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Why It's Not All Doom & Gloom For Elemental

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If you’re reading Shaman forums lately, be it the official ones or fan sites (like this one), you’ll have noticed a number of threads that boil down to stating that Elemental is performing poorly (yet again) in Throne of Thunder. Technically speaking they’re correct, but not in the way that everyone is talking about.

So what’s the big issue? Most will refer to RaidBots and argue that this proves that the spec is not up to scratch. There are cries of “Ele is low on every fight”, which seems to ignore the obvious outlier of Heroic Durumu, and ignores a number of other things.

Fight Comparison: Horridon 25H
Firstly, lets take a look at some of the fights where we’d expect Elemental to perform well, Horridon for example. Thanks to Chain Lightning (with the glyph) we should be able to clean up on the adds, and we do. The problem is that when you factor in the stacking damage debuff on the boss you get a different story. For example, if we take one of the top ranked Elementals in 25, Yamelit, we see that they had 63.7% of their damage on Horridon with a 11:29 fight length. Television, a Shadow Priest, had 77.9% against Horridon on a 9:43 long fight. Both did fairly similar damage, 218.9m vs 226.4m, so the fight length difference made a major difference in overall DPS, as did the increased amount of time that Television was attacking Horridon.

What does this mean? The fact that Elemental is very good at cleaving down smaller groups of adds, as found on this fight, means that there’s less time taking advantage of the damage increase debuff. The end result is that we won’t end up topping the meters because we’re doing a job that we’re ideally suited to which prevents it.

Fight Comparison: Ji-Kun
We can see a similar disparity on Ji-Kun as well. Compare the hatchling damage from Rommance with that from Kuznam, along with the 2 minute fight difference, and you can see why there is such a DPS difference. It’s also worth noting that Method has an Elemental Shaman, Leeds, who is also behind Kuznam on damage, but this can be explained by the fact that uptime of Primal Nutriment is very different. Kuznam had a 247 second uptime vs Leeds 30 seconds, so that’s a 77% vs 9.3% uptime.

Primordius
I’ll put a short note in here on Primordius as well. The random stats/crit/haste/mastery buffs make it a bit hit & miss as to how well you’ll do, as the crit & haste buffs will have a reduced impact on your performance. Crit is somewhat obvious, as Lava Burst isn’t affected by it, while the issue with Haste is that long standing scaling issue I’ve talked about previously. Because of these reduced effectiveness buffs, unless you get all stats/mastery buffs you’ll get less out of them compared with other classes, which explains why we’ll fall behind on this fight.

Other Advantages
One of the other, more commonly missed advantages for Elemental is that we can move about with minimal cost to our output. This is useful in those not-really-significant-to-dps situations where you can move around to keep more than X yards from nearby raid members. There have been a few times where I’ve moved from one side of the room to another for better spacing, stopping along the way to throw out an Elemental Blast or a non-proc Lava Burst. Other classes don’t have that, but most Elementals take it for granted these days.

Perception vs Reality
One of the things that is often said when evaluating healers is “the meters don’t matter”. Oddly enough this can also be applied in a more limited sense to DPS as well. This is because while doing more DPS is important, it’s secondary to Doing Your Job. It just so happens that Elemental tends to do more of these jobs, or pull the short straw when it comes to fights that suit the spec.

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Comments

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  1. Rodalpho's Avatar
    So other specs don't have "jobs" too? Nonsense.

    Stormlash is a much better raid cooldown than most players thought it was, in 25 man raiding anyway. Elemental's cleave (it is not AE) is also excellent.

    Thing is, utility and powerful raidbuffs do not excuse poor core performance, and vice-versa. That has been the case since the WOTLK redesign.

    Raidbots shows elemental at the very bottom in normal modes. There is some indication it performs better in heroics, but players do not have enough data to make that evaluation.
  2. Binkenstein's Avatar
    No, I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is that in those particular examples the tasks that are usually assigned to Elemental does not allow us to take advantage of additional fight mechanics that inflate the damage of other classes. Primal Nutriment is a good example of this, as is add vs boss focus on Horridon. You can make similar comparisons with Tortos & being stuck on Whirl Turtle duty most of the time as the tanks/melee primarily handle the bats. These points still apply to Normal as much as Heroic, I was simply using Heroic modes to find the best players.

    If anything, the argument I'm trying to make is that the metric you use to judge overall performance is flawed.
  3. Ike's Avatar
    Sadly, the metric that actually matters in the end is the dps meter- when you play at a high level, the things you have to concern yourself with are 'can i survive the mechanics', 'can i help the raid survive the mechanics' and 'will the boss die'? Currently, Ele is in a fine place with MOST fights on 'can i survive the mechanics', because shammy rage is a 1 minute cd, and natures guardian is op/40% damage reduction cds is fine too.

    Thats not to say Ele is in a GOOD place, because on the fight that matters this tier, Lei Shen, you require either an immunity or absurdly good raidwide defensive cds to be brought in. Elemental ONLY has AG for raidwide defensive cds, which frankly isn't enough. Boomkins will be, SHOULD BE, brought in over us because of hotw tranq and displacer beast, and symbiosis+cloak=required immunity for the fight.

    The elemental toolkit is that we can break raidwide fears, heal while we damage for 10 seconds every 2 minutes, MAYBE catch spells targetted at a specific person (only fight that matters on is Durumu this tier), Stormlash, dispel, and cleave. That's about it.

    We do fine on Jinrohk because its a high movement fight that we can sync our cds with the pools. We do moderately to poorly on Horridon because fuck that pink dino. We can spam purge on it for 16% of our mana per cast with no damage done/no possible proccing of abilities, or we can actively dps it. Either way we don't have a good way to handle it the way locks/mages/boomkins do, and we won't ever meet their horridon damage because of how we need to aoe packs. However, aoeing packs stops being easy around the third or 4th door due to how much movement the raid is doing, because of frozen orbs and pink dinos, and it becomes infeasable to just be spamming cl on adds. We do ok on Council (though less useful then other classes because we need to hardburn the adds to actually help with them, and our damage goes to shit when we do that), and theoretically we would be good if we could stack up the bosses- in practice you can't once sul dies, and sul cleave is a melee job.

    Tortos we suck on because bats isn't a shamans job (melee/locks do it better/more reasonably), and thus our entire fight is turned into chasing turtles, which is something we suck at. We do good on meg because you can aoe down netherwyrms, which is important, and we do it faster/better then most other classes because its an ideal pack size for us. We do ok on Jikun because cl can be used on nests, and multi dotting is less effective. We own durumu because CL, and we fail at Primordius because of what bink said (which is by far the most important thing to get out of this post. The fact that one of our worst fights is hte one that scales us up shows a fatal flaw in elemental, and that we are literally worse off when everyone gets better gear relatively.) Dark Animus is pure mechanics and elementals role on this fight can really be anything, though our damage is low because single target/quick target switches=fuck you.

    Qon we're ok on (we even get a brief cl period, which we can't really use because of bloodlust lol) because AG is pretty good here, Twin Consorts were actually sat on because its mostly single target dps with multi dotting occasionally, something we suck at.

    And fuck lei shen, because we don't have an immunity, and AG/stormlash is weaker then skull banner/demo banner/rally cry.

    So yeah, Elemental is in a shitty place right now, and when it comes down to it, we get sat in progression because everyone else can do the important jobs on important fights that we simply cannot.

    At least I get to play Neverwinter while my guild does Heroic Lei shen, though.
  4. Binkenstein's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ike
    Sadly, the metric that actually matters in the end is the dps meter- when you play at a high level, the things you have to concern yourself with are 'can i survive the mechanics', 'can i help the raid survive the mechanics' and 'will the boss die'? Currently, Ele is in a fine place with MOST fights on 'can i survive the mechanics', because shammy rage is a 1 minute cd, and natures guardian is op/40% damage reduction cds is fine too.

    Thats not to say Ele is in a GOOD place, because on the fight that matters this tier, Lei Shen, you require either an immunity or absurdly good raidwide defensive cds to be brought in. Elemental ONLY has AG for raidwide defensive cds, which frankly isn't enough. Boomkins will be, SHOULD BE, brought in over us because of hotw tranq and displacer beast, and symbiosis+cloak=required immunity for the fight.

    The elemental toolkit is that we can break raidwide fears, heal while we damage for 10 seconds every 2 minutes, MAYBE catch spells targetted at a specific person (only fight that matters on is Durumu this tier), Stormlash, dispel, and cleave. That's about it.

    We do fine on Jinrohk because its a high movement fight that we can sync our cds with the pools. We do moderately to poorly on Horridon because fuck that pink dino. We can spam purge on it for 16% of our mana per cast with no damage done/no possible proccing of abilities, or we can actively dps it. Either way we don't have a good way to handle it the way locks/mages/boomkins do, and we won't ever meet their horridon damage because of how we need to aoe packs. However, aoeing packs stops being easy around the third or 4th door due to how much movement the raid is doing, because of frozen orbs and pink dinos, and it becomes infeasable to just be spamming cl on adds. We do ok on Council (though less useful then other classes because we need to hardburn the adds to actually help with them, and our damage goes to shit when we do that), and theoretically we would be good if we could stack up the bosses- in practice you can't once sul dies, and sul cleave is a melee job.

    Tortos we suck on because bats isn't a shamans job (melee/locks do it better/more reasonably), and thus our entire fight is turned into chasing turtles, which is something we suck at. We do good on meg because you can aoe down netherwyrms, which is important, and we do it faster/better then most other classes because its an ideal pack size for us. We do ok on Jikun because cl can be used on nests, and multi dotting is less effective. We own durumu because CL, and we fail at Primordius because of what bink said (which is by far the most important thing to get out of this post. The fact that one of our worst fights is hte one that scales us up shows a fatal flaw in elemental, and that we are literally worse off when everyone gets better gear relatively.) Dark Animus is pure mechanics and elementals role on this fight can really be anything, though our damage is low because single target/quick target switches=fuck you.

    Qon we're ok on (we even get a brief cl period, which we can't really use because of bloodlust lol) because AG is pretty good here, Twin Consorts were actually sat on because its mostly single target dps with multi dotting occasionally, something we suck at.

    And fuck lei shen, because we don't have an immunity, and AG/stormlash is weaker then skull banner/demo banner/rally cry.

    So yeah, Elemental is in a shitty place right now, and when it comes down to it, we get sat in progression because everyone else can do the important jobs on important fights that we simply cannot.

    At least I get to play Neverwinter while my guild does Heroic Lei shen, though.
    The only reason that the DPS meter is the only thing that matters is because everyone says it's the only thing that matters. If you have two players with the same gear, playing the same class, but doing different jobs where one can take advantage of a bonus damage debuff, that person is deemed to be "better", even if the other person is more skilled.

    You're forgetting that AG is a talent, not an Elemental specific ability, and you're forgetting mobile DPS from your list.
  5. Ensar's Avatar
    Just 'cos it's not as bad as people think it is, really doesn't mean it's fine.

    We're bad. It's a fact. If we can't spam CL, then you'd have been better off bringing some other class as they ALL have tools for dealing extra damage which a shaman does not (and non-of them are meaningless meter padding). I went over this on the forums before. All the other classes have more/better tools, it's very clear to me.

    If would be different if we had something like Warriors Rally Cry / Demo Banner, they too had DPS issues this tier but have raid sports as the cooldowns are NEEDED for progression. Elemental has nothing that's useful so off to AFK town we go (and I've been here a bunch this tier during progression). There's a reason a guild will be fine with having 4-5 of each Warlocks and Mages but only 1 Elemental.

    Note AG is basically useless, it's don't heal for much at all and will never be used in a raid cooldown rotation. Might be different in 10man, but I play 25man so I don't care about 10man to know how they use cooldowns, the heal is basically 2.5 as powerful there. (see buffs to Tranq in the patch).

    But yeah, I'm still hoping for Shaman redesign in the next expansion so we can be useful in raids or that we get a MASSIVE single target DPS boost (so we're like Rogue levels at least) so there's a reason to keep an Elemental Shaman around outside the odd CL spam fight.
  6. Rodalpho's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Binkenstein
    If anything, the argument I'm trying to make is that the metric you use to judge overall performance is flawed.
    Sorry, didn't check this last night and didn't have the page open at work.

    The metric is not flawed, because the results come from actual players in the game. Thing is, you can't just take the rankings as gospel, they need to be intelligently interpreted.

    Selection bias comes into play, although it's a lesser factor for Shamans than other classes since enhance and elemental are different roles and don't share gear. Additionally, utility/unique raidbuffs like Stormlash, healing stream totem, etc definitely have substantial value that don't show on spec rankings. But every spec offers some form of utility.

    The rankings definitely do need to be interpreted, but it's highly disingenuous to wave your hands, talk about opportunity costs, and say that elemental is peachy when it is so extremely low on the rankings. Elemental's single-target performance is not OK in normal modes. We know that.
  7. Binkenstein's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodalpho
    Sorry, didn't check this last night and didn't have the page open at work.

    The metric is not flawed, because the results come from actual players in the game. Thing is, you can't just take the rankings as gospel, they need to be intelligently interpreted.

    Selection bias comes into play, although it's a lesser factor for Shamans than other classes since enhance and elemental are different roles and don't share gear. Additionally, utility/unique raidbuffs like Stormlash, healing stream totem, etc definitely have substantial value that don't show on spec rankings. But every spec offers some form of utility.

    The rankings definitely do need to be interpreted, but it's highly disingenuous to wave your hands, talk about opportunity costs, and say that elemental is peachy when it is so extremely low on the rankings. Elemental's single-target performance is not OK in normal modes. We know that.
    There are multiple factors at play. Poor single target DPS does not account for a large proportion of it.

    Jin'whatsit: No innate variation
    Horridon: effective DPS time on boss vs adds skews DPS
    Council: Multidotters will be able to pad, cleaving not always guarentteed depending on strat
    Tortos: Unlikely to AoE + have minimal time with damage debuff
    Megaera: Multidotters will be able to pad
    Ji-Kun: Variable damage buff uptime, likely skewed away from Elemental
    Durumu: Nothing on normal, Heroic's Ice Walls skews towards Elemental
    Primordius: Crit/Haste buffs have reduced effectivness for Elemental
    Iron Qon: No variation I can think of
    Twin Consorts: No variation. Small amount of padding for multidotters in p3
    Lei Shen: No variation I can think of.

    Outside of H.Durumu Elemental isn't top 1-5 on any fight. However, if I look at a middle of the road fight like Lei Shen (161,142) I see Moonkin (160,963) & Mages (Fire at 163,047) are fairly close, with only Survival Hunters, Shadow Priests & Demo/Dest Warlocks ahead in terms of ranged DPS. If I swap over to 10N I see Elemental in third place. As soon as you start digging down into individual fight examples yes, you see some fairly low results, but you also see many middle-of-the-road examples which is what you should see, in addition to a few higher ones.

    I'm not saying that we couldn't do with buffs, but the constant "waaah we're bad on meters on raidbots" complaining really isn't justified.
  8. Rodalpho's Avatar
    Raidbots spec score looks at rankings (as opposed to damage dealt) for all the encounters in the tier, which minimizes the impact of the "gimmicks" you're talking about. Elemental ranks very low in both 10N and 25N spec score rankings. That very literally means it is not delivering competitive damage in those fights. There is no way to talk around that. It accurately represents how elemental actually individually performs in tier15.

    Like I said, it doesn't take selection bias, utility, or raid buffs into account. Those things have value too. Raidbots only looks at damage, and that needs to be intelligently interpreted, but it does so correctly. It is a valid metric.

    Unfortunately there aren't enough parses to use heroics, so I can't comment on that, and there is some indication that elemental performs better in heroics too-- for one thing, GC thinks so. But normal mode performance matters too.

    http://www.raidbots.com/dpsbot/Spec_...14/60/default/

    Of the 10 lowest specs, every single one is either getting significant buffs in 5.3 or is the weaker of multiple DPS specs sharing the same role and subject to significant selection bias.

    12) feral - getting significant buffs in 5.3
    13) frost DK - no buffs but weaker spec, unholy is top-tier
    14) survival - getting significant buffs in 5.3
    15) WW - getting significant buffs in 5.3
    16) ret - getting significant buffs in 5.3
    17) enhance - getting significant buffs in 5.3
    18) BM - getting significant buffs in 5.3
    19) elemental - no buffs but weaker spec, enhance is getting buffs
    20) frost mage - no buffs but weaker spec, fire and arcane are top-tier
    21) arms - no buffs but weaker spec, fury is top-tier

    The difference is that Elemental fills a different role than enhance, has a completely different playstyle, and does not share gear. So while it is in many respects valid (although it does suck when it happens) to ask a frost DK to spec unholy, or an arms warrior to spec fury, it is not valid to ask an elemental shaman to spec enhance.
    Updated 07-05-2013 at 03:04 AM by Rodalpho
  9. Binkenstein's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodalpho
    Raidbots spec score looks at rankings (as opposed to damage dealt) for all the encounters in the tier, which minimizes the impact of the "gimmicks" you're talking about. Elemental ranks very low in both 10N and 25N spec score rankings. That very literally means it is not delivering competitive damage in those fights. There is no way to talk around that. It accurately represents how elemental actually individually performs in tier15.

    Like I said, it doesn't take selection bias, utility, or raid buffs into account. Those things have value too. Raidbots only looks at damage, and that needs to be intelligently interpreted, but it does so correctly. It is a valid metric.

    Unfortunately there aren't enough parses to use heroics, so I can't comment on that, and there is some indication that elemental performs better in heroics too-- for one thing, GC thinks so. But normal mode performance matters too.
    Actually it looks at relative DPS, so a 100 score is the top DPS while 80 is 80% of the top DPS. Thusly someone doing 200k dps gets 80 if the top dps is 250.
    The overall spec score is an average of these, which means it gets skewed towards those specs that have high outliers, which happens on a few occasions.

    10N ranks: 8, 10, 6, 12, 20, 13, 12, 13, 8, 18, 3.

    Since 11 is the mid-point, we can conclude there are two bad fights, five average fights, 3 good fights and one very good fight. Also, if you look through the fights you'll see a few outliers on Iron Qon/Durumu/Ji-Kun/Jin'rokh (Assassination Rogues) & Primordius (Desctruction Warlocks) which means they get a bigger effect on their spec score.

    There's more context, but it looks like I'll need to do some heavy number crunching to prove it.
  10. Rodalpho's Avatar
    The highest score any spec can get is 100 per encounter, so you don't have fights like Alysrazor pumping fire mages up into the stratosphere-- the impact of gimmick fights like that is minimized. Obviously specs that benefit from the gimmick will get that 100, but they won't be averaged in as 500k dps or whatever. The rankings are partially normalized, not completely, as those are still valid fights in the tier.

    Raidbots also discards the top and bottom 5% from all parses to limit total outliers, buggy parses, people going d/c or afk, etc.

    Also, it looks like you accidentally used the top100 rather than all parses. Elemental ranks #15 on Jin'rokh, #12 on Horridon, #16 on Council, etc.
    Updated 07-05-2013 at 03:22 AM by Rodalpho
  11. Binkenstein's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodalpho
    The highest score any spec can get is 100 per encounter, so you don't have fights like Alysrazor pumping fire mages up into the stratosphere-- the impact of gimmick fights like that is minimized. Obviously specs that benefit from the gimmick will get that 100, but they won't be averaged in as 500k dps or whatever. The rankings are partially normalized, not completely, as those are still valid fights in the tier.

    Also raidbots discards the top and bottom 5% from all parses.

    Also, it looks like you accidentally used the top100 rather than all parses. Elemental ranks #15 on Jin'rokh.
    See, now we're getting back to Ye Olde Argument about Raidbots: what formats to use, and why I generally dislike talking about raidbot performance in general.
  12. Rodalpho's Avatar
    You intentionally used the top 100? Say it ain't so, Bink!
  13. Binkenstein's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodalpho
    You intentionally used the top 100? Say it ain't so, Bink!
    What? Top100 does expose you to more variation due to encounter mechanics, but it also looks at the best performers. Skill is just another variable
  14. Rodalpho's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Binkenstein
    What? Top100 does expose you to more variation due to encounter mechanics, but it also looks at the best performers. Skill is just another variable
    Sorry, but no. The top100 dataset is far too small to be used in spec balance discussions. The RNG and gimmicks rule there.

    If you want to look at elite players, use the 75th or 80th percentile under all parses. That uses the entire dataset, but examines higher performers. Unfortunately raidbots does not generate the spec score for the various percentiles, so you need to do it yourself.

    Keep in mind that once you move away from the median, any conclusions are less useful for overall spec balance, because the majority of players (obviously) perform at the median. But it's a heck of a lot better than the top100, and while conclusions drawn from there aren't as useful for balance discussions, they can be very interesting if the people in your particular guild tend to perform at that level.
    Updated 07-05-2013 at 03:41 AM by Rodalpho
  15. Ike's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Binkenstein
    The only reason that the DPS meter is the only thing that matters is because everyone says it's the only thing that matters. If you have two players with the same gear, playing the same class, but doing different jobs where one can take advantage of a bonus damage debuff, that person is deemed to be "better", even if the other person is more skilled.

    You're forgetting that AG is a talent, not an Elemental specific ability, and you're forgetting mobile DPS from your list.

    The reason the dps meter matters is because there are a number of bosses, like h Lei Shen, who have tight enrages. Unless you bring such good utility to a raid that your lower dps can be overlooked, being low on the meters means that you will be sat and stronger classes will be brought in.

    While I can't deny that my spot on recount matters to me, or that I love looking at my wow-heroes page and seeing top ranks across many fights, when I say 'the dps meter matters' I don't refer to any of that- I refer to the actual capability of the class as compared to others, with the incredibly useful tool of measurement being the damage meters. While me and Corn can be top on Meg and Durumu, all you have to do is look at Tortos, Council, Horridon, Primordius, and TC and you'll see us near the bottom. That's not a skill based issue- We're both really fucking good at the class. Its the fact the class just can't compete when the fight calls for single target/target switching, and the utility we bring doesn't make up for it enough. And frankly, I wouldnt want it to. I dont want Ele to be a 'Well, we bring 4 buffs and 3 raid cds, so you gotta take us!' class, I want our dps to be able to be dps, and act as a dps and not as a 'hybrid in a niche cleaving aoe role'.
  16. Rodalpho's Avatar
    Enrage timers are a much bigger issue in heroics than normals. But even in normal modes where hitting enrage isn't a major concern by design, high DPS makes a huge difference. Shorter fights mean less chances to mess up, lower mana requirements for healers, higher proportional uptime of raidbuffs and individual cooldowns, etc.
  17. Intrepid's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ike
    The reason the dps meter matters is because there are a number of bosses, like h Lei Shen, who have tight enrages. Unless you bring such good utility to a raid that your lower dps can be overlooked, being low on the meters means that you will be sat and stronger classes will be brought in.

    While I can't deny that my spot on recount matters to me, or that I love looking at my wow-heroes page and seeing top ranks across many fights, when I say 'the dps meter matters' I don't refer to any of that- I refer to the actual capability of the class as compared to others, with the incredibly useful tool of measurement being the damage meters. While me and Corn can be top on Meg and Durumu, all you have to do is look at Tortos, Council, Horridon, Primordius, and TC and you'll see us near the bottom. That's not a skill based issue- We're both really fucking good at the class. Its the fact the class just can't compete when the fight calls for single target/target switching, and the utility we bring doesn't make up for it enough. And frankly, I wouldnt want it to. I dont want Ele to be a 'Well, we bring 4 buffs and 3 raid cds, so you gotta take us!' class, I want our dps to be able to be dps, and act as a dps and not as a 'hybrid in a niche cleaving aoe role'.
    I really couldn't have said it any better than Ike. It would be nice to be able to compete with other single target classes and let skill be the deciding factor. Being told by the Raid Leader "your a good player but we have to sit you because your class is terrible on this fight" is like being sucker punched.
  18. Binkenstein's Avatar
    Ok guys, here's the challenge for you: Explain why Elemental is performing so "badly" on each fight. I'm still not sure why the developers find things OK while you guys are saying it's completely crap. (This might be best in a forum thread)

    Side note: speaking to a guildie this morning suggests that Fire & Affliction can double dip on damage buffs thanks to Malefic Grasp & Ignite/Combustion. Maybe there are other instances of this too?
  19. Rodalpho's Avatar
    I'm convinced that the devs are only looking at well-geared Elemental shamans, who are primarily in heroic modes.

    Like I said, we don't have enough heroic data in WoL to make a determination there, but there's a strong indication that Elemental performs dramatically better with the epic gem and T15 set bonuses, and stormlash is surprisingly powerful in 25mans.
  20. Ike's Avatar
    Our spec is based around casting LvB as much as possible. LvB does a decent chunk of damage, but only scales with haste and mastery (and gets gcd capped extremely quickly this tier in particular). LvB is buffed by FS, a moderately weak dot (expected given we are not a dot spec).

    We have 2(3) other spells we use in single target- Lightning Bolt and Earth Shock (and Elemental Blast). LB and Earth Shock synergize well, though the more LvB you cast=fewer LB you cast=fewer Earth Shock you cast. Earth Shock at full stack does a lot of damage, but it takes 6 LB hitting the boss (Whether they be hardcast, mastery, or EoE doesnt matter) while also proccing rolling thunder, which is a 60% chance. So its closer to 10 LB having to hit for a full stack to happen.

    EB does a decent chunk of damage, and gives a small chunk of a random stat to us.

    Our mastery is unusual in that instead of directly scaling up some portion of our damage, instead it gives a % chance to proc a second, 75% version of the spell that hit it. You can expect ~50% mastery by the end of the current tier. Thus, a well geared ele will probably have 35-50% mastery, 25-35% haste, and 20-25% crit.


    So the issues I see is that we have 2 sets of synergies that counter each other- FS ticking procs Lava Surge causing us to cast as much LvB as possible, but we need to cast LBs to get LS charges to cast ES+Fulmination. This may sound cool on paper, but in practice its rather counter productive. If LvB also stacked LS charges, that would fix this.

    Secondly, rng. rng rng rng rng rng rng FUCK YOU MASTERY PROCS rng. I would much rather have a mastery that gave a certain amount of damage rather then a chance at extra damage. Its stupid. Oh god its stupid. Bad luck fucks you, and it doesnt scale well. It might be awesome flavor calling back to elemental past, but fuck that- its a shitty mastery in practice that I would trade for inc fire/nature/whatever damage.

    Haste. We scale poorly with haste because all of our spells are short cast times, the longest being 2 seconds (fuck EQ, no one casts that ever). During Bl/Meta Procs, you WILL be gcd capped, which is not only a horrible feeling, but it also means haste only scales FS (lolfsdamage), LB, and EB now. This also means that 1/3 of the EB procs now only effect those three spells (and 1/3 of the EB procs NEVER effect LvB anyway, yay more shitty rng, and 1/3 of the EB procs never effect ES/FS).

    Crit doesnt scale with us that well, either. LvB, our main source of damage, doesnt scale with it at all. This leaves us with low(er) crit then most other specs, though this tier in particular crit is better then usual+there is enough crit on gear that its higher then usual. Either way, 25% chance to do 250% damage (Crit SHOULD have been a godly stat for us because of that, but nope) is more shitty uncontrollable rng. This alone actually isnt that big of a deal- Every class has to deal with crit, and a 1/4 chance to crit isnt that bad. But stacked on top of getting mastery procs or not, and getting good (at the time) EB procs (meaning getting mastery procs during ascendance, etc), rolling thunder procs.

    But wait, theres more! Ascendance, our main damage cd, is a pretty swell cd. I like it, even though lolfuckfulmination. Our 4p reduces its cd, which is nice. It's rng though- You'll have a shorter cd if youre lucky with mastery procs, and thus higher dps. Its hard to complain about this issue, because any cd reduction is nice, but heres just more rng fucking other rng for us.

    Fire Ele is a nice cd, it does a lot of damage. Searing totem kinda does pure shit damage (4k ticks/10k crits lol), but thats still more damage then we would have without it.


    The main issue we have is how rng our spec is. It works, kinda, straight up on the boss, but once we throw in target switching, our damage drops to nil. I'm not even sure why this happens- Our dps should stay the same, outside of the movetime for our ele to switch to a new target, but no, cant compete at all when target switching happens (fuck Tortos, man. I fucking hate those turtles).

    I don't even have a good guess why it happens, because it doesnt make sense- We should have more damage, because we'd have 2 fs up and thus more lvb. However, in practice our damage plummets. My best guess is that it relates to our rotation, in that unless FS happens to be available to cast as we switch, we have to LB on the new target til it is up, unless we want low damage lvb to go out. And then we have to throw out the FS, regardless of how many stacks of LS we have and thus possibly wasting Rolling Thunder procs. I THINK thats it, not sure.


    Oh yeah, fuck linked shock cds. Relic of the past that makes zero sense in practice today ftl.


    Edit: about metagem- We do perform better with it. So does everyone else, and it scales better with them.
    Updated 08-05-2013 at 03:38 AM by Ike
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