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Madness v Lightening -DPS?

Scerious's Avatar

08.26.2012 , 08:38 AM | #1
I am new to the sorceror class and was wondering what the better "all-around" spec was for dps. Both spec's look like they have great potential. My main is a marauder so, from what I can tell, it looks like Lightening is comparable to Carnage and Madness to Annhiliation on the marauder. Maybe that is a terrible analogy but meh.

"Your focus determines your reality" -- Qui-Gon Jinn

ISDcaptain's Avatar

08.26.2012 , 10:59 AM | #2
both trees are horrible, madness lacks burst dmg and lightning has way too many casts attacks that make you unmobile which gives PT dps and mara DPS a good chance to easily kill you

if you want to choos one, then for PVP madness would be best

but for PVE

i would still go with madness since the cast times on spells in the lightning tree slow down DPS way too much

Fireswraith's Avatar

08.26.2012 , 11:13 AM | #3
Kind of what ISD said. Madness is better all around, Lightning only is a little better in PvE. But Lightning is still very cast time heavy and requires really concentrating on your character and getting everything right....... Madness is much easier to play.

MidichIorian's Avatar

08.26.2012 , 12:01 PM | #4
Full madness run out of force fast. I'm playing a hybrid but I lose a lot of damage on ticks by doing so.

Scerious's Avatar

08.26.2012 , 04:57 PM | #5
Hm. Madness is what I was thinking initially as well, however all of the burst type abilities Lightening seemed to offer was making me wonder. Thanks for the input!
"Your focus determines your reality" -- Qui-Gon Jinn

TheNahash's Avatar

08.26.2012 , 06:33 PM | #6
I've been playing a sorcerer since launch and have pretty much experimented with all dps specs but for me the Hybrid is still the best choice, although it has been nerfed twice (or at least, 1.5 times if you don't count the latest "fix" to a bug, a legitimate nerf).

As mentioned above, Lightning has way too much casting which since your main is a marauder think of it as a class whose hardest hitting skills are like your Ravage - they may do a ton of damage but they can be easily interrupted and you have to stand still to cast them. Madness is nice but I'd rather not have one more dot to worry about for 1-2% more damage and can run into force issues on extended fights. Hybrid on the other hand is the best of both worlds

People who have done the math say that at least for PVE, Lightning is No1, Madness No2 and Hybrid No3, however remember that these results are from fighting a dummy, that doesn't move, doesn't knock back, doesn't cast red circles on the ground that you have to move out of etc. etc. 80% of the time boss fights require you to move a lot so Madness or Hybrid is for me the best choice for PVE, even if they are behind in maximum damage output. Plus, Hybrid doesn't really run into force problems if you cast your spells when you're supposed to, even during long fights. Also, testing your dps on a dummy doesn't take you skill into account - that's always a DPS + or -

That said, the Hybrid is also probably the most "boring" build. You pretty much have 4 spells in your rotation: Crushing Darkness, Affliction, Deathfield and most importantly Force Lightning. That's it though. Anything else is a dps loss and should only be used if on the move, or if everything else is on cooldown etc. I do, however, find it great that although the rotation is simple and "boring" you will always have force to spare for a quick heal to help out the healer, or to cast a bubble on a teammate, or to extricate someone. We are a support class, after all, and we should never forget that.

Sorcerers are a fun class no matter which tree you choose to play.
But if you need more info, I'm sure you can find much better guides than I could write.
Hope I helped

veyl's Avatar

08.27.2012 , 12:23 AM | #7
Really depends on play style and how quick you are able to react.

In PvP. Madness builds are the way to go but your force management will absolutely suck if you stay in combat. (IE, you've dotted someone recently and that one tick will keep you in combat until it wears off or they die). It's absolute trash how horrible force usage is to actually kill someone and between purge/force bubble - force sprint, it goes down to nil pretty quick. You could tap for force back but uh... You'll be dead much faster. Oh, you should also get used to dying a lot. (I'm averaging 4 deaths and that's extremely low compared to other sorc/sages).

You could do a hybrid in pvp where your force management DOESNT suck, buuuuuuuuuut then you're 100% depending on procs from throwing lightning strike out which does absolutely **** for damage. (Oh, this spec is extremely weak against any good pvp'er, just a heads up.)

You could also try a lightning spec... which uh... works if you have a dedicated healer and a tank that is guarding you. You have to turret (stand and cast, all of which is interruptable except for affliction/chain lightning proc) which leaves you extremely vulnerable to...well... everyone. You get a knockback and a blind when bubble breaks, but you won't be dpsing anything when you're running. Thundering Blast (31 point talent) is so damn laughable it hurts to cast the ability. Not only is it an 1.8 to 2 second cast time (depending on alacrity) but it hits for less than death field on crit. Oh... you'll also be laughed at when everyone realizes you're -lighting- spec in PvP.

Regardless: Don't expect an invite to a Rated Warzone team, this class is a waste of a spot if you're not guarded. Poor burst, Super squishy, terrible resources to be in a long fight and THE worst time to kill an opponent currently for DPS specs in the game.


Lightning spec is 100% proc watching based and using them in order. If you're good at that sort of thing and are lucky enough to stand and turret in a good spot against a boss, then this is out DPS'ing madness according to sims (but not by much). Throw movement into the fight and you not having a proc up = your dps plummets. Of course, all of that comes with experience to know when you can stand and unload vs when you need // have to move and what to do while moving. (chain lightning / shock / reapply affliction if you need to)
You'll also never run out of force with this spec.

Madness spec is way more lenient but dependent on you paying attention to timers and not being more than a second off on recasting DoTs. You'll also be spamming force lightning (about 3 to 4 of these) and death fielding off cool down. This spec is really reliable with movement because you have 4 spells (5 if you count crushing darkness proc of force lightning) to cast on the move. (refreshing two dots, Shock and Death Field), There's a much better chance of you running out of force here depending on your shock usage and having to bubble yourself in emergencies. You can Tap for force back but there are times and places for that which you have to learn is safe. (Having an operative healer in your Ops group is ideal because you can tell them to throw probe on you so you can tap)

Nikklaz's Avatar

08.27.2012 , 08:36 PM | #8
Basically, for PvP purposes, totally avoid sorc; healing is viable, but yet, only one instant which doesn't heal for ****. For PvE, ya, you can do good DPS, and it's either super easy, or quite hard but doing a tiny bit more (potentially) DPS.
I do have to say, Corruption (healing) sorc is very good for PvE tho. Really, all good the sorc has is Extricate (yank) :P -na, jk

Vladnar's Avatar

08.31.2012 , 02:53 AM | #9
Through experience of both lightning and madness i personally have found madness to be much better, especially in pvp and i enjoyed it much much more.

Good luck either way
The time of the Empire is now truly upon us

langaandy's Avatar

02.11.2013 , 09:57 PM | #10
depending on what i am doing this is my spec, minus a few points as my char is not 50 yet but this is what it will be.

a few things can be changed here:

For PVP: 2 points on dark mending
- can stay if you want some help healing or can be moved to suppression for more movement control
- can be moved to corrupted flesh for added survivability
1 point on lightning storm could be swapped with backlash for the same reason but that is personal choice
There is No Light Side, There is No Dark Side : There is only The Force