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Ignite
Spell fire incinerate
  • Talent
  • Ignite
  • {{{cast_time}}} sec cast
  • Requires Mage
  • Your critical strikes from Fire damage spells cause the target to burn for an additional 8n% of your spell's damage over 4 sec.
Usable by
ClassMage
Properties
TypeN/A
SchoolN/A
Casting timeUnknown sec cast
CooldownNone/Global Cooldown
Requirements
LocationN/A
Level required5 fire
Related debuff
Spell fire incinerate
  • Magic
  • Ignite
  • Deals Fire damage every 2 sec.
  • Duration: 4 seconds

"It's funny when many think it's over just because the fireball has already hit..."

Ignite is a passive mage talent that causes all critical hits from your fire spells to add a DoT to the target causing significant damage over 4 seconds. The DoT damage is a percentage of the spell's direct damage, 8% per point up to 40% at rank 5. At max rank, this talent effectively makes the critical strike bonus for fire spells 110%, although not all damage is done up front. This is one of the most important talents for fire mages who want to do lots of damage.

Rank Damage
1 8%
2 16%
3 24%
4 32%
5 40%

Notes

Critical strikes normally do 50% more damage than a spell hit (assuming no other talents). Ignite adds damage as a DoT, which deals damage equal to a percentage of the spell's direct damage hit, including critical strike bonus. With 5 points in this talent, a Fireball that hits for 1000 will crit for 1500, and the DoT will do an additional 40% of 1500, or 600 damage. Total damage dealt by the spell is 2100, which is 110% more than the base hit damage. The following formula will calculate total Fire critical strike damage (direct and DoT), where X is the number of points in Ignite:

Crit damage = Hit damage * 1.5 * (1.0 + 0.08*X)

The talent Spell Power also modifies the critical strike bonus, which in turn affects Ignite damage. With both talents at max rank, a Fireball that hits for 1000 will crit for 1750 and Ignite will do an additional 40% of 1750, or 700 damage. The total damage is 2450, which is a 145% more than the base hit damage. The following formula will calculate total Fire critical strike damage (direct plus DoT) with both talents, where X is the number of points in Spell Power and Y is the number of points in Ignite:

Crit damage = (Hit damage * (1.0 + 0.5 * (1.0 + 0.25*X)) * (1.0 + 0.08*Y)

The Ignite DoT deals its damage split into two equal ticks, the first at two seconds after the crit, and the second at four seconds. Using the Fireball example above, a crit of 1500 will apply an Ignite DoT of 600. The spell lands at time t, and deals 300 damage at times t+2.0 sec and t+4.0 sec. If another Fire crit occurs before either tick, any remaining damage is added to the new Ignite, resetting the duration back to 4 seconds.[1] This effectively pushes Ignite damage back when multiple crits happen in quick succession. In any event, the Ignite will only start to tick two seconds after the most recent crit, and the sum damage will always be 40% of all crit damage over time (except under certain conditions, see known bugs).

Each mage gets his own Ignite debuff on a target. It is no longer possible to have multiple mages "rolling" a single large Ignite on a target.

Examples

The following examples assume no talents except a full 5 points in Ignite, giving a DoT equal to 40% of the crit damage. In the first example, a Fireball crits for 1500, applying an Ignite that will deal 600 over the next 4 seconds. Assuming no further spell casts and ignoring Fireball's own DoT, the combat log (time-tagged here for convenience) will show as follows:

0:00.00 - Your Fireball crits <Target> for 1500 Fire damage.
0:00.00 - <Target> is afflicted by Ignite
0:02.00 - <Target> suffers 300 Fire damage from your Ignite.
0:04.00 - <Target> suffers 300 Fire damage from your Ignite.

Total damage is 2100 as expected (1500*1.4). Next, consider two consecutive crits from Scorch, which has a cast time of 1.5 seconds. The first Scorch crits for 1000 damage, Igniting for 400, and the second crits for 1100, Igniting for 440. The second Scorch lands 1.5 seconds after the first, which is before the first Ignite has a chance to tick. This pushes the damage back, adding both Ignites into a single DoT for 840.

0:00.00 - Your Scorch crits <Target> for 1000 Fire damage.
0:00.00 - <Target> is afflicted by Ignite.
0:01.50 - Your Scorch crits <Target> for 1100 Fire damage.
0:03.50 - <Target> suffers 420 Fire damage from your Ignite.
0:05.50 - <Target> suffers 420 Fire damage from your Ignite.

Total damage is 2940 as expected (2100*1.4). Note that the first Ignite did not tick at t = 2.0 as it did with the first example. The second crit restarted the Ignite debuff, with all remaining damage added into the new DoT, and split evenly between the ticks. Now, consider two consecutive Fireball crits, the first critting for 1500, Igniting for 600, and the second critting 3.0 seconds later for 1600, Igniting for 640. Here, Ignite ticks once before the second crit, leaving the remainder to be added into the next Ignite.

0:00.00 - Your Fireball crits <Target> for 1500 Fire damage.
0:00.00 - <Target> is afflicted by Ignite.
0:02.00 - <Target> suffers 300 Fire damage from your Ignite.
0:03.00 - Your Fireball crits <Target> for 1600 Fire damage.
0:05.00 - <Target> suffers 470 Fire damage from your Ignite.
0:07.00 - <Target> suffers 470 Fire damage from your Ignite.

Total damage is 4340 as expected (3100*1.4). Note that the second crit restarted the Ignite again at t = 3.0, leaving 3 seconds between the first tick and the second. The 300 damage that would have been the second tick of the first Ignite is added to the 640 for the second Ignite, a total DoT of 940 which is split into two ticks of 470.

Known bugs

Sometimes a single tick of Ignite will do its damage and then also be added to a second Ignite if it lands just before the tick. This means that one or both ticks of Ignite can do twice the expected damage. This is often mistaken to mean the old "rolling" ignite system from pre-2.0 (see past changes) is still present. The condition for this bug seems to be precise timing, making it difficult to exploit to any advantage.[2]

Another bug occurs when two Fire crits land nearly simultaneously. Both crits should Ignite, but only one will take effect. To trigger this condition, cast an instant such as Fire Blast just as a projectile spell such as Fireball is about to land. This frequently affects elementalist mages who often double-crit with Shatter.

Both conditions can be explained by the theory that the critical strike and damage calculation is done at the time mana is spent and the spell leaves the hands, but the damage is done and Ignite applied to the target after projectile travel time. When a Fireball that will crit leaves the mage's hands, a new Ignite DoT is calculated from the computed damage and any current Ignite stack present on the target. This new Ignite DoT then overwrites the current Ignite when the spell lands, with a new 2 second counter. [3] In computer science terms, this may be considered a race condition.

Consider the case where extra ignite ticks are appearing. The goal here is to time a fireball cast so that Ignite ticks on the target while a Fireball is mid-flight. In this case, a Fireball travel time of 1.0 seconds is assumed.

0:00.00 - Mage begins to cast Fireball.
0:03.00 - Fireball cast complete.
  • Spell is a crit, damage calculated at 2000.
  • Ignite is calculated at 800
0:04.00 - First fireball lands, dealing 2000 damage and applying a 800 Ignite.
0:04.50 - Mage begins to cast second Fireball.
0:06.00 - Ignite ticks for 400.
0:07.50 - Fireball cast complete.
  • Spell is a crit, damage calculated at 2000.
  • Ignite is calculated at 1200 (800 plus the 400 still remaining on the target)
0:08.00 - Ignite ticks for 400.
0:08.50 - Second fireball lands, dealing 2000 damage and applying a 1200 Ignite.
0:10.50 - Ignite ticks for 600.
0:12.50 - Ignite ticks for 600.

Total crit damage is 4000 while total Ignite damage is 2000, which is 10% more than expected. The Ignite tick at 8.0 was included in the second Fireball's new Ignite, but ticked anyways because the Fireball was still in flight. Now consider the case where two crits land but only one spell's Ignite is applied. A Fireball travel time of 1.0 seconds is assumed.

0:00.00 - Mage begins to cast Fireball.
0:03.00 - Fireball cast complete.
  • Spell is a crit, damage calculated at 2000.
  • Ignite is calculated at 800
0:03.50 - Mage casts Fireblast (instant, no projectile time)
  • Spell is a crit, damage calculated at 1500.
  • Ignite is calculated at 600
0:03.50 - Fireblast lands, dealing 1500 damage and applying a 600 Ignite.
0:04.00 - First fireball lands, dealing 2000 damage and applying a 800 Ignite.
  • The Ignite from the Fireblast is simply overwritten.
0:06.00 - Ignite ticks for 400.
0:08.00 - Ignite ticks for 400.

Notice that the Fireball Ignite was not able to include the Ignite damage from the Fireblast because it was not present at the time the spell was completed. Also note that the Fireblast Ignite was not able to include the Ignite from the Fireball because it had not yet landed on the target. Thus, the Ignite from Fireball is overwriting the Ignite from Fireblast without including it.

These examples assume perfect timing which is almost never the case given client/server latencies, but the effects have been observed on live realms.

Past changes

Prior to Patch 2.0, Ignite damage used to always tick every 2 seconds, regardless of new crits resetting the duration to 4 seconds. This meant that ticks would do damage then also apply to the next Ignite, doing its damage once then "rolling" into the next Ignite. As long as crits happened every 4 seconds, the stack would be refreshed, accumulating more damage for each tick indefinitely. Furthermore, only one Ignite stack per target was shared among all mages attacking it, increasing the likelihood that the Ignite stack will keep rolling. In 40 man raids, several fire mages could coordinate (with Combustion for example) to do significant boss damage with these rolling Ignites. Two changes in 2.0 ended the rolling ignite: first, all mages now get their own Ignite stack per target, and second, it stops doing damage and resets each time a new Ignite lands.

In patch 2.3 Ignite was changed so that it no longer procced on Molten Armor damage. This helps alleviate some Ignite bugs, as a simultaneous crit from Molten Armor could overwrite a more potent Ignite, from Blast Wave for example. Also, an unexpected DoT on a mob could present problems when trying to polymorph it.

References

  1. ^ Zaldinar. WoW US Mage Forums. Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  2. ^ Wran. WoW US Mage Forum. Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  3. ^ Rolling Ignites: are they back?. Retrieved on 2008-01-29.
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