Friday, January 16, 2009

[Druid] This just in: I am occasionally wrong (lacerate doesn't totally suck)

Thanks to Marino, I was shown that I was...wrong. And with math even, so it's not 'internet wrong'. It's just plain wrong.

My wife is laughing her ass off reading that sentence, by the way.

Using his ideas for a rotation and the published numbers I had for threat, he figured out (and I confirmed) that it is always better at any reasonable amount of AP/crit to keep up a lacerate stack for both maximum threat AND maximum damage. The threat gain is on the order of 5%, which is pretty good. It doesn't take into account the lacerate tax of having to do a bunch of lacerates early on in order to get the stack going, but that's not going to be huge in a longer fight.

The ideal rotation for a 36-second cycle (easier math) would be:
8 mangles (assuming imp mangle), 3 lacerates, 13 swipes, 14.4 mauls. You can substitute faerie fire for swipes in there as well if you want truly maximal threat. At 6250 AP, 40% crit and normal boss armor, we get 4344 TPS.

(if you're wondering why 6250 AP, it's because that's the number with normal raid boss armor reduction where swipe spam matches lacerate spam for threat).

For a cycle without lacerates and no lacerate stack, (so 16 swipes), we get 4090 TPS.

This holds true for AP up to 100,000 and above, in case you're wondering. It also holds true for 100% crit, as crazy as it sounds. The lacerate DOT is just that good.

What about a more reasonable, safe rotation that has a lacerate every 6 seconds instead of 12? That's still more - 4285 TPS. Not a huge loss.

Now, where it gets tricky is when you start considering how many lacerates it takes to keep up a stack. As you get better AP and crit, swipe starts overtaking certain numbers of lacerates. If you have to lacerate more than once every 6 seconds to keep the stack up, chances are that at higher levels of AP it won't be worth it. At really high levels of AP (we're talking post-WotLK levels) it takes one lacerate every 9 seconds to make it worth it.

So for optimal rotations, having lacerate in there is best. Fewer is better, but none is not ideal.

I think the next big mathy thing I'm going to do is figure out what the 'lacerate tax' costs you in threat vs swipe spam. The obvious view is that for shorter fights, getting a lacerate stack isn't worth it - but what is the cost of the lacerate stack falling off in longer fights? If you know for whatever reason that a lacerate stack will likely fall off (Malygos is an obvious one, but there are plenty of others), is it worth it to reapply the stack quickly? Slowly? This isn't the easiest answer to model.

Anyway, sorry that I was wrong. Thank you, Marino, for checking the math and asking the question. I always appreciate people doing that and callling me on it when I'm wrong, and I'm not so egotistical that I can't admit it.


Felkan said...

So, does this affect your talent build? Dropping some points out of RnT or iMangle for Cat DPS? Or just your rotation?

What affect does the "new math" have on the value of iMangle/RnT?

Anonymous said...

Nice yeah, although I didnt bother to do the math, my intuitive sense from recount is that keep a lacerate up does more overall damage, with rnt & maul, than not keeping it up. So I've always kept it up.

I'm also interested if its worth keeping up a single lacerate on lots of mobs when we're aoe tanking trash, and then swipe/mauling/mangling. In other words, what is an optimal AOE threat rotation on say 4 mobs, which is about as many as you reasonably micromanage. I think thats a complex one to prove, so I'm not surprised if you dont want to do it. Again, I have my intuitive sense (keep lacerate on each mob, refresh when necessary, keep a mangle on each mob, & swipe in between. Spam beserk mangles only when you have a lacerate on each mob, and make sure you maul on every single attack)

The reason I ask is because the only thing I can contribute to a raid now is more damage... classic tanking stats are all more than satisfactory, for all encounters but sarth3d.

Grumpy Misanthrope said...

So, I don't clock my rotation...I hit a mangle, lacerate, maul, then alternate mangles, swipes, and lacerates, hitting maul every time it's up. I guess I should front load the lacerates against the mauls? This is for single target tanking...

For "AOE" tanking, which I hate as a druid, I tend to just alternate swipes and mauls, throwing in the occasional growl if something bolts from me.

Phil Jackson said...

I would assume with the T7 bonus that lacerate would be even better with this math correct?

Kalon said...

Felkan - hey. :)

This won't affect my talent build in the least. It actually decreases the effect that iMangle has on bear TPS, since it's a smaller percentage. Just my rotation.

Anon1 - thanks for coming by. My gut feeling is that keeping up lacerate on multiple mobs is simply not worth it because swipe by itself does a TON of threat, and when you multiply it by multiple mobs it does so much more. Yes, maul does huge amounts of threat, but swipe does the same amount of threat mangle does when hitting two mobs! If you've got 4 mobs, swipe does twice as much as mangle. You can't compete with that when lacerating. Now, if you really want that one target to stick to you I could see lacerating it first and mauling the hell out of it, but in general? Probably not such a good idea. Even starting out by what you say - doing a mangle and lacerate on 4 mobs - loses you 8 swipes, which is worth 2x mangle threat per swipe. Overall it's not even close.

Grumpy Misanthrope - that's what I'm wondering too. My gut feeling is that the sooner you can get the dot working, the better your overall threat will be, but only if the fight lasts a decent amount of time. If it doesn't, it's probably better to do either a minimum amount of lacerating such that you keep a lacerate on the mob and it grows (so getting the 5 stack after about 45-60 seconds of attacks) while swiping as much as you can. But I'd need to do the math on it.

Phil - yep, the T7 bonus makes this even better, though I didn't throw in the maul/swipe idol either. Swipe actually improves more when you count both that idol and T7, but the important point is that lacerate still wins.

Anonymous said...

Kalon - thanks for your responses re aoe rotations. I'm actually more interested in max damage, than in max threat. The thing is, the more damage the tanks can do on trash, the faster we clear to bosses, and the faster we farm an instance each week. So if I were to replace the word "threat" by "damage" in your responses, would what you say still hold true? Swipe's threat was buffed by 50%, but swipes *damage* remained unchanged.

As most tanks are saying these days, threat is a non-issue -therefore I only care about maxxing total damage.

Phil Jackson said...

But Kal, who would really be doing any boss tanking with out the Idol of Terror?

Kalon said...

Anon2 - thanks for coming by.

For max damage on trash, it's swipe and maul. That's it. Nothing else comes remotely close to swipe save berserk, and if you have 6 or more mobs swipe still wins.

For max damage on a single target that will last a bit, the best is to keep up a lacerate stack, mangle, maul and swipe. Lacerate as little as you can while maintaining the lacerate stack.

Phil - a lot of people probably won't have Idol of Terror, but the main reason I can think you wouldn't is if you're trying for max threat. Idol is simply not that good any more, and increasing maul damage by 120 and swipe damage by 24 is pretty significant damage. Idol of Terror's still the best overall idol, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider it. Still, in most situations you should count the lacerate bonus from 2pT7 and not the swipe bonus from the idol.

WTB tanking idol!