8.1.5.x/8.2 Marksman Discussion


(Bertimus) #186

Agree to disagree on what to do about it.


(Masoschism) #187

If you wish to stop the debate that is totally fine. I will not. :grinning:

I find it more satisfying to have real discussion. That does require coming up with counter arguments, and that can be tiring. I respect your decision (and your posts).


(Bertimus) #188

“Arguing with an engineer is a lot like mud wrestling with a pig. You get to a point where you realize that the pig likes it”

Honestly, I just feel like a more realistic solution is to keep precise but open it up by allowing more charges, then tuning the talents such that they’re competitive. I think explosive and piercing would be a lot more useful and interesting if they worked more like meteor where they do a set amount of damage and then that gets split among multiple targets if present. That way you could tune them to be good in ST while not breaking MT with really high uncapped cleave.


(Masoschism) #189

Haha. I can’t deny there is some truth to that, especially after a couple beers. I’m not there atm (11:40am here), just saying.


(Masoschism) #190

You can’t “tune the talents” in this case because there is a direct competition for focus and globals. Either you make the talents higher DPCT/DPF than Precise Shots or you don’t. If a talent was higher than Precise Shots it would A) be much more damage than any talent should be and B) you would then have the opposite problem where you are no longer casting your Precise Shots procs.

This is a problem that can only be solved by either reducing Precise Shots procs to 1/Aimed Shot or removing them entirely.


(Kajeron) #191

There exists times when you cast arcane shot without precise shots to avoid caping on focus. There are globals and focus available in the current rotation. Maybe the issue is with the focus cost of the talent abilities not precise shots.

I do not think this is a fair statement. If one was to remove precise shots the damage would probably be folded into aimed shot. Infact even if you removed precise shots and buffed arcane shot you would still have the same level of imobility. Precise shots does not limit our mobility, aimed shot does.


(Bertimus) #192

If you have 5 charges of precise, you’re less worried about always using your charge immediately after your aimed shot to avoid wasting charges, so the “competition” aspect is lessened. If you tune the focus cost/cooldown/output of the talents, you could put them in a spot where they have a use case.


(Masoschism) #193

There are times when you cast regular Arcane Shot. Those are the only times when you could be casting a talent. The issue is there aren’t enough of those times. There aren’t enough of those times because getting “lucky” with Precise Shots takes those times away. For something like Serpent Sting you need to be able to substitute about 5 regular Arcane Shots in a minute. If you get 3 Precise Shots double procs in that minute (about average) you will not be able to cast Serpent Sting 1.8 times according to the math (if I remember correctly, I would have to make sure my model is up to date which I am not inclined to do atm, I am too busy). If you get lucky and get 6 procs in that minute (2 procs for each Aimed Shot) you casting Serpent Sting even once is a DPS loss.

If you take Serpent Sting AND Explosive Shot this problem becomes much worse.

This changes things, but even Serpent Sting which is only 10 focus causes this problem because there are only so many globals in a minute and only so many “free” Arcane Shots.

Or into it’s own shot, as I have been stating for (omg, I just realized how long) a year now.

This is completely untrue and shows how insidious Precise Shots is. Precise Shots does not exist unless you stand still and cast Aimed Shot. It has no existence without standing still for 2.5 seconds. It does not limit our mobility, but it only exists by being immobile. If it was it’s own shot, or rolled into Arcane Shot then the damage able to be done while mobile would increase by the amount that Precise Shots currently does. I.e. our total mobile damage would go up to ~ 70% of our fully immobile damage as opposed to the current ~45%. As an aside, if you were to roll the damage into Arcane Shot directly that would make Arcane Shot way too powerful and negate the use of Aimed Shot entirely (except under conditions of Careful Aim), because they both compete for focus and time.


(Kajeron) #194

Aimed shot has a base cast time of 2.5 seconds and cooldown of 12 seconds. This means that outside of your opener and with lucky procs only 5.5 seconds of the cooldown would be taken up. This leaves room for about 4 globals before you could use aimed shot again.
Edit fixed small math error. The room exists if You properly space out aimed shots.


(Llars) #195

Fishing for procs. I was thinking “I’m always fishing for procs.”, critical strike procs, but it occurs to me now crit procs aren’t what you have in mind. The abilities that proc off of abilities? I chased those too, and noticed my target was often dead before I could benefit from the proc. Arcane IS tied pretty close to AI, or it might be the other way around? AI, and if the mob is still up, Arcane is sure to follow, barring a Surging Shot proc. Its so strong like that, its a real mistake to not. Not really a choice.


(Kajeron) #196

Yeah i was taking about waiting for procs like lock n load or marked shot last xpac. In longer boss fights it can lead to extended down time, and in world content the mob often dies first.


(Xaedys) #197

Ya, but that’s just a tuning thing, not a mechanical issue. Bump LnL’s proc rate and it easily becomes king again.

I’m not sure a complete make-over to solve that PvP issue is justified. What about a PvP talent that reads:

Would that suffice?

Do we really need more? There’s already a decent amount of decision that goes into the MM rotation. You need to consider when you’re going to use your Aimed Shots, while avoiding capping charges, avoiding chomping Precise Shots, avoiding capping Focus, avoiding being interrupted by necessary movement, and if you have Surging Shots, avoiding casting Aimed Shot while RF is off CD. You want to balance usage of Arcane and Steady between Aimed Shot casts, ensuring you have enough focus to cast Aimed when needed, but also not too much so you don’t overcap when you use Rapid Fire.

I spend a fair chunk more time paying attention to my focus bar and CDs and planning ahead on my MM hunter than I do on my DH, or those rare times I play BM (where the optimization is largely using KC on CD and trying to land Barbed Shot as close to just before it expires as possible).

I also tend to agree with Rockford here. A nuke on a CD isn’t really a choice. Casting RF isn’t really a choice. It’s a potential mistake, but it isn’t a choice in most situations. When we use Aimed Shot, on the other hand, is a choice, and a very notable one. The balance of usage between Steady and Arcane shot, and where we keep our Focus at, is a valid and notable choice. CD nukes aren’t choices, they are cast-on-CD-or-you’re-bad.

I mean, put CS on a 12-second CD with haste scaling and it’s effectively just Precise Shots with a different icon and action bar slot, excepting those situations in PvP where you can’t stop to cast (and that’s why I suggested the above PvP talent, because this is distinctly an issue almost entirely confined to PvP). At least Precise Shots lets you control when you use the buff, without DPS loss. That actually is a valid choice. Delaying a CD nuke isn’t really a choice, it’s either a mistake or a sacrifice. The truly interesting choices are the ones that don’t actually involve a static DPS loss like delaying a CD.

This is a worthwhile point. Precise Shots has a very valid effect of discouraging back-to-back Aimed Shot casts. Removing it entirely would definitely simplify the rotation, removing at least a couple of the major decision points I listed above, and in exchange simply add “Is CS off CD? Cast it, period”. Net reduction in skill and complexity, not increase.


(Xaedys) #198

The problem is the focus cost. Before haste (and everything scales with haste except RF’s CD), Aimed takes 2.5s. At the end of that cast, you have 12s on the CD, but have to start casting AiS again by the 9.5s mark or you’ll cap charges, so let’s consider from the start of AiS to the start of the next, which is an average of 12 seconds. After the AiS cast, you have 9.5s remaining (6.33 GCDs). Your Precise Shots charges take up 1.5 GCDs = 2.25s on average, leaving 7.25s remaining. You have a total focus deficit of 30 (AiS) + 15 (Precise 1) + 7.5 (50% chance of Precise 2) = 52.5.

You passively generate 12*3 = 36 focus over that duration (the passive focus regen also scales with haste at the same rate, so all of these calcs so far are valid at any practical haste level), leaving a deficit of 16.5 focus. Steady Shot takes 1.75s (1.17 GCDs) and generates 10 focus, so you need 1.65 Steady Shot casts to break even on focus. Those 1.65 Steady Shots consume an additional 2.89s, leaving 4.36s remaining. You can fill this with a combination of Arcane and Steady casts that breaks even on focus, which equates to 1.5 Steady casts per 1 Arcane cast (10 focus generates and 15 focus consumed, respectively), which means 2.625s of Steady Shot and 1.5s of Arcane Shot per 4.125s. That means that 4.36s of remaining time averages to 1.06 Arcane Shots and 1.59 Steady Shots. You’ve now filled your 12-second cycle with a focus-neutral rotation.

Now let’s add in Serpent Sting. Serpent Sting requires 1 GCD and 10 focus every 12 seconds. Unlike AiS, this 12 seconds doesn’t scale with haste, but let’s look at it without haste to start with. That 1 GCD is 1.5 of those 4.36s of “filler” time. To offset the 10 focus cost, you also need a Steady Shot cast, so now you’re up to 3.25s of your 4.36. You still have a bit of time remaining for your filler, but not much (only 1.11s).

But this is average. Let’s take a look at worst-case: getting 2 Precise proc. That consumes 2.5+1.5+1.5 = 5.5s, and 30+15+15 = 60 focus. 36 of that 60 focus is passive regenerated, but you still need to regen 24 with Steady Shot, which is 2.4 casts (4.2s. That’s 9.7 of your 12 seconds. If you cast Serpent and the compensation Steady, you’re now at 12.95s. Ooops! You just overcapped your Aimed Shot charges!

That is where the loss comes in, because you’re forced to either cap AiS charges, lose uptime on Serpent Sting, or munch Precise Shot charges.

Now, RF also plays in here, but it doesn’t scale with haste, so its impact is variable. However, RF takes 3.0s to channel (before haste) and generates the same focus as Steady Shot, so it’s basically just a more time-consuming version of Steady Shot from a focus-balance perspective (it of course does considerably more damage, but we’re just looking at focus balance and available rotation time here, not damage output). In other words, the addition of Rapid Fire makes this problem considerably worse by reducing the available time you have to put that Serpent + compensation Steady cast.

This is why Serpent is not as potent as its damage-per-focus would suggest. It’s also why Piercing Shot is a DPS loss, because it requires 3.5 Steady Shot casts to compensate for its focus cost, something you just flat out do not have time for in the rotation.


(Bertimus) #199

To add to this, when you add in bis traits (in the rhythm), it gets even tighter. I am effectively gcd locked during trueshot with 3x 420 in the rhythm and only 11% haste (and galecallers). I actually cannot use my galecallers because I’m so far under the gcd cap during lust and trueshot with it.

Part of why I feel like adding charges to precise is better than removing it is that it would allow you to build up and store the charges that become impossible to use without losing dps by delaying the heavily reduced aimed shot cast/cd. You’d also theoretically have more options for use outside of trueshot when you have the globals to spare between aimed shots. Say you know you have enough time to hardcast two aimed shots back to back, but not with the extra globals using your precise stacks, you could more intelligently time the use of your abilities to match what’s going on around you instead of being in a more fixed rotation.

I think it’s also important to retain the aspect of having to cast an aimed shot to get off a big arcane shot. If arcane always does the same damage, it will either be underwhelming or overpowered in pvp.

All of that being said, the “shot” talents would all have to have their numbers and focus cost tuned even still to be worth using. I feel like piercing and explosive both would be fun and interesting if they worked more like meteor and did the same damage regardless of how many targets are in its effect (but divided amongst the targets). That way they could do a lot more damage to be useful in single target. At least in pvp, I could see the spec being really fun if piercing and explosive actually did threatening damage and were more usable since they line up very well with trap and ignore armor. It could be a big single target burst that the other team could counter by stacking. And then if the trick shot minimum was lifted, you’d have another layer of depth by forcing teams to stack for those burst abilities but then becoming vulnerable for a trick shot.

Forcing zone integrity is a critical element of success in arenas for marksman and you need to be able to force these kinds of decisions/mistakes in order to have a competitive advantage against the specs your partners would otherwise be playing with that have their own advantages. I have an entirely different post on the pvp aspect of the spec though so I won’t ramble on the utility needs.


(Kajeron) #200

Ahh i often find that i ignore piercing shots during trueshot to squeese out more aimed shots and rapid fire. I the dynamic interesting.


(Xaedys) #201

See, that’s not a bad idea. Reduce the charges per AiS cast to just 1 (or heck, leave it at 1.5, but I’d prefer the reduction), but bump the maximum charges to something like 3 or 4. Now you have more choice about when to use those charges. Hmm, actually, now that I think about it, without another focus spender, you honestly don’t have much choice, you’ll eventually cap focus.

Perhap a compromise. Instead of Precise Shots amplifying the damage of Arcane Shot, let’s get another ability that is activated by Aimed Shot. Let’s call the debuff Vulnerable for now (though it’s more akin to the Legion version of Hunter’s Mark), but the ability could be Marked Shot or Chimera Shot or Headshot or whatever they decide to go with. Like Precise Shots, this buff could stack, say up to 3-4. The point is that it’s a different button from Arcane Shot, so you can burn off focus with Arcane without spending your procs. Then you can add a talents that interact with it, like one of the following:

  • Your auto-shots have an X% chance to make the target Vulnerable.
  • Active ability, 60s cooldown, applies 2 stacks of Vulnerable to the target.
  • Casting Steady Shot 3 times in a row makes the target Vulnerable.

etc. This would accomplish the same goal as Precise Shots: encouraging you to weave other abilities between Aimed Shot casts, providing some RNG and dynamics to the rotation, providing ability synergy, and providing choice of when to consume these buffs, but it would do it in a more robust manner. The larger pool and the fact that it’s a different button from Arcane Shot means that you could pool the charges for a longer period of time than Precise Shots can be, providing much more choice. In PvP, the pooling gives you increased ability to prepare for burst and for movement, and the talents granting proc application or active ability application allow you to generate these charges on-the-move without having to stop to use AiS.


(Kajeron) #202

Please don’t bring back vulnerable. Precise shots being a buff on us is much more flexible for target swapping and aoe.


(Xaedys) #203

Vulnerable in name only, just because it’s a good name for that type of effect. I know y’all still have some PTSD about the name “Vulnerable”, but what I’m suggesting is more akin to a non-RNG Marking Targets. The only thing the Vulnerable debuff would do is enable Chimera Shot or Marked Shot or Headshot or whatever the activated ability turns out to be. It would not increase damage or any of the janky mechanics from Legion.


(Bertimus) #204

Right. You end up needing to ignore stacks. If you could store more stacks, that would not be a problem. Or if you have a 5s plant and cast window in pvp, you could cast both of your aimed shots back to back and not risk wasting procs if one of them procs a 2 charge. Then you have your charges available for when you need to move. Standing still in a patchwerk encounter, that change alone doesn’t really do anything to your top end sim. Purely adds more depth and player agency.

Then say right now, a piercing shot and/or explosive shot at 410 item level does 30k average to one target or 80k average to six targets (numbers might not be accurate, just using a fictitious base example)Cap the target count at 6 to match trick shots (set the minimum on trick shots to 2 targets ffs), then make both abilities do 80k damage split between up to six targets in its effect range. If only one target is in range, it gets all of the damage. If more are in range, they split it equally. This way you can tune it to be effective in single target while also retaining the cleave aspect. Also adds counterplay and depth in pvp, as you have a good instant burst combo every 30s to match with trap, but the other team can counter your trap and damage by stacking.

This is just my opinion and commentary, but in pvp and pve both, the output is actually fine. Pvp has severe utility/control/mobility problems, and pve has some strange nuances (having no 2-target cleave and a forced talent build), but the output seems to generally work. It’s for this reason that I find new spells in the damage kit kind of unnecessary. I think they should shuffle some talents around and make scatter shot baseline, and maybe add a pvp talent, but the core way you deal damage doesn’t necessarily need to change for the spec to work and be fun to play.


(Kajeron) #205

U right about ptsd. But also legion could spread marked shot to multiple targets via multi shot. Currently we can also aoe with piercing shots. How would your system address this? Also 3 different vectors for getting the marks could be confusing.