Raptor Strike and You: A Detailed Analysis and Guide to Melee Weaving



  • 1. Introduction

    Hey guys, Sixx here. I’ve always loved theorycrafting and just pushing the boundaries of whatever meta has been set. For Classic Hunter, the meta was set 15 years ago and even the private server scene did not shake it up. Does that mean it stood the test of time?

    When you think of a Hunter in WoW- what comes to mind? Is it a ranger who shoots from afar while keeping it’s distance? Or someone in your face swinging a big sword, axe or polearm at you? I’d assume all of you would say the ranger sounds more fitting, right? Classic WoW is heavily favored towards melee though, as you may have noticed. There’s over 700 AP (930 Ally) from buffs that is exclusively melee AP only, not to mention a massive buff on the Horde side with Windfury! How could you benefit from all of this if you spent all your time ranged? A fairly new concept was introduced a few years ago by a Hunter named Timecop (to my knowledge he was the first). This concept is called melee weaving.

    Youtube Video

    So what is melee weaving?

    Melee weaving is the act of weaving in a melee hit into your normal playstyle, whether it’s a DPS rotation, leveling/grinding mobs, PvP etc. This works because your ranged shot timer and melee swing timer are on separate cooldowns. For PvE specifically it’s fitting a Raptor Strike into your DPS rotation. During your normal non-hasted rotation you have 3 Auto Shots, 2 of which are the full duration of your attack speed and one half a second following Aimed Shot. You only use one Multi-Shot between the Aimed Shot casts so you end up with one flex spot between Auto Shots that you can do other things if needed. For weaving, that’s running in and hitting with Raptor Strike. Generally this takes between 2.4 - 3 seconds depending on your movement speed to travel the necessary 6 yards (yes, dead zone is 5-11 not 5-8 like the tooltips suggest).

    The idea behind doing this is that you are essentially adding an extra hit that does more damage than Auto Shots for a minimal delay in rotation timing. This means that when done properly (and you really really have to mess up to lose damage) you can boost your dps by 10-20%! A common misconception is that some fights aren’t worth it to weave however it’s often overlooked the fact that even just getting 1 melee hit in, is adding damage. A lot of people weave and they don’t even realize it! This playstyle looks at it more objectively to play more to the strengths of what you’re given and utilize that damage more than just once.


    2. Pros of Melee Weaving

    • More damage - the whole point of weaving is this
    • More competitive gameplay - make the gap between melee and hunter closer, as well as with casters in later raids
    • More engaging rotation - Constantly moving back and forth, paying attention to positioning
    • Big FAT Raptor Strike crits - It’s undeniable, you know you like big crits or you wouldn’t be here
    • More buffs to work with, including Windfury (WF) on Horde side - some of what makes weaving powerful is these buffs, and Horde has the special niche of potentially unbeatable parses with great WF luck

    Below is a simple example that I’ve used to explain weaving from the getgo and it’s pretty much the only explanation needed.. However I love math so I’ll dive deeper as well.

    Depending on the damage of a single Auto Shot vs a single Raptor Strike, you can determine how much time you could take before you lose damage.

    For example, if Auto Shots do 1k damage per hit and Raptor Strike does 1k damage per hit, and you have an attack speed of 3.2, you can take up to (3.2 * 2 - 0.5) = 5.9 sec to Raptor Strike and still do more DPS. At that point (5.9 sec) you would do 3k damage in 6.4 sec, vs just doing 3k damage with Auto Shots in 6.4 sec.

    You can adjust the speed and the damage values to determine if it's an increase or not.

    Fig 1. Timeline comparison of 3 Auto Shots vs 2 Auto Shots 1 Raptor Strike or 3 Auto Shots 1 Raptor Strike

    3. Cons of Melee Weaving

    • Increased mana costs - Unfortunately unavoidable, but you can still downrank to rank 1 Raptor Strike for 15 mana and still benefit from the damage
    • Increased consume costs - full tryhard DPS costs significantly more gold
    • More damage taken - naturally being closer to the boss leads to more damage taken in most cases
    • More mechanics to worry about - have to pay attention to melee mechanics as well as ranged

    Weaving poorly (read: taking too long) as some might point out is in-fact a DPS loss. Also weaving while under haste effects can be detrimental to your DPS. In the haste section I cover this briefly. First though, we need to understand what you gain when done properly.


    4. Damage Comparison, Optimal Rotation, and Ideal Speeds

    For weaving there are a couple of things to consider such as melee swing speed, ranged shot speed, movement speed, and how much damage abilities do with respect to each other. Your melee swing speed will determine when you can possibly hit again with a melee hit; this is important for one type of rotation. Ranged swing speed determines how much delay you have caused by weaving; ideally matching movement time + 0.5 for little to no delay. Slower is generally better here with some exceptions (more on that below). Movement speed reduces the time it takes to run in and out, faster is better for less delay but has diminished returns if you move faster than the ranged speed. The damage of each ability shows why weaving is so good, but also can be used to show how bad you can be with it and still do more damage than if you didn’t weave similar to the example in section 2.

    I came up with some options for rotation and drew some conclusions from that which will be at the end of this section. Note that this section is specifically for non-hasted scenarios which is approximately 60-70% of all fighting that you do. I will cover haste scenarios in the next section.

    Rotation and Damage Comparison sheet for reference: Here

    Damage Comparison

    I used my main Hunter DPS Sim to generate average damage values of each ability for each phase’s tier of BiS, assuming 13/31/7 for maximum weaving damage, maximum buffs possible for a given phase, best movement speed possible (excluding speed pots, cheetah) e.g. Swiftness of Zanza for Phase 4 through 6. Also I assume for Horde side a macro of Raptor Strike & Wing Clip is used to proc Windfury. This gives Windfury a 33.2% chance of proccing so I added 33.2% of Windfury damage to both Raptor Strike damage and melee damage.

    Fig. 2 - Damage per attack for Horde

    With the Windfury buff Horde have really strong melee attacks if that weren’t already obvious. Raptor Strike, with the aforementioned chance to proc Windfury, is almost as much damage as Aimed Shot! Also we can gather from the above graph that Raptor Strike is a significant damage boost over Auto Shots AND Multi-Shot single target. Even regular melee hits are a boost due to the Windfury chance! This means that weaving so bad that you lose a complete Auto Shot to a Raptor Strike or melee hit is a DPS increase for Horde side. This is especially important to know for one of the rotations explored. It’s also good to note that for melee attacks even rank 1 Raptor Strike is better than a melee hit due to it being a yellow hit. This means that it cannot be a glancing blow, unlike melee hits with a 40% chance of being a glancing blow always.

    Fig. 3 - Damage per Attack for Alliance Comparison

    It’s notable here that the lack of Windfury causes Raptor Strike and Melee to hit for about the same as Multi-Shot and less than an Auto Shot, respectively. We can gather that it’s still definitely worth using Raptor Strike for Alliance but the effect of a melee hit is less. This is also somewhat reflected in the rotation choices I explored as adding an extra melee hit into the rotation was not as significant as for Horde though still proved beneficial.

    Rotations

    I’ve created a timeline for each rotation using a design that matches that of Warcraft Logs so that it is familiar and makes sense to others when looking at it. Hopefully everyone understands what it’s trying to portray. I used Ashjre’thul/Ashkandi for the timings in the below rotation timelines because that is what’s BiS for now. I may update this section with each phase released. Phase 2 is Arcanite Reaper/Rhok’delar, Phase 3 and 4 is Ashjre/Ashkandi, Phase 5 is Barb of Sand Reaver/Ashjre, and Phase 6 is Eye of Nerub/Nerubian Slavemaker.

    Fig 4. Timelines of No weaving and Weaving normally

    First I wanted to show the obvious weaveless rotation. Since this is Ashjre’thul it would be a “Full” rotation with 3 Auto Shots, 1 Multi-Shot and 1 Aimed Shot cast. Pretty standard stuff. The second rotation of the first set of timelines is the currently assumed rotation for weaving. This is the whole general concept, and is a very good starting point for anyone wanting to learn it. It is basically just running in to Raptor Strike once per rotation in-between the filler slot. Note the timing of Multi-Shot dictates when you will be able to run in and Raptor Strike. Due to the cooldown of Multi-Shot being slower than your typical ranged rotation Multi-Shot will eventually need to be cast after the second Auto Shot, or not at all during that cycle.

    Fig 5. Maximizing melee hits vs prioritizing Raptor Strike over Aimed CD

    I played around with a few ideas for rotation options and the above rotations are what I decided upon. The first timeline utilizes melee hits as a filler in addition to Multi-shot. I choose to Raptor Strike first because I need the most delay between melee hits with slower melee weapons, so Multi-shot being after the second Auto Shot gives a slight delay before running in and getting a melee hit off. With this particular rotation I found it to be the most DPS because you don’t delay your rotation much more than normal weaving and you get a second extra hit off.

    The last rotation I came up with is working around the Raptor Strike cooldown. Due to the 6 second cooldown and Aimed also being 6 seconds but with 3 second cast time, you need to delay either Raptor Strike or Aimed Shot by 3+ seconds. Delaying Raptor Strike by 3+ seconds is the same as a normal weaving rotation, but prioritizing Raptor Strike pushes Aimed Shot down the timeline. As you’ll note in the DPS comparison it is still more DPS than normal weaving in some cases, however it’s not quite as good as an extra melee hit due to the added delay to your cycles.

    Fig 6. DPS comparisons for Horde and Alliance based on rotations

    After figuring out the different rotations and damage numbers per phase, I did a non-hasted DPS comparison for each rotation type. Here you can see that Horde DPS is a bit higher than Alliance due to Windfury’s extra damage. We also see that Max MW (maximizing melee weave) does the most DPS by a good bit for later phases, and Warchief’s Blessing makes the later weapons even better for this due to their slower speed. This is because with max melee you would end up having to wait for your melee swing in order to get the second melee hit off, and Warchief’s Blessing reduces or eliminates that delay. Note the red line is not weaving at all, and all weaving rotations are a nice increase in DPS! This graph is basically why I chose to roll Horde actually, because weaving with Windfury is NUTS.

    I’d also like to point out that weaving with Rhok’delar is better than most people think. This is because even though Rhok’delar’s normal rotation is “Clipped”, it has essentially a 0.5 sec “Clipped” buffer built in that is actually useful for weaving. This extra time switches the rotation from clipped to full when weaving, but also allows you less delay caused by running in and out. For example, with Ashjre you have about 2.52 seconds to run in and out with no delay with it’s normal full rotation. Rhok’delar has about 2.06 seconds to run in and out, BUT if you consider the clipped portion of about 0.5 seconds, Rhok’delar actually has 2.56 seconds to run in and out. So while Ashjre is obviously better in general, Rhok’delar does surprisingly well for being faster due to the clipped portion of the non-hasted rotation. With haste that changes a bit, buuut I figured this was worth explaining as well.

    After analyzing non-hasted possibilities, we know that adding an extra melee hit to a normal weaving rotation is actually better by a good bit than just weaving normally or prioritizing Raptor Strike. We also know that any form of weaving is a near guaranteed DPS increase! What about when haste is introduced into the equation? Does that change anything? Next I will explain how haste changes rotations and complicates things…


    5. Weaving With Haste

    Haste effects are one of the most powerful things for Hunter DPS because stacking them allows you to get more Auto Shots off during each individual cycle of DPS. Since weaving takes a fixed amount of time to run in and out, this means weaving can be the wrong choice in some cases and actually lose DPS even in a perfectly timed scenario. You end up just shooting so much faster than the required time to move and thus just standing still is better. This is what I mean by complicating things. You no longer get a comfy, consistent rotation and instead need to be dynamic in your playstyle based on the haste effects you have active.

    Below I explore the possible combinations of haste and whether it is beneficial to weave, maximize weaving with an added melee hit, or just do the normal weaveless rotation. I used my DPS Sim as the groundwork for cycle timings. My spreadsheet has each cycle broken down by haste and their respective combinations. Then I used those cycle times and number of Auto Shots per cycle and compared them between each other. As in the previous section, I chose the best possible movement speed excluding short term buffs and the respective ranged and melee weapons per phase. For the damage values I used the same ones from the previous section but also decided to include damage values for no world buffs as they do drop melee AP a bit not having them. Also for the purpose of being realistic, I took away Grace of Air for no world buffs on Horde side. It’s uncommon for Horde to get Grace of Air totem-twisted for all melee groups. Now.. On to the comparisons!

    RF - Rapid Fire
    QS - Quick Shots (Imp. Hawk)
    BS - Berserking (Troll Racial)
    KS - Kiss of the Spider (Naxx Trinket)

    Fig 7. DPS gain over normal rotation, World Buffed

    I created a couple of tables to show the difference in DPS of weaving or max weaving with respect to a normal rotation. From this information we can tell which version of weaving is best and for what combination of haste. For example, max melee weaving with Rapid Fire, Berserking and Quick shots up is a dps loss over not weaving at all for Horde side. Conversely, max melee weaving is the best dps gain with 1 haste effect active in all cases, and a dps gain when under the effects of two haste effects for Phase 3+ gear. Phase 6 is excluded because Kiss of the Spider being introduced complicates things even more. More on that below.

    I’ll point out as well that this is average DPS. With low crits you will be below this value and with high crits & procs you would be above this value. This does include damage lost by delaying/losing Auto Shots and delaying Aimed Shot (if applicable).

    Fig 8. DPS Gain Over Normal Rotation, No World Buffs

    I thought it would be useful to compare without world buffs as well because sometimes things get bad resulting in your death. Maybe your server also just sucks at coordinating buffs? Incendius In this table we can see that due to the loss of 340~ melee AP, certain scenarios are now either DPS losses completely or it swaps from max weaving to weaving. For world buffs the damage of ranged hits doesn’t really change, so it becomes more valuable to just stand back and shoot or only weave once per rotation. Horde side Phase 4 and 5 with two haste effects up all swap from max weave to weave, and max weave becomes even less worth in general. It does remain a powerhouse for no haste effects or just 1 active, however.

    Fig 9. DPS Difference of Phase 6 gear for World Buffed and no World Buffs

    Obviously phase 6 gear is going to net you the most DPS gain, but we can also see similar trends for world buffed vs no world buffs. Max weaving loses out to weaving with two or more haste effects when missing world buffs. It’s also notable that max weaving with just quiver active is insane for Horde side due to Windfury. This gear level is where Windfury procs will crit for 2k+ and Raptor Strikes for nearly 2.6k+! Would you want to pass that up?

    Weaving Poorly

    Fig 10. DPS difference of Weaving vs No Weave @ 4 sec run time (33% slower than a normal weave)

    I mentioned in the last couple of sections that you can be bad at weaving but still benefit, however there’s clearly a breakpoint, right? I tried out different numbers and concluded that at about 6-7 seconds, that is when weaving is a complete DPS loss always. In figure 10 I show DPS gains/losses similar to before but only normal weaving because max weaving is always a net dps loss at 4 sec or greater. I chose 4 seconds of run time because that’s pretty typical for someone learning it for the first time. As you learn to weave and gain better speed bonuses, your target will be around 2.8-3 seconds or about 2.4 seconds with Swiftness of Zanza.

    Conclusions on Haste

    As said before, haste effects are very powerful for our ranged attacks. The more we have, the worse weaving is. Max melee weave, for example, always has 3 Auto Shots in the rotation. Once the damage gain of extra autos outweighs the Raptor Strike and Melee hit, not weaving is better. The damage of Raptor and the melee hit could be worth 3-4 Auto Shots though, depending on the scenario. In some cases continuing to weave, even though you lose 3-4 Auto Shots that you otherwise would’ve had not weaving, is more DPS due to the power of Windfury, melee buffs, or a combination of the two.

    From the above tables you can draw some conclusions that are both for and against weaving. While under the effects of 3+ haste effects it is practically not worth weaving at all. Of course, that makes sense because your movement to weave remains relatively static but your attack speed scales multiplicatively. Other observations: even with Rhok’delar it is practically always worth weaving for some amount of damage increase, and for all phases with 1 haste effect or less it’s definitely worth max weaving for extra damage. Windfury is again a huge factor here as well. For those that don’t believe the numbers you can draw your own conclusions yourself from the data presented here in the Haste Compare tabs.

    Now that you know rotation possibilities, when to weave or not, and why you should hate yourself if you want to weave but didn’t roll Horde… I will briefly cover character setup and practicing for yourself!


    6. Talent specs, Gear Choices and Practicing

    • 13/31/7 - This spec will give the most DPS for Raptor Strike. It is the top spec for melee weaving in MC, BWL, ZG because of slaying bonuses and pet DPS staying relatively the same as your personal damage goes up. Trueshot Aura (TSA) provides 400 AP minimum to your melee group, (500 if 4 melee plus pet) so nothing comes close personal DPS-wise to match that. Same applies to any spec with 31 in Marksman.

    • 20/31/0 - Top DPS spec on non-slaying fights such as AQ and most of Naxx. This spec gives the most stable DPS if using a pet to their full potential as well.

    • 0/21/30 - Deep survival spec will offer the highest personal DPS, however suffers from no TSA, no Quick Shots, and makes your pet hit like a wet noodle. Best DPS in later tiers with TSA provided and 2+ minute fights.

    • 31/20/0 - Number 1 DPS spec when provided TSA on short fights. Why? Bestial Wrath is a strong DPS cooldown that nearly doubles your pet’s DPS. This alone is far more damage than any other talent for fights less than a minute.

    Gear choices

    Same gear basically as ranged, though can utilize niche pieces like Cloak of the Fallen God and Leggings of Apocalypse more. We also will always be using a 2h weapon for maximum Raptor Strike damage. This doesn’t change itemization except in Naxx where we normally would receive some hit from melee weapons.

    Check Skinnay’s BiS List compilation for multiple combinations of gear and replace the melee weapons with either Arcanite Reaper, Ashkandi, Barb of the Sandreaver, or Eye of Nerub for their respective Phases.

    For quick reference here’s the rough differences in each weapon’s average DPS added.

    Weapon DPS
    Barbarous Blade Baseline
    Lok'delar / Peacemaker +3
    Dreadforge Retaliator +9
    Huntsman's Harpoon +12
    Arcanite Reaper +15
    Zin'rokh +21
    R14 2H +23
    Ashkandi +24
    Gri'leks Carver (Dragonkin) +31
    Barb of the Sand Reaver +33
    Eye of Nerub +40
    Eye of Nerub (wep skill used) +46

    Where to practice? What to look for and what not to do

    Head on down to Dire Maul North and either fight your way to the King, or do the usual hunter tricks to get yourself there! Before killing the King you can engage the Gordok spirits along the back walls as they do not die and don’t attack you. They’re essentially target dummies which you can use to easily practice weaving. See the below video on what that might look like, what to watch for when doing so, and general tips on weaving!

    Youtube Video


    7. Weaving in Raids

    Many people claim you can’t weave on all bosses. That is simply not true, as your inability to weave is not hindered by actual mechanics (at least in MC+BWL). If you can’t weave a boss it’s because you simply don’t want to. Each boss has their own caveats, but that’s what makes it unique and fun!

    Check out these two players for some vods on Twitch, or watch the videos I created associated with each raid for examples of weaving.

    twitch.tv/skinnay_
    twitch.tv/ahmpy

    Molten Core

    Youtube Video

    • Lucifron - Generally a short fight, move up when the tanks run in so that you don’t have far to go. Restorative Potion can help with dispel if you find yourself oom before the fight ends. You can also use a speed pot here if you want fast weaves. Medium hitbox.
    • Magmadar - Restorative Potion can dispel the fear or tremor totem, fear ward; other than that be mindful of positioning and enrage timers. His size increases and hitbox shifts when Frenzied/Unfrenzied. Big hitbox.
    • Gehennas - Move out of rain of fire, Free Action Potion (FAP) on the pull if you get stunned often (I never got stunned so never FAP’d). Medium hitbox.
    • Garr - Requires dispels from priests and/or FAPs and/or quick kills to get the most weaves in. Alternatively if you are Alliance you can get a paladin to Blessing of Freedom on you. Big hitbox.
    • Baron - Move out of inferno, your min shoot range rests just inside of inferno range so make sure to go further away during inferno. You’ll need a mana pot and/or quick dispels. Medium hitbox.
    • Shazzrah - Prepot Greater Arcane Protection Potion and pop one during the fight as you’ll get pushback. Prefer quick decurse here as well for less chance at pushback. Medium hitbox.
    • Sulfuron - Sappers are great here for adds, other than that just DPS/weave like normal. Watch for stuns from Sulfuron and he repositions/knocks back melee every 10-20 sec. Medium hitbox.
    • Golemagg - the #1 weave fight in MC, easy to get into position and weave consistently no mechanics to worry about. big hitbox.
    • Majordomo - Sappers useful here if cleaving, otherwise just DPS/weave like normal. Medium (elites) and small (casters) hitboxes.
    • Ragnaros - stand on the north side of Rag out of melee group (ret pally, enh sham, feral dps spot or to the left of them) Don’t go in right after a Wrath of Rag or a big Raptor Strike crit will make the boss angry at you. Make sure you stand away from your melee so that you don’t get them blasted. Massive hitbox.

    Onyxia

    • I decided not to do a short video here as it is pretty self-explanatory. Weave P1 and P3, I like to prioritize Raptor Strike here due to fears constantly going out on P3. Massive hitbox.

    Blackwing Lair

    Youtube Video

    • Razorgore - Sappers can be used and you can weave on the adds. P2 LoS fireballs if needed. FAP/Blessing of Freedom for Warstomp in P2. Be careful with threat as the 2nd tank will have basically none while the first tank is conflag’ed. Medium hitbox.
      Vaelastrasz - Prepot Greater Fire protection potion, pop another mid-fight to reduce pushback. Otherwise weave as normal. Try to time a weave between burning adrenaline send-outs. Vael can parry if facing you even briefly. Big hitbox.
    • Broodlord - Weave near the gate, try to time between blast waves which go out every 15-40 sec. Typically means you can get two weaves in before the blast wave is coming. Back away a few yards because it can hit you at min shoot range until after it goes out. big hitbox.
    • Firemaw - Weave by the door/wall to LoS easy. Make sure to drop stacks, wear shadow flame cape in-case it turns (can eat 1 hit usually) Greater Fire Protection very helpful here. FR gear recommended to stay in longer. Big hitbox.
    • Ebonroc - Weave to heart’s content, wear cloak in-case of turn around. Major Mana and runes likely required until you have fast kills. Downrank if necessary. Medium Hitbox.
    • Flamegor - Remember to tranq for this fight. Hitbox remains the same even when frenzied so no repositioning required. Major mana’s and runes likely required until you have fast kills. Downrank if necessary. Medium hitbox.
    • Chromaggus - Watch positioning especially enrages, he gets a lot bigger. Pay attention to the breaths obviously. Major mana and runes likely required until you have fast kills. Downrank if necessary. Big hitbox.
    • Nefarian - Fear sucks and can be out ranged so if you want to weave you’ll need to weave in-between fears and either get hit by it or run out after a possible fear might go out. You can see I tried to do that in my Nef kill. Same thing here as Broodlord’s blast waves, seems to be about 15-40 sec timing so just weave twice after a fear goes out. Any other weaves are risky but up to you. Massive Hitbox.

    8. Log Review

    To start things off in this section, I’d like to point out that I tried to take a couple top parses specifically with similar fight lengths as adjusting damage due to fight length skews things a little more. Please keep in mind the differences in starting a fight, kill times and strat (leaving adds up for cleave damage), Quick Shots RNG proc, and pet damage. A supplemental spreadsheet used for the comparisons can be found here.

    One thing that most people like to claim when looking at weaving as to whether it’s worth it or not is raid logs. They claim that “the top parses aren’t weaving so of course it’s not good”. Additionally people claim “Rhok’delar is too fast” but as you saw in the previous sections that is not the case. Here I’ll dive into 2 of the best weaving parses, compare it to a similar duration fight, point out the differences and provide a detailed breakdown of why the weaving parse isn’t miles better as the numbers would suggest.
    https://classic.warcraftlogs.com/reports/compare/NWXKL8F9qRfknYJc/G8tQ2PFwJBzakVjn#fight=5,8&source=20,12&type=damage-done

    First up: Lucifron. I’ve seen quite a few people regard this fight as not worth it to weave on. However, this was my personal best DPS here. I almost broke 1k DPS! This fight was 31.9 seconds which makes it highly reliant on crit luck. As you can see in my parse I averaged about 33% crit for most everything and had 100% Multi-Shot crit. Compare that to the similarly lengthed 1k dps parse of Esther. They had 60%+ crit on everything but their pet did about 60 dps less. You’ll also note that they did 4 more Auto Shots, multi hit 2 more times than mine, and they had a Quick Shots proc whereas I did not. The fight duration is also notably 2 seconds shorter for Esther. For the sake of my data I’ve removed 2 multishot hits on Esther’s parse to reflect the cleave difference.

    Fig 14. Damage per Ability Taken from the Log

    https://classic.warcraftlogs.com/reports/compare/NWXKL8F9qRfknYJc/G8tQ2PFwJBzakVjn#fight=5,8&type=casts&view=timeline&source=20,12

    In this timeline view, you can see that I messed up my first rotation by multishotting and weaving in the same Auto Shot, delaying it by about 1.2 seconds. I also started my first Auto Shot at 4.3 seconds vs Esther starting at 1.6 seconds. This allowed Esther to get an extra Auto Shot over me at the start of the fight. Quick shots proc can add an extra Auto Shot and allow you to squeeze in 1 extra Auto Shot at the end of the fight depending on when it ends. If you adjust my dps for Esther’s crit chance you get the resulting damage below. (matching crit %’s only)

    Fig 15. Damage per Ability with Sixx’s Crit adjusted to match Esther’s

    Next I compared my DPS before and after adjusting crit chance to match that of Esther. Since I removed 2 of the Multi-Shots the DPS is actually slightly lower than mine by about 16 DPS. Then, adjusting for crit chance my DPS jumps up even more.

    Fig 16. DPS taken from the Logs compared to DPS of Sixx Adjusted

    Lastly and most importantly, I compared normalized crit values to better represent what differences you expect. I chose to use 33% as that is the most common crit chance of hunters in raids, or right around there when world-buffed. I added 2 Auto Shots to the normalized crit chance for my parse to better reflect fight differences (Quick Shots, Auto Shot at 1.6 sec). Comparing the two I get 923 DPS normalized for Sîxx versus Esther’s normalized 787 DPS. Without the two extra Auto Shots the value is 876 DPS normalized for Sîxx. If you want to consider this “cheese”, you can subtract the sapper charge damage as well. That changes the DPS to 870 and 823 respectively.

    Fig 17. DPS Normalized to 33% crit for all abilities

    This means that weaving somewhat poorly with normalized crit chance, a Quick Shots proc and an Auto Shot at 1.6 sec instead of 4.3 sec, there would be a net DPS gain of 92 DPS by weaving on Lucifron with Rhok’delar.

    Why did I remove Multi-Shot and adjust crit chance of Esther’s parse to 80%? I could have removed Multi-Shots completely because the comparison on Multi-Shots should be the same barring any stat differences. So I was just trying to normalize the damage for comparison’s sake. I also did not mention it but I did get 3/3 Windfury procs on each Raptor Strike hit. 1 of which dodged unfortunately and the other two were glancing blows… It could have been a much better parse with some better luck!


    Next up: Golemagg. I chose a parse done by Skinnay because he currently holds the top hunter weaving parses on most if not all bosses from Phase 1 & 2. Since I realized it’d be better to just do boss damage AFTER the fact on the above comparison.. I’ll do just boss damage here as non-boss damage is just from Multi-Shot which again doesn’t change with weaving.

    https://classic.warcraftlogs.com/reports/compare/8krBtqwLYRA9TpMZ/y7tCXhDAYNdmFw6G#fight=32,36&type=damage-done&source=27,20&target=90,84

    For this one I’ll start off by saying the obvious. Skinnay got 0 Quick Shots procs and did not use Rapid Fire at all, compared to that of Catburger’s 2 Quick Shots procs and Rapid Fire. This means essentially at least 3 Auto Shots are missing. Additionally, although Skinnay weaved 5 times, only 3 of them hit due to an unlucky double dodge. This is however still the top melee weaving parse for the most stable fight in MC and I was able to find a parse that is almost identical within the top 10.

    Fig 18. Damage per Ability from the Log

    https://classic.warcraftlogs.com/reports/compare/8krBtqwLYRA9TpMZ/y7tCXhDAYNdmFw6G#fight=32,36&type=casts&source=27,20&view=timeline

    This comparison of the timeline view is pretty similar, though it’s noticeable that one player used haste and the other had none. Skinnay also attempted to use a grenade but missed. The Auto Shot at the end for Skinnay started to cast so if the fight was just 0.5 sec longer he would’ve had another Auto Shot. Nothing else really of note other than Skinnay’s weaving taking a tiny bit longer than usual. With minor speed you can get the run in and out tightened up to around 2.8 seconds versus an average of 3.1 sec here for Skinnay. If you adjust Skinnay’s Crit to be the same % as Catburger this is the result below.

    Fig 19. Damage per Ability with Skinnay’s crit adjusted to match Catburgers

    My last comparison for this fight is as before. I normalized the DPS of each ability to 33% crit as this is the most common world-buffed crit versus bosses. Here we see that Skinnay, even with 2 missed Raptor Strikes and 6 Auto Shots lost, still does about 23 more DPS (733 DPS vs 710 DPS) when the values are normalized to the same crit %. Now if you factor in 3 Auto Shots that Skinnay missed due to no Rapid Fire, no double Quick Shots proc, and factor in the two Raptor Strikes that were dodged, we get the value of 828 DPS for Skinnay. Catburger’s normalized DPS remains 710 because there is nothing really that they could’ve done to improve their parse.

    Fig 20. DPS normalized to 33% crit on all abilities

    What you can take away from this is that even though Skinnay had two dodges on Raptor Strike, and did not use Rapid Fire nor did he have Quick Shots procs, he still would have out-DPS’ed a nearly perfect ranged rotation. When you factor in rng and having Rapid Fire up, you can clearly see a big DPS boost for weaving here with normalized crit % of about 118 DPS.

    Here’s some links as well to hunter parses in the top 10 that are weaving.

    Phase 1+2 MC

    Phase 1+2 Ony

    Phase 3 MC

    Phase 3 BWL

    As you can see, there are top hunter parses that have players weaving now! These rankings reflect the top 10 on each boss for any log that has a Raptor Strike in it. I could compare parse after parse and show why those weaving parses aren’t the top (if they’re not), but the simple fact of the matter is that top parses are dictated by crit luck. Just go look at a warrior’s top parse. 100% crit on nearly everything! Recklessness is a heck of a buff and that’s why warriors are so far ahead of anyone else on parse logs, in addition to having an execute and a big DPS cooldown in Death Wish and Mighty Rage Potions.


    9. Conclusion/TL;DR

    Whether you’re going all out and maximizing weaving to its full potential or just getting an extra hit in once or twice in a fight, melee weaving is added damage. Melee weaving is not for everyone and I don’t recommend that just anyone do it. Even Blizzard made a statement back in the beta when they fixed weaving that it is a high skill cap maneuver! However, if you have the skill, the awareness, and the desire to boost your DPS; melee weaving is for you. I can’t promise that your parses will suddenly be better because fights just don’t last long enough for crit rng to not be the biggest factor. I can promise though that if more than a few hundred people weave you will start to see more and more top parses be Hunters weaving.

    My entire goal from the beginning has always been attempting to shatter the meta because there’s a new playstyle; one that’s fun, engaging, and most of all more DPS. Classic is a melee’s game, so why not bring the melee to your game? Anyways, thanks for reading. I hope you learned something from this and if not, fine, but know this. A few months from now, more and more Hunters will be weaving. Will you?


    10. About me

    A little over a year ago, I really got into playing hunters on pservers. I played hunter most of Wrath/Cata and definitely enjoyed it the most, but it had been awhile since I had played one. I learned classic Hunter and I enjoyed every minute of it, so I wanted to take it further with weaving. It’s been a fun learning experience and I’ve taken so much from it!

    You might not have known, but Hunter in the beta for Classic WoW was actually really bad. There were bugs everywhere, on everything basically. Nearly every aspect of our class did not work right in some way or another, not to mention several animation bugs and sound bugs. I dedicated a ton of time during the summer researching bugs, and with the help of the discord I created a sheet and maintained it to track “Hunter” bugs specifically. After a month or so of doing this I got into the beta and a friend knew someone at Blizzard, so they sent my sheet to them and so began the back and forth between Blizzard and I. After a while, most of the major bugs were gone and I even got them to fix weaving! I worked very hard to bring as best as possible an experience for myself and others.

    The Hunter Classic Discord is ran by me for the most part, and I’ve spent thousands of hours either theorycrafting Hunters, answering questions, or just having fun and learning new things with my fellow Hunters. Join the discord if you’d like to learn more about hunters or ask me some questions in the comments!


    11. Resources

    Hunter Discord: discord.gg/ClassicHunter

    Link to DPS Sim spreadsheet:
    Hunter Classic Theorycraft and DPS Simulator v0.9.5.1

    Link to parse comparison spreadsheet:
    Parse Compare Weaving to Nonweave

    Rotation and Damage Comparison Sheet:
    Rotation Comparison Hunter DPS