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How to Gear Alts in WoD

Gear alts in WoD

What activities should I do to gear alts in WoD?

So you want to find a fast & efficient way to gear alts in WoD, while we wait for Legion to drop, right? The fastest way to gear your alt depends on what you are willing to do (and what your friends are willing to carry you through). Atls are supposed to be fun, so let's find you the most fun (and efficient) ways to gear your alt! Did you know you can even get PvP gear without ever PvP'ing? It's true! Below I show you how to use gear filters to find the most appropriate gear for your desired activities :)

So what's the best way to find the right gear?

The magic is in the gear filters... a lot of power lies behind that little blue circular PLUS sign! After loading your character, click on any item to bring up the gear list for that slot. Then click the blue "+" button just above the gear list, on the left, to open the filters menu (shown below). How to gear alts

Set the filters to the WoD activities you are willing to do to gear up your alt. Mr. Robot will then remove any of the gear that isn't relevant to you.Gear alts WoD filters A few notes & tips, current for WoD patch 6.2.3:

  • A: Set the raid difficulty to the levels you'll be doing to gear up your alt (not where you intend to be after gearing up). If you don't want to do LFRs, then either uncheck the raids you won't be doing at all, or set it to normal (or whatever your friends will carry you through).
  • B: Don't forget world bosses!
  • C: Set the part of the legendary ring progress you're on, or will be getting soon
  • D: Old Apexis Crystal items can now be bought with gold. 1000 Gold buys you 630 iLevel and it goes up to 20,000 gold for iLevel 675. The vendors are found in Warspear and their names all start with dawn-seeker. World of Moudi has a guide on this (and Baleful items).
  • E: Crafted items start at level 640 and can be upgraded to stage 4 'cheaply' with items made by each item's crafting profession. Truesteel Essence is the example for Blacksmiths, which costs 15 Savage Blood among other items. Mighty Essence upgrades to level 5 and uses 30 Felblight. Savage Essence upgrades to level 6 and uses 60 Felblight. World of Moudi has a nice guide for crafted upgrades and obtaining Felblight.
    NOTE: Recall that the secondary stats on crafted items are random. You can reroll them with an item made by each profession, and they are cheap (Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Jewelcrafting). So if you might have the item for a while and you're upgrading it, a few rerolls might be worth it.
  • F: BoE gear is for stuff that can be bought off the AH. The filters let you select item levels that are associated with each instance. So maybe you don't want to buy HFC drops, but you are willing to buy Highmaul BoE drops. Select that here.
  • G: Mythic dungeon items start at 695 but have a chance to have a higher iLevel. The higher the iLevel, the lower the chance. So for planning purposes, you might want to select the lowest iLevel, if you don't want to count on higher iLevel items dropping.
  • H: Baleful items can drop from mobs in Tanaan Jungle, with a higher chance from rare in Tanaan and are BoP. You can also buy them from a vendor (Ravenspeaker Thelnaas in Tanaan) with Apexis crystals (BoP) for 5,000 Apexis Crystals (10,000 for weapons). You can get BoA Baleful tokens from shipyard missions and "Call to Arms" (see super tips below for mor info). Baleful items have a base item level of 650, but there's a chance they proc to a higher ilevel when opened. You can upgrade any Baleful item to 695 with an Empowered Apexis Fragment. You can buy this from the same vendor for 20,000 Apexis crystals and it also has a 10-15% drop rate from "Call to Arms" satchels (the reward from queuing for dungeons/raids for the underrepresented role like tanks/healers).
    Note: The secondary stats on these items are random, and cannot be rerolled. The only way to get an item with better stats is to get more of the Baleful tokens from mobs or the vendor.
    Super tip #1: The Empowered Apexis Fragment is BoA, so you can farm Apexis Crystals on your main, buy the fragments, and send them to your alt.
    Super tip #2: You can also get Baleful gear tokens from shipyard missions, which are actually BoA. So you can send it to any alt that wears the armory type specified.
    Super tip #3 comes from @TheSlickRock on Twitter: You can also get BoA Baleful tokens when doing "Call to Arms" on your main - and people have reported that each satchel tends to contain several BoA Baleful Tokens. Call to Arms is the extra reward you get from queuing for dungeons and raids on the much-needed role (like tanks / healers). However, "Call to Arms" can double up on rewards if you run them on your alt instead of your main, because you can also collect legendary ring requirements at the same time.
  • More info! The Grumpy Elf has a fantastic guide aimed at people somewhat unfamiliar with all of the in's & out's of Baleful items. Also, the first 2 super tips are credited to him.
  • I: Miscellaneous other stuff
  • PvP options even if you hate it! Thanks to @Volstatsz and @Uabtodd on twitter, I learned that you can get a lot of good gear from PvP, even without PvPing. You can buy Champion's Honor tokens on the AH which give you 1,000 honor and 1,000 conquest points. A spot check on a few realms makes it look like the average price for a Honor token is 10,000 gold. Items cost 1,250 - 3,500 Honor or Conquest points from vendors in Ashran (Marshal Karsh(A)/Warlord Noktyn(H) and Marshal Gabriel(A)/General Aevd(H).  Remember, the PvP gear for Warlords has the same stat allocation as PvE gear, so you aren't losing anything.
    --And if you like to PvP, this is an excellent way to gear up, especially if you take advantage of a bonus weekend. Thanks to FloppyFox on reddit, for reminding us that PvP gear cannot be upgraded with Valor.
  • Also, boosted characters automatically get a 640 gear set and level 3 garrison. Thanks for the tip, @Elkagorasa.

Call to Arms: a 4-for-1 source to gear up alts in WoD

The tips above that mention using "Call to Arms" to gear up warrants a summary. "Call to Arms" is the quest you get when queuing for Dungeons and raids as an underrepresented role (like healers/tanks). The reward satchel usually contains:

  • Several BoA Baleful tokens (level 650 gear or higher)
  • 10-15% chance for an Empowered Apexis Fragment to upgrade a Baleful item to 695
  • Gold

And if you are queuing for raids, you can make progress on your legendary ring requirements at the same time. So while the Baleful items and the Apexis Fragments are both BoA, allowing you to farm these on your main to funnel to your alt... doing it on your alt has its rewards too :)

There are more filters that I didn't highlight that will help to gear your alt. When you are done, click the green Apply button.

Gear alt filters

Then when you click on any piece of gear, you'll see a ranked list of items you can get with your (limited) alt activities.

Save time with the Upgrade Finder

This is premium. For $1 a month, you unlock all of Mr. Robot's premium features, including all gear lists in the Upgrade Finder. Not a bad price for the time you'll save, in my opinion, but I'm pretty sure I'm biased ;)  As a 3-person company we do appreciate each premium account, but we still encourage you to give the free trial a shot first to make sure you like it. NO credit card is ever asked for during a free trial, that's just shady, so we don't do that.

How to upgrade your alt with the upgrade finder:

The filtered lists that I reviewed above give you a ranked gear list for every activity you're willing to do. But if you find yourself scanning through that list, looking for a few specific gear sources, then try the Upgrade Finder. Mr. Robot creates a list of the best gear for your character, for each activity you're willing to do... or about to do. My personal favorite is to find out what dungeons to run.

Load your character, then click the green arrow to open the menu. Select the Upgrade Finder option.

GreenArrow

FindUpgrades

Next, select your activity! Mythic dungeons? Currencies (like Apexis Crystals or Timewarped gear)? Crafted items (you can even select the stage you want). And so on.

UpgradeMenu

Here's what I see for my character when selecting Mythic Dungeons. The Zone score factors in how many upgrades you can get from that zone, and how good each upgrade is. Alternatively,  the "Best Score" column shows the score for the top ranked item in each dungeon. Upper Blackrock Spire has the best zone score (with a few others being almost as good). And Bloodmaul Slagmines is the worst, so I'd skip that one, and try to find groups for the better ones instead. Note: To see all of the items that will drop (not just the best upgrade), click the 'view all' link to the far right of each row.

Mythic dungeon gear list

I then took a look at the 650 Baleful Gear (Apexis) and saw the upgrades were small. But when comparing to the 695 list, there are some very nice upgrades. So I think my main will farm some of the Empowered Apexis Fragments to send to my alt (I also have to hope I get ones with good secondary stats).

Baleful650

Baleful695

Now, off to farming!!! See you around Tanaan Jungle or maybe in some LFR's ;)

 

 

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Find Valor Upgrades

Valor_screen2

Upgrading items with Valor is all about the math - which is Mr. Robot's specialty. Here's a few things that affect upgrading, and other things to consider for each 'factoid.' Mr. Robot takes all of these things into consideration with his advanced valor upgrading chip.

  • All gear from your bags & bank: As long as you've imported your gear in the Best in Bags interface (where you paste text from the addon), Mr. Robot knows what items you own. He'll rank all of your gear for you, not just the stuff you have equipped.
  • iLevel matters: items with higher iLevels get more stats when you upgrade. Also consider: a lower iLevel with your BEST stats on it might be a better upgrade candidate than a higher iLevel with crappy stats.
  • Slot matters: some item slots have a larger stat budget (like weapons) than other slots. Also consider: a higher iLevel waist (lower stat budget) might be a better upgrade than a lower iLevel head slot (which has a higher stat budget).
  • Trinket effects: Trinket effects usually scale with item level. Mr. Robot knows what effects scale, how they scale, and takes it all into account for you.

Valor_Dec2015

Try it with your character now.

If you like it, you can upgrade for the low price of $1 a month (billed annually to keep transaction costs low, which keeps the price low). Three people help Mr. Robot to make his site awesome, so we appreciate each and every person who upgrades. We know you can choose to spend your $12 elsewhere, so choosing to upgrade means a lot to us.

More than just Valor

Try the other options in the "Find Upgrades" feature. There are a lot of fun things Mr. Robot can help you with. Remember, everyone gets a free trial of the premium features, and we NEVER ask for the credit card when using the free trial (that's just not cool). If you like the features, you can upgrade for $12 / year. Nice and affordable. And as one user told me, "I appreciated the trial of the premium features and the no bullshit approach. Premium is like an amazing frosting on an already mind blowing cake."

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Hellfire Citadel Raid Tools

RaidTools_VelhariBanner

We have really cute raid bosses that we commissioned from @Cadistra.

Full Suite of Raid Tools!

Last expansion, we launched the data and graph views for our combat logs. With Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry, we introduced auto-generated infographics. Over the past month, people have been testing out the automated player-comparison tool and now it's ready for Hellfire Citadel. All of these are totally free, and we keep your data pretty much 'forever.'

We also launched Live Loot ranking to help gear up your gear as efficiently as possible to aid in progression. The rankings on the site do require that ONE person in your raid have premium ($1 a month). And then, once you rank it, you can import it into the addon and share the results with everyone on your team, even those who don't have premium :)

RaidTools_Screenshot

NEW! Player Comparisons

So you want to get better, amirite? Mr. Robot has a new feature to help you. He will FIND a bunch of players to compare you to... ones that have similar gear levels, set bonuses, legendaries, trinkets, and more. If the fight lengths differ, he calculates a delta, so that everything is fair.

You can even compare talents, glyphs and stats. It might not be their rotation making them better, it could be they have 20% more crit for the same gear level, and that is actually your best stat.

Combat Logs: Lots of Data & Graphs

We took a different approach to viewing log data than traditional combat log sites. We put top level data front and center, then make pretty much every data-bar clickable for more details. That way, you can dig down to the data you want, without being overwhelmed with too much data in any particular view. Here's a 1:40 video highlighting some of the cool data.

We have really easy-to-use graphs. A lot of people don't know that, so let's change that. Below is a 40-second video showing you how to find the graphs and what they can do.

Combat Infographics

We launched this project for Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry. We wanted to see if we could find the important information in a log, FOR YOU, so you didn't have to spend time digging through a lot of data if you didn't want to. In addition, we wanted to give you context to that data... just because you know you killed the adds in 5 seconds or less, doesn't mean you know how good or bad that is. Until now - we aggregate data across all teams who successfully kill a boss and show you how you score. Now you DO know if it's good or bad, so you know where to focus your efforts.

We process the data automatically each night, so upload you logs asap on Tuesday so we have enough data to be meaningful. Then check back Wednesday to see your report (it's retroactive, if you uploaded Tuesday, it will show up on Wednesday). This is a one-time waiting period as each new boss gets enough data... after that, you see infographs immediately after uploading them.

This video is from our initial launch, so it's a wee bit dated, but still very useful (and short) if you're new to the infographics. Also, I actually went in front of a camera for this, so there's that. The other 2 people behind Mr. Robot (yes, there are only 3 of us), weren't on camera though, sorry :(

Russ Petersen, rewards system designer (items) at BlizzardRuss Petersen, rewards system designer (items) at Blizzard

How to upload your logs:

  1. Get the desktop application here.
  2. Optional: If you want gear data tied to the logs (you should, silly), get the addon here.
    You can  if you want. No need to do ANYTHING else with the addon, other than have it installed.
  3. IN YOUR RAID: you need to start a combat log. You can do this by typing /combat log   in the chat window. OR, use our addon and either check the box that auto-logs (my favorite) or click the 'start logging' button. When you are logging, the Mr. Robot addon icon will be green.
  4. After your raid, upload your logs with the desktop application.
    (Start an upload / Fight selection & gear data step)
  5. When you're done, click the big button to view your logs, or just load your character on our site and the logs will show on the right side.

Then check back Wednesday to see your infographics. Remember, we need at least a day to gather enough data to make the infographics meaningful. This is a one-time waiting period when new bosses come out.

Live Loot Ranking!

As bosses drop loot, Mr. Robot will rank them for every member on your raid team. Find out who big of an upgrade it is for each person... is it a 1% for MageMaster and 6% for WarlockOfDoom? Will that change how each of you rolls or bids? It is meant to help you make loot decisions, no matter what loot system you use (roll, dkp, loot council, etc).


The Live Loot Ranking is part of the Team Optimizer, a premium feature. It's $1 a month and only ONE person on the team needs premium. Once you import it into the addon, everyone can see the ranked results, whether they are premium or not!

Best in Bags

Mr. Robot looks at all of the gear you own, then finds the best set to equip. Gone of the days of needing static BiS lists - when items have a chance to be warforged or have a gem socket, it gets thrown out the window. That's where Best in Bags comes in - Mr. Robot KNOWS what you have and makes sure the best items are always equipped. This is part of premium ($1 a month).

Why Premium? $1 a Month

First, I want to be very clear. All of the combat log features (data, graphs, inforgraphics and comparisons) are free. The Live Loot Ranking, Best in Bags, Bonus Roll Helper, no ads, and more all come packaged in one premium price. $1 a month.

Everyone gets to try the features free for a week (no credit card is ever asked for, during the trial... that's just shady and we don't do that). If your trial is over and you want it reset, we're happy to do it. We believe that you should be able to try the cool stuff before you buy it. If you need a reset, email your AMR username to feedback -at- askmrrobot dotz com.

I know a lot of you reading this are already premium, and I want to give you a huge hug! There are only 3 humans working with Mr. Robot and you help support us. We turned this site into our full-time jobs, which is what lets us make all of these cool features.  It also helps us support other fans and fan sites. For example, we commission a lot of art, we help pay for servers on other sites, help fund Blizzcon parties, and so on. On behalf of all of us, Thank You! It is such a rewarding experience to work on Warcraft stuff full time AND be a positive source for people too.

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Weight It Out!

It's that time of year again, when we update stat weights for the patch. And we have something new to add, that I'm very excited about!

As some of you know, we have a pretty rigorous, programmatic way to make them: we wrote a program that interfaces with our own code and the SimC program. We run a ton of sims to get weights, put those into our site (programmatically), take the gear suggestion, put that back into SimC, run it again... and so on (loop). We look at both single and multi-target fights, various gear levels, with and without set bonuses, and the list goes on. This process uses the default spell rotations that each SimC class moderator enters. The program runs anywhere from 4-12 hours per class (and we do this several times). In fact, my computer is a bit laggy because it's still running some of the simulations as I type ;)

As far as a programmatic way to get weights, this is pretty rock solid. But we all know that humans can do some creative, smart things when they get involved. Maybe it's changing up the spell rotation, assessing single vs multi-target fights, or maybe there's magic involved, who knows! All I know is we have a lot of really smart theorycrafters out there, and Mr. Robot wants to help bring the results of their human brain power to as many people as possible.

We'll be adding in theorycrafter stat weight presets with this patch. For example, If TheoryJane has awesome mage stat weights, we'll put them in the stat weight preset menu as "TheoryJane's Mage Weights." We like to include little descriptions too, that explain why the stats have been chosen that way.

Here's a Google spreadsheet where you can submit your stat weights (or your favorite theorycrafter's stat weights). I'm also looking for a handful of people to help maintain it and keep it up to date. Since there are only 3 humans working on Mr. Robot, we have our hands full. I don't want to let the stat weights fall behind, so I'm offering some free AMR premium accounts and maybe a Tshirt or two as rewards. If you are interested, leave a comment :)

 

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Patch 6.2 Mega Gear Summary

GearLevels

As always, Mr. Robot gathered all sorts of gear data for the patch and asked me to share it. The list below starts with the highest iLevels and works its way down. You can browse all 6.2 gear on our site now (trinkets and set bonuses have placeholder estimates. Stat weights are not yet updated).

Viewing gear on AMR

Load your character and play with gear on the character page, Best in Slot, and Optimized views. Note that set bonus and trinket estimates have placeholder values right now. Stat weights are also not updated (but you can get your favorite weights shared from a theorycrafter if you'd like).

GearTutorial

Click the 'edit weights' button to the right of your character name to get the controls shown below.

EditWeightsButton

Legendary rings: iLevel 735

Get those rings! It's a... group on-use, I suppose you could call it. When one person uses it, it procs for everyone in the raid, increasing damage and healing by 25% for 15 seconds (2 min cooldown).

Bosses in Hellfire Citadel drop higher and higher iLevel gear.

I've listed the iLevel each boss drops (and set items are in parenthesis).

For comparison, BRF iLevels are 670N / 685H / 700M. Remember, you likely have a lot of high level items from your garrison raiding missions. So if you are a Heroic BRF raider, you likely have a lot of level 700 BRF mythic items. That means early heroic bosses in HFC give you a 5 iLevel boost over mythic garrison gear, and 20 iLevels over Heroic BRF boss drops.

Class-specific trinkets

Each classes gets a specific trinket that has a chance to drop off Archimond. Below are the 705 Normal mode versions (use the drop down right under the item to switch between N/H/M on wowdb). The Heroic and Mythic versions increase proc chance % as well as other percentages listed.

These drop as a token off Archimond, grouped by the same classes as tier tokens. Once you win it, you can turn it into your class-specific trinket.

Crafting upgrades to iLevel 700 & 715

Rank 5 "Mighty" crafted items increase to iLevel 700 and rank 6 "Savage" increases to 715. Weapon upgrades are 10 iLevels lower. Upgrades require Felblight, which can be obtained in Tanaan Jungle from gathering professions (fishing, herbalism, mining, or skinning).

Also, all previous rank upgrade reagents (2-4) have been consolidated into 1 reagent, making early upgrades easier and cheaper.

Mythic 5-man dungeons: up to iLevel 685 & 705

A mythic difficulty will be added to Draenor dungeons, rewarding iLevel 685 items, with end bosses having a chance to drop iLevel 705 warforged items.

There is also a Timewalking "Bonus Event" that rewards a cache containing a "Heroic Hellfire Citadel quality item." My best guess is that means you can get any item from HFC, ranging from 705-720 iLevel.

Apexis gear: iLevel 695

New apexis gear will have a base iLevel of 650 that can be upgraded to 695 with an Emowered Apexis Fragment. You get a free 650 item and a free fragment after completing the quest, The Cipher of Damnation, part of your garrison campaign.

More 650 items can be obtained from garrison missions, Tanaan mob drops, and Tanaan quests. More upgrade fragments can be purchased for 20,000 Apexis Crystals (it's BoP so you won't find it on the AH).

Challenge mode: iLevel 680

Challenge mode strong boxes will now reward iLevel 680 (up from 650).

Timewalking: iLevel 660 & 675

You can go back and fight through selected old content, with a catch. Your gear is scaled DOWN to an appropriate level. The bosses drop gear that scales back UP to an appropriate iLevel for a level 100 player: iLevel 640 (660 Warforged). With patch 6.2.2 (Sept 1), new gear was introduced at iLevel 675.

There is a Timewalking "Bonus Event." If you complete 5 timewalking dungeons, you get an extra bonus roll that does NOT count toward your weekly cap.

Epic gems: +75 to a stat

That's up from +50 for the blue (rare) gems. Each epic gem will require 15 Felblight (which can be obtained through gathering professions in Tanaan Jungle). Here's a guide on Icy-Veins.

 Best in Bags & Live Loot Ranking

As you win gear, give "Best in Bags" a shot. Mr. Robot will dig through all of the gear you own and tell you what the best items are to equip. No more wondering if that lower iLevel item with a socket is better than the higher iLevel. Mr. Robot KNOWS!

As you kill bosses in Hellfire Citadel, try out our new Live Loot Ranking tool. It ranks gear that drops for every player in the raid. Get the addon here.

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Team Optimizer

Mr. Robot's Team Optimizer helps you:

  • See how optimized the entire team is, on one screen
  • See how close everyone is to their BiS
  • Check the entire team's iLevel
  • Rank items for each player, showing the % upgrade
  • When ranking loot, see what item is currently equipped for each player

See the Team Optimizer in Action

Continue reading

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BRF Item Level Increase

In a hotfix this week, Blizzard will be increasing all BRF items by 5 levels. How will that affect your raid? We have the data to tell you via our boss wipe rate and dps graphs.

Overview:

We have actual DPS data for every class and spec at every item level. And to take it one step further, we can separate that by your performance - are you in the 50th percentile, 75th, or 95th? Put all of that together and we can give you a pretty good estimate of how much your DPS will increase with the BRF iLevel boost this week.

Remember, only BRF items (and top level crafted & apexis items) get a 5 iLevel boost, and if some of your items are from Highmaul, those won't get a boost. So you might get a 2 iLevel boost, instead of a full 5. We have the updated items on our site (including trinket procs), so you can find out exactly how much of an increase you get. Towards the end of this post, we have instructions to find our your own estimated increases.

Item Level Boost: How Does it Affect Teams?

Average Raid Team: Let's say your raid team is at a 670 iLevel and you perform in the 50th percentile. Let's assume your team increases your overall iLevel by 2 (since at 670, about half of your items will be from BRF). Your team's DPS will go up by about 3%, tanks will require about 1 - 2% less healing, and healers will do 2.5 - 3% more healing.

Above Average Raid Team: Let's say your team is at a 675 iLevel, performing in the 75th percentile. Assume you gain 3 iLevels from the BRF boost. Your DPS would increase by about 5%,  tanks will require about 1 - 3% less healing, and healers will be doing about 4% more healing.

Awesome Raid Team: It's rare to find an entire team whose players all perform in the 95th percentile in heroic, unless they are already a Mythic team. And that might be the case. Let's assume this group has an iLevel of 678 that will increase to 682 (4 iLevels). DPS will increase between 7 - 11%, tanks will require 3 - 7% less healing, and healers will do roughly 5 - 7 % more healing.

There is one caveat, as iLevels increase naturally (no boosting) there is a higher chance you have set bonuses. But this iLevel boost can't magically give you set bonuses, so the increases will probably be a smidge less than data shows.

Here's a spreadsheet with the data from the above examples. I also made a worksheet to do this for your own character, which you can use with the instructions found later in this post. You can do this for your whole team if you're into data like me ;) Have fun.

 

Finding our YOUR estimated increase:

1. Find iLevel change: Load your character from the armory (or in-game) to get your current iLevel. Then load your character on our site to get the updated iLevel.

CharOverview

2. Find your percentile ranking: Go to one of your combat logs on our site (shown in the picture above or search for your character here). Choose the boss your interested in. Look for your percentile performance on either the infographic view OR the data view. Both options are shown below.

PercentileRank_Infograph PercentileRank

3. Calculate increase: Go to our DPS / HPS / HRPS graphs. Select the boss & difficulty you're interested in. Select your old iLevel on the slider scale. Note the damage for the percentile closest to you. Slide the bar up to your boosted iLevel. Then note the damage for the percentile closest to you again. Then take the difference, and divide it by the original number. For example, if the original DPS is 20,000, and the new DPS is 22,000, the different is 2,000. So I take 2,000 / 20,000 and get 10%. So your DPS (etc) would go up by 10%.

The formula is (Original iLevel DPS - New iLevel DPS) / Original iLevel DPS.

Calculate

4. Just apply the calculated % increase to your current DPS on various bosses. And you're all set. And if you're crazy, you can use this worksheet to do it for your whole team.

Team Optimizer

Now is a great time to try out the team optimizer, which ranks the % upgrade a drop is for each player in your raid. You can also see everyone's iLevel, % BiS, and % optimal. We have more info about it here.

 

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Calling all artists!

Mr. Robot wants a makeover! I think all of the S.E.L.F.I.E.'s have made him want something new and shiny so he can look his best in pictures. And who am I to say NO to Mr. Robot? So of course, I'm helping him turn his dream into a reality.

Request for New Logo

We are officially accepting sketches for a new Ask Mr. Robot logo. Don't think of it as a logo, think of is as just drawing Mr. Robot. What do YOU think he looks like? You will submit them privately so no one can copy your idea. This is not a contest, this is a process for us to find an artist to hire to design a new logo and future logo-related projects. Some details to help you get started:

  • Logo & Header: needs to fit nicely on the site, preferably in a horizontal layout. That's why we have just Mr. Robot's head up there right now, along with the words "Ask Mr. Robot." While that can be an option, so can a full robot (like the reddit logos). Really, anything goes! We want to tap into YOUR creativity. Start fresh.
  • Stand-alone: the logo (or another version of it) should look good as a stand-alone item. For example, putting Mr. Robot's current orange head on a T-Shirt or a postcard looks a bit odd.
  • Custom work: The artist we choose would ideally be able to do continued work on variations of the logo. For example, when Warlords of Draenor launched, it would have been cool to have a FULL ROBOT (not just the head) dressed up / posing for the expansion. Right now, I piece together other images as best as I can, but we want REAL art.

Submit Your Work

  • Email submissions to feedback -at- askmrrobot dot com (escaped to avoid crawlers).
  • Rough sketches are all we need right now. If for some reason, we have questions or don't quite understand what you are going for, we will give you feedback and accept follow up sketches.
  • Link to your best art: since we're working off sketches, we'd also like to see an example of some of the art you've already done. This will help us envision where the sketch is going to end up.
  • Payment: in your email, include what you'd like to be paid for the original logo, and your rate for additional variations (like Mr. Robot dressed up for Blizzcon).
  • Feedback: we will have an open dialog with each artist, giving feedback and asking questions before any final decisions are made.

Deadline

March 23, 2015 is our current deadline, and we may adjust it depending on the # of submissions. The earlier you send us your sketches, the sooner we can give feedback to review re-submissions.

About Us:

We love artists and are continuously amazed at the talent out there. We've hired 5 other artists in the past for various projects, and feel like we're easy to work with :)  @Ammosart and @Cadistra are the 2 latest artists we've hired :)

And of course, last year we coordinated a Blizzard Fan Art gallery at our Blizzcon party. We plan to do it again so if that interests you, let us know in the email or the comments here. All art is donated by the artists (but printed and mounted by us), displayed during the party, then given away (free) at the end of the night.

FEATURED BY MR. ROBOT

Oregorger Stats Guide

For the first time ever, raiders can now get aggregated stats on raids to find out how they're doing. Earlier we took a look at Gruul. Today we're looking at Oregorger! The data is relatively new, so it will even out as more data comes in, but here's the first look at how people performed.

Wipe Rate by iLevel

Is dying a lot getting your team down? We're bringing you some hope - it's hard for a LOT of teams, not just yours. It looks like teams who kill Gruul need about 5-7 more iLevels before they have the same success rate on Oregorger. For example, to have a 90% wipe rate or less, teams on Gruul had 655N / 671H. But to have a 90% wipe rate or less on Oregorger, teams had an iLevel of 665N / 677H. This doesn't mean it's impossible, just a bit harder.

Oregorger_WipeGraph

WipeRate_NvH

About our Infographics.

Rolling Phase

You're trying to end this phase fast, but do you know how well you stack up? Do you have to kill it faster or are you already doing well? The infographics will tell you. For example, my team had an average of 16 Hunger Drive stacks. Under the Hunger Drive section, you can also see who did the most damage to the ore crates.

HungerDrive

The Avoidable Damage section will show you how well your team did at not getting rolled over. Me (Zoopercat), I am personally terrible at it. I'll work on it, I promise!

RollingFury

Acid Torrent

Were your tanks doing a good job of mitigating Acid Torrent? I know our first few wipes consisted of everyone giving an opinion of how acid torrent worked! For those of you still struggling: acid torrent targets a player, and the boss turns to spray a cone of damage in the direction of that person. It does a lot of damage to the first person it hits, so your tank wants to run in front of it. And the damage dealt to the group of players in the cone is reduced based on the amount of damage your tank mitigated. Our tanks were working on it, mitigating about 2/3rds of them on average.

AcidTorrent

Want infographics for your own raid?

There's even more data for Oregorger, I just have a quick overview. The infographics are fun. And they're FREE. Uploading is easy.

FEATURED BY MR. ROBOT

Gruul Stats Guide

For the first time ever, raiders can now get aggregated stats on raids to find out how they're doing. Let's start with Gruul! The data is relatively new, so it will even out as more data comes in, but here's the first look at how people performed.

Wipe Rate by iLevel

Think you're wiping a lot and your team is bad? That might not be the case - there are high wipe rates across the board. Click to make it bigger, so you don't strain your human optical input devices. The wipe rate is the % of attempts that ended in a wipe. So if there were 1000 attempts at level 659 and 200 were kills, that would leave 800 wipes, or an 80% wipe rate.

The wipe rate for Oregorger is quite a bit higher at each iLevel.

Gruul_WipeRate_Feb5

About our Infographics.

How many Shatters hit your friends?

Continue reading

FEATURED BY MR. ROBOT

Purposeful Wipe: They don’t have to count against you!

I know you don't want purposeful deaths to count against you, right? Not a problem!

Our addon has a wipe command. You can press the button in the addon, or the more popular approach, macro /amr wipe to a button :)  In the off chance you called a wipe too early, you can 'unwipe' the raid so damage is still counted. Yes it backtracks. No, it won't rez your whole raid :(

If you want to be SUPER fancy, you can macro the wipe command to a raid warning too (so it announces it to the raid). You need to be a raid leader or assist for the raid warning to show up.

Raid Wipe Macro:

/amr wipe
/rw Wipe! (or whatever you want this to say)

Get the right tools for Raid Logging:

Our addon - this records gear, talents and glyphs for EACH pull for everyone who has the addon in your raid. That way, when looking through the logs, you can see exactly what everyone had equipped. It also has the wipe command and auto-logging options.AutoLogging

Our desktop application - This lets you upload fights to our site and collects the gear data from the addon file.

FEATURED BY MR. ROBOT

Blackrock Foundry Infographics

Gruul

Upload your logs today!

We have a fresh way of helping you kill bosses better! Combat Infographics

Russ Petersen, rewards system designer (items) at BlizzardRuss Petersen, rewards system designer (items) at Blizzard

How to upload your logs:

  1. Get the desktop application here.
  2. Optional: If you want gear data tied to the logs (you should, silly), get the addon here.
    You can  if you want. No need to do ANYTHING else with the addon, other than have it installed.
  3. IN YOUR RAID: you need to start a combat log. You can do this by typing /combat log   in the chat window. OR, use our addon and either check the box that auto-logs (my favorite) or click the 'start logging' button. When you are logging, the Mr. Robot addon icon will be green.
  4. After your raid, upload your logs with the desktop application.
    (Start an upload / Fight selection & gear data step)
  5. When you're done, click the big button to view your logs, or just load your character on our site and the logs will show on the right side.

Then check back Wednesday to see your infographics. Remember, we need at least a day to gather enough data to make the infographics meaningful. This is a one-time waiting period when new bosses come out.

Here's a quick video about our infographics:

We're making data available to us raiders that we've never had before. It puts everything in context - you think you are doing awesome or less-than-awesome on different mechanics... but do you REALLY know what's good or not? Now you will! We aggregate a lot of data and bring it to life in the infographics.

We also tie in gear information, a unique feature we offer for all of our combat log data and infographics.It's a pretty handy metric when comparing how you are performing. And long that note, we a history of your logs for nearly forever (for free), so you can see how you're progressing over time :)

Cory Stockton, Lead Game Designer at Blizzard
Cory Stockton, Lead Game Designer at Blizzard

 

GRUUL: How'd you do?

We ran Heroic Gruul Tuesday night. Our raid team has an average item level of 666 (spoooky!) and apparently 97% of all attempts end in wipes at that level. So our 22 wipes to kill the boss - turns out to be not so bad ;)

Our team did decent on Shattered: We got 35% extra shatter hits from people standing too close. The median is 62% right now.

But we did really, really bad on avoidable damage while learning the fight. Honestly, we're learning a fight, and so was everyone else raiding in warcraft Tuesday night. So I thought our avoidable damage would have been average-ish. NOPE! 14% of our damage taken was avoidable, compared to less than 1% for the top performing teams. And for me.. (Zoopercat)... I was at the top of the damage taken charts for Overhead Smash and Cave In.

We all focused on cleaning up our avoidable damage, and look what happened on our kill! We reduced it down to 2% of all damage taken was avoidable. AND I didn't get hit by any of it!

We also greatly improved our healing from the wipes to the kill. For example, I (Zoopercat) had almost 32k HPS on the kill but averaged only 20k HPS across all attempts.

Did you upload your logs yet? Once you do, you'll get infographics for Gruul and Oregorger. More bosses will be live each day this week.

OREGORGER: How'd you do?

I wasn't able to get to Heroic Oregorger Tuesday night, but I did do Normal. At our team's iLevel, 86% of all attempts end in wipes.

I remember getting rolled over by Oregorger a lot, and honestly I thought I did worse than the report tells me. Our team as a whole did decent on avoidable damage, where 27% of all damage taken was avoidable, a score of 8.3 out of 10.

There's lots of fun data, check out your own logs :)

Want even more data?

You can click the 'data' tab at the top to get to more informaiton. And for those of you who LIKE digging through it (and don't fall asleep like I do), we have all of the data you could ever want. Here's a quick video tutorial on that data.

 

FEATURED BY MR. ROBOT

Combat Infographics

BrackenSpore_IconWhen you look through combat logs, does it feel like a time-sinking, soul-draining scavenger hunt for a magical piece of data? Or maybe you fell asleep looking at the data and relied on your raid team's 'combat log guy' to sift through the data and fill you in.

And in the next raid, when your team wipes, what happens? Are people getting yelled at, blamed for messing up mechanics or not doing enough DPS/Healing?

Mr. Robot is here to give you a big hug and send rainbows shooting out of your computer screen. He wants to make post-combat information fun. He wants to give you the context you haven't had before. He wants to help you kill more bosses.

Even several Blizzard people are excited for the tool :)

Cory Stockton, Lead Game Designer at Blizzard

Cory Stockton, Lead Game Designer at Blizzard

Russ Petersen, rewards system designer (items) at Blizzard

Russ Petersen, rewards system designer (items) at Blizzard

Check it out on one of my own logs! Click on any boss for the infographics. It will work on any logs uploaded Thursday night (Jan 29) or later :)

Is that mechanic really the cause of your raid wipes?

You know that mechanic you THINK you're wiping on? Like that fire on Twin Ogron... and then people are called out, everyone feels bad, the mood deteriorates, and then the loot gods punish you with gold on your bonus rolls (they are all-knowing!). Do you REALLY know if that's the cause of the wipes?

You will now! Mr. Robot's infographics tell you how well other teams, who have killed the boss, did on each mechanic. (In our raids, it actually was a problem, and we scored bad on it)

OgronFire

Are you really taking too much avoidable damage?

Every team struggles with avoidable damage, and your healers would love you more if you took LESS damage (and less of their precious, precious mana). Their love has conditions, you know! But how do you know what's an acceptable level of avoidable damage? Surely they don't expect you to get to ZERO!

Mr. Robot's infographics show you how much avoidable damage each raider took, and how that compares to teams who've killed the boss. This finds a nice baseline, and average, of acceptable avoidable damage for each encounter.

Avoidable_Mouseover

Are you killing adds fast enough?

You want to kill the Brackenspore adds fast, but what is... "fast" ?! It isn't really defined, is it.
Until NOW!
Mr. Robot collects data from all successful kills and tells you what fast really is :)

Brack_Adds

Want even more data?

Each section has links to bring you to more data. And for those of you who LIKE digging through it (and don't fall asleep like I do), we have all of the data you could ever want. Here's a quick video tutorial on that data.

Upload your logs!

New to logging? We have a little guide on uploading logs to get you started.

  1. Get the desktop application here.
  2. Optional: If you want gear data tied to the logs (you should, silly), get the addon here.
    You can check a box to auto-log raids if you want. No need to do ANYTHING else with the addon, other than have it installed.
  3. Upload your logs with the desktop application.
    (Start an upload / Fight selection & gear data step)
  4. When you're done, click the big button to view your logs, or just load your character on our site and the logs will show on the right side.

 

 

FEATURED BY MR. ROBOT

Tank Metrics

What should a tank look at as a simple metric on a combat log?  Damagers have DPS, healers have HPS, tanks have... what?

Our logs will give you three easy numbers, and this post described how useful they might be.

Damage Taken

Total damage taken seems like a natural way to compare or rank a tank.  Unfortunately it doesn't work so well for a variety of reasons:

  • Most fights require tank swapping or different jobs for each tank, which can lead to big differences in total damage taken.
  • Some tank classes just take more damage by design.

So while not a useless number... it isn't all that helpful either.

TMI

This is a metric created by some theorycrafters, and you can read full detail about it here.

TMI was created primarily as a theoretical metric to be used in simulation and mathematical modeling to help determine the relative value of different stats on gear.  We use TMI and simc to help us create our tanking stat weights on AMR and find it to be very cool and useful.

We calculate it on combat logs... but it is of pretty limited value on logs.  In theory it should tell you how spiky your damage is -- do healers see your health bouncing all over the place and go into panic mode, or is it steady and predictable?  Good concept and metric, but the numbers you see on combat logs don't translate into actionable information usually.

At lower difficulties where the damage spikes just aren't that dangerous (basically anything below Mythic), the metric can be skewed and give a number that is hard to interpret.  Even at Mythic difficulty, you only really want to use the number as a relative comparison of tanks on the same fight and probably of the same class.  You don't want to use TMI as an absolute metric where value X is "good" and value Y is "bad".

New!  Healing Required / Second

We have created a new metric with our latest log update. We just call it "healing required per second." It's THIS easy: when a tank is "main" tanking a boss, how much healing does he require outside of what he can do on himself?

This is NOT a one-size-fits all algorithm, trying to smush each fight into a metric. We code each boss individually so you are only looking at what's important for tanks in each fight. Every boss is customized :)

This metric is live for NEW logs. Go to the Damage Taken report to see it. If you want to test it out with a log you've already uploaded, you can change the file name and upload it again. NOTE: It will show duplicate logs if you do this though.

HRPS

How it's Calculated:

  1. For each boss encounter, we define what constitutes "main" tanking.  The goal isn't to necessarily capture every point in a fight where a tank is taking damage, but instead to define the "main" and more consistent parts.  For example, on The Butcher both tanks are considered "main tanking" for the entire fight.  On Mar'gok, a tank is only considered "main tanking" when Mar'gok is hitting them.  A tank will certainly take damage from the different adds in the intermission phases of Mar'gok, but it is highly variable depending on which adds and what kind of strategy your team uses.  So we cut it out for the purposes of this metric.
  2. For the time where a tank is "main" tanking, we total up how much damage they took, and subtract self-healing and self-absorbs.
  3. What you are left with is how much healing your healers would have to do to keep the tank alive during the more consistent tank damage phases of each fight.

This metric does not tell the whole story of course, just as HPS does not tell the whole story for healers.  But we think that it is far more useful than total damage taken and for more practical than TMI when looking at a log.

Here are a few potential uses for this metric (assuming it works out over the next couple weeks, we'll be keeping an eye on the log data):

  • Rankings.  We think this number is a decent candidate for tank rankings and percentiles.
  • Actionable Benchmark.  A damager can look at DPS on a fight and try to improve it the next time he does the fight.  We think this number can function similarly for a tank: try to reduce it each time she does the fight.  In general a tank who uses active mitigation and times cooldowns will take a lot less damage during these main tank phases.
  • Adjust Tank Assignments.  If you notice that one of your tanks is requiring a lot more healing than another on a fight, but they are of equal gear and skill... it is a good indicator that maybe your strategy for the fight is off.  Maybe a more even tank swap would result in a better damage split?  Depends on the fight.

Want to see a log of it in action? Any log uploaded in the past 2 weeks shows it. And here's an example from our raid's mar'gok's attempts last night: http://www.askmrrobot.com/wow/combatlog/3d037a7d-e380-4430-b905-ad78db6dd5cd/report/12#v=0,d=2

A new take on Warcraft Simulation

A wiki-style simulator

A wiki-style simulator

Dear Theorycrafters,

We’re developing some tools for you.

Ask Mr. Robot is developed and maintained by 3 people, and we spend a lot of time theorycrafting. But we take a broad approach that spans across all classes, as you may have noticed. For example, we have been using back end tools that integrate with our site and SimC in order to auto-generate stat weights for every spec. While we are experts at theorycraft, techniques, and systems, we are (clearly) not experts for every spec. With 30+ specs, that’s no surprise.

Over the past year, we’ve really worked on reaching out to you, theorycrafters, to include your stat weights on our site, update trinket estimations, and all of the usual things that you lend advice on. We want to keep building on these relationships. Your expertise, and the work you do helps pretty much every person who plays Warcraft. And the pool of theorycrafters keeps getting smaller. We want to support all of you by making your jobs easier and hopefully attract new theorycrafters. So we’ve been working on a project that relies on what we do best: making powerful tools.

We started out as a simulator, and we’re bringing it back

Some of you may remember, way back in the day, our first project was a Death Knight and Druid simulator. We launched it in 2009 to try and win a Silverlight comeptition. The project quickly caught on but we didn’t build a system that was easily maintainable for every spec. At the same time, reforging became a huge deal, so we focused on the gear optimizer.

I mentioned that we’ve written several tools for our own use that interface between our site and SimC. But some things were just not possible with the current version of SimC, so we thought we could help work on the core of the code. The original author is gone and there’s a lot of legacy code we dug into, which took quite a bit of time. There have also been several bugs around for years that we thought we could help fix - another huge time sink. After this initial investigation, we decided it would be faster and easier to just start from scratch.

So last year we started testing out an idea for a super-maintainable and totally transparent simulator. After a few iterations, we’re confident we have a system that can be maintained by any theorycrafter (not just programmers). And its transparency makes it easy to double check for accuracy. The entire system is based off a wiki-style format that gets dynamically generated into code.

What makes our simulator different?

Besides our internal code name, Simnado, you mean? We take wiki-style pages and compile them into code that runs simulations. This is all on-demand, so any changes you made are immediately updated in the simulator. Simulations can be run on our servers or on your own computers. It’s very flexible.

Wiki style rotation editor / creator tool.

Wiki style rotation editor / creator tool.

Wiki-Style gives access to non-programmers

Probably one of the biggest changes is that we’ve designed the simulator around the idea of a wiki. You update spell information, boss scripts, and spell rotations on wiki style pages. You need to understand basic logic (if/then), conditions, and excel-type formulas, but you don’t need to know how to write code.

This style of page also makes it very readable (we hope) to the general population. You can also write comments on pretty much anything you do. So if you want to explain each step of a spell rotation, you can do that.

Wiki transparency

Since everything will be on the wiki, all information is incredibly transparent from spell rotations to game mechanics. Nothing will be buried in code. This makes it easier for theorycrafters to update, for class experts to verify for accuracy, and for anyone to easily find spell data.

Super Powerful

Building a simulator this late in the game allowed us to learn from all of the past pain points. The system is incredibly flexible and built on a lot of requests you theorycrafters have had for a long time.

  • Boss scripts: easily edit or create a  boss script, so you can test out any talent or rotation setup for each boss. Different scripts can even be added for different roles in a fight.
  • Multi target: we created a system that handles multiple targets with ease.
  • Human timing: we have “anticipation” logic that acts a lot more like a human. We put a lot of care into modeling the timing of how the game queues actions, and how humans make decisions. In SimC you usually had to code this yourself in your rotations by using "react" conditions, and not everyone used these consistently. We want to take this burden off the rotation author, so we created an automatically consistent timing model. We'll explain the details of this and we will be looking for feedback!
  • Dev support: if you find yourself writing some crazy workaround for a spell rotation or boss script, stop. Then let us know what you’re trying to do so we can build it into the simulator. We found a lot of cases just playing with a few classes, and I’m sure there will be more. We want to make this really easy for you - and if you find a case that needs a workaround, other people will have the same problem. We’d rather make it easy by adding in the necessary feature right into the simulator.

Saving you compute-time

When you’re running a bunch of simulations to test out a theory, it’s not uncommon to kick off a batch overnight, since they can take a long time to run. Our client program will allow you to seamlessly run simulations across multiple computers.

Note: the client program isn’t available yet, but will be very soon. So for now, you can run everything on the web. We’ll be scaling up our servers to accommodate your needs during this testing phase.

Simulator report

Updating with patches

We have a few different built-in versions of the simulator: live, ptr, alpha, personal. This means game data can be tied to the PTR, for example, then pushed to live when it launches. We’ll also keep a history of all updates, so you can compare a spell that just got buffed (or nerfed) to a previous version.

We will maintain tight controls on the public versions of the data (PTR, live, etc). That way, we can be confident that theorycrafters like you are controlling the content, and some troll (or well-intentioned, but misinformed do-gooder), doesn’t override your work.

In addition to this, the personal versions of the data allow you to change anything you want, at any time, and have it immediately compiled into the simulator code. So you don’t have to wait for anyone, you can make changes quickly and test the results immediately. It’s all automatic!

Coming Soon: stat weight generation

Currently, SimC calculates stat weights using a delta method and small number of data points. I know a lot of you have your own methods for calculating weights to share with the general public. And some of you might know that we built a system for our own use that iterates through different sets of real gear.

We wanted to make stat weights easier and more accurate for everyone. So we’ll be providing a technique that uses at least an order of magnitude more data points to give you much better predictive power. We plan to have that ready VERY soon.

The general user

We hope having a web-based simulator that runs with the click of a button, encourages more players to use it. And we honestly don’t want their main use-case to be stat-weight generation. We want it to be experimentation.

If a warlock is trying to decide between 2 talents, maybe she sees that there are 2 different spell rotations from her favorite theorycrafter, one for each talent. She can look at those rotations and decide if she likes one better. Then simulate each one, with their respective talents to determine the DPS difference.

We’re also making it really easy to share any simulation setup. So you can have several profiles linked in a guide that talk about different talents or spell rotations. We hope this makes proving your points around the internetz easier, especially things you find yourself having to repeat.

Trinkets

The simulator does one really nice thing for us too: helps us rank trinkets better. We try to rank trinkets as best as possible, we really do. We built a program that interfaced with SimC, figured out DPS differences, then assigned a value of a corresponding stat. Then it could be ranked by stat weights. Despite our best efforts, we realized we just couldn’t realistically, automatically rank trinkets with just stat weights. This simulator allows us to actually rank trinkets, per boss too!

What's the timeline

  • Closed beta: Thursday, May 5, around noon PST. A workshop/walkthrough at Noon PST Thursday and 7pm PST Thursday. Might try to do a Twitch stream for screen sharing purposes.
  • We'll be launching with some WoD classes filled in as completely as possible (but as experts, you might find something missing, so tell us). The idea here is to be able to use the tool on the current version of the game to verify that everything works.
  • Next, we'll be adding in Demon Hunters, then other Legion specs and information. While we'll be filling this in, you can also do it on the wiki if you want your class done sooner (or want to test it out to see how easy / hard it is, and provide feedback).
  • Client program will be coming soon. In the meantime, we'll ramp up our web servers for you to do testing on.

Closed Beta

We want you to test out the system and tell us what you think. To do that, contact us on twitter, discord, or email (feedback -at- askmrrobot dot com) and tell us why you'd be a good beta tester. I will need your email to set up your account.  We’ll be available in our Discord channel to answer questions (via chat and voice).

 

 

-Team Robot

Yellowfive (developer)
Swol (UX design & theorycrafter)
Zoopercat (people handler & other stuff)

BlizzCon Party 2015

Party_Feature-Recovered

We're co-hosting the biggest fan party again this year, rebranded to suit it's size: Con Before the Storm! And lots of other cool people are involved: World of Podcasts, d20crit, OpenRaid, ZergID, J!NX, and more! The party is organized by fans & fansites, for fans. If you like Blizzard related activities, keep reading. It will be worth your time, promise!

Admit1

RSVP here!

Thursday, November 5 from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM PST At the Hilton, 777 W Convention Way (Be sure to sign up, the more accurate the head count, the better we can schedule the right number of bartenders!) FanArtExibit

Fan Art Exhibit: All art will be given away as prizes at the end of the night!

WHAT?! Yeah, that's right. Mr. Robot, Audra and I have been curating the art and contacting artists for the past several months, and over 100 artists have donated about 200 pieces of art. And just like last year, at the end of the night, it's all going to be given away... for free!

One thing we learned last year: while we had almost 200 pieces of art to giveaway, we didn't have enough for everyone who wanted cool art. This year, three of the artists agreed to let us print their art on posters and give them to you at cost. The two batches sold out and we have one more batch with a limited number remaining for pre-order. You can sign up for that on Eventbrite and pick it up at the party (they will not be shipped).

Posters-wide

 Green-Screen Photo Booth!

Photobooth2Take your photo in front of the greenscreen and choose your background. This year, we have the warglaives and other props to pose with, thanks to @Serephita!

This year, photos can be shared on social media right away, and the area is big enough for fun group photos.

Games in "The Tavern"

We have Blizzard themed trivia and other games going on all night. Our "Trolls Against Gnomanity" (a Blizzard-themed Cards Against Humanity) game made just for this party will make a cameo too. We even have a real-life Hearthstone board and cards for some epic matches. And of course, some pretty cool prizes for winners. Time to study up on your Blizzard trivia.

Live shows & panelists

The World of Podcast folks have lined up a bunch of live shows and entertainment, including a segment from Scott Johnson (The Instance Podcast). We also have “The Forum,” which features panels and presentations across two different rooms. One of the panels features a behind-the-scenes look at cosplaying with Cosplay Py (first place winner in 2014), Avery Faeth (first place winner in 2011),  Inquisitor Aura and the Treasure Goblin. Yes, they will have costumes to show off and talk about! Alex Ziebart (you know, one of the founders of Blizzard Watch), will be on a panel to give an insider’s look into running a fansite. Bay from Final Boss TV will be a special host for the late-night segments. And there’s even a presentation about beer from the BlizzCon Beer Swap group!

Cosplay

Meet, greet, and get autographs

So many of these fan-favorite personalities are just excited to meet fans, people like you! So one of my favorite people, Darrie from OpenRaid (and ZergID), has organized the “Tap Room.” Drop in to fanboy or fangirl at your favorite people, or bring something for them to sign at the autograph table (like our $11 poster bundle, more on that later). I hear a few people have been brushing up on their autograph skills, like some of the Blizzard Watch writers, Elvine, and Mr. Robot (who’s working on his binary signature!).

See you there! RSVP today :)

Friday - Curse Party!

We'll be at the Curse party Friday night too, at the Hilton. Drinks and swag bags! And if you find us at the party in our Mr. Robot shirts, we might have a few gifts to hand out too :)

Fan Art Poster Bundle

Last year Mr. Robot decided to team up with World of Podcasts to bring you the biggest BlizzCon party, with over 3,000 people hanging out. I personally contacted hundreds (yes, hundreds) of artists to ask permission to display their work in an Art Gallery at the party. For the final selection, we featured art from about 100 of those artists. And here's the best part: at the end of the night, we gave all of the art away :)

It was such a huge success that we are hosting the Art Gallery at the party again! I had some help contacting artists this year too from Audra (thanks so much!!). Well, that freed up some of my time to work on a secret project to bring more art to everyone. We received permission from several artists to print their art on posters, and give them to you at cost. What does that mean? It means there is no markup. It means you get 3 awesome 12x18" posters for a crazy low price of $11.

Posters

We're also packaging the posters together in a poster tube, which is included in the $11 bundle price. And we're ordering 24" tubes large enough to fit posters you might buy at BlizzCon. Apparently both BlizzCon and the FedEx across the street sold out of poster tubes. We'd hate to see these posters get ruined, so we've got you covered!

How do you get your poster bundle?

Important note: these are for pickup at the BlizzCon "Con Before the Storm" party at the Hilton. We are not shipping them (we aren't equipped to be a mini-shipping business at BlizzCon, as you can imagine).

Go to our Eventbrite BlizzCon party page and select the Poster Bundle ticket for $11. Entry to the party is FREE, the ticket price of $11 is to pre-order your poster bundle. When you stop by our party, just head to the "Loot" room for fast & easy pickup.

There's also a donation level ticket for $4. The extra money will help us provide extra goodies for the autograph table, feed the volunteers, buy you some karma, and maybe even sponsor a baby unicorn.

See you at the party!

 

 

Help Me Improve!

Compare_Base

It's that time of the expansion where you know most of the boss fights pretty well. And you spend your time trying to get that perfect set of gear and maximizing your damage (or healing or tanking) output.

And what's the best way to get better at your class? For me, I like to find someone who's better than me and see what they are doing differently. This used to be quite hard to do well... you'd go to the top ranked player list, click on someone and see what they were doing. But what if they have the 4pc set bonus, an overpowered trinket, or the legendary ring? OR maybve they might have different talent choices than you to synergize with their gear. Or maybe they killed the boss in only 3 minutes and your team takes 5. You've been there... it's hard to get a good comparison like that.

Optimized Compare Tool

So we solved this problem with a super comprehensive comparison tool earlier this year. I've been using it a lot lately! Here's a few key things Mr. Robot does for you:

  • Finds you players to compare to, automatically (or a specific log if you want that too!)
  • Finds fights with a similar length AND normalizes the data (more on that later)
  • Finds players with similar gear iLevels AND same set bonuses, legendary progress, and trinket levels.
  • Compares gear, talents, glyphs and stats for you

 Finding the Right Player

Go to one of your logs and select the character you want to help improve. Then click the "Comparison" tab to start up Mr. Robot's player-improvement algorithm. Remember, he will try to find players with similar item levels, same set bonuses, same tier of trinkets, and a similar fight length.

Compare_Intro

 

Comparing Differences & Normalization

Once Mr. Robot helps you find the right player to compare you to, he'll show you all of the differences is a super-handy, side-by-side comparison. AND he normalizes the data for you.

What exactly IS normalization? Well, let's say your fight is 240 seconds long (4 minutes). And the player you are comparing to killed the boss in 4:24 (264 seconds). Their fight was 10% longer, so they would be able to use 10% more of each ability (roughly speaking). Mr. Robot normalizes the fight length differences for you in the "Delta" column so that it's a fair comparison.

Compare_Details

Compare Gear, Talents, Glyphs, and Stats

Maybe someone is doing more damage because they chose different talents? Maybe they are favoring Mastery instead of Haste. Find that out in the gear comparison view. And be sure to have Mr. Robot's addon installed so your raid leader (or whoever is logging) can collect the exact gear, talents, and glyphs you have at the start of every pull! You don't have to be the one logging, you just need the addon installed and the logger's addon will do the rest.

Compare_Gear

4-Minute Video Tutorial

Get started now!

Find your logs by loading your character on the site, or browse for any player here.

Boss Art Extravaganza

Here's how this all started: we love the artist community. We've hired two fans to work on our logo, and another artist created the class backgrounds for our site. This year we hired two artists to make super cute boss art for each raid. (Thanks to your premium accounts, we are able to put money back into the WoW community!).

The boss art in particular has a lot of people excited. I've had about two dozen requests for permission to use it in Youtube videos or guides. Can you use it? Yes, provided you ask us and give credit to Ask Mr. Robot and the artist (@Cadistra or @Ammosart).

Then people started asking for it on tees, so we partnered with d20crit to launch the "My Life is Gruuling" tee. I have it in pink, and they are the SOFTEST, most comfy shirts ever. We partnered with d20crit over other t-shirt companies (like Spreadshirt or Teespring) because they are also a part of the Warcraft community. Among other things, they host a bunch of my favorite podcasts (Hearthcast, Training Dummies, Twisted Nether and a whole lot more). We like to make sure as much money stays as much in the fansite community as possible. This way, our part of the sales help us pay for even more art and d20crit gets to use their share to help support more podcasts.

Recently people started asking for more of the bosses, as well as for us to start putting it on things like pins. That means I have to do all of the photoshopping, pricing, setup, etc. and since Ask Mr. Robot only has three humans working for him, I have to pick and choose my activities carefully. So I ran a survey and it turns out enough people are interested in these extra things that I am going to set some of it up. You can still vote for your favorite boss art. I'm actually pretty excited because I already have a couple of killer designs.

But for all of my ideas, I feel like I only "nailed it!" on a handful. That's where I'm hoping my wonderful friends and fans can help. So I'll be running a series of surveys to come up with fun captions for the most popular bosses (as voted for in my first survey). I'll update this post with results after each survey along with new surveys for more captions.

I think this will be a fun community activity :) Plus, when a cool design is suggested, I can share in the gaggles instead of keeping it all to myself. My first design is below, and it makes me laugh every single time I see it.

BlastFurnace_Disco

Submit & Vote

Now it's time for the first caption-call. Even if you don't think you're clever, stop by to see the 'theme' we are thinking of, say hello, then check back for the results. Once I have the first set of results in, they will go up for voting, and whether you are feeling creative or not, we all like a good VOTE!

Voting set #1: Free hugs & kisses

Results: Coming soon!

 

 

Upgrade finder gets another uprgrade!

I want to say "Thanks" on behalf of Team Robot (all 3 of us humans, and 1 robot) for all of you premium account holders. It means a lot to us that you like our features enough to pay us a rate of $1 every month. It's not a lot to some people, it is a lot to others, and each one of you helps keep us working on the site full time :)

With that, here's some fun upgrades to premium features!

  • All upgrade finder features now indicate whether you already own an item with a note that says (Own) next to it.
  • Bonus roll helper: it now ranks bosses for multiple difficulties on one screen, so yo ucan see if rolling on normal Archimonde is better than heroic Iron Reaver, for example.
  • Bonus roll helper score: the overall score for the boss and item upgrades now takes into account items you own.
  • Zone picker in the upgrade lists now has a difficulty picker added in, making the lists shorter and easier to navigate.
  • Apexis search now includes empowered version of any unempowered baleful items that you have in your bags.

We have even more coming, so stay tuned! And again, thanks for being premium. I can't say that enough!