Elemental, Shaman, Theorycraft, WoW

Elemental stats: Haste and spell rotation

This is part two of a series on stats and, by remarkable coincidence, also part two of a post on the haste stat.  How very convenient.  The previous post dealt in some depth with the ins and outs of haste as a stat, particularly the question of whether it was subject to “caps” or potential devaluation.  This post will talk about the effect of haste on elemental’s “rotation”.

The goal of the elemental shaman is to do damage.  Oh sure, we do other stuff too – we bring great buffs that we have to be careful to use correctly, we’re fantastic off/emergency healers, we can kite well and dispel stuff and purge other stuff and all sorts – but most of the time our main concern is to do as much damage as possible as quickly as possible.

This is why we develop the idea of a priority rotation of spells to use: we want to use the highest damage spells as often as possible.  Higher damage spells have a higher priority.  Actually that’s the elemental priority system right there – just use the highest damage spell available.

This wonderfully simple idea is unfortunately complicated a bit by two questions:

  • Which spells are actually the highest damage?  The game doesn’t really make it obvious.
  • What about spells with cooldowns?

As today’s post is about haste’s effect on a rotation, the main question we’ll be looking at is that second one.  We’ll talk about how the elemental rotation is founded on the Lava Burst cooldown, look at some misconceptions that are floating around about what this means, and then tidy it up into a few simple, pithy principles.

Or, that’s the theory… in reality I’m probably going to waffle on for three pages about something entirely unrelated before getting distracted by those adorable handfish again.

Foundational concepts

Time as a resource

Right, so, DPS – that is, “damage per second” – is generally the thing we try to maximise as a damage spec.  As casters, we only do damage when we cast a spell to do damage.  Rogues use an energy bar and warriors use a rage bar as the limiting factor in what abilities they can cast, but we are not limited by our mana bar; rather, our primary DPS resource is time.  Every second that passes in-game is a second we have to choose what spell to be casting.  If we’re not casting, we’re not doing damage.  This is where the old mage ABC comes from: Always Be Casting.

To do the best damage we can, we want to use our time as effectively as possible, which means casting the spells which do as much damage as possible for the time they take to cast.  This concept is referred to variously as damage per cast time (DPCT), damage per execute time (DPET) or damage per seconds casting (DPSC).  Working out DPSC is really easy – you just divide the final damage done by a spell by its cast time, or – in the case of instant cast spells – the time you spend unable to cast because of the Global Cooldown triggered.


If you open ZAP! and click on the Calculators tab, you’ll find a wee box headed “Damage per cast time”, and a list of spells and fire totems.  This list is updated for your stats and set bonuses (assuming you entered them!) and lets you compare the ‘efficiency’ of our spells’ damage on a single target.  (AoE is a special case that requires a bit more thought, but before we can talk about AoE it’s important to first have a solid grasp of the single-target concepts.)

You’ll notice that the highest DPSC comes from our two main fire totems – Fire Elemental and Searing.  Then, depending on set bonuses and glyphs, you may find that Flame Shock has the next highest DPSC, or it might be Lava Burst.  Below that will be Chain Lightning, and below that will be Lightning Bolt.  Frost Shock should be next on the list and at the very bottom will be Fire Nova.

Searing Totem (and Fire Elemental Totem) has such a high DPSC value because it only takes a second to cast but lasts for 60 (or 120) seconds.  This makes it a very efficient source of damage, but it’d be pointless to try to ‘spam’ it – that is, chain-cast it repeatedly again and again and again – because the actual DPS it does is quite low.  Its value lies in its efficiency – you spend a tiny amount of time casting it but it continues to do damage for ages afterwards.

Flame Shock is the same idea, because its high DPSC comes from the fact that you only spend a single global cooldown casting it, but it continues to do damage for quite a while as you cast other spells.  Flame Shock is also important because it causes our Lava Burst spell to do more damage when it’s up.

So while these are our most efficient damage spells, they’re also not ‘spammable’ – so our goal is to keep them active as much as possible while casting them as little as possible.  In the meantime we weave in other spells to do damage while these tick away.

The other spells on the list are all direct-damage spells which do their damage immediately you cast them, which means that their DPSC is the same as their DPS.  The highest direct-damage spell in our arsenal by a significant margin is Lava Burst.  So obviously we want to cast Lava Burst as much as possible… but we can’t just spam it either, because it’s got a cooldown.  So while we wait for Lava Burst cooldowns we have to cast other stuff to fill in the time.

That’s the elemental priority system in a nutshell.  A very large, boring nutshell.


The thing is, Lava Burst does so much damage that we want to really make sure we do cast it as soon as possible.  But we also remember that time not spent casting is time not spend doing damage.  The tension between these two principles is what gives rise to two common misconceptions in elemental circles:

Misconception 1: If the time left on Lava Burst’s cooldown is less than the cast time of Lightning Bolt (or Chain Lightning), it’s better just to wait for it to come off cooldown and not cast anything in the meantime.

Misconception 2: Because not casting = bad, we should try to get a precise amount of haste to allow us to perfectly time a certain number of Lightning Bolts (and/or Chain Lightnings) between our Lava Burst cooldowns without any cast time overlaps.  E.g. 8 second cooldown divided by 5 Lightning Bolts would require a 1.6 second cast time, so I need as much haste as will give me 1.6 second Lightning Bolts.  If I’m lower than that haste figure I desperately need to get more, and if I’m higher I desperately need to get less.

The only reason we know that these are “misconceptions” is because if we take data from the game and work it through mathematically (whether formulaically or through simulation) we can quantify all the messy, complicated inter-relationships and end up with a clear picture.

Lava Burst’s cooldown

So the elemental rotation is based around this priority system which focuses on keeping Flame Shock up and casting Lava Burst every time it’s available.  The more often Lava Burst is cast, the higher your DPS will be.  If you only cast it every 20 seconds, your DPS will really suffer.  If you manage to begin casting it the moment it comes off cooldown, your DPS will benefit.  But only provided you are always casting something.

Ages and ages ago I evaluated whether it was ever a DPS increase to not cast anything and instead wait for Lava Burst’s cooldown to expire.  The answer was a qualified yes, which actually means no.

Consider this diagram (click for the full-sized version).  It’s a timeline with one-second intervals marked, beginning with a Lava Burst cast and showing when Lava Burst’s cooldown starts and ends.  Ideally we’d want to cast Lava Burst again at the second red arrow.

Now consider this diagram.  It’s the same one, except this time “filler” Lightning Bolts have been added.  You see that the Lava Burst cooldown expires while LB is being cast, so we can’t cast Lava Burst until we finish casting the Lightning Bolt.

If we want to cast Lava Burst sooner, we have two options.  Either we wait and do nothing for a while as in this diagram:

Or we can try to better ‘fit’ the time by using a spell with a shorter cast time than Lightning Bolt.  The next highest DPSC spell we have is Chain Lightning, which has a cast time equal to the Global Cooldown.  Applying that to the diagram results in the following:

Now obviously in this simple and not entirely accurate diagram it’s this last option which is best.  But what if the gap is smaller – maybe just a few fractions of a second?


There are situations where, when the cooldown remaining on Lava Burst is only around 0.2 seconds or less, it is mathematically very slightly higher DPS (like, single/double figures) to not fill the time with another spell and push back that Lava Burst cast.  The trouble is that doing this puts you adrift of the spell queue mechanism and introduces a sudden spike of human reaction time into the equation.  In other words, that 0.2 seconds delay suddenly becomes a reaction time + network latency delay, which for most people will be about 0.3 seconds in addition to the actual gap.  So the 0.2 second delay becomes a 0.5 second delay, and the ~10 DPS gain becomes a ~100 DPS loss.

This is why it’s basically always better to follow the ABC rule: always be casting!

Adding haste

But this post is meant to be about haste, right?  Right!  So here’s the skinny.  In formulation it’s possible to chart DPS against haste rating, and see how our damage output changes as we add a little more haste, a little more haste, a little more haste, and so forth.  Well, what happens when we go from a situation like this, where Lava Burst is coming off cooldown immediately our last filler spell finishes:

…to a situation where we have just a little more haste and a nasty gap has appeared?

The answer is actually very simple.  Because of the ABC always be casting – rule, and because of what we observed above about lag, all we do is add in an extra “filler” spell.

Filler spells  & Chain Lightning

Now if we just add in another Lightning Bolt, we’d see a tiny dip in the DPS graph of a few DPS points as we suddenly delay Lava Burst compared to what it was like before.  The dip is only small because the effect of casting all your spells faster from the extra haste offsets the loss from delaying Lava Burst.  But if we add a Chain Lightning – or even two! – our DPS continues to scale pretty smoothly upwards.

This is ultimately the reason why we do or do not use Chain Lightning in a single-target rotation as elemental.  The spell’s DPSC is only a little bit higher than Lightning Bolt’s and it has complications with the spell queue at high haste, but it can be incredibly valuable because of its ability to shorten the gap between Lava Burst casts while obeying the ABC rule.


Now the situation I described a few paragraphs ago is actually almost entirely impossible in real gameplay, because it’s very very rare to gain only a couple of points of haste at a time and it’s very very unlikely that if you do gain just a couple of points of haste it’ll cause you to need to modify your “rotation”.  Normally when we find ourselves able to fit “extra” filler spells it’s after gaining a lot of haste, and the sheer amount of it makes it a big DPS increase even if we’re now delaying our Lava Burst casts by a bit more than previously.  Additionally, it’s pretty astonishingly rare to get just a tiny bit more haste without also picking up some spellpower and/or crit.  This is why it’s a bit misleading to see haste vs DPS graphs with tiny dips at certain haste ratings – so called ‘black spots’ – because those dips are just an artefact of the formulation process.  They don’t really exist in reality.


So let’s review what all this means:

  • Always Be Casting – if you’re not casting, you’re not doing damage.  (Which, so we’re clear, is Bad™.)
  • It’s never a DPS increase to wait for Lava Burst’s cooldown instead of casting a spell.
  • Minimizing the time between Lava Burst by intelligent use of filler spells – Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning – will maximise your DPS.  The potential gain is in the region of 50-200 DPS.
  • Chain Lightning is most valuable when it helps minimize this gap, and can actually be a DPS loss if it increases the gap.
  • Always remember that the elemental “rotation” is really a dynamic priority system – you have to adjust your spellcasting to the situation at hand.  Movement, lag, spell pushback, casting Flame Shock, dropping totems, and various fight mechanics all prevent us from simply counting out filler spells after each Lava cast.
  • Our instant cast spells – notably Frost Shock and Fire Nova – are lower DPS on a single target than both Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning and should only be used while moving.  They’re not helpful to reduce the time between Lava Bursts because their effective cast time is identical to Chain Lightning’s.

Above all, what this means is that getting more haste is always always always a DPS increase for your character, even if it requires you to change your rotation a bit.

And that’s it for haste as a stat!

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23 thoughts on “Elemental stats: Haste and spell rotation

  1. Thank you for confirming that my guess in adjusting my rotation to be as close to 8s was the way to go.

    I do have a small dilemma given your advice from other articles. I refer back to your Chain Lightning article:

    “Secondly, Chain Lightning caps out to the minimum GCD a lot sooner than Lightning Bolt. It only takes 15.4% haste to drive CL‘s cast time below the GCD during heroism/bloodlust; much more than that and it becomes a DPS decrease to use Chain Lightning during BL.”

    I’m now at the point where casting CL during BL is clearly a dps loss, but what about during Elemental Mastery?

    During EM my cast time on LB is 1.2s. Currently, I am weaving 1 CL into my rotation during EM. (Should’ve been two, but I hadn’t done the math before today.) I do notice the time delay between an 8.2s rotation vs an 8.4s (CL free during EM) rotation.

    Do your conclusions still hold true during EM? Should I be casting CL as a filler to get as close to an 8.0s rotation? Is it still a dps decrease to cast CL during EM? (I’ve been treating EM as a mini-BL, and thus used to not cast CL during EM.)

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Posted by Maker | May 28, 2010, 4:26 pm
    • ZAP! lets you toggle CL use during EM as well as BL, so the safest advice would be to play around with that setting and see what gives the highest DPS.

      The “CL = better if LvB = sooner” adage still applies when CL’s under the GCD cap, but the combined effect of GCD cap + spell queue fail will reduce CL’s DPSC, and thus the total DPS benefit from using it. I think the best advice is just to use it if during EM if that feels comfortable, and to cut it out if it doesn’t. Generally a rotation you’re comfortable with results in more robust DPS than a rotation you’re not comfortable with.

      Posted by Charles | May 28, 2010, 4:34 pm
  2. Awesome post!

    I often go back and forth with the CL on the rotation, but i’m finding the LB nobrainer spam to be better for me, since i play at really high latencies. i tend to lose less casts after a long fight.

    People often say that our rotation is dumb and easy, and while it may not be as complex as that of a enhacement shaman (!?) , it’s very dynamic. Every single cast counts, wich is really nice for min-maxing.

    What is really not ok with the overall rotation atm is the high variation of the Flame Shock dot timer. It floats a lot during a fight, specially during BL and EM. The 4pc of course plays a big part on helping this, but i still think it’s a bit out of control.

    Posted by Hexlol | May 28, 2010, 5:03 pm
    • I’m finding as my guild does more hard modes and as I try harder to fit in that final Lava Burst 4t10 extension that I’m using CL more than previously. I’ve never really liked using CL in my rotation and it seems somewhat counterintuitive to start now – when haste levels are so high – but the combination of more frequent Lava Bursts and getting that extra 6 second Flame Shock extension more reliably feels like it makes a difference when watching that enrage timer tick down.

      But I still regard it as a “problem” that our normal method of doing damage at t10 level is to overwrite an old Flame Shock with a new one. That’s neither elegant nor intuitive. And the fact that millisecond-long variations in lag, reaction time or whatever can make a difference between Flame Shock falling off or being extended another 6 seconds is also frustrating. On the other hand, it’s kinda fun to play around with it and push the boundaries.

      Posted by Charles | May 29, 2010, 3:39 pm
      • ohh that’s very true.
        On the “30 sec to enrage!!” on hardmodes i also switch to a bursty rotation with CL.
        It may be more psycological (callme noob) but it’s working i guess =P

        Posted by Hexlol | May 31, 2010, 6:33 pm
  3. Great post as usual Charles!
    Big fan of your work.

    You may be covering this in Part 2… But I have a question regarding the Flame Shock cooldown in relation to maximizing dps and the use of LvB.

    If FS and LvB both have 1 sec remaining (as they increasingly do with the 4pT10 bonus) is it better to

    1. Cast CL for one second then recast FS thereby delaying LvB by 1 sec because of the global CD after casting FS.


    2. Clip FS by one second so you can recast LvB and maximize it’s use as soon as it’s CD has finished.

    I’m putting my money on number 1, but would love to hear your logic.


    Posted by Ashmore (Nagrand) | May 29, 2010, 7:27 am
    • This post is part 2, actually ¬_¬ Part 3 was going to be about a different stat.

      The first thing to note – though it’s not really related to your question – is that, with 4t10, it’s generally highest DPS to cast Flame Shock right before Lava Burst. If you recast Flame Shock and then fire off a few LBs or something before LvB comes off cooldown, you get a lower duration on the DoT and thus have to recast FS sooner. The damage gained from casting FS less is offset by the damage lost from the DoT’s lower uptime, but on balance (at least, without the FS glyph) it’s the gain that wins out.

      The second thing – and this one is related to both my first point and your question :) – is that losing a tick of Flame Shock is generally less of a DPS loss than delaying a Lava Burst cast. Again, the difference is teensy weensy and can probably be affected by stats and glyphs, but generally speaking it’s better to “clip” the last tick of Flame Shock if the alternative is to delay casting Lava Burst by the length of a whole Lightning Bolt cast.

      Depending on the precise timing, however, it may be slightly higher DPS to cast Chain Lightning, avoid clipping Flame Shock and fire off Lava Burst slightly but not dramatically later.

      Now I’ve not done extensive testing of this with different stats and glyphs because it’s a real pain to do, but the differences are very very small either way – small enough that, while the above probably holds true for most combinations of stats and glyphs, it’s also not going to have much of an effect on your DPS if you find it more comfortable to do things differently. My most recent evaluation was using a 10,000 DPS model and the maximum variance was less than 30 DPS, which is 0.003%!

      Posted by Charles | May 29, 2010, 3:30 pm
  4. Want to know when u use EM and on use trinket?
    On bloodlust up or just use on engage? And continoudly every cd?
    As I just start gearing my elem set.


    Posted by Foxy | June 3, 2010, 9:15 pm
    • The priority with trinket and EM use is:
      1) Highest possible uptime – e.g., it’s better to use them 3 times than 2 times
      2) Used at best possible times – e.g., it’s better to use a trinket during a haste effect and a stand-n-nuke phase than during a movement phase

      So generally it’s best to use trinkets with Bloodlust/Heroism if possible, but it’s also better to use them more times rather than less even if you miss synchronising with Bloodlust. However, Elemental Mastery should normally not be used with Bloodlust as it’s likely to “waste” some of the total haste gain. Only use EM with BL if it’s necessary for priority (1).

      That can be summarised as:
      (1) Maximise uptime of trinkets and EM – use them as often as possible!
      (2) Use trinkets with BL or EM whenever possible, but not at the expense of (1)
      (3) Avoid using BL and EM simultaneously when possible, unless it would violate (1).

      Trinket spellpower procs are also the best time to cast your Fire Elemental totem!

      Posted by Charles | June 4, 2010, 4:29 pm
  5. Ty that solve the doubts I have earlier.

    Posted by Foxy | June 5, 2010, 8:37 am
  6. I wasn’t sure where to post this but this seems as good a place as any, as long as someone reads it :D

    Using the ZAP sheet is a great tool especially after coming from a Rogue were theory crafting was half the fun of playing the class. A few things I miss from the rogue sheets however is the ability to recreate your character in the sheet, in terms of gear, more than just the total stats. I know this is something I could do easily and add in, and I might come cata, just something I know I found made balancing stats easier than say swapping between the wowhead profiler, this sheet, and the lootrank site which I now use for my shaman. All this functionality can be performed in the sheet with the addition of a loot list like the one found in Alandria’s sheet also on EJ.

    A much more simple thing (also from something the rogue community adopted for just this reason) would be to have an option to set hit (and maybe crit since end ICC gear with twin trinkets can have too much haste) equal to haste EP. This is something I have set up in ZAP to better asses the trinkets, since the hit EP is much higher than that of haste it was giving silly results. The reason for this is not that hit is good, but that in the gear we wear hit cannot possibly be worth more than haste, since everywhere you have any haste in a gem you could replace it with hit. Setting capped stats equal like this lets you get the most out of your gear, and gem to make up the difference. When I did this (set hit EP = haste EP) and exported the values to lootrank it made picking my personal BIS set much easier. Especially when looking at trinkets.

    Just to clarify, im a troll engineer, so the haste cap im talking about is kind of a self imposed level I know I dont want to cross if I can make up for it with Crit for eg. It is too hard to keep all those CDs staggered and stay above 1sec LBs all the time otherwise.

    Posted by Zuzum | June 10, 2010, 4:28 am
    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment! I’ll try and address both points as well as I can:

      Re: Item DBs in ZAP!
      As it turns out I’m rather familiar with Aldriana’s spreadsheet as well as several other (current and past) spreadsheets – I used them, in conjunction with SEIC, to help me learn how to write spreadsheets in the first place, as well as for ideas on how to make ZAP! better. For example I actually got the idea and basic methodology for the Gem Suggester from Aldriana’s sheet.

      The trouble with loot lists is that it adds a lot of extra work to the project. I don’t (yet) have the expertise necessary to write an import script to use with armory databases or anything like that, so I’d have to manually enter every single piece of equipment myself (which would certainly result in errors in the database :( ). Similarly the end user would have to manually select every single piece of their own equipment, fill every socket and detail every enchant and that’s very time consuming.

      I’m probably going to write a spreadsheet for Elemental in Cataclysm, and if I go through with it I’ll be asking the community for feedback about what parts of ZAP! were good, bad, indifferent, should be changed or reviewed or whatever, and this issue of how exactly you enter your stats is a big one on my mind. But for the reasons above ZAP! will not feature an item database of its own this side of the expansion. Perhaps if I get my head around XML and macros over the summer and can make it work in a way that is simple and friendly enough.

      Edit: one thing I have considered is having the DEP comparison function based on item-slots instead of raw stats. That would enable me to bypass some of the problems of including a complete item DB but would also have some issues of its own that I’d have to work out.

      Re: DEP of hit rating
      Rogues and Elemental Shamans use hit rating in a very different way. For a rogue there are two “caps” in effectiveness for hit – the special (“yellow”) cap and the dual-wield (“white”) cap – and though hit is very valuable up to the first and still useful up to the second, neither is actually of crucial importance. It’s acceptable to have a varying amount of hit rating.

      For elemental (and casters in general), it’s rather different. Hit is the hands-down, unambiguously most valuable stat until the point at which your spells have 100% chance to hit… and then it’s useless, worthless, utterly devoid of merit. A 1% chance to miss is simply a 1% reduction in your DPS, and if your DPS is very high then the value of that 1% hit chance is very high. That’s why hit rating is so notoriously difficult to quantify for casters. SimulationCraft is the best tool so far for evaluating the effect of being slightly under the hit cap because of its simulated RNG.

      So as casters, we want to arrange our gear to get the minimum possible hit rating with the maximum abundance of other useful stats. This means that we essentially treat hit as a “given” which is entirely without DEP value but which we require at least 263 (or whatever) of, while trying to maximise the total DEP value of the other stats on our gear. (That’s why ZAP! shows DEP excluding hit rating as default.)

      Normalising hit rating to the value of another stat – such as haste – would not really serve any purpose because it (a) wouldn’t represent a “true” value for hit rating and (b) wouldn’t help in the selection of hit gear as we select hit gear based on the sum of non-hit stats we can accumulate while maintaining the necessary amount of hit.

      Likewise, normalising the value of crit to that of haste (or vice versa) would break the mathematical model which is designed to so carefully evaluate the usefulness of both stats. It’s fine if you want to do it yourself but it’s difficult for me to see any reason to put such a feature in the spreadsheet. It’d be tantamount to a button labelled “ignore most of the maths and assign an arbitrary value to this stat” – which seem to go somewhat against the point of the exercise 8-)

      Anyway, I hope I’ve not misunderstood you and that the above explanation makes sense. If there’s something I’ve missed or you disagree with then please feel free to point it out :)

      Posted by Charles | June 10, 2010, 2:53 pm
  7. Thanks for the reply :D

    The area of setting EPs equal for rogues was for ArP to agility, and was introduced around the time rogues were soft capping ArP with a trinket proc. At the time the gear had enough ArP to easily soft cap, however not enough to push for the hard cap, so while ArP was worth a lot more than agi up till the soft cap, it was worth much less after, and it was more than likely you would have both gemmed in your gear. The point in setting the EP of the 2 stats equal was to asses gear realistically, because you could easily gem to soft cap if you didnt quite have enough on your gear, a better itemized piece with agility with ArP gems is better than an average ArP piece with agi gems for eg.

    This was how I approached the hit/haste issue with our T10 trinkets since you have enough half yellow gems laying around in our gear to have a simmilar effect with the ArP soft cap and the caster hit cap. Once I made hit worth the other yellow stat I might gem, which is haste, I found it easier to quantify how well items really are itemized, and thankfully it spits up just enough hit items that are very well itemized to cap.

    Its really just me realizing I would rather gem hit/SP and wear better itemized pieces than 1st focus on the hit cap before working out gear, since hit and haste are equal in terms of gems, and you will be gemming haste somewhat anyway. This is vs ignoring hit or using a very large EP for hit that gives unrealistic BIS items.

    The crit – haste comment was me thinking out loud and you right its a bad idea that ignores the whole point of the sheet :P even more than playing with hit EP because it caps and we have such inflated gear levels vs the cap.

    Hope that makes more sense ><

    Posted by Zuzum | June 10, 2010, 10:55 pm
    • Aye, it does make more sense, but I’d still approach hit as a zero-sum stat even though I usually resort to gems to cap hit myself (as it tends to be the most efficient way to get close to the cap). lrdx’s ESSE actually has a hit cap calculator thing which is quite cool and allows you to enter a range of gear/gem options for each slot and then work out which combination is best for hit. I’m tempted to try something like that for ZAP!, but it probably wouldn’t appear until 2.0.

      Haste-wise, my understanding is that even a troll engineer will not see a significant devaluing of haste in ICC gear. Maybe if we had some BiS haste-proc trinkets that’d be different, but I don’t think the haste from Hyperspeed with its meagre uptime is enough to seriously drive down the value of haste in most circumstances. Though, of course, YMMV. What kind of uptime do you feel you get with all your haste effects?

      Thanks for the rogue comment, I’d forgotten about the spell hit cap for poisons. I’ve not played a rogue for many years :) There’s enough to think about for elemental shamans, really ¬_¬

      Posted by Charles | June 11, 2010, 12:50 am
      • I found zerking + EM was already slightly too much, so split them up, but still use EM and the accelerators together.

        Im still a long way off the gear I have available to me as I was gearing as resto till 2 weeks ago, so my haste will only go up.

        In general I start with a FS, LvB, then EM + accelerators which lasts an additional 2 LvB rotations, then zerking as it comes down. The first set of CDs take my LBs to 1.1 rounded up, and zerking to 1.0 rounded down (by quartz) Thats all with similar haste to your toon.

        The accelerators and EM never quite sync up again so once the haste totem is fully stacked which might push stacking them to be bad, its not an issue. From then I just use them all on CD but always seem to have something up or coming up in the next min. With BL in there as-well I feel like I have enough time under these effects to not want to pass the 1100ish haste before the totem.

        ZAP seemed to start to devalue haste at 1200+totem where it tends back to 1.66ish with crit, for me anyway. I just want to set my toon up so its a little more forgiving as Im lucky to have my ping under 300 which sucks more the faster your spells are >_<. I dont really want to push so close to the GCD during most of these effects due to the way the game locks letting you try to cast a spell till a second has passed regardless of latency, so my client side locked GCD stops me spamming the server in time to make use of the very top end of the haste. Thats my understanding anyway.

        Im going to go look that up right now though to double check which side has the lock out :P

        Those hit tools look cool too, thanks for the tips :D

        Posted by Zuzum | June 11, 2010, 3:20 am
      • Looking into it further people dont seem to have looked much at what happens when you are GCD capped at 1 second and casting a 1 second spell, and what the server-client relationship is, but there seems to be some consensus on that the GCD is in fact on the server, and it tries to account for your latency too.

        How does it work in your minds? I was under the impression the 1sec hard cap was part of the client to reduce traffic actually sent to the server, but this seems wrong now. The only classes I can think that regularly sit at the GCD for real are rogues, who are not GCD restrained anyway so dont care enough to do this, and Disc priests. Looking into the disc priest ideas on it some people are saying they are restrained by lag more than their own reactions, so im not sure what to think >_<

        Posted by Zuzum | June 11, 2010, 4:41 am
      • I actually wrote a series of posts on lag and the spell queue, and its relationship with GCD capped spells. You can find that here as parts one, two and three. The model assumed by SimCraft is that the GCD is locked by the server rather than the client, which is to say the client won’t accept any further input under the GCD until the server sends a message saying it can. There is some conflicting data but it’s nearly impossible to test it.

        If you select “Troll” under “Racial bonus” and “Yes” to “Engineer” in ZAP! (and 2t10 if relevant), it does actually string all the haste effects together one after the other for maximum uptime and use the results to calculate the DEP for haste. So this is already accounted for in the DEP results without you having to add, say, 340 haste, see what the effect on DEP is and then try to work out how much of the fight that’s active for – it’s all worked out automatically.

        In this post I talk at some length about the existence or otherwise of haste caps and what happens when you’re at high haste, high latency and starting to string a bunch of haste cooldowns together.

        Posted by Charles | June 11, 2010, 11:53 am
      • Oooh lots of posts. Ill have a look see, you already helped me a ton though, thanks Charles! Sorry for all the unrelated posts in this thread.

        Posted by Zuzum | June 13, 2010, 9:30 pm
  8. Also after re-reading the rogue hit cap stuff, I dont wanna clutter up this thread but im sure as a theory crafter you might care to understand other classes the best you can too :D

    There’s actually 3 points where a rogues hit caps something. 8% (with 5 from talents its like 100 rating or something really small) is the special cap, and under this I would almost say its more valuable than casters hit, however you have to have pretty skewed gear to have less than 100 hit with leather.

    Then there’s the 17% caster hit, which is the poison hit cap, and this is where most rogues aim, its worth enough to gear but not enough to gem up to this point, the true hard cap for duel wielding is stupid and because you dont miss with specials or poisons after spell hit cap any more is very minor vs the other stats out there.

    Posted by Zuzum | June 10, 2010, 11:08 pm
  9. Itching to get your take on the new talent trees, Charles! I know not much has changed for us lightning spammers, but still, I want to see what you come up with as far as level 85 Cata builds.

    Posted by Ishdarei | June 11, 2010, 5:36 pm
  10. Do you have any thoughts on the new Ruby Sanctum trinket?

    Posted by Crimsin | June 17, 2010, 11:56 pm


  1. Pingback: Elemental stats: Crit « Planet of the Hats - July 24, 2010

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