Elitist Jerks AoE Spell Cap Mechanics

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# AoE Spell Cap Mechanics

This is the 3.3 partially-updated draft. If some information is wrong or you find information, please share.

I also need information on these interactions:
What happens when a fraction of the mobs have damage increase buffs (CoE on 5/11 mobs, for example)
What happens when a spell scores a critical hit on a fraction of the mobs?*
What happens when a spell misses?*
Do spells with secondary affects (freezes) get a cap tax or do they behave normally (according to the new rules)
*I am assuming that these are identical to pre-3.3 caps.
Also need to know if certain spells not listed / listed are subject / not subject to the cap.

Area-of-Effect (AoE) spells are spells that deal damage to multiple targets within one spell cast. While using these spells completely outshines using direct damage spells in certain situations, AoE spells have a mechanic to reduce their total damage based on the amount of mobs on which these spells are applied. This is referred to as the "AoE cap": The damage that an AoE spell can produce in any one cast is capped at a certain value.

## [top] Explanation of an "AoE Cap"

An "AoE cap" that is active on most AoE spells causes the AoE spell to deal damage regularly until the spell affects more than ten mobs. This cap is dynamic depending on the situation: The cap is dependent on how much damage the spell would deal to an individual mob. Once the spell is applied to more than ten mobs, the damage you deal to an individual mob multiplied by ten, divided by the amount of mobs, is the amount you will apply to each mob. If there are ten or less mobs, then it deals damage normally. The damage cap is based off of non-critical hits and non-partially resisted spells; after that, critical hits on any mob can increase the cap. Any miss on a mob of an AoE spell causes that mob to be absent from the calculations: If you have 11 mobs, but the spell is resisted on one mob, the spell will act as if only ten mobs exist.

### [top] Examples

A theoretical example of Arcane Explosion; hits one mob for 500.

One mob:
```[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob1] for 500.
500 damage done total```
Two mobs:
```[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob1] for 500.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob2] for 500.
1000 damage done total.```
Ten mobs:
```[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 1] for 500.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 2] for 500
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 3] for 500.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 4] for 500.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 5] for 500.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 6] for 500.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 7] for 500.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 8] for 500.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 9] for 500.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 10] for 500.
5000 damage done total```
Eleven mobs:
```[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 1] for 454.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 2] for 455.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 3] for 454.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 4] for 455.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 5] for 454.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 6] for 455.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 7] for 454.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 8] for 455.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 9] for 454.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 10] for 455.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 11] for 454.
5000 damage done total```
In each of the first three examples, damage is done regularly. In the eleven-mob example, damage is scaled so that the total is still equal to the cap of 5000 (caused by 500 (on one mob) multiplied by 10). The variation between 454 and 454 in the eleven-mob example is caused by the uneven division of 5000 and 11.

Another theoretical example is below, involving one critical strike; hits one mob for 500; 750 critical strike:

One mob:
```[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 1] for 750 critically.
750 damage done total```
Ten mobs:
```[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 1] for 750 critically.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 2] for 500
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 3] for 750 critically.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 4] for 500.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 5] for 750 critically.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 6] for 500.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 7] for 750 critically.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 8] for 500.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 9] for 750 critically..
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 10] for 500.
6250 damage done total; 5000 damage cap, but 1250 damage is added/extra due to critical strikes```
Eleven mobs:
```[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 1] for 681 critically.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 2] for 455.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 3] for 681 critically.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 4] for 455.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 5] for 681 critically.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 6] for 455.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 7] for 681 critically.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 8] for 455.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 9] for 681 critically.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 10] for 455.
[Player]'s Arcane Explosion damages [Mob 11] for 681 critically.
6361 damage done total; 5000 damage cap, but 1361 damage is added/extra due to critical strikes```

## [top] Spells under the Influence of the AoE Cap

### [top] Mage AoE Spells

Arcane Explosion
Dragon's Breath
Flamestrike: Direct damage; DoT portion is not included, nor is subject to cap
Blast Wave
Cone of Cold
Blizzard: Each tic of Blizzard is affected by the cap (not the total)
Frost Nova
Water Elemental's Freeze? [Placeholder]
Dragon's Breath Explosion? [Placeholder]
*Abilities with a secondary effect might have a lower cap. <----Is this still active?

### [top] Warlock AoE Spells

Hurricane: Each tic of Hurricane is affected by the cap (not the total)
Swipe? [Placeholder]
Typhoon? [Placeholder]
Starfall? [Placeholder]
Hurricane may have a lower cap due to its slowing function. <-Active?

### [top] Priest AoE Spells

Holy Nova
Mind Sear? [Placeholder]
Holy Nova may have a different cap due to its healing function. <-Active?

### [top] Hunter AoE Spells

Volley: Each tic of Volley is affected by the cap (not the total) <-----Active? [Placeholder]

### [top] Shaman AoE Spells

Fire Nova? [Placeholder]
Magma Totem? [Placeholder]
Thunderstorm? [Placeholder]

Holy Wrath? [Placeholder]
Consecration? [Placeholder]
Affected by any tax since it stuns?

### [top] Warrior AoE Spells

Thunderclap
Shockwave? [Placeholder]
Taxed since it stuns?

 Contributors: Spazzball Created by Spazzball, 05/18/08 at 10:04 AM Last edited by Spazzball, 01/06/10 at 3:39 PM 15 Comments , 28116 Views
 05/22/08, 12:36 PM #2 Kalman Super Macho Man     <> Orc Shaman   No WoW Account Holy Nova max rank caps at ~5k (tested by myself and tedv). Melador> Incidentally, these last few pages are why people hate lawyers. Viator> I really don't want to go all Kalman here. Bury> Just imagine what the world would be like if you used your powers for good.
 05/27/08, 7:59 PM #3 Moshne Bald Bull     Moshne Pandaren Shaman   Whisperwind It should be noted that AEs that can crit (like the totems), the crits raise the damage ceiling. I'm working on getting some numbers for you on it excluding the crit damage. EDIT: Fire Nova Totem - 9975 - before crits Magma Totem - ~1500, I'll do some more testing for more exact on it, but needless to say its too low. Last edited by Moshne : 05/27/08 at 8:12 PM.
 07/16/08, 6:24 PM #4 Bubbs Bald Bull   Bubbs Blood Elf Paladin   No WoW Account AFAIK, Consecrate does not suffer from the consequences of the cap.
 07/17/08, 5:12 AM #5 Roywyn Bald Bull     Roywyn Gnome Mage   No WoW Account (EU) Awesome work! I always wanted to do a write-up about this but never found the time for it. A few notes to add: * Paladin - Consecration and * Shaman - Fire Elemental - Fire Nova are uncapped As far as I know, those two are the only spells that are not capped. [E]: Mage - Frost Nova: 1600 cap. * Mage - Water Elemental - Freeze I have no idea whether this one has a cap and how high it is. Would be great if some frostie could please run into The Stockades to find out Not sure if you want to include downranking for snares, but: Frost Nova rank 1 - 230 cap. Blizzard rank 1 - 575 cap per tick, 4600 total. * Damage Talents and buffs Those have no effect on the AoE damage caps. Examples: Your Arcane Explosion hits 2 mobs for 500, 500. You activate Arcane Power. Your next Arcane Explosion still hits 2 mobs for 500, 500. Improved Cone of Cold, Demonic Sacrifice are examples for other common talents that have no effect at the AoE Cap either. * Molten Fury does not affect the cap either, it simply counts as damage buff as well. * Damage Debuffs like CoE, Stormstrike, Imp. Scorch/Shadow Bolt, Misery, Shadow Vulnerability, etc. Those DO allow you to go beyond the AoE just like crits can. Example: Your Arcane Explosion hits 2 mobs for 500, 500. If the first mob has CoE, it hits the 2 mobs for 550, 500. If the both mobs have CoE, it hits the 2 mobs for 550, 550. : Confirmed debuff/molten fury behaviour, added frost nova. Last edited by Roywyn : 07/17/08 at 7:17 AM. Chaotic Meta Gems in Cataclysm: http://elitistjerks.com/f75/t106009-...2/#post1794256 DPS spec and class comparison in Naxxramas gear: http://code.google.com/p/simulationc...i/SampleOutput The Blue Bar and you - the complete Fire Mage 2.4 mana compendium: http://elitistjerks.com/658230-post3191.html And [Timbal's Focusing Crystal] doesn't proc on AM. Neither does [The Egg of Mortal Essence] since 3.1.
 07/17/08, 9:38 AM #6 Pitbuller King Hippo   Pitbuller Tauren Shaman   Wildhammer (EU) Curse of elements vs Seed of corruption. CoE will raise all Aoe damage but holy. So we can assume that more than 90% damage is affected my CoE. If (1 / 1.1) * 0.9 healt points is greater than Seed of corruption AoE cap then CoE spam is more dps than SoC spam. -malediction (1 / 1.13). Some example: Abominations HP - 180,000 (1/1.1) * 0.9 * 18000 = 14727. So CoE do more damage to abominations than Seed spam. Also you can debuff almoust all mobs before Tank let AoE go free. Also shadow priest spamming Shadow Word: Pain give misery + 1/5 stack of shadow weaving so this is best AoE spell that priest can do.(if VT mana gain isn't what needed) Slow, slower, shaman weapon.
 07/31/08, 12:25 PM #7 Arelenda Don Flamenco   Arlenda Human Warlock   Argent Dawn (EU) Rain of Fire cap: 6710 per tic Hellfire cap: 5205ish per tic
 07/31/08, 1:20 PM #8 Spazzball Von Kaiser   Spazzball Gnome Mage   Proudmoore Are those accurate? They seem too high to be caps per tic. If someone can confirm those, then I'll add them up in the tables. Thanks though!
09/02/08, 5:16 PM   #9
Roywyn
Bald Bull

Roywyn
Gnome Mage

No WoW Account (EU)
 Originally Posted by Spazzball Are those accurate? They seem too high to be caps per tic. If someone can confirm those, then I'll add them up in the tables. Thanks though!
Rain of fire ticks every 2 seconds. Hellfire ticks every second but is not ranged and damages the caster.
Also, Arelenda did some more testing in the same post in the warlock forum, so those are very likely accurate.

Also, Freeze (from Mage pets) doesn't seem to be capped, I hit 20+ mobs for full damage.
Not that it matters since the damage is shit anyway (scales with ~1% of the master's +dmg or so).

Chaotic Meta Gems in Cataclysm: http://elitistjerks.com/f75/t106009-...2/#post1794256

DPS spec and class comparison in Naxxramas gear: http://code.google.com/p/simulationc...i/SampleOutput
The Blue Bar and you - the complete Fire Mage 2.4 mana compendium: http://elitistjerks.com/658230-post3191.html

And [Timbal's Focusing Crystal] doesn't proc on AM.
Neither does [The Egg of Mortal Essence] since 3.1.

 10/22/08, 3:33 AM #10 Flash_aha Glass Joe   Flashzul Undead Priest   Anub'arak (EU) Thunderclap in 3.0 As for 3.0 Warriors Thunderclap just as Paladins Consecration doesn't have an aoe-cap. I've tested it on live by pulling ~50-70 mobs in ud strat(those packs from the front- to the backentrance).
 11/26/08, 2:12 PM #11 Meghane Glass Joe   Meghane Human Mage   Windrunner Have all those been updated for ranks above 70? they just seem a little low for the damage ranks 70+ do. It seems you become capped with about 8-9 targets with most the mage aoe spells using the highest rank in wotlk and i remember being able to get at least 12-13 mobs at 70 in TBC before getting capped...that was before it could crit though so I don't know.
 11/26/08, 2:28 PM #12 manly Soda Popinski     Manly Troll Mage   Mal'Ganis The numbers are closer to 25k+ now. Definitely outdated. YOU"RE GONNA PULL IF YOU SQUEEZE OFF ANOTHER ARCANE BLAST You've obviously never played with Manly. That's hardly a reason to stop DPS. Very Manly Staff
11/26/08, 5:38 PM   #13
Nite_Moogle
I prefer the term treasure hunting

Orc Death Knight

Mal'Ganis
The cap for Thunderstorm is definitely 25k on the nose; easily tested during the assault on the Undercity while under the effect of Thrall's buff and Elemental Mastery.

 Originally Posted by CheshireCat Eh, my nostalgia goggles aren't as good as they used to be.

 02/25/09, 8:15 PM #14 Spazzball Von Kaiser   Spazzball Gnome Mage   Proudmoore Ok, I've been back and have leveled to 80. I'll be updating this guide for the Mage section soon enough. (I'll need to test values unless someone has them.) If anyone has the values for other classes (or Mages) please PM or post here.
 04/06/09, 6:56 PM #15 Spazzball Von Kaiser   Spazzball Gnome Mage   Proudmoore The information in this article is still out-dated. If anyone knows of the numbers for the caps, feel free to PM me or post them here. I have also recently received information from user Zavis on three of the Warlock caps, and they might (I am wanting) a validity-check. Thanks to all who have helped thus far.

 Elitist Jerks AoE Spell Cap Mechanics