Ever since I first started looking into Tiger Strikes uptime, I noticed that the number of autoattacks in my logs were less than expected. For example, in my most recent kill, I had 171 autoattacks attempted in 5:04, or an average of 1.78 seconds between attacks, despite having a weapon with a 1.6s base attack speed! I had a number on theories on why that was happening. My first theory was simply time spent not attacking – time lost to channeling mana tea, and time lost to being fully petrified (since I largely look at Gruul logs).
This didn’t cover it, so then I had this wild theory that perhaps autoattack range is shorter than ability usage range – perhaps by trying to stay at max range to Gruul, I was cheating myself of autoattacks. In subsequent weeks I always made sure to stay closer, and it seemed like my autoattacks went up, and along with it my Tiger Strikes uptime. I had thought I had solved it, and didn’t look closely at it again until today. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I got my Kromog sword the following week, so the real culprit didn’t affect me as badly.
The problem is the numerous activities we do during combat that reset the swing timer. I finally looked closely at my autoattacks and the time between them, from this log. I exported the melee attack events, multistrikes excluded, to a csv thanks to wcl’s lovely export function (support Kihra’s patreon if you can!). I then added a column tracking the time since the last autoattack, a few columns to track any debuffs/buffs that would affect swing speed, and finally a column where I could track casts. Throw in some conditional formatting, and the result looked like this:
I quickly sussed out two main culprits: Expel Harm, and Surging Mists, which only used when at 5 stacks so it’s instant and has no mana cost. Still, there are clearly unaccounted-for delays in the autoattacks. The first such example happens at 13.410, where you’d expect a delay more in the ~1.0 range but we have 1.59. I went back to the casts table and finally found it – a Gift of the Serpent cast at 12.378, resetting the swing timer (at this point roughly 1.03) so that the next cast comes at 13.410. (Quick note if you’re looking in logs yourself, spellID 119031 is when they spawn, 135920 is when they expire after 30 seconds and heal somebody nearby, and 124041 is when somebody runs over it and gets healed). That’s right, the random spawning of orbs from Mistweaver mastery resets the swing timer. This actually means that mastery on gear, which increases the chance to spawn orbs, has a negative value for DPS.
So, at last we’ve solved the mystery. My preliminary theorycrafting (which, I was very close to getting a Jade Mists weight to finally finish the multistrike weight, I promise) indicates that this is about a 7.5% DPS loss just from lost autoattack damage, before you take into account lower Tiger Strikes, trinket, weapon enchant, and ring procs via less combat events. Once you add those in, it could well be over a 10% DPS loss.