17 February 2011

DPSing in Tank Gear

I swore I would never, ever do this... I have pulled my hair out and gotten flabbergasted at players equipping items just because the item level was higher despite the fact that the stats are all wrong.  Like Hunters in Wrath wearing Shaman mail with spirit or Death Knights wearing Paladin plate with intellect.

At the moment, however, I see no other choice in the matter than to equip a tanking gun.

I was fortunate to have the Crossfire Carbine drop from trash in the Bastion of Twilight last night. It replaced my Lightningflash.

But! But! But! The carbine's got Strength, Stamina, Expertise and Mastery! Fantastic stats for a warrior, crappy for a hunter. Here's a run down:

  • Strength: This will add melee attack power. But if I'm forced to melee, I'm already dead.
  • Stamina: Cataclysm gear makes me miss the old Survivalist talent that converted your stamina into attack power! If we still had that, then this would be at least somewhat itemized towards DPS. Then again, with the AoE raid damage I seem to be taking, the extra health won't go to waste. Just not on my primary drool list.
  • Mastery: It can help with the random Wild Quiver proc, but it's my first target at the reforger into hit, haste or crit. I love the idea behind Mastery, but I'm starved for hit, haste and crit so I'm very willing to forego some mastery in favor of others.
  • Expertise: Reducing the chance that the thing I'm smacking with my axe won't otherwise make me miss. Crap, I'm meleeing. That means I'm already dead.

So why then did I accept and equip a BoE warrior weapon with two pointless stats, one average (Mastery) stat and one marginal stat (Stamina)?

Because my damage goes up, and it goes up nicely. Moreover, it does so even though I'm losing itemizations.

To test this out, I actually tried my hand at some theory-crafting for the first time ever. Unless I did something wrong, the base damage values for shots used in a Marksman rotation show a clear reason for the upgrade.

The Math
Here's the results of dwarven pondering.
Basic Weapon Comparison without itemizations
First, I took the two weapons and -- ignoring the stat bonuses -- compared the base weapon damage. From what I understand, this is a factor in the output of several key shots and will scale DPS accordingly.
Lightningflash normalized to Marksman Shots
Crossfire Carbine normalized to Marksman Shots
Second, I ran the weapon basics against each of the primary shots I'm using in Marksman spec to see the minimum, maximum and a calculated average value. Side by side, (actually top to bottom here on the old blog) there is a clear increase in damage by using the warrior gun.
Checking with Femaledwarf.com my DPS increases by about 900 points just by changing the guns out. I may not like having the wrong stats, but I am liking the boost in output! Besides, wowreforge.com can help figure out how to make up for the itemizations easily enough!

Disclaimer: While I'm an undeniable nerd, my higher education was more slanted to liberal arts and less -- much much less -- to math & science. Other, more qualified math & science types may spot errors in the above calculations. Should that occur, please point out the issue in the comments!

No gnomes were harmed in the production of these spreadsheets. But when the formulae wouldn't line up, it got tempting.