Wednesday, February 4, 2009

To All The Paladins I Loved Before

Thank you Honors and Siha for the link-love for BHB. It's good to know it's got the support of my paladin brothers and sisters-at-arms. I don't know that BHB will be quite as successful as Tankspot, Maintankadin, or PlusHeal, since melee DPS is a narrower focus than tanking or healing with less intersection of topics amongst the classes, but hey, you gotta at least start the engine to see how far the car will go. Or, as Matticus loves to quote, "You miss 100% of the shots you never take" (Wayne Gretzky).

In other paladin news, Pike started a paladin. I recommend a head exam. Leveling a paladin is excruciating, despite the changes made to the class. And leveling prot before you have access to Holy Shield? Might wanna go for the full-blown psych evaluation. Level ret, Seal of Command and strength gear are your friend!

But who am I kidding? I leveled as prot for my formative years too. I was stupid then, and didn't know hit rating from my own arse or what "uncrittable" amounted to for tanking (I used to tank Stratholme dead-side with my ret gear on and a shield strapped to my arm!), but it still was fun getting bashed in the face and not dying immediately. I just didn't know how much *more* fun ret was at the time. BIG YELLOW NUMBERS, YEEHA!

I'd also like to make a note on my glyph analysis - a reader, Coristad of Kul Tiras-US, sent me a spreadsheet detailing out how Glyph of Avenging Wrath is more DPS than Glyph of Hammer of Wrath or Glyph of Crusader Strike. Here's what he said:

I think there is another way to look at your glyph analysis. You did your analysis purely on the basis of mana-consumption which is understandable, but undervalues Hammer of Wrath.

Thanks to Sanctified Wrath, HoW crits at an abnormally high rate. The damage it can be "counted on" to do, therefore, is vastly disproportional to its mana cost. In situations where mana is not a constraint- let's say the last 20% of a boss's health- mana consumption becomes irrelevant and the name of the game is to simply cram as much damage in as short of a period of time as possible.

In the atached spreadsheet, I modelled a few different scenarios. The first set of scenarios was a 20 second burn down, the second set of scenarios was a 10 second burndown, all timed to coincide with an Avenging-Wrath induced beatdown. All data comes from an recent Sarth fight of mine, so no Exorcism to figure in. The damage for each ability was "weighted" by its crit rate. White swings are excluded because they are not relevant to the analysis.

The short version is that over a 20 second run, the Glyph of Avenging Wrath would net *me* 35% more damage (about 16.6K more), and 42% more over a 10 second burn (due to less GCD clashes).

I currently run with Judgement, Consecration, and HoW for my glyphs, and I almost never have mana issues. I don't think Glyph of Crusader Strike is necessary with smart use of replenishment and consumables. Therefore I contend that more damage is better, given that mana is only occasionally a problem, and so the maximum DPS combination of Glyphs is actually Judgement, Consecration, and Avenging Wrath.
I'd just like to clarify my point. Glyph of Avenging Wrath is the highest DPS option amongst your 3rd major glyph options, but comes with several strings attached. If the fight doesn't lend itself to saving your wings for the last 20%, then you won't get full value. If you manage to burn too much of your mana and don't have ways available to replenish your resources when 20% rolls around (Divine Plea on cooldown, potion used, Lay on Hands on cooldown), then you won't get full value, since Glyph of Avenging Wrath will ramp up your mana consumption while active. If the boss becomes unattackable for any reason during the 20% phase and your wings are up (Sapphiron takes off and you're hiding behind an ice block, or the boss teleports away like Heigan or Noth, etc), then you don't get your full value. All in all, you need three things to happen when you're using Glyph of AW:
  1. You must have saved enough mana to support an extra 2k mana consumed (minus the mana used on Exorcism/Holy Wrath/1 odd strike, as they would get bumped from the skill cycle).
  2. You must have your Avenging Wrath cooldown available
  3. You must have all 20 seconds of your Avenging Wrath duration as on-target boss DPS.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is that yes, Glyph of AW will give you the highest damage output of any of your 3rd glyph options, but only if you can work within its requirements. Glyph of CS and Glyph of HoW are more broadly applicable, and therefore are safer options with very tangible benefits. Sure, they're just mana saving glyphs, but if you save enough mana, you might be able to use a Potion of Speed instead of a Runic Mana Potion, which will still up your DPS. Remember, haste isn't bad, it's just not as good as an equal amount of strength.

Coristad fired back with the following:
I don't think 2 and 3 are really substantial objections. Even making frequent use of of AW, it's not unrealistic to say that there are situations where you're not going to pop it immediately, especially in heroic raids where you can expect the raid leader to synchronize heroisms, drums, etc. If your AW comes available at 25%, would you use it or wait until 20%? Also, as my model shows, having less than 20 seconds IMPROVES the performance of HoW. insta-cast (can be cast while running, flying backwards, knocked up in the air) ranged damage that crits lke crazy, and I can use it every 3 seconds? Yes Please!

I will grant you that increased mana usage is a concern. There are a few dead spots in the models where a potion could be chugged. Divine Please could also make an appearance. My feeling, however, is that I am doing fine on mana without the Crusader glyph for extended fights. If there's any kind of splash damage flying around I am hard pressed to spend all of my mana.

The big picture is that I don't think it's worth automatically dismissing the Glyph because it does not promote mana efficiency. There is at least one other way to look at the problem, and that's in giving you more burst damage. After doing this modelling, I figure it's at least worth the couple of gold to try it out.
So, I leave it up to you, fair reader. Glyph of AW might be worth it. If I can figure out how to post Excel spreadsheets to Blogger I'll make his workbook available for your consumption. I might even replace my Glyph of Crusader Strike and give it a whirl.


Pike said...

Yeah but I've also leveled a druid as full resto, and about a million hunters. It is a well established fact that I am an... odd leveler. >.>

Honors Code said...

You can use Google docs. It gives you the ability to post spreadsheets to your blog as well as share them across the web.

Anonymous said...

I might have to try the Avenging Wrath glyph. I generally have very few issues with mana. Right now I'm running with:

Judgment - actually increases DPS!
Crusader Strike - helps with mana
Spiritual Attunement - helps with mana. I've still got this one glyphed from when I was Prot - I had more mana issues as Prot than I do as Ret. I'm also not using Consecration because I believe it's bad for Prot, even though I haven't been Prot in weeks.

I'm planning on running in that Naxx25 PUG that assigns loot based on performance again this week, so I might have to try Consecration and Avenging Wrath. The trick will be knowing which fights to use AW early, and which to save it. I suppose if I use it early and don't get it a second time, I'm doing no worse DPS than I did last week. Only for the shortest fights would I be limited to one AW.


Josh said...

The fight would have to be less than 2 minutes for you to be limited to 1 AW. Pop it early in the fight and then pop it again around 2-2:15 (whenever the cooldown comes up). If you have Glyph of AW and the fight is less than 4 minutes, you might want to hold that 2nd AW until 20%. If it's more than 4 minutes, you can safely pop the 2nd one and then hold the 3rd one for under 20%

haalf said...

Could just be me, but I ran with Glyph of CS for a long time and never had any real mana issues. I switched to Glyph of AW to test it out for a few weeks and while you addressed the issue of it being a very very particular time frame in which its usable I found a few things.

Overall mana issues, I wasn't starved for mana but on prolonged fights I felt a noticeable difference in my mana towards the middle to end of the fight. Not a huge deal, until it came time for 25% or so I'd pop my wings and start pounding, at 20% I'd start tossing HoW out and I'd be out of mana pretty quick.

Also, this is probably not a wide spread issue but in my guild we usually have a ton of pallies. Anywhere from 4-6 in 10 man runs, and more in 25. This means our bosses usually get bent over at the 20% point so if I didn't pop my wings before 25% I'd be looting the boss with them and have wasted time with AW.

just my 2c

Coristad said...

The thinking is that you don't get bonus points for finishing the fight with a full mana bar, so being able to use your highest damage ability more frequently is a good thing. You'll feel like a scrub if you don't do it well and run OOM before the boss falls over, but you'll feel ubarleet if you run OOM as your last HoW gets the killing blow. :-) A nice little risk/reward tradeoff, and illustrative of evaluating choices along multiple dimensions instead of just focusing on one (mana efficiency).