Toxicity is a real problem in some of the class Discords. Earlier this week I posted an article that tried to shed some light on it. But since I posted some statistics in aggregate, lumping in the good Discords with the bad, many Discord moderators got really upset.
I understand why they were upset: they want to distance themselves as far as possible from these toxic people and it isn’t fair to be associated with this bad behavior. Because of this, I took down the original article and stats and publicly apologized to those people. It wasn’t fair to lump them together, implying that everyone was engaging in poor behavior, instead of just a small group.
That outrage is encouraging – most people don’t want this toxicity.
Regardless of the poor execution of my first article, the toxicity is there. The problem that prompted the article still exists. So I’m going to try again to write this article.
Why me? Why is AMR posting this?
I’m making this post as a commentary on the state of the community right now. There is a small group of toxic people poisoning the perception of what otherwise is a great resource for WoW players. In fact, it extends well beyond this community – it is affecting people (and even game developers) across all games. This is hurting our gaming community and we wanted to add our voice to say, “We don’t like it either.”
To quote the director of Twitch.tv, who recently spoke out about this topic: “This is about the leaders of the industry setting a good example that we shouldn’t allow or tolerate this, and we should fight against it, and set proper examples.”
How bad are some of these channels – are you overreacting?
In this article, you will see quotes with racial slurs and homophobic remarks. I have blocked out names and icons, replaced with their Discord rank (moderator or expert), as well as identified if someone is a “Regular.” A Regular is defined as one of the handful of people in the ‘in-crowd’ who account for 75% of daily messages in the spec channels (on average). Anyone labeled as a “user” either just dropped in or has very little participation.
I’m sharing some examples that focus on channel admins and moderators. It might look like I’m targeting these people, but they are the ones that need to stop doing these things, not engaging in it. Admins and Moderators are setting an example and others follow their lead to fit in. Continue reading
I’m seeing a lot of questions about which gearing strategy to pick, so I wanted to give you a thorough explanation.
T20 vs T21 gearing strategies
First, let’s talk about which one is right for you, how to select it, and then we’ll cover ‘why.’
We have four default strategies for DPS to pick (tanks and healers, I’m getting to you).
Single Target: Based on Garothi (see boss script details), and good for single target fights with mostly T20 and T21 gear. Recommended for Garothi, Felhounds, Imonar, Kin’garoth, Varmathras, The Coven, Aggramar, and Argus.
Multi-Target: Based on Mythic+ with higher gear, and good for T20 and T21 gear. Recommended for Mythic+, Antoran High Command, Portal Keeper, and Eonar.
Pre-T21 Single Target: Based on Goroth and good for single target fights with mostly T19 or T20 gear.
Pre-T21 Multi-Target: Based on Mythic+, good for AoE fights with mostly T19 or T20 gear.
Tanks have a whole bunch of new ones (see, we love tanks!): Raid Boss Low Level, Raid Boss Heroic, Raid Boss Mythic, and Mythic+ for 16-20, and 20+. As of writing this, all tanks are done except Blood DKs, which should finish by the end of the day, 12/15.
Healers are up next and we HOPE to have them all finished by Dec 19th.
What to choose (and how to choose it)
Most of you probably had Pre-T21 Single Target selected when Antorus came out, which was good because you had mostly T20 gear, maybe even some T19 bonuses carefully balanced in there with your T20 4pc.
If you are getting T21 pieces now, you will want to switch to the Single Target strategy. The order I listed them above is the order they are on the Gearing Strategy drop down menu. So to select it, you will have to scroll UP (that has caused people to miss it, and I am sorry about that).
Why two different strategies?
You might be wondering, if these auto-adapt as your gear changes, why have two different strategies? Wouldn’t it make sense to put them all in one?
The number of combinations explooooodes. If you want to include all gear combos with T19 (and relevant iLevel gear), T20, and T21, it gets a bit insane.
It is also not necessary to look at those combos because it is very, very, veeeery unlikely someone has such a strange gear selection that they would want some T19 iLevel stuff, T20, AND T21. That means you won only 2 items for each slot, ever.
In reality, you will span two tiers. For example, right now you probably have a lot of T20 and some T21. If we limit the combinations to a cross over between two tiers, it is giant, but manageable. And since we run every relevant combo for those two tiers (and all of the talents and relic combos you might have as well), being a manageable size is important. It lets us finish up all of the gearing strategies in a week, instead of a month.
Wondering what adaptive gearing strategies are?
I explain what they are and why they are a necessary update to the old stat weight systems people have used in the past (us included).
The script scales with the custom fight duration you put in.
Phase 1 lasts until Garothi gets down to 65%
Phase 2 (Apocalypse Drive) lasts for 20 seconds, which is about the length it is taking in logs. * I will be collecting more data this week and adjust the average if needed
Phase 3 lasts until the boss is at 25% health.
Phase 4 (Apocalypse Drive) lasts for 20 seconds.
Phase 5 (Burn phase) is the last 25% of Garothi’s health
This article describes the default script. I also have variations that may interest you.
While the scripts are totally customizable, the user interface isn’t as friendly or self explanatory as we normally present. So if you have a request for a variation, let us know in Discord or our Forums.
To use a custom script, click the link and then click the ‘add to my list’ button at the top of the page. You can then select it in the boss menu on the sim setup page.
For players who ignore Eradication: melee who use cooldowns to stay in range of the boss, and ranged players who don’t move toward the back of the room, “Garothi (H) – Ignore Eradication.”
For ranged players who aren’t good at the ‘run and gun’ while moving, you’ll find you lose DPS compared to the default script. Try this script instead, which assumes you lose some spell casts while moving, “Garothi (H) – Move it.” I actually like to sim myself using the default and this one to see how much DPS I can gain if I practice dps’ing while on the run.
For dual wielders: Garothi has a bug where you can’t miss. Normally for bosses you can’t get behind, your attacks can’t be parried or blocked, otherwise it would be unfair to you. However, your attacks should still miss. But on Garothi (just like Krosus), you can’t miss. Here’s a script for that: “Garothi (H) – No Miss Bug.”
Bloodlust happens at the beginning of the fight by default.
These are little green puddles that 1-3 people have to stand in to soak damage.
The number of puddles spawned scales with your raid size, averaging about 1 zone per 4 players.
In the script, we assumed melee have a 20% chance to have to soak a puddle, based on placement or absent minded ranged.
We assumed 100% of ranged will soak, allowing melee to stay in range of boss when possible.
~1.5 – 2.5 seconds of run time required (random run time selected within that range)
Repeats every 32 seconds.
When players are targeted they have to run far away before the decimation is dropped, then continue to run to get out of it.
The number of targets scales with your raid size, where DPS and healers have a 28% chance to be targeted.
In the script, if melee get targeted, we assume they are out of range of the boss.
If ranged get targeted, we assume that 10% of the time they will be out of range of the boss, and 90% of the time they will maintain range on the boss while running.
Assume 2.7-3.3 seconds of running (for ranged) or losing range of the boss (for melee).
Repeats every 32 seconds.
Phase 2 – Kill a weapon during Apocalypse Drive
This script has you killing the annihilation weapon first, since that appears to be the heavily favored strategy.
This is the green strip that appears during Apocalypse Drive.
Assume melee and ranged are always in range of the boss
Very small amount of movement, 0.8 – 1.2 seconds to move a few steps.
Repeats every 5 seconds
This is a raidwide AoE that does less damage the further away you are. So people run to the back of the room.
Assume 4-5 seconds of movement time, and loss of range of the boss for melee (assume ranged can still target boss). Melee end up 40 yards away from the boss and the scripts will use gap closers when possible. The default script does not account for people who stay in range of the boss and use cooldowns to survive or mitigate the blast. But I have a variation that does, “Garothi (H) – Ignore Eradication.”
Phase 3 – Empowered Decimation
More people are targeted during the empowered version of Decimation, such that you have a 42% chance to be targeted and required to run.
Assume 2.7 – 3.3 seconds of run time and loss of range of the boss for melee.
Repeats every 16 seconds.
Phase 4 and 5
Phase 4 repeats to mimic the previous Apocalypse Drive. And phase 5 is a burn to take the boss down as fast as possible.
That’s right – stat weights are so last-gen. They are actually more like the iPhone 4… they barely work anymore and definitely can’t play any of the new games.
I’m not really exaggerating. Let me explain 🙂
The problem with stat weights:
Stat weights only rank the stats on your items and don’t rank any procs. That means they don’t rank procs from your relics, legendaries, trinkets or set bonuses. Thats… uh, half your gear!
If a system can’t rank half your gear, it is time to retire it. Even though some of our Moms still have the iPhone 4 because change is scary, it doesn’t stop us from trying to show them why a newer model is better.
I talk more about this in the video below (stat weights, not iPhones) and I also explain the new system that solves the problem. (Look at my face, SO SERIOUS!) If you like videos… /highfive. If not, keep reading and you’ll still get the most important points.
Update 12/14 – We pushed a big update that should work around the problem. The servers should no longer crash – we’ll be monitoring it to make sure the fix worked, so cross your fingers. And thanks for your patience.
Update: 12/5 – We had a workaround that keeps the bug from happening all but once every few days. However, when the wow servers went down for maintenance this morning and traffic piled up, it put the stress on that bug in one of the MS libraries that causes problems when traffic is incredibly high. So it crashed again, and again, this morning. Meanwhile, we are doing work to permanently work around this bug (by writing our own library), because we don’t know how long it will take for Microsoft to fix it. But they are aware of the problem and claim to be working on it.
Why are the crashes happening?
In the update to the new Microsoft framework that we are using, there is an inefficiency in one of the libraries that is causing the servers to lock up and restart. As a non-dev, here is a analogy I like to use, which probably makes dev’s shake their head:
We use pre-built libraries in the framework. I like to think of these ‘libraries’ like a kit for a model airplane. Instead of cutting all of the pieces out yourself, you get a kit, then you just have to assemble it.
One of those libraries that handles some of the database functions is making requests line up, one at a time. What you really want is a whole bunch of people to be able to access the database at the same time. This affects sites with really high database usage, which most sites don’t have at the level we do. We did some quick workarounds to minimize the impact, and that helped for a while.
Now that Antorus is out, people are dying to get new items (ha, really, we are all dying a lot in game). And when you get new items, you ask your favorite Robot to rank them. That means traffic is higher and the crashes are happening more frequently, 2-3x a day. It’s frustrating for us, and definitely for you.
How long until this is fixed?
Since we don’t know how fast Microsoft is going to fix this problem, we are writing our own library for this that doesn’t have a bug. Then we can avoid this problem altogether. We’re working very loooong hours to finish this and really appreciate your patience (and understand your frustration – we use the site for our own characters allll the time!)
This is how we feel right now:
I know this sucks. I hope it hasn’t ruined your day or made you really sad. But in an effort to boost your spirits while we work on fixing it… I thought I’d share one of my favorite annual photo contests: Comedy Wildlife.
How many times have you optimized your gear only to have a few gems or enchants changed? You know it is technically better because that one gem swap will get you a tiny bit more DPS…
But you might have wondered, “How much DPS does that really get me, and do I care enough to spend gold on it?”
The Score Threshold feature lets you determine the gain required to replace gems, enchants and relic.
How does it work?
You can set the Score Threshold in the gear filters menu. By default, we set the threshold to 0.5%, but you can customize it. The range starts at 0.25% and go up to 5%, with an option to disable it so that any improvement is always applied, no matter how small.
The Score Threshold is highlight in orange, “BiB Score Threshold” and is set to 1.00% in this example. The yellow highlight controls the quality of gems and enchants you allow, which comes into play with the Score Threshold feature. Continue reading
All crucible traits have been implemented in the simulator based on the PTR data. If some of them change when they go live, we’ll have those updated that day (or 24 hours at the latest).
You can manually modify your character on the Gear Optimizer or Simulator to have any combination of crucible powers, look for the new “Crucible” section under the Artifact section on the Simulator page.
After you set that up, you can keep all of the default settings on the right side of the sim setup page – and just click simulate!
Or for more advanced users:
Choose the boss script in the drop down menu on the right. Goroth – DPS single target Sass’zine – DPS AoE Krosus – DPS single target, Healing, and Tanks
Mythic + for DPS, Healers, and Tanks for AoE
Goroth Mythic – Tanks (created by Woedenaz)
Fallen Avatar – Tanks
Anotrus Felhounds of Sargeras – Tanks (created by Woedenaz)
Antorus Hasabel – Tanks (created by Woedenaz)
Expand more options on the right. Consider playing with the following settings:
–Output level: choose “Log” which gives you a report of the events with timestamps from one of the iterations. Similar to a combat log.
–Set your potion, food, flask, and augment rune
–For Mythic+ scripts, set your level and affixes
If you want to test out different stat setups, you can manually override them on the left. Expand the “Stats” section and enter numbers of the amount of stat you’d get from gear.
Adding the Crucible traits to your character, on the gear page
The addon will NOT import the crucible when it opens mid-September. We think we have it figured out, but our developer will be away on vacation when the Netherlight Crucible opens up on the live servers. And we don’t want it to break all other gear imports, so it will not be turned on until he returns on September 23rd.
But you can manually add the traits right now. Click on the “hamburger” icon to the left of your character name.
Then add the crucible traits on the bottom of that window.
and the Crucible section underneath Talents in the character editor (click the “hamburger” next to your character name) on the Gear Optimizer.
All tier 2 crucible powers have been implemented in the simulator. It’s possible that the damage may need to be tweaked on some of them… we suspect it will be changed from what was on PTR, though hard to say for certain. Also, we are double-checking that a few traits scale properly to 10 ranks now. Most should be fine as-is.
As an ongoing effort to make simulation details and ‘code’ to accessible (and understandable) by non-devopers, you can you can see how each trait is implemented on the theorycraft wiki – here’s an example for a Windwalker trait. That wiki is turned into code, on demand, every time you press simulate. So what you see, if what will sim (and you can edit it when logged in by cloning the wiki).
Future updates to the Netherlight Crucible:
These updates will happen on or after September 23, when our developer returns from vacation. He has most of them programmed already, and just needs to test them on the live servers once he returns.
Reading your crucible information from the game via our addon
Reading your crucible information from the Armory
Optimization of previewed relics via best-in-bags: which crucible talents to choose, whether you should replace your current relic or not, etc.
Tanks are getting a lot of love from Mr. Robot recently. Here’s a summary of what you need to know to sim and find the best gear.
The DPS “Blender”
Our most advanced feature is one that tanks have for the very first time in Warcraft. Crazy, right? That even over 10 years later, there are new things to help you gear.
Here’s the deal. As a tank, your main concern is… “I can’t die.”
No problem, we have always helped you gear for that. But then when happens when you are crushing content (or maybe just smack talking because they don’t hit as hard anymore)? You probably find yourself ditching some tanky gear and looking for DPS stuff instead.
That’s where the “Blender” comes in. You determine how tanky you want to be, and where the tradeoff is for adding DPS gear and stats. Maybe you like to be 100% tank, all the time. Maybe you like living on the edge and getting juuuuust enough defensive gear and then putting the rest into DPS. I’m not here to tell you how to play… I’m here to help you play how you want to play.
To use the blender, click on the gearing strategy picker to the right of your character name at the top of the gear optimizer page. The Blender appears at the bottom of the popup.
We have provided several presets for you — just pick one from the list, and press Save at the top-right of the gearing strategy popup. The presets are: Continue reading