This post is very mathy. Please feel free to skip to the bottem to get the TL:DR version.
My Hypothetical Moonkin:
These are the talents and stats I used to calculate the numbers. I have modeled him after how I expect to look in the beginning of Ulduar. He has 2900 Spell Power, 40% Crit Chance, 16.5% haste from gear (29.77% total), and a mana pool with 21000 mana.
This is the spec I expect to use when 3.1 comes out. It's very close to my current spec but has a little extra mana regen. I'm sure some of you may argue with some of my choices, but overall I don't think there are any reasonable arguements that would affect the calculations significantly.
I've talked about this a little before, but it is important for me to explain it again so that you understand some of the comments I will make later in the post. The spell queuing system helps you to minimize down time by allowing you to queue your next spell cast before your current spell cast is done. Erdluf did some nice research on the subject and posted his results on the EJ forums here.
Basically the spell queuing system allows you to queue your next spell if you cast it within 0.3 seconds of your current casts end. However, this process starts to break down as your global cooldown (GCD) gets closer to GCD floor of one second, because you can't queue your next cast within the first second of your current cast. So, the game has to wait for you to physically push a button to start casting the next spell.
Since it is practically impossible cast a spell exactly when the prior spell completed, there will always be a little extra lag in the cast time due to human error.
The spell queuing system works great for longer cast spells like Starfire, but it causes big issues for spells like Wrath that can get really close to the one second GCD. Therefore this makes Wrath a little worse in actuallity then it is on paper.
We don't look at DoTs form the traditional DPS point of view. Due to the long duration DoTs are obviously going to have a relatively low DPS when compared to Nukes. Therefore the best way to evaluate DoTs is with Damage per Cast Time (DPCT).
Both of our DoTs are instant casts therefore they technically don't have a cast time. However the GCD does prevent us from casting another spell for 1 to 1.5 seconds. In a PvE environment this is pretty much the same thing as having a cast time. Close enough for me anyway.
So, what is the GCD for my Hypothetical Moonkin? For this section I'm going to assume that Nature's Grace has a minimum uptime of about 67.51%. This is the uptime that NG would have with a SF spam rotation. In actual play it will probably be a little higher, but I'm trying to be a little conservative.
Therefore the GCD can be calculated like this:
GCD w/o NG = (1.5/1.2977) = 1.1559
GCD w NG = (1.5/(1.2977*1.2) = 0.9632, Therefore 1 since 0.9632 less than 1
Avg GCD = 1.1559*(1-0.6751) + (1* 0.6751) = 1.0507 Seconds
I'm looking at it from the perspective of 3.1 assuming that the changes to it go live. I also assume that the [Glyph of Insect Swarm] is equipped. I am not using the new Ulduar Idol that affects IS because it sucks (more on that in a future post). I am also not using the 2T7 set bonus. Here is the math:
IS Damage = ((1290 + (2900 * 1.2)) *(1.3*1.04*1.03))*(7/6)
IS Damage = ((4770) *(1.39256))*(1.1667) = 7750 Damage
IS DPCT = 7750 / 1.0507 = 7376 DPCT
Now assuming that the Spell Queuing issue causes a 0.1 second delay in casting the Insect Swarm DPCT would be:
IS DPCT w/SQ = 7750 / 1.1507 = 6735 DPCTMoonfire:
Moonfire is a little more complicated because it has both a Direct Damage portion and a DoT portion. I will assume that the [Glyph of Moonfire] is equipped but I will ignore the [Glyph of Starfire] since it is had to tell which spell that damage belongs to. Ultimately its not going to change my conclusions.
MF DD Non-Crit = (441 + (2900 * 0.1495))*((1.1-0.9)*1.04*1.03) = 187The Nukes:
MF DD Crit = (441 + (2900 * 0.1495))*((1.1-0.9)*1.04*1.03)*2.09 = 392
MF DD Avg = (187 * (1-.4)) + (392 * 0.4) = 269 Damage
MF DoT = ((800 + (2900 * 0.5209)) *((1.1+0.75)*1.04*1.03))*(5/4)
MF DoT = (2311) *(1.98172)*(1.25) = 5725 Damage
MF DPCT = (269 + 5725) / 1.0507 = 5705 DPCT
MF DPCT w/SQ = (269 + 5725) / 1.1507 = 5209 DPCT
Obviously Nukes are the bread and butter of our rotation. For a Nuke, DPS and DPCT are the same thing so I wills stick with DPCT in this section for consistancy.
I've detailed how to calculate these numbers several times in the past. I assume that if you care about the math you probably have looked at those prior posts. Therefore, I am going to condense the math a little more then usual this time.
I'm assuming that the [Idol of the Shooting Star] is equipped. Once again I will ignore the [Glyph of Starfire] since it is had to tell which spell that damage belongs to.
NG Uptime with SF = 1-(1-0.43)2 = 67.51%Wrath:
SF Avg Cast Time = (3/(1+0.2977))*(1-0.6751)+(3/((1+0.2977)*1.2))*0.6751 = 2.0516 Seconds
SF Non-Crit = (1285 + (2900 * 1.2))*(1.1*1.04*1.03) = 5615
SF Crit = (1285 + (2900 * 1.2))*(1.1*1.04*1.03)*2.09 = 11735
SF DPCT = ((5615*(1-0.43))+(11735*0.43))/2.0516 = 4020 DPCT
I'm assuming that the [Idol of Steadfast Renewal] is equipped.
NG Uptime with SF = 1-(1-0.4)3 = 78.40%Eclipse:
W w/o NG Cast Time = (1.5/(1+0.2977)) = 1.1559 Seconds
W w NG Cast Time = (1.5/((1+0.2977)*1.2)) = 0.9632, Therefore 1 second since 0.9632 less than 1.
W Avg Cast Time = (1.1559*(1-0.7840)) + 0.7840 = 1.0337 seconds
W Non-Crit = (658 + (2900 * 0.6714))*(1.13*1.04*1.03) = 3153
W Crit = (658 + (2900 * 0.6714))*(1.13*1.04*1.03)*2.09 = 6590
W DPCT = ((3153*(1-0.40))+(6590*0.40))/1.0337 = 4380 DPCT
W w/ SQ DPCT = ((3153*(1-0.40))+(6590*0.40))/1.1337 = 3994 DPCT
The math for this is to complicated to detail it again, so I'm going to take the easy route and just give you the results.
With perfect Spell Queuing a Lunar Eclipse rotation would do about 5030 DPS on average, while a Solar Eclipse rotation would do 5302 DPS on average. As you can see, in perfect environment Solar eclipse does about 5% more damage, but we do not play in a perfect environment.
If we assume that the Spell Queuing issue adds an extra 0.1 second to the Wrath Cast time the numbers change a little bit. In this situation an average Lunar Eclipse rotation has 4887 DPS, and the average Solar Eclipse rotation has 4962 DPS. Wrath still has a 1.5% advangate in DPS, but the difference is minimal. Therefore, from a DPS perspective which Eclipse you use doesn't really matter.
Hey, What about DPM:
Mana hasn't really been a concern in WotLK so far, and that isn't really surprising given the nature of Tier 7 content. However, that doesn't mean man isn't going to be an issue in Tier 8 or beyond. In Ulduar the fights will be longer. We are lossing some of our Crit Chance with the losses of Set bonuses and the nerf to Improved Scorch. Healers are going to have less mana so we won't be getting Replenishment as often.
If you combine all of this, its easy to see how mana could be a bigger issue for Moonkin in 3.1. Therefore, it is important to consider the mana efficency of each of the spells when we choose which spells to cast.
This section is also important because the way we should think about mana in WotLK is a little different then the way we thought about it in TBC. This is due to the new Mana on Crit mechanic. Lets look at the average mana costs for the Hypothetical Moonkin.
IS Mana Cost = 3496 * 0.08 = 280As you can see the traditional mana relationships from TBC are still holding true at this point, but they are a lot closer togeather then I think most of us would have guessed. I ran some numbers as if the Hypothetical Moonkin's stats increased by 10% and the traditional way of thinking is completely blown out of the water. Wrath becomes the most mana efficent spell with 34.1881 DPM, Starfire comes in second with 31.2159 DPM, and Insect Swarm drops to third with 29.7303 DPM because it can't Crit. Moonfire is still far behind the others with 13.7453 DPM.
IS DPM = 7750 / 280 = 27.6786 DPM
SF Mana Cost = (3496*0.16)*0.91-((21000*0.02)*0.43) = 328
SF DPM = 8246 / 328 = 25.1402 DPM
W Mana Cost = (3496*0.11)*0.91-((21000*0.02)*0.40) = 182
W DPM = 4528 / 182 = 24.8791 DPM
MF Mana Cost = (3496*0.21)*0.91-((21000*0.02)*0.40) = 500
MF DPM = 5725 / 500 = 11.4500 DPM
How we use Eclipse also has a big impact on our mana effecency. As you can probably guess Lunar Eclipse is much more mana efficent then Solar Eclipse since it adds Crit chance instead of a straight damage increase. Without the 2T8 set bonus a Lunar Eclipse rotation had an average DPM of 45.0072, while Solar had just 23.9727 DPM. That means that Lunar Eclipse has a 88% advantage over Solar Eclipse. If you add the 2T8 set bonus into the equation Lunar's advantage jumps 132%.
TL:DR - Tell me what spells to cast already: