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Talent Choices, DPS, and Stat Weights (5.4 - T16H)

Usual disclaimer: the following information is as of Mists of Pandaria 5.4 Release (build 17345), scheduled to be released on September 10, 2013. If another patch comes out or hotfixes are put in place these results may not be 100% valid!

There have been fewer big changes to how Shadow functions as a spec in 5.4 than there was in 5.2, however, there have been a number of numbers-tuning changes that have a significant impact on what talents are best suited to different encounter types. This shift is, mostly, back towards the 5.0 / T14 paradigm of multiple talents being valid (albeit for specific encounter types) and further away from Solace and Insanity and Divine Insight for 90% of encounters.

I have run simulations on the classic encounter types (Patchwerk, Ultraxion, Light Movement, Heavy Movement, and Helter Skelter on both 1 and 2 target), but for the first iteration of this post / patch writeup, I have also added two more sets of simulations: Big Add and Little Adds. Both of these sets use the same movement types as the baseline profiles and are also done using 1 and 2 primary boss targets.

  • The 'Big Add' type simulation is defined as having an extra add spawning once every minute (beginning @ time=30sec) and taking 20sec to be killed.
  • The 'Little Adds' type simulation is defined as having three extra adds spawning every 45sec (beginning @ time=45sec) and taking 10sec to kill.

During both of these, the profile is set to multidot and AoE appropriately as needed.

Additionally, as with the last release of this writeup, the profile used has the following qualities (with a few alterations): neutral race (Night Elf), neutral professions (Enchanting/Alchemy), 3 Shadow Orbs at the beginning of combat (this is a change), and both upscaling and downscaling of stats (Int, Spell Power, Haste, Crit, and Mastery; Hit is only downscaled).

A few more notes about the profile used in these simulations:

  • The profile consisted of all 572 (Heroic Warforged) items with 0/2 upgrades. The exception to this was the Legendary Cloak which was upgraded 2/2. This is to get an idea of where our gear is scaling with a lot of secondary stats, but not scaling up to 'max' since any scaling discovered after that point is useless (you'd already be in Best in Slot gear!).
  • The caster Amplification trinket, Purified Bindings of Immerseus, is equipped, granting 8.35794% additional Haste rating, Mastery rating, Spirit, and Crit Damage.
  • The profile is both Hitcapped (technically 14.99%) and GCD Capped (technically slightly over). After this, Crit and Mastery have been split as close to a 1:1 ratio as possible through reforging and gemming.

With that being said, lets start out by looking at the first of the six report groupings, 1-target encounters with no adds first:

DPS by Type and Talents (No Adds)

  Highest Lowest Delta Delta%
Heavy Movement - 1 Target (No Adds) 256,649
MB+DI
193,528
MFI+ToF
63,121 24.59%
HelterSkelter - 1 Target (No Adds) 263,830
MFI+DI
253,891
FDCL+PI
9,939 3.77%
Light Movement - 1 Target (No Adds) 307,300
MFI+ToF
286,980
FDCL+DI
20,320 6.61%
Patchwerk - 1 Target (No Adds) 314,933
MFI+ToF
292,059
FDCL+DI
22,874 7.26%
Ultraxion - 1 Target (No Adds) 315,074
MFI+ToF
291,885
FDCL+DI
23,189 7.36%

There are a few trends that are visible from this data immediately, most notable of which is the dominance of Mind Flay (Insanity) in all of the encounter types other than Heavy Movement, and,From Darkness, Comes Light being the worst across the board (especially when paired with Divine Insight). HelterSkelter encounters, with 1 target, remain a tossup with the least variance between the talent combinations. Twist of Fate is consistently showing up as the highest DPS talent out of the T5/Level75 talent choices, showing that the wild gaps and trends are largely caused by the T3/Level45 talents.

What do our stat weights look like in this 1-target (no adds) encounter situation, though?

Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats (No Adds)Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats Table (No Adds)

Hit (and to a more extreme thanks to the Amplification trinket, Spirit) is king again for the first time since ICC. Haste, now that we're at the GCD Cap, is significantly lower than both Crit and Mastery.

Now is as good of a time as any to point out a few general trends in the data overall (that will be seen in subsequent encounter charts):

  • Hit/Spirit is the most important it has been at any point in the last two expansions.
  • Haste, once at GCD cap, loses its importance regardless of how many adds or movement.
  • Encounter types that have Mind Flay (Insanity) as the T3/Level45 talent will favor Mastery heavily, while encounter types that have From Darkness, Comes Light as the T3/Level45 talent will favor Crit heavily.

Now let's move on to the first of the new sim sets, 1-target with a Big Add:

DPS by Type and Talents (Big Add)

  Highest Lowest Delta Delta%
Heavy Movement - 1 Target (Big Add) 292,467
FDCL+DI
216,836
MFI+ToF
75,631 25.86%
HelterSkelter - 1 Target (Big Add) 287,309
MFI+DI
278,081
FDCL+PI
9,228 3.21%
Light Movement - 1 Target (Big Add) 325,529
MFI+ToF
312,198
FDCL+PI
13,331 4.10%
Patchwerk - 1 Target (Big Add) 335,512
MFI+ToF
316,350
FDCL+DI
19,162 5.71%
Ultraxion - 1 Target (Big Add) 335,850
MFI+ToF
316,206
FDCL+DI
19,644 5.85%

The introduction of a Big Add with ~33% uptime has not only increased damage (as to be expected) but has also tightened the deltas between the best and worst talent choices. Divine Insight continues to have a good showing in encounters with movement while Mind Flay (Insanity) and Twist of Fate still hold strong overall.

Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats (Big Add)Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats Table (Big Add)

Adding an additional target, even part time, appears to be lowering the value of Mastery while the other stats remain constant. This is attributed, in part, to Mind Flay (Insanity) doing less damage overall due to it being a pure single-target ability.

But what happens when we go from 1 Big add to 3 Little adds?

DPS by Type and Talents (Little Adds)

  Highest Lowest Delta Delta%
Heavy Movement - 1 Target (Little Adds) 279,968
MB+DI
205,721
MFI+ToF
74,247 26.52%
HelterSkelter - 1 Target (Little Adds) 279,339
MFI+DI
267,002
FDCL+PI
12,337 4.42%
Light Movement - 1 Target (Little Adds) 320,656
MFI+ToF
306,888
FDCL+DI
13,768 4.29%
Patchwerk - 1 Target (Little Adds) 325,772
MFI+ToF
310,087
FDCL+DI
15,685 4.81%
Ultraxion - 1 Target (Little Adds) 321,038
MFI+ToF
302,666
FDCL+PI
18,372 5.72%

Having three short-lived adds to DoT against and take attention away from the main target has an expected effect of overall slightly lower DPS when compared to the one big add scenario. Damage is leveled out even more between the talents with yet more targets being added. It is very interesting, and expected, to note that when there are many little adds to DoT and you have a lot of movement, Divine Insight really begins to shine.

Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats (Little Adds)Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats Table (Little Adds)

Following the existing trends of the other 1-target sim types, Mastery is still outperforming Crit in short-term gains due to the higher prevalence of Mind Flay (Insanity) in top-performing talent combinations.

Lets now take a look at the 2-target sims, starting again with those that have zero add spawns that require DPS.

DPS by Type and Talents (2 DoT - No Adds)

  Highest Lowest Delta Delta%
Heavy Movement - 2 Target (No Adds) 366,274
FDCL+DI
341,069
MFI+ToF
25,205 6.88%
HelterSkelter - 2 Target (No Adds) 356,510
FDCL+DI
345,954
MFI+PI
10,556 2.96%
Light Movement - 2 Target (No Adds) 388,302
MFI+ToF
380,998
MB+PI
7,304 1.88%
Patchwerk - 2 Target (No Adds) 401,538
MFI+ToF
389,225
FDCL+PI
12,313 3.07%
Ultraxion - 2 Target (No Adds) 401,496
MFI+ToF
387,123
MB+PI
14,373 3.58%

Having two targets to constantly have Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch ticking on levels out the difference between talent choices significantly in low-movement situations. For encounters that are Patchwerk-esque, though, the value of Twist of Fate rises significantly as there is more overall damage coming from DoTs rather than nuke spells; this is espeically true since, with the release of 5.4, Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch have received noticable damage increases.

Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats (2 Target - No Adds)Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats Table (2 Target - No Adds)

We're finally seeing some cases where Crit is beginning to edge out Mastery, albeit slightly. This is largely due toFrom Darkness, Comes Light emerging as the best T3/Level45 talent choice for encounters with high amounts of movement as well as the second choice for more Patchwerk-esque encounters.

Moving along now on to 2-target + 1 Big Add...

DPS by Type and Talents (Big Add)

  Highest Lowest Delta Delta%
Heavy Movement - 2 Target (Big Add) 392,284
FDCL+DI
367,862
MFI+PI
24,422 6.23%
HelterSkelter - 2 Target (Big Add) 382,858
MB+DI
371,304
MFI+PI
11,554 3.02%
Light Movement - 2 Target (Big Add) 417,527
MB+ToF
406,403
FDCL+PI
11,124 2.66%
Patchwerk - 2 Target (Big Add) 432,653
MFI+ToF
413,021
FDCL+PI
19,632 4.54%
Ultraxion - 2 Target (Big Add) 431,439
MB+ToF
409,391
FDCL+PI
22,048 5.11%

Having an extra non-permenant target to proc Twist of Fate, increasing its uptime notiably, is not only dragging Twist of Fate out of the cellar of talent options for fights with high movement but also causes it's lead to increase substantially in encounters with less movement. It is also worth noting that the value of Mindbender is creeping up slowly in encounters where there is a lot going on (Helter Skelter).

Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats ((2 Target - Big Add)Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats Table ((2 Target - Big Add)

Crit is still edging out Mastery in importance, but the gap has certainly closed. Having an extra target to cast an extra Vampiric Touch on reduces the value of From Darkness, Comes Light and therefore reduces the value of Crit as well. It is also worth noting that the value of Haste has started to rise slightly thanks to Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch rolling on additional targets.

There is one final case remaining where 5 targets are out at one time: 2-target + 3 Little Adds.

DPS by Type and Talents (2 Target - Little Adds)

  Highest Lowest Delta Delta%
Heavy Movement - 2 Target (Little Adds) 388,823
FDCL+ToF
332,338
MFI+ToF
56,485 14.53%
HelterSkelter - 2 Target (Little Adds) 369,773
MB+DI
355,664
MFI+PI
14,109 3.82%
Light Movement - 2 Target (Little Adds) 405,607
MB+DI
396,742
FDCL+PI
8,865 2.19%
Patchwerk - 2 Target (Little Adds) 416,368
MB+ToF
399,514
FDCL+PI
16,854 4.05%
Ultraxion - 2 Target (Little Adds) 410,218
MB+ToF
391,682
FDCL+PI
18,536 4.52%

Not surprisingly,From Darkness, Comes Light is still holding strong for encounters where there are a lot of movement with Mindbender hot on its heels. Twist of Fate still maintains a sizable lead for all encounter types with these little adds, though Divine Insight is a viable alternative if there is a lot of movement.

Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats (2 Target - Little Adds)Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats Table (2 Target - Little Adds)

As for stat weights, Crit is still edging out Mastery with Haste's value trending upwards just as it was with 1 Big Add.

So what does this all mean from a talent selection point of view?

  • Twist of Fate is our bread and butter once again. If there is low movement or any adds that you can use to proc this the value only goes up.
  • Mind Flay (Insanity) is still very powerful, especially in situations with no movement and/or high burst is required.
  • The increased proc rate of From Darkness, Comes Light cements it as the talent you want for any encounter that has high amounts of movement with few adds. If there are many adds you won't be able to use all of the procs and may miss-use GCDs casting Mind Spike instead of other abilities in an effort to not 'waste' procs.
  • If there is high movement and a lot of targets, Mindbender may be a better choice, especially when combined with Divine Insight (and avoiding using Vampiric Touch on all targets). In this instance, Mindbender's mana regen will make up for the loss of regen from Vampiric Touch all while increasing the number of Divine Insight procs and, therefore, the number of Devouring Plagues cast.
  • Power Infusion just doesn't scale like it used to since the RPPM changes came in to effect in 5.4. Unless you need to have on-demand burst DPS and can sacrifice constant DPS to get it, you won't want to take Power Infusion.

What's the overall trend of stat weights looking like, though? Single target (+adds) leans towards Mastery, while Two Target (+adds) is leaning more towards Crit with a dash of Haste value increases. Lets have a look at the composite values:

Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats (Combined)Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats Table (Combined)

Overall you can see that Crit and Mastery are, for all intents and purposes, equal in value. The largest factor in deciding how to gear is based on what talents you will be using the most with, as stated before, Mind Flay (Insanity) favoring Mastery and From Darkness, Comes Light favoring Crit. Hit also should not be overlooked as it is right in line with the value of Int. In case you didn't catch that, allow me to make this painfully obvious and excruciatingly clear: there is absolutely no excuse to NOT be hitcapped.

With all of this being said, here is my recommendation for gearing priority for 5.4 once you have T16 2P:

Int > Spell Power > Hit (to 15%) > Haste (to GCD Cap) > Crit = Mastery > Haste

Notes and Resources


A full list of raw simulation data used to produce these results can be found here (dated 20130904): http://www.howtopriest.com/blog/resources/2013/09_september/

Continue the discussion at HowToPriest.com in the H2P-Blog Forums!

Interested in a specific topic to be covered here on the blog? Email us at blog@howtopriest.com or PM Derevka or Twintop

Enchant, Profession Perk, & Racial Values (Patch 5.4)

Below is a list of enchants/enhancements for all pieces of gear, profession perks, and racial bonuses in Mists of Pandaria as of September 7, 2013 for Patch 5.4. Items for enchanting which are bold and purple are exclusively usable by the profession listed as a 'profession perk'. All enchants listed are from either Cataclysm or Mists of Pandaria.

Please note that, at this time, these numbers assume you DO NOT have an Amplification trinket equipped. Expect to see an update Soon(tm) with more details about this.

Jump to Section:
 

PP Values of Stats

Stat PP Value
Intellect 1.00
Spell Power 0.75
Hit/Spirit/Expertise 0.58
Haste 0.50
Crit 0.65
Mastery 0.66
DPS 0.12

Shoulder

Enchant Name PP Value Source
Secret Crane Wing Inscription 585.00 PP Inscription
Greater Crane Wing Inscription 265.00 PP Inscription
Crane Wing Inscription 172.00 PP Inscription
Felfire Inscription 142.50 PP Inscription
Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone 62.50 PP Therazane
Lesser Inscription of Charged Lodestone 40.00 PP Therazane
 

Cloak

Enchant Name PP Value Source
Lightweave Embroidery 526.32 PP Tailoring
Enchant Cloak - Superior Intellect 180.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Cloak - Superior Critical Strike 117.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Cloak - Accuracy 104.40 PP Enchanting
Enchant Cloak - Greater Intellect 50.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Cloak - Greater Critical Strike 42.25 PP Enchanting
Enchant Cloak - Critical Strike 32.50 PP Enchanting
Enchant Cloak - Intellect 30.00 PP Enchanting
 

Chest

Enchant Name PP Value Source
Enchant Chest - Glorious Stats 126.40 PP Enchanting
Enchant Chest - Mighty Spirit 116.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats 31.60 PP Enchanting
Enchant Chest - Mighty Stats 23.70 PP Enchanting
Enchant Chest - Exceptional Spirit 23.20 PP Enchanting
 

Bracers

Enchant Name PP Value Source
Fur Lining - Intellect 500.00 PP Leatherworking
Enchant Bracer - Super Intellect 180.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Bracer - Mastery 112.20 PP Enchanting
Enchant Bracer - Mighty Intellect 50.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Bracer - Greater Critical Strike 42.25 PP Enchanting
Enchant Bracer - Greater Speed 32.50 PP Enchanting
Enchant Bracer - Critical Strike 32.50 PP Enchanting
Enchant Bracer - Speed 25.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Bracer - Exceptional Spirit
Enchant Bracer - Greater Expertise
Enchant Bracer - Precision
26.50 PP Enchanting
 

Gloves

Enchant Name PP Value Source
Enchant Gloves - Superior Mastery 112.20 PP Enchanting
Enchant Gloves - Superior Expertise 98.60 PP Enchanting
Enchant Gloves - Greater Haste 85.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Gloves - Greater Mastery 42.90 PP Enchanting
Enchant Gloves - Mastery 33.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Gloves - Greater Expertise 29.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Gloves - Haste 25.00 PP Enchanting
 

Pants

Enchant Name PP Value Source
Master's Spellthread
Greater Cerulean Spellthread
393.25 PP Tailoring
Sanctified Spellthread
Greater Pearlescent Spellthread
380.70 PP Tailoring
Cerulean Spellthread 235.00 PP Tailoring
Pearlescent Spellthread 228.00 PP Tailoring
Powerful Ghostly Spellthread 126.90 PP Tailoring
Powerful Enchanted Spellthread 95.00 PP Tailoring
Ghostly Spellthread 81.10 PP Tailoring
Enchanted Spellthread 55.00 PP Tailoring
 

Boots

Enchant Name PP Value Source
Enchant Boots - Greater Precision 101.50 PP Enchanting
Enchant Boots - Pandaren's Step 92.40 PP Enchanting
Enchant Boots - Greater Haste 87.50 PP Enchanting
Enchant Boots - Mastery 33.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Boots - Precision 29.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Boots - Haste 25.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Boots - Lavawalker 23.10 PP Enchanting
 

Ring

Enchant Name PP Value Source
Enchant Ring - Greater Intellect 160.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Ring - Intellect 40.00 PP Enchanting
 

Weapon

Enchant Name PP Value Source
Enchant Weapon - Jade Spirit 806.670 PP Enchanting
Enchant Weapon - Windsong 442.44 PP Enchanting
Enchant Weapon - Power Torrent 127.66 PP Enchanting
Enchant Weapon - Elemental Force 91.70 PP Enchanting
Enchant Weapon - Hurricane 58.60 PP Enchanting
 

Off-Hand

Enchant Name PP Value Source
Enchant Off-Hand - Major Intellect 165.00 PP Enchanting
Enchant Off-Hand - Intellect 40.00 PP Enchanting

Alchemy

Perk PP Value
Mixology
Flask of the Warm Sun 320.00 PP
 

Blacksmithing

Perk PP Value
Socket Bracer + Socket Gloves
Fractured Sun's Radiance x2 434.28 PP
Smooth Sun's Radiance x2 416.00 PP
Keen Vermilion Onyx x2
Zen Wild Jade x2
Sensei's Wild Jade x2
396.80 PP
(211.20 PP)
Crafty Vermilion Onyx x2
Piercing Wild Jade x2
Misty Wild Jade x2
393.60 PP
(208.00 PP)
Artful Vermilion Onyx x2 371.20 PP
Sparkling River's Heart x2
Rigid River's Heart x2
Accurate Imperial Amethyst x2
Precise Primordial Ruby x2
371.20 PP
(0.00 PP)
Potent Vermilion Onyx x2 368.00 PP
Wicked Vermilion Onyx x2
Energized Wild Jade x2
Lightning Wild Jade x2
345.60 PP
(160.00 PP)
Purified Imperial Amethyst x2
Veiled Imperial Amethyst x2
345.60 PP
(160 PP)
Quick Sun's Radiance x2 320.00 PP
Reckless Vermilion Onyx x2 320.20 PP
Brilliant Primordial Ruby x2 320.00 PP
NOTE: PP values in parenthesis are the value of the gems if you are hitcapped.
 

Enchanting

Perk PP Value
Enchant Ring
Enchant Ring - Greater Intellect x2 320.00 PP
 

Engineering

Perk PP Value
Tinkers
Synapse Springs Mark II 320.00 PP
 

Herbalism

Perk PP Value
Lifeblood
Lifeblood 240.00 PP
 

Inscription

Perk PP Value
Master's Inscription
Secret Crane Wing Inscription 320.00 PP
 

Jewelcrafting

Perk PP Value
Serpent's Eye
Brilliant Serpent's Eye x2 268.80 PP
NOTE: You can use other gems, but the stats increases are half of (at best) the PP value of Brilliant Serpent's Eye.
 

Leatherworking

Perk PP Value
Fur Lining
Fur Lining - Intellect 320.00 PP
 

Mining

Perk PP Value
Toughness
Toughness 0.00 PP
NOTE: While Toughness increases your stamina, it does nothing to increase DPS.
 

Skinning

Perk PP Value
Master of Anatomy
Master of Anatomy 312.00 PP
 

Tailoring

Perk PP Value
Lightweave Emroidery
Lightweave Emroidery 346.32 PP
Race Racial Bonus PP Value
Draenei Heroic Presence 197.20 PP
Dwarf Mace Specialization* 197.20 PP
Gnome Shortblade Specialization* 197.20 PP
Human Mace Specialization* 197.20 PP
The Human Spirit Up To 86.16 PP
Night Elf None 0.00 PP
Worgen Viciousness 390.00 PP
Pandaren Epicurean 300.00 PP
Blood Elf None 0.00 PP
Goblin Time is Money** 223.13 PP
Tauren None 0.00 PP
Troll Berserking** 247.92 PP
Undead Touch of the Grave 72.96 PP
* For Dwarves and Humans, equipped mainhand must be a Mace; for Gnomes, equipped mainhand must be a Dagger.
** Haste is multiplicative. The PP values quoted here assume a base of 5% Haste from Shadowform. Remember, Haste is multiplicative so the more that you have the larger effect the bonus has!

Continue the discussion at HowToPriest.com in the H2P-Blog Forums!

Interested in a specific topic to be covered here on the blog? Email us at blog@howtopriest.com or PM Derevka or Twintop