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Search Term Fun

Posted by Malevica on September - 9 - 2011

Blatantly stealing a great idea, and if I could remember where I’ve seen this done before I’d give proper credit to the person who inspired me!

I thought I’d take a look through the more popular search terms that have brought people to my blog recently, and hopefully highlight some of the answers I have buried away in obscure corners of the site, or provide answers to questions I’ve not addressed directly before.

Disc Priest Stat Priority

I got a lot of searches for this or similar questions. I’m not sure there is a short answer to this one, other than “it depends on what you’re doing”. It really does depend on what you’re doing, whether it’s tank healing, raid healing, 10-mans or 25-mans.

In 25-man raids I was typically assigned to raid healing, and for that I really wanted Mastery and Haste since my rotation was generally PoH-heavy with PW:S interspersed as dictated by my mana. In 10-man raids where I’m assigned to a tank I still want Haste so I don’t panic quite so much at the enormous gaps between heals, but I prefer Crit over Mastery because apparently (as far as my reading seems to be telling me, although I do want to follow this up) my use of Divine Aegis is lower as a single-target healer and getting more crits on all my heals (and the boosted DA shields that come with them) is more valuable than boosting the DA portion directly.

The best advice I’ve read, and I happen to agree with it based on my gut feeling, is to carry Spirit on as many pieces as you can since it’s still our best secondary stat; after that don’t be afraid to grab Haste where you can regardless of your role and raid size until you feel comfortable with your cast speed, but focus on stacking either Mastery for a raid healer or Crit for a tank healer.

This gives the rough priority: Intellect -> Spirit -> Crit (tank) = Mastery (raid) -> Haste.

However, the above priority absolutely is not set in stone. If you’re feeling like you’re slow to react and it’s causing you problems, then by all means grab some more Haste. I know I’ve felt sluggish on some encounters so I’ve gemmed a couple of Reckless Ember Topaz and reforged some of my remaining Mastery to Haste instead of Crit. Especially with reforging available you can try different combinations and see what works for you, your playstyle and your raid’s needs.

[Strength of Soul] vs [Train of Thought]

An interesting question. I currently have a few specs that I use, the main ones are Archangel specs and they differ in their application and in whether or not they take SoS and ToT.

If I’m tank healing I tend to use a 32/8/1 tank-healing spec which takes both Strength of Soul and Train of Thought. ToT is great when using Greater Heal a lot, because I have Inner Focus bound to GH and PoH so I use it every cooldown and it saves a lot of mana. SoS is great in this spec to allow me to maximise my Rapture returns by making sure to throw a direct heal on the tank every 12s, or throw shields on more frequently for higher throughput.

If I’m more involved in raid healing I drop SoS in favour of points in either Soul Warding or Darkness since I don’t cast many direct heals, but although the benefit is fairly small I’ll generally keep ToT in there. I like the reduced Penance cooldown I get from spending time Smiting either to get and keep Evangelism up or just to heal the melee or the tanks during slower phases.

Cata Haste Hots

My very old post from the Cataclysm Beta about how haste affects HoTs, DoTs and some channels (not Penance), is still the most visited page on my blog on a day-by-day basis.

Here’s the summary version, but I’d invite you to read the original post if you want to understand the theory, it’s still as true today as when I wrote it back in the day.

  • The total duration of your HoT, DoT or channel does initially reduce with haste as the tick intervals get shorter.
  • When you get enough haste to fit an extra half-tick into the nominal duration you get given a whole extra tick and the duration jumps up to it’s nominal duration plus half a tick.
  • If you cast a HoT while under a haste effect, such as Borrowed Time, all your ticks will be hasted, not just the ones that go off while the buff is active. However, the spell tooltip and the HoT buff you get both (misleadingly) update as soon as the haste effect fades.
  • Haste rating per 1% Haste = 128.11

So for a 12s Renew with 3s ticks, you get an extra tick when you get enough haste to bring the duration down to 10.5s (i.e. 12s – 3.0s/2), and the duration jumps up to 13.5s (i.e. 12s + 3.0s/2), and you get 5 ticks instead of 4.

The haste points to get an extra tick for each HoT are:

HoT Name         Breakpoints at (total haste):
Penance         25%, 75%
Renew         12.5%, 37.5%, 62.5%, 87.5%
Rejuvenation         12.5%, 37.5%, 62.5%, 87.5%
Regrowth (HoT)         16.666%, 50%, 83.333%
Lifebloom         5%, 15%, 25%, 35%, 45%, 55%, 65%, 75%, 85%, 95%
Wild Growth         7.15%, 21.43%, 35.715%, 50%, 64.285%, 78.57%, 92.855%
Riptide         10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, 90%

As to whether a given breakpoint is worth going for or not, that’s a question for your class guides to answer. HPS increases linearly with haste, there’s no jumps there; the advantage is that a longer HoT needs refreshing less often, leaving you with an extra GCD or even two to do something else, and less mana required to keep the HoT refreshed.

Vuhdo Smite Macro Hostile Target

Quite a few people are looking for macros for Smite macros. I did post a few in my Smite Healing Tips post. There’s information there on making various Smite macros, from one which will Smite your target (if it’s hostile) or your target’s target (if it’s friendly, for example a tank), through a macro which will Smite your focus or let you make your target your new focus and Smite that if you press a modifier key, to a macro which will find something hostile in front of you and let you Smite it until it’s dead, then pick something else automatically.

I also included a section in there about how I set up VuhDo to show targetoftarget for the Main Tanks and bound Smite to my hostile left-click for hassle-free Smiting from the raidframes.

I’m working up to doing a UI post soon, just as soon as I’m happy enough with my UI to show it off. I’ve been saying that for at least a year though, so don’t hold your breath!

Cata Disc Priest Guide 4.1

I’ll assume this searcher was a bit confused, since Rage of the Firelands has been out for several months now.

Anyway, I don’t have a current (4.2) guide up at the moment. The closest I have is my old 4.1 guide. There’s not much that’s changed since then, but it’s not been updated since April so use with caution. An updated Discipline how-to is on my list of things to do, but I really can’t give any sort of definitive timeline.

In the meantime, by way of 4.2 disc priest guides, I’d recommend Zelmaru’s 4.2 guide or the 4.2 disc guide at Manaflask.

Penance Not Turn Me

You probably want this post about stopping Penance turning your camera.

Unfortunately, as Zinn pointed out in the comments, there’s no way to stop Penance actually turning your character. I presume this is because the developers aren’t willing to let Penance be cast while facing any direction on a hostile target, but they do want it to be castable in any direction on a friendly, and there’s some limitation in the tech that means the only way to implement two rules for a single spell was to make it turn you to face your target when that target is friendly.

It is a pain, for example when running out of fire you have to make extra sure that you’re definitely facing the way you think you’re facing after Penancing a team-mate or you might get a big surprise. Maybe 5.0 will fix it…

Healing Ascendant Council

This, and the rest of my mostly incomplete and horribly outdated Cataclysm raid guides can be found in the Cataclysm raid strategies section in the menu above.

I may, now I have more inclination to write them, get around to posting some more up-to-date guides, although I suspect I won’t bother for Firelands since other people have got that covered.

At this point I’ll throw out a recommendation for Beru’s healing video guides, which mostly cover heroic modes. I figure you’ve already seen the basics over at Tankspot, Icy Veins, Learn to Raid or your site of choice. Beru writes the Falling Leaves and Wings Druid/healing blog, but although there’s a Druid slant to them the guides are useful to any healing class.

And finally…

I Can’t Type h

Amazingly, not one but two people searched for this. We’ll leave aside the apparent paradox of using the letter “h” in a search about not being able to type “h”. We’ll assume that these people have used a different computer to search and aren’t suffering from either an inability to recognise certain letters or a fear of typing them.

My advice to you folks would be twofold: First, check for the presence of dirt/crumbs/fingernail clippings/jam/hair/insects trapped under your “h” key and preventing you from pressing it down. I use one of those “air duster” cans to blast this sort of stuff out, but a vacuum cleaner or just your own breath will work.

If that doesn’t shift it, maybe your keyboard really is just wearing out. If you’ve worn out your “h” key specifically, then maybe you should take less damage!

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Categories: Advice and Strategy

[Cataclysm Beta] Haste and HoTs – A Quick Example

Posted by Malevica on September - 23 - 2010

Way back in April Blizzard were talking about making Haste (and Crit) affect HoTs and DoTs. Here’s what they said:

All HoTs and DoTs will benefit from Haste and Crit innately. Hasted HoTs and DoTs will not have a shorter duration, just a shorter period in between ticks (meaning they will gain extra ticks to fill in the duration as appropriate).

I should point out that this also applies to channelled spells as well, which will now have the possibility to gain extra ticks just like HoTs. Penance-lovers rejoice!
Update: This appears not to be applying to Penance on Live, as of 16th of October. I don’t know if this is a bug or not, but it was working on Beta. Feel free to comment if you spot a Blue confirmation either way.

To begin with, in response to a thread on PlusHeal, I first did a quick-and-dirty test on the Beta. I tested with Renew (nominal 12s duration, 3s tick interval) with whatever haste I was standing up in (7.53% total haste), a Potion of Speed (11.52% total haste) and Borrowed Time (23.46% total haste)

If you want the raw numbers, they’re available by clicking through, but in summary:

  • The total duration does initially reduce with haste as the ticks get shorter.
  • When you get a certain amount of haste you get an extra tick and the duration jumps back up again. It’s possible for the duration to go above the nominal duration (12s in the case of Renew).
  • If you cast a HoT while under a haste effect, such as Borrowed Time, all your ticks will be hasted, not just the ones that go off while the buff is active. However, the spell tooltip and the HoT buff you get both (misleadingly) update as soon as the haste effect fades.
  • Haste rating per 1% Haste = 128.11


Erdluf and Zusterke at PlusHeal pointed out that the current thinking is that you gain the extra tick whenever the difference between the nominal duration and the actual duration gets to be more than half a tick, and that this certainly can lead to the total duration exceeding the nominal duration when the extra tick is added. This is consistent with the original statement from Blizzard that the duration won’t change, on average at least.
So if you can speed up the HoT enough to fit at least half a tick in, you get a full extra tick.

Based on this, here’s where the total haste breakpoints should be for various HoTs. The reason the HoTs have different breakpoints is because they have different tick intervals and total durations.

HoT Name         Breakpoints at (total haste):
Penance         25%, 75%
Renew         12.5%, 37.5%, 62.5%, 87.5%
Rejuvenation         12.5%, 37.5%, 62.5%, 87.5%
Regrowth (HoT)         16.666%, 50%, 83.333%
Lifebloom         5%, 15%, 25%, 35%, 45%, 55%, 65%, 75%, 85%, 95%
Wild Growth         7.15%, 21.43%, 35.715%, 50%, 64.285%, 78.57%, 92.855%
Riptide         10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, 90%

I went back and tested this in more detail on Renew, which is a 3s tick interval, 4-tick HoT, and it does appear that the transition to an extra tick does indeed happen at the 12.5% haste point as expected. Here’s the result of a few trials I did:

Healing per mana (HPM) and Healing per cast time (HPCT)

Here’s a look at the way haste affects the total duration and numbers of ticks of various HoTs:

Note that the numbers of ticks for Rejuvenation and Renew do not include the instant heal from Gift of the Earthmother and Divine Touch respectively, since these aren’t true ticks.

What you can see in this graph is the duration of the HoT decreasing as your haste increases (not quite linearly, haste does have a bit of a curve on it because of the way it’s calculated) and then when you reach the breakpoint the extra tick is added and the duration jumps up again, to somewhere above the nominal duration.
I’ve labelled the breakpoints to indicate the total number of ticks you’ll be getting from that breakpoint onwards as you increase your haste. So looking at the line for Riptide at the top, after the first breakpoint you’ll now be getting 6 ticks instead of the standard 5.

This graph also lets you see graphically the locations of the breakpoints for the HoTs, so if the table above wasn’t clear enough, you can use the graph instead. You can see on this graph, for example, the breakpoints for Renew and Rejuvenation at total haste percentages of 12.5%, 37.5% and 62.5%.

From a healing-per-mana (HPM) and healing-per-cast-time (HPCT) point of view, you want as many ticks as possible, because each extra tick adds a chunk of healing for no extra cost in time or mana. This makes it highly desireable to get above a breakpoint. However, HPM and HPCT only change at a breakpoint.

Healing per second (HPS)

I also wanted to look at things from an different angle: healing per second. In this case, since the result is similar for every HoT, I’ve just picked out Renew/Rejuvenation as an example. (I’ve arbitrarily given each tick a value of 2k, which is about right for Renew on the beta. Look at the shape, rather than the numbers.)

The thing to notice here is that the HPS curve increases linearly while your haste increases, it doesn’t change around breakpoints. So if you’re using your HoTs for their throughput, you’re not going to see a radical difference in HPS from stepping over a “breakpoint”.

Of course, you will notice the difference between a HoT with a 10.7s duration and one with a 13.2s duration (the biggest jump in duration for Renew/Rejuvenation) when you have to spend GCDs more often to refresh your HoT, and of course refreshing a HoT less often saves mana, so you will still want to get over that breakpoint.

Updated 3rd October: Improved clarity and readability. Added more HoTs and more detail to the main graph. Included all the breakpoints in tabular form as well, for reference.

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