Friday, February 12, 2010

A look at Owlkin Frenzy

If you browse the WoW forums at all it is very likely that you've seen a post like this:
OMG!!! Owlkin Frenzy is awesome in ICC because of all the raid damage. You guys are noobs if you don't pick it up.
I was always very sceptical of these claims. We've known for a long time that not all damage procs Owlking Frenzy, but how the mechanics actually works has been a little unclear to me. ICC does in fact have a lot of raid damage. So, I've been wondering if Owlkin Frenzy is a good talent for ICC raiding moonkin. In this post I will try to answer that question by providing a little more info on how Owlkin Frenzy works and take a look at the value of Owlkin Frenzy in a raid situation.

How Owlkin Frenzy works:

First lets take a look at the tool tip.

Attacks done to you while in Moonkin form have a 15% chance to cause you to go into a Frenzy, increasing your damage by 10%, cause you to be immune to pushback while casting Balance spells and restore 2% base mana every 2 sec. Lasts 10 sec.
Unfortunately the Tool tip is a little missleading and not all attacks can trigger Owlkin Frenzy. Murmurs did a good job of explaining the conventional wisdom on how it works recently, but I will try and paraphrase his post.

The first thing to understand is there is a difference between an Attack and Damage. A DoT may damage you 5 times but counts as only 1 attack. Since the buff procs off of the attack, DoTs have only one chance to proc buff.

Second, the buff only works on direct attacks against you. Traditional AoE spells generally won't trigger the buff, but this is where it gets confusing. Not all spells that hit multiple targets are considered AoE by the game and, thus some spells a player would concider AoE can proc Owlkin Frenzy. There isn't really a good rhyme or reason as to why some spells are AoE and others are not. Murmurs provides some general rules, but there are also exceptions to the rules he lists.

The Data:

If we wanted to we could argue all day about what should theoretically proc Owlkin Frenzy and what shouldn't, but that wouldn't be a big help. To truely analyze the benefit of Owlkin Frenzy we need to take a look at the combat logs and see what is actually happening in raid.

For the past couple of weeks I have been running with 2/3 Owlkin Frenzy (I took the points from Gail Winds). Provided below is one weeks worth of data from my ICC 25man raids. I realize that statistically this is not a large enough sample, but I am comfortable with the numbers after looking at the parces of some other moonkin (Thank you Ziaki, Rheynn, & Foofy).

BossAttemptsProcsTime (min)OF Up TimeValue per Point
Lord Marrowgar113.225.176%0.2588%
Lady Death124.357.6628%0.3831%
Blood Princes103.240%0%

As you can see from the data Owlkin Frenzy is not procing very often for 9 out of the 10 fights listed. For these fights Owlkin Frenzy resulted in a 0.1% to 0.2% DPS increase per point invested on average. BQL was the exception, with very significant up time. In the BQL fight alone, Owlkin Frenzy was worth a 1.48% DPS increase per point invested


Despite my parce being a very small sample, I think the results are fairly conclusive and consistent with the conventional wisdom regarding Owlkin Frenzy. In most raid encounters, Owlkin Frenzy will provide a very limited DPS increase per point invested of around 0.1% to 0.2%. To put this in perspective this is very similar to the DPS increase provided by Genesis per point.

That said, Owlkin Frenzy is currently a very good talent for BQL, due to what many are speculating is a bug. Since BQL is a tight DPS race for many guilds, investing the two extra talent points in Owlkin Frenzy can be a good idea to give you a boost on this fight alone.


Naturi said...

Considering that Owlkin talent is only put in when you have excess talents, which most of us have now, would you say put the excess (2-3 points) into Owlkin or Genesis?

Valr said...

My example is no more valid, but my most recent night of raiding with 3/3 OF, I got:

Fight Procs Uptime
Marrowgar 8 22.3%
Deathwhisper 8 21.2%
Funship 0 ---
Saurfang 0 ---
Festergut 3 11.7%
Rotface 0 ---
Putricide 4 5.9%

Our numbers obviously differ quite a bit. I am not implying you are wrong, or that my numbers are any more valid, just that a sample as small as either of ours is just statistically way too small to draw conclusions from, and even trying can easily lead to bad conclusions.

Just to stress the point, the following is a chart of OF procs for a series of BQL attempts. (We wiped early vampire deaths.)

Attempt Procs Uptime
1 11 49.8%
2 4 17.7%
3 14 35%
4 24 58.1%
5 8 35.4%
6 15 52%
7 1 15.5%
8 7 25.5%
9 9 25.6%

Arbitrarily picking one or two of these can easily lead to conclusions that the whole sample does not support. Even a sample this size is not valid for drawing accurate conclusions.

Valr said...

So the posts do not keep formatting. I apologize for sloppy display :[

Anonymous said...

Well, my own parses show a very small number of procs as well. Basically indicating that this is a rather worthless talent. The same goes for genesis: almost wothless.
But than again, where are those points spend better. Even if i'm speccing into typhoon, i always end up with a single point in OF. As the fights i'm in now don't need AoE, i keep using at least 1/3 OF (and 1/5 genesis).

Megami said...

Great post on confusing talent. I wish we had better options to spend our 2 free points in.

It seems like a great pvp talent (I don't pvp though) but in PvE you don't want to get hit. Yes, damage is inevitable and part of every encounter, and you will take damage at some point. I don't think anyone would go out of their way to take damage to try and get this thing to proc (like warriors sometimes do for rage), but for me it always procs at bad times. I'm running out of fire, getting tombed or whatever, but basically it never seems to proc during my normal rotation so I can't even capitalize on it. Sometimes I get lucky and it procs while I'm standing still and I get a nice boost for a few seconds.

It seems like the only fights it's worth having on are BQL and Sindragosa. I haven't seen Arthas yet so I can't comment there. Would my extra points be better in Brambles for Treants, or even in Gale Winds? I use Typhoon a lot on the move now.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but thats quite misleading. Your sample is very small. I have 2/3 OF for 3 weeks now and see a lot more procs on some bosses than what you posted.
Though I agree its not that great of a dps increase, is way better than Gale Winds, unless somone likes to top the meter on trash pulls.

Anonymous said...

You very unfairly represented owlkin frenzy in my opinion. One week doesn't do justification to a talent based off RNG when hit at that. This will effect players who attempt to dodge every attack more than others, especially Marrowgar. I believe your blog has more power than most moonkin sites and you've under represented owlkin frenzy overall.

One of the basic principles behind statistics is that with a small sample size (1 week) you're going to have a high probability rate of error in misrepresentation.

-Artofficial out

Graylo said...


If choosing between those to I would say owlkin because it is a big boost for BQL.

@ Valr, Anon2, & Artofficial.

Did you miss the part where I said the data listed is a small sample? Did you miss the part were I said I looked at the parces of other moonkin?

Trust me, I've looked at tons of data. I've only listed my own because providing a large and acurate sample is impractical.

In reality the sample is not as small as you may think. The data I provided is the result of thousands of hits I took over the course of a raid week. On top of that, a small sample sized does not mean data is irrelevent, especially when it is consistent with what other people have found.

I am not making a hard and fast rule saying Owlkin Frenzy is worth X. What I'm saying is that he value of Owlkin frenzy is very low. Even if you triple the numbers I provided, Owlkin Frenzy is still a relatively poor talent.


I'm going to pick on you because your the one for whom I could find a parce for.

On 2/10/2010 in about an hour of boss attempts you had a total of 23 OF procs. That is just over 6% up time for about a 0.3% DPS increase per point. Yes you did proc it 8 times on marrowgar, but you also took more damage then most of the other raiders who were not tanks. The next night you had 13 procs after about 70 minutes of boss time.

You can dismiss my results as missleading due to sample size all you want, but don't delude yourself. I haven't seen a single parce where OF showed signigicant up time for any boss other then BQL and I've looked at dozens.

My results may be low, but they are not so low to show which ball park Owlkin frenzy is in.

Valr said...

Here is a link to logs for the recent data I listed. And I was very careful to make sure to not imply your data was irrelevant. Its not. But it is only a small part of what needs to be a much large sample to draw accurate conclusions, especially considering the extreme variance between one instance of an encounter and another. I just wouldn't pass judgment on a sample that small, as my margin of error would be more than I was comfortable posting with. On another note, it isn't an overall fantastic talent, but for the sake of comparison lets use the smallest %/point in your data: .1228%. Assuming 7k dps, a fairly modest average for icecrown, one finds an 8.6dps/point increase, coming in above brambles, and just below genesis. Any of the other numbers in your table end up with OF coming in above both brambles and genesis. Granted, its not an excellent talent, but it is much better than both brambles and genesis.


Valr said...

Missed the putricide uptime, which is lower than the one I used. In any case, on fights where it will proc, it takes very little to overcome both brambles and genesis.

Valr said...

Missed the putricide uptime, which is lower than the one I used. In any case, on fights where it will proc, it takes very little to overcome both brambles and genesis.

Peter said...

Do you really think it's a bug? Her raid damage procs water and lightning shields, Owlkin Frenzy doesn't seem far off to me.

Eilassaria (Elune) said...

The problem with comparing Frenzy to Genesis and Brambles is that the former requires an up to 15% chance on being hit by a valid effect to proc. The latter are always in effect. Brambles will always give you treants a 15% damage boost. I wouldn't expect it to be fixed if it is a bug, however the talent is still subpar on the other fights.

Makeshift said...

I tried taking 2 points out of gale winds for OF but only noticed a small gain. I also noticed myself justifying taking extra damage when I had the talent because of that small gain.

In the end, the ends did not justify the means. I was causing undue stress upon our healers. Furthermore, the majority of the damage in ICC 25 that will proc OF is avoidable.

Anyone serious about progressing will sacrifice dps to live (at least I hope they will).

With all of what I have said, where else can I place those talent points? Gale Winds is an AoE talent that is really only used for trash? Can I get more of a dps gain else where?

C said...

Tbh, I had my doubts in the start, yet choose to go 3/3 OF over gale and even the trees.
Sure procc is abit low but there are "ways" I found OK to force a procc...
..and by that I see proccs quite often in most of the fights.
Putri may be the on of the few fights I dont see it procc much, but even there its possible to make it procc, just need a bit of timing..

OF procc on dmg, hence u need to make yourself get dmg just enough to it to procc but not more to make burden on others or in stupid ways.
I think I can boldly say I have a quite high uptime and I see the difference in my dps when its up.
tricky is to make it proc along with omen.

Either way... for gale .
..sure you get more distance, you do more damage...considerably, I use these spells this benefits quite rarelly for find it worthwhile. 2 points for buffing up a spell which also costs 1 point.
An 1 point talent that does 400dmg each ~20s...but needs to be glyphed since its not always desireble to it to bounce back things....
As same goes for starfall, where you need to choose your moments, you need too with typhoon.
ICC is imao not a typhoon friendly instance. Even though OF proccs are bad, making its dps increase bit unpredictable, so is typhoon since you dont want to glyph it.

I have learned that typhoon, OF and gale are our personal flavor, a choice dependable on playstyle and group. A place where you can play more independable and can trust in your healers and group to trust you and your class, OF is your friend there. Another group where caution is more a matter and you are comfortable with utilising your movements and skill-usage, there maybe typhoon is more something for you.

So, both talents WILL give dps increase and also will not, all depends if you good at using it or not. The question about procc its just a matter of forcing the procs, as we do with omen.

Want OF to procc? Get a pan in your head and you'll chuckle (Of procc sound) like a chicken!
This is at least my experience.

Aeiedil said...

I recently updated my talents post following some personal tests.

I specced into Genesis in place of Moonglow/Improved Moonfire on the basis that ....

a : Improved Moonfire is valued about on a par with Genesis in T10 due to no more Moonfire crits on dot
b : I have no mana issues, so a little DPS from Genesis > no dps from Moonglow

Following this on I took a look at a few more points, namely my last point in Intensity, and my points in Improved Insect Swarm.

On the same logic as Moonglow, moving my 1 point in Intensity over to 1/3 Owlkin Frenzy seemed like a good move. I also decided to move 2 of my 3 points in Improved Insect Swarm over.

The DPS change was not noticable on all fights apart from BQL. On most fights it felt like any RNG mechanic outweighed any change due to losing those 2 points in IIS. On BQL as per your tests, the talent was far superior.

All in all I think that talents like IIS / Owlkin Frenzy are at a point where they can be bundled in to the "choose what you like" kind of mentality. So many of our talents due to various reasons are becoming less obviously superior, and while I am sure that there are stats to support talent X over talent Y due to a 0.04% DPS increase or similar, for most players any DPS lost through RNG or just any aspect of human error would be more significant.

As already identified, BQL is still very much a DPS race. Most other fights are not. For those most other fights your DPS is not really affected that much, but then on the fight where DPS matters you have a nice boost. This is enough for me to hold on to Owlkin Frenzy for now (unless they go and nerf it)

Sir Nicholai said...

You might want to update this post with Lich King numbers, since I'm guessing your guild is there by now.

Mine are available at

Owlkin frenzy procced 30 times on 10 lich king attempts, so 3 times per attempt, and we rarely saw phase 2, so an average of 3 procs on the 1st phase + transition.

This seems very worth it to me, so I'm staying at 3/3 owlkin frenzy, because this is by far the hardest fight in ICC 25. My raid leader agreed that it's worth sacrificing typhoon on Saurfang since that's easily doable anyways, for the added dps on LK.

I'm pretty sure it's the Infest which is able to trigger it.

Pestó said...

LOL @ makeshift. you should never take delibrate damage in a raid even if it is to proc something. there will be enough chances for it to proc in a normal raid encounter wiht out standing in fire. not to mention it only is procced by the initial hit. i plan to test this myself. the glory of this is extra damage, NOT dps increase. the uptime is not enough to increase your dps but if you proc this along with lunar eclipse youll have an insane damage increase for that short period of time