Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cast Sequence Corruption

There's a Warlock on the Official 'lock Forums that is a frequent poster of all things Affliction. He is Fallenman of Mal'ganis, and he believes himself to be quite the authority on DoT cast sequences. So much so, infact, that he can often be found arguing with other posters about the most unimaginative of issues. In his most recent squabble, for example, he argues that Corruption should "ALWAYS" be cast after UA in a DoT cast sequence.

Fallenman, I don't mean to sound (or read) like a pompous prick, but that's just plain wrong!

I'll try to explain why, but be warned... it's late, and I tend to banter on and on when I'm tired. Proceed with caution, and caffeine.

Casting UA before Corruption is a bad idea from a logistics standpoint. It totally limits what you can cast AFTER Corruption, because you start dealing with global cooldowns and potential DoT down-time at that point. For example, if Immolate happens to require a refresh right after the UA/Corr cast somewhere down the line, you'll eventually have 3 DoTS to reapply and all at the same time! Since it is our ideal to have DoTS expire one GC away from each other, this is definitely not a good thing.

Fallenman recognizes this, and even states that you should "NEVER" cast Immolate after a UA/Corr sequence. But using his approach, you'll eventually find yourself in just that situation.

So what can you do to help prevent that experience and keep your DPS as high as possible?

Ignore Fallenman's faulty logic and cast Corruption right before Unstable Affliction... always.

Consider these two points.

1) Casting UA and Corruption back-to-back in any order results in the same amount of damage spread out over the same amount of time. Both DoTS are ticking for 18 seconds within a 21-second window. When switched, the two spells will also fall into the same portion of your cast sequence as before. The only difference created by changing their order of application is when they tick in relation to one another -- that's it.

2) Cast sequence theories such as Fallenman's are strictly based on a mathematical approach. More specifically, they hope to solve a temporal problem, looking to minimize DoT down-time based on the synergy of each individual DoT's duration and global cooldowns. The goal is to make sure that DoTS don't all expire at the same time, because if they do, global cooldowns will eventually delay their timely reapplication and ultimately lower DPS.

Casting Corruption and then UA ensures that you can cast ANY spell after that particular sequence and with minimal potential ill-effects. The two DoTS will not expire at the same time, do not introduce any GC conflicts, and this, therefore, is the most logical sequence.

And, incase you need another reason to switch your corrupted cast sequence, here's what the boys over at MaxDPS think is the ideal (sans Immolate):

At this point, it should be an easy switch. Corruption before UA, always.

Sorry, Fallenman. Maybe next time. ;)


Anonymous said...

MAXDPS also thinks Lilac should be pushing 770 DPS.. and instead she's bumping along at almost 500. I question their numbers.

Trash sequence: Corruption, Immolation, Shadowbolt
Slow dieing trash/boss sequence: Curse of Shadows (Malediction), Corruption, Immolation, Unstable Affliction, Siphon Life, Shadow Bolt (refresh dots as they drop)


Necrobutcher said...

nice post. also love the new layout and the fan art of the lock!

Anonymous said...

Where would Immolate go in that rotation at the bottom?

lolerlock said...

more like dots on acid

Byrd said...

Hey, thank you for the post on dot rotations, your blog is one of the few I can actually read while at work. Keep up the good work.

Ferenczys said...

Depending on the trash, I'll usually ignore everything except for Corruption for the Nightfall procs, or Curse of Shadows if i'm on CC duty.

That DoT rotation is certainly one I haven't tried yet; I presently always lead Corruption with Unstable Affliction, followed by Siphon Life and Shadowbolt spam. I'm going to try this out and see if it improves things.

I too would be really curios to see where Immolate fits in. If I had to guess I'd say right towards the end, but that's pure speculation. It seems like you'd want to leave it towards the back to give your tank some time to build threat?

psychonia said...

thanks for the great article =)
i tried my spell rotation with UA first and like you said it just didn't work as well.

i use the CoA,Corr,UA rotation and always have even before i discovered sights like MaxDPS.com

the great thing about CoA and Corruption is i can cast them while i'm running into position and then settle into a spot for longer casting UA. It's also great for PVP since you typically don't want to be standing in one place for too long.

so yah, your right, lol

Fuhsnuh said...

But I like going UA->Corr for the perfectly anal ability to sync up that DoTimer, lol.

On that note, Immolate > pretty DoTimers.

Jagoex said...

Thanks so much for all of the excellent feedback everyone. I definitely appreciate it.

@Nibuca: You're totally right in questioning the numbers of MaxDPS, but I think it's fair to say that all damage calculations should be questioned since there is so much variability in the actual act of DPS'ing, and not all variables can be accounted for in any one equation. So, I guess it's about which site does it well, and I think MaxDPS fits the bill. =)

@necro: Thanks for the props bud. Are you back and playing again? Btw, the fan art piece is loaned to me from Shelbi of The Bronze Kettle / WoW Insider. She's a rock star with a graphic pen.

@anon: I tried putting Immolate at the end of my rotation back when I actually used it, and it worked very well. Let me know what you think. ;)

@lol: lol?

@byrd: Thanks much for reading and for your comment. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, do let me know!

@feren: My thoughts exactly on where Immolate fits into a rotation. As I said to the anon poster, I had it towards the end of mine, right before S. Bolt spamming. I had it there mainly because it flowed very well and didn't overlap with any other DoTS upon refresh -- and with the added bonus that it won't steal precious initial aggro. We create enough as it is, so managing even the most tiny amount is a plus. ;)

@psych: YES! You're absolutely right about the PvP application of the Curse -> Corr rotation. Very good point.

@fuhs: Truth! How's your 'lock coming along, btw?

Necrobutcher said...

@jagoex 2.4 pulled me back in. I transfered servers and joined an Arena team with a RL friend. We crush in PvP. I am having a lot more fun with the game since I'm not taking it as serious as I used to. I guess since I'm back I should write something lol.

Fuhsnuh said...

Busy ganked by rogues T_T

After playing a hunter for so long, I've really lost most senses of urgency against melee - something that's reverting itself in a hurry, lol.

Jagoex said...

Nice. Glad you both have the opportunity to be active. Keep me up on how things are going.

I've cut down quite a bit since the baby is INC very soon, and even sooner than expected. Things will be getting very busy around here!

Logan said...

MaxDPS, from my experiences with it, calculates the maximum DPS that a character is capable of (hence the name). There are VERY few instances that really allow locks to open up and do steady, uninterrupted damage. Phase 2 of Shade of Akama and phase 1 of Al'ar come to mind. I've found that on those fights I can come close to what MaxDPS predicts, but still the number seems to be a "top end" estimate.

Anyway, does anyone know which point it becomes wise to remove immolate from the affliction spell rotation? Every DPS calculator I've used since I hit around 1100+ shadow damage has calculated a lower max DPS when using immolate, but I'm wondering if that's because I was running with 200ish more shadow damage than regular spell damage. Anyone?

@ Jago - agree 100% on the "corruption before UA" argument. I switched to that cast rotation about 5 months ago and didn't look back the entire time I stayed affliction. I don't even pretend to do the math on it. I can just "feel" that it makes more sense. DoT rotations and refreshings are much smoother with this initial cast sequence. Now if I could just get my wife to buy into it on her lock...