Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Engineering in PvE - An Accelerated Affair

Well, after extolling engineering as a good PvP profession, now it's time to trumpet its benefits for PvE. As you might know, the Hyperspeed Accelerators got buffed in patch 3.0.8 last week. HamSlammer over at the EJ forums answered a question in the ret thread about the Hyperspeed Accelerators (340 haste on use for 10 seconds, 1 minute cooldown), and how they now measure up against the Crusher glove enchant (44 AP), which is currently considered the "best in slot" glove enchant. Here's what he said:

Using Redcape's numbers, Hyperspeed is 25.5 DPS. +44 AP (Crusher, I believe) is 29.92 DPS. These have the benefit of stacking ALWAYS during Bloodlust and AW, so that brings it up a bit. All in all, I'd say whichever is easier to obtain. Hyperspeed might pull ahead on fights where your DPS time is limited, to where this tinker could have a high up time in comparison to your DPS time. Like... um... Heigan, possibly?
... and Gothik, and Sapphiron, and Malygos... I think you get the picture. Any boss that doesn't let you hit him/her for 100% of the fight ups the stock of this handy-dandy tinker.

Now, before everyone jumps on him and says "Haste sucks! Don't listen to him," think this out.

Hyperspeed has a 17% uptime over the course of a fight if used every cooldown. That's like giving yourself a 57 constant haste rating boost. Since haste rating conversion is 32.7 rating = 1% haste, you're looking at nearly 2% constant haste. It may only affect your Seal of Blood and auto-attack damage, but that's still an increase of 2% scaling damage to those two damage sources.

And, on top of that, you can stack the cooldown with your Avenging Wrath cooldown, as HamSlammer noted. Simple napkin math can't capture how much of a damage increase that is, but I'm willing to venture a bet that at tier 7 levels of gearing, getting an extra 10% haste from your Hyperspeed Accelerators for half the span of your wings can make up the 5 DPS difference between Crusher and the Accelerators that HamSlammer theorized.

In addition, as noted earlier, not every fight is like Patchwerk, where you can just flail away at the boss until it keels over. Sapphiron, for example, rotates like clockwork between air phase and ground phase, spending 45 seconds on the ground before taking off and doing his ice block thang. So, you can use your Accelerator during the ground phase, let it cool down during the air phase (when you can't hit him anyway), and then activate it again when he lands, giving the Accelerator haste effect more up-time and therefore more effective haste relative to your on-target time in comparison to the flat 44 AP from the Crusher enchant. With a 10 second up-time and a 45 second window to hit the target, you're talking about a relative up-time of 22% of your DPS presence. 10% haste for 22% of the fight? That's like a miniature, personal Heroism/Bloodlust for over one-fifth of the encounter, and who wouldn't like that?

Conclusion? I'm not investing in the Crusher enchant. I'm making use of my engineering goodies, gorramit! Patch 3.0.8 cutting the cooldown on the use effect of the Accelerators definitely made them a lot more useful. Even if it works out that stacking the Accelerators with wings doesn't make up the small amount of ground separating Crusher from patch 3.0.8 Accelerators, just the cheaper price of the engineering option makes it appealing. Plus, if what the crab said is true, haste might see a buff for melee in the forseeable future:
Haste is a worthwhile stat to some casters but it is not useful for many melee. We are trying some different things to make it more apealing. - Ghostcrawler, 1/24/09
If I may, my friendly crustacean-enamored game developer, I'd like to posit the suggestion that haste lower the global cooldown for melee as well as casters. It'd solve some rotational issues that us ret paladins run into, and I'm sure getting 7% (Note: completely fabricated number with no evidence to back it up) more Heroic Strikes or Sinister Strikes wouldn't be objectional. Am I right, warriors and rogues? (Note: I know that rogues and warriors are not the only other melee classes.)

On a broader note, I might even venture to say that the Personal Electromagnetic Pulse Generator might find a use in Ulduar, since it is a Titan-related instance and they tend to employ mechanicals, but I'll hold my tongue on that one until the instance is actually released.

So, fair reader, if you happen to be one of the tinkering few that remains faithful to M.E.G.A. or G.E.E.K., pop some Accelerators on your gloves and try it out. You might be surprised to find that it's as good if not better than your run-of-the-mill enchanting option. This won't outgain an extra two gem sockets or prismatic gems, but hey, it's something.


Argent said...

Err, Heroic Strike is a "next melee" attack, so warriors actually do get more heroic strikes from haste.

I'm not sure how much lowering the global cooldown would help Ret damage, since most of your specials have a cooldown anyway. Your gains would only happen at those times when your cooldowns actually collide, at which point you'd get a small increase (0.1s or so per 8%) in the number of specials you could do. Of course, this would be great for PvP, where you basically want to run up and blow all your cooldowns as fast as possible, but for PvE it would be a very minor buff.

With shorter global cooldowns:
- Paladins: still waiting for the next 6/8/10s cooldown.
- Shamans: still waiting for the next 6/8/proc cooldown.
- Rogues: waiting on energy regen
- Warriors: more bloodthirsts/slams. Big dps boost!
- Hunters: more steady shots

Warriors are the only physical-dps class that actually increases their resource-regen rate as they gear up. (hence the concept of Heroic Strike as a "rage dump") As I understand it, Fury is doing just fine right now, and they would be the largest beneficiary of this change.

Shortening the ability cooldowns and the GCD by the haste % would make haste basically a flat % damage increase. (as it is for casters modulo cooldowns) Fury would actually suffer a bit from this change, as they would be using more rage to sustain their rotation. Hybrid DPS would get the biggest boost, because they have outside ways (BoW, replenishment, etc) to regen their resource, and are currently held in check by a lack of cooldowns to spam.

Josh said...

Okay, I admit it, I don't know warriors. But I do know paladins, and reducing the global cooldown via haste would reduce cooldown clash and increase damage for paladins. My suggestion for haste buffing is immaterial, though - the main point was to introduce Hyperspeed Accelerators as a useful PvE item that was previously dismissed.

Tego said...

Hey, I roll GEEK and BS..... that enchant + the gem slots = happy