Monday, November 5, 2007

The New Hemo vs. Sinister Strike

Finally! I've been asking for this. Wishing for it, even. Yes, you are reading that right. With the upcoming patch, hemo will deal 125% weapon damage, along with the up-to-36 physical damage increase.

See ya later sinister strike!!

But seriously, this is a very nice buff. I've argued before that hemo is a bit better than sinister strike, from an energy to damage, 1:1, ratio. This definately gives the sub tree a kick in the pants for raiding purposes. Lets take a look...

Using Spiteblade as an example, with 1800 attack power:

Weapon speed: 2.7
Minimum damage: 165
Maximum damage: 308
Minimum Range = [((165 / 2.7) + (1800 / 14)) * 2.7] = 510
Maximum Range = [((308 / 2.7) + (1800 / 14)) * 2.7] = 653

So, I've established an attack power modified weapon damage of 510 to 653.

Sinister strike rank 10 adds 98 damage to each attack. Simple:
(510 + 98) to (653 + 98) = 608 to 751

The new hemorrhage does 125% weapon damage, plus the physical damage buff of up to* +36 after the first strike:

(510*1.25) to (653*1.25)+36 = 637 to 852

At first glance it looks like hemo would out damage sinister strike per hit, right? Well, not necessarily. There are a few talents that are going to further modify the damage of each ability. Between aggression and surprise attacks (2%/4%/6% and 10%), sinister strike receives a 16% damage boost:

((510 + 98)*1.16) + ((653+98)*1.16) = 705 to 871

Now, to look at two significant damage modifiers to hemo. The first is serrated blades, with which 3/3 points causes your attacks to ignore 560 armor (8 armor per level at level 70).

Ugh...this is going to get complicated. First, most raid bosses have between 6200 and 7700 armor**. Physical damage mitigation from these armor values comes to about 37% and 42%, respectively. Since I am giving this will all to be happening in a raid, well, here we go...assuming that the raid boss will also have sunder armor x5 (-2600 armor), faerie fire (-610 armor) and curse of recklessness (-800), we can expect the sum of armor debuffs to equal a decrease of about 29% and 26% damage mitigation. So, our raid boss now only has 8% or 16% damage mitigation.

Adjusted, our sinister strike becomes
(705/1.08) to (871/1.08) = 652 to 806
(705/1.16) to (871/1.16) = 608 to 751

Armor penetration is still a bit hazy for me, but I managed to find some interesting information. According to this thread, 500 armor penetration in concurrence with the above armor debuffs equates to about 4% and 3.6% decrease in damage mitigation. 560 would then very roughly translate to about 4.5% and 4%. Adjusting once again, our raid boss now has either 3.5% or 12% reduction.

(637/1.035) to (852/1.035) = 615 to 823
(637/1.12) to (852/1.12) = 568 to 760

Interesting. Sinister strike has a higher minimum damage, but hemo has a higher maximum damage. So it could be argued that the difference between the two, over the course of a boss fight, would be non-substantial***. That is, until you consider the 20% damage bonus when a target is below 35% health from 2/2 dirty deeds. Up until this point in a fight, both sinister strike and hemo will theoretically provide similar amounts of dps. But then...

(510*(1.25 + .20)) to (653*(1.25 + .20))+36 = 739 to 982


(739/1.035) to (982/1.035) = 714 to 948
(739/1.12) to (982/1.12) = 659 to 879

Compared to sinister strike in the same circumstance...
Raid boss with a base of 6200 armor and full armor debuffs = 652 to 806
Raid boss with a base of 7700 armor and full armor debuffs = 608 to 751

So whats to conclude from all this horrible math? Other than I probably have no business trying backup a theory in such ways? Basically, that with the new changes in patch 2.3, hemorrhage and sinister strike are going to be fairly comprably, with hemo coming out on top in longer fights. However, the talents built around each attack really make the difference between which one is more viable for significant raid dps.

More on that tomorrow...

*For this calculation, I assume the minimum damange to be a strike that gets no benefit from the hemorrhage debuff, and the maximum damage to be a strike that gets the highest possible benefit.
**Ok fine...when I did my research on this, all signs led back to I feel...dirty....
***I considered trying to factor in the energy regeneration for a combat build from combat potency versus the reduced energy cost of hemo, but there are too many other factors at play there; i.e., added energy cost from finishing moves.

Well, as Anon so anonymously math is wrong. Mostly because I didn't account for hemorrhage being normalized. What does that even mean? Basically, I would have to redo all of math with a normalized swing speed, which I believe for 1 handers is 2.6. I fully intend on doing so, but not this week. I'm moving out of my apartment tomorrow and just have too much to do at work in the meantime. However, I would like to thank anon for bringing this to my attention.

Without getting into all the numbers, he is right. Before 500 weapon damage sinister strike is better, but after 500 weapon damage hemo becomes better. Then there is the adjusted energy cost value of sinister strike when considering the combat build (combat potency). The reason I left out DPE in this post was because I wanted to save the discussion of how a combat swords build would compare to a hybrid combat hemo build for it's own post. I have it written...just need to do some adjustments to my math now. Or you could just go the EJ forums and read all about it there.

Should I just give up on trying to be a mathhead?! Poser...