WWS for the shadowpriest
We’re going to look at the shadowpriest stats first simply because they’re easier. Now I’m going to assume you read both WWS posts I’ve made already and avoid a lot of lengthy general how-to — if you haven’t, and you get lost here, read them first to save some time. And when you get back… be aware I’m planning to get longwinded and prepare accordingly (caffeine, comfy chair, etc.)
Back? OK, let’s get started. Again, this is for the shadowpriest just because it’s easier to get and use the stats that can matter.
Step one. Determine your theoretical maximum. This is surprisingly easy as there is a spreadsheet that will do the work for you – download it from the link you find HERE. (Note: I’ve not linked directly because the author regularly updates, and sometimes has to change the link to make it work. Thus we’re going through the shadowpriest.com link). Make sure while you’re filling in the grey blanks that you correctly mark the level of the mob you’re fighting as well as your level and mana and, well, everything else. Once you’ve done this the program will tell you what your theoretical maximum DPS is, as well as how long it takes to go OOM (and how much damage you can do over that time, and…) Anyway, now you’ve got your theory model, and it’s time to test your ‘perfect world’ play – aka your baseline.
Step two. Create a baseline. If you’re less than level 66 or so this is NOT going to work for you, and you’ll have to develop a reasonable alternative. (I’ll discuss that in a bit.) Your baseline is an attempt to create your “perfect world” situation – what you can do if the mobs don’t hit you, don’t run, don’t force you to move… I speak, of course, of a Dr Boom test. To summarize, get all the pots and such you can handle – whatever you said you’d have available when doing the spreadsheet of step one. (If you find you’ve said something that isn’t there, make the necessary changes in the spreadsheet and recalculate. By the way, Boom is level 68 – don’t forget to plug that number in for your theoretical max.) Please remember that you are attacking something with ~500,000 hit points. If you’re going to stop at only about 200,000 or so, you can’t mount, you can’t hearth, you can’t… until you get “out of combat”. That means kill, or run, or die. Plan accordingly. (Oh – and if you’re on a PVP server, plan further. Stationary, locked in combat with a quest objective mob for several minutes close enough to road and typical flight paths to be frequently spotted… caveat emptor.) Anyway…
Start /combatlog, and start your sequence. Attack till you’re done, and then toggle combatlog off (another /combatlog). Now if you were running a damagemeter (or Recount or SWS) you can do some ingame analysis – and you’re going to be able to see how these differ from one to the other. But we’re looking at WWS, so you need to exit the game and go on.
Oh – I said I’d discuss baseline for lower levels. I’m not sure any option exists. See, what you need is a mob against which you can do damage for a long, long time which doesn’t require you to dance about. If you can think of (and suggest here, please) a mob that meets the need for lower levels, great. If not, you may have to go to step four – ‘realworld’ results. First, though, we’re going to step three.
Step three is our look at the baseline performance in WWS. Now believe it or not this is really, really important – even more than “am I meeting the theoretical max”. See, this is ‘perfect world’. So this is your chance to look at what you look like without interruptions and other players and, well, everything. When you look at ‘real world’ results, comparing this to that will allow you to spot weaknesses. (Well, weaknesses beyond what you’re going to discover here.) Upload your log, host or save it, and start looking at what the stats tell you.
Are you getting the DPS the spreadsheet said you should? Probably not, so… why not? Did you maintain the sequence? Open YOUR line and look – is your ratio of spells in line with what the spreadsheet said you should be using given your priorities, or are you short (or heavy) some spells? (Yes, the spreadsheet has a page that will tell you that info – or at least the one I’ve downloaded does.) Are you getting spells off in a timely fashion? Are you clipping unnecessarily? Did you get as much damage before you went OOM as it expected – or more or less? If you tossed VE (and/or VT) in the mix, did the results approximate the spreadsheet expectation?
OK, take a breath. You will not match the spreadsheet. You want to be reasonably close – say, no worse than 5% (and in some cases better than what the sheet says – it’s possible, but tricky) in DPS and total damage at OOM. But… what if you’re not? Let’s say your DPS is way below what the spreadsheet says it should be – what next?
Start trying to figure out why? Start with the detail sheet of damage out. The most common problem is failure to keep SW:P up all the time, so… count casts and ticks. Did you get all the ticks for the casts (divide ticks by casts, and it’s either 6, 7 or 8 depending on talents)? If not, you were clipping – casting the next before the first was done. And multiply total ticks by three and compare to total time in the battle. You will be a little short – lag and human reaction make this a given – but if it’s more than, say, a quarter second per cast (casts times four) then you’re probably forgetting to put it on — unless that’s intentional given your priority.
Another problem is hesitation in using SW:D. And then there’s mindflay timing. And were you too quick to restore VE and/or VT? Speaking of which… did you get the expected health and mana from those two spells? If not… same discussion as SW:P. Detailed examination of your process, over and over, to find where you missed.
An important caveat needs entered here. One of the things that will throw off your results is the fact your real damage is a range of potential – to include chance of hit. While the sustained run on Boom should bring this closer to ‘average’, the reality is that it won’t be TRULY average. If you’re off by a lot and you think you did everything right, do another run because it may have simply been Lady Luck giving you low (or high) rolls.
Step four – combatlog every time possible. Now it’s a given you’re going to be way off your max possible on most fights. You have to move. A lot of bosses will interrupt you – charge, silence, stun, damage, etc. The mobs and bosses will be higher (and lower) than your perfect models. You’ll have assistance (and occasional interference) from other partymembers. You still want to run a combatlog and load it into WWS every chance you get, and review the numbers against your ‘perfect world’ spreadsheet. If you were able to run a baseline (Boom or other), try to determine why you didn’t reach that level on this combat – was it time out of combat due to the boss, boss level? Interrupts (fear and silence)? or do you get so wrapped in the engagement you forgot to keep SW:P up? Or did you have to throttle back to keep from pulling aggro from your tank? Remember, note, learn, and adjust. Note also that in instance runs you’ve other players with which to compare. Were you matching the high dps (who wasn’t pulling aggro?) Oh – make that ‘when applicable’, because there are going to be times you CAN’T do that — such as a mage doing an AoE clear.
These are the basics. Get a perfect world model (spreadsheet). Get, if possible, a baseline to include stats. Get the stats for every run you make, and compare them to the baseline and the model looking to see where (and why) you didn’t reach them (or where you exceeded — it is possible to do, but you need to know why so it’s intentional.)
Are you doing the damage and health return and mana return you’re supposed to? Probably not, but with this you’ll KNOW — what it should be, what you’re doing, and maybe with some examination WHY. And that will help you get just a little closer to Uber.