Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Glyphing in 3.1: Mana Neutrality

Okay, Spiritual Attunement is a protection talent. Fine, we're over it.

Okay, we're keeping the recoil on Seal of the Martyr. We're coming to terms with that too.

Judgement of the Wise, as of the current PTR, is up to 25% base mana return. Woohoo!

Glyph of Seal of Blood, as of the current PTR, is changing to return 11% of the recoil damage seals/judgements cause as mana. Oka... wait, what?

Depending on how things pan out mana-wise before glyphs are applied, I might take this glyph as an offense to all things retributive. If, for example, ret will go bone-dry mana-wise in no time flat without both Consecration and Seal of Blood glyphs equipped, even with 25% JotW, ret mana regen is broken and the glyphs are a band-aid fix. Glyphs shouldn't be necessary for normal functionality, they should be conscientious choices that alter gameplay. If retribution can't remain somewhat mana neutral without those glyphs, the glyphs cease to be a choice and become a necessity.

That said, what a lot of posters are saying over at EJ and on the Maintankadin Off-specs board indicates that without using the new SoB glyph, ret is currently mana neutral, meaning it's possible to use all abilities and cooldowns and not go OOM (at least, not for a good long while - people are estimating that the current PTR build would lead to 11+ minutes to OOM in a 25 man).

That little rant out of the way, let's examine the contenders for your glyph slots in 3.1, shall we? In no particular order:

  • Glyph of Judgement: +10% Judgement damage

  • Glyph of Consecration: +2s Consecration damage/cooldown

  • Glyph of Exorcism: +20% Exorcism damage

  • Glyph of Seal of Blood: +11% recoil damage as mana

  • Glyph of Avenging Wrath: -3s HoW cooldown while under AW

  • Glyph of Crusader Strike: -70 mana on CS

  • Glyph of Hammer of Wrath: free HoW

My napkin math on Glyph of CS and Glyph of HoW is still relevant, even though everything I said in that post regarding Glyph of SA and Glyph of SoB is now moot. However, the changes to the Exorcism ability and its related glyph throw off all glyph debates and send them spinning into a new realm. Exorcism is now a regular part of the ret rotation, as it is usable against all targets.

Assuming that with Glyph of Cons equipped ret is, or is close to, mana neutral, all the other mana reduction/refund glyphs become next to useless. There is no need to save mana if mana isn't an issue! (Note: the reason Glyph of Cons is picked instead of Glyph of SoB is because Glyph of Cons smooths out cooldown clashes, increases Cons damage by increasing Cons up-time, and saves mana by decreasing the mana/up-time ratio.) So, we can toss Glyph of SoB, Glyph of CS, and Glyph of HoW off to the side.

Glyph of Judgement stays in. +10% damage to a ret's biggest damage source? Yes please!

The last slot comes down to Glyph of AW and Glyph of Exo. Double the amount of HoW's for 20s during the Execute period, or a flat +20% damage to Exorcism, the new ability on the rotational block? Intuitively, Glyph of Exo sounds better. If you read thru the EJ Ret thread, the math seems to support that, especially with some of the talent changes that increase Exorcism damage further.

So, unless something drastic happens, it looks like my recommended glyph load-out will be:
  1. Glyph of Judgement

  2. Glyph of Consecration

  3. Glyph of Exorcism

Sound good to you? 'Cuz that sounds lovely to me.

EDIT: Note to self - BBCode doesn't work on blog posts.


Suicidal Zebra said...

Yep, sounds about right to me. In terms of mana consumption, there's still some doubt over sufficiency in <20% situations when our rotation is effectively HoW spam which many nudge out Glyph of Exorcism in favour of GoHoW. That said, given those phases tend to be over pretty quickly I don't think there's too much risk.

I just wish they'd stick one of the mana efficiency glyphs in as a minor one. It would make life so much easier.

Babagahnoush said...

While I'm not arguing against the logic for glyph of consecration as it would inevitably increase our damage, glyph of divine storm was added and after a little napkin math, say a boss had 3 adds and you land a crit on all of them. That's roughly 5,000 each, so 20,000 damage, and then glyphed with the increased healing talent causes it to do 45% of that damage as a heal to 3 people. So a 9,000ish instant heal to 3 people. That makes it the most powerful instant heal in the game other than LoH.

While obviously situational, I think it's a pretty cool thought to have a ret paladin dropping 9k heals on the 3 lowest targets in a time during a fight that could be potentially difficult on the healing.

Josh said...

Glyph of Divine Storm, while tempting, does nothing to increase damage output. I had forgotten about it, thus why it isn't on the list, but it really doesn't factor in to the equation.

AoW-FoL and JoL along with stray Chain Heals/PoM are reportedly enough to off-set SoB recoil. Unless this Divine Storm glyph makes it so that you don't need a raid healer watching the melee at all and you can bring another DPS'er instead, I doubt it'll end up being worth it. Size of heals usually isn't an issue - timing is. Holding your Divine Storm so that it heals at an appropriate time instead of chopping away with it whenever it's up will decrease your DPS.

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong, but I think Glyph of Divine Storm will be changing, as it sort of looks like it won't be healing anymore.

Anyway, there are mixed messages about Mana right now. Some say it'll be amazing, some say we'll be OOM in seconds because of no more SA.

I'm planning to go on the PTR when I get home and go nuts on a Target Dummy with different Glyph configurations, so I'll post those results on Divine Storm later, along with how long it took me to go OOM.

Babagahnoush said...

I wasn't necessarily saying hold it for that clutch moment, but it would alleviate raid healing for a 2000-9000 heal every 10 seconds on three targets.

Anonymous said...

I think we'll have to see T8 to properly evaluate Glyph of AW. Obviously, the less time you spend with the boss < 20%, the less valuable the glyph is. So this glyph actually scales inversely with the rest of your gear and the raid's gear.

Right now, most serious raids are highly geared and fights in Naxx are short. The longer the fights in Ulduar are, the better Glyph of AW will be.


Anonymous said...

That's an interesting way of putting it, anonymous... I'd never thought of HoW like that, but now that you mention it, yes, it DOES scale with your raids overall performance... just opposite.

Josh said...

Glyph of HoW scales inversely with your raid's performance (longer time under 20%, better performance; shorter fight, worse performance).

However, Glyph of AW has a static benefit - it only affects your performance while under Avenging Wrath. Avenging Wrath is 20s with a 2 minute cooldown, talented. Which means, you'll need the sub-20% phase to last at bare minimum 2 minutes and 20 seconds to get more than 1 20-second use out of this glyph.

I don't think any boss spends 2+ minutes under 20% health. Glyph of AW's value won't increase that much relative to other glyphs with Ulduar gear.

Anonymous said...

And here are the Glyph test results:

Stoico said...

Good run down.

Im all in for 1 and 3. But im a bit unsuer about 2. As many of you say, I would pick between 2 and the Free How glyph. But that have to be tested to see how much time we got under 20%, and if mana becomes and issue there.

Josh said...

If by "2" you mean the Consecration glyph, I think you'll find you'll lose DPS above 20% AND have mana trouble when you get there. Don't swap out the Cons glyph for the HoW glyph, trust me.

Anonymous said...

Peregrine - I'm not anonymous, I signed my name! XD

Josh - Your tone sounds like you were disagreeing with me, but all your words go hand in hand with what I'm saying?


Josh said...

Get a gorram OpenID so you stop posting as Anonymous! You're confusing the locals!

I did agree with you. Glyph of AW is good if the fight is sufficiently long so that you can wing up twice during the execute phase.

However, I doubt that will outweigh Glyph of Exorcism. I don't see Glyph of AW as advantageous in Ulduar, even if the fights lend themselves to multiple wings under 20%

Josh said...

Continuing what I said above, since I'm always too eager to hit post -

We're talking 12+ minute fights. I can't see that happening, unless there's a nice, lengthy cutscene or phase change sometime in the middle of the Execute portion of the fight.