Tobold's Blog
Monday, March 16, 2009
Tales from the shadows

So my WoW priest went over to the dark side, and thanks to the help of my readers switched to a good raid shadow build. I know about the importance of hit rating for shadow priests, but as that sort of gear is also needed for a lot of other classes, I never got any pieces for an off-spec set. But being a jewelcrafter I had a lot of gems in stock, and just switched all my gems for +16 hit rating ones. That got my hit rating up to 190, and my miss rating down to just under 2%.

So now I needed a way to test the build and the suggested spell rotation in a raid. Luckily somebody I know was just organizing a raid to Vault of Archavon heroic, and I was able to join. And for a first try that didn't go too badly: Nearly 2.5k dps. After that we did another VoA raid in 10-man mode, and I was second place among the damage dealers on Recount. Not half bad for wearing the wrong gear and being new to shadow priesting.

I hope I can get into a Naxxramas raid with my guild this week for another shadow test run. But I think I'll switch back to holy right afterwards, healing is more challenging, because you need to react. But when dual spec comes with patch 3.1, I'm a lot better prepared now. Thanks again to all who helped with advice!
Don't forget the great trinket JC can wear. Plus, there is a hit dragon's eye cut.

There is a hat in Wintergrasp with 44 hit for 40 Wintergrasp badges.

Ring of Northern Tears, created by JC, is only blue but a perfect balanced item with a ton of hit.

The old head enchant from Sha'tar has hit on it, the Kirin Tor does not.
Thanks for the great advice, I'll look those things up. I must admit I'm still wearing the three dragon's eye +spirit cuts, because switching to +hit there and then back costs me 6 dragon's eye, or 6 days worth of daily quests. I'd do it if I wanted to become main shadow, but for my little experiment the cost would have been prohibitive.

The other question I ask myself is how important that hit rating really. According to recount I have a miss rate of 2%, and 2.5k dps. So completely reducing misses to 0% will net me only 50 dps, and I would have to give up a lot of other great stats to achieve that. Looks like a case of diminishing returns to me. Rogues operate well under the hit cap, why would casters need to hit 100% of the time?
I believe that the theory crafters on sites like Elitist Jerks have shown that against boss mobs, hit rating is the most important stat--that is, it contributes greatly to your overall damage. Your attacks come much less frequently than a rogues so you need them all the land.
Hit rating is not important.

You don't have to reach the hit cap. It is not a "must reach" number like being uncrittable is for tanks.

An exception is if you have important spells with a cooldown. A missed haunt will decrease the damage of all your dots until you can reapply it. A missed soul shatter wastes the 5 min cooldown and takes away your chance to dump your aggro. But even there, tanks live(d) with a not hit capped taunt.

Besides that, it's all mathematics. Hit rating is the most efficient stat to boost your damage on a point by point basis. That's why everybody tries to get as much hit as possible and the most possible is the cap.

It is not a magic number you *must* reach, it's just that 1 hit rating is about as valuable as 1.5 spell power (depending on class) below the cap. But even then, your trading a 19 spell power gem for a 16 hit gem. That already depends on class and gear to see which one is better.

Your analysis is correct. You won't gain "that much" by regemming. It was more a hint that if you replace your head, which contains a spirit dragon's eye cut, you might as well put a hit dragon's eye in your new, damage head. Therefore, "only" investing 3 gems over your experiment.
Congrats on your successful trial run as Shadow, Tobold! 2500 DPS is an excellent start.

Besides re-gemming, I'd like to know: did you re-glyph?

Also, did you get 190 hit just from gems or did you pick up a couple Emblem/Tailoring pieces? I know you mentioned spending Emblems on Heirloom items for alts a few weeks ago... If you have any Emblems left, one other nice hit item you can buy with them that I forgot to mention the other day (besides the neck and offhand) is the Tier 7 Shadow priest chest. It costs 80 Emblems of Heroism, but properly socketed can have even more hit than the Ebonweave Robe from Tailoring.

Of course, the other possibility is that you've left ilevel 200 items behind entirely for ilevel 213+ stuff, in which case you'd be giving up too much ground on other stats by using ilevel 200 hit gear. Is that the "diminishing returns" you talk about in your last comment?
Yes, I did re-glyph. Little cost, as my mage is inscriber. I also got one Emblem piece, boots for 40 Emblem of Valor, which were better than my existing boots for healing *and* had +hit rating. Other that that I did not change gear.
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