Multi-Target Boss Fight DPS in Mists of Pandaria – Part 1 (2 DoT Encounters – T14H)

For a primer on this post, please see the original post from July 30, 2012.

As any seasoned WoW player will tell you, when you introduce variables to a boss fight it changes how you need to approach the encounter. So far I’ve tried to cover a variety of single-target fight types in my sims: Patchwerk, Ultraxion, Helter Skelter, Light Movement, and Heavy Movement. This is all well and fine for encounters where you only have 1 active target at a time with no adds, but what about other kinds of encounters? Like those with multiple targets? Adds that never die? Encounters with [b]a lot[/b] of adds? Two targets up the entire time? What should we expect to do for damage then?

This is the first in an N number of posts (we’ll see how many it takes!) trying to address the more complicated encounters and which specs perform the best on them. First up: 2-target Fights.

So what exactly is a 2-target fight? At its core, it is an encounter where you have two different targets that you can DPS full time without one dying or going away. Some examples of encounters like this would be:

Obviously there were other mechanics at play in all of the listed fights, but at their core they all share one thing in common: two targets that you can place Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain on.

So how will our different combinations of talents stack up? Lets have a look at the results of some simulations run against the current T14H Best in Slot profile provided by SimulationCraft:

DPS Relative to Encounter Type and Talents (2 DoT)

As you can see, because of the second target you’re able to have Vampiric Touch on multiple targets. This causes From Darkness, Comes Light to be the hands down winner because it procs more often, giving you extra Surge of Darkness stacks to use on instant Mind Spike casts.

Between the Level 75 talents, Power Infusion is the weakest across the board because, while you can put faster ticking DoTs on your targets, they are for a very short duration. Divine Insight is the best in all but one encounter type, with and Twist of Fate squeaking out ahead on Patchwerk encounters.

Why is this? Simple: when you’re running around avoiding things, having the ability to get an instant-cast ability off is going to increase your DPS. Because Mindbender doesn’t damage multiple targets, you receive no benefit from choosing for your Level 45 talent if you choose it and have more than one target to damage. Shadow Word: Insanity only scales in that you’re using twice as many GCDs to cast it, but the damage doesn’t improve.

The percentage damage difference between the highest and lowest DPS choices for each fight type is higher than on a single-target fight (between 4.61% vs. 2.47% for Patchwork and 7.33% vs. 5.84% for Helter Skelter); the one exception to this is on Heavy Movement encounter types where the average dropped (12.79% on 2-DoT vs. 20.57% on Single). The average DPS increase from Single Target to 2 DoT across all fight types was just shy of 25k DPS.

But what about stat weights, you ask? How do those change now that more of our damage is coming from DoTs? I’m glad you asked:

Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats (2 DoT)Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats Table (2 DoT)

Before we get any further, I’d like to note that the profile used for these tests is above the 8085 Haste Breakpoint. I feel required to point this out because Haste, any way you slice it, is the most important stat (out of Haste, Crit, and Mastery) if you’re fighting more than one target and are able to multi-DoT. This is because more Haste leads to not just more damage (and Mastery procs) but more Surge of Darkness and Divine Insight procs.

If you’re above the 8085 Haste Plateau and are gearing with two-target fights in mind, the stat weights now become:

Int > Spell Power > Hit = Spirit > Haste > Crit > Mastery

In previous analysis of single target encounters (above 8085 Haste), it has been determined that Haste is the least desirable secondary stat. Now that the number of simulations has doubled, what happens when we take the top 1, top 2, and all 9 from each category across 10 categories (for 10, 20, and 90 samples, respectively) for these stat weights to come up with an overall picture of how well each stat scales if you average 10 different encounters?

Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats (1 and 2 DoT)Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats Table (1 and 2 DoT)

When we combine the 10 different encounter types, Haste comes out on top, with its most sizable lead present on the ‘Best Two Per Fight’ category. To everyone out there who was hoping for a change of pace when it come to gearing priorities, I’m sorry to disappoint you. As of the time of this writing I can say with a high degree of confidence that, if you’re gearing for general encounters and not one specific fight type, the stat priorities should be:

Int > Spell Power > Hit = Spirit > Haste > Crit > Mastery

Part 2 of this series of posts will examine 2 target encounters for characters wearing T14N gear that are below the 8085 Haste Breakpoint. Stay tuned!

Notes and Resources

Raw SimulationCraft Data
Heavy Movement
Light Movement

These sims were for fights that have 2 targets for the duration of the encounter. Encounters with more than 2 targets or those with adds that come and go may (will) have different results.