1. #1

    Snapshotting and Mages

    Hi. I've played mage since WotLK. Played through LK and Cataclysm completely. I stopped playing after reaching level 90 in pandaria because I had a rough shift and lots of other stuff. I've seen how things have changed. I know I still don't have the metagem but sometimes my DPS is garbage. My ilvl is 537, I believe. I came across the term snapshotting. I thought mages dots look at SP constantly before ticking but I believe that is not the case. My question is, how vital is snapshotting for a mages DPS? How much increase in DPS can I expect? Tools that help facilitate track those moments to snapshot a DOT.

  2. #2
    The Patient royals's Avatar
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    All dots that don't refresh auto. "snapshot" your stats at the time of application. The only ones you really worry about as a mage are your bomb and your combustion. The rest of which are applied automatically a la Pyro dot and are not ones you worry about what buffs you have currently. That being said, the only people I really hear that will overwrite their bombs early are the high haste frost mages sneaking extra damage from their dots with mega hate procs.

    But really you just need to make sure your bomb uptime is good, and if you are fire, use your Alter Time macro/pyro spam and get a solid combustion off.
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  3. #3
    Field Marshal
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    Snapshotting is not vital. You can progress and pull worthwhile DPS without it.

    That being said there is no dispute that snapshotting will have a positive impact on your DPS if done right. It becomes particularly more relevant in multitarget fights. Our mage bombs are typically the highest DPET, and generally one of the top 3 damaging abilities we have; so doing what you can to make them more effective is well worth the effort.

    The variability of DPS is dependent primarily on the trinkets you have. For example snapshotting a 10 stack Wushoolay's will be more effective than a BotH proc. You could see anywhere from a 5k increase to 50k, depending on a number of factors including RNG and fight mechanics.

    For tracking moments to snapshot you're essentially trying to monitor your procs. You can do this a variety of ways, either through monitoring the difference in sp with various procs or monitoring which procs are up themselves. To monitor procs (which is the most common method I believe) there are a number of popular addons. I see NeedToKnow suggested a lot, and WeakAuras works well too. I'm a personal fan of WeakAuras, but use whichever you're going to have an easy time keeping track of.

  4. #4
    The Patient Kver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasted View Post
    Snapshotting is not vital. You can progress and pull worthwhile DPS without it.

    That being said there is no dispute that snapshotting will have a positive impact on your DPS if done right. It becomes particularly more relevant in multitarget fights. Our mage bombs are typically the highest DPET, and generally one of the top 3 damaging abilities we have; so doing what you can to make them more effective is well worth the effort.

    The variability of DPS is dependent primarily on the trinkets you have. For example snapshotting a 10 stack Wushoolay's will be more effective than a BotH proc. You could see anywhere from a 5k increase to 50k, depending on a number of factors including RNG and fight mechanics.

    For tracking moments to snapshot you're essentially trying to monitor your procs. You can do this a variety of ways, either through monitoring the difference in sp with various procs or monitoring which procs are up themselves. To monitor procs (which is the most common method I believe) there are a number of popular addons. I see NeedToKnow suggested a lot, and WeakAuras works well too. I'm a personal fan of WeakAuras, but use whichever you're going to have an easy time keeping track of.
    Well, yeah, the bigger % of your total damage your mage bomb is worth, the more you'll notice a DPS increase per bomb, that makes sense. The questions you should ask yourself are: is the increase in damage worth the loss of refreshing early, and can I optimally snapshot without it negatively affecting my performance? The answers will differ based on your gear and skill.

    If your DPS is garbage then your issue might be either a gear issue, wrong rotation(Check cooldown usage) or you're just simply having a terrible day. Snapshotting is not essential for decent(i.e. not garbage) DPS, and it arguably isn't essential for good DPS either.

  5. #5
    Mechagnome Zatetic's Avatar
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    Snapshotting your bombs is the difference between good arcane mages and average arcane mages. For fire and frost it is less important to watch your procs.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Zatetic View Post
    Snapshotting your bombs is the difference between good arcane mages and average arcane mages. For fire and frost it is less important to watch your procs.
    It's important for all specs to be snapshotting equally

  7. #7
    Blizzard spent most of early MoP tuning down the amount of difference snapshotting made to Fire Mages in particular, so now it's much less of a % than it once was. But yes truly optimal play on a Mage involves snapshotting.
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    Dreadlord Cycobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zatetic View Post
    Snapshotting your bombs is the difference between good arcane mages and average arcane mages. For fire and frost it is less important to watch your procs.
    Correction, snapshotting is the difference between great Mages, and good Mages.

    Whilst it's important to learn for maximisation purposes, your DPS will not suffer greatly by not snapshotting, you will gain far more DPS by executing your rotation properly, maintaining good buff/debuff uptimes (those that you can control, at least) and not dying.

  9. #9
    Mechagnome Zatetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cycobi SB View Post
    Correction, snapshotting is the difference between great Mages, and good Mages.

    Whilst it's important to learn for maximisation purposes, your DPS will not suffer greatly by not snapshotting, you will gain far more DPS by executing your rotation properly, maintaining good buff/debuff uptimes (those that you can control, at least) and not dying.
    We mean the same thing, we just usedd different words. lol.

  10. #10
    High Overlord Huevos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zatetic View Post
    We mean the same thing, we just usedd different words. lol.
    Well, they're not the same thing. Cycobi's point (and I agree) was that you can be good without snapshotting. The important thing to note is that snapshotting isn't worth focusing your effort on if other areas need work. It's a dps gain if done properly, but a marginal one in most circumstances.

  11. #11
    Dreadlord Cycobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huevos View Post
    Well, they're not the same thing. Cycobi's point (and I agree) was that you can be good without snapshotting. The important thing to note is that snapshotting isn't worth focusing your effort on if other areas need work. It's a dps gain if done properly, but a marginal one in most circumstances.
    This, basically.

    While snapshotting is essential to become a "master" of the class, it is far from required to be good at it. I've attained rank 1s without snapshotting before, and this is my point - while it's a good skill to have and good to master, it's not a "requirement" to be good at your class, if that makes sense.

  12. #12
    Legendary! Polarthief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zatetic View Post
    Snapshotting your bombs is the difference between good arcane mages and average arcane mages. For fire and frost it is less important to watch your procs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mastamage View Post
    It's important for all specs to be snapshotting equally
    TBH I'd say for Fire/Frost, it's only vital to snapshot Haste Procs [Meta/Hero/IV] (For Combustion/NT, respectively). Fire for more ticks and Frost for quicker/more ticks, resulting in more Brain Freezes, resulting in more FFBs, resulting in more 2P procs. For Arcane, it's for pure damage, but Arcane Bombs are way stronger than Fire/Frost Bombs (Not to be confused with the actual spell Frost Bomb) due to Arcane's Mastery.

    Definitely a bit important for all 3, not equally as important (Fire being the least vital), but none of them being 100% vital to doing well as a Mage. If you're going for min-maxing though as Arcane or Frost, I'd definitely say it's worth doing.

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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Polarthief View Post
    TBH I'd say for Fire/Frost, it's only vital to snapshot Haste Procs [Meta/Hero/IV] (For Combustion/NT, respectively). Fire for more ticks and Frost for quicker/more ticks, resulting in more Brain Freezes, resulting in more FFBs, resulting in more 2P procs. For Arcane, it's for pure damage, but Arcane Bombs are way stronger than Fire/Frost Bombs (Not to be confused with the actual spell Frost Bomb) due to Arcane's Mastery.
    Hmm, I don't know about that. I know you didn't mention living bomb, but as Frost I use it on single targets and it's actually a dps loss for me to try snapshotting with Tempus Repit:

    haste breakpoints

    At 10094 haste with frost armor + raid haste, the meta proc only gives me 1 extra tick. Snapshotting a bomb a tick early means giving up a tick + explosion for an extra tick, which is a dps loss. It makes no sense to refresh with >3 ticks remaining, and with only 1 tick remaining I'd refresh anyway so theres no extra decision making there.

    Even if I had >12084 haste for 2 extra ticks under meta, it'd only be a very marginal gain (1 tick + 1 explo vs 2 ticks) & I'd only have a ~2s window for it to make sense, which means that the meta buff would have to be falling off during that window. That would give me a ~2/12 = 16.7% chance of this scenario even popping up on any given meta proc (assuming equal proc chance through the fight), and the damage gain with my avg #s is something like 15k. Hardly seems worth it.

    NT is a different story because the +tick differential can be something like 5 with the proc up, but the dps difference is still marginal given the small refresh window for a DPS increase (around 2.5-3s of bomb remaining before it starts becoming a dps increase)

  14. #14
    Legendary! Polarthief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aoz View Post
    Hmm, I don't know about that. I know you didn't mention living bomb, but as Frost I use it on single targets and it's actually a dps loss for me to try snapshotting with Tempus Repit:
    It's a known fact that on average, NT procs more Brain Freezes than LB due to having a 9% chance to proc vs a 25% chance to proc; with 0 haste, that comes out to 1.08 procs per cast vs 1.00 procs per cast; higher haste simply scales both multiplicative.

    What does this mean for Frost? Well, with the 2P, your Brain Freeze becomes much more important than ever before, so having more of them is a good thing. Plus, most fights have some form of add that is fairly close to the boss for most of the fight (plus the DPS gain between the two is fairly similar from a raw DPET from the Bomb standpoint). It's simply meant to proc more Brain Freezes, which is also why I would tend to snapshot NT on Tempus Repit, Hero/BL/TW, and Icy Veins (Unglyphed), SHOULD I actually get my 2P...

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