Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hello, theorycrafting your balance

One of the fun parts about playing panzerkin (or even just configuring your char to be ready for a chance to go panzer) is that we get to "passively dual spec" Balance at the same time. The only difference is in one talent, where you now have to avoid Nature's Reach, which stinks, honestly. I liked the extra range before it meshed with threat reduction, but now, you don't want to give away 15% of your threat when you're tanking. No big deal overall, and it's not like threat's an issue while PvE soloing, so the only time it fooks you is when you're PUGing as Boomkin. Even then, if you've let the tank and healer know in advance not to worry if you pull aggro, all is good. Panzerkin physician, heal and handle thyself.

Now admittedly, I'm generally a little light on the theorycrafting, as that's time I could be playing. It's daggum part-time panzerkin, after all. But after listening to Resto4Life's Phae on Twisted Nether talk up Daily Druid, I went back and found some serious theorycrafting going on over at Gray Matter:

I don't want to rehash everything I did in my four part Eclipse series

Four part? Good heavens. I still run pretty much the same rotation I've always run... Starfire into moonfire, insects, roots (optionally), and then wrath spam like there's no tomorrow with refreshes on MF, sometimes IS. If Wyrmhide's set bonus or Eclipse procs, I wail starfire once or until Eclipse is done, respectively. That rotation just feels right. More wrath equals more spell bonus equals more DPS, right?

Back in my post, Druid Forum, DPS, and Mana Efficiency, I pointed out how folk like to run SFx4 instead of Wrathx6, and figured that my Wrath heavy rotation really only hurts if I, "Have a fight that lasts longer than you have mana." That's still my angle for PvE and most instancing. I'm noticing getting Eclipse to proc after my SF lead means I usually Wrath out the PvE mob before it gets close enough to bother me, eliminating the need for a call to roots or DoTs. Crit Wrath once or twice more after the SF and, well, ouch.

But Grey Matter's got enough mathes in there I couldn't stay away. Here's part 1 of the updated Eclipse series, that lists the goals of the series.

In this post I look at the two Eclipse buffs and show which is the better buff. Part two will look at the value of Eclipse [ie, should you invest the points] and try and provide you with an idea of how it will help your DPS. Part 3 will try and answer the question, Should you reapply DoTs during Eclipse? Finally, Part four will summarize my findings and I will share my general thoughts about the talent.

Whowsah. Here are the important lines.

So, as you can see Eclipse will increase Wrath's DPS by 17.70% ( (3327.99 - 2827.54 ) / 2827.54).
So, as you can see Eclipse will increase Starfire's DPS by 30.07% ( (3325.48 - 2556.78) / 2556.78).
In fact, Starfire with the eclipse buff does more DPS on average then Wrath does with the eclipse, but they are very close. ... The margin between Starfire and Wrath will decrease as Crit increases but it's not much and Starfire still beats Wrath in total DPS if there is a comparable increase in Haste.

So whaddyaknow? I was doing the right thing already -- Wrath until Eclipse procs, and then go SF like mad. My rotation is likely the best, unless of course my first SF counts against me because it gets in the way of a possible SF Eclipse from the lost Wrath crit attempt. But the difference is small enough between the two Eclipse flavors that leading (or pulling when in a group) with the stronger spell (the cast time is free, after all, for your first attack) seems to play out as a smart idea. There was a day when I'd follow that rotation with a quick /oom, swap to Braxxis, and wade in swinging, but as I've already lamented, that's not as obviously a good move any more. Curse ya', Panzerkin nerfers.

The other upshots from Cdin's in-depth Eclipse theorycrafting are that DoTs, as a general rule, should be ignored once Eclipse procs (though there's a slight bonus if you get moonfire in at Eclipse's start), and that you might as well throw three points into Eclipse if you're offered the chance (that's my take away, at least).

Wish I woulda remembered I could only have one roots at a time. Figured it out on my own, of course, after some very humourous "testing" in Durnholde. *sigh*

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