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BfA updates for Ask Mr. Robot

We have some exciting updates and new features launching on Monday. If you have any questions for feedback, visit this forum thread.

One trend stands out in our BfA site: all gear and stat recommendations are based on simulations we do for you ahead of time, so you don’t have to do it yourself.

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Stat Analysis – automatic “stat weights”

I put “stat weights” in quotes, because there’s a lot more to stats than just a simple set of weights. Stats seem simple, but they are actually quite complex if you want to “min-max.”

Stats are complicated because… Continue reading

Join the GloNet for BfA

If you’ve ever wished you didn’t have to run ‘stat weights’ every time you changed talents or gear, you’re reading the right article.

We’ve been doing it for you throughout most of Legion. That’s what our “Adaptive Gearing Strategies” do – they use simulation data that’s customized to your character. That’s possible because we’ve already simulated the required talent and gear setups for you, ahead of time. Continue reading

AMR will be ad-free for BfA, even for free users

No one likes ads.

Just ask the 75% of gamers who run ad block. Or ask any web designer who grumbles about ads interfering with pretty site designs. Or ask any developer who has had to deal with slow page load times.

But at the same time… we all kind of like ads because we understand that they help keep websites free. And that’s worth a lot.

People don’t mind ads unless…

When ads on a site start to get out of control, people notice. I wanted to quantify this, so I ran a survey to gather people’s opinions about ads. I know, it’s probably not surprising to most of you – we’re data driven – even when it comes to ads! Continue reading

Best in Bags & Upgrade Finder Tutorial

Be confident in your gearing choices

When it comes to gear, you probably have asked these questions too many times to count:

  • What is the best gear I can equip, from what I own?
  • What are the best upgrades for me?

Best in Bags answers that first question, and the “Find Upgrades” feature answers the second. And of course, we suggest Azerite Powers too!

Best in Bags uses the power of simulators to recommend gear, without making you sim anything. We’ve already simulated it for you.

Best in Bags

As you’ve leveled up and been running some dungeons, you’ve accumulated a lot of gear. Is that titanforged item better, or should you use the one with the socket? What Azerite Power is better? Of my half-dozen trinkets, which two are best?

How does it work?

While the answers to these questions are simple (here, this is your best set of gear!) – the process of getting to that answer is quite complex. You see… what if one Azerite Power is great, but only with a high-crit build? What if two trinkets interact really well, amplifying the effect of each other?

The entire set of gear has to be evaluated in order to decide what is best. And there are a lot of combinations just sitting in your bags right now. If you had just 3 items per slot to choose from, that’s almost 5 million combinations of gear (which would be about 25 billion simulation iterations). You’d have to wait a long time for that simulation to finish!

Mr. Robot solved this problem with Best in Bags. You click 1 button and get an answer in seconds.  How is this possible?!

First, we simulate all of the relevant combinations of gear, including trinkets and Azerite Powers, for your character. We do this over thousands of computers and it takes about 2 weeks to get through every spec.

Then we store that in a database, so we can quickly look it up when you want to run Best in Bags. That lets Mr. Robot search through all of them with some fancy logic and machine learning, all so he can pick a best set in seconds.

NOTE: At the start of BfA, we only have some of the simulated data ready, based on a generic character so it won’t be totally custom to you… yet. As I mentioned, it takes about 2 weeks to run all of these simulations for every spec, across thousands of computers. Once that is done, all of the data will be completely custom to you.

Best in Bags Tutorial

If you’re familiar with Best in Bags, you probably just need a resource to identify a few of the UI and functionality changes. Below are 2 images that explain the new UI. After that, I follow up with a few more in-depth sections.

Click for larger images (don’t strain your eyes!)

Best in Bags Setup - recommending the top gear from your bags

Best in Bags setup step

Best in Bags Results - see the top gear from your bags

Best in Bags results

Stat Analysis

This new feature tells you what stats you should focus on for your next few items. Because we’ve simmed everything for you already, it replaces the need to sim your own stat weights. Now you can spend all of that time playing the game instead of simming the game. Learn more about how it all works on our Stat Analysis article.

Let’s talk about the Stat Analysis in the context of Best in Bags and start with an example:

  • Pretend Haste is your best stat.
  • Crit should be 80% of your Haste (so for every 100 Haste, you’d want 80 Crit).
  • There’s an awesome Azerite Power that scales really well with Crit.

So, what happens if you get a chest piece with that awesome Azerite Power that scales incredibly well with Crit? When you do Best in Bags, Mr. Robot checks all of your gear and sees if a high Crit build, paired with that Azerite Power, is better than the standard high-Haste build (in our pretend little example here). If so, he’ll suggest it. But because of this, there is no way for you to definitively say that one stat (Haste in this example) will always be best.

But you know what we can do? Aggregate a metric-ton of data and give you a really high-probability suggestion of what stats you should focus on next.

How does this work? First, recall that Mr. Robot has already simulated all of the necessary gear (and Azerite Power) combinations that you could get, and stored that in his database. So all he has to do is look up your current gear and then compare it to setups that do more damage (or healing or tanking) at your current iLevel.

Recommended stat weights / analysis for BfAHe then analyzes all of the stats in all of those setups and looks for trends. He might find that 85% of them have more Haste and less Mastery, in which case, he would tell you to focus on getting more Haste and less Mastery on your next few items.

The advice shows up in this Stat Analysis section, followed by a graph. The graph shows the stats on your current Best in Bags gear, and the arrows tell you what to increase, decrease, and what should stay roughly the same.

While 85% of setups might have more Haste, that doesn’t mean only high-Haste builds are going to be better for you. In this example, 15% of the better-than-your-current gear sets don’t have more Haste than you do now.

You can also see a graph of the data Mr. Robot analyzed for you. This lets you see that, yep, a whole bunch of these are stacking Haste, but a few have relatively low Haste.  Click the “View optimal stat graph” link to see the top performing stat distributions for your item level (or any item level).

Multiple Specs

We’re expanding on this feature for BfA. In Legion, you could do Best in Bags for all of your specs, and of course, you can still do that in BfA.

For this expansion, we’re also letting you add extra setups. We found that people wanted to do different Best in Bags, for example: one for raiding and one for Mythic+. You’ll be able to have a total of 10 different setups.

You can switch between any setup by clicking on one in the Setup List on the left side of the Best in Bags section.

When you export your setups to the addon, all of them get exported and turned into in-game gear sets. When you return to Best in Bags on the website, and update only a few of your setups, only those updated setups will be exported (because there is no need to export things that didn’t change).

NOTE: Right now, you can only have 1 setup per spec. Multiple setups will be ready before Uldir launches.

Locking items, gems, enchants, and Azerite Powers

Sometimes, you just want to make sure Mr. Robot keeps your favorite trinket or Azerite Power and works around that. No problem! He’s happy to oblige. This is where locking comes into play.

You could always lock items, gems, and enchants during Legion. But it was a power user feature that was hard to figure out on your own. Since locking things in is a big part of customizing your gear, we’ve put it front-and-center.

Lock gems, enchants, and Azerite Powers

Every lockable thing now has a lock icon next to it. Click the lock icon to bring up a list of items, gems, enchants, or Azerite Powers. Choose the one you want and it will lock in. If something is locked, the icon turns orange. Click it again to unlock.

Alternate Best in Bags

If you used Best in Bags in Legion, you’ll remember the Alternate options that we showed you (different legendary setups). The idea is that a lot of gear combinations all perform within a few % of each other and all of them will get you a top rank in logs.

Best in Bags picks a best set of gear, but then also shows you some other options that you might enjoy just as much. While you won’t see this on launch (don’t panic, it’s coming back!). It will be ready shortly after launch and it will suggest alternate Azerite Powers, gear, and trinkets.

Upgrade Finder

I’ll have a tutorial up for this soon, promise 🙂

If you aren’t familiar with it, the idea is that you can get gear upgrade 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 this week. Or what gear you can buy with gold.


Simple vs Complex Rotations

What do you prefer: a simpler rotation that you can easily master, or a complex rotation that does more damage?

To answer this, you probably want to know how much more damage the complex one does. If the increase is minimal, would you prefer the simpler one? How much more damage would a complex rotation need to do before you prefer to use it?

You should answer this in your head right now. It will make the next sections more fun.  🙂 Continue reading

BfA Beta Simulator: status update

The simulator is ready for BfA for all specs, including tanks and healers, and all of the Azerite powers. It’s still on because it hasn’t been tested enough. So don’t take results as concrete “facts”!

It’s also worth noting that Artifacts and Legendary effects are disabled in the BfA simulator since they won’t work for level 120 characters.

What’s ready?

“Single Simulations” are fully functional. That includes all of the following:

  • All Azerite powers are implemented.
    • You can see each one on the Theorycraft wiki. (choose your spec, then look for the “Spec Azerite Powers” section, and the “General Azerite Powers” section)
    • If an Azerite power needs more testing or something looks odd, we make a note at the top, like Lunar Schrapnel (Balance Druid).
  • All trinkets are implmented, except for a couple pet-summoning ones where we need more data.
    • Trinkets also have notes at the top, including a note if it isn’t implemented (like the pet ones).
    • Some trinkets need more testing to verify how they work. For example, the splash damage from Briny Barnacle, indicated by a note at the top.
  • All class talents and spells are implemented.
  • Every class has a ‘base’ rotation – it is intentionally simple, which also helps find bugs.
  • Healers are fully functional, measuring HPS and Ally Deaths. We’ll have an article series soon that walks you through the in’s and out’s of healer simming.
  • Tanks are fully functional, measuring TUF (replacing NPS), and Death Chance. We’ll have a writeup soon on TUF – the short version: it measures how TOUGH you are (yep, that’s what it stands for. Smile, it’s fun!)

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Azerite guide & infographic: fully explained

This Azerite guide is for all of you data junkies out there. For those of you who can’t get enough information about Azerite gear and need to know more, more, more! While I’m at it, I’m going to overachieve the heck out of this, and share it all in an infographic.

So here it is: your BfA Azerite InfographicAzerite guide infographic

For those of you who don’t like infographics (do you hate puppies too???), or if you want longer explanations, keep reading for the text version. Continue reading

Pre-patch issues & how to fix them

Around expansions, so many systems change that sometimes things get a bit out of whack. Here are the things we know about and how to fix them:

Caching Issues on Ask Mr. Robot

If you do Best in Bags or an optimization and see a giant increase to your score, you’d be right in assuming… that’s probably not right 😉 I mean, Mr. Robot is really good at his job, but even he can’t get you a 47,000% increase. Continue reading

Mr. Robot’s pre-patch advice and details

If you do Best in Bags and see a giant score % increase, it has to do with caching. Also, your Artifact weapon might not show as the right iLevel until you reimport from the addon when the game is back up. I have instructions on how to fix these things here.

Pre-patches… oh how things always seem like they’re spinning out of control!

Players are dying to know what’s good and what’s bad. Content creators want to provide the answers, but struggle with the problem that the power of individual talents and spells are still in flux.

A few early opinions start to form which get morphed into black-and-white statements like “This class sucks,” and “This class is so overpowered.” People start switching mains and worrying if they’ve made the right decision.

I think a lot of the stress everyone feels comes from the uncertainty. As players, we are used to having so many tools to evaluate every little thing about World of Warcraft, from simulators, to combat logs, to expert opinions.

We really have none of that right now, we’re flying blind. Continue reading

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