Hit Rating

Hit Rating overdoneThis is a topic I’ve covered many times in the past, but I feel compelled to revisit it today. Why, you ask..?

It’s been brought to my attention that many hunters these days are grossly exceeding the hit cap, and therefore are wasting precious DPS. I figure this is due to a few reasons…

  1. The misunderstanding of what hit rating is, and being unaware of how much is actually needed.
  2. The allure of higher ilvl shinies.

Hit rating increases your chances of “not missing” when attacking enemy mobs or players. All players have a built in mechanic which causes them to miss 5% of the time when facing mobs or opponents of the same level. This “miss chance” is increased by one percent for each level beyond that. Therefore, level 83 raid bosses have an 8% chance to be missed when attacked by a hunter with a ranged ability.

So how do we combat this chance to miss, and ensure that we’re always hitting with our shots..?

Hit rating.

To be hit capped as a hunter, you need an 8% increased chance to hit after talents and buffs.

Broken down, that means 5% hit rating to cancel out the default miss ratio, plus another 3% to account for the additional three levels when dealing with a raid or heroic boss.

Hit Rating via Gear

This 8% can be obtained through a variety of ways, including gear, gems and enchants. In order to reach an 8% increased chance to hit, you need 263 hit rating. This translates into roughly 33 hit rating per one percent increased hit chance.

Focused Aim

To reduce the amount of hit rating needed via gear, hunters have a talent called Focused Aim, which grants a 1% additional chance to hit for each point spent. In other words, each point in this talent is similar to adding 33 hit rating. A hunter with 3/3 in Focused Aim can reduce the amount of hit rating needed down to 165 hit rating. 3% through talents and the other five through itemization.

Heroic Presence

Draenei have a racial ability called Heroic Presence which provides a passive +1% increased chance to hit for the entire raid. So by default, if you’re a Draenei hunter, you only need 7% added hit to be capped.

If you are betting on the fact that your group will always have Heroic Presence, then you could theoretically run with only 7% hit regardless of your class. However, you’d better have some alternate gear pieces, hit rating food, or some Elixirs of Accuracy to chug in the event that your group finds itself sans Space Goats.

If you’re in a hard core progressive raiding guild you could probably afford to run with 7% hit and allocate points elsewhere for more DPS. For the rest of us though, 8% is the best bet and will ensure zero misses from range.

Once you reach an 8% increased chance to hit, either through gear, talents or buffs, anything beyond that number is useless.

Mark of Supremacy

Mark of SupremacyApart from hunters simply lacking an understanding of the mechanics of hit rating, I think the factor that’s most to blame in the case of overstacked hit, is a player’s desire to boost their gear score, ie: The Mark of Supremacy Epidemic.

Often times players see a higher ilvl and think, Upgrade! They don’t stop to consider stat weights. Nothing is more evident of this fact than the amount of over hit capped hunters running around with a Mark of Supremacy. Players assume that because it’s an ilvl 245 trinket, that it’s a DPS upgrade. Not always. In fact, in every single one of my hunter DPS deficient diagnoses, The Mark of Supremacy was responsible for a DPS loss.

When a hunter who’s over the hit cap then tosses on a Mark of Supremacy, all he or she gains from it is the on-use buff. The passive buff is completely wasted.

Using my current armory as a test bed (5.6K GS w/ 264 hit rating), I compared two very easily obtainable ilvl 200 trinkets (Mirror of Truth & Banner of Victory) to the ilvl 245 Mark of Supremacy. Both trinkets offered gains from 83-91DPS, with the Mirror of Truth being slightly higher.

In short, unless you need the hit rating that this trinket provides, and most hunters do not, trade down and spend your emblems on a MoT.

Good trinkets are perhaps the most difficult piece of gear to obtain in the game, so it’s no surprise that players would be compelled to purchase an easily obtainable ilvl 245 one when given the opportunity. However, it’s a perfect example of why “upgrade” is a relative term.

Gear Score

With the introduction of GearScore as a qualifier for raid invites, epeen stroking, etc… the desire to bolster that has gone near out of control. Here is an example…

Some weeks back I ran a 25 man ICC with my guild, in which two huge hunter items dropped (Wodin’s and the Snowserpent Helm), both of them very nice upgrades for me. Being that I only get to raid a handful of times per month, and because my guild uses a DKP system, I typically don’t have a lot of DKP to spend and tend to do so sparingly. Due to this fact, I surrendered on both items to another hunter in our guild who was bound and determined to outbid everyone in the raid. His reason for this, was because he wanted to reinforce his foothold as top gear score in the guild.

Being that I’m an officer, elder statesman, top dps, and beloved member of our guild 😉 , his greed was met with some contention by the other officers. There was also no doubt that I’d contribute more raid DPS with those items than he would, however he had the DKP to blow, so he blew it.

Afterwards, one of our officers asked on vent, “do you even need all that hit rating..?!”. The hunter, we’ll refer to him as “jackass” out of respect for his privacy, didn’t respond.

After the raid, I pulled him up in the armory for curiosity’s sake and was shocked to see that he was rolling with an absurd 558 hit rating. That meant he was wasting nearly 300 stat points, which could have been netting him a ton more DPS had he been more selective with his “upgrades”, and not been greedily outbidding others simply due to ilvl and gear score.

This hunter had me trumped by quite a bit as far as gear was concerned, yet we always ran neck and neck in terms of DPS, with me typically edging past him on most fights. Execution I’m sure had some part to play in that, but no doubt his poor itemization was a factor as well. I speak of him in the past tense, as he is no longer with us. 😉 Perhaps he’s learned a thing or two, because when querying his present armory, I find that he’s now running with a more efficient 428 hit. 🙄

In closing, be mindful of hit rating when looking at upgrades. If you’re in an ICC25 PuG (god help you) where a really nice ilvl 264 piece drops, by all means roll on it if you could use it. However, it may not be worth equipping just yet, if it’s main benefit is added hit. Yet in the event of a guild run, you should probably refrain from bidding or rolling against fellow guildies who actually need the hit on the drop you’re competing for.

The moral of the story… just because the item has a higher gear score, doesn’t always mean it’s an upgrade.

That’s all for today! See you next time… 😀

39 thoughts on “Hit Rating”

  1. Here’s a quick question. I have the MoS trink and the Needle Encrusted Scorpion. Should I trade down and get the MoT to replace MoS and then gem for the rest of the Hit I need?
    I think with my Gear right now I’ll have to have 40 in gem hit to meet the cap.
    Think I’m going to go ahead and get the Herkuml War Token trink pretty soon so which would I want to drop then the NES or the MoT as a Survival Hunt?

    Guess that wasn’t really a quick question huh?
    Sorry, I know you’re not some Hunter Personal Fitness Trainer but I can see you’re pretty knowledgeable so thought I’d ask. Thanks for the help.

  2. Wow. Just read this and found the answer to a few questions I’ve had for awhile, like why is my DPS lower than it should be?

    This was very helpful, thank you.

  3. I have a hit rating of somewhere around 360… and my trinkets and rings, (gs score between 88 and 150) are in serious need of upgrade… I’ve been drooling over MoS because of the HT, and because of the gs increase. My question is, should I focus on my hit rating still? even though the cap is at 260… or should I opt for MoT and BoV and concentrate on my dps? A lot of people in my guild are telling me that I should focus on my ht which makes this article both helpful but also more confusing. The funny thing is is that this article called into question my two main concerns… I was just about to buy MoS. Thanks for the helpful article, this really made me take the blinders off and look at things differently.

  4. I actually have the opposite problem at the moment, after replacing my Helm of the Silver Ranger for the t10 helm. I find that I’m indeed hit-starved, and am actually under hit cap without Mark of Supremacy equipped. Of course, before I changed my helm, I had something crazy like 12% hit, not including talents or buffs. Having also recently respec’d out of Focused Aim in exchange for the 3% damage buff on Serpent Sting (and loving the extra DPS), I’m terrified I’ll get Whispering Fanged Skull or DV/DBW out of some PuG and be unable to use it. I obviously need to get Carapace of Forgotten Kings or some other hit-heavy chest to replace my current one, but…. Any suggestions?

    Therosh, Medivh

  5. hmm.. iseem to have the over hit capped problem myself, I just resently started playing my hunter,picking him up after neglecting him since Naxx.. in like barely a 4k skillscore i managed to put out 4kish dps in ToC pugs and rapidly brought my score up to an comfortable 5k.. now i pull about 6.5k dps in ICC but my hit is at 487… Like every peice of gear that has dropped for me in ToC and ICC has had copious amount of hit,, even tho they were hge upgrades for me.. so now, im looking for a way to drop a butload of hit.. fingers crossed for drops?

  6. I am guilty of having that trinket on my char for logouts also, with the GS mod out there and people on the general server being *ahem* jerks about it as a dps I am left no choice. But, that don’t mean I don’t change out the trinket as soon as I get into the group and get going on pulls. It is unfortunate that the wow community has come down to this instead of letting people’s performance be judged. I really wish they would take out the trinket section all together in GS if they insist on the necessity of it because some of us just aren’t that lucky with drops, I run to this day HFoS and ToC norm Every Day. Seen them drop rarely and have yet to win it when they do. And my ICC 10 has only had one trinket drop off the gunship air battle. I rolled a 2. Curse RNG! xD

  7. To be fair, 3.3 introduced a TON of +hit gear. With both our best non-raid weapon available, Whale-Stick Harpoon giving boatloads of hit rating, and Mark of Supremacy even more accessible than it was previously, it’s no wonder we were swimming in hit rating.

    • I won’t argue that. Upgrades are slathered in it.

      My point still stands though, higher ilvl doesn’t always translate to more DPS. Stats do however.

      WSH is a bit irrelevant though, becasue it’s a lvl 76 blue item designed to help pre-heroic hunters reach the hit cap. It’s a great weapon for that level, but it’s highly doubtful that anyone with enough emblems to purchase MoS would still be equipping that as a 2H.

      Believe me… I wouldn’t criticize anyone in-game for going over hit cap, it’s just not my style. Most players are pretty casual and see an upgrade as an upgrade. Like you said, it’s almost hard not to be over cap these days. I just wanted to shed a little light on a subject that I felt needed a little light being shed upon it. 😉

  8. …also, you have heard of Scorpid Sting and Insects (druid).

    Imagine a 3v3 setup against BE Hunter with scorpid sting on you, Druid that casts insects on you, and a BE paladin hitting you in melee. Try not to miss 🙂

    • I understand what you’re saying, but going beyond a 6% increased chance to hit for PvP is not worth it. 5% is necessary, 6% is a good idea, but anything beyond that is not. 190-200 hit for PvP is plenty, with 165 being an acceptable minimum.

      Stack another more important stat such as crit. Crit is useful against all players, where as a hit chance above 6% is situational.

      Spell hit for traps? I’m assuming you mean spell pen..? Spell pen doesn’t affect traps.

  9. Hunters above the theoritical hit cap are often met, not only because they are stupid and dont realise the proper number and mechanics.

    There are hunters that are aware of the PVP element of chance to miss – Talents of other players. Most of the Blood Elves, Rogues and Paladins have talents that reduce YOUR hit chance as a hunter. That is why hunters are above theyr maximum. You can always miss even with 300 hit rating. Consider fighting against BE retri Paladin!
    Divine Purpose – reduces chance to be hit by 4%
    BE – recudes chance to be hit by spells – 2% (traps issue perhaps)

  10. I am lucky to raid alliance and use hit food to cap me then I can eat the fish when i do get a

    I find with 3 sources of hit Wodens necklace 38 + tier 10 gloves 63 + exalted ring which is 59 Gives me at total of 160 hit
    Now if i pop a 10 agility 10 hit gem in Wodens for set bonus I should be perfect well 5 points over until I get the 277 gloves then i can pull out the 10 hit gem

  11. What if my hit is not that far over the cap with MoS, or not over at all? Is it more worthwhile to sacrifice item stats for hit or trinket stats for hit? ive heard from some that i should never gem hit..is that a correct suggestion?

    • If MoS gets you to the hit cap, or just over it, then I’d say it’s a fine choice.

      You’re correct on the gemming for hit issue. Avoid it if at all possible. If you need all of the hit that’s on MoS, by all means use it.

  12. “FemaleDwarf.com is all any hunter needs to know”

    This. I don’t make any changes to my spec, gear or glyphs until I’ve plugged it in at femaledwarf to see how it affects my theoretical dps.

  13. What about keeping hit trinkets and gemming for agility or other useful stats? Is there really a difference? My understanding is that if you reach the hit cap on gear, then gem something other than hit, but if you’re not hit capped on gear, gem for hit until you are. Is that correct?

  14. I also suspect some people use the MaxDPS website for quick reference on top DPS gear. On the surface, this isn’t a big deal but, if you don’t actually import your toon data from the armory first, it defaults to something like 150 hit rating. With that rating, it’s always going to show items with +hit higher on the list as “max dps” which would be incorrect if you are at or over hit cap to begin with.

  15. Great post. I see a lot of other hunters in my guild way over hit cap as well.

    It’s funny though, when raiding T9 content, I had more hit rating than I know what to do with on my gear. The thought of buying a MoS seemed ludicrous. Now that I’m upgrading to ICC gear, most of my hit rating has disappeared. I’m having to wear a hit rating trinket just to get up to cap.

  16. I’m totally guilty of the brainless iLevel worship, largely because of the culture of my server. If your GS isn’t up to snuff, you don’t get invited to the weekly (even if it’s in Naxx or Ulduar, ffs). I’ve gotten into the habit of switching in my Mark of Supremacy before logging out so that wtfismygearscore.com shows my epeen all swollen and throbbing.


    • That’s pretty funny Qonaan. Thanks for the link too. First time I’ve actually heard of that site. It’s a bazillion times faster than wow-heroes, if all you need is a quick reference number.

  17. Garwulf,

    It’s absolutely amazing how few people understand how hit rating works. Hit is our top stat, but only until we hit the cap – but many hunters choose to ignore that. I can’t tell you why, I don’t have any special insight – but perhaps this isn’t just pure jackassery, but honest confusion? I’ll be glad when Cataclysm drops and we have a few fewer hard caps and soft caps and diminishing returns to worry about.

    • Mavrande,

      I think in some cases it’s hard to avoid being over the cap, simply due to how many ilvl 264 goodies are being dispensed in ICC with hit on them. I don’t fault people for that.

      I just feel as if some hunters seem to feel as if “more is better” in terms of hit, and are unaware that it actually has a hard cap, unlike a stat such as haste.

      I agree with you on the Cataclysm change. I like the idea of simplifying our stats. Getting used to the new mechanics, reworked talent trees, etc…, will be enough to worry about.

  18. The problem with MoS can actually work the OTHER way, as well. Because so many hunters use it while exceeding the hit cap, many people assume that any hunter rolling with it is a n00b. My hunter uses MoS and, with it, has a hit rating about 30 points over the cap. However, using the MoS let me swap out EVERY SINGLE hit gem and chant for DPS ones. My DPS is increased because of this. When I get inspected by random jerks in VOA or heroics, though, I have to suffer through the whole “L2P, n00b! MoS suxx! You’re over the hit cap, you know,” line of BS. I think people need to understand that not everyone has access to ICC gear that has mega-amounts of increased hit which, thusly, makes MoS obsolete. When you can actually make use of the hit, its an awesome trinket.

    • lawman30,

      Believe me, I’d been hoping I’d get a few upgrades without hit so that I’d be able to buy that trinket. There’s just so much of it though, that it’s hard to get away from. If your gear set is lacking in hit, then MoS isn’t a bad way to go, as it provides a huge chunk.

      I’m not poo-poo’ing the trinket in general, I’m just trying to dispel the myth that it’s always an upgrade. It is for some, just not all.

      • Gar,

        I totally get that you’re not poo-pooing MoS. Your piece was very clear in explaining the whys and the what-fors regarding MoS. Perhaps I wasn’t being as clear myself, though. Because there is SO much hit on MoS and because many hunters are SO far over the cap and because SO many people think they know everything about everyon else’s class…some people just see MoS on a hunter, see that the hunter is over the cap and commence with the n00b bashing.

        In my case, if people even bothered to subtract the hit from MoS from my total hit they would see that I would be grossly UNDER the cap without it. Perhaps my case is the rare case of a hunter using MoS for its bonus AND the hit. I don’t know. I just know that many people see it and cry “n00b” and I hate those people. I’m damn near ready to make a macro response defending why I wear it. =P

  19. Raises hand due to being guilty of forgetting to dump the trinket once the Hit factor was no longer needed. Without out it I am still over the needed 230 rating for myself.

    I do like the on demand AP boost for boss fights and is the most logical reason I kept it equipped. However, I do have Coren’s Chromium Coaster sitting in the bank which is the MoT twin.

    • The on-use effect is nice, but losing the passive bonus is just too much to sacrifice. Also, if you have luck like I do often times, you’ll get CC’d somehow right as you blow that cooldown. 😉 It’s always fun being the random person selected from the raid and CC’d in some way just as you blow your cooldowns. 🙁

      • I changed over to Coren’s Chromium Coaster. I got an overall DPS boost. I even hit a 10k volley crit in Heroic Nexus. That was hilarious. I think high 8s is what I was averaging before.

        I had MoS macroed in with hunter’s mark so I did manage to use it at least 95% of the time. The AP conversion to the pet made people in BGs hate me.

        ilevel 200 vs. iLevel 245…the iLevel 200 trinket proves it’s worth.

        Thanks for the knowledge and reminder.

  20. An excellent way to get your guild membership denied is to have 10 – 11% hit and a Mark of Supremacy equipped. Unfortunately I find this issue on a large amount of applicants each week.

  21. Excellent post Gar. I’ve been pondering the problem of how WoW almost demands you be a mathematician in order to play better, and this is a perfect illustration. We need a better in-game way for people to identify upgrades/sidegrades/downgrades. As you’ve shown, the higher numbers = better approach is prone to failure, yet it is the most common decision point for even experienced players.

  22. I see this all the time on other hunters. Gear score is a driving factor for way too many people. I was using MoT until just tonight when I broke down and bought Herkuml War Token because I’ve lost way too many rolls on better trinkets.

  23. Great post with alot of excellent info. I’m hoping that hunter reads your post……and also the one in your guild that is dual weilding berserker!!!


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