This has been a booger of a post to write – please pardon any disjointedness as I paste cuts from multiple drafts. See, I think this is actually going to be fairly important, but I’m not quite grasping it my own self.
Here’s the bottom line: How much mana regen do you need – mp5, spirit, whatever? While there’s not a cap, I’m coming to believe there’s a point where there are better things to build. And I’m going to help you figure out YOUR need.
Now, I drafted up a model for this. Used standard values and everything, and it looked great. Except… it didn’t jibe with reality. Which means something in my model is wrong. It might be my model. Or maybe some of the standard values are mistaken. As you can guess, I’m going to get longwinded.
Let’s start with the standard model – and my basic rule for “how much is enough”. Mana pool divided by NET mana burn should last a minimum duration. That last – minimum duration – is up to me. I used to be fixated on 10 minutes, but am coming to believe 7 is sufficient for my purposes. Maybe 5 – we’ll see. Anyway, Net mana burn is mana burn (all spells cast divided by time of casting for a mana per second rate) adjusted by mana gain (mana regen plus mana restoration – and don’t forget to factor ‘free’ casts).
Now, I can tell you what I normally cast over a period (50% renew, 30% PoM, 15% GH, 5% PoH) while in Kara. And I can tell you the derived mps of these based on my level, gear and talents (335 mps).
I can also tell you my typical regen values. My 450 OFSR/150 IFSR, at a nominal 70% IFSR, gives me about 48 mps. Add in various trinkets and clearfocus generating talents (Holy Conc, IF), and I have another 6 or so mps – make it easy math and say I’ve got about 55 mps regen. (Note I’m intentionally excluding shaman and s-priest mana regen – I’ve got the numbers for that too, but it’s an unecessary complication.)
My buffed mana pool is close enough to 10,000 that we can use that for basis.
Nominally, I can use my IFSR as ‘time casting’ – that is, burning mps. I’m going to tell you up front that this is the flaw, but will run with it for a moment. 70% of 335 rounds off to 235. 235 (burn) – 55 (regen) is 180. It will take me 55 seconds to burn through my mana pool. At some point in there I will use a potion – 2400 mana – and my fiend – 3600 mana. I get another 33 seconds till I’m OOM. So by the model, I should be OOM even using my basic regen tools by the time I’ve healed for 88 seconds. Remember that cooldown on pots is 120 seconds, and on the fiend it’s 180 seconds, so I can’t even use another of those.
But – I’ve never run out of mana in any fight of less than 7 minutes. Not while at 70 IFSR, anyway. Which means SOMETHING is wrong. It might be my tools (yes, more than one) that are measuring how fast my dance is. Or, it’s a flaw in the model. As I already said, I suspect the latter.
Here’s the big kicker. OFSR kicks in after 5 seconds of no mana burn. And equally critical, we have the fact that if I go three seconds of no mana burn my burn rate is lower but the OFSR is still nothing.
Basically, the concept is right. But any tool that tries to determine your burn based on IFSR/OFSR for out-go of mana is going to be… flawed. There is a solution, but you’re not going to like it.
Not least, there’s the fact that it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation. See, what you do is keep WWS reports for lots and lots and lots of battles. And from these battles, you pull a short list of values.
How much total time was spent in all the battles. How many of each spell did you cast.
That’s it – to begin. Now, for each of the spells you cast you need to note cast time and multiply by the number of casts. Sum these times, and determine what percentage of the total battle time you spent casting. Oh – while you’re at it you can get your average burn rate too. Determine the mana cost of each of the spells you cast (ignore clearcasts and such for now), multiply by number of casts, sum the mana and divide by time casting. TaDaaa, your nominal burn rate is at hand. Except you can’t use that. You need your combat burn rate, which is the total mana divided by total COMBAT time. Or you can multiply nominal burn rate by the cast time percentage. Either way works and should come out about right.
It turns out that my combat cast time – over several dozen boss battles – is in the vicinity of 40%. In other words, my combat burn rate isn’t 235 but ~135. 135 (burn) – 55 (regen) = 80 net combat mana burn rate. And THAT takes me 125 seconds to burn. My fiend gives me ~45 more seconds, and my pots give me ~30 seconds. Assuming I pop each at the last minute I still get to 3 minutes before I’m OOM. And if I’m smart….
Pop a mana pot at about the 30 second point and I’m back to 10K – a new 125 seconds. Wait 45 more seconds and pop the fiend and again I’m back to 10K (and am 75 seconds into the fight). In 75 more seconds I can pop the next pot – giving me ~85 more seconds to OOM or just under 4 minutes total combat time. And… only 20 seconds short of being able to use my fiend to get yet another 45 seconds.
This is a lot – a LOT – closer to my experience. Close enough, in fact, to suspect what’s wrong is I’m slightly underestimating the effective mana regen of various things like Holy Concentration. But this is for me, specifically.
For MY casting style, if I can get my net combat burn down to 70, and I’m smart and careful with my pots and fiend, then I can go over 6 minutes. And if it gets down to 60… I can go longer than any battle in which I’ve participated.
10 mps is 50 mp5. Of which 18 is coming Tuesday when meditation 3/3 goes from 15% to 30%.
So for me and my current style… I am very close to being able to go for 10 minutes “non-stop”.
Let’s review, shall we? So you can rough out your own numbers.
1 – use a stat program – I recommend WWS – to determine how long you’re in combat and what spells you’re casting. Remember the more combats you add together, the more likely you are to be ‘accurate’.
2 – using your mana time costs, determine how much mana and cast time you use in combat.
3 – using THESE, calculate your combat mana burn rate (in mana per second) and in combat rate.
4 – Now, determine your IFSR/OFSR mana regen proportions (your ‘dance time’), and multiply those against the respective rates for your base combat regen rate.
5 – To this, add estimated (or calculated) regens from talents and trinkets. If in doubt, it appears that a wisely used IF plus typical Holy Concentration are worth ~40 mp5.
6 – change the regen to mps, and subtract this from the combat burn rate to get your NET combat burn rate (NCBR).
7 – divide your mana pool by your NCBR to determine the number of seconds you can expect to last. Do the same with your mana potion and shadowfiend numbers for how many seconds they can add at appropriate intervals. Plot their use (use the instant they’ll restore to 100%, and used again as soon as cooldown is up AND they’ll not have any wasted mana – at least nominally) to determine what your total combat endurance is.
Decide how long you want to last, and then determine what you need to get there. Note there are three variables to be adjusted:
- Increase the mana pool;
- Decrease the combat burn (reduce frequency of casts or mana costs or time spent casting)
- Increase mana regeneration.
Here’s the real bottom line. There is a point – where is very dependent on YOUR style of play – where more mana regen is “nice” but where you might be better off looking for other places to put it.
Of coure, you could also add more mana regen and increase your combat burn rate. It’s just… now you can at least begin thinking of how to plan and do.
Regardless, this will hopefully increase your FUN. Go, play, have fun. And if you think of a way to take this raw beginning and make it MORE useful… don’t forget to tell me so I can have more fun too.