Posts Tagged ‘gearing’

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Jov sez: My Armor Sucks (redux) and Final Goodbyes

October 13, 2009

My posts lately have been so multi-faceted  and stream of consiousnessy lately, haven’t they?  Well, have some more!

Priest T10 Bonuses and Why They Suck

  • 2 piece bonus – Your Flash Heal critical strikes cause the target to heal for 25% of the healed amount over 9 sec.
  • 4 piece bonus – Your Circle of Healing and Penance spells have a 20% chance to cause your next Flash Heal cast within 6 sec to reset the cooldown on your Circle of Healing and Penance spells.

(They’ve been updated since they were first announced)

I know some people are pretty enthusiastic about the bonuses.  But this is my blog, and I think they suck.  So nyeh.

The 2-piece: Per WoL, my average Flash Heal hits for approx 2600.  The HoT would heal another 650, broken up into however many pieces, over the next 9 seconds.  That total heal is 1/3 of my average Renew tick.  Let me repeat 1/3 of my average Renew tick.   But wait!  What about a Discipline Priest?  Well ours is geared to the hilt and her average flash is approx 2200.  Her total healing from the 2-piece would be 550.  Also, it’s somewhat unlikely the HoT would self-stack, meaning the Discipline Priest would only get ticks if their Penance is off cooldown and they take the time to Penance/re-shield.  Otherwise, it would exist in the no-man’s land of constant overwriting.

Also, the above numbers are best-case.  If you get a crit on overheal, the phrasing seems to state that only the amount healed gets the HoT value.  Double plus-plus useless.

People have also been commenting that the 2-piece is the old FoL HoT v 2.0.  I counter that the pally FoL hot was a copy of the Priest 8-piece T2 bonus (yes, 8-piece, I’m going back to the golden age of raiding before tier tokens when you had to WORK for your set bonuses).  Back in my day, that was the only stacking-hot in the game.  And it still kinda sucked.

The 4-piece: I’ll be the first to admit I kinda miss the days of no-cooldown CoH.  (You miss them too, you know it!)  I also have no qualms with admitting that the spell was totally OP at its height.  Smart, not party-limited…  no cooldown.  mmm…  Tasty, tasty OP’ness.  The problem with messing with the cooldown length on cooldown-based spells is always going to be rhythm and muscle memory.

Muscle memory may be something you can train yourself out of pretty easily, but only if the changes made are consistent.  The 4-piece is not a consistent change, it’s a chance on proc.

1.  Jov hates procs.  Murphy’s Law of Procs = shit never procs when you need it, only when you don’t.

2.  Jov hates procs.

3.  Did I mention Jov hates procs?

Best definition I’ve heard of the 4-piece bonus was “Has 20% chance of screwing up your rotation.”  Yes, it has a strong potential for burst healing, but at the same time, most people have a feeling for when they can hit their Penance or CoH, and missing this proc is MUCH worse than missing out on a SoL.

Final Goodbyes

It was great knowing you all, but I’m leaving…

HA!  Fooled you!  Y’all are stuck with me for the next while at least.

The past few weeks have seen the official closings of two of the best and brightest lights in the Priest Blogging community.  While Ego’s final goodbye was expected, as her departure had been announced quite a bit earlier, the finality of the doors closing did drive the point home.  Seri and I are still friends with the player behind the horns, and have a promise from Hannelore that we’re her first stop if she ever feels the urge to post in the future, but it’s always difficult to see something important to you move on.

And speaking of important and moving on, Dwarf Priest has also closed her doors.  While Ego’s departure was expected, Dwarf’s was a sudden blog silence, leading many to have concerns about her health (and even some rumors of her death).  While quick to dispel rumors of her death (vastly overrated), the health concerns proved to be true, and she has moved on, both from the responsibilities of the game and of the blog.

To you both, whether or not you see this:  Goodbye and Good Luck.

goodbye_sad_bear

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Jov sez: It’s Tuesday?

September 8, 2009

So, yeah.  I’m a complete noob, holidays throwing me off, thinking I had one more day to get my post out.  Well, yeah, I don’t.  Curse you three-day weekends and your screwing with my internal calendar!

So, because I spent most of last week baking (getting bread+1 achievements IRL) and this weekend…  kinda not thinking about anything, you all are getting a recycled PM.

Yes, the P in PM stands for private.  I ain’t telling you who it’s to, or giving any specifics or the like.  Let’s just say that a couple weeks ago, I was asked in-game for some advice on prepping and cleaning up in hopes of apping to a raiding guild in the future as a holy priest.  And we’ve not had one of those for a while, so you’re getting MY take.

First off– Hai!  And welcome to Jov’s Guide to Getting Ready to App to a Raid Guild 101.  You might want to take a peek at Seri/Qiani’s guide here, too.  I hope I don’t make your eyes glaze over with my tl;dr.

Secondly– What I mentioned earlier still applies: this applies to 25-mans, so keep in mind the stuff I’m saying is in regards to that.  If what you have works for 5/10s, that’s awesome and totally not what this is about. ;)

Third– Where do you usually go for information?  Elitist Jerks?  WoW forums?  Other healers?  I’m just gonna toss something into the mix, in case you’ve not seen it before:  PlusHeal is a all-healer forum full of good information for people at all levels of progression and all classes.  Caveat: I am a mod there.  But the Priest section is particularly active, and there’s a lot of good information to be had.

Okay, on to the nitty gritty.  Based on what you told me earlier (you like AOE healing) I’m going to first point you at (armory link redacted) (a/n: I don’t want to send everyone over to oogle someone else’s armory without warning).  She’s a good bit ahead of you on the gear curve, but she’s someone who’s got the same “job” you would have as a holy priest.  I’m not asking you to mimic her exactly, by any means, I’m only using her as an example of things like stat priorities and talents/glyphs.

So, what’s important to a holy priest?  Essentially, your job as a holy priest is going to get as much strong AOE healing out as quick as possible, and have the mana pool/regen to support it. What does that mean specifically?  You want to boost your PoH, CoH, and ProM as much as possible, since you’ll essentially be using CoH and ProM every cooldown.  You’ll use a good bit of Flash, both as a filler spell, and as a way to boost your PoH, and avoid using too much renew and shields.

This is considered the cookie cutter Holy Raid Healing build/glyphing.  There’s definitely some room for wiggle room, but a lot of the talents are simply too good to pass up.

Must-have talents in the Discipline tree:
Twin Disciplines, Improved Inner Fire, Improved Fortitude, Meditation
Optional talents for the Discipline tree:
Inner Focus
Must-have talents in the Holy tree:
Holy Specialization, Divine Fury, Inspiration, Holy Reach, Healing Prayers, Spirit of Redemption, Spiritual Guidance, Surge of Light, Spiritual Healing, Holy Concentration, Serendipity, Circle of Healing, Divine Providence, Guardian Spirit
Optional talents for the Holy tree:
Healing Focus, Improved Renew, Improved Healing, Blessed Resilience, Empowered Healing, Empowered Renew (1/3), Test of Faith

So, I’m telling you to avoid too much renew, but I’m including renew talents in the cookie-cutter spec… What’s up with that?  Well, Improved Renew is really filler, just as a way to get down a tier.  1/3 Empowered Renew, however…  *grin*  Empowered Renew…  doesn’t really do much.  But what it DOES is allow you to take advantage of another talent (there’s a lot of that in the holy tree).  The tiny little boost you get from Empowered Renew is tiny, but it’s a tiny instant heal.  This means it can crit, and in critting, can proc Surge of Light, giving you a free Flash or Smite.  What’s so great about that?  Even if it’s free, that Flash triggers your first hit of Serendipity.  What’s Serendipity good for?  PoH! (Or Greater, I suppose, but you’ll likely not be using that much)  A 3-stack (so 3 casts of Flash, be they free from Surge of Light, or regular casts) gives you 12% off the cast time of PoH, which is a reduction of 1/3 second.  May not sound like much, but it’s that much faster you can be doing something else.

So moving on from there, what should you be aiming for as far as stats go?  There are only four things you care about as a holy priest:  Spellpower, Crit, Haste, and Regen.

Spellpower is your most direct and obvious throughput stat. Want to heal more? add more spellpower.  Hitting 2k is really your first priority as a holy priest. Spellpower is affected by your spirit using the talent Spiritual Guidance, giving you 25% of your spirit as spellpower (which is itself modified by Spirit of Redemption, which gives you a flat 5% increase to spirit)

Next up, Regen, specifically the in-combat kind.  Your next priority should be getting that up to the 250-300 mark.  Holy in general is a mana-hog spec, so more regen is never a bad thing.  How do you get there?  The talent Meditation gives you 50% of your OOC regen (based on spirit) as in-combat regen.  Spirit cannot be ignored (also, see Spellpower note above) however, in a 25-man raid environment, your primary regen stat is going to be Intellect. (Wait, what?!)  If you’re a numbers cruncher and enjoy that sort of thing, there’s a thread devoted to it on PlusHeal (Priest Regen for Dummies), which was written prior to 3.2 and the replenishment changes, but the final word is still on page 2:

Updated. As an optimal ‘balance’ between spirit and intellect, I now promote 1000 spirit + 1300 intellect raidbuffed for lower levels or 1300 spirit + 1500 intellect raidbuffed for higher levels. As before, this is not ‘exact’. One can easily take more intellect or less, depending on flavor, without feeling a big hit in the regen.

It must be noted, however, that stacking more intellect is fine but requires better use of manaregen cooldowns such as the fiend and hymn of hope. Spirit is a little less demanding but requires a tid bit of crit to work. MP5 is now a strong regen stat and even outperforms spirit up to high gear levels! However, the SP bonus from spirit may make spirit a more favorable stat. Spirit still gives more bang for your buck but not in regen only. For disc priests, intellect > mp5 reigns supreme for all reasonable gear levels. Spirit isn’t bad for high end Disc raiders but weaker than mp5.

Finally, there’s the balancing act between crit and hasteCrit nets you free heals through Surge of Light (which can proc off any of your heals if you use 1/3 Empowered Renew) and spirit-based Regen through Holy Concentration.  Haste lets you pump out more heals faster.  For the most part, which you favor is a matter of personal preference.  Generally speaking, you’ll want to aim for 10% haste, 18-20% holy crit as unbuffed minimums before you start focusing on either one.

And before I close this here, a general note on gemming practices.  You’ll want to use gems which deal with the stats mentioned above for the most part.  Your (only) options are:

Red: Runed (red, spellpower), Purified (purple, spellpower/spirit), Luminous (orange, spellpower/int), Potent (orange, spellpower/crit), Reckless (orange, spellpower/haste)
Yellow: Brilliant (yellow, intellect), Quick (yellow, haste), Smooth (yellow, crit),  Luminous (orange, spellpower/int), Potent (orange, spellpower/crit), Reckless (orange, spellpower/haste), Intricate (green, haste/spirit), Misty (crit/spirit), Seer’s (int/spirit)
Blue: Purified (purple, spellpower/spirit), Intricate (green, haste/spirit), Misty (crit/spirit), Seer’s (int/spirit)
Meta: Insightful Earthsiege

My personal preference is Red : Runed or Luminous, Yellow : Brilliant, Blue : Seer’s.  Again, however, that’s personal preference, since gems are the quickest way to make up any stats that you may be missing.

Also, I didn’t touch much on your current gear/spec specifically, since I wanted this to be more of a general guide than me picking you apart.  If you would like me to go over where you are currently with a fine-toothed comb and give you specific gear lists, etc, I’d be happy to do that as well.  Just let me know.

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Guest Post: Yuki Learns You Stat Weighting (p3)

June 25, 2009

sleepyukiAs stated last week, here’s the post outlining how to determine weights to plug into lootrank to figure out your best in slot.  It’s a general list written by (alas) a DPS-type, so it’s not aimed at healers specifically, but I hope you all can still find it useful.  Yuki’s been my guildie, my buddy, and enabler of my anime addiction for several years now.  He’s also the first person who told me that such a thing as mathcraft exists.  Be warned, there’s numbers ahead.

Step 5:  Final Complications

There are basically two things left that haven’t been modeled.  The first is mana regen, which creates some difficulties, and the second is trinkets and the like with activated or proc effects, which presents others.

5a:  Mana Regen

The main thing about mana regen is that it only matters if you run out of mana.  This can make it hard  to model, since it’s not something that easily converts directly into spellpower or attack power.

Probably the most common way of modeling mana regen is in terms of how many extra spells it lets you cast if you WERE to cast until you ran out.  Basically, you figure out how long you can cast without running out of mana, and how much effective healing or damage you’d do on average. Then you see how much 1mp5 would let you cast.  You compare how much a point of spell damage would have added vs. the amount the mp5 added to determine the effective spellpower value of a point of mp5.  This is a popular method because it’s pretty straightforward, and you can modify it a little to include out of 5 second rule regen if you’d like.

Another method is to work backwards:  essentially, you take a length of time longer than the amount of time it would take you to run out of mana chain casting and then calculate how much less time you have to spend on 5-second-rule regen to determine how many more spells you could cast, and use that to derive the relative value.

As you can probably guess, there really isn’t a great way to graft mp5 onto spellpower. Still, these two methods at least produce something, which can be modestly useful for modeling gear.

5b:  Procs

So, we’ve basically covered how to model static stats; what about ones that aren’t so static?  Generally these are in the form of either active abilities (clicky trinkets, for instance) or passive procs (chance-on-hit/crit trinkets).  How to model these?

Actives are actually pretty easy.  You can basically model them as “permanent” power by dividing their effect by the amount of time it spends on cooldown.  So, for instance, a trinket that provides 200 spellpower for 15 seconds on a 1 minute cooldown is effectively the same as one that grants 50 spellpower all the time.  This isn’t wholly accurate (since you can stack some cooldowns to get more out of them, like an unholy DK blowing Gargoyle while her trinket buffs are up), but it’s good enough for government work.

Passives are trickier.  You need to know the proc rate and internal cooldown, which are almost never listed; you’ll need to get them from datamining or testing.  Use these to calculate the average uptime % (which is the proc duration divided by average time to proc + internal cooldown), then multiply the value of the proc by that.  Since this requires you to use the average time to proc, which can vary wildly for low-chance trinkets, and it shares the flaw of not modeling stacked-burst very well with the active version, it’s not wholly accurate, but it gets the job done well enough to compare trinkets.

Step 6:  Putting it all together

At this stage, you have enough information to generate final stat weights:  for each overall stat, add up the weights you calculated for each of their effective ratings you calculated above to determine the final overall weight of that stat.  So, for instance, the value of a point of int is:

Int ESP = Any Value From Talents + (Effective Crit Rating) * (Crit Rating ESP) + (Effective mp5 Rating) * (mp5 ESP)

I used Int on purpose, because an observant reader will note that it provides a benefit we haven’t modeled:  an increase to your base mana pool.  You’ll have to determine what weight (if any) you give to that similarly to how you chose to calculate mp5; I didn’t mention it there mostly so that I could point out that at this stage you should be on the look out for stat effects that you hadn’t considered yet!

Once you’ve done this for everything, you’ll have your final weights for stats as calculated against your baseline!  Now you can use them to help consider gear . . . until you move too far away from your baseline and have to recalculate them.

Closing Thoughts

I’ve always been fairly skeptical of stat weights as anything other than very general comparisons of how “strong” a given stat is.  Having seen this demonstration of what hot dogs are made up, you can probably see why:  there’s a lot of assumptions in the process, and the end result loses value considerably as you move away from your baseline. I tend to agree with Ghostcrawler’s assessment that if you’re just pulling “best” gear from somewhere based on this stuff, you’re not necessarily doing yourself a service as it won’t necessarily actually be “best” for you if your gear is different than the assumptions.

One thing this process will teach you, though, is the underlying mechanics of your class, including what scales with what and how things interact, which is probably the most important thing to learn for any form of theorycraft.  The numbers generated may be of limited value, but the process of generating them has some fairly valuable lessons to be learned along the way.

Aaand done!  You’ve made it!  Special huge thanks to Yuki for putting this together and trying to learn us some math.  Did it work for you?

Also, there’s not gonna be a Tuesday post for me next week.  I’m currently in California visiting my family with the Tarsus; and my mom doesn’t really live in this century as far as internet goes.  But I’ll catch you all the next week!

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Guest Post: Yuki Learns you Stat Weighting (p2)

June 24, 2009

sleepyukiAs stated last week, here’s the post outlining how to determine weights to plug into lootrank to figure out your best in slot.  It’s a general list written by (alas) a DPS-type, so it’s not aimed at healers specifically, but I hope you all can still find it useful.  Yuki’s been my guildie, my buddy, and enabler of my anime addiction for several years now.  He’s also the first person who told me that such a thing as mathcraft exists.  Be warned, there’s numbers ahead.

Step 4:  Methodological Chaos

At this point, there are basically three potential methodologies for settling on the final values to be used:  The Quick and Dirty method, the Numerical Model method, and the Simulation method.

Whichever method you choose, at this point you’ll need to know a few things: the average non-crit heal/damage/threat/whatever for each ability you use, whether and how each ability scales with your baseline stat (so, for instance, if an ability gains extra potency per spellpower due to a talent), and whether the ability scales with any other stats (can it crit?  affected in any way by haste?  etc), and how frequently you use each ability.  For the quick method, you can get the last one from a WWS report, but in general you’ll get better results if you determine it from your ideal usage or rotation.

4a:  Quick and Dirty

The fastest way to generate values is to just do them based on a parse.  First you’ll need to know how much a point of spell power adds to each ability’s net effectiveness.  Look up its scaling coefficient and figure out how much 1 spellpower would actually increase that average use of the ability.  You’ll be using this as a point of comparison to determine how much each ability actually scales per point of other things; I’ll henceforth be referring to it as “the baseline scaling value” of for that ability.

Second, you pull out all your averages for all your abilities, and your % usage for each.  Next, figure out how much each would scale with 1% effectiveness of each rating you’re trying to calculate a weight for.  Divide this value by your baseline scaling value, then multiply it by the % of usage your WWS report shows; sum these values up to get your effective spell/attack power value for 1% of each rating, from which you derive the final ESP/EAP per rating point by dividing by its conversion factor for you level.

Advantages/Disadvantages: The advantages of this method should be clear, as well as its drawbacks:  it’s pretty easy, doesn’t take too long, and requires relatively little mathematical modeling, but it’s also really, really bad at things like haste on abilities with cooldowns. But if you’re just looking for a quick approximation and you don’t plan to redo your weights ever, its numbers aren’t too horribly off unless you’re very dependent on those kinds of things.

4b:  Numerical Modeling

This is the “purest” methodology, and also the one that’ll be your best bet if you’re planning to really do a lot of your own stat weighting, since it’s the easiest to revise.

Essentially, you model what your ideal rotation would look like in practice.  I’m going to use an offensive spell as my example, because it’ll give me a chance to show how to model hit and similar stats.

Start with the average base damage of the spell. Because you’ve already determined how your rotation works, you’ll know how many times you can cast it during that time.  Therefore its total contribution of damage during your rotation is:

Damage = (Times cast) * (Average Base damage)

Now, we add in spell damage scaling:

Damage = (Times cast) * (Average Base Damage + [Baseline Scaling Value * Spellpower] )

To add crit, we’ll start with the value of a crit, which is (1 + Crit Bonus Damage Value).  Now we multiply that by your chance of actually getting a crit, which is Base Crit + Crit Rating/Crit Conversion.  Add all that to one and multiply it by the original  value and you’ll have modeled what your damage from that ability would be with crit!

Damage = (Times cast) * (Average Base Damage + [Baseline Scaling Value * Spellpower]) * (1 + (1 + Crit Bonus Damage Value) * (Base Crit + Crit Rating/Crit Conversion)

Hit works as basically a “penalty” on damage until it’s capped.  Whatever damage you could have been doing would be a miss, so it’s 1 – Miss Rate + Hit Rating/Hit Conversion in a ceiling function that can never be above one.  For notational simplicity I’ll just assume we’re below the hit cap.  Note that  “Miss Rate” above includes everything other than hit rating that increases your chance to hit (like misery or a draenei aura), because we’re only comparing the gear stats, so those should be included in the baseline of the model.

Damage = (Times cast) * (Average Base Damage + [Baseline Scaling Value * Spellpower]) * (1 + (1 + Crit Bonus Damage Value) * (Base Crit + Crit Rating/Crit Conversion) * (1 – Miss Rate + Hit Rating/Hit Conversion)

Haste is where things get interesting.  If the ability in question is not cooldown limited, you can effectively cast it “more times”, so our Times Cast actually scales with haste.

Damage = (Times cast * (1 + Haste Rating/Haste Conversion) * (Average Base Damage + [Baseline Scaling Value * Spellpower]) * (1 + (1 + Crit Bonus Damage Value) * (Base Crit + Crit Rating/Crit Conversion) * (1 – Miss Rate + Hit Rating/Hit Conversion)

What if it IS cooldown limited?  Well, in this case, it basically doesn’t scale with haste even if its casting time would be reduced; you can never cast any more of them than the cooldown allows.  But because you’re casting it faster, you have more room for casting other things in your rotation, so those can actually generally be modeled as scaling normally with haste unless you’re trying for complete precision, because they can fill in the extra time left open even though you’re squeezing them between cooldown casts.

This example should show you basically how to handle all the various ways to scale when modeling.  Your final equation will be the sum of all these terms. Run through it first for only the baseline stats you selected earlier, then once for spell damage; the difference between these two becomes your baseline scaling value for the whole rotation.  Now just add a point to a rating and solve through and divide by the baseline scaling value for the ESP/EAP value of that stat.

Advantages/Disadvantages: If your eyes glazed over reading this section you will probably hate this method. It’s very math intensive, and requires you to think like a numerical modeler, which can be hard if you’re not a numbers person.  Also, an error in the model can lead to grossly inaccurate results; this can occur as a math error, or just in terms of how you model your ideal rotation, so there’s a lot of points of potential fail.

On the other hand, if you get it right, you have a comparatively easy way to change your baseline (just change the values), and you’re ahead of the game if your rotation changes (since you can just fiddle with the numbers a bit).  If done well it also produces the best numbers theoretically possible.

4c:  Simulation

This method is both similar to and very different from the previous.  Basically you build (or download) a simulator for your class that effectively “runs” a combat action-by-action for an arbitrarily large amount of time and reports back its results.  You basically just tweak a base value, run the simulation, and compare it to a baseline simulation to determine the comparative value of each stat.

Advantages/Disadvantages: Building your own sim would, of course, require programming knowledge and a slightly less rigorous form of numerical modeling.  Downloading someone else’s requires neither of these, but also requires that you trust THEIR programming knowledge and numerical modeling.  You could also run in issues of RNG-fail, but a sufficiently arbitrarily large number of actions should statistically smooth those out.

The biggest advantage that this method has is that it’s the best option for procs and other random mechanics.  Trying to do a numerical model for something like Windfury (a 20% proc with a 3 second internal cooldown) will quickly make you want to throw yourself under a bus.  I’ll talk about trying to model procs in the following section, but suffice to say this method produces more accurate results than that one.

Part two is done!  You’ve almost made it.  Stay tuned for the final bit tomorrow!

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Guest Post: Yuki Learns You Stat Weighting (p1)

June 23, 2009

sleepyuki

As stated last week, here’s the post outlining how to determine weights to plug into lootrank to figure out your best in slot.  It’s a general list written by (alas) a DPS-type, so it’s not aimed at healers specifically, but I hope you all can still find it useful.  Yuki’s been my guildie, my buddy, and enabler of my anime addiction for several years now.  He’s also the first person who told me that such a thing as mathcraft exists.  Be warned, there’s numbers ahead.

Step 1:  Choosing A Baseline

In order to compare various stats that scale in wildly different ways, the easiest solution is to create a baseline to compare.  Traditionally, this is either Attack Power  (Effective Attack Power or EAP) for physical classes or Spellpower (Effective Spellpower or ESP) for casters.

Why are they chosen?  Because their effects on damage are very easy to measure.  You could potentially model in terms of direct effect (that is, you could chose the baseline of “1 Effective H/DPS”), but that would make some of the calculations a bit messier and would make the resulting values a bit harder to read, as well as making the model even more sensitive to changes in other stats, so it’s generally better to stick with the simpler version.

You also need to decide at this point whether you’re going to model things that simply provide a percentage increase to your baseline (for instance, the 10% AP buff).  You can in theory leave them out because they can be “canceled out” in that they provide the same benefit to all stats once you’ve converted them to the baseline, but this may not work entirely in practice, which is why you sometimes see stat weights with have things like “1 AP = 1.1 AP” or the like.  I prefer to leave them in even if they’re notationally confusing, simply because it makes the model more robust.

Step 2:  Doing the Easy Math

This is the easy part:  calculating the stat weights for things that simply convert directly into your baseline. For instance, a paladin gets 2 AP from a point of Strength, so before considering other matters, Str would have a value of 2 EAP.

Next, include other scaling factors like talents or percentage-based buffs. Because most paladin builds that care about strength have a talent that increases your total strength by 15%, a point of Strength from gear actually gives you 1.15 strength; furthermore, you should have Blessing of Kings for another 10% (and these are multiplicitive), so the final weight is 1 Str = 2.53 EAP (actually it’s not because I haven’t included Sheath of Light, but I’m simplifying for pedagogical purposes)

You should also take this opportunity to convert stats into their “effective values” of other stats. For example, 166.6… Int = 1% spell crit = 45.91 Critical Strike Rating, so 1 Int is approximately equal to 0.2754 Critical Strike Rating (this math is, of course, for the base value of Int; once you include any talents that increase Int by a percentage and Blessing of Kings, you will of course have a higher amount of effective critical strike per point of Int).

Mana regen is a bit of a special case since it scales with other stats, so we’ll leave it to the side for now.

Step 3:  Setting the Baseline Stats

Because some stats scale as a percentage of your totals (Crit, Hit, Haste, ArP, etc), and other stats scale with each other (Int & Spi => Mp5), in order to compare them, you need a baseline set of stats.  This step is why stat weights will always vary as your gear varies:  where the baseline is set has a fairly direct effect on the values of the various stats, so as you move the stats of the baseline around (by changing the gear, which adds and subtracts stats from your baseline values), your values for each stat will change.  This step is also why people calculating these things rarely agree on the exact value of any given stat.

Most stat weights are done with either a sort of “average” stat mix for a given tier of content (that is, “we expect that most people doing this content will have X spellpower, Y% crit, and Z% haste on their gear when they start”), or by taking the best or average gear from the tier below and using that as the base.  This produces numbers which are not terribly accurate to anyone in particular’s circumstances, but it can be useful to spot trends in gear scaling at your content level; it’s also the only option you have if you’re looking to provide weights for a class/spec rather than for yourself.

If you’re doing this for yourself, the ideal choice is your actual current stats! That way, your final results will tell you what effects adding or subtracting stats will actually have on you.  This is a very good approach for checking out a single piece of gear, but it’ll still be problematic if you’re just trying to figure out what the best overall pieces of gear are for you, since it’s somewhat piecemeal.

At this point, you should also be able to calculate your “effective mp5″ per int or spirit, since you can plug the base values into the regen formula (which I don’t have handy since I don’t ever use it), and then figure out how much MP5 a point in either one would be worth.

Continued in: Yuki Learns You Stat Weighting (p2)

Thanks for reading part 1 (of 3) of this week’s Overwhelming Numbers series.  God I love guest posters!

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Jov sez: Does this Robe make my butt look fat?

June 16, 2009

A few weeks ago, we got an email requesting we update/continue Dwarfpriest’s lovely gear list.  Well, this post is to say sorry, but we’re not going to be doing that.

Why no gear lists?

Short answer: I’m lazy.  More accurate answer: lists are somewhat misleading.  Contrary to the implications of some, I don’t feel that there’s a universal stat measurement that holds true to every individual of the same class/spec in every situation. I’m not really talking the difference between the needs of a Holy and Disc priest when it comes to gearing (because I think everyone here can agree that they’re not gonna be using the same priorities) but more the difference in the needs between Boo and Sarahbutt (shut up, I’m using my cats.  You know you’ve done it, too…), two Holy Priests with very different priorities and needs.

catpriests

Boo is in a guild just starting on Mimiron in Ulduar 25.  She finds herself placed almost exclusively on raid healing.  Her primary heals in a given night tend to be CoH, ProM, and Flash-hasted PoH.  She’s worked hard on getting her haste up because she’s in a very competitive raid healing team, but now is finding herself hurting a bit in the crit and regen departments.  She’d like to work on that, but is completely unwilling to sacrifice haste to do so.

Sarahbutt is in a smaller guild and duo-healing the pants out of Naxx-10 with her buddy the resto druid.  She’s thought about going Disc, but can’t bring herself to give up the fun toys in deep holy.  Even still, she finds herself healing tanks pretty often, so has worked on upping her crit and regen as much as possible to take advantage of SoL and HC procs for her, Inspiration for her tank.  Her primary spells are Flash, Flash-hasted Greaters, ProM and CoH.  She feels she’s currently pretty good where she’s at, but loves the big numbers more crit grants her, so is always keeping an eye out for more of it.

Okay, so?

If you’re going by best in slot gear lists, certain values have been assigned to certain stats to hold true for everyone of that spec/class.  Dwarfpriest used the following:

Here are the stat weights used:

0.74 Intellect
0.54 Spirit
0.35 Haste
0.15 Crit
1.00 MP5
0.60 Spellpower

To translate, mp5 is valued approx twice as much as spirit and spellpower, three times as much as haste, and six times as much as crit.  Haste is valued twice as much as crit.  Her Int:Spirit ratio is 1.3:1.  I’m not going to get into my opinions of her weights, I’m just using them as an example.  That is a best in slot list for Dwarfpriest, her weights worked for her.

What works for Dwarfpriest doesn’t necessarily work for Sarahbutt or Boo.  Or you.  Or me.  Likewise, any list I come up with will work for me, but not necessarily anyone else, either.  There is no universal stat weight list that works best for everyone.

So what’s the tl;dr?

In short, it’s this:  Stat weights vary based not just on class and spec, but based on task, content, raid group, current gear/stats, and healing style. In short, they’re always changing.

In the above example, Boo‘s current gear weighs Haste and Spellpower higher than Crit and Regen.  For upgrades, she would like to give Crit and Regen more import (increasing their weight) without losing her high focus on Haste (maintaining it’s weight).

Sarahbutt, on the other hand, gives higher weights to Crit and RegenSpellpower is middling, and Haste is barely a blip on her radar.  Her future gear plan follows this trend.

It would be impossible for me to make a post outlining BiS gear when weights are so very subjective.  I admire the people who attempt to do it, but… it’s not for me.

And fear not, gentle readers.  Next week, there will be a guest post outlining exactly how to determine stat weights, for those of you who want an actual answer. :)

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Seri sez: Gearing for Disc vs Holy (or: Why My Secondary Spec is Shadow)

April 23, 2009

This one's for you, Dan.When I first heard about Dual Specialization, my first thought was: Yay, finally!

Then I realized my main’s a Rogue now, and I don’t PVP. Nuts.

Anyway, it should come as little surprise to you that my first character to purchase Dual Specialization was, in fact, Seri. I didn’t have to think too long or hard about what my offspec would be, because for the last few weeks I have been livin’ la vida Shadow and having a bit of fun with the pewpewlazors. Making Discipline my primary and Shadow my secondary was a bit of a no-brainer, but the more I thought about it the more sense it seemed to make. Discipline and Shadow actually have fairly similiar priorities when it comes to gear, and I played a Druid for way too long to cheerily embrace building multiple gear sets for a char I don’t play every day. (Or that I do, for that matter…)

Dual Specialization is great in that it gives raiders the opportunity to have a solid raiding spec on raid night and something else in reserve for general tomfoolery during downtime. But for those for whom raiding and healing are their bread and butter, Dual Specialization presents a unique opportunity to stack two extremely viable healing specs. Need more AOE heals for a boss? Go Holy. Need mitigation for another boss? Go Discipline. Best of both worlds, right?

It’s not that easy.

Discipline and Holy are two very different beasts with their own set of priorities for gear. One of the biggest mistakes that I see Priests making right now is thinking they can respec and do either one just as well without swapping any gear around.

There are a lot of gear guides out there for both Discipline and Holy, so I’m not going to re-create the wheel. What I will provide you with are some basic proirities without delving too deeply into the math because this isn’t that kind of blog. (Also, math is hard. Let’s go shopping!)

Nomnomnom.

Gearing for Holy

Let’s talk about Holy first. Back in the day, Holy Priests stacked Spirit, and lots of it. It couldn’t have been more tasty if it was slathered in fudge frosting.

Okay. Maybe if it had been slathered in fudge frosting.

Mmm.

Where was I? Oh, right, Spirit. Spirit will always have a special place in our hearts, but we don’t get as much bang for the buck as we used to. Holy Priests still gain bonus Spellpower based on Spirit (courtesy of Spiritual Guidance), but the ratio of Int to Spirit that you want for maximum mana regeneration has changed. As of patch 3.1, you want this ratio to be approximately 1.4:1 (meaning 1.4 Intellect to every point of Spirit). That’s right.. Intellect has become more important than Spirit.

Of course, Intellect and Spirit aren’t the only things you need to worry about. Spellpower is also important, as it directly affects how effective your healing spells are, and of course Crit and Haste are like the sprinkles on top of the Holy cupcake. I’m making myself hungry.

Anyway, the generally accepted priorities for Holy Priests are:

Spellpower > Int/Spirit (1.4:1) > Crit > Haste > Mp5

I think this may be even better than dogs playing poker.Gearing for Discipline

Moving away from food analogies, think of Discipline Priests as the chess club nerds. Intellect is king for Discipline, because while Holy Priests have to worry about their Int:Spirit ratio for regen purposes… stacking Intellect allows Discipline Priests to take full advantage of talents like Rapture and Mental Strength. The more Intellect they have, the more mana they have. The more mana they have, the greater the return from Rapture. Discipline Priests also get greater returns from Shadowfiend and Re

plenishment, which are based on the size of your mana pool.

Discipline Priest priorities look more like this:

Int > Spellpower > Crit=Haste > Spirit > Mp5

When it comes to Crit/Haste, you don’t necessarily want them to be the same. They’re just listed together because they’re roughly equally important. You want to shoot for a crit rating of around 30%; whatever Haste you pick up to go with that is gravy good.

As you can see, the only thing that Discipline and Holy Priests have in common is that they don’t really give a fig about Mp5. We cautioned you back in TBC not to stack Mp5 and we will continue to do so now. Don’t stack Mp5!!

Get your gear on!

Now that you have a better idea of what swapping between Discipline and Holy entails for maximum effectiveness, it’s up to you to decide if having a Disc/Holy Dual Spec combo is for you. While you’re at it, make me some cupcakes.

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Jov sez: My Gear Sucks

March 24, 2009

Or how I learned to stop worrying and hate T8.

Ignoring the ninja-priest look of the set at large (which I totally don’t get) has anyone actually looked at the stat allocation and bonuses and scratched their heads going wtf blizzard?

First of all, stat allocation.  364 Int, 318 Spirit, and sporting 3 red, 2 yellows and 2 blue sockets, it’s just the sort of thing designed to make my inner holy priest squeal with joy.

And then the bonuses.   2 piece increases crit chance of PoH by 10%.  To which I say “eh, okay, whatever.”  And the kicker:  4 piece gives me 250 spellpower for 5 sec after casting PW:S.

bwa?  WTF, Blizzard?

Okay, okay, at base it’s not so bad.  If I’m a Disc priest, I’m using shield on about every cooldown.  Oh wait, except for that tiiiiiny little issue that a Discipline priest is going to look at the stats on T8 and run for the hills.

And any holy priest in raid with a Disc?  Is going to be spanked for so much as thinking about using their shield button.

I’ve never been a huge collector of tier loot.  Personally, unless there’s a set bonus that’s just THAT GOOD (T2 had awesome bonuses, imo) there’s no real reason to get Tier over non-set.  Ulduar kinda drives that point home.

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Jov sez: On Trinkets

February 17, 2009

A couple weeks ago now, Seri passed an emailed topic request to me, with the request that I look into it.  It went something like this:

If I may suggest a topic, I would be interested on a trinket review, with things accessible on raids and outside of raids. I usually make use of the “dwarfpriest.com” values to rate items, and can use it to calculate values of some trinkets (especially those with “on use” effect), but what annoys me always is when I’m faced with a “chance to proc” trinket since the chances to proc and sometimes hidden cooldowns on effects can drastically alter the value of some items. I don’t know if you know of resources somewhere on the net to find info for these values.

Trinket review.  Trinket review.  I understand why Seri tossed this one at me; I actually have access to some of these trinkets, whereas she’s happily face-stabbing away.  But the mathcraft of procs really makes me nervous.  (I also shy away from “Best in Slot” discussions.  I totally don’t want to get involved in the Crit vs Haste war currently going on in the holy priest community, as I love them both like bunnies.)

But for you, my EU friend, I’m going to try.  I’m including trinkets with a minimum equip level of 78, simply as a just in case there’s some diamonds in the rough (or it’s what you have easiest access to.)

Passive Equip

Majestic Dragon Figurine: This is a spell-triggered spirit trinket.  Each time you cast a spell, you get a stacking buff of 18 spirit for 10 seconds, granting up to 180 spirit if you keep it at full.  It drops off Sarth in OS-10.  I have it, I play with it, it’s not bad on boss fights where I can guarantee the 180 spirit (go go regen and spellpower!), but it’s not a terribly strong trinket for trash or anytime you might face downtime.

Illustration of the Dragon Soul:  Also from Sarth (this time OS-25), it’s a distant cousin of the Dragon Figurine.  Instead of a stacking spirit effect, it grants spellpower, 20 spellpower stacking to 200 if you keep it at full.  This falls somewhat victim to the same things as the Figurine, though personally I feel that the spellpower loss is less of an issue if it falls off and needs to be restacked.

On-Use

Tome of Arcane Phenomena:  This drops in Regular Oculus, and gives a base 68 spellpower, with an on-use increase in haste by 256 for 20 seconds (2 min cooldown).  At lv 80, it grants approx 7.8% haste.  (In laymans terms, it would drop your cast time of Flash Heal to 1.3 seconds.)  Personally, I don’t like this much, simply because the times I need temporary haste are so situational, it’s impossible to plan for.  I want 256 haste all the time, not for 20 seconds.  It’s probably much more useful for a DPS caster.

Darkmoon Card: Illusion:  This comes from collecting the Prisms deck.  It offers a base 100 spellpower, with an on-use small damage shield (absorbs 400 for 6 seconds) and gives back 1200 mana when the shield is removed or expires (5 min cooldown).  Ignoring the shield (because 400 damage absorb is pretty ignorable), if you keep the use effect on cooldown, it nets you 1200 mana every 300 seconds, which equals out to being less than 1 mp5.  Yes, it can be a little boost when you need it, but it’s effectively one free spell every 5 minutes.  For that, Inner Focus is more useful.

Spirit World Glass: This drops off Gothik in Naxx 10, and grants a base 84 spirit, with an on-use of 336 Spirit for 20 seconds (2 min cooldown).  This is an extremely strong trinket.  It doesn’t have at base the potential of the Dragon Figurine, but is much friendlier for trash, any fight which has downtime, or the chance you get an innervate.

Talisman of Troll Divinity:  Also a snackily strong trinket.  This drops off the final boss in Heroic Drak’Tharon, and grants 73 spirit, with an on-use of a stackable increased healing to target of 58, stacking 5 times and lasting 10 seconds (2 minute cooldown.)  Keep this baby’s use effect on cooldown.

Winged Talisman:  This drops from Ionar in Heroic HoL.  It grants 29 mp5 with an on-use of 346 for 20 seconds (2 minute cooldown).  Color me unenthused.

Living Ice Crystals:  This drops off Malygos in EoE-25.  It grants 43 mp5, with an on-use heal of your target for 2710 (1 minute cooldown).  It’s pretty darned snacky.

Chance of Proc

(Note:  All Proc Chance trinkets have a 45 second internal cooldown (Excepting the DPS trinket off Illidari Council in TBC), so keep in mind, the uptime of the proc won’t hit more than every 45 seconds, ever.)

Soul Preserver:  This drops in Regular Strat, and gives a base 75 spellpower, with a proc chance which decreases the mana cost of your next heal by 800.  It’s a 2% chance to proc (approximately 1 proc per 50 casts), meaning we’d likely only see the effect once every couple minutes at best.  While it could be useful for some long, mana-intensive fights, there are better options out there.

Darkmoon Card: Greatness:  This comes from collecting the Nobles deck, and has a +90 spirit and a +90 int version.  The proc chance gives you +300 to your highest stat for 15 seconds, with a 35% chance to proc.  The proc rate seems high, but keep in mind it falls victim to the 45 second cooldown rule.

Embrace of the Spider:  This drops of Maex in Naxx 10.  It gives 98 spellpower, base, and has a proc chance to increase your haste rating by 505 for 10 seconds (about 15% haste at lv 80) with a 10% chance to proc.  Like the Tome of Arcane Phenomena mentioned above, I don’t really like it, especially since it’s a proc chance haste effect instead of an on-use, meaning I have zero control over when I could potentially need the boost.  Also like the Tome, likely more appealing for DPS casters.

Je’Tze’s Bell:  The true diamond in the rough, and arguably a best in slot trinket.  This is a world drop, and the direct upgrade of the Memento of Tyrande.  It grants 106 spellpower at base, and a 10% proc of 100 mp5 for 15 seconds (which is the same proc as the Memento, but offers more regen.  I still use the Memento, it’s sexy).  I would personally sell my soul for one of these babies.

The Egg of Mortal Essence:  This is a Emblem of Heroism purchase, and is identical to Embrace of the Spider except it will only proc off heals or HoTs.  My thoughts on it also echo my thoughts on the Embrace: I don’t particularly like it.

Forge Ember:  This drops off the final boss in Heroic HoS, and grants 73 crit rating (~1.6% at lv 80) and has a chance proc of 510 spellpower for 10 seconds (10% chance to proc).  I actually like this more than the Egg-like trinkets, as I feel a situational boost of spellpower, even from proc, to be more useful at base than a boost to haste.  However, as with the haste trinkets, “on use” is more important to me than chance on proc, especially 10% with the 45 second cooldown.

Spark of Life:  This is the equal opposite of the Forge Ember.  It also drops off the final boss in Heroic HoS, but instead of crit/spellpower, it gives 73 haste rating (~2.25% at lv 80) and has a chance to proc 176 mp5 for 15 seconds (also with a 10% proc chance).  My feelings for this are roughly equivalent to my feelings for the Forge Ember as well, as a chance to proc of mp5 is still quite useful.

Forethought Talisman:  This is a shared drop in Heroic Naxx, and grants 111 spellpower with a chance to proc a HoT on your target that heals 3572 over 12 seconds (~298/second).  It’s a 20% proc chance (again, subject to the cooldown).  I personally consider this best for the spellpower.  The proc doesn’t heal that much (it’s kinda meh, actually).

Soul of the Dead: Pallies will try to convince you that this is THEIR trinket.  Don’t let them.  It drops off Sapphiron in Naxx-25, and grants 95 crit rating (~2% at lv 80) with a 25% chance to proc 900 mana return.  Even with the 45 second cooldown, you’re looking at 900 mana back roughly each minute (or a fairly static 15 mp5).  If you’re wanting crit, this is your strongest option.

The Bottom Line

Many of the trinkets listed above are very situational, but a few stand out above the rest.  If you’re looking for your best options for trinkets, I’d suggest Spirit World Glass, Talisman of Troll Divinity, Living Ice Crystals, and Je’Tze’s Bell.

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Snarkcraft Mailbag: 1/5/09

January 5, 2009

It’s that time again, kids. What time, you say? Time for another peek into the World of Snarkcraft Mailbag! I know you’re excited, but try to pace yourself… this is just the first of many Mailbag entries to come for 2009!

Eva writes:

I’m a fellow blood elf priest (deep disc specced and loving it), and I was wondering what advice you would give to a newly 80 priest looking to start heroics.  Right now I have about 1300 spell power, 14.5k hp, and 16k mana.  My crit is only at 15%, so it could be better.  And my mana regen is at 460 o5sr and 160 while casting (I had to sacrifice some while upgrading).  What sort of base stats should I strive for before heading into heroics?  Where do I need the most improvement?

Seri sez:

Heroics are intimidating. That’s okay, they should be. The fact that so many people seem to be skipping normal mode to jump straight into Heroics now is kind of unsettling for some of us. It hits tanks and healers especially hard, as they are (IMO) the cornerstone of any instance group. An under-geared tank is difficult to heal, and an under-geared healer has difficulty healing an adequately-geared tank–much less an under-geared one.

Whether or not you’re “ready” for Heroics is part gear, part skill and part attitude. If you are a seasoned and experienced healer from TBC, decked out in T6 combined with a few upgrades you picked up toward the end of your trip from 70 to 80 you are probably ready as long as you can walk the walk as well as talk the talk. But make no mistake… Heroics are hard and, no matter what your gear/skill level is when you first hit 80, they are going to challenge you.

Personally, I feel that Discipline priests have an easier time making it over the gear hurdle because so much of our healing is preventative and we have larger mana pools as well as Rapture to help us out on the regen front. With that said… I’m only 79 so I haven’t healed a heroic yet, this is based soley on theory and observation.

The best I advice I can give you: Listen to Jov. She has some good tips and gear lists for you.

The second best advice I can give you: Update your gems & enchants. Seriously, if you’re wearing some TBC gear that’s still socketed with TBC epic gems and enchanted with TBC enchants it behooves you to upgrade them (even green Wrath gems are better than TBC epic gems). Sure, you want to replace these pieces (and soon) but if you’re looking to step into heroics quickly you want to do as much as you can to be as ready as possible with the gear limitations you’re dealing with. Spell power and regen are going to make or break you even if you do everything right, so maximize your potential. As a Disc priest you also need to think about crit, but focus on spell power and regen first.

Also, now that you’re 80 it’s also time to start thinking about factions so check out my World of Repgrind post if you haven’t already. That will help you out on the gearing front as well as the item enchantment front.

Give ‘em hell, tiger!

Jov sez:

Hrm, well it’s a bit difficult.  Much like in early TBC, heroics are difficult to work out a hard and fast “you must be this tall to ride” to give you.  A fresh-faced healer who just dinged so recently they’re still covered in glitter will do fine in a heroic that the rest of the group can handle.  Likewise, no amount of T7 will compensate if you’re in a pug full of tards.

Some guidelines, based on my experience as a fresh-80 with an overgeared group:

Aim for 1300-1500 spellpower, 150-200 IC Regen.  Which end of the spectrum you need to be on will depend on the rest of the group.

Your crit is pretty average for a fresh-80.  You have both more health and mana than I did starting.  I had more spellpower and regen.  There is NEVER enough regen. Please keep in mind I’ve been holy so don’t have personal knowledge to how much Rapture makes up for, but throughout the blogs I’ve been reading as well as my own experience, it’s regen which is the major determining factor as to what runs go well and which explode messily.

I don’t have an armory link for you, so I don’t really have a good idea of the gear you’re in where I can point you at specific upgrades, but with some quick wowhead filtering, I can point you at some things to look at:

Blue armor drops from lv 77-80 regular instancesquest rewards, and faction rewardsPotential weapons.

Those don’t have things like hit filtered out, mainly because the lists are fairly short to begin with.  Keep in mind what you need to gear for (things which can up your spellpower, regen, and crit) and give those a try.  Personally, I’m a much bigger fan of faction and quest rewards because I feel much more in control of them, plus finding high-level normal mode instances on my server is kind of difficult.

All that being said, are you ready for heroics?  Maybe.  Get some guildies together and give Utgarde Keep a poke.  It’s roughly as obnoxious for a fresh 80 on heroic as it is for a fresh 70 on normal (not heinous, at least until the last boss) and let us know how it goes!

Have a question or topic request for World of Snarkcraft? E-mail us!

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