Monday, February 9, 2009

Maelstrom Weapon: More than you ever wanted to know

I was gonna write about our attack priority list, but then found that it was totally worth it to explain our newest playstyle-changing talent for that guide to make sense.

So here it is!  Yay!

Maelstrom WeaponRank 5
Requires One-Handed Axes, Two-Handed Axes, One-Handed Maces, Two-Handed Maces, Staves, One-Handed Exotics, Two-Handed Exotics, Fist Weapons, Miscellaneous, Daggers
When you deal damage with a melee weapon, you have a chance (higher than rank 4) to reduce the cast time of your next Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lesser Healing Wave, Chain Heal or Healing Wave spell by 20%. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts 30 sec.

Maelstrom Weapon is a proc per minute (PPM) ability.  PPM can get confusing, but all you need to know is that gettting a stack of Maelstrom Weapon can't be helped by crit or how hard you hit or anything like that.  It will stack when you hit for a set amount of times as long as you keep hitting.  The confusing part about this is that it scales with haste effects.  See?  It can get complicated.  What you need to know about PPM are two things:

  1. Maelstrom Weapon will proc a LOT and you will see 5 stacks very very often.
  2. Taking less points in Maelstrom Weapon means fewer procs which means fewer LB's which means lower dps which means babies will cry and kittens will die.  Because of you.  Don't let the kittens die.
There's some simple math to be done here for this ability too.  Each stack reduces the casting time by 20%.  It stacks up to 5 times.  5 x 20% = 100%

From here on out and forevermore, 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon will be called MW5.  What Pif says, goes.

Casting time reduced by 100%?  That means, there's no casting time!  That means our cast is instant!  omaigawsh!  Instant cast lightning bolts!  Instant cast Healing Waves!  It's all instantly instant baby.

Now, some people will argue that you should always stormstrike if the cooldown is up, even if you got MW5.  Their argument is that stormstrike does more damage with the windfury imbue.  But not letting those lightning bolts fly at 5 stacks means a few things.  

First, it means that you aren't giving yourself a chance for more procs.  When it stacks at five, and you keep on hitting you don't gain more MW procs to save for later.  There are no savings accounts, leftover minutes, or to-go boxes.  Each hit you do thereafter is a chance for a proc that you're missing because you're sitting on MW5.  

Also, MW5 LB's may not be your biggest source of damage but it's a big chunk of it.  Not sending out the zeus-like thunder bolt of instantness would be taking out a big chunk of your damage not to mention your stormstrike charges going to waste.  I mean, the thing is instant!  The only thing stopping you from casting it would be mana or some type of boss mechanic where casting = bad.  

One last thing,  a crit on a LB is a chance to decrease the mana cost of your earth shock if you have Elemental Focus which is just win.

So there ya go!  Maelstrom Weapon in a very large and verbose nutshell!  Next, a guide on our attack priority list!  

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