Saturday, January 12, 2008

What will the Totem of Wrath do?

After posting the previous article about the Totem of Wrath, I realized I had done some bad math. But instead of simply changing the math in the post, I figured I could use the opportunity to talk about, and hopefully explain the difference between Melee and Caster damage, crit and hit.

First, lets talk briefly about melee. When you attack something in WoW, the server has to decide the outcome of that attack. Assuming you're attacking from the front, and hitting with a melee weapon, you have 8 possible outcomes:
  1. Miss
  2. Dodge
  3. Parry
  4. Glancing Blow (only players and pets versus mobs)
  5. Block
  6. Critical
  7. Crushing Blow (only mobs versus players and pets)
  8. ordinary hit

Blizzard chose (wisely) to utilize an "Attack Table" to determine what happens when you attack with a melee weapon. This is how it works:

For the sake of keeping it simple, we're only going to talk about Hit, Miss and Crit.

Lets say we have a 5% chance to miss, and a 10% chance to crit. The server will then create an Attack table with every possible outcome on it, then roll a single random number. Whatever that number lands on, is what happens.

Lets illustrate it. Below we have a table of 100 possibilites. 5 Boxes are colored to Miss, 10 boxes for Crit, and the rest to hit.

After the server rolls a random number between 0 and 1, and gets .79, it would be like hitting the #79 box on our chart, and scoring a normal "Hit". The reason this is important to know, is so you understand how +Crit and +Hit items work for Melee players.

If you put on a hat with +1% to Crit, the new crit box REPLACES a HIT box. So the change looks like this:

+1% to Crit
-1% to Hit
+0% to Miss

You're chance to miss stays the same, while your chance to get a normal hit is lowered to match your new chance to get a crit.

However, if you put on a hat with +1% to Hit, the new Hit box REPLACES a MISS box.

+0% to Crit
+1% to Hit
-1% to Miss

Now for the pain-in-the-neck part. Melee and Spells are handled COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

When you cast a spell, there can only be 3 outcomes. Hit, Miss, or Crit. No dodging, perry, crushing, etc. That's not a big deal. The real difference is the Attack Table. There isn't one. (note: After a hit/crit is landed, resist is calculated, which can lower the damage, but that's another conversation.)

Spells are actually handled with TWO rolls. First to see if you hit, then to see if you crit. This sucks. Why? Because my current 6% chance to crit is really only 6% of the times I hit, and I don't hit all the time. So my 6% is really 5.64% when I have a 94% chance to hit.

Now on to the part about my math being wrong in my last post. I want to warn you that this is going to get very nerdy, so if you don't care about numbers, skip the rest of this post, and just know that having 5 Totems of Wrath is worth alot more to me than I thought, as it's value goes up significantly when I'm fighting mobs 3 levels above me, as I am in instances and questing.

When I first posted my numbers, they were based on fighting an equal level opponent. This is what it looked like:

(I'm assuming 100 casts, each doing 100 damage base, while crits do 200 because of talents)

First, my toons with their current 6% crit.

Before against equal mobs
6 (miss) 0
88.36 (hit) 8,836
5.64 (crit) 1,128

Total 9,964

ToW against equal mobs
1 (miss) 0
78.21 (hit) 7,821
20.79 (crit) 4,158

Total 11,979

This equates to a 20.2% increase

You see, I only had a 6% chance to miss in the first place, so adding +15 Hit can't improve things by anymore than 5% due to the cap of 1% chance to miss. You can't do better than that. But when I go up against a mob 3 levels above me, this all changes. Because I start with a 17% chance to miss, so the ToW drops that to 2%!

Before against 3+ mobs
17 (miss) 0
78.02 (hit) 7,800
4.98 (crit) 996

Total 8,796

ToW against 3+ mobs
2 (miss)
77.42 (hit) 7,742
20.58 (crit) 4,116

Total 11,858

A dps increase of 34.8%!!!

Blizzard keeps you in "level" check, by using the hit/miss mechanic. If you try to quest too high, you miss too much to be effective. 5xToW fixes that. There's no reason I can't do level 54 quests right now, and get full quest xp! (sometimes up to 11k xp per turn in) All because of one little talent point. WOOT!

So to sum up, the ToW is a nice stackable totem, and helps alot against equal level mobs, but the further you go up in mob levels, the more return you get.


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