Maths of Pandaria: The Elemental Glyph Situation
by, 21-07-2012 at 11:54 AM (7386 Views)
The overall intention for glyphs in Mists is that you can mix and match depending on your talent choices, play style, and encounter choices. There aren't really any mandatory glyphs anymore. There was a post by Ghostcrawler on this subject back in April where he saidUnfortunately, that isn't really true.As with talents, we want glyphs to be a choice. Stepping back a moment, we do think there is room in the game for very easy decision -- the kind that don't stress you out for fear of making the wrong one.
There are seven glyphs available for Elemental directly, and another eleven that could be taken for PvP, utility or other reasons. For this discussion I will be ignoring that set of eleven, mostly because I’m a PvE guy and almost all of these glyphs would not be considered useful in that environment.
The seven remaining glyphs are: Chain Lightning, Fire Elemental Totem, Flame Shock, Telluric Currents, Thunder, Unleashed Lightning and Unstable Earth. Two AoE, two direct damage, two mana related and one for mobility. We can discard two of these, Thunder and Unstable Earth, from the list as they will only be used in limited and specific circumstances (needing to use knockbacks more frequently than 45 seconds and slow moving AoE packs).
Of the remaining five, if there is an AoE requirement then Chain Lightning is required. If movement is anything more than a few seconds once or twice every minute, or something that can’t be handled by Spiritwalker’s Grace, Unleashed Lightning is required. There’s no choice in the matter on these two glyphs. You either have them when they are required, or your performance will suffer. This is exactly the sort of “wrong decision” that Ghostcrawler said they didn’t want players to make.
Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem sounds interesting on first look, but after looking at it in some detail (googledoc spreadsheet I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s actually more of a DPS loss to take it than a DPS gain. If you look at the following graph, you can see that there are limited occasions when the glyph has a higher Fire Elemental uptime than not having the glyph. The actual percentages are 72.63% without, 27.37% with. The end result is that this glyph is not actually one that should be taken either.
This leaves Flame Shock and Telluric Currents. Flame Shock is a definite DPS gain as it results in more time spent on higher DPS abilities while also creating more flexibility with your shock cooldowns. Telluric Currents, while it is a mana return glyph, will increase your DPS as long as it saves time by regenerating enough mana that Thunderstorm is not required for mana regeneration. Since Thunderstorm will be used more often in Mists for mana regeneration, avoiding having to spend a few global cooldowns on regenerating mana to instead spend that time casting Lightning Bolt will be a DPS increase. However, if you have free time in which to use Thunderstorm, like in a situation where you wouldn’t be using Unleashed Lightning, then Telluric Currents doesn’t have much use.
In the long run, I plan on having two glyph setups for Elemental, one for single target and one for multiple targets. There will be some minor changes depending on individual circumstances, but these will be what I will be running with most of the time.
Single Target: Flame Shock, Telluric Currents*, Unleashed Lightning*
Multi Target (4+): Flame Shock, Chain Lightning, Unstable Earth.
* These glyphs may not be equipped at all. Telluric Currents depends on whether Thunderstorm is required, and as we work on updating the Elemental model it's starting to look like that might not be the case. Unleashed Lightning is only a gain in high mobility situations, so it's best to remove it for low mobility or stationary fights.
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