Thursday, December 6, 2012

Up Time Follow Up

A little follow-up from yesterday's post. There was some great discussion in the comments section, but K-bear followed up with some more information for me. She slid a pair of logs across my metaphorical desk. One from her again, and one from another Aff'lock raider in a group she really respects as being "good."

She's been holding down the 3/4 slot on the meters in her raids with ~38k DPS. Solid middle-of-the-pack performance, but because we like to conjecture about all things warlockery, we're going to analyze things.

The other Warlock was also in the 3 spot in his/her raid. In both raids, the top two characters perform over 60k DPS. In Warlock 2's (W2) raid, though, our Warlock is giving chase with ~62k DPS.

Now, first things first. This is not a scientific study we're talking about here. For instance, I'm totally ignoring the gear component here. From our conversations, I'm pretty sure W2 out gears dear K-bear. I'm also ignoring important things like group composition, fight mechanics, etc, etc. There are plenty of important things that I'm just blissfully ignoring, so take this with a grain of fel salt.

The reason this is worth mentioning is because I believe we're comparing two pretty competent Warlock players. One is still sort of getting the feel of Affliction (because she bounces around specs), and the other is probably more comfortable. Here's what I saw.

The Big Three up time was pretty much the same. This is as expected. If we were handing out a "ready to raid" badge for Warlocks, mastery of the Big Three would probably be the primary criteria. As I scrolled down, though, I found some tentative proof of my suspicions. MG up time for W2 was around 40%. K-bear was only hitting around 20% up time for MG. That's a huge difference. Does it account for 24k DPS? Probably not, but I would bet as K-bear gains comfort and increases that MG up time, her DPS shoots up accordingly.

It was interesting that the Haunt up time for both was around 50%. No change, despite the increased MG up time. K admitted that she was a little Haunt happy during the fight, so her 50% may not have been efficiently obtained. Perhaps she would have been served better letting that drop a bit and focusing more on MG.

Like I said, this is just conjecture, but I think it's interesting if you're a raiding Warlock. Hopefully, you can consult your own logs and try to identify places where you can improve. I'd love to get more numbers so that maybe some day we could make a statement like: "Yeah, in typical fights you should have around 40% up time for MG." Or something like that. I don't have enough info yet, and there are a ton of variables that I'm not considering, but I think it provides a good place to focus.

MG is new and integrated even more into our DoTs than Shadowbolts ever were, and figuring out ways to squeeze in more s-bolts used to be a valuable pursuit as far as DPS increase was concerned. The way MG supports our DoTs, it's not simply a matter of added damage from the spell itself, but of the buff to all of our DoTs as well. It's all tied together. Doubling your MG up time should definitely provide a significant DPS increase.


  1. I should have more numbers after next week when I am back to raiding as Aff.

    I got a new helm last night that is a very nice Aff upgrade so it should help out a bit.

  2. Awesome. Maybe I'll be able to get some numbers of my own one of these days. :-)

  3. Heya Fulg,

    Enjoyed the discussion on DoT uptime. Yep, Nick was correct on your last post. Nightfall procs (shards) occur from a 5% chance on a Corruption tick only. When you toss MG on (to speed up the process of the ticks with Corrpution) and add the fact that you'll actually have more tick time available as well - you will get more Nightfall procs using MG!

    I'll tell you what I'm finding for Trash Mobs. If you have a group of five or more that will live <2 minute and not <30 secs. I like SB: CotE, followed by SB: SoC to get Corruption rolling on all of them. Then I've been tinkering with spamming SoC on as many mobs as I can and then popping Harvest Life. The quick dps from HL on all of the mobs at once makes the seeds pop at roughly the same time. Mwhahahaha! It's glorious.

    It's odd, but I've noticed some fight where even though I'm doing a full rotation, Nightfall procs still seem few and far between. This problem has occured enough that I'm going to start paying more closer attention to it!

  4. Yeah. I'm just remembering back in the day when finding ways to squeeze in shadowbolts was a bit deal as far as improving raiding DPS. Once I had the basics down, that was sort of my key metric. In MoP, it seems that MG has become even more important with how it improves everything.

  5. Try to keep 3 shards at all times. When Nightfall procs, use that 4th shard on Haunt. Use those 3 shards when trinkets proc (Darkmoon>Cosmos) on 1x SB:SS for more powerful dots and 2x Haunt>MG(DS). After self-buffs are gone, maintain normal MG until you are back to 3 shards. Rinse and repeat.

    You don't need to use a shard for SB:SS when using just Darksoul/Bloodlust. Just 3x Haunt>MG(DS). But I'd recommend refreshing Unstable Affliction before using those self-buffs as it is always the one dot falling off.

    Lastly, abuse Drain Soul on adds. If you know you are going to get 4 free shards from an add, then go crazy with your shards.

  6. @Anon - Is there some sort of glyph that allows you to have four shards? If so, apparently I missed that. Admittedly, I've not looked to hard at glyphs, yet.

    Otherwise, I believe what you're describing is a higher level shard management schema. That is to say, it sounds pretty complicated, but well-reasoned. I would need to get comfortable with the basics first before diving into this whole "when to refresh ideally" thing. I've heard the "affdots" addon is invaluable for this.

    Personally, I think they should not require a cast refresh for self-buffs to take effect. They should fix it so that each DoT tick simply takes any new information into account. I don't know that they ever will, but that's my opinion. We already have a pretty challenging class.

  7. I've been told that there is, indeed, such a glyph. So yeah. Fail on my part. Just didn't care when I was leveling.

  8. Shard management sounds complicated. But it's really not.

    Simply put, we are burning shards when we have increased Int/spellpower/Mastery from procs. Then we are pooling shards for the next time we have procs.

    The only reason we burn a shard when we have 4 is so we dont cap ourselves. We want don't want to waste Nightfall procs.

    Does that sound easier?

  9. Sure does. How do you track your procs?

    1. Presently I use Power Auras addon to show when trinkets procs. I use a white symbol for the Darkmoon and a red symbol for Cosmos. When both are procing at the same time, it makes an 'X'.

      But I do not use a timer to show internal cooldowns. I am not that pro and do not raid competitively anymore.

    2. Right on. Thanks for the suggestion.

  10. Fulguralis said "Personally, I thnk they should not require a cast refresh for self-buffs to take effect. They should fix it so that each DoT tick simply takes any new information into account."

    I agree. Debuffs have always worked this way. Our damage on bosses are always being adjusted. But self-buffs have always required us to recast to take advantage of them. But I guess that is what makes it exciting for some.

    Also managing self-buffs is something that separates veteran locks from newer ones. The difference is that more experienced locks will recast dots before self-buffs expire and then let the more powerful dots tick for near full duration.

  11. Yeah, exciting or a pain in the butt. :-)