It can do a ton. I think the best way to explain is by showing a practical application. To make one, I ran through three level 85 Sambrog instances solo while using Combat Analysis. Not including boss fights, there were eighteen total encounters all with at least six mobs and some with much more due to all of the adds that wights can spawn. The shortest pull was 1:19 while the longest pull was 3:03 with an average of length of 1:49. I think that’s a fair length of time to show what sustained Lore-master dps can look like.
Originally Posted by Charian
Here is a screenshot showing a breakdown of the damage dealt over all eighteen encounters. My average dps for the entire test is a little hard to see, but it was 2,381. That was with a tactical mastery rating of about 34k and a critical rating of about 8.4k, although I do use gear that give the will and crit proc buffs.
For those unfamiliar with Combat Analysis, it’s a plugin that saves all of the combat events that are generated by you or your pet plus all of the combat events done to you or your pet. The first column is the skill name. The second column is the number of attacks generated by that skill. The third column is the total damage dealt, and the fourth is the average damage dealt per attack. Note that this is per mob hit, not per skill use. In other words, Cracked Earth may hit five targets on one use of the skill but all five targets hit will get counted as a separate attack. For skills with more than one damage source, like Staff-sweep which has one from your staff and one from your sword, each source gets counted as a separate attack as well. For the Staff-sweep entry, you should multiply the average by two to get a better idea of how much damage was done to each mob on its use.
You’ll notice two entries for Sticky Gourd. The one labeled ‘Sticky Gourd’ is actually the damage dealt by the hotspots the skill lays down. These hotspots always deal the exact same amount of damage; they do not have a range of damage nor do they crit. Ever. The second entry, ‘Improved Sticky Gourd’, is the damage done by the initial, direct damage from the skill. This damage has a range and can crit, just like any other skill.
Right away, this shows the large portion of aoe dps Improved Sticky Gourd comprises. Combining the two entries, it accounted for 1,871,400 of the 4,669,000 total damage dealt or 40.1%. That’s about double the the second highest damage dealing skill.
Look at that second highest damage dealing skill. It’s Cracked Earth. Not only that, but the damage dealt by Cracked Earth is greater than the damage dealt by the direct damage portion of Improved Sticky Gourd. Now, know right away that the data is skewed a little by my gear. I use the Cracked Earth Damage legacy but not the Sticky Gourd Direct Damage legacy. If I swapped legacies, the numbers would be closer, but Cracked Earth would still probably come out ahead.
Crazy, right? How is that?
Cooldowns. There were 324 attacks done by Cracked Earth as opposed to 186 attacks done by Improved Sticky Gourd. The far right column shows the average damage was far less, but the sheer number of attacks makes up for it. If you’re vigilant in using Cracked Earth whenever it’s off cooldown, this can happen a lot of the time. Plus, as you know, trait other colors and Sticky Gourd turns into a mediocre, single-target dps skill. Cracked Earth loses some damage but otherwise remains exactly the same. That’s why I wrote that, for PvE, the Cracked Earth Damage legacy is probably more useful than the Sticky Gourd Direct Damage legacy in the long run.
Now, let’s look at Cracked Earth versus Gust of Wind. As you can see, there is a huge, huge difference between the damage dealt by each, and I’m not just talking about the difference in total damage. Look at the difference in average damage. Cracked Earth dealt an average of 2,776 damage per attack. Gust of Wind dealt an average of only 1,068. Let’s break down why that happened.
First, traiting four red gives you a +15% bonus to all tactical skills but gives you a further +25% or +35% bonus to your fire skills depending on if you include Flame of Anor as one of your red traits. Second, two out of the three most common incoming damage debuffs a lore-master can apply only help with fire damage. Warding Circle helps both, but Benediction of the Raven, the Raven’s first skill, applies a -10% Fire Mitigation debuff which only helps Cracked Earth. Sticky Tar, same thing, -10% Fire Mitigation.
There are also gear bonuses for fire damage skills, which for the record, I did not use in this test. I wore some defensive gear in the head and shoulder slots and four pieces of the Hytbold Animal-friend gear in the rest. Needed to be able to survive to get some data. If I had worn gear with a fire damage buff, the gap would've been wider.
Fire damage buffs and fire mitigation debuffs are not the whole story, however.
Here are screen captures showing a breakdown of the damage applied solely by each skill. On the left is Cracked Earth; on the right is Gust of Wind. You’ll want to pay special attention to the statistics under the Criticals header.
Cracked Earth critted on 54.0% of its attacks and devastated on 8.1%. That’s a crit or devastate on 62.1% (!!!) of its attacks which all get an extra 25% bonus to damage from the Fire Skills Critical Multiplier legacy if you choose to slot it. Gust of Wind critted on 16.9% of its attacks and devastated on 8.1%. That’s a crit or devastate on 25.0% of its attacks that, being frost damage type, do not receive a critical multiplier bonus. 25.0% is still good, but that's not even in the same league as 62.1%. That's Improved Staff-sweep's buff at work which, during this test, I didn’t even use for Cracked Earth every time. Whenever Improved Sticky Gourd (62.4% crit rate) and Ents Go To War (69.2% crit rate) were off cooldown, I used the buff for them instead. Yet even still, crits on 62.1% of Cracked Earth's attacks.
And that's the story right there. Debuffs, crits, and the Fire Skills Critical Multiplier legacy are why Cracked Earth's legacy can be a lot more useful than Gust of Wind's. When talking about their range of usefulness, Cracked Earth and Gust of Wind do have similar floors. However, given all the bonuses for fire skills available to a Lore-master, the ceiling for Cracked Earth towers over Gust of Wind's. That's why I advocated for choosing Cracked Earth's legacy and avoiding Gust of Wind's.
Since we're touching on crits, here are the numbers for all five fire skills over the eighteen trash pulls:
Skill Attacks Crits Devs Crit %
Cracked Earth 324 174 26 61.7
Improved Sticky Gourd 186 105 11 62.4
Improved Burning Embers 212 64 7 33.5
Ents Go To War 39 26 1 69.2
Wizard’s Fire 155 41 0 26.5
Total 916 410 45 49.7
Last edited by kriskrosed; Jul 21 2013 at 08:55 PM.
85 LM Berewen, 85 Burg Balculus, 85 Guard Benferth