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Lhivera

Cataclysm Mage Simulators and Formulators

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This thread is meant to serve as a spec-agnostic resource for Mage theorycrafting tools. It should be used both for presenting and discussing data generated by these tools that would be of interest regardless of spec, and for discussing potential problems and theorycrafting errors in such tools and providing feedback helpful for improving them.

Bug reports and questions on the usage of these tools should be directed to the websites below.

Simulators and Formulators

Rawr

Method: Formulation

Platforms: Web (requires Silverlight)

SimulationCraft

Method: Simulation

Platforms: Mac, Windows (binary and source distributions), UNIX (source distribution)

Vontre's Magegraf II

Method: Formulation

Platforms: Web

(Please post information on additional Mage-friendly theorycrafting tools if you know of any.)

Results Collections

SimulationCraft output repository

Standardized Gearsets and Profiles

For the sake of testing the tools against each other, it's helpful to run them all with the same stats, specs, etc. We should build a collection of standard sets, probably including BIS blue heroics (for starting T11 content), T11 359 (for starting T11 heroic content), and T11 372 (for starting T12 content).

Standardized Run Options

Should be developed for consistency and comparison.

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Found another bug I think, if you don't select Improved Hot-Streak but do have the normal version it still stops casting pyroblasts.

EDIT: also something wonky going on with the dots, might be with the dd spells as well.

As a L80 gnome mage, naked, no buffs or target debuffs, with the normal Fire spec, glyphs where MA, Pyro and Fireball (183 spp, character sheet and simcraft):

[TABLE]spell|live|simcraft

LB| 598|616

LB DoT| 702|739

Pyroblast!| 2009.5|2153

Pyroblast! DoT| 329|351

[/TABLE]

(1390 spp)

[TABLE]spell|live|simcraft

LB| 1015|1046

LB DoT| 1190|1254

Pyroblast!| 4037.5|4349

Pyroblast! DoT| 492|527

[/TABLE]

It looks to me like something is wrong with Critical Mass -- not in SimulationCraft, in the game. I did some testing myself; I stripped down my spec to eliminate any damage-multiplying talents, so the only multipliers that should have been in effect were +25% from the spec bonus and +20% from the mastery bonus.

180 spell power

Living Bomb tick: 604

Pyroblast DOT tick: 319

2838 spell power

Living Bomb tick: 1533

Pyroblast DOT tick: 666

Then I added 3/3 Fire Power, for an extra 3% damage:

180 spell power

Living Bomb tick: 622 (expected: 604 * 1.03 = 622.12)

Pyroblast DOT tick: 329 (expected: 319 * 1.03 = 328.57)

2838 spell power

Living Bomb tick: 1579 (expected: 1533 * 1.03 = 1578.99)

Pyroblast DOT tick: 686 (expected: 666 * 1.03 = 685.98)

Finally, this won't affect Pyro, but I put my last two points into Critical Mass for +10% damage to Living Bomb:

180 spell power

Living Bomb tick: 674 (expected: 622 * 1.1 = 684.2 ?? additive? 604 * 1.13 = 682.52 -- nope)

2838 spell power

Living Bomb tick: 1711 (expected: 1579 * 1.1 = 1736.9)

That's all I had time for, so I didn't get the chance to explore other possible causes.

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It looks like the critical mass bonus is additive with mastery.

622 / 1.2 * 1.3 = 673.8

1579 / 1.2 * 1.3 = 1710.6

2 other things

- Is ignite fixed on beta or are folks operating under the assumption that it will be fixed (so as not to have the refresh lockout period) in the first tier of raiding? Both models have considerably higher damage ratios from ignite than what you'd observe on live with similar ratings.

- Both models appear to have significantly higher hotstreak proc rates (almost double) than what you'd observe in game with similar crit rates (although I noticed some "hot streak bug fixes" got added today in simulationcraft. Is there some reason for that?

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Repasting a few posts to get the ball rolling. Looking at Simulationcraft: It uses a talent build with 2/2 in Improved Fire Blast, which is unnecessary.

The sim doesn't use Fire Blast in rotation at all, and 35 yard Impact range (with 1 point) is more than sufficient. What improvements could we see, if that 1 point was shuffled over to Arcane Concentration instead? Furthermore, you don't need Pyromaniac for almost all fights. You could easily manage a full 3/3 Arcane Concentration by skipping 2 points from Pyro. How much could picking up 1/3 or 3/3 Arcane Concentration alter the Scorch VS Fireball ratio?

1/3 Arcane Concentration: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

3/3 Arcane Concentration: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

The difference is Pyromaniac: One build has it, the other doesn't. As many beta testers concluded, Pyromaniac can be considered too situational for inclusion in standard lvl 85 talent builds. The fights that see it get compelling use are few and far between. Whether any of the aforementioned makes any meaningful difference to the Scorch VS Fireball weaving ratio, should give a good insight as to how unnecessary / useful Arcane Concentration could be for Fire builds (that aren't explicitly speccing for max, albeit situational AOE power - like the current SimC version).

I'm also interested to know how Combustion is being handled by the sim. Is it making the (unrealistic) assumption that it will always be readily (and easily) used with a Pyro DOT, LB, and a Fireball or Pyroblast Ignite up? I say unrealistic because during heroism, and weakened boss phases, you just can't guarantee these will align on demand. I'm not the best at reading all the output, but I noticed this:

combustion,if=dot.living_bomb.ticking&dot.ignite.ticking&dot.pyroblast_hs.ticking

I see Lhivera updated Fire to now include Combustion. It appears Combustion is being used under ideal circumstances. But what can options do players have for when the stars don't align so easily?

1 - Use a weak Combustion immediately (Just Living Bomb will be guaranteed). Can use this exactly on 2 minutes every time.

2 - Wait for a medium Combustion. (Living Bomb and an Ignite) Shouldn't have to wait too long for a single ignite / crit, maybe just 3-5 casts. Whether you wait for a Scorch or Fireball ignite is another factor to be mindful of.

3 - Wait for a strong combustion. (The conditions the sim uses: LB, Pyro dot, Ignite) Doing this will mean you will not be using Combustion every 2 minutes, as the wait time for these conditions to align is substantial - compared to the 2 minute cooldown.

If the sim is modelling Combustion using point (3) - but treating it as though it can be used as easily as point (1) - players will need to be mindful of that when interpreting the results. Things just don't happen so easily that way in practise at level 85.

Edit: How long you can afford to wait for optional Combustion conditions, is also going to depend on Fight length. A 7 minute fight has 4 ideal opportunities to use Combustion (At start, +2 min, +4 min +6 min) , so you have some wiggle room with waiting periods - having a spare minute.

Maybe the 7 minute sim results, which have up to 1 minute of wiggle room for Combustion waiting if three are to be used, will be somewhat more accurate than I thought after all. Question will be whether ~15 seconds (x4) is enough waiting per Combustion to get those optimal conditions to align - yet still have 4 full Combustions used for the fight duration. But for a 6.5 minute encounter for example, this will change as having only ~5-7 seconds max to wait per Combustion (if you still want to use 4 total) is probably not enough to get the optimal stars to align.

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I did some testing with the lastest version of simulation craft on the Fire BiS ivi372 profile for a 5 minutes fight. It clearly shows that waiting for the 3 dots provides the best DPS. Here are the results:

[table=head]Condition to be met||DPS||DPET of combustion||Description

All three DoTs ticking||26569 +/- 40|| 198k ||

Ignite and Pyro ticking||26536 +/- 40|| 197k || Same DPS as above. This expected considering LB uptime is very high.

LB and Pyro ticking||26498 +/- 40||194k ||Small drop in DPS, but still within the margin of margin. Will do further testing to reduce the margin.

LB and Ignite ticking||25388 +/- 40|| 118k||Huge drop in DPS, the additional combustion you might get doesn't offset the loss.

At least one of the 3 DoTs ticking||25044 +/- 40|| 97k ||Since you will always have LB ticking, this condition means that you use combustion on CD and hope for the best. Not good.

[/table]

So these results mean that you should use Combustion when at least Pyro is ticking (LB is a given anyway). Ignite adds only a small amount of DPS. I will do additionnal simulation on larger samples to reduce the margin of error and will update the post.

Edit: One thing I also noticed is that the sim always managed to fit 3 combustions during the fight, even when the condition was the most restrictive. It means that at least in BiS 372, the 3 DoTs will be ticking together often enough that you can use 3 combustions during a 5 minutes fight.

I will do the same testing with lower gear levels to check if these results remain the same at lower crit rate.

Edit 2: changed the results with new ones with better margin of error. Added the resulting average DPET of combustion.

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Which Ignites were you referring to, was it the same one for every condition? (Scorch, Fireball or Pyroblast ignite).

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The test is on any Ignite.

And there is no way to improve this without changing the code, because for now you cannot make a condition on the origin of the ignite.

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If the sim is modelling Combustion using point (3) - but treating it as though it can be used as easily as point (1) - players will need to be mindful of that when interpreting the results. Things just don't happen so easily that way in practise at level 85.

I don't play a mage, but I wanted to comment on this. The simulator is just that, a simulator, iterating through every single step of every one of the 10k simulated encounters and accurately simulating the results of every single action taken by the mage actor. Given the action list entry for combustion quoted in your post, the mage will never cast combustion unless all three dots are up. There's no difference between "in practice" and "in the simulator" when it comes to how often this condition will occur.

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It looks like the critical mass bonus is additive with mastery.

622 / 1.2 * 1.3 = 673.8

1579 / 1.2 * 1.3 = 1710.6

2 other things

- Is ignite fixed on beta or are folks operating under the assumption that it will be fixed (so as not to have the refresh lockout period) in the first tier of raiding? Both models have considerably higher damage ratios from ignite than what you'd observe on live with similar ratings.

- Both models appear to have significantly higher hotstreak proc rates (almost double) than what you'd observe in game with similar crit rates (although I noticed some "hot streak bug fixes" got added today in simulationcraft. Is there some reason for that?

Thanks for the catch on the additive bit -- I've passed that along to the main devs.

I'm currently running the sims with the option "aura_delay=0.150" which causes the sim to model both the tick-munching bug and the tick-rolling bug, so it is currently not behaving as if it's been fixed.

There was a fix to Hot Streak yesterday that was causing it to have a chance to trigger on a single Scorch crit. Not currently aware of anything else that's going on, but I'll keep looking.

ETA: Are you looking at Hot Streaks from my output, or are you running the sim yourself? If running it yourself, are you building from the latest source in the repository, or from the release? If you're using last week's release, there are many fixes that have made since that you're not seeing in your results.

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A couple more things, gnome racial isn't working in Simcraft (ie. no 5% mana), and removing evocation from the fire action list leads to a dps increase of about 3% either because it's not worth the time or because it's not used properly in terms of priorities.

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Most likely just not worth the time. I tried with and without in several different configs, and it was always iffy, easily within the margin of error. Recent fixes have probably settled things down. i'll test it in the full profiles and remove it if it matches what you're seeing.

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ETA: Are you looking at Hot Streaks from my output, or are you running the sim yourself? If running it yourself, are you building from the latest source in the repository, or from the release? If you're using last week's release, there are many fixes that have made since that you're not seeing in your results.

Yes I run the sim myself. And I built the version I got this morning from the repository (the cataclysm branche).

I did some further testing with a fight length of 250 seconds. It means that only in case 5 (no condition on combustion so combustion is used on cooldown) the sim manages to use combustion 3 times consistently. With the more restrictive conditions (for example case 1 where all 3 DoTs need to be active for combustion to be cast) the sim only uses combustion twice during the fight. Well even in this case 2 strong combustions are better than 3 weakers ones.

It's easy to see if you compare the DPET: 2*198k > 3*97k

So I think for BiS ilvl372 gear, the question is settled. Combustion should be used when the 3 DoTs are active, or at least LB and Pyro Dots.

Now I need to do some testing on ilvl 346 blue gear to see if the ranking changes.

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The gnome racial has now been added although it was too late to make the 403-4 release. Look for it in the 403-5 release in a couple of days time.

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Actually it seems more to be a case of actions, using this:

actions+=/mana_gem,if=mana_deficit>12500

actions+=/scorch,debuff=1

actions+=/combustion,if=dot.living_bomb.ticking&dot.ignite.ticking&dot.pyroblast_hs.ticking

actions+=/mirror_image

actions+=/living_bomb,if=!ticking

actions+=/pyroblast_hs,if=buff.hot_streak.react

actions+=/flame_orb

actions+=/scorch,if=mana_pct<5

actions+=/fireball,if=target.time_to_die<60

actions+=/fireball,if=mana_pct>39

actions+=/evocation

actions+=/scorch

Seems to yield a dps increase over not using Evocation. Although it is quite small.

EDIT: adding 3 points in Arcane Concentration is worth about 2% dps increase, these changes actually allow you to cast a healthier ratio of fireballs/scorches and for some reason shift the value of mastery above haste although it doesn't yet include a fix for mastery+critical mass interaction which would probably lower mastery value slightly.

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A couple more things regarding Master of Elements and Arcane Concentration;

1. simcraft doesn't proc MoE for Living Bomb explosions it costs 718 mana @80 and refunds 265 mana (not sure why, should be 215 but 265 it is) on explosion crit.

2. Improved Scorch scorches do infact proc MoE (not sure if that's intended or not, but they do)

3. Any clear casted spell still procs MoE despite not costing anything

4. Pyroblast! doesn't grant any mana from MoE ever, which is logical given it doesn't cost any mana and they baked a special spell for HS.

Basically this part in trigger_master_of_elements:

if ( s -> resource_consumed == 0 )

    return;

makes sure you don't get any feedback if the spell didn't cost anything.

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MoE refunds 30% of the base cost of a spell. It doesn't matter if the spell is free (like with Clearcasting) or if it costs extra (Arcane Blast stacked). So a crit with a spell while Clearcasting is a mana gain.

The base cost of Pyroblast! is 0, so we get nothing back from MoE. It probably should have a base cost equal to Pyroblast's, with HS making it free in the same way Clearcasting does. A Hot Streak Pyroblast! should refund mana with MoE.

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Master of Elements support has been updated in SimC revision r5904 to proc on "free" spells. It will also proc on Living Bomb explosions.

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Thank you looks to be working ok now, the only issue for fire I know of at the moment is the interaction between Critical Mass and Mastery as in they stack additively.

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I've been able to improve the Arcane rotation a bit (~800 dps) by:

- Making sure the sim doesn't spam AB until OOM, instead it stops spamming at 25% mana and evo's back up.

- Trying to end the fight at zero mana by spamming AB in the last 20s of a fight, as well as using all cooldowns that pop up in that phase. This works most of the time, except when the end of a burn phase happens to be at <20s before the end. The sim can run OOM some seconds too soon in that case. I don't really know how to prevent this.

- Using cooldowns only at 3 or more stacks. Seems like a small DPS gain.

- Using PoM + AB every cooldown. Another small DPS gain.

The new mana timeline looks like ~80% average mana over the whole fight (7m in this case):

chart?chs=425x150&cht=lc&chf=c,ls,0,EEEEEE,0.2,FFFFFF,0.2&chg=100,20&chd=s:A88788786455440wssnjkfccZWUTPOPPRXahqr045555544555654544555654545555544445555545555555545555555333334444444444444455455555555555555555555555544320zxvspnkifdaXVTSRSTVYcglqux023445555555443333444444444444444445555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555544321ywtromjhecZXWUUUUWYbeimqtwz12344555555555555555555544444444444444444444444444434334334333332222233333333333333333332221100zyxwutrpmkifdaYVTQOMK&chds=0,60&chxt=x,y&chxl=0:|0|sec=420|1:|0|max=98468&chtt=Mage_arcane_t11_372+mana+Timeline&chts=000000,20&chco=2459FF

Here's the data:

actions=flask,type=draconic_mind

actions+=/food,type=seafood_magnifique_feast

actions+=/focus_magic

actions+=/arcane_brilliance

actions+=/mage_armor

actions+=/snapshot_stats

actions+=/volcanic_potion,if=!in_combat

actions+=/volcanic_potion,if=buff.bloodlust.react|target.time_to_die<=40

actions+=/counterspell

actions+=/mirror_image

actions+=/arcane_power,if=target.time_to_die<20

actions+=/arcane_power,if=cooldown.evocation.remains<16&&buff.arcane_blast.stack>=3

actions+=/mana_gem,if=target.time_to_die<20

actions+=/mana_gem,if=cooldown.evocation.remains<16&&buff.arcane_blast.stack>=3

actions+=/presence_of_mind,arcane_blast

actions+=/arcane_blast,if=target.time_to_die<20

actions+=/arcane_blast,if=buff.clearcasting.react&buff.arcane_blast.stack>=2

actions+=/arcane_blast,if=(cooldown.evocation.remains<16&&mana_pct>25)|mana_pct>94|buff.arcane_blast.stack<3

actions+=/evocation,if=target.time_to_die>=25

actions+=/arcane_missiles

actions+=/arcane_barrage

actions+=/fire_blast,moving=1

actions+=/ice_lance,moving=1

The BiS lists could use some work (like using Crown of the Twilight Queen as off-piece to T11, and maybe Shard of Woe instead of the crit trinket), is there some tool to create these or are they edited by hand?

edit: forum seems to be messing with the code, delete the space in "buff.arcane_ blast.stack<3"

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I'll put your rules into the profile when I get home - I should be able to prevent the OOM issue as well. Thanks!

Edit:

Updated the source file and the profiles with Maje's changes to Fire priority list and Silverwind's changes to Arcane. Also implemented conditions for casting Molten and Mage Armor, which allowed me to have Frost switch from Molten to Mage at 15% mana. It will never switch back, and will evocate if mana drops below 5%. It can go literally forever like this, and it gains some 60-80 DPS in the five-minute encounter.

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I'm currently running the sims with the option "aura_delay=0.150" which causes the sim to model both the tick-munching bug and the tick-rolling bug, so it is currently not behaving as if it's been fixed.

There was a fix to Hot Streak yesterday that was causing it to have a chance to trigger on a single Scorch crit. Not currently aware of anything else that's going on, but I'll keep looking.

ETA: Are you looking at Hot Streaks from my output, or are you running the sim yourself? If running it yourself, are you building from the latest source in the repository, or from the release? If you're using last week's release, there are many fixes that have made since that you're not seeing in your results.

I guess I'm either confusing the issue by calling both behaviors munching or if the .150 is meant to handle the refresh lockout ignite loss then it's performing poorly at high crit frequency. There should be a condition in the sim that an ignite with a duration >4 seconds cannot be refreshed, and any crits that occur while ignites duration is >4 seconds generate 0 ignite damage. Its definitely alive and well on live servers and its a pretty dramatic effect even at this first tier stat level (you'd lose ~15-25+% of the ignite damage that you'd expect, worse in the cases where ffb & scorch see heavy usage, whereas last I checked I think the sim is reporting <5% loss).

As far as hot streak goes, I had been looking at your couple days old outputs but the most recent fix seems to have brought it mostly in line with what I'd been seeing/estimating.

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I've been able to improve the Arcane rotation a bit (~800 dps) by [...]

Something that I haven't figured out yet is the DPS Timeline. It is obviously an average, but is it taken over a time frame, a weighted time frame, over the iterations (does not look like that to me)?

chart?chs=425x150&cht=lc&chf=c,ls,0,EEEEEE,0.2,FFFFFF,0.2&chg=100,20&chd=s:A88788786455440wssnjkfccZWUTPOPPRXbhqr045665544555654544555654545555544445555544555555545555555333334444444444444445445555555555555555555555544320yxvspnkifdaYVTSSSTVYchlqux023445555555443333444444444444444445555555555555555555555555555555554444444444444444444444333333333321zxupmifcZWUSQOMLKJIIHHGGG&chds=0,60&chxt=x,y&chxl=0:|0|sec=299|1:|0|max=98468&chtt=Mage_arcane_t11_372+mana+Timeline&chts=000000,20&chco=2459FF

chart?chs=425x130&cht=lc&chf=c,ls,0,EEEEEE,0.2,FFFFFF,0.2&chg=100,20&chd=s:hmkosutwzwy2356768522xtsojgeaWXUSSRQPONNPQRTUVWXYaabbaaZZababaZaZaababaZZZaaaaaZZZZabccbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbaZZaaaabbbbbcccccddddddddeefghijklmnoppqqrrrrqpomkifdbYWVTSRRQPPOOPPQRTVWYZabbcdddeeeeeffffedddddcccbbbbbbaaaaaaaabbbbbccccdddeefffgghhiiijjjkkklllllllllllmmnoprtvwxyyyzzyyyxwvutrqnkgdcaZYXVUTTS&chds=0,60&chxt=x,y&chxl=0:|0|sec=299|1:|0|avg=22906|max=86920&chxp=1,1,26,100&chtt=Mage_arcane_t11_372+DPS+Timeline&chts=000000,20

What I cannot see from the graphs alone is whether Arcane Blast spam at 25% is better or worse than the Conservation Cycle at 95%. And if it is better, then by how much?

More important and more general is the following question: When ignoring Mana Adept, how does the damage D_AB := 1s of AB spam + Xs of Evocation (the mana needed for 1 spammed AB) compare to D_CS := (1+X)s of Conservation Cycle? (Here, more max. mana improves both parts - it shortens Evocation time and allows for a more powerful Conservation Cycle.) Once we have this damage ratio, we can calculate how much Mana Adept A% and current mana M% we need such that (1+A%*M%)*D_AB is more damage than (1+A%*95%)*D_CS.

This allows us to find out (given a certain amount of Mastery) whether we should drain our mana with AB spam down to 25% or whether we should stop at 40% and save one tick of Evocation. AB damage, AB mana, AB cast time, Mana Adept, etc. are just too many non-linear mechanics to determine this in general.

[Edit]: Thanks for the info. I'd like to point out another potential issue than is not fixed by smaller time slices. Image one iteration with a burn phase from 0:10 to 0:30 and a second iteration with a burn phase from 0:20 to 0:40, both followed by 5s Evocation. Averaging those two, you get a semi-burn from 0:10 to 0:20, a full burn from 0:20 to 0:30. From 0:30 to 0:35 your average mana goes up to 60% while being at half burn DPS, then drops as a semi-burn from 0:35 to 0:40 and goes up to 95% from 0:40 to 0:45 with half-conserving DPS.

We're calculating the average performance per timeslice, but the more interisting data is actually the average time at which the mana bar drops to a certain value. I don't think it's a real issue for right now since we have a lot of iterations and the mana timelines look really good. Just something to keep in mind when reading those graphs and what they mean.

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The timelines in SimC are a bit mushy.

The course of a fight is sliced into 1sec buckets. Every time damage is done, resource is consumed, or current resource is monitored, the value is added into the appropriate time-slice. This is a running total over all iterations.

When the sim is finished iterating, the value at each time-slice is divided by the number of iterations.

The DPS timeline is populated by looking at the damage done over the period Time-10sec to Time+10sec (subject to bounds).

EDIT: Roywyn, I like seeing those graphs vertically stacked. I'll change the output so that is the norm.

EDIT2: We had a long-standing Issue in which the tail end of graphs bottomed-out do to varying fight lengths. This has been resolved with r5947.

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This allows us to find out (given a certain amount of Mastery) whether we should drain our mana with AB spam down to 25% or whether we should stop at 40% and save one tick of Evocation. AB damage, AB mana, AB cast time, Mana Adept, etc. are just too many non-linear mechanics to determine this in general.

Does the behaviour of Evocation change after level 80? At level 80, it is only returning 60% total, not 75%. The arcane thread concurs with this - it would appear that the tooltip ingame is incorrect. This would change your stop values to 55% (skipping one tick) and 40% (using full Evocation).

[Edit:] Ahh, apologies. Because the numbers matched up with the incorrect tooltip numbers, I made a quick assumption and forgot about mage armor/replenishment.

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Does the behaviour of Evocation change after level 80? At level 80, it is only returning 60% total, not 75%. The arcane thread concurs with this - it would appear that the tooltip ingame is incorrect. This would change your stop values to 55% (skipping one tick) and 40% (using full Evocation).

The behaviour doesn't change, going from 40% to 100% is fine in a world without mana regeneration. But you have Mage Armour, base MP5, BoM and Replenishment ticking while you cast Evocation and your first two Arcane Blasts, maybe even three if Clearcasting procs. That can easily go up to 10% of your mana, which is why you go down to ~25% before using Evocation as Arcane spec.

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