Enhancement's Love-Haste Relationship [update: aug. 11, 2012]
by, 04-08-2012 at 03:31 AM (15304 Views)
I've seen a lot of discussions floating around about how valuable haste is for enhancement in MoP, so I figured I'd dedicate a brief blog post to the subject.
Overall, I'd say that Blizzard was extremely successful in achieving its goal: improving the value of haste for enhancement without radically altering how the spec plays. For the purposes of this discussion, it's important to recognize that "haste" can be broken up into 3 categories, each with its own, distinct value for our spec: (1) haste rating, (2) active haste %, (3) passive haste %. I will be referencing the most recent pre-raid simulationcraft output currently on my guild's website throughout this post (seen here).
Haste Rating: 10/10
The value of haste rating is important because it affects how well our spec scales with gear upgrades. In Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard has altered our spec in a variety of ways to help improve the value of this stat. Most importantly, the Flurry buff increases the value of haste rating by 50% while active (as you can see by the ilvl 463 profiles linked above, Flurry uptime is very high (80%+) even in pre-raid gear). In addition to that, they've also significantly increased the percentage of our damage that scales with haste, and they managed to do it in such a way that actually lowered the proportion of our damage breakdown made up by passive auto-attacks and weapon procs (via strong DPS cooldowns; see ascendance, fire elemental, and feral spirit).
Active Haste %: 10/10
The value of active haste % is important because it directly affects how well our spec can respond to demands for controlled burst DPS in a raid environment. Although the Flurry buff doesn't extend to haste percentage effects (active or passive), that doesn't tend to be an issue for this category due to the presence of our other DPS cooldowns. Ascendance, Fire Elemental (regular or primal) and Feral Spirit scale very well with haste. If you look at the Elemental Mastery/Primal Elementalist profile of the simulationcraft output in the link above, you'll notice that the fire elemental has an active DPS of 35,661 (of which ~95% scales with haste), ascendance has an active DPS of 39,166 (of which ~74% scales with haste) and feral spirit has an active DPS of 9576 (of which ~56% scales with haste). These are significant figures when you take into consideration that the profile only does 62,874 dps on average over the course of a 6 to 9 minute-long fight. Consequently, Enhancement now benefits from haste % cooldowns such as heroism/bloodlust or elemental mastery very well, given the caveat that they should be used in combination with ascendance, fire elemental and/or feral spirit when possible (at the start of the fight for best results).
Passive Haste %: 7/10
The value of passive haste % is important because haste buffs seem to be Blizzard's preferred method of increasing encounter-specific DPS through gimmicks (in Cataclysm, at least, as seen on Sinestra (T11), Alysrazor (T12) and Madness of Deathwing (T13). Unlike the above two categories, passive haste percentage effects haven't been buffed in any way other than the increased proportion of our damage they now have to scale off of. There's no secondary effect, like the flurry buff for haste rating or synchronizing use with other cooldowns for active haste %, to make these effects optimal for enhancement. If you take the haste stat weight of the EM_PE profile in the link above and factor out the average flurry buff (1.17/1.4128), you'd get a stat weight of only 0.828 dps per point, or about 75% of mastery's value. That's still a significant improvement over the state of affairs in Cataclysm, but it's not enough to make a talent like Ancestral Swiftness attractive. As you can see in the link above, the AS profiles rank below the other level 60 talent choices (Elemental Mastery or Echo of the Elements) for any given level 90 talent pair.
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