A little Math… A little Theorycrafting… A little Advice

I had originally started this post for just Mana Tide Totem… but then math got involved and it spiraled into a full-blown talk about Mana Regeneration, Mana Tide Totem, and Theorycrafting Regen Stats for Shaman.

The reason being that with the recent change to Mana Tide Totem, Shaman now walk a fine line of Mana Regeneration. If we stack too much Int, then our spells will surely be powerful but we will run out of mana quickly. Likewise with too much Spirit, we won’t likely have mana issues but our spells won’t hit all that hard. Where is the balancing point if there even is one? Should Shaman stack spirit in order to maximize our raid buff or continue to stack int? In order to understand which is the better stat, we’d have to look at the benefits of both of these as Mana Regeneration stats and how they fit into the equations used to determine Out of Combat & In Combat MP5.

Mana Regeneration:

To understand Mana Regeneration you have to first know which variables influence it. In the Mana Regen Formula, you have to take into account the amount of Intellect, Spirit, and Base Mana Pool. These three things determine the amount of mana a healer regenerates both in combat and out of combat.

So let’s take a look at the Mana Regeneration Formula:

SpiritRegen = (0.001 + SPI * sqrt(INT) * BASE_REGEN[LEVEL]) * 5

This formula determines the Amount of MP5 gained from Int and Spirit, dubbed by someone as SpiritRegen. Here in addition to knowing the amount of Spirit and Intellect we have, we must also know our BaseRegen. This is relatively simple, as for every class that uses mana at level 85: Your Base Regen value = 0.003345

Base Regen is universal among all the classes and changes based on what level you are currently at. For a table, see the following Wowpedia Page.

Now then once we know what our SpiritRegen is, we can determine our In Combat and Out of Combat MP5 stats. As a note, there is rounding involved; anything from 0.01-0.5 is rounded down, where as 0.51-0.99 is rounded up to the nearest whole number. Rounding also occurs at the end of the calculations not in the middle.

Out of Combat Regen = SpiritRegen + BaseClassRegen 
In Combat Regen = (SpiritRegen * 0.5) + BaseClassRegen

So we know now how to calculate our In Combat and Out of Combat Regeneration stats, but what is the BaseClassRegen? Well to put it simply, it is 5% of your Base Mana Pool, that is your mana pool assuming you had 0 intellect and no talents or gems to modify it.

So time for Math and let’s use my stats as an example of how this formula is calculated. My Restoration Shaman Laerith has the following Int, Spirit, and Mana Pool.

Intellect = 4366
Spirit = 2427
Mana Pool = 90413

One of the first things that needs to be figured out is the Base Mana Pool of my character. In order to calculate that out you would use the following equation taking the appropriate steps. Note: There are two formulas for this, one is for if your int score is below 20 and one if you have more than 20 int. For purposes of this article, I am using the later equation for my level 85 Character.

Max Mana = BaseMana + ManaFromInt 
90413 = BaseMana + (20 + 15 * (Int - 20) )
90413 = BaseMana + (20 + 15 * (4366 - 20) )
90413 = BaseMana + (20 + 15 * 4346)
90413 = BaseMana + (20 + 65190)
90413 = BaseMana + 65210
90413 - 65210 = BaseMana

See how easily it is to find out a character’s Base Mana pool? Now if you are a sharp person, you’ll have noticed I actually left something out of the above calculation. While it is true that I have 4366 intellect from gear and gems… I failed to take into account the bonus of my Meta Gem: Ember Shadowspirit Diamond which boosts my maximum mana by 2%. So let’s go and correct that mistake. After figuring out my Base Mana Pool, let’s also go ahead and figure out the Base Class Regen for a shaman.

(90413 / 1.02) - 65210 = BaseMana 
88640.196078 - 65210 = BaseMana 
BaseMana = 23430.196078 [Now Round]
BaseMana = 23430 

BaseClassRegen = BaseMana * 0.05
BaseClassRegen = 23430 * 0.05
BaseClassRegen = 1171.5 [Now Round]
BaseClassRegen = 1171

Aww… our actual BaseClassRegen is 1171.5, but even though it is at that number we still had to round down to 1171. Well, now that we know our BaseClassRegen, let’s stick it with the other stats from my Character and figure out the In Combat and Out of Combat MP5 I should have.

Intellect = 4366
Spirit = 2427
Base Regen = 0.003345
Base Class Regen= 1171 

SpiritRegen = (0.001 + SPI * sqrt(INT) * BASE_REGEN[LEVEL]) * 5
SpiritRegen = (0.001 + 2427 * sqrt(4366) * 0.003345) * 5
SpiritRegen = (0.001 + 2427 * 66.0757 * 0.003345) * 5
SpiritRegen = (0.001 + 160365.7239 * 0.003345) * 5
SpiritRegen = (0.001 + 536.42335) * 5
SpiritRegen = 536.42435 * 5
SpiritRegen = 2682.12175 [Now Round]
SpiritRegen = 2682 

Out of Combat Regen = SpiritRegen + BaseClassRegen
Out of Combat Regen = 2682 + 1171
Out of Combat Regen = 3853  

In Combat Regen = (SpiritRegen * 0.5) + BaseClassRegen
In Combat Regen = (2682 * 0.5) + 1171
In Combat Regen = 1341 + 1171
In Combat Regen = 2512

Yay Math! But Now comes the real question… is it correct? Well according to this screenshot of my character panel, yes. Neat huh?

Why is this important to know?

Good question! There are a couple of reasons to know how to calculate your mana regeneration. If you obtained a new piece of raiding gear, and wanted to know the benefit of say geming straight Intellect versus using an Int/Spirit gem to activate the bonus, now you can see if it really is worth it.

The second reason is due to the recent change to Mana Tide Totem. Our mana regeneration cooldown now only affects Spirit and not the procs from spirit trinkets that are short-term. There have been talks thrown around about shaman being shoe-horned into stacking spirit solely for our new Mana Tide Totem since it now provides a buff raid wide.

Currently the following things in-game work with the new Mana Tide totem:

Our T11 4-Piece bonus: 540 Spirit 
Jar of Ancient Remedies: 515 Spirit
DMC: Tsunami: 400 Spirit 
Heartsong Weapon Enchant: 200 Spirit
Food Buffs
Other Enchants

Everything else does not. Due to this short list, exactly when do Shaman have enough spirit so that combined with Mana Tide Totem they will be fine throughout a fight? That is a very hard question to answer as each shaman can play their class differently. Also depending on the other healers in your raid… you may need more or less than the next guy in line.

If Mana is so important, should we just stack Spirit?

We are getting ever closer to the point I’m trying to make here. Let’s first look at what Spirit and Int give to us in terms of beneficial secondaries. Spirit by itself only provides mana regeneration, but if a shaman were spec’ed into the talent: Elemental Precision then spirit also provides more hit rating. Presumably a shaman is spec’ed into this talent to have a better chance to hit enemies with Lightning Bolts in order to trigger the effect of the talent: Telluric Currents.

Now then what does Intellect give a shaman? It actually provides a little for a lot of statistics we have. It boosts Spellpower, our Mana Pool, Crit, MP5, and mana gained from Replenishment. The secondary benefits of Intellect generally out weigh the mana regeneration value of pure spirit.

Let’s take a look at my armor. If I replace all my int gems with spirit gems (if a gem is 20 int and some other stat, it will then be 20 spirit and some other stat), then I would lose 334 Intellect and gain that much spirit.

This would mean a loss of:

-334 Spellpower
-5040 Mana (Little more since I’d be replacing the meta gem which provides 2% max mana)
-0.51% Crit

And a Net Gain of about 250 MP5 out of combat with a gain of 125 MP5 in combat. Now I don’t know about you… but that just doesn’t seem worth it at all.

Since our cheapest spell is Healing Wave which costs 9% of our base mana (More math incoming, feeling math-y today), that means Healing Wave costs 23430 * 0.09 = 2108.7 / 1.06 (due to the Tidal Focus Talent) = 1989 mana rounded. That means with the gain of 125 MP5 in combat, I’ve gained a free healing wave about every 80 seconds . The cost however is the fact that my over all mana pool is down by over 5000 (could have cast 2 or 3 Healing Wave from that), spell power is lower, we have less crit, and we gain back less from Replenishment as it is based on your mana pool not your spirit regeneration. Due to your mana pool being over 5000 mana lower, I’d lose about 25 MP5 from Replenishment.

All in all I would have gained only 100 more MP5 at the cost of the above.

The Point of All This:

Is to say that with the Mana Tide Change, we still should not stack spirit as a primary stat. We simply lose too much benefit from the intellect stat in order to ever make it worthwhile.

In the above scenario, where I changed all my gems to be Spirit Gems instead of Int Gems, I would have gained effectively only 100 MP5 in combat. Factoring in the 334 new spirit into Mana Tide Totem, the MP5 I would have gained would be 448 MP5 in combat. The raid would have gained 1336 spirit for those 16.80 seconds (which is about a return of a little over 2000 mana). Even when considering the buff to the raid and your fellow healers, the trade-off still isn’t worth it.

Now because fun was being had calculating all this Math… I took a little time to see the pro’s and con’s of assuming every gem switched to a 40 spirit gem, had the T11 4-Piece bonus, and the two trinkets Jar of Ancient Remedies & DMC: Tsunami along with a spirit flask and spirit food. In this scenario I found the following was lost:

-22185 Mana
-1479 Spellpower
-About 2.3% crit
-111 MP5 in combat due to replenishment

The raid would gain about 7400 more spirit from the Mana Tide Totem buff. This equals out to about 4150 MP5 in combat, netting a gain per raid member of about 14000 Mana. In short, I would severely reduce my own potential as a Healer in order to provide everyone else in the raid with an additional 14000 Mana.

The tradeoff is too extreme even in a situation where spirit was 100% stacked. The benefit of the extra mana regen for both yourself and the raid does not outweigh the cost of losing that much intellect. So, in the end like I’ve said before this patch is more of the same for Shaman. Intellect is still our primary stat and still what we should favor. Spirit still is the a great runner-up stat (and imo the stat Shaman should focus on until they hit a comfortable mana regeneration point).

Raid leaders be warned, telling your shaman to stack spirit for the benefit of the raid is a poor decision. You have much more to gain from a healthy shaman healer then you would if they tried to maximize that raid wide buff. Shaman, don’t get bullied into stacking spirit, you have much more to gain from the Intellect stat.

We should still gem and gear the same :)

Author’s Ending Note: I did all this math on the Microsoft Calculator. In some places I may have rounded too early just to make it easier on myself. If the number’s aren’t 100% perfect that’s fine, the intended goal was to show the pro’s but mostly the con’s of stacking spirit.

Due to the effect of Diminishing Returns, the numbers will also not be 100% accurate. Everyone has different Int and Spirit stats. Napkin math can’t predict the full gain of a spirit boost that large, hope that’s alright for you all :)

PS: I also didn’t calculate into the pro’s the mana returned from the Use effect of Jar of Ancient Remedies.

This entry was posted in Healing, Opinion, Patch Related, Theorycrafting. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A little Math… A little Theorycrafting… A little Advice

  1. Vixsin says:

    Excellent walkthrough!

    And I wholeheartedly agree when it comes to your perspective on spirit-stacking. While I do see some benefit to pursuing gear with Spirit (instead of stacking Spirit-less gear and using TC for regen), going the all-out route will have a harsher impact on your raid team. Losing that much spellpower is not a drop in the bucket; it’s close to walking into a level 85 raid instance in level 82 questing greens.

  2. Rhii says:

    That was very informative thanks. I’m the kind of person who adds 2+3, comes up with 7, then wanders around wondering bemusedly why everyone else is so confused about what 2+3 is. Needless to say, I don’t do my own theorycrafting. I do, however, like to see the numbers, so that I can follow why people say the things they do. Thanks for making this easy to understand for someone mathematically challenged.

  3. Pingback: Netherhood Welcome Wagon – Totemic Grace | Twisted Nether Blogcast

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