Some Numbers behind Survival

As we all know up until recently BM was owning face in terms of DPS specs. And along with it was an interesting shift in philosophy in the fact that gemming for Attack Power was proven to be more beneficial for Beast Mastery Hunters due to the way pet’s were scaling. But now that Survival is rocking the world, in order to accommodate the spec, Agility is once again our gemming selection of choice. We know there are a few talents that are directly affected by Agility which makes it so overly desirable.

The first one is Lightning Reflexes. This turns a Delicate Scarlet Ruby into 18.4 Agility. So we know that this means that it adds 18.4 Attack Power as well as .22% critical strike chance. And that is important when we consider the talent Lightning Reflexes is attached to.

Expose Weakness. Ah yes, our good ol’ friend Expose Weakness. Some of you might remember this buddy of ours. During BC raiding the size of your Expose Weakness debuff was directly proportional to how much the physical DPS loved you. Being your guild’s Survival Hunter was like a badge of honor. With Lich King, we keep Expose Weakness all to ourselves.

In my current gear I have 1306 Agility which would translate into an additional 326.5 Attack Power. And with my crit rate during a raid being near the 50% mark, keeping the debuff up is a non-issue (I love Loatheb! 103% crit is win).

We know that Survival is a crit based build. Survival Instincts, Killer Instinct, T.N.T, Thrill of the Hunt, Expose Weakness, Master Tactician, etc. All talents that modify are are designed around a critical strike. And of course we have the bread-n-butter of the build, Explosive Shot.

From my WWS reports, Recount, and even Matticus’ anonymous WWS from a 3D kill, Explosive Shot is comprising just around 35% of a Survival Hunter’s total DPS. Explosive Shot calculations at max rank look like this now:

[RAP * 0.16 + 428]-[RAP * 0.16 + 516]

So using my unmodified Attack Power the numbers looks like this:

[4469 * .16 + 428]-[4469 * .16 + 516] = 1143.04 – 1231.04

These numbers verify with that is displayed on my ability’s tooltip. Now we can’t ignore the other talents that are going to affect Explosive Shot. We know that Improved Tracking is going to give us a 5% increase in damage across the board. And it will also experience a 13% higher crit chance (on average) due to other talents.

In fact, we can revisit the WWS from our Patchwerk kill from a week or so ago. We learn from this that Explosive Shot was demonstrating a 57% crit chance. And on average it was hitting for 2000 with the highest one hitting for over 5300. That’s quite a jump from the 1200 on the tooltip. So how did it end up so high? Let’s see… start with:

  1. 4469 Attack Power
  2. 300 Attack Power from Hunter’s Mark (4769)
  3. 360 Attack Power from Flask of Endless Rage [Go Mixologists!] (5129)
  4. 320 AP from 20 stacks from Fury of the Five Flights (5489)
  5. 178.25 AP from Horn of Winter (5667.25)
  6. 46 AP from the food buff (5713.25)

Now we could get really crazy and start figuring out what kind of AP we are getting from Power Word: Fortitude, the stamina portion of the food buff, AP from intel buffs, etc. But with just a few buffs we have already added almost 1300 AP. Kings, Mights, MotW, etc are all unaccounted for. In fact here is a screenshot talking with the other Hunter on the same night I recorded the aforementioned WWS:

Buffs before 25-man Anub'rekan as Survival

Survival is going to give you the numbers you like to see in a DPS meter. But the spec is different and you have to adjust. Don’t go in with your AP gems anymore. Keep 2 for your meta gem and resocket for Agility.

Also remember that Explosive Shot needs to take priority in your rotation, outside of maintaining Serpent Sting and Hunter’s Mark. I did a 25-man Vault last week with another Hunter in the group from one of the better raiding guilds on the server. While the next closest DPS to me was 700 behind, this Hunter beat me by 250. As far as gear goes we were pretty close stat-for-stat but he ended up with 13 more Explosive Shots than I did over the course of the fight. Pay close attention to your cooldowns using timers set-up in Power Auras, ClassTimer, or whatever it is to display accurate cooldowns. To keep a Survival rotation successful you need to anticipate cooldowns rather than react to them.

In other news, I didn’t raid tonight because Comcast was doing “maintenance” in my area. In fact they still are. For 24 hours now. I am getting constantly disconnected in WoW, I didn’t get a chance to watch Chuck since Hulu doesn’t seem to preload very well and requires the aiblity to have a strong stream constantly. Thanks goodness for the “Save draft” button in WordPress.

It also seems the Hunter mentioned in the other post has no interest in moving on. Some folks on Twitter today we’re talking about playing on PvE and PvP servers and when Pike replied to me about never ganking people somehow that became “defending youself” from “that prick.” Well, I tried. Not much to do about it now. Oh well.

I still want to put the macro through its paces. Once Comcast is done with whatever they are doing. Thoughts, comments, etc etc. Post ‘em. Especially if you have any burning interests that might warrant a post.

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.