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Posts with tag spreadsheet

Arcane Brilliance: Optimizing your mage's gear through Rawr

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're talking about what is arguably the game's most trusted gear optimization program: Rawr. Also, we're planning to see how many times I need to type the word "rawr" before my spellchecker snaps and murders me through my computer screen.

Close your eyes.

Imagine, if you will, that you have a mage. Ha ha, of course you have a mage. Sometimes I crack myself up. Now imagine that your mage has gear, but that gear is not optimal. Now open your eyes.

Hello, every mage ever.

Yeah, chances are pretty close to 100% that no matter who you are and how religiously you play the game, your mage, beloved though he may be, does not have every slot filled with best-in-slot gear and does not have every item perfectly gemmed, enchanted and reforged so that your DPS is up to its fullest possible potential. WoW is a computer game -- an old one, sure, but still home to millions of algorithms and formulas and computations and other math terms that I don't fully understand. It would take, I firmly believe, a robot from the future to calculate all of those numbers and variables and turn them into something a human brain can parse accurately enough to actually benefit from.

Well, mages and magesses, I have recently contacted Kavan, one of the main authors of the ubiquitous gear optimization program Rawr, and I can tell you that he is that robot from the future. I only pray he can protect us from whatever other, more evil and technologically advanced robot from the future that might at some point follow him through the wormhole with a directive to kill our unborn children or something, because you know that's what's happening.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

In defense of gear simulations

Josh Myers is not a scientist. The closest he's ever come to being one is winning the Science Fair in 8th grade and getting straight As in physics in high school. Despite these clear signs telling him to look for a career in science, he decided instead to go for a degree in English. His wallet hasn't forgiven him since.

"Just sim it" is a phrase almost everyone who has played World of Warcraft in the past few years is familiar with. Should my enhancement shaman use Tunic of Failed Experiments or Voltage Source Chestguard? Sim it. How much of a DPS increase is the four-piece Firelord's Vestments bonus? Spreadsheet it. How much DPS am I losing since I can't afford a Flask of the Winds on my hunter? SIM IT!

I'll be the very first to say that saying "just sim it" isn't a constructive thing to say. Beyond being slightly rude, it doesn't explain why simming is such a good idea. However, while I find "just sim it" to be in poor taste, the actual act of simming or spreadsheeting gear choices is a really good idea. This post aims to address why we encourage spreadsheeting your DPS choices.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Cataclysm

Encrypted Text: Theorycrafting basics for the studious rogue

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any rogue questions you would like to see answered.

In the immortal words of our favorite crab, "WoW is a game about upgrading your stuff." While achievements and professions allow for your character to grow, they don't make you any stronger. If you want to increase your power, you need to upgrade your stuff. Gear improvements are often the difference between success and failure on cutting-edge encounters, when your raid needs to meet specific raw damage and healing numbers to pull off a win.

While it sounds easy, it's not always as simple as it seems to upgrade your stuff. While the advent of the ilvl system allows for us to quickly judge the rough quality of an item, it doesn't provide any help when comparing two items from the same dungeon. It also doesn't assist us in our gemming or reforging choices. Making intelligent gear decisions is a part of every rogue's life. In order to make the best choices for our characters, we use what's known as theorycrafting to evaluate the various stats in the game. The end result allows us to make educated gearing strategies and ensure we're doing the most DPS we possibly can. But how do we get from evaluating stats to choosing an actual piece of gear?

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Blood Pact: Using SimulationCraft for gear selection

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast." ~ Leonardo da Vinci

As warlocks, we're used to delving into the mysterious depths of the occult to seek the knowledge that brings us power. This week I'm going to attempt to lift the veil of mystery that covers what is possibly the most powerful theorycrafting tool at our disposal. SimulationCraft is a tool that anyone who has frequented the Elitist Jerks forums will no doubt have run into at least once. In my experience many people take one look and run screaming from all the "maths" that starts to intrude on their game.

With this article I would like to reduce the "fear factor" of SimulationCraft and show one way in which it can be very useful. Many of us put together lists of upgrades that we would like to get our hands on and we all do that by comparing the stats on each item. We may also use lists produced by others or even give different values or weights to an item's stats by using scores we find -- these tend to be based on theoretical 'model' warlock's gear set. What I want to show you is how you can generate these lists and scores for yourself based on your own gear.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Warlock) Blood Pact

May Guild of the Month: Dragon Knights on Area 52


We're running late on this one (the beginning of the month was quite busy), but it's not any less exciting: congratulations go out to our latest Guild of the Month for May: the Dragon Knights on Area 52. They sent us a nomination along with many other guilds in the game, and were selected for their originality, community, and raiding performance. Among other interesting things about the guild (which you can read in the second half of this post), they run a guild podcast, an email newsletter, and even a lotto, all along with raiding competitively and leveling up as a guild.

In addition to being profiled here on the site, the Dragon Knights will also win a raid pack from Swagdog.com, where they (and you) can pick up customized shirts and hats with their guild name and logo printed on them. Our Guild of the Month contest is ongoing, so stay tuned to the site for the next chance to nominate your guild to be recognized here on WoW.com. Read on to learn more about the Dragon Knights and why they're our winners for May.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Contests, Raiding, Bosses

Scattered Shots: Where to find Hunter information

Dwarf HunterWoW.com decided it was time to bring back some Hunter luvin'. It was that or they just needed a new Dwarf to pick on. So now you got me Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from The Hunting Lodge. Make sure to drop by here every Thursday as we explore what it takes to play a Hunter.

Have you ever caught yourself wondering, "Hmm... where I should go for my next upgrade?" Or how about "I wonder what pet I should get for raiding?" Another favorite of mine is "What spec should I use for raiding?" (This is always a trap. Even if you give a solid spec, someone will always find a something wrong with it.) For these types of questions, I feel it's always better to follow the maxim "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

What's my point? Well, it seems that many Hunters don't know that there is a wealth of information out there. I would bet that there is probably a resource that can help answer all of your questions. You just need to know where to look.

For solid information, we all know about Elitist Jerks. But sometimes finding you can't help but say to yourself, "There has to be an easier way." Believe it or not, there is. There are many other resources and sites out there.

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Enchants, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Encrypted Text: How to use a spreadsheet

Every Wednesday (usually), Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we discuss how to properly use a DPS spreadsheet.

Patch 3.1 is finally released, and there is a ton of new gear available for Rogues. The Argent Tournament has some great gear for newly 80 Rogues looking for solid-quality blues and epics, Ulduar has over 800 new items (more than all of TBC's raids combined), and Arena Season 6 should be starting next week. There's multiple new epics for every slot and for every playstyle.

With this sudden influx of new gear, the infamous Rogue spreadsheets have seen a huge increase in download traffic. While I haven't seen any officially updated sheets from our friend Vulajin, Aldriana has published a pair of new Mutilate and Combat spreadsheets. While not quite as pretty as Vulajin's, Aldriana's has all of the major features that you need to plan your gear upgrades. Read on for detailed instructions on how to use a spreadsheet.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Guides, Classes, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: The fuzzy math of theorycrafting

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we'll be talking about the methods used to break down gear and talents into their fundamental parts, and compare them intelligently.

While it's not recognized as an official term by the Oxford Dictionary, "theorycrafting" is definitely the biggest buzzword in the Rogue community. Originally coined by Starcraft players looking to use their mathematics knowledge to perfect their strategies and unit build orders, it refers to the idea of using math to guide your choices, instead of simply playing from your gut.

From the lowest level of forum troll to the most serious raiders, many Rogues love to punch numbers into spreadsheets and talk about the PPM (proc-per-minute) chance of Mongoose. Theorycrafting is a largely arcane art, and unfortunately an inability to play ball with these math magicians can be grounds for ostracism from the discussion at hand. Asking for talent or skill help on the Public Rogue Forums will likely result in recommendations like "Check the spreadsheet or delete your character."

Obviously you've become attached to your assassin of the shadows, so after the cut we'll talk about how to become a theorycrafter even if you weren't first in your algebra class.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Raiding, Classes, Talents, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Hunter legend Cheeky retires famous spreadsheet

If you're a serious Hunter, chances are you've heard of Cheeky's Spreadsheet, and probably used it. If you haven't heard of it, it's an amazing Hunter resource that allows you to plug your personal spec, gear, pet data, and shot rotation into a handy spreadsheet and figure out your DPS and other vital statistics. You can then swap in different gear, talents, and shot rotations to decide what upgrades to shoot for or just to see if you can squeeze out a bit more DPS from your Hunter.

Unfortunately, Cheeky has just released her final version, and is retiring from the spreadsheet business (along with cohort and fellow spreadsheet maintainer Lactose), leaving a rather large hole in the raiding Hunter community for sure (You may also remember them as the authors of the rather insightful look at Hunter DPS from a while back).

Cheeky has unlocked the spreadsheet, so we can that some other theorycrafting-minded Hunter will step up and maintain it going forward in WotLK, especially with all the new changes Hunters are seeing that may drastically change the way they play. However, whether that happens or not, Cheeky's retirement is sure to leave a hole in the Hunter Community, and she and Lactose will both be missed. Good luck and good hunting to both of them.

Filed under: Hunter, Fan stuff, Raiding

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