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Affliction in Cataclysm (4.3 Release)


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#1 Jmickey

Jmickey

    Von Kaiser

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 03:18 PM

=Introduction=
The purpose of this thread is to discuss the theory-crafting behind the Affliction warlock. This thread is targeted at serious raiders. If you've got interesting/complex questions regarding Affliction, please ask them here. If you have very basic questions or alike, please use the "Simple Questions/Answers" thread in the stickies instead.

==Raid Performance==

With the release of Patch 4.3 the warlock class sees a number of changes, in particular the Destruction spec, along with a few changes to the Demonology spec. Following these changes we see that all 3 specs are quite close, and all have something to bring to the table. For single target DPS, the following should be true at all gear levels:

[TABLE]Demonology |>| Destruction |>=| Affliction[/TABLE]


While Demonology does pull ahead in single target DPS by ~2k DPS, this is only in close to perfect conditions where there is minimal to no movement and the player is able to stand in melee range. This means that in most situations Destruction and Affliction will perform better than Demonology.

On multi-target fights with strictly 2 DPS targets Affliction and Destruction should be quite even. However once any additional targets are introduced Affliction will perform considerably better than Destruction. Heavy AoE fights are where Demonology really begins to shine, followed respectably by Affliction and then Destruction behind by a considerable margin.

==FAQ==
Q: Is there a haste cap?
A: Technically, there are multiple. See the Mechanics: Haste section of this guide for more information.

Q: Should I use the Infernal or Doomguard?
A: Doomguard for Single Target, Infernal for AoE.

Q: I changed my spec, and on a training dummy my new spec gives me more DPS!
A: What you do on a training dummy is irrelevant, not only is your sample data far too small to rule out RNG, you're also missing lots of buffs/target debuffs that will change the way certain talents perform.

Q: I asked a question / Made a suggestion, why didn't you answer or respond to it?
A: On ElitistJerks it is policy that people who respond to stupid or very basic questions receive infractions along with the person who received the initial infraction. If you had a question and I didn't respond to it, I was probably avoiding infraction points.

==Abbreviations==

[TABLE="head"]Abbreviation | Meaning
Afflic | Affliction
AoE | Area of Effect
BiS | Best in Slot
BoA | Bane of Agony
BoD | Bane of Doom
BoH | Bane of Havoc
CD | Cooldown
CoE | Curse of the Elements
Corr | Corruption
Crit | Critical Strike Rating
Demo | Demonology
Destro | Destruction
DPET | Damage per execute time
FG | Felguard
GCD | Global Cooldown
ICD | Internal Cooldown
Immo | Immolate
Imp SF | Improved Soul Fire
Incin | Incinerate
Int | Intellect
LT | Lifetap
Meta | Metamorphosis
RNG | Random Number Generator
SB | Shadow Bolt
SP | Spellpower
UA | Unstable Affliction[/TABLE]


=Talents=
==The Spec==

32/3/6

==Talents==
Affliction

[TABLE="head"]Tier | Talent | Notes | Recommendation
1 | Doom and Gloom | Increase BoA and BoD damage | Required
1 | Improved Life Tap | Increase mana awarded by Life Tap | Required
1 | Improved Corruption | Increase Corruption Damage | Required
2 | Jinx | CoE now effects nearby targets, and CoW effects enemy resource generation | Optional
2 | Soul Siphon | Increases Drain Life and Drain Soul damage for each DoT on your target | Required
2 | Siphon Life | Chance to heal yourself when Corruption ticks | Optional
3 | Curse of Exhaustion | Slows the target | Optional
3 | Improved Fear | Target is slowed when fear ends | Optional
3 | Eradication | Chance to increase casting speed when Corruption ticks | Required
4 | Improved Howl of Terror | Reduces the cast time on Howl of Terror | Optional
4 | Soul Swap | Removes your DoTs from the target, which you can then transfer to another target | Required
4 | Shadow Embrace | Stacking debuff, increasing your shadow DoT damage on the target | Required
5 | Death's Embrace | Increases shadow damage on targets below 25% HP | Required
5 | Nightfall | Chance to make your next Shadow Bolt an instant cast when Corruption and Drain Life tick | Required
5 | Soulburn: Seed of Corruption | Additional Soulburn effect - Spreads Corruption to nearby targets when Seed of Corruption detonates | Optional
6 | Everlasting Affliction | Increase crit chance of some of your DoTs, and allows Drain Life, Drain Soul and Haunt to refresh Corruption | Required
6 | Pandemic | Decreases the GCD of your Bane and Curse spells, and Drain Soul refreshes Unstable Affliction on targets below 25% HP | Required
7 | Haunt | Does instant damage and leaves a debuff on your target, increasing shadow DoT damage | Required
[/TABLE]


Demonology

[TABLE="head"]Tier | Talent | Notes | Recommendation
1 | Demonic Embrace | Additional stamina | Optional
1 | Dark Arts | Increases Felhunter damage | Required
1 | Fel Synergy | Passively heals demon | Optional[/TABLE]


Destruction

[TABLE="head"]Tier | Talent | Notes | Recommendation
1 | Bane | Reduces cast time on Shadow Bolt and Immolate | Shadow Bolt Filler Only
1 | Shadow and Flame | Increases Shadow Bolt damage and allows you to inflict the 5% crit debuff | Required[/TABLE]


==Glyphs==
Prime Glyphs:


Major Glyphs:


Minor Glyphs:

  • Individual's Choice
  • Individual's Choice
  • Individual's Choice

=Stats & Gearing=
==Stats==
Intellect:

Intellect now converts to Spell Damage, which makes all spells stronger. A number of factors determine how much benefit they receive, such as the spell co-efficients and talents. However, all spells benefit in some way.

1 Intellect provides 1 spellpower (before bonuses) and 0.00154% crit, as well as 17.53 mana.

Hit Rating:

102.45 hit rating increase your chance to hit with spells by 1% until Hit Cap (17% or 1742 Rating). Once the cap has been reached Hit becomes useless.

Haste Rating:

128.05 haste rating gives 1% spell haste. Haste rating scales multiplicatively with other sources of haste. Haste cannot reduce the duration of the global cooldown below 1.0 second.

To calculate the 'new' cast time of a spell, use the following formula:

[TABLE]New.Cast.Time |=| Normal.Cast.Time / ((1 + (Haste.Rating / 12805)) * 5%.Aura * Dark.Intent)[/TABLE]


Where 5%.Aura = 1.05 and Dark.Intent = 1.03.

Example, if we take a 2.5 second Normal.Cast.Time and a 950 Haste.Rating, we will get the following:

[TABLE]New.Cast.Time |=| 2.5 / ((1 + (950 / 12805)) * 1.05 * 1.03) = 2.152 sec[/TABLE]


Due to the changes to DoTs introduced in 4.0.1, and the way certain DoTs interact with certain talents and abilities (like Conflagrate), haste has become a much more advanced stat. See the Mechanics: Haste section for more information.

Critical Strike Rating:

179.28 crit rating gives 1% to crit. With a Burning Shadowspirit Diamond, crits will do 2.06 times the damage of normal hits. Due to changes made to DoTs in 4.0.1, all DoTs can now crit innately.

Mastery Rating:

179.28 mastery provides a 1.63% increase to all periodic shadow damage we deal. Our DoTs account for ~55-60% of our damage, however, due to the low increase per point of mastery, it is still our weakest stat.

==Stat Priorities==

It is recommended you download the Simulationcraft tool and base your decisions around your individual character. However, the below order should be correct in most situations.

[TABLE]Int |>| SP |>>| Hit (to cap) |>| Haste |>| Crit |>| Mastery[/TABLE]


This should basically be true at all levels of gear.

==Reforging==
Reforging allows you to exchange 40% of a combat rating already on an item and converts it into a combat rating not already on an item. Example: If an item has Crit, you cannot add more Crit. If it has no Crit then you could reforge 40% of another rating (Haste, Hit, or Mastery) into Crit. An item with 100 Hit and no Crit could be reforged to 60 Hit and 40 Crit.

Reforging is essentially following the stat priority rules above to reach certain caps and maximize the benefit we recieve from secondary stats. For example, for the stat priorities in iLvl 401 - 416 gear, we do the following (in order):

1. Reforge mastery then crit to hit until cap, getting as close to 1742 as possible.

2. Reforge mastery then crit to haste.

3. Reforge left over stats to crit, including any hit over the mentioned cap.


It is important to note that optimizing your reforging may involve reforging away from haste or hit on gear to get as close as possible to the cap (without going under). It is recommended you use a tools such as WoWReforge to assist you.

==Gemming==

[TABLE]Meta: | |
Red: | |
Yellow: | |
Blue: | | [/TABLE]



When to ignore the socket bonus

As a general rule of thumb, if the socket bonus is less than 20 Int or 30 of any rating stat, then it would be better to ignore the bonus and gem /. However, to be more accurate you would need to find the relevant scale factors for your individual gear setup (Using Simulationcraft) and multiply those scale factors by the stats you would gain with either gem.

==Set Bonuses==

[TABLE="head"]Bonus | Description
2pc | The duration of your Doomguard and Infernal summons is increased by 30 sec and the cooldown of those spells is reduced by 4 min.
4pc | Soulburn grants a 10% increase to your spell power for 10 sec, and Soul Fire cast with Soulburn active now grants a Soul Shard.[/TABLE]



2pc - The 2 peice bonus is a ~2% DPS increase, dependant on fight time.
4pc - The 4 piece bonus is a ~2.5% DPS increase if used on CD.

==Best in Slot==

Normal BiS No Legendary

[TABLE="head"]Slot | Item | Gemming | Reforging
Head | | 1x Burning, 1x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Neck | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Shoulders | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Back | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Haste
Chest | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | N/A
Wrists | | 2x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Hands | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Waist | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Hit | Crit > Hit
Legs | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | Mastery > Hit
Feets | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Ring 1 | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Ring 2 | | 1x 40 Int | N/A
Trinket 1 | | N/A | N/A
Trinket 2 | | N/A | N/A
Wand | | N/A | Mastery > Haste
Weapon | | 1x 40 Int | N/A
[/TABLE]


Normal BiS with Legendary

[TABLE="head"]Slot | Item | Gemming | Reforging
Head | | 1x Burning, 1x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Neck | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Shoulders | | 2x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Back | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Haste
Chest | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | N/A
Wrists | | 2x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Hands | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Waist | | 3x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Legs | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | Mastery > Hit
Feets | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Ring 1 | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Ring 2 | | 1x 40 Int | N/A
Trinket 1 | | N/A | N/A
Trinket 2 | | N/A | N/A
Wand | | N/A | Mastery > Haste
Weapon | | 3x 40 Int | N/A
[/TABLE]


Heroic BiS No Legendary

[TABLE="head"]Slot | Item | Gemming | Reforging
Head | | 1x Burning, 1x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Neck | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Shoulders | | 2x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Back | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Haste
Chest | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | Hit > Crit
Wrists | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Hands | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Waist | | 3x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Legs | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | Mastery > Hit
Feets | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Ring 1 | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Ring 2 | | 1x 40 Int | Crit > Haste
Trinket 1 | | N/A | N/A
Trinket 2 | | N/A | N/A
Wand | | N/A | Mastery > Hit
Weapon | | 1x 40 Int | N/A
[/TABLE]


Heroic BiS with Legendary

[TABLE="head"]Slot | Item | Gemming | Reforging
Head | | 1x Burning, 1x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Neck | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Shoulders | | 2x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Back | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Haste
Chest | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | N/A
Wrists | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Hands | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Waist | | 3x 40 Int | N/A
Legs | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | Mastery > Hit
Feets | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Ring 1 | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Ring 2 | | 1x 40 Int | Crit > Haste
Trinket 1 | | N/A | N/A
Trinket 2 | | N/A | N/A
Wand | | N/A | Mastery > Hit
Weapon | | 3x 40 Int | N/A
[/TABLE]


==Trinkets==

Coming Soon.

==Enchants==

[TABLE="head"]Slot | Enchant | Comments
Head | 60 Int/35 crit | - Guardians of Hyjal revered
Shoulders | 50 Int/25 haste | - Therazane exalted
Back | 50 Int |
Chest | 20 stats |
Wrists | 50 Int |
Gloves | 50 haste/65 mastery |
Legs | 95 Int/80 Stam |
Boots | Run speed/35 mastery or 50 hit or 50 haste | / /
Belt | Extra socket |
Weapon | 500 Int Proc |
Offhand | 40 Int | [/TABLE]


==Professions==

[TABLE="head"]Name | Benefit
Engineering | Since patch 4.0.1, tinkers now stack with normal enchants. Synapse Springs tinker to gloves provides 480 Int for 10 seconds with a 60 second CD. This averages to an 80 Int bonus. Engineering also provides further perks such as . and Grounded Plasma Shield have a chance to fail and cause serious adverse effects, and are not reliable in a raid situation.

Leatherworking | 130 Int to bracers in place of 50 Int, giving an 80 Int bonus.

Jewelcrafting | 3 in place of 3 or gives 81 Int (51 Int over Epic Gems).

Blacksmithing | Extra sockets into wrists and gloves provides 2 additional Brilliant Inferno Ruby's or 2 Brilliant Queen's Garnet's, providing an 80/100 Int bonus.

Alchemy | Mixology, combined with provides an 80 Int bonus.

Enchanting | 40 Int to each ring provides an 80 Int bonus.

Inscription | 130 Int/25 haste shoulder enchant is an 80 Int bonus over the regular enchant.

Tailoring | Lightweave Embroidery gives 580 Int for 15 seconds on a 64 second ICD. This averages to 135.9 Int, which replaces the normal 50 Int enchant, providing only a 85.9 Int bonus. Tailoring currently gives the greatest DPS increase of all the professions.

Herbalism | Lifeblood is now a DPS cooldown providing 480 haste for 20 seconds on a 2 minute CD. This averages to an 80 haste bonus.

Skinning | 80 crit.

Mining | Stam, useless from a DPS perspective. [/TABLE]


==Consumables==

[TABLE]Flask: or a
Food: /
Potion: (Pre-pot and use during bloodlust/heroism)[/TABLE]


==Races==

In order of DPS increase.

===Alliance===

[TABLE]Worgen
Viciousness - Passive 1% crit.
Darkflight - 40% speed sprint for 10 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.
Gnome
Expansive Mind - Increase mana pool by 5%.
Escape Artist - Escape the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect. 1.5 minute cooldown.
Human
Every Man for Himself - Removes all movement impairing effects and all effect which cause loss of control of your character. 2 minute cooldown.
Dwarf
Stoneform - Removes all poison, disease and bleed effects and reduces all damage taken by 10% for 8 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.[/TABLE]



===Horde===

[TABLE]Orc
Blood Fury - Increases spellpower by 584. Lasts 15 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.
Command - Damage done by pets increased by 5%.
Hardiness - Reduces duration of stun effects by 15%.
Goblin
Time is Money - Passive 1% spell haste.
Rocket Jump - Activates your rocket belt to jump forward. 2 minute cooldown. Shares cooldown with Rocket Barrage.
Rocket Barrage - Launches your belt rockets at an enemy. 2 minute cooldown. Shares cooldown with Rocket Jump.
Troll
Berserking - Increases your casting speed by 20% for 10 seconds. 3 minute cooldown.
Da Voodoo Shuffle - Reduces the duration of all movement impairing effects by 15%.
Blood Elf
Arcane Torrent - Silence all enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds and restores 6% mana. 2 minute cooldown.
Forsaken
Will of the Forsaken - Removes any Charm, Fear and Sleep effect. 2 minute cooldown. [/TABLE]


=Spell Rotations=
==Spell Priority==
===Basic===

[TABLE="head"]Spell | Condition
Soulburn | 4pc T13
Demon Soul | -
Corruption | -
Unstable Affliction | -
Bane of Doom | -
Haunt | -
Drain Soul | Below 25%
Shadowflame | Melee Range
Shadow Bolt | -
[/TABLE]


===Explained===

If you have the T13 set bonus Soulburn should be cast on cooldown, along with Soul Fire so the shard is replenished. Demon Soul should be used on cooldown, together with "On-Use" trinkets.

After that it is simply a case of keeping as close to 100% uptime on Unstable Affliction and Bane of Doom. Haunt should be used on cooldown to no downtime on the debuff and Corruption. After that simply spam Shadow Bolt.

Once the boss reaches 25% HP, begin to channel Drain Soul while continuing to cast Haunt on CD and refresh Bane of Doom when required. Drain Soul will automatically refresh Unstable Affliction and Corruption when it ticks, so you should not need to worry about this.

If safe, Shadowflame should be used on cooldown while in melee range. However it is not worth running a long distance into melee range to do so.

Note: If you are on a fight that you are constantly using glyphed Soul Swap on then switch to Bane of Agony instead of Bane of Doom as Bane of Doom can only be applied to 1 target.

====Optimal Opener====

During Wrath of the Lich King DoTs did not update on a per-tick basis with boss debuffs and it was much more beneficial to open a fight by applying these debuffs (Haunt, Shadow's Embrace etc) before applying DoTs. In 4.0.1 this was changed so that DoTs damage would update on the fly with boss debuffs.

However, it seems the Shadow and Flame (aka. Critical Mass from Mages) does not update like other boss debuffs and behaves in the same way as if it was a personal buff. Therefore, the optimal opener for Affliction is as follows:

Shadow Bolt -> Haunt -> Unstable Affliction -> Corruption -> Bane of Doom -> Shadow Bolt. Continue to follow the priority above.

==Cooldowns==

===Demon Soul===

Demon Soul: Felhunter increases periodic shadow damage dealt by 20% for 20 seconds. This cooldown effects all of out spells except Haunt, Shadowflame and Shadow Bolt.

Demon Soul: Felhunter's buff will not begin to effect our DoTs until they have been reapplied. Therefore it is best used as DoTs are about to expire, and as Haunt comes off cooldown. Sub 25% Unstable Affliction and Corruption will automatically begin to benefit from this effect when Drain Soul refreshes them.

This spell should generally be used on cooldown, and should be lined up with "On-Use" trinkets, trinket procs, bloodlust/heroism, potions and execution phase as often as possible.

===Doomguard===

Summon Doomguard summons a doomguard (guardian pet) to fight alongside you for 45 seconds on a 10 minute cooldown (75 seconds on a 6 minute cooldown with 2pc T13).

The doomguard scales with some of your stats, these being spellpower, hit and crit. Therefore timing your doomguard summon with trinket procs, enchant procs and potions is essential for maximizing its DPS. In most cases the best way to achieve this is to simply summon your doomguard ~10-12 seconds into the fight as all procs are off cooldown and available before the pull.

The doomguard does not scale with percentage based damage increases, haste or Afflictions's mastery.

==Dark Intent==

First and foremost, you should gauge the needs of your group. When learning raid fights or playing with undergeared healers, they should always come first. When you hit enrage timers or wipe because the boss has a burn phase you didn't complete, you should consider applying it to DPS classes. I'll leave this up to you.

===Healer Rankings===

[TABLE="head"]Rank | Class | Condition
1 | Restoration Druid | -
2 | Holy Priest | Raid Healing
3 | Restoration Shaman | -
4 | Holy Priest | Tank Healing
5 | Discipline Priest | -
6 | Holy Paladin | Glyph of the Long Word[/TABLE]


===DPS Rankings===

[TABLE="head"]Rank | Class
1 | Shadow Priest
2 | Fire Mage
3 | Balance Druid
4 | Elemental Shaman
5 | Frost Mage
6 | Arcane Mage
7 | Feral Druid
8 | Feral Druid (Hit Cap)
9 | Survival Hunter
10 | Retribution Paladin
11 | Combat Rogue
12 | Unholy DK (2H)
13 | Assassination Rogue
14 | Frost DK (2H)
15 | Marksman Hunter
16 | Beast Mastery Hunter
17 | Enhancement Shaman
18 | Frost DK (1H)
19 | Unholy DK (1H)[/TABLE]


===Personal Rankings===

[TABLE="head"]Rank | Class | Uptime
1 | Balance Druid | 99%
2 | Shadow Priest | 98%
3 | Survival Hunter | 98%
4 | Feral Druid | 95%
5 | Feral Druid (Hit Cap) | 93%
6 | Fire Mage | 88%
7 | Frost Mage | 82%
8 | Assassination Rogue | 76%
9 | Elemental Shaman | 74%
10 | Unholy DK (1H) | 72%
11 | Beast Mastery Hunter | 69%
12 | Combat Rogue | 66%
13 | Arcane Mage | 62%
14 | Unholy DK (2H) | 60%
15 | Marksman Hunter | 57%
16 | Enhancement Shaman | 55%
17 | Retribution Paladin | 46%
18 | Frost DK (2H) | 41%
19 | Frost DK (1H) | 40%[/TABLE]


==Fel Flame==

There seems to be a common misconception within the warlock community that Fel Flame should be used to refresh Unstable Affliction. As a basic rule of thumb there are only 2 reason to ever cast Fel Flame, these are:

  • During unavoidable movement, and only when Corruption does not require refreshing, the boss is out of range of Shadowflame (or it's on CD), and you do not require mana from Life Tap.
  • When the T11 4pc bonus procs.

Outside of these 2 reasons there really isn't any other situation Fel Flame should be used. Using Fel Flame to refresh the duration of Unstable Affliction will result in a DPS loss, this is due to the number of GCDs required to increase the DoTs duration to it's original duration. If we compare this to the time required to simply re-apply the DoT over a 5 minute (300 second) fight:

Assuming a 1 second GCD, over a 300 second fight we will cast Unstable Affliction 20 times, requiring 20 GCDs. It will require 3 Fel Flames every 15 seconds to achieve the same result. This is a total of 60 GCDs used over the course of the fight, wasting 40 seconds of time during the fight to keep a 100% uptime on Unstable Affliction. This is almost 24 Shadow Bolts worth of time spent refreshing Unstable Affliction using our lowest DPET spell, obviously not optimal.

==AoE and Multiple Targets==

Affliction has 2 main tools for multi-target damage - Soulburn: Seed of Corruption and Soul Swap. For any fight with more than 2 targets, provided that targets are with range of each other, then using Soulburn: Seed of Corruption to apply Corruption to all these targets would be beneficial. What you do next will depend on the number of targets. Generally, provided all targets are in range, in situations where that are 6 or more targets Seed of Corruption spam on a single target in the pack (as to not override Corruption on any other target) should provide equal or greater results than applying DoTs to all targets separately. In situations with less than 6 targets, then applying DoTs to each target individually should provide a higher damage output than simple spamming Seed of Corruption.

This does however, depend on a number of different factors. Factors such as how long the target will live will need to be taken into account when considering what to do in multi-target situations. For example, should an add spawn that will be burned and only live for ~6 seconds then applying DoTs to this target would essentially be pointless. If the target needs to be burned quickly then simply casting Shadow Bolt would be more beneficial. If the target's immediate death is not essential to the success of the raid, then you may be better off just leaving that target to be dealt with by classes that have most burst potential.

Approach each situation individually and do what works best for you personally. There is rarely a situation where the right way to react is set in stone. Use the above as a rough guide, and test each situation yourself.

For fights with purely 2 main targets, use Soul Swap (Glyphed) on CD to transfer your DoTs to from one target to another as well as manually refreshing all DoTs on the secondary target. Using Nightfall procs and hard-casting Shadow Bolt to apply Shadow Embrace to the secondary target would also be beneficial provided that your strategy allows for this and Shadow Embrace up time on the primary target doesn't suffer.

=Mechanics=
==Haste and DoTs==

With patch 4.0.1 the way DoTs work has changed. In addition to all DoTs now benefiting from haste innately, haste now reduces the time between ticks. Haste only reduces the DoTs duration until an extra tick is received.

While affliction does not gain any significant amount of DPS by reaching any sort of haste "threshold" these values and how to calculate them are still good to know.

This applies to all of our DoTs except BoD, however, the haste required to achieve this extra tick will differ between DoTs. To calculate the required haste to achieve an additional tick we would need to calculate the time between ticks, specific to 3 decimal places.

[TABLE]Tick.Speed.Required |=| (Base.Frequency * Base.Tick.Speed) / (No.of.Ticks - 0.5)[/TABLE]

Where No.Of.Ticks is the number of ticks you would like to achieve. For example, if we wanted to apply this to Unstable Affliction (5 sec Base Frequency, 3 sec Base Tick Speed), wanting to achieve 2 additional ticks (7), we would do the following:

[TABLE]Tick.Speed.Required |=| (5 * 3) / (7 - 0.5) = 2.307 seconds[/TABLE]


From here, we can calculate the percentage of haste required to achieve this tick speed, using the following formula:

[TABLE]Haste.Percent |=| (Base.Tick.Speed / (Tick.Speed.Required + 0.00049999)) - 1 [/TABLE]

Therefore:

[TABLE]Haste.Percent |=| (3 / (2.307 + 0.00049999)) - 1 = 0.30010835[/TABLE]


So what haste rating does that translate into?

Well, Unstable Affliction gains extra ticks at 9.99908%, 30.00108%, 49.9625% etc. So to determine the haste required in a raid situation, with all raid buffs including Dark Intent, we will use this formula:

[TABLE]Haste.Rating |=| ((Haste.Percent / 5%.Aura / Dark.Intent) - 1) * 12805.716[/TABLE]

For example, the haste required to gain 2 additional ticks (30% haste) is as follows:

[TABLE]Haste.Rating |=| ((1.300108 / 1.05 / 1.03) - 1) * 12805.716 = 2589[/TABLE]


Therefore, the haste thresholds for Unstable Affliction are (raid buffed):

[TABLE="head"]Extra Ticks | % | Rating | Goblin
1 | 9.9% | 218 | 90
2 | 30% | 2589 | 2437
3 | 49.9% | 4951 | 4776
4 | 70% | 7326 | 7127[/TABLE]


Our other DoTs also benefit from gaining extra ticks. The haste thresholds for our other DoTs are below:

Corruption

[TABLE="head"]Extra Ticks | % | Rating | Goblin
1 | 8.3% | 21 | 0
2 | 25% | 1993 | 1846
3 | 41.7% | 3970 | 3804
4 | 58.4% | 5945 | 5745[/TABLE]


Shadowflame

[TABLE="head"]Extra Ticks | % | Rating | Goblin
1 | 16.7% | 1007 | 870
2 | 50% | 4954 | 4778
3 | 83.4% | 8911 | 8696
4 | 116.6% | 12838 | 12584[/TABLE]


==Other DoT Mechanics==

===DoTs, Buff and Debuffs===

Since 4.0 the basic rules for DoT behavior has changed. When a DoT is applied, the following rules are applied:

  • All player stats are "snapshotted," including all bonuses received through buffs and procs, and any losses to stats from debuffs. This means that the DoT will not benefit from any procs unless it is recast.
  • The DoTs damage will update with boss debuffs on a per tick basis. For example, if a DoT was applied to a boss before the 8% Spell Damage debuff was applied, and the 8% Spell Damage debuff was applied between the 2nd and 3rd tick, the 3rd tick will begin to benefit from the debuff immediately.

The only known case where the above is not true is with the 5% Crit Debuff (Shadow and Flame/Critical Mass). This debuff follows similar rules to that of player buffs.

As a general rule of thumb it is not recommended you recast a DoT early (i.e. clipping, with the exception of the information provided in the 'DoT Refreshing' section of this thread), even when you have additional procs that weren't present on the original cast. What this will effectively do is lower that DoTs overall DPET for that encounter despite the additional damage done due to the proc.

===DoT Refreshing===

Another change made to DoTs in 4.0 is how DoTs behave when being reapplied or refreshed. Basically if a DoT is refreshed between the 2nd last and last tick, the DoTs duration will be extended to include the last tick. For example:

Unstable Affliction (uneffected by haste) has a 15 second duration, dealing damage every 3 seconds (5 ticks). If you refresh Unstable Affliction at 13 seconds (2 seconds till the last tick) the new Unstable Affliction applied to the target will have a duration of 20 seconds and will tick 6 times.

What this means is that you can 'clip' a DoT without losing the last tick of that DoT (and the damage that last tick provides), making it much easier to have a 100% uptime on all DoTs. One thing to note is that if a DoT is refreshed using this method then the last tick inherits the stats of the new DoT (See 'DoTs, Buffs and Debuffs').

=Other=
==Macros==

Suggestions Welcome.

==Tools==

Simulation Craft
An advanced raid simulator that can provide you with tons of valuable information, such as scale factors, damage per execution, uptime of procs, etc. You can change the spell priority system to see what works best, however by importing your character simulationcraft should have an optimized priority list ready for you (not always!).

World of Logs
World of Logs is a combat log analyzer which allows gamers to save, share and analyze their raiding experiences in World of Warcraft conveniently and thoroughly.

WoW Reforge
An easy to use reforge calculator designed to assist you in maximizing your stats through reforging. The calculator can work around hit caps, haste caps and can be editted with custom stat weights for your individual character.

DoT Haste Calculations Spreadsheet
A comprehensive spreadsheet detailing all DoT tick breakpoints. Provides numbers for every classes DoTs, includes breakpoints with Bloodlust/Heroism and as a Goblin.

DoTHaste Program by Acrimony
An easy to use program used to calculate DoT tick breakpoints. Provides numbers for every classes DoTs, includes breakpoints with Bloodlust/Heroism and as a Goblin.

==Add-ons==

Coming Soon.

==To Be Completed==

Gear: Best in Slot
Gear: Trinkets
Other: Add-ons
Other: Macros - Suggestions Welcome

==PTR/Incoming Patch Changes==

Please do not post in this thread regarding PTR/Incoming Patch changes. The purpose of this thread is to discuss live mechanics only. Be assured that no incoming changes will be missed, and they will be heavily researched before going live. Should there be any relevant changes made, this thread will be updated the night of the patch, and not before.

Below are changes relevant to Affliction for all cataclysm major patches.

===Patch 4.3 Changes===

General

  • Shadow Bolt has a new spell effect.
  • Soul Fire now scales with 72.6% of spell power, up from 62.5%.
  • The Voidwalker ability Suffering now works like the hunter pet talent Taunt.

===Patch 4.2 Changes===

General

  • Soul Fire is now available at level 20, down from level 54.
  • Soul Harvest has a new spell effect.
  • It is no longer possible to leave combat while channeling Drain Soul.

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Soul Swap now applies a 30-second cooldown to Soul Swap, up from 15 seconds.

===Patch 4.1 Changes===

General

  • Dark Intent: The friendly target of this ability now receives 1% (stacking 3 times to 3%) periodic spell damage and healing bonus instead of 3% (stacking 3 times to 9%). The casting Warlock still receives 3% (stacking 3 times to 9%).
  • Seed of Corruption damage has been increased by 20%.
  • Soulstone can now be used in combat to resurrect a targeted dead player.

Affliction

  • Haunt damage has been increased by 30%.
  • Shadow Mastery (passive) has been increased to 30%, up from 25%.
  • Unstable Affliction damage done when it is dispelled has been doubled, but this damage can no longer be critical

Pets

  • Doomguard's damage has been increased by 50%. The Doomguard is intended to be the best guardian for single-target damage, and the Infernal the best when there are multiple targets.
  • Shadow Bite (Felhunter) damage and effect has doubled, and is now available at level 30, down from 42.

Bug Fixes

  • Imps summoned by Bane of Doom now benefit from the warlock's stats.

==Credits and Special Thanks==

[TABLE="head"]Name | Reason
Keldion | For his work on the DOT haste calculations spreadsheet.
The Simcraft Team | For their continuing hard work in creating such an excellent tool
Zakalwe | For his invaluable contribution to the warlock community
The EJ Warlock Community | For their contribution towards keeping the information in this thread as accurate as possible through intelligent discussion
Ushio | For being a sexy beast
Kitzie | For being awesome[/TABLE]


==Change Log==

- January 07, 2010:
Thread Posted

- January 8, 2011:
Updated Dark Intent section.

- February 8, 2011:
Updated for 4.0.6.

- April 26, 2011:
Updated for 4.1.

- June 29, 2011:
Updated for 4.2.

- July 16, 2011:
Updated Raid Performance
Updated Tailoring under 'Professions'

- September 26, 2011:
Updated AoE and Multiple Targets

- October 04, 2011:
Added best in slot.

- December 5, 2011:
Updated for 4.3

==Feedback==

Feedback to this thread is appreciated. There is still much I would like to add (more than just what is in the "To be completed" section) and clarify and there might be a lot more that I have not thought of yet. Generally feedback should be posted within this thread (however please try keep posts in this thread discussion related), however if you feel that the feedback you have would be best suited for a private message, please do not hesitate to send me one.

If I have made a mistake, then a PM would be preferred over posting in this thread.


==Copyright==

This article is the original work of Jmickey (Caelestrasz-US) aided by contributors of the Elitist Jerks forums. Re-posting this article in full or in part is permitted under the following conditions:

* A direct link to the original article, and the name of the original author should be clearly stated.
* Content of this article should not be used for commercial purposes or profit.
* When (re-) posting this article or parts of this article, the same conditions should apply and should be noted.


For any further questions regarding displaying the contents of this article elsewhere, please send me a private message.

#2 Nfariessence

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 04:27 PM

Thanks for the great start, minor changes/suggestions:
* Change "If you've got interesting/complex questions regarding Destruction" to Affliction
* Change "3 Curse of Weakness Slows the target" to Exhaustion
* Link the Wowhead talents rather than just type them out so the hover overs work. i.e. Curse of Exhaustion - Spell - World of Warcraft instead of Curse of Exhaustion.
* I think you meant to put in instead of for this Affliction guide.
* Should we be using Power Torrent or Hurricane? Hurricane can apparently proc multiple times and is believed to be a dps increase over Power Torrent right now.
* Professions - Engineering also gets you Cogwheel sockets and Cogwheels for 208 haste rating and 208 hit rating, which are pretty decent at this tier of gear.
* Formatting of ==Tools and Add-ons== to be consistent with Macros and Change Log, along with a [top] link.
* Change log date should be today

THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!

#3 Jmickey

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 04:49 PM

* I think you meant to put in for this Affliction guide.


I think you missed something here?

* Should we be using Power Torrent or Hurricane? Hurricane can apparently proc multiple times and is believed to be a dps increase over Power Torrent right now.
* Professions - Engineering also gets you Cogwheel sockets and Cogwheels for 208 haste rating and 208 hit rating, which are pretty decent at this tier of gear.


Hurricane can proc twice, once from spells and once from melee attacks. Unless you are meleeing the boss, then no, I don't believe you can have multiple hurricane procs at the same time.

The engineering goggles are a nice bonus to the profession, but they aren't a specific DPS bonus, like the glove tinker.

#4 Splitvision

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 04:50 PM

Thanks for finally getting an affliction discussion up.

I have two things I want to ask/add;

1) Wouldn't Reckless Ember Topaz be better for all yellow slots?
2) There is a nice picture of trinket ranks posted in the simulation topic that you might want to add to your posts.

#5 Jmickey

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 04:55 PM

1) Wouldn't Reckless Ember Topaz be better for all yellow slots?
2) There is a nice picture of trinket ranks posted in the simulation topic that you might want to add to your posts.


Yeah, that was a typo, it has been fixed.

I am aware of the spreadsheet that has been posted. I am currently compiling this into a table for use in this and the destruction thread.

#6 Nfariessence

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 04:58 PM

Yeah, that was a typo, it has been fixed.


Heh, that was what I meant when I said "* I think you meant to put in instead of for this Affliction guide.", but apparently my Wowhead links got borked.

#7 revulva

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 06:16 PM

Jmickey,

I think this statement in your post regarding haste should be revised or deleted:
"This is important for us, as it means we now start to have haste "thresholds" that we should be trying to achieve in order to gain extra ticks on our DoTs. This becomes even more important to Affliction Warlocks, as an extremely large percentage of our damage is done through out DoTs."

While this would be true for demonology and destruction due to immolate refreshing with HoG and conflag, respectively (as you point out in the other posts), there is no motivation to care about any particular haste threshold for affliction warlocks.

I give a detailed example here:
DoTs and Haste Thresholds

Thanks much for all the useful warlock information.
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#8 Dondochakka

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 07:53 PM

Jmickey,

I think this statement in your post regarding haste should be revised or deleted:
"This is important for us, as it means we now start to have haste "thresholds" that we should be trying to achieve in order to gain extra ticks on our DoTs. This becomes even more important to Affliction Warlocks, as an extremely large percentage of our damage is done through out DoTs."

While this would be true for demonology and destruction due to immolate refreshing with HoG and conflag, respectively (as you point out in the other posts), there is no motivation to care about any particular haste threshold for affliction warlocks.

I give a detailed example here:
DoTs and Haste Thresholds

Thanks much for all the useful warlock information.


I have to disagree with you here. While there really aren't numbers for you to aim for it's good to know if you are just about to hit a threshold. If you find yourself a very small amount of haste away from breaking another threshold then you can find a way to push yourself over that hump for added dot damage.

I, for example, am sitting at 1766 haste which is just 16 points shy of getting another corruption tick at 1782. So as soon as I get home I'll be pushing that last little bit over in order to get that extra tick. It's not vital information, but definitely useful.

#9 Miril

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 09:03 PM

Good post as usual.


Currently the Reforging section reads for Shadow Bolt filler but is not accurate for Drain Life filler. It's a little harder to come up with a clean list for that, with the stat priority changing at higher gear levels.

Maybe something like:

How you reforge for Drain Life filler will be based on the following rules:

Reforge to haste or mastery as is appropriate for your gear level/stats.

Are you hit capped?
Yes: Reforge any extra hit to haste/mastery where possible.
No: Reforge crit and the lesser of haste/mastery to hit.
Once you are hit capped:
If it has crit, reforge that to haste/mastery, whichever is possible.
If it is a haste + mastery piece, do not reforge.

#10 revulva

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 09:31 PM

I have to disagree with you here. While there really aren't numbers for you to aim for it's good to know if you are just about to hit a threshold. If you find yourself a very small amount of haste away from breaking another threshold then you can find a way to push yourself over that hump for added dot damage.

I, for example, am sitting at 1766 haste which is just 16 points shy of getting another corruption tick at 1782. So as soon as I get home I'll be pushing that last little bit over in order to get that extra tick. It's not vital information, but definitely useful.


It's interesting to know, just not statistically significant. You will gain the damage of one shadow bolt over the course of a 5 minute boss fight, maybe.

You say you have to disagree... but you are agreeing with me when you say these really aren't numbers to aim for, so, what are you saying?

I never suggested taking the math on haste off the OP. Just the statement that we both disagree with.
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#11 shumoo

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 09:50 PM

delete

#12 revulva

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 10:15 PM

Maybe I didn't state it totally clearly. I agree with everything in your post. I would definitely not argue against getting more haste. Clearly it is a great stat.

What I was proposing was that whether you are just under or just over one of these haste "thresholds" doesn't matter. More haste is more haste. And more haste is good.

Take the example of 580 haste vs. 581 haste for UA. It's just +1 haste rating. The interval between ticks is nearly identical. But, because of the mechanics of haste, when the interval reaches the value at 581 haste, the length of the DoT is increased and you gain an extra tick per cast.

The actual number of UA ticks over the course of a fight will be exactly the same at these two values of haste.

I mention having time for one more filler because you can get away with casting UA one less time over the course of a fight with 581 haste vs. 580 haste.

*Edited for clarity
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#13 Zakalwe

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 10:17 PM

It's worth pointing out that having extra ticks on dots can be pretty useful in a multi target situation, especially with soulburn: seed of corruption. But no, in a single target fight without movement, there is no sudden jump in DPS at any particular haste point for affliction.

#14 shumoo

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 10:36 PM

delete

#15 revulva

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 11:53 PM

shumoo... what are you talking about?

EDIT: see post below for corrected math.
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#16 Raqi

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 01:03 AM

Crit may be better than mastery for single target fights without any movement, but for any real encounter, mastery should beat it.
at 60% mastery efficiency the dps gain of mastery and crit should be roughly equal, since 1% crit requires the same rating as 1.67% mastery, and 60%*1.67%=1%.
In the simcraft output the parts of dmg, which benifit from mastery, namely UA + Corruption + Drain Soul + BoA, deal a total of 54,4% of overall dmg.
When looking at the top affliction reports at World of Logs, these sources account for far more than 60% on all bosses, even 70-80% at some.

#17 lockluster

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 06:08 AM

"Added new meta gems:... and Burning Shadowspirit Diamond (Intellect/3% critical damage). These new recipes are unbound and can drop from any Cataclysm creature. The new meta gems have a requirement of 3 red gems equipped."~ Zarhym
Just saw this on MMO-Champion - Index and it almost certainly means that we will be changing which meta we use as of 4.0.6 also in regards to dark intent with only personal experience to back me up i would swapping it with another affliction warlock whenever possible as the 3% haste does stack.

#18 Zakalwe

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 06:35 AM

in regards to dark intent with only personal experience to back me up i would swapping it with another affliction warlock whenever possible as the 3% haste does stack.

So neither you nor your fellow warlock would have no qualms about depriving another raider of 9% damage or healing over time, just so you could have a paltry 3% extra haste for yourself? Unless your raid is full of holy paladins and marksman hunters, you're both idiots.

#19 Innulock

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:43 AM

Shumoo, it seems you still didn't really get where the benefit from getting over the DoT treshold comes from. If you get an extra dot tick, you refresh your dot one tick later and the next time, again one tick laters, resulting in one cast less after a while, here is an example for the 10% treshold:

UA @ 9.999...% haste = 5 ticks 2.7272 sec/tick

82 second fight: 30 ticks= 6 UA casts

UA @ 10% haste= 6 ticks 2.727272 sec/tick

82 second fight= 30 ticks= 5 UA casts

getting over the cap gained you 1.36sec (=1.5/1.10) extra cast time you can spend on (part of) a shadowbolt or something else each ~82 seconds. This is a pure DPS gain only due to getting over the haste treshold. The only thing that's up for discussion is, if this dps gain is large enough to warrant sacrifying other stats to get to the haste treshold.

#20 Jmickey

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 12:27 PM

Crit may be better than mastery for single target fights without any movement, but for any real encounter, mastery should beat it.


The percentage shown on world of logs to not account for pet DPS. The percentage that DoTs contribute to OUR personal dps is close to 70%, although, will only account for ~55% if you include our Succubus DPS.

Until there is further evidence to say so, Mastery will remain our weakest stat for a Shadow Bolt filler rotation.

Regarding what revulva has been saying:

The statement could possibly be reworded. However, it is still effectively correct. I understand that haste is still a wonderful stat at any level of gear, but reaching the point where Unstable Affliction or Corruption gain an additional tick should result in a DPS increase, as these are both our highest DPET spells.

One statement in you post that you linked that does not make sense to me is this one:

If you cast UA 19 times in a fight with 70% haste, you do 19 more ticks of UA and lost 2.28 seconds of useful cast time over the course of the fight. So, at the expense of 1 shadowbolt (almost 2) you get 19 more ticks of UA. that's a pretty good trade-off.


Please explain to me where you are losing 2.28 seconds of effective cast time, I am having trouble understanding your logic here.

The interval of UA is the base, 3 seconds, divided by haste:
580 Haste Rating: 3/1.045313 = 2.8700 seconds
581 Haste Rating: 3/1.045391 = 2.8697 seconds


This is incorrect, more information can be found here: http://elitistjerks....p3/#post1828020




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