EW does the highest % damage/spirit point of any spender. You can drop 3 1200% WoL with 250 spirit or drop 6 800%. If you pulse overawe it gets better for EW as you hit 5 + overawe vs 2 + overawe.
True, EW has the better damage-to-spirit ratio, but it has an inferior DPS because it does less damage over the same animation time. When you're comparing Wave of Light to, say, Blinding Flash, what you're really doing is deciding which of the following works better:
1. Using FitL all the time and sticking with TC.
2. Ditching FitL, taking lower TC damage, and pumping it with enough WoL damage that your average is better than option #1.
Ultimately, it's a problem with many factors, but the two biggest ones are DPS and spirit regeneration.
I'll use my monk as an example.Here's my build:
Faith in the Light
One with Everything
Seize the Initiative
Beacon of Ytar
If I carry this build into the PTR, my single-target EDPS, once Cyclone is at three stacks, will be 195,292.13. On the live server, it's 199,077.36. (I believe I've already explained these numbers in Fitz's "PTR Challenge" thread, so I'm not going to explain them here.)
Here are my relevant stats:
- MH weapon: 686.04 AWD
- OH weapon: 659.39 AWD
- 2,130 DEX
- 1.9239 APS (includes Focused Mind, DW bonus, and IAS gear)
- 27.0% CHC
- 244% CHD
WoL uses your MH for all damage, and
it resets the active hand to the main hand, so you can put the weapon with the higher AWD in that hand and work wonders. For now, I'll assume that I'm using my Fist of Legend and the 686.04 AWD.
Let's assume I change Faith in the Light to Wall of Light, which delivers 1202% weapon damage, plus 45% to all targets in a straight line. (The 1202% is divided into three parts, for the record.) In that case, my Thunderclap DPS, which is now without FitL, drops to 170,666.00. For this first example, we'll also assume that I have no
spirit regen on my gear, so my only means of regenerating spirit is attacking with Thunderclap. I get 6 spirit for every attack.
Wave of Light costs 75 spirit, so I will have to attack 25 times to generate enough spirit for 2 WoLs. To keep everything simple, we're just going to boil this down to 12.5 TCs per WoL.
How long does it take me to attack 12.5 times with TC? Well, my paper APS is 1.9239. Thunderclap has a 1.5 haste modifier, so my Thunderclap APS is actually 2.886 (all numbers rounded, of course). Each TC attack therefore takes 0.346514 seconds, and 12.5 of them take 4.33 seconds. At 170,666 DPS, this generates 739,227 damage. Remember these numbers; we'll come back to them later.
How much damage does Wall of Light do?
x 12.47 (1247% damage)
x 22.3 (DEX)
x 1.6588 (1 + 0.27 CHC x 2.44% CHD)
And how loing does it take me to attack with WoL? Well, Kaho shared some numbers, and he believes WoL has a haste modifier of 0.75. My paper APS is 1.9239, but my Fist of Legend's APS is 1.8304 (1.40 + 0.03, multiplied by 1.28 for my IAS bonus). Multiplying this number by 0.75 gives me a WoL APS of 1.3728, which means that this attack takes 0.7284 seconds.
So, let's recap:
- Total damage: 739,227 + 316,457 = 1,055,684
- Total seconds: 5.05986
- DPS: 208,638.85
I'll save you the trouble of reading the same calculations for my Az'Turrasq, which does less damage but has a faster attack speed. Ultimately, it does around 1,043,390 damage in 4.99 seconds, which gives it a DPS of 209,136.49.
(Surprise! How many of you thought the weapon with lower AWD would be better? I know I didn't. Didn't rule it out, though.)
So that's Wall of Light. What happens when we examine Empowered Wave? Only two things are different:
1. The number of times we need to attack with Thunderclap to use EW
2. The amount of damage EW does
The activation time is the same, which is why EW's DPS is inferior to Wall of Light's. The real question is whether I can spam it frequently enough to make up the difference.
First, Thunderclap. My attack speed is the same, and my Thunderclap DPS is the same, but I need to make 20/3 attacks. I need 2.31 seconds to do that; at a DPS of 170,666, those 2.31 seconds will produce 394,254 damage.
Next, Empowered Wave. I'm going to start with the Fist of Legend again, after which I'll calculate the Az'Turrasq damage, and we can pick the better option.
Because all the factors in Empowered Wave's damage are identical to Wall of Light except for the damage multiplier, I can take that number and reduce it as follows:
x 8.74 (EW's 829% plus the 45% straight-line damage)
÷ 12.47 (Wall of Light's damage)
= 221,799Note that the animation time doesn't change; this attack still takes roughly 0.73 seconds.
That leaves us here:
- Total damage: 394,254 + 221,799 = 616,053.5
- Total seconds: 3.04
- DPS: 202,747.10
My Az'Turrasq does around 607,437 damage in 2.97 seconds, which gives it a DPS of 204,682.13,
which makes it the better choice for Empowered Wave, too. Probably not a surprise, given that it was better for Wall of Light, too.
So, let's recap for my monk:
- Wall of Light EDPS: 209,136.49
- Empowered Wave EDPS: 204,682.13
This is an edge of over 2% for Wall of Light. It's not a knockout punch, obviously, but it's certainly no worse. But Empowered Wave is "far and away the winner" only if you're worried about overkilling enemies constantly with an extra 85K per activation. I don't think this is a legitimate claim, however, as using EW means you'll use your burst skill more often. And what does that translate to? Right: more overkill situations! The extra TC attacks make it less likely you'll "waste" DPS if you're playing a low farming level and are worried about that sort of thing.
Oh—I almost forgot the tornado damage from the bells! According to a website I've used for proc coefficients, WoL has a procC of 0.11 for each of the first three hits, plus 0.11 for the straight-line shot. Kaho has also claimed this as a pair of 0.22 proc coefficients, which is functionally equivalent. Therefore, each bell generates the following tornado damage:
672.715 AWD (because tornado damage on the PTR changes as you alternate weapons)
x 22.3 (DEX)
x 1.6588 (CHC and CHD)
x 0.26 (26% per zap)
x 6 (six zaps)
x 0.44 (sum of proc coefficients)
x 0.27 (CHC to spawn)
This obviously benefits Empowered Wave more than Wall of Light because of the former's shorter cycle. The revised DPS figures:
- Wall of Light EDPS: 210,060.87
- Empowered Wave EDPS: 206,236.12
Now, spirit regeneration matters, too, but it doesn't necessary favor Empowered Wave. I'll give an example tomorrow. Also, remember that stats matter. What is true for one monk might not be true for another. Overall, though, I've analyzed enough cases that I feel somewhat comfortable saying that Overawe users should just stick with FitL over WoL because (1) they can't reasonably spam both and (2) they lose too much DPS if they choose not to spam Overawe. For non-Overawe users, however, I'll be mildly surprised if Empowered Wave turns out to be a "clear winner" for somebody, however we're defining that. Overall, I think the skill needs a damage boost (say, to 895% base damage), a better cost reduction, or both. The only advantage I see is that you could conceivably activate Faith in the Light and fire off three EWs, usually at the start of combat. (Of course, I dropped FitL for WoL in this example.) That advantage doesn't seem very large, though. If anyone spots any errors in my math, or can explain what makes EW better than Wall of Light, please let me know.