Unfortunately, today I’ll be breaking one promise to fulfill another. My discussion on our mobility (or really, lack thereof) will be postponed for a while. However, instead, I’ll be taking a look at something way more objective: The upcoming Glyph of Divine Wrath.
Now, already, the glyph leaves an initial bad taste in my mouth. The reason? I’m really not a big fan of negative effects prescribed on our glyphs. I’d rather the primary tradeoff be the opportunity cost, the lack of ability to use another glyph. There’s about one glyph I think the tradeoff is fine, that is the Glyph of Divine Protection, since it definitely directly implies you lose nothing, but rather adapt to a situation. Of course, all this is a visceral discussion about “feeling” with very little thought. So let’s move on to the objective, hard facts.
Theorycrafting the Glyph
On paper, Divine Wrath does the following currently:
Glyph of Divine Wrath: Reduces all mana costs while Avenging Wrath is active by 25%, but Avenging Wrath increases healing done by 50% less.
Since Avenging Wrath increases all healing done by 100%, this will reduce the bonus to 50% healing increased. So the direct effect of the glyph can be rewritten as following:
Glyph of Divine Wrath: Reduces both healing and mana costs while Avenging Wrath is active by 25%.
So we do 25% less healing but spells cost 25% less mana during Avenging Wrath. This is supposed to be “equal.” The hypothetical situation is that Avenging Wrath, as a massive cooldown, can cause overhealing. So a smart player, ostensibly, will use the glyph to save mana but overheal less, a victory, no?
Here, the problem is that all discussions of overhealing are secondary. The primary problem is this: We are ignoring the fact that we have mana-efficient abilities, meaning that performing a rotation with 25% less throughput can be done while saving more than 25% mana.
So, here’s the question: How does Glyph of Divine Wrath perform compared to simply using a lower throughput rotation, without the glyph? To test this we’ll have to first make some assumptions:
- First, I’ll assume that we are using a relatively throughput and mana heavy rotation during Avenging Wrath (more on this later). Let’s go with using 2x Holy Radiance, Holy Shock (with 2 stacks of Daybreak), and Light of Dawn. Obviously I’ll assume all abilities are hitting the maximum amount of targets (6). For my lower throughput rotation, I’ll replace a Holy Radiance cast with Holy Light (cast on Beacon), which will also lower Daybreak stacks to 1. For simplicity, any Enhanced Holy Shock procs will be ignored.
- Second, we need to look at our stats. Notice that our stats, other than critical strike, do not change how our rotation works because everything will scale up the same (this is another advantage of no more base amounts on our spells!). However, critical strike will influence our Daybreak difference more than other spells (since Daybreak has 2 stacks in our high throughput). This caps out at 50% critical strike, which is what I’ll assume, since after all with Avenging Wrath we’re going to be close to that if not higher. To keep numbers simple, I’ll assume 5000 SP, and zero of any other stats. Those stats won’t change the outcome. (N.B. All current Draenor perks are, in fact, included in the calculations performed.)
- Third, I’ll first discount Beacon of Light in our first result, and count it in the second result. When counting Beacon healing, I’ll make a simplifying assumption (that in reality, changes little to nothing) that all spells are not cast on either Beacon except for Holy Light, which is cast on a Beacon for the Holy Power.
Here’s our results:
- Without Beacon healing, our throughput heavy rotation will do 460,230 healing during Avenging Wrath. The light rotation does 346,396 healing during Avenging Wrath, a reduction of 24.73%. This is a smaller reduction than 25% which would be the case if had we used Divine Wrath.
- With Beacon healing and without Beacon of Faith, our throughput heavy rotation will do 523,172 healing during Avenging Wrath. The light rotation does 393,697 healing during Avenging Wrath, a reduction of 24.75%. This is also a smaller reduction than 25% which would be the case if had we used Divine Wrath.
- With Beacon healing and Beacon of Faith, our throughput heavy rotation will do 586,113 healing during Avenging Wrath. The light rotation does 465,077 healing during Avenging Wrath, a reduction of 20.65%. This is an even smaller reduction compared to the other two cases.
- In all cases, the light rotation costs 20,032 mana compared to the heavy rotation (30,432 mana). This is a 34.17% mana saving which is better than the 25% we would have obtained from Divine Wrath.
- As a final nugget, one can argue that the Holy Light might not be effective in AoE scenarios, even though that is probably going to be wrong in all scenarios. With good Beacon swapping, in a scenario where all raid members are low, it will not be difficult to make sure the Holy Light does little to no overhealing. However, in the worst case scenario, let’s erase the contribution from Holy Light completely during our light rotation, assuming it does zero. In that case, the light rotation is 35.20%, 33,95%, and 32.97% lower throughput than the heavy rotation, respective to each scenario above. Proportionally, this is still similar (with the first case a little lower) or better than the 25%/25% reduction from Divine Wrath.
The Glyph of Divine Wrath leads to an objectively worse result in both throughput and mana than simply modifying one’s healing rotation during Avenging Wrath, assuming we are beginning with a relatively throughput and mana heavy rotation.
While I only published the results comparing the two rotations above, I will leave to the reader’s imagination the results of another comparison I performed, which is that a “full retard” pure Holy Radiance spam rotation with Divine Wrath is worse (to a much larger degree than above) in both throughput and mana than using the “heavy throughput” rotation above without Divine Wrath.
Lower throughput rotations were not tested, but the fact of the matter is such testing is unnecessary (and likely to produce similar results) since if you are using a very mana efficient rotation during Avenging Wrath, you are simply gaining little to nothing from Divine Wrath anyway, especially compared to other mana glyphs. To really get the bang for your buck, you need to have been spending mana during Avenging Wrath to begin with, and we’ve just shown that you can do better just by tuning that down.
Finally, as for how tuning changes will fix things: Notice that tuning has very little potential to alter the outcome significantly, unless the “spirit” of our spells is changed. The majority of our healing is sourced for Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn, so by altering our rotation we are cutting out roughly 33% of our heaviest abilities. However, the mana cost of our heaviest ability (Holy Radiance) is reduced by 50%. While the exact numbers above are up for tweak, it is impossible that they will stray much farther than the ballpark we have discovered, unless significant spell intention changes are also made.
Basically, Divine Wrath is a “trap” glyph, with one sole purpose: To “flag” people, who are using the glyph, as “stupid.”
So now the question is, how do we fix the glyph?
My first proposed fix is to simply erase the glyph. As I discussed before, we already have plenty of good glyphs, and we don’t need the glyph to bloat our spellbook. As fun as it sounds using a glyph to flag people as “bad,” it’s really not necessary and really not a good experience for learning players to realized (or be told) that taking a glyph, which is supposed to add something, objectively makes things worse. Thus we can do without it.
My second proposed fix is to improve the glyph and make it interesting. Again in my previous post, I did a comparison of mana glyphs. Why not make the glyph another one, by doing the following: Remove the throughput penalty of Glyph of Divine Wrath, while decreasing the mana saving to 10-15%. This has the effect of taking away the tradeoff other than a tradeoff for another mana glyph. It then adds interest which is similar to probably the original, intended, spirit of the glyph: If you spend most of your mana during Avenging Wrath, and less outside of it, the proposed glyph is for you. If you spend less mana already during Avenging Wrath, or if your mana usage is steady throughout an encounter, then Glyph of Illumination/Divinity are for you instead. This, in my books, is also a very good concept of a glyph.
While there’s many more things that can be improved on with our class, a change as simple as one to this glyph can go a good distance toward making the class fun to play, with very defining choices. I hope that in the upcoming weeks of Beta, this is looked at.
Thanks for reading, and catch you later with some more theorycraft and Warlords discussion!