How to Affliction: Will of the Emperor?

90 Human Warlock
12355
So, I'm saddened by my performance today on Will of the Emperor. It's true, I derped and completely forgot to apply Curse of the Elements. But that's an easily fixable mistake, and I felt that I otherwise executed the fight to the best of my ability.

As it turns out, "my best" needs improvement. This looks like an ideal fight for Affliction, yet I did no better than our Shadow Priest, even while I had a small advantage in item level. Looking at World of Logs, top rankings for Affliction are 90-100k; top rankings for Shadow are 80-90k. So obviously, I'm not playing my spec to its potential.

Then I look at some of the top logs, and my sad thoughts grow larger. For example, look at this guy:

http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/s5lyllwqklcqxfg8/sum/damageDone/?s=4656&e=5130

He holds the record for Affliction on this fight, 100k. If you click his name for more details, and compare his "Damage by spell" with the same data for me:

http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/ey7tdb0ntafs7w6b/sum/damageDone/?s=22402&e=22924

The difference is astounding.

As far as I can tell, this guy is a magician. Somehow, in a fight that lasted 1 minute less than our kill, he managed to do 30% more of everything:

- 872 ticks of Agony, compared to 712 ticks for me
- 715 ticks of Unstable Affliction, compared to 523 for me
- 817 ticks of Corruption, compared to 649 for me

His dots didn't just tick more, he applied more of them:

- 77 applications of SS:SB, compared to 60 for me
- 38 applications of Haunt, compared to 31 for me
- 146 applications of Agony, compared to 113 for me
- 144 applications of Unstable Affliction, compared to 106 for me
- 147 applications of Corruption, compared to 110 for me

While doing all of this, he also stood around channeling more:

- 01:53 uptime on Malefic Grasp, compared to 01:44 for me
- 01:16 uptime on Drain Soul, compared to 01:08 for me

He did get more procs from Nightfall - 49 compared to my 31. That could be better maintenance of Corruption, or could be a fluke from RNG.

So, what am I missing? How do I do better on fights like this?

Also: do you guys use any add-ons to help you keep track of your dots, especially with many targets? In a single-target boss fight, I don't have a problem, but for fights like this, I sure could use an add-on to bring my attention to expiring dots on targets other than the one I'm on.
Edited by Elocyn on 10/22/2012 2:20 AM PDT
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90 Human Warlock
15090
there's always something fishy with top parses. they somehow cheese something, or ur raid helps to stack something or let's u solely do something to push ur dps for high ranks. for more accurate dps figures i suggest looking at rank 50-100 players.

a few things i notice though,
1. u want to use a pet on this fight coz u don't channel mg enough to make Gsac worth it. obviously fel imp with demon training glyph would give u the highest dps here.
2. he didn't get smashed by strength 7 times like u did.
3. his dot uptime is a lot higher than urs. watch out for ua coz it's really short.
4. the biggest reason is the amount of SS:SB, in a shorter fight, he did many more than u.
5. coe on strength and bosses.

are you tab dotting enough? always remember if there are 3 or more targets, by the time you dot them all up with SS:SB and start channeling mg, ua from the first target would have fallen off.
are you drain souling enough? always look for things to kill. soul shards = a lot more dps.
are you required to kill courage? if you have to it means you need to run behind courage and run back to middle. that's quite a lot of dps loss. pretty sure for top parses, players don't have to.

unit frame addons like SUF can show u dots on bosses to help u improve ur dot uptime on them. tidyplates will help u improve ur dot uptime on adds.
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90 Blood Elf Warlock
0
Basically: Is something going to die soon and do you have soul shards currently? If yes, use them up on SB: SS, then drain soul for a split second to regain. Repeat over and over. You have to be able to target things in a pile quickly and reliably (much easier on 10 man).
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90 Human Warlock
4915
I'm not sure what to tell you, but I managed 61k in LFR last night with significantly weaker gear and no flasks or pots. In the add phase are you spamming the hell out of SB:SS? Casting haunt 25 times seems high to me. Getting a full set of 3 dots on a new target with SB:SS is going to be a significant DPS gain over casting haunt on an already Dotted target.

Generally, my strategy was to just SB:SS everything in sight. DS on low hp adds and MG as filler. With so many adds dying, you have nearly unlimited soul shards on the add phases, so IMO there is little reason to ever be manually casting dots on anything (again, when adds are up).

Again, this is LFR, so I assume the adds are probably much weaker, but the next highest DPS after me was 45k, and we had several people below 20. Perhaps it balances out?
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90 Gnome Warlock
19085
on 25normal (where Rages spawn in groups of 4, unlike normal10 and LFR25), I was having good results with Mannoroth's Fury SB:SoC, SB:SS, then MG to pop the seed, as a combo. Easy way to keep Corr ticking on everything for tons of nightfall procs. SoC hits almost the whole room with Mannoroth's, if you target an add that will be near the middle of the room when your seed pops.

I run right around 12% hit for aff. That's hit cap for the adds, below for bosses. Hit cap is less valuable than mastery for single target, since you can refresh early with Pandemic, but when multi-dotting misses cost you dot ticks. I run either just over 3037 haste (extra tick on Agony), or just over 3217 (extra tick on Corr with windsong, obsolete with Jade Spirit enchant), everything else into mastery of course.

In 11 minute attempts on Will 25N, I was sometimes getting up to 87k dps, with the bosses at about 25% on our best attempt. I was running grimoire of service, with a felhunter and grimoire: felhunter. I mostly left my pet on one of the bosses. Haven't checked if pets / guardians benefit from the titan gas melee buff, and if it would be worth lining up grimoire extra pet with titan gas. An imp would be useful for extra self-healing, with Cauterize Master during Titan Gas. I didn't always do it, but I plan to alternate Unending Resolve and Dark Bargain for titan gas. This might not be good for the end-of-fight permanent titan gas, though. I could end up with a big stack of dark bargain ticks, along with the still-there titan gas. Sac Pact might be a better defensive choice here. Glyphs: siphon life (huge healing), soul shards (of course), and exhaustion. (if not exhaustion, I could use soulstone, healthstone, or soul consumption).

http://worldoflogs.com/reports/cwcv4lnf99hcv5yh/
my best attempt was try 11, at 87k. I had another at 82k, and most of the others I was only around 76 to 78k. Sometimes that was just lost dps as we were wiping as the boss magnetized on me after a tank death. Other times I didn't do as well with managing shards and dots, and got stuck without shards for a SB:SoC and without corr ticking on many targets. Or I just had a nightfall drought.

As everyone else has said, looking for targets that are about to die to DS for shards is key to fueling the SB:SS process. Rages aren't always getting dpsed, even when they're low, so I only go for DS on them if they're REALLY low, or if I have a shard to SB:SS to them before draining. (DS without dots on the target is quite weak). Strengths are probably a good bet for shards, I need to do a better job of noticing when they're going to die and spending shards before hand, so I can usefully drain them.

As for killing Courages, I set my port near where they will spawn. When one is about to spawn, I port over. As soon as it's targetable, I hit it with glyphed Curse of Exhaustion (70% snare that will last until it dies). In the couple seconds before it puts up its shield, you can apply debuffs from the front! I do run around to be behind while doing CoEX, though, so I don't throw a shard into SB:SS on the shield. So yeah, SB:SS, haunt if I have another shard, MG, maybe spend some shards dotting other nearby mobs if you have extra, then finish the courage with DS. A rogue is with me on my side, so 5% spell goes up on it without me having to elements.

I'm sure most guilds have figured this out already, but if courages reach your tanks, you're kinda boned. Good slows and burst dps on them from e.g. rogues and ferals that can get there quickly, as well as locks, seem to be necessary. Rogues can use crippling.
Edited by Karsteck on 10/22/2012 11:07 AM PDT
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17 Orc Shaman
50
You are missing something... His dots ticks more b/c he channeled MG more. That's what MG does. That's why he has more dot ticks, more shard procs, etc. So the problem is your MG uptime.


As far as I can tell, this guy is a magician. Somehow, in a fight that lasted 1 minute less than our kill, he managed to do 30% more of everything:

- 872 ticks of Agony, compared to 712 ticks for me
- 715 ticks of Unstable Affliction, compared to 523 for me
- 817 ticks of Corruption, compared to 649 for me

His dots didn't just tick more, he applied more of them:

- 77 applications of SS:SB, compared to 60 for me
- 38 applications of Haunt, compared to 31 for me
- 146 applications of Agony, compared to 113 for me
- 144 applications of Unstable Affliction, compared to 106 for me
- 147 applications of Corruption, compared to 110 for me

While doing all of this, he also stood around channeling more:

- 01:53 uptime on Malefic Grasp, compared to 01:44 for me
- 01:16 uptime on Drain Soul, compared to 01:08 for me

He did get more procs from Nightfall - 49 compared to my 31. That could be better maintenance of Corruption, or could be a fluke from RNG.

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85 Orc Warrior
0
10/22/2012 12:01 PMPosted by Criticality
His dots ticks more b/c he channeled MG more. That's what MG does. That's why he has more dot ticks, more shard procs, etc. So the problem is your MG uptime.


You're actually wrong.

The "ticks" from MG aren't considered as dots.

Go to http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/s5lyllwqklcqxfg8/sum/damageDone/?s=4656&e=5130

Click on the name Orwell

Click Damage by Spell

Look at the different spells. You'll notice that there are 2 Agony, UA, and Corruption. 1 is the damage done as ticks. The other is the damage done by MG and they're NOT TICKS but are considered as hits.

The OP was looking at the right thing.
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90 Human Warlock
12355
Thank you for your responses!

It looks like my major DPS loss on this fight was staying with Grimoire of Sacrifice (which I love, arrrgh pet management), which provides benefits that don't kick in on a multi-target fight where only 1/3 of the time is spent channeling.

I measured the Fel Imp's DPS on a target dummy, and he's doing 9k DPS. I'm betting I'd gain 5k just by switching to Fel Imp, and another 2k by not being dumb forgetting to apply CoE to the bosses. That would bring me to 75k, from two easy improvements.

Thanks for the SB:SoC + Mannoroth's Fury suggestion, that's very interesting! I didn't know about that interaction; I keep being surprised by everything Mannoroth's Fury affects.
Edited by Elocyn on 10/23/2012 2:24 AM PDT
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100 Undead Warlock
12155
10/23/2012 02:02 AMPosted by Brofo
His dots ticks more b/c he channeled MG more. That's what MG does. That's why he has more dot ticks, more shard procs, etc. So the problem is your MG uptime.


You're actually wrong.

The "ticks" from MG aren't considered as dots.

Go to http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/s5lyllwqklcqxfg8/sum/damageDone/?s=4656&e=5130

Click on the name Orwell

Click Damage by Spell

Look at the different spells. You'll notice that there are 2 Agony, UA, and Corruption. 1 is the damage done as ticks. The other is the damage done by MG and they're NOT TICKS but are considered as hits.

The OP was looking at the right thing.


but they could account for the extra number of NF procs as even if they don't count as dots, but they do count as ticks of the dot for things that trigger off such. agony will get an extra stack from each MG tick, and you have a chance at a shard each time MG ticks with corruption up.
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85 Orc Warrior
0
10/23/2012 09:37 AMPosted by Adamishereto
but they could account for the extra number of NF procs as even if they don't count as dots, but they do count as ticks of the dot for things that trigger off such. agony will get an extra stack from each MG tick, and you have a chance at a shard each time MG ticks with corruption up.


I was only pointing out to Criticality that dot ticks and MG "ticks" are recorded separately. Nothing more.
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6 Human Warlock
0
I have been going through precisely this issue, though sadly (for me) with even worse results than the OP.

So the good news is, for the OP: Cheer up, there is someone suffering worse than you!

Thanks to the OP for putting together a good comprehensive post. I believe that facilitated the good quality responses.

I am running in 25N so many thanks to Karsteck for a very detailed response.

...and thanks to all the others that responded - I'll be trying out the suggestions and hopefully lifting my DPS out from "just above the tanks".

In regard to the issue of MG, my understanding is this:
  • MG is a channeled spell of four seconds duration
  • MG ticks once per second
  • MG is not affected by Haste (Yes, it was in Beta, no it is not in MoP release)
  • Each tick of MG causes any existing DoT on the target to deal 50% of its normal damage at the time of the MG tick
  • As far as I am aware MG does not, any in way, shape or form, cause anything like "extra ticks".

    The tooltip info clearly states:

    "Every 1 sec, when Malefic Grasp deals damage, it causes all of your other periodic Affliction damage effects to instantly deal 50% of their normal periodic damage."

    It does not say that it causes them to tick, to have additional ticks, or anything similar.

    On that basis I would doubt that any additional damage delivered by an Affliction spell (in this case "Corruption") would count as a "tick" for the purpose of a proc such as Shadow Trance (aka "Nightfall").

    From what I have observed so far, Shadow Trance has a 5% chance of delivering a Shard per tick of Corruption, with an ICD of 6 seconds.

    Looking at WoL data it seems to me that the 6 second ICD is per "instance" of Corruption.

    Therefore if you have multiple targets with Corruption running on them, then you will vastly increase the production of Shards - which is why the selection of Mannoroth's + SB:SoC is such an interestiing idea.

    Running MG against one of those targets (or a single target) will not, from what I can see, change the Shard production rate via Shadow Trance.

    I would be interested to hear if there is any proof to the contrary.
    Edited by Lannadin on 11/29/2012 10:29 AM PST
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    90 Human Warlock
    13860
    This is interesting since it lets me critique myself too. Ran a comparebot on your log, that Orwell lock, and my parse.
    http://worldoflogs.com/reports/rt-eow0dndbzwqn9wch/sum/damageDone/?s=3922&e=4474

    Keep in mind I suck pretty bad at PvE. I'm at 486 ilvl for PvE.

    It just seems like this guy spammed SB:SS a ton. He did 9.8 SB:SS a minute, you did 6.9 and I did 5.1.

    Remember that Haunt has a better DPCT than MG or Drain Soul so if you have extra shards and DoTs already applied, you might wanna spam Haunt more often. He had 4.8 Haunts/minute, I had 4.6, you had 3.6.

    Your UA uptime was pretty poor too. I had almost 200 more ticks than you with similar fight length.

    I didn't play well either, but some things that the keys are:
    1) Not missing a Drain Soul on an add. This lets us do more.
    2) Not wasting shards, spamming SB:SS and any extra shards can be used for Haunt > MG.
    3) Speccing for Fel Imp and glyping Demon Training.
    4) Refreshing DoTs on bosses, particularly UA and never letting Agony fall off bosses.
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    91 Orc Warlock
    7185
    Just some additional advice - here's my parse which is currently #1 (normal, not heroic ... I know, we're awful).

    http://worldoflogs.com/reports/rt-z77xrl80zoqul7l3/sum/damageDone/?s=3852&e=4263#Gremory

    1) The titan gas phases are very high DPS as that's likely when you lust. In addition, you'll be focusing only the two bosses at the end in execute phase during a titan gas. For this reason, I think sticking with grimoire of sacrifice is the most effective (as I did in this parse).

    2) Always think about wasted shards. It's not very efficient to channel drain soul on an Emperor's Rage from 20% to zero and have 2 shards when it dies. This means you essentially wasted 2 shards. Make sure to spend those right before something dies on soulburning your dots onto the bosses so that you can take advantage of the full four you're going to gain when the add dies. The above posters were correct in that Soul Swap per minute is a good indicator of performance on this fight. You can see I had 11 per minute vs. 9.8 for the old #1 guy indicated in the OP's post.

    3) Wasting some slight dot time by soulburning early isn't the end of the world as pandemic will still confer a significant bonus. My general rule of thumb is you want 1 soul swap on rages and courages, 2 on strengths, and never let corruption or agony fall off the bosses. This will serve you fine.

    4) Minimize movement by soulburning your dots onto the courage as it's falling to the ground before it puts its shield up. This way you can continue to attack all the adds, and generally the courage will be close enough to the middle by the time it dies that you can still regain shards from it.

    5) Awareness of where the adds are spawning can add a huge amount of DPS. Missing some dot uptime even though you have shards is a big loss. Always make sure to look up to see which side the strengths and courages are spawning.

    I'm sure there's tons of other stuff but these are some good general tips. Also make sure to hit a good haste threshold for this one (when dots are likely to be falling off still-living things). I go for 4717 haste most of the time. And if you're really trying to min-max this fight you can adjust your hit cap since the adds are lower level.
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    90 Worgen Warlock
    4920
    11/29/2012 09:52 AMPosted by Lannadin
    MG is not affected by Haste (Yes, it was in Beta, no it is not in MoP release)


    I'm almost 100% positive it is affected by haste. Ever channel it with Dark Soul and Heroism/Bloodlust up? You almost can't cast fast enough. Also my tooltip shows a reduced channel time.

    Unless you mean something else.

    From what I have observed so far, Shadow Trance has a 5% chance of delivering a Shard per tick of Corruption, with an ICD of 6 seconds.

    Looking at WoL data it seems to me that the 6 second ICD is per "instance" of Corruption.


    I don't believe there is an ICD on Shadow Trance. The mechanics of the ability as far as I know are that:

    Every tick of Corruption has a stacking .5% chance to proc Nightfall.

    This smooths out RNG and still has a base chance of 5% to proc. (actually a little unsure of that info)

    BUT! I just found this great blue post while doing some research.

    OP: Brennvin

    Yes. In all ways, the additional ticks of the DoTs provided by MG/DS should function as additional ticks of the respective DoTs. For example, the extra Corruption ticks that occur (for 50% damage) from MG are able to proc Nightfall. This means that you’re actually getting *more* Corruption ticks than before, so we reduced the proc chance per tick of Nightfall to compensate; you should get the same number of Nightfall procs per time as before.


    source: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/5889309137?page=145#2894

    very old post from beta but I'm pretty sure it's still correct.
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