I have been following the Mastery vs. Haste debate over at EJ for the past couple of weeks. I’m going to be honest here and tell you that it mostly just made my head explode. However, one of the things that I saw keep popping up with some regularity was how many people felt reaching the 2005 Wild Growth break point was invaluable, even if if meant dropping down to a few 246 pieces to get there. This, of course, got me thinking about haste – and more specifically my haste.
Dispelling Dark Intent
If you’ve been following the conversations on EJ you will see that there is a lot of talk about haste breakpoints with a warlock buff known as Dark Intent. Specifically you will see that you can hit the 9th tick of Wild Growth breakpoint at a significantly lower haste level if you receive this buff. Hey! That’s great! Right?! WRONG!
You see, I kept asking myself as I read through the conversation “self, why is there so much talk about Dark Intent? Are that many resto druids getting this buff over DPS that people should be considering it the ‘norm’ for haste breakpoints?”. And so I asked other druids about it and the general consensus is that while some druids out there may be getting it - your raid is likely far better served by passing this buff onto your DPS. And this is something that I largely agree with.
While it is true that a resto druid is a solid target for Dark Intent for the casting warlock - the truth of the matter is that it’s a bit of a one way street and doesn’t fully maximize the buff. With the exception of Heroic Chimaeron I’ve yet to come to an encounter where more DPS, as opposed to more healing, wouldn’t have made the encounter that much easier for the raid as a whole. And ya’ll – we regularly run our raids with three resto druids. Even on our last Heroic Chimaeron kill, we opted to pass DI to a DPS. Frankly, unless your raid is failing due to a lack of healing, your healers shouldn’t be getting this buff.
To help you all out with knowing where this buff should go, take a peek at this handy little chart that will show you who may best maximize this buff, keeping in mind that some of it will depend on the skill of the player. Just to reiterate before moving on: your DPS loves Dark Intent, your DPS will get more out of Dark Intent than you will, you should not count on receiving Dark Intent for haste purposes (unless of course you run with like 10 warlocks and they run out of targets to give it to!).
Alright, now that we’ve got the Dark Intent issue out of the way (wait…are you crying? Stop that! THERE IS NO CRYING IN
BASEBALL WOW!), let’s talk about reaching that magic 2005 haste number on your own. Here is how I did it for the puposes of this experiment, but it’s not without some concern on my part.
We will go ahead and get one thing out of the way now: yes, I am an alchemist which makes reaching the haste breakpoint easier for me. If you aren’t an alchemist then you will have to scrounge up another 149 haste somewhere.
You can see that I managed to keep my four piece set bonus, but I really dislike having to utilize the robes because they lack spirit. In fact, I’m strongly considering dropping the four piece bonus if I decide that I’m going to continue favoing haste on my gear. The breaking point for me will be if I can obtain enough spirit gear to offset the set bonus while maintaining my haste.
I have some serious concerns about my current level of spirit, and had to drop some spirit reforging/enchanting to meet this break point. I do a decent enough job about keeping my 3 stack of lifebloom active, which gets me an extra 540 spirit, but I am absolutely not happy that my static spirit has dropped below 2,000. Now, getting the bracers from Chimearon will help that some – but then I run into an issue with losing the 120 haste from my current bracers dropping me below the break point.
I can offset this one of three ways: picking up another haste ring (which means losing spirit), picking up the haste neck from the twins (which would let me gain spirit via reforging), or picking up the shoulders from Omnitron and dropping my 4 T11 bonus (which would let me swap back to spirit robes as well). I haven’t quite decided which way I will go in that regards. I suspect that if I continue to favor haste I will probably either pick up the heroic Halfus neck and swap to a haste ring, or I will pick up the twins neck and keep my current spirit ring. Of course, I always have the option of swapping out my idol as well if it comes down to it. I just don’t know yet. And it will be a constant struggle to have to juggle the haste breakpoints as upgrades come.
In fact, since this is an “experiment”, I don’t even know if I’ll find the extra haste worth it! I am already very tight on mana as it is, and my mana concerns weigh very heavily on me. But in the name of science, I figured that it was worth raiding a week or so at the 2005 breakpoint and see how it turns out for me. And so I will go forth and find out if that 9th Wild Growth tick is truly the best thing since sliced bread, and subsequently if my mana can sustain the change.
After a week or so of raiding with the new haste set up, I intend to do a “part 2″ to this post in which I let you know my findings. What I felt, if I think it was worth it, if I was perpetually out of mana. Until then – I’m curious who else has made a hasty decision!
Have you made the jump to haste yet? If so, how are you liking it? Do you find yourself tight on mana? Do you think that extra tick of Wild Growth is worth it? Conversely, have you decided not to favor haste? What are your reasonings behind that decision?