## BigRedKitty: Smacking the Hit Cap

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Each week, Daniel Howell contributes *BigRedKitty**, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the hunter class sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.*

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- "Dear BRK, I heard somewhere that Hit will eventually reach a point where it "maxes out" and adding more won't do any good. I figured if anybody knew where that point was, it would be you. I'm up to 167. Eric."

Great jumpin' night elves, Eric, you're stacking Hit like it was being replaced by Original Coke. Like hiding your Halloween candy because your older sister is trying to trade you all her mini-Snickers for your Pixy Stix. Like hoarding DKP because your raid group has Druids and Shaman oozing from every orifice. Like trying to sell Netherwing eggs.

You're stacking Hit for no reason.

Is that a problem? You bet it is. It's like running your 1987 Ford F-150 on super-unleaded. Like attaching an eleven-inch amber CRT to your $500 Nvidia video card. Like using 5-DPS bullets with your Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle. Like borrowing your dad's Porsche to take your first cousin on a bowling-date.

It's overkill for no purpose.

There's a lot of hullabaloo out there about what and why and why-not about Hit, and every class has a different set of rules when it comes determining the difference between smacking a mob in the face or whiffing into the air. So what are the mechanics of Hit, the least-understood Hunter statistic?

Let's take a peek under the Hunter-bonnet and see how we tick.

Missing is huge.

When we hunters scrounge and fight for every piece of gear that can provide even a *tiny* boost to our DPS, ignoring the effects of Missing is a cataclysmic mistake.

Let's pretend we have a ranged weapon that delivers 400-500 damage per shot and we shoot at a rate of one shot every two seconds. Without taking talents or gear or bonuses into account, that's an average of 450 damage per shot. Since we fire every other second, that equates to 225 damage per second, 225DPS.

Now let's extrapolate that over sixty seconds where we would take thirty shots, one shot every two seconds.

( 30 shots * 450 damage-per-shot ) / 60 seconds = 13,500 / 60 = 225 DPS

OK, we're still good on our DPS calculation, so now let's introduce Misses.

What if we Miss 10% of our shots? 10% of thirty shots is three Misses. So over that minute we'd fire thirty shots but only hit the target twenty-seven times.

( 27 shots * 450 damage-per-shot ) / 60 seconds = 12,150 / 60 = 202.5 DPS

Wow, that's a massive decrease in DPS, isn't it. We just lost 10% of our DPS in this theoretical situation, didn't we. Does that 10% Miss = 10% less DPS correlation always follow? It's a good estimate to use, but it's not always accurate.

What if you're clearing trash mobs and you only get to fire four times but you Miss once? Since it takes our 2.0 ranged weapon eight seconds to fire four shots, we can write our formula:

( 4 shots * 450 damage-per-shot ) / 8 seconds = 1800 / 8 = 225 DPS

and if we Miss once:

(3 shots * 450 damage-per-shot ) / 8 seconds = 1350 / 8 = 168.75 DPS

And that is a 25% decrease in DPS.

Now as a rule we focus on long-term effects of Hit and how it affects our DPS as most Misses will only occur against mobs who are significantly higher level than we are -- we'll cover that a few paragraphs -- and *these* mobs are generally bosses. Boss-fights are long, not four-shoters. Also, our little Miss-to-DPS calculations do not take crits into account for DPS-loss purposes. But regardless of the insignificance of the latter example, the point should be apparent:

We don't want to Miss as that destroys our DPS.

But what makes us Miss? Well, we miss because of the difference between our hunter's ranged weapon skill and the mob's defensive skill. The greater the difference between the hunter's skill and the mob's skill, the greater the chance the hunter will Miss.

A level 70 hunter will have an attack skill, whether it be gun, bow, or crossbow, of 350. A level 70 hunter will also have a *defense *skill of 350. Both of these are calculated by multiplying one's level by five, ( 70 * 5 = 350 ). A mob's defensive skill is also calculated using this system.

Now if the difference between the attacker's weapons skill and the mob's defensive skill is less than or equal to ten, your chance to Miss is calculated with this formula:

Miss % = 5 + [ ( Defense Skill - Weapon Skill ) * 0.1 ]

If the difference between them is *greater* than ten, this formula is used:

Miss % = 7 + [ ( Defense Skill - Weapon Skill - 10 ) * 0.4 ]

When you fight an equal-skilled mob, i.e. your attack skill equals their defensive skill, your base chance to Miss is 5%.

When a level 70 toon fights a boss in Karazhan whose level is unknown, WoW calculates their defensive skill as if it were level 73. That means their defensive skill rating is 365. For a level 70 hunter fighting against a Karazhan boss who is mathematically considered to be level 73, his chance to Miss will be, of course, calculated using the latter formula:

Miss % = 7 + [ ( 365 - 350 - 10 ) * 0.4 ] = 7% + ( 5 * 0.4 ) = 7 + 2 = 9%

And as we recall, over a long fight your Miss percentage will result in a similar net loss of DPS. Did you run all those 5-man instances to get your gear and your enchants only to see all that DPS get flushed because of Misses?

To keep our DPS from going down the tubes, we want to reduce that Miss percentage, big-time.

The first and most obvious thing we can do is increase our weapon skill. For example, Dwarves get +5 to their gun skill rating and Trolls get +5 to their bow skill rating. What happens with that +5 to weapon skill? The first thing is that since the difference between our weapon skill and the mob's defensive skill is ten and not fifteen, we get to use the first Miss formula:

Miss % = 5 + [ ( Defense Skill - Weapon Skill ) * 0.1 ] = 5 + [ ( 365 - 355 ) * 0.1 ] = 5 + 1 = 6%

If we had continued using the second formula, our Miss *would've* been:

Miss % = 7 + [ ( Defense Skill - Weapon Skill - 10 ) * 0.4 ] = 7 + [ ( 365 - 355 - 10 ) * 0.4 ] = 7 + 0 = 7%

If a dwarf is given the choice between a gun and a bow of equal stats, he should chose the gun because it will immediately reduce his chance to Miss by 3% -- not 2% -- just by raising his weapon skill to within ten points of those mob's defensive skill rating. The opposite is true for Trolls, of course; they should grab the bow. And if you can find a ranged weapon with +Skill on it, you've got to take a second look at it before dismissing the weapon because of its stats.

The next way we can reduce our chance to Miss is by increasing our Hit skill rating. The Hit skill rating is part of the combat rating system. We accumulate Hit skill points that translate into increasing our Hit percentage, which decreases our chance to Miss. For level 70 hunters, every 15.77 Hit skill points equal +1% Hit, or 1% less chance to Miss.

Our dwarf hunter has his gun, so his chance to miss that Karazhan boss is at 6%. Then he adds some +Hit gems to his gear and increases his Hit skill rating by 30. That equates to an increase to Hit by 1.9% or a reduction in Miss chance by 1.9% to 4.1%.

That's nice, but how many Hit skill points do we need to reduce our Miss chance to zero? That's a simple calculation, just multiply 15.77 by 6 and get 94.62, which we'll round up to 95. Once our gun-toting dwarf hunter reaches a Hit skill rating of 95, he has reduced his chance to Miss to 0%!

(Note: there is still a tiny, unmitigatable chance to Miss buried in there; it cannot be eliminated. We've Missed a rat on the Deeprun Tram before.)

How about a bow-equipped Orc hunter with no weapon skill bonuses, how does he reduce his chance to miss to zero? He has to accumulate enough Hit skill points to overcome his 9% Miss chance, which is:

15.77 * 9 = 141.93 rounded to 142.

So a non-weaponskill-modified hunter needs a 142 Hit rating to eliminate misses when he goes against those level 73 bosses in Karazhan and onwards. Since one cannot reduce the chance to Miss more than 0%, anything past this skill rating is wasted. This is known as the Hit Cap.

There is a talent in the Survival tree, Surefooted, that increases ones chance to hit by 3%. With this talent, a hunter can reduce the number of Hit skill points needed to reach the Hit Cap to the same number that a gun-Dwarf or a bow-Troll requires, 95. And even more, a Survival gun-Dwarf or Survival bow-Troll get the 3% Miss reduction for their weapon skill *and* the 3% Miss reduction for the Surefooted talent. They only need enough Hit skill points to lower their Miss percentage by *3%*, which would be a 48 Hit skill rating.

Notice that the Hit Cap is gear, talent, and racially-based. Your Hit Cap may not be the same as our Hit Cap. There is no one-size-fits all for Hit rating.

So Eric has a Hit skill rating of 167. We don't know if he is getting a racial weapon-skill bonus or has the Surefooted talent, so we'll assume a best-case scenario and say that he is over the Hit Cap by only 25 points.

What can he do with this knowledge?

Re-gear, baby.

Some gear has +Hit bonuses but sacrifices agility or attack power for that +Hit. Maybe you've got some of that stuff in your bank. That purple belt that has no +Hit but loads of attack power that you removed to add that blue belt with the +Hit? Go get it and slap it back on. You can reduce your Hit skill rating, boost your ranged attack power, and still keep your Misses eliminated.

Re-gem.

Do you have some Hit/Agility or Hit/Crit gems? Feel free to get pure-attack power or pure-agility gems, or even a Crit/AP gem in place of those Hit/Whatever gems you've got socketed.

We want Eric to lower his Hit skill rating and boost his other DPS stats without going below the Hit Cap. When he accomplishes this, he'll optimize himself to blast his DPS onto the top of the meters.

Remember that your Hit Cap is based upon your talents, racial bonuses, and gear. Work out the math for yourself and reach for your own Hit Cap.

'Cause Misses stink.

*Daniel Howell continues his quest to get his Sporeling Snacks to add a Pet+Hit bonus as the hunter-pet duo extraordinaire known to lore as BigRedKitty. More of his theorycrafting and slanderous belittling of the lesser classes can be found at **bigredkitty.blogspot.com*.

Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Big Red Kitty

## Reader Comments (Page 2 of 2)

## Acceptable Risk Oct 10th 2007 5:35PM

6. Seeing as how you're hip the hit-cap game, would you be so kind as to give me some insight into the +hit stacking for casters?

Pretty please?

Short story, 38 spell hit for PvP and 202 for raiding.

## grizz Oct 10th 2007 5:53PM

The hit cap is actually 8.6%, which I believe figures out to 136 hit rating. Granted, it might be hard or impossible to get exactly 136, so running with 140 or so is probably acceptable, for not to many ipts are wasted. This is of course against lvl 73 mobs, or bosses. Against a lvl 70 pvp target, the cap is 5%, not sure the hit rating. But, get your math right Bigredkitty. You want to argue with me, go to elitistjerks and read the literally hundreds of threads discussing this very same issue.

To hunters that are under hit capped however: hit is such a horribly cheap stat compared to crit, and its really REALLY not hard to get the cap either. Swap a gem or two, get run a dungeon or two, and what do you know you are at the cap, and can start swaping out stuff for crit, ap, agi, whatever floats your boat

## Kirrina Oct 11th 2007 4:03AM

@16 - If you actually read elitistjerks, you'd know that the current figure is 9% (142 HR), not 8.6%. BRKs maths is fine. I suggest you download Cheeky's spreadsheet and crunch some numbers.

## Joe Oct 10th 2007 6:05PM

This totally misses the point of hit rating. The only time hit rating is critical is if you're supposed to MD pull something.

In terms of dps, hit is just another stat with only one distinguishing feature: it has a cap. You shouldn't neglect it, but you shouldn't neglect agility, attack power or critical strike rating either.

The only time you should gem for hit is if you absolutely need some yellow gem points. 1 agility will always give you a better boost to dps than 1 hit rating.

## grizz Oct 10th 2007 6:09PM

@12...I once saw some math that said if you had a high enough crit rate, it would push misses off the table, for crits cannot miss. Although i don't remember the rate, it was something stupid like 60%+ to crit where you start pushing crits off the table? Never been a huge theorycrafter, so don't hold me to that at all. And of course, this is just heresay, it may not be possible. If it is however, its at almost unattainable crit rate.

## grizz Oct 10th 2007 6:10PM

@17...Hit capping is really a philosophy. Some don't want to hit cap, and stack other stats, some, like myself, their first priority is being hit capped. Granted, dps-wise, yes, agi is a higher dps boost, but i think the point of this blog or whatever is to explain how little hit we actually need. And once you get to the cap, you can easily start building from there as far as your ap, crit, agi, whatever.

## Sohanstag Oct 10th 2007 6:21PM

Wow...civilized discussion! Thanks for the article, BRK. Hit rating is not something I've looked at too carefully, so it's good to know (at least in roundabout terms) what I'm shooting for. Pun intended. Keep it up!

## Krush Oct 10th 2007 6:46PM

I was complaining the other day about resists of my traps... Seems like sometimes I get a slew of them and it hurts...

One of the parties I was in said the resist rate is linked to my +hit ? Any truth to this ? (got about 4% +hit presently, no trap talents, but thinking about a respec)

## plixer Oct 10th 2007 7:47PM

you know, we need someone who knows their own class as well as BRK writing the other class articles.. but I still love elizabeth wachowski... she can stay

## tarrant Oct 10th 2007 8:01PM

Hey BRK,

What about DW Enhance Shaman? I have 168 + hit, and i was inform from my guild that i should go to 200 + hit? is that overkill? what is the magically number for Enhance shaman? Yes, also i put talents into Natural Guidance which give me a +3% to hit with talents.

Thanks.

## ErsatzPotato Oct 10th 2007 9:27PM

Use this list for different classes/specs.

http://blessingofkings.blogspot.com/2007/07/hit-caps-for-bosses.html

The shammy info is:

Shaman (Dual-wield)

Base: 442

w/ Dual Wield Specialization: 348

w/ Nature's Guidance: 395

w/ Dual Wield Specialization + Nature's Guidance: 300

Shaman (Two-Handed/One-Hand + Shield)

Base: 142

w/ Nature's Guidance: 95

## Someone Oct 10th 2007 9:40PM

@16: You sound like one of those internet spams: blah, blah, blah , more blah blah and what you know? When we try to squeeze some juice out of that, none comes out?! I would advise you to follow your OWN advice and hop over to EJ and try and READ!

@21: That's total rubish! Your traps are "magical" effects and the target's resistance to magical effects of that school (say frost for freezing trap) is what affects your traps being resisted or lasting less than the regular time. (And it's also why some mobs are immune to them!)

## gliterhammer Oct 11th 2007 5:05AM

What a fabulous article.

Detailed, succinct and understandable.

Well done.

## Pook Oct 11th 2007 10:44AM

All the maths I've seen in the mage forums, suggest that Hit all the way upto the Cap is by far the most effective stat for raiding.

## Kheldul Oct 12th 2007 3:48PM

I'm not sure why Blizzard nerfing racial abilities in 2.3 that we've had for 3 years. And a quintessential archetype, "Dwarven Rifleman" is made unsupportable.

Racial Abilities

- Dwarf: Gun Specialization now increases chance to critically hit with Guns by 1% rather than increasing weapon skill.

- Troll: Bow and Thrown Specialization now increases chance to critically hit with those weapons by 1% rather than increasing weapon skill.

## alienatheart Oct 15th 2007 2:22AM

looks like this racials my be changing trolls and dwarfs are getting 1 or 2 % extra crit for bows and guns respectively in 2.3 (not to sure i think i read it somewhere)

## Krellmax Oct 20th 2007 12:16PM

Pook said, "All the maths I've seen in the mage forums, suggest that Hit all the way up to the Cap is by far the most effective stat for raiding."

This is definitely true for Mages because when they crit, they only do 150% damage, but when Hunters crit, they do 200% damage. So crit can make up for hit with Hunters, but to what extent, I'm not sure, but it's not as black and white as it is for Mages.

See: http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/guides.html?guide=1010

## Habib Nov 13th 2007 7:44PM

hi, may i know what ui frame bigredkitty used in the screenshot at the topic ?

## Kurong Nov 20th 2007 2:02AM

BRK,

How does this hit rating calculation get changed now that weapon skill is gone?

Thanks for the great information.