1. #1
    Moderator Nobleshield's Avatar
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    A little bit confused about just when/how to refresh DoTs

    I've recently hit 90 on my Warlock and I'm still a little bit confused about how DoTs get refreshed and when is the ideal time to refresh them. I am using AffDots (I run Destro/Afflic) and I kind of understand the colors, but as I've not played a DoT class before the actual implementation is still tricky to me. Also I don't have much in the way of procing trinkets (I'm using the Shieldwall Int trinket with the +Haste on-use macroed to Dark Soul, and I just got the LFR Light of the Cosmos)

    First of all, when AffDots shows a number (say 110 or 84) on top of the DoT, that is the percentage the DoT would have if refreshed and not its current power, correct? So if it says 110 and is green, I should probably refresh that DoT immediately; on the flip side if it says 84 and is red, I should keep it as it is?

    Now this is where the confusion lies: If it's red, and the new DoT would be weaker than the current DoT, do I wait for that DoT to fall off completely (unless I get a proc or something that changes it to higher before it runs out), pretend Pandemic doesn't exist, and only refresh the DoT when it's gone, or refresh it like at 1s left, or something else? It seems like letting the DoT fall off completely (especially in the case of Agony) would be a huge DPS loss, but wouldn't it also be a DPS loss to refresh it with a weaker version without letting the stronger version get all of its ticks in? I think I've been screwing myself so far because I have WeakAuras set up to show each DoT icon and have it show a large flashing icon when each DoT <= 50% of its max duration, and I've been reapplying it almost immediately when I see that to avoid it falling off completely and give it a longer duration; from reading a bit more guides this seems to be the wrong thing to do, even with Pandemic?
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  2. #2
    Refresh weak dots as soon as you have a proc and it has <50% time left.
    Don't refresh strong dots with weaker dots before 2nd last tick. Never let dots drop.
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRet

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  3. #3
    Reapplying immediately when under 50% of the duration will increase the frequency at which you have to do that.
    More time spent on the refreshing is time spent not doing something else.

    Pandemic gives you a window of opportunity rather than a single good moment as to when you refresh.
    When you refresh sub 50% makes no difference to the dps contribution of that dot, buffs/debuffs aside but the longer you can leave it the longer you have to be casting something else, which IS a dps increase.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ComputerNerd View Post
    Reapplying immediately when under 50% of the duration will increase the frequency at which you have to do that.
    More time spent on the refreshing is time spent not doing something else.

    Pandemic gives you a window of opportunity rather than a single good moment as to when you refresh.
    When you refresh sub 50% makes no difference to the dps contribution of that dot, buffs/debuffs aside but the longer you can leave it the longer you have to be casting something else, which IS a dps increase.
    Uh, no.

    Refreshing sub-50% of a dot's base duration does not make you have to refresh it faster, due to pandemic. It's exactly the same as refreshing a normal dot between the last tick and the second to last tick.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by kazih View Post
    Refresh weak dots as soon as you have a proc and it has <50% time left.
    Don't refresh strong dots with weaker dots before 2nd last tick. Never let dots drop.
    Exactly that. Brusalk is right, disregarding procs (which Kazih explains) there is no difference between refreshing a DoT <50% it's duration with 2s to go, or 8s to go, Pandemic gives you a window of opportunity (say 8-10 seconds) to refresh your DoT's with a strong proc, or to focus on damage avoidance/mechanics.
    "The strongest of bonds is one which shares pain and pleasure equally."

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Arothand View Post
    First of all, when AffDots shows a number (say 110 or 84) on top of the DoT, that is the percentage the DoT would have if refreshed and not its current power, correct? So if it says 110 and is green, I should probably refresh that DoT immediately; on the flip side if it says 84 and is red, I should keep it as it is?
    That's correct, however, there's a bit more to it than that. If you can reasonably expect an additional proc to come up before the first wears off, for example through an ICD tracker, it's probably wise to wait with refreshing just a bit as to not waste shards. But this again depends on how shit your current dots are, too. If you have completely unbuffed dots I'll be glad to refresh my dots even if it's just a jade spirit proc and nothing else. Ideally, you aim to have the strongest possible dots up as often as you can. If your affdots proclaims 150 and it's NOT pandemic safe, it may still be a good plan to refresh. While clipping your dots early may in general be a dps loss, if in return you gain such powerful dots, the trade-off may well be worth it. Note all the mays and ifs - there's no golden rule. The best thing you can do is just practice and experience it yourself.

    Now this is where the confusion lies: If it's red, and the new DoT would be weaker than the current DoT, do I wait for that DoT to fall off completely (unless I get a proc or something that changes it to higher before it runs out), pretend Pandemic doesn't exist, and only refresh the DoT when it's gone, or refresh it like at 1s left, or something else? It seems like letting the DoT fall off completely (especially in the case of Agony) would be a huge DPS loss, but wouldn't it also be a DPS loss to refresh it with a weaker version without letting the stronger version get all of its ticks in? I think I've been screwing myself so far because I have WeakAuras set up to show each DoT icon and have it show a large flashing icon when each DoT <= 50% of its max duration, and I've been reapplying it almost immediately when I see that to avoid it falling off completely and give it a longer duration; from reading a bit more guides this seems to be the wrong thing to do, even with Pandemic?
    A dot should never drop off and especially not agony (because then the stacks reset). If your new dot will be weaker than your old one, just wait with refreshing until the very last moment, 2 or 1 seconds left. A nuance here: if your dot has like 6 second left and you have some decent procs (not as good as the ones your current dots have though), and those procs will wear off before your dot reaches the 1-2 second where you'd refresh, this would mean refreshing at 1-2 seconds leaves you with a totally unbuffed and crappy dot. It MAY be worth it to refresh a bit earlier just to make sure your new dots won't be wet noodles - again, this depends on the procs you have on your dots and the one that are up now, etc.

    I find affdots on itself woefully inadequate to keep track of dots, personally (sidenote, I also use flashing auras like you ). It's great because it does make it a lot easier to remember how strong your dots are, but to track actual duration it's simply not visual enough (for me). I'd strongly recommend dot timers in the form of bars, especially since you sort of seem to panic and just refresh when your affdots tell you it's pandemic-safe. That's the wrong thing to do, because if you refresh and your new dot will be weaker even if it's pandemic-safe, you're just losing dps.

    (as for dot trackers: I'm personally usning Ellipsis to keep track of them, mostly because it's so nice as it keeps track of multiple targets, but weakauras or any other addon will do the job just as fine.)

    ---------- Post added 2013-04-29 at 07:13 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by ComputerNerd View Post
    Reapplying immediately when under 50% of the duration will increase the frequency at which you have to do that.
    More time spent on the refreshing is time spent not doing something else.

    Pandemic gives you a window of opportunity rather than a single good moment as to when you refresh.
    When you refresh sub 50% makes no difference to the dps contribution of that dot, buffs/debuffs aside but the longer you can leave it the longer you have to be casting something else, which IS a dps increase.
    Why on earth would it increase the frequency at which you do it? There is literally NO duration loss if you refresh when it's pandemic-safe. When refreshing your periodic damage effects, duration remaining on the previous effect is added to the new one, up to a maximum of 50% the base duration. In short, if your dot's base duration is 20 seconds, to use a simple number, and you refresh it at 9 seconds, your new dot will will be 20+9 seconds in duration, while 11 seconds have already ticked. At the end, you will have had 40 seconds of ticks. If you refresh it at 1 second left, you will have a new duration of 20+1 second, while 19 seconds have already ticked. At the end, you will have had 40 seconds of ticks. If however you refresh it outside of pandemic, for example, when 12 seconds is left, the new duration will be 20+10 as 10 is the maximum of 50% of base duration, resulting in a total amount of 38 seconds of ticks.

    Now add to this a proc. Say that unbuffed, our 20 second dot ticks every second. This means that you get 20 ticks. At 9 seconds left however, you get a proc, increasing your haste such that it will make your dot tick every half a second. You refresh your dot at 9 seconds, and gain a dot of 29 seconds because of Pandemic, that does not tick once a second, but twice a second.

    So not only did you not lose any actual duration of your dot, but you made it twice as powerful by refreshing it "early" through pandemic. Imagine a situation where pandemic would not apply: you had the proc and it is nearly wearing off and your pandemic is not in yet: your dot is still at 13 seconds. You refresh anyway, losing 3 seconds and therefore ticks, but in return gain a 30 second dot that ticks twice as fast. You're of course totally right that this means losing time where you could have been malefic grasping and instead waste a gcd, unstable aff cast or even a shard refreshing - the trick here of course being knowing when to refresh to maximize your dps. My example being extreme, most procs will make you think before you refresh. A lightweave proc will not warrant a full refresh on dots that have barely been running for 3 seconds.

    Note that it's 7 am and I haven't slept at all, so forgive any mistakes or inaccuracies.
    Last edited by Cirque; 2013-04-29 at 05:16 AM.

  7. #7
    I worked that out wrong with the timing.
    My bad.

  8. #8
    Moderator Nobleshield's Avatar
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    Okay I think I understand it a little better now, thanks all! I also use ForteXorcist for actual DoT tracking, along with the WeakAuras and AffDots, I was just getting confused on if I should refresh as soon as the DoT is at the 50% mark to extend it further via Pandemic, and when I was testing on a dummy trying to improve my DPS (I can only do like 31k right now, but I'm in mostly blues with the 476 chest + hands, so I'm not sure what ideal DPS is for me at the moment anyways) I kept noticing that AffDots would drop numbers from like 100% to 84%, up to 110%, back to 84% etc and I was like "Oh crap am I replacing strong DoTs with weak ones?".
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  9. #9
    Not sure if you're aware of this, but you can actually set affdots to be your dot tracker in the form of a bar for both main target and focus, it also interacts with tidyplates

  10. #10
    Moderator Nobleshield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrov View Post
    Not sure if you're aware of this, but you can actually set affdots to be your dot tracker in the form of a bar for both main target and focus, it also interacts with tidyplates
    I've been trying to use that from time to time as well; I previously had FX set up to show ALL targets so I could manage multi-dots but the bars got really high so I switched it back to just my target. Still kind of setting up a decent UI so I'm not sure if I can/should replace FX with AffDots entirely, or use them both, or something else.

    I do love the TidyPlates integration though.
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  11. #11
    It's super handy because it also keeps track of the pandemic threshhold for you with a tiny cute little mark in the bar

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by kazih View Post
    Refresh weak dots as soon as you have a proc and it has <50% time left.
    Don't refresh strong dots with weaker dots before 2nd last tick. Never let dots drop.
    If the number is below 75, it's ok to let UA and Corruption drop off. If the number is below 50, it's ok to let Agony (and the others) drop off. In fact it's a dps increase to do so.
    Generally if you have supercharged dots, you want to refresh them as late as possible, without losing up time. But if you have relatively strong procs that are about to fade, you want to refresh regardlessly of them being a bit weaker, simply because you're likely to have a window of time afterwards where you will have no more procs, thus a long time with weak dots if you do not refresh them before the window appears (even if they are a bit weaker!).

  13. #13
    Moderator Nobleshield's Avatar
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    So as a general rule if I get a nice proc, say Light of the Cosmos, its okay to refresh my dots when they will benefit from Pandemic, but without any procs refresh them just before they expire?

    Also some unrelated questions: in low gear is Destro better overall than Affliction? And normally is GoSup with beholder pet better than GoSac?
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  14. #14
    I don't play Aff much, mostly been running Demo/ Destro. But my Affliction was DPS was almost on par with Destro, although I had problems about the exact time to min/max my DoTs to the fullest. With that TidyPlate information y'all posted I believe it would give me the slight bump over Destro than I was looking for multi-target wise.

  15. #15
    In addition to refreshing Pandemic-safe (green/yellow) dots, I sometimes refresh blue dots (i.e. above 50% duration, resulting in clipping) when particularily strong procs, or proc combinations, light up - such that AffDots shows 130% power or so. No idea if it's a dps loss or not, as I never bothered to test it in any reasonably systematic manner. However, when I see those huge numbers I always go for it, it's an impulse ;(

    Similarily, I can never bring myself to let Agony fall off, even if Affdots shows the current refresh would be piss-poor, like 34 or ssomething.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Arothand View Post
    So as a general rule if I get a nice proc, say Light of the Cosmos, its okay to refresh my dots when they will benefit from Pandemic, but without any procs refresh them just before they expire?

    Also some unrelated questions: in low gear is Destro better overall than Affliction? And normally is GoSup with beholder pet better than GoSac?
    Basically, yes. Don't refresh so soon if your new dots are crappier. You want maximum uptime on as powerful dots as possible. Refreshing them with a wet-noodle dot is not part of that plan. xD

    As mentioned, there's situations where you may want to refresh even without pandemic, too, if you have multiple good procs for example. Refreshing correctly is what will make or break your dps, basically. Any lock can do half-decent dps by just keeping dots up, but to do good dps, you will need to be on your toes 100% of the time regarding procs. The proc and ICD part of my screen is probably what I look most at during a fight (outside of environments obviously), and my head constantly works to plan my next move, to consider if I should take the risk and wait for a meta proc, take the risk and wait for the full stacks of wushoolay before I refresh, take the risk to delay dark soul hoping for specific procs, etc. With the rppm system, there's no reliable way to track when they will proc, however usually if they haven't procced in ages, the likelihood of them proccing increases. That's another thing I need to keep in mind - when was the last time I saw that meta go off (I have a love-hate relationship with that thing)? Undoubtfully it has hurt our dps, because being able to accurately predict our procs just made a huge difference. Now it's harder than ever to play affliction to its maximum potential, and the only way to "learn" it is to play it, and play it a lot. Develop a feel for it, until all your procs, your dot timers, etc., are small bars inside your head and it becomes instinct (of course that goes for every class and spec, but I'm saying for good measure).

    Sit on those dummies and make it routine, and then you can work to implement it in the reality of a raid environment. The fun thing about specs like this, is that after a fight, I can always think back and think of many different things I could or should have done differently. It's a spec where the sky is the limit - or that's how it feels for me. You can never at any point play 100% perfectly and flawlessly because that would require a mathematical and statistical insight of a machine. When I play any other class or spec, I don't have that. I will usually feel like I did my best and I'd have a hard time to pinpoint things that went wrong, aside from "well I let drop living bomb at some point for too long...".

    Edit: To give people an idea, this is how I track my procs (the quality is shit but it should give you an idea): http://i.imgur.com/mdaHUWT.png if there's an ICD, it will show on the same spot as the proc after it wore off. (yes, I like rainbows). Pots, tricks of the trade, etc will also show up in that row.
    Last edited by Cirque; 2013-04-29 at 05:21 PM.

  17. #17
    This is actually a good read, thanks guys.

    I play Aff as well and the way I play it is that I clip my dots only if AffDots shows anything more than 110%, but I never let them fall off either so I refresh them regardless with a few seconds to go. I tend to do Agony at the last second too unless it's 110%+ or if I know that procs are going to fall off before the time comes. Actually, before my current gear I clipped my dots a bit sooner than now because I wasn't hit capped and I don't want to miss refreshing Agony and lose the stacks.

    Again, thanks for the good read guys. I know Destro pulls better numbers probably, but I enjoy Affliction much more. I don't plan on switching since I only do LFR and probably don't have the skills for Heroic guild raids anyways

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