Saturday, January 30, 2010

Moonfire, Scaling, and ICC Raiding

In the Moonkin Basics post I did last week I said "there is some discussion that Moonfire does not scale well at the very top levels of gear." In this post I want to take a closer look at that statement, and see if there is a need to change the Moonkin rotation when you complete your

The Hypothesis:

The Hypothesis is this. Moonfire does not scale as well as Starfire or Wrath, and that the DPET (Damage per Execute Time) of an unextended Moonfire is less then that of an Eclipsed Starfire or Wrath. Therefore, Moonfire should not be cast while Eclipse is active if you cannot guarantee Moonfire will be extended. In short, you should cast Moonfire during Solar Eclipse.

Important Note: This hypothesis only applies to people with the 4T10 tier set. If you have the 2T9 set bonus or a lower level of gear, this discussion does not currently apply to your situation.

The Assumptions:
  • Once again I am using myself as an example. My calculations will use 4263 Spell Power, 33.13% Haste without NG, 60.5% SF crit chance, 57.5% Wrath crit chance, and 63.5% MF crit chance. The only exception to this rule is that I assume I have the 4T10 set bonus.
  • I am also assume the use of Glyph of Moonfire and the Glyph of Starfire.

  • I am also using my talent spec for the calculations, and I assume full raid buffs.

  • In the SimulationCraft, I use myself again. The only change I make is to upgrade my Helm and my Legs to the 264 tier 10 pieces.
The Math:

First lets calculate the execute times of Wrath and Moonfire. This isn't hugely necessary for the calculations because they are the same number, but I like to be as accurate as possible. As I said above, I have 33.13% haste without Nature's Grace. To calculate the uptime of Nature's Grace I will use Wrath's crit chance of 57.5%
NG Uptime = (1-(1-0.575)^3) = 92.32%

Execute time with NG = 1.5/(1.3313*1.2) = 0.9389, therefore 1 second
Execute time without NG = 1.5/1.3313 = 1.1267 seconds

Avg Execute Time = (1*0.9232)+(1.1267*(1-0.9232)) = 1.0097 seconds

Now lets calculate the damage of the average Wrath cast with Eclipse. I will calculate this number with and without the 4T10 set bonus.
Avg Non Crit Wrath = (592+(0.6714*4263))*(1.53*1.13*1.04*1.03*1.03) = 6589 Damage

Avg Wrath with 4T10 = 6589 + (1.2363*6589*0.575) = 11273 Damage

Wrath DPET with 4T10 = 11273 / 1.0097 = 11165 DPET

Finally lets look at the average damage of a Moonfire for all levels of extension. These calculations do not include the 2T9 set bonus.
Avg Non Crit MF DD = (441+(0.1495*4263))*(0.3*1.13*1.04*1.03*1.03) = 403 Damage

Avg MF DD with 4T10 = 403 + (1.2363*403*0.635) = 719 Damage

Avg MF DoT Tick = (200 + (0.1302*4263))*(1.95*1.13*1.04*1.03*1.03) = 1836 Damage

Avg DPET 5 tick MF = (719+(1836*5))/1.0097 = 9804 DPET
Avg DPET 6 tick MF = (719+(1836*6))/1.0097 = 11622 DPET
Avg DPET 7 tick MF = (719+(1836*7))/1.0097 = 13441 DPET
Avg DPET 8 tick MF = (719+(1836*8))/1.0097 = 15259 DPET

As you can see the DPET of an unextended Moonfire is just 9804 DPET. That is less then an Eclipsed Wrath with an average DPET of 11165. However, extending Moonfire by just one tick increases the DPET of Moonfire to 11622 DPET. Therefore, it is possible to increase your DPS by skipping Moonfire during Solar Eclipse if you don't think you will be casting Starfire in the next 15 seconds.

SimulationCraft Results:

I decided to ask this question to SimulationCraft as well. In this test I ran the simulation two different ways. I first ran it with the default rotation where Moonfire is refreshed when it drops off of the mob. In the second simulation, Moonfire is only refreshed if it is not ticking on the boss and Solar Eclipse is not up.

In the first simulation where Moonfire is refreshed whenever it falls off of the mob the total DPS for the simulation was 9497 DPS. In the second simulation where Moonfire was not refreshed during Solar Eclipse the total DPS was 9512.

As you can see, not casting Moonfire did increase the DPS, but it was just a 0.16% increase. I did run several other simulations were moonfire was only skipped if there was a lot of time left on Solar Eclipse, but none of them increased the DPS of the rotation.


If you have the 4T10 set bonus, it is possible for a moonkin to increase their DPS by skipping Moonfire during Solar Eclipse. However, the increase is very small, hard to judge, and may not be worth the effort. Moonfire should always be refreshed if Lunar Eclipse is up or neither Eclipse is up.


Tyler said...


I am glad that we agree on something. It seems that oddly doesn't happen very often.


Nauzet said...

The DPS increase of skipping MF is too low to be sistematic. In many ICC fights you have to move, change your target or you are stunned, in such situation its better to have something doing damage. At least, it's good to know that in some situations is better skipping a moonfire.

Thanks for your blog :D

Maestro said...

feels like we're saying this sort of thing a lot lately: "Yes, it's a small increase, but it complicates your rotation and probably is not worth the effort to gauge it."

If Moonfire is such a weak DoT that we would consider skipping it during a Solar Eclipse, what would we say about IS in a Lunar Eclipse? And if we would say the same thing about it, what would we then say about the Glyph of IS?

It has always been my impression (and my empirical data) that IS accounts for less total damage than MF.

Interesting food for thought I guess.

Meowmix said...

Is skipping Insect Swarm worth doing?

Valr said...

@Nauzet: having moonfire ticking if you cant do anything else does not make it better. To simplify, take one global cooldown, and will not be able to extend moonfire; the greater wrath damage right before the downtime is still more than the unextended moonfire ticking during the downtime. Higher DPeT is higher DPeT. When it does the damage is irrelevant.

@Maestro: IS has a higher DPeT than unextended moonfire, and a higher DPeT than eclipsed starfire, at least for anyone I know, worth checking in WC once more gear is attained. But there has been a recent shift in glyphing by some moonkins because of the terrible scaling of DoTs along with ICC mechanics. Some have shifted to glyph of starfall, which is about a 100 dps loss on single target, but aligns starfall with more aoe opportunities. This also gives 3% miss debuff to the raid, and some, including me, think this tradeoff is worth it. Basically: glyph of IS makes it worth keeping up, and unglyphed, it is still a very small DPS loss, and I choose to keep it up for the debuff. (Not important now, but tank damage in hardmodes will probably increase a ton) Is also improves wraths damage output via IIS, and is absolutely worth keeping up for solar.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great insight, as always.

I, too, would like to see some calculations for IS, both glyphed and unglyphed, at this level. There are obvious benefits to giving a tank more mitigation, however it is just as important to know what constitutes the best straight burn damage at any given time. Obviously while moving is when you should throw up dots if they aren't up already, no matter what eclipse you're in. However, if it is better damage to not refresh a dot, even minorly, that extra edge can add up in dps race fights, especially if it just something like phase 3 of putricide, and you would then put off the dots until maximum effectiveness while running away from a new slime to your next location, rather than having to clip a dot to refresh during that time.

Also, is it going to be the same for somebody in 4 of the 251 tier? AKA, is it the gear level and sp that makes this happen, is it purely the mechanics of the 4pc bonus, or something in between? This would be helpful both to those in 10 man only groups and those that haven't been able to get the tier upgrade tokens yet.

Anonymous said...


Hey graylo,assuming you have such an high haste that wrath cast time (without NG) is 1.0 sec fully raid buffed.

Do you think it is possible to make a macro like:

/cancelaura Nature's Grace
/cast wrath

This way wrath doesnt go below GCD, avoiding the "Spell not ready yet" msg, getting full benefit of a chain cast due to server lag, but you still get NG effect while casting starfire.

I am not good with calculations, it is just an idea.


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