Haste is a secondary attribute that increases attack speed, ranged attack speed and casting speed. It also increases these attributes for the player's pets, increases the regeneration rate of some resources, and increases the tick rate of most of the player's damage over time and heal over time effects. Spell haste also reduces the length of spells' global cooldown.
Haste can be gained in a number of forms. Each of these forms of haste are displayed separately on the character sheet - under Melee, Ranged and Spell, respectively. Melee haste increases attack speed; Ranged haste increases ranged attack speed; and Spell haste increases casting speed, reducing cast time, and reduces the global cooldown.
Haste rating increases attack speed, ranged attack speed, casting speed and resource regeneration (energy, focus and runes). Players can also obtain specific increases to each of these forms of haste, without increasing the others. For example, increases all party and raid members' spell haste by 5%, but not does affect their melee or ranged attack speed.
Attack speed and ranged attack speed increase the rate at which melee and ranged auto-attacks are dealt, respectively. This can increase the frequency and damage output of the player's auto-attacks. This can in turn increase procs from effects such as , and . Casting speed effectively reduces the cast-time of spells. This can allow casters to heal or deal damage more quickly. Non-spell cast-time abilities such as also benefit from haste, with reduced cast times.
Although their haste attributes are frequently unlisted, pets also benefit from haste, increasing their attack or casting speed. While pets automatically gain their master's haste rating, they often do not share melee or casting speed increases. For example, a warlock with 3.37% haste will find that their imp's Firebolt's cast time is reduced from 2.5 sec to 2.42 sec, but many casting speed increase buffs that affect the Warlock will not affect the imp. Pets usually are affected by raid-wide buffs like / .
Haste also increases the rate at which players generate energy, runes, and focus. By increasing the rate of melee auto-attacks, haste can also increase the rate at which warriors generate rage, and the rate at which Enhancement shaman regenerate mana, via .
Spell haste can reduce the length of the global cooldown. For most classes, the base GCD is 1.5 seconds, and Haste can reduce it to a minimum of 1 second (requiring 50% haste). Reducing the GCD allows players to use their abilities more rapidly, but does not alter the cooldown of individual abilities. is one exception to this.
Haste also increases the tick rate of damage over time and heal over time effects. Almost all spell DoTs and HoTs scale with haste, but many physical effects do not. By increasing a spell's tick rate, the spell's damage or healing is dealt more quickly. With sufficient haste, additional ticks will also be added, increasing the effect's output and efficiency considerably. This is because the game engine endeavours to keep these effects' durations as close as possible to the original length; when an effect's duration is reduced by more than half a tick, an extra tick will be added. The tick rate of these effects is calculated at the moment they are created; subsequent changes in haste will not affect their rate.
Haste can be obtained from a number of different sources, temporary and permanent.
- The main permanent source of haste is from gear. Haste from gear is generally provided in the form of haste rating, allowing it to benefit melee, ranged and casting speed. Haste rating can also be added to gear with enchantments and gems. Some items such as trinkets can also offer on-use temporary haste buffs (), while some weapon enchants grant temporary hastes procs ().
- Numerous abilities temporarily increase haste. These may be available through talents (), racials (), professions (), or as regular abilities ( ).
- Passive abilities can also offer a variety of haste increases, generally increasing a specific type of speed. These may be permanent (), semi-permanent ( ) or temporary.
- Potions and Elixirs can increases haste. Potions tend to have very temporary effects () while elixirs' effects can be maintained indefinitely ().
Players can also acquire negative haste, usually from enemy debuffs.
- Abilities can reduce various types of haste either directly () or indirectly ( )
- Some mob and boss debuffs can also cause negative haste
Mobs often grant themselves or their allies effects which increase haste. Numerous mobs have an Enrage buff that is activated when their health becomes dangerously low, increasing attack speed. Many bosses also gain haste buffs, such as Shannox or Patchwerk's Frenzy effects, either during Enrage phases or in response to specific events. While some of these effects are dispellable, many are not.
Haste stacks in a multiplicative manner. This means that it is beneficial to stack multiple haste effects. Haste rating stacks additively with itself (two sources of 100 haste rating give a total of 200 haste rating when stacked) and is then converted into a percentage (see table below) that stacks in a multiplicative manner with other sources of haste.
|Haste Rating Required Per 1%|
|Level 60||Level 70||Level 80||Level 85||Level 90|
3083 + 2880 = 5963 haste rating 5963 / 425 = 14.03% haste (1.1403) 1.1403 * 1.2 = 1.37 or 37% spell haste
Attack and cast time
Generally speaking, haste represents how much more of an activity you can perform in a given time. For example, 100% haste can double DPS/HPS, by allowing the player to generate an extra 100% healing or damage in that time. Casting time and the auto-attack interval are therefore calculated by dividing the weapon or ability's base attack or casting time by the attack speed or casting speed percentage.
A priest has just popped his haste cooldowns, temporarily increasing his spell haste to 37%. This allows him to deal 37% more damage or healing in a given time.
This reduces the cast-time of 1.5-second spells such as to 1.09 seconds. It is also enough to add 2 additional ticks to , and a potential 10 ticks to , increasing the speed and efficiency of these abilities by 50%.
Spell global cooldown
Spell haste reduces the global cooldown (GCD) triggered by spells exactly as it reduces the cast time of those spells, but cannot reduce it below 1 second. The length of the global cooldown can therefore be calculated using the same formula given above.
Following the above example, a priest with a cast time of 1.09 seconds would have a global cooldown of 1.09 seconds. Should the priest also acquire the / buff, his haste would be increased by 30%, reducing his Flash Heal's cast time to 0.842 seconds. However, his global cooldown would only be lowered to 1 second.
The amount of spell haste required to lower the global cooldown to its 1 second minimum is 50%. This minimum prevents players from casting spells more often than once per second (with the exception of spells that are not on the GCD such as , and ). However, this only directly inhibits players' use of 1.5-sec base cast time spells, and when combined with pushback, the availability of longer-cast spells (often serving as higher DPS/HPS or more mana efficient alternatives) and the desire to move in between casts, the minimum GCD does not prevent additional spell haste from benefiting the caster (see Haste Cap, below).
Because haste stacks in a multiplicative manner, it is generally of maximum benefit for players to use any haste-generating abilities or procs simultaneously. This will produce a larger benefit (measurable in DPS or HPS) than that provided if each is used separately. This is ideal for dealing with emergencies, allowing the player to rise to the occasion by significantly increasing their output on command. Most haste abilities have 2 to 3 minute cooldowns. On the downside, this approach requires the player to choose the right moment to use these abilities, and by placing many of their most powerful abilities on cooldown at once, can leave them without fallback options should events take an unexpected turn.
Classes using DoT and HoT effects can make the most of temporary haste effects by casting these abilities while they are active. As tick rates are calculated based on the player's haste at the moment they are created, significant advantages can be gained by timing DoT and HoT casts for these windows. This also applies to some channeled effects such as .
As well as increasing DPS/HPS, this can also make certain options more efficient, and therefore desirable. For example, for many Discipline priests is not only exceptionally slow, but also weak and mana inefficient. By casting Renew while benefitting from haste buffs such as , priests can often add an extra tick to the effect, increasing output and mana efficiency by up to 25%. Since haste does not increase the effectiveness of cast-time abilities, this can shift Renew's place in the healing hierarchy from a slow and relatively inefficient heal to an efficient and desirable option. Saving haste effects for use with can increase a priest's healing output significantly, and makes for an excellent emergency cooldown.
By casting DoTs and HoTs during multiple haste effects, their speed and output can be increased to an extraordinary degree. Approaching 100% haste (as little as 87.5%, depending on the number of ticks in the effect) will double the number of ticks in over-time effects. Generally speaking, haste improves the speed of cast-time spells, but improves the speed, output and efficiency of over-time effects. This can make many DoTs and HoTs superior to their cast-time alternatives during high-haste periods.
Perhaps the most well-known of all haste buffs are the raid-wide / , and . With a 5-minute cooldown and a 10-minute debuff, timing and coordination are required to make the most of these powerful buffs. Using them in less than critical moments may not only waste your own cooldown, but also prevent others in your raid from using them when they are needed most.
While there is no point at which haste becomes entirely unbeneficial, different classes may find it becomes less valuable at a certain level. In practice, haste is restricted by gear and effects, and does not exceed certain levels outside of special encounters (such as "Captain" Cookie in the Deadmines). The most significant cap for haste is the point at which its acquisition requires the trading of something more valuable, whether a superior talent, or a disadvantageous amount of a critical attribute.
Spell haste cannot reduce the global cooldown below 1 second. Thus, once a player has enough casting speed that all of the abilities they use in combat have a casting time of 1 second or less, additional haste rating won't increase their damage per second or healing per second from abilities (even on fights that are too short for mana to become the limiting factor). For some casters, this can be seen as a "haste cap". However, even above this point additional haste has its benefits, such as allowing the use of abilities with longer cast times. For example, sufficient haste would allow a priest to use rather than , saving a large amount of mana. Also, additional spell haste will still reduce the actual time spent casting, which can be advantageous when making split-second casts, avoiding interrupts or trying to move between casts. When dealing with spell pushback additional haste can be very useful, potentially granting the caster an effective immunity to pushback, due to 'excess' haste counteracting its effects.
In most respects haste does not have a cap; haste rating does not suffer diminishing returns, and most of its effects continue to increase in a linear fashion. For melee types (and hunters), since auto-attack speed does not have a limit, haste will continue to increase DPS, as well as generating additional talent procs. HoTs and DoTs can likewise be extended by several ticks, dramatically improving efficiency, speed and output. Many periodic effects (such as and ) effectively do not have a haste cap, and can be improved with haste to deal damage more than once per second. Some other effects cannot tick faster than every 1 sec, and so effectively have a haste cap of just under 200%, but this is unlikely to be reached very often.
The most important question for haste stacking is its relative important to your class, spec and playstyle. Some classes rely heavily on haste to improve their DoTs or their auto-attack speed, while for others it is of minimal importance, and should be avoided or reforged wherever possible.
Patches and hotfixes
- Patch 5.2.0 (2013-03-05): The benefit of Haste from items and consumables has been increased by 50% for all Warriors.
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Haste Rating now modifies both melee attacks and spells.
- Patch 2.2.0 (2007-09-25): Haste has been rebalanced. It has returned to the ratios from the launch of Burning Crusade. Melee attacks and spell casts will now benefit at identical rates from haste. This change results in a reduction in the benefit of haste for melee attacks and an increase in the benefit for spellcasters.
- Patch 1.12.0 (2006-08-22): Previously, haste and slow effects worked inconsistently, with spells working differently from weapons, and hastes and slows not acting as inverses of each other. We have revised the system so that all haste and slow effects work the same way, and haste and slow percentages of the same magnitude perfectly cancel each other out (30% haste and 30% slow combine to no change). As a result, we had to change the tooltip numbers on all spell haste effects, and on all melee and range slow effects. The numbers in the tooltips are different, but the game functionality is unchanged (other than slight rounding errors). Those tooltips that changed will now display larger numbers than they used to display. Conceptually, haste values indicate how much more of that activity you can perform in a given time. 30% melee haste means 30% more swings in a given time. Slow values indicate how much longer an activity takes to complete. 30% slow means an action takes 30% longer to finish.