Monday, September 22, 2008

WotLK: What Spell Do I Use? - The Basics

This is the first part in a three part series looking at what spells moonkin should use for WotLK Raiding. Part one looks at the basic math of our four main DPS spells. Part two will look at what spell rotations we should use and when. Part three on Eclipse is cancelled for now.

UPDATE: The numbers have been updated to include the new base values.

With the expansion coming a lot of the conventional wisdom regarding moonkin is up in the air. If you have read my blog or the moonkin forums you know that several people are questioning if Starfire will still be our primary raid spell. In this post I hope to look at our 4 primary DPS spells and how they are changing. In a second post I will also look at what sort of rotations we are going to use in the expantion.

Quick Note: A couple of people have done math similar to this. I haven't reviewed it all but it is something you might one to look at it. Murmur's compares Moonkin DPS to Mage DPS here on the WoW forums. And Gray Matter reader Erdluf, looks at the DPS of individual talents here on the Moonkin Respository. These were posted a little while ago so some of the values may have changed, but it is good work by both of them that should be recognized.

Talent Build / Buffs:
I have used this Talent Build to calculate the numbers. I am not suggesting that we raid with this build. I have chosen it because it maximizes DPS buffs and I expect blizzard to do something about our bloat.

Note: This may be a mistake but I'm going to assume that you've read my other Verses posts or know a decent amount about moonkin builds. Therefore, I am not going to list every talent that will impact the math. I am just highlighting the newer ones and the ones that have a greater impact.

Spell Damage Buffs:

Genesis - Increases the damage and healing done by your periodic damage and healing effects by 5%.
Improved Moonfire - Increases the damage and critical strike chance of your Moonfire spell by 10%.
Moonfury - Increases the damage done by your Starfire, Moonfire and Wrath spells by 10%.
Wrath of Cenarius - Your Starfire spell gains an additional 20% and your Wrath gains an additional 10% of your bonus damage effects.

Earth and Moon - Your Wrath and Starfire spells have a 100% chance to apply the Earth and Moon effect, which increases Arcane, Fire, Frost, Nature and Shadow damage taken by 13% for 12 sec. Also increases your spell damage by 5%.
Master Shapeshifter - Moonkin Form - Increases spell damage by 4%.


Glyph of Moonfire - Increases the periodic damage of your Moonfire ability by 75%, but initial damage is decreased by 90%.
Glyph of Starfire - Your Starfire ability increases the duration of your Moonfire effect on the target by 3 sec.
Glyph of Insect Swarm - Increases the damage of your Insect Swarm ability by 30%, but it no longer affects your victim's chance to hit.
Glyph of Wrath - Increases the chance you'll resist spell interruption when casting your Wrath spell by 50%.

1. Base Mana for a level 80 Druid is 3796 as found on

2. I have build a hipothetical druid entirely geared out of Naxx 10. I used both Cloth and Leather items. The math is build around this charicter. Fully buffed he has 17,776 mana, 30% Crit w/ talents, 11.31% haste, 1800 Spell Power, and is Hit capped.

3. I assume there is no spell push back. This is biased agains Wrath, but I don't think I have a good way to estimate it at the moment.

Mana Costs:
In WotLK mana costs for spells are a percentage of a toons Base Mana pool. So, at level 80 a moonkins mana costs start at: Starfire = 607, Wrath = 417, Moonfire =797, Insect Swarm = 303.

With thenew Mana on crit mechanic we can assume some mana saving based upon crit rate. Given my hipothetical moonkin each crit will return 355 mana. Therefore each Wrath and Starfire cast will return 107 mana on average and each Moonfire cast will return 128 mana on average.

Moonglow will also reduce the mana costs by 9% for Starfire, Wrath and Moonfire.

With these modifications in mind we can assume the mana cost of each spell is: Starfire = 446, Wrath = 273, Moonfire = 597, Insect Swarm = 303.

Here is the basic math for Moonfire's DPS.

DD Damage = (((DD Base + (Spell Power * 0.1487)) * (1 + Crit1)) * (1 + (Imp MF + MF + EnM(group) + MSS + EnM(self))))

DoT Damage = ((DoT Base + (Spell Power * 0.5224)) * 1.25) * (1 + (Imp MF + MF + EnM(group) + MSS + EnM(self) + Genesis))

DPS = (DD Damage + DoT Damage) / 15
For the hypothetical moonkin this equiates to:

DD Damage = ((441+ (1800* 0.1487)) * (1 + 0.36)) * (1 + 0.1+ 0.1 + 0.13 + 0.04 + 0.05)
DD Damage = (709 * 1.36) * 1.42 = 1,369

DoT Damage = ((800+ (1800 * 0.5224)) * 1.25) * (1 + 0.1+ 0.1 + 0.13 + 0.04 + 0.05 + 0.05)
DoT Damage = (1740 * 1.25) * 1.47 = 3,198

DPS = (1,369+ 3,198) / 15 = 304.67

Now lets look to see what happens if we use the Glyph of Moonfire. As state above it reduces the Direct Damage potion of the spell by 90% but increases the DoT by 75%.

DPS = ((DD Damage * 0.1) + (DoT Damage * 1.75)) / 15
DPS = ((1,369* 0.1) + (3,198 * 1.75)) / 15
DPS = (137 + 5596) / 15 = 382.23

The DPM for a Glyphed Moonfire is:

DPM = (137 + 5596) / 597 = 9.60

Due to the Glyph of Starfire we need to figure out what Moonfire's DoT damage is per tick. I will assume that the Moonfire Glyph is active since it is clearly a DPS increase.

Damage per Tick = 5596 / 5 = 1,119

1: This crit rate is 0.06 higher then the crit rate listed in the assumptions. This is due to Moonfire getting 10% crit from talents instead of 4% like Starfire and Wrath.

Here is the basic math for Starfire's DPS.

DPS = (((Base + (Spell Power * 1.2))*(1 + (MF + EnM(group) + MSS + EnM(self))))*(1 + Crit)) / ((3-(0.5*Crit))/(1+Haste))>
For my hypothetical moonkin this equates to:

DPS = (((1,120 + (1,800 * 1.2))*(1 + 0.1 + 0.13 + 0.04 + 0.05)))*(1 + 0.3)) / ((3 - (0.5 * 0.3))/ (1 + 0.1131))
DPS = (3,280* 1.32)*1.3 / (2.85 / 1.1131)
DPS = 5,628 / 2.5604 = 2,198.28
This results in a Damage per Mana of:

DPM = (5,628 / 446) = 12.62
As stated above the Glyph of Starfire increases the duration of a ticking Moonfire by 3 seconds. It basically adds one more tick. Here is how that affects Starfire's DPS and DPM. I will assume that the Moonfire Glyphed also.

Glyphed DPS = Starfire DPS + (Moonfire Tick / 3)
Glyphed DPS = 2,198.28 + (1,119/ 3) = 2,571.28
Here is the basic math for Wrath's DPS.

DPS = (((Base + (Spell Power * 0.67))*(1 + (MF + EnM(group) + MSS + EnM(self))))*(1 + Crit)) / ((1.5/(1+Haste))*(1 - Crit) + Crit)
For my hypothetical moonkin this equates to:

DPS = (((588 + (1800 * 0.67))*(1 + 0.1 + 0.13 + 0.04 + 0.05)))*(1 + 0.3)) / ((1.5/(1+0.1131))*(1 - Crit) + Crit)
DPS = (1,794* 1.32)*1.3 / (1.3476*0.7) + 0.3
DPS = 3,079 / 1.2433 = 2,476.07
This results in a Damage per Mana of:

DPM = (3,079 / 273) = 11.28
Insect Swarm:
Here is the basic math for Insect Swarm DPS.

DPS = ((Base + (Spell Power * 0.76)) * (1 + EnM(group) + MSS + EnM(self) + Genesis) * 1.25) / 15
For my hypothetical moonkin this equates to:

DPS = ((1,290 + (1800 * 0.76)) * (1 + 0.13 + 0.04 + 0.05 + 0.05) * 1.25) / 15
DPS = (2,658 * 1.27 * 1.25) / 15 = 281.30
Using the the Insect Swarm Glyph depends on your raid. In will increase your personal DPS, but it eliminates the 5% avoidence associated with the spell. Using this glyph depends on the need for the extra avoidence and if a hunter is using Scorpid Sting.

Glyphed DPS = 281.30 * 1.30 = 365.70
This results in a Damage per Mana of:

DPM = (2,658 * 1.27 * 1.25) / 303 = 13.93

Glyphed DPM = ((2,658 * 1.27 * 1.25) * 1.3) / 303 = 18.10
1. If you ever plan on using Moonfire in a Raid you should have the Moonfire Glyph. We all know that Moonfire spam is bad 99.99% of the time, so this glyph improves your DPS 99.99% of the time.

2. Without glyphs the relationship between Starfire and Wrath has normalized, where Wrath has a 13% DPS advantage and Starfire has a 12% DPM advantage. After you add the Glyph's Starfire becomes a clear favorite for fights with low spell push back. In such a situation, Starfire has a 3.7% DPS advantage and a 34% DPM advantage

3. Insect Swarm is a much improved spell. It may not scale as well as our other spells but it scales much better then it used to.

Final Note:
I feel like I should note that the Crit rate I have used in these calculations is probably a little conservative. I came up with the number by adding the crit from Crit Rating, Int, Talents, and Imp Scorch togeather and scaled it back a little. To be specific my hypothetical moonkin got the following crit values from stats: Crit rating - 7.17%, Int - 5.62%, Talents - 9%, Imp Scorch - 10%. If you combine these you get a 31.78% crit rate.

Notice that this calculation excludes Imp FF or a Base Crit rate that may or may not exist. It is also created using the bear minimum of raid quality gear. This number should increase significantly as the quality of gear increases from T8 and T9 instances.

I haven't detailed the math here but I have plugged higher crit rates into my model to see how it would affect the results. It shows that Crit rating heavily favors Wrath in both DPS and DPM. Wrath receives more DPS from crit then Starfire because it has a higher base level of DPS. Wrath also becomes more Mana efficent due to the Mana on Crit and having a shorter cast time then Starfire.

So, don't be surprised, if we start saying don't use Starfire at higher levels of raiding.

I will revaluate these numbers after WotLK goes live and we have some real numbers to play wit.


Anonymous said...

Looks like you have some cut and paste errors in both your math and HTML tags. You have starfire and wrath doing the same DPS and DPM and everything is blue and too small to read.

I'm looking forward to reading your post with the right numbers.

Cdin said...

Thanks for the heads up. Time and time again I prove that I need an editor because I am a horrible self editor.

I have fixed the math issues between Wrath and Starfire. They are now different. I'm having a little trouble identifying the issue with the blue print being to small. Is it all of the blue print or just sections?

I used the block quote feature to shift it to the right, but I sized the text the same as the areas not in block quote. It looks find to me when I look at it on a couple of different computers so I don't know what is going on.

If anyone else is having this problem please let me know and I will get rid of the block quotes. Otherwise I don't know what else to do.

Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

Much more interesting with the correct math! In FireFox, the font gets smaller and stays blue right after the basic Starfire DPS formula. There are two 85% font size tags in a row.

If you look at the source of your page, you'll see that whatever tool you are using is making a real mess of the tags. There are dozens of opened and immediately closed span tags. Sometimes they aren't getting closed and then there are formatting problems.

Cdin said...

Ok, I will take a look at it. I don't know anything about HTML, so my abilities are very limited.

Unfortunately I am currently limited by the Blogger editor.

I have been thinking about going to word press but I don't know if it is any better.

Thanks fo the help.

Cdin said...

Ok, I deleted a bunch of the html stuff. Let me know if it looks better or if I royally screwed something up.

Anonymous said...

The whole blog looks much better!

I don't think you need Wordpress. Just keep an eye out for repeated or unclosed tags.