Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Stats for a Hunter: Part 2

A while ago I whipped up a guide called "Stats for a Hunter", where I discussed the "main" stats, such as agility and stamina, and their importance (or lack thereof) for hunters.

I had a couple requests to add to it with Attack Power, Crit Rating, and Hit Rating, and that has been my plan all along, so here we go:

Attack Power:

Attack Power effects how much you will hit for with each shot. 14 Attack Power will increase your base DPS by 1. Oh, and Attack Power typically applies to both Melee and Ranged (unless otherwise specified.)

Now remember, one point of Agility will also give you one point of Attack Power, as well as some crit. This is why many hunters, myself included, prefer to gem and enchant themselves up for agility rather than Attack Power. However, as always, use your judgment. Many times an AP gem or enchant will give you much more raw AP than the Agi gem or enchant; at the expense of the crit that the agi will give you. A good example would be your two-handed weapon enchant. You are either going to want Savagery (+70 attack power) or +35 agility on it. Which one is better? ...well, it depends. I tend to stick with the agi myself, because I'm a crit fiend, but few people will fault you too much for Savagery especially if you are very low on AP for some reason (unless you are a Survival hunter, in which case you had better be enchanting for Agi! =P)

I did once write up my own thoughts on why I'm more of an Agi fan over AP, so feel free to take a look at that if you want more info.

Crit Rating

Critical Strike Rating does what it says on the tin: it improves your chances to score a critical strike: an attack that does twice your base damage. At level 70, the chance to crit increases by 1% per 22.08 crit rating.

Now crits are delicious, not only does the crit itself do a ton of damage, but it lets you use Kill Command, it gives your pet a ton of focus (if you are spec'd for that), and your pet can in turn use that focus to score its own crits and proc frenzy/FI/etc. if you are a Beast Master. It's pretty plain to see why I'm addicted to crit.

Don't forget that agility will also get you some crit, although not quite as much as "pure crit rating". So it's sort of like the opposite of Attack Power. You've got Crit on one end, Attack Power on the other, and Agi in the middle. Agi is a nice middle ground, gets you a little of both, and scales with Blessing of Kings which is why so many of us opt to stick with Agi when possible.

Hit Rating

So what's this crazy thing called hit rating that you maybe saw a little bit in old-world Azeroth but is all over the place in Outlands?

Well, hunters, do not underestimate the importance of hit rating.

You know when you shoot something and you "miss"? Yeah, you just lost a bunch of DPS as well as the chance for a possible crit which, as I said before, does a ton of great stuff. How can we fix this?

Here's a little background info. We are hunters, and our ranged attacks cannot be parried, blocked, or dodged. We can miss, though. By default, at level 70, we have a 9% chance to miss against a level 73 raid boss. That 9% chance can be reduced to almost nil with enough hit. It takes 15.77 hit rating points to gain 1%, so if we want that full 9%, we need 142 hit rating points. 142 is the magic number (the meaning of the life, the universe, and everything + 100 after all) and you want to get that or as close to that as you can get.

Hitting 9% more often is basically a 9% damage increase, which is huge. This is why we learn to love the hit.

Once you get to 142 hit, obtaining any more than that is useless and you can start focusing on other stats. Going over isn't going to hurt you but it also isn't going to help you at all. On the other hand, it might be good to be just a little over to give you a buffer in the event of maybe getting some awesome new gear with no hit on it. It all depends on how much min-maxing you want to do!

Oh, and there are some special things that can help you here, aside from gear. If you are a Survival Hunter, you probably put points into Surefooted, a talent which gives you a hit boost. Similarly, if you are a draenei, you have a slight increase to hit through your racial. In the former situation your hit cap is only 95, in the latter, it's 127.

Now you may be feeling overwhelmed at this point, wondering how to keep track of this all and how you will ever be able to balance all of these stats, plus the "initial ones", once you hit 70. Fortunately, it's not that bad! You can make clever use of gems and enchants to help boost yourself where you may be lacking. When in doubt when it comes to new gear, you can always install and use one of my favorite addons, RatingBuster, which will easily summarize for you all the pros and cons of some new gear. (Don't forget to take enchants and gems into account though-- I've done that before-- passed on something awesome because "Oh it's not as good as my current thing", then realized I wasn't taking enchanting the thing into account. x_x)

Well, that'll do it for now. As always, I love your comments and questions!


Anonymous said...

Oooo. Ooooo......I second that last part! I have passed on things because I forgot that RB does not take enchants into account! Nice rundown of some things that many people seem to not understand. Good Job!

Gunsnbutter -- Excelsior/Uther

Anonymous said...

yep Rating Buster can be set to ignore enchants, or to automatically count new item as enchanted and gemmed (like: in red socket goes +10 Agi gem, in blue mp5 and crit rating in yellow)
or not to take those in account anyways, so you get those items properly rated as raw...
its one of those "must have" addons

Faradhim said...

Pike, excellent summary. Although I don't disagree with what is being said here. I do want to add that in addition to the benefit of +hit agility also give you +armor. For a BM hunter your pet is your shield/weapon. Damage mitigation is of primary important for your pet where the +Armor is extremely important. +strike does nothing for your pet in that department.

Anonymous said...

Hit rating should be the priority for ALL classes, as it gives the largest DPS-item-point gain of all the stats. (Well, that and expertiese for the melee classes).

Just a minor nit-pick though: WoW uses a single-roll combat table system in PvE. This means that a shot that "missed" could not have critted otherwise, but instead would just be a regular "hit". The table looks like this, with the order of precidence going from top to bottom:

Crushing Blow <--Only done by mobs 3 levels higher, or most raid bosses.
Regular hit

So if you have, say, 5% miss rate and 25% crit rate then imagine yourself rolling a 1-100 die every attack. If you roll 1-5 you just missed your shot, if you rolled a 6-25 you just crit your target, and if you rolled anything else you got a regular hit.

For more info, take a look at

Itsnoteasy said...

It's strange, but I read everywhere that Hunters want the +agi enchants and gems, etc. Then, when I sat down and worked it out, it seems like we really need to stack +RAP when you're trying to gear for Kara to get up to the expected numbers. Or at least, you do if you're avoiding gear from heroics :P

Incidentally, I finally hit 142 hit! My RAP and crit's still a little low, but I still need to replace one or two bits of gear, and get most of it enchanted.

Just in time for Wrath! :P

Zupa said...

My hunter retired at 42, I got mah kitteh and I defected to Horde...

However! As a mage, thinking about being on the recieving end of all these aimed and steady shots and suchlike...

Would I rather face a hunter with massive AP or massive AGI?

If I have no resilience im pretty much looking at a painful encounter regardless, but if I have massive resilience, that is going to negate a significant amount of the hunter's +crit, while his AP is still going to add up to a whole lotta pain coming right at me.

In this post I have looked at it in a bit more detail, but suffice to say that my current 272 (6.9%)resilience negates (6.9 x 22.08) 152 of your crit rating.

Would that have been better spent on AP for a PvP build? Keep in mind that my resilience is very average, and plenty of players you will encounter have 400+ res.

Greta said...

another great post!

it was really hard for me to get Hit at first -- so if people are gearing for kara, keep in mind that the ring you get outside of Kara has a lot of hit on it. and you can easily grind the stags in nagrand and cook yourself up some +20 hit food.

Muron said...

A few stats that you left out (Stats for hunters part 3) are Haste and Armor Pen (ArP). Generally once you start seeing these stats on gear you already know about the basic stats but lots of hunters still don't know about the value of these 2 stats.

For a quick run down:
125ArP ~ 1% DPS inc (hunter only)
*This is based off a rough estimate of a raid bosses debuffed armor value. it can actually vary anywhere from 100-200ArP for a 1% increase on a raid boss, depending on boss and debuffs, but 125 is a decent estimation. And if your shooting at a feral druid, then your ArP isn't doing squat.

15.7 Haste = 1% hunter only increase.

Faeldray said...

Thank you very much for that Pike! No one else tells me this kind of stuff (or I just glaze over it) so it's really great to know. I'm a little less of a huntard now :)

Pike said...

@ Faeldray - you of all people are not allowed to call yourself a huntard! ;P

Anonymous said...

Are you sure about ranged attacks being unblockable? I honestly can't remember ever seeing a partially blocked shot on my hunter, but my paladin has actually killed NPC archers with Holy Shield, which only procs on blocks. It's always possible, of course, that the rules are different between PC and NPC archers and/or PC and NPC blockers.

Pike said...

@ Anonymous - NPC rules are different, everything I have ever read states that hunter shots cannot be blocked, and I myself have never seen a shot blocked on any of my many hunters. And I have Scrolling Combat Text - Damage installed so it would tell me right away if one was.

jrb said...

there's also the expertise rating too - - not that hunters should find themselves in melee combat THAT often.. but it's a good rating to go for if it's an option.