Monday, February 2, 2009

Eclipse: Part1 - Which Buff is Best?

My long time readers know that I did a couple of posts back in October on the state of Eclipse. Those posts are now very out of date and it is long past time to present the new math to you guys.

This is part 1 in a four part series looking at the Balance Talent Eclipse. In this post I look at the two Eclipse buffs and show which is the better buff. Part two will look at the value of Eclipse and try and provide you with an idea of how it will help your DPS. Part 3 will try and answer the question, Should you reapply DoTs during Eclipse? 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.

Which Eclipse is Better?

Eclipse: When you critically hit with Starfire, you have a (33%, 66%, 100%) chance of increasing damage done by Wrath by 20%. When you critically hit with Wrath, you have a (20%, 40%, 60%) chance of increasing your critical strike chance with Starfire by 30%. Effect lasts 15 sec and has a 30 sec cooldown.

So, obviously you can use Eclipse to buff Starfire or Wrath but not both within the same cooldown. So the question is: Which spell should I try to buff with Eclipse? To determine that we need to see how Eclipse both spells.


1. I'm using fairly entry level DPS stats for a fully raid buffed Moonkin. They are 2000 Spell Power, 35% Crit chance (38% for SF), 17% haste, and 100% hit chance. On the armory this moonkin would probably have 1650 SP, 15% Crit chance, and 6% haste.

2. I assume a build very similar to this one. I realize that some of you will have more mana regen and will probably drop Imp IS or Imp FF to get there. Even if that is the case I don't think you will have a hard time getting to the 35% crit represented in the math.

3. I assume that Moonfire and Insect Swarm are always on the target and don't need to be reapplied. Therefore, my calculations take full advantage of Improved Insect Swarm.

4. My calcs assume that a [Chaotic Skyflare Diamond] is equipped.

5. When calculating the DPS numbers for Starfire and Wrath I am assume their respective idols are equipped. Please note that I am not suggesting you do any kind of idol swapping. Idol swapping is bad. I'm just doing this to balance the numbers and be fair.


The average DPS for a normal Wrath Cast looks like this:

Avg Non-Crit Wrath = ((((658 + (2000 * 0.6714))) * 1.13) * 1.0712) = 2421.88
Avg Wrath Crit = (((((658 + (2000 * 0.6714))) * 1.13) * 1.0712) * 2.09) = 5061.73
Avg Wrath Cast Time = (((1.5/1.17) * (1 - 0.35)) + 0.35) = 1.1833


Avg Normal Wrath DPS = ((2421.88 * (1 - 0.35)) + (5061.73 * 0.35)) / 1.1833 = 2827.54 DPS

The average DPS for a Wrath Cast with Eclipse looks like this:

Avg Non-Crit Eclipsed Wrath = ((((658 + (2000 * 0.6714))) * 1.33) * 1.0712) = 2850.53
Avg Eclipsed Wrath Crit = (((((658 + (2000 * 0.6714))) * 1.33) * 1.0712) * 2.09) = 5957.61
Avg Wrath Cast Time = (((1.5/1.17) * (1 - 0.35)) + 0.35) = 1.1833


Avg Eclipsed Wrath DPS = ((2850.53 * (1 - 0.35)) + ( 5957.61* 0.35)) / 1.1833 = 3327.99 DPS

So, as you can see Eclipse will increase Wrath's DPS by 17.70% ( (3327.99 - 2827.54 ) / 2827.54).


The average DPS for a normal Starfire cast looks like this:

Avg Non-Crit SF = (((1285 + (2000 * 1.20))) * 1.1) * 1.0712 = 4342.11
Avg SF Crit = ((((1285 + (2000 * 1.20))) * 1.1) * 1.0712 ) * 2.09) = 9075.01
Avg SF Cast Time = (3 - (0.5 * 0.38)) / 1.17 = 2.4017


Avg Normal SF DPS = ((4342.11* (1 - 0.38)) + (9075.01* 0.38)) / 2.4017 = 2556.78 DPS

The average DPS for a Starfire Cast with Eclipse looks like this:

Avg Non-Crit SF = (((1285 + (2000 * 1.20))) * 1.1) * 1.0712 = 4342.11
Avg SF Crit = ((((1285 + (2000 * 1.20))) * 1.1) * 1.0712 ) * 2.09) = 9075.01
Avg SF Cast Time = (3 - (0.5 * 0.68)) / 1.17 = 2.2735


Avg Eclipse SF DPS = ((4342.11* (1 - 0.68)) + (9075.01* 0.68)) / 2.2735 = 3325.48 DPS

So, as you can see Eclipse will increase Starfire's DPS by 30.07% ( (3325.48 - 2556.78) / 2556.78).

How they Compare:

As you can see Starfire gets a much larger buff from Eclipse then Wrath does. In fact, Starfire with the eclipse buff does more DPS on average then Wrath does with the eclipse, but they are very close. I have run these numbers at several gear levels. The margin between Starfire and Wrath will decrease as Crit increases but it's not much and Starfire still beats Wrath in total DPS if there is a comparable increase in Haste.

On top of that it goes with out saying that Starfire with eclipse is more mana efficient and will benefit more from raid buffs like Heroism then wrath will with the eclipse buff. I think we can conclusively say that the Starfire Eclipse buff is the superior buff.

TL:DR Version

In terms of damage out put the two Eclipse buffs are very close with Starfire buff doing a little more DPS per spell cast. From a DPM perspective the Starfire buff is the clear winner since Starfire is the more mana efficient nuke and the buff just makes it more mana efficient.

In my opinion the Starfire Eclipse buff is clearly the superior buff. (i.e. Wrath until Eclipse and then Starfire)

Edit: There is one exception to this that I know of. My math assumes normal levels of crit. In fights that buff your Crit Chance like Loatheb, the Wrath Eclipse buff becomes better. (Thanks to Beefkin for reminding me of this.)


Brent said...

Not to sound dumb but from what you're saying that Starfire Eclipse does more dps. So is that Starfire until Eclipse -> Wrath? or Wrath until Eclipse than Starfire?

Jason said...

This should be good I look forward to reading the other parts.

I have had bad luck before casting Wraith trying to Proc the starfire eclipse for over 30 seconds. I always wonder if there is a point where it is better to give up and just cast SF.

Anonymous said...

Brent, what Gralyo is saying is to cast Wrath 'till you proc Starfire Eclipse since you'll get more dps from it.

So its Wrath until Eclipse than Starfire.


Beefkin said...

Starfire Eclipse is no doubt the better choice for most fights, unless you get a crazed critbuff like in the Loatheb fight.

I was having a hard time competing with melee dps on Loatheb using Starfall Eclipse but I realized that wrath eclipse is the better choice since you have like 80% crit rate on that boss.

So on Loatheb, do Starfire until eclipse procc and spam wrath until eclipse is off the hidden cd. Oh yeah, dont bother throwing up dots.

This makes for a boring fight, only pressing two buttons, but you will be up there with the melees easy. Remember to switch out the Starfire idol for the wrath one too. :D

Cdin said...


Like Mikefurion said, Wrath until Eclipse and then Starfire.


I've had bad luck streaks like that also, but bad luck with proc's isn't a good reason to switch to SF. The math is the same, so you should just keep with the rotation.

That is not to say there are no reasons to switch spells, but those reasons would be due to fight mechanics and not the math.


Thanks for the help.


Good point, I should have mentioned that exception.

Mordeki said...

On Loatheb you don't want to proc for Wrath either. If you have any amount of haste and NG procs you will clip your own GCD and stand there twiddling your thumbs for 1/2 sec. Much better to get the crit buff, proc for SF, then pop a potion of speed.

I'd rather pump out as many SF crits in a row as a could.

Jason said...


On Loatheb once I get the crit buff I only do MF/SF and I have no issues keeping up with Meele on that fight.

Michael said...

Interesting post, one important aspect I didn't see addressed in the maths (or maybe it was.. my math isn't super)was the relative ease of gaining the Eclipse buff.

Maybe it's just psychological, but it seems far easier to get a SF->eclipse (wrath) proc vs a Wrath->eclipse (SF) proc. If there indeed is a difference, how does that change things?

My own personal tests on target dummies are hardly conclusive due to the lack of raid buffs which I imagine only magnify the RNG droughts.

cheers, thanks for the blog.

Genetic said...

You didn't address one thing when talking about eclipse. Can you please show the math about 2/3 vs 3/3 eclipse at varying levels of crit? I know that there is a diminishing return on the 3rd point in eclipse but exactly how much? It may be similar to the Warlock Eradication buff where 1/3 is a must have, 2/3 is ok, but 3/3 shouldn't be done at all. Thanks and I enjoy reading your article.

Danger said...

I too would be extremely curious to see an analysis of 2/3 versus 3/3 points in eclipse. Point placement is so tight in our builds as far as I am concerned and every point I can free up would be greatly appreciated.

Beefkin said...

Mordeki: I have about 500 haste. Even though im clipping gcd with Wrath its not even close to a half a second ur stuck in gcd. Its more like 0.1-0.2 seconds. I atleast gained over 1k dps by switching too wrath eclipses.

Its true that Wrath scales very poorly with haste, but then again, it scales alot better that starfire with crit. So with 50% more crit you are still saying that Starfire dominates wrath, even though starfire would gain only max 20% crit in its eclipse from the spores?

Jason: Why would you use MF, unless ofc running to get the sporebuff on you? In an almost 100% crit friendly environment MF is not even close to the dps of wrath or starfire.

Mordeki said...

@ Beefkin

Let's say your average SF crit is 12k (On my last Nax run mine was 11833 on Loatheb so I am just rounding up) and your average Wrath is 7k (6847 rounded up).

Eclipse proc lasts 15 secs, so in a best case scenario it procs, I pop my Potion of Speed and start wailing on him with SF and in 15 sec manage to squeeze off 7 SFs (avaraging a SF every 2.14 secs which isn't unrealistic, IMHO)

That means I have, on avarage done 84k during Eclps with my SF, because every single one of them will crit, GUARANTEED if I have the buff.

OK now lets look it if for Wrath.

In the same 15 secs in you would have to put out 12 Wraths in the same 15 secs averaging a wrath every 1.25 secs also not an unrealistic number even w/o a pot of speed, which will just eat into your GCD, in my opinion.

But not every one of those wraths will crit, where as SF will.

Last night's Nax run I did 4162 DPS on Loatheb and it was far from best case sceneario. I missed the first spore for my group and also procced Wrath by accident and was in 11th place on that fight.

Let me put a disclaimer on here and say I have in NO WAY done as in depth math is Graylo has done on the subject, just some quick calculations with my own numbers and from where I stand it looks like proccing for SF is still the best way on Loatheb. It might be different for ppl with different gear levels than me or with different amounts of haste or crit or SP.

If you want to Armory me the name's Starkfist.

Beefkin said...

@ Mordeki

Well first off, Potion of Speed can only be used once a fight, and potion of speed will not do much good for wraths. So u cannot calculate using potion of speed into the base rotation since its only 15 seconds of 2-3 minutes of fighting.

You say you can squeeze out 7 SF with 2.14 sec cast in one Eclipse.
That would mean you have 0,02sec to respond to eclipse proccing, cancel the wrath you are most likely casting and switching to starfire. That is ofc superhuman and, if u were superman latency would still kill the possibility of the 7th SF.

So lets say:
6 SF = 72000 damage.
1 W crit = 7000 damage.
1 Eclipse Wrath crit = 8400

In 11 wraths, Im assuming 2 wraths are only hits, wich makes for 84000 damage.

During eclipse, using your numbers, and calculated hastepot into the mix, Wrath will do 12k more damage than Starfire. Im also assuming you are using Starfire idol when calculating your numbers wich helps your Starfires. Furthermore wrath eclipse is much easier to procc, atleast on this fight.

Also there is a good chance your wrath will stay close to 100% crit, wich means it has alot more potensial for high dps than starfire. While Starfire is pretty much a definate 72k damage, wrath have the potensial to go to 92,4k.

After doing the calculations Im amazed how much better Wrath actually is. 12-20k more damage per eclipse is a truckload.

Mordeki said...

@ Beefkin

Good point.

Yes the reaction times are unrealistic, I was just throwing out a "best case" scenario.

And, no, I didn't factor the +20% dam into my Wraths.

Next time I will not do my maths while having a sandwich, lol.

12 to 20 k more is quite a boost. Looks like I'm proccing for Wraths next Loatheb.


Cdin said...

First off, I want to say that I love the debate going on in these comments. I am not the only one with information and it is good to see others stepping up and trying to be helpful in a civil manner.


I'm going to have to side with Beefkin on this one for a couple of reasons.

1. You said: "But not every one of those wraths will crit, where as SF will."

Why not? The only crit buff SF gets that Wrath doesn't is from Imp IS, and when your getting close to 100% crit there is no reason to put up MF unless your moving. With close to 100% crit SF and wrath out pace MF in terms of Damage per Cast time. So, if your SF has 100 crit the so will wrath.

2. I think your underestimating the impact that Crit has on wrath.

Yes you will be clipping the GCD some, but your still getting 1 second wraths.

Just remember that while Haste may favor SF, Crit heavily favors Wrath.

3. I did some quick numbers for my self. In a normal fight I have about 50% crit chance, so in Lotheb I am near 100%.

I won't detail the math, but my SF in this situation does about 5281 DPS. My Wrath does 5860 DPS unbuffed and 6856 DPS while buffed. With 100% crit rating I can assume that I only need 1 cast to get the eclipse buff so I can get 14 wraths off during the buff.

The only times SF is better is if you have heroism and Eclipse is on cooldown, or if you ahve both Heroism and Potion of Speed up at the same time.

@ Michael

The starfire buff is a little harder to proc but the difference is very small and isn't material.

Starcaller said...

I'm wondering if anyone has had the opportunity to do any of the maths on the "new" Eclipse...

The changes are coming out for 3.2 and currently on the PTR it's currently possible to experience a Lunar AND a Solar Eclipse in rapid succession.

I'm wondering if this is actually going to be a viable DPS boost for caster druids, (because I think it's actually quite nice with the 2T8 set bonus) or if our raid damage will continue to be "mediocre" in comparison to that of other high DPS caster classes.