[WoW] Fire Mage Haste in 4.3

Posted on January 30, 2012

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Taken from Blizzard's Mage Tier 13 Preview

Fire mages and haste have a complicated relationship.  As a caster class, haste is always good to reduce our GCD and shorten our cast times, but more importantly, as a DoT class, there are several crucial haste values which increase the number of ticks several of our abilities will apply.  In this article we’ll first explain the concept of haste and haste plateaus, then take a look at sources of haste, providing a foundation for a discussion of the various haste plateaus fire mages should be aware of.

Taken from SuperCheats.com Burning Crusade gallery

Haste Theory

Haste comes in two forms: bonus rating and bonus percentage.  The first step in haste calculation comes from adding up all sources of bonus rating, which converts to a final percent at the rate of about 129 rating per 1% haste. That percentage is then multiplied against all bonus percentages for the final haste value.  For this reason, the value of bonus haste percentage goes up as your haste rating goes up and the amount of rating required for an overall increase of 1% goes down as rating increases.

Haste Plateau Theory

The theory of DoT haste plateaus is based off of how haste affects DoT effects.  Each tick of a DoT can be considered as an autonomous spellcast, meaning that haste makes DoTs tick faster.  The tooltip of each DoT effect states a particular duration in which the DoT can tick.  For example, at 0 haste, Living Bomb lasts 12 seconds and ticks 4 times.  Every haste plateau represents an amount of haste that adds one tick to one instance of a DoT, or to be more accurate, the amount of haste that adds half of another tick to the DoT (tick counts are rounded up).  This value is a little off from what you’d expect: this is because the millisecond duration has to round, and since WoW rounds to 3 decimal places with 0.500 rounding down, the new tick will occur at, say, 50.063% rather than 50% exactly.  The percentage plateaus listed below will nevertheless remain listed at their theoretical values simply because they are easy-to-remember benchmarks.

The reason plateaus are important because the damage per tick is based on the default number of ticks.  Each of Living Bomb’s 4 ticks deals 25% of the tooltip’s stated damage.  If you add a 5th tick, Living Bomb’s DoT damage abruptly increases by 25%.  Note that the tooltip will change to reflect the updated duration and damage as your haste rating changes.  The duration of DoTs will go back and forth – they’ll go down as you gain rating, then suddenly increase as you hit each plateau, shrinking again as your rating continues to grow.

The haste value affecting any given DoT cast is set in stone at the time the cast completes.  This means that temporary haste buffs gained while a DoT ticks won’t affect it, while a DoT cast during a temporary haste buff won’t suddenly slow down or lose a tick after the buff wears off.

Sources of Haste

Other than basic gear stats, raiding fire mages have four important sources of haste.  They are:

  • 3/3 Netherwind Presence (Arcane tier 1 talent), granting +3% haste
  • The Hybrid buff: a shaman’s Wrath of Air totem or a druid’s Moonkin form, granting +5% haste
  • The two-piece tier 13 bonus: “Your… Fireball, Pyroblast, [and] Frostfire Bolt… have a 50% chance to grant Stolen Time, increasing your haste rating by 50 for 30 seconds and stacking up to 10 times.  When Arcane Power, Combustion, or Icy Veins expires, all stacks of Stolen Time are lost.”
    • This buff provides 500 haste rating at full stacks
  • Bloodlust/Heroism/Time Warp, granting +30% haste
There are also two more sources of haste that many mages will possess:
  • Insignia of the Corrupted Mind, a trinket that drops off of Yor’sahj the Unsleeping, a boss in the first half of Dragon Soul.  Its proc grants bonus haste for 20 seconds on a 110-second cooldown:
    • Raid Finder: +406 Intellect, +2573 haste rating proc
    • Normal: +458 Intellect, +2904 haste rating proc
    • Heroic: +517 Intellect, +3278 haste rating proc
  • Dark Intent, a warlock buff that provides 3% haste
Finally, two Horde racials affect haste:
  • Goblin: Time is Money (+1% haste)
  • Troll: Berserking (+20% haste for 10 seconds)

Taken from MMO-Champion "Firelands and Sulfuron Panoramas"

Haste Plateaus

This section is based on and revises the following chart, accessible through MMO-Champion: DOT/HOT Haste Calculations 4.3.  To convert rating to percentage based on your gear, use the following calculator: Haste calculator.  Note that the numbers between the chart and the calculator don’t match: the chart uses rounding in multiple stages of the calculations, creating inaccuracies.  The chart’s values will be higher than the calculator’s and the deviation will increase as numbers go up.

Note also that I don’t include Dark Intent, Racials, or Insignia of the Corrupted Mind in my calculations.  The chart above notably includes separate tables accommodating the Goblin racial, and both Goblin and non-Goblin tables include additional lines for Dark Intent (as well as lines for when the +5% hybrid buff is not present).  If you don’t want to read that chart, the safest thing to do is convert percentage bonuses to rating bonuses and subtract from required values.  This will undercompensate for the presence of the buff, since the percentage bonus’s multiplicative value isn’t taken into account.  For example:

  • An Orc has 1000 haste rating (7.809%)
  • He race changes to Goblin, gaining the +1% Time is Money bonus
  • 1% of haste is equal to 129 haste rating, in theory bringing his haste to 1129 (8.8164%)
  • In reality, Time is Money multiplies his haste by 1.01
    • 1.01 * 1.07809 = 1.0888709, or 8.88709% haste
    • This is equivalent to 1139 rating, 10 points higher than the additive value
  • So, if you were to say Time is Money is only worth 129 haste rating, you’re subtracting less than you should when you look at haste plateaus.  As a result, you will have more haste from gear than what’s required.
  • The same logic applies to the Insignia of the Corrupted Mind proc.  The haste rating added is multiplied by various percentage buffs to calculate your final haste percentage.
The false values of the various buffs are:
  • Goblin: Time is Money: 129
  • Troll: Berserking: 2562
  • Dark Intent: 385
  • Insignia of the Corrupted Mind (Raid Finder): 2573
  • Insignia of the Corrupted Mind (Normal): 2904
  • Insignia of the Corrupted Mind (Heroic): 3278

Fire mages have two sets of plateaus to observe.  The first governs Combustion, while the seecond governs Pyroblast/Living Bomb/Glyph of Frostfire Bolt.

Taken from WoWWiki's Ragnaros page

Combustion

NOTE: Anything requiring over 3000 haste rating is unobtainable in normal states, while anything requiring less than 0 haste rating has been labeled as automatic.  Unobtainable values have been left in to allow you to test the effects of situational bonuses.

Combustion has a base duration of 10 seconds and a base tick count of 10, so new ticks will occur every 10% haste.  Accounting for tick rounding, subtract 5% from every plateau and the following values emerge:

  • 11 ticks: 5% (base 639 rating)
    • Automatic
  • 12 ticks: 15% (base 1922 rating)
    • NP+Hybrid: 813 rating (6.3487%) required
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.063487 = 1.15
    • NP + Hybrid + T13: 313 rating required
    • NP + Hybrid + TW: Automatic
    • NP + Hybrid + TW + T13: Automatic
  • 13 ticks: 25% (base 3212 rating)
    • NP+Hybrid: 2005 rating (15.6571%) required
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.156571 = 1.25
    • NP + Hybrid + T13: 1505 rating required
    • NP + Hybrid + TW: Automatic
    • NP + Hybrid + TW + T13: Automatic
  • 14 ticks: 35% (base 4488 rating)
    • NP+Hybrid: 3185 rating (24.8717%) required
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.248717 = 1.35
    • NP + Hybrid + T13: 2685 rating required
    • NP + Hybrid + TW: Automatic
    • NP + Hybrid + TW + T13: Automatic
  • 15 ticks: 45% (base 5767 rating)
    • NP+Hybrid: 4368 rating (34.1097%) required
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.341097 = 1.45
    • NP + Hybrid + T13: 3868 rating required
    • NP + Hybrid + TW: 405 rating (3.1626%) required
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.30 * 1.031626 = 1.45
    • NP + Hybrid + TW + T13: Automatic
  • 16 ticks: 55% (base 7033 rating)
    • NP+Hybrid: 5538 rating (43.2463%) required
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.432463 = 1.55
    • NP + Hybrid + T13: 5038 rating required
    • NP + Hybrid + TW: 1305 rating (10.1908%) required
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.30 * 1.101908 = 1.55
    • NP + Hybrid + TW + T13: 805 rating required (1305 rating with T13 = 10.1908%)
  • 17 ticks: 65% (base 8309 rating)
    • NP+Hybrid: 6718 rating (52.4609%) required
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.524609 = 1.65
    • NP + Hybrid + T13: 6218 rating required
    • NP + Hybrid + TW: 2212 rating (17.2735%) required
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.30 * 1.172735 = 1.65
    • NP + Hybrid + TW + T13: 1712 rating required
  • 18 ticks: 75% (base 9602 rating)
    • NP+Hybrid: 7913 rating (61.7927%) required
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.617927 = 1.75
    • NP + Hybrid + T13: 7413 rating required
    • NP + Hybrid + TW: 3132 rating (24.4578%) required
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.30 * 1.172735 = 1.65
    • NP + Hybrid + TW + T13: 2632 rating required

The conservative plateau to keep in mind is 1505, giving your Combustion 13 ticks whenever your tier 13 bonus is fully stacked.  Note that at this level, Combustion automatically ticks 16 times during Time Warp, regardless of how many stacks you have.  As your gear improves and you find yourself having difficulties keeping your rising haste levels close to the 1505 mark, consider the 1712 plateau, which will give you a 17th tick of Combustion during Time Warp, provided you have full stacks of your Tier 13 bonus.  This is unquestionably a lesser priority since its benefits will only apply once during most fights, but considering the sheer amount of haste on Dragon Soul gear, is not a difficult plateau to meet.

Taken from Rapid Fire WoW's Molten Core guide

Pyroblast/Living Bomb/Glyph of Frostfire Bolt

NOTE: Anything requiring over 3000 haste rating is unobtainable in normal states, while anything requiring less than 0 haste rating has been labeled as automatic.  Unobtainable values have been left in to allow you to test the effects of situational bonuses.

These DoTs all share a base duration of 12 seconds and a base tick count of 4.  This means that new ticks occur every 25% haste.  Subtract half that value, 12.5%, since tick count is rounded up, and you see the following plateaus:

  • 5 ticks: 12.5% (base 1602 rating)
    • NP+Hybrid: 516 rating (4.0222%) required
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.040222 = 1.125
    • NP + Hybrid + T13: 16 rating required
    • NP + Hybrid + TW: Automatic
    • NP + Hybrid + TW + T13: Automatic
  • 6 ticks: 37.5% (base 4805 rating)
    • NP + Hybrid: 3476 rating (27.1441%) required Unobtainable
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.271441 = 1.375
    • NP + Hybrid + T13: 2976 rating required
    • NP + Hybrid + TW: Automatic
    • NP + Hybrid + TW + T13: Automatic
  • 7 ticks: 62.5% (base 8000 rating)
    • NP + Hybrid: 6436 rating (50.2588%) required Unobtainable
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.502588 = 1.625
    • NP + Hybrid + T13: 5936 rating required Unobtainable
    • NP + Hybrid + TW: 1996 rating (15.5868%) required
      • 1.03 * 1.05 * 1.30 * 1.155868 = 1.625
    • NP + Hybrid + TW + T13: 1496 rating required

If appropriately geared even just for LFR, it’s more or less impossible not to have 5 ticks in a raid setting.  The plateau I’d remember here is 1996, which gives 7 ticks at all times during Time Warp. (The lesser plateau, 1496, is lower than the conservative Combustion plateau of 1505 mentioned above.)  This will allow your Living Bomb to continually reach 7 ticks during Time Warp, since your T13 stacks will have fallen off after Combusting at the beginning of Time Warp.  Note that reaching the 1996 plateau is difficult to do at moderate gear levels: while obtainable, the sacrificed itemization in Hit and Critical Strike is not worth the 7th tick.  This is especially true for any players sporting weapons from the Madness of Deathwing encounter.  Only raiders progressing through Heroic content or players with situational bonuses should consider this threshold.

– – –

Conclusion

From the analysis above, three haste plateaus emerge which actually fit LFR-, Normal-, and Heroic-appropriate gear levels nicely.  To recap, they are:

  • LFR: 1505: 13 ticks of Combustion with full stacks of T13
  • Normal: 1712: 17 ticks of Combustion during Time Warp with full stacks of T13
  • Heroic: 1996: 7 ticks of Living Bomb during Time Warp
    • 2005: 13 ticks of Combustion with no stacks of T13 (cast Combustion on-cooldown, ignoring T13 stacks, but make sure it’s available for Time Warp)
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