Dragonwrath and you – possibly

When the first announcement was made that there would be a legendary item in patch 4.2 – and that it would be a caster weapon – the forums have been filled with (troll) posts claiming that the staff would be best for one class or another. Of course, usually the person who makes the statement happens to belong to this class.

Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest – a Legendary staff with a history shrouded in secrecy which can be obtained by those who brave the dangers of the Firelord’s minions. We already know quite a few things about it, so let’s put them all together and see if we have  shot at gaining ourselves a Legendary as well.

The basics: stats

459 Intellect, 779 Stamina, 366 Hit, 252 Haste, 2973 Spellpower, 3 red sockets (with a +30 Int bonus) and a special ability called Wrath of Tarecgosa that allows it to duplicate spells as they deal damage.

Whew, that’s quite a lot of stats. Of course, this is the completed staff – the actual Legendary item. Before you can hold it, you will be using its lesser forms in preparation of completing all quests and challenges, just like Shadow’s Edge and Shadowmourne.

The proc is confirmed to be DoT-friendly. This is good news for us, because it removes the debate about whether or not we should be denied even going for the Legendary just because we’re not Arcane Mages, basically. It’s also tuned so that Warlocks, who receive a lot of damage from pets, will have a higher proc chance. It also will not have an internal cooldown, meaning that casting big and slow spells is not unduly benefited by it.

Do note however, that as of the time of writing, the damage proc is Arcane damage. And, it looks like the proc will deal damage equal to the spell/tick that procced it, but will not duplicate any secondary benefits (like VT healing from Mind Blast, Shadowy Apparitions through SW:P, Shadowfiend cooldown reduction through Mindflay crits, and so on).

How do I get my hands on it?

Courtesy of MMO-Champion; outdated screenshot

The games begin when you are awarded with the Branch of Nordrassil as a result from questlines starting with you killing a Molten Lord in the Firelands and visiting a Bronze Dragonflight emissary in Orgrimmar/Stormwind. Some basic information that was released can be found on MMO-Champion, I don’t intend to spoil all of the questline here for those who want to be surprised. I am reproducing the questlines order (as they are known), courtesy of Resentful on MMO-CHampion:

0 – Kill a molten lord in the Firelands
1 – http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29129 First quest in Org/SW
2 – http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29134 Speak to Anachronos at COT
3 – http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29135 25 Eternal Embers + 3 sands of time
4 – http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29193 Go to Coldarra in Borean Tundra
5- http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29194 Meet Tarecgosa
6 – http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29225 speak to Kalec in Hyjal
7 – http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29234 Branch of Hyjal
8 – http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29239 take branch to Anachronos
9 – http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29240 Talk to Kalec at Coldarra
10 – http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29269 – Bond with tarecgosa’s essence
11 – http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29270 25 Seething Cinders
12 – http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29285 – Talk to Kalec at coldarra again
13 – http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29307 250 Soul flame Essences + Heart of flame (drop from Ragnaros)
14 – http://ptr.wowhead.com/quest=29312 – Legendary staff complete.

It’s otherwise quite comparable to the Shadowmourne questline – the 25 Eternal Embers are drops in the Firelands raids, and if they are BoE, start stockpiling money to buy them when they are released on the market.

Comparison lesser stages with regular gear

It’s quite possible to make a comparison between the various stages of Dragonwrath and comparable items obtainable from raids. To make the match as close as possible, I’ve taken the Smoldering Censer of Purity as a base to compare to, because it is a Spirit/Haste staff, which to us is the same as a Hit/Haste staff. In addition, I’ve added Sho’Ravon, since there’s no other iLevel 404 staff – I think this one’s a drop from Heroic Ragnaros.

As you can see, the “normal” staves dropping in Firelands scale a little better with Intellect – until Dragonwrath. Even then, Sho’ravon actually wins out in straight Intellect. Don’t be fooled however – the lost Intellect is recovered in the socket bonus for all red sockets – and there’s more of them on the growing Legendary.

Dragonwrath Stage 1 and 2 are lower on Hit than the Censer has Spirit, but considering we gain a lot more Haste in return, this is a small “sacrifice” – none at all, to be sure.

How do we benefit?

Compared to even Heroic-level staves, we would see a marked increase in Intellect (93) and Haste (23) with only a marginal decrease in Hit (17). The closest comparison in iLevel, Sho’ravon, has Crit and Mastery and thus better replaced with a main- and offhand combo.

The proc, while possibly still changing, allows for out damaging spells/DoT ticks to be copied as Arcane damage. And while we don’t receive damage bonuses on it (they are already included in the copied spell) and are unlikely to have Wrath of Tarecgosa trigger secondary effects, it’s a massive jump in power compared to another staff. It is superior without the proc, and mind-boggling with.

Why? because it’s a straight DPS increase with all other gear increases. If we cast faster, we have more chances to proc. With higher crit and mastery, the procs increase damage. Without the internal cooldown, I wouldn’t be surprised if our DPS was increased by the same percentage as the proc chance – because we damage mobs all the time, even multiple mobs. Mind Sear copies, anyone?

Preparations

First off, there’s no real need to rush off and kill a Molten Lord right as the patch hits. Likely it’s a mad dash as all manner of casters try to get them, there will be lag, ninja-ing and much ado in /general. Wait it out, do the other quests and events in the Firelands instead.

Second, start making money – lots of it. Even if your guild is going to down bosses and obtain Eternal Embers, you aren’t likely to be the first choice unless you have been of exemplary behavior and are a solid rock foundation in your raid. Make sure that your guild understands that the staff is equally useful to you as any other caster, but be prepared that guild politics or others being more present/active/longer around are going to get first pick.

The only real hurdle is the Embers, and they are likely to be BoE and buyable for Valor points. Because they are also used for upgrades of Valor gear, and craftables (not to mention other guilds’ own legendaries) expect prices to be astronomical. But every one Ember you can get your hands on outside of your guild’s raiding is one you save. And your guild will appreciate the effort.

Conclusion

You will want, I will want it. We will sell our souls so hard we’d get the honorary Warlock award. But being smart, you’ll want to save up money to buy Eternal Embers on the AH, and spend your Valor points on it. Do you raid with alts? Then you have more chances, and you have more Valor points to spend.

Start the questline, embark on the journey of a lifetime and don’t stop until you hold that monster in your pixxelated hands!

Edit: It appears that there might be a spanner in the works – if datamining and conjecture is to be believed, Living Embers are required for the crafting, and Eternal Embers for the legendary. This is a likely change meant to stop non-raiders from getting them, I’d say they drop from bosses in the Firelands raid only, once you are on the quest.

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8 Responses to “Dragonwrath and you – possibly”

  1. I wonder if our damage also gets scaled due to apparitions and shadowfiend. I hope it does.

    I see the login has changed on your blog, it’s Hoho here, btw :)

    • From the looks of it, all the proc does is take the damage of the duplicated attack, and deal it as Arcane damage. I don’t think it will have any effect on Shadowfiends and Shadowy Apparitions, which are guardians/minions. They specifically mean pet classes, which is the Warlock – maybe, just maybe a Frost Mage. But not those who have temporary summons.

      As for the login – if you logged in via Facebook or the like, it will display that ID. When you’re not logged in, it will ask for email/username and display the old “Anon” icon. I like it this way, since it broadens how people can react and comment on posts. On the other hand, it means I have to anticipate different angles from which comments come in the first place.

      I greatly approve WordPress improvements that have been made, such as the “liking” and “sharing” options – it really puts blogs in tune with other social media.

      • Yea, I know how the proc works. Just that for us the pets make up something like 5% of our damage or so, perhaps more with set bonuses. It’s not much but I would think for other casters their guardians give considerably lower damage. Then again even if we assume the proc gives us flat 10% damage increase (likely to be far less) ignoring our pets would just lower the bonus by less than 1%, hardly significant enough to matter :)

        • All of the classes that can use Dragonwrath (Warlocks, Druids, Priests, Mages and Shamans) have guardians of a sort. Warlocks have Infernal/Doomguard, Druids have Treants, Priests have Shadowfiend/Apparitions, Mages have the Water Elemental (Frost only) and Shamans have Wolves/Fire Elemental/Earth Elemental.

          Mages are in the middle ground because their Water Elemental is a full pet, but only 1 spec has it – so the staff would have to detect that.

          Of these classes only one reliably has a pet, namely warlocks. So it would be easiest for Blizzard to discount guardians/minions and instead focus on which classes have a real pet for the proc chance.

  2. “Mages have the Water Elemental (Frost only)”

    What about mirror images? Also there is a HUGE difference in pet damage for demo vs affliction/destro. I hope they scale it per-spec, not just per-class.

    Out of all guardians, do you know who has the highest average DPS over the fight? I would guess spriests are the highest, especially with 2pt11 greatly boosting shadowfiends but apparitions alone were a couple of percentages of overall as well I think.

    • I must admit that I don’t know how important each class/spec’s guardians are for their DPS; I don’t believe Blizzard would go through the trouble of sifting through each class’ guardians and balance the staff out towards that.

      In fact, the statements made so far sound like a blanket statement – “we keep pets and DoTs into account”. But I don’t believe they would go into that much detail. My idea is that they ignore guardians, perhaps hoping we believe that what is gained by guardians on one spec is gained by DD or DoTs on another.

      As much as I would appreciate a fair for all distribution, I ‘d be surprised if it would end up this way. Plus, it’d have to be balanced in T12 content, and you’d have a lot of fights where those numbers get jumbled up.
      For instance, 4pT11 is huge now for Shadowy Apparitions – but in T12 gear that’s a whole different story since the focus will be on MB instead.

  3. “All of the classes that can use Dragonwrath (Warlocks, Druids, Priests, Mages and Shamans) have guardians of a sort. Warlocks have Infernal/Doomguard, Druids have Treants, Priests have Shadowfiend/Apparitions, Mages have the Water Elemental (Frost only) and Shamans have Wolves/Fire Elemental/Earth Elemental.”

    This isn’t entirely true.
    Druids – Treants are a temporary pet. Their stats are dynamic. (Ie: Adjusting with int procs.)
    Mage – Permanent pet. Who raids as frost anymore?
    Shaman – Wolves are temporary pets, but are enhancement only. Elementals only have access to the Fire and Earth Elementals. FE and EE are true guardians. We retain no control over them and their AI is even worse. As guardians their stats are a snapshot of what our stats were at the time of drop. That’s why all good elementals time their drops for their highest spellpower.

    While the shadowfiend may be minimal damage for you, a Fire Elemental is a significant portion of an elemental’s dps. A good fire elemental will net at least 6-7k dps over its duration. The 2pc T12 for elemental is so huge that it’ll essentially make the fire elemental permanent.

    Given Blizzard’s latest statement, elementals are stuck holding the bag if guardians do not benefit from the staff proc.

    • Perhaps the statement “all guardians” is indeed not entirely true. But, with the exclusion of the Frost Mage (like Unholy DKs the only spec to provide a pet where others of the same class do not) all mentioned creatures are temporary creatures. They are DPS cooldowns, not pets, and therefore the class has been balanced around it.
      The same is true with our Shadowfiends, which still accounts for some damage when our gear is good enough to not require it as a mana cooldown (which should happen at modestly raid-geared level). It’s also dealing in the 6-7K DPS during its lifetime.

      It doesn’t really matter whether their AI is horrible or you have no control. Treants and Shadowfiends don’t last long enough to control them so we use a macro for that. And their AI is also considered bad, just like the elementals.
      I also don’t see what any Int procs have to do with it, as Dragonwrath does not provide an Int proc. Perhaps you’re trying to make the difference clear between a Guardian and a temporary pet – I judged this by the creature type when it’s summoned (Minion/Guardian).

      While top DPS is a running gag between Fire and Arcane, Frost is actually a good competitor and in any non-hardcore progression raids will bring a lot of control as well as Replenishment in 10s. The inclusion of Freezes also gives it a more dynamic rotation than Arcane’s AB – AM spam or Fire’s Ignite/Pyroblast procs, making it popular with more casual Mage players.

      As for the staff proc – no guardian procs it, no pet either. All it does is that sometimes when you cast a spell, it will deal Arcane damage equal to the spell’s damage or the DoT’s tick.
      That means that if you are a pet class, more of your damage is attributed to your pet, so the proc will favour your spells a bit more. Shamans are not a pet class, so they are not included in this.

      In T12 the Fire Elementals’ duration may be semi-permanent due to the 4-piece bonus, but the class is balanced around it so I don’t think that Shamans will be “holding the bag” when it comes to the proc.

      After all, by the time your Fire Elemental will contribute as much to your damage as a warlock’s pet, you can expect your regular damage to get buffed and your elemental to be downgraded – as what has happened to Unholy Death Knights when their pets turned out to contribute more to their damage than their personal actions.

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