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#1 Hamlet

Hamlet

    Mike Tyson

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 12:26 AM

This is a compendium of information on raiding as a Balance Druid. It contains everything a beginner needs to achieve basic competence at raid DPS, as well more detailed discussion for people more interested in understanding the theory or more advanced play. The article is supplemented by the attached spreadsheet.

=Talents and Glyphs=

==The Spec==

The core of the spec will include the following talents:
http://talent.mmo-ch...IOkWH8,kdJ,9901

This leaves 5 points. Fill them in the following order:
  • Intensity: put points in as necessary to alleviate any mana concerns. Note: if you don't have 2T9, you should first move two points from Improved Moonfire to Moonglow to get more mana, before taking Intensity.
  • Gale Winds: take this if you have any interest in speccing for AoE DPS; this is an enormous boost.
  • Typhoon: take this if you like having another instant spell to press, basically. See below for more on potential uses.
  • Improved Insect Swarm: Best remaining single-target DPS talent.
  • Brambles: Adds a small amount of raid DPS through Treants and Thorns.
  • Owlkin Frenzy: This is entirely dependent on which fights you're doing, but occasionally provides a small boost.

==Talent details==

  • Starlight Wrath: Applies before any haste effects.
  • Moonglow: Mana cost is rounded down after multiplying. Applies after -type effects.
  • Improved Moonfire: This damage bonus, Glyph of Moonfire, Moonfury, and Genesis all stack additively. The crit% bonus does affect DoT tick crits with the 2T9 bonus (PTR).
  • Nature's Grace: This procs off Wrath and Starfire when the spell completes, which is slightly before it does damage and shows a crit in the combat log (due to travel time for Wrath, but also a slight bit of latency in the case of Starfire). This does not proc from Hurricane or Moonfire DoT (2T9) crits, but it does proc from Starfall.
  • Vengeance: Due to the odd critical bonus stacking rules, the total damage you'll see on a crit with this and a Chaotic meta is 209%.
  • Celestial Focus: Multiplies with all other haste bonuses.
  • Improved Insect Swarm: As with all damage debuffs, Wrath checks for this on arrival at the target. As with all crit% player buffs, Starfire checks this when its cast completes. The Wrath buff stacks multiplicatively with other damage bonuses.
  • Moonfury: Stacks additively with Eclipse (Wrath), Glyph of Moonfire, Improved Moonfire, Genesis, (and 4T9?).
  • Moonkin Form: The mana return does not proc from Hurricane, Starfall, or Moonfire DoT (2T9) crits. The crit bonus does not stack with the Shaman talent Elemental Oath.
  • Improved Moonkin Form: The haste buff grants both melee and spell haste, and does not stack with the Paladin talent Swift Retribution.
  • Improved Faerie Fire: The hit debuff does not stack with the Priest talent Misery. The crit buff is active when any Faerie Fire, not just your own, is on the target.
  • Owlkin Frenzy: This can proc from physical or magical damage, but many boss abilities which hit the player frequently (e.g. Vezax's Profound Darkness or Mimiron's Rapid Burst) do not proc it.
  • Wrath of Cenarius: This adds 0.2 (Starfire) or 0.1 (Wrath) to the spell's spellpower coefficient. It does not apply to the effective spellpower granted by .
  • Eclipse: Unlike Nature's Grace, this procs when the associated Wrath or Starfire crit is processed on the server and appears in the combat log. In the case of Wrath which has a travel time, this results in a significant delay between the Nature's Grace proc and the Eclipse proc. An Eclipse can proc as long as the opposite Eclipse has ended by the time the proc occurs. Among other things, this means that you can allow a Starfire to complete while under the effect of a Starfire-buffing ("lunar") Eclipse, cancel the Eclipse, and have that Starfire be eligible to proc a Wrath-buffing ("solar") Eclipse. See below for more on how to use this to your advantage.
  • Force of Nature: If casting this immediately after an instant, you have to press the spell key and then click a targeting reticle in the world frame, losing a small amount of time. The Treants will attack whichever mob hates you the most, and can be easily redirected with the pet bar. They have heavy reduction against AoE damage, allowing them to survive some boss abilities. Bloodlust and Battle Shout, among other things, will particularly improve their DPS.
  • Earth and Moon: The personal 3% damage buff multiplies with all other buffs. The 13% damage debuff also multiplies with all other buffs (including the 3% buff from this same talent), and does not stack with the Warlock spell Curse of the Elements or the Death Knight disease Ebon Plague. As with other damage debuffs, spells check for presence of this debuff when the arrive at their target and log damage.
  • Starfall: This will not fire stars when your character is stunned, and the buff will drop entirely if you shift into a Feral form. The worst use is against a single target, where you only get 10 stars. Against multiple targets, you will get 20 stars. If those targets are tightly clumped, you will additionally benefit from splash damage.
  • Improved Mark of the Wild and Furor: These stack multiplicatively with each other and with Kings.
  • Omen of Clarity: Has a 6% chance to proc on spellcast. Does not proc and is not consumed by shapeshifting. Gift of the Wild, if cast on 25 people, has a very high chance of proccing this.
  • Master Shapeshifter: The Moonkin Form bonus multiplies with all other damage bonuses.

==Resulting Spell Coefficients and Damage Multipliers==

Some useful numbers to have, when fully talented and raid buffed.

Overall damage multiplier: 1.13 (Earth and Moon) * 1.04 (Master Shapeshifter) * 1.03 (Earth and Moon) * 1.03 (Sanctified Retribution) = 1.247.
Haste multiplier, before haste rating: 1.05 (Wrath of Air) * 1.03 (Celestial Focus) * 1.03 (Improved Moonkin Form) = 1.114. Multiply this by (1 + HasteRating/3279) to obtain final haste ratio.
Crit Chance, before Intellect and crit rating: 5% (Moonkin Form) + 5% (Improved Scorch) 3% (Totem of Wrath) + 3% (Improved Faerie Fire) = 16%. Adding in 4% (Nature's Majesty), 3% (Improved Insect Swarm) and 10% (Improved Moonfire) gives 20% for Wrath, 23% for Starfire, and 26% for Moonfire, added to whatever you see reported in your character sheet when out of form.

Effective Starfire coefficient: (1 (base) + 0.2 (Wrath of Cenarius)) * 1.247 (damage multiplier) * 1.1 (Moonfury) = 1.646.
Effective Wrath coefficient: (2/3.5 (base) + 0.1 (Wrath of Cenarius)) * 1.247 (damage multiplier) * 1.1 (Moonfury) * 1.03 (Improved Insect Swarm) = 0.949.
Effective Insect Swarm coefficient, per tick: 0.2 (base) * 1.247 (damage multiplier) * 1.3 (Glyph of Insect Swarm) = 0.324.
Effective Moonfire coefficient, direct damage: 1.5/3.5 * (1.5/3.5 / (1.5/3.5 + 12/15)) (base) * 1.247 (damage multiplier) * (1 + 0.1 (Moonfury) + 0.1 (Improved Moonfire) - 0.9 (Glyph of Moonfire)) = 0.056.
Effective Moonfire coefficient, per tick: 12/15*(12/15 / (1.5/3.5 + 12/15) / 4) (base) * 1.247 (damage multiplier) * (1 + 0.1 (Moonfury) + 0.1 (Improved Moonfire) + 0.75 (Glyph of Moonfire)) = 0.317.

==Glyphs==

Major Glyphs: the best three for single-target DPS are , , and . Even in AoE situations, generally doesn't pull its weight.

Note that removes the 3% miss debuff, which may make it worthwhile for your raid to have you unglyph it at some fights. If you need to do so, replace it with Starfall.

Minor Glyphs: none of these add any DPS, so it's entirely up to personal taste. is the only one that affects combat mechanics, but it's still up to you whether you prefer it or not. can save a tiny bit of mana if you ever have to rebuff people during a fight. It has one other obscure use--if you're desperate for mana to Hurricane during a 25-man fight, you can cast Gift of the Wild to force a Clearcast.

=Gear=

==Stats==
In roughly descending order of importance.

Hit rating:
26.23 hit rating gives 1% to hit with spells. After Balance of Power and Improved Faerie Fire, we need 263 hit rating (10%) to cap at 100% (Alliance with a Draenei in their party need 237 hit rating (9%)). If you are below the hit cap, hit rating is the strongest DPS stat per point by a wide margin. As a result, you can expect that your optimal gear/gem setup will always place you at hit cap.

Spellpower:
Improves all of our damaging spells. See the coefficients in the above section on spells.

Haste rating:
32.79 haste rating gives 1% spell haste. There is a threshold at which haste loses some value; this occurs when the GCD hits 1.0s with Nature's Grace active. This requires 1.5/(1.03*1.03*1.05*1.2) - 1 = 12.21% haste, or 401 haste rating. If you are not under the effect of Wrath of Air Totem, the cap becomes 585 haste rating. Below this cap, all of our spells feel the full value of haste. Above it, Wrath and instants no longer benefit from haste when Nature's Grace is active, but all other spells still benefit fully (see "Casting Mechanics" below for more detail). Haste is a very strong stat under the cap, and even above it continues to be one of our primary DPS stats.
Note that for reasons related to latency, the change in value at the soft cap occurs over a small range rather than instantaneously. Don't obsess over hitting 401 exactly.

Critical strike rating:
45.9 crit rating gives 1% to crit. With Vengeance and a Chaotic Skyflare Diamond, crits with our main nukes do 2.09 times the damage of non crits. In addition to increasing the average damage of our spells due to more frequent crits, it provides two other DPS benefits: it increases the uptime of Nature's Grace, and shorten the average time required to proc an Eclipse. Both of these turn out to be minor terms in the marginal value of crit rating, however. With enough crit rating and the 2T8 set bonus, your crit chance during Lunar Eclipse will hit 100%, reducing the value of subsequent crit rating. Will all talents/buffs except Focus Magic, this occurs at 1346 - Int/3, where Int is your Armory value.
Crit is typically stronger than haste provided that you are over the soft haste cap, but still weaker than spellpower. Above the Lunar crit cap, crit becomes roughly equal in value to post-cap haste.
In addition, crit provides a mana benefit due to increased proc rate of the Moonkin Form regen.

Intellect:
Intellect provides 0.006% to crit per point, and 0.12 spellpower per point with Lunar Guidance. With Blessing of Kings, Improved Mark of the Wild, and Furor, it provides 0.0074% (135 points per 1% crit, roughly 1/3 of a crit rating) and 0.148 spellpower. This makes Int a weak, but not insignficant, DPS stat.
Similarly, with these talents, one point of Intellect increases your maximum mana by 18.5, your regen from Replenishment by 0.185 MP5, and your regen from 3/3 Dreamstate by 0.123 MP5

Spirit:
Spirit provides 0.3 spellpower per point with Improved Moonkin Form. With Blessing of Kings and Improved Mark of the Wild, it provides 0.337 spellpower. This makes is a weak DPS stat, very similar to Int.

Spirit and Int will both increase your natural regen, which scales like (0.016725 * sqrt(Int) * Spi) MP5. Int will increase the magnitude of your Moonkin Form proc by 0.37/point.

Stat priority for DPS will almost always run in the following order:
Hit rating (to cap) >> Haste rating (to soft cap) = Spellpower > Crit rating > Haste rating = Crit rating (above Lunar cap) >> Intellect > Spirit.

For exact numerical comparisons, plug your setup into Wrathcalcs.

==Gems==

In general, gem in all sockets (or / to make the hit cap), save for two wherever you can get the best socket bonuses to meet your meta requirement. You can potentially use a or a if a piece has a strong socket bonus.

Below the haste softcap, and are nearly identical in value. I'd recommend sticking with Runed to avoid constant regemming as your haste value changes. Definitely use to pick up any socket bonus.

If you're looking to increase your HP for certain raid encounters, are a good way to do so without a large DPS loss (either by replacing Purified gems, or Runed gems in pieces with good socket bonuses).

In your meta socket (only use hats with meta sockets), use .

==Set Bonuses==

If you have access to the T8 2-piece, use it. It's not worth removing for any currently available gear. The T9 2-piece is also quite good, making 2T8/2T9 the best possible option currently. 4T9 with ilvl 258 pieces is nearly as good.

The T8 4-piece isn't currently modeled in the spreadsheet, but it's worth using in lieu of any stat upgrades you might otherwise get at the Ulduar level. The benefit is most significant in multi-target and movement situations, rather than stationary burns. Once you have access to Coliseum-level gear, upgrade to 2T8/2T9 as soon as you can.

If you don't have access to Ulduar gear, 4T7 is a very good bonus.

==Idols==

Buy for 25 Emblems of Triumph. It has no ICD and a 70% proc rate, giving it essentially 100% uptime.

If that's not available to you, buy for 25 Emblems of Valor.

==Trinkets==

Whenever possible, evaluate trinkets using the same metric you would any other item. Compute the average uptime of the proc or use effect to obtain an average stat value.

The main exception is haste. Remember that even if you're under the soft cap, haste rating that's applied in a short burst (such as the effect) will be mostly over the softcap. Don't make the mistake of averaging out the haste value from a trinket and then applying it all at a sub-softcap value. If you have control over the haste effect ( or ), you can mitigate this somewhat by activating the trinket only at the beginning of Lunar Eclipse. Even this is of only marginal value however--you sacrifice uptime by waiting to use it, and the Eclipse is only ~13 seconds of casting out of a 20 second buff. The result is that these trinkets are still disproportionately weak for us. is especially bad in this way, as you lose the highest-stacked part of the buff when Eclipse ends.

Finally, the proc is extremely strong. The two versions of it are the two best available trinkets in the game, by a wide margin.

==Consumables==

Use and a 46 spellpower food (such as a Feast).
The best DPS potion is (during a Lunar Eclipse), if you don't need to use a during the fight. is nearly as good, and is useful to have around if for some reason you need the DPS burst during your Solar phase.

==Enchants==
Excluding profession bonuses.
  • Head: 30 spellpower/20 crit (Kirin Tor revered)
  • Shoulders: 24 spellpower/15 crit (Sons of Hodir exalted)
  • Back - 23 haste
  • Chest - 10 stats. 8 stats is cheaper option at a tiny DPS loss (roughly 2 DPS).
  • Wrists - 30 spellpower
  • Gloves - 28 spellpower
  • Leggings - 50 spellpower/20 spirit. 50 spellpower/30 stamina is another option if you want more HP.
  • Boots - Run speed/15 stam. Run speed/9 stam is a cheaper option until you need the HP. If you have an extra pair of your boots, you can prepare them with Icewalker for fights with no movement (rare in modern content).
  • Weapon - 63 spellpower to a 1H, or 81 spellpower to a staff.

==Professions==

Tailoring gives the strongest DPS benefit. Lightweave Embroidery gives 295 spellpower for 15 seconds, 35% proc on spellcast, 60 second cooldown. It can proc off DoT ticks, making the average proc time around 2 seconds. 70 spellpower is a decent estimate of the average benefit, minus the 23 haste you'd normally have on your cloak, so the total benefit here is worth roughly 55 spellpower (somewhat less if you're below the haste softcap, potentially slightly weaker than the other professions). Amusingly, the enchant also gives 1 Spirit for some reason.
A minor convenience of Tailoring is that for the cost of one , you can swap your leg enchant between 20 Spirit and 30 Stamina for fights where a little extra HP is helpful.

Beyond that, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Inscription, Jewelcrafting, and Leatherworking all provide a roughly equal gain of 46-48 spellpower.

Alchemy: At any time, either or Mixology (with your ) will give you 47 spellpower.
A number of small conveniences: , , double-duration Flasks, and the ability to make your own .

Blacksmithing: An extra socket each in your wrists and gloves, each with a , gives 46 spellpower.

Enchanting: 23 spellpower to each ring gives 46 spellpower.

Inscription: 70 spellpower/15 crit to shoulders in place of the Sons of Hodir enchant gives 46 spellpower.

Jewelcrafting: 3 in place of 3 gives 48 spellpower.

Leatherworking: 76 spellpower to bracers in place of the usual 30 spellpower gives 46 spellpower.

Engineering and Skinning are weaker, both giving less benefit than the 46 spellpower.

Engineering gives Hyperspeed Accelerators (340 haste for 12s every minute = 68 haste on average) and 27 spellpower to cloak. The net gain is 45 haste - 1 spellpower. This can be improved slightly by syncing the Accelerators with Lunar Eclipses.

Skinning gives 40 crit rating.

Mining and Herbalism provide minor survivability benefits, but no DPS gain.

==General Gear Selection Principles==

Caster epics have Intellect, Stamina, spellpower, and 2 out of the following: crit rating, hit rating, haste rating, or Spirit. Keep in mind three rules of thumb, which are enough to get a quick estimate of the value of any piece:
  • Higher-ilvl gear is stronger. Spellpower usually increases very regularly with ilvl, so we have a predictable gain.
  • More sockets are better (since they allow us to stack more spellpower, primarily).
  • Spirit is weaker than the other options.

There are two main ways to judge gear in more detail and plan your upgrades:
1) Use Rawr. This has the advantage of ease of use, and automating the tedious arithmetic. The disadvantage is that it's a bit of black box, so a) you're simply trusting the model it uses, and B) you don't learn as much in the process. (a) is generally not too big a deal, since Rawr has been based on the WrathCalcs model recently and so should give very similar results.
2) Use WrathCalcs to determine marginal values of your stats, and then plug those into a service like Lootrank or the Wowhead item comparator which will use the stat weights to sort items. This would be a very quick and easy way to get quite accurate results except for one complication: the hit cap. The best way to handle the hit cap is to:
--Set the stat weight of hit rating in your item comparison tool to 0.
--Whenever you have multiple options for reaching max hit, compare the computed value of the hit item and the non-hit item in the slots you're considering. This tells you how much potential DPS you're giving up in that slot to acquire your hit.
--Equip the items with the best ratio of hit rating gained to DPS value lost.
--The same process can be used for set bonuses.

=Casting Mechanics=

The first rule is to always be casting (or waiting out a GCD after an instant). Anytime a spell ends, you should already be pressing the key trying to start your next one (see below). Don't delay a cast to make a decision or react to proc--train yourself to start another spell regardless of what's going on, and change the subsequent spellcast if necessary after you've had another second to think.

As a preliminary note, this macro might be useful for automatically assisting with your nukes when you have a raid member targeted:
#showtooltip
/cast [target=target, harm, nodead] Starfire; [target=targettarget, harm, nodead] Starfire; Starfire

==Assumptions==

The theorycrafting reflected in this article and in the associated spreadsheet uses the following understanding of spellcasting rules:
GCD: whenever you attempt any GCD-incurring action (including any spellcast), a client-side GCD begins to run immediately. If the action fails, the client cancels the GCD when it finds out about the failure from the server. If the action succeeds, the GCD runs to completion. The client will not transmit any action to the server while a GCD is running.
Queueing: when a spellcast ends on the server, if the server has recently (within 200-300 milliseconds) received a cast command from the client, it will begin that cast immediately.

==How to Time Your Next Spell==

First, recall that the client processes events when you release the key. Keep that in mind for learning your timing.
After a Starfire: You want to press the next spell such that it arrives at the server in the "queueing window" as your Starfire is ending. In constant latency, you'd press it just under one cast time from when you pressed the previous one (i.e. when Quartz hits the red part of the cast bar). But since you can't count on latency to be constant, you should start spamming your key a few tenths of a second before that point, and continue until you see the next cast begin.
After an instant: No queueing here, and the ability to cast the next spell is determined by the client-side GCD. Watch your Quartz GCD spark and press your key right as it ends. Pressing it early is a waste and will return a "spell not ready" error in your client.
After a Wrath, <1s cast time: Identical to an instant cast. In highly variable latency, you may want to spam your spell a few times to make sure it fires.
After a Wrath, >1s cast time: Since the Wrath cast time is equal to the GCD, you can't start spamming your next spell early like you do after a Starfire. Start pressing your key as the GCD ends (as with an instant), and continue pressing it until you see that the server has begun your next cast (as with a Starfire).

The above does mean that Wrath is more "lossy" than Starfire in actual use, since the client-side GCD prevents you from using the queueing window optimally.

==Value of Haste==

As a result of the above, Starfire always feels the full effect of haste. No plausible amount of haste brings it near a 1s cast time.

Instants feel the full effect of haste until the softcap, where they become fixed at 1s and feel zero effect from haste.

Wrath behaves mostly like an instant (since it's typically GCD-limited). But due to variable latency and Wrath's transition from cast-like to instant-like behavior at the softcap, there's a bit of a fuzzy zone where haste decays to 0 in value. The theorycraft here treats it identically to an instant.

=Spell Rotations=

==The Eclipse Rotation==

You will generally operate in a four-step cycle.
  • Pre-Lunar. Cast Wrath until the Eclipse buff appears (have some mod that will make it very obvious when you gain the buff).
  • Lunar Eclipse. When you see the buff, finish casting your current Wrath and then cast Starfire for the duration of Eclipse.
  • Pre-Solar. When Eclipse fades, continue casting Starfire. Note that a Starfire only gains the benefit if it is fully completed while the Eclipse buff is up, so if you only have time for a partial cast, your Eclipse is effectively over (but you should be using a macro or mod to try to go directly from Lunar to Solar, see below). Cast Starfire until the Eclipse buff appears.
  • Solar Eclipse. Cast Wrath for the duration. Continue casting when it ends to loop back around into step 1.

Basically, you cast Wrath until Lunar procs and cast Starfire until Solar procs. But once DoTs and other instants are involved, thinking in terms of the four-step cycle helps you plan your casts well.

Lunar is slightly stronger than Solar (slightly faster to proc and slightly more damage per proc, in addition to extending Moonfire and benefiting from 4T8 if you have it). So in a situation where you can proc either (the beginning of the fight, or if you've failed to proc Solar for a few seconds and Lunar is coming off of ICD), cast Wrath for Lunar.

==Subtleties of Transitions==

Solar->Lunar: Wrath procs Nature's Grace when the cast completes, but procs Eclipse when it actually hits the target. This allows a sort of clairvoyance regarding Lunar Eclipses: if you see Nature's Grace refresh when you cast a Wrath, you know that that cast is a crit, and therefore that it has a 60% chance of proccing an Eclipse when it reaches the target (but be careful to remember that this doesn't work if Starfall is up, or if you've just refreshed Moonfire in Pre-Lunar phase).
If you switch to Starfire as soon as you see this happen (not interrupting a cast, merely swapping after the next Wrath), you have a 60% chance of effectively lengthening a Lunar Eclipse by starting to cast Starfire before it even procs. This is not in the spreadsheet yet, but some brief math indicates that it's worth trying to do, even though you waste a Starfire cast the other 40% of the time.

Lunar->Solar: Due to lag, it's possible for a Starfire which lands during the final split-second of Lunar Eclipse to proc a Solar (thus skipping pre-Solar phase entirely). This occurs if the Lunar buff fades late enough that it's still active on the server when the cast completes, but early enough that it's gone by the time the crit is returned to the client. You can force this to happen by canceling Eclipse when the final Lunar Starfire is in the "red zone" on Quartz.

To aid in this process, here's a macro line which will cancel Eclipse (Lunar only) if the remaining duration is less than the cast time of Starfire:

/run local _,_,c,_,_,_,a = UnitBuff("player","Eclipse");local _,_,_,_,_,_,b = GetSpellInfo(48465);if a and not string.find(c,'Orange') then if a-GetTime() < b/1000 then CancelUnitBuff("player","Eclipse") end end;

By macroing this into some/all of your spells and practicing a little, you should be able to proc a Solar eclipse very frequently as Lunar ends. Also, as long as you're cognizant of the fact that you're casting your last Lunar Starfire, and you add this macro to your Wrath, you can switch to Wrath immediately to take advantage of the Solar proc without the usual reaction delay.

Alternatively, you can just use WiseEclipse (see below), which performs the same check whenever the even UNIT_SPELLCAST_SUCCEEDED fires, which is slightly more convenient and reliable.

==DoTs==

Against a single target, reapply MF and IS whenever they drop. MF should have higher priority for reapplication, but the difference is tiny. During a Wrath-heavy part of the cycle, it may be best to reapply MF last (after IS or other instants) to minimize the chance that it will drop before you cast SF again.

There's currently a slight open question about whether it's worth waiting until Eclipse ends if a DoT expires in the final few seconds Eclipse. This is hard to model and the DPS difference is very small, so consider it a matter of personal taste for the moment.

==Other spells==

  • Starfall: use this on cooldown against a single target (if there are others mobs in range, remember to make sure it's safe to cast). The best time to use it is theoretically during the pre-Solar phase, as this is when you benefit most from the added Nature's Grace uptime, but this effect is so minor that it's probably best to simply use it when convenience dictates. In AoE situations, try to use it as often as possible on multiple clustered targets.
  • Force of Nature: use this as many times as possible in a given fight. If you know when Bloodlust/Heroism is coming, try to cast this immediately beforehand (but not if this requires waiting so long that you can't use it as many times during the encounter). As you learn each fight, pay attention to things that kill the Treants and time your cast to avoid them if possible.
  • Typhoon: This spell has two potential uses:
    1) The knockback. Occasionally it's useful in a raid encounter to spend a GCD pushing something away. For this it must be unglyphed.
    2) AoE DPS. Typhoon on multiple targets has a high chance of proccing both Clearcasting and Nature's Grace. This can make it worth using in between Hurricane casts. For this it must be Glyphed.
  • Faerie Fire: Unless your raid has both a Shadow Priest and a Feral Druid, keep this on every mob. Even if it does have both, it doesn't particularly hurt to cast this at the pull if you think there's a chance either of the other classes' buffs will ever drop.
  • Rebirth: Remember that this drops Moonkin Form, so be ready to reshift as your next cast after Rebirth.
  • Innervate: Unglyphed, this returns 2.25 * 3496 = 7866 mana to the target. If you want to be able to cast it on yourself without detargeting your DPS target, use:
    /cast [harm, target=player] Innervate; Innervate

==Bloodlust/Heroism==

Under the effect of Bloodlust, Wrath will gain very little DPS since it's usually so close to the 1s GCD minimum in the first place. The goal during Bloodlust is to use Lunar Eclipse as much as possible.
  • Near the beginning of Bloodlust, when there's ample time left to proc and use a full Eclipse, cast Wrath to proc a Lunar Eclipse. If Lunar is off cooldown, cancel Solar if necessary so you can proc Lunar right away.
  • If Lunar is on cooldown, refresh Moonfire and spam Starfire. If Solar procs and you have 2T8, cast Wrath. But in either case, cancel Solar when Lunar is eligible to proc again.
  • Near the end of Bloodlust (when there's not enough time for another Lunar Eclipse), just switch back your normal rotation.

==Multiple Targets==

In multi-target situations, you'll mostly be selecting spells by your own judgment rather than any kind of formula. It's important to be familiar with the damage done by each of your spells. Overall, you'll be trying to maintain your usual Eclipse behavior as much as possible. Some things to keep in mind:
  • Insect Swarm, if Glyphed, is your highest DPET spell. It's often a good idea to put in on any target which is going to live for 14 seconds.
  • Moonfire, if not extended by Starfire, does not have great DPET unless you have 2T9. You want to have it on one target to keep Idol of Lunar Fury procced, however.
  • If the targets don't have Ebon Plague on them, then DoT's on secondary targets are weaker than normal, and not necessarily worth bothering with.
  • If the raid is DPSing multiple targets simultaneously, and you're responsible for keeping Earth and Moon up, just use your standard Eclipse rotation while frequently rotating through the targets. Your main nukes shouldn't lose damage, and you can gain a little DPS by keeping DoT's on everything as you go.
  • Against four or more targets, it's more effective to Hurricane. Against three (or four without Ebon Plague), it's quite close--use your judgement based on the situation.

==AoE==

Aside from aforementioned Starfall usage, you'll basically AoE by chaining Hurricane. One little nuance is that you can start Hurricanes under the effect of Nature's Grace (procced by Starfall, for example), for significantly higher AoE DPS. Typhoon adds little damage but is another way of "forcing" Nature's Grace (but if you don't have it Glyphed, typically inconveniences everyone else in your group). With Idol of Lunar Fury, keeping one Moonfire ticking will slightly improve the DPS of Hurricane.

=Open Questions=

Things I'm still pondering or simply haven't gotten around to mathing out in detail--if you're looking to contribute, these are good topics to think about. Added bonus if you also give a suggestion for refining the spreadsheet model.
  • When exactly is it worth waiting through the end of an Eclipse to refresh a DoT? WrathCalcs model for this is really needed at some point.
  • Is it ever worth clipping DoT's to take advantage of Lightweave or trinket procs? Guess: probably not.
  • Are the assumptions regarding haste, queueing, and the GCD accurate or is there some way to better model the realities of casting in latency?
  • More exploration of the gap between Wrath NG procs and Lunar Eclipse procs. Might it be worth waiting to refresh DoTs until you see the NG?

==Known Spreadsheet Issues==

  • No 4T8 model.
  • Assumes all Moonfires are fully extended, which is a nontrivial issue with the new 3.2 rotation.
  • Nature's Grace is always modeled in the steady state of chaincasting a particular spell. Discounts edge effects that occur whenever you switch spells.
  • No accounting for swapping to Starfire on a Wrath Nature's Grace proc.
  • No accounting for the added Nature's Grace uptime caused by Starfall, but this is probably minor due to already high Nature's Grace uptime.

=Mods & Tools=

Squawk and Awe: A convienent way of tracking your DoT's and Eclipse timers, and assorted other class-specific procs.

WiseEclipse: Automatically cancels Lunar eclipse when a Starfire completes, if there's not enough time left for another. Helps chain Lunar into Solar Eclipse. You should use either this or a macro, as mentioned above.

Quartz: as a primary caster, you should have a proper cast bar. This is an excellent one.

Rawr: A good way to do large gear comparisons that would otherwise be tedious. It uses roughly the same calculations as the spreadsheet.

Simulationcraft: A simulation-based approach to theorycrafting.

WrathCalcs (attached to this post). Moonkin theorycraft spreadsheet. Will give you the exact value of stats/talents/glyphs in your current setup, and lets you experiment with different rotations. Originally made by Adoriele here. I've since taken it over and used it as the platform for my own theorycrafting, reflected in the version posted here.

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#2 bodvarbjarki

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 06:55 AM

Add a link to Wise Eclipse (much better than macros!).

#3 Nenaunir

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 09:26 AM

# Nature's Grace: This procs off Wrath and Starfire when the spell completes, which is slightly before it does damage and shows a crit in the combat log (due to travel time for Wrath, but also a slight bit of latency in the case of Starfire). This does not proc from Hurricane or Moonfire DoT (2T9) crits.


Would it be worth to include that Nature's grace can also proc of Starfall crits either under nature's grace or starfall description.

#4 Erdluf

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 12:07 PM

Very nice. Some things to consider:

1) Introduction, saying that this is targeted at the raiding Moonkin (or perhaps a title of "Moonkin Raiding" would be enough).

2) I believe it is possible to queue during the GCD, just not during the first second of the GCD (of course they can become the same thing).

3) A note that Haste>SP (below soft cap) doesn't occur until Ulduar gear levels, and even then haste usually doesn't pass SP on an itemization-cost basis (or not by much).

4) On multiple targets, a note that Hurricane is most likely your highest personal DPS (and DPM) choice given 4 or more targets, and is most likely not your highest DPS choice for 1 or 2 targets. For three targets, it is a close call, influenced by crit, haste, Gale Winds and Ebon Plague.

5) Mods and Tools: Mention Simulationcraft. I think the most reliable answers to your "open questions" will come from a simulator, and SC is a pretty good simulator.

#5 dedmonwakeen

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 03:17 PM

2) I believe it is possible to queue during the GCD, just not during the first second of the GCD (of course they can become the same thing).


Very detailed analysis of combat logs was done by Tigafin involving the effects of queuing and gcds as it relates to reacting to Brain Freeze procs during Frostbolt spam.

Essentially: What happens when you weave instant casts into non-instant spam?

He showed that when queuing an instant cast Fireball at the end of a Frostbolt, the gcd actually began at queue-time and not cast-time. This was evidenced by the fact that the time between the instant cast Fireball and the start of the next Frostbolt was consistently less than a full gcd.

While one possible interpretation is that a queuing is perhaps available on the gcd, testing of pure instant cast spam (with an unnamed illegal device) shows that after many casts the average time between casts is slightly over the gcd.

So SimulationCraft will:
(1) Only allow queuing after actions with non-zero cast times >= 1.0sec (i think i could possibly reduce this to 0.8sec, but not enough testing yet)
(2) Start the GCD timer at queue time

#6 Erdluf

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 05:01 PM

I think Tigafin's report implies no particular penalty for an instant cast with a long GCD (mage on target dummy, I assume his GCD>1.0s).

Manually chain casting IS, with a 1.37s GCD. Combat log showed
49 Not Yet Ready messages, running from 0.1s to 1.0s after the previous cast.
7 Early successful casts (reported at 1.2 to 1.3s after previous success)
20 On-time casts (reported at 1.4s after previous success)
22 Late casts (reported at 1.5 to 1.8s after previous success)

Note that the combat log didn't have any "Not Yet Ready" or "Another Action is in Progress" message between 1.0 and 1.37 seconds. Considering the distribution of the other timings, it seems likely that keys were pressed in that time zone. So, they were either successfully transmitted (effectively queued via some combination of client, network, and server), or failed silently.

Do you have a link for "testing of pure instant cast spam" tests? How big is "slightly over the gcd" compared to reported numbers for SF spam?

#7 Hamlet

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 06:19 PM

Add a link to Wise Eclipse (much better than macros!).


I said I'd look at that, but I forgot. Tonight I'll test it out at a target dummy and then probably drop it in here.

Would it be worth to include that Nature's grace can also proc of Starfall crits either under nature's grace or starfall description.


Done.

Very nice. Some things to consider:

1) Introduction, saying that this is targeted at the raiding Moonkin (or perhaps a title of "Moonkin Raiding" would be enough).

2) I believe it is possible to queue during the GCD, just not during the first second of the GCD (of course they can become the same thing).

3) A note that Haste>SP (below soft cap) doesn't occur until Ulduar gear levels, and even then haste usually doesn't pass SP on an itemization-cost basis (or not by much).

4) On multiple targets, a note that Hurricane is most likely your highest personal DPS (and DPM) choice given 4 or more targets, and is most likely not your highest DPS choice for 1 or 2 targets. For three targets, it is a close call, influenced by crit, haste, Gale Winds and Ebon Plague.

5) Mods and Tools: Mention Simulationcraft. I think the most reliable answers to your "open questions" will come from a simulator, and SC is a pretty good simulator.


1) I'll see what other TTT articles have.

2, and ensuing posts) I'll have to look into this more. It would change some things (mainly, it would make Wrath stronger generally).

3) I'll just change the ">" in my brief stat list to an "=", I already say something similar in the gems section.

4) Yeah, will add.

5) I will, I just don't know much about it.

#8 dedmonwakeen

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 06:20 PM

I think Tigafin's report implies no particular penalty for an instant cast with a long GCD (mage on target dummy, I assume his GCD>1.0s).

Do you have a link for "testing of pure instant cast spam" tests? How big is "slightly over the gcd" compared to reported numbers for SF spam?


Zakalwe tested Life Tap out in the wild to reduce his latency as far as possible. He experimented with button-spam vs button-timing, etc. Unfortunately, I have no link (it is buried in the simulationcraft dev forum somewhere), but if you ping him, he might still have the data.

EDIT: I just realized I did not answer your "how big" question: The average "gap" was 150ms.


Come to think of it, I believe Althor did a similar test with his Priest: Cast 100 times and compare actual number of casts vs the maximum number possible in that time period, dividing for the average penalty.

Unlike Zak/Althor, Tiga was actually able to get MORE casts than expected, more than would be possible even with zero gap between all casts. He posted additional parses (and his analysis) to our dev forum recently enough I should be able to find that for you.

#9 Nysius

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 08:53 PM

I have come to the point where I am likely to get the tier 9 setbonus. I have got enough badges to get the I lvl 232 t9 Balance gloves. I would be replacing Gloves of the Frozen Glade (Thorim Hardmode). This would mean a small decrease in dps looking at my current stats. However, my question is: Does the 2 piece balance tier 9 bonus trigger nature's grace?

#10 Layeth

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 09:37 PM

A note to add for Alchemy is that you also get double duration on elixirs and flasks.

[EDIT: I now see that you have this included.]

#11 ehakam

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 10:00 PM

I really like the article, but the haste cap theorycraft doesn't seem to make much sense to me. According to your spell mechanics section, you can't spell queue below 1s, therefore under optimal conditions the best you can chain cast wraths is 1s + latency time/reaction time. Therefore, wouldn't that imply that the haste soft cap is significantly lower than 401 quoted above?

If your latency + reaction time reaches 0.13s, which is quite plausible, wouldn't that essentially remove the whole concept of the haste soft cap, since it would be achieved at 0 haste.

#12 Hamlet

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 12:55 AM

Is this the correct link for WiseEclipse?
4shared.com - online file sharing and storage - download WiseEclipsev1.0.1.rar

Also, I gave the code a quick scan--looks like it's just my macro, but triggering on UNIT_SPELLCAST_SUCCEEDED. Which is good--I think that's exactly what we want. Will add it in.

#13 ballendor

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 02:48 AM

Buy for 25 Emblems of Triumph. It has no ICD and a 70% proc rate, giving it essentially 100% uptime.

If that's not available to you, buy for 25 Emblems of Valor.


For those of us in the latter case, does it make sense to swap idols to gain +damage to Wrath during solar eclipse?

#14 Hamlet

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 04:02 AM

For those of us in the latter case, does it make sense to swap idols to gain +damage to Wrath during solar eclipse?


No. (There's an option to try that in the spreadsheet right now, though it only works with fixed-DoT cycles).

#15 Hamlet

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 06:06 AM

Some updates in.

#16 nzoq

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 12:35 PM

I wonder if a mod could be made that cancels Solar eclipse when under the effects of bloodlust and lunar eclipse has finished its cooldown.

I like Typhoon for a few fights (Gluth, XT, Faction Champions) where the knockback and daze prove useful. It's also an okay panic button when trash gets haywire.

Does IS still provide the highest DPET even when not glyphed? I think it may.

(the following question was answered in the original post) Does Improved Moonfire affect the critical chance of Moonfire ticks while wearing 2T9, or only the critical chance of the initial strike?

#17 Nenaunir

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 01:22 PM

Your last question was already mentioned in the talent description of improved moonfire.

# Improved Moonfire: This damage bonus, Glyph of Moonfire, Moonfury, and Genesis all stack additively. The crit% bonus does affect DoT tick crits with the 2T9 bonus (PTR).



#18 copialinex

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 12:26 AM

Under the effect of Bloodlust, Wrath will gain very little DPS since it's usually so close to the 1s GCD minimum in the first place. The goal during Bloodlust is to use Lunar Eclipse as much as possible.

  • Near the beginning of Bloodlust, when there's ample time left to proc and use a full Eclipse, cast Wrath to proc a Lunar Eclipse. If Lunar is off cooldown, cancel Solar if necessary so you can proc Lunar right away.
  • If Lunar is on cooldown, refresh Moonfire and spam Starfire. If Solar procs and you have 2T8, cast Wrath. But in either case, cancel Solar when Lunar is eligible to proc again.
  • Near the end of Bloodlust (when there's not enough time for another Lunar Eclipse), just switch back your normal rotation.


I wonder if a mod could be made that cancels Solar eclipse when under the effects of bloodlust and lunar eclipse has finished its cooldown.


I've updated WiseEclipse: The last version (1.1.0) includes an option to cancel Solar Eclipse following Arawethion's algorythm (with enough time for another Lunar eclipse being 15s), you only have to disable "ignore Bloodlust/heroism" in /we; also I had added another option to avoid canceling Lunar eclipse if you have 4pT8 buff, now it is optional.

Another issue regarding WiseEclipse: It does the same in Solar->Lunar as Lunar->Solar, but the difference is so minimal I think no one noticed, however, you are potentially reducing the general Eclipse downtime in 1 Wr cast.

The download link is the same for the newest version. If you find any problem with it, please PM me.

#19 Hamlet

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 01:23 AM

I've updated WiseEclipse: The last version (1.1.0) includes an option to cancel Solar Eclipse following Arawethion's algorythm (with enough time for another Lunar eclipse being 15s), you only have to disable "ignore Bloodlust/heroism" in /we; also I had added another option to avoid canceling Lunar eclipse if you have 4pT8 buff, now it is optional.

Another issue regarding WiseEclipse: It does the same in Solar->Lunar as Lunar->Solar, but the difference is so minimal I think no one noticed, however, you are potentially reducing the general Eclipse downtime in 1 Wr cast.

The download link is the same for the newest version. If you find any problem with it, please PM me.


My coding and Spanish are both a bit rusty, but it looks good. Haven't gotten to try it yet, but only question is why you multiply by 60 here. I thought GetSpellInfo() and GetTime() both returned units of seconds, so you don't need to convert into anything to get the 15s you want. I'll tell you if it works right after today's raid though.

if (expirationTimeAnsia ~= nil) and (expirationTimeAnsia-GetTime()>15*60) and (GetTime()>cdLunarIsOff) then

e: Also, thanks for the credit in the file, but note that I'm Hamlet (US Mal'Ganis). :)

#20 copialinex

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 02:02 AM

My coding and Spanish are both a bit rusty, but it looks good. Haven't gotten to try it yet, but only question is why you multiply by 60 here. I thought GetSpellInfo() and GetTime() both returned units of seconds, so you don't need to convert into anything to get the 15s you want. I'll tell you if it works right after today's raid though.

if (expirationTimeAnsia ~= nil) and (expirationTimeAnsia-GetTime()>15*60) and (GetTime()>cdLunarIsOff) then

e: Also, thanks for the credit in the file, but note that I'm Hamlet (US Mal'Ganis). :)


Yep, sorry for that (*60), I was trying with MotW because It`s a bit late and my shaman was asleep, will correct it now.
I dont't know why I had written EU, will correct it now

The comments are in Spanish because I wasn't in the mood to translate all, however, if there is something you want to discuss, I'd be pleased to explain the code. (I think all the remarkable stuff is covered in the first few lines, however, I tried to follow a logical coding path so anyone who looks the code could understand it, despite speaking Spanish or not)

Link updated to 1.1.1, BL/H function corrected, thank you for you advice, as it is, in 1.1.0, the BL/H funtion doesn't work.




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