1. #1

    Gimme the big spree (Mastery Combat PvP Reforge)

    Summary so far: Mastery ranges from roughly 25% better than crit to 8% better than crit during shadow blades + killing spree, with the 8% near the high end of player armor and the 25% near the low end. It is around 35% better than crit with JUST killing spree, where armor is not a factor. This is because the extra damage and accurate from shadow blades autoattacks is aided more by crit, with mastery just getting a mild frequency boost under blades..



    This season I'm messing with combat PvP. My favorite rogue spec was always HARP at 70 and the objectively niche SHARP at 80, but at 85 combat couldn't get prep, and was trashcan. In MoP, combat could finally get prep, but overall I would say sub overshadowed it entirely.


    And sub kinda still does- the numbers show sub rogue way outnumber combat. But unlike in the past, I think that combat actually CAN succeed now (I've tried it several seasons throughout all seasons, but normally had to go sub past 2k). With the likely ability to poach someone from oqueue, I suspect I can push later in the season... maybe.


    Anyway, that's my theory, and that's why I'm making this thread: to discuss how to get that big killing spree. Also to discuss strategy if anyone wants to- it's rare enough that combat isn't the kind of well covered space as sub is.




    Killing Spree is the preeminent Combat kill button. It's got a small cooldown that gets smaller when you evis or rupture (or I think tempest). It hits hard and fast, and renders you immune to CC. It also keeps you on the target, no matter where they go (which can be good or bad). You can /cancelaura to end killing spree early, but that's about it. You can't spree during anything that makes you lose control of your character: fear, charm, disorient, stun. You can't spree when disarmed. You normally want to land spree with your cooldowns up and in a good insight (yellow or red). If possible, shadow blades should be on during it. All damage you do during killing spree is increased by a small amount (I think like 20%?), which isn't really something you handle with strategy, it's just more damage. Because killing spree uses both weapons, you want two slow weapons. Most rogues seem to pick Prey on the Weak, and if you can long stun a target who can't trinket it, then you should consider that as well.



    So mostly you will killing spree when you want a kill. Killing Spree is composed of the following:

    Seven main hand Killing Spree attacks.
    Seven off hand Killing Spree attacks.
    Two or three main hand melee attacks.
    Two or three off hand melee attacks.
    Normally one to four main gauche attacks.
    Normally four to eight wound poison procs.

    Remember that offhand attacks are only 87.5% as effective as mainhand attacks, and that autoattacks have a +19% miss rate compared to yellow attacks.


    So, my math is saying that Mastery is my best secondary stat during this. If you are running around with reasonably similar PvP gear to mine (you have 522 weapons and some other pieces, but still many 496, having capped every week but maybe not capped much more than 2200), then we can probably round your crit percent to 20%, and your mastery percent to 30%, and your white miss at around 20% (likely a couple less, but rounded).

    600 crit rating buys 1% of crit, and that same amount buys 2% of mastery.

    Everything in the above table is based on weapon damage, which is a combination of rolling damage for the weapon, then adding in 2.4 times the AP, times a number (I recall dividing by 14, who knows)! The exception is wound poison, which I'm going to ignore. It shouldn't make a very large difference, but feel free to disagree if you think it does in practice.

    So the damage will be:
    crit times [ (killing spree) + (auto attack) + (main gauche) ]

    >We expect to get 13.125W damage out of the spree itself, counted as 1W for each of 7 mainhands and 0.875W for each of 7 offhands.
    >During the spree, we will assume you have four autoattacks- two of each hand. You could have three if you are lucky, but my weapon speed under slice is damned near 1.5, so two is a very solid average. You will expect to miss 20% of the time with these. We'll count these as 1W for each mainhand plus 0.875W for each offhand, each times 0.8 for the miss chance. That will give us 3W.
    >Assuming your mastery is roughly 30%, those seven spree mainhands can each trigger one, as can the two autoattack mainhands. Each mastery hit is 1.2W. The autoattack mainhands only can trigger when they hit, so we'll multiply their chance to 0.8. This gives us 0.3 * (7+0.8*2) = 2.58 main gauche hits. Each hit is 1.2 times weapon damage, so 3.096W, which we'll round to 3.1W.

    So our damage, assuming the 20% crit and the 30% mastery and the 20% miss chance with white hits, is:

    1.2 * [ 13.125W + 3W + 3.1W ] = 23.07W

    Pretend, for the moment, that we have our choice of 5% crit (3000 rating, roughly within reach of gems, enchants, reforges) or 10% mastery (also 3000 rating).

    Crit rising to 1.25:

    1.25 * [19.225] = 24.03, an increase of 4.2% total damage.

    Mastery rising to 40%:

    This changes the mastery number. We up the first number from 0.3 to 0.4: 0.4 * (7+0.8*2) = 3.44 main gauche hits, and multiplying by their 1.2W damage we get about 4.2.

    1.2 * [ 13.125W + 3W + 4.2W ] = 24.39W, an increase of 5.7% total damage.



    This means that mastery is like 35% better than crit during the spree!


    What about haste? Haste does do damage, especially during the rest of the fight. But I don't exactly know how to calculate the average gain during the spree. What I do know is that it will only effect the white swings during the spree (this will in turn give you a bit more expected main gauche, but remember that you have like 9 hits, 7 of them from the spree, upping that to 10 hits is strong but it doesn't change the main gauche like it will the rest of the fight). Unlike crit, both haste and mastery can give you energy back. My intuition is that haste's contribution during spree will be very close to white hit rating- aka, not very much at all. The mastery boosts an effect that triggers way more often than during your normal rotation. The crit boosts everything you do evenly, but this is a big ramp of damage. Haste takes a lot longer to play out.



    So, that's math. Post if you disagree with my method here.




    What to reforge to for the biggest spree?


    Mastery seems bigger than crit, which seems bigger than haste, which is in turn likely similar to white hit.

    And lets add consideration outside of spree:

    Haste would be top in pve by a lot, but suffers from lack of uptime. It's still good though. Mastery normally trails haste, and crit trails that by a lot.



    So my guess is:

    For a BIG SPREE:
    Mastery >> Crit > Haste ~= White Hit

    And you'd probably want to prioritize Haste way over white hit, given how much it helps the rest of the fight.


    I'm currently stuck trying to figure out whether it's worth trying to go ALL IN on mastery- for instance, a piece with Expertise and Haste, with the Haste the larger value- I could get more mastery out of the haste, but what if I then have to reforge haste to expertise on another piece as a result? I'm not sure of how much to weigh that haste, but I'll try to guess at something.


    EDIT: If you do this during blades (and you normally will), I think that eliminates the miss chance, reducing white hit's benefit to zero, but changing the formula a little, and reducing mastery's edge very slightly. The white hits are, instead of 3W, 3.75W. The mastery changes slightly as well, becoming Mastery * 9 * 1.2W. Some things hit harder as well, but that isn't important for the stats much (unless wound is a bigger factor).

    Base:
    1.2 * [ 13.125W + 3.75W + 3.24W ] = 24.14W
    Crit rising to 1.25:
    1.25 * [20.115] = 25.14, still about 4.2%.
    Mastery rising to 40%:
    1.2 * [ 13.125W + 3.75W + 4.32W ] = 25.43W, an increase of 5.4% total damage.


    This makes it around 30% better, not 35%, I think. I don't think it changes the conclusion though.

    Updated: If you do this during blades on an opponent with no armor, the above holds. Because shadow blades lets just your autoattacks ignore armor, they become a bigger part of the formula. This shrinks the mastery edge. At around 50% armor (holy paladin, roughly), you will only find mastery 8% better than crit, with a progression up to 25% on higher armored targets.
    Last edited by Verain; 2013-10-16 at 01:31 AM.

  2. #2
    All damage during spree is increased by 50% (including autoattacks/SB, poisons, and MG). It's not really a small amount, 50% is a rather substantial damage increase.

    Shouldn't change the overall conclusion though since flat damage modifiers don't change relative values of stats.

    That said, it's been known for a while that point-for-point mastery does more direct damage than crit or haste.

    Small note however about the math, you'll have to multiple each of the KS and MG weapon damage factors by ~0.96 to account for normalization. (Note: a reasonable way to deal with normalization is to consider half your weapon damage from base damage and half from attack power bonus. Since normalization will reduce the AP bonus by about 8%, treating the overall damage as a 4% loss due to normalization is a fair approximation).

    Haste will actually be slightly worse than white hit (I did the math in a forum post on the official forums from the 5.4 combat ptr thread).

    It goes like this: Say you are at exactly hit cap and 0 haste, such that you only get DW miss penalty and at your normal attack speed. During 1000 swings, gaining 1% haste increases you to 1010 swings in the same time, of which 19% will still miss, meaning you go from 810 to 818.1 hits in the same time frame. If you gain 1% hit, you stay at 1000 swings, but you go from 810 to 820 hits, putting you at 1.9 extra attacks during that given time frame over 1% haste. Given that you only need 340 hit for 1% hit or 425 haste for 1% haste, white hit comes out slightly better than haste when ignoring the energy regen component of haste (which you can do for the sake of killing spree direct damage).
    Last edited by shadowboy; 2013-10-16 at 12:24 AM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowboy View Post
    All damage during spree is increased by 50% (including autoattacks/SB, poisons, and MG). It's not really a small amount, 50% is a rather substantial damage increase.
    Agreed, and I was probably thinking of an older number. However, it isn't relevant: multiplying everything by 50% changes nothing.

    Small note however about the math, you'll have to multiple each of the KS and MG weapon damage factors by ~0.96 to account for normalization. (Note: a reasonable way to deal with normalization is to consider half your weapon damage from base damage and half from attack power bonus. Since normalization will reduce the AP bonus by about 8%, treating the overall damage as a 4% loss due to normalization is a fair approximation).
    True, but worth doing? It might matter a bit more because you will have trinket up during that. Also, are you sure killing spree is normalized?

    Haste will actually be slightly worse than white hit (I did the math in a forum post on the official forums from the 5.4 combat ptr thread).
    Nice. But obviously not during blades.



    Speaking of, the above math with the shadow blade thing (at the bottom) is only valid for a target with 0 armor, which is none of them ever.


    Normally, the armor doesn't matter- if you just press killing spree during red with your trinket on, everything you do is mitigated normally. But if your melee attacks (shadow blades doesn't boost spree hits or main gauche) are double double damage than normal...

    So, armor values aren't as redic as they have been in the past. An arms warrior will be around 42% reduction, a rogue 28, etc. To make the math easy, I'll go with something simple: 50%. A holy paladin exceeds that by a bit, but almost everyone else has less armor.

    Going from 20% to 25% crit will always be 4.2% increase, so we'll keep that. But the mastery gain changes:

    Assuming 50% reduction from armor on all attacks except for the autoattacks, which are replaced with shadow blades:


    Base:
    1.2 * [ 13.125W + 3.24W ]/2 + 1.2*3.75W = 14.32W
    Mastery rising to 40%:
    1.2 * [ 13.125W + 4.32W ]/2 + 1.2*3.75W = 14.97W, an increase of 4.5% total damage.

    This makes mastery only around 8% better, tops, during blades on a full plate target.


    So the actual amount that mastery exceeds crit by will range from 25% to 8% during blades, and is around 35% outside of blades. I still think this is a compelling argument for mastery.

  4. #4
    Killing spree is normalized. The only weapon damage based rogue attack that is not normalized to my knowledge is revealing strike.

  5. #5
    Reducing the spree and the main gauche by about 4% or so doesn't change much.

    On the topic of haste again:

    With no haste or slice and dice, you would swing both weapons every 2.4 seconds. This means that you will be lucky to get two swings during the spree- if your first swing is from 0-0.6 seconds in you get the second one before the end.

    In my combat PvP gear (504), I have reforged such that I have the following stats:
    1145 hit (this takes me over the 3% yellow cap slightly- 3.37%)
    6915 Mastery
    5857 Crit
    2609 Haste

    This ends up being 6.14% haste from rating, which ends up giving my weapons a speed under slice and dice of 1.59. This means if I press spree without about a tenth of a second of swinging my weapons, I'll only get one swing in there, but generally I'm very likely to get two.

    Now, it would be pretty easy to reforge such that my speed is a bit under 1.5. But is it possible to time the spree such that I would get all three attacks in during that? I would want something like the old quartz weapon swing timer (which probably still exists).

  6. #6
    Honestly, I wouldn't feel that timing your spree around your swing timer is worth it. The reward isn't worth the effort, as it were. Nevermind that quite often your swing timer is not going to dictate when you can spree--it's going to be other things (such as cc chains and the like).

  7. #7
    Stood in the Fire Wootylicious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowboy View Post
    Killing spree is normalized. The only weapon damage based rogue attack that is not normalized to my knowledge is revealing strike.
    are you saying daggers do as much damage during a spree as two slow ones?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Wootylicious View Post
    are you saying daggers do as much damage during a spree as two slow ones?
    No.

    http://wowpedia.org/Normalization

    (Note that some of the information from that link is outdated)
    Last edited by shadowboy; 2013-10-16 at 07:15 PM.

  9. #9
    To keep the info in thread for future reference:

    A normalized attack doesn't mean "normalized across weapons". It means "normalized for weapon speeds".

    When you swing your weapon as part of your autoattack cycle, it rolls for weapon damage, and then it adds an AP component. The AP component is multiplied by your weapon speed. This is done so that you get what you pay for- a 1.0 speed dagger with 100 dps should autoattack for the same amount as a 3.0 speed sword with 100 dps, but since the dagger strikes thrice as often, the sword will have to do triple damage per strike.


    When the game was new, each "strike" was calculated like this- including instant hits. If you have a button that consumes a resource (say, energy, rage, or its own cooldown) that strikes for "weapon damage", it would logically be thrice as good with that 3.0 speed sword as the 1.0 speed dagger- unlike the autoattack, you get the attack at its own rate.

    To prevent weapon speed from dominating the hell out of everything, their first attempt was to "normalize" strikes.

    Daggers, which normally ranged from 1.2 to 2.0 speeds, were normalized at 1.7. So no matter how slow or fast your dagger is, the AP component is multiplied by 1.7 when doing a normalized attack.
    Mainhand weapons, normally ranging from 2.0 to 2.9, were normalized at 2.4.

    So when he pointed that out, he was correctly stating that my "W" term isn't quite the same for "killing spree" (apparently normalized), "main gauche" (normalized), and "autoattacks" (can't be normalized). Since the weapon is actually slower than 2.4 (all weapons are 2.6- the second solution was to just eliminate variable weapon speeds completely, making all daggers 1.8 and all slow weapons 2.6), this difference exists.

    But it doesn't change the conclusions much.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowboy View Post
    Honestly, I wouldn't feel that timing your spree around your swing timer is worth it. The reward isn't worth the effort, as it were. Nevermind that quite often your swing timer is not going to dictate when you can spree--it's going to be other things (such as cc chains and the like).
    Agreed.

    Upon reflection, I don't like the 1.59 speed that results from this. My reasoning is this: I don't like the idea that if I'm being kited and the opponent gets in lockdown just as I reach them, that I'll swing with both weapons and then immediately go into spree. I think that scenario is common enough that I should have a 1.49 speed or something. I'll see what that does to my other stats later.


    I also want to know what the story is with PvP Power, something I'll try to add some math for as well. That's relevant to gemming, not reforging, however.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Looking at gemming:

    1000 Agility boosts it by roughly 3% in 504 pvp gear (while trinket is active).

    1000 PvP Power boosts it by a bit less than 2%. As you would expect, PvP Power is not worth gemming over agility.

    2000 Mastery, however, seems to boost it by around the same amount as Agility- maybe up to 20% more in favorable conditions (aka, not during blades). But I believe it shifts the other way during blades- I am pretty sure gemming agi over mastery would be correct, but the two seem surprisingly close.

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