Working Theories of Theorycrafting as of 2.3
Note that the EJ wiki will be released at some point in the near future which will be a better source of information than this, so I'm not terribly concerned with expanding it at this point. Any accuracy problems should be reported.
The following are generally accepted principles of theorycrafting based upon research, testing, and lots of math that has been done by various members of the WoW community. None of the following are absolute laws however some combination of theorycrafting and testing has shown these to be true. If you disagree with any of these you'll probably need some very careful and thorough math as well as parses to convince people that you are correct.
Questions about the reasoning behind something in this post (i.e. why is Fire so much better for a mage) should be directed at a relevant class thread. This is intended to be a quick reference for common questions, not a thesis paper on theorycrafting.
- The global cooldown (hereafter referred to as the GCD) is 1.5 seconds for all classes except Rogues and Druids in cat form which have a 1.0 second GCD.
- No amount of haste including Bloodlust/Heroism will lower the global cooldown. This can be proven using the following UI hook and spamming an instant spell with no cooldown inside and outside of Bloodlust:
/run hooksecurefunc("CooldownFrame_SetTimer", function(_, start, duration, enable) if start > 0 and enable > 0 then DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage(duration) end end)
[Thanks Shalas for finally getting that settled]
- The character pane rounds up. It may appear that you have sufficient percentage for something like crush immunity, but beware rounding errors.
- Official rating conversion->stat information can be found here: WoW BlueTracker: Combat Ratings: Level 70 Conversions (Note these are rounded values)
As of 2.2, the Haste Rating and Spell Haste Rating both require 15.76 rating for 1% haste.
As of 2.3, Weapon Skill rating has been replaced by Weapon Expertise rating which requires 3.9423 per 1 Expertise, which reduces the chance your attacks will be dodged by 0.25% and parried by 0.25%. This stat does not allow decimal values unlike hit and crit and will always round any partial amount down to the nearest whole number (3.4 Expertise is treated as 3 Expertise).
- All bosses (??? listed for a level) are considered to be 3 levels above you for purposes of resists and combat (including your AC), regardless of your level.
- Spell resist rate against bosses is 17%; only 16% of this can be overcome with spell hit [202 spell hit rating].
- Glancing Blow rate against level 73/boss mobs is estimated to be 25%. Yellow attacks (specials) do not glance.
- Warriors and Paladins require 490 defense [336 defense rating] to be uncrittable while Druids require 415 defense [156 defense rating] with Survival of the Fittest.
- Crushing blows are pushed off the combat table against 73/Boss mobs when your dodge + parry + block + mob miss chance is greater than 102.4%. Most warriors easily attain crush immunity when using Shield Block, and Paladins require an active Holy Shield plus 72.5% dodge+parry+block+miss (5% of which may be supplied by the heroic badge Libram).
- Druid Bear Form's armor bonus does not include enchants or temporary buffs.
- Once you reach your defense cap, stamina is generally the best stat to stack.
- 35,880 AC is required to reach 75% mitigation against a Boss level NPC.
- Hit rating applies to Taunt mechanics in the same way it applies to melee attacks, but testing has shown that it has a higher base miss chance than a normal physical attack. At least 250 hit rating will be required to make taunt unresistable if such a thing is possible. [Note: It is highly probable that Nalorakk has a vulnerability to taunt.]
- Miss rates against level 73/boss mobs:
-- 1h/Shield, 2h, feral: 9% [142 hit rating] (See this post and this post)
-- Dual wield: 28% [442 hit rating] (See this post and this post)
- You cannot apply the benefits of a weapon specialization to a weapon of the incorrect type in the offhand. (That is, a dagger in your offhand when you are sword spec will not get the benefit of sword spec.)
- The formula for determining hasted weapon speed is:
Hasted Speed = Weapon Speed / ( (1+(Haste 1 %/100)) * ((1+Haste 2 %/100)) * (1+(((Haste Rating 1 + Haste Rating 2 + ... )/100)/15.76)))
- The estimated amount of Expertise to remove dodge from the combat table against bosses is 23 Expertise (91 Expertise Rating). Parry rates are unknown at this time but are estimated to be higher and are probably variable from one boss to the next.
- Expertise rounds down. Partial amounts of Expertise do nothing.
- Spell penetration does nothing in PvE unless the mob has real (not level-based) resistances. This can be seen because a Warlock's -resist curse does not reduce the actual resist rate that a mob has. In raiding, the only bosses that have resistances are Supremus (fire-resist) and Rage Winterchill (frost resist). It is not worth taking over other stats.
- Swapping weapons will reset your swing timer and incur the global cooldown.
- It is possible to switch weapons while casting a spell with a cast time and receive the benefit of the new weapon's +dmg/healing.
- Paladin and Shaman non-instant spells will reset your melee swing timer upon their completion. This includes spells that normally have a cast time that are made instant by other means (such as Nature's Swiftness).
- /stopcasting is no longer useful for improving your casts per minute. You can still optimize by using a cast timer mod like Quartz. WoW Forums -> 2.3 "Quartzless" spellcasting mechanic has some useful information.
- NPCs gain a 2% chance to partially resist non-binary spells (i.e. those that can be partially resisted such as fireball) for each level above the player. Thus Boss NPCs have a 6% partial resist chance. This resistance can not be overcome with spell penetration or hit percentage.
- Auto-Attack appears to be the only attack with no inherent cooldown, and thus is the only attack that has no drop off point where haste effects will not provide additional benefit.
- Channeled spells (Arcane Missiles, etc) do channel faster under the effects of spell haste.
- Until haste drops your special attack speed below the global cooldown, it is generally the most effective stat to stack. (I.E. a pure scorch build gets little benefit from haste since any further haste doesn't allow the spell to be recast more often.) Classes that rely on damage over time will see reduced benefits from haste since the tick timer is not sped up.
- Haste discussion
- For a healer, both 81 healing and Spellsurge are good and effective enchants. There is no wrong answer.
- Mongoose will usually be the best enchant for both hands for a dual-wielding melee DPS class (Rogue, Warrior, or Shaman).
- Testing regarding Executioner is not conclusive yet, but its proc rate appears similar to that of Mongoose and although you cannot have 2 Executioner enchants up (the debuff will be refreshed by either hand proccing) it may be a superior enchant in raid situations where large amounts of -Armor debuffs are applied to the NPC. Items with -Armor further enhance the power of Executioner.
- 9% miss chance [142 rating]
- Autoshot has a 0.5 second cast time, Multi-Shot, Arcane Shot, Steady Shot and Kill Command (amongst other abilities such as stings) will interrupt and reset this cast time.
- Haste effects work on Steady and Aimed Shot cast times.
- 2/47/11 (with 1 point to spend) is the best DPS spec. There are variations on this build in the Frost tree (Improved Frostbolt vs Ice Shards vs Frostbite), but Fireball is the primary source of damage. The major modification from the previous build is the inclusion of Icy Veins over Arcane Focus. 10/47/3 is the best PVE raw damage spec (one point to spend as you like) but Frost maintains the best control and survivability in non-raid situations (pvp, grinding and instances). The meta gem changes in 2.3 mean that Arcane is no longer competitive for PVE damage.
- +Hit will generally provide the best increase in damage per item budget until it is capped at 16%.
- Once you reach the hit cap, +damage is the best stat to stack for a shadow priest.
- Windfury Weapon (the self enchant) has a 3 second cooldown incurred each time it procs, regardless of which hand procs it. For this reason slow weapons in both hands are preferable - 2.6 speed or slower has shown to be the most effective speed range.
- Windfury Totem (the totem) does not have any of the cooldown issues that Windfury Weapon does. Its procs do generate rage and threat for warriors and it will no longer proc off of special attacks (yellow damage), except for Heroic Strike and Cleave. It is still usually the best totem to use in a group that is ideal for an Enhancement shaman.
- Regarding Grace of Air vs Windfury Totem: A good rule of thumb is that if DPS Warrior*2 plus Rogues plus DPS Paladins is 3 or more (war*2+rog+pal>2), Windfury will be better group DPS regardless of the rest of the group's composition.
- The best reason to use GoA is to provide a tank with more dodge, not to improve the AP or crit rate of other classes. On low-rage or threat-sensitive fights Windfury may be preferable for a Warrior or Paladin.
- Twisting GoA and Windfury is possible, but it is extremely mana intensive and requires a lot of GCD usage. See the Enhancement Shaman thread for more details.
- It is highly probable that Stormstrike uses a two-roll system, much like Rogue special attacks do.
- Builds: Combat Swords is the best PVE DPS Spec. Combat Maces/Fists/Hybrid weapon and tri-spec Hemo are competitive. Combat daggers is now the worst of the combat builds. Mutilate is well behind everything else since the glancing blow changes, suffering additionally from reduced Windfury Totem benefits vs combat, and on bosses immune to poison (Void Reaver, Hydross).
- Hit Cap: 28% +hit required to not miss vs lvl 73 bosses, meaning you need 442 hit rating to cap. 5/5 Precision reduces this by 79
- Shiv cannot be dodged. It may also be unable to be parried or blocked.
- Deadly poison has better DPS than instant poison, whether on main hand or off hand. If you can only poison one weapon (i.e. Windfury totem is being used), you should use DP.
- Dual DP is a waste for all except Mutilate builds.
- Envenom in PvE is a waste of combo points for all except Mutilate builds, except as as the last finishing move of the fight (i.e. the DP stack will not tick out).
- Rogue special attacks use a two-roll system instead of a one-roll system like all other attacks. See other threads for further explanation of what this means.
- There is no "cast rotation" for Warlocks due to variance in DoT duration.
- Shadowbolt will normally provide higher DPS than Incinerate unless you stack the crap out of fire damage gear with a sacrificed Imp.
- Immolate is worth casting even if you have a lot of +shadow gear until very late in itemization (tier 6). The only other time it is not worth casting is when you're out of debuff slots.
- Shadowbolt will always produce more dps than drain life, no matter what drain-life boosting talents you have and what Shadowbolt ones you neglect.
- Warlocks need 16% hit from gear because Suppression doesn't affect Shadowbolt or Soulshatter.
- As long as it can run full duration, Curse of Doom is preferable to Curse of Agony for sustained single target dps, even if you are deep affliction, primarily because of the opportunity cost of re-casting CoA.
- Conflagrate will lower your DPS if you use it in a DPS rotation.
- Imp Life Tap is still a useful talent even if you have Dark Pact since your Imp's mana pool is not infinite. BoW and Spirit buffs will greatly increase your Imp's mana regeneration rate, improving Dark Pact's longevity.
- Shadow Embrace is worth it if you are responsible for keeping a curse up in raids. It's 5% less damage, and that is not trivial.
Elemental-based melee attacks (such as Hydross or most Fire Elementals) follow slightly different rules than normal melee attacks versus a player.
- Elementals can crit the player but will never crush
- Elemental melee damage is not mitigated by AC in any fashion
- Cannot be blocked
- Can be parried or dodged
- Can be partially resisted through the appropriate resist stat
- Attack power modification debuffs such as Demoralizing Shout will affect damage done
For More Information About Your Class
If you feel that something is in error or that something should be added or clarified, please post as such.
Please sticky this thread and de-sticky the old one.
From the spellcasting section
Right, using /stopcasting now is mostly useless (for dps anyway).
Also, for Warlocks, Immolate is not always a dps increase. Using 21/40 or Affliction using Tier 6, Immolate will lower your dps and increase your mana usage. Although many don't have that gear, so the comment has some use.
Also, of even greater interest to me, is there any solid data regarding the damage penalty to a glancing blow? WoWWiki has a very convoluted formula that offers no empirical data in its support and includes an example at level 60, so I'm a little wary of it.
If expertise rounds down:
5.6% dodge / 0.25% = 22.4 expertise, or 23 expertise needed.
90 expertise rating gives about 22.8 expertise. Would this not be insufficient?
Comment regarding the "Rogue" section:
Combat daggers is really not competitive with combat swords at the moment; the true ordering of builds is probably best summarized as:
1) Combat Swords, Combat Hybrid XXX/Sword
2) Combat Maces, Combat Fists, TriSpec Hemo
3) Combat Daggers
Talden - no. There is more information on this in the wiki but you are correct in that defense rating does apparently play in to it. The reduction formula is terribly convoluted and I don't have a quick number on the average reduction amount.
Quigon - Yes, 91 rating is the correct number. Using 3.9 instead of 3.9423 resulted in this error.
Alriana - Could you give a brief reason why combat daggers sucks now?
Best detailed writeup is probably this post in the http://elitistjerks.com/456310-post490.html
The short version is: the need to spec into 3 trees reduces the number of DPS filler talents you can take; the slower combo point generation of daggers reduces one's combo point generation significantly; and Sword Spec is just plain overpowered these days.
Why was the information about elementals moved to errata ?
EDIT: 01-03-08: Anyone have a link to where one would find the answer to elemental errata question ?
In the Melee section:
Hasted Speed = Weapon Speed / ( (1+(Haste 1 %/100)) * (1+(Haste 2 %/100)) * (1+(((Haste Rating 1 + Haste Rating 2 + ... )/100)/15.76)))
partial resists - the resistance is the damage reduction and not partial resist chance. Since partial resists are mostly 3/4 dmg done and sometimes 1/2 dmg done, they will happen to a lot more than 6% of the spells. IIRC it was more somewhere in the area of 25% of the spells getting resisted, with most having 1/4 of the damage resisted, and some having 1/2 of the damage resisted, resulting in overall 6% damage reduction. Also I though the tested theory was 8 resistance points per level, which means 75% * 24/350 = 5.14% damage reduction from partial resistances. Was this actually disproven by additional testing?
GCD: Paladin HoW is a special case and has a GCD of 0.5s, same as the casting time. This is easy to test and also shows on thottbot. Seems to follow the rule of reseting melee swing timer though.
mage 10/48/3 only has 10/47/3 input, assuming this means you chose where that last point goes?
[Everbloom Idol] is usually better for DPS than [Idol of Terror], and is obviously better when you have someone else to keep up mangle for you (i.e. feral tank)
Once you have a feral AP weapon, agility is your best stat to stack for DPS. Hit Rating, while not providing as much direct benefit, will reduce the likelihood that you'll miss a mangle in your rotation and be fighting a mob without proper debuffs. Don't ignore it, don't sacrifice for it.
Nalain: correct, the last point after 10/47/3 is rather unimportant in terms of DPS, so it can be put anywhere that suits the mage's taste. I've seen this spec sometimes referred to as 10/47/3+1, to emphasize that it's not a typo.
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