Refreshing DoTs, Starsurge – Looking for Answers

I have been working to wrap my head around the new balance rotation given the recent patch changes and I still have a few unanswered questions. If you haven’t read Graylo’s (or Relevart for that matter) recent post please feel free to head on over to http://graymatterwow.blogspot.com/2010/09/cata-build-12984-happier-graylo.html and take a peek. Give the depth of the changes and the fact he has been trumpeting some of these for some time I thought it only fair to give him some props.

The two major questions that I am wrestling with is refreshing our DoT’s and whether or not there is a wrong time to cast Starsurge.

Now that eclipse has no timer our rotation outside of the issues listed above is fairly simple. You cast one spell until eclipse, switch, and then cast the other with the process repeating. This is nothing new however the removal of eclipse’s time limit and the inability to prolong an eclipse by recasting the opposite spell drive the rotation home for the most part.

With the inclusion of Shooting Stars we now have a 4% proc chance any time Moonfire or Insect Swarm ticks to get an instant cast Starsurge. This is fairly RNG but given Starsurge’s beefy damage output I would think that even at 2 or 3 ppm this can yield a respectable damage/eclipse energy boost. The drawback is that it resets Starsurge’s cooldown but does not make the instant one cooldown free. What this means is that Shooting Stars might clear your Starsurge cooldown with only 1 or 2 seconds remaining on it for little benefit. The follow up is then, do we cast IS and MF every time that the DoT has expired? The question is, is the DPET of the DoT not corresponding to our current eclipse proc greater the effect of casting a main nuke in an effort to get to the opposite eclipse faster. If you did not cast the opposing DoT, you would also be cutting your chance at Shooting Stars by 50% which seems unattractive. I’m sure the solution to this will be fairly simple but it seems healthy to ask these questions now in hopes of getting answers from the theorycrafters in the beta.

The second question I have is with Starsurge. It is not up for debate whether this spell (normal or instacast) is awesome or not as it is in fact awesome. The question is when I proc eclipse, let us use Lunar as an example, and as I do Starsurge comes off of cooldown or perhaps Shooting Stars procs. Is it better to simply cast Starsurge right then and there due to its power (and wanting the end of its next cooldown to come as soon as possible) or do you cast your first Starfire and then use Starsurge to recoup some of your Lunar Eclipse energy by way of the “smart energy” mechanic.

If anyone has any extensive testing or expertise on the matter I would love to read it!

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