Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Great Hunter Experiment - Part One

Welcome to a special feature of the blog. Weekly, for the next several weeks, we'll be doing an experiment in hunter spec. Please read on.

Lately some of my guild mates and friends have been pressing to follow BigRedKitty's advice and respec my hunter to beast master. They point out the fights that BRK & Hobbes have recorded in Karazhan with both Moroes and the Maiden of Virtue.

They (and BRK) think that beastmaster is the spec for hunters to have. I've been marksman specced since I hit 70 a few months ago. So, to appease my own curiosity about the various hunter specs, I'm willing to set up an experimental study. I could just theorycraft the solution, but I wanted to run this as an actual experiment, using to the degree possible, good scientific method.

According to the experimental version of scientific method we must do the following:

  1. Define the question
  2. Gather information and resources
  3. Form hypothesis
  4. Perform experiment and collect data
  5. Analyze data
  6. Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
  7. Publish results
  8. Retest
1. Define the question
The question is which is the more effective hunter build, my current marksman build or a proposed beastmaster build. There are both quantifiable and non-quantifiable measures of effectiveness. Perhaps the most easily attained measurements is damage per second for both myself and my pet. Since we expect my personal DPS to suffer from the respec but the pet's DPS to increase, the combined DPS from both hunter and pet would be the fairest measure.

There are other things I will gain with beastmaster and will lose. Most notably, my trap duration will decrease and I will lose access to both Scatter Shot and Silencing Shot. Pulling casters might be even harder.

2. Gather Information and Resources
The experiment should be constructed such that all other variables remain static except for the spec of the hunter. To this end, the group must have the same members in the same role running the same instance. The group must have access to exactly the same consumables over the runs and rebuff with missing consumables as soon as the buffs wear off.

Ideally, the group will be this:
  • Qerk, Healer. Qerk will eat Golden Fishsticks and drink Elixirs of Draenic Wisdom and Adept's Elixir. He will buff all members except Owaru with Blessing of Kings. He will buff Owaru with Blessing of Light. He will use Superior Mana Oil on his weapon.
  • Owaru, Tank. Owaru will eat Fisherman's Feast and drink Earthen Elixirs and Adept's Elixir. He will buff hunter & pet with Blessing of Might. He will buff casters with Blessing of Wisdom. He will buff himself with Blessing of Salvation. He will use Superior Mana Oil on his weapon
  • Babygorn, Mage. Baby will eat Blackened Basilisk and drink Adept's Elixir and Elixir of Draenic Wisdom. Superior Mana Oil will be used on the weapon.
  • Kikidas or Malignance, Warlock. Warlocks will eat Blackened basilisk and drink Adept's Elixir and Elixir of Draenic Wisdom. They will use Superior Mana Oil on their weapons. Imp will be primary pet unless actively crowd controlling with a Succubus.
  • Bremagorn, Hunter. I will eat Ravager Dog and drink Elixir of Greater Agility and Earthen Elixir. I will use Superior Mana Oil. Joanna will be buffed with Sporeling Snacks.
  • Joanna, Hunter Pet. Joanna will not respec for the experiment
Each participant will be supplied with one stack of each elixir, mana oil, and food. Also provided will be 10 each of Super Mana and Super Healing potions. Water will be provided by the mage.

The runs will be recorded with Wow Web Stats.

3. Form Hypothesis
The hypothesis is that there is a sustained 5% increase in DPS when moving from current build to beast master build.

4. Perform Experiment
I will begin assembling the materials for the run and contact participants. I hope to get the first "control" run done in the next couple of days and begin recording in earnest.

*Edited to incorporate Owaru's comments*

1 comment:

Scott said...

This is going to be so much fun!

As an aside, unless you see a difficulty with it, Owaru tends to throw Blessing of Sanctuary on himself to help hold aggro. More block means more aggro. I don't particularly need BoK and Qerk can handle BoL on Owaru.

Also, what about training on Joanna? Do you want to get her new skills? Cower to make sure she stays nice and low on the threat meter while staying nice and high on the aggro meter?

Either way, count me in!