WoW is filled with “caps.” Soft caps, hard caps. Caps that are nearly mandatory to reach, caps that are suggested to reach.
For most of our rogue lives we have watched our hit rating for caps. We know about the hit cap for special attacks and poison hit cap, and the out-of-reach white hit cap. (if you don’t, see my detailed post from last year). In recent months rogues became very concerned with the armor penetration cap.
For my five years of playing WoW, though, I never really worried about crit. More crit = better. That’s changing. At T10 gear levels, there is a point where more crit no longer helps your autoattack white damage. Thus, the existence of a crit cap.
Chase Christian at wow.com did a good job of explaining this briefly. I’m going to go a little more teacher-like, because that’s what I do. To skip the discussion, scroll down to the Wrap Up at the end.
To start, we need to be familiar with the hit table. When you attack, its as if you roll a die from 1-100. You have a chance to crit, hit, be dodged, get a glancing blow, or miss. I’m omitting parry as an option here on the assumption that you’ll be attacking from behind, as you are certainly a well-informed rogue.
If you had zero hit rating and zero expertise and were attacking a level 83 raid boss, with a 30% crit chance, your hit table would look like this:
27% miss 6.5% dodge 24% glancing blow 4.8 % crit suppression* 30% crit the rest (7.7%) is normal hit
* crit suppression is a mechanic found to exist on raid bosses by theorycrafters after extensive combat log analysis
Of course, no one goes into a raid with zero hit or zero expertise. However, we’ll go with that table above as a starting point. Lets say that this rogue gets some new gems with +crit and increases his crit %. All of the numbers in the attack table have to add up to 100%, so if crit % increases then something else has to decrease. What decreases is the chance to get a normal hit.
So if our fictional no-hit, no-expertise rogue gets another 5% crit, then his new attack table would be…
27% miss 6.5% dodge 24% glancing blow 4.8 % crit suppression 35% crit the rest (2.7%) is normal hit
Now he has only a 2.7% chance to get a normal hit! Hopefully, you can see where this is going. If he keeps adding +crit, then eventually his chance of getting a normal hit will go to zero. When that happens his attack table will be
27% miss 6.5% dodge 24% glancing blow 4.8 % crit suppression 37.5% crit
What next? If you keep adding +crit after that it no longer increases your chance to crit at all! Our fictional rogue in this case has a crit cap of 37.5%.
But that’s not your crit cap. Yours is different.
Essentially, your crit cap is whatever % you have left after subtracting your hit, dodge, glancing, and crit suppression from 100%. You can’t change the glancing blow % or crit suppression, so the way to make more room for crits is by reducing the chance for misses and dodges. That means adding +hit and +expertise.
Lets say that our fictional rogue above gets some new gear. He still has his 37.5% crit chance, but manages to get himself expertise capped. That eliminates all of the dodge chance. Now his attack table will be..
27% miss 0% dodge 24% glancing blow 4.8 % crit suppression 37.5% crit the rest (6.5%) is normal hit
He now could increase his crit by another 6.5% without hitting the crit cap.
Now for hit rating. When you add hit rating, you actually are reducing your chance to miss. If our fictional rogue adds 5% hit chance he actually reduces his chance to miss from 27% to 22%. THen his attack table would look like:
22% miss 0% dodge 24% glancing blow 4.8 % crit suppression 37.5% crit the rest (11.5%) is normal hit
This gives him lots of room to add +crit without hitting the crit cap.
To find your crit cap, do this:
- start with 100%
- subtract the chance to get a glancing blow (24%)
- subtract the crit suppression for raid bosses (4.8%)
- subtract the bosses chance to dodge (base 6.5%, reduced by expertise – hover over expertise on your character page to see this)
- subtract your chance to miss (base 27%, reduced by your +hit chance – hover over Hit Rating on your character page to see this)
- What you have left is the total chance to hit and crit. This figure is your crit cap.
Most of us won’t be up against the crit cap unless you’ve been stacking a lot of +crit gear. Personally, I’m not that close, but another rogue in my guild is within a few percent. If you’re getting near the crit cap you’ll need to make informed decisions about gear and gems. Make sure to account for trinket procs if you are getting close to the crit cap.