Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rethinking Spirit

In Hamlet's excellent articles on healing theory and practice he asks us to reconsider our stance on Spirit and  attempts to get us thinking about Spirit's value within our limited stat budget.

Parts one, two, and three especially he walks us through our character sheet and shows how Int, crit, and mastery increase the amount we heal. He then begins to set us thinking about our spells in a new light by separating those with cooldowns from those without and showing that the no cooldown spells are a sort of filler to be used when our CD spells are not available.

In this post he talks about haste and how haste's value is assessed for our stat budget. Haste is shown to work differently than int, crit, and mast in that it doesn't increase the amount a spell heals for nor does it effect our cooldown spells. Haste simply allows our casts to occur quicker and at certain values adds ticks to our HoTs.

At the end of our Journey with Hamlet we have learned much about how our spells work and about how we should begin to look at our toolbox. Haste and Spirit, we are told, must carry their weight if we are to allocate our stat points to them. And yet...Spirit still seems to have an ephemeral quality to it. We don't really have a concrete way to think about it other than saying X amount is like a Greater Heal (Hamlet uses Rejuv as he is primarily a Druid, I will be leaning on the Holy Priest's spellbook for my examples).

I first read those articles around February and only now six months later have I come up with a way to think about Spirit that relates it concretely to one of our other stats, namely Haste.

So how are Haste and Spirit similar? For one thing neither of them offer a direct effect on a single cast of a spell (ignoring HoT ticks for the moment). What they do is allow for discharge and recharge to occur more rapidly.
Similarly both have a relatively small, almost negligible effect on CD bearing spells. Haste only effects the length of the GCD for the instant cast ones for example.
So what does Spirit do?
Each time a spell is cast (or discharged) it depletes a set amount of our mana. Heal, for example, costs 1.9% of total mana which at level 90 is 5,700 mana. Over time we recharge this mana which allows us to continue casting over long fights that require more than our 300k allotment would allow for.

Mana regeneration is regulated by a formula that takes into account our total mana pool and our spirit.

Combat Regen = Total Mana *0.02 +(1.1287*SPI*Meditation%)

This formula gives its value in an anachronistic unit known as MP5 or mana per 5 seconds. I find that I like using mana per second better and thus for level 90 I get:

  Combat Regen per Second = 1,200 +(0.11287*SPI)

The Meditation portion is also this odd sort of thing that is likely a vestigial addition from a time when paladins, shamans, and druids donned cloth gear for the tasty intellect on it but for our purposes its a straight 50% and is a constant. 

So now we can look at each spell a bit differently. Each has a discharge or cast time and some sort of cooldown, be it GCD or longer, that inhibits it. This discharge time and the GCD portion of any CDs can be reduced by adding haste to the mix. 
The spell also has a discharge amount given in mana and set amount of time it will take to replenish that mana. We can similarly speed up the mana regeneration process by adding Spirit. Furthermore, Spirit viewed in this light actually has a 1% rating just as Haste has it's 425 per 1% rating. 
In this case Spirit increases recharge rate by 1% per 106.317 rating. 

Applying the above concepts to Heal we get the following:

0 Haste, 0 Spirit 
Cast Time 2.5s  Recharge Time 4.75s. (5,700/1,200) (Cost/regen)

If we were to then add say half a dozen Spirit/Haste gems we would get:

960 Haste, 960 Spirit

Cast Time {2.5/(1+(960/600)%)} = 2.46s   

Recharge Time {4.75/(1+(960/106.317)%)} = 4.36s
We can check this with our above regen formula:
1,200+(0.11287*960) = 1308.3552 MP1 times 4.36s = 5,704.42867 
So some rounding errors but still the math is close enough. 
We aren't used to thinking about recharge times in the same way we think about cast times. For one thing recharge times are not an immediate limit to our casting. We are allowed to go over budget until we expend all 300k. 
We also have to take some time to figure up this value which adds a layer of complexity. 
If we do the work though we can then see a very concrete value to the spirit we are adding onto our character. 
This also helps to explain Hamlet's assertion that we crave Spirit when we really need throughput and forget about it when we could really use it. Once we look at it like we do haste we can make a similar argument as the one we make for haste where haste really begins to gain value late in the expansion when it is so overly abundant. 

I hope that I have shown here that we have not been appreciating the true value of spirit and have given us a way to do that. If nothing else I hope this opens up a debate within the healycrafting community that leads someone to a better understanding of their spirit. 

I'm not sure if the comments work or if simply no one has left one but you can always email me question at 



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