Raiding as frost in WotLK 3.3.3

So a while ago I’ve gone and respecced Eilonwyn’s secondary, never-used spec to a frost PvE raiding spec. I’ve always been arcane since level 78, when I changed specs from a frost leveling spec to an arcane end-game raiding spec in order to learn the arcane mechanics before I hit the big 8-0 and started dungeons (when Naxxramas was the highest raiding content available). I love the arcane mechanics even before everyone started going arcane because omg buff!, and I daresay I will continue to raid as arcane even if Fire pushes ahead. (They’re currently neck and neck now, with Fire ahead in heroic best-in-slot equipment.)

Sadly, frost has never seen this sort of attention. I know frost is really good for PvP, which is the reason behind why Blizzard can’t really buff frost too much because it would be too overpowered then. However, I do miss my Water Elemental, who I’ve been with for a good many weeks while I died and ran and rode my way to end-game. And frost PvE has been buffed recently, with a permanent Water Elemental and Deep Freeze damage on bosses (those permanently immune to stuns). So I decided I’d give it a whirl for fun purposes.

So I took the cookie-cutter frost PvE build and tested it out on a boss training dummy. Since stat weights are similar for frost as with arcane, I didn’t change anything; I’d forgotten about arcane having 6% hit and frost having only 3%. Meter sample incoming:

Meter 1 - Missing 3% hit

Missing 3% hit: 5254.7 dps over 1,006,856 damage

Not too shabby. Note that I am basically missing 3% hit as well as slows on the target dummy (to proc Torment the Weak); the actual DPS value of TTW is anywhere below 12%, since I have my mirror images with their frostbolt and the occasional Brain Freeze-d frostfire bolt occasionally slowing the dummy.

Next, I went and queued up with a tank friend for a random dungeon to try out my frost spec on a boss. We got Culling of Stratholme, but sadly I wasn’t able to get a screenshot of my meters then. Meathook meters were 5,152 dps overĀ 237,440 damage. (I went arcane for the rest of the dungeon, to get the fights over with, and because I felt I needed to redeem myself, lol.)

During the dungeon run however, I kept pulling from Vhinz, which I felt was completely crazy given that, um, I was doing less damage as frost. The culprit? Only 10% threat reduction (although the Water Elemental accounts for some of the damage, hence less 10% threat as well?), and no threat reduction for fire talents (i.e. frostfire bolt). Pretty significant coming from an arcane mainspec, with its 40% threat reduction. (Thanks to the people over at Elitist Jerks’ Frost PvE thread.)

After all of this, I realized I was under hit. -_- So I just went and tried myself again, against a training dummy. Much better numbers, my tests kept running at around the following meter:

Frost PvE: Hit capped meters

Hit capped: 5550.7 dps over 1,204,615 damage

Not too bad, although to give it a little perspective, as arcane I was anywhere between 6500-6900 dps in the same fight duration (3 minutes) and identical buffs. Applying Torment the Weak modifier at only 9% (to account for mirror images and frostfire bolt slows — obviously a number just pulled from the air though), dps rises to 6050.3, while arcane would likely be around 7200 up. But it wasn’t very dismal; as frost I can still go into 25-man Vault of Archavon and not shame myself silly. Raid buffed I would likely reach above 6200.

I don’t think I’ll ever see me in raid with a frost spec, however; especially seeing as how I’ve gotten a fair amount of ribbing from the guild that it’s escalated into something being very annoying. Additionally, as one of the usual hard-hitters in the guild, it’s unlikely the guild will be able to afford 15% lesser dps; it makes me a little envious of some raiders whose guilds allow them that flexibility, though I believe these are usually either theorycrafters or those not too serious with progression raiding. Neither of which I am, or my guild is.

But, as my guild master said: “At least it’s not like the 2,000 dps like I thought it would be.”