Regional FlagWarlock Analysis...Source
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#0 - 2007/11/19 12:06:14 PM

I. Foreword for Warlock Forum
II. Prologue
III. Warlock Talents
1. Affliction
2. Demonology
3. Destruction
IV. Warlock Spells
V. Warlock Talent Specializations
1. Heavy Affliction
2. Hybrid towards Affliction
3. Shadow Mastery and Conflagrate
4. Demonic Sacrifice and Shadow and Flame
VI. Combat stats alteration and relevant changes in each build damage effectiveness
VII. Closing Thoughts and Notes

I. Foreword for Warlock Forum

This post was originally posted in my guild’s forum, so you may excuse some of the references that take place. I though it might be useful to post it here as well, since I saw a relevant topic being brought up. My source for the data base presented on which I work, is . It might be quite a boring read, but I think there are some interesting parts herein able to help anyone conduct his/her own research. So grab a cup of coffee (or 3 ;P) and enjoy!

II. Prologue:

This is a REALLY large post (even for my standards ...), so I’ve chosen to distribute it evenly in a number of posts to help both the first-hand reader and future reference. It is not research (for I personally haven’t collected any form of data. It’s more of a calculation based on formulae that other people have found regarding Warlock Spells. The values presented in this essay may not be the exact ones used by WoW game mechanics, but they certainly reach a number close to 100% relativity and thus can be very helpful when selecting gear, talent build, gameplay style and even cast sequence.

You will surely notice a great load of same-phrase repetition throughout the whole text. Indeed, there has been a lot of copy-paste during the making of this essay to help ease the burden of writing. I apologize for this lack of ingenuity in some fields, but it would have been a ton more work if I had avoided copy-paste. Trust me…

Let’s get a start on the point of analysing the Warlock Class and the Spell Combat Ratings.

I would like to discuss the equation mentioned in Marblus’post regarding consumables, while keeping in mind the lvl 70 values of those combat stats:

12,6 SpellHit Rating = 1% Spell Hit chance
22,1 SpellCrit Rating = 1% Spell Critical chance
(1 Intellect = 0,012 % Spell Critical Chance)

Q u o t e:
1 spell hit rating = 2 spell damage = 4 spell crit rating

(Note: Before I start explaining my opinion on the subject I have to say that this whole discussion regarding the 3 most important caster dps combat stats, namely spell damage, spellhit chance and spellcrit chance (spell haste is not widely used by our guild at the moment so I'll leave it out and spell penetration… well yeah) derives from Marblus post but I'm perfectly aware that our beloved officer already knows much on those things. I just ceased the opportunity to start a relevant discussion).

(From now on and for repetition issues, combat stats will refer only to SpellCrit, SpellHit and Spell Damage)

This is a highly generalized equation and unless it's being subjected to particular consequences it serves no use at all.

First of all, spell hit combat rating has almost no use in PvP. So as far as PvP is concerned, the above equation could only be discussed in terms of spell crit and spell damage, but PvP is not my concern at the moment.

Now, in terms of PvE (which we are most interested in).
Let's take 2 imaginary untalented 70 level Warlock gear setups into consideration:

1. Set-up A comprised of gear that combines all 3 caster combat ratings:
Spell Damage= 550 , Spell Crit Rating= 144 (6,41%), Spell Hit Rating= 38 (3,08%).
Gear and base intellect stat total in 300 Intellect (3,6% Spell Crit chance).
So according to the equation above (if we want to turn them all in spell damage), setup A has a
Total Spell Damage`= (SP 550) + ([SC 10% = 221 SCR / 2] = SP 115,5) + ([SHR 38 x 2] =SP 76) = 550 + 115,5 + 76 = SP 692.
(SP = Spell Power or Spell damage, SC = Spell critical chance, SCR = Spell crit rating, SHR = Spell hit rating).

2. Set-up B comprised of gear that only add stats and spell power stat has
Spell Damage= 626.
Gear and base intellect stat total in 500 Intellect (6% Spell Crit Chance).
So according to the equation above (if we want to turn them all in spell damage), setup B has a
Total Spell Damage`= (SP 626) + ([SC 6% = 132,6 SCR / 2] = SP 66) = 626 + 66 = SP 692.

So, according to the above equation those 2 Warlock setups are "equal" since they share the same amount of Spell Power. Now let's take a look at the effectiveness of each of those 2 setups against PvE encounters, namely vs a 70 level mob and vs a l73 level mob.
I will examine the effectiveness through the use of the most widely known (and possibly used) Warlock spell, the Shadow Bolt.

Shadow Bolt (Rank 11): 541 - 603 Shadow Damage, 3sec cast.
The equation to define Shadow Bolt's true damage, when Spell Power (Shadow) is incorporated, for an untalented Warlock is:

(541 - 603) + (SP x 85,71%)

For setup A that means: (541 - 603) + (550 x 85,71%) = 1012 - 1074 AVERAGE = 1043

For setup B that means: (541 - 603) + (626 x 85,71%) = 1078 - 1140 AVERAGE = 1109

IMPORTANT:It is very important to know that spell combat differs from physical combat in regard to how the various percentages affect the “roll” the game mechanics use to have a result. In physical combat, all percentages (hit chance, critical chance, enemiy’s block – parry – dodge chance, etc) are rolled in one table. That said, it is possible if someone has extreme ratings in critical chance to ensure a 100% critical chance when he actually hits the enemy. (For example a rogue may have a 65% critical chance, 5% miss chance and his enemy has 10% block chance, 10% dodge chance and 10% parry chance. Every blow that hits is guaranteed a critical strike).
In spell combat however things are not quite the same, when a spell is able to critically strike. You see, us spellcasters’ “roll” is rolled in 2 different tables. The first roll is made to find out whether the spell hits or not. Only after the spell has successfully landed, will a second roll be made in order to examine whether it crits or not. To make a long story short, for a spellcaster to achieve the same effect as a physical damage dealer (i.e. to have a guaranteed critical whenever his blows – spells land) it would require him/her to have a 100% spell critical chance…

That matter aside, let’s get on with the analysis of the A and B setup:

1. VS Level 70
Let's see the effectiveness of each set up after 100 Shadow Bolts to that target.

Since player and mob have the same level the spell miss chance is 4%. (This value cannot go below 1% vs any target no matter the characters SpellHit chance or rating). Since they both share the same value of spell penetration, I will not bother with partial resists. The spell is either being missed or landed for full damage.

Set Up A: 99 out of 100 shadow bolts will land. From those, 9,9 will be criticals (+50% damage)

AverageDamageA: (89,1 x 1043) + [9,9 x (1043 x 1,5)] = 92931 + 15488,55 = 108419,85

Set Up B: 96 out of 100 shadow bolts will land. From those, 5,76 will be criticals.

AverageDamageB: (90,24 x 1109) + [5,76 x (1109 x 1,5)] = 100076.16 + 9581,76 = 109657,92

2. VS Level 73

Set Up A: 86,08 out of 100 shadow bolts will land. From those 8,608 will be criticals.

AverageDamageA (77,472 x 1043) + [8,608 x (1043 x 1,5)] = 80803,296 + 13467.216 = 94270,512

Set Up B: 83 out of 100 shadow bolts will land. From those 4,98 will be criticals.

AverageDamageB (78,02 x 1109) + [4,98 x (1109 x 1,5)] = 86524,18 + 8284,23 = 94808,41

From this really simple demonstration we may jump into 2 conclusions:

1. The equation in a fairly simple and plain environment appears to be highly truthful, as the deviations between the damage output of the 2 steups is around 1% in the first case (lvl 70) and around 0,5% in the second case.

2. Pure Spell Power has the upper hand in the first case while all 3 caster combat stats are gaining up and pretty close to reach pure Spell Power’s results in the latter case. (But that's where we need it the most, vs Boss fights). One thing to note is that in the first case, Setup A “loses” the benefits of Spellhit chance above 3% (that 0,08%), that could explain the larger deviation vs a level 70.

However, although the results from these plain examples almost verify the mentioned equation, they are unrealistic. First, because no talents were used (cornering stone of any warlock’s effectiveness) and Shadow Bolt takes into effect all 3 combat stats (while other Warlock spells do not have a Critical chance).
What we really want to see is the interrelation of each combat stat, when all possible talent combination is taken into account and for all warlock spells.

I will now list which Warlock talents have any effect to the matter in question


Blue Poster
Target Source
#44 - 2007/11/19 08:37:09 PM

I will add this to the Informative and useful Warlock threads sticky. Although it comes across as a bit of an impenetrable mass of data, it will most certainly form a useful resource to refer to on specific queries.