Nov 142010

One of the more interesting spells introduced for WOTLK was the Blood DK buff Hysteria, which buffed physical damage by 20% for 30s. It is no longer ingame (it has been replaced by the Unholy DK spell Unholy Frenzy), but when it was available, it was amazing. Since a feral’s damage is 100% physical, we were typically the best target for the buff from a rDPS perspective (though convincing the blood DK to give it up wasn’t always easy) and it allowed for crazy numbers if you could stack it with Berserk.

Well, RIP Hysteria (Unholy Frenzy’s nice but we’re definitely not a prime candidate for it), but there’s a new buff out there for Cataclysm that ferals should be aware of.

(fake announcer voice)

Introducing the new warlock buff, Dark Intent! This powerful level 83 spell IMMEDIATELY grants you and your selected friend 3% haste…but there’s MORE! When you gets a critical from a DoT or HoT, you immediately increase your friend’s DoT/HoT effectiveness by 3% for 7 SECONDS! This can STACK up to 3 TIMES! Best of all…it works both ways! When your friend gets a DoT/HoT critical, YOUR DoT/HoT effectiveness goes up! EVERYONE WINS!

*cough* Er, right. This one’s a bit more complex than Focus Magic. The optimal buff target for the warlock is based on two factors:

  • Target class’s % of damage/healing that is periodic. All other things being equal, the lock would rather give the buff to a class that does 50% damage via periodic effects vs. one that does 30%. (Of course, if your 30% guy does double the DPS of your 50%’er, then give it to him.)
  • Number of periodic effects target class has, their tick speed, and their crit rate. All other things being equal, the lock would rather give the buff to a class that is more likely to have a DoT/HoT crit at least every 7 sec, to keep the buff up on himself/herself. An elemental shaman, for example, would be a poor choice, since they only have Flame Shock. (If I’m wrong, let me know.)

So, where does that leave us? Well, the first decision is whether the upcoming encounter will demand more healing or more dps. If healing is necessary, a resto druid’s HOT-based healing style is clearly the best choice (and probably the best overall choice). If dps is necessary,  the best receipient of the buff is clearly Shadow Priests. They have 4 DOT’s, and those DOT’s do the large majority of their damage.

“What’s that have to do with us?”, I hear you asking. Well, if there’s no spriest, I think we’re clearly the best 2nd choice for Dark Intent. We only have 2 DoTs (Rip and Rake), but they have very high uptimes, we have a naturally high crit rate due to agility, and we derive almost half of our total damage from them. I’d be interested in hearing arguments about what other dps class would be a good recipient- my intuition would tell me that moonkin (IS/MF, heavy damage), frostfire mages (Pyro, LvB, Glyph of FFB, lots of ticks, but not a large part of their damage) are also good choices. If those aren’t available, perhaps an unholy DK (3 diseases, not a large part of their damage) or a survival hunter (Explosive Shot, Serpent Sting) would work.


(Oh, and warlocks shouldn’t trade it, as the 9% increase in periodic damage doesn’t stack x2.)

 Posted by at 9:04 am

  9 Responses to “Dark Intent is the new blac…err, Hysteria”

  1. SV hunters also have Black Arrow, hard-hitting and with an uptime of around 66%; on the other hand, it’s widely accepted that Explosive shot does not use a DoT mechanic, so an SV hunter remains a mediocre recipient of Dark Intent.

  2. Ferals might get away with this at the start of Cata, but I dont’ think we will be effective long. Starting off at 85 we will have around 30% crit (in all dungon blues). The buff gives 3% haste and haste is our worst stat. But for casters 3% could bump them up to the next level of haste and add an extra dot/hot tic. This increases the chances of dot crits and making it better. Giving us 3% haste is kind of a waste unless there are no other casters around. This issue will continue to compound as casters gear up and get more haste.

  3. @Tinderhoof

    imo (and the point Alaron was trying to make I think)

    the second part of the tool tip is what you should be focusing on. While haste isnt the greatest for ferals they could be a better recipient of the buff than say a caster that does alot of direct damage that would benefit from the haste because a large portion of feral dps is from DoTs.

    A 3% buff to a DoT or HoT that stacks up to 3 times (9%) is extremely powerful.

  4. I’d think, with the emphasis they’ve stated on conserving mana, it might actually end up a resto druid, rather than a feral or a boomkin. A potential 9% healing increase to Rejuv, Wild Growth, Lifebloom, and Regrowth could be the difference between a successful kill and a wipe, and it makes the druid more mana efficient as well.

    • And I’m apparently blind for missing the resto line in the article in the first place, so you can ignore my initial comment.

  5. All I know is that I hated DK’s because they NEVER gave me their Hysteria. :)

    • I hated our DK’s cause none of them were ever blood.

      I am not discounting that 9% on top of our mastery isn’t already awesome. I am questioning the fact that because our dots are not affected by haste, and that our crit will be so low at the start of cata that we won’t be able to reliably stack it to 9%. The refresh is 7 seconds. Thats 2 rip ticks, and maybe 3 rake ticks if the timing ends up right.

      While already wasting the 3% haste I find it hard to say that with 30% crit we can keep the buff stacked higher then 6%. This isn’t going to be a real benifit to the warlock that cast it on us.

      By the time we get up to acceptable levels of crit other casters will have enough haste that wasting 3% on us will hurt the whole raid more then a 9% boost to 50% of our dps.

  6. Here’s the very intersting thread I found while browsing warlock forums over the mmo-champ:

    According to the author, we’re the fourth dps spec on their priority list to give the buff to.

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