Lilac, Warlocks

Whar’s ma DPS? (Part II)

Big Girl PantiesSee the first part here.

Part I summary: dots run a long time. Trash dies in a short time. Using dots on trash means they die before the dot has time to go bang. To get more bang for your buck be smart about killing trash and do it different from bosses and grinding.

Part II: That’s all well and good.. but now I’m finding that Lilac is stuck at ~550 dps. I’m just not able to break past that and I really think I should. MaxDPS says that based on her spec/gear/+spell/crit Lilac should be getting 1,014.5 dps. Buh! That’s almost double what I’m actually seeing. So according to that.. I’m just sucking hind teat.

Her spec/gear is here:
Big Girl Panties

I have another set of clothes called my “Trash Clothes” but I don’t have them in Warcrafter yet (and can’t completely remember what’s in the set).. but for instances they’re currently not an issue. For a while I was switching clothes depending on whether it was a boss fight or a trash fight.. but I found that too often I’d get done with a boss fight and find that I’d forgotten to put on my “Big Girl Panties”. So now I’m running all instances with my +spell hit clothes on just to make sure that I have the proper spell hit for the boss fights. This would gimp my DPS a bit in non-boss fights.. as my trash clothes have an additional ~+30 spell damage.. but for now I’m ok with that. In my “Big Girl Panties” I’m at 199 spell hit.

I don’t wanna respec into destruction. If you can imagine me stomping around the room and then throwing myself on the ground drumming my heels and fists on the ground you would only get a small inkling of how much I DON’T WANT TO RESPEC DESTRUCTION!** So I’m going to stay Affliction. Yes, this means that I’m spec’d fully into Malediction and Shadow Embrace.

For most trash my rotation is: Instant Corruption, Curse of Agony, Immolate/Unstable Affliction (Immolate if it’s a -very- short fight, UA if it’s a slightly longer fight), SB until dead, Drain Soul if I need a soul stone.

For groups of non-elite trash (ex: dancers/tables in Kara) my rotation is: Seed, seed, seed, seed.

For hard trash my rotation is: Instant Corruption, Curse of Agony, Siphon Life, Immolate, Unstable Affliction, SB until refresh Corruption, and Immolate, then SB until dead, Drain Soul if I need a soul stone.

For Bosses my rotation is: Appropriate curse*, Corruption, Siphon Life, Immolate, Unstable Affliction, SB between refreshing of dots until I think it’s ~10 seconds from boss dying, then let dots drop and SB only.

    Things to improve DPS:

  1. Get to spell hit cap (I’m at 199 so this isn’t the problem) (Once you’re past 64 spell hit rating it really only increases your DPS against bosses)
  2. Get good +spell damage (I’m at 1023 on Shadow Spells and 844 on Fire Spells. This seems respectable to me)(be sure to keep Fel Armor up.. it adds +100 spell damage)
  3. Use your trinkets (I have the trinket usage macro’d. Whenever I cast corruption or CoA it triggers my trinkets. I may add this trigger to my SB spells as well.)
  4. Use your special abilities (I have Amplifiy Curse built into the appropriate macros for the curses it effects. I can’t think of any other toggled abilities I have.)
  5. Use proper consumables (I’ve been a bit lax here. At the start of a run I’m good about doing this.. but I haven’t been real diligent about re-applying after deaths. When I’m good I’m using [item]Blackened Basilisk[/item], [item]Elixir of Major Shadow Power[/item], [item]Superior Wizard Oil[/item] for a total of +118 shadow +65 fire)
  6. Use the appropriate spells (This is one of those open questions. I’m not entirely certain that I’m using the most efficient damage spells. I need to dig into this. I have a feeling that Siphon Life is only worth casting in a high movement battle (or when I need the heals).. and that cast time would be better spent casting a Shadow Bolt.. Same thing for Immolate. Since I’m focused on +shadow damage I’m not sure it’s worthwhile to keep Immolate up… but I haven’t yet proved that mathematically.)
  7. Keep dots up (In addition to the above this is where I think I’m having the most problem. I know I’m re-dotting.. but I’m not sure it’s the most efficient re-dotting strategy. I put the dot up and then as I see it run out I re-dot.)

Am I missing anything?

* In cases where there’s another warlock or a mage in the group I’m casting Curse of Shadow on the boss.. but in non-boss fights (or where I’m the only warlock) I’ve been using Curse of Agony (when I do cast a curse). Curse of Doom is pretty much only used on Curator (cast at ~55 sec before evocation).

**For me the elegance that is a warlock comes from the fine dance of dots, curses and using the right pet. The Raiding DESTRUCTION spec is reduced to maybe one curse (Curse of Shadows), one damaging spell (Shadow Bolt) and using their pet only to INSTAKILL it for a +spell buff. I don’t wanna do it. I don’t wanna do it. I don’t wanna do it. AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!

6 thoughts on “Whar’s ma DPS? (Part II)

  1. Yeah. The deep Destro spec used by the cool kids in the big raids doesn’t appeal to me. I already have a mage, thanks. I’ve wondered the same about Immolation. My +shadow is much higher than my +fire, so I don’t usually bother unless it’s a high mobility fight ala Aran or Prince, or a fight wherein I want to keep as much damage happening to as many targets at once as is possible. It just looks like it’s wasting time when I could be throwing a shadow bolt, but I’m also operating on gut feeling there. I’m too lazy to do any real theorycrafting.

  2. Go to Dr. Boom in Netherstorm and practice different rotations. See what the best rotation you can get is.

    I did about 500 DPS as Affliction on Dr. Boom. Then I tried as Destro and went to 900+ in the same gear. That kind of difference was too hard to ignore.

  3. It looks to me somewhat to me like your spell rotation is letting you down a bit- and trash shouldn’t normally be lasting long enough for your dots to tick to full effect.

    Personally I found sticking curse of shadows then corruption, and shadow bolt spam until dead; typically in my experience the mob is dead before corruption has run its course. YMMV, of course ^^. I do think you’ll get more mileage out of curse of shadows than agony, unless you’re really finding agony always runs its full length – missing those last few ticks is a killer. There’s an argument for dotting multiple mobs on multi-mob pulls, in which case I’d go corruption, curse of agony, next mob, but that’s pure preference because they’re instant cast.

    On bosses, even if you’re not on Curse of Shadows duty, are there mages in the group? the raid as a whole may benefit from having curse of elements up. rereading your post, that could be what you mean by ‘if there’s a mage, I put curse of shadows..’. It’s also worth remembering shadowpriests can reap the benefits of curse of shadows, too.

    As for spell rotation on bosses, you’re making life a little harder on yourself by not casting unstable affliction and corruption one after the other :)- the two have the same duration, so you can keep a routine of casting one then the other which i find helps efficiency because it’s fewer timers to watch. I like UA then Corr, imo it ‘feels’ faster :).

    Other than than tying the two together, I’d add immolate to your cast rotation even on bosses – the point at which a shadowbolt is more damage-per-cast is about 300 more shadow than fire damage, if I recall. (If the dot can tick fully, that is).

    Also in my experience, the hassle of keeping siphon life up is rarely worth it – maybe for the increased lifetaps and an extra shadow effect if you need to drain life, but not as a DPS dot in its own right – I’ve found the GCD could be better spent shadowbolting. My rotation typically goes (appropriate curse), UA, Corruption, immolate, shadowbolts until a dot needs refreshing, not clipping shadowbolts for dots refreshing (better to go half a second with no dots than overwrite that last dot tick!).

    Hope that helps. Sorry if that’s a bit rambling, it’s late here :). I know you’ve linked it before, but there’s a lot of good stuff on the warlocks den ( Love the blog, thanks for writing it :).

  4. Gah, can’t edit :(. the other thing to remember is not to worry about DPS on trash – bosses are where affliction *really* shines :). Sorry for the double post.

  5. Yeh like Siph said, its the bosses where you’re going to max out your dps – being around 550dps for a full raid actually isn’t bad for an affliction lock when you take into account the issue with trash dying too quickly for you to shine. I’d be interested in seeing what you can put out on a tank’n’spank boss with enough hitpoints that you’ve had time to have all your dots up and refreshing them a time or two with some sb spam mixed in for good measure. Do you have a WWS report you can link up?

    I try not to comment on Affliction specs too much because they aren’t really my forte, but I did notice you haven’t taken Nightfall… that’s free dps sitting there begging to be used imo.

    Lastly, if you’re totally not happy with Affliction dps and don’t wanna go Destruction (and there’s no reason you should), there is always Demonology… Its a nice mix between the two, with some dot rotation and more sb spam, and some pet management thrown in there as well. Just throwing that out there 🙂

    TeePees last blog post..Spell Hit Gear Updated

  6. Lilac, my ‘lock has had the same issues, and yeah, it appears to be those silly, low-hp trash-mobs that don’t have the decency to stick around long enough for dots to tick. I went back to Ruin, while keep 40 pts in Affliction, and I’ve seen a huge difference on trash while still keeping boss dps right up there. UA just doesn’t seem to have the PvE advantage of Ruin, so I couldn’t justify keeping it any longer.

    Thanks for an awesome in-depth post!

    T-Sonns last blog post..I’ll be staying right here, thanks.

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