Thursday, January 14, 2010

Castsequence Random

I was going to post something really ranty and negative about the whole Elephant of DPS is easy.  After I'd written it though, I decided it was not worthy of posting.  Believe it or not, that doesn't often happen for me.  When blogging, I'm pretty much a stream-of-consciousness writer.  A lot of times I'll do research and grab links and what not, but for the most part, what you get is me sitting down for a half hour and pounding something out that's on my mind.  I also write fiction on the side, and that process is totally different.  I'd like all the extra time and thought makes my "serious" fiction better than my IC Friday posts, but there are definitely times when I feel like all the time spent editing is a waste, because just writing roughly isn't always a bad thing.

Writer's Corner aside, I didn't want to completely scrap all of what I'd done, plus I have a few other random thoughts bumping around that aren't really worthy of a full post of their own... so today is going to be a bit random.  So, in the form of a list, here are my random thoughts.  Make of them what you will.
  • We took a group into Nexus last night.  We ran with four DPS and a tank.  No healer, No problems.  Healing must be easy mode (/sarcasm).
  • The most important part of any group in any game is what we, as players, make of it.
  • In the world of MMOs, diversity is King.  Sure you can do stuff with all one type of player/class, but the games are designed with teamwork in mind.  Good teamwork will always make things easier.  That, and uber gear.
  • Couldn't the reason there are more DPS than tanks simply be because that is how the game is designed?  Let's look at it this way: pretend each class has three spec trees and each spec tree represents one role.  (In other words, ignore any "extra" specs, no matter how viable to cap each class at three possible spec roles).  In that case there would be four tanking trees, five healing trees, and twenty-one DPS trees.  That means there is slightly more than a 4:1 ratio of types of DPS compared to types of tanking/healing.  Groups are traditionally 3 DPS, 1 Tank, 1 Healer.  Thus, at best, a 3:1 ratio.  Is it really any wonder we have extra DPS and not tanks and healers?  Couldn't the reason for the perceived shortage of those roles be simply "working as intended"?
  • Sort of in support of the above, in Aion it can be tough to find any specific role at various times.  It's as common to see LF tank as LF DPS as LF healer.  The ratio is a bit better, plus the groups are made of 6 people there, which greatly improves the ratio as well.  Maybe it's all just simple math and game design.  Maybe the simple solution isn't to create incentives or change mechanics, but to just add an extra slot in groups.  That would probably require a lot of instance tuning though, or maybe just a huge health buff for baddies across the board?
  • I think feelings of stress and responsibility completely depend upon the mechanics of the fight itself.
  • If you choose a role, realizing the belief is that it will be more stressful, you shouldn't be rewarded for making a free-will decision.  Also, perception isn't always reality.  Rewarding for reality is one thing, rewarding for perception is quite another.
  • As much as I dislike Hunters, a good trapper is still a gem to have in a group.  Similar with a mage who knows wtf they're doing.  Warlocks don't get cool slowing abilities.  Everything's immune to fear.  WTB warlock AoE slow.
  • I have respect for good players, not particular roles.  I dislike a bad tank as much as a bad healer as much as a bad DPS.  When I find a good player, I enjoy playing with them, no matter what toon they're on.  Some players may be good only in one role, and that's fine, but the point is that they're a good player at something, the role doesn't really matter.  After all, practice enough at anything and you can eventually become an expert in it.  It's called the 10-year rule of expertise.
Okay, all the above is well and good and contains the basic points I wanted to get across, but the next part is really the part that is going to make this worthy of posting.  Or something like that.   I finally got my first Emblem of Frost upgrade on my warlock: the T10 pants.  I had been rocking the T7.5 pants, and while the hit is totally a waste for me, the remaining stats are worth it on the T10 piece.  Since I'd been anticipating replacing this piece, I hadn't gotten epic gems for it yet.  Now, I'm all epic gemmed out.  What I wanted to share today as a good reference for Affliction Warlocks is how simple your gem choices are.  So this is the useful part of the post.  (I can't like to WoWhead from work, so I'll go back and add that later tonight).

Affliction Warlock Gem Choices
That's it.  It's that simple.  Also, this is assuming you are OCD like me and desire to match the colors for the stat bonus.  To be fair, you'd really have to calculate the DPS gain of the stat bonus against the DPS gain of using the correct gem to make the best decision.  I prefer to follow the color pattern though as variety is the spice of life.  If you don't care about colors, go with the +23 Spellpower for everything.


  1. Why should locks choose a speed increase meta when most dps choose crit rating plus 3% crit. Or maybe if you don't need crit, 25 sp plus 2% int. I am curious about this weird warlock meta gem.

  2. *ECHO... ECho...echo...*

    I am also curious about the Meta gem pick. I understand that the +crit may not be so good for you, but wouldn't the +3% crit damage? Or the +SP/Int that Kayllnn suggested?

    Is it because of the run speed essential means that less time running from stuff = more time casting? But with enchants like Tuskar's Vitality (+15 Stam and run speed) for booties, would the two speed buffs stack? If they don't, would a different meta be better?

  3. This is from Fulguralis via email to me regarding this issue:

    Here, you can post this:

    Simple Answer: Warlocks ARE NOT Mages .

    Each Crit point is worth roughly half of a point in Spellpower. Now, I haven’t done all the mathification on ever gem available (I’ve mostly browsed the AH), but the gem would have to have 2X’s the Crit compared with SP. I’m not sure how Crit points translate to percent, but I’m under the impression that SP is just that much better for Affliction ‘locks. It may be different for Destro, as they value Crit a lot higher.

    The SP/Int gem is a great suggestion that I guess I just haven’t seen on the AH, but only because of the Crit increase it would give us (mana is not a problem for ‘locks. We’d stack stam over int any day since we can cut ourselves for mana) and Int only gives very minimal Crit.

    I don’t use Tuskar’s Vitality on my boots, since the enchant really does nothing for DPS (apart from the “running faster” argument). Thus, picking up the “running faster” on my meta gem lets me pop Icewalker on my boots which actually does do something for me without really losing anything. It’s a very curious question if the two effects would stack though. I would guess “no”, but I really don’t know. If they did, it might be even better to have both. IDK. I’m not sold on the “running faster” argument in the first place (not enough to waste a boot enchant, but enough to get it along with some SP on my headpiece, so like… I’m on the fence post?).

    I ran with the –Threat meta gem with SP for a while, but Threat isn’t really a problem so I figured that was completely wasted too and decided to go with run speed.

    The longer version of meta gem explanation for locks probably requires some math (comparing the Crit bonuses to SP gains… but with a 2 to 1 comparison, I think SP will win), some research to see if “running faster” enchants stack, and some personal inspection (am I have threat problems? Do I feel the need for a larger mana pool?). Doing the “napkin” version of those questions for myself leads me to my meta gem choice.

    The non-classist (you heard it hear first) TL;DR version is that Crit isn’t really that good for Affliction Locks, which is the same reason I’m pissed at my tier gear.

  4. Icewalker is +crit and +hit. As you said, +crit is basically garbage for Afflocks. So, unless that +12 hit is imperative, wouldn't +15 stam (and faster dancing!) be better? And I understand why you're not totally sold on the running faster argument. It's quite situational. I'd much rather see some more useful bowling shoe enchants for casters.

    Again, not trying to tell you how to gear/ench your lock. Just trying to piece together the logic for when I get into my first heroic on the lock and have everyone call me a noob. :)

  5. I disagree slightly.

    I only match a socket if the socket bonus is -worth- getting(see chart If I needed to socket a "yellow" gem I prefer Reckless Ametrine(+12 spellpower +10 haste) over the +20 haste gem.

    On the Meta gem...
    Tireless Skyflare Diamond +25 SP Minor runspeed
    Ember Skyflare Diamond +25 SP and 2% int
    Chaotic Skyflare Diamond +21 Crit Strike rating and 3% Increased Critical Damage

    Keep in mind that the +3% on the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond is increasing the damage you do when you crit.. this then "increases the damage coefficients for critical hits from 150%/200% to 154.5%/209%" DPS wise, at least according to Elitist Jerks ( the Chaotic Skyflare is the best choice for increasing your DPS.

    Greater Spirit +18 spirit
    Icewalker +12 crit +12 hit
    Tuskarr's Vitality +15 stamina minor speed

    I'm on the fence about the boot enchant. ATM I'm using Icewalker because I needed the hit(long story). But before I fiddled my spec around I was actually leaning towards getting Greater Spirit. If I didn't need the hit I'd really be conflicted between Greater Spirit (which would add more DPS than Icewalker) and Tuskarr's Vitality (which theoretically adds more DPS by letting me get "out of the fire" faster).


  6. Via email from Fulguralis:

    @ Darth

    Yeah, no worries. I’m totally open to being wrong too. I can’t say I’ve always made the perfect choices.

    To answer your question, Crit is slightly less garbage than Stam. That is to say, I don’t have problem with dying and Stam does nothing for the living DPS. 0. Crit does like 0.6 per point. SP does like 1.8 per point. Hit is awesome until I’m capped, which I’m way over now, so the hit doesn’t matter but once upon a time it was good. I’m also assuming the run speeds DON’T stack, so if I have it on head, why get it on boots? At least I can get something that moderately helps my DPS on boots then, and still have the benefit of the doubt with run speed. In other words, I’m trying to cover all my bases without “wasting” an enchant.

  7. @ Nibs - Oddly enough, I was listening to you speak (on TNB) when the comment came to me via email. All good suggestions. The SP/Haste Gem especially. I didn't look orange for some reason.

    I still wonder about the value of crit since I'm not otherwise stacking it (but it comes with like, everything now)... but the maths do not lie.

    I'm going to update this list...

  8. I need to switch my boot enchant too. I've been meaning to do that now that I have more hit than I know what to do with.

  9. I ran with the speed meta for most of the Naxx content (back before I became a crit whore) and found it to be a bit better than situational. On high mobility fights, it added up to several more cast times (expecially in the old affliction rotation). I raid on a computer that is very susceptible to lag too, so that extra run time helped a lot if i lagged in the fire or one of the other thousand variations of stand in to die. I haven't truly raided affliction since early Ulduar, so I can't comment on how horrible crit is in that spec, but the 25 sp on the other metas probably outclasses the crit on that one (when I was affliction, elitest jerks had the 25sp, 2%intel as the best).

    Of course, this was all before I became the poor excuse for a fire mage that I am today. IMO Ful, you should come over to the destro side. It's a lot warmer :)

  10. Fuu - Your logic is dandy. :) I guess where I personally end up is that I just wouldn't have run speed on my melon cover.

    And I never got the impression that you weren't open to suggestions. I just know that there are a lot of folk can be douchebags, even if they're right. And I don't want to be one of those. :P

    Speaking of being wrong, I've got myself a trinket that's loaded with hit... but I'd be better of using it for something else. But that would put me under the cap. And that makes me sad. So very sad. :P How much better the Abysmal Rune would be for me! *sniffle*