Thought I’d get back into the swing of things here, while I have a bit of a break from live raiding this week, to post a quick vignette about the way the t18 set bonuses and the class-specific Archimonde trinket work. This is part of an experiment to try to update the blog more frequently with less overwrought posts – let me know what you think 🙂
First of all, for those of you not in the loop right now:
- T18 2pc: Increases Riptide’s Critical Strike chance by 25% (was 50% in previous PTR versions, but was just reduced today)
- T18 4pc: When you Chain Heal, you have a 65% chance to also apply Riptide to the primary target (was 100% chance in previous PTR versions, but was just reduced today)
- Core of the Primal Elements: Casting Chain Heal, Healing Surge or Healing Wave on a target with your Riptide on it has a 55% chance to spread that Riptide to another nearby ally
My initial reaction to these set bonus and trinket effects was one of skepticism. I didn’t think they sounded that strong, particularly the trinket effect. I mean yes, getting additional Riptide effects on the raid without having to cast it means stronger High Tide Chain Heals and a wider flexibility of Chain Heal target options. But if you’ll recall my Mini-Analysis on Chain Heal/High Tide, you’ll see that additional Riptides don’t make that big of a difference to your throughput. I thought the flexibility benefits would be very difficult to quantify, and that the T18 4pc was counterproductive since, heh, who was going to be casting Chain Heal on a target without Riptide on them anyway?
But I think the developers may have asked themselves that exact same question, because well before we could test these set bonuses on the PTR, they made an additional change: Resto Shamans no longer have a Riptide/Chain Heal interaction! This was a long-standing feature of the Resto Shaman class, one that, yes, added complexity and depth to our playstyle, but also kept us chained to a set of 3 players that would function as our Chain Heal turrets. I found the interaction questionable and problematic enough that I actually advocated for the RT bonus removal in that very same post. You’ll note in that post that, when the RT bonus is removed, we get more mileage out of High Tide by casting CH on non-Riptided targets.
(So this doesn’t constitute a nerf to the class, Chain Heal also received a passive 25% boost in its healing. Which is actually a miniscule buff, given that very occasionally you might have been casting Chain Heal on a target whose Riptide falls off before your cast ends. But I digress.)
In light of all these changes and a lot of confusion that seems to have arisen from these set bonuses, I thought I’d explore a little how each bonus works alone, and how they interact if you happen to equip both. So, here we go.
Tier 18 2-piece
This is a pretty straightforward bonus. It will increase the average healing of our Riptides by the formula of 1+(0.25/(1+CritChance)). So for example, if I already had 16% Crit, raising my Riptide’s Crit chance by an extra 25% constitutes a 1+(0.25/1.16)=1.216 boost to my Riptide healing, or 21.6%.
To work out how much of a throughput increase the set bonus will create, we simply have to look at how much of our current healing is contributed by Riptide, and multiply. Just glancing through my logs, over one whole night of raiding (excluding trash), Riptide was 16.3% of my healing, so increasing it by 21.6% would be about a 3.5% increase to my overall healing.
Not great. But that’s just one night, so let’s not go excoriating this set bonus just quite yet.
This set bonus also increases our Resurgence returns from Riptide. If I’m super conscientious and cast Riptide every 5 seconds, with my 16% Crit chance I am getting back on average 0.16*811 = 130 mana from each Riptide cast, or approximately 26mp5/13 Spirit-equivalent. With the set bonus I’ll be getting back an average of 332 mana from each Riptide cast, or approximately 67mp5/32 Spirit-equivalent. It’s not a lot, but it’s … something?
Tier 18 4-piece
This set bonus gives us a chance to apply Riptide to a player when we cast Chain Heal on them. Some facts about the way it works:
- The set-bonus-generated Riptide does include the up-front heal portion, not just the HoT
- However, this up-front healing portion does not provide us with Resurgence when it crits
- The Riptide has a separate spell ID from player-casted Riptides, and therefore stacks, meaning that you do not overwrite an existing, hard-casted Riptide
- For Mastery calculations, the Riptide is applied first, then the Chain Heal. By doing it this way, it preserves the maximum amount of total Mastery benefit, but it does buff the weaker heal by the larger amount – I think this was a damned-if-we-do, damned-if-we-don’t style of compromise 😛
- If you are using Glyph of Riptide, the up-front portion of the 4pc Riptide is also reduced by 75%
- These Riptides do interact with High Tide
So then, to evaluate this set bonus we can pretty much add 65% of a Riptide to each Chain Heal that we cast, as a first-order approximation. But of course, if we have a 4-piece set bonus, we also have the 2-piece, so it’s a 21.6% buffed Riptide that we’re factoring in. This increases my Chain Heal by about 35%.
And on that same mega-boss-fight-log that I used to evaluate the 2-piece set bonus, Chain Heal was 30.5% of my healing for the night. So a 35% boost to my Chain Heal’s throughput represents around an 11% increase to my overall healing. (Before overhealing, of course.)
But this is just a first-order effect. Because these Riptides also interact with High Tide, we should see an additional boost to our Chain Heal’s throughput from the effect of having extra Riptides on the raid. It’s going to be a small effect, but it’s real. Its maximum value is about 5% additional Chain Heal throughput. Let’s be generous and say that we manage to get that much benefit from it – we’re looking at a total of a 12.7% increase to our overall healing from the dual effects of this set bonus. In real value, it’ll likely be somewhere in between 11% and 12.7%, further modulated down by overhealing.
Core of the Primal Elements
This trinket drops from Archimonde, the final boss of Hellfire Citadel. It carries no stat increase, but offers a unique effect for every spec in the game. For Resto Shaman, it offers us the ability to “spread that Riptide to a nearby ally” whenever we directly heal a player with our Riptide active.
- The chance to transfer Riptide increases as the iLvl of the trinket increases, with the Normal, 705 iLvl trinket having a 55% chance, and the Mythic version having a 72.59% chance
- The effect transfers only the HoT portion of Riptide, so does not interact with Resurgence
- The transferred Riptide HoT will have the same duration as the target’s HoT had at the time the proccing heal landed
- The trinket spreading behaviour will not overwrite an existing player-cast Riptide or trinket-spread Riptide – it instead will seek out a player without an existing Riptide effect
- The range of the transfer appears to be at least 30 yards, but not quite 40 yards
- The transferred Riptide HoT does interact with High Tide
So, this trinket is trying to encourage us to cast our single-target heals and Chain Heal on players who already have Riptides. This is at conflict, slightly, with the removal of our Riptide/Chain Heal interaction; now, if we take High Tide, we would prefer to cast Chain Heal on a non-Riptided target, in order to increase the likelihood of getting all 6 bounces on Chain Heal. That’s kind of a downer. We can’t simply add 55% of half of a Riptide HoT to each Chain Heal in order to get an estimate of the throughput benefit – that would be an overestimation since we’re trying to avoid casting CH on Riptided targets to begin with.
But let’s just say that we got this trinket and did go back to casting CH on our RT targets. Adding 55% of half of a Riptide HoT gives us a 7% throughput increase to Chain Heal, but dropping from casting on a non-Riptided target to a Riptided target gives us a 4% reduction in High Tide’s throughput, so it’s really a 3% buff to Chain Heal all up. And since CH is 30% of my healing, that’s a 0.9% boost to my healing overall.
If we look at the Mythic version, it’s instead a 1.5% boost to my overall healing.
The Healing Wave/Healing Surge part of the trinket seems fine though, at least philosophically – we’re most likely to cast those on the tank, who is also likely to have an active Riptide rolling. So here let’s consider that we add 55% of half a Riptide HoT to every Healing Wave and Healing Surge cast I made in that aggregate log. We’re looking at 11% improved Healing Surge healing and 14% improved Healing Wave healing (the effects of Tidal Waves deflate the benefit to Healing Surge compared to Healing Wave).
We do have the additional effect, however, of providing more Riptides for High Tide to bounce from. In this case, since we’re encouraged to cast CH on a Riptided target, the maximum throughput benefit we gain from getting these extra Riptides out is smaller – more like a 1% throughput increase from High Tide.
These are not large effects, and in general I think the Archimonde trinket is, sadly, a poor choice for us to use. It’s unfortunate because the idea of a trinket that is effectively another tier bonus could be really cool – and the Archimonde trinket for a few specs has awesome, powerful-but-niche effects – but in this case, it’s missed the mark.
All Together Now
But what happens when we combine these effects by equipping 4 pieces of tier 18 and the trinket?
1. The Riptides spread by the Core of the Primal Elements effect are affected by the 2-piece set bonus.
This brings its throughput from Chain Heal spreading the Riptide HoT to around 1.5% of my total healing at Normal iLvl, and 2.1% at Mythic levels. The benefit to HS and HW also go up.
Note that by this point, we’ll no longer have the t17 4pc set bonus to allow us to spam unlimited Chain Heal ’til the cows come home. The Chain Heal benefit will probably reduce since we’ll be casting less of it; the HS and HW benefit will increase. But I don’t feel yet confident in predicting just how much overall throughput the trinket will be affording us when combined with the t18 2pc. HealerCalcs can probably answer this once Hamlet’s done tweaking the sheet for the 6.2 patch. 🙂
2. The Riptide generated by the 4-piece set bonus can be instantly spread by the trinket on the same cast.
This is pretty handy. This means you no longer have to cast Chain Heal on a Riptided target in order to get the effects of your trinket. Of course, this only happens 36% of the time you cast Chain Heal on a non-Riptided target (55% x 65%), but I’ve found this to be sufficient in my testing to keep a good number of Riptides on the raid without sacrificing my desire to maximise High Tide bounces.
3. You can get a lot of High Tide bounces without ever having to cast Riptide.
I don’t think we should necessarily forego casting Riptide entirely. It’s pretty mana-efficient, and leaving our High Tide decisions entirely up to the RNG of the set bonus/trinket procs seems unideal.
4. If a player has two of your Riptide HoT effects active, the trinket chooses the one with the longest duration to spread.
Simple and straightforward – preserving the most possible healing.
5. As the set bonus Riptide and a player-casted Riptide have separate spell IDs, it’s possible for the trinket to spread one, the other, or both, to the same player.
Spreading both at the exact same time is pretty rare – I’ve had it happen to me a few times on the PTR, but I haven’t nailed down exactly which of the planets and associated moons must align to make it happen. But Chain Healing someone ’til Riptide procs, then casting Riptide on them, then continually casting Healing Surge on them will often result in the regular-Riptide HoT spreading to me, and then the shorter-duration CH-generated HoT spreading to me.
The Tier 18 set bonuses are pretty solid, for a combined ~15% throughput in a Chain Heal-heavy rotation. Mind you, we won’t be able to have a Chain Heal-heavy rotation anymore because we’re by definition losing the t17 4pc set bonus that gives us the mana to do that. We’ll have to go back to spurts of Chain Heal spam during threatening parts of the fight, and filling the rest of our time with single-target healing and Healing Rain.
I don’t know about you, but the only thing I really care about from my set bonuses is “do they help me when the raid is in danger”, and this one will. When we can kick ourselves into a Chain Heal-heavy rotation, to counter the Hellfire Citadel equivalent of Tectonic Upheaval or Stone Breath or Massive Demolition, we’ll be getting a nice throughput boost from these bonuses. I don’t mind at all that they don’t really benefit the times where I’m just idly spamming Healing Waves on tanks because there isn’t any danger.
Although the Archimonde class trinket and the set bonuses do work nicely together, I’m still uncertain that the class trinket is worth it. We’ll see what pans out when more sophisticated modelers take a look at this. I think I’ve provided the information necessary here to get that going, at least.
In other Dayani-related news, let’s see. My guild killed Mythic Blackhand, yay; I recorded another podcast with Hamlet a couple days ago, about the healer meta-game in t17; and I’ve been working on a lot of PTR testing of raid encounters for my Wowhead encounter guides. The first three bosses of Hellfire Citadel (as defined by the first LFR wing) are live now – so you can go start gathering information on Hellfire Assault, Iron Reaver, and Kormrok, if you want to get an A+ in Raid Preparation next tier 😉
Oops. Did I fail at succinct? I think I failed at succinct. Quelle surprise.