Thursday, February 5, 2009

Eclipse: Part 3 - What about my DoTs?

This is Part three of my four part series looking at Eclipse. In this post I will try and answer the question, Should I refresh my DoTs during Eclipse? Part one looked at the two Eclipse buffs and showed which is the better buff. Part two looked at the value of Eclipse and tried to provide you with an idea of how it will help your DPS. Finally, Part four will summarize my findings and I will share my general thoughts about the talent.

For those of you that don't like reading math, please feel free to skip to the bottom for my TL:DR version of the post.

Should I refresh DoTs while Eclipse is up?

Please Note: Most of the assumptions I made in part one will apply to this post as well. The one exception is to my 5th assumption. For this section I am assuming that you have the [Idol of the Shooting Star] equipped when casting both Starfire and Wrath to maximize the Starfire Eclipse buff.

This is probably the most common question I hear regarding Eclipse, and I'll be honest. I've had a hard time figuring out what is the best way to tackle it, but lets give it a shot.

What do you lose by casting a DoT?

The cost of casting the DoT is the global cooldown (GCD) that could have been used to cast Starfire. The problem is know what the value of that GCD is, because it is near impossible to know if the Starfire cast will receive the Eclipse buff or not. So I will look at it both ways and take an average.

First lets look at the average cast time for Starfire with and without the buff and the global cooldown.

Global Cooldown = (1.5 / 1.17) = 1.2821 seconds
SF cast time w/ buff = ((3 - (0.5 * 0.65)) / 1.17) = 2.2863 seconds
SF cast time w/o buff = ((3 - (0.5 * 0.35)) / 1.17) = 2.4145 seconds

So we know now that the GCD is 56.07% of a buffed Starfire's cast time and53.09% of an unbuffed Starfire's cast time. Next we should look at the damage for a buffed and non buffed Starfire.

Avg SF (buffed) = ((((1285 + (2000 * 1.2)) * 1.1)*1.0712)*(1-0.65))+((((1285 + (2000 * 1.2)) * 1.1)*1.0712)*2.09 * 0.65) = 7418.49 damage

Avg SF (un buffed) = ((((1285 + (2000 * 1.2)) * 1.1)*1.0712)*(1-0.35))+(((1285 + (2000 * 1.2)) * 1.1)*1.0712)*2.09 * 0.35) = 5998.62 damage

With this information we can say that the GCD is worth 4159.55 damage for the buffed Starfire (7418.49 * 0.5607), the GCD is worth 3363.43 damage for the unbuffed Starfire (5998.62 * 0.5309). Since we have no way of knowing which value is more likely, I will assume each of them have a 50% chance of occurring. Therefore by using the GCD for a DoT, on average, you lose 3761.49 damage from Starfire.

What do you gain by casting a Insect Swarm, and is it worth it?

For Insect Swarm this is easy, because we only have to look at Insect Swarm's DPS. It can be calculated like this:

IS DPS = (((1290 + (2000 * 0.76)) * 1.3) * 1.0712) / 12 = 326.09 DPS

(This ignores Natures Splendor because it doesn't change the results.)

So, now we know we gain 326.09 DPS by casting IS. We learned above that for Insect Swarm to be worth casting, it needs to do 3761.49 damage before your next opportunity to cast IS without clipping Eclipse.

This means IS must be on the boss at least 11.5351 seconds for IS to be worth casting. Since IS has a talented duration of 14 seconds it is theoretically worth it to refresh insect swarm if Eclipse just procced. However, in reality the benefit to refreshing IS is very small and our reaction times will make it difficult to be worthwhile.

Therefore, it is my opinion that there is no need to refresh IS while you have the Starfire Eclipse buff.

What do you gain by casting a Moonfire, and is it worth it?

Moonfire is more complicated for a couple of reasons. First, we have to consider both the direct damage and the DoT. Second, we have to consider the extra damage from Starfire due to Improved Insect Swarm.

First lets look at the direct damage portion of Moonfire. Its not large due to the Glyph of Moonfire, but it does factor into the equation. Basically since it happens up front we can subtract it from the damage lost by using the GCD for Moonfire. Here is the math.

Avg MF DD = (((((441 + (2000 * 0.1487)) * .3)*1.0712)*(1-0.41))+((((441 + (2000 * 0.1487)) * 0.3)*1.0712)*2.09 * 0.41)) = 343.34 damage

If we subtract this from the GCD value that means the Moonfire DoT and extra Starfire damage only have to make up 3539.34 damage.

The DoT portion of Moonfire looks like this:

Avg MF DoT DPS= (((800 + (2000 * 0.5224)) * 1.95) * 1.0712) / 12 = 321.12 DPS

To figure out the affect of Moonfire on Starfire lets calculate Starfire with and without the 3% chance to crit.

SF w/ MF = ((((1285 + (2000 * 1.2)) * 1.1)*1.0712)*(1-0.68))+((((1285 + (2000 * 1.2)) * 1.1)*1.0712)*2.09 * 0.68) = 7560.48 damage

SF w/o MF = ((((1285 + (2000 * 1.2)) * 1.1)*1.0712)*(1-0.65))+((((1285 + (2000 * 1.2)) * 1.1)*1.0712)*2.09 * 0.65) = 7418.49 damage

So, refreshing Moonfire will increase the damage from Starfire by 141.99 per SF cast. Since a buffed SF takes 2.2735 seconds to cast on average this increases our DPS by 62.45 DPS.

Lets calculate how long moonfire must be on the boss for it to be worth the cast.

Break-even Point = (3761.49 - 321.12 ) / ( 321.12 + 62.45 ) = 8.9693 seconds

So, theoretically Moonfire must be on the boss at least 8.9693 seconds for it to be a net increase in your DPS. In reality you probably want a little more because of reaction times and such.

My recommendation is that you only refresh Moonfire if it runs out right as Eclipse procs. Otherwise the benefit is small and not worth worrying about.

TL:DR Version

One of the most common Moonkin questions is, Should I refresh my DoTs during Eclipse?

The results are mixed. It is theoretically possible to increase your DPS by refreshing both Insect Swarm and Moonfire at the very beginning of the Eclipse buff. However, reality makes this a little difficult.

The benefit of refreshing Insect Swarm during Eclipse is very small at best. Therefore I recommend that you never refresh Insect Swarm during Eclipse.

The benefit of refreshing Moonfire during Eclipse is more sizable, and can be worthwhile if you do it quickly enough. I recommend that you only refresh Moonfire during Eclipse if your are at the very beginning of the Eclipse buff.


Macbook said...

Great post. My question to you is:

Saying your spamming Wrath on a boss, and, due to the travel time of Wrath, procs at the beginning of you casting a non-NG Wrath.

Do you jump/cancel your current cast and move to Starfire, or you do finish shooting of your Wrath spell?

With the way I play, the lag on my server (and the laptop I play on), I usually get off an additional 1-2 Wraths even after Eclipse procs, meaning I only usually get 12-13 seconds of the buff. That's not even adding if I decide to refresh/apply MF to the target before beginning. I only ever stop casting if I risk accidentally proccing Eclipse with Starfire.

Alternatively, what do you personally do during Heroism (I'll apologize in advance if you covered this in any section, I just read the TLDR versions usually at work)? Personally, I Wrath to eclipse proc even during Heroism, but do not apply buffs.

Would love to hear what you do in these situations,


Teranin said...

Awesome read, as always.


Boukev said...

Thanks a lot for investigating this! I was surprised to find out that your results are just the thing i do at the moment. (on pure feeling) I almost never re-apply DoTs during SFeclipse except at the start when i see Moonfire is about to end. Funnily enough the mats support this, so I am glad i don't have to adjust my playstyle. Thank you for sharing this information.

Daemon said...

I would think simply waiting until the proc is completed would actually benefit you more since there is an internal cooldown on both procs. So why waste that extra time if you have 30 or so seconds after a proc is completed before you can get another one. I only realized this internal cd with my squawk and awe mod. Just refresh your dots then.

Calaziar said...

Hi Graylo....Thanks for all your hard work here. I'm curious about 2 things. First, as gear levels change will that change your conclusions? Second,I want to thank you for your post over at EJ forums on the Moonkin WWS thread asking for info on using that tool. I'm hoping you will condense some of that info and bring it over here to your blog as it is great for Owls and Guild/raid leaders as well and you seem to have a gift for filtering that type of technical information.

Calaziar said...

Ahh a quick PS. I am one of those Moonkins that specs 3/3 IFF for the hit benefit as well as for the extra crit. I often raid without the benefit of a Shadow Priest. On those occasions where Faerie Fire drops during an eclipse is it worth refreshing? I assume it would not be for the crit buff as Eclipse buffs Starfire's crit so high but what about for the 3% hit?
And on the 3% to crit from IFF. Is it additive with the Eclipse buff or multiplicative?

Badeggplant said...

I found this post to be particularly excellent. I've seen several confusedkins using DPCT comparisons who conclude that it's worthwhile to refresh your DOTs even during Eclipse procs without accounting for the remaining uptime of Eclipse. Yours is the first mathematical comparison I have seen of refreshing DOTs vs. Starfire spam that actually takes into account the remaining Eclipse uptime and the average amount of potential DPS lost by not casting Starfire. Ultimately you came to the same conclusion I did, but mathematically supported it - that IS is not really worth worrying about refreshing during Eclipse, and Moonfire only if you catch it falling off during the first few seconds of the proc.


PìñkUñìcorñ said...

What about glyphed IS? Does that make it more valuable? Or is glyphed IS assumed/not assumed because of dps returns? I haven't really looked into the numbers because I'm primarily resto, but will spec into moonkin as my guild needs. Is glyphed IS accounted for? If not, what glyphs are assumed?

Cdin said...

@ Macbook

As a rule, the only time I ever cancel a cast is to decurse. The gain of canceling a cast is usually not as great as the loss.

I don't change my rotation during heroism. I just hope that the WoW gods favor me and proc eclipse quickly. The only thing I might change is using Starfire a little bit longer during the cooldown.

You won't hurt yourself to much by completely ignoring dots during eclipse, but it is a quest that is asked quite often. However, If you want to maximize DPS completely. It is possible to do more by refreshing MF at the biggining of the buff, not nobody should worry about it to much.


1. I doubt the conclustions will change at higher levels of gear. The differences are to dramatic. However, if things do change I will surely report on it.

2. Thanks for the suggestion. I may summerize how to use WWS in the future, but I have a lot of other things rattling around my head right now.

3. I have to cast FF in raid also for the minor armor debuff, and I aways refresh it during eclipse. It's really hard to do math for it, but my bet is the potential loss in raid damage is greater then the loss of personal damage.


I assume IS is glyphed. The benifit you our DPS is to big and I don't know any tanks that are looking for the mitigation.

Tausin said...

I assume that the figures concerning IS are a bit off after the 3.1 patch ("Insect Swarm: The bonus damage from spellpower on this damage-over-time ability has been increased significantly to match similar spells on other classes."

The avg dmg from a IS for me with 2.3k sdmg is around 8k.