This post on TKAsomething does a great job of outlining the issues with hunter shot rotations. Hopefully it’s a good starting point for discussion of solutions. The issues are these:
- Steady Shot is our most mana efficient special shot.
- Steady Shot has no cooldown, but instead a cast time
- Auto Shot which even more mana efficient (cost is 0)
- Steady Shot’s cast time can delay Auto Shot causing a loss of DPS.
- On the flip side, the time between the end of Steady Shot and the next Auto Shot is time that could have been used for another steady shot. (EX: With no haste modifiers and a 2.8s speed weapon, there would be 1.3s every rotation that could have been used for a Steady Shot. With a 1.8 speed weapon, there’s only 0.3s wasted. If the actual DPS of the weapons was the same the faster one is much better because there will be more Steady Shots in the same amount of time.)
Basically, if you’re not paying attention to your main special shot, you’re going to lose DPS from the cornerstone of your DPS. The problem is it may not even be your fault. The loss can be caused by reaction time or lag neither of which can be fixed in the game.
Most of the suggestions I’ve seen (including my own) have focused on point #2 up there. After all, the cast time is the cause of the problems. However, I noticed that there is a backdoor solution to the problem. Point #1 states why we’re using it, but we’re actually taking that for granted. Say for instance, what if a new shot, Fix Shot, was introduced that was even more mana efficient. Let’s try some examples. Since this is meant just as a PvE replacement and the cast time is the issue, I’m going to assume it’s an instant shot, has the same DPS/mana efficiency as Steady (this would actually have to be slightly better I think), but with a cooldown. I’m also just going to assume zero reaction time, zero lag and a 2.5s weapon speed for a convenience.
Fix#1 – 3s cooldown
Rotation (Fix priority over steady):
0 Auto, Fix (GCD and 3s cooldown start)
1.5 GCD ends (not enough time for steady)
2.5 Auto, Steady start casting
3 Fix CD ends
4 Steady shot goes off, Fix
5.5 GCD ends, steady
7 Steady goes off, Fix CD ends, Fix
8.5 GCD ends, Steady
10 Auto, Steady goes off, Fix (Repeat)
Results: 4 Auto Shots, 2 Steady Shots, 3 Fix shots
Discussion: Well it looks like my numbers fit too well together. Lag and reaction time would basically decide when the last steady goes off. A slightly faster 2.4 weapon would feel those effects even more, while a slightly slower 2.6 may compensate enough to make the shot’s fit ‘perfectly.’ Basically, we’re still dependent on weapons speed, reaction time, and lag.
And now that I think of it, that will always be true. When trying to eek out that last bit of DPS, you’re always going to be cutting it close and that means at some point the ending of Steady Shot’s casting time is going to get dangerously close to the next auto shot. At that point, any little lag or reaction time is going to come into play. The more often it happens (faster weapons / more shots) the more DPS will be affected. But play conservative and, well, you’re no longer min/maxing are you?
I think the only solution is to take Steady Shot out of the rotation, and replace it with some 2 or 3 second instant shot that still requires standing still and is equal to Steady Shot’s DPS and mana efficency. Let’s call it Fix Shot. Now a steady (heh) rotation of pure Fix Shots will maintain the optimal DPS and efficiency of a 1:1 rotation, but it adds a possibility of a even higher DPS, but less efficient rotation for the final burn down because the GCD finishes before the shot cooldown.
I ‘m thinking I’ll have to think of this further, and do an actual writeup for the suggestion boards.