Upgrade Finder Tutorial

Upgrade Finder

The Upgrade Finder gives  gear suggestions for any content you want to do. For example, Mr. Robot will give you advice on what bosses you should use bonus rolls on. Or help you figure out what you can get in your Mythic+ cache.

Here’s a 1-minute video showing you some of the ranked lists and their customizable features. The video has no sound (no, your speakers aren’t broken). If you don’t want to view the video, I have screenshots below, so keep reading.

How to setup the Upgrade search

First, you’ll need to pick the Best in Bags setup that you want to do the search for. This is required because Mr. Robot needs to know what setup you want to consider when evaluating gear. For example, you might be looking for gear for your healer spec, which would be different than gear for your DPS spec. Same goes for a Raid setup vs a Mythic+ setup.

Find upgrades in Battle for Azeroth

Find upgrades for each spec

The screenshot above shows that chose to look at Balance. If I want to search for Feral items, I select Feral. I also selected to find upgrades in Regular Dungeons, set to Normal difficulty. Here’s what the results look like for my not-quite-120 alt.

Find upgrades - normal dungeons

Search through the list with advanced filtering

You can also search through this list to narrow it down.

  • Search by stat or stats by typing the stat into the search box (ex: Haste)
  • By slot (type Trinket or Legs into the search box.
  • Source (name of boss, for example)
  • Azerite (search for the word Azerite to find Azerite gear)
  • A specific Azerite Power by name

How to spend your bonus rolls

This Upgrade search gets some extra special features.

The setup screen lets you choose things like the Mythic+ level and the raid difficulty you’ll be doing that week. You can also expand the raid, dungeon, and world boss section to select specific bosses. Let’s take an example from earlier in the expansion: Say you wanted to clear Normal Uldir and then kill first several bosses on Heroic. You could set it up like this:

Bonus rolls - how to spend them and get upgrades

Now let’s look at the results because I have a couple things worth pointing out.

Find Upgrades - bonus rolls uldir and mythic

Let’s start with the big yellow arrow pointing at the Boss Ranking Method, set to “Biggest Upgrade” in the screenshot. There are three ways to sort the ranked list:

  • Biggest Upgrade – ranks it by the biggest upgrade the boss drops.
  • Highest Chance – ranks by the boss with the highest chance to give you an upgrade, regardless of the size of the upgrade. For example, if a boss has 5 drops that you could win and 4 are upgrades, you’d have an 80% chance that if you win a bonus role, the item would be an upgrade. If another boss has 2 drops that you could win and both are upgrades, you’d have a 100% chance of an item being an upgrade if you win the bonus roll.
  • Weighted Average – it ranks by a combination of the two. Mr. Robot looks at the size of each upgrade the boss drops and the chance you’ll get an upgrade if you win the bonus roll.

You can also expand any boss to see the items it drops and how big of an upgrade each one is (and you can also see how many are downgrades). You can click anywhere on the boss to expand the list (but I highlighted the expand arrow with a yellow circle, because if you see this anywhere on the site, it means you can expand it for more stuff).

Upgrade to Premium for $12 a year

If you are already premium, a huge thanks. As a 3-person small business, we really appreciate every person who upgrades. We get to make this site as our ‘day jobs’ and that is only possible because of people like you.

If you haven’t upgraded yet and like the features, Best in Bags and the Upgrade Finder save you a lot of time and give you really accurate gear advice based on simulations custom to you (that we’ve already done for you).. It’s $12 a year, or $2 if you want to pay monthly. You can upgrade here.

Everyone gets a free trial (no credit card is required, because that is just trickery and we don’t do that). You might have used up your free trial in a previous expansion. If you would like it reset so you can try the features for BfA, use the contact form on the website and send us a message. I will personally reset your free trial. I know you’ll love the features and I want you to see them for yourself.

8.2 Patch & Optimizing on AMR

Patch 8.2 has a lot of new items and gearing mechanics. First things first, let’s jump into the current status of optimization on our site.

Current status – Quick overview

Also hop on over to our developer’s forum post to easily track status.

Update on Thursday, June 27.

The remaining special effects for Vision of Perfection are implemented for all classes now, including healers and tanks. The simulator is fully functional for all gear, including raid gear. (With an exception: the special effect for Cursed Lover’s Ring probably won’t be implemented).

Gear rankings (optimizations) are continuing to run and we hope to have the majority of the classes live at the end of the weekend.

Update on Wednesday, June 26.

  • The handful of special effects that weren’t implemented on launch are almost done:
    • Memory of Lucid Dreams works for all classes now
    • Brewmaster Monks and Protection Paladins didn’t have essences added into their rotations on launch but they are now fully implemented.
    • Vision of Perfection needed to be implemented for all specs. Some specs are still outstanding and will be updated tomorrow. It is currently fully implemented for Protection Warrior, Mistweaver Monk, Destruction Warlock, Fury Warrior, and Marksmanship Hunter.
  • Gear rankings (optimizations) will start running in full force overnight. If you are on the glonet, start your clients ūüôā

Status as of Tuesday, June 25, 10 AM PST

  • New gems & enchants: live & will be recommended in optimizations
  • The “Punchcard” trinket is implemented in the simulator, including rotations. The punchcards are ranked in optimizations.
  • New gear: can be browsed in all of our gear lists, but items with special effects are not yet ranked in optimizations. With one exception: the punchcards have initial rankings for the Pocket-Sized Computation Device.
  • Addon is updated and version 77 or higher will be required in order to import/export the essences, punchcard, etc.

Outstanding items as of June 25.

  • Special effects on gear & essences: nearly all effects are implemented in the simulator as of June 25. Nearly every effect is also implemented in the rotations, with a handful being finished up by end of day Tuesday, June 25 (see below). The following effects are still being implemented or added to rotations throughout today.
    • Memory of Lucid Dreams is not yet implemented for Fire & Frost Mages, Retribution & Protection Paladins, Shadow Priest, and Elemental & Enhancement Shamans. Added June 26.
    • Essences need to be added to rotations for Brewmaster and Protection Paladin. Added June 26.
    • Vision of Perfection needs to be added to class rotations. Update on June 26: Fully implemented for Protection Warrior, Mistweaver Monk, Destruction Warlock, Fury Warrior, and Marksmanship Hunter.
    • The special effect on Hyperthread Wristwraps isn’t implemented yet.
    • The special heal effect on Cursed Lover’s Ring is not implemented and probably won’t be in the future.
  • Gear rankings (optimizations) – we are running simulations throughout the week so we can optimize your gear automatically for you. We will update the site each day with the specs that have completed simulations. Keep an eye on the site’s announcements and/or this forum post to find out when your spec is ready.

Note: Initial testing makes it look like a handful of the special effect items are noticeably over (or under) powered. We anticipate balances over the next few weeks, as well as within a few weeks of the dungeon and raid release, as Blizzard gathers real-game data for analysis.

A note on Special effects – items, essences, etc

Fun fact: 8.2 added as many ‘special effect’ items as the launch of BfA and all previous patches, combined.¬† We’ve been working hard on testing them in-game to make sure we know how every proc works in order to implement them. It’s taken a bit longer than expected because there are just sooo many. Continue reading

Worst in Bags

Worst in Bags WoW Addon - Bank

People don’t like old gear junking up their bags and bank. But it can sometimes be difficult to determine which items can be safely discarded… what if I might need it for an off spec or a different build some day?

Mr. Robot has you covered: Worst in Bags will help you find your junk, and then conveniently dispose of it with our in-game addon. Continue reading

A new kind of Warcraft class guide

Everything has a cycle, even guides for a video game. Back in the day, guides and opinions were everywhere and hard to find – if you didn’t know the name of the fan-site for your class, you didn’t know where to go. After years of this, we all just wanted a way to get everything in one spot, regardless of the class. So sites like Noxxic and Icy-Veins were born.

With each expansion,  guides have gotten even more consolidated Рto the point that many of the Icy-Veins and WoWhead guides are written by the same person, who also happens to run the class Discord. While this consistency has the advantage of giving you confidence in making a decision, it has a downside as well: a lack of diversity for alternative, viable ways to play.

96% of players surveyed want guides to offer more choices.

We want to show you multiple ways to play that are also good enough to get you a top rank. We do this by sharing data so that you can make an informed choice. Sharing data also has some side benefits: it improves build customization and  helpful interactions between teammates.

Our guides don’t explain every little nuance of how to play – other guides exist for that. Instead, we focus on the following:

  1. Presenting choices
  2. Sharing data
  3. Reality checks

Each section of our guide draws from those things, and we hope you find them helpful. You can check our our new World of Warcraft guides here. But if you have some time to spare, keep reading this post for more in-depth information,  a mini video about the Talent Build compare tool, and an overview of the rotation flow charts.

Update: We have made some UI improvements, outlined in this forum post, mostly around the talent tool. Thanks for everyone’s initial feedback so we could make it more clear.

Continue reading

Personal Loot in BfA – A review

Now that we’ve gone a full raid tier without officially having Master Loot, how do people feel about it?

  • How have teams adapted Personal Loot systems to fit their team?
  • What is the popularity of each loot system?
  • Are people happy with their team’s loot system?
  • How do people feel about the iLevel and bonus roll trade restrictions?

Continue reading

Best in Bags – Customize Feature

Raise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to customize Mr. Robot’s Best in Bags gear suggestion, even just a little bit?

Customize Gear

/raises hand

Mr. Robot understands that us humans can be particular about certain things, or prefer something because we¬†like¬†it better (a concept he is still trying to learn).¬†¬†He also knows that the way we play our characters, or the situation we find ourselves in, could mean an alternate gearing strategy ends up more helpful than the original one he found. You get it – you’ve been there.

The latest feature lets you customize the mathematically best solution with things that you might¬†like¬†better. Combining math and feelings isn’t easy, but admittedly, it’s quite useful! Mr. Robot starts with your Best in Bags solution and then offers you alternatives, quantified so you can see the trade-off.

This lets us think of gear not in the terms of one ultimate set, but instead as a cloud of top-performing sets. The idea is to give you the information you need to confidently choose your gear setup.

How To Use It

If you refresh the page and don’t see the feature, it’s because the site is using your cached data. You can force it to update by re-importing your character, or change any setting on the Best in Bags setup screen.

After running Best in Bags to get your optimized gear, you will now see a third tab after the results tab.

Customize Best in Bags - Top tier gear setups

Click on that to see a list of alternate setups that you could use. Each alternate favors a particular Azerite trait, stat, or both.

Alternate options - top tier stat and azerite options

Click on one, and Re-Optimize will light up. Press that to see your new result with those preferences in place. If you have a preference chosen, it will show above your gear table. Customize Best in Bags - top tier gear preference

When you get a bunch of new gear and do Best in Bags again, your preference will be remembered. Mr. Robot will continue to use your preference unless you tell him otherwise or the solution is no longer good enough (your score is too low compared to the original Best in Bags solution).

To clear your preference, click the delete icon next to your preference (as seen in above screenshot). Or go back to the Customize tab, clear your preference, and pick a new one if you’d like.

Top tier gear selections - clear preference

What does tier 1, 2 and 3 mean?

Each alternate setup is assigned a tier.

Tier 1: Nearly equal in value to the best possible set of gear in your bags. You probably won’t be able to notice the difference in-game, so confidently use whichever tier 1 setup you like the best.

Tier 2: You might be able to see/feel a little loss in-game, but it won’t be enough to seriously impact your performance. You could still rank high and raid at the mythic level without compromising your team in any way. Other hard-to-measure factors could still make one of these setups the best for your personal situation.

Tier 3: You will definitely feel a tad weaker with these setups in most cases. You would probably only want to pick one of these if you either really like playing it, or there is something very specific about your team or a boss fight that makes it work better for you.

Why do we use tiers instead of showing you a list with specific scores like… 0.6% worse than the best setup, 1.1% worse than the best setup, etc.? To prevent undo bias against a particular setup. For example, say that one alternate setup is 0.1% worse than the best in bags solution, and another is 0.15% worse. If we put those in order and show those numbers, people are going to tend to pick the highest one. That’s just human nature. But those are so close to each other… nobody can definitively say which would perform better in-game. So we band them together in tiers to eliminate that bias and encourage people to try different setups. The idea is to help you feel confident picking anything within a tier because they are all so close to each other.

Azerite and gem/enchant thresholds

When you have chosen an alternate solution that prefers a specific azerite trait and/or stat, we disable the Best in Bags azerite threshold and gem/enchant threshold options. We do this because gems and enchants are one of the easiest ways to get more of a particular stat, and preferring a particular stat is implicitly saying “get me more of this stat regardless of score.” Same idea with azerite traits: by setting a preference you are saying “put this azerite trait on as many items as you can, regardless of score.”

We’ll keep an eye on this if it ends up not working out that well — it would be pretty complicated to come up with some kind of “threshold” that works in conjunction with these new preferences at the same time, but not impossible.

How It Works

Here are some details about how we choose the alternatives to show you, and how it picks the specific gear that it does for each alternative.

How do we pick setups?

Say that you have 1 billion possible combinations of gear in your bags (pretty typical for someone who raids and does Mythic+ a decent amount). You might assume that we suggest alternate setups like this:

  1. Score all 1 billion combinations of gear
  2. Put them in order from best to worst
  3. Show you the top 30 or so setups

We do not do it like this.

Why not? Because the top 30 setups will usually be very small variations of each other. For example, the #2 setup would probably be the #1 setup with your wrist slot swapped out for an item that is the same item level with the same stats but in slightly different amounts. That’s not very interesting, and furthermore, those two setups would be so close in value that calling one of them #1 and the other #2 is kind of silly. You could use either one and never tell the difference in-game, both from a performance perspective (meters) and a gameplay perspective (how it feels to you).

Our goal is to show you about 30 significantly different ways to gear — setups that favor different azerite powers to the extent that your gear allows, heavily favor particular stats to the extent that your gear allows, or a combination of the two. This gives you way more interesting choices than 30 slight variations of one set of gear.

How do we pick the gear in each setup?

To understand this, first we need to understand how Best in Bags picks the main setup. The approach is simple in concept (but quite difficult to execute):

  1. Generate a ton of simulation data ahead of time (we sim everything for you, so you don’t have to spend time doing it yourself)
  2. Do a bunch of fancy statistics to turn the simulation data into a thing that can quickly and accurately score any combination of talents, stats, azerite, trinkets, etc.
  3. Run an optimization algorithm on your gear to find the one highest-scoring setup from the billions or trillions available to you

So now we want to find alternatives to the highest-scoring setup. Each of the alternatives represents a “preference” in the optimizer for a specific azerite trait, a specific stat, or both. This gets tricky because the optimizer can no longer rely on “highest score” alone — we have introduced some fairly complex constraints.

Without getting bogged down in the computer programmer details of it: we find the highest-scoring set of gear that favors the preferred azerite trait and/or stat without being dumb. By “being dumb” I mean that we won’t put on an azerite item that is 60 item levels lower just to pick up an azerite trait. We use some heuristics to keep it reasonable. Same idea with stats — if your only ring with your favored stat is significantly lower item level than your best one, we won’t use it.

There is no single “right” answer for these rules of thumb — you are making a trade off between score and how much of the trait/stat you want to get. “Score” is a pretty objective measure. “How much I like Critical Strike” though… can’t really be measured objectively. That said, we think that we’re using a pretty reasonable threshold. If you see any cases where you feel it should be going more or less aggressively for your preferences, please tell us!

There Can Be More Than One

Besides being super convenient, a major goal with this customization feature is to dispel the myth that there is only one way to gear in World of Warcraft. This is a topic that warrants a longer discussion, but here’s the short version: for most specs, you could heavily favor completely different stats, or use completely different azerite powers, and still perform at the highest level — both on paper and in the real game. This has been proven both in-game (via combat logs, etc.) and out of the game (via simulators, calculations, etc.).

It is challenging to present multiple choices to people in a clear way, and in a way that quantifies just how much damage/healing/toughness you might be trading off to get your preferences. But it is a challenge that we think is important to tackle. The game is just more fun if you have more choices, and can confidently make those choices.

Best in Bags: Multiple setups

Best in Bags now allows for multiple setups per spec. That means your main spec can have a Raid setup and a Mythic+ setup (with different talents, too).  Or anything you want, really.

 You must get addon version 65 or higher to use Best in Bags now. 

Stick around for a tutorial and some Zooper-tips. Continue reading

Unexpected Azerite Power & Gear Suggestions

Your bonus roll finally works and you get a new Azerite item (gratz!) You break out the champagne, go to equip the item and then Mr. Robot says…

“Nope, keep the old one on.”

W. T. F. ?!

Mr. Robot isn’t trying to rain on your parade, I promise. He’s just really good at math, and breaking out legendary math-nerd skills at any party tends to be a buzzkill.

You see, (pushes glasses up nose), if your Heart of Azeroth level isn’t high enough to unlock some powers on the higher iLevel item, it can be better to keep the lower one equipped. Mr. Robot compares the items based on simulations he’s done for you and figures out which is best, even if it¬†seems¬†counter-intuitive and ruins your day. But hey, it does more damage (or healing or tankiness), and it probably got some shelter puppies adopted too. So you can sleep well at night.

There are a lot of nuances like this when it comes to evaluating gear. If you’ve run into something that seems completely unexpected, this post should help explain¬†why¬†that suggestion is the smart thing to do. Continue reading

Tank Gear Optimizer

Today we released some major updates to the tank gear optimizer. We have a brand new Toughness Level feature that replaces The Blender, and several other tweaks to improve scoring across the board, but especially for lower item level characters.

Toughness Level

When you choose a tank gearing strategy on any of the optimizer features (Best in Bags, Gear Check, Best in Slot), you will see a Toughness Level slider below the list of Mr. Robot’s strategies. Simply drag the indicator to your desired toughness level, or click anywhere on the slider to move it. Press SET STRATEGY, then continue with your optimization.

(To get to this slider, click the Gearing Strategy drop down box, as shown in ‘Step 1’ in this picture.) Continue reading

Reorigination Array Info & Rankings

If you are killing 3 bosses in Uldir a week, you’re building up your Reorigination Array stacks. I’ll explain what this buff is and all of the details around how it works. Then I’ll jump into some ranking information to see how good it is for you.

How does Reorigination Array work?

The Reorigination Array is a buff that gets activated in Uldir. The buff adds 75 points to your highest secondary stat. So if Crit is your highest stat and you have 1,000 Crit. The Reorigination Array buff will bring your Crit up to 1,075.

You need to meet a few conditions to activate it.

 Condition #1 : You must equip an Azerite item that drops from Uldir.

 Condition #2 : You must be able to unlock the outer ring of traits on that Azerite item.

 Condition #3 : You must activate one of the following Azerite Powers on that outer ring (note, all Uldir Azerite gear has one of these powers):

 Condition #4 : You must also have killed 3 bosses in Uldir in a week, on any difficulty (including LFR). Doing this adds a permanent stack to the buff, up to a total of 10 stacks, for a total of 750 extra of your highest secondary stat.

This last condition, #4, is being tracked in-game, even if you haven’t met any other condition. Continue reading

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