As a further continuation of a thread series, I decided to test and determine some long held notions I've had about the best warden rotation. To optimally heal as a warden you must cycle through several abilities, but there are many different ways to cycle through these abilities, and how you choose to single them affects your single target HPS.
First, all of these tests were done as a 51 warden / 15 sentinel (with points in 5% sp, 5% effective heals, and 10% cost reduction in sentinel). My spellpower while testing was 902. Spell crit and wisdom are not relevant to these tests.
My methodology was not to use a parser, but rather to hand parse the data. I am not trying to answer the question of what I typically put out in HPS, but rather what HPS I can minimally put out. This assumes nothing procs and there are no crits. If you were the unluckiest ******* in the world, this is what you would be pulling in HPS. I am also only concerned with single target healing and with single target healing while not having to use the gcd for anything else (such as cleansing).
Here is what I am healing for with each spell, and the maximum number of ticks associated with each spell as that is highly relevant. Spells that vary slightly in the health restored have been average from there min and max.
1) Healing Spray -- 196 HP a tick, 7 ticks, 1372 total HP.
2) Soothing Stream 4 stacks -- 597 HP a tick, 5 ticks, 2985 total HP.
3) Healing Current -- 775 base HP, 114 HP a tick, 7 ticks, 1573 total HP.
4) Deluge -- 733 base HP, 1032 bonus HP for 5 stacks, 1236 bonus HP for 6 stacks.
All of that healing data was gathered making sure that I had no ebb and flow stacks or any other spell power bonuses. These numbers are the basis by which I calculate the amount of HPS I am outputting, but first we need to count the number of tics in each of our sample rotations.
Theoretically the best rotation is a 12 second rotation of Deluge+SS+Deluge+HS+Deluge+HC, with the hots in any order you want but never repeated in the same cycle. However this cycle is a practical impossibility for several reasons. First, even if it worked perfectly you would risk losing your SS stack any time you have to break it to cast an offheal or clease or move during a casting spell. Second, and more importantly, it occasionally loses SS stacks because you are refreshing them just as they fall off and any sort of latency issue can cause you to ***** up.
So I decided to test 3 other cycles that looked promising. These three cycles are:
1) Rotation A: Deluge+SS+Deluge+HC. This is a simple 8 second cycle that sacrifices HS entirely, because HS alone is a fairly horrible spell. I've seen some wardens using it and I wanted to know how it works out. Deluge only ever receives 5 stacks.
2) Rotation B: Deluge+HC+Deluge+SS+HS. This is a 9 second cycle that gets all the hots in with a little time to spare (you could cast 1 gcd move without losing SS stacks). Like the previous, there is no idle time in it at all. Deluge always receives 6 stacks.
3) Rotation C: Deluge+SS+Deluge+HC+Deluge+SS+Deluge+HS. This is the cycle I had been previously using. It is a 16 second cycle that refreshes SS often and gets full run of HC and HS. Deluge cycles between between 5 stacks and 6 stacks.
The next step was the most painful and boring of all. I rotated each cycle about 4 times, and then went into my combat log and counted every tick of every hot. It's easy to know how much a hot heals when you let it run its full duration, but as these rotations refresh hots early it becomes important to know just how many ticks you are getting in each rotation, to know the actual HPS. The results I received were perfectly consistent in that a hot never ticked more or less than it should every cycle for each rotation. I would be more than please if someone would spend the time to test and confirm my results on tick numbers for each rotation.
Here is what I got.
1) Rotation A: SS receives 3 ticks for each 8 second rotation. HC received 4 ticks for each rotation.
2) Rotation B: SS receives 4 ticks every rotation. HC receives 4 ticks. HS receives 5 ticks.
3) Rotation C: SS receives 3 ticks. HS and HC both run their full duration.
Now on to the math.
1) Rotation A: Deluge+SS+Deluge+HC in 8 seconds. (Deluge_5stacks*2 + SS_ticks*3 + HC_base + HC_ticks*4)/8. (1765*2 + 597*3 + 733 + 114*4)/8. 819 HPS.
2) Rotation B: Deluge+HC+Deluge+SS+HS in 9 seconds. (Deluge_6stacks*2 + HC_base + HC_ticks*5 + SS_ticks*4 + HS_ticks*5)/9. (1969*2 + 733 + 114*4 + 597*4 + 196*5)/9. 948.5 HPS.
3) Rotation C: Deluge+SS+Deluge+HC+Deluge+SS+Deluge+HS. (Deluge_6stacks*2 + Deluge_5stacks*2 + SS_ticks*3 + HC_full + HS_full)/16. (1969*2 + 1765*2 + 597*3 + 1573 + 1372)/16. 1058.75 HPS.
I was very happy to see that the rotation I had come up with myself was the optimal rotation. In addition to producing the highest raw HPS I believe it has benefits over other rotations that come close to it (like roation B) in that the spike heals from spells like Deluge and HC are more evenly distributed and so you're less likely to get periods of huge over healing and then lulls of low HPS. With SS refreshed every 8 seconds you have a fair amount of leeway when you need to get in a cleanse, offheal, or move.
I'd like to welcome feedback, criticisms, and would like to know if anyone can find a rotation that is superior.