Mutilate, Part 4: Myth on Off-hand Weapon Choices

Time to put something on this blog. IRL > WoW. I have also found a new home at Huang Long with a group of very skilled friends I have known since WoW release. Eminence, my former guild, has just started to get serious about 25men raids and shall catch up and leapfrog the likes of DnT very soon. I wish them best of luck.

In my opinion, the need of a high damage OH to maximize DPS for Mutilate build is a great misconception. My argument is that, MH weapon damage will dictate the overall Mutilate damage output and the impact of OH weapon damage is fairly muted.

In the following test, Mutilate damages are compared across a list of fast daggers with speed less or equal to 1.6 as OH and Gladiators Shanker as MH. Assuming a 22% crit rate and 1400 AP.

First, without DW SpecWith DW Spec,As the 2 graphs illustrated, the difference between using a high damage OH weapon and fast but low damage OH weapon is not all that significant. In terms of percentages, the differences in Mutilate damage between using a Warp Splinters Thorn and Gladiators Shanker are 7% and 5% for 41/x/5 and 41/20/0 respectively at the assumed case, and 11% and 8% for 0 AP 0% crit respectively.

In other words, you will be doing a whopping 7% more Mutilate DPS using a Gladiators Shanker vs. Warp Splinters Thorn, ignoring weapon stats (less than 3% of overall DPS which could very well be made up by weapon stats). The primarily explanation for this is that the +101 static damage component outweights the weapon DPS component.

The impact on poison damage depends on Envenom usage in DPS cycles. Instant Poison should add the most DPS if Envenom is used as an filler finisher between SnDs . Your DPS from OH poison procs will increase by as much as 40% (1.8/1.3 - 1 ~ 40% increase). On the other hand, benefits on Deadly Poison OH will not be as obvious.

OH Enchant proc will be more frequent with a slower weapon, but the difference is fairly marginal IMO. Here is a rough translation/calculation for Mongoose (1ppm), assuming a +to hit is greater than 5%.

H = 1 - Miss Rate = 1 - (25 - +to Hit), Hit
WS = Weapon Speed, second.

Proc per Hit = (1 proc / 60 second) * (WS / swing) * (swing / H) = WS / (60 * H)

Total number of OH hit per second
= Mutilate + normal
= (1 / 6 sec) + (1 swing / WS) * (H/ swing)
= 1/6 + H/WS
= (WS + 6H) / 6WS

Multiply the two equations:
Normalized Proc Per Second (PPS) = (WS + 6H)/360H

Using the derived normalize forumla, and given a 90% hit rate (+15% to hit), Mongoose procs every 48 seconds and 45 seconds for 1.3 speed and 1.8 speed weapons respectively. Not that big of a deal IMO, unless there are some 2.5 speed daggers out there, which shall proc every 41 seconds. :p

  • A high damage OH needed for Mutilate to do good damage is a myth.
  • The difference in weapon damage is largely offset by the static +101 damage component of Mutilate.
  • Rogues need to find the OH with the best stats, for both PvP and PvE Mutilate builds. I would suggest Blades of the Unrequited for PvP rogues (3 gem slots for +36 stamina) and Guile of Khorazzi for PvE rogues (24 agi, 50AP).
  • Add some clarification at the last paragraph above conclusion.
  • Added impact on Enchants and Poisons.


Anonymous said...

Hmm, but aren't these calculations based on Mutilate damage alone?

In the past rogues went with fast offhands for more poison procs. With mutilate this would mean Instant MH/Deadly OH with Shanker/Shiv for best combination? However with shaman being available for both horde and alliance most will be WF/Deadly meaning that a fast offhand isn't that important and allowing to pick dual Shanker for maximized Mutilate damage?

Grunge said...

Hmm, I'd also like to see damage comparison for slower weapons. A slow offhand wouldn't be that bad or?

VitaminC said...

1. Maybe I didnt make it clear, but the best choice of OH should be based on weapon stats, not weapon damage, even for Mutilate builds.

2. Yes, this is based on Mutilate damagea alone. However, your OH choice should be maximizing your overall stats/DPS, not mutilate damage alone.

2. Your Mutilate DPS gain from using the highest damage range weapon is fairly marginal. Thus my call to get the best possible stats OH.

Grunge said...

Well my entire thoughtline went towards the current "highend" daggers: Malchazeen, Shanker and Shiv.
Dirge perhaps aswell.

Thus while the Mutilate dmg is fairly marginal it's still a gain.
Hence the best choice would still be Dual Shankers no?
Now the following I'm not sure on. Shanker+Malchazeen would provide the increase in the form of mutilate dmg, while Shiv would offer a bigger oh dps(87.9 vs 85.8) and more poison procs.
Dirge and Blade of the Unrequited follow very closely behind I'd assume. Fast OH would help with fast deadly stacking for envenom.

Then again I'm currently for pve wielding Shanker+The Night Blade(proc is imo worth it).
pvp: Shanker+Malchazeen

In conclusion
For PvP dual Shankers.
For PvE Shanker+Shiv/Dirge/Unrequited?

VitaminC said...

The right most column is Shanker.

Yes, you will definitely do more Mutilate damage via a high damage OH, but you are not garanteed to do higher overall DPS. That's the point I am trying to make.

For PvE, Shanker/Malchazeen + Unrequitted.

For PvP, Shanker + Unrequitted will still reign over dual Shanker. The insane amount of stamina (250 more HP) you can obtain via 3x +12 stamina gem is unmatched by any other dagger combo, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

What spec are you using in testing this theory? A rogue using 41/20/0 would benefit more from a higher damage range OH than a standard mutilate build without DW spec. Furthermore, given 2 daggers with identical DPS but different speeds, how could overall dps not be improved by a slower OH. Your graphs don't take all this into account.

VitaminC said...

That's why you are wrong.

If you can read, there's 2 graphs, 41/x/5+ and 41/20/0.

41/20/0's mutilate damage will benefit more from higher weapon, by at most 10%. HOWEVER, you are losing certain poison procs and other cliches. For example, if you go from a 1.8 speed weapon to 1.3 speed weapon, your poison proc will 25% more frequent. Think in terms of overall picture, not just mutilate damage.

Stats > damage for OH, mutilate or not.

Anonymous said...

Posted this on the rogue forums, but then realized that this would be a more approriate place for it --

For a 41/20/0 build that's for the most part going to be used for PvE, which stats are best to focus on and in which order? For instance, I'm looking for something like:

Getting your hit rating up to 120 will give you a bigger DPS boost than anything else. After acheiving 120 hit rating, getting your crit up to 25% will improve PvE DPS moreso than any other stat. Then, biggest DPS gains will come from...etc etc.

Naturally, this is assuming that all stats are kept within a "respectable" range (say, 20% crit, 7-8k hp, 1200 ap, and so on).

In essence, I'm asking what the best balance of stats for 41/20/0 is given the gear available now. (I'm thinking something like ~150 hit, ~24% crit, 1450 ap, and whatever stamina can be squeezed in after that.)


Jie Feng said...

I've noticed some rogues were able to socket 12 stam gems onto non blue slots, I thought only blue gems can go there. Are there non blue 12 stam gems?

VitaminC said...

You can socket all gems in all slots besides meta, i.e., you can socket a blue gem in a yellow slot. the only downside is that you won't receive the socket bonus. but some of the +dodge socket bonus is not worth to worry about.

Anonymous said...

I thought you made everything very clear, regarding specs and your conclusions for each. It's clear that a majority of the rogue JAFOs are reading impaired.

This will be useful ammo to counter the QQ mutilate rogues who think the new Gladiator weapon pricing isn't fair somehow.


Delany said...

Hi, first of all nice and interesting Blogs.
You need not to post this comment, becasue I only want a possibility to get in contact with you.
I'm not so good at theorycraft and I read some posts about using shiv as main attack, only for pve. I found this interesting, but i can't figure out if this is a real option, so maybe you can help me or write a blog on it.

sorry for the bad english btw



Javi said...

maybe i'm wrong but:

the poison proc in faster daggers is NOT the same that in slower daggers... I mean, it occurs the same with enchants, faster weapons have less chance and one point of mutilate is:

slower daggers: bigger proc plus mutilate 2x chance with this bigger proc...

do u see my point?

VitaminC said...

proc chance (proc per hit) of poisons are exactly the same disregarding weapon speed.

although your poison proc triggered by yellow attacks will be more frequent, it will not likely to make up the slower speeds. have to look further into this one tho.

Marvelo said...

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Hope there won't be any confusions(not that there should be any :P).

Also, this was definitely a good read :)

Anonymous said...

Nice read and certainly worth thinking about. Atm though i cant see a better 41/20 dagger combo than malchazeen/night blade, the proc is insane and beats any other dagger in the offhand atm.

Crohnoes said...

Awesome read! I really never put much thought into this, as I assumed it was a no-brainer that slowest > all. How wrong I was, I will be trying this out for sure; perhaps I should sell my Ced's Carver and pursue a WST. More poison procs and a lower Shiv cost beats the shit out of a 1-2% increase in Mutilate damage.

panda said...

Hi vitaminc

Got a question for you :

You didn't talk about any enchantment here, but if i go for like 2 daggers with mongoose, wouldn't that be better since mongoose is 1PPM to have slower daggers, so that it can proc more often with mutilate ? I'm talking in term of pve of course.

That improvement would be better than the small stats differences you can get from a fast dagger right ?

Anonymous said...

When you said "0 ap 0% crit" what did you mean exactly?

VitaminC said...

By 0 AP and 0% Crit, I meant using 0 for both AP and Crit in the equation. Sure it will never happen, but that will be the lower bound. That's just to show the power of the +101 damage static modifier.

Anonymous said...

Any chance that there will be an Envenom vs. Eviscerate post in the future?

VitaminC said...

all depends on how big the bonus i get at work. or if i win the lottery jackpot for early retirement. :p

but for mutilate builds, envenom > eviscerate, is my conjecture. im planning to do one on poison choice because pf's spreadsheet contain a minor error on this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I tend to do all my numbers myself as well and I found pf's spreadsheet to be wholly inaccurate in terms of poison damage as well.

Kalman said...

Vitamin, what the hell? 7% Mutilate damage does not translate to 1% damage because of the 6 second effective cooldown, and you know better than that.

Simple proof:

Assume you are doing a 600 average damage Mutilate every 6 seconds (100 DPS). Now assume you are also doing 100 DPS of other damage (white, poisons, Enven, etc.).

If you lose 7% of Mutilate damage, your 600 average damage Mutilate is now 558 average damage.

558/6 = 93 DPS.

Is 93 DPS 1% less than 100 DPS?

Is 193 DPS 1% less than 200 DPS?

Do you see why 7%/6 is totally the wrong calculation yet?

If X is the damage loss, expressed as a fraction from 0-1 (i.e. 0.000-1.000, where a 7% loss is 0.07), and M is the fraction of your DPS derived from Mutilate, the expected DPS loss is determined as:


Anonymous said...

kalman, i think your mechanism is correct but not the numbers. you wouldn't be using 558 as the damage lost, but 42. 42/6 is 7dps. A 7dps loss seems in line with a 1% dps loss, assuming that you do 700dps normally.

frazzlefrut said...

K first off...

You said this is just Mutilate damage alone.

Mutilate damage is only part of your actual damage in a pve scenario...

offhand damage +50% is maximized by the hardest hitting offhand you can get.

Combine that with haste effects and you will be hitting harder then your other skills... mutilate being your primary attack using both weapons is still greater than backstab with primary 0 secondary... your point of not using a weapon to maximize your offhand while increasing your mainhand marginally at best is mute if you are all about max dps. If you are not about max dps then yes go with something else.

Really what was the point of this (ignoring all the flaws in the math)? I have to question the reasoning behind the testing.

VitaminC said...

kalman, ya u r right. changes inc. my bad

frazzlefrut, maximizing DPS (offhand dps) has nothing to do with damage range (hardest hitting in your definition) but actual DPS of the OH weapon.

A 100 DPS 1.0 speed offhand (100 mean damage)
will create a lot higher overall DPS vs.
a 50 DPS 5.0 speed offhand (250 mean damage)

Anonymous said...

If you're talking about 2 daggers with identical stats and dps, but different speeds (and therefore different damage ranges and average damage)these graphs tell you nothing. You WILL get better dps with a mutilate build with the slower dagger in your OH with all other stats being equal.

Now if you want to compare Blade of the Unrequited OH to something like Whispering Blade of Slaying OH, the weapon DPS difference alone will more than make up for the loss in mutilate DPS by using a faster OH, and the added stats from the Unrequited will increase the DPS even further.

The only thing those graphs prove is that based on the daggers currently available, the faster OH daggers have stats that are so much better than the slow OH daggers available that losing 5-10% of your mutilate damage will be made up by the total DPS gains from the stats on the fast OH daggers. (Sadly, even that's open to investigation because you've only tested Mutilate DPS for your graphs, not Mutilate and Total DPS between different dagger speeds in OH.)

VitaminC said...

Well, thats what I am trying to say. Faster OH with better stats could very well offset the loss in Mutilate damage with a slow OH but lesser stats.

And the most important thing to take away from is that OH Mutilate damage is dominated by the poison proc, not the weapon damage range itself, due to OH DW penalty.

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Garengnoll-Agamaggan EU said...

Well i do agree with most but you know a good slow o.h. with nice stats as the one you gain acces from Keepers its nice for OH and has a nice + to the muti dmg...

The blade of the unrequited is great also for a o.h. in a muti spec but cause of the gems nothing more... and the 1.60 speed with that kind of dmg (NOT DPS) is nice...

a fast weap may has more dps but it has also lower dmg at least the most

mmaker said...

nice work.

So hard time chosing what offhand i would go for first, merciless shiv or shanker, i wanted to see how much less damage the offhand dam would be for shi. Using wowwiki formula and assuming 1500 ap:

merciless shiv: base 585.5 crit 1346.65

merciless shanker: base 629,7 crit 1448.5

this is for 41/20 build, so 7% more dam with shanker. Not terrible much of a different, so i go first with shiv :D since it benifit non muti dagger builds more too.

Anonymous said...

This very well may be the case for PVE. However, I'm gonna have to strongly argue against this being the case for PVP. Any good PVP rogue will use a weapon chain on their offhand as well as crippling poison. So procs, and poisons making up the gap would not be the case in PVP.

So, therefore I believe 2 slow weapons with high dmg is the best combo for a serious PVP rogue.

Anchises - Kel'Thuzad said...

You're leaving out one crucial aspect of pvp damage, burst. With the advent of 120 energy rogues once again we are allowed some energy cook and a quick double mutilate (well timed into a double mutilate eviscerate). That being said, in a lot of matches burst damage is everything, you may only get 8 seconds of uninterrupted, unmitigated, and unhealed damage in any given arena. Thus burst is crucial to any rogue worth their salt, additionally as mentioned, crippling/weapon chain will be the norm for offhand enhancements, negating the poison efficiency. If you think about it logically, the extra damage granted by a slow offhand is often scaled quite higher by the combination of Find Weakness + Improved Kidney Shot + 4/5 pt. Improved Expose Armor. This coupled with a double mutilated/eviscerate combos is one of the highest potential damage combos currently in the game; made only better by a slow off hand.

However, for a purely PvE 41/20 rogue, your overall DPS is indeed higher with a fast offhand, appropriate damage cycles, and intelligent poison choice. I agree with that entirely.

My conclusion:
PvP: Slow OH
PvE: Personal Preference, Fast OH DPS bias.

Also....slow daggers make your attacks look cooler....Aesthetics is important too!

70 NE Rogue Kel'Thuzad (Main)
60 Orc Rogue Malorne
70 BE Rogue Warsong