Similarly Dire Beast is not an all-or-nothing proposition — it’s not a hard breakpoint where you get another attack all of the sudden and if you’re one point below the breakpoint you don’t get the extra attack. Instead the more haste you get, the more often your Dire Beast will get that 10th attack. So every bit of haste boosts the dps benefit of Dire Beast the same amount as every other bit of haste.
In the end I think this lack of haste plateaus is a good thing: figuring out when you can delay your signature shot by a second, or half second, was more complicated than the game really needed. While adding all this complexity to the hunter rotation isn’t my preferred solution, at least it has accomplished something.