Monday, April 6, 2009

E-mail post: Trinket talk


(I want to thank the people who commented for alerting me to several issues regarding these trinkets and this post - I've edited the post a few times, and I think I've got all the info right. Let me know if there's anything I missed - thanks!)

I recently got an e-mail from a reader regarding a few different trinkets.
"I currently have The Egg of Mortal Essence, Majestic Dragon Figurine, and Darkmoon Card: Blue Dragon for raiding purposes. What is my best bet for longevity while keeping a decent spellpower? Should I be running with the egg and figurine or would I be better off with the egg and blue dragon?"
The Egg has straight up spell power, so I would keep that one. The other two have to do with mana regen, so let's compare them.

The Darkmoon card has a 2% chance to proc. This means that out of 50 spell casts, it will proc once. Or, it might not. It might proc twice, towards the end of 100 casts. Or, maybe four times at the end of 200 casts. But let's take a best case scenario: you're spam casting spells, so every 1.2 seconds (global cooldown), you're casting something. That means at best, you're casting 50 spells per minute. This estimate is really on the high end, because you're not *just* going to be casting hots... you've got nourishes and regrowths to consider, and those have cast times. So let's say you're casting 40 spells per minute.

That means that each minute, this will proc .8 times.

I know, I hate those kinds of decimals too. It's like that statistic, "The average household has 2.4 children!" Cause you KNOW there's .4 of a kid in every household. That closet your mom would never let you into? Yeah. Four-tenths of a kid in there. Mmmhmm.

So let's even it out: This trinket will proc once every 1.25 minutes. There we go, slightly easier to comprehend =D

And what's the reward? 100% mana regen for 15 seconds while casting. Right now, pre-3.1, most people are sitting on an average of 850 mp5 while not casting and 300 mp5 while casting (give or take some, depending on gear).

So you're going to be getting, on average, 3 ticks of 850 rather than 3 ticks of 300. That's 1650 extra mana to play with. It might not seem like a lot, but when you consider it's +110 mp5 on average, it doesn't seem too shabby, eh?

Edit: After 3.1, however, you'll only be getting 3 ticks of about, say, 550 rather than 850. That's only an extra 1150 mana, which is 77 mp5 on average - obviously less awesome than 110 mp5.

The Majestic Dragon Figurine, on the other hand, adds 180 spirit to your current stats, hands down. All you need to do to keep the stack going is cast something every 10 seconds. I can't think of a single fight mechanic that would put you out of commission for longer than 10 seconds. And if you're chain stunned for some reason, somewhere, or something, for more than 10 seconds (I don't see that happening, but who knows in Ulduar?) you can pop barkskin to make it proc again. This thing procs everywhere. I've heard that summoning a non-combat pet would set it off.

So what does 180 spirit mean? It means an extra 30 spell power in tree form, first of all. That's pretty sweet. It also means that you're gaining a lot of of mp5. How much mp5? It depends on your intellect (contrary to popular belief, you can't actually set a hard fast rule that says "you'll get x mp5 from y spirit" - it scales with intellect.) It also makes your innervate super awesome. Lots of spirit = more mana regened from innervate. After 3.1, with the MDF equipped, you'll have an extra 1800 mana (give or take) to play with when you innervate yourself. Considering that Innervate is being nerfed to the ground, this will be reeeally helpful.

Let's use Raaff's mana regen calculator to check this out.

I put in my stats: 910 intellect, 1030 spirit, and 35 mp5 from enchants and equip bonuses, etc.

This comes out to be 901 mp5 while not casting, and 294 while casting.

With the +180 spirit trinket, we'd have: 910 int, 1210 spirit, and 35 mp5.

This comes out to be 1052 mp5 while not casting, and 340 while casting.

Edit: Now, CH kindly pointed out in the comments section that if the DMC:BD procs every 1.25 minutes like I said it would, that would actually be an average of +110 mp5. The MDF will only give you +46 mp5. BD is more than double the mana! It should be the obvious choice, right? Especially with all the mana nerf bats coming at us in 3.1!

If the DMC:BD procs every 1.25 minutes like it's supposed to, you will gain 6,600 mana every 5 minutes.

The MDF, on the other hand, will give you 2,760. If you use an innervate, you'll also get another 1,800 to play with, bringing the total extra mana up to 4,560.

So take the DMC:BD, right?

Here's my problem with it - you don't know if it's going to proc. You could be casting, casting, casting and wondering when you're going to get that mana regen. It might never happen. A 2% chance does not guarantee that it will even proc once during a 10 minute fight. It *probably* will - but it might not. I hate leaving those things up to chance.

TL;DR: The DMC:BD will potentially give you an average of +110 mp5, but only if it procs frequently. It does nothing for your spell power or Innervate. After 3.1, it will only give you about +77 mp5 on average, depending on gear.

The MDF will give you constant, reliable +46 mp5, give or take your stats. It will also give you +30 spell power, and increase the mana regened by your Innervate, which will be very important come 3.1.
A clear winner, in my book!

However, if you don't care about spell power (perhaps you have boat loads) and want to risk the proc rate, the DMC:BD *may* in fact provide you with more mana regen in the long run.

Depending on the proc.

Cause it might not proc, at all.

Can you tell that I hate leaving things up to chance? =P

So, gentle reader, personally, I'd use the Egg and the MDF. Happy raiding!

If you have any questions that you'd like to have answered in an upcoming post, e-mail me at!


9 remarks:

Smartteaus said...

If you really are having mana problems, you can prestack the MDF buff before the pull. Either stack it early, and then regen back to 100% before the boss pull, or stack the trinket, and the sit and drink as the boss is being pulled.

Personally, I stack a full set of HoTs on the MT before the pull anyways and sit and drink before entering combat.

Silvermoo said...

Thank you for that post Averna! Much appreciated!

CH said...

Av, maybe I'm missing something, but going by the numbers you posted, BD is MUCH better. 1650 mana every 1.25 min (75 seconds) is equivalent to 110 mp5, over twice the MDF. Of course, this will change significantly when the mana regen mechanics are adjusted for 3.1, and the low proc chance makes it very prone to statistical variation, so it may never proc during short fights (but in short fights, you don't need the mana regen, do you?) I wouldn't dismiss it out-of-hand.

Averna said...

@CH: Bah, yeah, I'm a noob. That was the main crux of my argument - saying that even though the raw mana back is better with BD, the uncertainty of the proc rate isn't worth it. I have written here in my scribble notes (yeah, I take notes on paper, the old fashioned way ^^) "mana vs. time - compare" and then "proc rate?". I just completely forgot to write in a paragraph about that.

Adding it in now =)

Anonymous said...

So my theorycrafting is pretty weak - with that said, are you taking into account the out of combat mana regen nerf and how it will affect the Blue Dragon? Elitist Jerks post seems to think it will be nerfed by half -

Averna said...

@Anon: Wow, another great point that completely slipped by me. You're right, out of combat mana regen will be nerfed in half come 3.1 - which means that the mana you get back will be minimal at best.

I'll edit the post to reflect this. Thanks!

Leirynn said...

I just wanted to toss out a comment on Je'Tze's Bell. One thing that's very interesting for the 3.1 patch is that the regen granted by it is added to your base regen values (so both your OOC and IC regen go up by 100). If this affects Innervate, it could be a viable alternative. I got one about a month ago, and I love it, the constant spellpower is very nice and the proc is up quite often.

The other thing to note is that for MDF, if you have the Living Spirit talent, you end up getting 207 spirit from a full stack, not 180.

I've been experimenting with my trinkets in preparation for 3.1, and I'd really recommend the Bell if you can get it. It's a solid trinket. MDF would also get my vote over DMC:BD or the Egg.

Pixielated said...

I LOVE my MDF. The egg is great as well, however if I had my choice, I would have the MDF and the Illustration of the Dragon Soul ( Although I just specced back to feral so I guess that point is mute for me at the moment. Still if I had a shot at it that's what I'd go with! =)

Elaron said...

Thanks so much for this post!

In trying to get Elaron's resto set optimized for 3.1 I totally avoided talking/thinking about trinkets due to dealing with proc rates, etc haha.