Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Languish Explained

I want to take a quick look at Languish and the 4T10 set bonus. I've seen several forum posts and received several e-mails that indicate to me that this mechanic is not as well understood as I thought. In this post I hope to make the mechanic a little clearer for those that might be confused on how it works.

The Mechanic:

Tool Tip: Your critical strikes from Starfire and Wrath cause the target languish for an additional 7% of your spell's damage over 4 sec.
The impact of this set bonus is actually very simple to explain. It increases the damage of your critical strikes by 7%. It is that straight forward, but how it works is a little confusing. The first issue is that the additional damage is applied over time, but it does not behave as a normal DoT. Languish is best thought of as a bank with a 0.0% interest rate. What you get out is exactly the same as what you put in. Therefore, damage modifying buffs and debuffs like Genesis have no impact on the damage of Languish if they are applied while it is ticking.

Second, the damage done by Languish is determined when you crit, and is based entirely on the damage of the crit. Therefore, Languish does benefit from things like Earth and Moon and temporary buffs like potions, but the damage is not modified while Languish ticks. So, Languish does not benefit from Earth and Moon (or any other buff) twice.

Third, the timer on Languish is set every time one of your spells critically hits, but the DAMAGE IS NOT LOST. To use the bank analogy again, every time you crit you make a deposit into the bank, and the bank agrees to pay you back in 2 payments for the full balance in the account. Each time you crit you reset the agreement but the balance in the account keeps getting higher. So, if you crit several times in a row you will not see Languish tick during that time, but when it does tick they will be huge.

If your familiar with how a fire mage works then you've seen this mechanic before with the talent Ignite. WoWWiki also has a very good explanation on how Ignite works here if you're interested.

The Examples:

This mechanic is probably best explained with examples, but I want to make this as simple as possible, so lets make a couple of assumptions. Lets assume that we have only 1 spell and it can be cast every second. A normal hit will do 5000 and a crit will do 10000.

Example A: The Basic Structure

Time (sec)Nuke DamageLanguish DamageLanguish Bank

If you only crit once, how the process works is pretty simple. The Languish damage is divided into two ticks that happen 2 and 4 seconds after the critical strike took place.

Example B: The Double Crit

Time (sec)Nuke DamageLanguish DamageLanguish Bank

The most common misconceptions I see happen when we talk about what happens when you crit multiple times in quick succession. In the example above, the first cast is a crit and adds 700 damage to the Languish Bank. Before Languish has a chance to tick a second spell cast crits, resets the Languish timer, and adds another 700 damage to the Languish Bank. So you now have 2 Languish ticks for 700 damage each starting 2 seconds after the last crit.

Example C: The Middle Crit

Time (sec)Nuke DamageLanguish DamageLanguish Bank

The example above illustrates what happens if you have another spell critically hit in between the two Languish ticks. The first crit adds 700 damage to the Languish Bank, and the first tick hits 2 seconds later for half the damage in the Languish Bank. Then the caster has another critical strike. As I've said before, this resets the Languish timer. The Languish Bank still had 350 damage in it, and the new crit adds another 700. Now Languish will deal 1050 damage over 4 seconds starting from the second crit.


At it's core the 4T10 set bonus Languish is very simple. It increases the damage of your critical strikes by 7%, but since it is applied over 4 seconds this has some players worried that they are losing damage by crit multiple times in a row. Others are wondering if they can buff it by extending the DoT to receive a buff or if it benefits from talents like Genesis. These are not significant concerns.

First, the Languish damage can not be buffed in any way that I know of. The damage is calculated at the time of the crit and is not modified again.

Second, you do not lose damage by Criting multiple times while there is damage still in the Languish Bank. Each crit just adds more damage to the bank, and resets the timer. You will lose some damage due to Mob death, I don't think this is a big concern. In these situations the target is dead. The lack of damage did not prevent you from succeeding in the encounter and extra damage would just pad the DPS meters slightly.


Valr said...

This is a very clear illustration of the mechanic and how it is affected by successive crits. The bank analogy is great, and I'm sure I will end up citing it when explaining languish to other moonkins. I, for one, am sort of bummed that languish does not double dip with modifiers like Earth and Moon, although I cannot say I honestly expected it to.

Anonymous said...

Just a question. Lets say eclips proc. You crit for 18-20k and you have 800 haste. So what is the tick in the end?

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say you crit on all starfire when eclips proc.

Tim said...

If you crit all SF's in lunar eclipse, I'd theoretically say you have about 8 crits in the 15 second timeframe (9 if you're lucky). So, from the explanation of Graylo, that would mean 8 x 7% of the crits in the bank, and those will start ticking when you stop critting.

Do I read it correctly when you state "refreshes timer" that you can theoretically crit for 1 minute in a row, and languish bank will still be filling up with all the % crits? Or does the bank have a reset timer (which would be sad).

Anonymous said...

do the languish ticks proc trinkets that activate on Dots? like the trink from Sindragosa?
or items like Nibelung?


Anonymous said...

Looking at the way this "languish bank" basically only ticks off when a moonkin isn't critting any more is this a way to make gaps in fight or mob switching visibly less painful to our dps? With high end gear a lunar eclipse proc is pretty much going to keep the languish bank topped up and a solar one will drip feed the dps meter but as soon as you get a 4 second gap after a long chain you get a (relatively) big filler while you get out of the fire or stack dots on a new dps target. I mean if you consider if they had just implemented a direct 7% buff to crits or a dot that ticks off and doesnt refresh then it wouldn't have changed anything to do with the nature of the problems with moonkin dps dropping off in high mobility/target switching fights.

Aeiedil said...

Dammit, you had to post this today didn't you!!!

I had scheduled a post about Languish to go up today!

Tim said...

The more, the merrier ;)

Möwe said...

there is one downside, however:
the dot will tick not frequently, especially during lunar eclipse, and thus will result in less valkyrs and less procs from the sindragosa-trinket.

but can't do anything about it.

Aeiedil said...

It is my understanding that spells we don't cast don't proc procs any longer i.e. Nibelung.

Whether this affects Phylactory I don't know

Anonymous said...

The only time damage is lost is when the mob dies before languish finishes. Should only be an issue on trash, which makes it inconsequential anyway.

esson said...

This bank analogy makes me want to see an add-on that displays the bank content at any one time. :)

Good post!

Fealen said...

Not being a math-crafter I might be missing something along the math figures but wouldn't the Languish be deemed useless if you Crit in such amount the bank never has time to tick down?

I battling myself about taking the 4set instead of keeping my 2set T9/2set T10 cause it seems like languish could be a DPS loss in the long run.

It's as if Blizzard is now taxing us a bit for having alot of crit as the dot doesn't tick down unless you stop criting.

Is my theory an acceptable one or is the 4set a true DPS increase?

Geophery said...

Graylo, Don't forget that the Languish DoT can crit as well. So with that in mind it is actually more than 7% increase of your critical strikes.

Graylo said...


I've only heard that it procs off of your own crits. The Val'kyr from Nibelung and the Reign of Unliving are separate entities and therefore do not benefit from 4T10. I don't know this for sure, but this is how things usually work.


Show me a parce with 100% crit and zero down time, and then I will worry about this. Fact of the matter is you will always go through periods were you do not crit, and the DoT will tick during these times.

I've said it before, and others have said it in the Comments. THE ONLY WAY YOU LOSE LANGUISH DAMAGE IS IF THE MOB DIES. On most fights this is not a concern. On heavy add fights like VDW and Gunship this may be a bit of a concern, but the higher ilevel of gear, and it's relative infrequency should make up for the diffence. Holding on to 2T9 is not a smart move in the long run.

Geophery said...

@Fealen -

The Languish DoT does tick if you get successive crits in a row. But each successive crit just refreshes the timer and adds to the bank of damage available. IMO Languish is one of the most fun set bonuses for us since it adds something outside of straight modifiers.

Also the Languish DoT is only applied when you crit with Wrath or Starfire, not with any other spell.

Overall I would say out tier 10 set bonus is probably the best in the game so far.

Fealen said...

@ Geo

I get it when you explain it that way. I was thinking as it like some sort of like MF. If I keep applying it the DoT never ticks, when it really is like refreshing IS when something procs, the damage just goes up. I'm sold on the 4 set now.

Never having played a mage the ignite reference was throwing me off. I need things explained in comparison to moonkin spells. Lol.

Thanks to Graylo and Geo for clearing that up.

Andreas said...

I was studing our WMO's from the last weekends of raiding, and came to the same conclusion.
My languish ticked for an avrage of 1100. And the highest tick was for a grand 7k (That would be the result form a 200k critt :)

Anonymous said...

Great illustration of this machanic. I too was worried I would be losing DPS if I crit really fast over and over.

One question though, how does it work with hurricane ticks that crit? Will it apply the languish dot on each crit tick?

Also how about starfall crits?

Jeremy said...

I'm curious how much this increases the value of crit on gear (+7% better?)

Kodaline said...

Good explanation.

Is this theory, or could you show data to back it up?

I remember the days of rolling ignites, then the days of overwriting ignites....

Jeremy said...

It definitely works this way, I've crit back to back enough to push my stack up to 7k/tick before.

Valr said...

@Geophery, do you have any logs to support languish critting?


98 ticks and no crits, assuming a modest 50% crit, the chances of this happening are around the order of magnitude of -31. For those that do not remember stats from high school, the number is so low to be negligible. Factor in the numerous other following logs that also have no languish crits, I feel confident in stating definitively that languish cannot crit.

Two more examples.



Aeiedil said...

I would be shocked if Languish could crit as that would be effectively a double-dip on crit

If Languish can crit then I would expect to see it hotfixed

Regarding the value of Languish, it is so far being a reliable 4-5% of my DPS on most fights it seems. Certainly nice to have :)

Shadowlycaon said...

As quick thought: have blizzard effectivly increased the value of haste in high end gear with this bonus?

Logic would dictate that the more crits you can get in within a sequence would result in a higher dps bonus should you have to move or alter your rotation. I realise this would not apply to wrath casts at >400 haste, but as for starfire it might be something to look at.

wammes said...

I agree with the article that in practise it's not a big problem that languish is released only when not critting. I'm not interested in dmg meters when the boss is dead, so no worries there. The only (theoretical) downside would be that the followuing situation:
boss is at low health and my "languish bank" is filled with many procs. I'm critting like hell but the raid wipes because of some sort of enrage mechanism. I could die although my bank could have enough "potential" damage to kill the boss.
Again, a purely theoretical script, but plausible. So i really would like some sort of cure for that situation (max time or no reset of timer)

wammes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maestro said...

I'm feeling mopey today, so I'm just gonna say that I published an article about the mechanic a LONG time ago and this post seems like a double of what I posted. It makes me sad =[

Anonymous said...

any languish counters yet?

Anonymous said...

@Maestro: and what exactly makes you sad about it? That both Graylo and you used the same bank metaphor that mages already used to explain ignite?

Jay said...

Yes, it's not like any of this is original. It's just that Druids who aren't into the game enough to have ever paid attention to Ignite now need to know how this works, so everyone's talking about it. For the most part, you don't even need to worry about it since it doesn't affect your play at all.

The DoT can't crit. I also don't think it can be partially resisted, but a confirm on that would be good (I don't have the set yet). Finally, I don't see why there's any confusion about what procs it, the tooltip clearly says "Starfire and Wrath."

All this talk about the Ignite mechanic is honestly just causing confusion--people are constantly thinking that you can lose DPS, that it matters whether you move or don't move, or whether you have gaps in your crits, that's it's better or worse in various random situations, etc. I mean, I like having accurate information out there as much as anyone, but at some point 90% of people only need to know, "it makes your crits 7% stronger, stop worrying about it."

Moonwhisper said...

I've said it before, and others have said it in the Comments. THE ONLY WAY YOU LOSE LANGUISH DAMAGE IS IF THE MOB DIES.

I dont want to be a smartass :), but...
damage is probably also lost when the moonkin dies.

I recommend to send a 4sec prayer to elune's heaven to overcome this problem^^

Anonymous said...

Gday All, I am new to the moonkin world but I like to study and bit and get the most out of my character however being a Moonkin noob even tho im 80 there are 2 things hounding me .1- is the 4 piece tier 10 better than the best inslot items posted here due to the set bonus ? 2- I noticed on your last post you had 121212 or 111222 for you rotation now i do use eclispe how my rotation is FF,Wrath,Moonfire, insect swarm and then spam wrath till eclispe process then starfire and i missing something. Any help you be greatly appreciated thanks all.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious, does anyone know if languish benefits from the 2pc t10 bonus?