Also thanks for mentioning my research in certain parts. Maybe because I´m lazy or maybe because I´d rather spend my time playing the game and being busy researching game mechanics and skills of all the classes, I haven´t been able to write this sort of compilation over in the Barb forums. Some day maybe hehe, this is the closest we have (basically just a list of my posts about certain Barb skills and game mechanics)...
I guess I won´t have to reasearch Wizard skills with you around anymore ;) although recently I began playing the class more, trying out skills and stuff, it´s quite fun.
- If you are doing LoH tests, don't let yourself be fooled by the life return display. Life returns are displayed as a sum of all the HP you got during the last 0.5-0.857 seconds. They don't represent individual LoH ticks and the rate or value of those display ticks is not constant. It changes with life return, attack speed and sometimes randomly.
So for example if you want to test the proc coefficient of a DoT, you need to hit a a1 normal mp0 zombie that dies after one tick. Look at the life return: That's your base value for one tick. After that you can switch to a more durable monster. Add up all the life returns you get for one application and divide by the base value. Then you have the number of ticks for that DoT.
- Same goes for damage ticks in channeled spells. I have mentioned this before and I will again later, but some (most for Wizards) channeled spells and DoT effects won't display damage ticks individually but as a sum of all damage done over the last 0.5 seconds. So be careful with counting stuff on screen. It doesn't work very often.
Advanced research as a Wiz:
-> low damage white weapon, +min damage jewelry which brings minimum damage higher than maximum (if min>max the game will use min=max as the new base weapon damage so you get steady values)
-> get rid of all life steal and life regen, only use LoH if you want to test LoH
-> get hit (don´t be at max health) when testing LoH -
-> Frost Nova the monster to have a short window for testing without the risk of being killed - note that MP0-1 might be best to not get one shot as you´re not killing stuff with your <150 weapon damage weapon
-> first test should be with a 2H 1.00 aps weapon to get a basic understanding of the skill mechanics
-> put the skill you´re testing on a keyboard button, because the game doesn´t visually display mouse clicks so you wouldn´t be able to determine when the "click" occured
-> the click (skill activation) is usually displayed as a 5 frame long darkening of the skill icon, which you´ll recognize when viewing the video frame by frame
-> if you research LoH, put your mouse cursor on your health globe to record health changes
-> if you research resource regen/skill cost mechanics, the mouse cursor should be on the resource globe - note that in both cases, you may have to adjust your positioning to hit a target in the direction of either globe
-> most recording software displays ingame frame rate, if not use ctrl+r (built in game frame rate) - to have the most accurate results wait until you have a steady 60fps rate, at least for a couple of seconds - if it´s not steady the frame lengths jump around and may make it very difficult to figure out the mechanics
-> record the video and then view it frame by frame
-> if you lack patience, don´t research game mechanics
I probably forgot a few things but those tips should give you a general idea on how to make it right.
Anyway, I might be able to help you out a bit in certain aspects. I call this level 2 research because for certain skills I actually check actual monster health values each frame.
Last but not least I should tell you what exactly breakpoints apply to.
First of all, as I have said before, not every spell scales with attack speed. For example Blizzard does not. The casting animation does, but the DoT effect itself just ticks 4 times per second, regardless of your attack speed.
Other than that, there are basically two kinds of DoTs/channeled spells. Those that display all damage ticks as they happen (you can actually see the damage numbers pop for each tick individually - Arcane Torrent, Electrocute) and those that sum up all damage in 0.5 seconds intervals (Disintegrate, Ray of Frost, Archon Disintegration Wave, Energy Twister DoT).
The first group uses the above formulas for everything that is hit-related.
Your DPS is a function of damage per tick and ticks per second. So breakpoints also directly affect your damage output.
LoH procs for each tick. Every tick can crit individually and APoC procs for each critical tick. I'm not entirely sure (see "Unsolved Mysteries"), but CM and SA probably also proc for each crit tick as per the formula above.
Prime examples for this are Barbarian's Whirlwind and Run like the Wind, but also Wizard's Arcane Torrent. For those skills, it makes A LOT of sense to optimize for breakpoints, because everything is affected.
The second group works with a different Damage/DPS scaling model, which is currently unknown. For example Disintegrate displays summed up damage values every 0.5 seconds. Increasing your attack speed by even the slightest bit directly increases DPS, no matter if you are close to a breakpoint or not. CM and SA proc a lot more than the breakpoint formulas predict (see "Unsolved Mysteries").
LoH on the other hand strictly scales according to the formulas above. If you are at 2.51 APS and increase it to 2.52 APS, you will see increased DPS, but LoH stays exactly the same. If you go from 2.5 to 2.51, you will see just a minimal linear DPS increase, but a considerable bump in LoH for passing the breakpoint.
So for those spells there's still a lot of uncertainty.
In the "Skill-Specific Mechanics and Info" section below, you can find more info on Which spells use which breakpoints for what.
I believe the best way to describe skills is by separating each aspect of it:
- damage and its breakpoints, if any
- resource cost and its breakpoints, if any
- on attack, on hit and on crit procs and LoH
Let´s take for example the latest skill I´ve researched, Sleet Storm. By looking at monster health values above their heads each frame and later my health bar when testing LoH, I was able to figure out the following:
1. skill damage = aps * 6.0667% (364%/60) weapon damage each frame (aps * 364% / sec)
-> damage is applied each frame, displayed as a damage tick each 30 frames
-> aps directly increases the actual damage (value) not the frequency of how often damage is applied
-> first damage tick occurs 5-6 frames after the skill activation (skill activation is frames 0-5)
2. skill cost = 8 arcane power (tooltip/2) * (floor(30/aps))
-> resource globe responses have different scaling than damage responses and occur separately
3A) LoH = 0.1875 * (floor(30/aps))
-> each LoH tick equals a health globe response
-> the initial LoH tick occurs on the initial damage tick but then follows its own scaling
-> LoH ticks follow the same pattern as skill cost responds which means they happen simultaneously
3.B) On attack effects
-> only have a chance to proc (coefficient chance) on the initial tick
3.C) On crit effects (APoC) = 0.1875 * (floor(30/aps)) ???
attacks per second - proc length - frequency/sec - cost/sec
0.88236-0.90909 aps - 33 frames - 1.82 procs - 14.55 AP
0.90910-0.93750 aps - 32 frames - 1.88 procs - 15.00 AP
0.93751-0.96774 aps - 31 frames - 1.94 procs - 15.48 AP
0.96775-1.00000 aps - 30 frames - 2.00 procs - 16.00 AP
1.00001-1.03448 aps - 29 frames - 2.07 procs - 16.55 AP
1.03449-1.07142 aps - 28 frames - 2.14 procs - 17.14 AP
1.07143-1.11111 aps - 27 frames - 2.22 procs - 17.78 AP
1.11112-1.15384 aps - 26 frames - 2.31 procs - 18.46 AP
1.15385-1.20000 aps - 25 frames - 2.40 procs - 19.20 AP
1.20001-1.25000 aps - 24 frames - 2.50 procs - 20.00 AP
1.25001-1.30434 aps - 23 frames - 2.61 procs - 20.87 AP
1.30435-1.36363 aps - 22 frames - 2.73 procs - 21.82 AP
1.36364-1.42857 aps - 21 frames - 2.86 procs - 22.86 AP
1.42858-1.50000 aps - 20 frames - 3.00 procs - 24.00 AP
1.50001-1.57894 aps - 19 frames - 3.16 procs - 25.26 AP
1.57895-1.66666 aps - 18 frames - 3.33 procs - 26.67 AP
1.66667-1.76470 aps - 17 frames - 3.53 procs - 28.24 AP
1.76471-1.87500 aps - 16 frames - 3.75 procs - 30.00 AP
1.87501-2.00000 aps - 15 frames - 4.00 procs - 32.00 AP
2.00001-2.14285 aps - 14 frames - 4.29 procs - 34.29 AP
2.14286-2.30769 aps - 13 frames - 4.62 procs - 36.92 AP
2.30770-2.50000 aps - 12 frames - 5.00 procs - 40.00 AP
2.50001-2.72727 aps - 11 frames - 5.45 procs - 43.64 AP
2.72728-3.00000 aps - 10 frames - 6.00 procs - 48.00 AP
3.00001-3.33333 aps - 09 frames - 6.67 procs - 53.33 AP
3.33334-3.75000 aps - 08 frames - 7.50 procs - 60.00 AP
3.75001-4.28571 aps - 07 frames - 8.57 procs - 68.57 AP
Note that I wasn´t able to thoroughly test APoC with Sleet Storm so I´m only assuming it works similar to LoH. I´ve read that people posted getting much more APoC procs than they expected, although I didn´t see exact test results so I´ll have to somehow figure it out.
The problem here is the fact that damage has a different scaling than cost and LoH so we don´t know if the game only considers the one frame when it applies the LoH/AP cost tick to determine if APoC is triggered.
By looking at the monster health values ticking each frame I was able to see that crits occur in sets. Note that it´s almost impossible to have a steady framerate to have perfectly accurate results but so far it seems that Sleet Storm crits follow a certain pattern.
Let´s say we´re channeling Sleet Storm at exactly 2.00 aps, which translates to 15 frames per AP/LoH response. The damage is applied each frame, but if the skill crits, you supposedly get 15 frames that crit subsequently until the next check for LoH/AP response.
This is a very complex mechanics. On one hand, damage is applied separately from, on the other hand, crit damage seems to be intertwined with the frequency of LoH/AP response ticks.
By the way, you could post a link to my Arcane Torrent mechanics post in your "Skill-Specific Mechanics" section if you like.
Does not stack. DoT ticks 4 times per second, not affected by attack speed. Every tick can crit individually. Damage displayed once every 0.5 seconds.
Extended duration from gear or via Unrelenting Storm rune does not result in the same numer of ticks spread out over the longer duration. Per second added, the number of ticks is increased by 4 and total damage is increased by 85%
Again, you´d have to differentiate between damage ticks and LoH ticks. Damage is applied each frame, displayed each 0.5 second over monster heads. LoH is triggered 4 times per second.
I´ll post more later this was long enough as my "intro".