MoP PvE Combat Guide

Could you add in some caveats, though, to note the somewhat... ethereal... state of our knowledge regarding stat weights and some other elements of the optimal rotation? There's still so much that hasn't been glued down, and for the stat weights in particular, unless we've got direct access to the people who are entering/calculating those EP values, we can't know how close to "final" they are, even if it's two sources working on them independently. It's entirely possible for two independent sources to have similar inaccuracies, especially if they're working off similarly incorrect assumptions or calculations.

I'm just jittery about the idea of a guide stating things as though they're unequivocal when there's still a fair amount of uncertainty regarding their completeness or their veracity.

Yeesh. Veracity? What the hell... Apparently my brain is in SAT mode today.
I'll add some more caveats. For what its worth I think the numbers coming out of shadowcraft are while perhaps not final, at least presentable. I've looked at the combat model and nothing glaring jumps out at me, if something did I'd submit a fix. There hasn't been a major commit to the combat modeling is almost a month, this suggests to me that while the models are at least in a usable state.
No quibbles from me on that point. It just feels important that, particularly for a guide on the forums that will be read by a whole bunch of folks who may be relatively new to raiding and max-level rogue gameplay, there be clear notes on particular bits that may not be cemented yet. For instance, the stuff on Rupture usage and the optimal dividing line for the use of AoE abilities -- I've seen some discussion and napkin math on them, but I hadn't seen much in the way of verdicts, and thought we weren't far enough along with sims and tests to know for certain how they shook out (and, in Rupture's case, how much of a DPS difference it's truly likely to be in optimal situations).

You also recommend people use Shadowcraft itself for customized stat weights. But the actual engine hasn't been updated since 4.3, and I don't think we've seen any kind of ETA for when it will be updated next -- or even if the existing front-end tool will be updated ever, as opposed to it eventually being replaced by something new.
Alright I'd added some caveats at the beginning of each section that contains information based on potentially inaccurate shadowcraft calculations.
I like. And FWIW in general, this is really nicely put together. Welcome to the forum! Stick around a while and join the fun. :)

I should probably have put the word "fun" in quotes. Like that.
Weapon Selection: The shadowcraft backend indicates that a slow weapon is very slightly superior to a fast weapon at level 90.

oh_2.6_axe: 1
oh_1.8_dagger: 0.997295951306
I find that....intriguing. And I'm not sure what else to say about it. This must mean that the loss of poison damage was even smaller than I had napkin'd it out to be. The only explanation I can think of is that with lower haste levels at the start of the expansion (especially in pre-raid gear) would mean fewer auto-attacks which means poison procs would be a smaller portion of our damage. But I had assumed that less haste would also mean less energy and therefore less SS and longer KSp cds and similarly reduce the benefit of a slow offhand. I guess haste doesn't impact them at even rates (or it's an artifact of a non-finalized engine).

Rupture, CT: Knew I forgot something on the rupture conditions for use section. I haven't seen anything indicating that rupture now behaves differently with respect to BG I'll go test that now. CT I'm not certain on scaling either, I uninstalled beta last night so I can't check right now but I'll check when I get to 90 probably tomorrow night.
EDIT: Ok you are correct on that.
The change to how Rupture and BG interact was covered in the Mists Mechanics Testing thread over on EJs:

The Rupture vs BG question isn't marked off and it's not listed in the Answered or Partially Answered sections for some reason, but it is addressed (even if indirectly) in the topic and even has proof.

Post 24 from Sakuratei states that that DoT component of Deadly poison works the same way as Rupture and CT, that the DoT doesn't update with BG until reapplied. The statement was more directed at how Deadly Poison's Dot works than how Rupture/CT work, but since he said they work the same way, we can infer that his statement applies to Rupture/CT as well (it also makes sense in terms of mechanics).

Also, in post 38 shadowboy813 posts screenshots of a log where he was testing how rupture damage works in regards to overwriting it during the last tick. Even though he wasn't specifically testing whether rupture works dynamically with BG or not his log still shows that it doesn't. His first screen shot shows up replacing a no insight rupture with a deep insight rupture. First of all, we see that his first rupture continues to do the same amount of damage until he refreshes it even though his insight level was being raised during this time (ie he couldn't have just jumped straight from no insight to deep insight during the 2 seconds between ticks). And second of all we see the 13 ticks of his deep insight rupture all doing the same damage over the full 24+ second duration, Deep Insight only lasts 15 seconds, which means that Deep Insight expired during this rupture but again it keeps ticking for the same amount of damage instead of returning to the no-insight damage.

Also, to my original statement about someone saying that dots aside from our bleeds are supposed to dynamically update with the caster's buffs now, I think he may have been misinterpreting sakuratei's post. This person (whose name I forget) used a similar example of deadly poison's dot being overwritten so often that it sort of psuedo-updates with our buffs, which makes me think he was referring to this post.

Sakuratei starts by saying that the dot SCALES with BG, which I think he misinterpreted as saying that it updates dynamically with BG when in reality Sakuratei was addressing the question of if the dot was affected at all by BG.
Just noticed something else in that topic (which also doesn't seem to be summarized in the first post). Another of shadowboy's posts has an edit from the 12th stating that the upfront hit from CT is no longer cleaved by BF. Which would mean that CT will no longer be better than Evisc with only 2 targets (though 3 should still be enough to make CT better).

It will also mean that BF will be somewhat less attractive when there's more than 2 targets than it was before. I wouldn't be surprised if once we switch over to using FoK it becomes better to turn BF off since neither FoK or CT interact with BF, so we'd basically be sacrificing 30% of our energy regen (probably about 4 energy per second) just to make our auto-attacks cleave, we'd probably get more dps by using that energy for more FoKs and CTs. And it could even be potentially possible that just using CT instead of evisc could make BF not worth it (though I doubt it since the majority of our energy usage goes towards SS, so as long as it's cleaving we're probably still getting a good deal out of BF).
Don't forget about BG, SS advances is whereas FoK does not also remember BF is only a 20% energy penalty now not 30%.

The FoK vs. cleave+CT breakpoint may come down to fight context. Using FoK sacrifices long term dps because it is not advancing BG however at a certain point it certainly will out damage SS. The question of whether the adds need to die now or can be taken down by incidental cleave may be the determining factor.

EDIT: FoK not RvS not sure what I was thinking when I typed that.
09/24/2012 01:22 PMPosted by Fierydemise
Don't forget about BG, SS advances is whereas FoK does not also remember BF is only a 20% energy penalty now not 30%.
I'm well aware that FoK doesn't advance BG, I never spoke about when it becomes better to use FoK instead of SS (I was using what you said on that subject), I was referring to whether or not it is worth using BF when that happens. IE, you have listed in the multi-target rotation for 6 or more targets you say:

Replace Sinister Strike and Revealing Strike with Fan of Knives. Blade Flurry should be up.

I'm questioning whether it's actually worth it to have Blade Flurry up when using FoK and CT when neither of them benefit from BF.

Also, when did they lower BF to only a 20% penalty! That is awesome. Was wondering if they were going to compensate and bake some of the old glyph into it or just balance us around the 30% reduction when cleaving.

That definitely helps, but I still wouldn't be surprised that when there's enough enemies to warrant switching to using FoK and CT if BF becomes a dps loss since it it does still equate to doing less FoK's just for auto-attacks to cleave.
I never would have considered the expose armor glyph. Does that work well on boss fights?
@ Falkun

The Expose Armor (EA) glyph is, besides the AR one, one of the few glyphs that provides an important PvE gain; in this case, in the form of a debuff. EA can be applied to many, if not all, bosses/mobs. When the glyph is used, you get 24 secs of decreased armor (-12%/3 instant stacks) at the expense of 25 energy, plus you get 1 CP. However, I think that if you run with a warrior tank, you should let him apply the debuff. I do not know if druids have a glyph that lets them apply 3 stacks at once or if some of the pets that the hunters have can do the same.

Edit: Read Rfeann comment below.
Rogues are the *worst* class to be tasked with applying the debuff. It doesn't persist very long, so we have to reapply it every 30 seconds, which messes up our rotation (especially if you're Combat, which now has the most complex rotation of all the specs) and costs significant DPS. Druids apply all three stacks of the debuff with a single (unglyphed) spell that has an instant cast and persists for five minutes.

Edit to add: Fiery, it looks like Pathal's newly posted (as-yet largely incomplete) Combat guide on EJ includes updated stat weights and a mention of the off-hand thingie.
Weakened Armor mechanics have changed in MoP. All sources of the debuff last for a maximum of 30 seconds. A druid can apply all 3 stacks of WA immediately but lacking a druid a rogue is the best choice of the initial application. Warriors, tanks and dps, will maintain the debuff as part of their rotation so a rogue should rarely have to maintain the debuff.

Pathal's stat weights are a bit different but we are calculating with different gear sets. The numbers in the OP are based on a 463 ilvl set with reasonably optimized reforging whereas Pathal's are based on substantially better gear that is not optimized for combat, for example 4800 mastery and 4000 haste.
Crap, I'm embarrassed that I missed the Faerie Fire change. Apologies.
09/24/2012 05:44 PMPosted by Rfeann
Druids apply all three stacks of the debuff with a single (unglyphed) spell that has an instant cast and persists for five minutes.

I just checked some sources (wowhead and the talent calculator from this website), and it looks like the duration of the Expose Armor debuff is the same for all classes (30 secs). However, if warriors glyph it they get to apply the debuff for free, 1 stack at a time. Druids apply the 3 stacks at once and need to refresh it after 30 secs, while for hunters, two of their pet abilities (dust cloud and tear armor) cause the debuff to be applied 1 stack at a time.

My guess is that the priority order for applying the buff should be:

Druid > Warrior > Hunter = Rogue.

Thanks for pointing out that Rfeann and Fiery! However, I do not know which glyph should a rogue use, if there is a class that applies the debuff in the raid (10 man).
A rogue is better then a warrior for initial application. Since the rogue can apply 3 stacks in 1 GCD whereas a warrior requires 3 gcds. A warrior is probably the best maintainer since they can maintain WA at no cost in terms of gcd or resources with the csmash glyph. If you have a feral or guardian druid in your raid you can skip the EA glyph however on many fights you and the druid may be on different targets making it important for someone to apply the debuff.
You also need enough physical damage to warrant the debuff... I don't think that the tanks and a rogue alone would cut it. DK and shaman do a lot of magic damage. You don't need to do it with a warrior or druid are around. So, I'm still wondering what case the rogue would actually use expose armor.

Keep in mind also that it used the common debuff method, so anyone with the ability can maintain it afaik.
To be fair (to Blizz), that's kinda the point: They wanted the glyphs to be relatively light on "required," even for the major ones. The only glyph that provides a clear and away DPS benefit is Adrenaline Rush, which is why Fiery recommends it; Sprint's DPS benefit is indirect by way of increased uptime, but beyond that, we're talking highly situational benefits for the other major glyphs. Which might be "better" is likely to vary from fight to fight depending on the mechanics and your own role (e.g., controlling adds).
The AR glyph is only a benefit if you have enough energy attack 20% faster.

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