Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Four seconds

I downed Professor Putricide for the first time last Friday, in my 10 man raid.

I feel conflicted.

I'm really pleased to have finally killed that guy - we had two or three (I forget) very long trying evenings of wipes, including some heartbreaking sub-5% deaths. But (and here's the thing) we killed him with the new ICC buff...

The +5% damage/heals/health zone-wide buff. So did we only succeed because of this buff? Could we have killed him without it? I guess I'll never know now (because I doubt I'll be able to convince my team to try again without it).

So I did what I always do why I'm worried or upset - I got my calculator out.

The only time on the Prof fight when dps/heals are a particular concern is in phase 3, which he enters at 35% health. Most of the deaths occur due to dps throughput, rather than health - the 5% health is likely to be 1,000 to 1,500 health for a non-tank and my experience is that non-tank deaths in phase 3 are due to massive pulses from the raidwide aura he casts - ie the overkill is quite large. The healing bonus is not really relevant except in tank healing, since the heals cast on non-tanks will either be so big they top the player off, or so small that 5% is neither here nor there. Low dps however means that the debuff stacks higher and higher on the tanks, causing higher and higher raid AOE damage, and leading to a wipe.

Focussing on the dps bonus therefore - the prof has 9.7 million health, so you have to burn him for 3.4 million health in phase 3. The "5% extra damage" buff equates to the boss having 4.8% less health, ie 3,238,000 health (explanation - you do 3,238,000 damage to him, the buff increases that by 5% to 3.4 million). The effect of the dps increase therefore is that the time you take to do phase 3 is reduced by 4.8%.

Phase 3 always seems like it is over in seconds when I run it. It is such a crazy dps fest that it condenses in my memory to a frantic button-mashing blur. I estimate that given that all the dpsers will be burning cooldowns in phase 3, and heroism will be used, a decent 10 man dpser might put out say 6k in phase 3. Let's assume 5k to 6k, 5.5k on average - just to be safe. Working on the basis of 6 dpsers and tanks doing 2k this gives a raid dps figure of 37k. This means that phase 3 might last 88 seconds assuming no-one dies. This is reduced from 92 seconds without the ICC buff. The buff therefore equates to killing him four seconds faster.

Four seconds. Is that the difference between success and failure?

In our kill our OT died just as the boss did. Would the MT have been able to take over for four seconds? Would the raid damage aura have pulsed once more and wiped us? I think (hope) that we'd have been ok, but I still wonder how it could have gone in those last few seconds.


  1. Professor Putricide is indeed a crazy fight.

    I hope this doesn't hurt too much, but you probably would have wiped without the buff. Professor Putricide heals himself when a tank with the debuff stacks dies. So he would have gained at least 10% health (I don't remember the exact amount of healing, but it's a lot).

    It's a close call, and that's a tough enrage timer to hit. Regardless, the execution of the encounter is far more important, so you certainly would have gotten him soon after anyway.

  2. Ah you are right. In fact, since the boss didn't heal, the tank must have died in the server lag window of say 0.5 seconds max (2 x the OT's latency?). So four seconds were crucial.

    I was dpsing that night, and our OT's gear was not amazing, and he was a pally (so no chaining cooldowns). We'll be back on Friday to see if it's different with me in my tanking gear.