UPDATE: Thread updated 2/23/10. Update still coming.
This has been brought up many times across many forums so I figure it is a good idea to create a topic dedicated to it.
Q: What does critical strike cap mean?
A: When we use the term critical strike cap (hereon referred to as "crit cap") we are actually referring to one of several crit caps the Rogue has. The one that interests us the most is the white crit cap, which is the point when white hits no longer benefit from additional crit. This means that the value of crit is severely reduced relative to other stats.
Q: Why is the white crit cap different from any other crit cap?
A: This has to do with how the crit cap formula works, as well as the nature of the Blizzard attack system. You see, to calculate white attacks Blizzard uses a 1 roll attack system. This means that whenever you do an attack it will do one (and only one) roll to see what the result is. There are many possible results of an attack:
Crit: Changes due to many factors, and often changes mid fight.
Miss: Varies depending on hit rating. Important for calculating crit cap.
Dodge: Varies depending on expertise rating. Important for calculating crit cap.
Parry: Do not have to worry about since you are attacking from behind.
Block: Do not have to worry about since you are attacking from behind.
Glancing: Always 24%. Unchangeable.
Hit: Whatever % is left. A simple regular hit. There is a minimum of 4.8% hit.
As you can see, all these possible outcomes are directly dependent on your characters stats with the exception of one: Hit. As your stats raise or lower, hit will fill in the gaps or be pushed off. At some point though hit will reach it's lowest possible value and then the game must turn to a new stat to start pushing: Crit. This is what we call the crit cap. Here are some simple bar graphs I made to illustrate that point. Uses the same color coding as above:
The graphs are eyeballed. The blue section probably isn't exactly 24% for example.
THESE GRAPHS ARE OUT OF DATE AS THEY STILL SHOW THE OLD FORMULA THAT USES 4.8% CRIT TO HIT CONVERSION.
Just to recap the colors it goes Glancing -> Dodge -> Miss -> Crit -> Hit.
You'll notice that as your acquire more crit, hit is being slowly pushed off:
Eventually you'll reach a point where hit can no longer be pushed off, and any subsequent crit will have no where to go, and thus push itself off the chart:
This will also happen if any of the other stats increase. For example if you lose some hit rating in an upgrade and your miss% increases, it will also push crit off the chart.
Q: How do I determine what my crit cap is?
A: Everybody's crit cap is different. The two important things that change your crit cap is your expertise and your hit rating. Since rarely you will have the same exact stats as somebody else, you will need to do a little bit of math to determine your own crit cap. Here is the formula:
Crit Cap = 100 - Glancing - Dodge - Miss
in other words...
Crit Cap = 100 - 24 - ([214 - X] * 0.0305) - ([722 - Y] * 0.0305)
Where X = your current expertise rating and Y = your current hit rating. This is unless you are Combat. If you are Combat and you have the weapon expertise talent the 214 figure should be changed to 132. Also if you are Alliance and you have Heroic Presence (Draenei racial aura) active, then be sure to add 32.79 to whatever hit rating you have. This formula assumes 5/5 Precision.
Or you could use this simple PHP based web app I made to very quickly have your crit cap calculated for you:
Another alternative is a stand-alone program created by Garoná. It can be downloaded here:
Q: What is the highest crit cap you can reach?
A: Since you are unable to reduce your glancing blows at this point in time, the best case scenario would be the following:
Crit Cap = 100 - 24 - 0 - 0
[i]That means that the highest white crit (on average) you can get on any given fight is 76%.
Q: Why do you want my exact expertise rating? Doesn't WoW only account for entire expertise points like my character sheet says?
A: Actually no, it does not. Why Blizzard designed the character select screen as they did is a mystery to me. Just like all the other ratings in WoW, expertise rating reduces the chance to be dodged per point of rating, not per whole point of expertise. So although your character sheet does not differentiate between 207 and 213 expertise, they are actually different.
Q: I can assure you I have seen my crit go higher than your web app claims it can go. In fact, I've even seen it go over 100% before! What gives?
A: It is not uncommon to see high crit chance on the character sheet especially on gimmick fights that increase your crit (Loatheb being the obvious example but there are others). When your crit chance goes above the crit cap you will still be getting some benefit from it. Specials, for example, still use this additional crit. Remember that this thread is about the white crit cap.
If you look more closely as your parses you will realize that you did a lot of glancing blows which, of course, did not crit..
And logic would tell you that having more than 100% crit would not benefit you in any way, shape, or form. Unless of course the game lets you crit twice in one attack. Then maybe.
Q: Should I actually be worried about hitting the crit cap?
A: At the time of me writing this you probably are in the clear. While it is possible to hit the crit cap, you are only really at risk of doing so if you are severely gimping your hit rating, expertise rating, or you are in top of the line Ulduar gear (using procs such as Dark Matter). But at the same time new patches and new content are coming out, and with it comes increased stats on items. So it would be a smart idea to know where your crit cap is to effectively plan your gear upgrades so you don't accidentally hit it.
Update: This was written during Ulduar. As of now with ICC gear hitting the crit cap is a very real possibility.
Q: I've seen this formula sometimes using a 4.8% somewhere in the equation... Crit Depression? Crit to Hit Conversion? Ahh I'm confused.
A: Previously it was "well known" that versus boss monsters crit suffered a penalty of 4.8%. This is thought to comprise of the 3% penalty for being a boss type, as well as the 0.6% penalty per level. As bosses are 3 levels higher, that is 3%+(0.6%*3), or 4.8%. We called this Crit Depression.
Then, more people have managed to hit the crit cap, and they have become aware of a new manner in which the 4.8% was working. Instead of being a "depression" it was instead a conversion. Against boss creatures, a minimum of 4.8% of our crits are converted into hits. This means that you can never go below a 4.8% chance to do a normal non-crit attack. Prior to this revelation it was believed hit could be pushed off the attack tables completely. This is obviously no longer the case.
Finally, some people realized that partial blocks were actually to blame for the 4.8% value and they could be eliminated by simply attacking from the back (why they weren't attacking from the back to begin with I'm not sure). So now, what is agreed upon is that the 4.8% figure can be completely ignored and you can push hit completely off the table.
I know, I know, the equation for crit cap feels like it changes every 6 months in some manner. But that's just how it goes when you theorycraft.
Q: Is there a way I can check my crit cap on the fly? I don't like jumping around websites to find it.
A: Actually, I have created a simple macro for checking your crit cap in game! You will need to adjust it depending on if you have Heroic Presence or not, and depending on your Precision and Weapon Expertise talents.
or here is another you can try:Originally Posted by NonMagical
If you are Alliance then subtract 32.79 from the 722 figure. For each point of Weapon Expertise subtract 20.5 from the 214 figure. For each missing point of Precision add 32.79 to the 722 figure. This equation by default assumes no Heroic Presence, 5/5 Precision and 0/2 Weapon Expertise.Originally Posted by Drippy
Note: I'm not entirely sure what will happen if you go ABOVE the caps as it will actually start spitting back negative numbers. The only thing you should ever be going a little over though is expertise, and that will usually be by a small amount. At the moment I'm not sure how to solve this problem, so sorry!
If you have any other questions regarding the crit cap please ask them here instead of making a new thread and I'll try to add them to the original post. Thanks!
-Lacigam, Undead Rogue