I've been playing my Shadow Priest for a long time. However, I've taken a break with it since the start of Cataclysm, playing it casually here and there. I've just recently decided to start playing it a bit more seriously, but I don't seem to be doing something right. I'm guessing Shadow Orbs and Empowered Shadows has pushed me a little out of my comfort zone.
According to SimulationCraft, I'm averaging, only self-buffed, on a target dummy, around 1k less DPS than I should be doing, according to SimulationCraft's "Elite" option. It states that I should be doing about 16.6k DPS only self buffed. I pull between 15.3k and 15.7k depending on how lucky I get with Shadow Orbs, with frequent 3x Shadow Orb Mind Blasts spiking it up a bit for a while. Averaging it out, this puts me at about 15.5k DPS. According to SimulationCraft, this marks me as "Average."
Things I did notice on SimulationCraft, however, is the use of Volcanic Potions, which I'm not bothering with on Target Dummies, and Target Dummies also do not account for any potential DPS gains that Shadow Word: Death during execution phases give.
Could both of these factors account for my DPS being lower than I'd like it to be?
I'm casting Mind Blast on cooldown. I'm keeping my three DoTs up. I refresh Vampiric Touch and Devouring Plague between the last and second to last ticks. If I have a Vampiric Touch and/or Devouring Plague not under the Empowered Shadow buff ticking, I recast them as soon as I get my Empowered Shadows Buffs. I have Foul Gift of the Demon Lord and Heart of Ignacious as my Trinkets. I recast my DoTs whenever I get a new Empowered Shadows buff while Foul Gift of the Demon Lord's proc is active, and I recast my DoTs after consuming 5 stacks of the Heart of Ignacious buff with the ridiculous amounts of haste it gives. I also time my Troll Berserking racial for right before I recast my DoTs.
Is there anything I'm specifically doing wrong, or that I'm supposed to be doing but I'm not doing it?
But this isn't a fix my gear, thread. I know my gear isn't 100% perfectly optimal. I know I have a couple of lame enchants. I know I have a crappy weapon enchant (really hoping I can get that mace from Well of Eternity, so I'm holding off on the Power Torrent until I can get it. Stat wise, it's essentially the same, but I'd rather have the mace for transmogrification purposes).
But that's not the point. The point is I'm not doing as much DPS as SimulationCraft says I should for my current gear setup.
OK so let me get this out of the way first else is will drive me insane but gear-wise:
1. You're a little under hit-cap.
2. Missing 2 enchants + hurricane isn't half bad for the main hand if you're short on cash.
EDIT: 3. Yup that Burning Shadowspirit Diamond is cool, (Totally had a space cadet momment :P)
4. IF you have the time or lucky enough to con a guildy/friend to make it for you, Darkmoon Card: Volcano is still a beastly trinket and easily trumps your Heart of Ignacious.
And More to the point of your question:
1.You don't need to wait until the last second for refresh you dots anymore. With the changes to haste and Dot mechs, if you cast DP or VT with 4(?) secs left, that time will carry over.
2. Cast MB almost every time its off CD, usually you should have a Shadow Orb up and a 1-orb MB > MF (usually)
3.Not only do you want to keep Empowered Shadows up but you want to keep your stacks of Dark Evangelism (Shadow Weaving 2.0, works exactly the same way). Get 5 stacks of that and then refresh your Dots.
4.Target dummies SUCK. They are really inaccurate. I can't really say more about it.
5.As for racials, I couldn't tell you as mine is a static increase to stats not a CD, but you are pretty much doing what you should. Do try and time it to happen with other procs (Enchants like PT when you get it, Cloak to tailors and the such) and Heroism/Timewarp.
6. Multi-dot: Is always a good way to boost your Dps on fights with one or more adds. IE: Yor'sahj in Dragon Soul, you can Dot the boss, run out to kill the add while your killing the add the boss is still killing for more damage. Instant dps increase.
All in all, if your only 1k under the average, your not doing half-bad. The rest will just come from practice, lame I know, but SW D double tap after 25% and things like that.
I may have over done it on the post, I got a little too excited.
When you run simulationcraft on yourself to compare to your target dummy dps, do you make sure that in the buffs options you don't have anything checked that you wouldn't have when you are working on the Dummy? Also it is possible that when you dps the dummy you aren't performing up to elite standards (High enough dot up time, casting MB enough, etc). The only way to know that for sure is to run a log while you are dps'ing and take a look at your uptimes and stuff.
Also a thing to remember the dps that SimC spits out to you is and average of thousands (if you are doing 1000 or less iterations it's not enough to matter) of iterations and your dps is actually a range above and below what it says. Lastly... on a test dummy you never get an execute phase so you don't get dps from sw: d and on simc it does do an execute phase.
So those things are likely the reasons why you are seeing less dps.
3.And you should change your meta to Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond
I don't raid as a SPriest, but I'm curious to know why you would recommend a change to Chaotic? AFAIK Crit is one of THE worst stats for spriest, and intel is the best, why would you swap out 54 int for 54 crit?
I might be wrong but and i dont play spriest my self but. "I have Foul Gift of the Demon Lord and Heart of Ignacious as my Trinkets. I recast my DoTs whenever I get a new Empowered Shadows buff while Foul Gift of the Demon Lord's proc is active".
This trinkets proc gives mastery and spriests mastery is increases damage done by your Shadow Orbs by xxx, and Shadow Orb increases damage of your Mind Blast and Mind Spike. So is it really beneficial to recast dots when you have mastery proc on? And yea i am no expert and i really dont know anything about shadow priests so i might be wrong.
Actually readed your post again and played little on my alt priest and noticed that mastery increases Empovered Shadow buff too.
So my mistake carry on.
0.9 kdps can easily be explained by a volcanic potion. Are you sure there isn't an option to have simcraft run without it?
About the dot refreshing you mention:
1) you don't have to refresh Devouring Plague at the last possible time. If you (re)cast DP instead of a mind flay it is not a noticable dps loss, due to the instant damage part of DP doing similar damage compared to mind flaying. Unless you run into mana problems, of course, which could easily result from casting DP too often at lower gear levels.
2) due to the way dots work these days it is a bigger dps loss to refresh VT a split of a second too late than up to several seconds too early. You should try to be close to the expiration time of the dot, but you should not risk letting it drop off.
To add to the general confusion: which stat is the best for you depends on what tier set you are using. I assume it will 378 t12 from justice or lower during which your preferred stats will be haste and hit cap.
Note that when you start doing raid finder or raiding with your guild and you get 2t13 or 4t13 set it will (probably, there are no logs yet) start favoring mastery and crit over haste.
After reading the comments about seeing a way to turn off volcanic potions and not being able to account for not being able to double tap Shadow Word: Death during execute phase, I looked deeply at the "Simulate" tab and simply deleted the lines pertaining to volcanic potions and found the line that checked for the bosses health to determine Shadow Word: Death casts, and while I was there, also found and deleted lines about buff food and flasks, since I'm not using either to check my numbers.
The end result? I'm actually doing quite well. It was driving me crazy because I knew to the best of my knowledge I was playing my class right.