How to use Cheeky’s Spreadsheet

UPDATED: July 29, 2008
REVISION: 51

Cheeky’s Spreadsheet is and continues to be one of the most useful tools a Hunter can have in order to determine what pieces of gear are best for them and their talent choices. Knowing how to use Cheeky’s Spreadsheet is easier than it seems and provides tons of great information. A huge thanks goes out to Cheeky from Hunters everywhere for putting together such a great tool for us to use!

First, download Cheeky’s Spreadsheet.
The newest version can always be found at:
http://www.havoc-guild.us/Cheeky/Hunter_DPS_Calc.xls
Bookmark it if you need to.

Now, once you have the spreadsheet, let’s jump right in. Page 1 is just a brief overview of what each tab of the spreadsheet does, while Page 2 is the list of changes Cheeky has made through out the revisions.

Settings and Results
On the third tab of the workbook called “Setting and Results” we need to change a few things here to get this started.

You might need to enable macros depending on your version of Microsoft OfficeUnder Character, Realm, and Server Set type in the obvious here. Make sure that you type your server name exactly as it is in-game. Depending on what version of Microsoft Office you are using, you might see a bar near the top of the spreadsheet telling you that some of the content has been disabled. Click this banner and indicate that you want the macros to be able to run. Otherwise Cheeky’s won’t work.

Under profiles, change one of the existing profiles to a name of your choice. It really doesn’t matter what the name of it is, it’s just to help you identify it. You can change more than one of these profiles, allowing you to create custom gear sets and wish-lists, as well as compare talent specs with different gear. Use these to your best advantage! I usually have 4 or 5 different profiles for various scenarios and “dream gear” set-ups.

The newest addition to Cheeky’s Spreadsheet is the “Gear Planner” tab, providing a quick way to see what pieces of gear are most likely going to be an upgrade for you in your current situation. This tab, however, shouldn’t be used until we set-up our current profile, gear, and talents; so we will cover this in a minute.

Gear
Now if we move over to the fifth tab called “Gear.” From the “Profile” drop-down list, find the one that you defined and then choose the race of your character and then click the button in the top-left that says “Load Profile.” In the top-right corner, if the name and server match your character, go ahead and click “Load Gear from Armory.”

You will notice that if you change Profiles the stats do not change immediately. By either clicking the “Load Profile”, or clicking “CalcAttributes” after loading talents and gear will you see these numbers change.

After you have set-up your profiles, you should click the “Save Profile” button so the data is stored for later use. Then you can just select the profile you want to view and load it up.

This should now populate all the fields with the gear you were wearing when you logged out last. On this screen you could now choose the gear you are looking to upgrade to and see how it would affect your DPS.

You can change which gems it will automatically put in different color gem slots back on the “Settings and Result” tab.For example, you could select Pauldrons of Primal Fury as the piece of gear you would like to get and then see what it does to your DPS, hit rating, attack power, etc. You will notice that it will automatically gem them for you with some predefined gems. You can change which gems it will automatically put in different color gem slots back on the “Settings and Result” tab. If you have access to epic gems, such as the through the Gem Vendor, you might want to have the Spreadsheet automatically populate red sockets with Spinels rather than Living Rubies.

Talents
The next important step is to load our talent spec, which is easy enough to do. On the “Talents” tab, just click the “Read from Armory” button to have it load your talents. Once we define all our variables, we can go through our talents and adjust them, just like we can do to our gear, to see how it would affect our DPS. For example, you could remove the talent points from Ranged Weapon Specialization and put them into Combat Experience and re-calculate your attributes and see what the effect was.

If you change your spec, ranged weapons, or any number of talents, it is important to have the spreadsheet rebuild your shot rotationRemember, if you change your spec, ranged weapons, or any number of talents, it is important to have the spreadsheet rebuild your shot rotation so it reflects your current stats. Putting points into Serpent’s Swiftness for instance will make a huge difference. Or switching from BM to Survival and still having it calculate a 3:2 rotation will yield unexpected DPS numbers.

The “Buffs” tab is pretty self-explanatory. Similar to the character profile, you can define a Buffs profile on the “Settings and Results” tab that will allow you to define a preset load-out of buffs to see what it does to your DPS. For example, when I give Khagan Blessing of Kings, we gain 8 DPS overall. When he has Blessing of Might, the DPS jump is almost 40. Information like this is great to know when it comes time for those raid buffs.

Shot Rotation
The next tab can be one of the most useful tools in the entire spreadsheet in my opinion. The “Shot Rotation” tab does exactly what you would guess. It helps generates the ideal shot rotation for your spec and gear.

For example, when I get to that tab, if I press the “3:2″ button, it populates that field with a 3:2 shot rotation, as well as updates what my DPS would be, and then tells me how long it would take me to go out of Mana as well as the total damage I would end up doing. Of course you need to know what shot rotation is ideal for your talent choices.

You can easily experiment with different rotations to determine what would best maximize your DPS. Do you feel that you are shooting too fast and think a 3:2 rotation would be better than your current 1:1 rotation? Theorycraft it with the click of a button.

Gear Planner
As I mentioned earlier, the newest addition to the spreadsheet was the “Gear Planner” tab. Chances are you have heard some of the other DPS classes in your guild mention maxDPS.com. It pretty lays out the best gear choices for them. And now we have that same functionality for all of our talent specs.

On this tab, the first thing to do is to select your current level of progression. What kind of gear do you have access to? Are you just starting Karazhan? Leave only that box checked and click the “Sort” button. Just choose all the locations in which you can currently go to so the spreadsheet knows what gear lists to generate.

The second thing we need to decide is how it calculates hit rating for us. We have two options in this case: “based on current +hit” and “based on 0 hit rating.” What exactly does that mean? Well, if you select “based off 0 +hit” the spreadsheet will attempt to calculate what kind of DPS increase an item would provide you if you had no additional hit rating. So if two items with the exact same stats except one has 20 hit rating, the one with hit rating will rank much higher because of the DPS increase the hit would provide.

Alternatively, “based off current +hit” will still calculate hit rating as a DPS increase, but knows that if you are at the hit cap any additional hit rating is useless. So let’s say you have a choice between two helms and you are currently at the hit cap. If both helms have the same stats and using either one would not drop you below your hit cap, any hit rating on one of the helms is ignored since it provides you nothing in terms of DPS.

One of the nice additions that came with the Gear Planner tab is how Cheeky’s lists items on the Gear tab. If you want to put together a wish-list of gear, or are curious on seeing how your DPS will look with the best items, gear in the drop-down lists are now organized by either DPS increase or alphabetically, based off how you choose to sort it on the Gear Planner tab.

IAotH and DST

2 of the others tabs are to help you take into consideration the talents for Improved Aspect of the Hawk and the Dragonspine Trophy proc.

In most cases, when these items proc, a 3:2 rotation is quickly dropped dropped down to a 1:1 rotation due to the speed increase. These tabs will allow you to summarize how you should adjust your shot rotation when you gain these haste effects.

Pets
The “Pet” tab is also very useful. It let’s you define your pet, what skills it has, and see what kind of DPS your pet will theoretically do when you use certain skills. For example, does your cat do more damage only using Claw, or does Bite really provide an increase?

Choose your pet class, and use the drop-down lists to define what you have specced your pet into.

Custom Gear
The Custom Gear tab can be used for a variety of things. If you happen to have a piece of gear that’s not in the spreadsheet currently or are curious what a bow would do DPS-wise if it was a really wacky speed, you can create an item by inputting the stats you want it to have on the appropriate row and then selecting “Custom” on the gear drop-down list on the Gear tab.


Once all these variables are defined, you can then freely go through and see what item changes, talent changes, buff changes, or any other changes will do to your DPS. Cheeky’s Spreadsheet is an incredible tool to help you determine what is or what isn’t an upgrade for you. You would think upgrades would easy to determine but due to Hunter mechanics sometimes those upgrades are not so easily identified.

As always if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment here. I will help you in anyway I can.

About Drotara

Drotara (or BehemothDan) considers himself a geek on many levels. A web developer and programmer by trade, he has no shortage of geeky hobbies. When not fulfilling husband and daddy duties, he enjoys WoW, the WoW TCG, Magic: The Gathering, and great board games with friends and family.