Monday, November 5, 2007

Comparing Healing Gear (revisited)

After writing about the new healing gear that's coming out with patch 2.3, I began to wonder just how much better some of those new items really were. It's one thing to say "[Hauberk of the Empire's Champion] is better than [Earthblood Chestguard]," but that doesn't have a lot of meaning taken in a vacuum. What we really want to know is "how much better is it?" Is it a enough of an upgrade to be worth spending DKP on? Or if you're deciding between [Badge of Justice] rewards, which one gives you the biggest "bang for your buck?"

In order to answer these questions for myself, I set out to create a spreadsheet that would compare various pieces of equipment and provide a rating for each one. To get a feel for the true worth of each item, I decided to compare three different gear levels (pre-Kara gear, pre-SSC/TK gear, and pre-MH/BT gear) and three different lengths of fights (I chose 5, 10 and 20 minutes as representative values).

Surprisingly, I found only minor differences between the three gear levels and a smaller-than-expected difference between the lengths of fights as well. Some items gained or lost more than others, but the overall rankings remained relatively constant (those that swapped places tended to have fairly similar values to begin with). After these unexpected discoveries, I decided to postpone listing my calculated ratings and delve a little further to see what did — and what didn't — affect the relative values.

Note: The formulas I used for the spreadsheet are based upon my earlier postings on Comparing Healing Gear. I decided to display the value of each item in terms of "Healing Equivalent Points," or HEP, which represents the relative improvement in total healing output that's obtained by increasing your Healing rating by one. I chose to use HEP because I felt it was more intuitive than raw percentages and because it allows for easy comparisons between each stat. The assumptions used in this analysis and the derived HEP values can be found below.

  • Tidal Focus, Healing Way, Purification and Improved Chain Heal have no effect on HEP. While these talents increase the absolute improvement in healing output, the HEP values remain the same because these talents improve all healing stats by an equal percentage.
  • Improved Healing Way only affects HEP for very short fights where mana reserves are never completely depleted. Although the faster cast time improves your overall healing per second while casting this spell, for all practical purposes it has no effect on the total healing output.
  • The values of Intellect and Mana/5 are inversely proportional, as seen in the graph below. Interestingly enough, the value of Mana/5 barely rises over 6 HEP — even at extremely long fights. Likewise, Intellect never becomes an insignificant stat due to its interaction with Mana Tide and the healing bonus from Nature's Blessing. (The step-wise interaction of the Mp5/Intellect ratio is due to the availability of Mana Tide every 5 minutes.)
  • The HEP of Intellect and Mana/5 increase in a linear fashion as the base Healing bonus rises, as shown below. This makes intuitive sense as the stronger your heals, the more value is obtained by casting more of them. The slope increases for Mana/5 in longer fights, but decreases for Intellect, and vice versa for shorter fights. This is due to the rising importance of Mana/5 in longer fights, and subsequent decrease in importance of Intellect.

I'll be posting my gear rankings throughout the week, so stay tuned!

  • Fight Lengths: 5, 10 and 20 minutes.
  • Pre-Kara gear: 375 Stamina, 400 Intellect, 1400 Healing, 8% Spell Crit, 180 OOC Mana Regen, 110 Mana/5, 8500 Armor.
  • Pre-SSC/TK gear: 500 Stamina, 500 Intellect, 1700 Healing, 9% Spell Crit, 210 OOC Mana Regen, 140 Mana/5, 9500 Armor.
  • Pre-MH/BT gear: 500 Stamina, 550 Intellect, 2000 Healing, 11.5% Spell Crit, 260 OOC Mana Regen, 200 Mana/5, 11000 Armor.
  • Healing mix used: 5% Lesser Healing Wave, 10% Healing Wave, 85% Chain Heal.
  • Player has Tidal Mastery, Restorative Totems, Mana Tide and Nature's Blessing talents.
  • Mana Spring and Water Shield up at all times. Mana Tide dropped whenever cooldown is available.
  • Buffs available: Gift of the Wild, Arcane Brilliance, Prayer of Fortitude, Blessing of Wisdom, Blessing of Kings
  • Consumables used: [Flask of Mighty Restoration], [Superior Mana Oil], and [Blackened Sporefish]. [Super Mana Potion] used whenever cooldown available.
  • Spell haste's effect discounted by 50% (i.e., 2% increase in casting speed is equal to a 1% increase in healing output).
  • Survivability stats (Stamina, Armor, Resilience) discounted by 90% (i.e., 10% increase in survivability is equal to a 1% increase in healing output). Armor was furthermore reduced by ½ due to its effect only on physical damage.
  • Time outside 5-second rule assumed to be 10%.
HEP Values
HEP: Pre-Kara gear
5 minutes10 minutes20 minutes
Spell Crit0.600.600.60
Spell Haste0.900.900.90

HEP: Pre-SSC/TK gear
5 minutes10 minutes20 minutes
Spell Crit0.660.660.66
Spell Haste0.990.990.99

HEP: Pre-MH/BT gear
5 minutes10 minutes20 minutes
Spell Crit0.710.710.71
Spell Haste1.091.091.09

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