I had a shower moment this morning. The shower is where I get all my best ideas, like 'oo, I should start a blog', and 'does conditioner work on pubes?'. This time it was about hit. Because Merlot has been locked in a wrestling match with hit since Naxxramas and is growing weary of it.
Hit is, by far and away, the most valuable stat to any caster dps — but you can easily amass enough of it to guarantee every single spell will land. All hit beyond that point is worthless, which is why Merlot, and probably most other casters of at least Ulduar level, burn considerable calories fretting over how to maintain but not exceed that magic balance.
The aim is to get as much hit as possible on as few items as possible — but that's a lot easier said than done. You may be forced to equip items that are of poorer quality, or even pass on upgrades that would result in too much of a hit loss. This is what gives rise to the popular feeling that hit is deadweight, the anvil of stats, constantly holding you back from bigger and better dee pee ess. Which is a shame, because it's a real trooper right up until the cap.
I'm about 40 points over the soft cap at the moment (allowing for misery). I can swap out hit gear, but the alternatives I have access to are inferior even accounting for the hit. I could swap out gems and enchants, but at the rate of gear turnover that option gets prohibitively expensive. Or I could start to spec out of shadow focus, but there are really no alternative talents that would increase my dps by any meaningful amount. So for now, I'm stuck.
For frequent raiders with a constant stream of new item options this might not be that annoying, but for a casual raider like myself who may get to roll on only one upgrade a week, it's a pain in the arse.
But as the hot water washed over me and I got shampoo in my eye, the solution came to me. Two, in fact.
First, I thought, we could change the goalposts. It feels wrong that the gulf between heroics and your first raid should be so large, while the amount of hit you should need in an entry-level raid is the same as the amount required against the ultimate badass of the expansion. Someone once decided all heroic bosses should be two levels above, while raid bosses should be three, but these are arbitrary checkpoints.
What if the level between you and a raid boss increased every tier, but the hit requirement increased more smoothly? This would ensure that we continued to prize hit on all gear as we progressed, and not come to see it as something distasteful to avoid wherever possible.
This would also have the advantage of reining in stat inflation in tank avoidance and prevent other combat mechanics like armor penetration from getting out of hand.
If that seems distasteful to you, I had another more radical solution. What if hit didn't affect the chance to land a spell, but the damage that spell does? So all spells have a hundred per cent chance to land (before resistances), but the damage they do relative to a target's level is modified by the caster's hit rating. Hit instantly becomes a desirable stat regardless of your hit level. Maybe there's a hit cap, maybe the effectiveness of hit diminishes at high levels, who knows. But in principle, it could work, right?
I know neither of these ideas will float, but it's nice to dream. For a few minutes there, while my conditioner got to work, I stopped fuming about my hit problem and imagined a world with one less thing to worry about.
Then the water ran cold and I reverted back to my rest state of nerd rage. And now I'm back to planning some gear upgrades that won't drop me below the cap.
Bitten off more than I can chew
1 day ago