A patch full of goodies

spell_shadow_twistedfaith1As you can see from the summary post at mmo-champion, there’s quite a lot of goodies being added to WoW next patch. Personally, I am a big fan of fun stuff to do, and there seems to be  a lot of it. I only feel for those people seeking to complete the “what a long, strange trip it has been” achievement, because 3 more holidays seem to be added – of course, it’s too early to tell if they will be required to get the violet protodrake.

It seems they also added an achievement for having a Jade Tiger pet (Useless, since it was a China-only promotion as far as I can tell, so it’s a bit rubbing it in to put this in US and EU servers) and an Onyx Panther pet (of which I have no idea where it comes from because it’s not on WoWHead or the like). Either way, I doubt this will impact us very much. Since these are Feats of Strength, chances are high that unless you have it, you will never see it.

Vault of Who?

Also: Emalon and Archavon had a sudden expansion of the family as Koralon the Flame Watcher moves into a new wing of the Wintergrasp vault. I think they should rename it to the Vault of Wintergrasp by now, because Vault of Archavon makes less sense with each new addition to the family…No word yet on tactics as far as I can tell, but I am sure that the PTR will provide all the info we need.

Tier 9

The current Tier-9 stats and those of the vendor/PvP items have also become available here. While it seems most models are re-use of Tier 8, it is mentioned they could just be placeholders. It also seems there will be different versions for Alliance and Horde. How this in any way is visible, or if it even is a worthwhile addition to the sets, remains to be seen.

Our Tier-9 Set bonus will be the following:

  • (2): Increases the duration of your Devouring Plague by 6 seconds
  • (4): Increases the Critical Strike chance of your Mind Flay by 5%

Let’s compare this to Tier 8:

  • (2): Increases the damage on Devouring Plague by 15%
  • (4): Your Mind Blast also grants you 240 Haste for 4 seconds

Some very simple napkin math on the first bonus works as follows, working with imaginary damage scores:

Base Damage on Devouring Plague: 4000 over 24 seconds = 167 DPS (500 per tick)

If this damage is increased by 15%: 4600 over 24 seconds = 191 DPS (575 per tick)

Now, if the duration is increased by 6 seconds, this is effectively 2 additional ticks of damage, meaning that it will now deal 5000 damage over 30 seconds, which is 500 per tick, or 167 DPS. Mana efficiency has increased, DPS remains the same.

Edit: Thanks to our Improved Devouring Plague talent, 15% of the total periodic damage is done instantly. This burst is also increased by the 2 additional ticks. In our example, 2 ticks are 1000 damage, 15% of which is 150. This has little impact on our DPS per se, but I felt it needed to be mentioned.

The second bonus is a lot harder to judge.

An average shadowpriest will have 5/5 Improved Mind Blast, meaning a Mind Blast every 5.5 seconds. Having 4 seconds of 240 Haste after each one is a killer, because it means that you will be using it mostly for Mind Flays and refresh dots as much as you can in the period where the Haste bonus does not apply.

I believe Haste rating becomes Haste% at a 32.79:1 ratio, this means about 7,32% Haste bonus (before Diminishing Returns). This would seem to be more Beneficial than 5% Crit bonus on Mind Flay alone, but after Diminishing Returns, and factoring in that Mind Flay is cast very, very often, I am not so sure.

Considering the damage and healing done by Devouring Plague, it could be more beneficial for now to have 2 pieces of T8 and T9, and gain both the 15% damage on Devouring Plague and a 6-second increase in its duration, but something inside me yells “Crazytalk!”. In the end, the increase in stats, spellpower, haste and crit on our T9 would force us to go for 4+ pieces or Best in Slot items anyway…

Edit: Also keep in mind that having 4pT8 allows for about 2 Mind Flays chained comfortably, which means that you get a bit of extra time so you have to rush less. Maybe only a psychological benefit, but worth keeping in mind.

Conclusion

Set bonuses are a bit of a devilish thing; you don’t want to break them up for the loss of the DPS but some of them are too damn sexy to ignore. Don’t be afraid to share your view, it’s fun to find out which is the best!

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