Elemental AoE Post-7.2.5

Class Development
With 7.2.5, Earthquake was changed to no longer scale with haste, which was compensated for by a 55% increase to the ability's damage. However, that increase has not really had the impact it needed to justify Earthquake’s place in our AoE toolkit (outside of it being a utility ability).

As explanation, here are some numbers for our current live AoE damage (this is at 30 second duration, not using lust or FE, with full Mythic ToS gear):
Normal Rotation | CL Spam
5 Target | 6,278,986 | 7,185,638
10 Target | 9,504,001 | 8,033,639
I’ve found the break-even point (beyond which, you should start to use Earthquake) to be about 7 targets without Bracers, and 8 targets with them equipped. Considering Earthquake is meant to be a maelstrom spender for multi-target situations (with chain lightning generating), we should not have chain lightning spam winning out.

My suggestion to solve for this is fairly simple:
  • Change the maelstrom cost from a fixed 50 maelstrom into a minimum 50 maelstrom, having the damage scale with maelstrom spent (e.g. at 100 maelstrom, it would tick for double damage).
  • Reduce the damage of Earthquake from 77.5% spell power to 65% spell power per tick. For a quick comparison: A 100 maelstrom ES would do (1150 * 1.04 * 1.16) = 1387% SP damage. A 100 maelstrom EQ would do (2 * 65 * 6 * 1.2) + (700 * 6 * 0.05 * 1.04) = 1154% SP damage, on average. So, it would continue to lose to ES at one target, but would win out as soon as you enter stacked multi-target.

Why I believe this would be a nice change: A lot of the current weakness of Earthquake comes from just how many times we have to cast it. Dumping the maelstrom generated from a single chain lightning can easily take 2-3 GCDs on live, this change would reduce that requirement down to only 1. That allows for the ability to be more competitive (by nature of a lower opportunity cost) without having to directly increase the strength. Essentially, we would be trading damage per maelstrom for damage per execution. Finally: We shift a few of our AoE GCDs into Chain Lightning, which in turn would improve our scaling with both haste and mastery (mastery has been an extremely weak AoE stat during this expansion).

And some numbers (note: this has the scale from 50-100 maelstrom, spending it at 100 – it might also be reasonable to have EQ interact with Swelling Maelstrom if this change is made / note: the same gear is used as the above numbers):
Normal Rotation | CL Spam
5 Target | 7,309,116 | 7,161,391
10 Target | 10,303,153 | 8,031,500
As you can see, using EQ is now ahead of simply spamming chain lightning (despite actually reducing its damage per maelstrom), because of the saved GCDs. This would also be very welcome in raiding, because it would allow for us to have more impact out of our EQ, instead of having our primary raid AoE centered around Stormkeeper + Static Overload.

Now, the downsides:
  • Fewer knockdowns: Because we are effectively reducing the number of ticks, we are also reducing the utility behind EQ. However, with the cost still having a minimum of 50, the player would be able to choose whether or not they prefer the utility (casting at lower maelstrom), or the damage (casting at higher maelstrom).
  • Less Seismic Storm damage: Again, because the ticks are reduced, there will be fewer seismic storm ticks going out. However, shifting more damage into the earthquake is likely a good thing. Looking at the actual sim results, the golden dragon is still contributing a respectable 5.6% of the player’s damage at 5 targets, and 7.9% at 10.
  • Uncertainty on how to interact with Shoulders: Because the shoulder effect makes the next Earthquake free, it could either behave at full maelstrom or minimum. A quick patchwerk sim suggests that using a value of 100 maelstrom with the reduced tick damage would put the shoulders at a ~4.1% increase compared to the current ~2.9% increase on live.

Note: All source sims can be found at the following link:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B7aRwQuNfPWcVElyZlpNRzAyRDQ
TL;DR Earthquake damage after removing haste scaling both feels bad and performs poorly in regular AoE situations (making it more of a utility ability than a damage tool). Allowing it to scale with maelstrom spent will make the ability more impactful in both dungeons and raids as a multi-target maelstrom dump, even if the damage per maelstrom is reduced.
We already explained this to Sigma. He didn't care, he just wanted elemental nerfed. I don't know why he doesn't like us.
Its sad when the playerbase does all the math and tuning that they cant even do themselves.
06/18/2017 03:24 PMPosted by Tuskini
We already explained this to Sigma. He didn't care, he just wanted elemental nerfed. I don't know why he doesn't like us.


It's very possible they gave us what they thought they could, while maintaining the ability's relative strength to ES. However, it's turned out that the Earthquake button is just not very rewarding to press without the potential it gained from haste-increasing effects.

I'm trying to look at another direction of changing it instead of simply increasing the number on it until it feels good. By being able to unload a full maelstrom bar on EQ, we'd spend less time mashing our spender key during AoE (as I mentioned in OP, there's times where we have to spend 3 GCDs on Earthquakes after a single Chain Lightning cast) and more time doing a generate -> spend rotation.
The change really made or Golden trait Seismic Storm awful. Feel they need to change SS chance to proc to 10%.
06/18/2017 03:24 PMPosted by Tuskini
We already explained this to Sigma. He didn't care, he just wanted elemental nerfed. I don't know why he doesn't like us.


Ya we asked for focus in ST dps and he focuses in on changes to EQ. I don't get these developers.
Bumping this because its incredibly important. Thanks omajarn.
very good idea. i just hope they listen and are willing to make this kind of change mid patch. They made these changes in the first place b/c ES wasnt worth casting for Dmg over EQ in ST. Now we have the opposite problem, EQ is not worth casting during AOE. this seems like a good way to fix that.
06/18/2017 03:24 PMPosted by Tuskini
We already explained this to Sigma. He didn't care, he just wanted elemental nerfed. I don't know why he doesn't like us.


His changes were based on the numbers Gistwiki posted. He requested 95.2% per tick and we ended up with 93% on live. I never checked myself and assumed that in 7.2 Seismic Storm made Earthquake worth casting, maybe this wasn't the case?

Edit: Grabbed a 7.2 simcraft build and it looks like EQ was 5% over CL spam on 5 targets, which is way closer than I'd thought it would be.
So based on this data, we should not be casting EQ during AOE as it is a dps loss?

How can the devs let this happen to the spell our final golden trait buffs? It doesn't make sense!
06/21/2017 09:12 AMPosted by Hakawa
So based on this data, we should not be casting EQ during AOE as it is a dps loss?

How can the devs let this happen to the spell our final golden trait buffs? It doesn't make sense!


No, not quite.

This data shows that you shouldn't cast EQ over CL spam unless there are 8+ targets.

Also I agree that's stupid design.
06/21/2017 09:12 AMPosted by Hakawa
So based on this data, we should not be casting EQ during AOE as it is a dps loss?

How can the devs let this happen to the spell our final golden trait buffs? It doesn't make sense!
There's some caveats that would put EQ back into your rotation:

1) You do still use it on low targets (e.g. 2-3) - Chain Lightning overloads scale quadratically, meaning each target you add (up to 5) is very valuable for CL. At these lower targets, you'll use your single-target rotation, swapping CL for LB, swapping EQ for ES, and multidotting FS.
2) If using Sephuz, EQ can be a great way to trigger it. But, you should be avoiding EQ during the actual proc itself.
3) As mentioned above, past 7/8 targets, you should be including EQ in the rotation again. However: note that if doing so, you want to be using it at times where the mobs are stacked and will remain in the EQ for the full duration (this is especially important to consider now that CL has a very forgiving bounce range).
4) Movement. Obviously, you can't cast Chain Lightning if you have to move, so EQ would be the go-to.

On the topic of devs: Please don't get mad at them, they did listen to feedback and try to bring EQ up to a decent level - but balancing CL vs EQ vs ES can be a bit complex with all of the variables there are in place. The core of the suggestion I made in the OP would be to reduce the opportunity cost of using EQ (by reducing the GCDs required), allowing for more CL casts between maelstrom burn phases.
Can someone explain why SE&L say EQ was buffed by 55%, but the patch notes only say 30? Did they just screw up the patch notes?
06/21/2017 02:48 PMPosted by Likmytotem
Can someone explain why SE&L say EQ was buffed by 55%, but the patch notes only say 30? Did they just screw up the patch notes?
It was buffed 55%, the notes are wrong (they were likely made before the last set of buffs that Sigma listed for us, which also included 25% to ES and FrS).
I've been saying this for a while:

Remove Earth Shock and Earthquake from the GCD and all is fixed.

We get the DPS increase we have needed for months, and Eq is worth pressing again.
Bump. Last tier was ES felt undertuned, now they undertune EQ..Please make our spenders enjoyable. 2
Once again SE&L does all the math for Blizzard and they still can't fix it...
I really hope this thread gets read by the Devs at somepoint.
Removing the haste scaling I get but now EQs just feels worse then pushing out more CL.
Damage per GCD is just not there anymore.
This change fixes that problem, which I am all for.
Bump for Devs to see. If they are making mechanical changes to Frost Mages they can also adjust this given that it is making our AoE spending almost not worth using.
Bumping. I don't even play Shaman that much but stumbled across this... I don't see how this shouldn't be fixed.

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