# Thread: Our Lvl 90 Talents - Why Incanters Ward is Good!

1. ## Our Lvl 90 Talents - Why Incanters Ward is Good!

So I was browsing today (as per usual) and came across a comment by Zomgdps which indicated that there may be a veil over my eyes about choices of lvl 90 talents and why we should be using them. To this I sent him a PM to the effect of "What is the math on when I should use the choices and is this really true." Following is a copy/paste of our convo since we figured you all would like the info and it would benefit more people that just myself.

Zomgdps -
Re: Lvl 90 Talent Math
Correct.

The math on RoP and Invocation basically states that unless you can have 93%+ uptime on RoP or 95%+ uptime on Invocation, you'd be better just taking IW and using its passive.

So basically, unless you can ensure you are casting for 56/60 seconds for RoP (or 57/60 seconds for Invocation), you should just take IW and be done with it.

The other calculation is based on whether or not it was worth casting RoP or Invocation in the first place, this is where you get a few extra seconds

Basically, the maximum amount of non-DPS time for RoP is 6 seconds, after which, casting the rune was pointless. Similarly for Invocation, if you cannot cast for 55+ out of the 60 seconds of the buff, it wasn't worth the cast.

But yea, especially if you are busy raid leading, take IW and just be done with it.

Royals - (paraphrase) Uhhhh I kind of believe you but show me a little bit.

Zomgdps -
Its just the IW passive, you don't even have to use it.

The math is really simple, look here:

We know IW passive gives a 1.06 multiplier (6%) passively.

Now take a look at RoP. Say you manage to use RoP for 56 out of its 60 second duration (i.e. miss out on just 4 seconds), the multiplier you get from that is:

[ 56/(60+1.5) ] * 1.15 = 1.0514

Which is a 5.1% increase, hence, less than the 6% passive you will get for IW.

A similar calculation can be done for Invocation, showing that you actually need to use it for 58 out of the 60 seconds in order for it to beat IW passive.

If you start using IW, then things get trickier, but the fact that you can easily fall back on the 6% passive is what makes it such a strong option.

/endcopypaste
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So.. take from this what you will, obviously stacking 15% dmg increase with our cd's will be better than 6% passive if you can be casting/standing in your rune the whole time. But... this is definitely some good food for thought, especially on those fights with some constant raid dmg going on.

Enjoy and thanks to Zomgdps for doing some more math for us while I'm at work!

2. I can confirm all this.

Basically, a side effect of the *new and improved* 60 second Invocation is actually a curse in disguise.

While I covered RoP math in my PM to royals, I can demonstrate the Invoc math here just so you guys can get an idea of what you are dealing with:

Say you only managed to spend 50 out of the 60 seconds of the Invocation buff DPSing the boss, your final damage multiplier (dmult) would be (assuming no haste):

dmult = [ 50 / (60 + 3) ] * 1.15 = 0.9127

So you will actually loose 8.8% damage multiplier!! Meaning it was not even worth casting Invocation in the first place!!

That is with 10 seconds lost. Using the similar calculation we can answer the following questions:

Assuming 20% haste, when is RoP and Invocation better than Incanter's passive bonus?

For RoP: 95% uptime, i.e. you have to use RoP for 57 out of its 60 second duration to have it give you a dmult better than IW's passive
For Invoc: 96% uptime, i.e. 58/60 seconds

Assuming 20% haste, when is it even worthwhile to use RoP or Invocation?
This is the time where the dmult calculation actually becomes < 1.0

For RoP: 90% uptime, 54/60 seconds
For Invoc: 91% uptime, 55/60 seconds

As a curious side point, let us look at how these calculations worked for the old version of invocation, with the 25% multiplier and the 6 second cast time:

To beat IW: 95% uptime, 38/40 seconds
To be worth the cast: 90% uptime, 30/40 seconds

Conclusion?
Invocation actually became harder to use optimally, why?

1) There is a discernable increase in its uptime requirements.
2) It is harder to line up 55 seconds of uninterrupted DPS than it is to line up 30 seconds. The current invocation demands the former while the old required the latter.

3. Aren’t you implicitly assuming that IW guarantees you 100% dps uptime but the other two talents do not? Does this make sense? If you can only “use” invocation for 58 out of 60 seconds, it seems to me like you’d only be able to use IW for 58 out of 60 seconds as well (or more precisely, 61 out of 63 seconds, assuming no haste). This makes the breakeven point more like 35 seconds of dps time (versus 38 with IW) every 63 seconds, decreasing with haste.

RoP is a little tricker to calculate because it’s more plausible with that talent to actually not “use” the damage bonus despite taking the time to cast it.

4. Originally Posted by Wuga
Aren’t you implicitly assuming that IW guarantees you 100% dps uptime but the other two talents do not?
Actually no, I'm comparing them to the IW 'passive' bonus, which is always active. Now sure, you can argue that even with that you will have moments of dps downtime, however, with IW, that 'time' is not clamped as it is in the case of RoP and Invoc (since those two actually need to be 'activated' to use as well as having a set duration from the moment you activate them).
But sure, you can have "dps downtime" with IW too, however, that downtime is in control of the player (if that makes sense), in that, there is no 'decision point' that exists for which you need to compute "IW usage".

Now, IW usage (as in actually using the ward) can also be modeled (and I have) and you can use that to compare to the other two, but I really do not have the time to type out all the math for it here (you have to account for a few more variables).

The core point that I was trying to get across though, is the actual 'when are they worth to use' question which is really what royals was on about. And I agree, knowing when it is actually even worth it to cast Invocation or to place your Rune is an arithmetic every good mage should do.

---------- Post added 2013-03-06 at 01:25 PM ----------

Originally Posted by Wuga
If you can only “use” invocation for 58 out of 60 seconds, it seems to me like you’d only be able to use IW for 58 out of 60 seconds as well
Not quite. Since 3 seconds (modulo haste) were taken up to actually cast the spell. Those 3 seconds you would use for DPS if you had the IW passive. So in fact, you would get 100% uptime (assuming a 60 second window) with IW's passive if you just kept blasting away (since you don't have to 'stop' to do anything to get your free 6%).

Originally Posted by Wuga
RoP is a little tricker to calculate because it’s more plausible with that talent to actually not “use” the damage bonus despite taking the time to cast it.
How so? RoP is in the same boat as Invocation.

Invocation also needs to be 'activated' to work. Many scenarios exist where you cast your Evocation and then don't get the required uptime to make the 3 seconds it took to cast it worthwhile. That scenario does not exist with the IW passive.

5. All this says is that IW is not as bad of an alternative to RoP or Invo as people assume.

Any DPS downtime (other than the time used to cast the buff spell) during RoP or Invo would also occur if you had the IW passive. So the 6% would not be in place, even if it's passive. However like you said, there is no clamp to the 6% passive of IW. Therefore if you are a starting mage, and cannot manage Invo or RoP to the point where there is minimal loss to the buff during the fight, IW is a good talent to choose. Otherwise, Invo and RoP are still superior.

6. Just to show some spreads on the topic of IW usage (i.e. popping the bubble).

Here are some extremes.

Lets say you use IW on cooldown and manage to get the full 15 seconds of cranked DPS on the boss (along with 10 seconds of meh dps) during each and every time, your max dmult would be: 1.1238. (scales up with haste)

So basically, with the best ever possible usage, you will get ~12% bonus from IW.

Now, lets say you took an extra helping of herp when you bought your ticket to the light derptastic and manage (somehow) to use IW on cooldown but don't manage to actually do any DPS with it, basically, the worst possible scenario for IW, your dmult will be: 0.679, basically you lose ~32% damage for being a doofus.

Now say you are semi-pro and manage to get 1 really good IW popped for the entire fight (300 seconds), but for the rest of the fight you just use the normal passive bonus, your dmult would be: 1.0651, basically 6.5%

So the spread on IW usage is significant. It gives a good fallback option but also has the potential to actually nerf you pretty hard if used like a regular herpster.

7. One thing I might note, which I have been mulling around, is the constant damage to the raid in almost every raid encounter in this new raid. There seems to be quite a many sources of random(ish) damage sent out upon the raid. These occurances have already been shown as the "Best" time to take IW as your talent, e.g. Garalon. Movement as well has been proven to be detrimental to the other choices of that talent tier. With those things in mind and without even using the upon activation bonus of IW it seems to me that the activation "bonus" of IW and having it absorb fully would be an additional boon to that talent choice.

Better mobility, less downtime, less damage taken and an overall spell damage multiplier increase has me interested in trying this out over the course of my next week of raiding which begins this Friday.

8. Having done the first 5 bosses with invoc, I'm going to switch over to IW. I always thought I'd be a good enough mage to time it right, but I think I can proc IW on each of these fights without much problem. Always a minor damage thing I could selectively go jump in.

Also since we're not chart toppers anymore the damage absorption can at least help make me less of a liability.

9. Originally Posted by zomgDPS
Now, lets say you took an extra helping of herp when you bought your ticket to the light derptastic .
Almost want to change my sig to this... hilarious

10. Originally Posted by zomgDPS
Actually no, I'm comparing them to the IW 'passive' bonus, which is always active. Now sure, you can argue that even with that you will have moments of dps downtime, however, with IW, that 'time' is not clamped as it is in the case of RoP and Invoc
But by comparing them to the passive 6% you're assuming that downtime is 0 using IW. As an example, suppose the target will die in 50 seconds (i.e., ~16% downtime, consistent with the previous example). You can either:

a) IW for 6% buff
b) Evo 3s for 15%

Let's say your unbuffed dps is 10. In a), you will do 50*10*1.06=530 damage. In b), you will do 47*10*1.15=540 damage (and clearly it was better to evocate than do nothing here, which would give you 50*10*1=500). So, you're better off with invocation even with considerable downtime here. Now, I do agree that invo does impose some additional issues in that you do need to cast it on a fixed 63s cycle, which may be problematic in some cases. And yes, if you're actually using the active from IW it becomes considerably better (particularly when lining it up with cds).

Originally Posted by zomgDPS
How so? RoP is in the same boat as Invocation.

Invocation also needs to be 'activated' to work. Many scenarios exist where you cast your Evocation and then don't get the required uptime to make the 3 seconds it took to cast it worthwhile. That scenario does not exist with the IW passive.
RoP is different because it does not guarantee you a 60s 15% damage buff upon a successful cast, while invocation does.

11. Cheers guys, always used it so far, because I'm too lazy for the other options. Seems like that wasn't so bad after all.

12. The better thing to show is how many herp invo casts per minute you can do before IW overtakes it, or how many rune placements per minute you can spend before IW overtakes it.

By the look of your math, looks like you can screw up invo once per minute, or lay down 3 runes per minute before IW is better.

13. Originally Posted by Wuga
As an example, suppose the target will die in 50 seconds
Funnily enough, that is the ONLY example where what you say works, since it is an edge case where you have, as I mentioned previously, 'clamped time'.
"Boss about to die in X seconds" is a very specific edge case where a lot of rules go out the window since there is no "time" after that, hence, no opportunity to balance things out.

In pretty much all other situations, what I say holds true.

Originally Posted by Wuga
RoP is different because it does not guarantee you a 60s 15% damage buff upon a successful cast, while invocation does.
I see the point you are making, I'm just not fully buying it.

You would lose dps on RoP because you have to move. But you have to move with Invocation too. Now sure, your 'mobile dps' with Invocation will be higher than your mobile dps with RoP (since you moved out of the rune), but in general, both would have that period of movement count as "dps downtime".

Now sure, once you get to your final destination after movement, you will have to recast RoP (whereas you won't have to 'recast' Invoc), but then again, RoP is half the cast time of Invoc, so as long as you aren't moving around willy nilly like a silly, you should be at parity (essentially 2 'moves' a minute with RoP to find parity with Invoc).
Either way, it is all very fight specific and so I am not sure if we can make a general statement of the form that you are proposing.

14. i wonder if the mechanics of fire spec, tilt the favor slightly back towards invocation.
Guaranteeing that you can have the 15% bonus from invocation for your Pom/AT/ Combustion chain even with some dps lost elsewhere in the rotation, might be more important than the flat 6% bonus all the time from IW?

But yeah always been a fan of IW and with the changes in 5.2 looks like i'll be using it a lot more as frost

15. Originally Posted by Keiyra
i wonder if the mechanics of fire spec, tilt the favor slightly back towards invocation.
Guaranteeing that you can have the 15% bonus from invocation for your Pom/AT/ Combustion chain even with some dps lost elsewhere in the rotation, might be more important than the flat 6% bonus all the time from IW?

But yeah always been a fan of IW and with the changes in 5.2 looks like i'll be using it a lot more as frost
You'd be surprised at how much consistent raid wide damage exists in this tier. IIRC, I believe all our mages are IW users.

That being said, this tier is definitely going to be a tussle between IW and Invocation. The irony is that Arcane actually requires RoP in order for the spec to even function.

16. Originally Posted by Keiyra
i wonder if the mechanics of fire spec, tilt the favor slightly back towards invocation.
Guaranteeing that you can have the 15% bonus from invocation for your Pom/AT/ Combustion chain even with some dps lost elsewhere in the rotation, might be more important than the flat 6% bonus all the time from IW?
This is one thing that I mentioned as a caveat in my OP. The one thing to note, is what Zomgdps mentioned, is IF we are using optimally and IF you can get your IW onuse to pop before you use your PoM macro correctly we still win out with IW because of the +30% over 15%. If you were to be just passively leaving the IW as 6% the whole fight then I would agree we may tilt toward the 15% from Invo. Especially on an opener when you are stacking procs/lust/pots etc. But the real question is sustained dps over the course of a 5-10 minute fight and not just on your 3 minute burst window.

I think its going to (as always) come down to personal playstyle and which you can manage the best. But this was a great way to shine the light on an option I would never have considered before.

17. Ultimately, the decision is whether the dps increase of invocation is worth the risk associated with casting evocation / tracking buff uptime.

As we hit higher haste levels, the risk goes down and invoc becomes more attractive.

I agree with Royals, it does come down to playstyle -- definitely worthwhile testing both to see which yields the best results instead of automatically dismissing.

18. Originally Posted by mipper
Ultimately, the decision is whether the dps increase of invocation is worth the risk associated with casting evocation / tracking buff uptime.
.
I think all the buffs have to be tracked in some way. Heck I'm sure some of us have accidently stepped off our RoP circle from time to time. I'll use IW tonight, I was having a heck of a time with Invo on Horridon last night as we always seem to be dpsing.... particularly now since we have lower dps overall. It's good that it's a viable option.

19. It seems to me that a lot of these calculations assume several things that dont really pan out. You need to compare apples to apples.

If you are not doing dps then you are not doing DPS. It does not matter if you have invocation active or not. You need to calculate what IW will be if you do not cast for 10 seconds as well, and I assume only the 6% benefit becasue modeling on usage is more complex.

Invocation: dmult = [ 50 / (60 + 3) ] * 1.15 = 0.9127
IW: dmult = [ 53 / (63) ] * 1.06 = .892
Nothing: dmult = [ 53 / (63) ] = .841

20. Alright, bear with me as I make a fool of myself trying to do math. [ 56/(60+1.5) ] * 1.15 = 1.0514 for RoP, I get it. But wouldn't it then also be the same amount of downtime given 60 seconds of IW's passive? Like this: (56/60) * 1.06 = 0.99? You clearly account for RoP's cast time in the original formula. But what causes the loss of those 4 seconds for RoP that wouldn't account for loss for the IW passive? Perhaps it would be better to use Invocation for this example because you don't need to recast it whenever you move, but hopefully you see my point?

Again, forgive me if I'm missing something incredibly obvious here.

Edit: Seems I was beaten to the punch while typing this out

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