Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How I Hit Cap

I received a comment a while back and have been mulling it over.

Elarya said...
So... Realistically speaking, what do you suggest? I'm in a guild where having two sets of gear just isn't really possible (I'd be so damn low on DKP...). Carrying around gems to plop into sockets? Better question would be, what do YOU do?
First thing I am going to say is this…

Being Hit Cap is NOT important.

*ducks quickly* Look we got through vanilla WoW and BC with a 1% miss rate. During those years bosses died.

What you need to decide is what your acceptable risk to miss, 1%, 2%, 5% or never?

I accept risk. A lot of that is because my preferred spec is Affliction. I question my own Hit gear choices when I am Destruction. (No, I will not go into those conversations with myself. I always win.)

Here are my thoughts on things for Hit.

Gemming for Hit?
NEVER! MORE SPELL POWER! It is what we are here for. All of my gear is socketed for spell power. I ignore the socket “bonus” on gear, unless it is spell power. Even if the bonus is spell power, I would do the math to see if I get more spell power with my normal gems.

The ONLY time I don’t socket for spell power is to activate my meta gem in my helm. That is the time I would socket hit or even spirit.

Food buff for Hit?
Not even on my list of options. The increased spell power spread over all the spells that do hit would be a better investment. (I put this in so I can giggle at it.)

Gear swap for Hit?
Yes. Don’t think of your hit gear as a “set”. You are NOT looking for swapping out ALL your gear. That would not be optimal. Spending all your DKP on a second set of gear for only one stat is also far beyond optimal.

At most, I have swapped out four pieces for hit, gloves, waist, trinket, and off-hand. Spend DKP on key hit gear. Trinkets like the Dying Curse or Living Flame are a good investment.

I still am using my Ward of the Violet Citadel bought for 25 Emblem of Heroism. I am waiting to replace it with Leviathan Fueling Manual. It is the one piece I still swap for the extra hit.

Talent for Hit?
Suppression. Love it, hold it, tuck it in at night. If you are low in hit, for three talent points you can increase your hit chance by 3%. That is a deal! 50% off. Get it now!

If as a lock you are looking a little priestly in the gear department. This talent will save you some face. I am still low on gear hit then I like, so I still use three talent points in suppression.

Raid make up for Hit?
This is where it gets tricky. YOU have to be paying attention. Are you Horde or Alliance? Is there magical buffs from other classes? Each and every raid is different. Plan for YOUR most likely scenario.

Here is what I am doing.
Hydra is not Hit Capped. This is by CHOICE. I choose to live the wild un-hit capped life.

Goal is 17% hit. I have 3 talent points into Suppression. To be capped I would need 14% hit.

As alliance I have the potential of the Draenei racial of Heroic Presence. Do I think Draenei are going to be in my raids? *scans past raid make ups* Yes. That allows me to take into account 1% more hit from a party buff. To be capped I would need 13% hit.

No shadow priest and no moonkins in most of my raids. Taking those into account would not be reliable.

I prefer to be running between 11-12% hit. Right now I am raiding with 10.48% hit. I feel that is low. But I kill things nicely with even that low of hit. I even miss once in a while.

I have played at a training dummy for hours putting on and taking off hit gear. Then I tested hit in raids. I understand when I miss I am under hit capped and why. It is the WHY and preplanning that you need to do so you feel comfortable with your stats.

If someone asked me “Are you hit capped?” I would still say yes. For my situation I am, just low. *grin*


  1. Hmm, I was led to believe that getting to cap outweighs stacking for spell power if you do the math. Are you suggesting that when you check your "practical" numbers on dummies/raids, you find evidence to the contrary? Or are you refuting the math claims? Either way it's an interesting way to run, and I'll admit that I sometimes deal with being slightly under cap if I have to.

    I'll also admit that my OCD gets the best of me and I gem the "right" colors. IDK, I just like the variety. It's certainly not better math-wise :-). So, to each his/her own, I say!

    One things for sure, the more "bursty" you are, the worst being low on hit will affect you I think. We aff'locks can get away with it because we have a lot of smaller attacks over time... losing one isn't a *huge* loss. I can't say I have evidence to back that up, just makes sense in my head.

  2. Blizz changed the way hit works for some reason. Sometimes being 2% under the hit cap produces no misses at all. Back in vanilla wow and BC hit used to be a sure stat. If you didnt have it, it was 100% sure you'd miss. Now, its not so much so, and the RNG has a bit of input on it.

    Now stat weighing can help you decide. Lets say you have a piece with 1% hit and 40 spell power and your spellpower adds up to 2000. If you find a replacement with 80 spell power or over, you are getting a 2% increase at the cost of 1% hit. *** This works on most classes, due to spell power scaling on locks its actually a bit more than 2% ***

    The recommendation is to never be below 10% hit from items, if you have hit talents, or never be below 13% hit from items if you don´t. If you get the chance to have a sh priest or moonkin, you will be hit capped, if you don't you misses will average a 1.5% - 2.5%.

    You are right on burst and hit, by the way. On burst specs, a miss could mean a 10k-15k damage loss on a 3 seconds cast. On Affliction its just a 1.5 second global cooldown (or less from haste) and the first tick of the dot that missed.

  3. Cool, that makes sense. I may actually "de-value" it a bit in my made up mental gear list. :-)

  4. It's strange how things work. While this little anecdote isn't a Warlock story, the overall point is the same.

    I ran a heroic HoL the other day. My feral Druid alt is has a strange variety of gear. I have a pair of blue shoulders with a health amount of +hit and a blue chestpiece with a healthy amount of +hit. At the same time I have the PvP shoulders (with zero +hit) and a chest from Naxx25 (also with zero +hit).

    I started this HoL. There was a Ulduar geared tank and Warlock running the thing, so I knew I wasn't going to be #1 on the DPS meters, but I figured I would at least "do my part". And yet up to the first boss I was pulling a horrible 1300-1400 DPS - falling below the tank! After that, I switched those blue shoulders and blue chestpiece for the two epics. And sure enough, my DPS soared back up to 1700-1800 (2200 on some fights).

    So while the generally accepted gospel is that "get hit cap before anything else!", there are times that gearing for Hit can reduce your overall damage.

    I, for one, cheer Hydra on for bucking the trend and going with what works (instead of what's "right")!

  5. "Now, its not so much so, and the RNG has a bit of input on it."

    Of course RNG has "input"; it always has. This is because the difference between spell hit cap and your spell hit is a percent chance to miss. If you have 14% hit, each spell has a 3% chance to miss. This means -- on average -- that three in every one hundred spells will miss.

    There's a trade off between spellpower and hit, and a diminishing return on each point of hit compared to each point of spell power as cumulative hit approaches cap.

    Blizzard hasn't "changed" the way spell hit works. Blizzard removed the inherent 1% chance to miss. The reason it "feels" to wowallogy like he (or she) is missing less in WotLK is because we essentially picked up a free percent of hit when that 1% chance to miss was removed from the game. While convoluted, his argument is actually for hit, not against it -- and a good example of why math > intuition in situations like this. (You too, Hydra.)

    Is it always wise to stack hit over spellpower, even if you're under cap? No, of course not. It depends on whether -- at your current level of hit -- the hit to be gained provides more DPS than the spellpower lost.

  6. "It depends on whether -- at your current level of hit -- the hit to be gained provides more DPS than the spellpower lost."

    This this this. Always do the math.

    Also to the druid above: Hitting level 80 mobs is quite a bit different than hitting l83 raidbosses. With your blue chest and shoulders, were you over the level 80 hitcap, by any chance?