Monday, July 16, 2007

Moonkin Math

So, we've got spec out of the way. Let's talk a bit more about gear and habits.

Now, I've seen a couple posts on the WoW forums and elsewhere saying that the order in which you need stats is (in order of priority) Spell Hit, Spell Damage, Spell Crit. Usually, Int/Spirit/MP5 usually are tossed in somewhere after that in varying orders.

The problem that I have with most of these is that, in all the math examples I've seen, they do not calculate in the effect of some of the most essential Balance talents.

For example, Nature's grace. Reduces the next casting time by .5 seconds. Let's say that I'm casting Starfires, and I'm getting about 1600 damage per cast, non crit. My crit rating for starfires is, say, 20%. So, ten casts later:

8*1600 + 2*3200 = 19,200 damage /30 seconds = roughly 640dps.

Now, if we calculate in Nature's grace, we save 1 second of casting. 9,200/29 sec = 662 DPS.

Let's apply it to another 30 second scenario. Wrath this time, say 1000 damage, 2k on crit, over 30 seconds. For the sake of simplicity, let's keep the 20% crit rate.

16*1000 + 4*2000 = 24,000 damage / 30 seconds = roughly 800dps. Factor in Nature's grace, and it becomes 24,000 damage / 28 seconds = 857dps.

So basically, the more you crit, the more the time reduction boosts your damage output per second. Thus, spell crit scales not just because of higher damage hits, but because of more frequent hits.

So, what's most important? I don't think you can say one singular thing, as with our talents there are multiple paths to acheive the same goal. There are, however, a couple things to pursue.

1) Spell damage - Any way you can get it. Because of the large number of Balance talents that boost spell damage you have, moonkin scale very well at 500+ spell damage.

2) Intellect - Raw mana pool, spell damage, crit chance, and mana regen all in one. Intellect is your god. Don't neglect other areas, but make sure you've got a bunch here.

3) Spell crit - because of balance talents, spell crit becomes more valuable to us than many other classes. Doubled crit damage bonus + nature's grace is a wonderful thing.

4) Spell hit - with a caveat. If you have 2 points in Balance of Power, your spell hit will cap out on raid bosses at about 150 spell hit. There is never a reason to get more.

5) Mana/5 - Neglect this at your peril. We've come a long way, but mana issues can still plague moonkin specced druids. Do your math to make sure you have the endurance for long boss fights.

6) Spirit - With appropriate talents, this will add to your mana regen during combat. However, it's a far step down from intellect in most cases.

7) Spell penetration - I've seen conflicting information, and haven't been able to figure out a way to test it myself in any reasonable experiement, so let me just say this: There is a good amount of evidence that spell penetration has absolutely no effect in PvE. There is still some lingering doubts, so don't take that as gospel - but I personally will be investing in Spell Hit before penetration.

My personal take? I prioritize Int and Spell damage, put spell crit and hit on about the same level, though as I gain more spell hit I will be focusing more on improving crit.


So, that's what you're looking for out of your gear. So what is a typical fight like?

There are two cast sequences that I use. Since I generally don't have mana issues, I tend to use the slightly less mana efficent, higher DPS sequence.

Open with Faerie Fire, but do not repeat until it is down
Insect Swarm, Moonfire, Wrath x6, repeat

For a still high DPS, but saving a bit on mana efficiency, go with the following
Insect Swarm, Starfire x4, repeat

Theoretically, the starfire sequence DPS will catch up with the wrath DPS. However, this will be around +2000 Spell damage, so don't hold your breath. :)


shika said...

Does Nature's Grace really reduce the cast time for Wrath spam? I think I have seen claims that it does not because of the global cooldown. Any convincing evidence either way?

Jason said...

All I can offer is personal experience. Occasionally I'll go to hit wrath after Nature's grace and it will tell me "that spell isn't ready yet." Most of the time, it doesn't. I know that on a lucky string of crits I once pushed out 8 wraths in 10 seconds (and promptly pulled aggro). The global cooldown is supposedly 1.5 seconds. I'm not sure if there's some built in leeway or what, but it seems that it sometimes kicks in on me, but usually doesn't.

For the record, I normally hover around the 75-100ms latency area, so latency most likely isn't the cause.

All I can suggest is to try it out yourself. Go visit Dr. Boom and smack him until you're sure how it's working for you. :)

Fiordhraoi said...

*hits Google for logging him in under the wrong account*

That was me. :P

Mera said...

Im resto atm, but since Im levelling an alt to be balance - it looks fun, and is slightly unusual.

Am i wrong in thinking you are Gm of Aertherial Circle? If you are, grats on the T4 gloves.

Im really likin your blog btw - kudos to the balance druid.

On the note of Nature's grace n wrath, in theory you would be capped by global coolodown.

Global cooldown is 1.5 seconds for everyone except pussycat druids n rogues, so if you cast wrath, and it crits, the GC generated by it would be over, by the time it casts.
The next wrath would have natures grace, so it would have a one second cast, and 1/2 a sec of GC after the cast, meaning in theory, it wouldnt be possible to cast back to back, 3 wraths in row, if the first two were crits.

Fiordhraoi said...

Yes, I'm the AC GM, and danke for the kind words.

As I mentioned, the global cooldown is "officially" 1.5 secs, but numerous times I have been able to spam 3-4 wraths consecutively without the .5 second delay in between. Why, I'm not sure. Sometimes it does indeed interrupt me with the "spell is not ready" thing. Most of the time it doesn't.

If you find yourself experiencing a hole in your casting because of the extra .5 seconds, a good thing to do would be to cast wrath until you crit, then cast Starfire whenever you do so.

Mera said...

Do you have any +hit gear? Beyond a 4% increase from talents, your armoury isnt showing any +gear - i think you may want to start rollin on some mage pieces, cos with talents, and without +hit gear, you are only lookin hitting a boss 97% of the time - i did some theory craftin, and your're losin about 15% dps over what you would have if you maxed hit rating.

Fiordhraoi said...

I don't have much in the way of +hit gear at the moment. It's something I'm working on filling. Believe me, I'm aware of the gap. Seeing "resist" pisses me off to no end. :)

Hoofio said...

Hey, nice blog...

1 question though. You never really seem to come down on one side or the other in Intellect vs +SD. I always thought if push came to shove go for Int but my guildies disagree...

Put it this way: +30int or +40SD on weap?

thx and arooroo :)

Hoofio said...

Oh, i should have said my stats to incorporate scaling:

Int: 470
+SD: 700

thx again

Anonymous said...

First of all I do wanna say u shed light on many topics not known to the common boomkin and give great advice on them, but I do wish to make a suggestion of giving more notice to mana regen. After looking at your gear and noticing both the 2 piece set bonus of T4 and an Alchemists Stone that no wonder mana regen is not a problem for you =)

But without those things mana regen is very sad for boomkins not blessed with such things and i would reccomend a spec change getting the full points in "Intensity" under the resto tree. Other than that I do say I enjoyed reading this blog and finally finding another boomkin that knows how to play his toon very very well and I did learn a few things. If you wish to look me up on the armory I am Panzeriv, Tauren Druid on Medivh of "The Stacked Deck."