7 November 2008

Getting my head around pain and suffering

Someone help me out with this.
The talent pain and suffering, you'll remember, is the one that gives mind flay a 100% chance to refresh the duration of shadow word: pain on the target. So in theory, you'll only ever have to cast sw:p once per fight.
I had high hopes that this spell would make life easier for me by simplify spell rotations, particularly on long boss fights, but I'm beginning to wonder. In the dark, fur-lined recesses of my mind, I fear we have swapped the small pain of watching a dot timer with something superficially easier to use but harder to master.
My understanding is that each 'refresh' of shadow word: pain recalculates damage based on your spell power when you start channelling mind flay. What that tells me is that there's no point in micro-managing trinkets, buffs and debuffs to super-buff sw:p anymore — the significant factor now is when you cast mind flay.
If you cast sw:p before any incremental effects on your spell power (by this I primarily mean trinkets and self buffs, things you have some level of control over) it's going to tick along at it's base level quite nicely thank you very much. It might tick once or twice, say, before you get a full stack of shadow weaving. At that point, if you cast mind flay, the damage of sw:p should, if I'm right, be recalculated with the higher spell power value. Pop a trinket or two at this point, mind flay again, and sw:p's damage will be boosted again.
But ten seconds later, if any of those buffs wear off and you cast another mind flay, sw:p's spell power is going to be readjusted down, right?
If the damage is recalculated in-between mind flays, it doesn't matter when you cast sw:p so much as when you cast mind flay.
This thought makes my head hurt. Am I going to have to track mentally what buffs were active when I last cast mind flay, to avoid accidentally gimping the spell when I mind flay again? Does it mean that when we use trinkets to boost the spell's power we should avoid mind flay for as long as possible to get the maximum benefit?
Also, on a small tangent, is sw:p still our priority spell for trinkets, or does the new vampiric touch coefficient trump it?
So many thoughts, so few brain cells...


crysana said...

My understanding is that it does not refresh - once it is cast it uses the buffs etc you have active at that time till it runs out. Recasting it will cause a refresh, but it you just keep it up via mind flay, it ownt Thats why its important to wait until you have a full stack of misery to cast it so you get the full bonus to sw:p...

Merlot said...

That would be awesome if it was true, but I find it hard to believe. Lifebloom was nerfed exactly to prevent a trinketed spell ticking indefinitely - admittedly, that's not a very similar example, but it indicated Blizzard wasn't very happy with a spell being able to maintain boosted power over extended periods.

Isisxotic said...

My understanding is what you said - that it re-evaluates when you cast Mind Flay. However, I think there's some bug right now that doesn't take into account a change in Shadow Weaving.

So, if you cast it at the beginning of the fight when you don't have any Shadow Weaving built up, you won't get the benefit of it for the entire fight.

I'm not sure - this is off the top of my head, and I'll have to dig around on shadowpriest.com to confirm any of this.

dietekocgirl said...

I hadn't even *looked* at it that way, the biggest issue I saw with it, was it being 'refreshed' back to the start as though 'freshly applied' and cutting short the normal tick span of the spell as I think but am not sure that it still only delivers damage ever 3rd tick. Thus cutting the DPS down, but preventing lossed damage time via Global Cool Down, and reducing the Mana cost of the spell. Tough call which is better to have had.

Ho Ho said...

P&S+SW is bugged, it doesn't take changes in shadow weaving into account. So don't cast SWP before full stack of shadow weaving.

Refreshing SWP doesn't loose any ticks on it. It still ticks once per three seconds.

Leigh said...

Merlot, you have it all wrong.

Currently (whether intended or not as it has not been raised as a bug or concern from blizz) when SWP is cast it retains the current spell dmg and buffs on you at the time of casting. If you refresh it, it goes back to the original SWP value. That's why you want 5 stacks of shadow weaving and then a trinket popping before you cast SWP, otherwise your looking at a very large swing in damage dealt by your SWP.

Merlot said...

So the damage of sw:p is calculated at the time of casting according to present spell power and ticks at that value indefinitely as long as you refresh is with mind flay? You can maintain a trinketed sw:p 100% of the time indefinitely? That's cool if it's true... but so broken.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I've never even considered this before. I just assumed that the in-game mechanic took your bonus damage in to account at the time of the tick.

All we're doing is refreshing the timer, not resetting it (unless you recast SWP manually). When it ticks every 3 seconds, to my knowledge, it accounts the base damage plus any bonus coefficients and then deals the damage.

If I cast SWP first, then stack Shadow Weaving and eventually pop a trinket (which isn't a great idea, but just for purpose of example), you should see the difference in damage. Refreshing SWP's timer shouldn't effect this at all, to my knowledge.

Leigh said...

Yeah that's effectively it, jury is still out on trinkets buffing it permanently (in my own tests it stays at the buffed value but sometimes drops off randomly) but 5 stacks of shadow weaving is a must. Here is a post from shadowprest.com (http://www.shadowpriest.com/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=16845&start=0). Will paste the interesting one here:

Just did 3 tests with the training dummies:
Cast SWP first: 590 dmg / tick
MF to get up to 5 Shadow Weaving and refresh SWP by MF: with 5 Shadow Weaving SWP still tick for 590 dmg / tick
Spam MF to get up to 5 Shadow Weaving
Cast SWP: 650 dmg / tick
Wait for SWeaving to drop off then MF to refresh SWP: still tick for 649
Trinket up, MF to refresh, SWP tick for 707 (5/5 Shadow Weaving)
Drop off SW, MF to refresh, SWP still tick for 707
Drop off trinket, MF to refresh, SWP tick for 649

Note: if I trinket up and MF to refresh SWP with x/5 Shadow weaving (can't remember) it only tick for 694, it seems that shadow weaving is counted into damage if we use MF to refresh SWP with trinket. However, after the initial refresh (the first refresh), dmg from SWP does NOT increase even trinket is still up and I stack shadow weaving to 5/5.
After trinket wear off, the SWP return to its OLD value (without fully shadow weaving stacked even I got 5/5 Shadow weaving that time)
4/5 Shadow Weaving: SW:P tick for 637, MF to stack it to 5/5 Shadow Weaving and use MF to refresh: Still 637, CANT recast SWP thx to "A more powerful spell already casted" -.-
If I don't use MF to refresh, SWP 5/5 tick for 650 again

Based on these three tests, yes, SWP only takes Shadow weaving into account when you manual cast it, or refresh it the first time with trinket up, not when normally refreshed by MF. And you can't recast SWP after you used MF to refresh it (without waitting for the debuff to drop off of course).

Thing is to get 5 stacks up your looking at knocking out 5 spells, MF and MB will be doing 10% less damage until SWP is up. Hopefully it will be fixed to be dynamic in that it refreshes based on your current spell damage as trinkets become useless for adding dmg to SWP in the current setup once its locked in.