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May 13, 2011

Resto Shaman Mastery: The Complete Story (+Math!)

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Written by: Vixsin
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Since the days of Cataclysm Beta and through the launch of the expansion, “Mastery” has been a trigger word of sorts for Resto Shaman across the globe. With the heaping amounts of negative feedback proffered by both druids and shaman in early Cata testing, the concept of “bonus healing on lower HP targets” was reduced from something new and shiny to something distasteful and surrounded in misinformation. When Mastery was launched in 4.0.1, Resto Shaman avoided it like the plague. And despite a significant bump in value in 4.0.6, some players still go out of their way to shun our newest stat and exclude it from gear sets. Well today I’m here to set the record straight, to lay down the law, and tell you everything you ever wanted to know (and then some) about Resto Shaman Mastery. So set aside some time and some brainpower, because this is going to be a doozie.

 

The quick back-story

Last year at around this time, the buzz was high about Blizzard’s newest WoW expansion. We had been given a brief preview of the classes, enough to whet our appetite and entice us with things to come. At that point, Mastery affected Resto Druids and Shamans in a similar way, with both classes’ benefits deriving from player HP. From the class preview for Resto Druids in April 2010:

HoT Scale Healing: HoTs will do increased healing on more wounded targets. The mechanic is similar to that of the Restoration Shaman, but with HoTs instead of direct heals. In Cataclysm, we anticipate druids using a greater variety of their spells so there is a distinction between healing and HoT healing.

Now bear in mind that this was the original design of Resto Druid’s Mastery, not the one that went live in the patch before Cataclysm launch. In late September, our tree friends’ Mastery was changed to net them a blanket increase of all healing done to targets which already had a hot on them, and there was much rejoicing (here, here, and here, to name a few).

But, while Resto Druids leaped about in joy, Resto Shaman sat in our corner and grumbled loudly, because our Mastery remained the same, increasing healing done based on the target’s HP value. And as I mentioned previously, when Mastery went live in 4.0.1, Resto Shaman in the throes of Wrath turned their back and shunned Blizzard’s latest addition to gearing. If there ever was a time where players made up their minds about Mastery, for all those months to come, I think this was that time. Mastery, at that point, became a dirty word for us Mana-Tide toting shaman, an unknown immeasurable force best avoided.

 

So what exactly does it affect?

The amazing thing was, at that point, very few of us understood the nuances of how Mastery interacted with Resto Shaman healing. Misinformation, formulated during that time period and perpetuated since then, has contributed to a number of players simply not grasping the basics of Mastery’s benefits. So, let’s set about clearing the air a little.

As of 4.06, Mastery operated under the following conditions:

  • It affected all single-target heals, including HW, HS, GHW, and UL
  • It affected select multi-target heals, including Healing Rain and Chain Heal
  • It affected all of Chain Heal’s jumps
  • It affected all of Healing Rain’s ticks
  • It affected ONLY the initial hit of RT, it did not affect RT’s hots
  • It did not affect Cleansing Waters’ heal, ES or HST
  • It did not double-dip on AA, meaning that AA’s heal was 30% of the initial heal with no Mastery bonus applied

As of 4.1, Mastery will operate under these new conditions:

  • It will affect all single-target heals, including HW, HS, GHW, and UL
  • It will affect all mutli-target heals, including CH and HR
  • It will affect all of CH’s hits (Source)
  • It will affect all of HR’s ticks
  • It will affect BOTH the initial hit of RT and the subsequent hot ticks (which will vary based on target HP at the time of the respective tick)
  • It will affect HST and ES
  • It will not affect Cleansing Waters’ heal
  • It will not double-dip on AA, meaning that AA’s heal will be 30% of the initial heal with no Mastery bonus applied

More description about the functionality and application of Mastery can be found here or in the Resto Shaman Guide but to address some of the common misconceptions out there about Mastery’s effects:

  1. Mastery is applied linearly, with the full benefit being applied at 1% HP and no benefit being applied when the target is at 100% HP. That’s it. It’s not based on anything else. Period.
  2. With 0 Mastery rating on gear, you will still receive a 24% bonus, because all level 85 Resto Shaman have a base Mastery rating of 8. So your minimum healing increase will always be 24%.
  3. No other stat will increase Mastery rating. (I know, duh).
  4. Mastery absolutely, unequivocally, affects Chain Heal. (See this great analysis by Jadiera).

*whew* Now that we’ve got that all out of the way, we can get into the “meat and potatoes” of it all—Mastery’s Valuation.

 

Mastery’s Valuation – The Base Theory

When you get down to it, Resto Shaman these days are interested in one thing and one thing only when it comes to Mastery—just how valuable is it? For the first part of that answer, I’m going to turn to someone who I think did some of the best work on Mastery to date, in an under-the-radar post that cropped up on MMO-Champion a few months ago and which served as the impetus for some of my own evaluation—Drhay. Instead of paraphrasing our discussions (and in the process, likely butchering some of the genius of his analysis), I asked Drhay if he’d like to take on the task of giving us a fresh perspective on our newest stat. Here’s what he had to say:

We shaman have slowly (and somewhat blindly) navigated our way through the introduction of mastery in Cataclysm. Initially we all said ‘mastery sucks, ignore it.’ Slowly, some theorycrafting was done that showed otherwise, but many theorycrafters had a difficult time reproducing each other’s values.  A couple months back I set out to resolve the issue and try to shed some light on what is really happening with mastery.

 

First, my assumptions:

  1. Your only real stat choice is between mastery and crit. This assumes you have reached some acceptable level of spirit and haste, and now have the extra points to play with.
  2. You have a base value of 8 mastery and 10% crit before adding any rating

 

Now a plot which should hopefully explain mastery’s value in the most accurate way you’ve seen to date. First I need to explain what everything on this plot is, before going into what it means. The y-axis is the fractional increase in healing, calculated as (Heal (m or c + 179) – Heal (m,c)) / Heal(m,c). It tells you what percentage your heal will increase by adding 179 mastery (blue lines) or 179 crit (red line). The x-axis is how much of your available rating points you’ve stacked in mastery. i.e. 0 means all of your rating is in crit, 1 means it’s all in mastery, and 0.5 means you have equal rating in both.

 

 

Now, what does all this mean?

  • If you think of haste as 1:1 healing increase, so that 1% haste = 1% more casts = 1% more healing, then haste has a value of 0.01 on this plot. As you can see adding mastery rating instead of haste is more increased healing for a target HP% less than about 60-65%. This is why we should never see haste stacking as a way of life for resto shaman in Cataclysm. Mastery will be more valuable in a lot of situations, as we’ve already seen in this current raid tier with fights like Chimaeron.

Vixsin’s note: I disagree slightly on this point, but I chose to leave it in because I think it’s a good counterpoint to my Haste-Mastery tension theory.

  • Mastery suffers from diminishing returns, which means that the more of it you have, the less valuable it is to add more. Think of how much 5 dollars would mean to you if you were a billionaire. Crit actually increases in value slightly as you get more mastery (as crit heals are affected by mastery). What this means is that the lines for crit and mastery will intersect somewhere. So if you are on the right side of the intersection, adding extra crit would be more extra healing. On the left side, mastery would be more valuable. Since the intersection occurs near 0.5 mastery stacking, the simplest explanation is that if you heal someone on average at about 70% HP, the best possible throughput comes from spreading your rating points into crit and mastery equally.
  • This intersection only occurs when the target HP% is around 65-75%. Below this, mastery is ALWAYS more valuable than crit and above this, crit is ALWAYS more valuable than mastery. In between they always have an intersection.

 

 

In the interest of transparency, I am including the Mathematica program (in PDF form) that I used to calculate all of this. This is for you theorycrafters out there who are trying to reproduce my results, or prove that they’re wrong in some way. A huge thanks to Vixsin for maintaining a great site and allowing me the opportunity to contribute to it.

 

Mastery’s Valuation – The Corroboration

Now, if you’ve learned anything about me by now, it’s that I generally don’t take “facts” to be facts, just based on someone’s statement or some fancy charts. (Although I do like fancy charts). If someone tells me that Mastery is the next best thing to sliced bread, the first thing out of my mouth will be a question: “why?” So, about a month ago I set out to test Drhay’s theory about Mastery breakpoints with some analysis of my own. Given that I’m no math whiz, I chose to take a more rude approach to the problem, and instead of setting Mastery and Crit equations equal to each other and solving for HP, I applied a brute force calculation to determine just how HPS would behave under the effects of Mastery and Crit.

The first series of data I looked at centered around single-target heals, which benefit from both a crit bonus (150% of the base heal) and AA’s bonus healing (28.6% of the base heal, and yes this the actual contribution from AA) thus making the total potential of a crit heal on a single-target spell = 1.5 x 1.286 = 1.929 or 192.9% of the base heal. To calculate the total potential heal based on a target’s HP, the calculation becomes:

where Mastery Bonus = (-1 x % Mastery x Target HP) + % Mastery

Average Heal = Probability of a Crit Heal x (Base Heal x Mastery Bonus x 1.5 x 1.286) + Probability of a Non-Crit Heal x (Base Heal x Mastery Bonus)

So, in basic terms, the Total Heal determined by this formula is a function of two variables—the target’s HP value and the percent of your available stat that you’ve allocated to Mastery (or similarly, to Crit). Mathematically speaking, the size of the heal only matters in determining the final value, so whereas Drhay canceled it out in his equation, I left it in just to be able to demonstrate the healing gain. So, with target HP and stat allocation identified as variables, I then calculated the expected heal, for 0% Mastery and 100% Crit (out of 2000 points available), for 99% HP down to 1% HP. I performed this same series of calculations 10 more times, each time increasing the amount of Mastery by 10% increments, until I had a series of values based on 100% Mastery and 0% Crit. Plotting the heal values gave me the following chart:

Resto Shaman Crit v. Mastery Output (with 1.93 Crit Multiplier)

There are a couple of things that I’d like to point out about the above:

  1. The values here represent the relative value of Mastery and Crit in a single-target environment. In other words, this only applies to HW, HS, GHW, UL, and RT.
  2. You want to pay less attention to the values of the y axis (estimated heal) and pay more attention to the behavior of the data set.
  3. The series appear to have a pivot point based around 70% HP, meaning that if HP is greater than ~70%, Crit will provide more throughput and if HP is less than ~70%, Mastery will have more throughput.

It’s that last point that I’d like to talk about a bit more, since it actually bears discussion—you’ll notice that the lines in the chart above actually “twist” at around 70%. They don’t, in fact, precisely intersect. This is because as you gain more Mastery, the break point where Mastery and Crit are equal actually moves. That’s right, the more Mastery you get, the lower your breakpoint will be. I realized this when I moved onto the second step of my analysis—calculating the Return on Investment per point of Mastery. In other words, how much + healing are you getting for each point of Mastery rating you have? To evaluate this, I took the same data set that I used to calculate the preceding chart, and divided each estimated heal value, at each value of HP, by the amount of Mastery it took to achieve that heal. The plot of these values yielded the following:

Resto Shaman Crit v. Mastery Return on Investment (with 1.93 Crit Multiplier)

So, as the Mastery contribution increased (Series 1 is no Mastery, Series 10 is 100% Mastery), you can see the shift to a lower breakpoint value. This means that as you invest more points into Mastery, the breakpoint at which Mastery provides more throughput than Crit actually decreases. Does this matter in the larger picture of the stat valuation? Not really, because no healer in their right mind would refuse to heal a target above or below a breakpoint simply because it was ideal for their gear set—but it’s at least worth noting that the point at which Mastery > Crit isn’t a static value.

The next logical step was to look at this behavior in terms of the two other major spells in Resto Shamans’ arsenal—Chain Heal and Healing Rain—which do not benefit from AA. So, I redid the calculations, this time using only the 1.5 modifier for crit, and this is what I came up with:

Resto Shaman Crit v. Mastery Output (with 1.5 Crit Multiplier)

Again, I did the same plot as before to determine the return on investment for each point of Mastery. This time, I carried the values through a little bit further, in an attempt to graphically identify the point at which a combination of Mastery and Crit would produce a 0 HPS gain. And this is what I came up with:

Resto Shaman Crit v. Mastery Return on Investment (with 1.5 Crit Multiplier)

Whereas for single-target healing spells, the break point hovered around 70% HP, we can see that the breakpoint of AOE healing spells is much higher, placed at around 84% HP. So for AOE healing spells, it then becomes that Crit has greater throughput above ~84% HP and Mastery has greater throughput below ~84% HP.

That was easy, wasn’t it? (heh)

 

But what about Haste?

You might have noticed by this point that Haste hasn’t even entered into the debate yet when it comes to the evaluation of Mastery as a secondary stat. Drhay mentioned it briefly in his discussion (it’s one of the points on which we differ), but it’s not factored heavily into stat evaluation because, quite simply, haste is heavily tied to mana when it comes to HPS gains. As Stassart explained in the Resto Shaman EJ thread, when talking about the evaluation of haste compared to crit:

(2*0.01/128.05701)/(1.5*0.01/179.28) = 1.87
1 haste rating provides 1.87 times the throughput of 1 crit rating

However, you’re forgetting the value haste has on mp5.
1 haste rating = -0.78 mp5 (chain heal) to -1.75 mp5 (healing surge) (at the soft haste cap)
(-5*(4404/2.21)*0.01/128.05701 = -0.78)

(5*mps*1%/(rating per 1%))

So for chain heal raid healing it would take 1.87 crit rating to provide the hps of 1 haste rating, but then it would take 1.1 spirit to equal the same mana regen at that hps (0.14 = -0.78 * 0.86x). So 1.87 crit = 1 haste + 1.1 spirit for chain heal (12% more effective to stack crit than haste+spirit)

For healing surge healing it would take 2.2 spirit to equal the mana regen at the same hps. So for healing surge spam 1.87 crit = 1 haste + 2.2 spirit (71% more effective to stack crit than haste+spirit)

 

So, ultimately, as Stassart stated, the value of haste is greatest when mana is not an issue. At its best, in an environment where mana concerns are nonexistent, it will be almost twice as powerful as crit. This lends further support to the Resto Shaman stat cycle that I attempted to illustrate in my recent Tier 11 BiS post, where haste takes over as a preferred stat once your gear is sufficient enough to sustain ABC (Always Be Casting) healing

But, when mana is an issue, as it is during progression content, haste then takes a back seat to both Crit and Mastery *after you’ve hit a haste threshold and gained an additional tick of each hot*. (For those interested, the next closest breakpoint for haste is 2005 haste, at which point a glyphed RT will gain another tick. HR gains another tick in the early 3000’s, and Earthliving holds out until ~4000 haste.) Thus, your healing gains won’t be as easily achieved as you progress to higher levels of haste.

 

Conclusions, I has them!

So, what’s the end result of all of this analysis? In the world of Patch 4.1, we can safely say that:

  1. For single-target healing, your approximate breakpoint where Mastery > Crit is going to be around 70% HP. If the target is lower than 70% HP, Mastery generates greater throughput.
  2. For multi-target healing, your approximate breakpoint where Mastery > Crit, is going to be around 84% HP. If the target is lower than 84% HP, Mastery generates greater throughput.

And while I would love for this to be the long and the short of it, it so happens that Blizzard is looking to throw a wrench in all this math come Patch 4.2 (Firelands release):

All healing critical strikes now heal for 2 times a normal heal (+100%), up from 1.5 times a normal heal (+50%). (Source)

So, if in fact this increase in bonus healing goes live, and Mastery’s value remains as it currently stands, you can expect to see Resto Shamans’ Mastery/Crit thresholds in Patch 4.2 change significantly:

  1. For single-target healing, your approximate breakpoint where Mastery > Crit is going to be around 50% HP. If the target is lower than 50% HP, Mastery generates greater throughput.
  2. For multi-target healing, your approximate breakpoint where Mastery > Crit, is going to be around 70% HP. If the target is lower than 70% HP, Mastery generates greater throughput.

Ultimately, what I think it’s critical for Resto Shaman to understand is that Mastery’s benefits are heavily contingent upon the HP of your raid group. And in Cataclysm, Blizzard has at least demonstrated that, on progression content, controlling raid HP is more a function of doling out “just enough” healing as opposed to the “keep him topped” state of Wrath. So, it is highly likely that your healing targets will be sitting at lower levels of HP because your team cannot afford to top players off. (Again, this is *progression* content we’re talking about here).

But, with the proposed changes in 4.2, and the resultant drops of those Mastery/Crit thresholds, I do think we’ll see more pressure on shamans to increase their crit levels, especially in 10-man environments where single-target spells see very heavy usage. In 25s, I think we’ll see more of a favoring to Mastery (for shamans who consistently raid-heal). Add onto this that we’ll also be approaching the second notable haste threshold for Riptide, and it seems like Resto Shaman stats will be in for a bit of a shake-up when Firelands kicks into gear. Personally, I can’t wait.






30 Comments


  1. Nargh

    Fantastic analysis Vixsin. I’ve been playing with reforging to more crit lately in preparation of 4.2, and while the 200% crit heals is certainly a boon, the reworked water shield mechanic and increased focus on crit as regen should make for an interesting crit vs. spirit discussion in the coming weeks.

    Excellent post, as always.


  2. Healakong

    Long time reader first post.

    Love your site and analysis, Vixsen!!

    It doesn’t seem to me that it would be prudent to go with more crit than mastery at any point because of crit being best value above 70% for your single target heals.. That would just contribute to more overhealing with increased crit chance.. With mastery being more effective below that point, why not keep more mastery,and simply allow targets to drop below that threshold and then heal them? It would allow for much less overhealing on your part and better mana conservation.. If they don’t often drop below that threshold then your raid members are doing a great job.

    It’s my opinion that it’s better to have mastery for the rough times being that if offers guaranteed heal percentage improvement versus crit that may or may not come through and if it does possibly contribute to useless over healing..

    Sorry for my ramlbing, sort of thinking outloud.. What do you think?

    again thank you for your awesome website!!


  3. Sekul

    Amazing post. I do have a question.

    These breakdowns clearly demonstrate the direct healing impact of mastery vs. crit but how do you value the incidental benefits of crit? Specifically, in 4.2 where the changes to our IW or Resurgence is directly tied to our crit chance. With the incoming nerf to MT and WS it seems Resurgence will be a vital proc for our mana regen.

    Does crit gain more value as a stat because of the extraneous benefit it gives to MP5? Can that be calculated as a value and included in the Mastery vs. Crit math?


    • D’oh, I completely missed these excellent questions!

      I haven’t had a chance to look over my PTR parses yet to see the actual gains from Resurgence, so I can’t talk about the actual valuation at this point. My feeling is that the change to Mana Tide and IWS aren’t going to have nearly the impact on stat weights as the change to 200% Critical Heals, which make AA significantly more valuable.

      But, as I mentioned in response to Grak below, where I think the valuation of crit gets interesting is when you start thinking about it versus TC. As it stands, TC is a viable regen option which actually exceeds WS’s potential, because TC scales with gear. So whereas Resurgence is confined by criticals, an internal CD, and a fixed return, TC has the potential to eclipse WS’s regen with only a couple of LB’s.


  4. Ebby

    Very interesting article. Two points that spring to mind:

    1. The issue with crit in Wrath was that, because everyone was constantly topped off, all it really did was contribute to overheals more than effective healing. Shouldn’t this also factor into the above calculations, particularly as you guys are saying that Crit > Mastery when HP is over 70% (direct heals). If we’re saying that the value of crit is enhanced when the recipient of the heal is closer to full health, should this not be tempered with the increased likelihood that a larger portion of the critting heal will be overheal? (Hmm … that made sense in my head, but not sure it does know I’ve written it).

    2. Don’t know how easy this would be to quantify in math, but perhaps mastery gets a little extra credit for being ‘guaranteed’. A person at x health will receive y% boost from my heals because I have z mastery. This is irrefutable (I think). But even if I have 90% crit, there’s a reasonable chance that a person gets a standard non-crit base heal. I realise that crit probability is factored into the maths above to evaluate the mathematical contribution mastery gives to our heals, but perhaps we can note that its dependability as opposed to crit’s RNG is more likely to keep our groups alive.


  5. You lost me when you started using algebraic formulae, but I’m sticking it out to the end of the post! I always felt mastery was important for me, which is why every gem slot I have is spirit/mastery in blues, mastery/int in yellows, and int/spirit in reds. Still debating if that’s the best thing to do, but yea! Mastery! Woo! ….

    I’ll stop acting the fool now. *slinks back to his Troll cave*
    Hajiru´s last post ..What WoW servers have a lot of roleplay


    • Bear in mind here: Intellect is king. So no matter what secondary stat you may use, you always, always want to pick up as much Int as possible. Then Spirit. Then your secondary stat of choice.

      And then cake. Cake is an excellent raiding stat.


  6. Jerenn

    I always find it interesting how you and others specify “Again, this is *progression* content we’re talking about here” to illustrate where mastery is better than crit on progression fights, but not so much on non-progression fights. If I’m going to be optimizing my gear, it’s going to be for the hard times, meaning progression. Who cares what my gear looks like on non-progression? If it’s on farm, then basically the fight gets easier every time we do it, and my stat arrangement matters less and less. With that in mind, it doesn’t seem to me that it’s ever worth caring about the distinction between progression and non-progression stat values.


    • I can definitely understand your perspective. I could, perhaps, stand to be a little clearer on what I mean when I say “progression”. To me, progression means when you’re undergeared for content, (like when I walked into hard modes in about 50% blue gear). This is opposed to players who are geared in full epics and still doing normal modes (which is a perfectly acceptable state to be in).

      So, it’s something I remark on frequently for two (I think) important reasons:
      1. I don’t want to give blanket advice or make blanket statements about gearing. It’s irresponsible, and completely ignores the conditional nature of Mastery.
      2. If a resto shaman was to email me and ask why, after he followed my advice and switched to full mastery for normal mode encounters, his performance on healing meters continues to decline, my answer would be–because you’re not doing progression.

      Less importantly, and as I’ve said before, I am someone who cares about performance *at all times*. I don’t give a hoot if it’s a first kill or a 20th kill. I’m raiding to improve as a player and a healer. And I find that the more I know about how shifting conditions affect my stat priority, the better healer, the better resto shaman, I become.


      • Lukes

        I Agree with this, when my raid group started to get less avoidable damage, my total heal decreased a lot! and the resto druid numbers went up a lot!

        I’m starting to do 10m heroic content, and my healing numbers started to go up again…. I believe that shamans are best “lifesavers” healers due to our mastery.


  7. Klorath

    Great post Vixsin. There are a lot of view points on Mastery and I think particular gear setup really depends on roll. IE Tank healing usually sees a greater benefit from Mastery in my experience. Where as haste and crit seem better for raid healing. Also for different Resto specs. IE a TC spec IMO should have more haste and crit than Mastery. I personally haven’t been able to get much use out of TC and thereby do not have a spec for it. Only fight I could definitely get some guaranteed use out of it is on Magmaw as all other fights I am typically ABC healing out of necessity not just to do something.


  8. Great definitive article. You said that 2105 is the next haste point to gain another tick of RT? I have ready many places that it is 2005. Is yours a typo or do other sources have it wrong?
    Alacran´s last post ..Nefarian the Easy Way 10N strategy


  9. Darkran

    I love you, you math-crazy genius you.

    Thanks ^^


  10. SnoopCat

    It is indeed a typo. Even if 2005 was the cap (for Goblins), you need 129 more haste points to reach the next % (i.g., for normal people to hit the cap); which does not equal 2105. Get to 2005 haste and basically leave it there for most of cataclysm.

    In addition, come 4.2, crit will succeed mastery in a lot of ways. Not only can you get the meta gem for improved crit healing power and further it’s potential (and AA) but it will give more definitive mana regen.

    You’ll still want some mastery, but if you do it right, you can stack a LOT of crit in 4.2 and see potency in both raid and tank healing.

    It’s also worth noting that mastery has a regressive scaling with our hots (very potent in 25 mans and still a very large chunk in 10s). I.g. my hot heals someone at low hp. Well, the next time that hot ticks- the bonus of mastery on it will have decreased since the previous tick increased their % of health.

    In addition, in heroics- while damage is a lot more so mastery “should” be more potent, I’ve found that with my gem for +3% and my play style, even in 4.1, crit comes out slightly ahead in raid performance (lagging slightly behind in actual hps compared to mastery).

    Since AA heals the lowest hp target, it provides more stable health pools than mastery (i.g. you keep people more consistent in health rather than going to lowest to lowest to lowest person and having a higher chance of someone too low and others too high, and the lower health person dying). Also, you use healing surge more for bursts in heroics – where crit becomes just delicious.

    Mana returns are also a godsend. I have 8 mastery on my shaman and massively stacked haste, with a second focus on crit. During normal raids, I can easily find myself gonig from 70% to 100% mana while still healing by spamming healing wave and riptides. The mana regen is definitely a worthwhile component.


    • I would imagine that the reason you experience those mana gains when spamming HW and RT isn’t because of incredibly high crit values (which you won’t have if you have a “secondary” focus on Crit while stacking haste). It’s because your rate of regen + replenishment is greater than your mana consumption while casting our two *cheapest* spells.


  11. Morishima

    Do you think that for a 10 man heroic raiding evironment it is worth it to reforge all my crit for mastery?
    http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/ragnaros/morishima/advanced


    • I’m afraid that’s not something that I can answer with any certainty, because, as I said above, the benefits of Mastery are entirely dependent on the average HP levels of your raid. That being said, I found Mastery very helpful in increasing my own HPS in hard mode encounters, because most of the latter hard modes have AOE mechanics which consistently take a raid down to sub-30% levels of HP.


  12. Tolimar

    So, I’m not sure if this is where to post it, but I’ll toss it up anyways. It’s in regards to 4.2 and our T12. With the 2-piece bonus we will be getting regen thru Riptide ticks. Will this play a role in stacking haste once again? In theory, the more ticks we are getting and they faster they are ticking would in theory give us more regen, but does it seem like the new Resurgence will outperform the mana returns of the 2piece bonus?


    • Great question! I think there’s two things to think about with regards to maximizing t12′s 2pc … First, remember that in between the haste breakpoints for RT, you’ll have the same number of ticks/chances to proc no matter if you’re just over the threshold or close to the next one. Second, consider that if the 2pc has an internal CD (which I would imagine that it does), then your mana returns will be limited based on that CD, so the importance of hastened RT’s will go right out the window (so long as you have enough haste to ensure a proc once the ICD comes up).


  13. Hey Vix

    Great post, makes things a lot clearer about mastery. I have seen though a lot of comments lately regarding Haste values, followed by (for Goblins) implying Gobbys have different haste values?

    The Goblin racial is worded ‘Cash in on a 1% increase to attack and casting speed.’ I was under the impression this was just casting speed and didnt affect haste values?

    Thanks
    Sodin´s last post ..Resto Shaman Spec 41 – Spirit Link Totem


    • The Goblin racial is a 1% haste buff to all melee attacks and spell casts, making goblins’ haste thresholds slightly lower as a result.

      So the calculation for Goblins would look like:

      New Cast Time = Base Cast Time / ((( 1 + (Haste Rating / 12805.7 )) x 1.05 x 1.01)
      with “1.01″ being the benefit of the Goblin racial and “1.05″ being WoA’s 5% haste buff


  14. grakthon

    were one to spec out of AA the values for all heals would exactly follow the graphs shown for AoE heals, correct?

    the argument i cant get over is similar to the one you made at the end where it takes a haste+spirit build to match the crit as the mana pool is affected by haste negatively whereas crit benefits our mana pool. mastery is more of a neutral stat in that regard, so some spirit is needed to maintain that healing where less is needed with crit. the correction for this to the graphs above would be a differential stat allocation-you could have more or less than 2000 points to allocate depending on whether you were or were not using a crit heavy set, so at one end it would be 2000:0 but at the other it would be 0:1750…and these are completely made up numbers. but whatever the modifier would happen to be the trend would be to lower the mastery end of the lines and not affecting the crit side, which would just decrease the slopes and leave the two stats on more equal footing (i think). is this accurate or is there something i’ve left out?


    • You’re correct in that without AA, the single-target and multi-target graphs would be the same.

      And I think you’ve got the right idea when it comes to the stat debate between crit, mastery, haste and spirit. To say it differently, if you look at spirit as a bar that need to be filled so that you had N regen, (which would be sufficient mana to heal a fight), then each stat will affect that bar differently. If you have, as you suggested, 2000 points to spend and wanted to “stack” one particular stat:

      Mastery (Spirit neutral) = you can spend those 2000 points all in Mastery
      Crit (Spirit positive) = you can spend 2000 points in Crit AND pull a little extra from Spirit to put into Crit, meaning your investment in Crit would be > 2000.
      Haste (Spirit negative) = you’ll have to spend some of those 2000 points in Spirit and then spend the rest in haste, meaning your investment in haste would be < 2000.

      Now, what throws a wrench in all of this is TC, which benefits significantly more from haste than it does from any other stat, except pure spellpower. And as Int levels increase, our TC will get more and more powerful, thus making Resurgence gains less important for restos using TC regularly.


  15. [...] worry about is Mastery.  There is an excellent article written by Vixsin over at Life in Group 5, that you can read here, that goes over a whole bunch of nitty, gritty number crunching (the stuff I’m really bad at [...]


  16. Tikiya

    Hello Vixsin! Wonderful blog, I am a long time reader. Although, I can’t find you on armory! Could you please have your armory link under the “About me” or “Contact me”? :>

    Keep the good job up!


  17. Neltuzin

    Again another great post, but imo and according to some of the commenters, besides all the hps we can achiev, its a lot more important to keep people alive, even if we heal less and the raid end the encounter at 1% hp, if everyone survived and you were able to finish the encounter you did a great job.

    Critical may provide a great increase to our charts at 4.2 (and im not talking about actual healing here, but theory charts) , but as stated, it will surely increase overhealing, which is useless. Critical also may or may not proc when you most need it, which makes it sort of an unreliable stat. Specially at first tiers, where we wont be able to stack that much crit rating to almost ensure a crit land.

    That’s when mastery really shines, it will ALWAYS benefit when we most need (.)
    And it also scales pretty well with our aoe healing specially when people are yet taking aoe dmg, cause any damage took will decrease their health, increasing our healing.



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