So, new patch notes. Huge change for ferals. I thought I’d take a closer look at the numbers here. (All numbers derived using 4.1 and 4.2 Mew; as always, big ups to Yawning, tangedyn, and Leafkiller for their work. I get to just use the thing and report results.)
When looking at ability rotations, one of the key metrics used is DPE, or “Damage Per Energy.” It’s a measure of how efficiently energy is being used; typically, given a long fight, you’ll want to prioritize high-DPE abilities over low-DPE abilities. The ability changes from the patch notes have shifted our DPE around a bit- let’s look at the numbers for toons in BiS ilvl 359 and ilvl 372 gearsets (assuming full buffs, etc).
So, going from worst-DPE abilities to best: Mangle and Shred are slightly buffed, with the scaling buff having a stronger effect than the strength nerf. FB gets a HUGE buff in terms of DPE, which I’ll talk more about in a moment. Rake gets a nice bump from having the initial Rake hit powered up to full strength. I still need to confirm if the initial Rake hit is still affected by crit depression (the reduced crit chance when attacking higher lvl targets). I’m assuming yes; if not, that’ll bump it up a bit more. Finally, Rip got no buffs, so you see the impact of the strength nerf.
Of course, the burning question: What about FB above 25% boss health? In 4.1, the loss in Rip/SR uptime (and hence lost DPS) by incorporating FB was too large. Now, though: It’s close. VERY close. I’m still testing different simulator configurations, but as far as I can tell, conservatively using FB and not using it at all are almost DPS-identical, while aggressive FB use remains a DPS loss. (Conservative/Aggressive, in this context, means the amount of time left on Rip/SR.) Out of all the configs I’ve tested, the best I’ve seen is a ~25 DPS gain from using FB, which is hardly consequential. Blizz needs to bump this just a bit more, and I’ll be happy.
In order to cross-reference with combat logs, here’s what the ability DPS breakdowns should look like in an ideal (Patchwerk) scenario. Obviously, actual fights will look slightly different due to movement, randomness, lag, error, what have you.
As you can see, Rake and Melee (from the SR buff) come up a bit, and Rip drops off significantly. This is great – the more damage that comes from frontloaded abilities, the better we’ll do on things like adds.
Ok, TL;DR, you just want the final DPS numbers? Fine.
Yep, that good. Hope you’re excited about 4.2, if you weren’t already. :)