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Legendaries As We Progress Through Legion


For anyone who's been playing WoW at all in Legion, you have surely heard, if not experienced first hand, the huge disparity caused by the horrible implentation of Legendary gear.  Having a random chance to get either a Legendary that provides a huge mechanical boost to your spec, or, a seldom used utility buff has left many completely frustrated, or having to play alts that they don't really care about, only because that alt got lucky with Legendary drops. I believe that topic has been covered in plenty of depth.  The Developers know, at this point, what a terrible design flaw they added to the game, and have talked about how they want to fix it in future expansions: primarily by only having utility legendary actions, rather than some utility and some DPS/rotational legendary actions.

However, there's another aspect of the implentation of Legendaries in Legion that is only now becoming a really significant problem, and will unfortunately be getting worse the further we get into the expansion.

A Tale of Two Hunters

Let's imagine a raid team with a couple hunters in it. They've worked their way through a fair number of m+ dungeons to get their weapons upgraded, done a couple weeks of both normal and heroic Nighthold raiding, and are getting ready to start mythic progression.  Both of these hunters are 890 ilvl, and have similar trinkets, both have their 4 piece set bonuses.  And, both have two legendaries.  I imagine this is a fairly common situation.  The only significant difference in these two hunters, is one has gotten Legendary drops for armor, and the other only for jewelry.  

Let's call the hunter with legendary armor Halduron, and the hunter with legendary jewelry Loren. Their stats then look like this:

Halduron Loren
Agility 35188 31373
Secondaries 23847 25259

Halduron then ends up with 12.2% more Agility than Loren.  You might expect, with the larger than average secondary stat budgets that rings and necklaces have, that Loren would have significantly more secondary stats to make up for it, but instead, we see he only has 5.9% more secondary stats than Halduron.  

Again, you might think that Halduron must have tons of gem slots, making boosting his secondary stats, but in the actual two hunters I took these stats from, Loren has 6 gem slots, while Halduron only has 3.  So the actual disparity of secondary stats would be even larger if they had the same number.


Progressive Stat Scaling in Legion

Over a year ago, Celesatlon announced that they were changing the way stat scaling would work on gear over the course of an expansion.  Traditionally, the stat budgets of higher ilvl gear had increased exponentially, so you had nearly double the stats on your gear every tier (perhaps not exactly that much, but close to).  However, that meant by the end of the expansion, it was common to have huge amounts of your favorite stat, which apparently made the game extra difficult to balance.  

However, they recognized that some specs were nearly unplayable until you got to a certain amount of a particular stat.  So they decided to leave in the exponential stat budget scaling up through heroic dungeons or "raid ready" gear.  

Finally, to ensure we'd keep feeling more powerful, they decided to leave the stat budge for our primary stat scaling exponentially, and only reduce the scaling to linearly for the secondary stats.  

This is why the effects of legendary jewelry stat scaling wasn't felt too much in the earliest parts of the expansion.  At ilvl 910, when we were all in mostly ilvl 850-860 gear getting ready to start Emerald Nightmare, the Legendary jewelry really did have huge secondary stat budgets, which would to some extent (if it was itemized well) make up for not having your primary stat on your legendary.  But even now in Nighthold, not even a full tier of gear higher, the effects are much more pronounced, where we see the differences of 12.2% more agility, while the other has only 6% more secondaries.

It's worth noting also that all of the legendary jewelry has two stats, so even if there are specs out there (maybe arms warriors are closest?) that have a secondary stat that's close to twice as valuable as their primary stat, not all of the secondary stat budget will be used on that one amazing stat.  

The Tomb of Sargeras and Argus

Going forward, this effect will be much, much more pronounced. If the goal of having different scaling rates for gear stat budgets was that eventually, ilvl will be the only important aspect of armor, then it seems they've come up with a decent solution. But it leaves a huge problem for those of us who can't get any legendaries to drop other than jewelry. 

Assuming that Blizzard isn't willing to fix the problem until a new expansion is released, hopefully they're willing to add something to the game which will allow those players with the worst of luck to swap out their less-than-legendaries for actually legendary Legendaries.  

Hunter Talents on Top Progression Parses


Out of curiousity, mostly, I went through the top ten progression parses for each hunter spec, making note of which talents were used.  There was really only enough data for the first few bosses, so I may try to do this again over the next couple weeks or so, as more of the bosses are killed by a significant number of raid teams.

I should note, I'm not interested in top parses here just for the sake of high DPS numbers. Especially on bosses like Skorpyron, in normal and heroic the top parses are all filled with padding.  Even now in the second week, we're seeing more padding even on mythic difficulty (though not as much as on heroic and normal). The below, however, shouldn't be talents that have the most potential damage while farming raids, but the talents the top hunters are taking for progression raiding.

The talent use columns are separated into "Actual Use" and "Weighted".  The "Actual Use" column is the percentage that a particular talent was taken on a given fight.  The "Weighted" column shows preference to the top parses. In particular, the top parse is 1.5 times as vaulable as the middle parse, then the parses lower in weighted value gradually until the bottom parse is .5 times as valuable as the middle parse. This may or may not be a useful metric, but I was curious and calculated it for myself, so I figured I'd show it on here.

Survival Talent Use:


Skorpyron



Actual UseWeighted
Animal Instincts50%44%
Throwing Axes0%0%
Way of the Mok'50%56%
a Murder of Crows40%43%
Mortal Wounds0%0%
Snake Hunter60%57%
Posthaste10%5%
Disengage80%88%
Trailblazer10%7%
Caltrops100%100%
Guerrilla Tactics0%0%
Steel Trap0%0%
Sticky Bomb20%26%
Ranger's Net20%11%
Camouflage60%63%
Butchery100%100%
Dragonsfire Grenade0%0%
Serpent Sting0%0%
Spitting Cobra10%11%
Expert Trapper90%89%
Aspect o't' Beast0%0%

Here, Butchery and Caltrops seem to be the obvious choice for strong AoE.  AI vs WotM seem to be both good choices, with more top parses leaning toward WotM. The aMoC vs Snake Hunter choice had more parses choose Snake Hunters, but more top parses choose aMoC; either can be lined up with the vulnerable phases for more damage.

Chromatic Anomaly



Actual UseWeighted
Animal Instincts20%20%
Throwing Axes0%0%
Way of the Mok'80%80%
a Murder of Crows40%42%
Mortal Wounds0%0%
Snake Hunter60%58%
Posthaste0%0%
Disengage100%100%
Trailblazer0%0%
Caltrops80%78%
Guerrilla Tactics10%7%
Steel Trap10%15%
Sticky Bomb30%33%
Ranger's Net10%6%
Camouflage60%61%
Butchery50%41%
Dragonsfire Grenade0%0%
Serpent Sting50%59%
Spitting Cobra30%33%
Expert Trapper70%67%
Aspect o't' Beast0%0%

I was glad to see a couple hunters taking AI, as I think it's a kind of fun talent, even if a bit underwhelming; though the obvious choice here seems to be WotM. The level 60 tier had a couple outliers taking GT or Steel Trap.  I imagine we'll see more and more hunters taking steel trap going forward on single target and mostly single target fights, as more hunters notice that it does about 33% more damage than its tooltip says it should. 

Trilliax



Actual UseWeighted
Animal Instincts0%0%
Throwing Axes0%0%
Way of the Mok'100%100%
a Murder of Crows70%73%
Mortal Wounds0%0%
Snake Hunter30%27%
Posthaste0%0%
Disengage100%100%
Trailblazer0%0%
Caltrops60%55%
Guerrilla Tactics30%30%
Steel Trap10%15%
Sticky Bomb20%13%
Ranger's Net20%17%
Camouflage60%70%
Butchery10%5%
Dragonsfire Grenade0%0%
Serpent Sting90%95%
Spitting Cobra60%58%
Expert Trapper40%42%
Aspect o't' Beast0%0%


Marks Talent Use:


Skorpyron



Actual UseWeighted
Lone Wolf100%100%
Steady Focus0%0%
Careful Aim0%0%
Lock and Load100%100%
Black Arrow0%0%
True Aim0%0%
Posthaste100%100%
Farstrider0%0%
Trailblazer0%0%
Explosive Shot60%53%
Sentinel 0%0%
Patient Sniper40%47%
Binding Shot100%100%
Wyvern Sting0%0%
Camouflage0%0%
A Murder of Crows0%0%
Barrage0%0%
Volley100%100%
Sidewinders0%0%
Piercing Shot50%46%
Trick Shot50%54%

The levels 60 and 100 tiers were the only with any variation. In this case all but one person who took Explosive Shot took Piercing Shot, and vice versa for Patient Sniper and Trick Shot, with the choice coming down to, primarily, doing more AoE damage or more Single Target damage, which may be a choice we'll have to make based on Raid Comp, which I did not record. 


Chromatic Anomaly



Actual UseWeighted
Lone Wolf100%100%
Steady Focus0%0%
Careful Aim0%0%
Lock and Load90%95%
Black Arrow0%0%
True Aim10%5%
Posthaste100%100%
Farstrider0%0%
Trailblazer0%0%
Explosive Shot30%28%
Sentinel 0%0%
Patient Sniper70%72%
Binding Shot100%100%
Wyvern Sting0%0%
Camouflage0%0%
A Murder of Crows0%0%
Barrage0%0%
Volley100%100%
Sidewinders0%0%
Piercing Shot20%20%
Trick Shot80%80%

Nothing too out of the ordinary here.  I imagine a couple people took Explosive Shot to try to more quickly kill those 4 adds that spawn when the big add dies. Lock and Load may have been more of a movement choice, though Patient Sniper may also be problematic with the increased and decreased time.

Trilliax



Actual UseWeighted
Lone Wolf100%100%
Steady Focus0%0%
Careful Aim0%0%
Lock and Load20%20%
Black Arrow0%0%
True Aim80%80%
Posthaste100%100%
Farstrider0%0%
Trailblazer0%0%
Explosive Shot0%0%
Sentinel 0%0%
Patient Sniper100%100%
Binding Shot100%100%
Wyvern Sting0%0%
Camouflage0%0%
A Murder of Crows80%80%
Barrage0%0%
Volley20%20%
Sidewinders0%0%
Piercing Shot0%0%
Trick Shot100%100%

Here again we see mostly pretty typical single target builds.  A couple people took Volley and Lock and Load (the same people, I should note), which I'm told (thanks @ABirdofPrey) is more beneficial for those making hard swaps for add damage. 

Beast Mastery Talent Use:


Skorpyron



Actual UseWeighted
Big Game Hunter0%0%
Way of the Cobra0%0%
Dire Stable100%100%
Stomp100%100%
Dire Frenzy0%0%
Chimaera Shot0%0%
Posthaste100%100%
Farstrider0%0%
Trailblazer0%0%
One with the Pack0%0%
Bestial Fury0%0%
Blink Strikes100%100%
Binding Shot100%100%
Wyvern Sting0%0%
Intimidation0%0%
A Murder of Crows0%0%
Barrage0%0%
Volley100%100%
Stampede0%0%
Killer Cobra90%91%
Aspect of the Beast10%9%

This fight was the closest to having all top 10 parses using the same exact build. One lone BM Hunter took Aspect of the Beast instead of Killer Cobra, but asside from that, it seems there is one clear AoE build here.

Chromatic Anomaly



Actual UseWeighted
Big Game Hunter0%0%
Way of the Cobra60%57%
Dire Stable40%43%
Stomp100%100%
Dire Frenzy0%0%
Chimaera Shot0%0%
Posthaste100%100%
Farstrider0%0%
Trailblazer0%0%
One with the Pack10%14%
Bestial Fury40%27%
Blink Strikes50%59%
Binding Shot90%91%
Wyvern Sting0%0%
Intimidation10%9%
A Murder of Crows100%100%
Barrage0%0%
Volley0%0%
Stampede0%0%
Killer Cobra100%100%
Aspect of the Beast0%0%

Two tiers had some variety here. Pets tend to suffer more from long distances between targets, which I believe is what put Blink Strikes into the lead in its tier, with the most uses, and 4 of the top 5 parses. Way of the Cobra and Dire Stable seems to be more of a wash, with both seeming fairly viable. 

Trilliax



Actual UseWeighted
Big Game Hunter0%0%
Way of the Cobra70%59%
Dire Stable30%41%
Stomp100%100%
Dire Frenzy0%0%
Chimaera Shot0%0%
Posthaste100%100%
Farstrider0%0%
Trailblazer0%0%
One with the Pack20%20%
Bestial Fury70%75%
Blink Strikes10%5%
Binding Shot80%85%
Wyvern Sting0%0%
Intimidation20%15%
A Murder of Crows100%100%
Barrage0%0%
Volley0%0%
Stampede0%0%
Killer Cobra100%100%
Aspect of the Beast0%0%