Posts tagged “Theorycrafting

Warlords of Draenor Beta: Healthstones

Self-healing is a weird and intricate balance for warlocks because we tend to use our health as a semi-resource bar often enough for healing to matter. There’s the obvious Life Tap that we’ve had for many years, but more recently, Mists of Pandaria brought abilities that cost health, like Unbound Will or Burning Rush.

I feel like this is a subject that the devs still don’t know how to balance correctly yet. The changes tend to swing from not enough to far too much/overpowered, as we know well enough with Drain Life’s evolution, or even with how Harvest Life evolved in MoP beta. We had the Life Tap fiasco in MoP beta where our self-healing was so nerfed so far such that we couldn’t recover from Life Tap, so we eventually either went OOM or dead. So we warlocks have this weird balance where we need enough self-healing to make up for the health-costing abilities, but not so much self-healing that we can basically ignore boss mechanics when we feel like it or an otherwise lack of outside healing.

The major change for Healthstones is that it’s going to be a 1-use per fight (down from 3-5 use) and that it’s tied to the same CD as a healing potion (in Warlords, Healing Tonic). Additionally, the amount a Healthstone heals for also got nerfed.

Better-Good Design

When the newest build came out, Zinnin () asked Celestalon if Healthstones needed to be nerfed further, because they were already below the potion’s heal. Celestalon replied that the Tonic-Healthstone relationship was supposed to be more like the 300-275 stat food relationship, where one is technically better but the other isn’t absolutely terrible.

The difference between 275 & 300 stat foods is 25 stat,. If you represent this in a ratio, 300:275, then we get 1.09:1. It was further of a minor difference because in Mists, 25 Intellect (e.g.) was almost nothing of a boost compared to what you’d get from a gem or an enchant.

Let’s see how healthstones & tonics compare.

Healthstones: Build 18738

I got to thinking about the influence of Versatility and Blood Pact’s healing increase component, so I asked around on Twitter for a body to eat a handful of cookies for me and Dayani (@healiocentric /Healiocentric blog ) volunteered. After doing some gear switches to play with Versatility a bit, with both of us eating cookies and sharing numbers in party chat, we figured out that the tooltip takes into account the Versatility the user has, but not the Blood Pact passive. The total heal takes into account both.

I’ve unfortunately lost all the exact numbers because I didn’t record our party chat until half of it was cut off by the chat log’s limit. But the important thing is that I can replicate them!

The flat Healthstone heal is 15%.  My maximum health will always be 289,740. (Unless I exchange some gear or drink a stamina flask, but warlocks always have the 10% raid buff due to the Blood Pact passive.)

Then you take into account your Versatility. On my premade orc in 660 PvP gear, I have 1.63% Versatility. 15*1.0163 = 15.2445%. The tooltip still says 15%.

Then we need to factor in how I’m a warlock who is at least level 80, which means I have the Blood Pact passive. Blood Pact is a complex passive in Warlords that has 3 parts, but the important part here is that line about “increases all healing you receive by 10%.”

So we take our 15.2445 and multiply it by 1.10, which gives us 16.76895% of max health, which is 48,586.35573 health. When I take a health dip (by using the equipment sets feature to go full nude then fully geared again in one click), then use a healthstone, I receive a heal for 48587. It’s off by 1, so I know from Theck’s lessons that there’s some rounding going on in there. But I don’t care enough about 1 health point to go find out where.

When I put raid buffs on with a cauldron in Shattrath, my theory holds.

Base heal (15%) * Versatility (1.0463) * Blood Pact healing passive (1.10) = 17.2% heal. I should get something around a 50020 heal and I got 50021.

Dayani’s cookie-eating corresponded — on a shaman, her Versatility affected her cookie heal. (Also A’dal’s pesky Shatt buff affected it!)

Healing Tonics 

At level 95, I’m still in my raid gear when I got copied over, which gives me a max health of 148,980 and some Versatility of 1.22% (because I’m human, so I get free Versatility). I also unglyphed Healthstone and didn’t have Grimoire of Sacrifice buffed when I logged in. I was buffed with Dark Intent, but that’s spellpower and multistrike, so who cares.

My crafted Healing Tonic says it restores 56,681 health. When I actually drank the Healing Tonic, it healed me for 62350.

That’s accurate, because 56681*1.10 (to account for Blood Pact) = 62349.1.

The tooltip for the Healing Point takes into account Versatility, as it turns out. The Wowhead tooltip scaled down to level 95 for Healing Tonic is 56000. 56000*1.0122 = 56683, which is close enough for government work. Same thing when you apply it to the level 100 version — 68000 — though the Versatility % tooltip must do some rounding. Eventually you do it the long way through rating and Dayani is amazing again with math and figuring out the rounding spot, and you get basically the correct answer where the 68000 Tonic heals a warlock for 68000*1.0163 = 69109 on the tooltip, but effectively 76019 when we include Blood Pact.

Comparison: Tonics & Stones

So here’s the deal. Give or take some rounding errors, Healthstones work like this:

% max health heal =15% max health * (1+Vers) * Blood Pact

And Tonics work like this:

# heal = 68000 * (1+Vers) * Blood Pact

Assuming a warlock standing around, you get Blood Pact; if you’re some other class or situation, you can get some other healing done/taken effect going on (like A’dal’s Swiggity Swattrath Buff).

It comes down to whether a 68k heal is better than 15% max health. If 68k was 15% of your maximum health, you’d have 453,333.3333 repeating health. So maybe when we get to the end of the expansion and you’re sitting at 453,334 health, your Healthstone will finally match Healing Tonic.

Right now, in 660 PvP gear, we have 289,740 max health (15% = 43461). Even if I use Shadow Bulwark off a voidwalker sacrifice, I can only get up to 376,662 health (15% = 56499.3).

68k right now is about 23.5% max health. That’s almost 1.5 times a Healthstone’s heal. That’s not a better-good competition, that’s a good-crap competition.

At 1.09, Healthstone heals 62385 health, or 21.5% max health.

At 1.10, Healthstone heals 61818 health, or 21% max.

At 1.15, Healthstone heals 59130 health, or 20% max.

At 1.20, Healthstone heals 56667 health, or 19.5% max.

At 1.25, Healthstone heals 54400 health, or 18.8% max.

If I take a look at the Shadow Bulwark situation, where I increased my maximum health without touching my Versatility, where I increased my healthstone’s heal without increasing the tonic’s heal — the tonic is still better, 68000 to 56499 being 1.20 ratio. You’re only going to get to a stamina-only increase like that through a temporary raid CD. Stamina flasks don’t even begin to compare to that (30% max health is in the realm of 85k; a stamina flask is 18k health).

I don’t feel like or think that’s balanced. 15% is way too low.

If 68k is the accepted base heal for a potion, the Healthstone should be brought back up to a 20% max health heal, to at least give a little choice. To go to the 1.09 ratio of the stat foods, Healthstone would have to be buffed from live realms to 21.5% max health.

Otherwise, if we’re tuning to Healthstone’s 15%, the Tonic needs to be nerfed to something like 48k to get to a ratio of 1.09. The compromise 1.20 ratio would be a 52k heal.

TL;DR

Buff Healthstones and/or nerf Healing Tonics.

Edit: Already Changed

I @’d my post to Celestalon, and he replied that Healthstone has already been changed in the next build to be a flat base heal of 50k instead of based on max health percent. So now both warlock formulas for Tonics and ‘Stones are: # heal = [68000 (Tonic) / 50000 (Healthstone)] * (1+Versatility) * Blood Pact.

I’d reasoned out a 1.20:1 ratio as fair, which left me at thinking buffing Healthstone to heal 52k. Not too shabby for speculation!


TC101: Multistrike & Versatility

I’ll revisit how to calculate Intellect when I get around to analyzing Spellpower, but for now, I can do more of the simple things like rating conversions.

Multistrike and Versatility are the easiest of the five secondaries to discuss because they have a rather uncomplicated and passive effect on our damage done. Critical strike chance, haste, and mastery all have particular spec implications of what they do for damage, even if you don’t consider the specialization attunements.

Multistrike

Multistrike is pretty simple to figure out.

The full 660 PvP premade gear on the PvP level 100 character has 590 Multistrike rating in total. By removing pieces of gear and comparing the percents, I figured the appropriate rating conversion.

  • 590 = 8.94% –> 590/8.94 = 65.9955 rating
  • 513 = 7.77% –> 513/7.77 = 66.02 rating
  • 411 = 6.23% –> 411/6.23 = 65.97 rating

I guessed that the actual rating conversion is 66 rating = 1.00% Multistrike, that the percentage was determined by gear_total/conversion, and that the final percentage was rounded.

  • 590/66 = 8.939393…rounds to 8.94%
  • 513/66 = 7.77272727…rounds to 7.77%
  • 411/66 = 6.2272727…rounds to 6.23%

And I think I’m right.

When it comes to enhancements, there are static enchants, a weapon enchant proc, a food buff, a flask, and a raid buff. These all appear to be additive by rating or flat percentage.

Remember, my base gear had 590 = 8.94% Multistrike.

ms-enchant

Enchant Cloak – Breath of Multistrike

  • +200 MS
  • 590 + 200 = 790
  • 790/66 = 11.969696…

I had actually forgotten to test the static enchants, so that screenshot is on my undead warlock. The rest I was testing on the blood elf warlock. Racial pick doesn’t matter for Multistrike, anyway.

ms-flask

Draenor Multi-Strike Flask

  • Blizzard hasn’t copyedited how it wants to spell Multistrike, I guess.
  • +400 MS
  • 590 + 400 = 990
  • 990/66 = 15

ms-food

Food – Rylak Crepes

  • +125 MS
  • 590 + 125 = 715
  • 715/66 = 10.8333333…

ms-flask+food

Flask + Food

  • + 400 + 125 MS
  • 590 + 400 + 125 = 1115
  • 1115/66 = 16.89393939…

ms-flask+food+buff

Flask + Food + Buff

The buff is just a flat percent addition on top of whatever rating total you have.

  • 1115 rating + 5%
  • 1115/66 = 16.89393939…
  • 16.89% + 5% = 21.89%

ms-proc-buffed

Weapon enchant proc — Mark of the Frostwolf

Temporary enchants also just add rating. The weapon enchant proc gives 500 Multistrike for 6 seconds.

  • Started with flask, food, buff = total 21.89%, 1115 rating
  • 1115 + 500 = 1615
  • 1615/66 = 24.469
  • 24.47% + 5% = 29.47%

So, in summary, Multistrike chance = round(total_rating/66 + raid_buff_percent), where total_rating includes gear, enchants, flask, and food.

Versatility

Versatility has two effects to it: damage or healing done and damage taken. I started referring to these as DD/DT, so I’ll often write “V” numbers as x% / y%. The DT number is always half the DD number. Thus, depending on what you want out of Versatility, you can find it by:

  • %DD = round(total_rating/130)
  • %DT = round(total_rating/260)

If you add anything to the DD percentage, you can only add half to the DT percentage to get the correct number. It’s easier to make that mistake of blindly applying a whole percentage (like the raid buff) to the DT number, so I think it’s better to think of them as two different rating conversions, depending on which one you’re aiming for. This way, the raid buff adds 390 rating, instead of trying to remember to halve the percent.

Versatility is also a good (current) example of when tooltips are lying out their textual asses.

If you equip or unequip gear, the rating number changes as it should. If you enchant gear, the number changes.

But if you eat, flask, buff up, or switch to a human (with the racial affecting Versatility) the rating doesn’t move, despite showing an increase in percentages. So when I write “212” (#), I mean that the tooltip currently says it’s 212 rating, but I know it’s actually the (#) rating applying.

Base Versatility

If you take off all your gear on a non-human, you get 0 rating with 0% DD or DT. On a human, you get +100 Versatility rating as a passive racial, but the tooltip will say 0 rating. To find the conversion, we consulted some numbers.

  • Dwarf 660 premade: 212 = 1.63%/0.82%
    • 212/1.63 = 130.0613
  • Human 660 premade: “212” (312) = 2.40% / 1.20%
    • 312/2.40 = 130
  • Human premade, naked: “0” (100) = 0.77% / 0.38%
    • 100/0.77 = 129.870

I estimated that the rating was 130, so the DT rating would be 260. The percentages are obviously rounded at the end.

  • 212/130 = 1.6307
  • 212/260 = 0.8153
  • 312/130 = 2.4
  • 312/260 = 1.2
  • 100/130 = 0.7692
  • 100/260 = 0.3846

Gear changes

This is my undead warlock with the premade gear, but with some changes. She has Crit/Versatility boots on (+102 V) instead of Crit/Mastery boots, and I’ve enchanted her cloak with 200 Versatility.

vers-gear

  • 212 starting V + 102 (boots) + 200 (static enchant) = 514 rating
  • 514/130 = 3.95384% DD
  • 514/260 = 1.97692% DT

Flask + Food + Buffs — Additive

Same thing with flask and food that happens with gear, except the rating tooltip is bugged. The flask adds 400 rating while the food adds 125 rating.

The raid buff adds 3% Versatility, which adds 3% to the DD and 1.5% to the DT. Rating-wise, it’s as if you had added 390 rating.

  • +food = “212” (337) = 2.59% / 1.30%
  • +flask = “212” (612) = 4.71% / 2.35%
  • +buff = “212” (602) = 4.63% / 2.32%

Let’s do math:

  • 337/130 = 2.5923
  • 337/260 = 1.2961
  • 612/130 = 4.70769
  • 612/260 = 2.35384
  • 602/130 = 4.6307
  • 602/260 = 2.3153

Fully Buffed Human

If we get a fully buffed human, I expect:

  • 212 (premade gear) + 100 (human racial) + 125 (food) + 400 (flask) + 390 (raid buff) = 1227 rating
  • 1227/130 = 9.4384
  • 1227/260 = 4.7192

And what do we get? Remember, it’s “212” rating.

vers-buffed-human

Woot!


TC101 Homework: Character Sheet Stat Calculations

We all see the finished guides and models from theorycrafters, but despite theorycrafters and guidewriters alike swearing they’re not actually gods who get everything right on the first try, we don’t really see the trial-and-error experiments or calculations behind theorycrafting.

I’ve done plenty of following along with theorycrafting over the years, but I’ve not actually tried to derive the equations myself until now.  Theck’s done some teaching; I figure now it’s time to show off some learning. This post will probably be full of mistakes, but that’s OK, because learning. I hope someone out there enjoys this sample of my theorycrafting “homework.”

  1. I do write out on my notes to myself like “let’s do X” “OK that didn’t work, why” “here’s why” when doing math/science things because I got used to doing that when explaining math to myself in school. Y’know, the whole “let X equal 5, let Y equal 6, *do funky equations*” stuff. So it’s not just my guidewriting slipping in — I really do write to myself like that!
  2. If I slip between singular and plural, that’s my bad — Theck’s using the first person plural because he’s walking us through it, and I was reading along with Theck while doing these calculations, but I typically write in first person singular, so um, yeah, confusion.

Determining Base Intellect

Pulling the base stats for warlocks, we get this:

Warlock
Strength 551
Agility 985
Intellect 1042
Stamina 890
Spirit 1155

And pulling the racial modifiers for warlock-able races, we get this:

Human Dwarf Gnome Worgen
Strength 0 5 -5 3
Agility 0 -4 2 2
Intellect 0 -1 3 -4
Stamina 0 1 0 0
Spirit 0 -1 0 -1

My blog theme can cut off the table, so I split it into Alliance (above) and Horde (below).

Orc Undead Troll Blood Elf Goblin
Strength 3 -1 1 -3 -3
Agility -3 -2 2 2 2
Intellect -3 -2 -4 3 3
Stamina 1 0 0 0 0
Spirit 2 5 1 -2 -2

While I have created a level 100 premade of every warlock race on the PvP beta server, I decided I’d go with troll. I normally play a human, but troll is the race that SimulationCraft uses (particularly the affliction warlock model).

Variables: (Sorry, I’m not a LaTeX wizard like Theck is)

  • B = class_base + race_base = 1042 + (-4) = 1038
  • G = 2378

Formulas:

  • CS_Base = B = 1038
  • CS_Bonus = G = 2378
  • CS_Total = B + G = 3416

Basic math, woot! We can do this!

base-int

…1089 + 2496 = 3585.

Um.

…OK.

I double-checked to make sure I was in no-selected spec. I switched to my human premade, and same thing — the numbers didn’t match.

The First Difference Between Warlocks and Paladins

Paladins can wear any of the 4 armor class items, even though they eventually prefer wearing plate. Warlocks, on the other hand, can only ever wear cloth. Paladins, like other higher armor class wearers, get a passive at level 50 that gives them 5% extra preferred primary stat if they stick to wearing all plate. Warlocks do not need this incentive to pick a particular type of gear, but to balance everything, we get a “congrats, you can only wear one thing!” 5% primary stat bonus at 50.

Another difference I noticed is that the theorycrafters I look to for learning theorycrafting — Theck, Arielle, Hamlet, etc. — are all players of hybrid classes. Theck’s first screenshot in the 101: Character Stats post where he’s determining the base stats clearly has his plate gear on — he just hasn’t chosen a specialization yet. The preferred primary stat for paladins can depend on spec — protection prefers Stamina, retribution prefers Strength, and holy prefers Intellect. So the passive doesn’t activate for paladins until you choose a spec.

Our problem above with the character sheet and Theck’s very first calculations example is that all warlocks like Intellect. That’s just how it is when you’re a pure DPS caster class. And the game knows this — that we only wear cloth and we only like Intellect. So it doesn’t need to take those considerations out when we’re not in a particular spec.

So let’s skip ahead to when Theck calculates that passive for paladins and see if it matches my numbers for warlock.

The Armor Skill Formerly Known as Nethermancy

Theck’s picking retribution; I’m picking affliction.

If I was right — that the base intellect really was supposed to be 1038 + 2378 from gear = 3416 total, what happens if we repeat Theck’s first error and just multiply by 1.05?

  • 3416 x 1.05 = 3586.8

The character sheet had displayed 3585 — which is close, much like Theck’s simple error is. So I’m probably right — the cloth armor bonus is already factored in for warlocks where it’s not for paladins. Let’s continue with the calculation.

  • CS_Base = floor( B x 1.05 ) = floor( 1038 x 1.05 ) = floor(1089.9) = 1089
  • CS_Bonus = floor( G x 1.05) = floor( 2378 x 1.05 ) = floor(2496.9) = 2496
  • CS_Total = CS_Base + CS_Bonus = 1089 + 2496 = 3585

Yay! The numbers match!

So, before we go to the next step, let’s reiterate all our variables:

  • AC_multiplier = 1.05
  • B = class_base + race_base = 1042 + (-4) = 1038
  • G = gear_stat = 2378

And all our formulas:

  • CS_Base = floor( B x match )
  • CS_Bonus = floor( G x match )
  • CS_Total = CS_Base + CS_Bonus

Buffed: 5% Intellect

I’m not a paladin, so I can’t buff myself with Kings, but I can stand in Shattrath with the beta cauldrons. I clicked a beta cauldron to get the raid buffs and clicked off everything except the 5% Strength, Agility, Intellect stats buff.

stats-buff-int

Like Theck’s ret paladin, the base for my affliction warlock hasn’t changed: it’s 1089.

If I apply the Kings buff like Theck has, where I multiply my total unbuffed Intellect by 1.05, I actually get a different comparative number than Theck does.

  • Theck multiplied his unbuffed 4023 Strength by 1.05 and got 4224.2, which would be correct according to his character sheet if he floored that.
  • I multiply 3585 Intellect by 1.05 to get 3764.25 — which still wouldn’t be the 3765 Intellect on my character sheet if I floored it!

OK. Well. Skipping ahead worked last time.

Theck’s all like “so the formula for the bonus is”:

  • CS_Bonus = G x match x multiplier + B x match x (multiplier – 1)

And I’m like, whoa whoa whoa, hold up, where’d you get that, Theck. So let’s try it out.

We got closest to the answer when multiplying the total unbuffed stat by 1.05. (We’re going to write this a little backwards so we can match Theck’s formula visually.)

  • CS_Total = multiplier x ([ G x match ] + [ B x match ])

Expand it out:

  • CS_Total = multiplier x G x match + multiplier x B x match

The problem is that it’s attributing all of that to the stat bonus, CS_Bonus. CS_Bonus = CS_Total – CS_Base. So subtract a CS_Base equivalent from each side.

  • CS_Total – CS_Base = multiplier x G x match + multiplier x B x match – B x match

We can clean this up a bit.

  • CS_Bonus = multiplier x G x match + (multiplier – 1) x B x match

Which looks like Theck’s. Cool beans. Math!

  • CS_Bonus = multiplier x G x match + (multiplier – 1) x B x match
  • CS_Bonus = 1.05 x 2378 x 1.05 + (1.05 – 1) x 1038  x 1.05
  • CS_Bonus = 2676.24
  • Character Sheet bonus = 2676

Theck got a one-off; we got what we’d get if we floored it.

We’ll still do it Theck’s way for the sake of learning.

  • G = 2378
  • B = 1038
  • match = 1.05
  • multiplier = 1.05

And, with the help of some spreadsheets to make the calculations easier, we get for the first batch of flooring:

  • F1 = 2675.295
  • F2 = 2675.495
  • F3 = 2676.195
  • F4 = 2675.745

We actually get F3 for our answer — which doesn’t match Theck’s ret spec strength problem, but it matches his prot spec stamina problem. We find out that none of these formulas work. So it’s not our math that’s the problem. Reading on, Theck has walked us through an entirely incorrect hypothesis for the purpose of learning. Yay learning!

Hypothesis, Take Two

So, we’re at “A Change of Approach” in Theck’s post, and I don’t feel like retyping out that set of six formulas in nonLaTeX text. So go look.

Let’s bring up the picture of our total intellect with a stats buff on to refresh the numbers.

stats-buff-int

Our variables: B = 1038, G = 2378, match = 1.05, multiplier = 1.05.

  • T1 = 3765.195
  • T2 = 3765.395
  • T3 = 3765.195
  • T4 = 3765.745
  • T5 = 3764.25
  • T6 = 3765.00

In contrast to Theck, the warlock numbers can only rule out 1 formula — T5, which hilariously enough is the SimC formula for MoP, according to Theck. Theck’s retribution paladin strength problem rules out T2, T3, T4, and T6, so he decides to test T1 & T5.

To entertain Theck’s thought process, I looked at how he demonstrates that T5 can be off by 1 in Warlords stats. Our B times the match — 1038 x 1.05 — gives us 1089.9, which is similar to Theck’s made-up example of 919 x 1.05 = 964.95. Both numbers are super close to the next integer, which gives the one-off difference between flooring and not flooring.

Our T1 = 3765.195 and our T5 is one-off at 3764.25, so we already know that the more correct formula is T1:

  • CS_Total = multiplier * ( floor( G *match) + B*match )

Theck cleans up the formulas:

  • C = floor(G*match) + B*match
  • CS_Base = floor(B*match)
  • CS_Total = floor(C*multiplier)
  • CS_Bonus = CS_Total – CS_Base

A Case of Stamina

Just out of curiosity, though, how would a warlock test the T formulas if she didn’t have Theck’s post? Remember, we only ruled out 1 of the 6 formulas with the warlock numbers. You can’t just sit there and guess with that.

I figured I’d go back to stamina, like Theck did.

Let’s start at the beginning. Remember that we’re trolls.

  • B = 890 + o = 890
  • G = 3250

stam-warlock

Theck still uses match = 1.05, because Stamina is what protection paladins get for their armor class match (retribution gets Strength). So he can use the same number for Stamina because it’s the same passive, just different spec & stats.

Warlocks can only get Intellect and thus can’t get a Stamina bonus through armor class, so our match can’t be 1.05. But we clearly have a modifier of some kind going on in our base stamina, because 979 definitely isn’t 890.

I hypothesize that it’s our Blood Pact passive. Let’s look at the tooltip (here’s the Wowhead double-check):

bpact

The 10% that goes with nearby party and raid members is the raid buff equivalent that warlocks bring. In Mists of Pandaria, our Dark Intent buff provides this along with the 10% spellpower buff, but in Warlords, Dark Intent is providing 10% spellpower with 5% Multistrike. Our old DI’s stamina portion is being rolled into our Blood Pact passive, which acts like an aura (like when a shaman provides mastery just by being a shaman). The other portion is our old Fel Armor passive.

This could go one of two ways. The base stamina could be counting both the Fel Armor portion and the raid buff portion together, since we will always have both parts simply for being warlocks. Or, the base stamina could just be counting the Fel Armor portion, and the raid buff is treated like a total stat modifier, much like the Kings/Mark of the Wild stats buff was treated.

Since I’ve already spent time on beta looking at warlock buffs, I have a strong feeling that it’s the latter case. If you click a beta cauldron in Shattrath, your scrolling combat text says “<Blood Pact> fades, <Stamina Buff>.” Similarly, if you click off the Stamina buff you get from the cauldron, you get text that says ” <Stamina Buff> fades, <Blood Pact>.” My stamina also does not change in either total, base, or bonus when I do these clicking on/off shenanigans. The buffs clearly share with & overwrite each other instead of stacking.

So let’s try this.

  • B = 890
  • G = 3250
  • Fel_Armor = 1.10
  • multiplier = 1.10

CS_Base = floor(B * Fel_Armor) = floor(890 * 1.10) = floor(979.00).  And what was our base tooltip again?

stam-warlock

Woot!

OK, time to test the multiplier effect. I don’t know if we have a high enough multiplier to prove the T functions like Theck did with the protection paladin, but we can try.

  • T1 = 5009.4
  • T2 = 5008.9
  • T3 = 5009.4
  • T4 = 5008.5
  • T5 = 5009.4
  • T6 = 5008

Ooof, not quite. For Stamina, T1, T3, and T5 could work. (They’re also all the same answer!) We already know that T5 doesn’t, since our Intellect didn’t work well with T5. So we’re down to T1 and T3.

The difference is whether you floor the G*match or whether you floor the B*match.

  • G*match = 3250*1.10 = 3575
  • B*match = 890*1.10 = 979

I think it has to do with how it’s a bit harder for me to get a non-integer number with the 1.10 multipliers. Both my B & G numbers are divisible by 10, so when you multiply them by 1.10, you’re going to get an integer again. So there’s no difference between flooring it or not flooring it.

We can’t change the B number, since it’s based on race and class, but we can change the G number, which is based on gear. I unequipped my helm (+331 stamina), which leaves me with 2919 stamina from gear.

  • B*match = 890*1.10 = 979
  • G*match = 2919*1.10 = 3210.9

This should be a good number to test, because it’s so close to the next integer that flooring G*match should make a difference versus not flooring.

  • T1 = 4607.9
  • T3 = 4608.69

Aaaand it does make a difference of, ding ding ding, one. Let’s check with the in-game tooltip when I have my helm removed:

stam-nohelm

Woot! T1 is confirmed to be the correct formula for warlocks, backing up Theck’s theory.

Until Next Time

While Theck goes on to deal with racial bonuses, food, and flasks, I think I’ll stop this “homework” post for now.

Besides, all of the racial cases he’s testing — tauren’s Endurance, draenei’s Heroic Presence, and pandaren’s Epicurean — are not applicable to warlocks because warlocks can’t be any of those races. I feel good enough reading through Theck’s post to broaden my knowledge of it, but I don’t think many (if any) of the warlock races have flat permanent bonuses like that until we get into secondary stats.

I suppose that’s my next “homework” — finding all the base values for all the warlock races as well as the warlock specs and branching out into theorycrafting the secondary stats. Then I can get into flasks and food, since most of the flasks and food in Warlords involve the secondaries, not Intellect.

I enjoyed my “homework,” so I hope you did, too, and maybe I’ll see you next time with more shemathigans.


Back in business? Maybe

megaera25

Sorry for the … uh what shall we call this. I don’t want want to say this blog is dead, though it rather was for a while. When your warlock blog becomes a series of writing rants or posts about how your guild is recruiting, it might fit the bill of mostly dead. It’s not all-dead, because there’s only one thing you can do with all-dead.

Speaking of recruiting, my guild is 5/12 N on 25-man as of last night. We finished off T14 as 4/16 25H. We’re a bit full at the moment, though being full never lasts for long. At this point I think we’re looking for an awesome mage or warlock to fill it out. We’re trying to add a third night to our 25man schedule, so being able to raid at least 2 of 3 nights — Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday — is something you need to be able to do. Preferably a Sunday night since that’s the added day and our raiders are already used to showing up for W & Th.

I should update our kill pictures and other things on my guild page, but I have other things I’m doing. Have a screenshot.

megaera25

Back to the blog.

Writing Blood Pact basically just meant that everything I wanted to talk about warlock-wise went there. For one, it’s paid over there and not over here, but for two, I also felt a little guilty if I wanted to take a topic over here, even if I thought it was too long/big to discuss over there. I just kept telling myself that it was writing practice, to work on my tendency to filling space with needless words.

But, writing for Blood Pact is highly public, and since I am The Warlock Columnist with all the capital letters of importance, any misstep I make is blown out of (or just into bigger) proportion instead of what happens when a random blogger missteps in her own corner of the internet. There’s not much room to learn, unless I try to do it with the creative side instead of with the actual facts.

Also, hi, I’ve been the warlock columnist at WoW Insider for a year now and I haven’t died yet. Go me. Insert joke about knocking on a tree druid without somehow sounding perverse.

Moving on, I’m trying to learn from my lessons there. I’m going to explore doing fun projects or topics, researching before I write this time, and then trying to not sound/read like a school paper summary on the topic. But to support that, I need space to muse and go in the wrong directions of the maze despite all the hate the internet gives you when you dare to do something suboptimally. Learning doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Well, OK, you can read textbooks all you want and do experiments by yourself, but I think you get more out of learning when you do it with someone else, conversing about it.

Doing my own little projects is a thing I having really done since high school. Oddly enough, my depression and anxiety issues really started get in my way around then, too. Maybe coincidence — I’m sure I haven’t been taking care of myself as well as I should now that I’m on my own and have no parents to schedule things for me. But I have found myself less angry and less agitated in general when I create outside of pure research writing, which is what most of Blood Pact and boss guides for the guild have been. When I creatively write, whether fiction or poetry, or when I draw or when I try to organize gear or strategies or transmogs together, then I seem to find my inner peace more often.

So I’m going to go in that direction and hope it takes me closer to my mountain. I feel like I don’t know where my mountain is. Some days I’m surrounded by trees, so it’s a nice view, but I can’t see my mountain. Sometimes, much like last week and rather most of 2013 so far, those trees are thorns and I’m all out of swords.

So here’s to CFN and  some theorycrafting pursuits that are hopefully not as incorrect or misled as I think they probably will be. (Maybe some toon roleplay? Maybe.) FC is going to stop trying to be fancy pants warlock who is always perfect and just go back to being my personal space, where often warlock things will happen.


My Gearsheet

Inspired by the Blueberry Totem post about how much BS is in “BiS lists.”  I agree, so I’m going to show you my own Excel spreadsheet of items for my own PvE gearset.  It’s not really a BiS list; in my view, it’s more of a source list than anything.  I encourage you to make your own; I’m just showing you mine (& possibly how I make mine).

I double-checked with people (via Twitter) whether uploading my own Excel sheet would be useful or not.  General consensus was people will use it just to tweak their own sets, so it’s meh if not useful.  I then commented the crap out of my Excel sheet, so putting a minimal FAQ (by worksheet) here.

If you have questions or comments, just comment on this post. More-tag time.


To Beta or Not To Beta

…actually, I think, Gazimoff already did this title.

Nope! SCORE!

Anyway, World of Raids is looking for some bloggers to take some beta keys and I was tempted.

(Well, actually, I ended up posting anyway, but I’m still not sure of myself.)

I think it was temptation.  I thought “Ooooh!” because they specifically mentioned DKs, Druids, and Warlocks, and I’m at least one of those three.  But then I thought about why I wanted the key. Just to experience new content now rather than later?  Or to actually test the material?  I think I would test anyway, and I try my best to give constructive feedback when it’s wanted, but I’m not sure of myself.

Audience

For one, I’m a small blog.  That is, I hit 50 views on a good day.  (I haven’t gotten any beta scams in my email box, either.)  It’s okay, for the most part, I’m writing more for me than for large swathes of trolls (and gnomes and draenei and…) to give me attention.  So it’s not like me making a post about warlock mechanics in beta build XYZ is going to make much of a bang.  Most likely warlocks are already following the beta-goers posting in the Warlocks’ Den or reading Jagoex in Blood Pact on WoW.com.

Jagoex is really good, too.

Then there’s Nibuca, whom I once dubbed the Queen of Affliction.  She updated the affliction warlock part of Raider101.  I’d write a good long draft on some 3.3 cool thing, she’d post, and I’d see that her post was both better and clearer (more succinct?) than mine ever was.

So my being in the beta would only go so far if I can’t bring the beta to the community through my blog.

Specs

Don’t know much about pyrology,

Don’t know much demonology,

Don’t know much about Molten Core,

Don’t know what a Conflagrate‘s for.

But I do know that I love you,

And I know that if you love me, too,

What a shadowy world this would be.


Now I don’t claim to be some wiz Eee Jay,

But I’m tryyyying to be.

So maybe by being an Eee Jay beta

I can win your key for me.

That is how the song goes, right?

Theorycrafting & Class Guides

I’m not EJ-technical.  I try to understand the mechanics behind my spells.  I even practice it on a dummy for hours.  But the EJ how-to’s are a) stuck in BC, and b) written for people who already understand the mechanics.

In a word, they’re useless.

I’ve wanted to write a How To Be a Good Warlock series for a while.  I’ve been told in-game I’m a “good warlock.”  Whether that means I do uber DPS (prolly not) or that I simply take my healers into consideration and don’t Life Tap myself to death, I still consider myself pretty knowledgeable about affliction warlockery.  I want to share it.

But.

It’s late Wrath.  I got into the blogging game late, too. I do more lurking in forums than I do posting, mainly because I don’t feel as knowledgeable as those who were there since Vanilla.  Not to mention there are so many points of view I could be talking on, it’s hard to write a non textwall without generalizing and having it read wrong.  I feel like all I want to say has already been said before and I’d get laughed at for reiterating something so basic.  Even with all the PUG horror stories out there.

In Cataclysm, everything’s being changed.  I’m in the starting gates right now.  I haven’t been out on the practice track, but I’m ready for the race.

I Love To Tinker

When my dad and I played Baldur’s Gate or Myst or Might & Magic, we’d first do it blind.  Maybe we used paper and pencil to write down the puzzle codes in-game or whatever, but we wouldn’t use any walkthroughs or maps or guides that didn’t come in the box.  We’d beat the game au naturale first, and then we’d go back and God-mode the heck out of it.

I’ve been leveling my alts without heirlooms.  I find it more fun that way, having to actually struggle against appropriate-level quests and actually using quest rewards that are actually better than what I’m wearing.  I love making my own talent spec while leveling, never looking at a talenting or glyphing guide until I’m cap level.  I like reading the quest text and exploring my way there instead of immediately Wowheading it for the coordinates.

I actually like making the trip back to the quest giver instead of having a turn-in in-the-field.  *cough*  Makes for strategic hearthstone setting.

I like exploring.

I think I have the right mindset for beta testing.

But I’m not quite confident enough to say I would be great for it, to add to the beta forums or the community well.

I feel like a minnow.


Cata’ stats a’changing

Eyonix has posted information about the stat changes in Cataclysm on the forums.  I’m excited because it means totally revamping most or all of the theorycrafting formulae, so I finally get to see first-hand how these numbers and stat weights come about as we all try to do it again.  I plan to spend somemore lurkage on Elitist Jerks to figure out how exactly the pros will figure this out.

However, I’m pretty sure most players don’t care about the math and really wish it would go away.  That’s why they’re changing the stats, right?  Math or no math, it’s going to affect how you play in Cataclysm versus how you play now in Wrath.  So let’s go through these notes as fellow affliction warlocks.  I’ve also included some of the blue posts further down the thread that I think are relevant points.

What you’ll see on gear

Stamina – Because of the way we will be assigning Strength, Agility, and Intellect, non-plate wearers will end up with more Stamina than before. Health pools will be much closer between plate-wearers and other classes.

More stamina means less dying to stupid mechanics like fall damage.  Does anyone else remember having a health minimum (with Fortitude included) in order to do Malygos as a cloth-wearer because of the Vortex and its subsequent fall damage?  Or, as everyone was just beginning to hit 80 and do the heroics, being the only clothy in an all-plate group (pally healers!) and being told to stay in on Loken’s Nova?  More importantly, more stamina means more mana via life tap, and less chance to life tap yourself to death.

Spirit – Come Cataclysm, this stat should only be found on healing gear. Non-healing casters will have other systems in place to regenerate mana, and we are designing special solutions for Elemental shaman and Balance druids who often share gear with healers (more on this below). Raid buffs that currently boost Spirit (such as Blessing of Kings) will only boost the primary stats of Stamina, Strength, Agility, and Intellect. We are also likely changing the five-second rule and other quirks of the current regen system.

Any warlock worth their salt isn’t going to care really about the mp5 you get from Spirit.  Why?  Because we life tap.  And what about life tap? Oh, it has a glyph.  That scales with…spirit.  Like Fel Armor.

Yes, but what about warlocks, who get a bonus to SP based on Spirit when they have the armor buff up? Will that spell and buff be reworked as well?

Eyonix: It seems so. I would remind players who are focusing on individual talents and abilities to remember that we’re going to be doing a major redesign on all talent trees. So fear not, these changes are meant to work in conjunction with the design of each class come Cataclysm.

But Blizz has us warlocks covered. I figured they would change the spirit scaling to something like intellect scaling, since intellect will be reigning over spellpower.  But Eyonix goes further and reminds us that the talents will be majorly redone, so Life Tap and Fel Armor may not be what we currently know them as. Currently for affliction warlocks, Fel Armor is not affected through talents, and Life Tap’s only effect is whether you get 0/10/20% more mana return.

Will reforging become available when the stat changes come into effect?  Or will my gear with spirit on it become trash until it does?

Eyonix: Your gear won’t have spirit on it as a mage when Cataclysm hits.

So they *better* redo Fel Armor and Glyph of Life Tap.  Otherwise those will be worthless.

Intellect – Intellect will now grant Spell Power (more on this below). Intellect will also provide less mana than it currently does.

So we want lots of +int. Unfortunately, this means we will have to love mages for their buff.  Ewwwww, mages.  :)  Even though we have Fel Intelligence via the felhound, Arcane Intellect is more powerful.  I suspect that a lot of the enchants will be converted into the equivalent intellect, since there are a lot of spellpower enchants and few intellect ones.

Haste is changing its meaning for melee classes, but it will stay the same for us.

Mastery – This is a new stat that will allow players to become better at whatever makes their chosen talent tree cool or unique. It’s directly tied to talents, so what you gain from improving this stat is entirely dependent upon your class and the talent specialization you choose. We’ll talk more about specific Mastery benefits in the future.

What makes affliction cool and unique? DoTs.  Curses.  Drains.  Self-buffing debuffs like Haunt, Shadow Embrace.  Fluid double conversion of health and mana.  I feel like the concept is still too nebulous to ponder about, so I’ll talk about it more when Blizz talks about it more.

Armor – The way Armor mitigates damage is not changing, but the Armor stat has been rebalanced to mirror changes to the armor curve in Cataclysm. As a result, bonus Armor will go down slightly overall. We are also changing the mitigation difference among armor types so that plate doesn’t offer so much more protection than mail, leather, and cloth.

Have I mentioned that I hated an all-plate group telling me to stay in on Loken’s Nova?  But, as most healing blogs have already pointed out, this just means not having to prioritize raid-healing cloth-wearers over plate-wearers.

I don’t care about resilience because I don’t PvP as a warlock.

Hit will stay the same in meaning.
Crit will stay the same in meaning.

Stats being removed from items

Spell Power – Spell Power is another stat that you’ll no longer see present on most items. Instead, as mentioned above, Intellect will grant Spell Power. One exception is that caster weapons will still have Spell Power. This allows us to make weapons proportionately more powerful for casters in the same way they are for melee classes.

I’m a little confused.  Why not just put a crapton of intellect on the weapon?  How does a stat you’re removing from gear make it easier to scale it better than the one you’re going to be using?

Stats you’ll never see again…ever

We never really cared about mp5 anyway.

Spell Ranks – Spell ranks will cease to exist. All spells will have one rank and will scale appropriately with level. The levels at which you can learn certain spells are being changed in order to fill in some of the gaps, and we will be introducing some new spells to learn along the way as well.

So, finally, all those jackasses who won’t turn off their Rankwatch, citing you should just leave the dungeon/battleground now to go train one flipping rank…Rankwatch will be dead.  However, using lower ranks is useful sometimes. I’m talking about Life Tap Rank 1 (~600 health to mana).  I don’t Life Tap Rank 8 (3.3k health to mana) when the fight starts, because I just want the glyph buff.  I also use it sometimes when I just need the glyph buff to reset but the raid is/I am taking a lot of damage, because I like to not piss off my healers by making the damage worse.

So uh, sorry healers, whenever spell ranks go away.  You might hate warlocks.  Again.  Also, it was pointed out later on about things like mage food utilize different ranks.

How will this work with summon food and water? These items have level limits. How will a mage be able to create the lower level items with ranks gone?

Ghostcrawler: There won’t be a way or need to cast the lower level spells. If you’re just worried about losing the flavor of croissants vs. strudel, we’re keeping that. At some point you’ll just start making the better breads.

Ghostcrawler, I think you’re missing the point of the question.  Like say you’re in SM:Armory, you’re level 35, so you can use Healthstone (lvl 34 min), no big deal.  But the healer is level 33.  Oops.  But with this new system, you can’t create a Lesser Healthstone (lvl 22 min).  Is it just going to scale depending on who is eating it, à la heirloom gear?  Or will level 34s get the same food as level 85s?

Weapon Skill – This stat will be removed from the game completely. Classes will start with all the weapon skills they need to know and will not need to improve them.

So Master or Arms and Did Somebody Order a Knuckle Sandwich? will become Feats of Strength?  Future warlocks won’t have excuses to go banish an elemental into a punching bag?  Awwww, come on… Way to go, Blizz, taking the cap-level toon’s only legit reason to run Stockades in the nude.  Now we’ll just have to be silly. :P

What else you should know, stats-wise

Combat ratings – All ratings will be much harder to “cap out” at maximum gear levels. Ratings will be steeper in Cataclysm, and creatures in later tiers of content will be harder to hit or crit, similar to how level-83 mobs are harder to hit or crit than level-80 mobs.

Ratings will be steeper?  So I won’t still be hit-capped in my tier-10-esque gear when I raid at 85?  I’ll need MORE? Good GAWD, Blizz, how much more could I possibly need?  On the serious side of things, this means you need more crit rating and haste rating to cap those respective combat traits.  I figure healers will be freaking out more about the haste conversion rate.  But, I for one will be having fun seeing what popping my haste trinket and/or a haste potion during Heroism will reduce me to.

Reforging – While these changes will go a long way to making a wider variety of stats more attractive, we understand that sometimes you simply don’t want more Hit Rating on your gear or you’d rather have more Haste than more Crit. In Cataclysm, we are going to give players a way to replace stats on gear as part of the existing profession system. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll be able to convert one stat to 50% of another stat. While some conversions (like converting Stamina to Strength) won’t be permitted, the goal is to let you customize your gear more.

So…that umpteen +hit you have?  Convert it to haste. Or crit. Of course, the question isn’t really how much your Pawn scale is going to freak out every time you replace a slot, it’s whether you can only convert all or none of a stat to 50% of another.  This will come up when you need X +hit to be capped, but your only gear choices are X – 13 +hit or X + 17 +hit.  So you’re still going to be either gemming/enchanting for hit or being overcapped with a useless stat. Bwuh.  But the Haste to Crit or Crit to Haste will be nice.  I think they’ll limit it to the “green” stats, though. Otherwise we’d have casters with very little health but ungodly amounts of intellect/spellpower.

Gems – We are changing the gem colors of a few stats as a result of these adjustments. For example, Hit is likely to be blue instead of yellow. We’ll have more details on this in the future.

Currently, warlocks favor reddish sockets, because spellpower is a red gem stat.  If they convert spellpower into the equivalent intellect, well…you have red gems with intellect and…yellow gems with intellect.   BWUH?  So yeah, the colors are going to change. If intellect stays yellow, then warlocks will favor yellow, green, and orange gems.  If intellect switches to red, in order to replace spellpower, then our gem choice will hardly change, with the exception of spirited gems like Purified Dreadstone, since spirit will be gone and useless.

Changes to existing gear

If you are a DPS caster, expect to see:

    • A lot more Stamina.
    • All of your Spell Power converted to Intellect and Stamina.
    • No Spirit. You won’t miss Spirit, though, because you won’t need it for DPS or mana regen.

No surprise, given the rundown of stat changes.  Though, it mentions stamina, not only intellect, as being a spellpower holder. Given this information, stamina might be the new spirit for warlocks (spellpower modifier for things like Fel Armor).  You know, kind of like for cats, strength gives +2 attack power and agility gives you +1 attack power.  So there might be a similar intellect/stamina conversion for spellpower. Which means all that food and all those gems that have +stam at the end?  Ohhhhhh yeahhhhh.  Om nom spellpower.

If you are a healer, expect to see:

    • …Spirit instead of MP5. You’ll probably be happy with Spirit, though, because mana regen is going to matter more than it does currently. Healing paladins and shaman will benefit more from Spirit than they do currently.

If you are a Balance druid or Elemental shaman:

    • Your gear will have Spirit on it. It won’t have Hit on it.You will have a talent that converts Spirit to Hit.
    • We will adjust talents accordingly so that you want about as much Spirit as, say, a warlock wants Hit.
    • Hit on rings and other such gear will still benefit you.

So, the leather-wearing boomkin or mail-wearing elly won’t be snitching any cloth caster gear from you, because they will want totally different stats, which won’t be on your armor type. However, class-indifferent items like rings and neck pieces will still have stats they want, so we will still be competing will all casters on those slots.

Is there any way that we poor poor clothy dps casters can get some kind of assurance that we won’t have to compete with boomkins/ele shamans for our cloth gear once they hit their spirit/hit gear cap?

Ghostcrawler: There is a small Mastery bonus for wearing “your” gear. So a Balance druid who takes cloth will be essentially giving up free stats. Sometimes that may be worth it to them (just as sometimes it’s worth it for a Resto druid to take that piece of +hit gear), but often times it won’t be worth it especially if it’s an upgrade for you.

Healers won’t want +hit, and we won’t want their important spirit, but there may be some crossover anyway, especially with reforging coming into play. So we will both want the same piece of gear, but likely for different reforging reasons.

In summary

No more spellpower; instead, tons of intellect will be wanted.  We will have a lot more stamina, and possibly spellpower from said stamina.  The hit cap will go up again.  We will still love haste, probably, and crit too.  Spirit and mp5 will be gone, and mana regen will be implemented in talents.  But warlocks life tap anyway.  But our talents are being majorly redone, so Life Tap may change completely.

Mastery is focused on playing with your class and spec’s unique coolness, so I expect something along the lines of conversion of stats into damage or interesting curses or buffs to DoTs or more things that happen when we drain.  We also can’t forget the revamp of soul shards, and how they will play into buffing our spells during combat.

There are a few concerns regarding the disappearance of spell ranks, but this is more for convenience than an actual issue.

We get to celebrate sharing only cloth gear with other clothies, though with reforging stats, we might still have crossover items.  So same old, same old.

In summary, not much change on the clear horizon, lots of change on the fuzz horizon.  But I don’t yet see any major QQ points.

Fellow warlocks, your thoughts on the stats changes in Cataclysm?


Theorycrafting Spree/Rage

Theorycrafting post.  Because Nibuca said so.  The reason I started theorycrafting was because I like puzzles and it’s one big fucking puzzle.  Fucking is an accurate term because it fucks with your mind.  Honestly, just trying to read Elitist Jerks makes my head hurt.

The resistance mechanics thread, for example.  They just go straight into graphs and mathy shit.  Meanwhile, every time I see the word resistance, my brain shouts, “resistance of WHAT, goddamnit.  SPECIFIC PLEASE,” but no…apparently using words r 4 n00bz.  It would be amazing if every EJ thread explained stuff like Dwarf Priest did.

NUMBERS MEAN SHIT WITHOUT CONTEXT.  WTF, EJ.  I mean, they do go into theorycrafting theory (meta-meta-gaming?), but most of those articles are stuck in Burning Crusade.  So I end up using some combination of WowWiki, EJ, and my own warlock with a training dummy.  Because I’m paranoid and anal that articles without obvious dates may be out of date, so I have to test it myself.

Anyhoo.

My main goal is trying to figure out how people come up with gear stat weights, because every once in a while I have two pieces of equal ilvl gear (i.e., tier vs. non-tier) and I can’t quite tell which piece is more awesomer by just looking at it.  Also running something through Rawr comes up with a different answer than LootRank which is different from in-game Pawn.  WTF which one is it?  Since I’m paranoid and anal about scores without knowing how you get that score, I wanted to see how they get to such numbers like Pawn.

There’s a crapton of sites that rank your loot.  And lots of stat weights. Like, everywhere.  But there’s apparently no article whatsoever on HOW to get those numbers.

Pissed Poneria is pissed.

I mean, yeah, you can do the whole “oh, you make it equal to dps, like this much spellpower makes this much dps, and this much haste makes this much dps.”  It’s still a number…without how you got to that…

-.- wtb explanations of equations…PWITEE PLZ.

Sooooooooo…I’m starting from the basics.  Like spell power coefficients. I used to think spell power coeffs where WHOA complex.  They are CAKE.  Well, the direct damage and damage over time spells, anyway.  EJ & WowWiki differ on how to do channeled/leech spells, and the #s didn’t match up with a patch 3.2 Drain Soul ANYWAY, so I can’t do DS, because I don’t know what the flip it is.  I could use a dummy, yes, but the heroic boss dummy has a metric fucktonne of health, for a good reason, and it was at 95.4% last I tried. X(

And then I was thinking about how much spellpower affects your dps, just on maybe a simple spell like Shadow Bolt.  Which was cool, because, assuming it’s just me & no buffs, it’s just the talent multiplier * (avg base damage + spell_coeff*spellpower).

And then I thought…damage per second…do you count a direct damage spell like SB as all that damage in one second?  How does Recount do it?  Well, Recount takes your total damage and your total time and does a simple division.  It’s how AoE skews Recount.  When does time start? When you enter combat.  Okay, if you cast a SB before your DoT rotation (the favored optimal rotation), then yeah, the second the SB hits the target, you are in combat, and you deal all that damage.  But the normal use of your SB, time is already ticking when you start your CAST.

And then there’s the travel time of the bolt.  (Haunt also has a travel time.)

So that’s what…your cast time, plus…something.  I tested it out on my lock: max range with the dummy, it took about 2 “one thousands” to hit the dummy.  Decent-ish range is 1s worth of travel time.  So the longest time it would take is your cast time + 2s.  I use the longest time because the longest time creates the lower limit of dps (because dps = damage / time).  So…math…

dps = dmg / time

time = cast time + 2s

dmg = talents * (base + spell_coeff*spellpower)

dps_SB = (897.9 + 1.04726*sp) / (cast + 2)

But your haste affects your cast time.  So if you have more haste, then your cast time is less, which makes the sp more oomph.

And my mind just got blown at how your haste affects your spellpower importance.  It might be obvious or even just wrong reasoning (but explanations are WELCOME!), but my mind exploded and I had to stop there.

Mind being blown -> o_O face.

But I thought some more about haste and rotations.  I figured haste’s importance is you do your “debuff” rotation (aka, get all the debuffs up), and then more haste just means more SBs you can fit in, right?  But then I went to go test it.  You don’t just go: LTr1 > Haunt > UA >Corr > CoA > SB > SBxn > Haunt > UA > CoA > SBxn > Haunt, etc.

You do something more like: LTr1 > Haunt > UA > Corr > CoA > SB > SB > Haunt > SB > UA > SB > SB > Haunt > SB > LT > CoA > SB > UA…you weave in SBs with your DoTs and Life Tapping.  So it’s more complicated than just more SBs.

Bwuh.  My brain hurts.  Will try again later.


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