The concept of Set Bonuses is awesome. It's nice to have something that is a little different than the normal six or seven stats we normally see on gear. It gives us something different to think about and can even change the way we play our class.
That said, not all set bonuses are created equal. In some cases classes decide to skip a set bonus because it is either weak or useless. Others hold onto a set bonus for a very long time because it is so awesome. Since moonkin have been fairly lucky with set bonuses in the past I've been receiving a lot of questions asking me about the T8 set bonuses and should they drop the T7 bonus. In this post I hope to give you a good idea of what they are worth.
I came up with these values using my model and my standard starting stats of a T7 BiS moonkin. Both the Solar and the Lunar model were updated and are being uploaded to File Front (in process). Please review my warnings on using my model found here.
4T7 - Wrath/Starfire Crit:
Your Wrath and Starfire spells gain an additional 5% critical strike chance.
Before week look at the tier 8 set bonuses I think it is important that we understand the value of the 4T7 set bonus. It is an awesome set bonus, but I get the impression that some players believe it to be untouchable.
In Theory: I subtracted 5% crit from both of my models and ran them a thousand times each. My results agree with my valuations of Crit Rating as a stat. For a Lunar rotation the 4T7 set bonus increased my Moonkins DPS by 176.54 DPS or 3.72%. For a Solar rotation the 4T7 set bonus increased my Moonkin's DPS by 213.73 DPS or 4.42%.
In Reality: In terms of DPS I don't know of anything that would alter the theoretical results. If you look at it from a mana perspective though it obviously has additional value due to Mana on Crit.
The Verdict: Anything that increases your DPS by about 4% is good thing so it is no wonder why this set bonus is so well liked. However, as good as a 4% increase is its not so huge that it couldn't be passed by another set bonus.
On a side note, this set bonus is more significant for a Solar rotation because crit is more valuable in a Solar rotation, but it is very good for a Lunar rotation.
2T8 - Eclipse increased by 15%:
Increases the bonus granted by Eclipse for Starfire and Wrath by 15%.
A lot of players are unhappy about this set bonus because it ties even more of Moonkin DPS to Eclipse. I can see their point but on the other hand its not like Eclipse is optional at the moment anyway. This set bonus should just be a supplement to how we are already playing.
In Theory: For a Lunar rotation the 2T8 set bonus increased my Moonkins DPS by 187.98 DPS or 3.96%. For a Solar rotation the 2T8 set bonus increased my Moonkin's DPS by 193.9 DPS or 4.01%.
In Reality: My theoretical numbers are probably a little high for this set bonus. My model assumes a stand still fight with a perfect rotation. In reality part of our Eclipse procs are going to be wasted due to movement or other game mechanics. So, lets assume a 70% usage of the Eclipse procs. For Lunar this would drop the numbers to 131.57 DPS or 2.77%. For Solar the numbers would go down to 135.73 DPS or 2.81 %.
The Verdict: Theoretically the 4T7 and 2T8 set bonuses are about equal in terms of DPS. In reality the 2T8 set bonus is a little bit behind, but some the difference is made up by tier 8's superior stats (yes, T8 does have superior stats). While it might be slightly worth it to stick with 4T7 instead of pickup up 2T8, the difference is very small. It is my opinion that you should break your 4T7 set bonus for the 2T8.
4T8 - Instant Starfire with IS:
Each time your Insect Swarm deals damage, it has a chance to make your next Starfire cast within 10 sec instant.
As you know there was a lot of drama surrounding this set bonus on the forums last week. The good news is that Blizzard will fix the bug and decrease the proc rate to 8% in the next minor patch. It should happen soon since blizzard has already released the patch notes.
In Theory: For a Lunar rotation the 4T8 set bonus increased my Moonkins DPS by 163.38 DPS or 3.31%. For a Solar rotation the 4T8 set bonus increased my Moonkin's DPS by 121.72 DPS or 2.42%.
Some of you may be surprised by this. I've seen many posters and bloggers assume that 4T8 would be better for a Solar rotation. However, the opposite seems true. After I did a little checking it looks like an instant SF is a bigger DPS increase over a normal SF then it is over a normal Wrath. This may even out a little bit when lag is added into the equation.
In Reality: For this set bonus I think my numbers are probably a little low. There are two primary reasons I think this. First, since it gives you an instant SF you can cast it while moving. This a significant bonus. Second, there will be times when you can DoT up multiple targets while moving. If you have IS's ticking on multiple targets then then you will get more procs. More procs means more DPS
The Verdict: I think it is a great set bonus and I will be equipping it once the fix is live. A couple of people have asked me if it is really worth it to equip it instead of hard mode gear. In my opinion, it makes the Tier(25) pieces better then hard mode gear. For hard mode gear to be better you would have to be getting at least 95 additional spell power or its equivalent. While a lot of the hard mode gear is great, its not earth shattering.
In short, I like the T8 set bonus once the 4T8 set bonus is fixed. The old 4T7 set bonus is awesome for its level, but its not so good that you should continue to use it in Ulduar at the expense of Tier 8 set bonuses.
On a Side Note: This will sound like a strange request to some of you, but I'm looking for some help with statistics. I did very well in my stats classes in college but that was over 12 years ago and I don't really remember it. So, I'm looking for some one with a good back ground in statistics to answer a couple of questions for me regarding my model.
1. To come up with relevant results I am running my model a thousands of times and taking the average DPS for each test. Is a simple average a relevant measure or am I missing something obvious that would make my results less accurate?
2. When I am running my model a thousand times I notice that the average results change very little after about 300 or 400 trials. How many trials do you think I need to run to get relevant results with a relatively low margin for error?
If you have a good knowledge of Stats and would like to help, please use my email to respond.