Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Hit Rating and Dual-Wielders

One very common question is how much hit rating does a dual-wielding character need? My Hit Caps Guide only lists the actual cap, and doesn't address whether going for the cap is a good idea or not.

Basically, after you reach 9%, hit rating only affects a portion of your damage. However, hit rating is cheaper than crit rating. So how does that balance out?

It depends on how much white damage you do. As a general rule, with the current costs of hit and crit rating, you need about 65-70% of your damage to come from auto-attacks for hit rating to outweigh crit rating. However, you also have to take into account special abilities that may come from white hits.

Baseline, most melee classes get about 50% of their damage from auto-attack (white damage) and 50% from specials (yellow damage). Each class does have unique aspects though. Please note that you must get at least 9% hit so your specials never miss. This really concerns the range from 9% to 28%.


The most powerful finisher is Slice and Dice, which speeds up auto-attacks by 30% (equivalent to increasing auto-attack damage by 30%). This pushes rogues into the range where hit rating becomes worthwhile. Additionally, Combat rogues get extra energy from off-hand strikes, through Combat Potency, making it additionally important that their white attacks hit.

Thus the accepted wisdom for rogues, especially combat rogues, is to try and reach the hit rating cap, choosing equal values of hit over crit.


Fury warriors often use Heroic Strike, which converts your next white attack into a special, using the miss rate for specials. This actually pushes the proportion of white damage down, and makes crit a better option.

Auto-attacks do provide rage, so hit rating shouldn't be completely scoffed at. Don't go out of the way to pick up hit rating, but most warriors tend to have a bit more than the minimum.


Enhancement Shamans again have about 50% of their damage coming from auto-attack. However, unlike warriors and rogues, shamans don't get rage or energy from their white attacks. The only other consideration is Windfury, which procs off auto-attacks. Windfury has an internal cooldown, however, so hitting more often does not really increase the number of procs.

So shamans are generally safe in ignoring extra hit rating and going for crit rating and attack power.


No. Just No.


  1. But...I'm a DW melee Hunter!

  2. I don't think it will change the conclusion, but isn't it worth mentioning that an enhancement shaman actually regenerates mana from white damage 25% of the time? (Shamanistic rage, top talent in enhancement tree).

  3. syrien, That's a good point and something to keep in mind. However, I don't think it changes the conclusion.

  4. As an enhance sham, the mana return from SR doesn't really factor in to the decision about hit (the mana back also scales with your AP, and less hit (should) mean more AP. but more importantly, we're now so mana efficient, our mana pools so small, and SR regen so good that a reasonably geared raiding enhance will refill his mana bar regardless).

    You're right that Hit is valued lower for shams that for rogues/wars. However it's primarily due to the fact that our yellow damage (SS and WF) is a significant, 35-40%, part of our dps and can be hit capped with talents. So while AP/Crit still effect most if not all of our attacks, hit will only be effecting perhaps half that.

  5. You're not seriously suggesting that hit rating is not important to hunters are you?

    Definitely not trying to troll your blog, but in general 142 (their hit cap) is fairly easy to obtain, even pre-kara and point for point is the easiest way to increase their DPS.

    Should they totally gimp RAP and Crit to achieve 142? No, but they should definitely be striving to get to 142 as quickly as they can and then bring up the other items.

  6. matt, this post concerns hit rating greater than 9% or 142 hit rating for melee dual-wielding. The hunter part was tongue-in-cheek.

    I completely agree that all characters should get at least 9% hit rating so that their special attacks always hit.

  7. "matt, this post concerns hit rating greater than 9% or 142 hit rating for melee dual-wielding. The hunter part was tongue-in-cheek.

    I completely agree that all characters should get at least 9% hit rating so that their special attacks always hit.

    Sorry for the nitpicking, but 9% (142 hit rating) isn't only the hitcap for specials it is also the hit cap for the attacks with 2h weapons (inkl. ranged weapons) and mainhands.

    IMHO your conclusion is a bit flawed in regarding to Fury-DW-Builds. True the ultimate goal of a dw build is to maintain the rotation of bloodthirst & whirlwind as soon as the CD is up again and to have rampage on 5 stacks up all the time as well as the battle shout. If you have additional rage to spend you use HS as a rage dump or maybe cleave if you have an additional target in range or if you have to keep a lower profile beacuse of threat issues.
    But I think the is the reason why you want to have a balnced build up of your hit and crit. Because HS will reduce your rage gain you want to maximize the rage gain via teh offhand and therefore the offhand has to hit as often as it can.

  8. I must make a clarification.

    You say that SnD +30% speed means that rogues' white damage is increased by 30%.

    AFAIK that is not exactly true.

    The white DPS supplied by the weapons (the base DPS) is increased by 30%.

    The white DPS supplied by AP does not get increased. It will still be 1 DPS per 14 AP.

    So it's only a part of your white damage which gets a buff.

  9. so how does increasing expertise impact your chance to NOT miss and the relative hit rating you need? Does it impact only dodge? or dodge and miss?

  10. galladan, as far as I know, melee haste applies to the AP as well as to the base weapon damage. That's why it's so useful.

    anonymous, basically the attack table has different parts: crit, hit, glancing blows, misses, dodges, parries. Each of these types of stats increases one part of the table and decreases another part.

    1% Hit Rating = +1% Hit, -1% Miss

    It does not affect the amount of crit, dodge, parry, etc. on the table.

    1% Crit = +1% Crit, -1% Hit

    4 Expertise (from front) = +2% Hit, -1% Dodge, -1% Parry

    4 Expertise (from back) = +1% hit, -1% Dodge

  11. Great thread. Just to clarify a couple of points above:-
    1. Haste rating increases your DPS by factoring down your weapon speed. You can see this on your melee abilities tab. (white damage range = weapon damage range plus AP/14 x BASE weapon speed).
    Actual DPS = (min damage + max damage)/(2 x ACTUAL [i.e. haste rated] weapon speed). Thus the DPS from AP becomes AP*base speed/(14*actual speed).

    2. 1% hit rating does not equal +1% hit, -1% miss. In fact it simply reduces the miss% by 1% and redistributes that percentage amongst all the other options (hit, crit, dodge, parry, block, glancing) according to the mob's attributes (i.e. whether it has a shield, whether you are behind it etc.)

  12. Um........ You left out a class there...

  13. AUGH L2read >< "Hit Rating and Dual-Wielders"

    Nvm :P excuse the post above, gonna go get some coffee.