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The Mage Equivalent: The Destruction Warlock


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#1381 LordObsidian

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 11:46 PM

I'm wondering if anyone who has been able to get on the 3.3.3 PTR has had a chance to test the change to Immolate. I wanted to do this test myself but haven't been able to log on.

First, how does it interact with Empowered Imp? It looks like the SimCraft implementation has the dot gaining 100% crit chance when cast with Emp Imp active--which would be nice, but it seems entirely possible that in the actual implementation the direct portion of Immolate will consume the buff and the dot will not benefit.

And if that turns out to be the case, I wonder what the effect will be on the Nevermelting Ice Crystal. Currently this trinket is horrible for Destro, but popping it before applying Immolate might be effective when the dot can crit. However, if the direct portion of the spell crits and removes a stack of the trinket's buff, does the dot benefit from 4 or the full 5 stacks? This is obviously much harder to test, and if nobody else feels like doing it then I will when the patch goes live (or if I manage to get on the PTR). But if the first question is answered favorably--i.e. Immolate dot benefits from Emp Imp--then it's probably safe to assume this one can be answered favorably as well, and the dot will get 5 stacks even if the direct damage crits.


1) Immolate Dot does not consume Empowered IMP, tested this on PTR.

2) Immolate does not roll crits so im assuming NMIC will only benefit immolate from the time of the first cast, no sure about subsequent casts.

Will test this further on PTR.

#1382 Emidi

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 12:19 AM

have a question to the use of immolate when there are 3 targets.

is it worth to dot up all targets with immo and coa to get more procs of devious minds?
and whats about the priority?
dot the 2 offtargets only, when conflagrate, cb are on cd and there is no backdraft up?

#1383 thetrueavatar

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:13 AM

DPCT of immolate> CB & Conflag. So I would say that if you know your immolate will last enough on target then start multi-immolate. coa doesn't proc devious mind and is a dps loss Vs CB and conflag.
So I would say 3 immolate then conflag+CB

#1384 Palcica

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 09:14 PM

2) Immolate does not roll crits so im assuming NMIC will only benefit immolate from the time of the first cast, no sure about subsequent casts.


First,we cant refresh immolate in any other way than recasting it again,so its useless even it was rolling.But,here comes another question.Will Immolate DOT ticks consume NMIC buff?

Will it go like this - You activate NMIC>You cast Immolate>Immolate has 736 (920-184 due to first cast of immolate) crit rating unitl it expires/is clipped

Or will it go like this - You activate NMIC>You cast Immolate>Immolate ticks consume one stack of NMIC each time they crit

By reading the on use part of NMIC it would probably be first case,and then NMIC would become more useful for destro locks.I need someone to prove this since i dont have NMIC on any of my PTR characters

Edit: Failing at Paragraph form,i knew something was wrong

#1385 PetWolverine

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 07:08 PM

There's no question of the Immolate ticks consuming stacks of NMIC when they crit. The mouseover for NMIC:

Increases your critical strike rating by [184 * 71564u] for 20 sec. Every time one of your non-periodic spells deals a critical strike, the bonus is reduced by 184 critical strike rating.


The question I was asking was whether the initial damage of Immolate, if it crits, removes a stack of the NMIC buff before or after applying the dot; i.e. whether the dot will benefit from 4 or 5 stacks of the buff in this case.

Also, for Empowered Imp:

Increases the damage done by your Imp by 30%, and all critical hits done by your Imp have a 100% chance to increase your spell critical hit chance for your next spell by 100%. This effect lasts 8 sec.


So this is another case where it is clear that the ticks will not consume the buff (or if they do, it's a bug), since a tick is not a spell, but an effect of a spell that was already cast. So here, again, the question was: When Immolate is cast while the buff is active, will it consume the buff before or after applying the dot? I.e., the initial damage will crit, and casting the spell will consume the buff, but will the dot have 100% crit chance as well?

Edit: Since I finally managed to get on the PTR, I tested this on a dummy, and casting Immolate under the effects of Empowered Imp caused every single tick of the dot to crit. Which is basically awesome. I won't bother to test the trinket, because I figure if Emp Imp works this way so will that (and the testing would be much more involved).

#1386 Burberri

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:08 AM

Edit: Since I finally managed to get on the PTR, I tested this on a dummy, and casting Immolate under the effects of Empowered Imp caused every single tick of the dot to crit. Which is basically awesome. I won't bother to test the trinket, because I figure if Emp Imp works this way so will that (and the testing would be much more involved).


The next question is when, if ever, should immolate be clipped when you get the emp imp buff.

#1387 PetWolverine

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 07:54 AM

The next question is when, if ever, should immolate be clipped when you get the emp imp buff.


Assume an Immolate tick on live does x damage. Then (ignoring Chaotic meta for simplicity) a crit does 2x damage, and the expected value of the DoT from one cast of immolate is 5x(1+c) where c is your crit chance without Emp Imp. Similarly if the direct damage is y, a crit does 2y and the expected damage is y(1+c).

If you cast Immolate under the effect of Emp Imp the DoT will do 10x damage, vs. 5x(1+c) that it would have done over that time otherwise, for a gain of 5x(1-c). The direct damage will also crit for a gain of y(1-c), totalling (5x+y)(1-c). (Notice the negative scaling with crit here. Emp Imp tends to do that.)

The time you spent casting this Immolate could have been spent on an Incinerate, however. If Incinerate does z damage on a hit, 2z on a crit, then you gain z(1-c) by casting it under the effects of Emp Imp, and this is how much you lose by casting Immolate instead.

Accounting for the loss of a tick or two of Immolate is a little more difficult. It's tempting to say that you lose x(1+c) damage for each tick on the DoT that you're overwriting, but notice that this assumption yields a DPS loss for immediately overwriting Immolate with an Empowered Immolate, even if you weren't planning on casting any Incinerates--which is obviously wrong. The way you actually pay for these ticks is in having to re-cast Immolate a little sooner, losing 1/5 of the cast time of an Immolate from your Incinerate spam for every overwritten tick; e.g. if your Immolate takes 1.25s to cast and you overwrite 1 tick, you lose .25s of Incinerate spam on average. (I'm obviously simplifying some things to make it mathable.)

If you aren't haste capped, the ratio of cast times of two spells is the same as the ratio of their base casts. So one tick of Immolate is worth 2/15 of an Incinerate, or (2z/15)(1+c)

So the net damage of clipping n ticks of Immolate in order to reapply it with Emp Imp is:

(5x+y-z)(1-c)-(2nz/15)(1+c)

Now at this point we could start sticking in some real numbers from real-world parses. But I'm going to try and keep going. Plugging in spellpower coefficients as the damage values and letting n = 1 to give a rough idea. This is sort of a best-case scenario for the clipping strategy; being haste-capped, as under the effects of Backdraft, will make Incinerate look comparatively better, as will having to clip more ticks than one. According to wowwiki, the spellpower coefficients in question are x = y = 0.2, z = .9143.

(5*.2 + .2 - .9143)(1-c) - (2n * .9143 / 15)(1+c) =

.2857 (1-c) - .1219 (1+c) =

.1638 - .4076c

So we see a slight positive scaling with spellpower from this strategy balanced by a strong negative scaling with crit chance. The break-even point should be around 40% crit (.1638 / .4076 = .4019); higher crit makes it never be worth clipping Immolate to apply an Empowered Immolate, while lower crit could make it theoretically a damage boost to do so.

It looks, in other words, like there are indeed situations where you gain damage by clipping Immolate. I'm loathe to actually recommend this practice though, so I'm kind of hoping that putting actual numbers in the equation reduces the crit threshold to an absurdly low level, e.g. "If you have more than 15% crit you should never do this".

Edit: A couple things occurred to me after I posted this. This post is long enough already so I'll only mention them briefly:
a) Set bonuses that give Incinerate extra crit% make the strategy of clipping Immolate look better, in a way that could be calculated by a minor modification of my formula.
B) The well-known problem situation, where there's too much time left on Imm to re-cast without clipping, but too little to finish an Inc cast before Imm falls off, also plays into this question. I'm guessing that if you manage to be in this situation and *also* happen to get an Emp Imp proc, the best thing to do is clip Imm, but this is very much a guess.

#1388 LordObsidian

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:44 PM

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This tested as destruction specc'd into Souleech - 0/13/58

One tap gives me 4200 mana back this is good. I tested on TD for a period of 15 minutes of total DPS, and made it a point to tap at or around 9k mana, with immolate Dot critting constantly and the less frequent lifetapping sustained DPS went up remarkably.

I was able to sustain 7.9k dps on Target dummy for a total damage of 4.3million.

Total drop post change is 20-30 dps while tapping.

Same test before the life tap change during taps i would drop 400-500 dps (had to tap twice as much to get the same amount of mana back).



Edit:


Just discovered there is still a bug which causes Lifetap to dip into spirit was well, the new numbers per tap taking my gear into account would be 3200 per tap instead of the 4200 above.

Still a 900 mana gain over Live.

#1389 Kittel

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 04:05 AM

Has anyone considered using mana pots instead of wild magic or speed? Napkin math says it's close enough that it's at least be worth considering.

Say a life tap costs 10k damage in a utopian fight (doing 13k+ dps, you stop damage for 1 gcd but some dots are ticking, and conflag/cb might be on CD anyways so it's not quite like losing your average dps for one second).
Potion of WM and potion of speed give you just under 10k damage according to the bis t10 stat weights.
Of course, that should be multiplied by up to 1.3 for heroism, depending on your scaling with haste.

Not sure about BiS, but for me a mana pot restores about 30% more mana than a life tap. This puts the damage values of all three pots right on par with each other.

#1390 Caspianroach

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 05:20 AM

Has anyone considered using mana pots instead of wild magic or speed? Napkin math says it's close enough that it's at least be worth considering.

Say a life tap costs 10k damage in a utopian fight (doing 13k+ dps, you stop damage for 1 gcd but some dots are ticking, and conflag/cb might be on CD anyways so it's not quite like losing your average dps for one second).
Potion of WM and potion of speed give you just under 10k damage according to the bis t10 stat weights.
Of course, that should be multiplied by up to 1.3 for heroism, depending on your scaling with haste.

Not sure about BiS, but for me a mana pot restores about 30% more mana than a life tap. This puts the damage values of all three pots right on par with each other.


You can and should manage your mana problems by lifetapping on the go — when you need to move, when you need to stop attacking, when you are running to your next target, when you cant attack, when boss changes phases. Most of the boss fights have these moments, so mana pot is pretty bad for dps.

Though if we had a spammable instant dps spell, mana pot could've been a good thing. But we dont. (hunter hate)

And it's not even worth it using Mana Pot for health saving seeing as we have ~35k hp in ICC now and one life tap only drains 2k hp. Also you should have Soul Link or Soul Leech for these things.

#1391 Stovetop

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 09:25 PM

I have a warlock I've been playing for 5 years. I've seen one Affliction warlock do as much damage as me, but I personally enjoy Destruction for raiding damage. Enormous crits coming extremely fast is the only way to go for me.

I've been top DPS in my guild 95% of the time for a couple of months now, and I feel like I understand the fundamentals of how to play my character enough to speak competently about any of my warlock's mechanics. However, there are a few things I've been wondering about recently due to some Warlock mechanic changes and the accumulation of a sick set of stats. Wowarmory.com Stove of Lightninghoof to see exactly what I'm talking about as far as stats go.

First question: Now that Life Tap scales off spellpower and is significantly stronger than it was before, are the 4 or 5 points we're suggested to spend to get either 1 or 2 points from Improved Soul Leech worth it anymore? I ask because 4 or 5 Life Taps can fill my mana completely now, whereas it took at least twice that many Life Taps before to fill the same amount (this isn't that accurate, I never counted my Life Taps before and, honestly, my memory isn't very good), and, in the effort to stack haste and crit from gear more, I would love to be able to fill Suppression without losing any DPS-buffing talent points.

Second question: Now that I've gotten 1140 crit rating and 1040 haste rating, I'm wondering which stat I should favor with gems. With 1040 haste at about 32% increased casting speed, I realize that with raid buffs and black magic proc I'm nearing the cap for utility of haste, and I know that Bloodlust completely puts me over the cap and then some. With this logic in mind, I've gone to adding spellpower/crit gems in nearly every slot to try to increase that stat that will not, under any circumstance, have a diminishing return in value no matter how high I get it. I'm around 45% crit chance in raid buffs and, I must admit, it's quite sexy. However, I can't help feeling like I could still be casting faster and doing more damage per time casting even if I crit a little less. Honestly, I am quite torn about this.

So, I'm not usually a forum person, I've never made a post on one before, but since this website has offered more insight about my character so far than I had ever personally thought about in my 5 years of experience, I feel like SOMEONE out there has thought about this same stuff and will be able to answer these questions, and, if so, I'd imagine they'd do it on this page. I really appreciate any of your time spent reading this, and would appreciate more if you could offer a mathematical or otherwise proven theory on how these questions are best answered. Thanks!

#1392 Warlocomotif

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 09:53 PM

Ditch black magic and ramp up your haste rating to a passive 1200. After that you should probably not use any orange gems at all but just runed gems.

As for ISL, it does account for a *lot* of mana, but at the same time there is a lot more movement than you need for your lifetap needs. So perhaps take 1 point out and see what happens. This isn't something simcraft can tell you very accurately as the benefit will primarily show when there's notable movement involved. You can model some movement in simc, however realistically you're much better of seeing for yourself in-game.

Frankly though, shadowfury and soul link are both a million times more useful than the tiny amount of DPS you're missing out on.
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#1393 Stovetop

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 10:33 PM

Ditch black magic and ramp up your haste rating to a passive 1200. After that you should probably not use any orange gems at all but just runed gems.

As for ISL, it does account for a *lot* of mana, but at the same time there is a lot more movement than you need for your lifetap needs. So perhaps take 1 point out and see what happens. This isn't something simcraft can tell you very accurately as the benefit will primarily show when there's notable movement involved. You can model some movement in simc, however realistically you're much better of seeing for yourself in-game.

Frankly though, shadowfury and soul link are both a million times more useful than the tiny amount of DPS you're missing out on.


So with only 1040 haste you think I should drop black magic and get +spellpower to the weapon instead? And, regardless of crit, I should aim for 1200ish haste rating with gems? That would be quite easy to do, but I'd hate to lose the crit rating unless I'm just mistaken about how much crit actually benefits me.

I run with only one point in ISL at the moment and it's still nice... However, the three points in Soul Leech are utterly useless. To make matters worse, I'm borrowing 1 talent point each from Improved Imp and Empowered Imp to get 2 points in Suppression to drop hit rating from gear and gain haste/crit. That being said, I'd much rather use all the points from soul leech to top off all these talents (Imp. Imp, Emp. Imp, and Suppression) to improve raw damage output.

I would never use any points in shadowfury or soul link for my raid spec, so that part of your reply confuses me deeply, I don't even know where that statement came from. As I said above, I have many other choices for use of my valuable few talent points, none of which are throw-away material to shake in lieu of an aoe stun or decreased incoming damage.

Thanks for the reply, man!

#1394 Shijoku

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 05:11 AM

If you have to pull talents out of something, pull them out of Backlash. Backlash adds a measly 1% extra crit chance per talent point, and an increase in proccing which will let you instant cast an Incinerate/Shadow Bolt. Really not that useful unless you're taking melee damage, which usually means you're gonna die, in ICC10/25. That's what I pulled 2 points out of to put points in Suppression.

You definitely don't want to pull them out of Improved Imp/Empowered Imp. You're losing way more crit actually, by not having the 100% chance on your Imp than the extra 1% you're gaining from Backlash. I'm still up in the air about going 2/2 Destructive Reach vs 2/2 ISL. So far I'm sticking with Destructive Reach because I like the range, and I'm a dps monster so I pull a lot of threat too, and that talent helps with that as well. I think it's really up to playstyle and personal taste at that point though.

The main flexible talents seem to be Backlash, Destructive Reach and ISL. There's some wiggle room for 2 or maybe 3 in Suppression (I currently run 2), Shadow Fury (which rocks the house for handling adds, big time), and Soul Link which I'm yet to try, and from what it seems, that's best suited for fights where you're taking a lot of raid damage. Warlocomotif knows his stuff when it comes to Locks, and while those talent suggestions also puzzle me a bit, I'm apt to trust his judgment on those talents.

#1395 Stovetop

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 06:53 AM

Cool! Thanks a lot for the replies guys, I'm gonna play around with your suggestions and see what happens.

I was looking at backlash as if I could add whatever crit rating makes 1% with each point in it, and the proc helps only in two fights but it's always cool when it happens! Such as, bone storm on heroic Marrowgar having to knock out the spikes while running from the flames etc, it's always cool to be able to throw out 17k incinerate at the thing while you're running! But I'll take your word on pulling points out of that one.

Also, since Warlocomotif seems to be well read, I'll try ditching Black Magic for more spellpower and I'll go ahead and round my haste up to 1200 on the character sheet and see what happens.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Shadowfury in arenas! And Soul Link is the shizzle, so to speak, I guess I'm just spoiled by my healers, they don't let me die unless it's a wipe... And even then they DI me! Good guys, they are.

Anyways, I sure appreciate you guys taking your time to try and help me out. If anybody else can come up with any more ideas, please post! I'm still not 100% sold one way or the other.

Thanks again!

#1396 Demonfire

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:15 AM

An example for the usefulness of shadowfury in raids: saurfang 25 hardmode. Most guilds handle the hardmode-adds with the help of shadowfury, aoe-knockbacks or a combination thereof to get more time for their increased life and the movement-slow from saurfang.

Soul link is useful if for example due to avoiding a thrown slime at festergut hardmode you cant reach the spore in time and end up with only 2 stacks of the debuff, you get a very unlucky fear at bloodqueen and have another player in range when she starts her aoe and other things that would otherwise kill you. With increased stacks of the icecrown-buff it will get more and more unnecessary, but at least in hardmodes it is still a very nice talent to have.

#1397 Stovetop

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 08:13 AM

I made all the changes you guys suggested to my stats. As it stands right now self-buffed only I'm at 3225 spellpower, 1037 crit rating, and 1180 haste.

Also, I made changes to my spec. I went 1 point in ISL, 2 points in Backlash, topped off Empowered and Improved Imp as suggested, and 2 points in Suppression. To get all this together, I had the bright idea to drop 1 point from Demonic Embrace since stamina doesn't directly effect my damage and Blizzard is steadily giving us more HPs in ICC.

So far, I'm pretty disappointed. I did 2 or 3 test runs so far on a target dummy, and averaged around 7.5 where i would get around 8.4 average before I made the changes.

Granted, with Phylactery and DFO I'm really proc-heavy, and whether or not they happen together makes a huge difference, so it's nearly impossible to get consistent numbers.

The main thing giving me a sadface with the suggested setup is that I can definitely notice I'm not critting anywhere near as often as I was before. Before, I was seeing 15k-20k crits with maybe every fourth spell not critting, now I'm getting maybe one crit every four spells.

Hopefully in raid buffs things will change for the better, but for now I'm frowning. Please add any thoughts that might help.


** Edit: After testing on the dummy seven or eight more times for extended periods, DPS seems to hold steady at around 8k even after running out of mana and life-tapping for a minute or so, peaking around 8.9 and steady at 8.3ish with bad luck on procs before life-tapping. I'm happy for now to see what happens in raid buffs. I guess for now holding steady at 1200 haste and working to improve the crit will bring back the constant strings of big crits, at a faster pace to boot. Thanks again, guys!

#1398 Shijoku

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:23 PM

You didn't really change much that would affect your crits by pulling 1 point out of Backlash(-1%). Also, pulling 1 out of Demonic Embrace was a good choice. I didn't notice you had 3 in there or I'd have said something. The Imp changes will be reliant on your Imp critting to take notice of it. So really the variance in crit is probably just bad rolls, or due to raid buffs. Test dummy numbers are useful for the short term, but to get a more accurate count of what the changes did for your dps, you'll have to Simcraft your old setup and your new setup.

#1399 Stovetop

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 11:04 PM

I also changed about 120 rating in gems from crit to haste per Warlocomotif's suggestion. That + bad rolls is the kicker. Thanks!

#1400 Kuku

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 10:25 PM

edit: Nevermind. I've gotten enough warnings on the hand-holding part :P




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