So you're giving up Second Wind, Drums of War, or field Dressing, for that damage increase. Seems to be well worth it from a pure optimization point of view, unless it's an encounter where one of the skills from Drums of War will be used a lot. After that, the only trick is macroing a change to zerker stance into most of your abilities, and a change to battle stance to Rend/OP (or just manage it manually. Now that we don't have to HS spam, I can easily see binding stance changes to the mouse wheel for example).
I'm actually personally more interested in the possibility of a Prot subspec. Like I mentioned in the Fury thread, I can foresee Heroic Throw being a decent addition to a rotation if you get a swing timer, given it is a rage free attack that hits pretty hard, and even adds a sunder (assuming that's ever even an issue with druids and hunters bringing sunders much easier).
Basically you pick up an extra HT per minute, the utility gained from the silence on your HT (makes you the tanks best friend on some pulls), some extra AoE from Blood and Thunder, and you get to add Thunderclap into your single target rotation as your rend refresher, picking you up a bit of dps.
But I'm not sure at this time that going for that Prot subspec is worth losing Executioner and 2 points in battle trance (or 2 points in cruelty, while maxing out battle trance. I made the assumption the extra wrecking crew uptime from Cruelty made it the better talent). I think it bears looking into, but it may end up being just more trouble than it's worth.
Oh, gotcha I had thought you were talking about 4.01 where those extra points wouldn't be there.
You still have the same extra points available in 4.0.1 to pick it up. You pick up tactical mastery to be able to move into tier 3, your alternative options are Field Dressing, Second Wind, and Drums of War.
I had made the post describing a stance-dancing scenario with the assumption that the three alternate talents at level 80: field dressing, second wind, and drums of war, provide no additional DPS output. In fact, outside of PVP they seem pretty marginal for DPS warriors. On the other hand, optimal stance-dancing has a maximum benefit of changing the stance damage bonus from 5% to 10% on all non-OP, non-rend abilities.
I just tested the stance dancing and I am very impressed. All I had to do was make a macro for MS, Rend, OP, HS, and Execute and the stance dancing worked painlessly. The dps was on par if not better with no stance dancing. The reason for this is probably because I haven't quite got the hang of when to refresh rend yet with stancing.
This is something I consider an issue. I am voicing my concerns about the differences between stances on the beta forum since a few, because the stance dance isn't anything but a gimmick way to gain dps and the whole process can be macroed. Used correctly it's much more than a marginal gain: rend ticks gain the bonus aswell so you only miss the 5% on the application refresh and you can simply keep the time in battle stance down to 2-3s every ~10.
Latest changes also prompted up the damage of everything but OP so increasing the benefit of sitting in berserk for most of the time. Also, since MS is far higher damage than OP, even accounting the 50% crit difference, you are still going to try to avoid using LttS on OP.
My testing indicates that refreshing Rend with Thunder Clap for single target damage with the Blood and Thunder talent is not worth it.
Rend ticks 6 times, once at 0 seconds, and every 3 seconds after, until the debuff falls off at 15 seconds. In order to refresh the debuff with a Thunder Clap, you lose that last tick. A Rend tick is currently doing more damage than a Thunder Clap hit. So you're doing less damage for 50% more rage.
Blood and Thunder should only be worth it with 2 or more targets.
I agree that staying in berserker stance is not intended as arms has always been associated with battle stance. It does present some issues though, especially during Deadly Calm phases. During DC since nothing costs rage you want to mash HS on CD, however if the macro requires HS to only be usable during berserker stance then it would not go off while you were OPing at the same time which required you to go back to battle stance. The simple remedy would be I suppose to unmacro HS and allow it's use whenever since generally you'll be in berserker stance after an MS anyway.
Some more things I just tested with Rend.
First of all the behaviour has changed a bit since some weeks ago. For a while Rend had a very low crit chance, but now seems fixed. However its damage per tick is based on the initial application so changing stance or getting an AP buff won't change the tick size until you refresh or reapply it. This wasn't happening in the beginning of my beta experience where damage changed based on stances and buffs. The only thing that seems to affect the tick is Trauma and the first tick on a target without the bleed debuff is in fact doing less damage.
About Rend vs TC for single target there is a different "approach" you should use. Rend *refresh* won't grant any tick at 0 time, it will just continue to tick on a 3s basis wheter you refresh at 14s or 0.5s and will tick 6 times eventually extending over 15s to achieve that (up to 17s if you refresh @~9s or ~4s).
TC does the same thing, ie produces another 6 ticks after the *refresh*, but contrary to Rend it deals damage on the refresh. TC is mitigated by armor, but can't be dodged or parried and has 3yds additional range. It scales from pure AP instead of weapon damage and scales slower than Rend.
So you actually need to reapply Rend to produce that 1 tick, and this produces a loss of OP damage. Ideally you want to reapply Rend as fast as possible after last tick. This is not always the best choice tho because of cds and GCD collision. TC won't make you lose any OP damage cause you can only refresh Rend with it. Also for this reason it will cost you more than X rage (5 glyphed, 10 otherwise), cause you will have always to use it before the expiration, while Rend can even be delayed to up to 3s.
Imho if you see that your cds will collide with the optimal Rend reapplication, you are better off using TC as close as possible to last tick. Rend ticks should deal more damage than a TC in nearly every occasion except under CS and low AP levels, but you shouldn't clip last tick with another Rend because, unless you only have 14 or less rage, TC will deal more damage even for single target.
Seems you got to me first, hehe. After reading your first post, I wanted to try a simple test to check it out. The test consisted on applying Rend, do nothing else than auto-attack, reapply Rend as soon as it expires and end auto-attacking before the second Rend expires. Doing this I got values between 1002 to 1403 DPS, with 12 ticks of Rend.
I then did another test consisting in using TC to reapply Rend just before it expires, ofcourse, ending the test by stoping auto-attack before the second Rend expires. I got values from 1262 to 1617 DPS, with 11 and sometimes 12 ticks of Rend, meaning if timed right, you won't lose ticks. This might be a glitch, but it happened.
I didn't use any other abilities and did it on Battle stance as to not jeopardise the results. I also discarded the extreme, unreal cases, i.e., getting 0% or 80% crit chance on Auto-Attacks.
For what it's worth, the classical interaction of stats, buffs and dots for shadow priest is as follows :
- Contribution (or procs) of AP / Spellpower is calculated on cast / refresh (including auto-refresh) ;
- contribution of haste / crit gear buffs on the player is calculated on cast / refresh (haste is sometimes an exception and can be rolled as long as the dot is kept up)
- contribution of haste / crit debuffs on the mob is calculated on the cast / refresh;
- contribution from damage percentage buffs on the player is calculated on the cast / refresh;
- contribution from damage percentage debuff on the mob is calculated for each tick.
One way to integrate it in one algorithm is as follows:
- at each cast or refresh, the dot ticks value, crit rate and frequency (haste) are computed and stored;
- then any damage received (included from dots) is multiplied by the damage percentage modifiers, when the damage are received.
This makes sense because damage percentage modifiers apply the same modification / operation to all damage, whereas the crit / haste modifiers depends on the crit / haste rate of the casted spell.
As for the refresh mechanism, the basic rule is as follows :
- if the dot is already up when the refresh is, the next tick time is not changed. The new duration is the sum of the time to next tick and the base duration.
- if the dot is applied, the duration is the base duration, and the first tick is at the "expected" time.
I've done no testing, but it is likely that rend follows the same rules. Haste rolling might be possible though.
Edit : some dots applied on crit / cast, such as deep wounds, have different behaviour, because Blizzard avoids double dipping effect when possible (for example, critting deep wounds would :
1/ increase your deepwounds "deposit" (you have more crit, hence it applies more frequently)
2/ increase your deepwounds damage at constant deposit, because it will crit more often.
3/ Potentially (but they could disable that), allows deep wounds to proc from itself, which makes it basically out of control.
Well, Rend *should* follow the general rules of dots. Deep Wounds behaves differently because it has a buffer so the additional damage from a new crit is rolled into the existing one more or less like Ignite. Even DW damage per tick changes depending on the presence of Trauma, but I'm not sure there is anything else that can affect its tick damage only.
We probably can simplify saying that the buffs on YOU are applied on cast/refresh, the debuffs on the target may be applied on tick and the refresh extends the duration by the entire tick count (in the case of Rend 6), but I didn't do extensive testing.
The problem of solo testing Rend as arms is that we apply 2 debuffs at once: bleeds and physical damage. The latter also applies only when a bleed is ticking. So if the first tick deals 1 damage the second one should deal 1.352 damage. Since Trauma lasts 1 minute the first tick on the reapplication should deal 1.3 and the following ones again 1.352.
As I said already, the first tests I did about 2 months ago had a different behaviour because both buffs and debuffs seemed calculated per tick, so swapping stance provided a Rend tick change. I don't know if any other dot showed this behaviour before.
However the current behaviour, which seems aligned with other dots, has some interesting effect on our decision to refresh or reapply: if you have a buff that will expire before the last tick it may be better to refresh (and thus using TC) rather than reapply Rend. This is something I never considered since I assumed it changed on a tick basis.
Also, I couldn't do anything to let Rend "roll", but maybe the rolling is only tied to haste which doesn't affect it at all.