James’ guest post started a great conversation about hunter dps balancing, and I thought it was worth continuing the conversation with some clarification about how dps is balanced across classes. A very common thread of discussion was hunters stating that they would not want increased multi-dotting capabilities at the cost of our single target dps.

But the thing is, it’s not one or the other. In point of fact, one of the things that we do know pretty clearly about how Blizzard balances dps is that the “hard” balancing is done on against single target dps. In the beta process of Mists of Pandaria Blizzard told us once that all the classes were within 5% dps of eachother, and most were within 2% (and at the time they were working on bringing them all within 2%).

Hard vs Soft Balancing

I just want to stress that it is not possible to balance dps of all classes for all encounters. You can’t have different abilities with different mechanics that work out to the same damage in single target, and aoe, and 2 targets, and 3 targets, and 3 targets when you have to move a lot, and 2 targets when you have to click on a lever 3 seconds in to get a dps boost for 8 seconds.

You can, however, balance for any one scenario, and it appears that Blizzard balances for single target. I refer to this as Hard Balancing because the theoretical optimal dps throughput is brought within just a couple percent from class to class. A robot playing each class optimally with great gear against a Patchwerk style fight will average damage within a couple percent (of course from one 5-minute fight to another, the dps will vary due to randomness, but dps averaged over a series of tests will come out within a couple percent).

Once you have that number drilled in, you then need to be somewhat balanced for all the other kinds of fights. In what I call the Soft Balancing the dps for different fight types is eyeballed. You don’t want it to be too bad, but you also know it can’t be perfectly balanced. Maybe one class isn’t great at aoe — and that’s fine as long as they’re good at something else, like cleaving.

This is where the encounter design can affect balance — if a lot of the encounters have multi-dotting fights and few have aoe fights, suddenly the balance of that aoe strong, multi-dot weak class is off. With soft balancing you’d want to then tweak the class so it’s better at something that is encountered more often, but there’s no way to make it numerically perfectly balanced.

The Types of Fights

Every boss fights has its own mechanics, but most of them fall into one of a handful of types of fights from a dps perspective:

  • Single-Target: we rarely have the Patchwerk style fight, but you don’t need that extreme to fit into this category. A Single Target fight is one where we have only one boss target for most of the fight, and our movement isn’t too extreme. All classes are hard balanced around this fight.
  • AoE: in these fights AoEing down large packs of adds is a key element of the fight, and it happens often enough or long enough that your position on the meters is pretty much determined by how much AoE dps you put out. SV does pretty okay in AoE: we’re not on top, but we can compete.
  • Multi-Target: fights where there are one to three extra targets. Multiple boss adds or multiple bosses, but not enough to justify aoeing (or possibly they just aren’t clumped). Depending on positioning these can be cleave fights (where some of the damage dealt to the primary target affects nearby targets) or multi-dot fights (where several dots can be applied to each target, either manually or via a cleave-like mechanic). Hunters are particularly bad at these fights.
  • Target-Switching Fight: fights with multiple targets, but where only one can (or should) be targeted at a time. These fights are generally bad for melee or classes with slow ramp-up dps, and good for ranged. They are a mixed bag for hunters, since our pets take time to get from target to target while we can switch at once. BM pets can target-switch nearly seamlessly if the targets are close enough together.
  • Burst DPS: some fights are all about applying as much dps as possible in a short period of time, either because of a burn phase for a boss, or because there are moments of multiplied dps (during a certain period all dps is doubled, for example). These ones can be tricky, because for fights that have a burst phase, you don’t notice the difference on the damage meters — though for fights with damage multipliers it’s a big deal. In Cataclysm this was a huge weakness of the hunter class, especially SV, but MoP brought us some nice burst to improve our contribution to these kinds of fights.

Basically hunters, like all classes, are balanced for single-target dps. We have other fight types we’re pretty good at, and some that we’re bad at; however, we have none where we’re great. No fights where hunters really shine. Because of this it’s very unlikely that hunters will top the logs for just about any fight.

Note this doesn’t keep you from topping the meters — I’m just saying that the best-geared best-skilled hunters won’t beat the best-geared best-skilled other classes, in general.

Cleaving Solution

Multi-dotting is brought up a lot because we seem to have more and more fights where multi-dotting is the optimal way to go, and this is part of the reason that we’re seeing warlocks and shadow priests doing so well in the overall dps analysis.

Personally, I think it’d be a good idea to give hunters some kind of multi-dotting or cleaving capabilities. Keep in mind that our single-target dps is going to be balanced against other class single-target dps no matter what, and Blizzard pretty much has to do it that way — just think of how much shit Blizzard got in beta when simcraft numbers showed a disparity. For better or worse, that’s what the majority of the playerbase focuses on and Blizzard would be lynched if single-target wasn’t mostly balanced.

The important thing to stress is that increasing our multi-dotting or cleaving ability does not mean our single-target will go down. And Blizzard will not boost our single target to better than other classes to compensate for weakness elsewhere. Single target dps is always designed for balance.

On the last Hunting Party Podcast Roger Brown from Method suggested giving hunters an aspect that allows our auto-shots to cleave. A lot of people have suggested taking SV and making Black Arrow efficient for multi-dotting (removing the CD and lowering the cost at the least). You could also make signature shots cleave, or arcane shot, or glyph cleaving in.

Personally I’m a big fan of the aspect solution — tie it to auto or arcane or whatever it takes to get decent cleaves. I like linking it to an aspect because that way we have control over whether or not our shots cleave, and it lowers our single-target dps by forcing us out of Aspect of the Hawk, turning cleaving into a decision. It also makes aspects relevant in a meaningful way again. Flavor wise cleaving seems to fit with the hunter dps model better than multi-dotting.

What do you guys think? Given that Blizz is always going to try to balance our single-target, what would you do to improve hunter dps in these other fight types?

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  1. Clinh says:

    Firstly, I’m unsure exactly how applying serpent sting to multiple targets differs from multi-dotting. Is there a difference?

    Secondly, I would suggest a glyph of Blink which causes our pet to automatically Blink when we target switch.

    • Frostheim says:

      That is a multi-dot — it’s just a very weak version. The strong multi-dot classes do lots of damage, and they can roll the multi-dots without depleting their resources. For SV to maintain multi-dots on a couple targets can be a dps loss.

      • Clinh says:

        I’d have to question that “weak version” as I have seen (on multiple occasions) SV Hunters topping raid dps (and I’m talking about doing 60k+ dps on a boss fight) basically doing nothing but Serpent Sting and Auto-Shot. The 3 lion Guardians fight that’s first in the Vaults is a good example.

      • Frostheim says:

        Multi-Shot makes a good AoE, but a poor multi-dot. A big reason multi-spam works for SV is because of the direct damage the serpent sting does on application, which is only good as long as it’s worthwhile to spam multi-shot.

        Multi-dot and cleave classes are great on two targets, or 3 targets when they’re still outputting nearly full dps to the primary target, etc. Even full multi-spamming 3 targets SV will get stomped by other classes.

        I have no doubt you’ve seen a time where sv did better than others on 3 targets, but in general across equally geared and skilled players, SV will not top the multi-dot fights, even if they ignore their primary target.

    • Mythriak says:

      “Glyph of Blink” is a talent called Blink Strike.

      • Clinh says:

        Umm, No it isn’t.
        Blink Strike gives you the ability to click (or press) a button to make your pet Blink to your current target, if you change target then you need to click Blink again otherwise your pet will run to the new target. I’m talking about a Glyph which would cause your pet to (as I said) “automatically Blink”.
        I do realise this isn’t the same as a cleave btw, it’s just an ‘I wish’ that I have

  2. Mythriak says:

    I’d love to see the passive Beast Cleave from BM Hunters to get a buff from 30% to 60% or heck, maybe even make it to spread 100% of the damage as a bleed to all targets on the range.

    • Honeybum says:

      Ooh I like the sound of a passive beast cleave (for all specs).
      Although, an auto shot or signature shot cleave would probably be better for cleave uptime.

      In Wrath we had aimed shot and multi-shot which shared cooldown. I guess that was a kind of a cleave.

      I don’t think multi-dotting would work well with the focus system if black arrow costs a bunch of focus. And I wouldn’t enjoy that playstyle either, It’s not really the hunter style.

      • Honeybum says:

        I just had another thought… What if in the cleave aspect, we’d lose or reduce the AP bonus, but; Kill Command triggered a beast cleave, Explosive shot triggered an aoe explosion (which I think is how it worked at some point?), and Chimera triggered an aoe bleed (as MM had a history with bleeds)

  3. Waar says:

    I like the idea of having a “cleave” aspect; but I’d really like to see our rotation abilities buffed and cooldowns nerfed. I don’t so much mind hunters being in the middle of the dps pack as I mind how hard we have to work to be mediocre. A few mis-timed cooldown pops (bound to happen with RNG and a gazillion CDs) can quickly send us sliding down the meters. At this point, I question whether using the median of the top 100 parses really tells our dps story. Using the top 100 parses captures the top-performing, best-skilled players; but it also captures them on their very best attempts… are the best attempts (when cooldowns, procs, focus management, and boss mechanics line up perfectly) really a good measure when compared to less-bursty classes?

  4. Iridar says:

    Our last tier talent are pretty much about aoe or cleaving. With proper boosting they could be meaningful.

    For example, rebalance Glaive Toss so it does same damage to all hit targets.
    That would remove GT from our Single Target rotation and offer some nice cleave with a skill component (we have to move to hit maximum targets).

    Powershot needs to be stronger. Currently taking it instead of Glaive Toss is a DPS loss of 1-2k. In PVP Powershot CRITS for 50k-60k (which is less than Kill Kommand).
    Powershot also needs a minor glyph that removes pushback component (for PVErs).

    Barrage is our *”burst”* AOE. Nothing much to say here. Maybe make it not hit targets which are not in combat?

  5. Jaromor says:

    I am still confused about Blizz taking away AoFox, playerbase nodding to that, and now we are suggesting to add aspect? o.O

    Let me just say that I dont like the idea of losing AoFox, and I’m not against the solution suggested in the article. I just don’t understand why AoFox is bad and this would be considered good…? (I believe macroing aspects before Cobras can be prevented by addind non-zero casting time to aspects, .01s would be enough to prevent such macro from working.)

    • Iridar says:

      Blizz removed AoFox not because players macroed aspects in all shots and not cuz we had to many aspects between Hawk and Fox.
      Blizz removed AoFox because it initially had bad design, making us choose between damage (hawk) and damage + damage (fox giving focus via steady/cobra).
      Steady/cobra damage didn’t depend on attack power much, so there was little to no reason to ever concern yourself with casting them in AoHawk. It was litteraly 1k damage difference over whole fight.

      I also think that making Cobra/Steadies castable on the move baseline was the wrong way to go.

      I think they should’ve made some “focus on the move” talent tier, one talent giving us ability to cast Cobra/Steady on the move. Other talent would give us new ability, some instant, weak (compared to cobra/steady) shot, which gives a small amount of focus.
      PVPers (or leveling characters) would love this ability, because of instant damage/focus (in pvp hunters suffer cuz of Line of Sight they can’t finish casting Cobra/Steady on target hiding behind pillar).

  6. Oxix says:

    About hunters… I never considered us a cleave class. It was always the task of Warriors/Rogues, recently Mages as far as I’m concerned. We always kicked us in single target, thats our style. And our current problem: only 1 spec is competable with other classes, and it had to be fuckin’ BM. Well, tough luck, I really hope Blizzard would look into the problem and boost MM/SV damage. Especially MM. Right now we seem to be healing the boss.

    Anyway, I’ve got some cleaver (see what I did there? Yeah, it sucks). Multidotting certainly isn’t a way to go – we didn’t roll sPriest for a reason, and this reason is that multidotting is retarded. There are many quite fine options of cleaving, developed by, for example, Warlocks. So:

    1) MM option – Split Focus. Places additional mark on the targeted enemy. Every time you spend focus damaging a target with Hunter’s Mark up, the target affected by Split Focus suffers damage for each point of focus spent. 1.5 min CD, lasts 20 seconds.
    2) SV option – Cluster Shots – when triggered, your Explosive Shot deals 30% less damage, but each shot hits up to 2 additional targets in 10 yard range for 80% of the damage done. This ability can be triggered on or off any time, without global cooldown.
    3) BM option – Shadow of the Beast – duplicates your current pet. The clone performs all the actions of your active pet and attacks the nearest target to it for 60% of your pets damage.

    And again, I’m very against homogenizing every dps class. There should be a variety, so things don’t get boring. There should be “this cleave class”, “this utility class”, “this aoe class”, “this multidotting class” and so on, with each of them doing about the same dps on single target. Cleave sounds like a good option for hunters, but right now it’s not the top priority. Tickling damage from Aimed Shot is.

  7. Daend says:

    I was thinking this over the past few days as well. I have a mage alt and playing as frost one of the more useful major glyphs is for Ice lance. It allows ice lance to cleave for 40% dmg to 1 additional target. This made me think why doesn’t kill command have something like this? Why isnt this already built into kill command for 2 additional targets at 30-50% dmg?

    Blizz has already made it clear they aren’t a fan of stance dancing so this new aspect cant be based on cleaving shots that cost focus as we would run into stance dancing hawk to steady shot while dumping focus with the new aspect.

    What could be done is adding cleaves to the core mechanics of each spec. BM – KC, SV-E-shot and MM around aimshot. Could be a new major glyph called Glyph of Collateral Damage.

  8. Dorianchika says:

    I think a new pet ability available to all specs of hunter would be in order for a cleave effect. “Wild Rage”, Your pet becomes a wild ball of spitting, slicing and biting rage that damages all enemies within melee range of your pet. A little bit of Tasmanian devil would be fun and appropriate to our current need. I’d love to see a pet sized red whirlwind where our pet was attacking. It could reveal occasional slash/swipe visuals ala feral druid attacks during the duration.

    • Jaromor says:

      Please no.
      By relying on pet you ask for bugs and, more importantly, you bring is closer to a melee class. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone who hates exactly that aspect of BM :(

  9. Ridgestalker says:

    Glaive Toss and Lynx Rush give us a basic cleave affect, as was mentioned earlier tuning one or both of those up a bit would be good. My action bar is full now, adding another aspect or more abilties would overload my little dwarf brain :)

  10. Jaeger says:

    The “hard balancing” is the major flaw in Blizzard’s design. No raid encounter is a target dummy. It’s like basing your design on a frictionless world. It just doesn’t work.

    Even if we are designed for single target fights, we still suck at them according to the raid parses.

    Looking at Raidbots (MV, top 100, 10 Normal)
    -Stone Guards: Fire Mage, Combat Rogues really stick out. Hunters are way at the bottom.
    -Feng: Fire Mage sticks out. BM is close to the top but SV is near the bottom.
    -Gara’jal: Fire Mage again. BM is middle-top. SV is towards the bottom.
    -Spirit Kings: Fire Mage! BM is competitive here but SV is towards the bottom.
    -Elegon: Spriest, Fire Mage, Affl Lock stick out. BM is middle. SV is low middle.
    -Will: Affl Lock sticks out. Hunters are at the bottom. Fire mages are in the middle.

    So Fire mages domininate basically everything. Hunters are mediocre. BM comes close to the top a couple of times. Fire mages in their worst performance is upper middle.

    Obviously, “hard balancing” is a waste of time, if it means that one spec dominates an entire set of raid bosses.

    It can’t be balanced so that all classes to the same on all fights; there’d only be one dps class… However, it should be balanced so that overall things are pretty close. With the current raids, that is clearly not the case. One spec in particular and a couple others are close to domination, which is bad design and bad balancing.

    So the parses tell us, a good 10 man comp for this tier looks like:
    2 tanks (1 needs to be warrior with fury off-spec)
    3 healers (1 needs to be priest with shadow off-spec)
    3 fire mages, 1 affliction lock, 1 combat rogue
    Bench everyone else.

    If you want to be a bit more balanced (buff-wise):
    prot pally, prot warrior (fury off)
    mist monk, holy pally, disc priest (shadow off)
    2 fire mages, affliction lock, combat rogue, frost dk

    Hunters, shamans, druids, ret pally, wind monks, … nah, don’t need those. They suck this tier…

    • Frostheim says:

      Keep in mind the goal of hard balancing is to put everyone near the middle. Hunters are pretty near the middle — and I totally agree that fire mages are too good.

      • Jaeger says:

        I totally understand; near the middle on everything is fine as long as everyone is near the middle on everything; that just means that everyone is equally awesome!.

        It’s just that hard balancing keeps proving to be insufficient on Blizzard’s part and that is the problem. Classes can shine on one type of fight or another but there shouldn’t be classes that are always better or always worse than others in all the encounters in a raid tier.

  11. Iridar says:

    I think we’re talking about wrong issue here. Hunters doing poor on multi-target fights is only the part of the problem. Currently it just isn’t fun playing hunter. Too many buttons, too many cooldowns. Too much BM, which is annoying as hell to play even now, when we have charging Kill Kommand.
    There is also unresolved problem with removal of the AoFox and making Cobra/steady castable on the move baseline. Obviously, this change will not stick.
    These issues have to be adressed first, and then we can talk about adding cleave or multi dot capabilities.

    • Phobe says:

      I like playing BM hunter nowadays, Cataclysm last patch was boring, SV was a 4 button class, with no CDs, no Burst, and no Survival.

      Today we have it all, just need some tweeks and we’ll be fine.

  12. Xan says:

    I’ve thrown around the idea that hunters, warlocks, rogues, and mages should always have the highest straight dps potential by a small percent. All other classes have multiple roles and play styles they can work with, while we can only fill damage roles. Anyone have a thought on this?

    • Iridar says:

      You’re talking about “hybrid tax”, this idea is old as wolrd… of warcraft.

      Personally, I don’t think it would be fair, punishing people for playing their favourite spec/class.

      • Jaromor says:

        As many have said, hybrid classes have something other then DPS output: their higher utility over pure DPSaurs.

      • Jaromor says:

        > Personally, I don’t think it would be fair, punishing people for playing their favourite spec/class.
        Given current state of hunter DPS this kinda made me chuckle. :)

  13. Balwick says:

    Arcane shot could easily be made into a cleave – it’s a magical shot that needs no further lore-explanation. If it did X amount of damage and 40%(or something) to all enemies within 10 yards of the target, we’d have an effective cleave that doesn’t ramp up Single Target damage and doesn’t drain our resource pull dry in 4 seconds flat.

  14. starzein says:

    Personally i dont like the idea of hunters being able to multi dot, i dont think theres a need for every class to be able to handle every type of fight and from a game perspective hunters doing damage without fireing shots or having our pet eat your face makes no sense , perhaps if we used poison on our arrows but apart from that how would it actually work we are not magic users and we dont curse or infect, we do physical damage with out weapons although we dont shine in multi dot fights thats ok with me we are not locks or mages we are closer in type to a warrior (there is no magic we hit you hurt )and less like the pally (i think of the pain you feel it)
    We are not the top dog atm but most raid groups still run hunters we have the utility we have the burst and we can survive better than most classes. Come 5.1 we will be able to dance and attack better than any other class, we are unique and multi dotting as nice as the damage would be just isnt one of the things we do our dot effects are weak because there has to be somewhere we dont do it better than all the rest.

  15. Lumberg says:

    I was rather critical of your dps analysis as it didn’t bring this topic to the forefront. I’m very happy to see that you’ve taken up the cause, or at least sparked the discussion. If the hunter community makes their voice heard, hopefully Blizzard will hear it and address this rather huge disparity.

  16. Shabba says:

    Thing with a cleave aspect is not the loss of the hawk but of the iron hawk!
    Its going to make healers work 15% harder on us.

    • Iridar says:

      We hadn’t anything like Iron Hawk in Cata, neither +10% heals (it was very optional talent, which cost dps), and it was fine. It’s not like we take damage *all* the time.

  17. Edi says:

    Hey. I don’t know if doing it via aspects is a good solution.
    if you e.g. let arcane cleave, you would be aspect hopping into cleaveaspect and back to hawk for every arcane shot, which is exact the same siuation as we had for fox and Cobra (if on move) and they wanted to get rid off.

    I would first of all double the damage of Serpent Sting, to make it viable to roll it on 2-3 targets (and refreshing via cobra as far as possible)
    of course you would have to tune SVs improved Serpent Sting and Serpent Spread down a bit.
    SSting just hits so horribly low, even the DKs (which is not considered a dot class)
    plagues tick for ~twice the damage

    my idea to buff MMs cleave damage: let Wild Quiver proccs penetrate enemies!
    this would bring a ton of issues, but would be cool somehow. you would then have to pay attention to your positioning of course, and would be a gain in AoE dps aswell.

  18. bahzob says:

    What to do to make hunter DPS better?

    Allow a free class change to mage? For the whole of Cataclysm and now it looks like the whole of MoP it seems as if you are a mage Blizzard dont think you need to be balanced by any definition of the word.

    PVE Cat start: Arcane mage stupidly good dps with a 1 button macro
    PVE Cat end: Fire mages were bad so they get boosted to be amongst the best. While BM was worse and stayed even worse
    PVP Cat: all 3 specs were viable, fun and frost (and fire at end) well ahead of the only viable hunter spec.

    MoP Fire amongst the best PVE specs and great for PVP.
    Frost still one of the best PVP specs and will remain so even after nerfs
    Arcane: not so good atm. So expect a massive boost before the end of the expansion. While MM will no doubt stay bad and get worse.

    • Iridar says:

      The problem with hunters during cata was that hunters were overloaded with obsolete stuff like minimum fire range and bugged traps/pets. Also it was first expac for us when we had focus instead of mana. These things are not easy to balance.

      And the mage pretty much was all the same all the time – nuke something into oblivion while flapping her skirt in a sexy manner.

  19. Vonos says:

    I think the solution would be something like this:

    Change the focus cost of the Multi-shot to 20 focus. Same as the Arcane, so we can dump focus with this and not running out in 4 sec.

    Change the Beast Cleave ability: “After you Multi-shot, your pet’s attacks also strike all other nearby enemy targets for 30% as much for the next 4 sec.” So not only melee attacks.

    Buff the damage of the Explosive Trap a bit, and reduce the cooldown to 15 second, so we can reposition it more often (if the target moves).

    I’m not realy good with the other hunter specs, but here are some other ideas:

    SV: If you hit a target affected by your serpent’s sting you affect all targets with serpent’s sting. If the targets have serpent’s stings already, your Multi-shot instantly does the damage left and reapply them.

    MM: If you cast Multi-shot twice in a row, your explosive shots within 6 second also hit the same targets for 50% damage.

    Such way all the specs have a uniqe method to deal AoE-cleave damage without sacrificing too much single-target potencial.

  20. Kredon says:

    I like the idea of having an additional aspect. Perhaps something like Apect of the Hydra, causing every attack of you and your pet to hit an additional target for x% of the damage dealt. Perhaps with an additional Glyph ‘Glyph of Hydra Head’ which adds an additional target for reduced additional damage.

    Requiring to switch out of (Iron-)Hawk is a damage loss on the main target. Hydra might impose an additional penalty if it was too powerful.

    That would not be a real multi-dot mechanic, but some kind of cleave. I think it should not be limited to one ability to avoid the undesired (by Blizzard) aspect dancing. Therefore you would choose this aspect for a period of time, while there are multiple close targets.

    @Offtopic: Mages performing too good. I have not checked the data, but in my opinion if we just consider the top 100 parses the data we get for mages is just an outlier. If a mage is lucky in regards of hotstreak procss and crits of the resulting pyros, which might be quite few rng events in a fight, it has a huge impact. I.e. much higher impact on the resulting numbers, than if we are lucky with some KC or KS crits.

  21. Rayne says:

    I’m not sure if other classes suffer a single target dps loss for the cleave or multi-dot abilities they have. I like the idea of our signature abilities providing a short duration dot on multiple targets. (ES could apply fire dmg dot, etc…) [though I can already hear the complaints about breaking CC’d targets] Since we should be using our signature shot on every CD, the dot’s would be applied automatically without the need to aspect switch or glyph. Also, I don’t see a reason why a bleed affect couldn’t be added to Glaive Toss which would be applied to the extra targets it hits. This would further encourage good positioning to get the most benefit or Blizzard could limit the number of targets affected if this is more inline with what the other classes have in their arsenal.

    However things progress, I think Blizzard should be looking at how they balance dps. I know we can’t avoid the single target balance model… it really does need to be there for a base. But they also need to try to balance everyone around a 3 + target model or at least consider the tools every class and spec has at their disposal for such fights so the playing field can be evened out.

  22. Ril says:

    what would fit best flavor wise would be:

    BM for cleve
    MM (lol) for AoE
    SV for multi dotting

    of course it is only my opinion and i could see BM and MM with inverse roles too. an aspect solution sounds great, best would be one that changes slightly depending on spec, to emphasize their strength.

    also, i’d like to see fewer buttons on BM hunter. SV feels great at the moment, but i didn’t test MM (lol) at all.

  23. Whitefyst says:

    Since hunters are physical DPS and not caster DPS, my opinion is that cleave mechanics make more sense for hunters than multi-dotting.

    However, unlike the other physical damage classes, hunters are range, which favors multi-dotting.

    Hence, I think that the best solution for hunters is to give them a little bit of both. Have pets who are in melee cleave more with thier basic attacks but also allow hunters a better chance to multidot. For instance, existing abilities could be made multi-dottable by leaving the current focus cost if no targets currently have the DoT but reducing the focus cost on secondary targets if the DoT is already on another target. For instance SrS could be made into a multidot (would need its damage increased) where it could could the normal focus to apply to the first target but while it is on at least one target, the focus can be reduced to something like 10. Since SrS does more damage than Arcane Shot but would cost less focus in the multidot situation, we would basically have the same rotations but with replacing ASs with SrSs on different targets to maintain the multidot. A mouseover macro would be great for applying the multidot to secondary targets while keeping you and your pet on the primary target.

    • Whitefyst says:

      To clarify, we can do what I suggest already today, but its not as beneficial since the extra little damage of SrS compared to AS is offset by the additional 5 focus cost. If we have plenty of focus, then today we can already in multidot situations cast a SrS on a secondary target instead of AS on the primary target.

      The rub currently is that the AS on the primary target does normal AS damage since it has full debuffs on it but the SrS on secondary targets do not since that target is likely missing important debuffs, reducing its DPS advantage over AS. This is why to make multidotting effective, SrS damage needs to be buffed and its focus cost on secondary targets reduced.

  24. Xinkill says:

    so what’s wrong with making a Glyph to cleave( Bombardment) with a specific shot ?? maybe multi shot
    ( i really not want to have to do cleaving thought that was for melee class )

    and as for multi dotting possibly a glyph that uses serpent sting ( like the Serpent Spread before the change )

    as for BM i always n thought as my pet as a BIG DOT and a constant Dot im MM and SV

    dont we provide constant and consistent dps during fights im not woryed about the numbers as long and im in the right place and the right time and reacting to what needs to be dune ( dps utility or it that out of date thinking )