Sunday, November 14, 2010

That Elusive 1%

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Original Post, I warn you, there are a lot of irrelavent posts in here, I am only really interested in the Ghostcrawler responses with respect to this discussion 
I came across this post a Long time ago, and as soon as I decided I was going to start a blog I knew I wanted to do something with respect to it. Basically the important information I took from it, was completely different then the poster's original intent with the post. I took away that the arbitrary 1% dps/healing/threat/survivability increase was a pretty poor excuse for taking a skill.

What I mean by this is that if you have to sacrifice another skill for a button in your talent tree that says "I cause your overall damage to increase by 1%," it is not neccesarily a gimme choice. This 1% increase will account for less of your overall dps then missing your rotation by a bit. I remember DPS'ing in shadow on H-saurfang (10person) and I didn't have my castbar add-on that I use active. We wiped, we did it again successfully, and the difference in my dps was almost 20%. The add-on I am talking about shows me the amount of my cast that is effected by latency. So lets say that my latency is 200ms. on a 1 second cast, the last 20% of my castbar is red, to show me that I can start my next cast anywhere in there and the wow servers will not realize that I started casting before my last one was done (ok 1 second is a bad choice because I am still in my GCD, but you get the idea). So what I am saying here is that my timing being off by that miniscule amount accounted for my dps going from 8k up to 10k.

Disclaimer: This may get a little math-y
If I had another 1% dps on there, would it have made a difference? Yes, I would have been doing 8.08K dps and 10.1K dps. Is that a lot of damage? Over a 5 minute fight that would have been an additional 24 000 damage and 30 000 damage respectively. Over that same 5 minute fight, not hitting my rotation cost me 600 000 damage.

You can see Ghostcrawler's point here, that 1%, a number that seems to crop up a lot in theory crafting sites, is absolutely miniscule compared to the extra damage that you can do by accounting for just your latency. And thats not even taking into account that I probably had a few dots fall off, or clipped a few ticks (this was pre 4.0 when you could re-apply dots too early, missing one of the ticks of damage), or completely missed a GCD or something else. The long and short of this is that a person's skill/concentration (you could even insert latency here) is much more important than that one single talent point.

Another point that I think is made by a lot of people is that a 5k dps that is a live for the entire fight does a lot more damage than a 15k dps that pulls threat and dies in the first 20seconds of a fight. This is a point that I think is giong to be especially important for people to realize in the coming expansion. From what I understand (not having played the beta) healers will be tight on mana, and Crowd Controls (CCs) and Threat monitoring will be very important as well. The short version of this paragraph is: don't be afraid to take talents that will knock a few percent off your dps if it means that you will be more likely to survive the entire fight.

Summary: I think for this post it is very important to summarize my thoughts, I know this post has been a little all over the place, but the main idea of it is this.
Just because a theory crafting site, or a top geared person, or a very experienced guildie, tells you that you should take this cookie cutter spec, doesn't mean that it is neccesarily right for you. Customize your toon to your own play style if you find that something works better for you, or your guild.
This doesn't mean ignore advice, or theorycrafting sites, or anything else that may help you, but dont' just assume that build X will always be better then build Y, just because you have that extra theoretical 1% damage/healing/survivabilty.

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