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.

Dire Beast

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.

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  1. Nac says:

    What about Dire Beast haste caps? Having more attacks from it can result in a dps increase

  2. Aerothena says:

    That being said, why is haste seeming to scale for less than say crit or mastery for bm particularly?

  3. Ominous says:

    As Nac hinted, Dire Beast ought to be considered.
    Method (Mogu’shan Vaults 25m HC World First) seems to think that there are haste break-points / plateaus.
    The (Method) MoP Hunter Guide:
    See “Haste”.

    • Frostheim says:

      It looks like he’s describing haste plateaus specifically for Dire Beast; however, it’s been shown that Dire Beast actually scales perfectly smoothly — there are no Dire Beast plateaus.

      You can actually get 1/3 of an extra attack on dire beast, for example (two dire beasts with normal attacks, and the third with one more).

    • Frostheim says:

      Updated the post to explain how Dire Beast works with haste.

    • Arktem says:

      That guide is not only outdated, but much of the information is wrong outright. I would suggest taking it all with a grain of salt.

      Frost, I am wondering where you got your testing done. Are you positive about the Haste points. Or is the trend you’re seeing the current “Bug” on Dire Beast that causes them to do less attacks than normal?

      Not saying you’re wrong, just clarifying.

  4. Arktem says:

    I’m sorry, my first sentence was direction at Ominous, I didn’t quite understand the layout of this site.

  5. BoomBuster says:

    I’m been doing Testing with rotations as survival, first was testing base rotation of ES, BA AS filler dire beast on cool down glave toss on cool down serpent string up all times and cobra shot to get focus .

    Next test was keepin SS up at all times dire-beast and glave toss on cool downs arcane filler to burn focus Cobra for regen and ES on LNL proc only.

    2nd test came out ahead, Can anyone run this thru a sim and see how big of difference is? I know lag es clipping could have a lot to play But i dont have lag and do not clipp ES by more then a split second if at all.

    most my testing was done in Raids and Target dummies.

  6. Iridar says:

    Allthough you opened my eyes concerning Dire Beast (before I always reached the 10th attack *plateu* even at expense of Crit), I disagree with what you said about having no rotation.
    Murder of Crows has large CD. Lynx Rush is free and Glaive Toss cost is close to Arcane Shot, so their effect on rotation is small.
    We do have +focus procs from pet attacks, but then we can just change one Cobra to arcane.
    Dire beast messes things up though.

  7. Phydeux says:

    Basically (let me know if this sounds right or not)

    Cata had “strivable” haste plateaus (where haste made sense to get to a point that would help your DPS in a significant way), and MoP has “theoretical” ones, that. while real (there would be SOME point at which haste changes something), just ain’t worth it because of all the changes happening to haste during a fight while just shooting your weapon anyway that makes the “plateau” chasing useless


    • Frostheim says:

      Well, I’d say that Cata had meaningful haste plateaus, where your gameplay changed at certain haste levels and you’re play improved if you were aware of it; however, they weren’t something that you tried to get. You didn’t want to stack haste to a certain point (except for MM aimed hardcast rotations).

      In Mists, you don’t have a set rotation — too many other abilities (even free ones) interrupt that standard cobra cobra arcane explosive (or whatever) rotation to the point where it doesn’t exist.

      So haste continues to be good — it helps your auto-shot, your pet, your focus regen, etc — but it scales more smoothly. There’s no longer a certain point where haste suddenly changes value or changes the way you play.

      • Iridar says:

        You’re breaking my heart =(
        I longed to have 4-piece T14 and go all to 7k haste with Marksman spec.
        Now I’m not so sure will it be viable..

  8. Mandya says:

    Is there target number you’d want to shoot for (no pun intended) with Haste?

    Standing there with a 1.9s or worse Cobra shot just doesn’t feel right, especially playing SV.

  9. Itukaaj says:

    Is there some table you can put out on Powershot and haste?

    • Whitefyst says:

      Are you 100% sure that Dire Beast damage scales linearly with haste since that would be so inconsistent with how abilities generally work in WoW that scale with haste where the base ability has so many attacks over a certain period of time.

      All of the reports that I have seen shows specific haste points where DB gets extra attacks and where they occur are mathematically consistent with other WoW mechanics and proven emphirically. It basically works similarly to a DoT. The only rub is that there seems to be a bug where the DB will not get an expected extra attack sometimes due to weird positioning and behavior. The people that have experimented with this have actually seen the DB move weird on the cases where an attack is lost. This loss of DB attack bug when just looking at the raw data can possibly make people draw incorrect conclusions about how DB scales with haste.

      Next, although I agree with you that there is no longer hard and faste haste plateaus for hunters due to how many tools are now in our priority and their varying CDs and procs resulting in inconsistent cycles, I also think that it is a mistake to totally ignore the pertinent haste points, especially for MMs who have a longer primary CD.

      I agree that with a less set rotation that haste points are less obvious than they used to be; however, you still need to realize that although we have a lot more instants to casts and where we can cast them each cycle can change, the instants cast abilities do not really matter in a haste analysis. They are all interchangeable with the same impact to the cycle timing. The only impact of the instant cast abilities are their varying focus costs and how they affect focus balancing over the course of the fight and the number of SSs/CoSs each cycle.

      We still have to cast on average so many SSs/CoSs to maintain focus and/or SrS/SF. The number of these shots we perform are the only ones that matter in concern to haste plateaus. Of course, where we perform the SSs/CoSs each cycle will vary, but what matters is not where we perform them each cycle but how many we perform. It is also true that how many we perform each cycle will vary from cycle to cycle; however, you will find that the vast majority of cycles use so many SSs/CoSs.

      For instance for MMs outside the CA phase where AI is used as the focus dump instead of AS, FD shows using the MM Max DPS profile that out of the 43 CS cycles the following number of SSs per cycle:

      2: 3 (1 during RF and 2 others during KS phase)
      3: 34
      4: 6

      Hence, although cycle to cycle, the shots performed were very different, almost 80% of the cycles perform 3 SSs since those were the shots needed to maintain SF and balance focus. It would be foolhardy to ignore that fact and to not take this into account when trying to ideally configure your stats.

      I agree for BM and SV that plateaus are less meaningful, but it is still something not to totally ignore if you want to maximize DPS. Looking at the Max BM profile in FD, I see this distribution of number of CoS per KC cycle:

      0: 7 (mostly during invigoration of high RFs/readiness uses)
      1: 23
      2: 37
      3: 4

      Although not as dramatic as in the MM case, most BM KC cycles (52%) have 2 CoSs. About 85% of the cycles had 1 or 2 CoSs, so ideally I would want a haste levek that factors that information in. Of course, a 1s CoS for a tight KC cycle on cycles with 1 CoS is not really feasible, so the case to focus on is the 2 CoS case with realizing that you will have a little delay in KC casts on the 1 CoS cycle. Thus, ideally BMs want to get their CoS cast times down to 1.5s. That requires 21.21% haste from gear, which is not feasible in T14 gear, but should be the long term goal for BMs.

      This is part of the reason, along with the pet focus benefits, for why haste is so good for BMs at the moment. It is also why I agree with you that for T14 base BM (not including whether they have DB or not) scale well wioth increased haste over mastery since 85% of the cycle perform better with more haste. There is indeed a haste plateau for BMs, it just is not feasible to achieve in T14 gear.