The Math, and reality
I just had this nice little item that was going to discuss how much damage got added by gear. (summary – +damage * [cast time or time of effect or channel duration / 3.5]). It’s immaterial – I realized adding damage adds damage, basically at a dps rate of 1/3 what it ‘adds’. If I want to add +100, I need to add +350 in gear.
Instead, I had the opportunity to run about half an hour of damage testing. That is, get an ‘absolute’ dps rate with my current gear and spec casting various singles and combos. Remember I’m currently heavily shadow-spec, so I expect(ed) the shadow stuff to significantly out-do the non-shadow. Oh – I excluded SW:P. As a DoT, it adds to the rest. (Shadowform gives me 15% more, or approximately 15 dps.)
First surprise. I have two channeling spells – Mind Flay and Starshards (Yes, I’m a Night Elf). I knew that the latter was more mana efficient. What I didn’t know was that without gear starshards does more damage than Mind Flay. I’m wearing got a set of gloves that added roughly 10 DPS to shadow only. Mindflay gave me a whopping +5 dps while wearing them, in shadowform. Out of shadowform, well, you can guess the drill – there went 15% bonus damage for MF.
Second surprise. I could beat both MF and Starshards by using MB, Smite, Smite, Smite, and repeat. I was getting a lot of interrupts on all these, so they’re ‘real world’ values. But it led me to re-evaluate my set – yes, I’m getting ready to respec one more time.
1) All shadow gets a +35% from my current spec.
- SW:P is 69 dps base, 93 with shadow spec (97 all the way).
- MB is 485 dps base, 655 with shadow spec. Note the cooldown of 8 seconds, 7.5 with talents.
- MF is 176 dps base, 237.6 with talents (actually, 246 all the way).
2) Holy and Disc spells:
- Holy Fire is 133.4 dps, 163 with talents.
- Smite is 231.2 dps, 303.45 with talents.
- Starshards is 188 dps, and there isn’t a darn thing we can do about it.
Let’s look at the nominal shadow norm with SW:P running in the background. For ‘best’, this is MB, and 8 seconds of MF (interrupting it to cast the next MB). That’s 9.5 seconds. 1.5 at 655, 7.5 at 246, and 9 at 97 (done due to the ‘every three second’ nature of SW:P) is 3700 damage (nominal). That’s about 389.5 dps, sustained, before gear.
Let’s take MB, S, S, S, S (because with talent we can put four in there), again with SW:P (but without talent) running in the background. 1.5 seconds at 485, 8 seconds at 303.45, and 9 seconds at 69 dps is 3776 for 397.5 dps sustained, before gear.
That’s 8 dps more. Can we improve it? Let’s try this. Darkness and Shadow Weaving always gives 10 and nominally 20% to shadow (which is 10% of what’s in the full shadow spec calculations above). Let’s use the 10% for shadow, plus the speed-up talent for smite, and see what happens.
- SW:P at 75 dps for 9 seconds is 675, overlapping with:
- a single MB taking 1.5 second doing 800, plus
- four Smites over 8 seconds doing 2312.
That’s 3902.6 over 9.5 seconds doing 410.8 – call it 411 – dps. 13 more dps over the mixed class off shadow talents. 21 more than the “pure shadow” with shadowform. This is… enlightening.
The talent tree that’ll do this is here. Thing is it’s a glass cannon and does nothing else well. But it’s quite literally the “best” for dps.