Friday, December 4, 2009

Fighting for a Spot

Hydra’s new guild is progressing in TOGC 25. But … I am not.

Frankly my DPS sucks in comparison to the other guild raiders. Yes. Yes. I know they have been farming TOC 25 since it has come out. And they are all geared out. And I just got my achievement for my first clear.

… still doesn’t make be feel better being at the bottom of the meters. Struggling. Not knowing if it is something I am not doing or gear.

For Affliction warlocks there is a great guile to looking at your up time for dots calculations.

For Destruction locks… it is more about always casting, setting priorities to cooldowns on highest damage spells.

So I cheated.

I had another lock, F-lock, in my second run of TOC25 Beasts of Northrend. Comparing, I would at least have someone to ask “What were you doing here?” he did over 20% more damage then I did in the fight. There is a balance of adds, movement, and game mechanics. The data was good enough to get a general idea and some improvement.

To eliminate the gap of spell power on our gear I primarily looked at how many spells landed.
Chaos Bolt222114.5%

Curse of Agony(R9)89190

Curse of Doom(R3)3

Death Coil(R6)2

A look at talent procs.
Empowered Imp40241640.0%

A look at our base stats.
Haste Increase16.01%11.56%27.8%
Geared SP252423118.4%

For me to get a grasp of the effect of haste on our gear, I calculated the typical cast times.
Cast timeF-lockHydra
2.5 (Incinerate)2.099752.211
1.5 (Immolate/GCD)1.259851.3266

Some of the observations I made looking at this data and the rest of the log.
  1. F-lock was on Dreadscale and not Acidmaw.
  2. F-lock was on Gormok and instants on Snowbolds
  3. I am really slow on the Incinerates. Check haste?
  4. Imps are almost identical Firebolts.
  5. I am not using COD. Nub.
  6. F-lock putting Corruption and COA on Snobolds. Full rotation on Gormok.
  7. I was putting Immolate on Snobold adds.
  8. Hit check. Not over. Calculate the Dying Curse vs. Eye of the Broodmother.
  9. Glyph check. Replace Immolate with Incinerate. Was supposed to have happened already.
  10. Spec check. That is at least correct.
  11. Incinerate glyph increases damage but does not address overall number landed.
  12. Haste check. F-lock has 27.8% effective haste then I do.
  13. F-lock cast 27.7% more Incinerates then I do.
  14. Gear haste is affecting the number of Incinerates in a fight cast.
  15. Empowered Imp was significantly different.
  16. Imps damage spells almost identical. No idea why this is so different. Research.
  17. Check to see if F-lock was doing anything significantly different that would address this. Spec change, gear, crit food maybe?
There was then emails back and forth.
F-lock said…
I've become a lazy caster in regular ToC, which will make a big difference in the numbers. If the adds come close, I will switch, but normally in regular mode I do not. This is me cheating on DPS, and not the proper way to do it.

If the group is not over geared (DPS not high enough) I will switch and do the proper burn rotation on adds. And in ToGC I will ALWAYS switch.

NRB, also has some random elements that can hamper casters. During the fight I received zero snobolds, and I do not think I had to move very much at all due to fire, bile, etc.

You will ALSO notice that I start out on Dreadscale as I position myself over on that side, and do NOT move until after they submerge. If the icy big boss at the end is running towards someone else, I will start heading that way on the smash as well to get there early.

I also have limited myself to around 30% crit, and then started stacking haste. 525 haste I believe now, which falls in the 500 -> 600 range which would appear acceptable.

I prioritize my casts in the following manner (I use RAWR BTW, and the Leulier spreadsheet)...

Remember, I also have the 4 piece Tier 9.5 bonus that increases my pets criticals by 10%, which would cause the IMP to crit a lot more......
What I have changed.
  1. Reglyphed.
  2. Added corruption back into my rotation. Only cast when I move. Also only cast when curse doesn’t need to be reapplied since it has the priority.
  3. Use Curse of Doom. Everything doesn’t die in under a minute anymore. (Got out of the habit.)
  4. Not beat myself up for lower DPS because of gear. … yea right … It is a work in progress.


  1. Great analysis. I tend to pore over logs as well and it's helpful to read someone else work through the information and form their own conclusions.

    One thing that might effect the Imp discrepancy is buffs. Are you taking your imp out of phase shift when raid buffs are being applied? Insist on Kings on your pet; he is a caster and doesn't need Might. Also as F-lock said the T9 2 set bonus is a massive buff to the Imp and something on the order of a 200+ straight dps increase.

    Corruption and keeping an eye on Backlash procs for instant Incinerates are great for movement fights as you noted.

    Are you keeping your Life Tap glyph buff up at all times?

    Also to what extent do you "queue" spells? Using quartz I can squeeze in the command for my next Incinerate or Chaos Bolt at the tail end of visibly casting my current spell. This is partially lag dependent but every little bit helps to cut down on "wasted" time.

    Also how are you tracking Chaos Bolt/Conflagrate cool downs? If you're using something Scrolling Combat Text or Power Aura then you might not be able to priortize as well when either is coming off cooldown. I've found forteXorcist to be really helpful in that regard. I've configured its spell timer to only show these two cooldowns as bar timers and I track DoTs with quartz.

    One fight that I've found is great as a DPS check is VoA 25. Koralon is as close to a tank and spank as we'll likely get in the current content and Emalon is a good test of target switching. Here is a World of Log of me (Aristeides) from last night in VoA 25: The other Warlock, Raksi, is very good and probably better than me but she was geared for 13% hit and we were lacking in Shadow Priests/Boomkins.

  2. I now keep my Imp’s phase shift turned off. I use to have to remember to un-phase-shift my Imp. It is actually easier to keep phase shift off and then use it in those rare occasions it was needed. So our Imps should be given the same buffs.

    As for Life Tap… it is always a struggle to keep it buffed. I am getting better at it. I still think I have some work to do to make it easier for me to see the timer.

    I found a big key to life tap was to have my full ranked life tap and rank 1 both keybound. When I have a lot of mana and health I am more inclined to use rank 1 to refresh the buff. I also use it frequently in healing intensive fights.

    I actually installed quartz for the reason you mentioned about 6 months ago on the suggestion of another warlock on server. It really helps with the timing of the next cast. And like all adds I love, it is easily configurable at the same time extremely customizable.

    For cooldowns I use OmniCC to help manage cooldowns. Having the countdown right there on the actual buttons is an asset. I also use forteXorcist. Thanks for the suggestion to do a separate bar for Chaos Bolt and Conflagrate. I will have to fiddle with it some but I can already see how that would help.

    Thanks for the help! Every bit may give that “Aw Ha!” moment that makes it all click.