Procs When You Least Need It

Last updated: 04/07/08, patch 2.4.

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In the videogame world, the word “proc” describes something that can trigger or activate. Set bonuses, enchants, gems, trinkets, gear, and weapons … everywhere you look in Warcraft you see “Chance on <X> of <Y> (for <Z> seconds)”. This is a proc.

And for those of you who are curious of the etymology of the word “proc”, it is derived from the computer science phrase “programmed random occurrence.”

An example of a priestly item with a proc is the Masquerade Gown, out of Karazhan. It has a chance on spell cast to increase spirit by 145 for 15 secs.

In Warcraft, most procs have an internal cooldown that is unseen to us, the player. This is in place to prevent an item/bonus/etc. from getting too many procs back to back, or even simultaneously stacking.

Generally speaking, how the internal cooldown works is as follows: If an item has a proc that lasts for 20 seconds, and has a one minute (internal) cooldown, the proc will be up or active for 20 seconds, then there will be 40 seconds before it could feasibly happen again. 1 minute internal cooldown – 20 second proc = 40 seconds between procs, at minimum. Math ftw.

Well, how do we know how long the internal cooldown is, though? Well, by testing. Or by having others test for us.

How is this useful? Knowing the internal cooldowns of various items allows you do to some simple math to compare similar items to see which gives you the best benefit. It is extremely helpful to know about how many times you could see it proc over a long fight.

Here is a brief list of priestly items and their internal cooldowns:

Enchants

  • Spellsurge – 50s internal cooldown (but can still stack with other players’ Spellsurge buffs)

Gems

Trinkets

Set Bonuses

Gear

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2 Responses

  1. I have masquerade gown since Feb, 2007 and it procs a LOT more now that it used to. Some trinket cooldowns are better than others (i.e. Sethekk Oracle’s Focus). There are stackable buffs from one trinket that stack up to 5 times, but I have yet to test it out.

    My question here is…. do you ever macro a trinket so you “Use” it with a often used spell like “Renew” or “Flash Heal” so it procs all the time without having to remember to pop “X” trinket before casting Greater Heal?

    I use something like
    /use Essence of the Martyr
    /cast Flash Heal

    And then just bind that to a hotkey. Yes, after the 1st time you hit the key it works without error, and every subsequent push of the hotkey WoW will tell you that item isn’t ready yet, but I like the fact that I can spam the hotkey during a 10 minute raid boss fight and have it go off 5 times without me thinking about it. Bumps up my +heal and I even forget that I have Essence of the Martyr equipped so I can focus on avoiding Void Reaver’s little astral balls.

    – Mandarin

  2. Personally, yeah, I bind trinkets to commonly used spells. For my shadow priest, I keep my on-use trinkets bound to Vampiric Touch. For my healbot priest, I keep them bound to Renew (since I use it right at the start of battle and will continue to toss it on the tank whenever it is up).

    Sethekk’s Orcale Focus is a necklace that doesn’t have any on-use abilities or procs. The trinket that stacks buffs, do you mean Ribbon of Sacrifice? I’ve played with it a bit, and it is a great trinket for main tank healing.

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