Sunday, August 19, 2007

Why I use a slow ranged weapon

(This was originally posted here in the Hunter forum.)

From what I've seen, although different speed bows can have the same DPS, slower bows will usually have a higher maximum damage.

To give you an example, take two weapons:-

The High Warlord's Street Sweeper, with a DPS of 55.9, damage range 129-195, attack speed 2.9.
The High Warlord's Recurve, with a DPS of 55.8, damage range 80-121, attack speed 1.8.

At first glance, you're possibly going to assume that all other things being equal, the Recurve will give you more damage. After all, more overall shots fired = more overall damage, right?

Yes...and no.

Out of these two weapons, for my spec, I chose the Street Sweeper, for two reasons.

The first reason is that out of the 129-195 damage range, the Street Sweeper will hypothetically average prolly 140-150 or so. (This isn't counting ap, of course) The catch here however is what happens with armor. If in PvP, you hit a Warrior with 50% damage mitigation, (for the sake of argument) that 150 damage becomes 75.

With the Recurve, you're probably averaging 100 damage per hit. Against our hypothetical Warrior with 50% damage mitigation, (probably a conservative estimate) that goes down to 50 damage, which translates to 25 less damage per hit than the Street Sweeper.

The reason why this is important is because:-

1. Often during kiting in pvp, you'll only get one shot off before having to move you want that one shot to count as much as possible.

2. The Recurve's damage (and crit damage) range even with Aimed Shot and friends will therefore also be lower per hit as well, for the same cost in mana.

3. Your damage numbers with the Recurve will be more inconsistent, depending on the armor value of the target.

The other major reason why I chose the Street Sweeper is because even in pvp, if I can get my boar or another player to tank my target and thus stay at range, I like to have a nice, stable shot rotation...because inflicting the maximum possible amount of pain and suffering upon the Alliance is something I greatly enjoy. ;-)

What I mean by that is, when you fire a Steady Shot or one of your other mana shots, what will often happen is that an autoshot will fire immediately afterwards, which can get you another white crit immediately after the mana shot. With a 2.9 speed weapon, it's a lot easier to make sure that this happens, in order to maximise your damage output. With a 1.8 speed weapon, it becomes a lot more difficult to time each mana shot; you'll be button mashing in order to try and keep up, which will either mean you don't get an autoshot between mana shots at all, or you get more of them than you anticipated.

Thus, I'm finding a slow weapon to be better for both pvp and pve.


Mera said...

I am a little dubious as to the logic & maths used to decide it better, but my overwhelming reason for taking a faster gun for SV is it helps keeps EW up until you finally get a crit rate high enough to sustain near constant EW with a 2.8 wep.

Also, you say with a 2.8 wep you only get one shot, so make it count... what about usng a fast wep and gettin 2 instead? Admitedly you are still for a longer, but even so

Mirshalak said...

what about usng a fast wep and gettin 2 instead?

For kiting, most people aren't going to want to do a single white shot when they stop, but probably something like an Arcane Shot instead, since it does more damage. Arcane takes the same casting time with a slow weapon as a fast one, since weapon speed these days applies purely to white damage, and not the shots...which is weird because rapid fire does make them faster, but anywayz.

Although Arcane will take the same time, (bout .5 sec, even though it's called an instant) because of the higher damage range on the slower weapon, you're still better off using it. Given Arcane's damage bonus, if you do, you're pretty much guaranteed to get a larger amount of damage from the slower weapon than you would from two white shots a fast (>1.8) weapon would do anyway, even if it crits.

Fast weapons are a lot of fun against light armor targets or casters, and for them they can still be ok, since you're not having their damage killed by armor/mitigation. The problem is that you'll only be in a situation where you're exclusively fighting casters very rarely. Most mobs and players will have more armor than that.

xizang said...

I may be mistaken, and I kind of can't open any of the valuable theorycrafting resources @work, but I recall the instant shots scaling with RAP. If this is the case, weaponspeed does really not add anything to them.

Kiting means jumpshotting in most of the cases. You are only able to regularly put in a white shot if the target moves significantly slower than you do. And if you really want 2 shots, trigger a steady and wait for the auto to leave the barrel of the gun as well, then turn back around and rush on.

Mirshalak said...

And if you really want 2 shots, trigger a steady and wait for the auto to leave the barrel of the gun as well

Yep...that's part of what one of my macros does. The point though is that with a >1.8 speed weapon is that once you get the steady and then the next auto off, in order to do max damage, you're going to want the next shot to be another instant in many cases, not just another auto. It's very difficult to time it at 1.5 or so, (which is what you'll get after your quiver) not to mention if you're trying to do it while Rapid Fire and/or Imp Hawk is on.

Also...I didn't say that weapon speed itself affected damage...I said that the base damage range on faster weapons has a marked tendency to be lower...thus the damage you do with them after mitigation will be lower. It's because of the damage range on a faster weapon, not the speed itself.

xizang said...

I think I am getting your point now. You will be waiting for one autoshot and thus it shall better be big, right?

Mera said...

Arcane shot scales directly with RAP, instead of base wep damage

Mirshalak said...

I think I am getting your point now. You will be waiting for one autoshot and thus it shall better be big, right?

Yep. :)

Also to mera about Arcane scaling with rap...that is interesting. I have an addon which calculates damage for different shots, and I've seen the numbers it produces go up and down a bit. Do you know if Arcane is affected by armor as well? I'm pretty sure it is, unlike say a mage's spells.