Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sometimes The Best Offense Is A Good "D"

(Disclaimer: This is going to be more of a cry for help than informative. Feel free to answer and be my hero.)

Those D's being Drain Soul and Curse of Doom, both of which have seen some renewed interested in the post 3.1 world... of warcraft.

Drain soul is the obvious one. I has been buffed up to give us 10k crits and junk. Did I mention ever that you should use this jazz at 25% health? Definitely use it at 25% health and beyond. It's like, double your shadowbolts for nearly the same amount of time. Use that shizz... aight?

Here's the question I have about the first D: Do you have to make sure start it AFTER the 25% mark? Srsly, like if I start before 25%, even if it ticks into the 25% range, I'm pretty sure it doesn't get the bonus. Therefore, it is my belief that the spell damage bonus is calculated from WHEN YOU APPLY IT.

This would seem to be consistent with many of the other spell mechanics Blizz uses, but I've never seen someone explicitly say so. Therefore, I call upon the warlock community to verify that I'm correct in this. If I am, then that is an extremely important little tip there. Using Drain Soul too early will kill its destructive potential by 4x's (which is the bonus it gets under 25%). Don't do eet!

The second D... Doom. Perhaps one of the most easily forgotten yet blatantly cool spells we have. I mean, who doesn't like a huge time bomb every now and then amirite? Remember back in the Kara days when you used to queue one of these up to go off during the evocate phase? BOOM! DOOM! Woot!

With Amp'd Curse shortening the GCD of curses, I would think that CoD is well worth casting right now (especially if you're not sporting the glyph of CoA). Obviously you'd need to make sure whatever you're going to cast it on would live for more than a minute, plus you'd really need to watch your aggro for the big spike at the end of the tunnel. However, that's one less DoT to watch and worry about while you're at the beginning of a fight. Maybe it's a good thing to lead off with a CoD and then switch to CoA later in the fight... say at 25%?

See what I'm doing here? I have trouble sometimes reminding myself to make sure to switch my rotation up... however, if I tie my Drain Soul to a Curse switch as well... well that's just double reminder. I'm not sure what the maths say about that though. So I ask the community, is this a good idea?

Those are the two main things I'm going to try out tonight in my 25-man Naxx run. I mean, Drain Soul for sure, but I think I want to throw down on some CoD too. 10K ticks have got me itching for a time bomb!

Also, here are a few other things that are worth mentioning:

Pet Choice
To go along with the "D" theme... Doomguard. Use that pansy. He'll pop in for 15 mins and then run away like a little girl, but for those 15 mins he'll put out some good DPS. Remember to pick up your Demonic Figurine reagents though.

Realistically, you need to weigh the benefit of buffing the raid with your felhunter too. If you have both a mage AND a priest in your group, your FH's buff is useless. That is when you pull out the succy and go to town (or be sure to bring out your DG). The only other reason you may want to go with the felpup is to make use of his spell lock ability. I do this quite a bit to help with some messy pulls, but not so much in Naxx. Therefore, I'm going Succy/DG tonight if we have the priest and mage to overwrite me (more than likely in 25-mans).

SP Bonuses Galore?
Another new thing we need to be aware of as Affliction 'locks is the way SP bonuses work. We've always said to be sure to pop your trinkets before you start a rotation to make sure they get the bonus. Same goes for Life Tapping with the glyph (which I got yesterday). I believe I may have mentioned it before, but wanted to do so again.

After I got the glyph, I just started tapping around town because I was excited about it. Imagine my double excitement when one of the taps procced the effect of my Lightweave embroidery. Recall that they just changed this to have a chance to bump your SP up 250 too. This means, with my mostly Naxx-10 gear, I have enough spirit that the LT glyph shoots me up 15oSP and then my Lightweave shoots me up another 250SP. That's 400 extra SP! That's one helluva "trinket".

With that much extra SP, we need to be aware not only to try and get at least your LT bonus on prior to a fight, but also to try very hard not to clip your DoTs later. We've always tried not to clip things like CoA, but UA has always been open game. If you're not sporting the same bonuses you were when you started, refreshing may come at the cost of damage.

In the heat of a battle, there may not be a whole lot you can do about some of this, but it is good to know in the back of your mind, so at least sometimes you are maximizing your SP procs. I personally usually keep it a lot simpler than this (and plan to just LT at the beginning, but then just do it as needed after that until I at least get comfortable enough to have extra attention to pay to it), but I wanted to throw some of this stuff out there. The important point is to remember that damage due to SP is calculated WHEN THE SPELL IS APPLIED. Bonuses due to percentage mulitplies (like Haunt and Shadow's Embrace) will be calculated on each tick. Thus, you want to pop trinkets before applying spells, but can work in your SE and H bonuses later on.

For instance, in my rotation I lead off with Corruption. I would want to be sure to life tap and pop any trinkets before hitting Corr to maximize my SP before casting. I can and do, however, put up Haunt and SE after casting Corr without Corr missing out on those perecentage multipliers. (This is all to the best of my knowledge/observation, so if someone knows otherwise and can back it up, feel free to correct me.)

I've been having some great comments and traffic as of late, and am hoping that the trend continues. I don't always get things right the first pass, but I'm hoping by getting crap like this out there, we can discuss it a bit and really "compare notes" as Affliction 'locks. Only good (read: exceedingly evil and painful for mobs) things can come from that.

Oh yeah, and be aware that there is some patching going on today. Hopefully the servers will be stable tonight. You'll also get a refund of your spec points (after I fiddled around so much with mine too... :-/), so be prepared to respec. I'm not sure we should see any major changes...


  1. I'm not sure about the drain soul spell damage...I did notice that I had several low valued ticks on my damage meters and it made me wonder if I started draining just a % too soon...cannot verify, but it is plausible that you need to start at 25% or below to get the bonus for the full duration.

    Curse of Doom is my curse of choice when running a non-affliction build. When you are full affliction, your DoTs (including CoA) get so much bonus damages that they will do more DPS than the CoD, 'bomb' tick. I admit though, I also like to see the big numbers up there from time to time...watching CoD countdown is like watching the apple drop for New Year's Eve.

    The part about not cliping proc'd DoTs is what made me mention using the life tap glyph when you re-apply your rotation...I haven't been able to test this theory yet, but maybe you could since you have the glyph...and I don't :(

    And thanks for reminding me about the lightweave change...need to put that on my back asap!!!


  2. For CoD, I wonder... is it shadow damage? Does it count as a DoT? What bonuses would I be missing out on if I use it?

    And yeah, I'm gonna try to have it up before reapplication each time... However, I can't life tap myself to death to keep up a trinket, so the goal will be to find that happy medium... keeping it up as much as possible and just letting the spells fall where they might. As I get more used to the post 3.1 rotation, I'll probably be able to plan it more in my favor... so much will be based on your "feel" for the spec, boss, and damage/healing flow though...

    I'll have to see if I get any "A more powerful spell is active"s due to clipping with the LT Glyph.

  3. CoD is shadow damage and is a DoT, but it not listed in any of the tooltips for one of the affected DoTs for the bonus damgages. (You'll have to scroll down your tree for precise examples...I couldn't name them all off the top of my head)

  4. So then the question is... do we believe the tooltips?

    I think I'll do an old fashioned test... run through with just CoA tonight, then on Thursday's second day of raiding, throw in some CoD and see if I like/get better numbers. Not completely scientific, but it'll do...

  5. Better idea...go with an affliction spec on a training dummy...do 4-5 CoDs with it and then do 4-5 without a spec (before you pick secondary talents) and see what the difference is.
    There is some scientific testing for you. :)

    (I remember you said you don't have dual spec yet...maybe I'll do it with a few other readers and we can compare results)


  6. oops...left off a control...
    should cast CoD a few times with a full dot rotation (to get the embrace benefit--possibly) and then without a full rotation as well.

  7. I like to provide the Elements debuff, so not sure about CoD.

    However, I'm fairly certain you're correct about Drain Soul.

  8. Drain Soul will not give you the 4x "execute" style damage unless you apply it at or below 25%. If you use it at 25% and the boss drops to 25%, the damage doesn't boost itself.. you actually have to reapply it.

    Doom counts as a DoT and deals shadow damage and I believe the amount of damage done goes by the amount of spellpower bonus you have at the time you apply the spell, not the time it detonates.

    CoD provides more damage than CoA as long as the fight will last long enough and it doesn't blow your aggro through the roof if you're used to riding the tanks ass in threat.

    Just looking at the base damage of both spells, the max rank CoD does 7300 damage after 60 seconds while CoA does 1740 over 24 (unglyphed and not taking spellpower in to consideration since both get the same spellpower scaling being instant cast spells). Roughly 2 CoA's can be used during 1 CoD duration. That equals out to about 3480 over the same time frame CoD does 7300 and frees up a global cooldown to do something else.

    CoA was important for Molten Core procs for other specs but Doom is king in my opinion. Unless I know the raid boss will die in less than 60 seconds, Doom is going up.

  9. "If you use it at 25% and the boss drops to 25%,"

    ***If you use it at 26% and the boss drops to 25%

    wtb edit comment option lol

  10. comments ahoy!

    found this thread on the WoWhead forums but that place isn't exactly known for its stellar feedback so take what you will from it. They're saying CoA > CoD from Affliction because apparently CoD gets no boost from Shadow Mastery. *shrug*


    I tried to find something on EJ but their website keeps timing out for some reason.

  11. I'm only doing this because I love you.. long time.


    Super hot sexy 3.1 Affliction thread should answer every question.

  12. Blizzard keep moving the goal posts, so it's hard to keep track, but I'm sure CoD is not worth casting if you are talking pure dps; I guess unles you are a bleeding edge raider it won't make that much difference.

    Your dot rotation should start with Shadowbolt, because this triggers the Shadow Embrace effect.

  13. @fear.win - lol thanks for all the work. I'll have to read that section when I get home tonight (stupid work filters). I'll post some raiding feedback today.

    @vlad - Yeah, you're right in that at my competency of raiding level it probably doesn't make that much difference. I'm cetainly *not* bleeding edge :-). However, I do like to try to do what I "should" be doing.

    As for leading off with bolts or haunts, I agree with you in an ideal world, but I like to get a couple instant casts off while I'm setting up so as not to waste that time. The Haunt and SE bonus are percent multipliers, so it doesn't really matter where you put them up in your rotation as long as you realize that each tick prior to getting the bonuses up will not receive the bonus. Thus, with my method, there may be a few ticks that start outside the bonus, but if I were starting with a castable spell, those ticks wouldn't even have happened since I would still have been setting up. Thus no bonus >> no spell. Does that make sense? That's why I do it the way I do. It's purely a playstyle thing.

  14. Yep, theory and practice are two different things.