I wanted to delve a bit deeper into what seems to be a popular issue around here: Warlock trinkets. It seems many of us are getting to the point where we've opened Firelands vendors from the dailies, and an assortment of new gear is offered to us. For folks who have dabbled in raiding, the choices seem to be more side-grades than upgrades, complicating the decision.
For many piece of gear, you need only consult some simulations or gear lists and you can probably make a reasonably informed choice. Trinkets, however, have been notoriously hard to quantify. Even in an isolated sense, you have procs to try and calculate. Procs that everyone may not use in the same situations or equally as often. In the most complicated scenario, you have interactions of stats and procs with other stats, skills, and spells.
For instance, currently for Demo 'locks, the word on the street is that if you pop the Chalice before popping Meta, you will receive the benefit of the mastery stat bonus throughout your purple demon phase, even when the trinket timer runs out. For as long as there have been Warlocks, there have been little idiosyncrasies like this. Rolling Corruption was one of the big ones. More recently (and perhaps "working as intended") we have the Shadow and Flame crit boost that seems to be taken into account at time of application, and not updated with each DoT tick. Thus, many guides will suggest you lead off with a Shadow Bolt to be sure Corruption benefits (refreshing via Haunt does not cause a recalculation of Crit currently).
This is all very complicated and confusing, at least from where I'm sitting. Those of you who read here regularly will know that I'm not a huge theorycrafter. I dabble just enough to try to come up with a solid approach to playing my class. I'm not a bleeding edge kind of guy, so I don't need to play perfect. I do, however, desire to play well, and that requires a bit of research from time to time.
Back to the trinkets. The current issue is whether or not to pick up and use the Moonwell Chalice. I think many people, like me, have been able to pick up solid trinkets from previous content. In my case, this means the Stump of Time and Soul Casket. Neither are drops, so they're attainable "in the long run." They're also both 359 ilevel and the Chalice is 365. In my guides, I've advocated trusting Ask Mr Robot for direction as far as gearing is concerned (and don't really pay attention to ilevel). So far, it has been a great tool. For the effort/time I put into it, I get way more in return. I could spend hours with a simulation tool trying to make gear lists and such, but Mr. Robot makes it easy.
The conundrum here comes when Mr. Robot lists the Chalice below the Stump of Time and Soul Casket. Usually, I have a lot of faith in the gear listings there. However, it's trinkets. For all the reasons mentioned above, I realize that trinkets are one of the hardest slots to math out. Ergo, a robot might not be the best choice to use in making the best choice. Some Human Brain might need be applied.
Generally, what this means for me is that I'm going to give them each a run under practical circumstances in real raids. See which seems to perform best. It's not really scientific because there are a myriad of other variables that could be affecting me, but if I'm on the fence, it's a good way to make a personalized decision. Also, quite frankly, they're probably so close that it really doesn't matter. If I were really worked about a moderate DPS increase, I should probably work on being smoother with my rotation.
Still, I like to make good decisions. I threw up a quickie post on Monday saying as how I wasn't planning to buy the Chalice. I got several responses that may have changed my mind. One of the most helpful included a link here. If you follow, you'll see that it's a google shared document that contains a link to several shared spreadsheets. These spreadsheets contain a rather complex and involved mathification of the current trinket offerings. It even covers more than just the Warlocky angle.
The lead-in document explains how the author does all of these calculations. It seems to be a good overall approach. It also gives a much higher value to the Chalice. It's food for thought for some of you more theorycraft inclined out there, and I wanted to share. Credit goes to commenter Dl3mk3, who found the spreadsheet in a post by Faelkin on the Mr. Robot forums. I'm not sure if Faelkin is the author, nor how to contact him... but if this is your work, feel free to contact me if you'd like additional credit (or if you don't like my posting it and want me to take it down). I think it's good work and deserves recognition. Also, it can be helpful if you're like me and agonizing (perhaps needlessly) over your trinket choice.
What the information tells me is that the Stump of Time is pretty darned good, and the Soul Casket not as much. I'll plan to sub the Chalice in for the Soul Casket when I go through my next round of reforges and see what kicks out. I'm pretty confident the Chalice will be a better choice in the long run, but even if I'm wrong... it is pretty much rated the same as the Soul Casket for me on Mr Robot, and the Chalice is a higher ilevel (meaning more overall "points" by design). I doubt I'm sacrificing anything, and it may be better. Seems like a win-win.
5 days ago