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#1 Jan 10 2011 at 11:36 AM Rating: Decent
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Hey guys,

I posted this over at Shadowpriest.com but thier not as heavily populated over there as here so the help I needed didnt happen.

This is mainly for Shadowpriests so the healing guys can look away now :)

I'am sort of stuck in the middle between Normal instances and Heroics at the moment as far as my damage goes.

In Normals I'am in the top two damage spots every instance, latley mainly at the number one spot.
In Heroics I sit firmly in fourth everytime and seem to be a mile behind everyone else as far as damage goes.
Not a little a lot.

Its really starting to get to me as I dont know what the problem is and I dont want to be stuck in Normal land forever.

Heres my armoury link maybe someone can see something in there where I'am falling down but to me it seems good considering the gear I have:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/s ... A3s/simple

I use spirit for hit so if I ever decide to heal again the spirit will help.

My usual rotation is:
1) Vampiric Touch
2) Devouring Plague
3) Shadow Word: Pain
4) Mind Flay
5) Mind Flay
6) Mind Blast -- (Mind Flay again if I don't have an orb)
Repeat.

When Arch. is ready I hit Mindflay straight away and build the orbs up to use Mind Blast.
I also use SWD at 30% or under and Shadowfiend gets used at the start of larger fights or bosses so if need be his ready for the end as well.

For smaller health targets at 30% already I try and hit SWD up then Mind Flay them down.
I wont use Mind blast because the cast time is to long and the target is usually dead by the time its cast so no dps there for me.
This happens a lot in Grim Batol or when the tank changes targets in general.

I'am over the hit cap so no problem there.

I know my wand is green, the one in Grim Batol just wont drop, but everything else seems ok so I dont know where I'am falling down.

In the end it may just be player ability I'am not sure.

Any comments, advice, suggestions are most welcome as is constructive criticism.

Thanks.


#2 Jan 10 2011 at 11:49 AM Rating: Good
Let me help you there Rod, here is your working Armory Link for everyone else's reference.

How much dps are you typically doing? It may be that you are anxious to be the best in group, when really you should be glad that you are doing well for your current gear level and class. Heroics are hard (especially pugging them). It's meant to be that way. Don't expect to faceroll them. The question is whether you can improve your dps. Some of our shadow peeps may have good suggestions for you.

Edited, Jan 10th 2011 1:10pm by dadanox
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#3 Jan 10 2011 at 1:29 PM Rating: Decent
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What Dadanox said - get that clear first. Are you looking at DPS data on bosses? Trash in heroics is nearly meaningless as Mind Sear still sucks, leaving spriests without any decent AoE ability.
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#4 Jan 10 2011 at 2:19 PM Rating: Decent
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This only relates to trash - and as a Tank and Healer I assure you trash IS important in Heroics as there are many trash pulls that greatly exceed the DPS output of bosses. In many situations, I suggest spreading your DOTs out. This will give you something to burn mana on and should greatly increase your DPS.

If you're smart about which targets you DoT and when, you can greatly increase your damage without pulling threat. DoT up the primary target first, then follow up with the next target that seems to have taken damage from the tank. Follow this until you've dotted everything. Remember, if a target is out a few meters and the tank is unable to hit it (happens a lot with Hunters in HoO/Lost City for instance) then leave that target alone because the tank will have a hard time keeping threat. Also remember that DoTing messes with CC bad - so you'll have to be careful. Once everything is DoTed up, if you still have DoTs on the first target then start hitting it with Mindflay.

If you DO pull threat, you should already have relatively low Mana so it may be a good time to disperse. Other options include Psychic Scream - if you're glyphed - or Fade! Compared to most DPS classes you have a multitude of options in handling that situation and the beautiful thing is that no matter which you choose you'll still be doing quite nasty damage.

This should greatly increase your playspeed/APMs and should result in a more fun style of play with more damage done on trash. It will also show you what it's like to run LoM (remember that after trash you should have decent time to drink up, this has been a defining factor I've seen in good SPriests in that they dont end EVERY fight Full Mana - Mana conservation is for long fights.)

Mind Flay is a filler spell - its what you do when you have nothing else to do and its a nice way to get orbs, but much like an Affliction Warlock, big DPS comes from lots of DoTs.

Also, when a target's getting low it's a good idea to hit them with Mindspike -> Mind Blast -> SW:D -> SW:D. That is a VERY nasty combo =)
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#5 Jan 10 2011 at 2:37 PM Rating: Good
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In several heroics you can top the damage meters in many trash pulls by using Mind Control instead of your usual DPS rotation. Deadmines in particular is excellent for this--there are pulls where you may very well outdamage the rest of your party. I’ve also had good results in Halls of Origination, Vortex Pinnacle, and Shadowfang Keep.
#6 Jan 10 2011 at 8:54 PM Rating: Decent
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Hey guys,

Yep its mainly the trash pulls where I'am losing dps, on the boss fights I seem to make up lost time and my damage is good compared to everyone else so the longer the fight the better I go.

Its the short sharp fights for trash where I'am failing, mana isnt a problem as I seem to have that under control and my threat is good too.

It just seems by the time I focus around on next target which is usually already been burned down a bit by the time I DoT it up or cast something its practically already gone.
The melee classes now just seem to have so much grunt.

My expectations dont supersede my ability but I just found it hard to see why I top damage in Normals in both trash and boss fights and now seem to struggle in Heroics.
I know thier harder but thier harder for everyone else as well so to a point we're all in the same boat there.

I have MC'd in a Heroic but we didnt finish the instance as there was a server restart so I dont know what the end result would have been so that may be an option.

Also I'am pretty much keeping in mind what Tzsjynx said when I play, maybe I should spread my DoT's out more than clump them together but from what I've read thats the way to do it.

AoE would be great if we had some, Holy Nova is about all I use in Normals on Trogs and its useless compared to what everyone else has.

I guess its just a case of more practice and not getting kicked for low dps in pugs.

Thanks guys for your time and help.

#7 Jan 10 2011 at 10:49 PM Rating: Good
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On trash where DoT's can't tick, Mind Spike, Mind Blast, and Shadow Word: Death.

On trash where you can MC, MC the biggest, baddest Melee you can.

These 2 things should help a bit, but yes, Trash is where we are weak.
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#8 Jan 10 2011 at 11:44 PM Rating: Decent
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Early engagement is key on trash - you should be casting VE before the tank even officially has agro (if he doesn't pull when you expected then move to stop, recast, over and over until he pulls). This strategy is key for most DPS (early wind-up is a huge help). Also, you shouldn't "spread them out instead" - stack your 3 DOTs and then stack them all on the next target - your DOTs have the ability to crit for insane damage. This should take no more than 4 seconds per target - and your DOT's aren't all that long term anyways (they did this on purpose a while ago so that you don't lose mana efficiency.) I'm trying to think of targets that take less than 15 seconds to kill and not much is coming to mind, unless you're running with like 2 DKs doing 15kdps each. Depending on the kill speed it will probably not be in your best interest to reapply your DOTs - finish up extra targets with nukes.

If things are STILL dying too fast, then there are other options you can do:

  • DoT-spreading only PW:P - this will continue to give you Shadowy Apparitions but will cut your cast time per target down to 1 second. The DPS lost this way must be made up through nuking/mind flay.
  • Picking an off-target - grabbing non-primary target will insure you more time to do your damage. The huge problem here is that you're not really assisting the group in taking out a piece of DPS, you're not hitting the target which the tank is focusing threat on, and by all accounts you are not following directions. Expect to get smack talked if you cause the tank troubles.
  • Lastly, Mind controlling can be awesome.

  • ...and you can do it after you've already DoTed to damage your controlled monster while you use it to damage other monsters. Not only is it a nice form of CC on certain fights, but it can boost your DPS out the wazoo - just make sure your tank is good otherwise he'll have one hell of a time grabbing threat back from you. I figured MC was already in your repertoire - but remember this is more of a gimmick than a solid strategy, make sure you're not pissing anyone off unnecessarily when you use it (for instance if your group is killing very fast anyways, then skip this strategy).
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    #9 Jan 11 2011 at 1:50 AM Rating: Excellent
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    I'll only mention this because no one else has. There are particular situations where, because of the terrible damage that Mind Sear does presently, it's really better to work the boss while others with better AOE capabilities take out the adds.

    Your group leader/tank will need to be on board with that and you'll need to have the right mix of classes, but it's an effective use of what we have to offer with regard to single target damage when applicable. If Mind Sear ever gets fixed, then this will be a less useful group strategy. This is more of a guild/raid thing instead of a PUG strategy and needs to be understood by your group if used.

    All the rest of the advice here is good. Multi-dotting is the standard way to go and is highly effective if you're not having mana issues. Mind Control done right in the right spot is godly.

    Keep in mind that when multi-dotting DP can still only be effective on one target at a time. So your multi-dotting strategy is to put all 3 dots up on the most important target, then spread SW:P and VT among the rest.


    Edited, Jan 11th 2011 2:59am by Moanique
    #10 Jan 11 2011 at 5:14 AM Rating: Decent
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    Thanks guys, awesome help.

    The problem I've had with MC so far is some knob in the group always hits my target, doesnt matter if its marked for MC or not, it breaks, I crap myself, hit Fade and run to the tank.
    It seems to work that way but geez you would think a marked target shouldnt be hit until its turn in the kill order.

    The main issue I have is I know someone has to be fourth in damage so no problem there, its the amount between me and the third person that has me gobsmacked.
    On average I'am at least one million behind the third person in damage, thats a lot.
    We just have no burst damage or good AoE.
    But this is 100% my main issue.

    I dont use Mind Spike because it clears my DoTs but on a low health target at 30% that might be the way to go with SWD and a quick Mind Flay.
    Mind Blast takes to long to cast and I'am missing out on dps.
    Or have I got that wrong, even with a cast time will Mind Blast do more damage than a steady hit of Mind Flay?

    For targeting I have my frames setup to target the tanks target, this sometimes kills me time wise if the tank is slow to pick his next target.
    If his slow I'am slow.
    I've tried picking a different target at times but then the aggro kicks in and sometimes its not a good result.
    I cant really see away around this, I can DoT up other targets and then go back to the main target but thats cost me time and I dont know if the damage from DoT's on other targets would equal a steady amount of dps just on one target.

    I do cop a lot of groups with DK's and Pally's and I just cant match them and to be honest I shouldnt be able to either.
    But I should be able to stand toe to toe with a Mage or a Lock and right now I cant.

    I'll try some of the advice out that you guys mentioned and see if theres an improvement.
    Like Dadanox said I think I do have enough of the right stuff to do good damage, I just think maybe its not being utilised to its best potential.

    Thank you again everyone for the time and help.

    Edited, Jan 11th 2011 11:18am by RodStorm

    Edited, Jan 11th 2011 11:21am by RodStorm
    #11 Jan 11 2011 at 6:30 AM Rating: Good
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    RodStorm wrote:
    The problem I've had with MC so far is some knob in the group always hits my target, doesnt matter if its marked for MC or not, it breaks, I crap myself, hit Fade and run to the tank.
    It seems to work that way but geez you would think a marked target shouldnt be hit until its turn in the kill order.


    This is not something that can happen with mind control. When an MC happens, the mob is no longer targetable by hostile effects until MC ends. I don't think you're lying, but I do believe you are mistaken. What CAN happen is:

    -You can move the mob out of MC range and break mind Control. (Done this on Raz)
    -You can get interrupted be a stun, sleep, fear, etc. and lose Mind Control .
    -You could be taking a beating and lose channel time on your MC.
    -You could have insufficient hit and the MC is breaking early.
    -Right as the MC lands, if you try to move the mob to early, before it 'takes', it will move YOU rather than the MC target.

    As for moving out of range, I'll see if I can do a mind control pull to get one mob killed and Mind Control a second after the first is dead. This usually brings the fight away from my max MC range.

    I've learned what mobs Stun/CC me, so I try to keep those ones out of the fight either with other CC or MC'ing one myself.

    Now, I have my cast bar positioned a bit above center on my screen (I use domino bars) and it also has a timer telling me how much time I have left so the channeling time is obvious.

    In my shadow spec, that number is never wrong unless I get CC'ed or stunned. In my disc spec, where I have no hit, I randomly lose MC on a mob with time lest in my cast because (I assume at least) I 'miss' one of the channeling refreshes.

    Also, when I first MC, I wait a little to make sure I'm not going to accidentally move myself.

    P.S. Mind Sear is completely useless. With a rare exception somewhere, our single target DPS is going to be greater than our AoE damage. Mind spike/Mind Blast/ SW:D adds down. It sucks, but that's how things are right now.

    Edited, Jan 11th 2011 7:32am by BakaShinobi
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    #12 Jan 11 2011 at 7:07 AM Rating: Decent
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    Thanks for the reply mate, hmmmm I'am not sure why my MC is breaking then.
    I assumed someone hit my target and that was the cause.
    I'am hit capped so thats not the issue, I'll have to look a bit harder next time to see what the cause is/may have been.
    Possibly range, possibly getting hit to much by my target...I dont know.

    I have a timer setup in Satrina Buff Frames for MC so I can keep track of where things are up to.

    The Lost City is where I get sent to mainly for Heroics and I've never been asked to MC there so I'll have to try it out a bit more in Normals so I know I have it down pat.

    I went to the EJ site and omg once you get through all the math it sort of makes a little sense.
    Keeping Empowered Shadow up seems to be the general consensus to help maximise dps so thats something I'am going to have to work on.
    Its not something I've been readily aware off.

    And I'll now include Mindspike for targets under 30% with MB and SWD, see how that goes.

    Thanks again.

    Edited, Jan 11th 2011 1:08pm by RodStorm
    #13 Jan 11 2011 at 12:26 PM Rating: Good
    Use a focus macro for mind control, much like we did in the old shackle days of kara. Bind it to a key you can hit easily (I use the numeric keypad "-" and "*" for my shackle and mc macros). Don't have the mob positioned right next to you. If you reapply mc with your hotkey the instant you see it breaks (no targeting necessary), you should be able to reaquire them. Fading and running to the tank shouldn't be necessary.

    Since I'm the healer, I only mc healing mobs. It's fun to make them throw 200k heals on my party and me.

    Edited, Jan 11th 2011 1:30pm by dadanox
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    #14 Jan 11 2011 at 10:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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    I'll just add a note here since this is the apparent 'spriest thread'.

    Most interesting thing in the 4.0.6 patch notes for me was the change to Mind Sear so that it can be channeled on friendly targets.

    That and the way they keep gradually bumping up mastery. I wonder if it's now gone from slightly less valuable than crit to slightly more valuable.
    #15 Jan 12 2011 at 7:41 AM Rating: Decent
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    Thanks again guys for the feedback, no one though has commented on the importance of keeping Empowered Shadow up as it seems to be all the rage on the EJ site so I dont know if its just overkill on thier behalf or it is something we have to keep an eye on.

    They also mentioned 14.4% as a Haste rating to work for as some of the Shadowpriests there that raid have come up with that figure that seems to work for them.

    Does anyone have a different opinion to either of these two idea's or do I take them as gospel?

    Thanks again, hopefully all these questions is helping others out apart from myself as well. :)
    #16 Jan 12 2011 at 9:28 AM Rating: Good
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    RodStorm wrote:
    Thanks again guys for the feedback, no one though has commented on the importance of keeping Empowered Shadow up as it seems to be all the rage on the EJ site so I dont know if its just overkill on thier behalf or it is something we have to keep an eye on.

    They also mentioned 14.4% as a Haste rating to work for as some of the Shadowpriests there that raid have come up with that figure that seems to work for them.

    Does anyone have a different opinion to either of these two idea's or do I take them as gospel?

    Thanks again, hopefully all these questions is helping others out apart from myself as well. :)


    Not to slight you in the least, but EJ tends to be more about the last 4-5% of the DPS you can eek out and tends to ignore that some people are working on getting up from 40-60% of their max DPS to 80-90%.

    Empowered Shadow IS important to keep up, but it comes down to trade-offs of delaying putting up DoTs and screwing with your rotations to insure you always have it up. I keep an eye on it, but I don't obsess over it to the level that some people indicate. I know there is still more I can do with it, but I try and do my theroycrafting myself, not because I believe I am better than the people at EJ, but because when I theorycraft it myself, I understand it better and have an easier time implementing it without missing other important things.

    This, and again, no offense intended, is not where you are at. Once you are comfortable with your DPS, keeping your DoT uptime high, and have your cool-downs worked well into your rotation, THEN is the time to worry about 100% Empowered Shadow uptime. For now, I would suggest not worrying out max uptime (you'll still have good uptime with a normal rotation), and get the normal rotation down.

    As for Haste, I haven't worked on that yet.


    P.S. Mind Sear on Friendly targets?! Tanks, I chose you!

    Edited, Jan 12th 2011 10:30am by BakaShinobi
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    #17 Jan 12 2011 at 11:38 AM Rating: Decent
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    No worries mate thanks for the reply.

    I do tend to get lost in the EJ site to be honest, it seems to go from a game to a mathematical mine field at times and to be honest all that is beyond me.

    No offence taken, my skill level isnt elite but I didnt know if ES was something I should be looking at now or down the track.
    For now if it happens great, if it doesnt then life goes on and I keep up my rotation as best I can.
    I added in Mind Spike tonight for low health kills and it helped my dps with SWD so that was a positive.

    I tried to MC in Grim Batol but nothing took so I'am assuming thier immune to it, made for some interesting times but ended up all good.

    Thanks again for your time.
    #18 Jan 12 2011 at 11:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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    ES is important to keep up since it's a bunch of additional damage for dots. If you have an orb, run MB and it's good for another cycle. Refresh your dots when you would anyway and you'll probably be OK. You might be able to squeeze out a bit more damage refreshing dots early after the buff is up but VT doesn't run that long to start with and DP may or may not have that long to run either. And all of that has to be balanced against mana usage and whatnot. At least DP is an instant and won't cost you a couple of GCD's to refresh should you decide to do so.

    Managing all of this while changing targets, staying out of bad stuff, moving and whatnot is what makes the class a challenge to play.
    #19 Jan 15 2011 at 11:39 PM Rating: Decent
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    Hey guys,

    Well everything is going well, I'am MC'ing a lot more which is helping the group and my overall damage, I'am in the top 2 or 3 in Heroics now, I'am keeping ES up a lot more as I'am more conscious about it and thats helping with my numbers too.

    I'am thinking about changing my rotation to having Mind Blast cast straight after VT because I dont have a problem getting an orb up then casting my other DoTs, MB again towards the end of ES and starting again with VT.
    VT is my opening spell.

    I've tried this a few times and it seemed to work well.

    I had another Shadowpriest in a group the other day and I was surprised to see on Recount his main damage spell was Mind Spike with his DoT's naturally doing a lot less damage.
    He did out dps me by quite a bit and I thought I was geared better than him so this really surprised me.

    As per the comments here I only use Mind Spike towards the end of a fight with mobs on low health and DoT's coming down.

    So I dont know how he done it :)

    Anyway I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who spent time out of thier day to help me here on this post.
    It has made me a much better player and without the help of the guys here it wouldnt have happened so again thank you.
    #20 Jan 16 2011 at 12:01 AM Rating: Good
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    What he was likely doing was using Mind Spike on low-health mobs.

    Mind Spike is useful in that it's an easy way to dps down a trash mob or an add when your DoTs don't have time to do their damage. Your DoTs + Mind Flay will always do more dps than Mind Spike if they have time to tick their full duration. The rule of thumb I use is this: If I'm going to have to refresh my DoTs before the mob dies, use DoTs. If the mob dies before my DoTs have a chance to fall off, use Mind Spike.
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    #21 Jan 24 2011 at 3:19 AM Rating: Decent
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    Hey guys,

    Life is good with good numbers and rotations happening but I'd like to know how I'am tracking against others when it comes to dps.

    Currently I'am doing Heroics only with no raiding as yet, I push anywhere from 8-9k dps in most instances.
    8.5k is my average but sometimes it can sink down to 7k for what reason I'am not so sure about.

    These numbers are from a whole instance run and not just boss fights.

    Heres my armoury if that helps, http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/saurfang/jud%C3%A3s/simple , but I just wanted to know what numbers others were pushing out around the same level as me pre-raiding.

    Thanks.
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