Its the one stat that is uncompromising.
It is the one stat that has very little wiggle room when discussing balance and a well rounded toon.
For a Hunter under the hit cap, its the single most important stat we've got.
Some may debate that as you get very close to the Hit cap, other stats will give you a bigger DPS boost point-for-point, while others claim that missing even a single shot is unacceptable since you can't control which shot will miss, and Murphy's Law guarantees that the one shot you do miss will be the Tranq shot that would have saved the raid from a wipe.
Regardless of which camp you're in, I think we all can agree that understanding and gearing around Hit Rating is important.
Spent Tuesday night prior to the raid gemming and enchanting a few pieces of gear. Solid upgrades over the gear they replaced, however there was a dramatic drop off in Hit Rating.
Got that all squared away, reached 1 point above what I'm considering to be my Hit Cap, and didn't miss a single shot during the raid.
Was happily granted two epic upgrades during the raid. Neither of which have any +hit, and both of which replace items that're chock full of +hit.
So its back to square one.
What follows is a recap of my specific experience trying to keep my specific gear and my specific talents of my specific toon at the hit cap as my gear changes. It's some pretty specific details pertaining to my specific situation, so if that bores you, maybe I'll write up another quickies post you can skip to :-P
Lets explore some of the factors
1) 9% or 8% ? - When WotLK came out, people thought that a level 80 toon had a 9% chance to miss against a level 83 boss mob. Now, some people think its 8%. Lots of "im-right-ur-wrong-l2p" argument ensues, which is fun to watch.
2) 8% - Amava officially recognizes the chance to miss as 8%. I've geared around an 8% chance to miss for 4 raids now, and haven't missed a shot yet. That doesn't mean its definitive, because that random 1% might be hiding in there somewhere, but I'm sticking to an 8% number.
3) Here kitty kitty kitty - Here's where it gets tricky. Your pet benefits from your hit rating now. Yay, we can help our pets miss less, and up their DPS. However, your pet gets the benefit in WHOLE NUMBER INCREMENTS, ROUNDING DOWN. That is to say, if you gear yourself so you'll be at 7.99%, your pet will be at 7%.
4) America's Got Talent - Verah low in the MM tree is Focused Aim which looks excellent in that each point reduces the chance to miss by 1%. However, your pet doesn't receive any of the benefit. For Beast Masters, this is probably not a good investment of points, but for the other trees that're less focused on the Pet, they might benefit from replacing some hit gems with AP gems and take some Focused Aim and come out ahead.
5) Glyphy Glyphs...er...Arcanums...er....Arcana... - The old Cenarion Expedition helm Arcanum provided a little extra hit. The new Ebon Blade one gives crit. Means you've got to find a little bit of hit elsewhere, which I discovered an hour before the raid :-(
6) Gems - There's a bunch of gems with +hit. Some are pure +hit for when you need a lot, and others are hybrids that allow you to balance between hit and whatever other core stat you need more of.
7) Enchants - There's a variety of +hit enchants available. The best one provides +hit and +crit to your melee weapon, but has material requirements worth roughly 1,000g. Some of the other +hit enchants are more affordable.
8) Is there a +hit scope? I don't know, and I think I don't care. +40 crit on the Heartseeker is just too juicy.
9) Draeni - Having a space goat in your party (raid? or party?) reduces your chance to miss by 1%. This is cool, but I have trouble gearing around it because you never know when your goat will be at the vet, or when you'll be pugging with no goats. Or, like Durgan, maybe you play Horde.
Putting this in practice
Tuesday's raid showered me with shiny, allowing me to replace my week-old Eaglebane Bracers and one of my Fangs of Truth.
That's a total of 67 hit rating. I was riding 2 points over the 8% hit cap, so I need to make up minimum of 65 hit rating before Thursday's raid.
What's a Night Elf man-chick to do?
1) Yellow Sockets - First place I always start when fiddling with hit is Gems.
Looking at my yellow sockets, I've got got two yellows that currently have gems with no hit. So if I replace those two with +16 hitters, I gain 32 of the hit. These puppies are selling for about 150g on my server in plentiful quantity. The raw gems are a little bit cheeper, so I might buy those and find a cutter, but time is money and it might just be easier to blow a couple hundred gold and get the finished product.
I've also got a yellow socket with a hybrid +agi/+hit gem which can be replaced for an additional +8 hit, bringing the total of 40 hit out of a goal of 65.
Price tag for the three gems: 450g
2) Blue Sockets - As a Hunter, there really is no gem that rocks my socks for blue sockets. I tend to settle on a Purple or Green that gives me a hybrid mix of stats. Examining my current one and only blue socket, I've already got a +hit/+something gem in there, so no opportunity to get more +hit here.
3) Prismatic Sockets - Does your belt have a buckle? Its a good idea for raiding as it gives you a little boost in stats and more importantly, flexibility in what stats to choose since the Prismatic socket takes any color gem.
My belt currently has a +16 hit in it, so no opportunity to get more +hit here.
4) Now the tricky part
The next logical item in the sequence would be Red Sockets. But I like the +16agi and +32ap gems so much, I'd rather explore other options before altering my red sockets.
5) Enchant Weapon - Accuracy
Well, looky what we have here. An enchant that gives +25 hit. I'm looking for +25 hit. A match made in heaven.
Yeah, not so much. Accuracy costs about 1,226 gold. Until I've got some best-in-slot weapons, I'm not going there.
6) Enchant Boots - Icewalker
This one is very nice. +12 hit and +12 crit. I'll happily replace my +16agi boots enchant with this one.
So we're up to 52 out of 65.
Price Tag: 48g
7) Enchant Gloves - Precision
+20 hit. I'm currently sporting Crusher on my gloves (+44 attack power).
I don't really like doing it, because I'm a big fan of
But, DPS is DPS, so Beverly, my dear, you'll have to take a seat. Me and
Price Tag: 236g
8) Revisit the gems
I'm only looking for 13 hit though, so the 20 from Gloves - Precision is overkill.
One option would be to NOT replace the hybrid yellow one.
That would put me at 1 point below hit capped, which would mean that my toon will likely never miss, but due to the rounding down, my pet will miss 1% more often than I'd like her to.
Spend an extra 150 gold on a gem and end up 1 point below the 8% hit cap?
Save 150 gold, but waste 7 points of hit over the 8% hit cap?
Pet missing 1% extra by me being under capped -or- me losing 8 agi by being over capped?
I'll probably just make an impulsive decision while standing at the AH, but I'm thinking that I want my pet hitting her target more than I want +8 additional agility.
Total Price Tag for Two Epic Drops
2 Yellow Gems: 300g
Enchant Boots - Icewalker: 48g
Enchant Gloves - Precision: 236g
But don't forget about the two new pieces of gear....
Enchant Bracers - Greater Assault: 584g
Enchant Weapon - Exceptional Agility: 320g
Total Price Tag: 1488g