I mentioned towards the end of my last post that I would be switching my Hunter from Skinning to Engineering. Well the little caveat I made about not gimping myself turned out to be pretty important. I had a brief Twitter conversation with Fiest the Rogue. If you care about high end PVE raiding, you need to be following @FiesttheRogue. He is a tremendous resource and very helpful. He gave me a link to an EJ article and explained to me that for melee DPS and Hunters Engineering is not competitive with what is provided by the other professions. Its fantastic for casters apparently, but I'm not a caster.
Other classes can get equal STR or INT to the AGI you see here. Tanks have the option for Stamina.
Alchemy - mixology (longer, better flasks), Alchemist Stone (special trinket - Mastery), and Flask of Enhancement (special flask +80 AGI)
Blacksmithing - socket bracers, gloves (2 extra gems ~=+80 AGI)
Enchanting - Ring Enchants (AGI to two rings ~= 80 AGI)
Inscription - Special Shoulder Enchants (+80 AGI over the reputation enchant)
Jewelcrafting - JC only gem (+27 AGI over a regular gem, use 3 = 81 AGI)
Leatherworking - Bracer enchant (+130 AGI)
Tailoring - Cloak enchant proc 800 AP for 15 seconds
Herbalism - 480 Haste (2 minute cooldown)
Mining (120 Stam)
Skinning - 80 Crit
Engineering - i359 Epic Helm (equal stats to a Raid Drop), Engineering only gems (provide secondary stats like Mastery, hit, Crit) - only go into Engy heads, Absorb shield belt enchant, Armor to Gloves, Healing potion on gloves (may or may not activate the potion cooldown), INT to gloves (12 sec dur, 1 min cd), Nature damage to gloves (2 min cooldown), increase effect of mana pots to gloves, Loot-A-Rang (loot at a distance), Goblin Barbeque (puts out the equivelent of a Cataclysm fish feast).
The profession bonus for Cataclysm looks to be around 80 agility for Hunters. This is what Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Inscription, and Jewelcrafting give you. (Let's not quibble over 1 additional AGI that Jewelcrafting gets).
With my current crop of 80s I have Jewelcrafting(Paladin), Enchanting (Warrior), and Leatherworking (Druid) covered. I can also mine (Warrior/Paladin) and Skin (Druid). Both of my Hunters professions (Skin/Mine) are well covered. I'm not looking to create an industry, so doubling up on a profession I already have isn't the worse thing I could do.
Ranking the gathering professions for Hunters for best to worse it would go Herbalism, Skinning, and Mining, but none are good. I do like all my toons to have at least one gathering profession to be self supporting. I just don't have the playtime, especially early in an expansion to have the farmer run out and try to gather mats for the producer. I tried it in Wrath when Honors was still Engineering/Jewelcrafting and I used my Hunter to mine for him. I think it was part of what slowed down Honors so much from getting to the cap.This is a trade off I'm wiling to make.
I would really like to have Engineering on my Hunter, so I want to see what the difference really is. If we take the DPS Glove enchant, Tazik Shocker, we see it can do 4320 to 5280 Nature damage on a 2 minute cooldown. If we used nothing else, and take the low number of 4320 damage (ignoring that it could be buffed by spell damage taken debuffs), it would give us a DPS of 36dps. The high number gives us 44 DPS. Yeah, not impressed.
But how much DPS do we really get out of 80 AGI?
Well, I decided to do a little experiment. I’ve discovered if you want some ‘alone time’ with the dummies, you go to Silvermoon, so off to Silvermoon I went. I got au natural and fired away with just autoshots for five minutes (easily timed with the Rapid Fire cooldown). Then I put on the Webspinner Boots of Agility (+78 AGI). The next step was to bang away again for five more minutes.
First up is my Naked DPS, and the breakdown.
Now I equipped the boots.
And I did the next round of tests. I was Survival for both tests.
The DPS went up by about 8DPS, and that is with 2 less misses. The average shot went up by 20 damage. Remember we get 36 to 44DPS from the Engineering glove enchant.
From this I can conclude that Engineering is actually a DPS increase over the other professions. This result was very surprising to me. Can you see anything I did wrong in the experiment? Is there another explanation for what is going on here? What do you think?
I think I’m rerolling Engineer.