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Maths of Pandaria: Haste Break Points in 5.3 - Affliction Warlock Edition

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Hello there graph fans, it's time for another edition of Bink Makes Graphs Out Of SimulationCraft Data Outputs (It's a good thing I don't use that as a title).

Today I'm going back to one of my favourite subjects: haste breakpoints (obviously, as you've already read the blog topic). After the last round of looking at this I came to the opinion that the whole haste breakpoint subject has been grossly over-stated, and that there aren't many breakpoints that are important, if at all. The first stop on this test run is the Affliction Warlock, being the spec I'm most familiar with that's just ever so slightly dotty.

The following graph has three data lines: Gain, being the raw gain per rating between data points; Weight, being the stat weight that would be calculated by SimCraft (add 1000 of stat, divide DPS difference by 1000); and Gain/300 is the gain per rating over a 300 stat range (add 300 of stat, divide DPS difference by 300). This last one is something of my own creation, to represent the value of adding a yellow haste gem onto gear.

Stop. Graph Time.
Click image for larger version. 

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I've left it as a small preview here, but if you click on the image you'll see the full graph. As you can see, there are a lot of arrows on it, pointing out dot breakpoints and mystery peaks which I don't yet have an explanation for. As you can see, the highest four peaks on my Gain/300 line are all Unstable Affliction breakpoints, and six of the smaller peaks are for Corruption. You won't see Corr5 on there, as it's the exact same point as UA4, which is why that one is so high.

The red arrows are for distinctly high peaks which don't match up to any of the breakpoints for 5% hasted dots. I've limited these to anything above a 6 that wasn't already assigned to a DoT. It's possible that these represent additional ticks being generated via chain casting Malefic Grasp, but as yet I haven't investigated why they exist, just that they do. There are also a few slightly smaller peaks that could be significant, like the ones after UA2 & UA4, but again these will need to be looked at later. The interesting thing from this is that the Agony breakpoints, which you would think are of critical importance since it's the highest damage/execute time spell, are often below a value of 4 (with the only exception being Ag5).

Lessons Learned
The obvious thing to take from this is that not all effective breakpoints are dot breakpoints, and vice versa. For the moment, Affliction players should aim for major breakpoints for Unstable Affliction, with minor points for Corruption and the "mystery" set around the following values: 10515, 14665, 17665, 21665, 24065 & 26465.

But What About Mastery?
The other conundrum is how this affects the relative value of Haste & Mastery.

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In this plot we can see that Haste & Mastery are fairly close to each other across the whole graph. Excluding the very lowest values, which represent stat amounts that are virtually impossible to get to in T15 gear, the DPS difference between Haste & Mastery is usually less than 500, which is under 0.3%. The only exceptions occur around the UA3/4 breakpoints where Haste gives over 500 dps more than Mastery, and in some very high haste situations (21,000+) where Mastery gives between 500-1000 more DPS.

In most situations where SimCraft values one stat as higher than another, the first impulse is to focus on that stat completely. However, looking at the graph we can see that the general trend of both stats is the same, but haste varies a bit with those breakpoints. Therefore my recommendation would be to treat both as equal, but if you can get to one of the major haste breakpoints by sacrificing some mastery for haste, or stay at one by doing the reverse, you should do so.

Addendum on T15N & the Sinister meta
The only change from the above comes from whether you have the Sinister meta gem or not. If you don't, then you still have the same Corruption & Unstable Affliction breakpoints, but you lose the "mystery" points but gain some +30% breakpoints (which suggests that the mystery points from above are related to these somehow). Additionally, while you can treat Haste as equal to Mastery, once you pass the combined Corruption 5/Unstable Affliction 4 breakpoint Mastery is better than Haste.

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