DPS Tips Part. 2-Start Medium

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Start medium.
Once you have sorted out builds and glyphs, it’s time to move on to rotations, priorities, and stat weights. Once again class websites/EJ will prove an invaluable source of information as well as your thorough reading of your talents and abilities.

Rotations refer to set sequence of events, ie. I will start each fight by casting Life Tap-Curse of Elements- Corruption-Immolate- Conflagrate-Chaos Bolt-Incinerate x2- and so on. These are often developed to ensure maximum up-time (a concept we will revisit later on) on DoTs, Procs, and cool-downs.

Priorities refer not to set sequence of events but rather, to a ranking in which events will take place, ie. in the above example, if Conflagrate comes off cool-down before I get to my 2nd Incinerate, I will use it instead because I have assigned it a higher priority than incinerate- likewise Chaos Bolt may be ranked even higher still and thus take precedence over both and be cast 1st instead. While rotations may be more defined, and as such easier to execute- priorities will usually lead to higher DPS output if executed properly.

Stat weights refer to how important a particular stat is to your class. This is the part where many people get confused. Stat weights vary wildly between specs, even specs that otherwise seem similar (Disc vs. Holy Priest for example). By now, the understanding you have gained through your preparations should lead you to certain conclusions about what stats are valuable to you. Ranking those stats by order of precedence will help as you start to sort through the myriad of gear, gem, and enchant options available to you. Further defining those stats in terms of “caps” will lead to better decision making when gemming and further reduce your confusion.
There are some stats that absolutely will not apply to you and should therefore be avoided (eg. +Spell Power on a plate item for a Warrior or DK).

There are some stats that are derivatives of other stats and will change in value as you move things around (eg. Strength = Meele AP and Shield Block Value, Agility = AP, Crit, and Armor Value). While an in-depth understanding of the various coefficients is not necessary for success, a basic knowledge in what stat modifies what for each class is useful when developing your stat priorities.

There are caps on certain stats, beyond which having more is a waste. A prime example of this is +Hit. Once you have reached hit cap (well defined for each class in every possible scenario of talents, buffs, etc.) you will hit 100% of the time, thus more hit won’t make you hit any more often as you never miss to begin with. (Most toons will have 2 hit caps, one for spells and abilities, and one for “white damage”- normal auto attack swings/shots- you need only be concerned with the former unless you are a dual-wielding melee or highly reliant on white damage melee swings).

Caps are less defined for some other stats. Take crit for example. While there is no high end crit cap per-se (100% cirt is theoretically possible), at some point, stacking more crit comes at the expense of another stat that would result in more net gains. For stats like this, a more in-depth analysis is required. A stat such as crit may result in a temporary buff (enhancement shammy’s Unleashed Rage for example procs a 4% AP increase for 10secs whenever the shammy crits) which will help dictate a practical cap to it- one which will result in near 100% up time for the buff. Anything above that cap will not necessarily be a waste, but will once again enter that stat into a lower weight than it had prior to arriving at the “minimum cap”. The same concepts hold true for the other stats as well, and while it seems confusing, establishing what each stat does in relation to the others will go a long way to simplifying your decisions when dealing with them.


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