Demonology in Cataclysm (4.3 Release)
The purpose of this thread is to discuss the theory-crafting behind the Demonology warlock. This thread is targeted at serious raiders. If you've got interesting/complex questions regarding Destruction, please ask them here. If you have very basic questions or alike, please use the "Simple Questions/Answers" thread in the stickies instead.
With the release of Patch 4.3 the warlock class sees a number of changes, in particular the Destruction spec, along with a few changes to the Demonology spec. Following these changes we see that all 3 specs are quite close, and all have something to bring to the table. For single target DPS, the following should be true at all gear levels:
While Demonology does pull ahead in single target DPS by ~2k DPS, this is only in close to perfect conditions where there is minimal to no movement and the player is able to stand in melee range. This means that in most situations Destruction and Affliction will perform better than Demonology.
On multi-target fights with strictly 2 DPS targets Affliction and Destruction should be quite even. However once any additional targets are introduced Affliction will perform considerably better than Destruction. Heavy AoE fights are where Demonology really begins to shine, followed respectably by Affliction and then Destruction behind by a considerable margin.
Q: Is there a haste cap?
A: Technically, there are multiple. See the Mechanics: Haste section of this guide for more information.
Q: Should I use the Infernal or Doomguard?
A: Doomguard for Single Target, Infernal for AoE.
Q: I changed my spec, and on a training dummy my new spec gives me more DPS!
A: What you do on a training dummy is irrelevant. Not only is your sample data far too small to rule out RNG, you're also missing lots of buffs/target debuffs that will change the way certain talents perform.
Q: I asked a question / Made a suggestion, why didn't you answer or respond to it?
A: On ElitistJerks it is policy that people who respond to stupid or very basic questions receive infractions along with the person who received the initial infraction. If you had a question and I didn't respond to it, I was probably avoiding infraction points.
Demonology has 2 possible specs:
Currently, the Felhunter is the highest single target DPS demon.
The Felguard should still be used in AoE situations.
[top]Stats & Gearing
Intellect now converts to Spell Damage, which makes all spells stronger. A number of factors determine how much benefit they receive, such as the spell co-efficients and talents. However, all spells benefit in some way.
1 Intellect provides 1 spellpower (before bonuses) and 0.00154% crit, as well as 17.53 mana.
102.45 hit rating increase your chance to hit with spells by 1% until Hit Cap (17% or 1742 Rating). Once the cap has been reached Hit becomes useless.
128.05 haste rating gives 1% spell haste. Haste rating scales multiplicatively with other sources of haste. Haste cannot reduce the duration of the global cooldown below 1.0 second.
To calculate the 'new' cast time of a spell, use the following formula:
Where 5%.Aura = 1.05 and Dark.Intent = 1.03.
Example, if we take a 2.5 second Normal.Cast.Time and a 950 Haste.Rating, we will get the following:
Due to the changes to DoTs introduced in 4.0.1 haste has become a much more advanced stat. See the Mechanics: Haste section for more information.
Critical Strike Rating:
179.28 crit rating gives 1% to crit. With a Burning Shadowspirit Diamond, crits will do 2.06 times the damage of normal hits. Due to changes made to DoTs in 4.0.1, all DoTs can now crit innately.
179.28 mastery provides a 2.3% increase to the damage our demons do, as well as the damage we do while under the effect of Metamorphosis.
It is recommended you download the Simulationcraft tool and base your decisions around your individual character. For example if you are using [Moonwell Chalice] with heroic Firelands gear, it's quite likely Haste will be lower than Crit. However, the below order should be correct in most situations.
Lower (iLvl 359 - 378) Gear Levels
Mid (iLvl 378 - 397) Gear Levels
Higher (iLvl 397+) Gear levels
Some notes on stat weights:
The importance of haste thresholds is much lower (almost negligible) on single target fights. Instead these thresholds are much more important in situations with 2 or more targets and you can multi-dot.
In most cases you will begin to reach these thresholds automatically as you gear up (in full BiS 410 gear you will have over 2000 unreforgable haste). In a Patchwerk encounter my recommendation would be to reforge for full mastery and ignore these thresholds, and as always, sim your specific gear config using simulationcraft!
Reforging allows you to exchange 40% of a combat rating already on an item and converts it into a combat rating not already on an item. Example: If an item has Crit, you cannot add more Crit. If it has no Crit then you could reforge 40% of another rating (Haste, Hit, or Mastery) into Crit. An item with 100 Hit and no Crit could be reforged to 60 Hit and 40 Crit.
Reforging is essentially following the stat priority rules above to reach certain caps and maximize the benefit we recieve from secondary stats. For example, for the stat priorities in iLvl 378+ gear, we do the following (in order):
1. Reforge crit then mastery to hit until cap, getting as close to 1742 as possible.
2. Reforge crit then mastery to haste until 1993 rating, getting as close as possible without going under.
3. Reforge left over stats to mastery, including any hit or haste over the mentioned caps.It is important to note that optimizing your reforging may involve reforging away from haste or hit on gear to get as close as possible to the cap (without going under). It is recommended you use a tools such as WoWReforge to assist you.
When to ignore the socket bonus
As a general rule of thumb, if the socket bonus is less than 20 Int or 30 of any rating stat, then it would be better to ignore the bonus and gem [Brilliant Inferno Ruby]/[Brilliant Queen's Garnet]. However, to be more accurate you would need to find the relevant scale factors for your individual gear setup (Using Simulationcraft) and multiply those scale factors by the stats you would gain with either gem.
2pc - The 2 peice bonus is a ~4% DPS increase, dependent on fight time.
4pc - The 4 piece bonus is a ~2.5% DPS increase if used on CD.
[top]Best in Slot
Normal BiS No Legendary
Normal BiS with Legendary
Heroic BiS No Legendary
Heroic BiS with Legendary
In order of DPS increase.
Single Target Spec
The first thing to note is that when you enter an encounter you will want to have your Felguard out. Once the encounter begins and your Felguard is attacking the boss use Felstorm and Demon Soul. Once Felstorm has ended you will want to summon a Felhunter using Soulburn, unless the fight is an AoE heavy fight.
Demonology's primary concern is Metamorphosis. Generally Metamorphosis should be used on CD, unless you are delaying it so it can be used alongside trinkets such as [Moonwell Chalice]. If you have the T13 set bonus Soulburn should be cast on cooldown, along with Soul Fire so the shard is replenished. Demon Soul should be used on cooldown.
Immolate and Corruption should have as close to 100% uptime as possible. This is also true for Bane of Doom, however this should only be cast if the target is going to live for more than 15 seconds.
Hand of Gul'dan should be used on cooldown. Incinerate should be used when Molten Core procs, even during Decimation. When the target reaches 25% HP Decimation will proc, Soul Fire will then become the filler spell.
If safe, Shadowflame should be used on cooldown while in melee range. However it is not worth running a long distance into melee range to do so. In addition Metamorphosis: Immolaton Aura should be used in melee wherever possible.
If all of the above is done, revert to Incinerate (Single Target) or Shadow Bolt (Multi-target) until a higher priority option becomes available.
One of the changes made to Metamorphosis since 4.0.1 is the introduction of the Impending Doom talent. This means that our Metamorphosis ability will have an ever changing cooldown that will need to be closely monitored.
Currently, Sims are showing the possibility of this cooldown being as low as 85 seconds (Heroic T13). However the actual number will vary quite a bit depending on RNG, cast times (gear) and movement.
As a general rule, you want to be using this as often as possible (ie. on cooldown) to guarantee potential uptime isn't wasted. However, with good encounter knowledge, if you are safely able to line this up with important events such as bloodlust/heroism and Decimation then I would suggest doing so.
There are rare situations where Metamorphosis should be delayed, the most common of these being when used alongside the trinket [Moonwell Chalice].
[top]Meta and Mastery
Mastery values are 'snapshotted' when Metamorphosis is cast, meaning that the damage increase provided by mastery does not change during Metamorphosis even if temporary mastery buffs wear off. This makes temporary mastery buffs provided through trinkets and items very powerful if they can be lined up with Metamorphosis. This is however, not always the case, so these trinkets/items should be tested and valued on an individual basis.
Demon Soul: Felguard increases your spell haste by 15% and fire and shadow damage done by 10% for 20 seconds. This spell should generally be used on cooldown, and should be lined up with "On-Use" trinkets, trinket procs, bloodlust/heroism and potions as often as possible.
Demon Soul: Felhunter increases periodic shadow damage dealt by 20% for 20 seconds. As this spell only effects Bane of Doom and Corruption it's priority is much lower than that of the Felguard's Demon Soul. It is still recommended you stack this effect with that of trinkets/potion/bloodlust/heroism where possible.
Summon Doomguard summons a doomguard (guardian pet) to fight alongside you for 65 seconds on a 10 minute cooldown (95 seconds on a 6 minute cooldown with 2pc T13).
The doomguard scales with some of your stats, these being spellpower, mastery, hit and crit. Therefore timing your doomguard summon with trinket procs, enchant procs and potions is essential for maximizing its DPS. In most cases the best way to achieve this is to simply summon your doomguard ~10-12 seconds into the fight as all procs are off cooldown and available before the pull.
The doomguard does not scale with percentage based damage increases or haste.
First and foremost, you should gauge the needs of your group. When learning raid fights or playing with undergeared healers, they should always come first. When you hit enrage timers or wipe because the boss has a burn phase you didn't complete, you should consider applying it to DPS classes. I'll leave this up to you.
[top]AoE and Multiple Targets
The strong point for Demonology. In almost every AoE situation you will want to use Felguard Felstorm and Shadowflame. In situations where that is 6 or more targets then you will achieve the best results through channeling Hellfire. In situations with 5 or less targets then muti-dotting with Immolate and Corruption before channeling hellfire will yield greater results.
For more controlled multiple target damage, tab targeting non-cc'd mobs with Immolate and Corruption and then proceeding with a single target rotation on each mob until it is dead will be the most optimal way of dealing damage.
[top]Haste and DoTs
With patch 4.0.1 the way DoTs work has changed. In addition to all DoTs now benefiting from haste innately, haste now reduces the time between ticks. Haste only reduces the DoTs duration until an extra tick is received.
As of 4.0.6, and the change to the Inferno talent reaching the haste "thresholds" for Immolate is no longer important. Attempting to achieve any of these thresholds will not provide any significant increase in DPS, however these values and how to calculate them are still good to know. Reaching the haste thresholds for Corru[tion does provide an increase and should generally be achieved.
This applies to all of our DoTs except BoD, however, the haste required to achieve this extra tick will differ between DoTs. To calculate the required haste to achieve an additional tick, we would need to calculate the time between ticks, specific to 3 decimal places.
From here, we can calculate the percentage of haste required to achieve this tick speed, using the following formula:
So what haste rating should you be aiming for?
Well, Immolate (with Inferno) gains extra ticks at 7.161994%, 21.432909%, 35.715902% etc. So to determine the haste required in a raid situation, with all raid buffs including Dark Intent, we will use this formula:
Therefore, the haste thresholds are (raid buffed):
Our other DoTs also benefit from gaining extra ticks. The haste thresholds for our other DoTs are below:
[top]Other DoT Mechanics
[top]DoTs, Buff and Debuffs
Since 4.0 the basic rules for DoT behavior has changed. When a DoT is applied, the following rules are applied:
The only known case where the above is not true is with the 5% Crit Debuff (Shadow and Flame/Critical Mass). This debuff follows similar rules to that of player buffs.
As a general rule of thumb it is not recommended you recast a DoT early (i.e. clipping, with the exception of the information provided in the 'DoT Refreshing' section of this thread), even when you have additional procs that weren't present on the original cast. What this will effectively do is lower that DoTs overall DPET for that encounter despite the additional damage done due to the proc.
Another change made to DoTs in 4.0 is how DoTs behave when being reapplied or refreshed. Basically if a DoT is refreshed between the 2nd last and last tick, the DoTs duration will be extended to include the last tick. For example:
Corruption (uneffected by haste) has a 18 second duration, dealing damage every 3 seconds (6 ticks). If you refresh Corruption at 16 seconds (2 seconds till the last tick) the new Corruption applied to the target will have a duration of 23 seconds and will tick 6 times.
What this means is that you can 'clip' a DoT without losing the last tick of that DoT (and the damage that last tick provides), making it much easier to have a 100% uptime on all DoTs. One thing to note is that if a DoT is refreshed using this method then the last tick inherits the stats of the new DoT (See 'DoTs, Buffs and Debuffs').
Under certain circumstances it is beneficial to routinely change your demon throughout the course of an encounter. This is called Pet Twisting. The only current circumstance is when you are using the trinket [Moonwell Chalice] and delaying Metamorphosis to line up with this trinket.
The basic idea of this is as follows:
This continues until the fight is over, or until you have no soulshards left, in which case you will want to continue to use your Felhunter.
The reason we do this is because of the way the Felguard's Demon Soul stacks with Metamorphosis and [Moonwell Chalice].
An advanced raid simulator that can provide you with tons of valuable information, such as scale factors, damage per execution, uptime of procs, etc. You can change the spell priority system to see what works best, however by importing your character simulationcraft should have an optimized priority list ready for you (not always!).
World of Logs
World of Logs is a combat log analyzer which allows gamers to save, share and analyze their raiding experiences in World of Warcraft conveniently and thoroughly.
An easy to use reforge calculator designed to assist you in maximizing your stats through reforging. The calculator can work around hit caps, haste caps and can be editted with custom stat weights for your individual character.
DoT Haste Calculations Spreadsheet
A comprehensive spreadsheet detailing all DoT tick breakpoints. Provides numbers for every classes DoTs, includes breakpoints with Bloodlust/Heroism and as a Goblin.
DoTHaste Program by Acrimony
An easy to use program used to calculate DoT tick breakpoints. Provides numbers for every classes DoTs, includes breakpoints with Bloodlust/Heroism and as a Goblin.
[top]To Be Completed
Gear: Best in Slot
Other: Macros - Suggestions Welcome
[top]PTR/Imcoming Patch Changes
Please do not post in this thread regarding PTR/Incoming Patch changes. The purpose of this thread is to discuss live mechanics only. Be assured that no incoming changes will be missed, and they will be heavily researched before going live. Should there be any relevant changes made, this thread will be updated the night of the patch, and not before.
Below are changes relevant to Demonology for all cataclysm major patches.
[top]Patch 4.3 Changes
[top]Patch 4.2 Changes
[top]Patch 4.1 Changes
[top]Credit and Special Thanks
- December 07, 2010:
- December 11/12, 2010:
Fixed a few things
- December 21, 2010:
Added "Demon Choice" section, detailing the use of the Succubus.
- January 03, 2011:
Revised Advanced: Haste section with newly discovered information.
- January 8, 2011:
Updated Dark Intent section.
- January 23, 2011:
Demon of choice is once again the Felguard.
- February 8, 2011:
Updated for 4.0.6.
- Febuary 9, 2011:
Succubus crit issue fixed. Succubus confirmed as best Single Target pet.
- March 17, 2011:
Updated stat priorities.
- April 26, 2011:
Updated for 4.1.
- June 29, 2011:
Updated for 4.2
- July 16, 2011:
Updated Raid Performance
Updated Tailoring under 'Professions'
Glyph of Corruption over Glyph of Incinerate
- July 30, 2011:
Updated Metamorphosis section
Added WoWReforge to Tools section
- December 3, 2011:
Updated for 4.3
Added a number of new sections
- December 4, 2001:
Added BiS Gear
Feedback to this thread is appreciated. There is still much I would like to add (more than just what is in the "To be completed" section) and clarify and there might be a lot more that I have not thought of yet. Generally feedback should be posted within this thread (however please try keep posts in this thread discussion related), however if you feel that the feedback you have would be best suited for a private message, please do not hesitate to send me one.
If I have made a mistake, then a PM would be preferred over posting in this thread.
This article is the original work of Jmickey (Caelestrasz-US) aided by contributors of the Elitist Jerks forums. Re-posting this article in full or in part is permitted under the following conditions:
* A direct link to the original article, and the name of the original author should be clearly stated.For any further questions regarding displaying the contents of this article elsewhere, please send me a private message.
Perhaps you could add under advanced haste something along the lines of "At haste ratings close to, but below: 579, 2639 or 4698". Exactly how close is something you could fill out after further discussion.
PS. Excellent thread!
It has been proved that Glyph of Incinerate is actually better than Glyph of Corruption?
I've always seen the former used in every simcraft result, but it seems that the latter gives a slight dps increase.
Moreover, didn't the meta requirement change, requiring now more blue that red gems? A revert has been announced, but not confirmed yet. A way to to satisfy it should be to socket yellows with green gems ([Lightning Dream Emerald]) until
#[Lightning Dream Emerald] > #[Brilliant Inferno Ruby] + #[Reckless Ember Topaz]
I might have this totally wrong, just got my first lock 1 - 85. Just wondering with keeping IMP SF up in our rotation, do you try to clip the last split second of the buff for the recast?
I find that if my next cast after this is SB / Incin / HoG due to lag it'll be off the buff and be a longer cast.
So the alternative I guess would be to time IMP SF such that we can still cast one of the above 3 spells during the last split second of the previous IMP SF buff?
I currently use the former, just some thoughts.
Even stripping out the stacking benefits of other multipliers and looking at Demon Soul and Meta in isolation sees a benefit when stacking over casting in series (rough, and using equivalence between haste% and damage%)
Demon Soul ( 1.1 * 1.15) = 1.265 or around a 26.5% damage increase over 20 seconds.
Meta plus base mastery ( 1.2 * 1.12 ) = 1.344 or around a 34.4% damage increase over 36 seconds.
If these are cast in series in a 56 second period, the benefit is additive - 20 * 1.265 + 36 * 1.344 = 82.39
82.39/56 = 1.47, a 47% dps increase over the time period
If these are stacked, the benefit is multiplicative - 20 * 1.265 * 1.344 + 16 * 1.344 + 20 = 87.2
87.2/56 = 1.56, a 56% dps increase over the time period
That's almost 20% increased effectiveness. Also, that's with zero mastery from gear (unlikely). I disagree that the general downer on mastery that simulated stat weights (which ignore the benefits of stacking) can provide will necessarily reflect the benefits that can be gained from it by anyone who plays smarter than a straight priority list.
I'd also add that we should make sure to hold our "last" Meta/DS combo for Decimate if in the last 2.5 minutes of a fight.
The stat weights simulated for mastery are most probably closer than what you seem to think, even when you stack it with other cooldowns. It comes down to simply not having a high enough Meta uptime. If we look at a best case scenario of getting Meta to 100s on it CD (this on it's own would require good RNG), that is a total uptime of 36% over a 5 minute fight, which simply is not enough. If we wait to pop Meta with DS up like you suggest, this is even less overall uptime.
For mastery (in it's current state) to become a competetive stat for us, I would hazard a guess (a very rough guess) that Meta uptime would need to be 60%+, possible even higher.
Please note that Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond still needs "more blues than reds" to activate. Until Blizz comes out with a patch (blue posts said it won't be fixed until next patch) we will be using a different meta gem.
I agree with Wormskull that Meta uptime and stacking it with Demon Soul (and racials if applicable) is an important part of our dps and our damage in Meta benefits from Mastery. Meta uptime will be substantial (perhaps 30%) given meta glyph and Impending doom.
Jmickey rightly points out that 30% might not be enough to make Mastery worthwhile, but we need simcrafting including the multiplicative effects of stacking cool downs to really know for sure.
While this is increasingly likely the longer the fight (if you're waiting on average 10 sec with Meta on CD every cycle, for example), the impact of missing 1 chance to pop the combo is reduced by having popped it a growing number of times.
I'll not have a chance to run the simulation for another few days, but I think this could be pretty easily modeled.
Lightweave Embroidery is actually much much better than that.
The tooltip to create the item says 580 SP. The buff it gives you says 580 int. It gives you 580 int in practice.
The ICD is also only 45 seconds, with a very high chance to proc when it is off cooldown.
This averages out to ~193.3 Int, replacing the 50 int enchant, for a total of ~143.3 int. This makes tailoring by far the best profession for warlocks.
Not sure if this is just a brainfart, but how does a purple gem help at all for the metagem requirement? Doesn't the "fits blue and red" part pretty much negate the use completely?
I tried going by the rule of thumb mentioned in the OP, but Chaotic Spiritshadow Diamond wouldn't activate if I used purple gems for gem slots.
You are right about Lightweave Embroidery, I will update the OP, that will teach me to trust tooltips.
The Meta gem requirement mentioned in the OP is going on the assumption that blizzard will be patching it in the near future. In the mean time you will need to either use a different meta, or gem more green + purple gems than orange + red + purple.
I did explain this breifly in an above post, and I hate repeating myself. It's simple, the value of mastery is any fight over 1 minute is lower than haste, and lower than crit after about 1.5 minutes. The percentage increase per point of mastery would need to be considerably better, or Meta uptime would need to be much higher. The damage increase to our pets is almost negligible.
Shadow Bolt has a higher DPET than Incinerate without MC up. I did a quick sim to get some numbers, in Pre-Raid blues/epics, taking into account inflation through MC, Shadow Bolt gave me a 8346 DPET and Incinerate a 8315 DPET (this includes MC procs throughout the fight, and is averaged out). This would mean a non-MC Incinerate would probably be 2000 or so DPET less than Shadow Bolt.
That aside, I was thinking, about how Crit & Mastery scale with haste. I doubt either of these stats will ever topple haste as the top priority at whatever gear levels (T12 and beyond). My point is, crit should be a linear scale proportionate to haste, mastery on the other hand, might be slightly exponential? My brain is telling me i'm flipped and my mental maths is wrong, anyone have better insight? (This whole stems from the fact that Demo is very much a multiplier's game it really gets quite complex when you factor in the fact that mastery increases the multiplier effect that demo gets from stacking CDs/Procs).
What i'm trying to say is, will haste ever reach a point where Mastery > Crit as the 3rd priority (after hit & haste). Of course this does not affect gemming / enchanting / reforging due to haste still being the 2nd best, It might affect gear choices though, "that 3rd stat that just happens to be on that piece of gear" etc etc.
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