Monday, April 27, 2009

Mailbag: The Moonkin Haste Cap

Is there such a thing as a haste cap?

I wouldn't have even thought of this question until last night when I was guild raid in Naxx 25 for a break from ulduar and a new mage asked me what my haste was. Uh... 597 atm, why do you ask? He replies not to tell me how to play my character but I may want to consider replacing my JC gems for SP since the haste cap for moonkins is 400. He said he got this info from EJ but I can't find any mention of it even in the haste mechanic forums. By no means do I mind switching out 81 haste for 93 spell power IF the cap is as that guy suggested (btw he says his main is a moonkin on another server). Also, when he said 400 the number flipped a switch in my brain because I remember watching a video on Foofy's Cupcake Factory that lists a 400 maximum for haste if you are using the Solar rotation - but I could never figure out why she gave the number of 400! So confusing >.<

So in the end maybe I just overlooked someone in one of the forums or another moonkin site of the 400 spell haste cap for us but I am just not sure enough to change out my gear (I have crit heavy gear I can switch out in my bank to get closer to that 400 number). Can you help me?

Yes, there is a Haste cap for moonkin, but it is not a hard cap like Hit rating.

The Global Cooldown (GCD) starts at 1.5 seconds, but has a minimum value of 1 second. The cast time of any spell can technically go below this level, but you can't cast a spell while in the GCD so the affective minimum cast time is 1 second.

So, when people refer to the Haste Cap they are referring to the level at which a spells cast time goes below 1 second. This primarily affects instants and spells with short cast times like Wrath. Spells with long cast times like Starfire are rarely impacted if ever.

Assuming that you have Celestial Focus (3%), Improved Moonkin Aura (3%), Wrath of Air (5%), and Natures Grace (20%) up. Then you only need 12.21% haste from gear to reach the cap. (1.5/(1.03*1.03*1.05*1.2) = 1.122138) Since it takes 32.79 to get 1% haste you can see that 400 haste will get you the 12.21% you need. Therefore the Haste Cap for Wrath is 400 Haste Rating.

For Starfire with the same buffs the Haste cap is 4080. If you add Heroism/Bloodlust it drops to 2382. Obviously, these levels are unreachable except in the rares of occasions. Therefore, you don't need to worry about the SF haste cap.

The Haste cap only really matters if you use a Solar rotation. If this is the rotation you use then after 400 you should focus on Crit a little more then Haste. Haste will still have some value because SF is still a part of your rotation and NG won't have a 100% uptime, but its value is significantly reduced. Basically, If your using a Solar rotation you don't want to stack haste beyond 400, but you don't want to avoid it at all costs either.

If you use a Lunar rotation there is no real reason to worry about the Haste cap. Haste scales very well with Starfire for all reasonable levels of gear currently available. Since Starfire is your primary spell in a Lunar rotation Haste works very will with it also. Yes, Wrath is a significant part of a lunar rotation as well, but it isn't enough to devalue the stat to below Crit Rating.

Gemming for Haste:
I want to say a quick thing about gemming for haste. The only time I would ever gem for haste is if it is a yellow socket and I wanted the socket bonus. In which case I would socket a Reckless (SP/Haste) gem. Other then that, it is never a good idea to gem for haste.

In The Burning Crusade there was a point where Haste became more powerful in terms of DPS then Spell Power. On top of that we were able to raise our Spell Power levels so high that at some points it made sense to gem for haste instead of Spell Power. That point currently does not exist in Wrath of the Lich King.

How we play a moonkin in WotLK is very different then how we played our Moonkins in TBC. In TBC we basically Starfire spammed and refreshed Moonfire when it dropped off. This was great for haste because SF and Haste work so well together. On top of that, we weren't able to get any significant amount of haste gear until ZA and Tier 6 came out. So our Spell Power levels got very high while our haste levels remained very low. Neither of these facts are true for WotLK.

In WotLK, Wrath is a significant part of our rotation, and haste has a very limited value for Wrath after 400 haste rating. On top of that, we are able to picking up tons of haste gear from quest rewards and Heroics. Combine this with the fact that the itemization cost of Haste is still higher then that of Spell Power and you can see how the break even point for Haste and Spell power is pushed out of reach.

1. If you use a Solar rotation then the cap is 400, but don't worry about going above it. Haste still has some value.

2. If you use a Lunar rotation don't worry about a haste cap at all. You can't reach it for long periods of time.

3. Don't gem for Haste unless you have a yellow socket and you want the socket bonus. In which case use a Reckless Gem that provides both Spell Power and Haste Rating. Don't eat haste food either.


Daemon said...

Thank you! :D I do believe I will be purchasing three dragon's eyes tonight to switch out for Ulduar. Your info and explanation is awesome! Keep up the great work!

Aloysius Bosch said...

So if my haste is only 250-something, should I try to increase it?

Cdin said...


Yes, Haste is a great stat for both rotations until you have +400 haste rating. Assuming you have Wrath of Air. If you don't then that value is 584.

Rayzen said...

Hello Graylo !

First, I love you :D
Second, you play Solar or Lunar ? Me I play Solar but all druid play Lunar... what is better ?
The cap is 400 hast for Wrath but not with BL ? If I have 400 hast, I can't spam Wrath with BL, so... switch on Lunar ?!

Thx for all !! (I'm french so sorry for my english)

Macbook said...

I remember at one point in BC I had over 1200 spell power, and no haste whatsoever. Lolololol.

Pucc said...

Rayzen is a personal choice. Solar is a higher DPS rotation but burns thru mana very quickly. Its best used in high movement fights or when you mess up and proc it on accident. Lunar has a much higher DPM value and for longer fights it will out dmg a solar due to mana consumption.

Great write up Graylo. As always I value your math skills and the ability to explain why.

bob said...

can u please link your wow character so i can see exactly where im going wrong i have like 265 hit rating but my haste is only at 235 and im in all valor gear so please link your armory

Mavik said...

Graylo, any chance of you putting together a Ulduar wish list? You had one for pre 3.1 that I found very valuable and would love to see your picks of Ulduar gear.

Fayhand said...

Are you sure about the way you calculate haste needed to reach soft cap of 50%?

Your way:
Celestial Focus (3%), Improved Moonkin Aura (3%), Wrath of Air (5%), and Natures Grace (20%) up. Then you only need 12.21% haste from gear to reach the cap. (1.5/(1.03*1.03*1.05*1.2) = 1.122138)

I have seen other ways where they treat the percentages as percentage-points so:
50% - (3% + 3% + 5% + 20%) = 19% haste needed.
Like when you put on your moonkin form you will see the crit chance increase 5% points and not your current crit chance * 1.05.

Betty said...

The OP was correct in the way Haste stacks. Haste Rating is additive, haste itself is multiplicitive (sp?)

From -
Note: Haste rating stacks additively with itself but haste stacks multiplicatively. That means that if you have 158 haste rating, you will have +10% haste, no matter how many sources and items that haste rating comes from. If you then use troll Berserking for +30% haste, you would have 110% * 130% = 143% haste.

Phil said...

You say, 'Never eat haste food...' but what should we eat? I try to eat a Fish Feast as it adds +80 Attack Power, +46 Spell Power and +40 Stamina buff but is this the best option for a Moonkin?

~Gargen of Vek'nilash

Jormundgard said...

You've probably seen this post from Murmurs, arguing that we should be stacking crit after 400 haste:

I'm hoping you will have a response to it though :).

Anonymous said...

I've generally taken whatever the Rawr model shows as the higher DPS item rather than favoring Crit or Haste intentionally. At my current buffed 2576sp, 36.48% Crit (518 rating), 22.71% Haste (517 rating) it's showing a theoretical difference of just 6 dps between Lunar and Solar cycles, suggesting to me that an alternating cycle may actually be best (W, SF, repeat until Eclipse, then go back to alternating). Naturally during Heroism I'd want to stick with Lunar.

Mobus said...

I think this is different now that they've changed NG - I have 450 haste rating and Wrath is still at 1.24 sec cast time, and 1.16 with NG.

Anonymous said...

1.25 seconds is exactly right on the mouseover - when your 20% speed increase procs, that brings it down to 80% * 1.25 = 1 second, the hard minimum.

Anonymous said...

to clearify, haste is calculated differently than the op suggests.

if you gain 20% haste, u divide the old cast time by 1.2 and you get the new one.. so,

1.25 sec / 1.2 = 1.04167, rounded to two decimals as ingame tooltips, u get 1.04 sec cast.

Take 50% wich is known to be the haste cap for instants and 1.5 sec casts;

1,5 sec /1.5 = 1 sec


warrior guide blog said...

Thanks for this very detailed post! I prefer reading the actual numbers that are behind the calculations over simple advises like "get 400 haste rating".

This way I can crunch the numbers myself and make much better decisions about my gear.

Keep on posting this detailed content :P