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Cataclysm: Rotations

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Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby Thels » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:58 am

With Crusader Strike and Holy Shock as new single target abilities, and Blinding Shield as a new AoE ability, it seems like our 96969 rotation will be severely altered, if not gone altogether, making us think more about the situation we're in.

Blues already hinted at Crusader Strike something the prot pala would be using. We'll most likely keep Hammer of the Righteous in our single target rotation, but I have the feeling Crusader Strike will be more effective single target than Consecrate, while against multiple mobs we're probably weaving in Consecrate and Blinding Shield over Crusader Strike and maybe Shield of Righteousness.

It personally sounds like a good idea to me. Hopefully, Blinding Shield will be effective at picking up new mobs, because Consecrate can sometimes be funky with that due to it's damage over time component, and it's output probably lowered in Cataclysm to keep our AoE capabilities in scale with that of other classes.

Holy Shock is probably not used in base rotations, but can be effective for ranged pickups, and perhaps to replace Hammer of the Righteous in situations where you simply don't want to cleave at all (for example, when you don't want to break that sheep right next to you).

Either way, with 2 new pickup abilities (Blinding Shield and Holy Shock), I'm pretty happy. Crusader Strike might also be useful for those times that we're silenced, instead of relying purely on HotR.

Anyone want to foreshadow what our rotation will look like?
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby hoho » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:07 am

I'm almost certain that 6969 will become a bit more mixed-up priority queue more similar to retri and many other classes-specs.
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby Thels » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:47 am

hoho wrote:more similar to retri


I highly doubt that. Retribution (currently at least) has slightly more GCDs than they have abilities to push, therefor they're focussing on abilities with short CD's, so they keep something to press.

As Protection, we can just fill our GCDs now while not resorting to AS/HoW/HW. We're getting 3 more instant abilities, so unless the CD on all those abilities goes up drastically, we'll have plenty of abilities to queue up, allowing us to focus on the effectiveness of abilities, not the cooldown.
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby theckhd » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:51 am

There's not much point in speculating until we have numbers. The answers will differ drastically depending on the damage capability of Blinding Shield, Crusader Strike, and Holy Shock. Not to mention that they may retool Consecration, HotR, or any of our other abilities.

My guess is that CS will be buffed to make it our single-target replacement for Consecration. But at this point that's about as likely as any other change.

Keep in mind that we already operate on a FCFS priority queue. That's how you end up in a 969 rotation in the first place. So we'll just have to tweak it slightly based on the new DPCT and cooldowns of our abilities. The only way it would drastically change is if we're given a higher DPCT (which since all of ours are instant, is just net damage) spell than HotR or ShoR that's on a shorter cooldown (i.e. a massively buffed Crusader Strike).

Also note that there's a chance they'll give us some sort of reactive ability. A high-DPCT, moderate-cooldown, triggered ability would just end up being subbed into the next convenient slot.

Example: Righteous Revenge lights up whenever the boss parries your attack, and it's our highest DPCT spell. It has a 10-second internal cooldown (i.e. won't light up again until 10 seconds have elapsed) and is available for 5 seconds (3 GCDs).

You wouldn't necessarily cast it immediately when it lights up, even though that would be your inclination. As long as the 10-second cooldown starts running immediately (i.e. doesn't wait for you to use the ability before starting the cooldown), you'd be better-off replacing the lowest damage spell in the 5-second window.

So if your next 3 casts were
HotR
Crusader Strike
ShoR

and in terms of DPCT the order was HotR>ShoR>CS, you'd sub it in for CS.
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby Koatanga » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:07 pm

Looking at our current rotation, what would you drop for a new ability?

It wouldn't be judgement or holy shield, so we free up 1 GCD in our 9s rotation. In our 6s, we choose whatever is available that does the most threat.

If the cooldown of HS doesn't change, then we will still have a 9s rotation. Unless our new abilities have cooldowns longer than 9 seconds, they will fit into either a 9-slot or a 6-slot in the rotation based on circumstance (AoE vs single) and threat value.

SoR has the drawback of requiring a shield, while HoR is a 51-point talent. Both of them should therefore do more than a non-restricted baseline talent. It would be stupid if that was not the case.

I really see no place for CS except when we 2-tanking a boss and want to do a bit more DPS since we don't need HS when not the focus of the boss.
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby chinoquezada » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:19 pm

Thels wrote:
hoho wrote:more similar to retri


I highly doubt that. Retribution (currently at least) has slightly more GCDs than they have abilities to push, therefor they're focussing on abilities with short CD's, so they keep something to press.

As Protection, we can just fill our GCDs now while not resorting to AS/HoW/HW. We're getting 3 more instant abilities, so unless the CD on all those abilities goes up drastically, we'll have plenty of abilities to queue up, allowing us to focus on the effectiveness of abilities, not the cooldown.


You are incorrect about how ret priority FCFS works. They don't focus on short CDs, they focus on lowering the effective CDs of the highest dps abilities (therefore doing the highest amount of dps from said ability).

And, by the looks of it, we will be doing the same.
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby lythac » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:52 am

BTW is there a difference between a FCFS, Priority and a FCFS Priority? :roll:
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby hoho » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:55 am

When I said our rotation will start looking more like retri I actually meant we'll have more abilities than GCDs and we'll have to actively choose the best ones to use for given situation. Also most of those abilities will likely not fall into 6969-like rotation due to different cooldown lengths.
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby Boyfriend » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:02 am

I think it's much too early to speculate about rotations; any change is about just as likely as any other. Crusader Strike needs a massive buff to be useful to us, we don't know if we'll even keep having spellpower at all or if Holy Shock will scale with spell power. We'll probably get some 'proc' that we have to react to but if this is in the form of "your XX has a XX% chance to reset the cooldown of X" or "if your target parries" or "if a rogue does a little dance behind you" we don't know, thus any discussion about rotation is about as speculative as if there will be paladins in blizzards unannounced new MMO.

The current ret rotation is actually highly complex, and it's not as simple as saying 'use short cd abilities first' the optimal rotation changes and jumps significantly based on gear (especially haste which modifies the gcd on consecration and exorcism) but because all of their abilities are binary (no interaction between abilities) and the ability damage actually being very close to eachother they are in a situation where it's completely irrelevant which button they press (single target that is, multi target rotations become very dependant on Divine Storm and for loads of targets Consecration, but single target banging head on keyboard is within 5% damage of an optimal rotation).
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby knaughty » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:16 am

Crusader Strike is on a 4 sec CD, Holy Shock is on a 6 sec CD - call it 3 GCDs and 4 GCDs.

Holy Shield loses its charges, but no word on a change to CD/duration, so assume it remains a 9 sec cast.

Assuming Judgement retains its debuffs, you'll want to cast it every 20 seconds to keep JotJ procced (13 GCDs at most).

We're massively over-subscribed, even excluding blinding shield - 58% more abilities than GCDs - you'll almost always have 2 different abilities you could be hitting.

Assuming they set the coefficients of the various spells to match their design goals, we're going to end up with two different rotations - one for AE, one for single target.

AE Rotation

Our AE rotation is actually something we can make some educated guesses about already.

We'll have six multi-target abilities available for our AE rotation:
  1. HoTR - our cleave - requires melee range and arc for primary target, procs various melee-based abilities, very likely to remain our go-to move for up to 3 adds. 4 GCD CD
  2. Consecration - fire & forget, static, probably low single-target TPS but still a good AE move - effectively 6 GCD CD.
  3. Holy Shield (well, it's sort of AE) - this got a big boost for AE tanking with the removal of the charges, very likely to be high-priority for AE-tanking. 6 GCD CD.
  4. Blinding Shield - likely to have front cone restriction with 8-12 yard range. Procs a blind, which suggests to me that we can probably expect a nice fat CD of about 30 seconds.
  5. Avenger's Frisbee - three target, long CD, does a silence which I wish worked more reliably to get casters into melee. Also 30 secs / 20 GCDs
  6. Holy Wrath - only works on undead/demons. Yet another 30 sec CD. I wish this one did damage to all classes (or at least add humanoids) but the stun only worked on undead/demons. 30 secs again.
Avenger's probably remains your opener and primary pickup tool for staggered adds. HotR, Consecration and Holy Shield use up 7 in 12 of your remaining GCDs. Blinding Shield and Holy Wrath are probably situational pickup/control abilities, or something you use early to cement aggro. You fill up the rest of your AE rotation with tab-targeting CS, Judge or ShoR, depending where each ends up in the priority list. Shock-self-heal (or single-target) can also end up in your rotation, depending on scaling or heal effectiveness.
So, assuming:
  1. You prioritise AE abilities:
  2. Our relative ability priority is vaguely similar to today
  3. Blinding Shield has a CD of at least 20 seconds or so
then our AE rotation looks like this:
-2: Holy Shield
-1: Avenger's Shield
0: Consecration
1: HotR
2: <single-target> Shock-self goes here?
3: <single-target> Blinding Shield can go here first rotation, unless you need to save it for control / pick-up.
4: HS
5: HotR
6: Consecration
7: <single-target>
8: <single-target> Shock-self goes here?
9: HotR
10: HS
11: <single-target>
12: <single-target>

Etc.

Single-target Rotation

Cannot be determined at this time. At an utter minimum, it seems safe to assume that Consecration is dropped from our single target rotation & replaced with either Holy Shock (damage version) or Crusader Strike. Both would require significant tweaks for this to be achieved - Shock would require some AP scaling, and CS would require a re-work to be effective with a one-hand weapon. Assuming either of those - Consecration is out of the single-target rotation. With current scaling, neither of them beat Consecrate and 969 wouldn't change. This doesn't meet their stated design goals, therefore we can assume that Holy Shock/CS will be buffed, or Consecrate will be nerfed again for Cataclysm - it's already pretty weak compared to TBC.

For a mitigation fight, at 80, even with current scaling, my Holy Shock would heal me for about 4k. Assuming CS sucks for Prot, there would be a standard 969 rotation for mitigation > threat fights - just substitute Shock-on-me for every Consecrate. If they add AP scaling it might end up pretty decent for self-healing. And before anyone screams "ZOMG! OP!" go check out how much self-healing Blood Tanks are likely to have....

Where things get Ret-like (FCFS-no-repeating) is the circumstance where CS is altered to be very good for Prot. The extreme case is where CS is our highest priority move, and we end up with something like this (assuming mitigation matters and Shock works as a self-heal).

0: Holy Shield
1: CS
2: Judgement
3: Holy Shock on self
4: CS
5: HotR
6: Holy Shield
7: CS
8: ShoR
9: Holy Shock on self
10: CS
11: HotR
12: Holy Shield
13: CS
14: Judgement
15: Holy Shock on self
16: CS
17: HotR
18: Holy Shield
19: CS
20: ShoR
21: Holy Shock on self
22: CS
Randomly etc

This isn't a rotation anymore - we're into a big-ass FCFS list with competing priorities for mitigation abilities (Judgement, Holy Shield, Shock-self) and threat abilities (everything else, but also Judgement and Shock-target-instead-of-self).

Depending on how they tune it, we'll be single-target-tanking in Cataclysm with one of:
  1. Classic 969 - CS/Shock suck, we still Consecrate for single target-tanking.
  2. 969-no-Consecrate - CS or Shock beat Consecrate either for threat, or the heal is nice enough to drop a TPS move.
  3. ZOMG! MostComplexTankingRotationInGame - CS kicks arse and shock is good enough to use every CD, either threat or more likely for the heal - Ummm... I need a mod to pre-calculate my rotation for me.....

CS being über is one thing that would futz up 969. The other is Judgment being comparatively bad enough that you only want to cast it every 12-13 GCDs in order to keep JotJ up.

No more 1-button tanking


If you really wanted to, you could macro/mod our current rotation such that you could tank with 1 button running 969. Two-button tanking was very easy to macro and a reasonable number of people apparently did it in WotLK.

This looks to be unlikely for Cataclysm. At an absolute minimum, even with no scaling tweaks at all, you'll be trading off between doing a Shock-heal as one of your "9" moves or a TPS move (Consecrate / Shock-target / Crusader Strike) depending on mitigation vs threat requirements.

With some scaling tweaks to make CS/Shock out-weigh some existing 969 moves, we end up with decisions to make about what to hit pretty much every GCD.

I have to admit that I hope CS doesn't get a huge one-hand buff. I dislike the idea of having cat-druid rotation while tanking.... The result would end up being too complex for reasonable use as a tank, IMO.

I do love the idea of being able to go: Shit! An add! Target it! Taunt+Crusader Strike! rather than the current situation of "Shit! An add! Target it! TheOnlyAbilityOffCDisConsecrate! FuckBetterHopeTauntSticks!
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby theckhd » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:26 am

knaughty wrote:With some scaling tweaks to make CS/Shock out-weigh some existing 969 moves, we end up with decisions to make about what to hit pretty much every GCD.

I have to admit that I hope CS doesn't get a huge one-hand buff. I dislike the idea of having cat-druid rotation while tanking.... The result would end up being too complex for reasonable use as a tank, IMO.

I do love the idea of being able to go: Shit! An add! Target it! Taunt+Crusader Strike! rather than the current situation of "Shit! An add! Target it! TheOnlyAbilityOffCDisConsecrate! FuckBetterHopeTauntSticks!

I doubt they're going to go John Madden on us. Even if they do buff CS to make it good, it would have to be better than both HotR or ShoR to end up making it worth pushing either of those abilities back as much as your example does. I doubt they'll do that for mechanical reasons (it doesn't make sense for the baseline ability to be better than the talented ability or the lvl 75 tank-specific ability). For a threat rotation, we'll probably end up in a 969 variant where the 9's queue changes considerably with CS's slipped into a 9's slot as soon as it's available. I.e.

0: HotR
1: CS
2: ShoR
3: HS
4: HotR
6: CS
7: ShoR
8: Judge
<repeat>

That drops HS uptime a little and spaces Judgements out a bit more than they are now, but it will probably be the threat winner.

I'm still not sold on Holy Shock self heals being part of our standard rotation. It's certainly a possibility, and it's obviously going to be a survivability increase over a regular threat ability, but I doubt its a design direction they want to go (not tank self-healing in general, but active tank self-healing that isn't tied to damage output).

But again, until we know the new CS cooldown and scaling, there's not much to say. We can do a lot of "what if" situations, but I don't have the time to run numbers for them all to see if our intuition is even correct. One of the tricky parts of the Ret FCFS queue is that it's not strictly based on "which ability has the highest DPCT / DPS / etc". It can also depend on the order of those abilities and what minimizes cooldown clashes further down the line, which is much harder to intuitively guess at.

My personal hope is that either:

1) CS gets buffed to be higher DPCT than Cons on a single-target, but still lower than HotR and ShoR. That leaves us in the 969 realm, but gives us more options for substitutions and modifying our rotation depending on whether we want more threat or more survivability. EX: early in the fight, we might drop HS uptime to fit more CS's in to get initial aggro, but once the Vengeance buff is built up we transition into a more defensive rotation, possibly with some HS self-heals thrown in.

2) CS gets a talented buff that makes it huge DPCT but reactive (based on dodge/parry for example), making it the ability we toss in whenever it lights up. Bonus points if it's higher DPCT than one ability but not the other (i.e. HotR>CS>ShoR or soem such), so that a really good tankadin sees a reward for substituting it most efficiently.
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby knaughty » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:45 pm

My hope is that one of us gets a beta invite and can suggest your two preferences. Priority list needs to go 6 > 3 > 9, or the CS -> revenge idea.

CS (or shock) have to end up better than Consecrate for DPCT or our single-target rotation doesn't change.

Right now, neither one is going to compete well for a 9s position, let along a 6.
theckhd wrote:I'm still not sold on Holy Shock self heals being part of our standard rotation. It's certainly a possibility, and it's obviously going to be a survivability increase over a regular threat ability, but I doubt its a design direction they want to go (not tank self-healing in general, but active tank self-healing that isn't tied to damage output).

With Vengeance, I expect threat to be a non issue after the first 10 GCDs for the vast majority of fights (until tier-14, when the scaling finally peters out †).

Under that circumstance, why would you hit a threat button when you have a mitigation button?

Anyway, have to wait and see what the talent tree and scaling looks like.

† I think that the scaling on Vengeance is going to peter out because DPS get multiple multipliers - haste & crit - while our DPS will scale linearly. 40% haste + 40% crit = double damage, meanwhile we get 80% stamina for same item budget.
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby theckhd » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:20 pm

knaughty wrote:With Vengeance, I expect threat to be a non issue after the first 10 GCDs for the vast majority of fights (until tier-14, when the scaling finally peters out †).

Under that circumstance, why would you hit a threat button when you have a mitigation button?

From a survivability standpoint, it's a no-brainer. And it does give us a choice (overgear the content? skip it for an offensive ability). But I'm not suggesting that it's a bad idea, just that I'm not sure it's the direction they want to go with our class design. They already want to cut our self-healing ability down (for both Ret and Prot), so giving us an instant-cast self-heal seems unintuitive.

You could make an argument that it's not "fun" to feel obligated to use a GCD to heal ourselves rather than generate threat. But I guess it's not so different from a warrior using Shield Block.
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby fuzzygeek » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:45 pm

I suspect they will also throw something proccy into the mix (e.g., warrior free CD reset shield slam). They seem to really like warrior "Active Tanking" vs paladin strict roation, druid 1-button, DK rune-constraints (frost aside).
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Re: Cataclysm: Rotations

Postby knaughty » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:16 pm

Ah, yes - I violently agree with your point, Mr Headache.

I dislike the idea that my rotation may include a self-heal (and Holy Shield). This is coming from someone who still doesn't have Divinity...

But current known mechanics would seem to indicate that Holy Shock Self is going to steal Consecrate's spot in 969. Hopefully they'll fix it somehow.
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