Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Brief Ret Mana Notes.

Jetliner Asks:

I try and catch your blog just about every day. I just wanted to get your insight on some mathematics / theory crafting on the Judgments of Wise.
"* Judgements of the Wise now immediately grant you 25% of your base mana. (Up from 15%) [Needed to go up, but is this enough?]" your quote from your blog.
Currently on live my gear has me at 5700 mana. This would be my base mana correct? If so that would mean on live I would get 855 mana back if my math is right for JotW at 15%.
Now on the PTR if I had same char with 5700 mana, with new JotW at 25% my math tells me I should get around 1425 mana back. Is that also correct?
I have not done any math/theory around the mana from replenishment, but given those numbers you dont think that Ret; when geared with around 5500 base mana; would be able to sustain themselves?
Given that all ret should have Imp Judgements reducing CD to 8 seconds and then if they even have 4 peice of T7/T7.5 they would get another 1 second off CD. Would this in turn do 1400 mana every 7 seconds?

Thank you for your time
Long time fellow Retadin
Jetliner - Elune - US servers

It's a good question and I'm hoping to have a more in-depth look at it once 3.1 is finalised and goes live. However there are a bit of terminology we need to clear up when approaching this calculation.

Base Mana.

It's something that has caught out many a player. Base mana is not your mana whilst naked, it is instead your mana whilst naked minus the mana from base intellect's contribution. This value is the same for all Paladins: 4394 Mana.

This means that a 25% Base Mana Regen JotW will regen ~ 1100 mana, and Judgement of Wisdom procs (2% base) will return 88 mana.

Anyway, now that's out the way we need to move on to a theoretical Time Till Out Of Mana (TTOOM). For this we need a construct a reasonable set of average cooldowns for each ability. The following is a good approximation:

AbilityMana CostModelled Cooldown (secs)
Crusader Strike3156.5
Divine Storm47410.5

No net mana consumption model would be complete without Divine Plea and Replenishment. Of course, both abilities regen mana based on Total Mana rather than base so it isn't a set amount - the more you buff your mana the better (love your mages, and they will give you their love in return). Generally speaking, a lvl80 Total Mana of 5700 before buffs is reasonable. These two abilities combined make a significant dent in your mana deficit.

And finally we need an approx regen rate contribution for Judgement of Wisdom. Unfortunately this isn't simple as the proc rates for this skill are unpredictable. Empirically a figure of around 35 mana per second for a full Ret rotation is a good enough low estimate (yep, JoW rocks).

Cranking the handle of a pretty simple mana consumption model indicates the following:

  • When unbuffed and using JoLight a Ret Paladin should have a TTOOM of a little over a minute and a half. This is the baseline self-sustainable requirement as JoL is required to offset SoB recoil damage, and 25% JotW obviously doesn't cut it here.
  • When unbuffed and using JoWisdom a Ret Paladin should have a TTOOM of almost 5'30". This is the baseline Instance case as recoil damage should be handled by your party healers.
  • When Raid buffed for 25-man encounters, Ret's net mana consumption is effectively nil. This 25-man Raid case is sustainable in that it requires no special or exotic cooldowns, and allows utility spells such as Hand of Salvation, Flash of Light and the like to be brought in where appropriate.
  • Reach the Hit Cap! A missed Judgement represents a big hole in your mana pool.
  • Buffing total mana, even if only using a Scroll of Intellect VIII (48 Int), has a very significant effect on TTOOM as it increases both total mana and regen rates.
  • BoW and Mana Spring represent significant mana regen buffs in this context. These buffs should not be underestimated.
  • There is no convincing case for using the new Glyph of Seal of Blood over the Exorcism, Judgement and Consecration glyphs in 25-man or 5-man encounters.
  • Long, 10-man Hard-mode encounters will be very rough. Ret will almost certainly need to swap out the Glyph of Exorcism for Glyph of Seal of Blood and Judge Wisdom to last the whole fight. Runic mana pots and self-LoH may also make an appearance. However BoW or Mana Spring totem changes the calculation significantly.

  • Tentatively, I'd say that Ret will be fine in terms of mana for 3.1 so long as the mob we are striking is debuffed with JoW. We won't really be self-sustainable and still do optimal DPS for the situation, and you can forget about utility off-healing and the like. 10-man Hard Mode encounters will continue to be the litmus test, and will almost certainly require specific group composition purely for Ret's mana. Additionally, I've not modelled sub-20% HoW rotations, where mana consumption currently increases significantly. I maintain that a talent reducing the mana cost of Consecration by 50% or more is the best solution to increasing longevity.

    It's a good start, but my gut tells me there's a long way to go. The question is: is Ret supposed to be Hard Mode viable?


    Jetliner 25/03/2009, 02:09  

    Zebra thanks for breaking that down for me. PTR is coming along great. I had a go at the target dummies for a bit. I would like to see a better "Equipment Manager" for the likes of switching out gear though. Any thoughts on this?

    Alex - aka Firelight 25/03/2009, 11:42  


    Check my blog - I tested this last night and again this morning on the PTR - its not as bad as you're worried about.

    I was able to do my full rotation for 5-10 minutes and I never ran out of mana. Not even close.

    And I was hitting instant cast Flash of Light as well healing myself due to the Seal of the Martyr damage I was taking.

    @ Jetliner

    The Gear manager they've added in game is fine! It does what it says on the tin. I'll be using that over an addon.

    What is it you dont like about it?

    Stoico 25/03/2009, 11:53  

    I think the gear manager, lacks a way to change one piece out of a set. You have to redo the set every time you get an upgrade. Other than that, its seem ok to me as well.

    Sry, for going off topic.

    Alex - aka Firelight 25/03/2009, 14:32  

    I dont understand what you mean about re-doing the outfit?

    I've only played with it briefly and I had it switching between my ret and prot set whenever i changed my spec.

    Obiously if I got new gear I'd have to change the sets but you'd have to do that with any gear swapper (or at least the ones i've played with)

    Alex - aka Firelight 25/03/2009, 14:32  

    Oh and Tim did you get my email!!??

    Anonymous 25/03/2009, 14:50  

    Once again, Paladins fear, and once again, our faith is restored... thanks for the math SZ, very much helpful :)

    Rohan 25/03/2009, 14:51  

    Are you including Divine Plea? What mana sources are you including?

    Suicidal Zebra 25/03/2009, 14:54  

    @ Alex

    I hope I made it clear that the only really worrying case is when you can't for whatever reason use JoW. The value for JoW mana I used is a lowish estimate of the mana regen for this ability, which I felt was important for this sort of test.

    Also I wasn't modelling a 7 sec Judgement cooldown as 4 piece T7 cannot be assumed. -1 sec on Judgement cooldown is immense for mana regen, almost worryingly so for encounters that have a silence component (as Judgement can't be used whilst Silenced). Making sure that mana is sustainable with an 8 sec Judgement cooldown is important because it also partially dictates whether or not T8 is an upgrade.

    Practically speaking, I think that we're okay apart from some very specific sets of circumstances which tend to screw all mana users. I hope that came across in my post.

    Suicidal Zebra 25/03/2009, 14:58  

    Rohan, all tests include the mana regen from both JotW and Divine Plea on cooldown (I'll edit the post to clarify that).

    Alex - aka Firelight 25/03/2009, 15:00  

    On the PTR my gear is older - and I have the 4-piece set bonus.

    I'll copy over a newer firelight with my current gear - where i'm using an 8 second judgement and try again.

    @ Rohan - as I said on my blog (i think) I was using divine please at 50% mana - and even then that was only when I'd have to do 2 or 3 heals. But that was with a 7 second Cooldown Judgement.

    Alex - aka Firelight 25/03/2009, 15:10  

    @ SZ - with regards to fights where you'd not be using JoW.

    What fights are there where you would use JoL over JoW?

    I was bought into my guild for just that reason - JoW. (plus the buffs/crit etc but that was the main reason)

    I'll try do some tests tonight with JoL and see how long I last.

    Suicidal Zebra 25/03/2009, 15:29  

    Melee heavy 10-man Raids in a mana-starved environment. Ulduar's General Vezax comes to mind, in fact I'm not even sure that JoW or Divine Plea work in that specific encounter.

    Anonymous 25/03/2009, 16:32  

    I very rarely do 10-man raids so there's always at least one other Melee Paladin judging Light, but I can see certain 10-man fights being preferable for Light. Mana Battery is no use if everyone's dead.

    Eidlhe 25/03/2009, 21:43  

    I'm curious to see where that leaves JoL. Wonder if the prot paladin will have to pick that one up since it scales better with ap than sp (I still don't understand why). Any thoughts/opinions?

    Jetliner 26/03/2009, 02:51  

    Granted the gear mgr does its job switching out gear very well; just like outfitter does. But I'm looking more along the lines of something back in the days of D2 where all you had to do was hit W and switch out weapons on your toon. So if you think about it, they did it well back in D2, why not carry something like that over? When switching specs through dual spec, all your toolbars get swapped out; so why not have the gear do that as well? Thoughts?

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