Apr 062010

First off, I hope everyone had a good Easter! I took some time off of writing (but not thinking) to spend some time with my family, and am glad I did. On the way back, however, I had a thought, which became a scribble, which became an idea.

Why do people use [Idol of the Crying Moon] over [Idol of Mutilation] anyway? At first glance, Crying Moon looks better…after all, it’s a 100% proc, and +20 agility better, and EJ lists it as BiS, right? Hold on, let’s look closer at the Cat portion of the tooltips.

  • Idol of the Crying Moon(ilvl 264): The periodic damage from your Rake ability grants 44 Agility for 15 sec. Stacks up to 5 times.
  • Idol of Mutilation (ilvl 245): Your Cat Form’s Mangle and Shred abilities have a chance (70%) to grant 200 Agility for 16 sec.

Now, lets go back to Kitty 101 for a sec. When first starting an encounter, your highest priority ability is Mangle, in order to apply the bleed damage debuff to the boss. Your typical initial rotation will be Mangle, Savage Roar, Rake, Shredx2. Remember, Rake is a 9 sec DoT that applies its damage at 3, 6, and 9 sec after application.

“Well, duh,” I hear you thinking. “TLDR, already.”

Okay, here’s the key question. At what average time in the fight is the Idol buff fully stacked? Assume you are fully hit/expertise capped.

  • Idol of the Crying Moon: Given the sequence above, the first Rake is not applied until 2 sec into the fight. Assuming the second Rake is applied immediately as the first expires, the fifth tick of Rake will occur, stacking the fifth buff stack, at 17 sec.
  • Idol of Mutilation: Your initial Mangle will proc the buff 70% of the time. Failing that, you have about a 3% chance for it not to have procced after the first two Shreds. Doing some SimulationCraft crunching revealed that the buff procs, on average, at 1.7 sec.

What does this mean? For the first 17 seconds of a fight, Idol of Mutilation is clearly superior. After that? Well, the Crying Moon idol has quite a bit of ground to make up. Using SimulationCraft, I took a BiS feral druid and ran multiple iterations of fights of various lengths, calculating DPS and looking for the point where the “top speed” of the Crying Moon idol made up for the “acceleration” of the Mutilation idol. My findings:

  • Assuming the ability usage listed before combined with immediate Berserk and Heroism/Bloodlust, the Crying Moon idol matches the Mutilation idol in DPS after ~110 sec.
  • If not using Mangle, the Crying Moon idol matches the Mutilation idol in DPS after ~95 sec.

Upshot: If you’re in an encounter where you can DPS for more than 95/110 sec, and you can keep Rake consistently up on a target, then use Crying Moon. Looking at ICC, I see only about two fights that definitely fit that criteria (Saurfang/Festergut) and three possibles (Deathwhisper, Rotface, Princes), none of which are the harder zone bosses. IMO, I’m sticking with the Mutilation idol…and GearScore can go to hell. (okay, fine, people who misuse GearScore can go to hell.)

 Posted by at 12:31 am

  18 Responses to “Challenging conventional wisdom”

  1. You did the real math and ran some sims, and they basically confirmed what I had decided as soon as I compared the two idol tooltips the day the patch came out!

    The Idol of Mutilation is just badass, and I was disappointed that they offered Crying Moon with Frost emblems. Sure, it may be better for a couple of fights, but the upgrade, bang-for-buck-wise, is relatively insignificant, and could be detrimental to one’s ability to deal his/her usual damage if used on movement-heavy encounters. And I look at it this way – for many fights, you need that immediate burst more than you need a stat boost over time (killing Deathwhisper’s adds comes to mind). The fact that they came out with an idol bought with ICC emblems that applies poorly to so many of the ICC fights was, as I said, a disappointment.

    Thanks very much, for putting some time into this, because it’s the only non-tier piece I haven’t bought, and so it tempts me every so often. I’ve basically decided, though, that the Idol of Mutilation will be my main idol-squeeze until I replace it at some point in Cataclysm.

    And I agree with the GearScore comment – it’s all about performance and downing bosses, of course, not what the E.P.E.E.N. tells you! :P

  2. its not the only stacking item that if you just look at the stacking mechanic, is not as good as if you look at the total amount of stats increase it gives.

    last week i got the tanking trinket from Putricide 10man, and at first look its realy awesome.
    1890 armor and 240 stamina fully stacked
    so ive been using it and come to the conclusion that the uptime of that thing is bad, and by bad i mean realy bad bad bad.
    as soon as there is a break in mobs/bosses attacking you, you will loose the stacks.

    so most of the time is probably gonna get replaced again by another trinket

  3. Thanks for doing the math. I always suspected this was the case, but it’s nice to have impressions or intuitions confirmed.

  4. Yeah, I got Unidentifiable organ this week.
    I’m happy with it – Yes the proc falls off all the time, but it’s still nearly 2k armour :)

    Replaced the Glyph of I anyway.
    May use double Armour trinkets on fester next time.

    With regards to the Idol – I have 100 frost badges ‘spare’ and still have not got it.
    I’d prefer 200 Agi/200 dodge up over 90% of the time to a ramp up…
    Agi > Dodge rating though so may look at it for a boss fight where you just stand still… There’s a couple of them left I’m sure :P

  5. Even with the resto idols, I put the resto stacking “bit of spellpower per tick” idol at the bottom of my upgrade list, just because it stacks and the overall, when-fully-stacked spellpower buff it grants is such a tiny increase over the previous idol (which has a near 100% uptime itself anyway). It’s my most-used spell and is probably stacking more quickly for 25-man raider druids (10-strict uses a larger variety of spells than topping the raid with a blanket of rejuvs), but I’ve had more important gear purchases to spend my badges on :)

    Though, different from the feral idol, I do actually intend to get the resto one “eventually.” I may run the math on the resto idol, though, to double-check.

    Good post :)

  6. What about Idol swapping?

    Start off a fight with the mutilation idol to get the proc, then swap back to the crying moon idol to start stacking the agility while the mutilation idol is on CD. Skipping a GCD and resetting the swing timer isn’t terrible because of our swing timer and our resource.

    Just a thought.

  7. A few patches back Blizz made it so that Idol buffs overwrote each other. Switching to Crying Moon from Mutilation would make the Mutilation buff fall off.

    • I didn’t mean overwriting the buff from Mutilation. I meant after the Mutilation buff was over and the idol was on “cooldown” switching over to Crying Moon and stacking the buff.

      This allows for a burstier opening with more combo points, and then allows us to stack the buff. I agree that Mutilation would be better on target swapping fights, but there are tricks to keeping Crying Moon up. For example you can toss multiple rakes out and stack the idol faster (Deathwhisper adds), or during phase transitions, do the same thing to keep the buff rolling (Sindragosa tombs).

      Idol swapping mid fight would also allow us to “save” the Mutilation proc from going off on trivial targets.

  8. Thank you for doing this! I suspected as much, as I am wary of the “ramp up time” for all “stacking” trinkets/idols… but it’s awesome that you did the math to back it up.

    Situationally, you are correct that there are few fights where you don’t have to hop out of the ick. For people who have the luxury of tons of frosties to take both idols and equip based on encounter, that’s cool. For me, I’ll stick to the cheapie one and call it a day.

  9. I wouldn’t consider this a challenge to conventional wisdom but more of a “use your brain” to consider the situation.

    If a fight has a lot of mobility and has a lot of target switching, Idol of Mutiliation is superior.

    If a fight is static and is purely a single target fight, Idol of the Crying Moon is superior.

    If you are the type to believe that simply because a GS is higher = better dps, chances are your dps will probably be the same regardless of what idol you use.

  10. I think the idol choice is purely depending on the fight. Fights like Fester or Deathbringer, the the idol of crying moon still comes out on top as far as my tests have shown. In a fight with multiple adds then mut idol becomes alot better.

    Something you need to work out in your sims is the effect the 20 extra agi gives you, when using your cooldowns. 20 extra agi during beserk is going to be abit more of a boost then working out standard dpsing.

    Something ive noticed is that even knowing Mut has a high chance of procing i have had it fall off previously. Also might add when this idol first come out it was introduced with a ICD.

    There have been a few blue posts ive seen on MMO where there has been a complaint about the difference in the 2 idols. There was a subtle hint they would possibly add a ICD to the Mut Idol.

    Time will tell tho. If you do continue using the MUT idol then it would be a good idea to just keep a eye on that blizzard dont drop a secret sneaky ICD in there without it being noticed.

    Either way good work Al on the post

  11. Quick roundup:

    @Kae: Resto’s a bit better, I’d imagine, because you don’t have to worry about syncing Berserk and the RR glyph gives you faster ticks. I’ll defer to your expertise, however. :)

    @Shadrilin: The idol buff doesn’t have an ICD at the moment, so it never “runs out,” really. The Mut idol buff has a chance of dropping since it’s only a 70% proc, but that’s pretty rare- you’re looking at 98%+ uptime. Crying Moon is of course 100%, but any idol switch is going to lose DPS from the rampup. (If you’re arguing that it might be a DPS increase to start with the Mut idol for the initial Berserk, then switch to Moon while its on CD…possible, but that’d be a pain to model.)

    @Rarren (Hi Val!): True, however, I think most feral DPS’ers don’t see it as quite that extreme, hence the title of my post. I think that cats should stick to the Mut idol with the occasional swap to Crying Moon, whereas EJ and most others say the opposite. I looked around at other feral kitties on wow-heroes a bit and only 10% or so has the Mut idol equipped.

    @Pure: You mentioned the 20 extra agi during Berserk…sure, for subsequent Berserks, that’s a factor, but you’re not holding your first one while you wait for the Idol to stack. That’s a big agi loss right there. It’s possible they could add an ICD to the Mut idol, but I doubt it at this point.

    @All others: Thanks for the responses- it really helps keep me writing. :P

  12. Interesting. Morrowgar is an easy decision, mut. With Deathwhisper, if you can keep rip on the adds and then back on her during the shield phase, then Crying Moon might be a better way to go. (That’s a big if.) Gunship, I’d keep crying moon, because most often I’m in a gun, so the higher GS = more damage. Saurfang, Crying Moon.

    It makes me wonder then about trinkets as well. Should you specialize them depending on the fight…

  13. […] Conventional Wisdom on Feral Idols By feralinstincts The Fluid Druid has a fairly interesting post on the timing of a fight and the mechanics of the Idol of Mutilation and the Idol of the Crying…  Go check it […]

  14. Meant to mention this earlier, but nice post. :) It’s definitely waaaaaaay down on the list of things to get with badges. That being said, it’s sadly best on the fights where you tend to measure epeen/DPS meters on the most – Festergut and Saurfang. Though Fester is interesting; depending on how you do your marks if you get chosen to go out your stack could very easily fall off.

  15. […] Out How to Handle Timing By feralinstincts After the discussion the other day about the differences in idols over at the Fluid Druid. (Which, of course, I totally forgot to switch out in last nights ICC 25.) […]

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