Taloc is mostly single target, with a phase in the middle where you kill some adds. There’s a moderate amount of movement, some of which puts melee out of range of the boss. This isn’t a guide on how to kill the boss, rather some analysis on how the boss will impact your damage, trinkets, and other gear.

For a guide on killing Taloc, may I suggest this 3:36 minute long guide by HazelNutty. It’s to-the-point and focuses on the little things that make a difference, like indicators and icons when you are targeted with something bad, and parts are highlighted as she talks about them. You won’t be disappointed.

Overview of DPS impact

When comparing Taloc to a training dummy (or “Patchwerk”) sim, we can analyze how this impacts damage across a variety of scenarios.There aren’t anymore “Patchwerk” style bosses, which let you just DPS without movement or interruptions – basically the same thing as hitting a target dummy.

Taloc, on the other hand, makes us move around a bit and melee lose range of the boss every 30 seconds. The add phase isn’t the AoE DPS boost we are used to – the Volatile Droplet adds spawn every 5 seconds, and die just as fast. So how do these abilities impact our DPS, trinket choices, etc?

DPS:

  • Melee: most melee specs lose 10-13%, on average, when comparing Taloc to a training dummy
    • ~Half of this is due to the time lost from being out of range when the Cudgel is thrown and retrieved
    • ~Half is from being targeted by Plasma Discharge
    • Minor amounts from the other things going on in the fight
  • Ranged: most specs lose 5-8% damage, with dot classes taking a heavier hit due to focusing Volatile Droplets
    • ~1/3 of that is from being targeted by Plasma Discharge
    • The rest is mostly from not getting full use out of dots and debuffs during P2, when focusing Volatile Droplets (they die super fast)

These numbers assume the you are moving when needed, but also that you are moving perfectly and casting instant spells very well. I’ll share some suboptimal movement scripts later in this post.

Azerite – movement abilities

All Azerite items have a utility ‘tier’ that lets you pick survivability and movement powers (there are no DPS powers on that tier).

Since there is a lot of movement on the Taloc fight, I wondered how much the movement Azerite Powers help? It turns out, very little in theory (although in practice, do they help you stay alive and react faster?). My tests showed an average of a 0.2% increase in DPS for most specs when using movement traits on all 3 Azerite slots.

Trinkets

We can also see how Taloc affects the value of different trinkets. I thought I’d point out a couple of the patterns that show up:

  • On-Use trinkets: these gain a little bit of value over random proc trinkets when fights have predictable phases of movement (ranged) or lose range of the boss (melee). For example, Taloc throws his weapon and retrieves it at predictable times and melee often lose range of the boss for a short duration. With an on-use trinket, you wouldn’t use it right before these events.
  • Buff trinkets, like Syringe of Bloodborne Infirmity: On a training dummy (or ‘patchwerk’) fight, Syringe of Bloodborne Infirmity ranks high for a lot of specs because you get the full value of every proc. It buffs you for 6 seconds (and can stack). It’s great if you never have to lose range of the boss, but loses value if you have to move out during a proc, which often happens on Taloc (and other real bosses).
Any analysis in this article is based on the latest set of Taloc kills from the BETA servers, and meant to give you an idea of what to expect. Things might be different on live, and players might end up using different strategies, which I will update to reflect.

Taloc’s specific abilities & impact on DPS

Let’s look at a breakdown for each ability, including how it is implemented in the simulator, the chance it will affect you, and how much that might matter.

Plasma Discharge

Taloc targets 3 random players (excluding tanks) with Plasma Discharge, regardless of raid size. This means smaller teams will be impacted more than larger ones.

Once targeted, you have 3.5 seconds to get to the edge of the room (or your designated spot), and then you start dropping puddles every 2 seconds (for a total of 4 puddles). When melee are targeted, they run out of melee range of the boss and lose quite a bit of DPS as a result. Ranged should be able to still target the boss with instant spells (but it looks like you won’t have time to cast between puddles).

Simulator Implementation - Plasma Discharge
  • Target chance per cast: 11%  (based on 20-person raid size)
  • Ranged move for 9-11 seconds (randomized)
  • Melee are out of range of the boss for 9-11 seconds (randomized) and end 35 yards away. Distance-closing abilities are automatically used if available.
  • Repeat: roughly every 30 seconds in P1 and P3

How does getting targeted affect your DPS?

When making gear decisions, I like to look at the average simulated result. Our simulator executes the chance that you’ll be targeted each time it runs. Sometimes you’ll get targeted, sometimes you won’t. Since you can’t predict if you’ll be targeted in a real fight against Taloc, I like to use the default Taloc script to do most of my simulations.

But when it comes to playing with simulations and analyzing the boss fights, I like to look at a few different scenarios. My first question was, “How much DPS does a ranged player lose if they aren’t good at casting while moving?”

I created a script to test this: I scripted the player to not cast while moving during Plasma Discharge. I then simmed it for each spec across different gear sets. On average, a ranged spec would lose 2-5% depending on the class, more if movement is a habitual problem.

Get the Extra Movement Script
This script is titled, “Taloc Heroic Extra Movement Ranged

Click on the link to see the script. Then click the ‘add to my list’ button at the top (you need to be logged in). Return to the simulator and in step 4 (the last step), choose that script in the script drop down box.

It’s also interesting to know how much of a DPS difference you can expect when targeted vs not. Especially if you’re comparing your DPS to a friend who didn’t get targeted when you did, amirite? Getting targeted by 2 Plasma’s (one in Phase 1 and another in Phase 3) has the following impact on DPS:

  • Ranged: 2-3% DPS loss, assuming optimal movement, which includes casting instant spells while moving
  • Melee: 4-5% DPS loss
Get the Plasma test scripts
To compare always getting targeted to never getting targeted, use these two scripts:

The Plasma Discharge in 2 Plasma script isn’t random like the default script. In the default, you have a chance to be targeted every time it is cast, so it will vary from iteration to iteration. To control getting hit by 2 plasmas, I had to pick specific times. The 3rd cast in P1, and the second in P3). This could have small effects on how it lines up with specific cooldowns.

Cudgel of Gore & Retrieve Cudgel

Taloc leaps away from melee for a short duration during Cudgel of Gore and Retrieve Cudgel. Based on initial combat logs, it looks like melee lose range of the boss for 3-5 seconds during each ability. Ranged should be able to keep targeting the boss with minimal movement (or none at all).

Simulator Implementation - Cudgel of Gore

Cudgel of Gore (throw the weapon)

  • Melee: lose melee range of the boss for ~3-4 seconds (randomized)
  • Ranged: remain in range of the boss, with a 10% chance to have to move to keep that range

Retrieve Cudgel

  • Melee: lose melee range of the boss for 3-5 seconds (randomized). It appears to be slightly longer since melee have to get out of the way to avoid the knockback.
  • Ranged: remain in range of the boss, with a 10% chance to have to move to keep that range

Between these two abilities, melee will lose range of the boss once every 30 seconds (roughly) during phase 1 and 3. How does this impact damage?

  • It interrupts ‘perfect’ rotations that aren’t resilient enough to hold up to rotational gaps
  • It accounts for about half of the ‘damage loss’ on this fight (about 5%)
Get the script for Cudgel of Gore test
To compare, run the Taloc Heroic – Cudgel script, which keeps you in range the entire time the boss is being moved for Throw/Retrieve Cudgel.

Then compare it to the default script, which will have lower DPS.

Sanguine Static

Taloc uses Sanguine Static once every minute. It sprays out 3 lines in a cone that you have to dodge. It doesn’t have a big impact on DPS, since it is dodge-able and doesn’t happen very often. Even if you get hit once or twice, the impact is fairly small.

Simulator Implementation - Sanguine Static
  • Chance to get hit: 10%
  • When hit, melee are out of range for roughly 2.5 seconds. Gap-closing abilities will be automatically used to get back in range
  • When hit: ranged can still DPS boss, but are considered to be moving for ~2.5 seconds

Phase 2 Adds: Volatile Droplets & Coalesced Bloods

During phase 2, the boss is gone and adds continuously spawn.

  • Volatile Droplet: 1 spawns once every 5 seconds and must be killed right away. Since they explode when they reach a targeted ally, your team isn’t able to stack and AoE them. Ranged focus these adds.
  • Coalesced Bloods: 1 spawns once every 15 seconds, need to be  tanked, and leave pools of Blood Storm on the ground. Melee focus these adds.

In phase 3, the Volatile Droplets continue to spawn every 5 seconds, but Coalesced Bloods do not show up in this phase. Based on the last beta test of this boss, it looks like most teams are ignoring these adds in P3, letting them blow up and healing through it. I set up the boss script to do the same.

Simulator Implementation - Adds

Volatile Droplets

  • Spawn 1 every 5 seconds, with about a 4.5 second time to live.
  • Melee has a 10% chance to be able to hit these along with Coalesced Bloods (because sometimes they get stacked). Otherwise, Melee are set to attack the Coalesced Bloods, not the Volatile Droplets.

Coalesced Bloods

  • Spawn 1 every 15 seconds, living for 20-25 seconds (based on initial logs)
  • Ranged can AoE along with Coalesced Bloods, using large radius spells.
  • Priority target for Melee.

How does this affect DPS?

The current strategy is to have casters focus the Volatile Droplets down while everyone stands grouped up in Phase 2. In phase 3, it looks like teams ignored the adds and let them blow up (and healed through that). It’s actually not a bad idea, considering how much damage teams were losing when ranged focused them instead of the boss in P3.

Looking at logs of the beta, kills often took 2+ minutes longer for teams where ranged focused the adds down in P3. Phase 3 is pretty long and ends up being about a 10% DPS lost for a lot of ranged classes. Because those ads die in 4-5 seconds, it penalizes dots and targeted debuffs.

Want to sim your own character?

Head over to the simulator and load your character. In the last step (step 4), choose Taloc Heroic in the boss script section.

If you want to use any of the other versions of the boss script that I talked about, do the following:

  1. Click on the link to the one you want to use.
  2. You will see the boss script – look for the ‘Add to My List’ button at the top. You need to be logged in to the site so we can save it to your account.
  3. Go to the simulator and choose that boss script in step 4 of the simulator setup.

Boss Script Variations

You might be familiar with our rotation editor, which is quite user friendly and all around pretty great (yay!). The boss scripts are a beast and not at all user friendly (sorry!). If you want a version that isn’t listed here, drop by this forum thread to let me know. I am happy to make different versions on request. Here are the versions I shared in this post so far:

  • Extra Movement (Ranged) – for players who aren’t good at casting instant spells while running with Plasma Discharge
  • No Plasma – for testing out DPS if you never get targeted by Plasma Discharge
  • 2 Plasmas – for testing out DPS if you always get targeted by a Plasma in P1 and again in p3
  • Cudgel – for melee players to see how their DPS would look if they never lost range during Throw and Retrieve Cudgel (for theory only, since you’ll actually lose range)

Advanced boss script notes

We’ve come a long way from the simple target dummy / “Patchwerk” type of fights. It’s obvious how useful these specific boss scripts can be. But there are a few things that might not be so obvious, but worth pointing out.

Chance to get targeted

Every time the boss casts an ability that can target you, we set up the simulator to do the same thing. That means in some iterations, all of your trinkets will proc and then you get targeted, wasting all of that amped up damage if you have to move or lose range of the boss. In other iterations, you might get targeted when  nothing special is happening, minimizing your DPS loss. And of course, there are some iterations where you don’t get targeted.

Movement

When you have to move in the simulation, the rotation (sometimes referred to as an APL, Action Priority List) automatically adjusts and uses spells castable while moving. When melee lose range of the boss, gap-closing abilities are automatically used if available.

We also can (and almost always do) randomize the duration you have to move. We do this for two reasons. First, that’s how real fights work! Second, this removes the ‘perfect timing’ that can happen in simulators, where moving for a very specific amount of time loses more or less damage because of how your cooldowns line up.

Ranking Gear

Our optimization tools rank gear based on real boss fights. Because of this, you’ll often see us recommending different trinkets, Azerite Powers, or stats than some guides.We like to offer advice based on these ‘real’ types of fights. There are a lot of good ways to play and different guides can offer different suggestions to you – and they can both be right!

Get notified of more boss scripts and articles

I’ll be doing more of these throughout Uldir, along with other analysis. If you want to get notified when these are ready, sign up for my email list. I personally write and send the emails so I can promise you I will never spam you or send promotions. I send 1-4 emails a month, depending on how much I have to say.