A look at some top level enchants
Since my main’s an enchanter, I’m going to cheat a bit on priests – but only a bit – and look at four high-level enchants, discussing the strengths and weaknesses. Now before you get excited, I’m looking at it for both sides of the divide – heals and shadow. Let’s look at the basics first, shall we?
- Enchant weapon: Major Spellpower (+
46+40 Damage and Healing)
- Enchant weapon: Spellsurge (3% chance on spell cast to restore to each player in the party 100 mana over 10 seconds.)
- Enchant weapon: Major Healing (+81 healing)
- Enchant weapon: Soulfrost (+54 shadow and frost damage)
“Spellpower? What’s spellpower doing in there,” you ask? After all, it’s obvious it’s less than spellsurge and soulfrost. Well… near the end I’m going to throw a twist in the straight comparison that may increase it in worth for some of you.
That ‘some of you’ remark (and maybe and all that) aren’t facetious remarks. See, the answer to “which is better” is “it depends on your situation.” It depends on your average DPM/HPM, mainly. You know, for this article when I’m doing both I’m going to refer to it as EPM – Effect per Mana – just to save some typing. (regular readers are permitted to snicker.)
Believe it or not, the concept of the comparison is easy. It’s the niggly details figuring it out for YOU that’s… fun. What you’re doing is determining which gives you more total effect.
Assume 100 casts. Determine what proportion of the casts are which spell. Determine EPM, and also the total coefficient (I’ll get to that, hold on). Multiply EPM by 300 (100 casts, 3% proc 100 mana each) to get total effect from the Spellsurge. (Actually, get the EPM for each member that uses mana in your party – not raid, party, and multiply that by 300.) In comparison, multiply your total coefficient by your bonus (81 or 54 as appropriate) to get total effect from that. Which one is larger? That’s which you’ll be choosing. OK, let’s do a detail example.
A healer (using the model talents of the longish post not so long ago) has +1200 healing bonus. He’s grouped for the raid with a warrior tank and three other casters. Our healer uses three spells exclusively — 2/3 of the time it’s Greater Heal, and the remainder is equally split between Flash Heal and Prayer of Mending. (PoM is an interesting calculation, but I’ve chosen it to demonstrate the technique for PoM or CoH or any other oddballs for healers.) Let’s get coefficients first. GH coeff is .8571, times 66 is 56.5686. FH is 42.86, for 16 casts is 6.8576. PoM is 14.29 (I think, since it’s sort of an AoE — it may be 42.86), times 17 casts is 2.4293. Added together we get 65.8555, which multiplied by our bonus of 81 means we expect a nominal 5334 healing over 100 casts.
In comparison… FH8 has an HPM of 4.38, GH9 5.93, and PoM has 5.15 per success. We’re going to assume PoM averages three ticks each. So I’ve got (16*4.38)+(16*5.93)+(15.45*17)=592.57, giving us a nominal hpm of 5.93. We get 300 mana, returning 1779 healing FOR US. Remember we have three other (generic) casters in the group. If they are averaging a DpM equivalent to our HpM, then that’s another 3 people getting 1779 EpM for a total of 7116 EpM.
Note the assumptions. There are three other casters. If there are only two others, then the spellsurge is giving us 5337 EpM. If their DpM is higher, the EpM goes up – and vice versa. AND… if I used different spell patterns, my HpM and coefficient rates change a lot.
But all that said, I can make a general recommendation – a rule of thumb if you will. For you alone, Major Healing always beats Spellsurge. If you are consistently grouped so there are more than three mana users in your party, Spellsurge is better for the party. If there are less than three, Major Healing is your preference. And if it’s normally three, it is literally your choice.
Shadowpriests follow almost the same deal except there’s a twist due to VT and VE. Follow the bouncing ball…
Assume for a moment that only 80% of your spells are damage spells – the rest are VE and VT, run so as to keep both up essentially all the time.
VT will return 5% of the bonus*average coefficient*80 in mana as direct competition to spellsurge. Assume an average coefficient of .5 (it’ll probably be higher as most of your spells are MB and MF). 54*.05*80= 2160, and 5% of that is 108. Again, most models will have a higher coefficient, giving more mana returned. On the other hand, going higher than 125 is uncommon.
The bottom line of the VT consideration is that spellsurge is only giving you 200 extra mana in comparison.
The kicker for VE when determing effect with bonus. It’s quite simple, really. Increase the final effect (coefficient times damage for each damage spell, times number of times the spells are cast) by whatever level of VE/IVE you have – 15, 20, or 25%. Oh, yes, and we apply that to all players in the group – though it’s really only important when it’s not an overheal. For simplicity, multiply the VE bonus by 2.5 — that’s 37%, 50%, and 67% respectively.
Let’s do a detail. Our SP casts 80 damage spells over the 100, with an average coefficient of .55 and an average DpM of 6.25, and we have 25% from VE.
For the soulfrost we get a bonus of 54. 54*.55*80= 2376. With VE’s effect we get 3954. Oh, and we need to know our mana return to net against the spellsurge. 5% of 2376 is 119.
For Spellsurge, then, we get 300-119=181 net mana gain per partymember who can use it. 6.25 DpM is 1131. If we have four casters we use 4521 – almost 500 more effect. At three, it’s only 3391 or 650 less than soulfrost’s gain.
Assuming our VE return is as stated, then, for this shadowpriest the decision goes: If 4 or more casters, go spellsurge. If 3 or less, go soulfrost.
Note, please, that there are bonus complications. How much effect do you give the hunter’s trap or the mage’s sleep – just to lift the curtain a little bit.
In my OPINION, the complications boil down to two issues. The first, and most important, is WHICH ONE DO YOU WANT? It’s your toon, after all. The second, and pulling back into “best overall effect”, is – if you consistently group with three or four other mana-users, get spellsurge. If it’s not consistent, or if its consistently with one or two mana-users, get the bonus gear. Again, that’s my OPINION, not having all the myriad details needed to fully minmax your situation.
Oh – I promised to tell you why I bothered to put spellpower up there. It’s mainly for the shadow side. See, Spellpower is 85% the bonus of Soulfrost. Which means (when you finish the numbers) that if you’re using spellpower instead of soulfrost the rule of thumb for deciding is the healer guide – 4 and 5 go spellsurge, 1 and 2 go spellpower, 3 choose your preference. And this matters for one big and one minor reason.
The minor reason is the ability to find the soulfrost enchant – it’s a drop from Kara. In the interests of something beats nothing BUT you have a choice in somethings, there’s the data. The major reason is cost.
The Soulfrost requires 6 void crystals, 10 large prismatic shards, 8 greater Planar essences, and 10 each primal water and primal shadow. It’s just going to take a while to get that together – especially the void crystals.
For comparison, the other three are much cheaper. Spellsurge is a bit hard to find being a world drop, but it’s 20 arcane dust, 10 greater planar essences (GPE) and 12 large prismatic shards (LPS). Major Healing takes getting Exalted with the Sha’tar (which if you’re a healer is just a good idea), and takes 8 each LPS, primal water and primal life. And Spellpower – a grind drop on one of two mobs in Blade’s Edge – is “only” 8 each GPE and LPS.
If you’re having to provide the mats, spellpower now beats nothing — and for shadow, even after you can look at soulfrost you might be waiting quite some time till you can afford it.