Frost DW Bloodtap Help

Death Knight
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My main is a DW frost DK and I was browsing a recent DK thread on this forum where a really smart DK said you are not supposed to macro blood tap into your abilities and instead make its own bind for it and use it only when it you have >10 stacks of blood tap and >76 RP or >20 RP and KM procced or >8 stacks of blood tap and soul reaper is up. I understand how the rune system and runic power work I just don't understand how saving blood tap until you have greater than 10 stacks or the other situations described above is better than using blood tap right when you get 5 stacks since if you use blood right away you get runes quicker which in turn would lead to more runic power quicker which would then lead to more runes and so on.

Any help would be really appreciated.
Honestly I like having it macro'd to certain abilities. It frees up a keybind and I constantly have Death Runes. I can see the reasons for stacking Blood Tap and not macroing it to abilities for on demand runes, but having it macro'd to abilities like Frost Strike or Strangulate works for me.

I think the reasoning behind NOT macroing Blood Tap to abilities and having it on it's own keybind is so you can have a lot better personal management of your runes. I found though when I did this I'd cap the 12 BT stacks and a lot of BTs would go wasted because I was waiting for that "Perfect moment" to BT and Obliterate.

In short, I feel having it macro'd leads to more runes than not - but that's more based on personal preference imo. I may change this up as I play around with it more, but right now I'm happy having it macro'd.

EDIT: I just realized this thread was about DW. I don't have any experience with Blood Tap + DW so take my post with a grain of salt. Hopefully someone else can explain DW better for you.
@ plothole I was talking about in a pve situation but ty for your input
02/12/2013 02:16 PMPosted by Nogad
@ plothole I was talking about in a pve situation but ty for your input


Np :) Sorry I wasn't a big help :P
The benefit of Blood Tap comes from the ability to have runes on demand. If you're macroing it to one of your main attacks, you're negating its main use and making it basically function as a lesser version of Runic Empowerment. If you're doing this (macroing blood tap), you're better off just taking Runic Empowerment.
02/12/2013 02:48 PMPosted by Kyras
The benefit of Blood Tap comes from the ability to have runes on demand. If you're macroing it to one of your main attacks, you're negating its main use and making it basically function as a lesser version of Runic Empowerment. If you're doing this (macroing blood tap), you're better off just taking Runic Empowerment.


That is not true because with runic empowerment you would get back unholy runes aswell as frost and death, with blood tap you ensure 100% death rune return which doesn't leave you with extra unholy runes.
Runic Empowerment gives you more runes overall, though.
I have tried macroing Blood Tap to my abilities and it seem to be a bit of a dps loss for me just because you do not have the ability to use it when you actually need it in your rotation. But I am going to do some more testing to make sure my finders are correct!
02/12/2013 02:07 PMPosted by Nogad
My main is a DW frost DK and I was browsing a recent DK thread on this forum where a really smart DK said you are not supposed to macro blood tap into your abilities and instead make its own bind for it and use it only when it you have >10 stacks of blood tap and >76 RP or >20 RP and KM procced or >8 stacks of blood tap and soul reaper is up.


Because whoever it was is just copying and pasting the priority from SimulationCraft. Checking RP>76 and (RP>20 && KM) are entirely unnecessary.

There's absolutely nothing special about either of these conditions except that it makes the simmed player use BT more often. And the only reason this is significant is because SimulationCraft, by default, varies combat length by +/- 20%, which means on the shortest fights, if you cram in BT as much as possible, your DPS looks "stronger." Just think about it: the damage of 1 extra HB divided by 280 seconds versus 1 extra HB divided by 420 seconds. In the first scenario, HB is being inflated slightly more than the second scenario devalues HB.

E.g. (with dummy numbers):
(30000 / 280 + 30000 / 420) / 2 = average of HB inflation and devaluation if you assume each time value is equally likely = 89.28 DPS
30000 / 350 = fixed time average = 85.71 DPS

89.28 DPS > 85.71 DPS; the gain arose solely from the difference in time intervals [edit: I picked the largest discrepancy to best illustrate this; for any t such that 280 < t < 350, the inflation is smaller]

This is absolutely the only reason why it shows up as a gain. Fix the time interval and you'll see that both of these conditions (RP>76 and (RP>=20 && KM)) are a loss.

[edit: units]

02/12/2013 02:07 PMPosted by Nogad
I understand how the rune system and runic power work I just don't understand how saving blood tap until you have greater than 10 stacks or the other situations described above is better than using blood tap right when you get 5 stacks since if you use blood right away you get runes quicker which in turn would lead to more runic power quicker which would then lead to more runes and so on.


If I start the fight off by not using BT until I have 10 stacks (and treating 5 as "zero"), what is the difference at the end of the fight? Resource throughput is exactly the same. After this point, both you and I will use BT every 5 stacks from thereon.

The only difference is the 1 rune at the very beginning (the first 5 charges that I held on to). As long as I eventually use that charge, the loss is restored.


You can break this "micromanagement" down into 2 priorities:

Pre-Execute:
BT if stacks > 10 ([1])

Execute:
BT if stacks > 8 :: OR :: SR is ready ([2])

From which you can readily see the intent is to not overflow BT charges and to use SR on CD as often as possible (i.e. the summary of the code).

This is something anyone should be able to figure out without a guide telling them.

Looking at it with more depth, you can see that really the only difference in behavior between the pre-execute phase and execute phase is the inclusion of SR. Using BT when you have more than 10 stacks is effectively keeping a reserve of 5 (i.e. 1 rune).

Or, equivalently, it is essentially using a macro-ed BT, except "0" charges is set to be 5.

A simple power aura configured to go off when you have >10 stacks and another one to go off 6 seconds after you hit SR (until SR is pressed again) is all you need to perform this. No rune management is necessary. You don't even have to look at your BT stacks; just hit BT when the power aura shows up.

[1]: Yes, that is not a literal translation from SimC code, but you'll see that that is the intent of the SimC code. Verification is quite simple.
[2]: Note that the pre-execute priority is included in the constraints of the execute priority (10 > 8) and is therefore excluded.


If you had that power aura set up you would hit blood tap every 10stacks so what you just said about only pooling 10 at the start wouldnt happen. Also at the end of the fight the sim says do bt at >8 stacks if SR is up, could you clarify why the sim wants to hold B to 8 stacks.

Edit: Also one last thing what benefit are you gaining by holding BT until 10stacks rather than using it right away?

Ty.
02/12/2013 02:57 PMPosted by Nogad
The benefit of Blood Tap comes from the ability to have runes on demand. If you're macroing it to one of your main attacks, you're negating its main use and making it basically function as a lesser version of Runic Empowerment. If you're doing this (macroing blood tap), you're better off just taking Runic Empowerment.


That is not true because with runic empowerment you would get back unholy runes aswell as frost and death, with blood tap you ensure 100% death rune return which doesn't leave you with extra unholy runes.
You are supposed to game Runic Empowerment and sit on one UH rune unspent at all time with DW Frost. That way you never get UH runes back, and you will still get more runes back than Blood Tap. The only things you use your UH runes for is DnD, Plague Strike to reapply disease, and one Obliterate right as your UH runes are about to fully recharge. Otherwise you just sit on one unused UH rune and Runic Empowerment will always return a Death or Frost rune that you can use on HB spam.
That does make sense to me but on the other thread you commented on you said:


(for reference for other readers: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7885168587?page=3#56)

02/12/2013 08:25 PMPosted by Nogad
If you had that power aura set up you would hit blood tap every 10stacks so what you just said about only pooling 10 at the start wouldnt happen.


Not sure if I'm following you. There are two ways that I am interpreting this, and I don't know which is correct so I'll cover them both:

1. Just for clarification, you would hit Blood Tap every time you gain 5 stacks, but only after you already have 10.

E.g.:
Fight starts
12 charges; 12 > 10, so use BT (-5); this is the first value greater than 10 charges
7 charges; gain 4 eventually (+4, 2 FS)
11 charges; 11 > 10, so use BT (-5)
6 charges; gain 6 eventually (+6, 3 FS)
12 charges; 12 > 10, so use BT (-5)
7 charges; gain 4 eventually (+4, 2 FS)
...
and so on.

After the first BT, the interval between BT uses will be the same as if you used BT every time you have 5 or more stacks (2 FS / 3 FS / 2 / 3 / 2 ... ).

This might be what you meant to say originally (and judging from your first sentence you understood this previously), but it just wasn't communicated clearly to me.

2. "Pooling 10 at the start wouldn't happen."

Why wouldn't pooling up to 10 at the start happen?

The condition to use BT for this time period (not in execute, i.e. >35% currently) is to use it when you have >10 stacks. Since you start with 0 stacks, the first value you reach that is greater than 10 is going to be 12 (0 + increments of 2). So, the only result of that priority is that you will pool to 10 at the start.

When the sub-35% phase starts though, it's very possible that you'll go under 5 charges (for BT-->SR), but you'll still build back up to 10 before using BT (on a non-SR). It may take a while to build back up to 10 because you could be interrupted by BT-SR, though.

Or am I still missing what you're saying?

[As a side note, I should point out that SimulationCraft isn't technically holding on to 5 stacks in the pre-execute phase. If there's literally nothing else to press, it's going to hit BT regardless of stacks. However, removing this condition (specifically in the pre-execute phase) doesn't change the DPS (with fixed time), so it's not accomplishing anything.]

Which leads nicely to
02/12/2013 08:25 PMPosted by Nogad
Edit: Also one last thing what benefit are you gaining by holding BT until 10stacks rather than using it right away?


Nothing really until the execute phase, where holding off interacts with SR better by always giving you an available rune on-demand; note that you won't always use this rune on SR--it is simply the fact that it is available if needed. This isn't an astronomical gain by any means, though.

02/12/2013 08:25 PMPosted by Nogad
Also at the end of the fight the sim says do bt at >8 stacks if SR is up, could you clarify why the sim wants to hold B to 8 stacks.


Another clarification (might just be a typo): BT if >8 or SR is up, so when either one of those conditions is met. It doesn't require both to be met at the same time.

If you're asking specifically why the number is 8 as opposed to 9 or 10, I wouldn't be able to tell you. The goal of that condition is simply to make sure you have a rune held in reserve (or pretty close to one) with BT charges so that immediately when SR is ready, you can pop BT to use SR (well, more or less; the sim doesn't actually necessarily do this always).

8 is apparently the magic number that optimizes rune expenditure and BT reserves here; maybe if I knew more I could figure it out definitively by other means. All I can say is that with at least 8 charges, after using BT, you're only 1 FS away from being able to use BT again (presumably for SR).

In any event, if you just waited to 10 like the pre-execute phase, the DPS loss isn't noticeable by any real means. Or, you could just use it at >8 everywhere and that's just as fine, too. The fixation on "this number is right and all other numbers are wrong" is misleading--look more for the concept behind the number.

To prove my point about that fixation, the funny part is I can add a duplicate line (literally copy and paste) in the priority right below this BT action line. This theoretically shouldn't do anything (because it's just checking the same condition twice in a row), yet it drops the DPS. So, something's up, and it may just be something with the sim.

Like all sim results, you need to take them with a grain of salt. Sim's aren't infallible. The same goes for the priority. It could just be some coincidental (but subtle) relationship between the given input parameters that vanishes the instant those parameters are changed. For example (an obvious one), if your fight time lasts 5 min and 6 sec, you can technically use ERW twice, which leads to a gain. If that fight time were simply changed to 4 min 59 sec, this gain goes away. It's not because the priority is better; it's simply timing. Other "false" gains like this are possible.

This is absolutely the only reason why it shows up as a gain. Fix the time interval and you'll see that both of these conditions (RP>76 and (RP>=20 && KM)) are a loss.


Side note: not able to replicate this again. Both conditions tacked on to BT result in an infinitesimal gain (probably why I can't replicate it again, because any noise at all can disguise it (ability intervals are the same but DPS contributions are not.)), but individually they result in a loss.

Time variation in the sim inflating DPS is absolutely real, though.
Thanks a ton Euliat you covered all the issues I was talking about. The dk community is lucky to have you here lol.

One last thing if you could be so kind. Could you comment on the post above this where Ahnerhiahne claims RE is a dps gain over BT. Ahnerhiahne says RE gives more runes in the long run than BT through "gaming" unholy runes. I really don't see this giving you more runes than using BT since with RE you're always siting on 1 rune and with BT you're not but im not 100% on that. Pretty much is RE a DPS gain, is it close to or equal to BT or is RE way behind in DPS than BT.

Once a gain thanks a lot.
02/12/2013 08:46 PMPosted by Ahnerhiahne


That is not true because with runic empowerment you would get back unholy runes aswell as frost and death, with blood tap you ensure 100% death rune return which doesn't leave you with extra unholy runes.
You are supposed to game Runic Empowerment and sit on one UH rune unspent at all time with DW Frost. That way you never get UH runes back, and you will still get more runes back than Blood Tap. The only things you use your UH runes for is DnD, Plague Strike to reapply disease, and one Obliterate right as your UH runes are about to fully recharge. Otherwise you just sit on one unused UH rune and Runic Empowerment will always return a Death or Frost rune that you can use on HB spam.


I am really sick and tired of seeing people say this. Ermgerd when using runic empowerment you should just sit on an unholy rune and do your dps ermgerd. How about just get blood tap and use that one unholy rune? Seriously not using one rune is going to hurt your dps and I am rather certain of it. Just choose blood tap as DW frost.

I have frost strike macro'd to blood tap. People maybe like ermgerd that makes you noobzors! But let me explain. I count my frost strikes... yes I count them. I actually watch my runes and I know what runes I have and what runes I will have. My biggest problem is doing that and watching my blood tap at the same time. I would often run in to situations where I would forget to use blood tap because there are many other greater things I could be doing and to be quite honest bloodtap does not use a GCD. Just watch your runes and now when you are about to blood tap. I mean you only blood tap ever 3-2 frost strikes. In order to get one rune back you have to spend 6 runes and then 4 runes for the next one. Give or take any other additional runic power you could be receiving.
Macro'ing blood tap negates it's strength to hold slightly for specific fight situations. Their point is was likely by binding it to something like frost strike you may be better off using RE since it's more fire and forget for that rune return. For example is it worth expending the the blood tap now or when I'm not able to HB at all? The rune now or later is always more just perspective. One could even attempt to write a sim themselves to support their position on the subject if they really wanted to. The lvl 75 talents are about helping to fill your gobals with more Howling Blasts but here is the real issue. With BT I'd feel more pressured to spend that 2nd unholy rune that I'm already avoiding cause it's weaker than HB's. Regardless if your globals are mostly filled does it matter how much of a fraction of a percent that one talent is to another for runes per minute?
02/13/2013 10:41 AMPosted by Fálrin
Seriously not using one rune is going to hurt your dps and I am rather certain of it.


As compared to using the rune and having a chance to regen an unholy rune with runic empowerment? No, that isn't going to hurt your DPS.

You sacrifice one rune (the cost stays the same over the course of the fight as you're always regenning the maximum number of unholy rune because of the way our rune pairs work) for the opportunity to only regen your most useful type of rune via your level 75 talent. If you feel like gambling you can spend that rune you've been holding at the end of the fight and if at all possible you should spend it prior to runic empowerment.

RE gaming is a valid strategy for DW frost.
Here is an example.

I'm trying to spend my unholy rune. Here is how I'd have to spend it to maximize it's dps.

Plague Strike (Blood plague for full duration) + HB crits
DnD + HB Crit
Obliterate Crits on both Main Hand and Offhand
Plague Strike + HB non crit
Death and Decay + HB non crit
Obliterate non crits.

This is more based on a high mastery build and is reliant on crits. The thing that you should pay attention to is how many things that can beat out obliterate if it does not crit. HB alone can do enough damage to surpass the main hand hit and the use of the unholy rune for DnD or Plague strike can easily surpass the off hand hit.

Purposely using the unholy rune costing you an HB can be a great loss. Plague striking early is also not an efficient spend either. Using a rune just because it's there is not always the best thing to do.

edited to add further

Sim craft tends to push obliterate too much which is actually a loss for Master Frost to a degree and can slightly devalue Strength & mastery and instead inflate Haste and Crit because it attemps to turn master frost into haste frost.
the obvious benefits to having it unmacro'd are that you can have 2 death runes saved up just before pillar of frost is coming off cd, or if you end up needing an OH!@#$ button, you're more likely to be able to get the death rune at that very moment. but I think the stacking for pillar or hero or shattering throw is a big one, really. or on some fights where you're a frost dk and you have to soak on garalon because death siphon + 100% dmg + saved runes immediately after swipe dmgs you is actually OP as hell. :)

oh and also from what I've seen so far, blood tap will always return the last rune you fully depleted as a death rune, so if you use it immediately after you DnD/etc your unholy runes away as frost, you're always getting that extra rune back as death from unholy, although its not that much ofa bonus since you can only regen 1 rune of each type at a time anyway.
02/12/2013 11:45 PMPosted by Nogad
Could you comment on the post above this where Ahnerhiahne claims RE is a dps gain over BT. Ahnerhiahne says RE gives more runes in the long run than BT through "gaming" unholy runes. I really don't see this giving you more runes than using BT since with RE you're always siting on 1 rune and with BT you're not but im not 100% on that. Pretty much is RE a DPS gain, is it close to or equal to BT or is RE way behind in DPS than BT.


If you look at how much generating 1 RP actually generates (which sounds weird, but you'll see in a second), then, yes, RE is more efficient. For every 1 RP you generate, you will spend that RP on FS, which will in turn generate runes, which in turn generates more RP, ... and so on. This assumes that FS is only used when RE can proc.

Since what was just described is an infinite geometric series, it will converge (end up) at some value, RP_f given an initial RP level RP_i. Using some math,

RP_f = RP_i / (1 - k)

where [FP assumed, units omitted]:
k for RE = (1 / 20) * (0.45 / 1) * (1 / 1) * (10) * (1.20) = 0.27
k for RC = (1 / 20) * (0.45 / 1) * (((3 / 10) * 3) / 1) * (10) * (1.20) = 0.243
k for BT = (1 / 20) * ((2 / 5) / 1) * (1 / 1) * (10) * (1.20) = 0.24


Or, in plain English, if you generate 10 RP with RE, you actually end up generating 13.70 RP. For BT, 10 RP results in 13.16 RP. Obviously, 13.70 RP > 13.16 RP. From this final RP value, you can figure out how many runes are generated in total (via RP, not natural regeneration), and, also obviously, the additional runes for RE will be greater than those for BT.

So, yes, theoretically the return for RE is greater. To quantify that return, a model is needed, and all models have assumptions. These are the ones made by my numerical one:

If you assume that between an RE setup and a BT setup:

1. you are constantly regenerating runes of every time (i.e. not sitting on 2 of same type ever)
2. RP doesn't overflow
3. GCD-capping/locking is a non-factor
4. HoW is used on CD (or at least used at the same frequency for both)
5. player skill is not a factor
6. RE is only used when RE can proc
[7. If PL is chosen, then used at the same frequency for both.]

then you can use http://s1227.beta.photobucket.com/user/euliat-wow/media/SimVsTheoretical/DWFrostRPWork.png.html?sort=3&o=2
(with RimeProcChance = 0 since Rime procs generate no RP; this model was made back in Beta)

where you'll basically see that the gain in resource regeneration from RE is not large. From that, you can calculate DPS in a very roundabout way, but it's possible (and again, always check assumptions for validity).

In reality, those assumptions aren't entirely true, so the gain is lower. All of them contribute a little bit of error, but I'll talk about the larger ones. All of the setups will have very small time frames when both runes are up (due to GCDs), which violates #1. RE setups are also much more likely to have 2 U runes up at the same time because of RE gaming, which further violates assumption #1, and both setups are prone to (temporary) GCD-locking (particularly at high haste), which violates #2. Still, it will get you to within 2% unless GCD-capping is very pronounced.

The basic premise behind RE is that you use the higher rune return purely on frost runes and death runes (and never for unholy). If you use RE and receive an unholy rune, you wasted the RE proc. Since your rune states are controllable, this allows the full gain to be attributed to more HB's. This is not difficult to pull off in reality, but it requires extra effort to make sure that RE can always proc before FS is used. The only difficult part of it is figuring out what to do with that 1 unholy rune you're stuck with, because for every second you are stuck with 2 active unholy runes, you are losing RP --> runes --> damage (which can be estimated with the first equation given above). And for every FS you use with 2 unholy runes regenerating, you risk wasting the proc.

For BT, however, since you get a death rune back, they all can be used on HB, so it doesn't matter if you have 2 unholy runes regenerating at the same time. This frees up a very annoying constraint in the RE rotation (which is the source of loss).

The summary of that would be that RE has the highest potential if and only if it's executed properly. It also has the highest risk in that performance errors are more noticeable and more likely. If you can't execute the rotation properly, it doesn't matter what the sim says is better, and it doesn't matter what's better in theory, either. SimulationCraft says BT is slightly better. My sim says the opposite.

Pick the one you're more comfortable with because that's the one you'll do the most DPS with. Otherwise you're just adding a source of loss that might outweigh the benefit.
02/12/2013 11:45 PMPosted by Nogad
Could you comment on the post above this where Ahnerhiahne claims RE is a dps gain over BT.
Just to be clear I did not say this exactly. I was pointing out the proper way to utilize Runic Empowerment for masterfrost if you take it as a talent, which results in no returned Unholy Runes, as you seemed unaware of how it should be utilized should you take it. If gamed correctly so that you don't return UH runes, frost strike returns 45% of a useful rune per strike averaged out with RE, while it only returns 40% of a useful rune per strike with Blood Tap.

Just as Euliat stated however your ability to play perfectly accounts into whether RE is ultimately a DPS gain, as messing up and returning an UH rune sets you back on your theoretical gain over Blood Tap. In either case Blood Tap is not being utilized to its fullest macroed to something by default as Blood Tap's greatest strength is not a steady return on runes, but on demand access to them. Meaning that you should always be sitting on one of your two Blood tap uses, only using it once right before capping out on charges rotationally, so that you have a Blood Tap ready for anytime you need to burst.

However, Blood Tap certainly can be utilized via macro, and depending on your skill level might be best for you in a practical sense, even if it is not best used that way from a theoretical standpoint. In essence to use it in such a way would be like treating it as a slightly weaker RE without the hassles of having to pay attention to your UH rune cycles. If that works for you then by all means go ahead and do it. Although if you for some reason decide to play 2H hastefrost, you might want to consider Runic Corruption for your playstyle as all runes have value for that build and I believe that its return on runes is slighty greater than BT via macro, and can be used without having to game any runesets.

As to the poster who said something about sitting on that one UH rune being a dps loss, I'd like to remind people that rune pairs regenerate sequentially and not simultaneously, so as long as you are spending an Unholy rune every time right as its about to refill with no downtime on UH rune regeneration you are literally losing one UH rune + the runic power gained from that one UH rune over the course of an entire fight, and if you for some reason can manage to use it at the very tail end of a fight you haven't lost it at all. Your runes natural regeneration rate is the same whether one or both of the pair has been used.

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