Greedy Goblin

Monday, August 3, 2009

OMG big shadowboltz!

I have a little warlock. We quested together with my GF, and on Sunday we reached lvl 80. The gear is blues and BoE ilvl200 epics and I needed a new talent for a simple playstyle: spamming big shadow bolts. So let's see the list of talents that give power to shadow bolt (skip the list if you want to):
  • Improved Shadow Bolt 5/5 (Destro, T1): 5% damage, 5% crit
  • Bane 5/5 (Destro, T1): 20% faster shadowbolts
  • Cataclysm 3/3 (Destro, T2): 10% cheaper shadowbolts
  • Ruin 5/5 (Destro, T3): OMFG shadowbolt critz awesome
  • Destructive reach 2/2 (Destro, T4): shadowbolt goes further and cause -10% threat
  • Intensity 2/2 (Destro, T4): They no take candle! I mean shadowbolt cast time.
  • Backlash 3/3 (Destro, T5): +3% crit to all spells. Wait! Are there other spells than shadowbolt?
  • Devastation 1/1 (Destro, T5): +5% crit. Ipwn!
  • Shadow and flame 5/5 (Destro, T8): +20% effect from spell power
  • Daemonic aegis 3/3 (Demo, T3): +30% effect of Fel armor what gives more spell power
  • Master gonjuror 2/2 (Demo, T5): +300% effect for firestone (+42*3 crit rating, around 3% + crit)
  • Master demonologist 5/5 (Demo, T6): +5% damage, 5% crit for shadow spells with succubus
  • Demonic knowledge 3/3 (Demo, T7): about 150 spellpower
  • Demonic tactics 5/5 (Demo, T8): 10% crit!
  • Demonic pact 5/5 (Demo, T10): +12% spell power (for all raid, but who cares)
  • Suppression 3/3 (Affli, T1): +3% hit. Missing is not fun!
  • Shadow mastery 5/5 (Affli, T6): +15% shadow damage
  • Malediction 3/3 (Affli, T8): +3% spell damage
  • Death's embrace 3/3 (Affli, T9): +12% spell damage when below 35% (4% average)
Too bad that (9+10+8)*5=135 talent points and I have 71. So I have to part with some of them. The affli seems to be the weakest, let's drop them first. Also lose Demonic pact, now I'm down to Demo 40, Destro 40. Oh wait, 10 more points! The 10% crit and 170 SP seems to be equal to 20% SP effect, but the latter needs 15 points, so I'd lose supression, so I drop destro. So here I am at 3/40/28! I have
  • +32% crit chance for shadow bolt
  • double crit damage
  • +11% spell damage
  • +250 spell power
  • 2 sec cast
  • -10% threat
  • -10% mana cost
  • +3% hit
The glyphs are also obvious: shadow bolt, life tap (moar spellpower) and something random.

Now let's see the result:

Nice! Without raid buffs or consumables I have enough DPS to down Patchwerk before enrage.

However one thing must be answered: why is a silly warlock talent is a "philosophy" post on the blog? Because it's a proof that you don't have to read Elitist Jerks to set up a usable talent. All you need is the ability to read the tooltip texts and to do some basic mathematics (+, -, *, %), and you're ready to roll for Naxx25 or even Siege/Antechamber.

Of course it's far in effectivity from EJ cookie cutter specs. I don't think any Ulduar hard mode guild would take me. But little Golmag will never-ever damage below the tank spamming only shadowbolts (CoE up and life taps when needed).

Damaging below the tank is not about not having playing time. I did not farm instances or grinded daily quests for exalted reps. My gear cost 4000G, the quest rewards and the vendortrash during leveling to 80 gives that if you don't waste it.

Having 1200 DPS is not about not being interested in doing scientific research for a video game. All this talent needed was a little common sense. I wanted to spam shadowbolts, so simply searched for talents mentioning "shadowbolt", "destruction spells", "all spells", and decided between them according to numbers using the very simplest mathematics.

It's not about having good reaction time or extreme practice to juggle with 10 cooldowns. I was spamming one spell.

Making 1200-like DPS is about having spellpower gear on a hunter, AP gems for a mage, no enchants, randomly selected or blindly copied talents (ever seen a hunter on EJ-survival specs spamming arcane shot?), dumb or completely random spell rotation (facerolling).

Making 1200-like DPS is not about being a bad player. I am a bad player if I spam shadowbolts with a succubus for lousy 2.2K. It's about being a stupid, careless, lazy, useless person in the real life. Less than 1500 DPS is not "ungeared" or "beginner". It's M&S. Don't waste your precious free time with extreme lazy or hopelessly dumb people!

PS: next round of goblin apprenticeship application is closed, you'll meet the winner soon.


Anonymous said...

Is that a 32% crit chance total for shadowbolt, or just what your talents give you? In the recount your shadowbolts were critting 45% of the time, so either you were lucky and your dps would actually be around 1450-1500 (pet not included) or I misunderstood you and the dps is accurate.

Craig R said...

This is one of those 'Nail-in-the-coffin' kind of experiments that I love. All it takes is COMMON SENSE to succeed. No complicated graphs or charts, just a brain.
Too many people who play this game lack one.

Arnock from Llane said...

" But little Golmag will never-ever damage below the tank spamming only shadowbolts (CoE up and life taps when needed)."

Well, as a prot pally, I frequently top meters tanking adds on emalon, at 3-4k dps, with mostly naxx10 gear, and get around 2100ish tanking a heroic 5 man, So while your dps is significantly higher than your average fresh 80. You might still fall below the tanks. =P

Anonymous said...

I enjoy seeing this kind of math work out into awesome figures. Just out of curiousity, what was your hit value? This probably plays into the other Anon comment about 45% crits due to crit being a product of crit * hit chance.

Ash said...

I test the same thing last week : in patchwork 25, autoshot with a rogue I have 2100 dps. I don't understand how poeple can make above 2k dps with tier 7 stuff ...
And sorry fot my english I'm from Belgium

Gevlon said...

32% crit only from talents, rest from gear.

I am hitcapped (372 rating from gear. 3% from talents)

Correction: I will never-ever damage below a single target tank.

One said...

I would not bet on that, my personal DPS record on Patch as Tank was a little bit over 2500 (Warrior) :D

Im sure you could beat that with this Spec when Raidbuffed, however there are Tanks doing over 3,5k DPS on Patch :D

But yeah people which cant get over 3k DPS in epic gear are usually M&S. (Or just afk)

Astmathic said...

@Arnock from Llane

"Hi, I am a tank that works best with a lot of adds hitting on me at the same time since I deal damage to them when they hit me and stand in my PBAoE"

There is no wonder a prot pally or a DK can hit 3-4k dps while tanking adds. That's how the classes are build. Now if you want an equal comparison to a warlock, compare that dps to a warlock spamming RoF or Hellfire. Suddenly the warlock will be way above you. But then, why does not people do that on Emalon? Well, since if you do that you will wipe and fail. The dps charts will look good but you will still fail.

Now, how much dps are you doing on Patchwerk? Or more importantly if we are talking about tanks, how much do you mitigate and how much TPS do you have?

Cigaras said...

If you want a Shadow Bolt spaming build, go Meta, like 0/51/20, make a macro that hits metamorphosis and demonic empowerment whenever ready and spam Shadow Bolts, drop a CoE or CoD from time to time, in descent gear you could even get into hard mode fight because demonic pact gives more spell power than any other buffs , that's how I did Sarht3D 10man myself, I my Voidwalker was tanking and I was spamming Shadow Bolts all the way, not only I outdpsed tanks, I was in top3.

Carra said...

It's also a terribly boring build. I enjoyed playing an affliction lock in TBC. Then suddenly destruction became the cookie cutter spec. Put up CoE and spam shadowbolts. Fun: zero.

In TBC I could just take my shadowbolt spam build and outDPS anyone else by pushing two buttons. It's a shame that it's possible though, high DPS should take some effort and not something a chimpansee can do.

Gevlon said...

@carra: the point was exactly this. I created a chimpanse-proof build to prove that large amount of playerbase could be outperformed by an ape. I'm not planning to live with this spec.

Ayonel said...

Interesting. As a warlock, and a bit of a theorycrafter, I did a tear-down/rebuild last week after pugging some raids with 'locks that were doing a lot more dps than me. My main spec is good, 0/41/30, and does 2500-3000 dps on a very simple rotation. I was usually in the top 10 on 25's, and usually 4-7th. My gear is a mix of Naxx 10/heroic/WG mark PvP(whatever works).

I re-specced my off-spec to 3/15/53, got new glyphs, and regemmed. Last night on Patchwerk heroic I was #1 dps at 3600+. That is a 1000 dps improvement. I was in the top 4 in Naxx 10, Naxx 25, 10/25 OS, and 10 VoA. But not 25 VoA.

A few things to note:
1. Very few people mentioned noticing the change. The ones who did were astounded because it was like flipping a switch. Like I'm on steroids or something.
2. The shot rotation is MUCH more complex than Gevlon's suggestion, or the 0/41/30 rotation. It requires constant work to make sure everything is up. I am still working on it.
3. You can get all this info on EJ.
4. Hit rating has to be by far the least understood factor in speccing/gearing toons. People think they're uber, but then they get into a heroic or raid, and they fail, and don't know why.
5. Uptime is also critical. It doesn't matter how high your dps is if you aren't casting. My point on 25 VoA is that there is so much switching, moving, etc, that my dps dropped because my uptime(time spect actively casting) declined to ~85% due to the complxity of my spell rotation. So my dps fell to 2600.

Sorry for the long comment. I didn't post this because I think I'm so uber. My point is that I think you are correct, you can do decent dps with little effort, information is readily available if you want to increase your dps, and doing so requires a little more effort.

But to hijack a point you made some time ago, if you have 4 or so people like me in a guild, the rest of the people can ride along, collect their loots, and show off all their Naxx gear. They don't have to work, so they don't.

Wooly said...

Now try this with a shadowpriest.

You'll be pulling your hairs out.

I like my lock. Locks are easy to do great damage with. One of our locks currently plays with a shadowbolt spam demonology spec. I was surprised when I saw his stats, he's doing a very decent 5k3 on patch with it. Personally I like affliction, thought stats say it's the worst spec. Still good for a 4k1 on patch with just heroics gear.

Not every class is that strong or easy though.

Anonymous said...

You hypocrictal bastards, I posted a comment a while ago how it's easy to use your brain to come up with a spec and I just heard oh it's just easier and better to use EJ specs they've done all the maths for you.

Dmitry said...

But you will, Gevlon.

As a Prot paladin, I do an easy 3.5-4k single target DPS on Patchwerk 25.

Go figure. :p

P.S. I understand perfectly that this is not what you really wanted to say with your post. I just couldn't resist. :p

Ayonel said...


Not sure where the hypocrisy comes in. I did the math, analyzed the talent tree, and put it together. I did research online, of course.

However, I ended up with the exact same spec as posted on EJ. Point being, for the idiots out there, the information is available without having to think. For the smart people, they can come up with it on their own.

Either way, I think Gevlon's point is that there is no good excuse for why I was in 25 OS yesterday with 6(!) frost mages, none of whom topped 1700 dps.

Oh, wait. I know. You're so smart, anonymous. I want to be like you when I grow up. I want to be anonymous when I grow up.

TheLumpyOne said...

1.2k dps with blue i200 gear is sad, even on a target dummy. If you want the bare minimum(M&S) then get a FG build. Raid buffed FGs will do close to 1k.

Something like this

Then cast corruption/CoA/immolate/SB spam. Should pass 2k easy in i200 gear.

You will still be out done by a similarly geared lock chooses a better build(ie any of the EJ cookie cutter builds) and better rotation.

Chris said...

Hilarious, awesome, great post. As a Naxx warlock pugger it makes me sad every time I suggest we boot the sub 1500 dpsers and they all scream that they never get a chance. *sigh*

However, I do not appreciate the insult "retarded". M&S have the option to learn and improve, those born with down syndrome do not.

Anonymous said...

What are you trying to show here Gev?

All I see is:
anyone can make a sub-par build and generate sub-par DPS
bad players play poorly

You could probably make a really bad 23/24/24 type build and get 1.2k with your gear and randomly casting dots and SBs.

Is a level 80 lock in pretty much any northrend DPS caster gear that doesn't do 1.2k bad? Yes. We knew that. For that matter 1.5k DPS for most green/blue gear is not unreasonable to expect.

Arnock from Llane said...

I should have been more clear, I meant single target in heroics was 2k, My point was mainly that, although he certainly would be out-dpsing your average M&S pugger, that doesn't necessarily mean he'd be above the tank.

Anonymous said...

I was with two other Warlocks on my last Naxx25 run. I was 2000dps above one and 2400dps above the other, even with my cookie-cutter 41/30 build. I told the guild to enjoy themselves without me since I was tired of losing loot to these clowns. I think even Shadowbolt spam is too complicated for some.

I'm still trying to figure out how someone gearing in T7.5 can do less damage than my pet...

DeftyJames said...

As kitty I found this post to be somewhat depressing. My overall item level is the same as yours (191 vs 193) and I typically put out between 1750-1900 depending on fight etc. One the other hand, I have to play cat which is hard. Don't get me wrong, I love the challenge. But it's a little off putting to think that my DPS can be matched by some ape spamming just one spell.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't confuse people who are bad at playing with people who fail and are stupid in real life. I often agree with your "M&S" comments Gavlin, but sometimes they're just BS. I know several people who are successful and bright irl who barely pulls 1k DPS on a Naxx-10 Patchwerk fight. Aerospace engineers, system administrators, biochemists... all brilliant people but can't play at an acceptable raid level. Guess they either don't care at being the best at whatever they do or they just don't have it in them.

Brian said...

@Anonymous who defended M&S as not being stupid in real life...

The thing is...being good at WoW doesn't require someone with ninja like reflexes to move out of the fire, or a PHD in math to come up with a good talent build, or the concentration of a Buddhist monk to pull off a decent rotation. Being a totally epic hard-mode player might require some extra effort and skill, but playing at an acceptable level really doesn't.

Now obviously on some level you're's hard to argue that someone who can put together an airplane is too stupid to put together a decent talent build and rotation. Which is why the phrase Gevlon uses is pretty good...morons AND slackers. Your aerospace engineering friend who plays WoW poorly might not be a moron, but he's definitely a slacker. And really, a refusal to do something is no better than an inability to do it.

Obiviously not everyone wants to put time and effort into being really good at their leisure activity, but while that's fine, that's not a good excuse for dragging down 4, 9 or 24 other people with you. The problem with "M&S" players isn't really that they are bad at the game through choice or because they just can't be better. It's that they make their group suck too. To put it in real life terms, it's OK to be a crappy aerospace engineer, but I'd rather if you didn't try to work for Boeing.

Anonymous said...

Meh...I mostly agree - but don't underestimate hardware issues. The #1 fixable dps problem I've seen is just lousy hardware. I've seen people triple their dps with modest configuration changes.
It is fair to argue that they should just upgrade (or play a ranged caster) - but fixing some of the hardware/configuration problems I've seen would require, at least, a pretty bright chimp - so I have a bit more sympathy.

Anonymous said...

@ most of you,

Finally I found a place on the internet where all the smart people meet to make fun of the dumb ones that cant do X, Y or Z as well as us in WoW.

I say 'us' because I am also one of you and now I have found a home. Provided this post get approved by the elitist head-honcho goblin I can now take my trade channel drivel to the interwebs!

@cookie-cutter speccs: as long as there is mathematics there will also be 'cookie cutter' speccs. That is because one set up will be ultimate to other set ups. People will realise this and use the specc that is optimal thus making it popular.

@Kitty Druid player - keep up the good work. Our rotation is hard but it scales well with gear and if you understand the foundation of our dps you will tear face and make rogues cry. If you happened to have found your info on EJ then that is perfectly OK.

@Dps Gods - is it not somewhat strange that every story begins with "I was in a (Run) and I outdps'd everyone by 4k because everyone was pulling 80 dps." Please tell me whcih server you are on because it seems that you are surrounded by bad - uncannily concentrated, epic amounts of bad. But you are awsome. Yes you are.

@Goblin - apart from the blog do you assert your superior knoweldge anywhere in the real world? Aside from the bought raid spots and the general attitude that makes this game's community one of the most despised - do you rub your massive penis in peoples faces outside of your house? If you go on to embelish your RL accomplishments please do so by discounting everyone elses ability and cognitive agility.


Azzur said...

Quoting Gevlon:
"It's about being a stupid, careless, lazy, useless person in the real life."

LOL. Here we go again, Gevlon using his own experiences then extrapolating it to others and the real world. It's as if WoW is the test area for real-life.

1) You've used a warlock as your example, now try to do the same with a shadowpriest spamming mind flay.

2) Some people don't care (i.e. slacker). If you don't want to grp with them, it's your prerogative. However, I fail to see your connection to "stupid, careless, lazy, useless person in the real life." I bet someone highly successful in RL can come to all WoW players and say the exact same thing. How would we respond to that??

3) You're a highly experienced player and have been playing for like 4 years? Of course you'll going to be able to figure it all out. Of course you know about all the websites out there. You know all about enchants, how to gem, hit rating, etc. Contrast players who just entered the game. When was the last time someone checked out websites for other computer games??

Leveling to 80 solo is no "training ground" because there are no benchmarks or guides. Not everyone has got it right the first time to 80. And this is what you said about these people:
"It's about being a stupid, careless, lazy, useless person in the real life."

Jeff said...

There is a hunter in my guild who refuses to use addons, he just wants to learn the fights, he refuses to spec the way others do, he is a BM hunter in raids. IN RAIDS! He follows the 80/20 rule for spec. 80% of his talent points should be naked increases in his total DPS, the other 20% should primarily benefit the raid. He regularly caps 4k dps in ilvl 200 epics. He never fails at safety dance, or KT, or Saphiron. He failed a few times in Ulduar, but he rarely fails the same way twice. He learns from his mistakes, makes up his spec on the fly, based on his understanding of the rules. Chooses his gear based on DPS throughput, ArmP? Crit%? Haste? He barely pays attention to them, what matters is total DPS in real events (instances, boss fights, etc.) 4.0-4.5kdps, every time he plays. Again he uses no addons, he almost never pulls threat, and always has FD available when he does. When things go south for any reason he has a huge bag of tricks to pull them back.

He has game, give me him over some twinked out, 4 piece tier 8.5 hunter who has the EJ survival spec and only cares about leet deeps yo. He helps make boss kills possible.

Nils said...

Ever heard about inheritance ?

Collin said...


A group of talents you've picked is a talent /spec/ not "a talent" - each individual item in a spec is a talent.