Sunday, November 30, 2008

Affliction, Imp vs Felhunter

Right now, it appears there are some bugs occurring, and it's swaying the results of these 2 pets into a far different set than what we were seeing and testing on beta at level 80.

To start, on the beta, the imp's in combat (while casting) regen rate was around 40 mp5. It's OOC was 400 mp5.

Currently on live, the in combat regen rate appears to be around 100 mp5 (maybe a tad more). It's OOC is still 400 mp5.

What this means, is that on the beta the imp would go OOM about 3-4 minutes into a fight in a raid situation. Currently on live it can go that long without ANY raid mana regeneration, solely sustaining itself that long on its own mana pool and regen rate.

I presume this is a bug, but I guess time will tell.

The felhunter. On the beta, the felhunter would get upwards of 350+ dps for an affliction warlock. The imp would only get around 240 on your average fight. Currently this is not the case.

Currently the felhunter seems to be bugging, and stops casting shadowbite at times. At other times he actually stops attacking altogether. I'm still collecting data, but I have several WWS reports of my own where on boss fights he's got an exorbitant amount of downtime (ie, not attacking), even though he should have been attacking the entire time.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Hope your holidays are fun, relaxing, and safe.

PS. I hope the cowboys lose. :p

Monday, November 24, 2008

Level 80 Raiding

Within the next 2 weeks, expect that there will be a new all encompassing WOTLK raiding guide. :) I am happy with the numbers I did in naxx this week, and look forward to improving upon those. Got a fair share of nifty upgrades too. (which is cool, cuz I'm notoriously bad at winning anything with /roll)

I'll update the affliction raiding/rotation guide with a patchwerk video and WWS report soon.

However, I do have my first little one expected this week, so if I'm AWOL for a bit you know why. :) Happy warlocking! Also, if you're looking for spec ideas, I'm happy with the one I have at the moment, so just armory me.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Felguard *is* fantastic for group leveling.

I'm leveling from 70 to 80 with a Hunter (complete with KJ bow) from my guild as felguard (though I'm felguard/destro, not SL/FG), and it's working out fantastically for me.

So hate away, Fallenman! Jhuughun and I are having a ball.

FG/SL is NOT Faster for Solo Leveling;12195022;/fileinfo.html

25 mobs in under 3 minutes. And I didn't have to stop. Been doing the same in northrend since the xpac. I've had FG/SL warlocks convert to haunt after seeing me leveling.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Server Downtime... And My Own Little Rant

As many of you have been aware, the servers were down for the greater part of 24 or more hours. In fact I'm not even sure if they're up yet at this point. I lurk the WoW Customer Service forum on a regular basis, and I just have to say one thing:


Yes, my rant is not directed at blizzard. Without going into too much detail why, I'm a server engineer myself. My company has roughly 500+ servers, and some of them perform critical functions as my company is involved with service in healthcare, etc.

Most people probably cannot even begin to comprehend the massive undertaking infrastructure-wise just to simply run warcraft for 11 million people. What we get for a mere $15 a month ($12 a month if you pay "in bulk" like me) is a steal. Yes, blizzard is a multi-million dollar corporation, with endless resources, etc and so on. However, when it comes to computers, there is only so much money can buy. One thing it can't buy, is time....

When problems arise that are more than the redundancy that's in place can handle, servers go down. Databases crash. Data becomes corrupt. No matter if you have 5,000 people working on the issue, computers can only go so fast. Database transactions can only be re-done or reverse only so quickly. And that's after you've found the problem, which in and of itself takes time. When blizzard's employees are working on a problem, they want to know it's fixed and why it's fixed and what the root cause was, before they go and set the servers loose to the public. If they don't, it could come back and bite them in the ass, and cause even more downtime.

Coming back to my original point, downtime should be expected. However, it never ceases to amaze me the number of people who post on the CSF forums and are throwing a tantrum that even a 2 year old would be embarassed about. It all seems to stem from this new "entitlement syndrome" that people have. People think they are entitled to anything and everything they want because they say so. There was one guy ranting about how he pays "hard earned cash every month" and "expects nothing less than the best customer service possible in return". Really? For $15 a month? $15 a month buys you 3 cups of coffee from Starbucks, served to you by some greasy dude with a liberal arts degree and enough balls to put out a tip jar after charging you $5 for your cup fo coffee. It doesn't buy you "the best customer service possible". Ugh, what a tool.

end rant.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The trouble with Affliction, as I see it

There are a number of glaring problems with Affliction as it currently stands.

1.) The rotation is overcomplicated. This is the biggie, and it's a large contributor to the other difficulties with the current Affliction tree. The Affliction rotation is not only a tremendously dramatic change from the Shadow Bolt spam of yore-- warlocks went from being arguably one of the easiest classes to succeed at in end-game raiding to far and away the most difficult class to play effectively when the new Affliction emerged as the dominant spec. The Affliction rotation is an *eight button rotation*. No other dps class in the game uses even half this many abilities to dps effectively! And the more complicated the rotation, the greater the room for error, yielding dps loss on account of lag, PEBKACing, and so forth. There's a reason blues have cursorily acknowledged that the rotation is a bit much. The crack about Affliction being the black diamond slope of warlocking is not an exaggeration. The rotation has to be simplified.

2.) "Rotation" is a misnomer-- there IS no rotation. I call it a rotation, but the fact is it isn't one. Every other dps class in the game has a pattern in their abilities emerge. If you monitor a well-played affliction "rotation", giving proper priority to DoT refreshes and using Haunt on every cooldown, for an infinite period of time, there is no actual pattern that will emerge. There are no other dps classes that suffer from this difficulty. It poses a tremendous challenge for any fights that require you to do something other than stare at DoT timers the entire time. Speaking of which...

3.) The spec is over-dependent on external addons. Affliction is frankly unplayable without a DoT timer of one form or another, whether it's DoTimer, Quartz, Necrosis, or something else. It's straight up not possible to play with any sort of finesse without using external addons. Blizzard has stated on a number of occasions that such a situation is undesirable, and in situations in the past where it's become a problem, Blizzard has remedied the issue by either implementing a function within the game to serve a given function (see the upcoming internal threat meter for example) or has modified a mechanic to make it such that it's no longer necessary (see the removal of the necessity of Intervene macros for example).

4.) The debuff limit is an enormous obstacle. A single warlock adds the following debuffs: a curse, Shadow Mastery, Haunt, Corruption, Unstable Affliction, Immolate, and Siphon Life. And what does a second warlock add? Another seven debuffs, because none of them stack. That's a full third of your debuffs in a 25 man raid being consumed by two members of your raid group. What about that is fair or balanced? There are two possible solutions to this problem: increase the debuff limit, or simplify the number of spells in the Affliction "rotation." Blues have already stated they are disinclined to change the debuff limit. Guess that leaves one solution.

5.) The spec is not supported by WotLK gear itemization. Existing beta itemization goes one of three ways: You get spell damage and hit, spell damage and crit, or spell damage and haste. This is consistent with the gearing philosophy early in BC, when we were generally presented with the same options, and it wasn't until T6 that we'd see 3/4 itemization types on one piece, and not until Sunwell did we ever encounter all four attributes on a single piece of gear (and usually it was only 3/4). For all intents and purposes, haste is truly only effective on Shadow Bolt, Haunt, and Immolate. GCD reduction doesn't even come close to cutting it, because in order for a DoT to do its full amount of damage, it still requires the full duration of the DoT. This is because haste doesn't affect DoT ticks. Ostensibly this is because haste affecting DoTs would make us imba in PvP, but I haven't ever heard a particularly good reason of why people believe this to be the case, given that our class is beyond broken in PvP at the moment (though that's a discussion for another day). Because Blizzard chose to allow crit to affect some-- not all!-- of our spells, currently crit seems to be the more appealing option when deciding between crit and haste at the moment. (Hit cap, as always, is a non-negotiable). But the problem remains that only UA and Corruption are allowed "DoT crits" through Pandemic. Immolate, Siphon Life, and CoA are still left out in the cold. Why is it that shadow priests are allowed to have all of their dots "crit," and yet we're given a half-assed version of that attribute? I always hate to say, "such and such class can do this, so why can't I?" because that disregards other glaring differences between the classes which affect playstyle and mechanics. But the fact is, Shadow Priests have SW:P, which hits harder than any other DoT in the game, and it's allowed to crit. Why can't all of ours?

6.) The "rotation" is disproportionately punished by breaks in dps. Affliction doesn't actually start doing any kind of significant dps until about fifteen seconds into the "rotation," when it's possible to have both stacks of SE, all your DoTs ticking, and SB filler occurring. Whenever we have to break our rotation, either because of a stun, an interrupt, movement, a silence, or any other random boss mechanic that requires DPS to halt, we are disproportionately punished. No other class suffers from this difficulty. Shadow priests have a less severe version of the difficulty, given that they too have to get their DoTs up and ticking, but given that they have fewer DoTs than locks do, the penalty that stopping DPS incurs is significantly less serious.

Proposed solutions:

1.) Change the debuff durations to fall more in line with one another. Bumping UA and Immo up to 18 seconds would help out a LOT because then they'd be similar in length to CoA, so all three of those spells could be grouped together in a "rotation."

2.) Increase the length of time on the Haunt debuff to 15 seconds, or remove the travel time. I can't tell you what a source of frustration keeping Haunt up is for me, even now. Even if you cast Haunt before the Haunt debuff is gone, the transit time makes it such that the debuff still falls off. This can be fixed by removing the transit time of the spell and having it immediately hit, such as searing pain and immolate do, or by extending the length of the debuff. Of the two, I would prefer the latter, but either would make a tremendous stride in the right direction. Shortening the cooldown helped, but not enough.

3.) Fix Pandemic. At present, Pandemic IS NOT AFFECTED by raid buffs. Whaaaaa? That's right-- the crit you see on your paper doll is the crit chance attributed to Pandemic. So the tremendous amount of crit we gain from buffs given in the raid-- I'm looking at you, Scorch!-- DOES NOT AFFECT Pandemic. This cannot possibly be working as intended. Please remedy the problem and if you're going to give us some DoTs that crit, at least have them crit according to the real crit percentage we should have.

4.) Fix Eradication. There was a lengthy explanation of the inadequacy of 3/3 Eradication posted a while back, the jist of which was that the internal cooldown on the ability makes the second and third points in the talent have diminishing returns on dps to the extent that the first point in the talent has over three times as much utility as the second and third points.

5.) Make Shadow Embrace stack between Affliction warlocks, or make it be refreshed by more spells. Keeping up SE is such a huge pain in the ass and it's so difficult compared to how it should be. Is there any particular reason why SE can't be applied by more spells than just SB and Haunt? I understand that PvP might make it such that you don't want it to apply every single time a DoT is applied to someone (although don't Shadow Priest DoTs work that way, again?), but it would be really, really nice if we didn't have to restart our rotation from scratch every time Shadow Embrace falls off.

(X-posted to the DPS forum)

Kaliban's Loot List updated 11/10/08

Kaliban's "" is a comprehensive loot list database basically. It includes everything but raids.

Level 80 Hit Cap

Seeing this question asked a LOT lately. So, here you go:

  • 17% = 446 spell hit rating (rounded up)
  • 14% = 368 spell hit rating (this assumes +3% from talents OR raid buffs)
  • 13% (alliance only) = 341 spell hit rating (this assumes +3% from talents OR raid buffs, and +1% from draenei racial)
  • 11% = 289 spell hit rating (this assumes +3% from talents AND +3% from raid buffs)
  • 10% (alliance only) = 263 spell hit rating (this assumes +3% from talents AND +3% from raid buffs AND +1% from draenei racial)

Affliction Scaling, and Update to Original Affliction Post!

I have updated the original post I made on affliction raiding, in order to make it relevant to level 80 content. It includes updated DPCTs and updated build.

There is something very interesting I want to note. And that is, the scalability with affliction in this new expansion. For any affliction warlock, spell power is THE stat and is paramount above all else. You can never have too much spell power as affliction. Previously, in BC, spell power hit a plateau around T5. From that point on, the amount of spell power increases you got were small, meanwhile you had crit and haste shoved at you left and right. This made affliction DPS fall very far behind.

The devs have mentioned they know this happened and are watching to try and make sure the same thing doesn't happen again. So far, gear in the xpac that was seen on the beta reaffirms that stance. Below, I have laid out some BEFORE and AFTER dpct's and dps numbers, to show how affliction scales with some stats.


Warlock A has spell hit cap, 1400 spell power, 17% crit from gear (35% raid buffed), and 0 haste.

Warlock B has spell hit cap, 2000 spell power, 27% crit from gear (45% raid buffed), and 229 haste (7%).

Warlock A DPCT:
  • Corruption: 5911
  • Curse of Agony: 7036
  • Immolate: 3103
  • Siphon Life: 3531
  • Unstable Affliction: 4116
  • Shadow Bolt: 1559
Warlock A DPS:
  • Corruption: 493
  • Curse of Agony: 293
  • Immolate: 310
  • Siphon Life: 177
  • Unstable Affliction: 412
  • Shadow Bolt: 1559

Warlock B DPCT:
  • Corruption: 8957
  • Curse of Agony: 8516
  • Immolate: 4216
  • Siphon Life: 4952
  • Unstable Affliction: 6025
  • Shadow Bolt: 2275
Warlock B DPS:
  • Corruption: 697
  • Curse of Agony: 355
  • Immolate: 393
  • Siphon Life: 231
  • Unstable Affliction: 562
  • Shadow Bolt: 2275

So, as you can see, the DPCT of DoTs scales incredibly well, mainly from spell damage increases. I can only imagine what the top stats in the best gear this xpac will have to offer will be. I'll do some number crunching later on theoretical "top" values, and see what we come up with. But for now, you can rest assured that affliction seems here to stay.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yeah, I'm gonna need you to come in on Saturday...

Let's talk about WoW Web Stats.

It's often cited as an invaluable tool in increasing your dps output, but the problem with WWS is that a lot of people really don't understand how to use WWS, let alone how to properly interpret the data presented in a report. Consider this a mid-level walkthrough.

If your guild doesn't already use WWS, now is a great time to start! Essentially, you can create reports for each raid you do by recording your combat log and then uploading it to the WWS site. You can create a free account to do so, and the WWS site itself has a great walkthrough for how to do it so I shan't go into creating reports at length. Either way, it's a very simple process.

Now, once you have your guild's WWS, let's talk about what you should be looking at.

1.) DO NOT LOOK AT A FULL NIGHT'S WORTH OF REPORTS. This isn't representative of much anything at all. Trash dps is trash. Anyone can attest to trash fights being plagued with deaths, afks, accidental mispulls, target switching, CCing, and so forth, so they can hardly be considered representative of dps for any class. Ignore all trash.

2.) IF YOU HAVE A KILL ATTEMPT, LOOK AT THAT-- NOT YOUR WIPES. Wipes are similarly unfair representations of your dps output because they include lots of deaths. If you wiped, it's because something went wrong. Unless you're specifically looking at wipe WWS to see what went wrong (I.e. too many people standing in void zones on M'uru lol?), you should always analyze kill attempts and nothing else.

3.) USE A REPRESENTATIVE DPS FIGHT. In Sunwell, the most representative dps fight is Brutallus. Prior to Sunwell, Teron Gorefiend, and to a lesser extent, Rage Winterchill are far and away the most representative dps fights. Why? Because no class is at a significant disadvantage in those fights. Many fights include mechanics that favor or penalize certain classes/specs. For instance, Felmyst can't be hit by melee during her air phase and includes a great deal of AoEing, so the fight disproportionately favors warlocks and mages. Brutallus is the best dps testing boss in the game presently, so if you have Brutallus parses, use those.

4.) MAKE APPLES TO APPLES COMPARISONS WHENEVER POSSIBLE. The best person to compare dps against is yourself. Why? From week to week, your gear, lag, and skill will remain relatively consistent. Comparing to a warlock with a different spec or different gear than you is pointless. Your aim is to isolate as many variables as you can. If you're trying to improve your dps, looking at yourself from week to week is the best way to do it.

5.) IF YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING WRONG, FIGURE IT OUT BY LOOKING AT WHAT OTHER MEMBERS OF YOUR GUILD ARE DOING RIGHT. Looking at the other warlocks in your guild can be beneficial as well when you're trying to determine where a significant dps discrepancy may lie. For instance, my guild has a trial who week after week would turn out great numbers on Brutallus (prior to 3.0, mind you-- nerfed content is nerfed) but would fall tremendously behind on M'uru and Kil'jaeden, which are great fights for warlocks generally. Analyzing a WWS of our night and comparing the lock in question's WWS report with mine and our other member lock revealed where the discrepancy lay-- the trial lock wasn't seeding adds enough! It was an easily remedied problem, and now he does great on those fights.

The first page you see when you pull up a WWS report is the DPS Charts page for the Full Report. This chart shows and is ranked by the total damage done over the course of a full night. It also shows what each player's average active dps is for the course of the Full Night. When you click on your name, it will show you what abilities you used, how much damage they did, what percentage of your damage output they were, what buffs you gained, and so forth.

However, as stated in rule #1, a full night's worth of data is next to useless. Instead, let's select a single attempt's worth of data and analyze that instead. You can do so by clicking where it says "Full Report." It'll have a drop-down menu of all of the boss attempts/kills from your night. As stated above, Brutallus is widely regarded as the best parse to use for testing damage output, because it involves minimal movement and sustained dps to a single target. When you click on that parse, it will show your activity during that fight. (If you want to see everyone's damage output from that single attempt, you can do so by selecting "Charts," which will show a full damage meter for everyone.)

Let's talk about DoT uptime. Especially if you're learning/re-learning how to play Affliction, increasing your DoT uptime is one of the best ways to increase your dps output. DoT uptime is a little more difficult to evaluate than simple shadow bolt spam ever was, but it's easily determined through a little bit of math. Your report will show you the number of ticks each DoT had during the course of the fight. Every warlock DoT ticks on a three second timer, regardless of haste, so take the number of ticks of the DoT you're evaluating and multiply the number by 3. This is the total length of time your DoT was on your target, in seconds. Above the report itself, under the boss name, the report will also show you the overall length of the fight. Translate this number into seconds, and then divide the length of time your DoT was up by the overall length of the fight. This is your DoT uptime. Ideally, you want to get as close as you can to 100% uptime for all of your DoTs. Naturally, 100% uptime is impossible, as you lose time casting and recasting your DoTs. If you're doing it right, though, you should be refreshing your DoTs JUST AFTER the final tick and they should be up for the vast majority of the fight. If you're doing better than 80% for all of your DoTs, you're in very decent shape. If not, then you know where you have room for improvement.

You can also use WWS in a similar fashion to determine how well you're using your abilities with cooldowns-- namely, Haunt if you're Affliction, and Chaos Bolt if you're Destruction. The goal with both abilities is certainly to use them on every cooldown. Analyze the amount of time they spent on CD for you by multiplying the number of casts with the length of the ability's cooldown, and this should give you an idea of whether you're using your 51 pt talent as often as you ought to be when compared with the fight's overall length, much as with analyzing your DoT uptime.

If you want to compare your damage output with the other warlocks in your raid, you can do so by clicking on the "Warlocks" at the top of the screen in the class dropdown. This will present you with a side-by-side summary of both yourself and the other warlocks in your raid. Again, I recommend against over-utilizing this tool, but it can be very helpful in determining where large dps discrepancies may arise from.

And, of course, if you're ever particularly concerned that your dps output isn't what you think it should be, feel free to make an "@ Fallenman and Clearly" thread on the WoW warlock forums, and one or both of us will be more than happy to analyze your WWS report for you. =]

Upcoming Changes for Affliction?

Ghostcrawler made this post:

I've mentioned a couple of times that we want to simplify Affliction's rotation a little. Making the dot durations more consistent would help, but so would things like getting a couple of spells (Immolate and Siphon Life maybe) out of the rotation.

I'm not talking about nerfing Affliction, nor making those changes in a vacuum. This would be a redesign so that things felt more natural with ~4 abilities instead of ~6.

Feedback is, of course, appreciated.

So, it sounds like we may see something "soon" in terms of helping out with affliction rotations. You can be sure that I will make any/all necessary changes to the affliction how-to raid guide. I will also update the guide right before WOTLK to be more inline with level 80 raiding. Nothing major will change, except for the DPCT numbers and the spec used.

In my humble opinion, I think raising the duration of Immolate and UA to 18 seconds, and the duration of Haunt to 15 seconds would go a long way in fixing rotations. At the same hand though, if they are going to do a revamp to remove some of the lower DPCT dots by giving our filler something stronger, this would help the rotation as well as the debuff limit problem!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Major bug with Everlasting Affliction, patch 3.0.3

This is the bug:
Upon refreshing corruption with EA, the spell power coeffiicent of corruption drops from 186% to 159.6%. Or, as the devs like to put it, drops from a .31 coefficient per tick to a .266 coefficient per tick.

What's happening is that when EA refreshes corruption, the DoT's base coefficient is reverting back to 93.6% or .156 per tick.

See the above thread on the WoW forums for the testing I did to discover this.

Affliction Raiding How-To Guide! (part 2)

Up next, it's time to talk about rotations, and how to raid with affliction. This will also include a section on how to run a WWS parse, and calculate your DoT uptime.

Let's start with what's normally called the "rotation". Rotation is kind of mis-named, since after the initial casting of each DoT, you'll pretty much never cast them all in the same order again, due to the fact most of them have different durations.

If you can pre-cast, you should start with a shadowbolt, and then haunt. Now, many people often ask why you would do this, and some people are even under the misconception that casting haunt after your DoTs is somehow more efficient. Think about it this way: Haunt should have 100% uptime for the entire fight. And since DoTs receive the bonus no matter when the debuff went up (before the DoT was cast, after the DoT was cast, makes no difference), it only matters that the debuff is up. So, why would you cast DoTs first, and have the first several ticks not get any benefit from Haunt? If you're going to have Haunt up the entire fight anyways, wouldn't it be better to have ALL ticks benefit from Haunt? Of course. The same goes for shadow embrace. The first stack is put on by that shadowbolt, and the second stack by Haunt.

So, your intial cast rotation will look like this:

Shadowbolt > Haunt > UA > Immolate > CoA > Corruption > Siphon Life. After that, you're now into what is called "filler" time. If your raid does NOT have a moonkin druid or unholy death knight, you will use CoE for your curse instead.

If you cannot pre-cast, then start with instant cast DoTs such as CoA, Siphon Life, and Corruption. Getting these up as you move into position will start your dps up sooner.

From this point on, your goal is to refresh DoTs as efficiently and quickly as possible. I HIGHLY recommend Asheyla's DoTimer. It is a truly epic mod, and the best mod any warlock can have. You can get it here: Download DoTimer 4.1

The goal is to refresh a DoT the very moment the last tick expires. For DoT's with cast times, this is done by starting to re-cast the DoT when the amount of time it has left is just slightly less than the DoTs cast time. For example. If your Unstable Affliction has a 1.5 second cast time, you start to cast a new UA when the current one has 1.4 seconds left on the timer. Now, being realistic, obviously it's rare that this will happen. The reason for that is you do NOT want to stand around doing nothing just because you're waiting for that timer to hit 1.4 seconds. It is better to do something, whether that's casting a shadowbolt or using dark pact / life tap. Even if it means you will be a bit "late" refreshing the DoT.

Generally, you do not want to "clip" a DoT. This means refreshing the DoT before the previous one had its last tick of damage go off. And since Corruption is automatically refreshed by Haunt via Everlasting Affliction, you never have to worry about corruption.

Next, there is a reason we cast UA and Immolate together. They both have a 15 second duration, therefore every successive refreshing of these 2 DoTs will always be UA and then Immolate immediately following. You can essentially think of them as just one dot with a 3 second cast time.

And finally, since haunt has a 12 second duration, and you start with Haunt, then UA, and immolate, eventually haunt will work its way around and end up right after you refresh UA and Immolate. When this happens, on the very next "refresh", refresh Haunt early, allowing you to reset the rotation back to Haunt, then UA, then Immolate. So for example, with about 2.9 seconds left on UA's duration, cast Haunt. This brings you to 1.4 seconds left on UA's duration, so you immediately follow Haunt with UA, and then of course immediately again with Immolate.

Oh one last thing. NEVER interrupt a spell cast mid-cast just so you can cast something else. You want to try and avoid that whenever possible.


Now that you have the basics of DoT casting order, rotations, etc, let's work on applying that, practicing, and seeing results for yourself.

To start, a quick explination of WWS (wow web stats). WWS is an online DPS parser. It takes a combat log you record in game, and allows you to see the information in a very useful and detailed format. To create a WWS report:

  1. Before you start WoW, browse to C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Interface\Logs. If you have a file called "wowcombatlog.txt", delete it!
  2. Now, in game, before you start whatever it is you want to log, hit enter in your chat window and type: /combatlog (this will get wow recording your combat log parse)
  3. After you are done with everything you want to record, go to
  4. Click on "Start WWS Client" (note, you may have to quickly sign up for a free account)
  5. Click on "Add Combat Log" and browse to C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Interface\Logs, and add wowcombatlog.txt.
  6. Click on "Host Report". You will now see a WWS report of your combat log!
To help me explain how to read it, I have included a sample WWS report of last night's brutallus. I was fortunate enough to do around 2700dps, though RNG hurt my damage, and it was also a bit laggy. Click here for the sample WWS report

Now, let's figure out what my DoT uptime was. To start, we need to know what the total combat length of the boss fight was in seconds. At the top you see the date, time, and length of fight in minutes/seconds. The fight was 2 minutes and 39 seconds long. So, that's 159 seconds.

Next, to figure out DoT uptime, we need to determine what 100% uptime would be for each DoT. This is done by taking the length of the fight and dividing it by the interval of a DoTs ticking. For example, corupption, UA, siphon life, and immolate all tick every 3 seconds. 159 / 3 = 53. So, if I had 53 ticks of each of those DoTs, that would be 100% uptime. To see how many times your DoTs ticked, look under each spell, and look under the column that says "Dots".

I had as follows:
-Corruption: 48 ticks
-UA: 42 ticks
-Immolate: 39 ticks
-Siphon Life: 46 ticks

As you can see, in that fight my UA and Immolate uptime was not quite up to speed. Also, remember that 100% uptime is NOT realistic. Especially if the mechanics of the fight stress execution over DPS via moving around, doing other things, etc.

For CoA, which ticks every 2 seconds, that would be 159 / 2 = 79 (round down). I had 68 ticks, so that's not too bad. To determine uptime, take the number of ticks you had and divide it by the number of ticks you would have had with 100% uptime. So, for CoA: 68/79 = .86 or, 86% uptime. 85% uptime is a realistic goal in a stand-up tank and spank single target fight.


Lastly, I am posting a video of the above Brutallus fight. This will give you a chance to see all of the above in action. Note the video has NO sound, no music, and no editing or any of that jazz. In the video, take not of my DoTimer in the upper right corner. I will add another video later of a test dummy fight, so you have a chance to see a bit more detail of what's going on. Remember: efficient use of GCD's, keeping DoTs refreshed, and ALWAYS be casting something!

Brutallus Video

Practicing tips: If you're struggling with DoT uptime, start by simplifying the rotations by temporarily dropping a DoT. Drop siphon life and CoA. Then, practice, and get that rotation down and working. Then, add in Curse of Doom. Practice more! Then, add in Siphon life. Practice practice practice. Now finally, replace Curse of Doom with Curse of Agony again.

Affliction Raiding How-To Guide! (part 1)

Welcome to the first post of the Fallenman & Clearly warlock blog! We decided to create this blog, so that people would have a central location to see anything they find useful posted by us. We will still be doing forum posts with most of our blog entries, but this gives people a go-to repository of information!!

The first posts here are about Affliction Raiding. This will answer very common questions such as these: Should I use immolate? Should I drop any DoTs from my rotation? What is the rotation? My DPS is really bad, what am I doing wrong? How can I get better at affliction? This will be broken up into 2 posts. The first, below, dealing with DPCTs and whether or not you should be casting all of your DoTs.

I'll start by clarifying what DoTs should be used. The answer simply is, ALL of them. This includes immolate! Affliction is all about efficient use of the Global Cooldown or GCD. If you're not constantly casting something, then you're losing DPS. (this is true with any spec really) But, with affliction, that loss is more noticable. Because affliction is so dependent upon efficient GCD usage, one of the most important things to know for any affliction warlock is called DPCT. (Damage Per Cast Time)

DPCT is a measure of what you get in return for the amount of time used to cast a spell. For example. If you cast a shadowbolt, and your shadowbolt's average damage is 1000, with a 2.5 second cast time, the DPCT is 1000/2.5 or 400DPCT. If you cast a DoT that will do 1000 damage (no matter how long it takes to do that damage), and the DoT is instant cast, then the DPCT is 1000/1.5 or ~667DPCT. (instant casts "time used casting" is whatever the length of your global cooldown is)

So, what does this mean to an affliction warlock? Simple. Shadowbolt is your "filler" spell. IE, it's what you cast when your dots are ticking and none of them need refreshing. You fill this gap with shadowbolts. That said, any dot that has a higher DPCT than your filler spell (shadowbolt) should be cast, because it will mean more dps for you. This is because you get more damage for the amount of time spent casting the spell than you would casting a shadowbolt.


Below, I have listed out the DPCT for all of an affliction warlock's spells, using (22% crit from gear) 40% crit rating, 2000 spell power, and hit capped. This assumes a 56/0/15 build, and the stats are AFTER raid buffs have been applied. (build:

1080 base damage + ((120% coefficient + 36% empowered corruption + 30% everlasting affliction) * 2000) =
1080 + (1.86 * 2000) = 4800 base damage.
4800 * (10% improved corruption + 15% shadow mastery + 5% contagion) * 3% malediction * 13% earth and moon * 3% sanctified retribution (ret pally) * 20% haunt * 10% shadow embrace =
4800 * 1.30 * 1.03 * 1.13 * 1.03 * 1.20 * 1.10 = 9874 modified damage.
Pandemic: 9874 * 1.22 = 12046
12046 / 1.5 second GCD = 8031DPCT

Curse of Agony:
1740 base damage + (120% coefficient * 2000) =
1740 + (1.20 * 2000) = 4140 base damage.
4140 * (10% improved CoA + 15% shadow mastery + 5% contagion) * 3% malediction * 13% earth and moon * 3% sanctified retribution (ret pally) * 20% haunt * 5% shadow embrace =
4140 * 1.30 * 1.03 * 1.13 * 1.03 * 1.20 * 1.10 = 8516 modified damage.
8516 / 1.0 second GCD (amplify curse) = 8516DPCT

(460 base DD damage + (20% coefficient * 2000)) + (785 base DoT damage + (100% coefficient * 2000)) =
860 base DD damage + 2785 base DoT damage
860 base DD damage * 3% malediction * 13% earth and moon * 3% sanctified retribution (ret pally) = 1031 modified DD damage.
(crit factor) 1031 modified DD damage * 1.40% = 1443 total DD damage.

2785 base DoT damage * 3% malediction * 13% earth and moon * 3% sanctified retribution (ret pally) * 20% haunt * 10% shadow embrace = 4407 modified DoT damage.

1443 DD + 4407 DoT = 5850 total damage.
5850 / 1.5 second cast time = 3900DPCT

Siphon Life:
810 base damage + ((100% coefficient + 50% everlasting affliction) * 2000) =
810 + (1.50 * 2000) = 3810 base damage.
3810 * 15% shadow mastery * 3% malediction * 13% earth and moon * 3% sanctified retribution (ret pally) * 20% haunt * 10% shadow embrace =
3810 * 1.15 * 1.03 * 1.13 * 1.03 * 1.20 * 1.10 = 6933 modified damage.
6933 / 1.5 second GCD = 4622DPCT

Unstable Affliction:
1150 base damage + ((100% coefficient + 25% everlasting affliction) * 2000) =
1150 + (1.25 * 2000) = 3650 base damage.
3650 * 15% shadow mastery * 3% malediction * 13% earth and moon * 3% sanctified retribution (ret pally) * 20% haunt * 10% shadow embrace =
3650 * 1.15 * 1.03 * 1.13 * 1.03 * 1.20 * 1.10 = 6642 modified damage.
Pandemic = 6642 * 1.22 = 8103
8103 / 1.5 second GCD = 5402DPCT

And finally,
Shadow Bolt:
730 avg base damage + (85.7% coefficient * 2000) =
730 + (.857 * 2000) = 2444 base damage
2444 base damage * 15% shadow mastery * 3% malediction * 13% earth and moon * 3% sanctified retribution (ret pally) = 3369 modified damage.
ISB factor = 3369 * 1.085 = 3655. (this assumes 85% uptime which is inline with 40% crit rate)
(crit factor) 3655 modified DD damage * 40.0% = 5117 total DD damage.
5117 / 2.5 second cast time = 2046DPCT

So, as you can see, ALL of your DoTs should be cast. You can use the above formulas to plug in your own stats, including haste, crit, and spell power. For crit, without ruin, you simply cut your crit rating in half, and insert that % into the above formulas. For haste, simply change the cast time to match your cast time. :)

Up next, affliction rotations, and how-to raid as affliction!