Dreadblade – Mea Culpa
January 18, 2011 115 Comments
Ultimately, how much dps we gain or lose by the upcoming patch isn’t terribly important. After all, if it’s too much or too little… it really doesn’t affect us, when you think about it. It won’t change how we play, nor how we gear. It might change one’s odds of getting a raid invite, but the nerf definitely isn’t that drastic as to lead DKs – Frost or Unholy – to being benched for subpar players of now superior classes. Sure, you might have to come up with some quick retorts when joking around with the top dps of your guild when they notice they’re suddenly beating you, but such is life! In general, you’ll continue doing everything exactly the same as you have – minus a thousand or so dps.
The mastery change, however, is rather huge. It can change how we play, and it can change how we gear. Or it can’t. It all depends on just how potent the stat is, and that’s a subject which has received much debate.
There’s dozens and dozens of ways to calculate stat weights, but for the purpose of this post, I’m only going to go through two different methods: the simulator and parse dps. These two aren’t any more or less accurate than the alternatives, they’re simply the easiest for people to comprehend, and the cleanest to show in a blog post format. If so desired, I can go over the other ways one can calculate weights, but it would simply echo the results herein contained. Interesting topic for another day.
This is probably method which everyone is most familiar with. All you have to do is plug in your gear or stats, choose your spec and rotation, alter raid buffs or consumables as necessary… and press one little button. It’s easy (if you know what you’re doing), it’s accurate (if there’s not any bugs floating about at the time) and, most of all, it’s accessible/usable by everyone. You can have the math skills of an elementary school kid, and still be able to calculate weights! Fantastic, really.
Unfortunately, the sim is going by the present PTR, and thus doesn’t have the shadow portion of Scourge Strike being affected by mastery. I would be very, very surprised if this is intentional by Blizzard, and it should come as no surprise that if this does end up being the case, there’s no question – mastery rating is horrible.
At most, you’ll get maybe 0.45 as your weight, which is obviously below any other stat. Really, though, as it currently stands, I wouldn’t rely on the sim until it either has mastery affecting the shadow portion of SS, or we know that such behavior isn’t intended (in which case, consider me boggled).
Thus, one must turn to alternative methods of stat weights.
This can be done with any combat log: for purpose of this post, I will be using this one. DK I’m familiar with and who knows his stuff (although, he does make a mistake or two here, coughnodoublepotcough!), and Argaloth is an almost perfect boss for us to test our single target dps on; it’s essentially stationary, it has regular points at which you can soak magic damage for AMS RP, there’s no adds, there’s nothing to pull you off the boss, and so on. The only fault is that it’s relatively quick, which will likely invalidate its usefullness as people gear up, but for now, it still lasts long enough.
Anyways, this method is surprisingly easy, the flaw being RNG and specific fight factors can lead to misleading results, whereas the sim eliminates those two aspects. As long as your getting all your weights from the same specific parse, and said parse is as unremarkable as possible a fight, it works moderately well when the simulator isn’t an option and you don’t have the math expertise to start from scratch with the formulas.
Getting to it, you start by adding up all the damage affected by the specific stat in question. In this case, that means DC (612245), SS shadow (385857), BP (175109), and UB (48839). Because the patch obviously hasn’t gone live yet, you have to multiple all of these numbers by their various nerfs and buffs: DC (612245*0.9=551021), SS shadow (385857 *0.938*1.22=441559), BP (175109*0.93=162851), and UB (48839*0.9=43955). Remember, even though, yes, we have 8 base mastery for 20% shadow damage, you don’t want to factor that in here, as additional mastery isn’t multiplicative with that amount (i.e, you would do X * 1.21, not X * 1.2 * 1.01). Adding those numbers up, you get (551021 + 441559 + 162851 + 43955=) 1199386 damage. Thus an additional point of mastery rating would add you (1199386 * 0.025 * (1/180)=) 167 damage. Over the course of a 174 second fight, that’s 0.96 dps, and thus your weight.
Pretty good, right? Better than haste even!
The issue, however, is the length of the fight in question, which leads to higher than average Heroism/trinket/potion uptime, and thus is going to inflate any weight calculated from the parse in question. For true accuracy, you would have to repeat the process for each other stat – for purposes of this post, however, one is mainly concerned with how mastery faces up against crit. After all, if it’s worse, nothing else matters – we ignore the stat just as much as usual. If it’s better, then you would proceed to compare to the rest, but one thing at a time.
Crit is, of course, a trickier stat to calculate in such a manner. The simplest way to look at it would be to add up all the crittable damage in the parse which didn’t crit, multiply out any patch buff/nerfs (including the mastery one, in this case), then times by (parse crit rate per ability + 1/parse crit rate per ability/100), adding it all up, multiply by the crit meta (which we will, of course, be using), finished off by simply dividing by 180 and the fight duration. Fun, I know.
So: SS (497771 * .938 * .0110), DC (399609 * .9 * 1.2 * .0105), auto-attack (246555*0.0107), SS shadow (385857 * .73 * .938 * 1.22 * 1.2 * .0110), FeS (183772 * .938 * .0109), BP (141268 * .93 * 1.2 * .0108), FF (148985 * .93 * .0118), UB (48839 * .47 * .9 * 1.2 * 0.0105). Do note, that for SS shadow and UB, you have to multiply by the proportion of SS/DC’s non-crit to crit damage, as they’re not split. Anyways, adding this all up, you get 22037 * 1.03 = 22698. Divide by 180, and then divide by 174, and you wind up with 0.73 dps as your weight!
Now, of course, I did gloss over some factors. I ignored the UM nerf (as it would affect the two near equally, and it would greatly complicate things here). I assumed that the shadow part of SS is, indeed, intended to be affected by mastery, and that the ghoul still doesn’t scale with crit. I didn’t delve into the RC change, as it primarily affects ghoul damage (which doesn’t matter when using this method). Overall though, based off what we currently know, this is roughly accurate.
So, yes, Mastery does appear to be desirable – superior to crit/expertise, without a question, although it still falls short of haste (more on that at another time), and hence the title of the post! Yes, I was mistaken in my previous writing, and am more than happy to admit it. I have my own, personal spreadsheet I use to quickly test new changes and what have you, and I accidentally still had a part tweaked which was leading to the ghoul benefiting from crit rating (which would let it edge out mastery, for the record, but that’s neither here nor there, now). Hence my initial mis-estimation of the stat.
At any rate, this will heavily change how we gear and reforge. Expertise/crit will be all but ignored, with hit/haste/mastery being the three pinnacles of success, such as it will be. Once the PTR is more ironed out – we know for certain that the shadow SS is intended to be affected, for example, among other matters – I’ll develop new BiS lists and the like.
Anyways, off I go. I’ll probably write about 2H Frost in the coming days. Maybe. Not a ton to say on the subject beyond the fact that it’s not as bad as it was, it’s still not competitive with the other two specs, but it has very similar gearing to 2H Unholy, and thus is an excellent dual-spec option for AoE heavy fights.