Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To DoT or Not To DoT? - A DPS Question

Note:  Thanks to this blog goes to Qieth (see sidebar for his blog) who made a comment about DoTs on the moonkin DPS rotation.  He started me thinking along the lines of this blog.

I mentioned a few post ago about the DPS rotation that I'm using for my moonkin.  However, even with that rotation, there will be small changes based on the situation.  The best moonkin players realize they may have to make some small alterations to their rotation based on the situation.  We try to minimize alterations and get in our standard rotation, but there are times where you just can't help it and have to change.

One of the things I have been thinking of personally is are there times where you will not want to apply your DoTs?  Could your DPS actually be hurt by applying DoTs?  While I'm still doing some personal research, the answer I'm coming to is yes.

Now, on actual bosses, there is no question.  You apply Faerie Fire, Moonfire, and Insect Swarm like you are suppose to.  As was mentioned in the comments on the moonkin DPS rotation, Faerie Fire should be on at all time, Moonfire should be on during a Lunar Eclipse, and Insect Swarm should be on during a Solar Eclipse.  That is the optimal DPS for bosses.

However, not all fights have just bosses.  Some fights have adds.  Does this mean we should DoT up every add before going into our Eclipse rotation.  I'm gonna make an argument for no.  Here are my reasons why:

1) Adds Die Too Quickly - Take the Dreamwalker fight for instance.  All the adds in this fight die really quickly.  By the time you use 2 global cooldowns to apply Faerie Fire and Moonfire in anticipation of your first Lunar Eclipse, they are dead most of the time, which hurts our DPS.

2) Adds are Not the Same Level of Bosses - Our hit cap is based on what is required to hit the boss 100% of the time.  However, adds typically are not the same level as bosses.  Most adds I have seen are 83 Elites.  Now with moonkins, we get 4% hit from our talents.  A moonkin should also be at 10% hit on their gear.  For bosses, our extra 3% hit comes from either Faerie Fire or a Shadow Priest's Misery.  However, since trash is lower level than the bosses, they do not require the extra 3% hit from Faerie Fire.  This gives a reason not to cast Faerie Fire on every add.

3) Time Is of the Essence - Take LK for example.  In that fight, there are 3 instances where adds must die quickly.  First is the raging spirits.  Second is the valks.  Third is the vile spirits.  Putting DoTs on adds that will die in under 15 seconds does not really help out anything.  Just start casting Wrath and hope for a Lunar Eclipse.

4) Adds Don't Require a Lunar Crit Cap Hit - You want bosses to be hit with a critical Starfire everytime during a Lunar Eclipse.  This requires that your DoTs be on the boss.  Adds die so quickly, you don't need to hit them with a Lunar Crit Cap Starfire.  Also, since bosses are lower level, they are easier to crit, so you will still likely get 100% Starfire crits during a Lunar Eclipse.

5)  Massive AoE - In some fights and trash especially, you are just going to be casting Hurricane and maybe Starfall if it is safe.  This is more of a reason not to put DoTs on because you will be channeling during Hurricane.

I only have anecdotal evidence of this, but I saw my DPS double in World of Logs from about 3k DPS in Dreamwalker (for some reason, they look at each individual mob DPS instead of encounter DPS with Starfall, etc.  My personal Recount had me at about 7k DPS.) to 6k DPS by not casting DoTs on the adds during that fight and just focusing on Eclipse rotations.  I know it is not strong evidence, but it was enough to convince me to not worry about casting DoTs on adds and focus on our nukes. 

Again, this likely will change in Cataclysm where our Moonfire will have a nuke capability.  I wouldn't be surprised if we just cast Moonfire on adds in Cataclysm since it will be our moving nuke.

I want to remind everybody about the Christmas in July contest.  You only have 11 days left to enter to win some great stuff.  Also, check out WoWCentric on the side link and show them your love.   

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