11 November 2008

More pain and suffering

I was still struggling with pain and suffering despite some helpful comments on my last post so decided there was nothing for it but to do some tests of my own. What I discovered was that shadow word: pain does indeed recalculate it's value at the time of refreshing via mind flay, it just forgets about shadow weaving.

Of course, this wasn't a scientific test. There's so much to take into account, my brain whimpered to a halt before I even got going. But I think I did enough to at least understand how the spell is interacting with mind flay.

First of all, I established the various possible values for shadow word: pain. I took off all my gear that conferred temporary spellpower buffs and was left with this.
  • With zero buffs and debuffs, shadow word: pain ticks for 563 or 564
  • With shadow weaving fully stacked at the point of casting, shadow word: pain ticks for 619 or 620, a difference of 56, the expected 10% buff from shadow weaving.
  • With one trinket active, buffing spellpower by 158 to 1135, but with no shadow weaving, shadow word: pain ticks for 608.
  • With both shadow weaving fully stacked and the same 158 spellpower trinket active, shadow word: pain ticked for 668 or 669.

Test 1
This was just to prove in my own mind that everyone was right about shadow weaving. I knew they would be, but was just being thorough.

> Cast sw:P — ticks for 564
> Cast mind flay to stack shadow weaving — spell continues to tick consistently for 564
> Cast mind flay again at full stack of shadow weaving — spell continues to tick for 564

So you were right. Shadow weaving isn't counted when mind flay refreshes sw:p.

Test 2
Just to be vaguely scientific, I then made sure it refreshed properly if it was cast after shadow weaving was stacked.

> Cast mind flay to full stack shadow weaving
> Cast sw:p — ticks for 620
> Wait a bit, cast mind flay — sw:p refreshes and continues to tick for 620

Interestingly, when I allowed shadow weaving to fall off, but cast mind flay before sw:p ended (it's a small window, but it could happen), sw:p continued to tick for 620.

Test 3
I then wanted to see how spell power boosters such as trinkets and random procs would affect it.

> Cast mind flay to full stack shadow weaving
> Cast sw:p — ticks for 620
> Activate trinket — still ticking for 620
> Cast mind flay — sw:p refreshes and ticks for 669
> Cast mind flay while trinket is still active — mind flay refreshes and ticks for 669
> Trinket buff ends, cast mind flay — sw:p refreshes and ticks for 620

I repeated this test with my shattered sun pendent of acument equipped instead of the trinket and got the same result —the sw:p will be boosted by the extra spellpower if you refresh while the buff is active, but it will return to a lower value when you refresh after the buff has faded.

Incidentally, I am almost certain the spellstrike infusion is broke — I spammed mind flay until I was out of mana in an effort to trigger the effect, but to no avail.

So there you have it. Shadow word: pain will refresh at your current spellpower value, causing it to tick for both more and less depending on what buffs and debuffs are active. My guess is the way shadow weaving is currently working is broken and it will be fixed at some point to tie in with this mechanic.


Cynra said...

Thanks for the effort in figuring this out and then posting it! I recently made my second priest Shadow from Discipline (since the Holy went Discipline for raiding) and it was one of those thoughts niggling in the back of my mind. I feel better knowing that I won't have to let my DoT expire or actively cast it again to take advantage of trinkets and procs!

Isisxotic said...

Okay, that's what I thought was going on, but it's really helpful to see the tests! Thank you for the work!

So, the only time we need to worry about refreshing with Mind Flay then is when a trinket effect wears off, but SW:P still has some ticks left? Would those extra ticks at the higher damage be worth the risk of not casting Mind Flay fast enough to refresh (and risk the mana cost of recasting SW:P)?

I guess it depends on how many ticks are left. I'll have to think on that. :)

Thanks for this!