Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Trinkets, Procs, and Innervate

I've been adjusting my gear recently.

Tear of Blood and Mandala of Stirring Patterns

I've been using the (heroic) Tear of Blood, but I was curious about the Mandala of Stirring Patterns. It's hard to compare the two without information about their proc uptimes. So, I wore each of them into Magmaw (which is a lot of damage, but not chaos like Omnomnom while still being a "farm" fight).

Tear of Blood
Static Intellect - 285
Proc Based Spirit - "Your healing spell critical strikes have a chance to grant 1710 spirit for 15 sec."
Proc Name - Cleansing Tears

World of Logs based uptime: about 20%.
Average Spirit over fight: 20% of 1710 = 342

Notes: The uptime was almost exactly for Magmaw, and varied between 15-22% on other fights; the lowest was Maloriak when I seem to spend the whole last phase kiting adds from healing aggro. I'm surprised it's that high, since my crit is pretty low.

Mandala of Stirring Patterns
Static Spirit - 321
Proc Based Intellect - "Your healing spells have a chance to grant 1926 Intellect for 10 sec."
Proc Name - Pattern of Light

World of Logs based uptime: 19%
Average Intellect over fight: 19% of 1926 = 366

Notes: Playing with the Mandala is weird. I'd prehot the tank, during the pull both the Mandala and Power Torrent would proc, and my mana pool would go from 115k to 165k - so I'd have cast 3 spells into the fight and my mana looks like I've burned through 1/3 of it.

Bigger Innervates
Before the raid I had spent some time setting up a power aura to alert me when my mana was below 80%, Power Torrent and Mandala procs were active. I've now switched it to when my mana is below 55% since when both procs are active, even if my mana was full before the procs, a big chunk would be missing. 55% of my mana with both procs (165k) is approximately equal to 80% of my mana with no procs (115k).

An innervate with both procs up gives me an extra 10k of mana. That's a pretty big deal! I set up separate power auras for each proc, so if I felt that I needed to innervate and not wait for the procs to line up, I could do it when only one was up, but I didn't need to (that could be fight dependent).

Static vs Temporary Intellect
I did some testing while just standing in Orgrimmar. I have on Mark of the Wild and my flask (draconic mind) from last night.

Tear of Blood
Rejuvenation Tick - 3723

Mandala of Stirring Patterns
Rejuvenation Tick - 3653

Mandala of Stirring Patterns with Proc
Rejuvenation Tick - 4130

These numbers are just to give a ballpark (which is why I picked Rejuv, because getting a proc while only casting one spell (I didn't want mastery to show up here) is annoying). It illustrates the scale of what's going on. If I'm wearing Tear of Blood, I'm always casting 3723 Rejuvs. If I'm wearing the Mandala, about 80% of the time I'm casting 3653 Rejuvs and 20% of the time I'm casting 4130 Rejuvs. Which means in a fight where I only cast Rejuv, the Mandala is an average of 3748.

That's not terribly helpful. We have a lot of spells with different coefficients (perhaps later I'll use Tree Calcs, and some spell distribution data from WoL, but I'm not up to that right now).

Also, the proc may not line up well with heavy healing needs. I didn't have it happen, but if it had activated while we were in a head down phase, it would have been fine for innervate but not good for throughput.

And, the intellect only affects the hots that you're casting, not the hots already out. I wonder if I had a LB on the tank that was cast/refreshed with the buff, and refreshed it (early, with a nourish or HT) after the buff fell off, would it be rewritten with the lower value LB? I suspect so. In that case, I wouldn't even be getting the full value of the proc.

Overall impressions
I ended the fight with some crazy amount of mana (35k) when normally I'm drained dry by the end of that fight (well, not quite, as we usually end in a head down phase, but I didn't have mana problems once I got into the groove of the procs).

The last thing to notice is that it took a bit of management to get these results out of the Mandala. I like proc based systems (on my mage I love love love fire), so I'm fine with juggling the procs. Someone who hates having to monitor and manage procs would probably be better off with the Tear of Blood's constant throughput and low maintenance spirit proc.

I'm going to keep playing with it. I'm still struggling with mana on some fights (I'm sure it's my love of Rejuv that's causing problems) and the extra mana from innervate turned out to be a big help.

Once I stop struggling with mana so much, I can always reforge the spirit on the Mandala into haste or mastery (I still can't meet the 2005 haste cap no matter what I do, but maybe this and another upgrade or two will do it). That's another plus for the Mandala. A passive intellect trinket with a spirit proc can't be reforged at all.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fears About Call To Arms

I'm still far enough behind in raid content that I'm running heroics most days to cap my valor points (we got 6/12 this week, and are consistently adding a boss every week, so I'm not upset with our progress at all).

I've started to run into tanks who look at my gear (or perhaps recognize the iconic druid shoulders from this tier - which I LOVE) and say to themselves "hey, this healer is raid geared! We don't need any cc!" and they rush in.

And after the first pull goes successfully (because I blew my cooldowns and totally drained myself of mana), they think "hey, she can handle it!" and continue big chain pulls like what we saw in Wrath. Often this type of tank will pull while I'm WAY out of range drinking or dealing with an add that they left behind or whatever. So it becomes this weird situation where I'm blowing everything on trash and not needing it on bosses (which is good, because by then I have nothing).

I've tried talking to them, but they don't listen. "Lol, you're an epic healer you can handle it."

I've tried letting them die, but either they don't get it, or the rest of the party takes the tank's side.

I've finally resorted to vote kicking them. Which means that by now, it takes me 2/3 of an instance to be able to initiate a vote kick.

Even though I can handle it, I don't see why I should be sweating and cussing while the rest of the group sails blythely through. Especially when it's more efficient for a lot of classes to single target the mobs ANYWAY, we don't loose anything by cc'ing one or two for the difficult pulls.

Right now, the Dungeon Finder is a miserable experience for me (and we seem to have a shortage of tanks in our guild, so that's not always an option). Perhaps I just have bad luck and keep getting these Wrath baby tanks? Or folks are feeling progressed enough to start pulling out their 3rd or 4th alt? Or they're getting ready for the Call to Arms feature?

I don't know. But I'm sure that it's going to get worse when Call to Arms is implemented.

I hope by then we're killing enough bosses in raid that I can forgo the Dungeon Finder entirely. And I'll bet that that is not the effect that Blizzard is looking for.