Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cry Havoc! Let Loose the Dogs of War, Vengeance is MINE!!!!

I just dinged level 64, and with that I now have Seal of Vengeance!

Um, ok…. and?

Until now, I have been using either Seal of Righteous (SoR) or Seal of Justice (SoJ). For straight damage/DPS, SoR is preferable because the seal deals extra damage, but against casters (or frikkin Rogues) SoJ is my preferred seal because it can stun/interrupt. I catch some flack for this in some of the forums I visit, (they also strongly argue against my sword & board preference) But hey, it works for me.

I have read in numerous places (for example, that Seal of Vengeance (SoV) is the new hotness. Especially after Seal of Blood sorta went away and Seal of Command got reworked.

But how different in DPS are all these judgments?

I am NOT a theorycrafter, and I don’t even know where to begin to realistically make any calculations. This means I gotta do thing the empirical way: clobber stuff and check out the numbers (Most folks – me included – use Recount, the add-on that records DPS and all sorts of other data: Recount (at )

The ideal way to do this is to find a medium level boss that will take ~2 minutes to kill (solo, obviously) and fight him using the normal attack rotation, one fight each with each seal being used in only one fight. This gives you real world fighting DPS for each variation. There are a couple issues with this that make it a “last line” type of test:

1 – Boss fights are rarely exactly the same, so you end up questioning whether the differences were performance (DPS, etc) or were just a fluke of the fight. Realistically, you need to try at least 3 attempts with each judgment/variation, and with 3 options (in this case) that means 9 individual fights. That takes a lot of time.

2 – Your armor & weapons lose durability every time you fight, and the tougher the fight, the worse it will be. This means you have to trudge to someplace and repair armor/weapons between each test. So an already long procedure just got a LOT longer.

So I did what many folks do and use the test dummies. (this is really only an option when you get to higher levels, since the lowest level dummy is level 60 – meaning anyone below level 56-57 or so would have a hard time doing ANY damage )

First I thought I would just use the judgments alone and see what happened. Due to the nature of Recount, and the 8 second cooldown between judgment spells, it recorded each judgment as an individual battle, and didn’t add/average them.


To avoid this, I decided to alternate casting Judgment and Consecration. Consecration should work well because it produces a pretty consistent damage over time (DoT) with ~87 damage every second.

The results? Very strange: SoR was best and SoV was worst. WHAT?!?!?

Well, in the reading I did, there’s something about SoV proc-ing (a proc is when a special action/result/attack/etc “proceeds” – ie it happens, and the word is shortened to “proc”) and stacking, often with melee auto attacks. (it actually said a lot more, but I’ll be honest; I only understand half of it. What’s a “white attack” anyways? I dunno…)

So I then repeated, using auto attack, and alternating judgment and Consecration every 4 seconds. I let it run for about 2 minutes, stopped and took a screenshot of the results so I could review them later. Here they are:

Seal of Vengeance

Seal of Righteous

Seal of Justice

I put the numbers into a table and did a little calculating so I could see the DPS (and not the %) of each type of attack.

Now we’re getting somewhere!!!

SoV CLEARLY has the advantage. BY ALMOST 100 POINTS!!! And SoJ has a MUCH bigger loss of DPS than I had realized. I still like the stun effect, but I will need to “swap Seals” in mid fight so that I can maintain DPS, and still try to get some stun effects.

I then tried the test dummy with SoV and my normal full attack rotation. (I haven’t had the time to repeat this with the other 2 Seals yet)

And this data put into the chart for comparison:

That’s roughly 609 DPS. Based on some quick addition, I would expect my SoR to be roughly 520 DPS and SoJ to be roughly 475 DPS. THAT IS HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!

My next work will be finishing up "full rotation" data for SoJ and SoR, since it's clear that the Seals *so* get affected by other attacks. So things may be better (or worse)

I will think about doing the tests on some Bosses, now that I have an idea, but we shall see.

I also plan to try out a 2 handed weapon to see just how much damage I'm losing out on. (but that will require a re-spec - theoretically - to get the 2 handed specialization talents) We shall see how much time I want to spend doing this, instead of questing or farming.


  1. Great post! How did you get Recount to give you those nifty pie charts?

  2. "white attack" or "white damage" is just the reg old auto attack. Just means you aren't doing anything special to boost your damage.

  3. @ Catryalini: the box in the lower right corner of my screen is the default display for Recount. If you click on a person's name in that box, it will bring up the pie charts. There is a TON of info in all the screens, it just takes a while to learn it (I'm still learning a lot too)

    @ jade-raine: THANKS!! That's what I figured, but when I googled around, I never found anything "defining" it, just a lot of "in context" use. Thanks!! :)