Understanding Hit, Exp & The Attack Table

This started off as me working on the gear weight post that I had promised. I first started by pulling critical feral numbers and how they convert into our statistics. Through this I decided to make a reference page (look above in the header) for Kitty Numbers so that it would be readily available as a resource for everyone including myself. This turned into me delving deeper into how attack mechanics in general work in wow which turned into this post. First and foremost, this is essentially an extension of what Kalon did with his post [Druid] Cat in the Cap, so in no way am I taking credit for all of this. Reading his post again just lead to some more questions which I found through some other resources.

When people talk about the hit/exp caps, everyone knows it’s 8% and 6.5% respectively (at level 80). Through this information, people make gear/gem/enchant choices so that they will reach a threshold to ensure they maximize their dps. There are many posts out there in the blogosphere that tell you this is what you need so make sure you get it, but very few actually elaborate and explain in detail why this is the case.

Attack Table

Starting from the basics, for regular (white) hits  there are 7 different options that can happen when you attack something. I have not listed Crushing Blows (which would be between Critical/Regular hit) as this is something only a Boss can do to you which is not relevant as a kitty kat dpsing. There are specific attributes or tactics that you can use reduce or eliminate specific options from the table. Specifically, Hit removes Miss, Expertise removes Dodge, Position to enemy removes Parry/Block, Glancing Blows cannot be removed, Critical Strike Rating removes regular hits.

The priority system of auto (white) attacks are:

  1. Miss
  2. Dodge
  3. Parry
  4. Glancing Blows
  5. Block
  6. Critical Hit
  7. Regular Hit

Reference: WoWWiki – Attack Table

Hit and Expertise

At level 80, as I mentioned earlier, it is common knowledge that the hit cap is 8% and the exp cap is 6.5%. What this means is, to remove the option of miss off possible options in the attack table, you need 8% (263) hit and to remove dodge off the possible options in the attack table, you need 6.5% (214).

You’ll notice that a lot of druids don’t have themselves capped on hit or exp, partially because the gear available makes it challenging to reach the caps w/o specifically gemming/enchanting into hit/expertise. While it’s always best to reach these caps, druids have a little trick up their sleeve in Primal Precision. Not only does this provide 10 Expertise Skill (which reduces your expertise requirement down to 132), it also refunds 80% of energy spent on missed finishing moves. Or in other words, even if you miss, you get your energy back to redo the ability.

Parry and Block

Parry can be removed via expertise, but to remove Parry off the attack table you need 14% Expertise. This naturally is very difficult for a kitty kat and there is a much simpler way. Instead if you are behind your target Parry and Block are completely wiped off the table. Since you need to be behind your target to Shred this essentially ensures that both options are not longer available.

Glancing Blows and Critrical Strike

With the above information, if we have taken the necessary steps to remove these abilities off the table, we are left with:

  1. Miss
  2. Dodge
  3. Parry
  4. Glancing Blows
  5. Block
  6. Critical Hit
  7. Regular Hit

Now, we only have Glancing Blows, Critical Hit and Regular Hit left on the table. Glancing Blows are non-adjustable number and are a flat 24%. If we were to attempt to remove regular hits off the attack table, we would need to increase our critical strike rating. Or in other words: 100% – 24% (Glancing Blows) = 76% Critical Strike Percentage

Special (Yellow) attacks are a completely different beast and do not use the same table as auto (white) attacks. At this time its still not completely understood how it works but the going theory is that a two-roll system is used:

  1. This roll determines if the attack connects (Using your Hit/Expertise Rating)
  2. If the first roll is successful (attack hits), your Critical Strike Rating is used to determine if the hit was a Critical

This means that there are no Glancing Blows for specials.That would imply that to ensure that your specials are crits always you would need 100% critical strike rating. However, in addition it has been determined that a yellow crit reduction (4.8%) is in place which further increases the amount of Critical Strike Rating required. So, to ensure that you will always have critical strikes: 100% + 4.8% (Crit Reduction) = 104.8% Critical Strike Rating.

So there you have it, a complete explanation of each ability on the attack table and what you can do to reduce or eliminate those possibilities to maximize your dps. Remember, as a kitty kat it’s not completely vital that you reach these caps as it will hinder you more than it will help you. Try and balance your statitics to ensure you have a fair amount of hit/exp but don’t kill yourself trying to cap yourself.


16 Responses to “Understanding Hit, Exp & The Attack Table”

  1. 1 Kal February 1, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Quick correction (that I think you know) – Primal Precision adds 10 expertise skill, not rating; the actual rating it would add is something like 81.

    And yeah – at least for ferals it’s looking like the crit depression is only there for yellow attacks (if that).

  2. 3 Ashla February 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Good info! I noticed a couple other typos:

    “What this means is, to remove the option of hit off possible options in the attack table, you need 8% (263) hit”
    I think you meant to say is to “remove the option of miss off possible options”

    And “Or in other words: 100% – 24% (Glancing Blows) = 76% Critical Strike Rating” should be “Critical Strike Percentage”. The rating is much higher (and varies according to your agility)

      • 5 Vallen February 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm

        Hey Alaron,

        Definitely didn’t see your post, would have saved me time writing this one up =p

        Few things that I would disagree with from your post.

        1) I’m on board with Kalon in that the 4.8% only affects yellow attacks.
        2) I disagree with your suggestions on gemming for agility, hit, exp or anything aside from Arp. I know I suggested possibly gemming for agility earlier (when 3.3 info was scarce) but based on gear stats you can easily hit the white cap with gear/raid buffs. As mentioned in my post, hitting hit/exp caps are not a priority due to primal precision. You’d be hurting yourself more than you benefit by forcing hit gear into your gear selection or by gemming for hit/exp.

    • 6 Vallen February 2, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      Good catches I’ve updated the post, thanks for your help!

  3. 7 Shammma February 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm


    I see that you may be working towards a BiS gearlist for ferals and I thought I would offer what I’ve found after messing around in wowhead and using common sense…

    I started off assuming that hitting the hard ArPen cap is a necessity to reach – so at all times that must be maintained through either gear or gems. I used Kalon’s stat weights to ‘rank gear’ by stats and used wowhead to keep track of my unbuffed stats.

    I found that I was able to reach ArPen hardcap, hit cap (with dranei), and exp cap while using all of Kalon’s BiS gear aside from weapon, rings, and trinkets.

    For rings I used Frostbrood Sapphire Ring(H) and the exalted rep ring (logs are showing my revered ring is showing a pretty high uptime so I figured exalted would be about the same). Trinkets were DWB(H) and WFS(H).

    The weapon choice was between cryptmaker and distant land. I’m thinking cryptmaker will be superior, as its complex stats (ArPen/Hit) are better than DL’s and allow you to reach the hit and ArPen caps with fewer gems, leaving more room for str gemming.

    I’m looking forward to seeing whether your results are similar to mine!

    • 8 Vallen February 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Shammma,

      I’m not really looking to make a BIS slot post. I personally am not a fan of these types of posts as they tend to create stupidity and have people blindly following what other ppl say without understanding why.

      Instead I wanted to explain how to come up with your own conclusions through explaining how to use Rawr and creating your own gear weights etc. These posts are still in the works but they are coming.

      Just in response to your assumptions/theories:

      1) Hit/Exp cap isnt an absolute necessity, as mentioned in this post we have primal precision which refunds lost energy so while its nice its not absolutely critical. I definitely am not planning to gem for either unless I am severely lacking
      2) Cryptmaker is definitely very appealing with all the Arp and Hit on it but being realistic, that is a top end item for warriors and taking that over a warrior doesn’t seem right. Same concept as a hunter taking a DL over a feral druid first. I’m still pondering this as well (its very sexy looking too!)
      3) Gemming Str? Logic behind that? If you wanna cap yourself you’d most likely hvae to use all your slots for arp gems (unless you get a cryptmaker) but even so why str over agil?

  4. 9 chckenmcbndy February 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm


    Feeding off your “blindly following what other ppl without understanding why”.

    I recentley dropped NES trinket and regemmed/switched some gear to push for hardcap armor pen while lowering my hit/expertise. Problem I have in 25 mans on several fights (melee stacks) is I get pretty bad lag.

    Point being if you have a similar problem to myself the value of hit/expertise would probably be a little more valuable. IF I’m hit/exp capped even with lag I can be confident my ability landed and que up the next one. It’s been pretty frustrating on those couple fights with lag trying to maintain my rotation not capped.

    If lag is not an issue for you then disregard:) Enjoy the blog all the way around (theory/ achieves/ pimp the druid!

    • 10 Vallen February 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm

      chckenmcbndy (nice name btw)

      This is exactly what I’m talking about. If someone posts a list, then people just follow and try and replicate the exact same gear. Yet what if you’re in a situation like you were you have a lot of lag. Clearly in a situation like that, being capped is more critical than say someone that doesn’t have a lot of lag. Another example of what I’m trying to get at is, what if you don’t have access to all of ICC? what if you’re in a guild that can only clear to Saurfang and nothing beyond that? Or perhaps you’re in a 10 man only guild?

      Factors like this should drive what you consider as your BIS list. Nobody can tell you what it is since nobody knows what your personal situation is. Instead someone could tell you how to derive that BIS list so that you can make one based on your criteria.

  5. 11 Shammma February 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    1a) Legs + primal precision essentially cap expertise. And theres no reason not to have both…

    1b) “Again, this is more important as you get higher gear, but the really important thing to note is that getting hit/exp capped is very good. And as you get close to the arpen hard cap (if you choose to do that) hit/expertise becomes the most valuable stat of all.” -Kalon 12/22/09

    I don’t mean to blindly parrot what he says, but I tested his theory both rawr and toskks calculator show significant dps gains when capping hit (at least from the time I’ve spent messing around with them). I understand the logic behind his theory and have looked through my logs in the past few weeks, the amount of damage I could get by removing misses from the table seems very significant.

    2) I think it really depends on what your guild runs in their raids. My guild’s main group usually brings 1 dps warrior, 1 dps DK, and one ret pally and zero tank DKs. The pally and DK are both attempting to get shadowmourne, and would likely pass this to me assuming they have competitive weapons. All that being said, arthas only drops weapons, one is a polearm, and its probably better than both DL and cryptmaker due to its ilvl.

    3)I’m just looking at a 277+ gearset (aka, end of the game) type of gear because thats what I hope to have access too over the coming months. In that level of gear, I’ll probably be at or very close to white crit cap passivly with raid buffs (and DBW will put me over it). At that point, 33% of your damage stops scaling with crit, so why would you not gem for a stat that increases all your damage?

    I’m not saying that this type of thought is for everyone, or even for people in the process of gearing up. Just something wayyyy out there on the horizon.

    • 12 Vallen February 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm

      Nice logical responses, here’s my input back to you.

      1a) Agree with you, pants are must because of its massive contribution to expertise. The unfortunate thing is bc of that you lose a lot of hit (if you were using NB heroic pants from TOGC25). I’ve had to toss in a few hit gems to reduce the gap I had. Note that I’m still not capped for either hit/exp but I’m not ridiculously far off either.

      1b) I would agree that getting capped would be good but at what cost. There are no natural sources for expertise outside of T10 pants, and hit is scarce unless you get a cryptmaker. So assuming that you need to gem to cap yourself, how many slots are you willing to sacrifice? At ilv 264 gear its still a challenge to arp hard cap yourself and to put hit/exp gems into your slots you’re pulling yourself further away from the arp cap.

      2) Agree again, depends on your situation. For me we already know who’s getting shadowmorne so a cryptmaker is a hot ticket for my guild. That being said, with the new arthas weapons released (as you mentioned) clearly there is a new BIS weapon for ferals which far surpasses Distant Land or Cryptmaker. This also helps to get closer to the arp cap which can potentially afford more gem slots for hit/exp

      3) I can see where you’re going with the str logic. With my idol proc + DV proc I’m already at 75% crit so I’m white capped but remember you don’t cap your specials until you reach 104.8% so there’s still a ways to go. However, lets assume you’re fully geared in ilv 277 and you’re already arp capped. Then the question becomes, do you spend your extra gem slots on hit/exp capping yourself, or do you push agil/str to push your crit/ap up?

      It’s good points to consider. I definitely didn’t consider str but now that you mention it, it could be a possibility in the very very very far future.

  6. 13 Mitch February 5, 2010 at 10:45 am

    For white attacks, does not being hit/expertise capped push crit off the table for them? For example, if you’re at 76% crit but you have a 3% chance to miss/dodge, does that also cap your white crit at 73%?

    Considering about 1/3 of my damage comes from auto-attacks that can add up a bit, and the further up with armor penetration we go the more damage it will likely be, so I can see the point in getting capped (or at least close to it) for hit/exp.

    • 14 Vallen February 5, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      Hey Mitch,

      Yes you are definitely correct. Let me just elaborate on your question. Lets assume you’re behind the boss (lv 83) which would make Parry/Block = 0%

      Miss: 8%
      Dodge: 6.5%
      Parry: 0%
      Glancing Blows: 24%
      Block: 0%
      Crit: X%
      Regular Hit: Y%

      Out of a total (100%) possibilities, currently we have:

      8% + 6.5% + 24% + X% + Y% = 100%

      If you are hit capped/exp capped Miss/Dodge = 0%, and if you want to make regular hits = 0% then we have:

      24% + X% = 100% or we need 76% Crit

      If we use your example of being 3% under hit/exp cap (lets assume you’re exp capped and lets just use 3% under hit cap) then we have:

      3% + 24% + X% = 100% or as you deduced 73% Crit

      However!!!! The key here is that although you only need 73% crit to cap your white attacks, you still have a 3 % chance to MISS on your white attacks. Although you’re always critting in this situation youll always have a 3% chance to miss which is too large of a possibility.

      3% Miss + 24% Glancing + 73% Crit = 100% Possibilities

  7. 15 Shammma February 5, 2010 at 11:04 am

    If/when I get to the point where I need to decide between agi, str and hit I’d want to try to update the graphs on toskks site (agi vs. str, hit vs. those) for higher levels of ap and crit, taking white crit cap into consideration.

    I’m probably going to aim for *near* hit cap after being arpen capped even if it results in slightly lower theoretical dps – I find misses overly disruptive. Usually I try to plan 1-2 moves ahead and if I miss an attack I dont realize it immediatly and press the next button (ie. i go rake -> rake misses -> i shred -> i notice rake missed but cant immediatly apply…). I find that in a practical situation hit is worth a lot.

    • 16 Vallen February 5, 2010 at 12:27 pm

      Similar to the math above for Mitch, as it stands for me I’m trying to aim between 0.5 – 1% (Lets assume 0.5%) below hit cap and with the new T10 pants and the expertise it provides, I’m sitting at 19 Expertise Rating (4.75% Dodge).

      So if we look at the table:

      0.5% Miss + 1.75% Dodge + 24% Glancing + X% = 100% Possibilities

      Based on this, I would have 2.25% chance to miss/dodge and require 73.71% Crit.

      Now lets say if I wanted to gem and fill those slots to be capped:

      1 +20 Hit Gem = 0.60% hit
      1 +20 Exp Rating Gem = 0.60% exp

      In order to cap both (assuming I keep the same gear I have now), I would need 1 Hit Gem + 3 Exp Gems or 4 slots total which could have been used towards reaching the Arp cap. (4 slots = 5.71% Armor Penetration).

      I’m just not convinced its worth all those slots.

      *phew* thats a lot of math, lets hope I did it right lol

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I’m Retired!

As of 04/04/2011, I have officially retired from WOW. This blog will remain as a archived resource for those who know that CAT DRUID IS 4 FITE!

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A blog for the ramblings and thoughts of Vallen, a full time raiding cat druid from Auchindoun-US with a passion for raiding & achievements. An avid wow player since 2004.

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