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Recycle-a-Post: Holy Paladin mana regen

04/22/2010

I hope this green isn’t too difficult to read, but I thought I’d post in this color to honor Earth Day and because I’m doing a Recycle-a-Post. I figured I’d go back and take a look at my first really in-depth math post to make sure that I still like it and whatnot.  All comments from me in the current day will be in this green italic.

This post has been bouncing around in my head and recently comments on my dislike of MP5 have made me think that I need to show -why- I don’t really like it.  There shall be math involved!

– Some basics to know beforehand –

First of all, there is an element of play style involved in these calculations.  Things like group composition, frequency of heals cast and skillful use of all paladin abilities really determine things.  I’ll be as specific as I can.  Let me lay some ground work.

Item budget:  INT = 1, Crit = 1, MP5 = 2

Item budget determines how costly it is to put a specific stat on an item per point.  For example, to put 1 point of INT on an ilevel 200 epic costs 1 ilevel, leaving 199 ilevels left.  To put 1 point of Crit on an ilevel 200 epic costs 1 ilevel, leaving 199 ilevels left.  To put 1 point of MP5 on an ilevel 200 epic costs 2 ilevels, leaving 198 ilevels left.  In short, it’s twice as costly to put MP5 on an item as INT or crit.  This is important when we’re comparing usefulness for mana regen.

These comments about item budget are rather confusing, I think.  I should have just said “for every 1 point of MP5 on a piece of gear, you’d get 2 points of crit or INT.”  That’s part of the reason why later computations don’t look as clean, I think.  Making sure that the proper comparison is 1 crit = 1 INT = .5 MP5 when adjusted for item budget would have been a better choice.

Synergy:  MP5 gives nothing but mana regen.  Crit gives some mana regen and a random chance of increasing throughput.  INT gives mana regen, a random chance of increasing throughput  and a constant throughput increase through spellpower.

– Critical Strike Rating –

Healadins have a great talent (although highly nerfed now) to get mana back when our heals crit, Illumination.  The way it works is that the more you cast, the better it is.  Fights were you are constantly casting get more mana regen from crit than fights where you have long pauses or cast slowly.  This means that crit is very fight dependent.  Generally, once all the math is done, crit gives 30-50% of the mana regen MP5 does when you’re comparing two items.  (This is taking into account item budget.)

To find out for yourself how much regen each point of crit is giving you, you need to know how many times you cast each of your heals per minute.  That is calculated by knowing your total casts and the fight length.  HLPM is Holy Light casts per minute, HSPM is Holy Shock casts per minute and FoLPM is Flash of Light casts per minute.  The formula is thus:

(HLPM * 382.2 * 0.0002178 * .o83333) + (HSPM * 237.3 * 0.0002178 * .o83333) + (FoLPM * 92.1 * 0.0002178 * .o83333) = the MP5 1 crit is worth to you for this fight

The second number in each parenthesis is the amount of mana gained per spell crit, after that is the crit added per point of crit in decimal form, and after that is the amount of MP5 ticks in a minute in decimal form.  Not as complicated as you’d think right?  Remember at the end to double the number you get before you compare it to 1 MP5, due to 2 crit = 1 MP5 in item budget.  (Or you can compare the number you arrive at above to .5 MP5, both work out in the end.)

As you can see, the mana regen we get from crit is no where near as good as what we get from MP5.  However, crit is -not- purely a mana regen stat.  It also increases HPS, which is something to consider.

Wow, I should have really backed this up with a specific example.  Even during fights with phases where I don’t do any healing at all (LK’s last phase) or where I die early (Marrowgar-25 hardmode), I never see the usefulness of crit drop below 30% and generally it stays up around 50% of MP5s usefulness as a regen stat.  This is of course added to the HPS bonus of it all.  I wrote this back in ToGC days, when tanks had less HP.  As time as gone on, crit has increased in importance as a throughput stat, what with bigger tank health pools and faster/harder boss hits.

– Intellect –

This one is far more complicated than then crit and doesn’t really depend nearly as much on play style.  Mana regen from INT is actually much more dependent on group composition than anything else.  For sake of ease, we’ll start by exploring what 100 INT gets you and then break it down to show what 1 INT is.

100 INT =
1800 mana, mana that you start a fight with
18 MP5 from 100% uptime Replenishment
37.5 MP5 from using Divine Plea every cooldown
16 MP5 from Judging using Seal of Wisdom twice a minute
10 MP5 from crit gained
7.2 MP5 from Mana Tide Totem on cooldown (requires a Resto shaman in your party)
(4.5 MP5 from Arcane Torrent if you’re a Blood Elf)
= 88.7 MP5 (93.2 MP5 for Blood Elves)

Not all of these numbers would be considered “real world.” You’ll probably only have a 80-90% uptime on Replenishment, might not be running with a Resto shaman and might not be able to use Divine Plea exactly on cooldown. (The number from crit is an estimate from above, as well.) However, Judging on cooldown more than makes up for it. Thus, this is a relatively close estimate.

So, we can give an average of .887 MP5 for 1 INT. Taking into account that 2 INT = 1 MP5 (1.774 MP5 vs. 1 MP5) for item budget, you can see that the regen power of INT far outweighs MP5. This doesn’t take into account the added mana you begin the fight with.

As an added bonus, you also get crit rating and spellpower from INT. (100 INT = .726% crit, 20 spellpower) It isn’t much of a throughput bonus, but considering that MP5 gives no bonus at all…

I find this is a bit higher than what I get now, since Replenishment almost never has a 100% uptime and there is generally some time spent between when Plea comes off cooldown and when I use it.  However, I Judge constantly, which makes up for a huge chunk of that regen.  Generally, I like to round down to .75 as a good number.  It makes my calculations look much cleaner!  I really need to work on making awkward comparisons much clearer.  That whole item budget thing makes this look messy again.  “The choice between 2 INT and 1 MP5 amounts to the choice between 1.5 MP5 from the INT and 1 MP5.”  Or something like that.

– In the end… –

Blizzard tried to strong-arm Healadins into taking MP5 gear by severely reducing the mana we regen from crit and also reducing what we gain from INT, but even with all the changes they’ve made, Intellect is -still- our prime mana regen stat. You’ll often read in guides that healadins recommend gemming/enchanting towards INT, but that is simply because it is that good. There are very nice INT trinkets out there as well that I highly recommend picking up. Going towards INT gives you double the goodness; you’re picking up small amounts of throughput from the INT itself and you’re freeing up yourself to wear more straight throughput items.

Crit isn’t a very good mana regen stat anymore, as I’ve shown. However, it does give you throughput, whereas MP5 gives no throughput at all. Picking up an item with both haste and crit on it gives you double throughput with some mana regen on it. With a proper eye turned towards enough INT being on the item, you may be able to get the exact same regen in that slot as you would with an MP5 piece, without sacrificing any throughput!

Generally, it isn’t gearing that causes many healadins to run short on mana, but rather improper use of regen mechanics. If you forget to Judge, forget to use Divine Plea and never remember to use a mana potion, those are things you need to remedy -first.- Trying to compensate for those things by stacking more and more regen isn’t helping your raid any. As healers, we need to gear just enough mana regen that we can end the fight with just a little sliver of mana left (that we keep for emergencies) with all cool-downs blown. Any more than that is just a waste!

I’m pretty happy with how this was written.  It gets into the math without being entirely overwhelming.  I look forward to having to translate all these regen mechanics for the new expansion, of course!  Good thing I have a priest and a druid so I’m used to Spirit-based mana regen already, heh.

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