5.3 "Focus Fire Frenzy Bug"

Posted On // 12 comments
I've been reading a lot of reports regarding hunters experiencing a bug involving their frenzy stacks as Beast Mastery. To summarize, these reports are primarily as follows:
 - As BM, hunters pets will not use their special abilities (claw/bite) and therefore will not gain stacks of Frenzy. 
 - This lack of frenzy causes a decline in Focus Fire. 
 - Macroing the special abilities will alleviate this discrepancy, meaning the pet is simply not autocasting appropriately. 

The interesting part to me is that they claim it is only on some bosses, or that it works fine on a target dummy. Furthermore, there are Survival hunters who claim to be experiencing the same thing. Others still claim that swapping their pet out fixes the issue, or that it stops with Blink Strikes. Moreover, others claim that it works sometimes and doesn't others - meaning that for 30 seconds it won't work, but suddenly will again after and so forth. 

As a Marksman hunter I'm in a unique position to offer another alternative to what this bug is caused by primarily just because our damage ratios are different per ability. 
Might's second hunter expressed interest in going Marksman in 5.3 when Binding Shot was swapped to spec only. Prompted by this interest, I started doing some napkin math regarding hunters and noticed a very unfortunate issue. Further down I'm going to share a portion of the post I made on the Might hunter forums regarding this, but to get to the nitty gritty:

Murder of Crows.

edit:  [This is the bug report thread] I've been trying to discuss this problem in. It may not be solely a result of Murder of Crows, but they both may be facing similar cause and effect from this bug affecting all "types" of pets.

If you've been experiencing this pet auto attack bug, I'd like to ask you to share your experience with me so that we can decipher whether or not my hypothesis is correct. Murder of Crows is a strange DoT as the crows act like "pets" - the DoT does not snapshot and the attacks are read separately. Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that if "pets" are bugged that it would be affecting MoC in a similar fashion. Alternatively, if it's just MoC that is broken, perhaps it would affect other things with its glitch. That is, Murder of Crows  was savagely brutalizing my proc rate on Capacitance, so my theory is that Murder of Crows is also savagely brutalizing our pets auto casts of Claw. I did try to replicate this on a test dummy, but I was still getting Claw casts with Murder of Crows as Marksman. 

So some questions for you folks with the bug:
1. Are you using Murder of Crows or Blink Strikes?
2. Is your pet not using Claw/Bite AT ALL or only when Murder of Crows is up?
3. Does this other wise work UNTIL you cast Murder of Crows, breaking it indefinitely until swaps?

Here is the snippet from my post:

[...] Which is only half relevant, because during this time I had my hunter autoshot casting on a test dummy in the background...
...And that's the part where it gets extremely infuriating. The Capacitance metagem has an RPPM of 21 with an additional coefficient of 1.1 for marksman and 0.95 for both BM and SV. Despite this, whether as MM or SV all and any autoshots procced one stack of capacitance - which is cool. No other abilities whatsoever procced capacitance - it was only proccing on autos, but it was proccing on any auto regardless of specials, extras, etc used in between. In practice that meant capacitance was stacking once on any auto no matter what, regardless of if haste was 20% or 300%. Where this fucks up in the recent 5.3 changes is here:  Murder of Crows delayed Capacitance regardless of autoshot fires by half the amount.
If you're following with me here, it means this:
lightning strike -> 5 autos -> lightning strike -> 5 autos ad infinitum.
At regular (approx 20%) haste rates this is around 12 seconds from last strike for each 5 stack.
With domestic hunter haste it continued per 5 autos, thus around 8 seconds from last strike for  each 5 stack.
Once MoC was applied, regardless of haste, you were guaranteed to achieve only 5-6 stacks of capacitance during the full 30 second duration. The cooldown on MoC is balls so I sat around all morning dumbfounded testing this in a stupor of this can't be real.
But it was, and the 12-8 second interval between lightning strikes was turned into a 25-28 second interval on any MoC at any haste level. This is TERRIBLE for any hunters opening running MoC because our opening is the best opportunity for our capacitance uptime. The proc is easily as much damage contribution as steady and arcane, so losing it at those  critical moments is extremely unacceptable. Especially when you consider that MoC is not dynamically affected by haste: it will hit 30 times each time no matter what.
On the flip side, the new Blink Strikes works in an opposite manner. It is absolutely affected by haste - and, in fact, haste itself provides the focus regeneration needed to ensure the Wild Hunt. In other words, in the same 30 second time frame regardless of haste, your pet will still land roughly the same amount of Claw/Bites. Which at first makes it seem similar to MoC - both readjust based on agi and proc values, but don't gain "ticks" from haste - when in reality, Claw is being bolstered both by these proc values AND gaining at least a 50-60% uptime on an additional 100% damage. The result of this is an average unbuffed claw sitting at 12k, increasing to 18k under strikes, and again increasing to upwards of 70k under wild hunt.
Putting that against MoC worked like this:
Over 30 seconds and domestic haste buffs from 20% gave an approximate 3.75 lightning strikes. With none, it was 2.5. At an average hit of 65k, thats ~244k under 30 seconds of domestic haste or ~162k without.   MoC, averaging 10k * 30 ticks with a maximum of one strike regardless of haste is a maximum total 365k.
An unaffected Blink Strikes sequence would average 8 claws @ regular damage for 144k plus the free reign of strike procs: no haste being 144 + 244 or a maximum total around 388k.
In other words, under no affect the maximum of MoC was around 365 versus Blinks 390. It's still pennies in the long string of things, until you consider that these 30 second time frames are in MoCs favour. Blink Strikes, unlike MoC, is active throughout the  entire fight - therefore, a 7.5 minute encounter will only have 4 * 30 -> around 2 minutes of up time for MoC with an alternative 100% uptime for Blink Strikes .... And, of course, it would be dynamically boosted by haste. This is otherwise unimportant for hunters not running with the Talisman of Bloodlust because they have predictable uptimes of haste above and below 60% with Rapid Fire having a similar cooldown to MoC (3min for 15s vs 2min for 30s). Berserking only helps. Counterpoint a static 15% haste increase with Steady Focus and ---
Basically, what I'm getting at is fuck murder of crows.

Some relevant bug report threads:


  1. Your post was up on WoW Hunters Hall.
    Thanks for the heads up.
    I am a BM and hadn't noticed.
    I'll keep an eye out, now.

  2. I'm using Blink Strikes (and loving it!), so I haven't noticed any problems.

  3. I did some small testing on a target dummy the other night.
    My results were that my spirit beast pet (Skoll) used his abilities and stacked frenzy normally. I do have MoC specced, but wasn't attacking myself, just letting my pet auto attack.
    Switched to my serpent pet (Acroniss, and found he was not using his focus attacks (bite, i belive). I tested with just him auto-attacking, and with me attacking as well (though not with my full rotation, I did not use murder of crows). About 6 minutes of testing, my serpent hadn't stacked any frenzy or used bite at all. I tried dismissing and re-specing, turning autocast off/on, and placing bite on my pet bar. These had no effect.
    My hunter was in BM spec the whole time, I did not change any talents, and I first noticed the issue with Acroniss during raid finder part 2 of ToT. My pet did not gain any frenzy stacks that I was aware of during the entire wing.
    Hope this helps.

  4. I have noticed this with different pets for sometime, but per normal if you are not someone from EJ or somewhere important, people dont listen. I had my pet not attack at all yesterday, he stood next to me the whole fight, I have also had my pet randomly vanish, this happened 2-3 times on nalak. The special attack thing has been happening ages on different pets.I have also notice for sometime that, my pet buff sometimes did not match the pet I had out, I generally use the crit wolf and would have the haste proc when I shot only to have no crit buff,and have haste.While I could clearly see my wolf out. Since blizzard seem unable to balance thing are they now trying to control peoples damage?

  5. I have parses before and after 5.3 launch. The auto-attack claws and bites just disappear and most noticeable while BM since you really feel the lack of Focus Fire and Frenzy. No other talent changes. Ran Durumu as BM with aMoCs. Only got claws when I hit a macro that had a specific petattack macro'd in. (My serpent sting.) So it got some claws in on the adds and the boss, but only a few.

    Now Durumu had some serious bugs added with 5.3. We did hit one in that raid but got through it. Blizz claims they fixed it. Seemed like the adds spawn not exactly where they appear to be .. and then despawn when they try and establish if they're in a color ray or not. That could affect pet attacks if it applies to some targets. However, the pet does Melee attacks .. just not any Standard Ability auto-attacks. Manually hit Standard Ability attacks work. Macro'd Standard Ability attacks work.

    A few notes over at http://hunter-dps.dungeoneer.com/2013/05/frenzy-appears-broken.html

    I was BM on LeiShen last night. I put pet macros in a whole bunch of shots and got good performance. But another hunter in the same raid did not and his Smack was about the same as my Claw rate. I don't think anything was fixed but it just may not apply to LeiShen.

  6. Some possible attention: https://twitter.com/Ghostcrawler/status/337306304072798208

  7. As MM hunter tried yesterday on dummies and could not repro it. Tried multiple pets and used MoC. No repro.

    But then I did a quick LFR, and afterwards did some elite-farming in the Isle of Thunder. While farming these elites I noticed the focus bar of my pets not going down anymore. Yep, it suddenly has started to repro.

    Manually clicking the Bite ability etc worked, but no auto even though it is on autocast. Tried multiple pets including the same that worked fine about 40 minutes earlier. None of them worked!

    Not sure when it happened. Perhaps LFR trigerred it. Perhaps only later. Also there was heavy server-lag (my ping was good, server actions lagged) at that time. Likely unrelated, just mentioning it.

    What I did notice is that they still sometimes use Bite etc. Just like others I notcied it is not that it does not stop working at all, but still does a Bite etc here and there.

  8. Ultimately what lead to me dropping BM and switching to MM was this annoyance. On several fights as BM my pet would not not use it's special abilities at all and if you didn't notice it then as BM your pet is missing about 35% of it's total damage potential at least from the logs I have looked at. (http://worldoflogs.com/reports/rt-tp0oer3dif5bnkrk/sum/damageDone/?s=127&e=358#Devoid) The fact that my pet randomly despawns off the pull also made BM less appealing. Pet bugs are a hunter way of life. I doubt they will go anywhere anytime soon.

  9. A couple things to note:
    First, Blizzard claims to have fixed this, but I am still having some issues as of today. I noticed it when I took my pet attacks out of my macros and the pet suddenly was doing nothing but Kill Commands while we fought the last boss of the Gob Squad heroic scenario.
    Second, I think it may have something to do with hitbox size. I've noticed that autocasts tend to work just fine on target dummies and on normal enemies, but fail on bosses, especially those with large hit boxes. This leads me to suspect the problem is related to hit box, but who knows.
    If only Ghostcrawler would roll an hunter so that we could get the kind of special attention mages do.

  10. An update: I tested this out on the raiding dummy at the Shrine, and then at the raiding dummy in Orgrimmar's hunter training area. Basically, when telling my wolf to attack the target, the wolf would NOT autocast bite no matter what. However, he WOULD successfully perform a bite if I manually triggered a bite attack. So unless the new hotfix is going out tomorrow morning, it does not appear to be fixed. I will wait until after tomorrow's restarts to post on Blizzard's forum about the bug, in case that fixes it. This test was carried out at 10 pm server time on Wyrmrest Accord, June 3.

  11. Point of INCREDIBLE weirdness: just for fun I switched into SV (yeah I know, I decided to pick up SV for the AOE...). When in SV, autocast bites work. When in BM, they do not.
    I'm not using blink strike here, and I'm not using any other attacks, just having my pet attack. BRILLIANT. The Beast Master gets lazy pets!

    1. That is weird. I never had the bug myself, but I heard the hotfix had fixed it for others. Yet you're still getting it, and only as BM? I can't think of anything that would specifically affect BM.
      Do you have glyph of lesser proportion in for either spec? If the issue is ranged/hitbox related that might alleviate some issues.