Friday, July 17, 2009

Lock DPS Review AKA I Don’t Get Complacent

I am comfortable how I have been doing my damage. But I don’t want to get complacent. I need to fix some of the issues I am having and then go from there.

I needed fresh eyes too.

So I whispered the top rated lock on the server Alliance side. I didn’t pick him randomly. I have run with him before. More importantly I have read his evaluations of other locks when they apply to his guild. I wanted help but I didn’t want to go to his guild. Would he help me?

I have to admit I was excited when he said he had time. It was a very long conversation. Here is an overview of what we talked about.

Issue #1 – Hit Cap

This is the number one stat all casters need to be concerned about. As we know hard hit cap for raids is 17%. With the addition of T8.5 pieces, a new offhand, and some other gear my current hit rating is 336 and 12.81%. About 12% is good for the talents and raid makeup I run with.

I scoured all my current WWS reports and I don’t see any misses. The only misses I am seeing is from Domora. Apparently she has much better aim with her whip then her fist. Go Girl!!

Issue #2 – Spec

Raider101. Warlock Den. EJ. I don't run with a completely standard spec. I have a few talent points that I do move around from the typical lock spec. Those few points that are different tend to be in place for my own raid dynamic. I have checked them recently and ran dummy tests which gave me the results I was expecting.

Issue#3 – Spell Rotation

I am completely comfortable in both the Affliction and Destruction rotations. I have spent hours tweaking them and know them inside and out. It is instinctive to me when DoTs should be refreshed. To ensure this I use a dot timer, currently DoTimer.

It was suggested that I try out Quartz. I currently use the Xperl cast in the player name. It tells me the estimated lag too. But since it is in the player name area it is quite small. This may help since in some fights I am seeing 14 fps.

I also saw on Abi over at Shadow Word: Blog that he is using ForteXorcist. He even replaced her Necrosis for it! I will try it out and see if I like it too.

Issue #4 –Stone ‘em

We have both Spellstones and Firestones. I forget firestones exist. I will need to start using that when I go destruction.

For most individuals it ends but I have had a unique issue with this last topic.

Issue #5 – Haste

I am ignoring it no more. Well I was not ignoring it. I admittedly noted it was a stat on my gear and continued on. SB filler and Immolate/Incinerate really does make haste matter. I am carrying to much spirit for spell power and not enough haste.

I have a warlock guildie that would do 20-35% more SB then I would. It would drive me NUTS. Our corruption, CoA, UA, and at the time siphon life would be within 3% of each other. But SB? He always got more off then me. I reduced my moving. I am always casting. I always have dps on (unless instructed not to).

He still does. Guildie lock has 445 haste rating (13.57%) and Hydra has 348 haste rating (10.61%). That is a 28% increased difference over mine. THAT is why he can get in more SBs. It was not necessarily my technique but the actual difference in haste on our gear.

This will not bug me so much. I will adjust my gear for some more Haste. Most importantly I now know why there was a difference and can work with it instead of ignoring it.

Sometimes it is nice to get a consultant.


  1. Something worth mentioning. After pouring over EJ's suggestions for Destro spec, they actually say to use the spellstone, not the firestone. According to the experts, you'll get more DPS output from it than the firestone. And far be it for me to question them, they have far more time than I do to crunch the numbers.

  2. As far as #1, I think there are few things that could account for the lack of miss despite not being hitcapped. Are there any Draenei(Heroic Presence) or Shadow priests(Misery) in your usual raiding group? If the attendance of these characters are consistent, you might consider reworking your hit rating gear and talents, counting the additional hit from other characters. However, this can be risky in groups outside of your usual or when they can't attend.

  3. @Skryla
    Yea. I am hearing it both ways. If you read on EJ you can see posts to use the spellstone or firestone. Looking closely it depends on what your stats look like on your gear. I just need to remember that I have both and to use accordingly.

  4. @DJScythe
    You are correct. Every lock needs to be aware that there is a Hard hit cap and a soft hit cap. Your soft cap depends on your spec, gear, classes, races, buffs, etc.

    Each individual MUST figure this out for themselves. Because each toon and raid is different.

  5. Fortex is great. I still kept my necro for the nifty spell wheel. But I love some of the things Fortex comes with and it's highly customizable to your needs. The summoning helper is by far my favorite...