[Guide] Fire LoN HotA (Season 17)

Ah yeah, remorseless, damn.

Once again mathbarb does not disappoint. Where would D3 forums be without rage

Perhaps Alexis? :smile:

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Nice job! I’ll look forward to seeing you repeat once the season goes live.

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Update: everything in this post is wrong. See post 178 of this thread for explanation.

I decided to run the numbers on two more situations, to see what came out.

Same assumptions as before (boss has 1m life, we do 100 damage per hit, etc)

First, just using HotA to kill the boss (no WW), since I figured it would be interesting to see how much time using WW to stack Stricken might be saving us.

Here, it takes us 890 HotAs to kill the RG.

890 hits * 19 frames per hit = 16910 frames

16910 frames = 282 seconds

Total time = 282 seconds (4 minutes 42 seconds).

Next, I wanted to compare just using WW for the first minute, then switching to “hammer on fire” for the rest of the fight.

1 min WW gets us 493 stacks. It then takes us 886 HotAs to kill the boss.

But, because we are here flipping back and forth between WW (75% of the time) and HotA (25% of the time), the effective frame rate of HotA is actually just 10.225 frames, rather than 19 (and our effective damage per hit is 50 rather than 100).

So, 886 hits * 10.225 frames per hit = 9059 frames.

9059 frames = 151 seconds.
151 seconds HotA/WW + 60 seconds WW = 211 seconds.

Total time = 211 seconds (3 minutes 31 seconds).

So, in the first case, we can see it takes a LOT longer to kill the boss without WW (which of course we already knew). WW can actually save up to about 1:40 on the boss fight, which is pretty major!

And in the second case, it looks like this setup, where we just stack WW for the 1st minute, then swap to “hammer on fire”, is still not as good as just starting out at “hammer on fire” and sticking with it for the whole fight. (3:31 for “WW then swap” vs 3:04 for “hammer on fire”).

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My impression is that much of the damage is actually coming from the shockwave proccing Bloodshed, rather than directly dealing the damage itself.

i.e., maybe the shockwave is critting for 100 trillion or something like that on each mob, which is good, but not huge.

But, since you can easily hit 100 mobs at once, because the shockwave seems to travel 50 yards in every direction, then you get:

0.2 (bloodshed %) * 100 trillion (damage per mob) * 100 (mob count) * ? (proc coefficient of shockwave… same as most HotA runes, 66.7% ?) = 1.33 quadrillion, dealt by Bloodshed to all mobs within 20 yards of your character.

You have any sense on whether that accurately describes what’s happening?

Hey Kozmik, only a quick response for now but I promise to have more for you soon… may not be till this coming week, I have a busy IRL weekend ahead, so don’t think I have forgotten about you if I am silent a few days.

I’m not sure if you saw my post about S27 for Barbs in general… Season 27 notes for Barbs

I already had the details on the shockwave via Rob’s video, but thank you for passing them along again. I wish I had stuck around on his stream a bit longer, I could have saved him a good bit of time on that Bloodshed testing- the discount on damage due to proc coefficient is something I’ve known about for a long time. This is why I basically forbid people to use Bloodshed with Leapquake (EQ has 5% proc coeff).

Anyway, my quick gut-check response to your overall question is that I think Zei is going to give the fastest clear in an ideal situation, but that Pain Enhancer might give better results in an average rift. I’ll give that some further thought, but the “math” explanation for why I think that is already percolating in my brain (warning: may be rather long, when it arrives).

Related to your question about Ruthless, you may want to check out this study I did a while back on the effect of Ruthless (also Ambush) on the kill speed vs a group of mobs (the type I looked at here was Lacuni/Phasebeast):

I’ll get back to you with more as soon as I can, thanks for reaching out.

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Ok, first thing:

Just checked, this doesn’t seem to be the case- Birthright returns 13.3% of your crits via Bloodshed, just like all the other runes other than Rolling Thunder. That 13.3 comes from 20% * proc coefficient 0.667 = 13.3.

So, if you are playing a trash killer spec that uses SoJ, you’re really better off using Smash than Birthright, at least when it comes to straight up damage. Because: let’s just say that the shockwave does damage equal to the 10 hits of HotA that spawn it. On average, it’ll actually be a bit less because the shockwave doesn’t have 100% CHC, but for now let’s just treat that damage as equal.

With Smash: in CoE Lightning phase, you do 200 damage (100 from the hammers and 100 from the shockwave), and in Cold, another 200 damage. Then, in Fire phase you do 300 damage with hammers and 100 with shockwave, for 400 total, and in physical, 100 damage with hammers, and 300 with shockwave, for another 400.

So that’s 200 + 200 + 400 + 400 = 1200. And since Smash gives 20% extra damage, this would then be 1200 * 1.2 = 1440

With Birthright: in CoE Lightning, Cold, and Fire phases, you do 200 damage each. And then in Physical, you do 300 with hammers, and 300 with shockwave, 600 total.

So that’s 200 + 200 + 200 + 600 = 1200. So, less damage than using Smash. If you weren’t using SoJ, then Birthright would be much more competitive, because you would have to choose what elemental damage % to stack on your gear.

Next, let’s “draw some circles”. HotA itself looks to me like it basically hits a point about 10 yards from your character, and has a small aoe, roughly a 10 yard radius from that center point. That means that it deals damage all the way back from that center point to right next to your character, and also 10 yards further from your character, so it can deal damage anywhere from right next to you to about 20 yards away.

And, with the HotA crucible, you get hammers in all 4 directions, so that means your Hammers basically share the same damage radius as Bloodshed: 20 yards in every direction. So that’s our first circle, centered on our character, with a 20 yard radius.

Our next circle is the one described by the shockwave. This effect looks to me like it travels 50 yards in every direction, so this circle has a 50 yard radius.

So a circle with 10 yards radius has an area of 314 square yards. A circle with a 20 yard radius has an area of 1257 square yards. And a circle with a 50 yard radius has an area of 7854 square yards. From previous testing, I know that the basic limit for the number of mobs you can cram into a single AD radius (10 yards) circle is about 30. That means that the 20 yard radius circle can fit (1257 / 314) * 30 = 120 mobs, and the 50 yard radius circle can fit (7854 / 314) * 30 = 750 mobs.

Now, we are very unlikely to ever completely fill up that 50 yard circle with mobs, but I wanted to give you an idea of just how much the shockwave expands our ability to hit extra enemies.

Now that we have that picture of our two circles in mind, let’s look at an example of what our damage might look like.

Let’s assume that we are fighting a group of mobs, and within our 20 yard circle, where they will be subject to our hammers, Bloodshed (and Pain Enhancer, if we are using it), there are 3 “big” mobs, 9 “medium” mobs, and 27 “small” mobs, for 39 total. And then let’s say that beyond that 20 yard circle, but still in our 50 yard circle, we have less densely packed mobs- let’s say 1/4 that density. So that would be (7854 / 1257) * 39 * 0.25 = 61 mobs.

So that’s 39 mobs that just get hit by our hammers, and 39 + 61 = 100 mobs that get hit by the shockwave.

Let’s also say that we have 67% sheet CHC, which gives us basically 100% for our hammers. And, +660% CHD sheet, or a 7.6x multiplier when we crit. Based on these numbers, the shockwave, with its lower CHC, essentially represents a 70% increase in our damage, so if 10 hammer hits do 100 damage, the shockwave will do 70, on average.

Finally, let’s assume we’ve got the regular 178% AD.

So when we swing our hammer 10 times, each of those closer 39 mobs takes 100 damage. That then means Bloodshed deals 100 * 39 * 0.2 * 0.667 = 520 damage. And, because the mobs are all packed within 10 yards, but within 20 yards, let’s say that instead of all of them being in range to hit each other with AD, each mob is only in range of half of the others (let’s say 19). So that’s 100 * 1.78 * 19 * 0.2 (AD proc chance) = 676.

So that’s 676 + 520 + 100 = 1296 damage. Now, what about the shockwave?

Well, that will deal 70% of the hammer+Bloodshed+AD damage to those 39 mobs, or 1296 * 0.7 = 907.

But then it will also hit those 61 other mobs in the outer circle. Let’s say those mobs are too scattered to actually deal AD to each other. And, they’re too distant to be hit by Bloodshed. So each of those mobs just takes 70 damage. But that then means that you get an additional serving of Bloodshed damage on the inner circle of mobs, 70 * 61 * 0.2 * 0.667 = 570.

So that’s total damage to that inner circle of mobs of 1296 + 907 + 570 = 2773. Even though all those mobs in the outer circle barely get tickled by the shockwave (70 damage each), all that extra damage routed through Bloodshed actually gives us an increase of more than 25% vs the mobs in our inner circle (2773 / (1296 + 907) = 1.2587)

Now let’s compare the effect of Zei vs Pain Enhancer.

With Zei, about half the mobs in our inner circle will be subject to the 10 yard effect (which starts at 0 yards), and get a 1.16x multiplier, and the other half will be subject to the 20 yard effect (starting at 11 yards), and get a 1.32x multiplier, or a 1.24x multiplier on average to all of them. That means that our “close-up” damage of 1296 and 907 will be multiplied by 1.24: (1296 + 907) * 1.24 = 2732.

And for all the mobs that are only in the outer circle, let’s say they are an average of 40 yards away, which gives a 1.64x multiplier, so this would then give 570 * 1.64 = 935.

So with Zei, rather than doing 2773 damage to those inner mobs, we are now doing 2732 + 935 = 3667, an increase of 3667 / 2773 = 1.32x.

Now, with Pain Enhancer, we are going to have 39 bleeding mobs within our radius. And, assuming we are also keeping up our EF stacks, that’s going to take us from a 13 frame HotA to a 9 frame HotA. That represents a damage increase of (1/9) / (1/13) = 1.44x, which is actually better than the 1.32x we were getting from Zei.

But, the mob density we’re talking about here is not as high as it can get, especially if we have the assistance of a good zbarb. Even if we cram the 20 yard circle full to the absolute theoretical maximum, about 120 mobs, this still only lets Pain Enhancer take us to an 8 frame HotA, which gives a damage increase of (1/8) / (1/13) = 1.62x.

Whereas, on the other hand: there is a ton of room left in that big 50 yard circle for the zbarb to fill. Like we calculated before, that circle can fit up to 750 mobs, so the 61 we are accounting for now is really pretty sparse. So as the zbarb piles more and more mobs into that 50 yard circle, our Bloodshed damage to all those mobs within the 20 yard circle is going to grow and grow. When we reach 135 mobs within the outer circle, Zei matches the maximum potential damage boost of Pain Enhancer, and for a mob count beyond that, it exceeds it.

So, that’s basically what my gut was telling me last night about PE vs Zei. In a pretty good rift, PE may be the way to go, but in a rank 1 world rift with crazy density, Zei is probably going to outperform PE.

As for negative interactions between Zei and Ruthless, I wouldn’t worry about it. “I’m killing the mobs too fast” is what we call a good problem. And in reality, I don’t think you’re actually going to have a problem at all. As you may have gleaned from my spreadsheet, Ruthless gives about a 12% time reduction vs that diverse group of mobs. Unless you are just one-shotting everything, which seems unlikely in a 150, you are going to get value from Ruthless that is very close to that 12% time saving figure.

I may have more thoughts for you later, right now I’ve got to run…

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I wonder if there’s a case to be made for maintaining Stomp: Wrenching Smash on the HotA TK. This would let your Zbarb be a little more free in ranging further afield to gather up mobs- since they wouldn’t need to execute every single pixel pull for you. Once they dump the mobs within the 50 yard circle, you could reposition a little and then pixel Stomp as you see fit.

That’s assuming you can stay alive a little longer without the Zbarb’s help, of course.

Right, I’m not saying the WW Zbarb wouldn’t be much better at executing that pixel pull (with WW) than you would (with Stomp). I’m asking whether it might not be a better use of your Zbarb’s time to be able to leave you where you’re at, go suck up a bunch of mobs 400 yards away at the other end of the map, and then deliver them to you.

If he has to hang close to you 100% of the time, in order to pixel every last mob on top of you, it’s going to be hard or impossible for him to snag those faraway mobs. Your own solo pushes have shown just how good Stomp is at making those groupings. As good as WW crucible? Of course not. But maybe enough for you to keep racking up good progression in the kill zone while the Zbarb makes those longer pulls.

So yeah: not that you’d replace the WW Zbarb by having Stomp on the bar, just that your ability to execute some decent pulling on mobs that are already fairly nearby may allow your Zbarb to use his abilities to their maximum potential.

Just a thought.

Cut + Paste from my Season 27 notes for Barbs:

LoD + IK HotA

Both of these builds are going to face a significant choice between using the WW (“infinite pulling”) power and the HotA (“Quad Hammer + Shockwave”) power. First, a few notes on how the shockwave works:

  • It doesn’t benefit from the HotA Fury-based CHC buff. That means that if you’re using it, you want to carry a lot of CHC on your gear.
  • It can crit, but it either crits everything, or nothing. In other words, if you hit 100 enemies with the shockwave, it will either crit all of them, or none of them. That probably means it also doesn’t work with debuff-based CHC sources, like Iceblink, though I am by no means sure about this.
  • Its damage is equal to 10x your direct HotA hits. And it procs every 10 uses of HotA. That means it significantly increases your direct damage (not quite doubles, since unlike your hammers it doesn’t have ~100% CHC, the actual increase is about 71.3%).
  • It has a proc coefficient equal to whatever HotA rune you’re using. That means 0.667 for all runes other than Rolling Thunder, which is 0.4. This means that it can proc AD and Bloodshed, and that you’re losing a good bit of Bloodshed damage if you take the Rolling Thunder rune.
  • It always deals Physical damage, no matter the damage type of your hammer. So if you are using the usual Smash (fire) rune, with CoE, you get one damage bump in Fire, and another in Physical.

With all that in mind, I think that the absolute maximum potential for both IK and LoD may come with the HotA Crucible, rather than the WW one. Using this Crucible power to its utmost will require a lot more fishing than using the WW one, since you’ll need to open a super-good (ideally single-floor) rift, where the density is already really high without you needing to pull it as much by yourself.

But, the “base” HotA setup invented by Kozmik is already pretty good at pulling mobs, and in density, those extra hammers + the shockwave mean you will probably do more than twice as much damage, since you directly hit with your HotA on mobs that are on all sides of you, which jacks up your Bloodshed damage, and you hit all those mobs with the shockwave too.

In addition, if you draw a really good boss, like Saxtris, this means you can kill him significantly faster, since ~71% more dps from the shockwave helps a good bit, and once he starts spawning adds, the extra hammers plus the shockwave will speed the kill up a lot.

All that said, the WW power is going to produce results that are FAR MORE CONSISTENT. If you want to get a good clear without fishing 1000+ keys for a Fields with Lacuni/Phasebeast, a Conduit, and then Saxtris + Power for a boss fight, WW is the way to go.

At the end of the day, both are good choices, but I think the HotA crucible is capable of producing higher clears at the top end.

EDIT: One more thing I should note is that if using the HotA crucible for solo pushing, you face a choice between using Smash (fire) and Birthright (physical). Normally, Smash does 20% more damage. But since the shockwave always deals Physical damage, this means we are going to get a penalty to our Shockwave damage, if using Smash, since we can’t effectively carry both Fire% and Phys% on our gear.

As a result of this, taking Smash only gives you roughly 6% higher “flat” damage vs enemies close to you, and in big pulls, where you are hitting lots of mobs with the shockwave, and then “echoing” all this extra damage through Bloodshed, you may actually do more damage with Birthright. This rune also gives you a ton of healing (3% of your max life for each crit, not discounted by proc coefficient or anything like that) especially since, between 4x hammers plus the shockwave, you will be hitting a lot of mobs.

With a decent heap of paragon, and using the Birthright rune, you might be able to drop Mortick’s and take Strongarm Bracers instead, which gives an 18% damage buff against enemies within range.

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Hey Kozmik, sorry about this very delayed response. I’ve been away for a few weeks.

So, first off, it looks like you, Lebron, and the rest of the excellent HotA players have already been turning in the highest clears using the HotA power, rather than the WW one. So perhaps I’m now preaching to the converted. But, I did watch a little of your “addendum” HotA guide video, and it sounds like perhaps you’re still banking on WW pulling ahead in the end. I’m not so sure about that, but let’s look at some numbers that might help explain where my thinking is coming from.

I did want to ask you about something though:

Are you sure that’s correct? I definitely might have missed something, but the top clear I have listed for you on the PTR was 150 in 11:25 with about 3.7k paragon. Are you saying that you spawned the boss not just once, but multiple times around the 5 minute mark, but the fastest you were able to kill him was in 6:25? My apologies if I missed a later, faster clear that you turned in.

Anyway, on to the numbers.

So, think of a good mob type like Lacuni/Phasebeast, and imagine it, essentially, as 3 kinds of enemies. “Small” enemies, who take up 1x space and have 3500 life, “Medium” enemies, who take up 2x space and have 10500 life, and “Large” enemies, who take up 3x space and have 31500 life.

And, let’s say that the maximum packing we can achieve, if using a good mechanism like Stomp or WW crucible, is 36 “slots” within 1 AD radius, or 10 yards. So, that would be 36 Small mobs, 18 Medium mobs, 12 Big mobs, or some combination of those. I think something you’d be likely to see in actual gameplay would be something like 2x Big mobs, 6x Medium mobs, and 18 Small mobs, (26 total) all crammed into 1 AD radius.

And, since we’re really going to be looking for as much density as possible, let’s say we have one of those groupings on each side of us, so 26 mobs on each of 4 sides, West, North, East, South.

And, let’s say we’ve got 178% AD, and do 100 “base” damage, “per cycle” (an arbitrary unit of time… this could be 1 hit, 1 second, 10 seconds, whatever).

So, the plan is basically: whichever crucible we’re using, we’re going to pound on the mobs till we’ve killed some of them, and then we’ll re-stack them using Stomp or WW to continue maximizing our damage boost in density.

With WW crucible, we deal 100(base) + (100 * 1.78 * 0.2 * 25)(AD) + (100 * 1.78 * 0.2 * 0.67 * 26)(Bloodshed) = 1338.4 damage, per cycle, to the stack of mobs we are actually hitting, with the other 3 stacks taking 348.4 from Bloodshed.

With HotA crucible, we deal 100(base) + (100 * 1.78 * 0.2 * 25)(AD) + (100 * 1.78 * 0.2 * 0.67 * 104)(Bloodshed) = 2383.6, per cycle, on all 4 sides, and then the shockwave does the same damage again, with some discounts, 0.7x for not having 100% CHC, and another 0.7x for element mismatch (phys vs fire), so that’s 2383.6 * 0.7 * 0.7 = 1168, making the total damage 3551.6, on all sides of us.

So, in just 1 cycle, with the HotA crucible, we’ve mowed down all 72 of the small mobs that were surrounding us.

It takes a lot longer if using the WW power:

3 cycles of hammering “West”, to kill the small mobs in that group, which also deals 1045.2 Bloodshed damage to the other 3 groups.

Small mobs in “North” then have 2454.8 life remaining, and we have to hammer those for 2 cycles to kill them. Remaining mobs have now taken 1742 Bloodshed damage.

Small mobs in “East” then have 1758 life remaining, and let’s say we can kill them in about 1 cycle. Remaining mobs have now taken 2090.4 Bloodshed damage.

And finally, Small mobs in “South” then have 1409.6 life remaining, and we kill them in about 1 cycle.

So that’s 7 cycles total, to do what we could do in 1 cycle using the HotA crucible.

If you’re then re-stacking using either crucible, into a new optimized grouping, you end up with 2 groups of mobs, each with 4 Big mobs and 12 Medium (again taking up 36 spaces).

If you continue this process through killing all the Medium mobs, it takes HotA crucible another 5 cycles to get those kills, but with WW crucible it takes 13 or 14 cycles. So that’s 6 cycles total for HoTA and 20 or 21 for WW.

Of course, what makes the two crucibles much more competitive in reality is that with WW you can just grab all those Medium and Big mobs, and then drag them to more small mobs really easily, which increases your damage.

But, in a really optimal rift (for instance, with a great density roll of Lacuni/Phasebeast), you’ll probably have a bunch of Mothers and Skeletal summoners on the outskirts of your pull continually dumping small mobs onto you, meaning you’ll just stick to that spot, pounding away, until everything- Small, Medium, and Big mobs- is dead. We’ve all had that “big fight” experience- with HotA, with Rend, with Leapquake- where the big mobs eventually get ground to a pulp by AD and Bloodshed procs coming from a continuous feed of small mobs into the kill zone. In a rift like this, the time you spend dragging mobs around is actually not that large.

Anyway, this is why in my initial analysis, I was of the opinion that in a rift that is anywhere from Terrible → Good, the WW crucible would probably give you a better result, but in a rift that is somewhere between Great → Dream, you would start seeing better returns from the HotA crucible.

As for looking to the future, when you and the rest of the greats have more paragon, I’m still thinking that the same factors I’ve just laid out will continue to hold true. If we’re really time attacking 150 and blowing up the mobs really fast, then it sure helps to blow them up with 3 extra hammers and a giant shockwave.

And when it comes to boss kills, using HotA power will save you about 20% of the time vs a single target boss (this is taking Stricken into consideration), and a good bit more, maybe shaving off up to about 33% of the time, against a good boss like Saxtris, Binder, or Hamelin. 20% time saving isn’t earth-shattering, but it’s also not nothing, especially if you’re seeing boss kills as long as 6:25, which seems to be what you’re reporting from the PTR. In that instance, cutting 20% saves you 1:17- quite a bit! And 33% would be 2:07- over two minutes savings!

All of this kind of holds together with a principle that appears quite a lot in this game: that it’s generally (not always, but most of the time) a bad idea to bet against “more damage.” For instance, without seasonal powers, WW/Rend is much better at grouping than HotA, since you can use both Spear and Stomp. But HotA has the more impressive clears. Why? Because HotA does more damage. Raekor completely lacks any mechanism at all to group mobs, unlike HotA, which uses the extremely effective Ground Stomp. But Raekor has the better clears. Why? Because Raekor does more damage!

Anyway, that’s what I was, and I guess still am, thinking. I’ll be very interested to see how the situation develops as the season goes on!

if you miss the WW power you can always take the cold WW rune, lol. It actually kind of works. Running out of fury isnt really a thing. I don’t know the ins & outs of hota so there might be a reason to take dust devils.

There is: much faster Stricken stacking on the boss. The other runes don’t give much of an improvement over just stacking with HotA.

Ok, there’s good news and bad news.

The bad news first:

The whole post I wrote about stacking Stricken with WW is wrong. I was in the process of preparing a version of that post for Reddit (since people are playing a good bit of HotA these days) when I got a bad feeling in my gut. After doing a bunch of digging around in the numbers, I concluded that I’d introduced an error in the calculation via the way I was accounting for the combination of WW and HotA when you alternate them (i.e. “hammer on fire”). Essentially, I was adding the equivalent of more HotA hits (and thus, more damage) with that method than there ought to have been.

Bottom line: “hammer on fire” is a worse method, and you should just start the boss fight by WW-ing for a while, before switching to HotA. My apologies to anybody who got a busted boss kill due to using this method!

The good news:

I built a calculator you can use to look at boss kill time if you start HotA-ing after different amounts of WW-ing.

On the left side, you can change the numbers for your damage, the life of the boss, and the % per stack you get from your Stricken (aka its rank).

On the right side, it’ll show you the kill time if you WW for 0, 1, 2, or 3 minutes, before switching to HotA.

Again, my apologies to everybody for the bad info in those posts.


It’s ok. Mistakes are made by all.
Thanks for all you do…

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Hey Rage,

Thanks for your insightful contributions as always. I’ve been trying to simulate some scenarios with stricken stacking, but I got stuck on a few points.

First of all you seem to be using a FPA of 7.3 and 19 for WW:DD and HOTA respectively, how can one find these numbers? I tried to import a ‘perfect’ LOD barb from maxroll in d3planner, but got different values that don’t seem quite right (9 and 13).

Also, how does the interaction between normal WW and dust devil hits work in practice? Assuming that you also directly hit the boss with WW, will the internal cooldown of stricken be calculated with the WW FPA instead of the dust devil FPA for a significant fraction of the time?

Curious for your thoughts, or anyone else that has thoughts on the matter

Hi Zyozu,

So, the 9 and 13 frame marks you are seeing for WW/DD and HotA are because you still have the Echoing Fury slider at max (5) stacks. In a single-target boss fight, you will not be able to keep those stacks, and of course in a boss fight with adds, those adds will eat a lot of Stricken, so the actual rate of stacks applied to the boss will be much lower.

The 7.3 frames per stack for the combo of WW and DD comes from my own test, which you can see here: Stacking Stricken with WW - YouTube. Basically, 493 stacks in 60 seconds, which works out to 7.3 frames per stack.

As for WHY it’s so fast: it’s because both base WW and the DDs can each stack Stricken independently. In addition… well, you’re probably aware that the ICD for Stricken is 0.9 * fpa (which is the frames per attack/animation of the proccing skill). Usually, the actual rate of stacks accumulated is just the actual attack rate of the skill in question, since that skill can “only attack as fast as it attacks”, no matter how low the ICD might be. But in this case, WW can hit on the frames after the DD icd elapses, and DD can hit on the frames after the WW icd elapses.

So, the actual rate for WW is 19 frames, and for DD, 14 frames. But, both of those can get stacks, and the icds are 17 and 12 frames, respectively. So, in 60 seconds, you could theoretically get 3600 / 17 = 212 stacks from WW and 3600 / 12 = 300 stacks from DDs, for 512 stacks total. Now, those WW and DD hits aren’t always going to fall perfectly, right after the icd elapses, which is why I got “only” 493 in my test. If you just used the base rate of WW and DD (19/14 frames), you’d end up with 447 stacks. So I believe the result will always fall between 447 and 512 stacks per minute, which is a stack between 7.03 and 8.05 frames.

Not many skills and effects operate this way. One of the only other places I’ve seen this sort of thing is with the Frenzy “chain” created by Bastion’s Revered, which can cause a higher overall stacking rate of Frenzy than its actual breakpoint- though only when applied to multiple targets.

I hope this is helpful!

Thanks Rage! that was very helpful and exactly what I needed. You were right on the echoing fury being enabled. Based on these numbers I did a few simulations. I made a post on the diablo3barbarians forums showing some of the results.

So… do I understand correctly that the WW skill and the DD rune stack stricken separately, with each their own ICD? Would this also mean that if I spam 6 different skills, each one has its own separate ICD and they don’t interfere with each other, or is this specific feature of the WW:DD skill? That seems to very interesting

It’s an unusual feature of WW:DD. With Leapquake, for instance, where you are hitting with Leap, EQ, AV, and SS all at once, the regular set of rules apply, and you get only one icd for Stricken, and only one set of stacks.

Edit: also, excellent work on that reddit post, it’s got me thinking. My gut is telling me that both your calculation and my own may need a little more work… I think your way of looking at “time you have remaining to kill boss” vs “time spent WWing” is right on the money. But, I think these two elements will interact dynamically as the fight proceeds.

And I’m guessing that the actual ideal boss kill will be produced by first WWing only, then switching to “hammer on fire”, interspersed with WW, and finally going to only HotA, with no WW.

Because, think of the value of stacking Stricken at any given point in time. With a max rank stricken, it takes about 44 hits to double your damage. Then another 88 to double it again, then 176, etc. So the value of spending our time stacking Stricken at a higher rate, while doing no damage (i.e. WW), starts very high and goes down as the fight proceeds. So there’s got to be points where first it becomes more valuable to start doing 1/2 the damage by spending 1/4 of our time (“hammer on fire”) and then when it becomes more valuable to just deal damage (HotA all the time), rather than stack more Stricken.

Give that some thought and let’s confer tomorrow.

So, I’ve put some thought in what you said, here are a few ideas:

First, completely agree on delaying fire cycle hammering, all sims showed faster kill times with this strategy. Also following your logic, COE gives 3x damage multiplier, thus it would probably start being worth it after building a third of the ‘WW stricken stacks’. Although it’s probably optimal to do it a little later.

Also agree on your assessment that is will need a little bit more work. The current strategies I have focus on killing the boss in the remaining time, but this will obviously be suboptimal when you want to kill it asap for a leaderboard position. The problem here is that the optimal WW time will always depend on the total amount of stricken stacks in a fight. I haven’t figured out how to build some intuitive solution for this, probably a matter of experience.

Another obvious problem is adds. I have been trying to add them, but there is a large variety on the number of adds and their health pools. I don’t want to have separate strategy for each boss, rather I’d have a general guideline for this as well. I could try a probabilistic approach or a manual one. And I have to find a way to incorporate the damage increase of AD into it too. This seems a tricky beast, which I suspect will only give minor improvements in kill time.

Interesting about the WW:DD stricken interaction. I wonder if there are more of these skills, something like giant’s stride and EQ for example.