Important Shadowpriest Stats
I’m annoyed with the large number of people who declaimed in the Healing Stats threads that “only deaths matter” for healers. I also am aware I’ve slacked on writing for the shadowside. I’m going to kill two birds with one stone, here. What are the important stats for the shadowpriest, and how do you use them to improve? Note they’re quite similar for ALL killteam classes, though some of the details will be different – and you’ll probably spot those places as we go.
The “only stat that matters” for the killteam is whether they killed the mob. That said, we pull a number of stats to see how WELL we did. What we want to do is AS MUCH damage as possible AS LONG as possible. That is three (not two) stats that need measured: DPS; Total Damage; and Participation Rate. While the first two are obvious, you all know I love the sound of my own voice, so…
DPS is quite simply the Instant Damage you’re doing at any given second. Most of the time it’s averaged over the whole fight — and if you fall out of the fight early your overall dps goes down. We’ll get to that. Better tools (such as Recount) can graph your damage over a period of several seconds showing you how you’re doing — is it a sustained, high level of damage, or is it spiky with high surges followed by a stretch of not so much? Depending on the spells you’re casting you can see if this is meeting your expectations, and adjust to increase the total effect.
Total damage is also fairly important. After all, if out of five players – of whom two are the tank and the healer – you are typically doing 10% of the total to the boss…. you probably need to improve. By the same token, if you’re doing 50% you’re probably doing very well — unless you’re running instances that are “under your level”.
For shadowpriests and most other mana using killteam players, a critical issue is duration. If you’re spending third of the battle out of combat – providing no Damage – it might behoove you to figure out why. If it’s because you’re dodging Aran’s blizzards, that’s one thing. But if it’s because you do so much damage you pulled aggro and died, or it’s because you ran out of mana and had nothing with which to recover and continue… maybe you need to re-evaluate your behavior.
What else is useful? Well, it’s useful to see if you’re getting the most out of your spells. This, by the way, is one of the reasons I enjoy using WWS – though Recount (and, I think, SWS) will tell you the same thing. How many times did you cast Mind Flay? And how many ticks did it do? Remember if you’re getting everything it should be three ticks per cast. If not, you’re wasting mana – and quite possibly damage. The same goes for SW:P. And while we’re looking, does it look like you’re getting as many casts of, well, of everything out as you should? Count the ticks of SW:P. Divide total duration of the battle by 3. How many ticks are you short – how many more casts of SW:P should you have managed to squeeze in there with that extra damage stacking on top? And… how was your hit rate? Are you missing more than 1%? If so, you know you have to up your spell hit rate.
You’re killteam. You want to kill the beasties as quickly as possible, but you do not want them alive when you can’t do any more to them — better to take a little more time and get them dead than at 1% and laughing at your helplessness. DPS (damage per second) and Rate of Participation (time you’re doing damage over total time of battle) which tells you total damage are your three Main Stats. And the littler details tell you where you need to tweak to make it better.