Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Little Burnination

Edit (04/10): It has been brought to my attention that Ignite may, in fact, have become a smart spell. I'll have to spend some time looking into this, so, uh, the following post exists so you can mock my terrible math ^.^

Ignite is a Fire talent in the second tier
that causes your critical strikes from Fire (and Frostfire) spells to burn the target for an additional 8/16/24/32/40% of the damage dealt over 4 seconds. It ticks for 20% each tick, 2 seconds apart. This is a sizable contribution to overall damage and dps, since it essentially adds an additional 40% crit strike damage bonus (if it ticks for the full 4 seconds).

However, here is the issue. Ignite isn't a smart spell. If you crit with one spell, and then within 4 seconds crit with another spell, the ignite from the second spell will overwrite the first ignite even if the first ignite was greater. I think we could all agree that this would cost dps, but let's explore this a bit further.

Now, a disclaimer: these numbers are all based on older WWS logs, since I respecced Arcane last week. I went back to our last one-night, full clear for the data. This WWS report I'm using is from 3 weeks ago, so the numbers are lower than they are now, owing to different gear and a superior spec now.

Here's what my damage table looked like for all boss fights (no trash):
Ignite is a huge part of my overall damage. It outdid Living Bomb, which is usually considered the key dps component of Frostfire and Fire specs. While the overall damage is a bit inflated by Thaddius (I can't really crit for 26k) looking back to other runs where we didn't get to Thaddius, the breakdown is about the same.

The pyroblasts are purely from Hot Streak procs. I'd never waste time on the 5 second cast. And I apparently crit a lot with pyroblast, which means I cast Ignite a lot from pyroblast. Let's do some number crunching:

Hot Streak procs from Fireball, Fireblast, Living Bomb (the bomb part, not the dot), Frostfire Bolt and Scorch. For these spells, I had a total of 433 spell hits, of which 255 were crits - about a 59% overall crit rate. I procced Hot Streak 188 times through the whole instance - but bear in mind several factors, not the least of which is Lotheb. Compare the proc rate - 188 - with the hit rate - 79. I wasted a lot of Hot Streaks.

Normally, if I proc a Hot Streak, I hold on to it. If Living Bomb is about to go off, I prioritize letting LB finishing before I toss of the Pyroblast. Why? Ignite munching!

I assume a spell is going to crit. If Living Bomb goes off and crits, as per the above WWS, it will do a (slightly inflated) average of 2085, with an average crit of 3656. The Ignite from this Living Bomb would be 1462 damage over 4 seconds - and extra 365.5 dps while that Ignite is active.

Pyroblast hits for an average crit of 9399, which would make the Ignite bonus 3760 over 4 seconds, or an extra 940 dps. That is a huge increase over the Ignite bonus from Living Bomb.

All of this assumes that both the Pyroblast and the Living Bomb will crit, but nonetheless, this would result in a 574.5 dps loss if the Ignite from Living Bomb overwrites the Pyroblast. As such, I usually hold on to my Hot Streak procs until after Living Bomb ticks (unless it's way early in the Living Bomb duration).

Sometimes, I proc a Hot Streak before I've cast the first Hot Streak. This is also a massive loss in dps. Not only are we losing the Ingite (if it crits), I've also lost the 4888 average hit of the Pyroblast. I never ever intend to do this, but sometimes I proc twice in a row, or I lose it waiting for Living Bomb. I rarely cast the Hot Streaks when I should have - I cast barely half of the procs I got (I got 157 procs on bosses that weren't Loatheb). I was a terrible Frostfire mage :D

All in all, I figure it's best to hold on to that Hot Streak until LB is up, but I absolutely welcome feedback.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


So, I've been working on a post about Ignite munching for a week or so now (there's a lot of math...), and it was nearly done when I had to go out of town for the weekend. So, it's still a work in progress. I figured I'd pop in just to assure you (well, whoever reads this) that I am still here.

There's been more changes on the PTR for mages (crap). The only one I actually like is that Mirror Images won't cast polymorph anymore. I don't PvP, ever, so I don't really care that it's a PvP nerf - I consider it a PvE buff. I've had a mirror image polymorph a worshiper on Faerlina - BAD! Not being able to do it anymore is good. The only other change I'd want to see is that they prioritize attacking my target, rather than, say, run across the room on Four Horsemen.

I'm only minorly irritated by the nerf to Improved Scorc/Winter's Chill. I'm not Frostfire anymore; I respeced Arcane last week and have never been happier. So 5% crit doesn't phase me as much as it once would have.

On that note, I am in love with Arcane again. It broke my heart just after 3.0.8 when I couldn't work with it. I needed mana! But now, I've finally reached the point where Arcane is better than Frostfire - by a lot! Like, second highest DPS on Patchwerk (grats Theine on COMPLETELY OWNING MY FACE - hunters are awesome) better. Like, tying Burstãngel for DPS on Thaddius (we both got 8248 - no joke, it was awesome, she's like the best geared player in our guild, let alone an awesome Ret pally). So, hopefully my newly rekindled love for Arcane won't flag any time soon. This is so much fun :D

Sunday, March 1, 2009


So, every blog I follow has made a post about something with the PTR. It's the hot topic on our guild forums, WoW Insider is posting every 5 minutes, it seems. Suppose I should put in my two cents.

However, I haven't touched the PTR yet. I have the client, but when I try to update it errors. So I haven't logged on. I've also not had any motivation to do so. A group of fellow guildies and I all copied over with the intent of testing Ulduar, but so far we're still waiting on copies and haven't been able to get in to test it. So, that's out.

And honestly, what would I comment on? Let's outline the upcoming mage changes:

Frost: Improve Water Elemental changed to Enduring Winter
Enduring Winter is a new talent, which will grant Frostbolt a 33%/66%/100% to provide a Replenishment buff to up to 10 of a mage's party or raid members. It works like every other Replenishment buff (don't we have enough already?) in that you get 0.25% of your total mana back per second while active.
Here's my issue with this talent - it's all an attempt to make Frost mages a valuable contribution to a raid make up. Except that Frost mages can't deal the damage needed to keep up with Arcane or Frostfire mages.
Bear in mind, I've never played a Frost mage. I leveled Arcane, I raided at 70 as Arcane (even when it still sucked), and have played Frostfire since I hit 80. My roommate always played Frost. She hates that she can't play Frost as a raiding mage. She tried once, and did 900 dps. Respecced Arcane and nearly tripled that in the same gear.

So... hurrah, mages get a buff that is already brought to the table by nearly every other class? I know that Ascended will never raid without a Ret pally or two, and we always have at least one Spriest in 25-mans, etc. etc. So, this is useless. Thanks, Blizz.

Well, that was thrilling. Not. I personally take this as a sign that Blizzard likes mages where they are. I don't agree that mages are where they need to be - they've nerfed a 51-point talent because people QQed and even now, they've come out with Glyph of Arcane Barrage. All this means is that Arcane mages need to glyph to make up for Blizzard's attempt at nerfing them.

Armor, Pyromaniac and Arcane Meditation are being buffed to allow 50% of your And yes, as casters we also will experience the mana regen change, and accordingly MageOOC manaregen to continue while casting (up from 30% when fully talented). However, my roommate noted that this makes Glyph of Mage Armor useless, since it would add 20% mana regen, and mana regen is capped at 100%. So that glyph may go by the wayside. As Frostfire, I doubt I'll see much of a difference. I usually finish a long fight with about 80-90% of my mana, and I've got way more than enough (20k raid buffed).

There's tons of glyph changes coming up as well. The only ones I'm even a bit interested in are Glyph of Living Bomb (lets the ticks crit, which might proc Hot Streak) and Glyph of Mirror Image (gives the images' Frostbolts apply Winter's Chill and give an extra 5% crit chance). Most of the other glyphs are geared towards Frost mages and pvp. Not interesting.

But really, here I've gone on for way too long about this, when it's all been done to death by so many other blogs (better written as well). TO SUMMARIZE: I am thoroughly underwhelmed by the upcoming mage changes (but I am excited for Ulduar) except Glyph of Living Bomb. Yay....

/afk (and damn, this post was terrible, sorry guys)