Focusing on Focus

I like math.

Each problem is a little puzzle to figure out, something to work on and solve to discover the answer. Simple math, even somewhat more complex math, is something I throw myself into. But the complicated stuff? Yeah, I leave that to the people who are crazy about it.

But for my own small amount of crazy, I come up with stuff like this.

I cracked open a brand new spreadsheet and threw a few of my pet, Mijikai’s, abilities onto it for reference: Monstrous Bite, Bite, and Charge. I didn’t look at most of her Ferocity tree talents because they don’t take focus and are being moved off the global cooldown.

Then, starting from second 1, I went through what Mijikai would theoretically be casting with my current spec. I realized right away that the point in Dash should probably be yanked and put somewhere more effective, since Charge will take care of getting her to the mob in the first place (with better results). So Dash will be gone as soon as I can get to a pet trainer.

I went through thirty seconds of theoretical attacks on Mijikai before my attention span gave up and wandered towards flaming bunnies. Then I jump-started it to redo the thirty-second chart for every combination of Bestial Discipline and Go for the Throat that I could think of. Then I actually did some of the work I’m paid for before tallying up the results.

My concern that spurred all this on was a fear that Mijikai was focus-starved, which was hurting her dps. I noticed far too often in fights that her focus bar was sadly low – not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, but definitely something to look into nonetheless.

A problem I ran into with working the numbers with Go for the Throat was that it’s based off my ranged criticals. I have a low crit chance right now, just over 17%, but that’s something that will get better with gear. I decided to err on the side of smaller numbers and list Go for the Throat as occurring once every 10 seconds – with an Auto/Steady rotation, one crit every ten seconds is a safe assumption.

So in total, the focus sources are the standard focus regen every 4 seconds (24 base, 36 with BD 1/2), 48 with BD 2/2), and the GftT once every 10 seconds (25 at 1/2, 50 at 2/2).

Me and Mijikai as-are ended up looking something like this, for a theoretical 30-second slice of time:

Charge
Monstrous Bite
Focus Regen
Bite x 3
Focus Regen
Bite
Monstrous Bite
Focus Regen
Bite x 2
Focus Regen
Bite
Monstrous Bite
Focus Regen
Bite x 2
Focus Regen
Monstrous Bite
Bite
Focus Regen
Bite x 2

After the first couple seconds, she falls into a pattern of hitting twice with special attacks, then waiting for a focus regen so she can resume. This explains why I noticed her focus bar so low so often – she’s not necessarily focus starved, per se, but she’s definitely hungry.

In thirty seconds, a spec with only BD at 2/2 garners me 12 Bites. But I played this whole scenario out with each combination of talents, so I ended up with the following:

GftT 2/2 – 10 Bites
BD 1/2, GftT 1/2 – 11 Bites¹
BD 2/2 – 12 Bites
BD 2/2, GftT 1/2 – 14 Bites
BD 2/2, GftT 2/2 – 15 Bites²
BD 1/2, GftT 2/2 – 15 Bites³

¹Not only was this spec on the low-end of the Bite charts, but it also put off the third Monstrous Bite until 20 seconds in. All the others placed it at 17.5 seconds, meaning that this spec was almost three seconds slower in maximizing Monstrous Bite’s damage buff, and could potentially keep it from getting refreshed in case of a bad situation.

²Since focus caps out at 100, any focus generation that goes over 100 is therefore wasted. This spec had 20 wasted focus, and ³ had 17 wasted focus.

Lastly, all these specs had Monstrous Bite cast four times in 30 seconds, getting the maximum dps buff (9%) up and refreshed as a good start to the rest of the fight.

So what does all this mean? It means that if Mijikai needs more focus, and I get enough hit to yank a point from Focused Aim, I’m going to go ahead and toss it into Go for the Throat. I probably won’t put any more than one point into the talent, however, since an increasing crit rate would probably result in even more wasted focus, thus wasting that point. With two points in BD and one in GftT I should be good to go, especially once my crit gets over 20%.  If it climbs to insane levels I might re-evaluate putting just two points in GftT and leaving it at that – but that’s a calculation for another day.

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