We recently hotfixed the Windsong and Elemental Force weapon enchants to improve their performance for many users. The important part for most players is that Windsong is now a useful enchant for all classes and specs (save Hunters who use scopes, and Death Knights who use Runeforging), since it will trigger on all damage or healing, be it spell, melee, or ranged, and direct or periodic. Elemental Force will also trigger from all damage, so is useful for all damage dealers.
Additionally, these two enchants use a new system for triggering, which we wanted to give some details on. These are the gritty details, which you do not need to understand in order to use these enchants, but we wanted to lay them out for the benefit of the theorycrafting community. If mathy simulations and modeling aren’t your thing, none of this will matter much to you.
We have had various methods for triggering procs throughout WoW’s history. Most procs fall into two categories for the past few years:
- Relatively high but static proc chance, with a significant cooldown. Most trinkets and caster procs fall into this category. For example, a trinket may have a 30% chance to proc on hit, with a 55sec cooldown. This lets us balance the trinket with a pretty safe assumption of procing about once per minute. Unfortunately, since it’s so reliable, it doesn’t really feel like a random proc, but rather like an On Use trinket that’s just on auto-cast. The uptime won’t increase significantly with any stats with this type of proc.
- Relatively low proc chance with some normalization based on weapon speed, typically referred to as ‘PPM’ (procs per minute). Most melee weapon enchants fall into this category. For example, a weapon enchant may have 3 PPM. That checks your weapon speed, and gives your attacks a % chance based on that. If you have a 3.6speed weapon, your attacks will have a 3(PPM) * 3.6(weaponspeed) / 60 (sec per min) = 18% chance. All your white and yellow attacks with that weapon will have an 18% chance to trigger the enchant. Despite being supposedly ‘3 PPM’, that really will result in significantly more than 3 procs per minute, since all of the special attacks can proc it. Since there is no cooldown involved here, this type of enchant can feel random and streaky, instead of reliable. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, as you are just as likely to get lucky and get several procs in a row, which can be exciting. Some stats, primarily haste, will increase the frequency of these procs. However, since they vary heavily based on weapon speed, and how many special attacks you’re doing, these can proc significantly more or less for one class/spec/weapon than another, making them difficult to balance.
So, there are pros and cons of both of those types of procs. We’re trying a new system for these enchants. This new system, nicknamed Real PPM, aims to give the random nature of procs, the scaling with haste, and the ability for us to balance them assuming a standard proc frequency. Here’s the short version of how you can expect them to function:
- Windsong is 2 Real PPM, and Elemental Force is 10 Real PPM.
- Come patch 5.1, Dancing Steel and Jade Spirit will be 2 Real PPM, River's Song will be 4 Real PPM, and Colossus will be 6 Real PPM
- Regardless of how you’re attacking or healing, slow or fast, with DoTs or direct heals, whatever, you can expect to get the same proc frequency, on average.
- Dual wielding and having both weapons enchanted with the same enchant will double the frequency of procs that you get.
- This Real PPM is increased by your haste %. (The highest of your melee, ranged, or spell haste is chosen).
- Simple as that. Whether you’re an Affliction Warlock dealing very frequent DoT ticks and Malefic Grasp ticks, or a Holy Paladin casting purely Holy Lights, or a Combat Rogue quickly attacking and using specials, or an Enhancement Shaman attacking with slow melee attacks and spells, or a Shadow Priest channeling Mind Sear on fifty Onyxian Whelps, you’ll get 2*Haste Windsong procs or 10*Haste Elemental Force procs per enchant per minute.
- We’re excited to see how this proc system works out. If it works well, we may start using it for more types of procs. Feedback about how it feels is most welcome.
Here are even more nitty gritty details, if you’re interested:
- It can proc from any damage/healing event. It keeps track of the last time it had a chance to proc for that enchant.
- It calculates the difference in time since the last chance to proc. It uses that time to determine the chance for that event to trigger a proc.
- For example, if you have 22% Haste, it was 1.4sec since the last chance to proc, and you’ve got Windsong, then the chance to proc is 2(ppm) * 1.22(haste) * 1.4(time since last chance) / 60 (sec per min) = 5.693%.
- The ‘time since the last chance to proc’ is capped at 10sec, so that your first attack of a fight isn’t a guaranteed proc.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to post them here, and we’ll try to answer them.