Patch 5.04 – Expertise

Like all expansions Hunters will experience a myriad of changes when patch 5.04 goes live on August 28, 2012. One of the most significant of these is the addition of Expertise as a secondary stat.

In Mists of Pandaria mobs, bosses and players will be able to go all “Neo” on Hunters and dodge their bullets (for those of that insist on using bows and crossbows, perhaps Loki snatching an arrow out of the air like he did in the Avengers, is a more appropriate image). Regardless, Hunters will have multiple ways to miss in MoP.

Come patch 5.04, Hunters will find themselves in the unfortunate position of needing to be Expertise capped whilst having no expertise available on any of their gear (the ring with Expertise on it is a myth).

Adding insult to injury is the fact that getting Expertise capped does nothing to increase Hunter DPS. It just ensures that Hunters never miss, and they do that just fine now. So, how much Hit and Expertise is required? For level 85 the ratings are as follows,

  • 769 Hit rating. Draenei get a 1% chance increase to Hit, so their rating is 666.
  • 769 Expertise rating. Dwarves and Trolls get a 1% increase to Expertise, so their rating is 666.

The ideal place to get Expertise is by reforging. Depending on racials and gear level, this will have a lesser or greater impact on each player. Those with more heroic gear may have an easier time reforging as they have more secondary stats to play with than those in normal or raid finder gear. Items such as trinkets, melee and ranged weapons will also have an effect.

Hunters will no long use melee weapons, so those using a melee weapon that has secondary stats will lose a big chunk of reforging itemization. On the other hand, the valor trinket can be reforged and provides 183 crit or haste that can be converted to Hit or Expertise.

Looking at my current gear, I’m noticing the following,

  • I have 13 pieces of gear that can be reforged.
  • Five items will remain as they are now.
  • Two items that aren’t currently reforged will now have to be reforged, giving up Haste for some Hit and Expertise.
  • Three items that are currently reforged into Hit will be reforged into Expertise; essentially a wash.
  • One item that exchanges Haste for Hit will now exchange Crit for Expertise.
  • One item that reforged Hit to Crit will now reforge Haste to Crit.
  • One item that gave up Haste for Crit will now give up Haste for Expertise.
This snapshot from WoW Reforge highlights the changes that I’ll have to make to be both Hit and Expertise capped. I’m mostly losing Haste and a little bit of Crit, so my hunch is that this won’t be that big a loss and it certainly won’t have as big an impact as the changes to talents, spells and abilities. Others may not be as fortunate, but bear in mind that this little bit of pain is only for level 85. Once Hunters hit level 90, Expertise will be a regular stat available on their gear.


  1. Wait, in PvP, does this mean that we will never be able to get our expertise high enough to ensure that our shots can’t be dodged by specs that stack agility? Does this apply for our damaging shots AND our utility shots (Tranquilizing Shot, Concussive Shot, Scatter Shot, etc.)? If so, then hunters are going to be shot in PvP, pun unintended. Throughout WoW, hunters have been like a combo of melee and ranged. We were the only ranged class/spec that wanted agility and the only one where a significant portion of our damage was physical damage, like melee classes/specs. We are also the only ones that don’t use mana, with focus being similar to the systems used by melee. Now, most of us assumed that the removal of the deadzone would bring us closer to being a fully ranged class because we could now cast at whatever range we wanted instead of being unable to cast in melee range. The expertise change just makes us more like melee now. Whereas with melee, it’s much easier to attack from behind as they are close to their target and thus have to move less, hunters can’t do that.

    Rykinia (the hunter of Tosan, a multi-gladiator and rank one) said in a forum post on the official WoW forums:

    “I already hate that we’re going to deal with RNG (rather have deadzone and no dodge/parry frankly) that melee have to deal with….one of the reasons I hate playing melee in PvP in this game to begin with (although most melee have stuns to disable dodge/parry chance, and we don’t really other than Intimidation afaik). I hate RNG but whatever, too late to cry about that change now.”

    I agree wholeheartedly. Melee can at least override dodges/parries with stuns but the only stun(s) hunters have is Intimidation (Beast Mastery only), Sonic Blast (Bat pet), Sting (Wasp pet), and Binding Shot. Most hunters will be using a Monkey pet in PvP so that already knocks out Sonic Blast and Sting. Binding Shot is clunky to use (usually requiring a glyphed Explosive Trap or Powershot along with it to ensure it actually stuns as most of the time, the player in the Binding Shot will just stay in it and wait for the effect to end) and the stun is too short and the cooldown too long. Also, most hunters will be using Silencing Shot anyways. All that leaves us with is Intimidation. Wonderful. This coupled with the aspect change pretty much killed hunter PvP (and hunters are the least played class in high-end PvP yet they are one of the most played class in general, so what this change did was drive away what little hunter PvPers there are now).

  2. By the way, I wonder if the 5.04 version of Ruinblaster Shotgun will become a better choice than normal mode Vishanka. It has a 300 hit rating and 337 crit against the loss of 28 agility and the proc. Heroic Arbalest against Heroic Vishanka is likely a wash.

  3. Why the ffwk would they add a stat that does exactly the same thing as a stat they already have? It sounds like the idea is is to make hunters into rogues who stab people with arrows instead of daggers. I guess it probably streamlines the design a little bit if they only have one type of physical attack, so maybe it saves them some money paying programmers or something. Didn’t they also add a thing where some classes can throw their melee weapons? I guess the way it works now is all physical combat uses the same mechanic and the ranged system has been replaced just by adding a maximum range stat to all the weapons.

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