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Unholy DPS | Back in Black [4.2.0]


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#21 optional22

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 07:30 AM

I feel that it would very helpful to add for the current tier of bosses abilities that can be AMSd for survival/DPS boosts. I'd be happy to help if you would like.

#22 Mendenbarr

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:37 PM

Very nice guide, 1 quick correction.
For the Survival section, you wrote
"Firstly, AMS is a powerful defensive ability that absorbs 75% of the damage dealt by harmful spells up to 50% (58%/66%/75% Magic Suppression) of your total health and prevents the application of harmful magical effects.", while
Firstly, AMS is a powerful defensive ability that absorbs 75% (83%/91%/100% Magic Suppression) of the damage dealt by harmful spells up to 50% of your total health and prevents the application of harmful magical effects. would be more accurate.
Also, in the Survival section, The elemental monstrosity is the name of the boss in phase 3, and you only need to worry about being grounded or levitated in phase 2, when you are fighting Arion and Terrastra.

Also, you mention Alchemy, inscription, leather working, and Blacksmithing to be on par for professions, but don't mention enchanting, which gives the same 80 strength as those 4.

Also, @ kaxkaja905
DnD/SS is your top priority for your normal rotation, if your diseases and DT are up, and you are not BB/II or runiccapped, about to be runiccapped, or SD.

#23 Mendenbarr

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:42 PM

These stat weights were updated after 4.06 but prior to the subsequent hot fixes which ended up shifting damage out of death coil and into our strikes (lowering the value of mastery and upping the damage of strikes).

When you start hitting around 2200 haste (easilly obtainable in 359) bad dodge rng becomes pretty noticeable.

Sadly, there's no sim I would trust at this point to give me accurate numbers so I can't back that up.

The reason most unholy DKs aren't at expertise cap is because until high levels of gear it is very difficult to do without sacrificing haste or hit rating.


I have all of my expertised reforged away, don't have one of the 3 out of 4 dk weapons that give expertise, don't gem or enchant for it, and don't get 3 from using an axe, and I still have 20 I can't lower. I was having an issue being stuck at 32 expertise with the axe of cho'gall, before I switched to nef's sword, which NEVER drops. Most dks in medium to hardcore guilds will have the BiS trinket of chim, which gives a LARGE amount of expertise, however I've found reforging away potential mastery or haste to hit the expertise cap is a dps loss.

#24 Matron Heartless

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 08:13 PM

Very nice guide, 1 quick correction.
For the Survival section, you wrote
"Firstly, AMS is a powerful defensive ability that absorbs 75% of the damage dealt by harmful spells up to 50% (58%/66%/75% Magic Suppression) of your total health and prevents the application of harmful magical effects.", while
Firstly, AMS is a powerful defensive ability that absorbs 75% (83%/91%/100% Magic Suppression) of the damage dealt by harmful spells up to 50% of your total health and prevents the application of harmful magical effects. would be more accurate.
Also, in the Survival section, The elemental monstrosity is the name of the boss in phase 3, and you only need to worry about being grounded or levitated in phase 2, when you are fighting Arion and Terrastra.

Also, you mention Alchemy, inscription, leather working, and Blacksmithing to be on par for professions, but don't mention enchanting, which gives the same 80 strength as those 4.

Also, @ kaxkaja905
DnD/SS is your top priority for your normal rotation, if your diseases and DT are up, and you are not BB/II or runiccapped, about to be runiccapped, or SD.


I have updated the guide accordingly. The former was a goof on my part having added the talent % gain to the health absorb cap rather than the actual absorption potential. The latter was an error of omission, so I thank you for your eagle eyes!

#25 Mhobius

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:34 PM

I dunno if anyone is aware of this bug, but "Glyph of Pestilence" increases Plague Strike damage by 20% and stack with Rage of Rivendare, so it's actually a minor dps gain over other Major Glyphs. In 3.3.5 it was called "Glyph of Plague Strike", that's why it's giving that damage boost.

#26 Mendenbarr

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 11:25 PM

I dunno if anyone is aware of this bug, but "Glyph of Pestilence" increases Plague Strike damage by 20% and stack with Rage of Rivendare, so it's actually a minor dps gain over other Major Glyphs. In 3.3.5 it was called "Glyph of Plague Strike", that's why it's giving that damage boost.


First, I was not aware of the bug and appreciate you pointing it out. However, I fail to see how that would be a dps increase. Plague strike is often 0% of my total damage done, considering you only use outbreak on single targets now, and PS is only used once, every time you switch targets. Beyond that, it hits for a very small amount. I prefer glyph of blood boil, which actually increases aoe damage when targets are at 10-15 yards by a considerable amount.

#27 Mericet

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:35 PM

Since swapping from frost DPS I've noticed a tendency to not be able to spend resources fast enough in some cases, generally under one or more of heroism, a few runic corruption procs in a row (after pooling RP at the end of dark transformation), unholy frenzy, and the crushing weight proc. I try to avoid lining up the haste effects as best as I can but it isn't always under my control. In this situation I can end up with multiple full rune sets up (especially frost-death runes, since scourge strike always uses a blood-death before frost-death even if 2 frost-deaths are still full).

My strategy has been to use at least 1 festering strike (even if it uses 2 death runes) just to get more runes on cooldown quickly. My reasoning is that especially if I'm still going to have the haste bonus, the runes will recharge fast enough to give me more overall damage than burning away runes one at a time with scourge strike, but I don't have a solid basis for that priority.

Can anyone think of a good way to simulate these effects? The optimal solution is probably going to be subjective based on just how fast runes are charging and how long you'll be in that state, but it would be nice to have some idea of whether I'm better off getting more scourge strikes or getting more runes on cooldown in a highly GCD-capped situation.

#28 optional22

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 06:45 PM

Since swapping from frost DPS I've noticed a tendency to not be able to spend resources fast enough in some cases, generally under one or more of heroism, a few runic corruption procs in a row (after pooling RP at the end of dark transformation), unholy frenzy, and the crushing weight proc. I try to avoid lining up the haste effects as best as I can but it isn't always under my control. In this situation I can end up with multiple full rune sets up (especially frost-death runes, since scourge strike always uses a blood-death before frost-death even if 2 frost-deaths are still full).

My strategy has been to use at least 1 festering strike (even if it uses 2 death runes) just to get more runes on cooldown quickly. My reasoning is that especially if I'm still going to have the haste bonus, the runes will recharge fast enough to give me more overall damage than burning away runes one at a time with scourge strike, but I don't have a solid basis for that priority.

Can anyone think of a good way to simulate these effects? The optimal solution is probably going to be subjective based on just how fast runes are charging and how long you'll be in that state, but it would be nice to have some idea of whether I'm better off getting more scourge strikes or getting more runes on cooldown in a highly GCD-capped situation.


Well, Kahorie's isn't quite up to date to current patches, but a way to test it would be to give yourself a ton of haste (figure out your haste when lusted and plug in numbers accordingly). You would then play around with the ability priority until you find something that makes sense and maximizes your DPS output in that state.

I haven't run sims on this, but I would suppose that it would just be your highest DPS abilities while ignoring their costs (since we are in a state where cost isn't a factor). That will vary by mastery etc, but for me, I found that to be DnD > SS > DC > FeS. Therefore, when I am in a state of serious haste (Sinestra buff, Lust with excess RC procs), that is the priority I use excluding diseases.

I can't see how using a FeS with DRs will be helpful to you as it feels to be a waste of runes/GCDs. I understand your urgency to use them and to also not waste the RP you could be storing up, but I would expect that letting RP rot is better than letting runes rot. You are using your RP in order to get RC procs; however, in this temporary super haste state, you really don't need a ton of RC procs to continue using rune abilities. Your rune abilities (DnD/SS) will likely do way more damage than DC, so let that RP rot. And using as many runes as you can for the sake of seeing them recharge doesn't seem logical either.

#29 gamma_ray

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 12:19 AM

I can't see how using a FeS with DRs will be helpful to you as it feels to be a waste of runes/GCDs. I understand your urgency to use them and to also not waste the RP you could be storing up, but I would expect that letting RP rot is better than letting runes rot. You are using your RP in order to get RC procs; however, in this temporary super haste state, you really don't need a ton of RC procs to continue using rune abilities. Your rune abilities (DnD/SS) will likely do way more damage than DC, so let that RP rot. And using as many runes as you can for the sake of seeing them recharge doesn't seem logical either.


DC is a huge portion of our damage, but more importantly it gets you the Shadow Infusion buff to get DT up. So making sure you try and keep an equal amount of RP and Runes rotting is a better than letting one over the other rot just due to how the mechanics work. I can see how using FeS to get 2 runes back on CD over using SS for the one would be beneficial, except that you are going to load up more on RP since FeS means more RP than SS. So while you are using runes faster, you are just generating more RP that you are wasting. Using SS is probably better simply due to the fact that it hits harder and you won't overcap RP as fast.

Of course its like Mericet said, try and not line up haste effects as best as you can because doing so will almost always lead to wasted resources.

#30 Bobfred21

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 07:40 PM

DC is a huge portion of our damage, but more importantly it gets you the Shadow Infusion buff to get DT up. So making sure you try and keep an equal amount of RP and Runes rotting is a better than letting one over the other rot just due to how the mechanics work. I can see how using FeS to get 2 runes back on CD over using SS for the one would be beneficial, except that you are going to load up more on RP since FeS means more RP than SS. So while you are using runes faster, you are just generating more RP that you are wasting. Using SS is probably better simply due to the fact that it hits harder and you won't overcap RP as fast.

Of course its like Mericet said, try and not line up haste effects as best as you can because doing so will almost always lead to wasted resources.


This isn't quite true. For one, 1 Festering Strike is the same RP generation as 2 Scourge Strikes (which is really the comparison, given that scourge strike is only one rune).

Additionally taken from my parses last night: Festering Strike out-damages Scourge Strike on a 1 for 1 basis.
From last nights Chimaeron Fight:
Average Scourge Strike: 7.3k
Average Festering Strike: 9.7k

The thing is: We really have three resources here, we have to make optimal use of all of them in order to maximize our DPS.

Runes.
Runic Power.
Time.

Primarily, we're using our best damage per rune / runic power ability because it gives us more damage overall - we're not capped on time, generally speaking so we can stretch our rotation out over more of it. In a situation where you're capping resources you can afford to make better use of your damage per time abilities rather than your damage per rune abilities.

When badly capping it's best to switch to festering strike because per gcd it does more damage per gcd, even though under normal circumstances we want to make best use of our runes because we're not GCD capped.

Having just hit 2400 haste, I can tell you that I am over capping resources frequently even without heroism (a few Runic Corruption procs is all it takes), I can admit some of this might be my latency which isn't the greatest these days, but I'm often finding I have to swap to Festering Strike on death runes (hardly all the time, but anywhere between 1-3 times a fight depending on RNG, outside of hero), on the flip side, depending on RNG I do still have dead periods too.

#31 Taiyoken

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 08:06 PM

SS outdamages FeS ability for ability, you just forgot to count the other component of it.

At higher gear levels, this disparity becomes bigger as mastery affects SS and not FeS.

#32 Lamperouqe

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 10:32 PM

I'm not sure how to go about this mathematically, but I've had better results using FeS on double Death Runes than letting them sit while SS'ing them one at a time.

Lets say we have a DDUUDD rune scenario for example, where it takes 6 globals to use all the runes on SS's. Using 6 SS's in a row the system uses Unholy Runes first and then starts using Death Runes from left to right. Immediately or a while after using them I often find myself having nothing to hit, since it takes time to put the runes on cooldown (3rd SS puts the 2nd rune on CD and 5th SS puts the 3rd rune on CD) and I'm not hitting any DC's which eliminates the possibility of any RC procs. These 6 globals also only generate 60 RP, which isn't even 2 full DC's.

Using FeS and SS instead puts the runes on CD and won't let them sit while giving space to shoot DC's, which can proc RC. By doing this I can keep the GCD locked pace up for a longer time depending on the amount of RC procs, while I find myself starved very fast if I keep SS'ing every Death Rune I generate. Hitting those 6 SS's might be better in terms of damage done per rune, but you need to consider the RP generation per global and the rune regeneration afterwards. In my eyes hitting skills is better than not hitting anything.

In short, hitting SS whenever you can without having runes sit because of it and DC whenever you have an extra global to do so.

The buff on Sinestra is of course an exception, since you won't run out of resources even while only hitting SS's.

E: Submitted unfinished post by accident.

#33 Taiyoken

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 11:44 PM

I seriously doubt you're at 0 RP when that happens, otherwise you aren't 'resource locked' and can fire off another DC. At the very least you can HoW and DC again. Not proccing RC is meh, if you FS SS SS DC DC and still don't proc any Runic Corruption then you are still in the same boat as you were before. 2x FS + 2x SS still generates 60 RP.

e: I get what you're saying, and you'll get 4 runes up in sets of 2 rather than all the runes separately, but I guess you are just banking on RC procs one way or the other? (assuming you start with 0 RP, otherwise you can break the SS cycle with a DC in between)

#34 Bobfred21

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 12:04 AM

Hmm, looking at world of logs has shown me that there must be a glitch in my skada, because my skada gave me those numbers but doesn't keep track of the two different parts of scourge strike separately.

That having been said - having looked at my numbers and the numbers of other DKs on world of logs SS does hit dramatically harder than FeS even at low levels of mastery (SS is blowing FeS away by like 3-5k damage, even with levels of mastery as low as 200).

With this in mind, my argument of damage/time is now out the window and I'm not certain there's a reason to hit FeS in place of SS on death runes.

Lamperouge brings up the point that by using FeS you can continue to keep up the GCD lock longer if you FeS (because really it just pushes back the SS, but to do this consistently will result in lost SS's over the course of a fight, so it's hard to find a good middle ground. I'd love to see some numbers to justify this.

That having been said, as I mentioned in my last post, sitting at only 2400 haste I'm finding myself increasingly GCD capped. It's not all the time, and it's not like I don't have periods of dead time, but it is a growing concern that I can expect to experience 2 or 3 times a fight even outside of heroism.

There's obviously a point where haste stacking loses it's steam for us - I'm not quite mathy enough to run my own simulator or anything, and I do now Consider said it wasn't reachable within this tier, but I think it would be a valuable number to keep track of and have in the OP for future reference.

Is anyone familiar with that theoretical number where we want to start reforging for other stats over haste?

#35 Lamperouqe

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 12:06 AM

Well basically, only hitting SS's you have runes sitting due to the left-to-right Death Rune usage system and less space for DC's which means less chances for RC procs. Runes going on CD slower and less DC's hit for RC procs means less runes regenerated. I would argue that this results in less strikes used overall in most cases. Actually a guildie of mine and I were comparing our logs and wondering how I was able to keep the DPS up for a longer period of time after pull and how he had less strikes used in most of the logs even though his haste was higher. In the end we found out that we were handling Death Runes differently, he was using them all on SS's while I was doing what I just described.

Now again this is all from my personal experience and I'm not implying that this is true in every case.


E:

I seriously doubt you're at 0 RP when that happens, otherwise you aren't 'resource locked' and can fire off another DC. At the very least you can HoW and DC again.


If you are forced to HoW, that is already a global used for 0 damage.

E2: Having hit more FeS's can also be beneficial when switching targets, for example having the dots tick for longer on the dragon flying up on twin dragons before Outbreaking it and when switching from Onyxia to Nefarian.

#36 Thalastor

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 02:24 AM

Well basically, only hitting SS's you have runes sitting due to the left-to-right Death Rune usage system and less space for DC's which means less chances for RC procs. Runes going on CD slower and less DC's hit for RC procs means less runes regenerated. I would argue that this results in less strikes used overall in most cases. Actually a guildie of mine and I were comparing our logs and wondering how I was able to keep the DPS up for a longer period of time after pull and how he had less strikes used in most of the logs even though his haste was higher. In the end we found out that we were handling Death Runes differently, he was using them all on SS's while I was doing what I just described.


Unless you're overcapping runic power, you aren't going to get more death coils in a fight by prioritizing festering strike over scourge strike in that situation; and without actually producing more death coils, your runic corruption uptime isn't going to change over the course of the fight. That said, I see no way that you'd get more total strikes by festering striking on death runes. I'd expect an actual decrease in the combined number of strikes, considering festering strike is twice the runes of scourge strike.

#37 Lamperouqe

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 03:56 AM

I don't see your point. If you have your runes sit active you're obviously losing out on runes, which generate RP. Keeping runes regenerating and not having them sit active means more runes regenerated, which means more RP generated, which leads to more DC's unless overcapping RP.

#38 Taiyoken

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 05:00 AM

Unless you're overcapping runic power, you aren't going to get more death coils in a fight by prioritizing festering strike over scourge strike in that situation; and without actually producing more death coils, your runic corruption uptime isn't going to change over the course of the fight. That said, I see no way that you'd get more total strikes by festering striking on death runes. I'd expect an actual decrease in the combined number of strikes, considering festering strike is twice the runes of scourge strike.


It's because Runic Corruption is giving you more runes at a time, and since you're not capped 100% of the time you can use more strikes, which just leads to an accelerated rotation and more runes overall.

Lamperouqe, did you beat the other DK in damage and if so by how much? It seems like a tradeoff between less damaging strikes for more strikes. Would higher mastery levels overall still push you to SS because it just hits that much harder? I have nowhere near your gear and there doesn't seem to be a way to sim this, so I'm just curious :)

I completely agree with a FeS during boss transitions.


e: What do you do on Sinestra with Essence of the Red? I'm assuming you just SS spam because capping resources is inevitable.

#39 Thalastor

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 06:24 AM

I have a hard time believing that this situation is common enough during a fight that you can generate multiple bonus death coils from runes that would otherwise be sitting for a few seconds. Keep in mind that barring dodges, you should only need 4 seconds to go from every rune up to all but 1 frost down. Whereas with a festering strike it takes 1 second.

Assuming every rune is up and frost/blood runes are deathed:

0 ss on unholy rune
1 ss on unholy rune
2 ss on blood dr (blood runes now able to regenerate)
3 ss on blood dr
4 ss on frost dr (frost runes now able to regenerate)
5 ss on frost dr
vs
0 ss on unholy rune
1 fs on frost/blood dr (blood and frost runes now able to regenerate)
2 ss on unholy rune
3 ss on blood dr
4 ss on frost dr

So you're gaining 1 second of blood recharge time and 3 seconds of frost recharge time every time you find yourself sitting there with every rune up and all death runes. Even if you're pushing 4s rune refresh times, you'd need this situation to happen 4~ times in the fight to generate even one death coil. So best case, you might generate a death coil every fight and be trading 2 scourge strikes for a festering strike 4+ times.

So you trade 8 scourge strikes for 4 festering strikes 16s worth of rune charge time and one death coil worth of runic power.

Referencing World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis (strike values calculated by dividing total damage for each by their number of successful hits)

8 scourge strikes are worth about 137184 damage, 4 festering strikes are worth about 53000 damage, 1 death coil is worth about 12676 damage, and each death rune recharge is worth the value of a scourge strike, so 17148 . Assuming this scenario occurs when under sufficient haste effects to bring your runes down to about 4s each, that's a gain of 68592 damage for the 16 seconds of refresh time.

So, you trade 137184 scourge strike damage for 53000 festering strike damage plus 12676 death coil damage, and 68592 damage in death runes, totaling 134268 damage.

So if you can find 4+ opportunities during heroism/unholy frenzy when every rune is up and feel lucky with runic corruption procs, then I guess it might work out to a gain.

This has been a generally confusing thing to work out in notepad, so let me know if I've missed something obvious, Or something not obvious, too, I guess!

#40 Taiyoken

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 07:00 AM

This is very possible as most heroic fights take longer than 5 minutes, allowing 2 uses of ERW + 2/3 Unholy Frenzy + Lust. If you add in mob downtime such as switching, phases changes, stopping DPS (ex. Magmaw's head, Chimaeron), all of that becomes more plausible.

Also for your second set of rune 'calculations', it takes 4 globals to use 2x FeS + 2x SS, not 5 globals for 4 SS and 1 FeS meaning that for every FeS that you do like this you get your second rune 1 second faster, so you get 2 seconds of Blood (Death) recharge every time this scenario pops up.




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