Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gearing for Thoroughput

Last time, I covered how to decide which stats to collect to increase your mana regenration. Typically, skill and mana regen will be enough to get you through heroics and the easier raids. Once you start pushing deep into Ulduar, trying ToC or attempting hard modes, you may find that even infinite mana couldn't keep your tanks up. When this happens, you know that it's time to start looking more seriously at thoroughput, however, it's good to at least consider it, even before then.

Thoroughput is loosely defined as the amount of healing you can possibly do in a given space of time without regard to mana. For example, a priest with very low spellpower and haste might heal 2.5k with Flash Heal every 1.7 seconds (no haste, 0.2 seconds lost due to latency) = 1470 HPS, which is very clearly less than my priest which heals 5650 every 1.33 seconds = 4248 HPS with the same.

Maximizing your thoroughput is something like being a DPS; you're looking to cram as much healing into as tiny a space of time as possible. Much like DPS, typically we look at single-target and multi-target HPS differently, despite the fact that both use the same stats. Let's take a look at the stats you use to do this:

Spellpower - All spells (not just healing) increase in effectiveness based on the caster's spellpower and the spell's Spell Power Coefficient. As an example, Flash Heal has a base healing of 1887 to 2193, and a SP coefficient of 0.8068. Thus, a priest with 2500 SP would heal 3904 to 4210 before talents and other buffs. Spellpower will likely be present on all gear you use, and is a fine choice for gems and enchants.

Spell Crit - Crit rating and Intellect both contribute to your spell crit chance. Most spells (including healing spells) gain an additional 50% of their effect when they crit. So, following the above example, the same 2500 SP Flash Heal would heal 5856 to 6315 on a crit. Each 2% crit chance adds on average 1% thoroughput, however, due to the random nature of both incoming damage and crits, average healing isn't always a good thing to measure by. Generally, go for crit for thoroughput only if you have talents like Inspiration and Holy Concentration that improve your crits. Also, never consider crit if your healing spells can't crit (I.E. If you use primarily heal over time effects.)

Spell Haste - This comes from Haste rating and Bloodlust. Haste is an exceptional thoroughput stat, particularly for classes that use zero-cooldown direct heals. Every 32.79 Haste rating is a 1% increase in Thoroughput (as compared with 91.82 Crit rating for the same,) and has the added benefit of speeding up your reactions, since you'll finish that last-second spell that much sooner. The reason we don't all stack haste until we have it coming out of our ears is twofold. The first is that whatever you gained in thoroughput, you also lost in mana consumption; 1% Haste = +1% Thoroughput and +1% Mana Usage. The second is that there is a soft haste cap; no spell's cast time can fall below 1 second, and neither will the Global Cooldown. Thus, for common 1.5 second spells, you cap haste at 50%, or 1639.5 Haste rating. While this may seem so high that the cap is ignorable, certain trinket effects, like that of the Egg of Mortal Essence, and Bloodlust (which is about 1000 Haste) may go to waste if you have too much Haste already. For slower spells, ignore the cap; it's irrelevant. Haste is an excellent way to trade mana for thoroughput, do so only if you can afford the mana.

Spirit - For some specs, Spirit can give Spellpower bonuses. Do not aim to collect Spirit for thoroughput; it will always be inefficient for that purpose. That said, when comparing very similar gear, do not ignore the effect.

Intellect - Much like spirit, Intellect can convert to Spellpower. As above, do not attempt to stack Intellect for thoroughput.

Strength - For PvP healing prot pallies, this is frikkin' broken. Good luck killing one, and absolutely don't try to collect strength for PvE healing, ever.

So, in summary, for a Holy priest: a fair thoroughput piece has SP and Crit, a good thoroughput piece has SP and Haste on it, and an excellent one has SP, Haste and Crit all on one. Weigh your stats differently depending on the talents you have, and the type of healing spells you commonly use. Next post, I'll go over another way to improve your thoroughput-- without spending a single copper, badge or raid lockout.

No comments:

Post a Comment