Living Bomb vs Nether Tempest - haste

Hey guys,

So, I'm an ilvl 498 frost mage, and I roll with living bomb. I was checking out my stuff on askmrrobot, and looked up some haste breakpoints just out of curiosity. Predictably, because nether tempest ticks a lot faster than living bomb anyhow, you get a lot more haste breaks and many more ticks. For instance, at 29% haste, you get 4 more extra ticks out of nether tempest, but it takes until 37% haste to get even a second extra tick out of Living Bomb.

Does the extra damage from living bomb scale well with haste this way? That is to say, Let's say I'm a mage between 29 and 37% haste (in fact I am - 32% with full raid buffs), would it make more sense to go nether tempest until I hit 37%, because it has 3 more extra ticks on living bomb at that haste level?

What I'd really love is if an article explaining the math existed out there that someone could point me to, but I'd just as happily take a brief explanation from one of the more mathematically gifted among us :)
LB does more damage on single target and on targets that are spread out. NT only wins on 2-5 stacked targets.

Also, because NT ticks fast, as Frost, the more Haste you add, the more BrainFreeze procs you lose if you keep using NT. It ticks so fast and FFB is on the GCD, sometimes procs are overriden and munched/lost and you've no control over this. There's nothing you can do if procs are coming in in intervals of less than 1 second with NT.

LB ticks slower so if anything will allow to you use more BF procs as Haste increases.
I hadn't considered the idea of BF procs getting overridden, and it makes perfect sense. Already at 498 there have been times where I've felt like I've been spamming the FFB button; I cast it on a proc, then halfway through my next frostbolt I get another, rinse/repeat 3-4 times. I can only imagine that once I crest 35%+ haste it'll get worse, and if I had something ticking every second, that'd be problematic.

I'm glad; frankly, I prefer living bomb for both practical and silly reasons (you're putting a bomb on them that makes them explode into a raging ball of flame rather than a weird purple arcaney thing).

Thanks for the response!
NT gains more ticks from the same amount of haste because its ticks are faster and smaller. One tick of LB is roughly comparable to three ticks of NT. So the number of breakpoints alone isn't a particularly relevant criterion.

Before haste, LB has four ticks. So you need 25% haste to get one extra tick in the same 12-second timeframe: a 25% increase to four ticks is one extra tick.
But if they put the breakpoint at 25%, then the DoT duration would always be shorter than the base, unless you were right on a breakpoint. This is undesirable: preferably, the DoT duration will hover around 12s, maybe a little above or below, but not always shorter.
So instead, the breakpoint is at 12.5%, halfway between 0 and 25 - at which point you get 5 ticks instead of 4, but over 13.33 seconds instead of 12. At 25%, you'd get 5 ticks in 12 seconds. If you're just shy of the next breakpoint, you'd get 5 ticks in 10.91 seconds.
So the "one extra tick" range is centered on 25%, rather than starting at 25%. Similarly, the "two extra ticks" range is from 37.5-62.5%, which means it's centered on 50%.

NT has 12 ticks base, so you need 1/12 = 8.33% haste to get +1 ticks in exactly 12 seconds. For the same reason as above, you start getting an extra tick halfway to that breakpoint, and the second extra tick comes halfway between 8.33% and 16.66%, which is 12.5%.

But as mentioned above, one LB tick worth ~3 NT ticks. (After all, NT ticks three times as often.) So the one-tick breakpoint for LB is roughly equivalent to the three-tick breakpoint for NT: that's why they both center at 25%. And the two-tick breakpoint for LB is equivalent to the six-tick breakpoint for NT; that's why they both center at 50%.

And AFAIK (although I'm not an expert on mages specifically), LB's inherent advantages outweigh any differences from being between certain breakpoints.
Also with regards to your Haste breakpoint of choice, LB > NT. Lhiv did the math on this a while back

Let's say you've got 37.5% haste. That gets you six ticks with LB and 17 ticks with NT.

You can expect three BF procs for every two LB casts on average (12 ticks multiplied by 0.25 is 3). You can expect 3.06 BF procs for every two NT casts (34 ticks multiplied by 0.09 is 3.06). Over the long term, you're simply not going to see three times as many procs from NT as you are from LB. You're going to see 2% more procs. 102 procs for every 100 you would get with LB.

But when the RNG works itself out over the long term, you'll find that with LB, you've received and used 100 procs, while in the same time with NT you've received 102 procs but only been able to use 93 of them.
I'm just not a fan of LB for multi target dotting, which is basically every single fight except Jin'rokh, so I personally never use it.
Should be using LB for every fight except Horridon and Council.
Should be using LB for every fight except Horridon and Council.

There are adds to multi dot on every fight except Jin'rokh so I disagree; again, just personal preference though.
NT > LB on Tortos as well, and probably 25 man Animus as well since none of the smaller robots would be incapacitated therefore all would be viable targets. If you're looking for better numbers NT > LB on Primordius as well.

On Ji Kun it depends on your role, if you're assigned to nests and spend more time on nests than on the main platform then NT > LB
Pretty much what Break is saying.

I divide them into groups.

LB = singeltarget
NT = multidot
FB = ... I dunno ... there really aren't that many fights that are optimally designed for FB. Wind Lord, I guess would be it lol. Some of the fights in Siege look like they might be decent for Frost Bomb (at least worth experimenting with). Basically, fights with constant cleave, that aren't too spread out.

LB is definitely much better for Frost whenever you can use it because of what Break is talking about. On the extreme, NT can tick as many as 3 times in your GCD. There are inevitably lost FFB procs due to this. LB feels like you have all the time in the world to fire off FFB before you even are "risking" that next tick procing an FFB.

It's also easier to refresh LB without clipping a few ticks than NT (for the same reason).
I don't disagree that in a situation where there is only ever one target by itself always, LB is better, but because almost every single fight has adds that need to die quickly, I just prefer to stick to NT this tier as its AoE damage is much, much faster and makes cleaving down adds much easier.

The only fight where LB would be worth switching to this tier (in my opinion) is Jin'rokh (and probably Ra-den, actually) but Jin'rokh isn't exactly "srs bsns" so I'm too lazy to swap for one fight.

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