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Shadow Priest -- Cataclysm


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#41 MaFi0s0

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 08:37 PM

Healers with HoTs get dark intent so I dont think its very common for shadow priests to get it at all in raids. There needs to be a target time to die < 20 seconds or so: Mind Spike and MB rotation in the simcraft.

Possibly also a check for 5x evangelism being up with Dark AA ready and having between 40 to 75-85% mana and either VT or DP about to drop off (or only VT about to drop off?) to switch to a brief MS/MB rotation during dark arch angel.

I could be wrong here but I also find that, with a lot of fights lasting around 6 minutes and sometimes mana being a problem unless using SW:D every cooldown(which notably is not in the simcraft), it is best not to use shadowfiend in the 1st minute of the fight but perhaps a bit later on depending on the fight length in order to maximize the mana return.
I find on some fights particularly Magmaw, mana becomes a problem before the 2nd shadowfiend is up and then becomes a non issue allowing for a Dark AA MS/MB rotation to be cast without risk of being OOM.
This is based on MS/MB being higher DPS than dots while Dark AA is up, which is what I have found.

#42 Rezzy

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 04:51 AM

I think the biggest concern at the moment is the variance between fishing for an early orb or redotting with weaker dots, especially if herosim is cast early. I understand rng being part of the game but this mechanic is clunky at best and can be frustrating for players.

Regarding mana, although with more gear comes more haste, the amount of pure Int on items is making mana returns from DA and fiend quite comfortable. I personally like the idea of small sacrifice of dps for mana (swd above 25%).

Has anyone else noted weird mechanics with SWP refreshing since 85? At 80 it was standard issue to sometimes cast MF but not get a refresh in time for swp to roll. So far at 85, I have had a few cases of SWP having a full 2 seconds remaining, casting MF and not getting a refresh. Othertimes, with 1 second left i do get a refresh! I do play from Australia with 300-350 lat normally, but i dont think this is the reasoning.

It may also be my dot timers maybe getting out of whack with the server.

Anyone else experienced this?

#43 Salanei

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 06:22 AM

It's a 60% chance to refresh SWP per tick of MF now, which isn't noticeable for most of us most of the time.

#44 Mearis

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:11 AM

I am getting a bit skeptical of simulation craft results, mostly because our rotation now is incredibly difficult to pull off perfectly, and the weights given by simulation craft assume an impossible level of play.

In practice:

- Most fights require movement at times you don't choose, making recasting vampiric touch or mindblast after a resist a pain in the ass.
- Recasting DoT so they land right before they expire is very difficult and requires you to plan spell-cast sequences up to 3 or so GCD in advance.
- To benefit properly from haste, you need to have perfect DoT landing times. If you don't refresh DoT at perfect times, haste has pretty significant softcaps (since you'll either miss a tick from refreshing it before the last tick, or miss ticks in the gap between wearing off and re-application).
- Haste makes the rotation much harder and increases mana expenditure (flay crits reducing shadowfiend obviously isn't enough). Crit has no effect on rotation efficiency but mildly increases mana returns.
- Hit makes the rotation much smoother. Spirit is also very useful for people who dual spec to holy often.
- In game, situational awareness is incredibly precious - if you have to increase your focus on the rotation it means you might miss things like life-saving lifegrips.

I am seriously considering reforging a lot of things to spirit, then testing things out empirically to see how they work out for me in a real life raid scenario. Multi-dotting two mobs with hasted dots, uncapped hit, while watching shadow orbs, on top of the usual avoiding AoE and raid leading probably leads to a DPS loss for me.

#45 Elerion

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:13 AM

I think the biggest concern at the moment is the variance between fishing for an early orb or redotting with weaker dots, especially if herosim is cast early. I understand rng being part of the game but this mechanic is clunky at best and can be frustrating for players.

Well, we're not the only class with ramp-up time. There should be no reason to Heroism before 15-20 secs in, at which point you are virtually guaranteed an orb even if you open with full dots and just MF after that.

That said, the mechanic is needlessly random, clunky and frustrating. The mechanic would be far more comfortable to use if they increased the proc rate by a lot (even 100%), but added a small ICD to control the number of orbs you receive. It would lower haste scaling very slightly, but would increase consistency and allow you to plan around the orbs better.

#46 Skellingtoon

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 01:26 AM

Has anyone had any luck with strafing during all insta-cast spells?
With 3/3 Shadowy Apparition, you have a 12% chance of summoning a shadowy version of yourself... strikes for 4.1k.
This is increased to 60% if you are moving (when SW:P deals damage).

I have been experimenting with strafing while casting SD:D, DP, and any other instant cast spells which require a GCD, such as Shadowfiend. Assuming it ticks just under once per 2 seconds (7 ticks in 18 seconds), during a GCD, you have about a 70% chance of a SW:P tick within the GCD. This gives you about a 45% chance of an apparition every time you strafe for an instant. If you chain 2 of them together, (IE SW:D, DP) you go up to a 60% chance of a 4k free attack.

#47 Skellingtoon

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 01:57 AM

It should be noted that Vampiric Touch and Empowered Shadow have the same duration (15 seconds). Given that MB is fairly weak, I am not casting it on CD, but just to keep up ES. Thus once I have an orb, the rotation becomes VT, MB, (fill) repeat. Also, it saves having to track VT AND ES - Just refresh VT and MB as VT's stack is about to fall off.

Macro:
#showtooltip
/castsequence reset=shift/target/6 Vampiric Touch, Mind Blast

#48 Cadfael

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 12:56 PM

Average MF tick: 4042
Average SW:D hit: 3603


You are right. It appears that my SW:D crits were showing as non-crits, giving me the wrong numbers and impression. Thus I have to agree that keeping SW:D for movement (or if needed mana-pumping) is better use of the gcd.
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#49 Gramzon

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 02:52 AM

It should be noted that Vampiric Touch and Empowered Shadow have the same duration (15 seconds). Given that MB is fairly weak, I am not casting it on CD, but just to keep up ES. Thus once I have an orb, the rotation becomes VT, MB, (fill) repeat. Also, it saves having to track VT AND ES - Just refresh VT and MB as VT's stack is about to fall off.

Macro:
#showtooltip
/castsequence reset=shift/target/6 Vampiric Touch, Mind Blast

Aren't you cutting it a bit close there putting VT before MB? If you don't manage to cast VT before your previous Empowered Shadow fades it won't get the damage increase. And this can happen very easily if you get silenced, stunned etc.
It is better to cast MB first to make sure VT will get the Empowered Shadow buff (if you have an orb).
Empowered Shadow only increases the damage of DoTs you cast when it is active, but not the ones you casted before.
Subsequently DoTs you cast while Empowered Shadow is active keep the damage increase even after Empowered Shadow fades.
Also, when Dark Evangelism expires the DoTs keep the damage increase for the remainder of their duration, but it increases the damage of DoTs even if you cast them before you got Dark Evangelism.

#50 switch_foot4

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 04:21 AM

Don't forget that casting Mind Blast on a target without Vampiric Embrace does not trigger our Replenishment. This is an important mechanic for the healers in our raid. Replenishment also has the same duration as Empowered Shadows so it makes them both easy to track. After my opener, I always make sure I cast my Mind Blast a good 4-5 seconds early to keep Empowered Shadows up, so that I know I am giving Replenishment to the rest of the raid.

#51 Xn205

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 04:42 AM

So, maybe I missed this somewhere, but with the changes to dot clipping...would clipping VT+DP after you gain Empowered Shadow result in missing the Empowered Shadow effect? The reason I ask is that i've been opening with full dots, and then MB right off the first orb. Once Empowered Shadow is up, I refresh VT+DP. If refreshing only results in an extension of the duration, does that also mean that the unbuffed version of those dots remain? or are the replaced by the empowered one. I've tried testing this on dummies, but the RNG for orbs is too inconsistent for me to get any valid results.

@Skellington: I've tried straffing during gcd instants, and i've not found that I can get a single proc of SA. I suspect there maybe a required distance of travel for the proc buff to occur. I've found that if I move ~3 yds i can get one, but if i'm only doing LRLRLR strafes of 1 step, I cant get one.

#52 Gramzon

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 05:48 AM

Don't forget that casting Mind Blast on a target without Vampiric Embrace does not trigger our Replenishment. This is an important mechanic for the healers in our raid. Replenishment also has the same duration as Empowered Shadows so it makes them both easy to track. After my opener, I always make sure I cast my Mind Blast a good 4-5 seconds early to keep Empowered Shadows up, so that I know I am giving Replenishment to the rest of the raid.


I didn't say anything about letting VT expire.
ORB - > MB -> VT -> DP -> MF spam -> MB on Empowered Shadow expiry, etc.
In this rotation the VT is still active when you cast the MB to renew Empowered Shadow while making sure that VT will get Empowered Shadow as well.

...would clipping VT+DP after you gain Empowered Shadow result in missing the Empowered Shadow effect?

No.

#53 Skellingtoon

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 01:37 PM

@Xn205: I think it is more about the down time beween LRLR. I tend to strafe right ('d') for the duration, which is just under 1.5 seconds, or just under 3s for two. I get on average one SA during that strafe, although the apparition doesn't appear until quite a while AFTER I stop strafing. I wonder if the time between 'L' and 'R' is cutting down your chances?
On multiple dummies with nothing but SW:P, constant strafing around in a circle procs LOTS of apparitions, but they all proc in the spot I was about 1s ago. I wonder if that is a minimum distance?

@Gramzon: I hadn't considered that VT was affected by empowered shadows. I tend to err on the side of caution with dots, and refresh early, so I don't tend to let Empowered Shadow expire before I refresh it. However I think the utility of 100% replenishment outweighs the small DPS loss.
Thus, if you are the only source of replenishment, the priority would be ORB>VT>MB>Dots>Refresh VT/MB, but if there are other sources, then ORB>MB>VT>Dots.

#54 goa-anetheron

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 05:02 AM

Hi, first time poster. Please let me know if I've done something incorrectly.

Thank you for this guide, the Shadowpriest 4.0 FAQ was insufficient. It's nice to have a compilation.

So I've read everything in this thread, and I have comments and questions.

People talk a lot about haste being wonderful. At the current gear levels (I'm only at 347IL but I'm sure T11 doesn't have the numbers either) there is no way to get that 7th VT tick. (Needs verification by someone with crazier gear than mine) I've gone up to 2204 haste rating (as moused over in the character sheet) and while in shadow form (so with my 5% haste buff, and obviously I took 3% haste from Darkness) I got 6 VTs, 10 DPs, and 8 SWPs. Same values as for when I had 2007 haste rating.

A guildmate sent me a link of two top guild spriests. Both were running at around 14.4% haste. I was wondering if this number was specifically chosen to obtain a certain amount of Lusted ticks/dot. I haven't had a shaman willing to waste hours testing this with me, but my testing showed further lowering haste allows to maintain the same amount of ticks/dot (6vt/10dp/7swp if I recall correctly), and giving the option to obtain more crit or mastery.

Now about Mastery; isn't it better to have more mastery than crit? I mean the SimCraft numbers are still being called 'arguable' (whether the argument is that it's situational, mana efficient, or whatever) seeing that in 15 seconds you're likely to generate the orb you'll need to refresh Empowered Shadow, why not boost your dot power by a guaranteed amount, rather than a chance amount? Mastery is not a chance, you WILL get x% more power to all 4 dots (MF VT DP SWP). Sure that affects the CD of your fiend, but given a playstyle (this is what I'm doing, please criticise!) where you favour saving MB to refresh ES except when you have 3 orbs (always cast on 3 orbs) and I'm not too worried about refreshing ES early unless I have no orbs. If none proc, then I'll allow myslef 1 MF before redotting without mastery buff to the VT or the DP. Regarding MF vs MB, since it's now a dot I'm pretty sure a MF with Dark Evangelism X 5 and ES is worth saving the MBs with 1 or 2 orbs for merely refreshing ES. What with the added opportunities of MF critting and giving you another 10 sec off your fiend, you're better off flaying more.

Nobody has anything about opening sequences or priorities, but one guy offered the VT SWP MF (MB if orb) DP option to at least get a VT in there off the bat, and give you a chance to cast the other spells and get your DEx5 and possibly ES up before casting your first real fully buffed VT rather than waiting (which does sound stupid).

I know I touched on a lot of concerns people have in this thread. I'm trying to help tie them all together, much like the guide that started this is trying to do.

Cheers

#55 stuckinwell

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 05:28 AM

@ Goa

Disclaimer: My most seriously researched toon is a warlock, NOT a priest. I'm reading this thread in preparation for my own spriest hitting max level and am offering the perspective and advice of another DoT class.

The way Haste effects DoTs is in an easily quantifiable fashion: Haste thresholds. This term is defined as the precise % Haste required for a DoT to gain another tick. More important than knowing that those Spriests are at 14.4% Haste, is knowing exactly what Haste Rating is required to reach 14.4% Haste, and if that figure includes the latent 5% and/or 3%buffs. I do not know the thresholds for Priest DoTs offhand, but from my lock experience I assume that each DoT has different thresholds.

The important thing to remember about Haste is that each buff is applied multiplicatively, that is a 5% haste buff multiplies one's Haste Rating by 1.05. Therefore, the amount of Haste Rating required to meet 14.4% Haste multiplied by 1.08 (Darkness and Shadowform), or by 1.11 (Darkness, Shadowform, Dark Intent), is very likely a Haste Threshold for one or more DoTs.

I wish I could go on, but I am not well studied enough to give further insight.

#56 Mearis

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 01:46 PM

If you have absolutely perfect dot re-application, haste thresholds are meaningless, since you can reapply just before the dot fades and thus 'roll' the timer on the dot damage.

In practice, I am convinced absolutely nobody can pull this off, so we will need to have more serious empirical study of haste caps. After raiding 25 mans a bit more, I am absolutely convinced that after stacking int, the best path is to stack haste up to a threshold, then switch to capping hit to maximise the ease of multidotting. Trying to multidot two mobs while dodging fire and worrying about misses is absolutely miserable.

#57 goa-anetheron

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 03:33 PM

@ Stuckinwell

None of my values include he 3% and the 5%. Specifically, because I don't want anyone having to do ANY calculations, I am ONLY using the haste-from-gear values as reported in the character sheet.

I'm going with values that you and I can both SEE without any calculating.

@ Mearis

If you have absolutely perfect dot re-application, haste thresholds are meaningless, since you can reapply just before the dot fades and thus 'roll' the timer on the dot damage.


What does dot reapplication have to do with making haste thresholds meaningless? I'm trying to see how (by which mechanism) you're tying them together.

I would rather have a dot that ticks 8 times in its duration rather than 6. When I refresh it just as it's about to drop (as per the new rules) I know that I got 8 ticks and I'm about to get another 8 before I cast it again, as opposed to getting only 6.

Now just to maybe add clarification (or further muddy the water), these are some results I got from adding a piece of gear or two, and casting each dot and counting how many ticks I got.

Naked with 0 haste from gear (but you're a spriest so you have darkness and shadowform) you get 5vt/9dp/6swp.
At 811 haste from gear (ditto on parenthesis) you get 6vt/9dp/7swp
At 1488 haste from gear (ditto on the ditto) you get 6vt/10dp/7swp
At 2007 haste from gear (ditto on the ditto) you get 6vt/10dp/8swp

These aren't the lower limits btw, just random haste ratings at which I've taken samples. For instance
1488 haste from gear (plus darkness and shadowform) = 6vt/10dp/7swp
1551 haste from gear (plus darkness and shadowform) = 6vt/10dp/7swp
1796 haste from gear (plus darkness and shadowform) = 6vt/10dp/7swp

14% lies between 1551 and 1796, closer to the latter. In my original post I was asking "Why not go down to 1488 haste since you get just as many ticks for each dot as with 1700?"

What good is wasting haste on NOT getting another tick? May as well get the most crit or mastery you can for that haste threshold. Amirite?

#58 Elimbras

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 04:47 PM

If you have absolutely perfect dot re-application, haste thresholds are meaningless, since you can reapply just before the dot fades and thus 'roll' the timer on the dot damage.


I respectfully disagree with this statement. Haste threshold are meaningful for you global dps. They don't change the individual dot dps, if you manage 100% uptime. But they decrease the number of cast you need to achieve this 100% uptime, and increase the time you have to cast other dps spells (read MF) and hence your total dps.

In fact, haste is particularly good for shadow priest for two reasons :
- with a fixed rotation, it increases your dps linearly, with the best rating to percentage conversion from all secondary stats except spirit.
- when reaching a haste threshold, this allow to decrease the proportion of time spent casting the corresponding dot, ie. change your rotation to a new higher dps rotation.

#59 Nimiks

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 05:37 PM

What good is wasting haste on NOT getting another tick? May as well get the most crit or mastery you can for that haste threshold. Amirite?


I don't think so. As mearis said, with perfect dot reapplication you obtain a continuous debuff with perfectly linear ticks intervals. So the more haste you have, the faster your dot will tick, and as you shouldn't let it drop, haste tresholds are indeed meaningless.
Before cataclysm you used to refresh your dots as soon as they fall off to avoid clipping, so on each treshold you used to get one more tick before the reapplication, wich doesn't mean you could cast one more MF but just you get more damage for the dot application (much more DPET).
Now, if you reach a haste treshold and reapply your dots correctly, you won't have the same difference as your dot never fades, you will just have a linear dps inscrease.
Haste tresholds are important for exemple because they let the LB's explode before recasting it, and thus gain benefit from the additional tick on each treshold.

I respectfully disagree with this statement. Haste threshold are meaningful for you global dps. They don't change the individual dot dps, if you manage 100% uptime. But they decrease the number of cast you need to achieve this 100% uptime, and increase the time you have to cast other dps spells (read MF) and hence your total dps.

I don't see how it could decrease the number of casts as the dot duration never change unless I am mistaken.

#60 goa-anetheron

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 08:28 PM

Thank you Nimiks for clarifying. I get it now.

If you have 100% uptime on say VT, it won't matter if you're at or between thresholds as the tick rate goes up steadily with haste and since the dot never drops, it doesn't matter how many ticks per dot since it never falls (with 100% uptime) you'll get those "extra ticks" because of the fact that you're not letting it drop.

It's like the concept of a leap year, each year is 365.25 days. Cast by itself a "year" ticks 365 times, but over the course of 4 casts of "year" you get that last (0.25x4) 1 extra tick in there.

So my VT would be ticking (ex) 6.333 times, but when I cast it alone and count my ticks, I get only 6, but over the course of 3 VTs (45 sec) I get (6x3=) 18 + (0.333x3=) 1 ticks, 19 total.

Let me know if this is what you and Mearis meant.

Cheers




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