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  1. #1

    [Destro] Immolate - Past, Present, and Cast Time

    Back in the day (well, back even a few weeks ago), Immolate played a significant role in Destruction's damage. It used to be mandatory to cast Conflag on a target, and it used to increase the damage of our nukes (this was primarily a dmg throttling mechanic introduced after S7 arena and Destro actually being deadly, and prob a bit OP). The 1.5 (originally 2sec before talents) cast time was basically the price you paid to get a Conflag off. I can't say that we always agreed it was necessary (and probably the main source of Destro's pvp woes thanks to dispels), but at least you could see an arguement for it.

    Today, Immolate does add a snare to the target when you Conflag, but this is basically negated 100% by the glyph (which any pvp Destro lock, and many pve Destro locks will grab). What we're left with is a so/so DoT that's just kind of there. It's damage is comparable to Living Bomb and Flame Shock (our 2 closest DoT peers here - Moonfire probably would fit too, but it's the source of some special spec-specific love), it's secondary effect is equal to or worse than LB(AoE dmg)/FS(insta LB procs), yet those DoTs are all instant and ours is not.

    Why, in Destro's current implementation, does Immolate *still* have a cast time?

    I think it's clearly a relic of the previous design model, and based on every similar spell in the game - it should be changed to instant cast. Note: this is neither a dps boost or a significant pvp buff. It's mainly a QoL change minimally buffing our mobile dmg dealing (and really only in lvling/bg/5man environments). I'm just sick of seeing a cast bar attached to Immolate, when every other primary Caster DoT is instant.

    It's time to get with the times.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by pokeadott View Post
    Back in the day (well, back even a few weeks ago), Immolate played a significant role in Destruction's damage. It used to be mandatory to cast Conflag on a target, and it used to increase the damage of our nukes (this was primarily a dmg throttling mechanic introduced after S7 arena and Destro actually being deadly, and prob a bit OP). The 1.5 (originally 2sec before talents) cast time was basically the price you paid to get a Conflag off. I can't say that we always agreed it was necessary (and probably the main source of Destro's pvp woes thanks to dispels), but at least you could see an arguement for it.

    Today, Immolate does add a snare to the target when you Conflag, but this is basically negated 100% by the glyph (which any pvp Destro lock, and many pve Destro locks will grab). What we're left with is a so/so DoT that's just kind of there. It's damage is comparable to Living Bomb and Flame Shock (our 2 closest DoT peers here - Moonfire probably would fit too, but it's the source of some special spec-specific love), it's secondary effect is equal to or worse than LB(AoE dmg)/FS(insta LB procs), yet those DoTs are all instant and ours is not.

    Why, in Destro's current implementation, does Immolate *still* have a cast time?

    I think it's clearly a relic of the previous design model, and based on every similar spell in the game - it should be changed to instant cast. Note: this is neither a dps boost or a significant pvp buff. It's mainly a QoL change minimally buffing our mobile dmg dealing (and really only in lvling/bg/5man environments). I'm just sick of seeing a cast bar attached to Immolate, when every other primary Caster DoT is instant.

    It's time to get with the times.
    About your note, I'm sorry but it is. Less cast time on Immo = more time casting other stuff = more dps. And having an instant, on the move, ember generating dot would certainly be a siginificant PvP boost.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by xskarma View Post
    About your note, I'm sorry but it is. Less cast time on Immo = more time casting other stuff = more dps. And having an instant, on the move, ember generating dot would certainly be a siginificant PvP boost.
    1) Destro has a 1.0sec GCD (please correct if that's off). Assuming 10% spell haste (conservative), Immolate's base cast time would be 1.35sec. You would gain .35sec of cast time every 15 seconds assuming 100% immo uptime. That's basically 1 extra Fel Flame every 60 seconds - practically a net zero impact.

    2) If you think instant Immolate would be a significant pvp boost for Destro, I really just have to say that you're flat out wrong. It's just not all that great a damage dealer. That GCD could just as easily have gone toward Fel Flame (on Live my FF hits for 12K and always generates embers, Immo ticks for about 4,600 and only generates embers on crits). It's just worth casting for some 'free' damage on a target. If you're in arena and assuming you'll get dispelled on CD (1/8sec), it currently wouldn't even be worth casting Immolate in PvP with or without it being instant as it would only tick 3 times. You're better off spending that GCD on a FF. Either way, it's again a nothing damage change.

    3) Most importantly, it should be balanced against other primary caster DoTs (all of which are instant) and/or it's secondary effects (which are currently mediocre/non-existent in pvp).
    Last edited by pokeadott; 2012-09-17 at 01:15 AM.

  4. #4
    Fluffy Kitten Elmi's Avatar
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    Just simmed it with and without cast time: 108251 vs 108850 dps T14H.
    I don't think that the "on-the-run-ember-generating-dot" part would be gamebreaking.
    The change would actually be quite nice, even though I doubt it will ever happen.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by pokeadott View Post
    1) Destro has a 1.0sec GCD (please correct if that's off). Assuming 10% spell haste (conservative), Immolate's base cast time would be 1.35sec. You would gain .35sec of cast time every 15 seconds assuming 100% immo uptime. That's basically 1 extra Fel Flame every 60 seconds - practically a net zero impact.

    2) If you think instant Immolate would be a significant pvp boost for Destro, I really just have to say that you're flat out wrong. It's just not all that great a damage dealer. That GCD could just as easily have gone toward Fel Flame (on Live my FF hits for 12K and always generates embers, Immo ticks for about 4,600 and only generates embers on crits). It's just worth casting for some 'free' damage on a target. If you're in arena and assuming you'll get dispelled on CD (1/8sec), it currently wouldn't even be worth casting Immolate in PvP with or without it being instant as it would only tick 3 times. You're better off spending that GCD on a FF. Either way, it's again a nothing damage change.

    3) Most importantly, it should be balanced against other primary caster DoTs (all of which are instant) and/or it's secondary effects (which are currently mediocre/non-existent in pvp).
    Quote Originally Posted by Elmi View Post
    Just simmed it with and without cast time: 108251 vs 108850 dps T14H.
    I don't think that the "on-the-run-ember-generating-dot" part would be gamebreaking.
    The change would actually be quite nice, even though I doubt it will ever happen.
    Interesting. I figured that there would be more impact. Wonder what the logic is then if the impact is indeed this small.
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  6. #6
    I see no reason for it to be instant. Destruction already has very powerful instants.

    You have to think from a design point of view and the ramifications of making Immolate instant cast. Saying "I don't like seeing a cast bar" is no justification at all.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Netherspark View Post
    I see no reason for it to be instant. Destruction already has very powerful instants.
    Hmm one every 12s which hits for 80k compared to Arcane Barrage (170k), Pyro (280k), Ice Lance (180k), Mind Blast (100k) just to show a few other instants doesn't seem too powerful (yeah these are PvE numbers but the relations are the same in PvP).
    Then one sub 20% which has 20s ramp up.
    Fel Flame hits for about 40k which is not what I would call powerful either.

    Oh and either way it would be mostly a QoL issue because Immolate hits for 20k...yeah I know, that's powerful.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by xskarma View Post
    Interesting. I figured that there would be more impact. Wonder what the logic is then if the impact is indeed this small.
    Destro's DPS is primarily limited by it's available resources and it's ability to spend them efficiently. Changing Immo's cast time has no bearing on it's mana cost, so there would be no reduction in DPS. However, since instant spells are slightly better at spending mana (the mama cost is taken immediately), instant Immo would be slightly better at eating some of Destro's overflow mana, which would explain the slight DPS increase.

    Also, I would bet that instant Immo has slightly more downtime than the current casted version.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Netherspark View Post
    You have to think from a design point of view and the ramifications of making Immolate instant cast. Saying "I don't like seeing a cast bar" is no justification at all.
    Perhaps you should read the rest of the post. The biggest justification for the removal of the cast time is 2 fold:

    1) There is no longer a significant benefit to putting Immolate on a target.

    2) Every other primary caster DoT (read: FlameShock, Moonfire, LivingBomb, SerpentSting, Corruption, SW:P), all of which do very comparable damage to Immolate usually with much better secondary effects associated with them are *all* instant cast.

    The only reason Immo ever had a cast time was because of Conflag. Once that was changed, the current version of Immo (really a lackluster spell now) should just have been made instant as a QoL change to balance it with every other similar spell in the game.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by xskarma View Post
    Interesting. I figured that there would be more impact. Wonder what the logic is then if the impact is indeed this small.
    Well....~25% haste = ~1.2s cast which means you only get about .2s each cast and none during Bloodlust or the Essence of Terror trinket proc. All in all you maybe get 4s out of it at most.

    ---------- Post added 2012-09-17 at 04:11 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Fallensaint View Post
    Also, I would bet that instant Immo has slightly more downtime than the current casted version.
    6.8 vs 5.1s

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Elmi View Post
    Hmm one every 12s which hits for 80k compared to Arcane Barrage (170k), Pyro (280k), Ice Lance (180k), Mind Blast (100k) just to show a few other instants doesn't seem too powerful (yeah these are PvE numbers but the relations are the same in PvP)
    All of those spells are either conditional, procs, require extra resources or are not spammable/cant be repeated. Conflagrate and Fel Flame can be repeated in quick succession on demand.

    Quote Originally Posted by pokeadott View Post
    1) There is no longer a significant benefit to putting Immolate on a target.
    Immolate does decent damage and has a chance to generate embers on crit and on Rain of Fire ticks, offers reactive healing via a Glyph and makes Conflagrate daze the target. I'd say Immolate has a very significant benefit.

    Destro's mana regen is balanced around certain cast times. If Immolate is instant then mana regen will likely have to be slightly increased to compensate for the fact that you would have less regen time while casting, which ends up causing more problems down the line. Not to mention that Immolate being instant screws with both PVE and PVP balance too.

    It also gives the potential for more burst and overall damage: less time casting Immolate = more time casting Incinerate = faster ember generation = more Chaos Bolts.

    Would you be willing for Immolate's damage (and possibly more abilities) to be nerfed to compensate for an instant cast?
    Last edited by Netherspark; 2012-09-17 at 03:35 AM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Netherspark View Post
    All of those spells are either conditional, procs, require extra resources or are not spammable/cant be repeated. Conflagrate and Fel Flame can be repeated in quick succession on demand.

    Immolate does decent damage and has a chance to generate embers on crit and on Rain of Fire ticks, offers reactive healing via a Glyph and makes Conflagrate daze the target. I'd say Immolate has a very significant benefit.

    Destro's mana regen is balanced around certain cast times. If Immolate is instant then mana regen will likely have to be slightly increased to compensate for the fact that you would have less regen time while casting, which ends up causing more problems down the line. Not to mention that Immolate being instant screws with both PVE and PVP balance too.

    It also gives the potential for more burst damage: less time casting Immolate = more time casting Incinerate = more ember generation = more Chaos Bolts.

    Would you be willing for Immolate's damage (and possibly more abilities) to be nerfed to compensate for an instant cast?
    I disagree with basically all of this.

    Forget the random proc spells, but look at the caster DoT list I posted above. Those are the spells you compare Immolate to. The only one of those spells that's not 'spammable' is Flame Shock. And they all offer significant benefits while on a target - with the possible exception of Living Bomb (altho AoE dmg is pretty significant for some people).

    Since instant immolate doesnt effect raiding or 5man boss fights (it has 100% uptime either way), let's look as it in the context of PvP/soloing/5mans: Immolate does mediocre damage albeit competitive with those other DoTs (it never fully runs its course), when you look at real-world uptime on a pvp target or a 5man add, it offers minimal ember generation (only on crits and only ticks every 3 sec - assume a 9 sec uptime on a 5man add/pvp target [generous] and a 33% crit rate [way generous] it will generate about 1 ember/9sec - almost nothing), and it's healing while glyphed is inconsequential - test if you don't believe me, it's about 1K/3sec at lvl 85 for me, not worth a glyph slot. The only real benefit of the spellis the Conflag daze, but any destro soloer or pvper or challenger moder will be glyphing it anyway as Destro glyphs pretty much suck - so the one beneficial thing it does gets wiped out by default.

    If you want to talk glyphed/secondary benefits of those other spells the gap widens much much much further (FS procing instant Lavabursts? Living Bomb spreadable with Inferno Blast via glyph?). Immolate no longer has any real meaning for Destro locks, unlike those other caster DoTs - ALL of which are instant.

    Mana regen is unaffected. Look above - instant immo means about 1 GCD/min extra. That's all the 'mana regen' you'd lose with instant immo. Irrelevant.

    We don't need to trade anything for immolate to be instant. Again, instant immolate offers a minimal impact on anything but lock QoL. Look at the spell's history. The only reason it has a cast time, is because it's always had a cast time. Because it was always mandatory for COnflag. Without being tied to Conflag, it;s just a mediocre legacy DoT to make the Destro rotation feel slightly less dull.

    Either make Immolate worthy of a cast time by tacking on a significant secondary effect, or just make it instant like it deserves as probably the most meaningless caster DoT these days.
    Last edited by pokeadott; 2012-09-17 at 03:59 AM.

  13. #13
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    RoF doesn't need Immolate to generate embers anymore, Conflag dazes anyway since the glyph is petty much mendatory for PvP.
    The only real benefits are the more or less steady ember generation and the damage (10k dps in T14H in PvE), which is neither bursty nor especially high.

    The net gain would be 600dps as shown above which in my opinion is hardly worth compensating.

    As I said before, I highly doubt Blizzard will ever change Immolate but if they did, it would be more of a QoL gain than anything else as I don't see the other significant benefits you described.

  14. #14
    Well a cast time dot is never going to be sexy in PVP, it's obviously a PVE thing really.

    Given that it is weak, it's not that big a problem in PVP is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by pokeadott View Post
    It's damage is comparable to Living Bomb and Flame Shock (our 2 closest DoT peers here - Moonfire probably would fit too, but it's the source of some special spec-specific love), it's secondary effect is equal to or worse than LB(AoE dmg)/FS(insta LB procs), yet those DoTs are all instant and ours is not.
    I thought of it more as the equivalent of Vampiric Touch.

  15. #15
    You don't seem to understand though. Immolate being instant speeds up the whole rotation and gives Warlocks more mobility. You can't have these things without a tradeoff - this is exactly what Xelnath's "Lets talk about a few things" thread was about.

    You can't just think of how it affects a single spell, you have to look at how it impacts the entire playstyle. It gives a significant benefit to the whole spec for a multitude of reasons. No matter how you look at it, this would be a buff.


    I'm not against Immolate being instant cast, it would definitely be nice. I'm just pointing out the issues it would cause to change it now. If it were done early in the Beta then maybe it would be different... but I can almost gurantee you that the devs have already considered making Immolate instant and decided against it.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormolyce View Post
    Well a cast time dot is never going to be sexy in PVP, it's obviously a PVE thing really.

    Given that it is weak, it's not that big a problem in PVP is it?

    I thought of it more as the equivalent of Vampiric Touch.
    I said it's a QoL change, not a buff. Honestly, it's really almost a null impact, but I should be able to pull with Immo, or throw an Immo on a fleeing mage, or w/e if I want. Look at my posts, I really don't see it as a monumental buff for anything, but just a modernizing of a vanilla relic spell. Instead of asking, 'well, if it's not really going to make an impact, why bother?'; ask 'why does it have a cast time in the first place?'. Corruption used to have a cast time unless talented (pre-5.0 stuff), but it was QoL thing that just made sense to make it instant by default. Immo didn;t get that treatment because of Conflag at the time. Now things are different.

    Also, SW:P is it's shadow equivalent imo. Every caster spec (outside of Frostbomb mages) has what I'm calling a 'primary' DoT (FlameShock, Corruption, LivingBomb/NetherTempest, MoonFire, SW:P, SerpentSting). The 2 major DoT classes (Aff/Shadow) also have secondary cast time DoTs, which aren't really comparable (UA silences, VT returns 2% mana/tick). The outlier is Boomkin because MF spamming is a weird/encouraged mechanic for mobile damage, but the principal remains the same.

    As an aside, I think you can make a case for instant VT with the removal of Sin&Punishment. But honestly, I think they just want both DoT classes to incur some cast time on their DoTs.

    ---------- Post added 2012-09-17 at 12:34 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Netherspark View Post
    You don't seem to understand though. Immolate being instant speeds up the whole rotation and gives Warlocks more mobility. You can't have these things without a tradeoff - this is exactly what Xelnath's "Lets talk about a few things" thread was about.

    You can't just think of how it affects a single spell, you have to look at how it impacts the entire playstyle. It gives a significant benefit to the whole spec for a multitude of reasons. No matter how you look at it, this would be a buff.


    I'm not against Immolate being instant cast, it would definitely be nice. I'm just pointing out the issues it would cause to change it now. If it were done early in the Beta then maybe it would be different... but I can almost gurantee you that the devs have already considered making Immolate instant and decided against it.
    1) I get that, but instant Immolate doesn't fit that statement. It does not speed up our rotation (look at the net dps change with instant immo posted above) and considering immo is pretty much up 100% of the time on boss fights, it doesn't help much with mobility. It's basically a net neutral change for dps, and it has a barely noticeable impact in pvp (seriously, in arenas assume an uptime of 9 sec and compare the immo dmg/ember gen to a FF - they are almost identical and FF dmg is all frontloaded). What I'd like it most for honestly is throwing on a target while going from pull to pull in a challenge mode or while leveling. That's a pretty niche role.

    The bottom line is it needs to be compared to every other similar caster DoT out there - they are ALL instant. No one thinks LB is OP because it's instant, or FS, or Sting, or w/e. It's just an annoying remnant of the time of Immo->Conflag. Consider it Destro's vestigial tail.


    2) I doubt they considered making it instant honestly. I think they just sort of forgot about it, because it's always been that way. If anything, they forgot about it almost completely in MoP. I don't want to look them all up now, but seriously, go look at the secondary effects of the other instant caster DoTs out there today. Immolate is a shadow of its peers. The fixed our issue of being tethered to immolate for conflag/nuke dmg, but they forgot to add something worthwhile back in. I'm pretty sure they didn't think twice about the cast time while doing it.
    Last edited by pokeadott; 2012-09-17 at 04:41 AM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormolyce View Post
    Well a cast time dot is never going to be sexy in PVP, it's obviously a PVE thing really.

    Given that it is weak, it's not that big a problem in PVP is it?



    I thought of it more as the equivalent of Vampiric Touch.
    It's not going to impact PvP aside from QoL. It is weak and warlocks aren't really "forced" of using it compared to the last 2 expansions when our damage revolved around it. What it will do though is try to make it "slightly" easier for us to multidot and generate burning embers.

    Vampiric Touch is different, because it is actually a huge damage source for Spriests.

    ---------- Post added 2012-09-17 at 04:48 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Netherspark View Post
    You don't seem to understand though. Immolate being instant speeds up the whole rotation and gives Warlocks more mobility. You can't have these things without a tradeoff - this is exactly what Xelnath's "Lets talk about a few things" thread was about.
    I understood that, but what's going to be the tradeoff here? Destro is indeed desperate for mobility seeing how much of a turret spec it is. And as I've mentioned above, this has no bearing in PvP at all aside from multidotting and theoretically generating more burning embers slightly. That's it. Even if they make it instant, it doesn't even matter. What this will probably free up glyph spot. And it's not like Destro is fighting for glyph spots like Affliction.

    I'm just talking in my head, anyone can provide calculations and sims to this so we can actually see how much of an impact this is. But in PvP, it's a good buff, not great, but good.
    Last edited by sugarfree; 2012-09-17 at 04:50 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pokeadott View Post
    I Corruption used to have a cast time unless talented (pre-5.0 stuff), but it was QoL thing that just made sense to make it instant by default. Immo didn;t get that treatment because of Conflag at the time. Now things are different.
    Hah! that takes me back a LONG time! I remember corruptions 2 sec cast time, and the talent that reduced its cast time by something like .4 per talent, had to have a full 5 talents just to make corruption instant.

    I would suggest that you post it on the WoW forums, as well as submit a suggestion in-game. Ill go ahead and suggest it myself later on, next time I play.
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  19. #19
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    You don't seem to understand though. Immolate being instant speeds up the whole rotation and gives Warlocks more mobility. You can't have these things without a tradeoff - this is exactly what Xelnath's "Lets talk about a few things" thread was about.
    He already admitted that Destrolocks will likely have a bad time on movement or multi-targets fights (http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...0#post18097760), there is no need for a trade-off when you are already bad at something. And it is even worse when you combine both (Will of the Emperor for example).
    On lvl 90 sims Immolate cast time is 1.2 seconds; 0.2 seconds every 16 seconds won't change much in the rotation and it has already been showed that this almost doesn't change the final single target DPS.

    I agree with OP, Immolate being instant would be a very nice gameplay/QoL improvement, Destro is too static.

    Just from Simcraft lvl 85 GoSac sims :
    Affli has around 28% of its DPS which can be done while moving
    Demo around 65%
    and Destro... 17%

    In level 90 sims :
    Affli 30% with GoSac (without pet, meaning that with another Grimoire it would be much higher)
    Demo 78% with GoServ
    Destro 32% with GoSup

    And that is while standing still on a single target, in multi-targets situations Demo and Affli numbers would be even higher considering they can spam instant DoTs on all the targets while running around. Destro basically has to stand still all the time to do something useful.
    Last edited by Zumzumzum; 2012-09-17 at 08:03 AM.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by pokeadott View Post
    2) Every other primary caster DoT (read: FlameShock, Moonfire, LivingBomb, SerpentSting, Corruption, SW:P), all of which do very comparable damage to Immolate usually with much better secondary effects associated with them are *all* instant cast.
    "Because everyone else..." is probably the biggest reason in my mind as to why not to do something. On the other hand, take a look at Vampiric Touch or Unstable Affliction that have a cast time and not much secondary effects (from a PvE perspective). The point is to put a limiter on mobility, which is what you're complaining about it doing - thus, working as intended I guess.

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