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Thread: A question about disease twisting

  1. #1
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    A question about disease twisting

    Hi all, I am relatively new to the DK DPS -- been at it at 80 less than 2 months -- and I have recently learned about disease twisting.

    The idea seems clear enough: change their order of refresh to let one drop, so that each refresh cycle one disease gets in its last tick. However, I don't understand why then we shouldn't let both diseases drop off. The reasoning which justifies letting one drop -- getting the last tick in, despite the lost buffs (in my case, Icy Talons for FF, Rage of Rivendare for BP, I am 0/17/54 Unholy) -- should apply to let both drop off, thus getting the extra tick on both diseases.

    So what is the reasoning behind letting one drop, but not both? I am especially curious about the Unholy case, as letting FF/BP drop off with still leave Ebon Plague up, so at least one disease will still be on. Is it the question of rotation -- i.e. I would have an empty GCD if I waited for both to drop? If so, should I then let both drop if I have something to fill that GCD with, e.g. an extra Death Coil from AMS or an extra BS from Rune Tap?

    I have searched for an answer, but couldn't find any substantive discussion of the theory behind disease twisting. Most discussions seem to begin and end with "let one disease get in the last tick".
    Last edited by danilche; 07-21-2010 at 07:14 AM.

  2. #2
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    You'll find more good DPS advice/guides/activity here: http://www.tankspot.com/forumdisplay...ond-Discussion

    This idea is new to me. You're saying you have found advice to let one disease fall off before refreshing but not the other? In general DoT maximizing is a little tricky. If you time it poorly you can essentially lose a tick, and for certain specs that can be an issue worthy of attention (really Afflic Locks are the ones who care most about this). Unholy, of all the DK specs would care about it most, but it is still not *that* big a deal that you need to get too fancy with it. Reapplying a disease right after it falls off makes sure you don't waste ticks, but you can accomplish the same (albeit less efficiently) if you just time it on the 3 sec interval before hand.

    So far as I can figure, the only reason you would only let one fall off at a time, like you're describing, is just an act of staggering your diseases so that they don't run out at the same time. All of this is tempered by the value of having both diseases up for the sake of the rest of your abilities, the buffs you mentioned, and the per-disease damage buffing of your other abilities.

    Maybe it can be cleared up if you can explain better just how you are doing it.
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  3. #3
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    Well this is a completely new and interesting idea. Disease twisting..huh. Never heard of it myself, and that is kinda scary considering I'm the author of the DK dps section here on Tankspot.

    Short of how things work, your diseases normally get to the last bit of your rotation before they fall off. Normally as what it sounds like, you're already twisting: Icy Touch normally runs out for me and as such I let Icy Touch be that one DoT that falls off. However I could potentially see the advantage of letting a Plague Strike DoT keep going to the last bit as some will be hit with a bunch of buffs up, some won't.

    The point is that the increase in DPS here would be minimal and wreck with your rotation and you would sit there waiting for it. If you absolutely positively want to twist the way you do, simply change your rotation a bit. Instead of doing PS/IT, switch to IT/PS on the second go, then back to PS/IT, etc etc etc. This gauruntees that you're going to twist your diseases if you follow the full rotation that Unholy has and you empty your RP.

    What I mean is simple. Your traditional Unholy rotation, without Reaping, is as follows:

    PS/IT/BS/BS/ScS/Rp dump
    ScS/BS/BS/SCS/RP dump.

    This is without the full gear. Throw an RP dump if you've got tier 10 and above in the second line. Anyway, for arguments' sakes, the idea behind twisting is to let one DoT run out so you can maximize the ticks of certain attacks if they're empowered by different buffs such as let's say hysteria which allows PS to hit therefore the DoT to hit harder.

    Well, you don't really wanna get rid of the DoT that would hit harder with the Hysteria buff with one of your normal PS, so your next rotation in 20 seconds would switch:

    IT/PS/BS/BS/ScS/RP dump
    ScS/BS/BS/ScS/RP dump.

    At this point PS will run out because you're pushing PS back a few seconds and you don't have enough DoT time to actually reapply it before it goes off, and effectively you're 'twisting' your DoTs. Now IT is going to tick away. When your second rotation is done, you go back to the first one, PS/IT/etc so that you let your IT drop instead.

    That, effectively would be twisting. But the amount of DPS increase that this would give you is quite minimal in my opinion. MAYBE a couple hundred dps at most. I haven't seen much discussion about twisting but that could very well be because I haven't scourged the forums lately for DK dps stuff. Hope this explains a bit.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    You'll find more good DPS advice/guides/activity here: http://www.tankspot.com/forumdisplay...ond-Discussion
    Perhaps some kind admin would move this thread there.

    This idea is new to me. You're saying you have found advice to let one disease fall off before refreshing but not the other?
    Indeed; and in some circles it seems t be taken for granted that disease twisting is a good idea -- but I am trying to understand why it is exactly twisting, and not just letting both drop.

    Reapplying a disease right after it falls off makes sure you don't waste ticks, but you can accomplish the same (albeit less efficiently) if you just time it on the 3 sec interval before hand.
    Right, but then you lose 3 seconds of DOT duration per refresh cycle, losing one full tick on each disease.

    So far as I can figure, the only reason you would only let one fall off at a time, like you're describing, is just an act of staggering your diseases so that they don't run out at the same time. All of this is tempered by the value of having both diseases up for the sake of the rest of your abilities, the buffs you mentioned, and the per-disease damage buffing of your other abilities.
    Well, you wouldn't use any specials while you don't have both diseases up, so the gap between disease drop-off and reapplication would only affect the white swings, only that disease's buff to the white swings, and only prorated for the fraction of the swing period that is the between-diseases gap. So if you have 3 secs between swings and you let Blood Plague drop for a second, in effect you are losing 3.3% of that white swing's DPS (10% from rage of Rivendare, normalized for the ratio between the no-disease period and the white swing period -- i.e. on average every third BP refresh w/ 1-sec gap will result in a white swing that lacks Rage of Rivendare).

    The idea being that that extra tick of Blood Plague does more damage than the 3.3% of a white swing per refresh cycle that you are expected to lose over the duration of a fight with 1 second no-BP gaps; and 1 second gap between diseases is a lot, a much tighter gap is easily achieved.

    For a quantitative example, Kahorie's shows that my Unholy DK (Bryntroll, 264 gear) does 8.1k damage per white swing, so the damage lost due to occasional swing without Rage of Rivendare would be about 270 per two disease refresh cycles (since BP gap would manifest every other cycle) -- but due to disease twisting I can expect to get a full extra BP tick per two refresh cycles. Since my BP ticks for about 2.5k in the same simulation, it means that by disease twisting, I can lose on average 270 damage per two cycles due to BP dropoff, but gain 2.5k due to Blood Plague's extra tick. Assuming similar arithmetic for FF, it means a gain of 4-5k damage every 40 seconds or so, over 100 DPS extra.

    Of course if I let both diseases drop off, in theory I basically double that number -- and yet people speak about disease twisting, and not just disease reapplication-instead-of-refresh.

    Maybe it can be cleared up if you can explain better just how you are doing it.
    Well, normal disease twisting is when you refresh first the later-expiring disease that has less than 3 seconds left on it. The sooner-expiring disease would have less than 1.5 secs left on it, so by the time you went to refresh it, it will have dropped off and gotten in its last tick.

    What I don't understand is, why not just do something else for another GCD, and then refresh each disease right after it expires. it's not like you lose any buff related to having at least one disease on the target -- Unholy won't even lose all the diseases, Ebon plague will remain.

    P.S. Here is a post from EJ which outlines this idea with a log example. I'd rather not post there, though, because the last time I did, I got infractioned immediately...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krenian View Post
    The point is that the increase in DPS here would be minimal and wreck with your rotation and you would sit there waiting for it.
    Well, with canonical disease twisting, you wouldn't wait -- you would just switch the refresh order each cycle: first PS/IT (or IT/PS if running in), next cycle IT/PS, then PS/IT again, etc. What I am really wondering is, if you have something to do for another cycle, like extra DC or BS, wouldn't it be better to just let both diseases drop, and reapply then in first-come, first-served order?
    Last edited by danilche; 07-21-2010 at 08:15 AM.

  6. #6
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    You could do that, and if that was the case, you'd wanna apply PS/IT instead. But I wouldn't see how you would get an extra BS unless you're Rune Tapping something to get the extra BS or whatnot. Normally the rotations give you just enough to go through the whole process without being overly worrisome.

    My thoughts are this: The idea of disease twisting is not one discussed at all and with good reason. It's simply not something really noticible dps wise. That and you end up waiting and people dislike waiting there and doing eff all while things are going in. I normally, if my runes are back up, leave my RP attack out of my rotation and return to the rotation of my runes. RP usage, while strong for Unholy, are not what matters: diseases do. They're the blunt of my damage and as such, I want them to be up asap. The idea of disease twisting as well can be that you're always going to have DoT up on a mob no matter what as well. Dropping both will give you that one second window where you don't have a DoT up and your upkeep goes down type deal.

    In short, leaving both diseases to drop would end up you having one second with no damage of one disease. With that, you're not twisting really..you're letting it drop. Goes against the whole twisting philosophy most likely.

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  7. #7
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    Actually if you look at his chart, you can see why you don't want it to drop:

    The application starts with IT, then a second later PS. The ticks go blah blah blah blah blah, then IT expires at some point, so does PS. The problem from what it seems is that you're losing out on a tick of PS and as such, you may as well just let it stagger so you get that extra hit.

    The problem highlighted in the post below is important though: If you need someone to cast the magic debuff, staggering is not possible. You wanna keep at it no matter what.

    In the end it's almost a question of: is it worth the extra 100 dps you would get? Not really. S'why most people don't really state to stagger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krenian View Post
    You could do that, and if that was the case, you'd wanna apply PS/IT instead. But I wouldn't see how you would get an extra BS unless you're Rune Tapping something to get the extra BS or whatnot.
    Blood tapping... at 1min refresh, you can do it every third disease refresh cycle as Unholy. And of course if you are Blood, you have plenty of HS spamming to do anyway.

    Dropping both will give you that one second window where you don't have a DoT up and your upkeep goes down type deal.
    But you actually get more DoT ticks per rune that way, and the same tick frequency.

    In short, leaving both diseases to drop would end up you having one second with no damage of one disease. With that, you're not twisting really..you're letting it drop. Goes against the whole twisting philosophy most likely.
    Indeed. the question is, why the obsession with twisting? If the logic behind twisting is sound -- and it seems to be -- then letting the diseases drop for a moment, providing you aren't wasting GCDs, should be twice as much a DPS gain.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krenian View Post
    The problem highlighted in the post below is important though: If you need someone to cast the magic debuff, staggering is not possible. You wanna keep at it no matter what.
    Right, for some reason i thought Ebon Plague got refreshed by some other moves; must be my mind playing tricks on me... anyway, this explains why you should twist, rather than let it drop, as Unholy. Blood though provides no disease-related buffs, and has plenty to do to fill that extra GCD (I never played frost, so I won't go there).

  10. #10
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    Frost wouldn't be worth it either. The only reason you have IT going is to empower your other strikes to be honest. You only twist for Unholy. And even then..it's meh!

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  11. #11
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    Well..meh, I can't really say something like that to something that actually does more damage...but the benefits of dealing with some things like that are just not worth it. However it would get people used to the idea of using PS instead of IT. I normally run in and while running in, about two steps away from the mob, I IT immediately and then run behind the mob and by that time, the GCD is done and PS is ready to swing so it doesn't absolutely matter and already one tick is in.

    Normally it's PS over IT all the time. ...however I wonder if the person put into thought about not using PS first and empowering your IT damage increase. I wonder if it's worth it with losing the extra damage on your IT. Another thought to think about really.

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  12. #12
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    A lot of this comes of the sort of number crunching that happens far more easily in theory than in practice. The aggregate delays of latency and distractions can add up quite a bit and mess with ideal rotations.

    It is surely an idea worth having in your head, but in practice you can probably damage your dps as much as help it if you are trying to get too technical and miss the organic solutions. =) I think that is the hallmark of the best DKs, they work with the system as it runs, rather than trying to pull off some blind sequence of events without paying attention to what is actually going on. Trust your gut as you go, you will figure out what is best, but maybe the Disease Twisting will help you see something you didn't before.
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  13. #13
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    Remind me to test it out at some point with my Death Knight. It's worth a shot, which is kinda funny cause I did around 6k dps with my crap stuff. Maybe twisting will be useful.

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  14. #14
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    Honestly, I can't see disease twisting to be a raid dps gain, especially for unholy. Maybe a personal dps gain, but if your nonfrost diseases fall off, the rest of the raid is going to lose a lot of dps.
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