Autocasts, Pet Focus and Respecs, Oh My!


One of the things that makes our pets easier to handle is the Autocast functionality. As long as that little sparkly edge is glittering on the button, our pets will cast it every time they’re able. Otherwise we’d have so many buttons to push we’d all just reroll rogue.

But as OutDps pointed out earlier this week, apparently our Autocasts aren’t quite as reliable as they should be. In fact, one could even say there is a delay on the cast. Delays that rob us of well-deserved dps. This, put succinctly, is a problem.

Rarely am I one to simply take information at face value, so last evening I plopped myself down by the Heroic dummy in Orgrimmar and took a couple of logged shots to see the difference firsthand.

While I was at it, I went ahead and tested Wolf vs. Devilsaur again. And then respecced. But I’ll get to that.

First of all, to determine the autocast latency, I used my old Pet Focus spreadsheet to see the lag between my pets’ casts, as well as my pet’s focus effiency. I compared the information from the training dummy against the data from IC on Sunday, just for consistency’s sake as well. What I found was, well, sobering.

Mahrou is casting his Furious Howl once every 30 seconds, a stat that remained the same through three different data sets. His cooldown is 28 seconds, which means there’s a two second delay between casts. This, thankfully, isn’t too terrible. Yes, it’d be ideal for him to be casting every 28 seconds, but when you take other abilities into consideration (as well as focus usage), a two second delay isn’t crippling. Over the course of a 7-minute battle, that would would only mean one extra cast.

Bite, however, is hurting badly. Averaging out the three data sets, Mahrou is using Bite once every 2.5 seconds – a full second longer than the cooldown. Since Bite is his focus dump, the only thing he uses focus on other than Furious Howl (once every 30 seconds, remember), that means his Bite damage is effectively two-thirds of what it could be. For every two casts, he could have cast one extra time.

My only solution to this is the one that OutDps proposed – macroing Bite with other oft-used abilities as well as keeping it on Autocast. Hopefully, by throwing it on with Steady Shot and Arcane Shot, I can force it to activate just a bit more often. I won’t be able to reach the uptime that Autocast should theoretically handle on its own, but it will help.

With that out of the way, it was on to pet comparisons. Mahrou still pulls ahead of Mijikai, sadly. The difference, however, is close enough that it’s nearly negligible. So if you really, really hate Wolves, you should be alright with a Devilsaur. But if you want to maximize your dps, stick with the Wolves. They’re awesome anyway.

Lastly, something I noticed from the pet focus spreadsheet is that my pets are wasting a significant amount of focus. On average, they were only using 50% of all focus gained – meaning that the other 50% is lost to the aether. I can only assume this is due to my crit rating (36% unbuffed) causing far more Go for the Throat procs than initially planned. Since I only have one point in GftT, I yanked a point from Bestial Discipline and fretted over where to put it.

That point is now sitting in Aimed Shot.

I feel kinda dirty. But it’s a dps-increasing dirty (200 dps on the training dummy) so I don’t think I can complain too much. Yet.


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3 Responses to “Autocasts, Pet Focus and Respecs, Oh My!”

  1. Is Your Pet Lagging? « OutDPS! Says:

    […] in deserted areas, but clearly a raid zone is not deserted. Edit: Tchann from Crowd Control has tested and confirmed this data. Thanks […]

  2. Ambrosine Says:

    If my Devilsaur had a middle finger he’d totally give it to wolves. Totally. I mean wolves are okay but just not as loltastic as an oversized dino….

    That said, I need to sit down and do some number crunching and maybe contemplate being friends with Aimed Shot again, myself…

    • Tchann Says:

      Ha – I’m totally a wolf girl. Mahrou was Tchann’s very first pet, all the way back at level 10 (he was level 8). She’s prone to wearing a wolf mask whenever she’s not in raiding gear. 🙂

      I got hooked on devilsaur when they became the top dps pet. It was just too amazingly fun to hit my BW macro and see Mijikai grow to nearly the size of the boss! I’d really have no problem if devilsaur were to go back on top again, but for the moment I’m enjoying having my favorite pet by my side once more. 🙂

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