As has been noted elsewhere, there is a macro that the warlocks discovered that can be a rather large boost to frost’s DPS.
The jist of this whole crazy thing is that you macro your water elemental’s attack (/use waterbolt) into your frostbolt. This forces the elemental to cast more often than it otherwise would. It is always a DPS increase to do this, though the increase itself can vary greatly.
It is very important you do not macro /petattack! If you macro that, it will constantly interrupt your elemental’s cast. Putting in /use waterbolt simply forces it to cast all the time, which it doesn’t do by default. For some reason. I don’t know why the elemental suffers from latency. This seems very odd to me.
I cannot imagine this being intentional. It feels like some inscrutable issue with the pet AI that some poor newbie programmer is going to spend weeks smashing his head into. Good luck, newbie programmer. Bring redbull.
I do not expect this issue to be fixed for quite some time, even the great “will fix every issue in the game ever” Cataclysm probably won’t fix this. In any case, frost needs every DPS boost it can get, so even if it is technically broken, a DPS boost is still a DPS boost.
Speaking of that, so how’s about that T10 guys?
To put it bluntly:
The T10 2piece set bonus means casting Fireball as part of your normal DPS rotation is a net DPS gain.
I hope that answers everyone’s questions. The usual caveats follow.
It is a net DPS gain, assuming that the gear you would otherwise have access to are on the same footing as your tier gear. For instance, when comparing the 251 tier gear to non set pieces that are also of 251 caliber, the tier gear wins out. But compare the 251 tier gear with 264 pieces, the 264 gear wins out.
Of course if you have ready access to 264 gear, you also have ready access to your 264 tier gear, meaning with the 2piece bonus the tier gear is better again, and so on.
To try and avoid as much math as possible, once you have 2pT10, the little haste boost you get in conjunction with 3/3 Brain Freeze is going to bump your DPS by roughly 300. This requires that you make full use of the five second duration, which means you have to be chain casting for those five seconds to get the full benefit.
Brain Freeze, without the 2pT10, is still a small DPS loss. I’ve heard claims otherwise, but I disagree.
Read this post on MMO-Champ by our dearest Armond for a whole crapton of math on Fireball. Sorry, Armond, I’m picking on you today. Essentially he says (if you are, in fact, a she, too bad) when confronted with a singular GCD, using a BF fireball will give you more damage for a given GCD than a frostbolt will, bearing in mind the frostbolt is going to take more than one GCD (time wise) to cast.
The primary reason why using a GCD on a procced fireball instead of a frostbolt is largely frowned upon doesn’t really have too much to do with the damage those spells deal. Obviously it matters, yes, but that is not the primary reason why frostbolt is the superior spell. Frostbolt is better because it can proc Fingers of Frost whereas fireball cannot.
Every GCD spent on a fireball is GCD spent not proccing FoF, thus delaying the use of huge frostbolt crits and Deep Freeze. It is an overall DPS loss when considered against a fight that lasts minutes.
I must stress, however, that these differences in DPS are extremely small, as in less than 50. To try and put it as roughly as possible, about 226 iLevel (iLevel here basically just meaning average spellpower/crit/haste values) and below using BF as part of the standard rotation is a DPS gain, roughly 232 iLevel gear it doesn’t really make a difference either way, and with 245+ iLevel it’s a DPS loss. Until you get 2pT10, at which point it’s a significant DPS gain.
I could be wrong, feel free to argue. I raid arcane after all, not frost. This is all theorycraft from my perspective.