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Logix

Arcane in Cataclysm: Updated for 4.01

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Hell there,

So for this week I tried fire mostly with the exception of Blood Queen.

My question now is aimed towards the mages that did a proper full run of ICC and tried arcane the whole way what they did with their gemming. I would assume you ofcourse prioritise getting hit capped, after that get some extra haste. But after this I'm kinda stuck to change my crit to mastery or just leave it be.

Has any mage tested a full mastery set compared to crit for example with good positive feedback?

I hope this fits in this topic, if it didn't I'm sorry.

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Some input/evidence on the Armor Dilemma (mage vs molten in burn phase): during our run Wednesday I tried switching to Molten for Festergut's burn phase and keeping Mage for Rotface. I didn't really feel like the GCD burnt to throw Molten on justified the one or two extra crits I got out (esp since they were towards the end of the cycle when I evocated). Overall throughput was better using GCDs on standard CDs, with about 300 more DPS recorded.

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On trinkets I was wondering and have done a few tests on dummies resulting in a a bit more than 1k damage boost over [iTEM]Talisman of Resurgence[/iTEM] by using [iTEM]Nevermelting Ice Crystal[/iTEM] edit: this was tested from only doing a ab4x pop'n'burn once, then waiting for cds and testing again. dps from Talisman was around 10300-10500 and dps with Ice Crystal being 11500-11800

Although better options seem to be out there from icc and on, however for the future of arcane mages, might these "front loaded" trinkets proved more power than back loaded ones(that ramp up and deal most damage towards the end of their cycle such as ToR? This takes full advantage of mastery of course, as well as helps to make sure the burn phase is as powerful as possible.

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A new beta build will be going up shortly.

Arcane

* Arcane Specialization now increases damage of Arcane spells by 15%, down from 25%.

Fire

* Fire Specialization now increases damage of Fire spells by 10%, down from 25%.

Frost

* Frost Specialization now increases damage of all Frost spells by 15%.

It is, as of yet, unconfirmed if these changes are in addition to, or replace, the base damage and coefficient reductions that were pushed live and to the beta servers (albeit for a short time only).

A minor observation from these changes.

The relative power of Arcane's Flame orb vs non-Arcane specs flame orb just went up. Given that the premade, entry level raid Arcane mages can somewhat easily attain 25% damage bonus from mana adept, This means that Arcane's flame orb will be doing more basic damage then Fire's above ~52% mana and more damage then frost's above ~60% mana.

At 52% mana, the damage bonus from Mana Adept will be 13.03%. Fire's flame orb can do a maximum of 13% extra basic damage (10% from the specialization, 3% from the fire power talent). Naturally, this conclusion does not calibrate for the additional benefits both Frost and Fire glean from Flame orb, i.e. the explosion for fire and the increased FoF proc chance for frost.

Either way, given the rather absurdly good coefficient and extremely high DPCT of flame orb, it may end up being a staple part of Arcane's 'clicky macro of doom' when initiating a burn cycle.

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On trinkets I was wondering and have done a few tests on dummies resulting in a a bit more than 1k damage boost over [iTEM]Talisman of Resurgence[/iTEM] by using [iTEM]Nevermelting Ice Crystal[/iTEM] edit: this was tested from only doing a ab4x pop'n'burn once, then waiting for cds and testing again. dps from Talisman was around 10300-10500 and dps with Ice Crystal being 11500-11800

Although better options seem to be out there from icc and on, however for the future of arcane mages, might these "front loaded" trinkets proved more power than back loaded ones(that ramp up and deal most damage towards the end of their cycle such as ToR? This takes full advantage of mastery of course, as well as helps to make sure the burn phase is as powerful as possible.

Anecdotally it feels like Crit is more helpful for the burn phase than SP. I want to take advantage of the 200% crits more than I want my base to be a bit higher. Obviously it needs to be theorycrafted, but it seems like that's the way Arcane is heading post 4.0.1.

Similarly with haste. If 2ABAM/ABr is the rotation for the conserve phase in Cata due to proportionally smaller mana pools (I am led to believe ours are artificially high at current, hence why we can go for AB3AM/ABr without much issue), then aiming for 2 second casts on AB could well be the ideal as it means a smooth rotation through AB2ABr consistently if AM doesn't proc. On live with 1.9 second casts (and 200-300ms latency) there is difficulty chaining that rotation effectively, which results is a stutter in the casting, which ends up to be very frustrating.

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I may have missed it during while skimming the top post (thank you for your work!), but it seems to me that the mathematical result that, sans cooldowns, arcane mages should use their cycles in order of increasing MPS/DPS deserves a mention somewhere in the "other optimizations" section.

Even if it turns out to be optimal to use your high-DPS cycles near 100% to stack the mana gem bonus and other cooldowns with your peak mastery bonus, which seems quite plausible to me, once those bonuses wear off it will be optimal to switch back to your lower MPS/DPS cycles even if you still have more of your "burn phase" left.

I.e., you'd go (again, taking as given that it's optimal to burn near 100%) Gem to 100% -> other cooldowns -> Burn cycle until cooldowns + gem wear off -> lower DPS/MPS cycle(s), in ascending order if more than one -> Burn until evo comes up. Seems like something worth noting.

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All I can say is that in a 25 man icc, with hero/raid buffs/my own cooldowns popped, I was critting at 80k+. I have the Reign of the Unliving trinket and dfo. Later in the raid, I became mind controlled at the Blood Queen and killed the entire 25 man raid. Thus I have earned the nickname Magzilla.

The info here is excellent. Thanks guys for all you put into it.

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All I can say is that in a 25 man icc, with hero/raid buffs/my own cooldowns popped, I was critting at 80k+. I have the Reign of the Unliving trinket and dfo. Later in the raid, I became mind controlled at the Blood Queen and killed the entire 25 man raid. Thus I have earned the nickname Magzilla.

The info here is excellent. Thanks guys for all you put into it.

I had one crit for 99k, lol. Anyway It was discussed somewhere earlier about gemming. Has anyone done any math yet about whether we should just be gemming straight intellect or for set bonuses. The Int Haste gems for sure I think can go, and as far as spirit goes, is it worth it now with no more molten armor. Also I know its been discussed of and on, but any concrete haste and crit numbers we should be looking for. Based on what I've seen in raids to this point Crit>haste even for arcane.

Side note: I only really started using this site 5 months ago, and so far have been a leech more than a contributor. I would be very interested in getting involved in the theory crafting aspect and testing the numbers, but I would have no clue where to begin. If help is needed I am more than willing but would need some guidance to start.

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I may have missed it during while skimming the top post (thank you for your work!), but it seems to me that the mathematical result that, sans cooldowns, arcane mages should use their cycles in order of increasing MPS/DPS deserves a mention somewhere in the "other optimizations" section.

Indeed. It was less a case that I left it out and more a case that I was trying to find out exactly where and when I should place this information. I will be sure to add it (with proper links to the math) in my next iteration of the original post (which should be very soon).

Speaking of iterations. I completed my round of testing on both live and beta. It seems that the reduction of the damage bonus of the specializations bonuses are in fact not in addition to the base damage and coefficient reductions from a few nights ago. Currently on beta, the spell base and coefficients have been returned to their previous values and instead replaced with the overall specialization bonus reduction.

On live, however, the specialization bonus reduction is not present, hence, the base damage and coefficient reductions are still in place.

All of this, and more, is now fully supported in the latest version of MMS, which I have just pushed live.

A new version of Mana Made Simple is now online!

(http://manamadesimple.elementfx.com/)

The new version brings some much needed improvements and updates.

  • Full support for level 80! Use the drop-down in the character setup to switch MMS between WoTLk and Cataclysm modes.

  • Added Master of Elements talent. Now you can toggle mana returns from MoE on and off, to see what kind of impact it has and whether it is worthwhile for your strategy.

  • Added better outputs from the Cycle builder. You can now accurately see which particular cycle is being used when showing sim casting outputs.

  • Crit, Haste and Mastery inputs now changed to combat ratings instead of actual percentages. This will really help when trying to figure out which stat to reforge into what. A little ratings converter tool has been added to help you figure out how much rating you have.

  • Tons of tweaks to the cycle builder and core engine. Hopefully everything will remain stable as the sim increases in complexity.

  • All damage calculations are up to date with the proper coefficients as they exist on live (4.01) and the most current version of the beta (build 13195).

A few helpful notes on using MMS.

I seem to be getting quite a few questions concerning the Cycle Builder tool. Most of them stem from people forgetting about the priority system in place. A quick reminder. The Cycle Builder tool allows MMS to use multiple cycles during a particular strategy. It will use these cycles according to the priority that they are inputted in. To ensure a particular cycle does not get overridden by another, increase its priority.

That being said, it would not be a complete update if MMS does not help us answer some of the outstanding questions about Arcane right now. This particular update attempts to answer two of our questions so far. These are:

  • Is Master of Elements even useful? If so, by how much?

  • What are our combat ratings priorities? Which is better, haste, crit or mastery

The following is the first round of analysis into answering these questions, hopefully, the results will be useful to someone.

How useful is Master of Elements to Arcane?

As you may know by now, MoE returns mana on ABr crits and on AB crits. However, on AB crits, it returns mana based off of the mana cost of an unstacked AB irresspective of which stack of AB critted. It is, as of yet, unconfirmed if this is a bug or by design. However, since this has been MoE's behavior for a while now, we are proceeding with the investigation assuming that it is not a bug.

Due to this, the following tests were setup in MMS.

Test 1.0: Testing MoE's usefulness during a "Conserve" phase.

Setup: To isolate MoE's contribution, a lot of the mana based RNG was disabled. AM procs, Clearcasting procs were supressed. The test was run for 2000 iterations over a 110 second casting window, casting AB2 ABrs, in order to formally simulate an adequate casting rotation. Gear was of the new entry level raid mages (default settings in MMS).

Results:

With MoE activated:

Damage Done

Min: 730,898

Max: 742,631

Average: 735,518

Standard Deviation: 1,686


DPS

Min: 6,638

Max: 6,745

Average: 6,680.2

Standard Deviation: 15.3


Time Spent (secs)

Min: 110

Max: 110

Average: 110.1

Standard Deviation: 0
Average DPS: 6,680.2 With MoE disabled
Damage Done

Min: 729,828

Max: 729,828

Average: 729,828

Standard Deviation: 0


DPS

Min: 6,629

Max: 6,629

Average: 6,628.5

Standard Deviation: 0.0


Time Spent (secs)

Min: 110

Max: 110

Average: 110.1

Standard Deviation: 0
Average DPS: 6,628.5 Analysis: Using default stats, we see that MoE contributed to approximately 51.7 extra DPS at the test gear level. Which is an increase of ~0.77% DPS increase. This is not very much at all. In order to see if this increase scales. I ran a second test using a much higher crit rate. Test 1.1: Testing MoE's usefulness during a "Conserve" phase with much higher crit rate. Setup: Exactly the same as test 1, but crit rate bumped up to ~30%. Results: With MoE
Damage Done

Min: 779,717

Max: 792,684

Average: 785,607

Standard Deviation: 2,087


DPS

Min: 7,082

Max: 7,199

Average: 7,135.1

Standard Deviation: 19.0


Time Spent (secs)

Min: 110

Max: 110

Average: 110.1

Standard Deviation: 0
Average DPS: 7,135.1 Without MoE
Damage Done Min: 777,489 Max: 777,489 Average: 777,489 Standard Deviation: 0 DPS Min: 7,061 Max: 7,061 Average: 7,061.4 Standard Deviation: 0.0 Time Spent (secs) Min: 110 Max: 110 Average: 110.1 Standard Deviation: 0
Average DPS: 7,061.4 Analysis: Bumping up the crit rate provided ~73.7 extra DPS, which is ~1% extra damage. So what we can see is that as crit increases, the value of MoE obviously increases but it still remains around the 1% increase in DPS mark. MoE is a 2 point talent. Is a 1% increase in DPS during a "Conserve" phase enough to warrant a 2 point talent investment? Lets first see how well MoE does during a burn phase. Test 2: Testing MoE's contribution to a "Burn" phase. Setup: Reset the character. The test is a 15 second burn of AB spam. All other settings are identical to test 1.1 Results: With MoE
Damage Done

Min: 158,802

Max: 159,393

Average: 158,942

Standard Deviation: 118


DPS

Min: 9,519

Max: 9,555

Average: 9,527.4

Standard Deviation: 7.1


Time Spent (secs)

Min: 17

Max: 17

Average: 16.68

Standard Deviation: 0
Average DPS: 9527.4 Without MoE
Damage Done

Min: 158,802

Max: 158,802

Average: 158,802

Standard Deviation: 0


DPS

Min: 9,519

Max: 9,519

Average: 9,519.0

Standard Deviation: 0.0


Time Spent (secs)

Min: 17

Max: 17

Average: 16.68

Standard Deviation: 0

Average DPS: 9519.0

Analysis:

MoE contributed to an extra 8.4 DPS, which is almost negligible (less then even 0.1% DPS gain).

This result should not really come as a surprise, since we are not casting ABrs during a burn phase, hence, MoE returns are very poor.

We can conclude that MoE is not very useful at all during Burn phases.

Final conclusion for this preliminary analysis of MoE

So, 2 talent points for an ~1% DPS increase during your "conserve" phase? Under other circumstances, I would totally ignore MoE, however, we realize that there really isn't anything else we could take instead that is a pure DPS boost. What I do know now is that I may end up taking Burning soul over MoE now. But either way, I think I am at least fairly certain that MoE is in no way a game-changer for Arcane and can easily be skipped if a fight calls for points elsewhere.

What is a bit worrying is that even for a tier 1 talent, MoE is very weak for arcane in general. Frost and Fire both get some pretty solid tier 1 choices in Arcane (3% haste and Clearcasting, both of which easily deliver more than 1% dps). If nothing else, perhaps we now have some evidence to try and get MoE buffed? Or at least fixed so that it returns mana for stacked ABs properly?

Let us see what we can do.

Up next. Using MMS for some preliminary investigations into stat equivalences. Stay tuned!

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Can you clarify something for me in your test? It appears all tests run for a fixed amount of time, but you're only varying mana regen from MoE. You're saying that you only used a fixed rotation for the whole duration. This implies to me that the only difference you're calculating is from mana adept bonus dropping as mana drops faster. In a real situation however you would use that extra mana to switch the breakpoint between cycles, so at least in theory you could utilize more out of the talent than what your test is suggesting.

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Nice Work. I am curious, is it possible to test whether the DPS is improved if during the conserve phase Arcane Potency procs were used for either Abarr (if available) or an additional AB stack. Since we now get 2 charges per clearcasting proc we can at least choose what the second charge is used for even if the first is wasted by precasting.

Although MoE looks to be a poor talent for single Target DPS it might be somewhat better when AoE is needed. My own testing on live tonight confirmed MoE returns 30% of AEs' mana cost if at least one target is critically hit by AE.

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Can you clarify something for me in your test? It appears all tests run for a fixed amount of time, but you're only varying mana regen from MoE. You're saying that you only used a fixed rotation for the whole duration. This implies to me that the only difference you're calculating is from mana adept bonus dropping as mana drops faster. In a real situation however you would use that extra mana to switch the breakpoint between cycles, so at least in theory you could utilize more out of the talent than what your test is suggesting.

Correct.

The preliminary tests were to discern the baseline impact of MoE (as it plays with Mana Adept). The reason the time was fixed was since I was attempting to simulate the baseline timings for each phase ("conserve" at ~110 seconds, "burn" at ~15+), I also had to calibrate for the fact that Clearcasting and AM procs were turned off.

Now, theoretically, up-shifting a cycle due to the mana returns from MoE sounds like a good idea. However, I am still uncertain whether or not it is realistically viable due to the rather small returns we get. E.g. MoE returns 417 mana from an AB crit and 627 mana from an ABr crit. Looking at the number of casts over a 110 second period, assuming a best case scenario of only casting either AB or ABrs, of a conserve phase (with all mana procs other then AM enabled) over 2000 iterations, gives us:

Number of Casts

Min: 53

Max: 53

Average: 53

Standard Deviation: 0


ABr usage

Min: 17

Max: 17

Average: 17

Standard Deviation: 0

So basically, in the premade gear, we can expect to cast ~50 total casts during our conserve phase, 17 of those (on average) will be ABrs. Assuming the basic ~22% crit we get around ~4 ABr crits and ~7 AB crits. These, combined, would have given us ~5427 extra mana from MoE. The mana cost for a single AB3 is 6269. Meaning, if we just consider the mana gained over the conserve time period, we would barely have had enough to up-shift to casting even a single extra AB3.

I find that this kind of behavior (up-shifting to a higher rotation) is actually much more viable with clearcasting, since it is essentially just like MoE, but instead you get 100% mana back (and it works for scaled ABs as well, which is critical). If MoE started working with scaled AB stacks, then we might be in business.

That being said, all this talk on mana returns from moe makes me want to make MMS print out how many MoE procs occurred and how much total mana returned from MoE was especially for iteration calculations. I might sneak that in later tonight.

Nice Work. I am curious, is it possible to test whether the DPS is improved if during the conserve phase Arcane Potency procs were used for either Abarr (if available) or an additional AB stack. Since we now get 2 charges per clearcasting proc we can at least choose what the second charge is used for even if the first is wasted by precasting.

MMS doesn't have full support for Arcane Potency just yet (it will definitely be in for the next update). That being said, there is a lot we can optimize for ArcPot using pure intuition.

Ideally, you would want to use the second stack of ArcPot for another AB if DPS is your primary goal at the time, which you should perhaps be doing anyway since at least one of your ABs that particular cycle would have been free. Using ArcPot on an ABr is naturally much more preferable to using it on an AM, since it increases the potential DPM of that particular ABr if it crits. I can see the use of ArcPot on ABr casts to become much more interesting as gear scales, where we start using higher AB stacks for our conserve rotations. This will naturally lead us to use the ArcPot + ABr synergy for mana returns. That being said, as outlined in the original post of this thread, the true optimization of ArcPot (and subsequently PoM) is still an outstanding issue. Hopefully the next version of MMS can will help answering all this.

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Well you shouldn't be considering MoE and Clearcasting separately. They both have the same effect, that is increased mana regen. Overall it is all sources of mana regen combined that let you shift cycles. If a MoE returns proportionately less you can't then say that some effects of mana regen can be ignored then, what you can say is of the overall mana regen combined effect some portion is attributed to different sources.

I don't argue that it is a good talent. It's at the bottom at level 80, slightly below Missile Barrage, about half the value of Netherwind Presence or Piercing Ice.

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Well you shouldn't be considering MoE and Clearcasting separately. They both have the same effect, that is increased mana regen. Overall it is all sources of mana regen combined that let you shift cycles. If a MoE returns proportionately less you can't then say that some effects of mana regen can be ignored then, what you can say is of the overall mana regen combined effect some portion is attributed to different sources.

I don't argue that it is a good talent. It's at the bottom at level 80, slightly below Missile Barrage, about half the value of Netherwind Presence or Piercing Ice.

Yep yep. As I mentioned in my first post, mana returns are still mana returns and so they will always be good.

What I was much more interested in, is isolating exactly the kind of mana returns MoE alone is producing. This was less to investigate whether we can fully drop it or not, but to see if we did drop it, what the impact will be.

At the end of the day, the question of MoE, in my mind at least, really boils down to two issues.

1. What should the minimum DPS potential for a talent/mechanic actually be? I believe that it should, at least, be above the variance caused by basic human factors. E.g. two runs of a fight conducted by the same skilled mage will cause some variance in performance. Lets call that variance X% dps (where X is usually in the 1% to 2% range). If a particular talent's maximized DPS potential falls below that X%, then its true worth doesn't even make it past the noise of actual play. A talent that falls into this category would be an issue for me.

2. The second factor I kept in the forefront when investigating MoE, was exactly how important is this talent to our overall process. Could we perhaps, say, safely talent out of it due to some specific fight needing us to talent in a particular way? (e.g. like the talent build I describe in one of my example builds in the first post where we have a talent build finely tuned for a heavy raid wide aoe fight where survivability, mobility and pushback protection are paramount, or some other combination that requires us to invest 2 talent points elsewhere). The idea was, would I be causing too much harm to my performance if I used the talent points of MoE to spec into something else that may be more appropriate? From the results I have seen so far, MoE in its current incarnation is just not causing enough of a stir for me to try to hold on to it, essentially making the two points I'm putting into it, fluid.

Now true, it may seem like I am fixating on looking at MoE in a bubble. I understand that its effect compounds the general effect we get from Clearcasting, however, what I think is important is that we have some insight into isolating how much MoE actually contributes to the overall "mana regen from talents" idea that we have in Arcane.

A made up example to elucidate this point.

Say, overall, the combined effect of all "mana regen talents" e.g. clearcasting, moe, leads to a 10% DPS gain for arcane. If it is found out that out of that 10%, moe only contributes < 0.5% DPS, then it tells us something. It tells us that if push come to shove and we need to invest 2 talent points somewhere due to a specific need, we can take the points out of MoE instead of, say, one of the other talents that combine to form the overall "mana regen from talents" effect. The actual numbers for this shouldn't be hard to glean from MMS. You can run a sim and turn Clearcasting off. The impact is very very noticeable in almost all phases.

I still hold to my original statement. MoE will be used because, in standard play, there is nothing else it is competing with for those 2 points. However, that alone is not a good enough reason for the talent to be performing so poorly. A rather clear cut solution to this is already proposed. Make MoE work with scaled AB stacks.

That being said, after a cursory glance over at our Fire mage brethren's workbench, it seems MoE is under-performing for them as well. I think there is a solid case for having MoE looked at.

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That being said, all this talk on mana returns from moe makes me want to make MMS print out how many MoE procs occurred and how much total mana returned from MoE was especially for iteration calculations. I might sneak that in later tonight.

As a starting point, from a 7 boss ICC25 run recently I had the following total mana gains (from boss kills only):

[TABLE]Mechanic|Mana Returned

Mage Armor|292184

Evocation|93012

Replenishment|39352

Replenish Mana|27259

Master of Elements|25176[/TABLE]

That is 276 occurrences of MoE with an average of 91.2 mana per instance and in this case, in terms of total mana gain it's roughly equivalent to mana gems. The figures across the whole raid are very different but heavy use of AE on trash packs is going to dramatically distort any figures.

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Logix: Very interesting about MoE. However, have you considered interaction effects among the various mana-returning abilities?

It was unclear if, in your example, you suppressed just the mana return benefit of clearcasting, or if you also suppressed the additional crit chance from it.

With all of them, Clearcasting saves mana and increases crit chance, which increases the mana return from MoE. It's very clear that MoE is a minor source of mana for Arcane mages (disappointing but probably for the best), but I'm unsure as to whether you're underestimating it.

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As a starting point, from a 7 boss ICC25 run recently I had the following total mana gains (from boss kills only):

[TABLE]Mechanic|Mana Returned

Mage Armor|292184

Evocation|93012

Replenishment|39352

Replenish Mana|27259

Master of Elements|25176[/TABLE]

That is 276 occurrences of MoE with an average of 91.2 mana per instance and in this case, in terms of total mana gain it's roughly equivalent to mana gems. The figures across the whole raid are very different but heavy use of AE on trash packs is going to dramatically distort any figures.

This is from a Festergut heroic kill in ICC 25:

Mage Armor 46788 mana

Evocation 39794 mana

Replenishment 7682 mana

Replenish Mana 6905 mana

Master of Elements 4897 mana

Arcane Torrent 4659 mana

Crazy Alchemist's Potion 4257 mana

So this is how the MoE mana return looks like on a typical fight. Bear in mind, also, that 94.1% of my damage came from Arcane Blast, which we won't be getting close to at 85. Even with heavy Blast spam MoE returned over half what Replenishment does, so it's not too shabby a return. Compared to the return from Mage Armour and Evocation, however, both of which will scale with gear, the return is small.

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I am wondering about the gemming as well. I will probably leave current gems as is, but if anyone who's on the cata beta could tell us if we should be planning on changes, it would be appreciated.

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Re: Gemming for Cataclysm:

I levelled Arril from 80 to 85 with no problems with his current gear/gems.

Don't replace any gems in anticipation of Cataclysm. You'll replace your current gear with gem-less gear (ilevel 300+ Blues are better than any LK gear) and then when you finally start seeing sockets again (level 85 blue gear) new gems will be available.

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Logix: Very interesting about MoE. However, have you considered interaction effects among the various mana-returning abilities?

It was unclear if, in your example, you suppressed just the mana return benefit of clearcasting, or if you also suppressed the additional crit chance from it.

Yes, clearcasting was deactivated, however test 1.1 somewhat helped modeling the offset we would have gained from Arcane potency, where I bumped up the crit to 30%+ (i.e. almost as if we had arcane potency up throughout the fight). Needless to say, the actual benefit form MoE would be somewhere between test 1.0 and 1.1 in entry level raid gear. That being said, even test 1.1 was barely 1%.

Bear in mind, also, that 94.1% of my damage came from Arcane Blast, which we won't be getting close to at 85. Even with heavy Blast spam MoE returned over half what Replenishment does, so it's not too shabby a return.

We must also bear in mind, both you and Seonid are running with a rather absurdly high level of crit, one which I am not sure will be so commonplace in Cataclysm if Blizzard delivers on their promise of keeping combat ratings in check. It is interesting to note however, that even with almost 50%+ worth of crit, MoE returns mana in the same range as the blood elf racial.

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I think another thing that needs exploring is the use of burn cycle in the absence of cooldowns but near the end of the fight. In other words, is it better to spam AB without cooldowns to burn through your mana before the fight ends or to keep cycling AB-AM to finish with almost full mana? Before mastery the answer to this question would be simple (remember BC/Hyjal arcane), always finish the fight @ 0 mana. However, mastery makes things a bit more complicated. With high enough mastery will AB4-AM rotation over 85% prevail against AB spam at low mana? Logix, I wil try to use your simulator to find an answer to this one.

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I think another thing that needs exploring is the use of burn cycle in the absence of cooldowns but near the end of the fight. In other words, is it better to spam AB without cooldowns to burn through your mana before the fight ends or to keep cycling AB-AM to finish with almost full mana? Before mastery the answer to this question would be simple (remember BC/Hyjal arcane), always finish the fight @ 0 mana. However, mastery makes things a bit more complicated. With high enough mastery will AB4-AM rotation over 85% prevail against AB spam at low mana? Logix, I wil try to use your simulator to find an answer to this one.

The easiest way to do this with MMS is use the Cycle builder to setup a cycle with a start trigger of "Remaining Time" with a value of however long before the end of the fight you want the burn to start (I usually set mine to 15-20 seconds). Set the end trigger to "Cycle Time" and put in the same value as the start, set AB to 'spam' and AM to 'ignore'. Add this cycle and make it highest priority (if you have other cycles). Have the default cycle be AB2 AM2.

As a side note, when I am normally testing a full fight, I have always added this trigger. I find that it is indeed very worthwhile to burn at the end of the fight (even without CDs). This sometimes even happens back to back following a fully loaded burn (i.e. burn with CDs, evoc, then burn again since the last burn phase ended so close to the end of the fight). It would be interesting to see if the last minute or so of a fight should be spent as something like "40 seconds of AB2 at high mana then 20 seconds of burn (with no cds)" vs something like "10 seconds of AB2 at high mana then 50 seconds of AB4 AM/ABr till end of fight". (as a side point, I think an AB4 rotation with the default MMS gear takes ~60-65 seconds to go from high mana to oom).

I have a feeling the former may win, but I am not at all sure. The results should be very interesting.

N.B. let me know if you have any trouble setting this up in MMS. I would love some feedback from people using it.

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A friend and myself are confused over how Nether Vortex works. Does it simply save you a GCD or can you AB multiple mobs to have multiple Slow effects out at once? To me, the latter is how it should work otherwise what is the point in spending 2 talent points just to save a GCD?

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A friend and myself are confused over how Nether Vortex works. Does it simply save you a GCD or can you AB multiple mobs to have multiple Slow effects out at once? To me, the latter is how it should work otherwise what is the point in spending 2 talent points just to save a GCD?

Yes it can save you a GCD but only when you cast AB at 35yards or less otherwise if the target is above 35yards range you also have to have Slow glyphed for the additional 5yards. This seems to be intentional as the other 35yard bugs were fixed on live but this feature is still there.

Maybe a poor talent for raiding/instances generally but since it makes the Slow gcd and mana free there may be fights it is useful for. Most of the time targets will be being slowed in some way by the tank and/or other DPS. It's not great if you need to be switching between targets constantly as the Slow won't be applied to the new target until it has dropped off the original target. In this case you can either spend a GCD casting Slow on the new target or wait for it to drop off. LDW is one place where this happens, it's nice to have the Slow being kept up on her during phase one but at the same times means you won't have it on the adds unless you manually cast it any way.

In PVP Slow is one of the few abilities Arcane can cast while moving so I don't see it saving a lot of casting time unless the Slow is being constantly dispelled. I'm not a very serious PVP'er and it might be better than I think.

Probably it will ill be most useful for solo/lvl'ing. A Arcane Mage can still only have Slow in effect on one target at a time.

Edit grammar/spelling

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Re: Gemming for Cataclysm:

Don't replace any gems in anticipation of Cataclysm. You'll replace your current gear with gem-less gear (ilevel 300+ Blues are better than any LK gear) and then when you finally start seeing sockets again (level 85 blue gear) new gems will be available.

Well, it's only 1.5 months left till cataclysm, but still worth re-gemming (at least if we are not planning a short winter sleep till Dec 7). I see many (arcane) mages with int+spirit gems still in their sockets. Spirit in my opinion is (now) a very poor stat. (No in-combat-manareg, no crit, no spell power, no hit through talents, if I did not overlook something.)

So, as stated in some previous post, I would also suggest to replace any blue spirit gems and go for 10INT+10HIT immediately. Then reforge items according to your needs (e.g. for hit cap closure).

I personally dislike the pure 20HIT alternative for blue sockets, simply because INT would provide mana + spell power + some (ridiculous) crit.

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