Elemental Haste Concerns in 5.2
by, 12-02-2013 at 12:24 AM (33113 Views)
In 5.2 there will be two additional sources of haste for Elemental Shaman: the Sinister Primal Diamond and the modified talent Elemental Mastery with a 90 second cooldown. EM isn’t new, but with the reduced cooldown it’s possibly going to be a tough call between it and Echo of the Elements.
The problem is that Elemental has had some real issues scaling with bonus haste, which has been evident on fights like Alysrazor, Madness and Sinestra.
So what’s the deal?
Elemental has two haste caps, one at 50% and the other at 100%. At 50% all instant and 1.5 second cast time spells no longer scale directly with haste. Indirectly, Flame Shock dots tick faster & add more ticks, Earth Shock will be used more frequently due to the increased Rolling Thunder procs, and Lava Burst will get reset via Lava Surge more often, but the end result is that haste above 50% is worth about two thirds as much when you’re under 50%.
At 100% Lightning Bolt hits 1 second and goes no further. This means the only additional damage from haste is now coming from the Flame Shock dot, which is a fairly minor contribution to our damage. This is where most other casters start running into their own soft cap, but most have abilities with 2.25-3 second cast times.
Generally speaking, haste acts like a damage multiplier (based on your total haste). As soon as you pass these haste caps, it starts de-valuing either the buff, the haste rating, or both. This is where the problem is.
How does this affect us in 5.2?
Time for the obligatory graph.
As you can see, the value of haste will diminish as the time we spend above a haste cap increases. The drops are all the same, but some are bigger than others. Note that the X axis is showing the haste percentage from haste rating only. The Spell Haste aura is in addition to this, mostly to keep the X values tidy)
The problem is that as soon as we start having multiple sources of a 30% haste buff, the time spent over the haste caps goes up which starts de-valuing haste. It will also be very hard to manage having only one source of haste up at a time as two are on-use abilities while the third is a random proc.
- 9-10%: Over the 50% haste cap with one 30% haste buff
- 12-13%: Over the 100% haste cap with two 30% haste buffs (Sinister Meta + either Heroism or Elemental Mastery)
- 42-43%: Going over the 50% haste cap without buffs
- 46-47%: Going over the 100% haste cap with one 30% haste buff
This is a problem because haste has been the “best” secondary stat for a while, and is still fairly prominent on out gear for the next raid instance (that would be Throne of Thunder). It’s quite possible that we’ll end up aiming for Mastery > Crit > Haste or ignoring Elemental Mastery in favour of Echo of the Elements again.
In the end...
The changed cooldown for Elemental Mastery may not be enough to change the current Tier 4 talent distribution for Elemental, even with the slightly higher average haste (6.67%) and the ability to stack with other cooldowns. Echo will still be a useful & practical talent to take, even if it doesn’t work on one or two abilities.
Likewise, unless the haste buff is up long enough we won’t end up using the Sinister Primal Diamond from the legendary chain, but if it’s up too long we’ll end up reducing the effectiveness of haste and reforging into mastery or even crit.
As I mentioned before, these haste issues crop up frequently for Elemental, but nothing has changed to prevent it from happening again.
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