OMGZ new loots! Heroes’ Frostfire Shoulderpads for the win, baby! Finally something to get me out of those dinky Runed Whatever Spaulders of the Not Very Cool.
Uh oh. A gem socket. And it’s yellow… Haste? Do I need Haste? Or should I just stack that with straight spellpower.
Maybe I can get one of those spellpower/hit gems. Those don’t cost nearly as much.
Which is better then? 9 Spellpower, 8 Hit and 4 Haste, or just pure 19 Spellpower?
Well, now, wouldn’t it be great if there was a hard and fast rule about which to pick?
Before LK was released, these decisions were easy.
1) Are you hitcapped?
2) If “Yes”, spellpower.
3) If “No”, spell hit rating.
Such is not the case anymore. Things are different. Hit isn’t necessarily your top priority. Spellpower could be, or maybe it’s Haste. Or Crit. It all depends on your spec and your current gear level.
That’s where the Theory Craft-o-Matic comes in. You plug in your stats, your buffs, your raid composition, fight duration… everything. Hit “Compute”, and it spits out a whole buncha numbers at you.
Some of them aren’t important, like how much DPS you’d get if you just spammed Pyroblast. Sometimes the DPS numbers themselves are totally meaningless, as the fights where you just stand there and cast aren’t exactly frequent.
Sometimes you do, such as when Patchwerk is killing your tank, but more often than not you’re fighting bosses where you spend most of your time running around hoping you don’t die.
There is one little section of the TCoM that is extremely important, however. This little section is titled DPS Stat/DPS Worth.
What this does is tell you precisely how much DPS you get from a given stat. This section isn’t hard and fast, either. As your stats change, the relative worth of each individual DPS stat changes, too.
Plugging myself in, I’ll show you what I mean.
*tinker tinker tinker* Molten Armor Glyph… mumble… average in Molten Fury…
Alright. For the sake of argument, I’m not hit capped. Let’s say something extreme, like 9% short of the hit cap.
1 Spellpower will give me 1.17 additional DPS. 1 Hit Rating will give me 0.99 additional DPS, and Haste and Crit 0.71 and 0.65 DPS respectively.
This means that even when I’m missing 9% of the time, additional spellpower is still, point for point, the better option for raw DPS purposes. And even with a Frostfire spec, as reliant as it is on crits, benefits the least from extra crit rating.
Let’s go back to the gem option above. 19 spellpower, or the other setup.
An extra 19 spellpower is easy enough to calculate. If I tossed in a solid red gem, that would get me an additional 22.23 DPS.
If I tossed in the 9 Spellpower/8 Hit rating gem, and got the bonus 4 Haste for the socket bonus, that would get me an additional 21.29 DPS.
A difference of 1 DPS. Just 1.
Hardly a significant difference. The hardcore min/max guys out there would socket up that Spellpower without hesitation.
For the rest of us, now we get into secondary considerations. Say you buy it from the AH. The raw spellpower gem is running at 120g, the other one for 70g. Is 1 DPS worth 50g?
Say you have a JC friend or guildie. He’s willing to craft it, if you have the mats. Maybe you’re a miner and can get the mats easily. Or you have an alt that’s a miner. Maybe you have 70000 gold, and the difference is meaningless.
How many people are depending on you to keep the Scorch debuff up? Just you? Three people? Half the raid?
The more people there are depending on you for Scorch, the more important your hit rating becomes. It’s not just your own DPS riding on that number.
Of course, that whole point could be moot if, say, there’s a hit capped Frost mage in the raid. Or maybe there’s a Draenei Shadow Priest in the raid, and you can swap in a different trinket to nab an extra 2% hit…
Point is, all this theorycrafting stuff and TCoM computing can give somebody is a very solid idea of what they need. Keep everything in context. Don’t blindly stack spellpower because it’s .3 DPS superior to Hit.
Remember when I said things change? Let’s have a look how.
Somehow my gear changes, and I get an extra 600 spellpower from somewhere. The rest of my stats stay exactly the same. Now what are things worth?
Spellpower is still worth 1.17 DPS per point. However, everything else has jumped. Hit Rating is now at 1.27, making it better, point per point, than Spellpower. Haste and Crit are now worth 0.91 and 0.83 DPS, respectively.
Getting rid of the extra spellpower, let’s say I hit cap myself. Obviously, now, additional hit rating is worth zero. The other three stats get a boost, however.
With no spells missing now, the DPS value of the other three are worth slightly more. Spellpower is worth 1.23, Haste 0.75 and crit 0.69.
Many ask the question “which is better?”
Indeed, an excellent question. What spec do you have? What stats do you currently have? What gem slots do you have? Does it compromise your CSD? What’s the makeup of your raid like? What buffs/debuffs are you able to count on? Is Replenishment a factor? What trinkets do you have?
Short answer, there isn’t a short answer. Only long answers that are rarely the same.
Well. With one exception, of course. CSD is the best. No arguments. This gem must be active at all times, no exceptions. If you only have two gem sockets, both of them must have a gem that counts as a blue. If Faerlina’s Madness drops, what do you do?
You pass, that’s what you do. Terrible, terrible hat.