Author: zoopercat (page 1 of 19)

Batch Simulations

Batch simulations are just a fancy way to say ‘lots of combinations of stuff.’ If you want to find the best talents or rank legendaries, there are often hundreds or more of combinations. And if you want to look at legendaries and talents at the same time, whew, that list gets long.

Mr. Robot does all of this for you, automatically. You tell him what you want to compare and he’ll make the combinations for you, test them out, and rank them according to their DPS.

You get a report that can be sorted and customized, and we even give you a downloadable CSV for those of you who love spreadsheets.  Continue reading

A Guide to Identifying the Best Artifact Path

This blog posts answers two big artifact questions: Can I level my offspec artifact and not fall behind? What is the best artifact path?

Let’s start with the first question.

How fast can I get traits in my weapon? Will the offspec put me behind?

If you level fast and do your dailies every day, you’ll have at least 20 traits when raids open. (That’s assuming raids open 3 weeks after launch). And the good news, placing some points in the offspec barely sacrifices anything… at most 1 day, all the way to your full 54 point artifact. Yeah, really!

You can take a look at the data yourself, thanks to the work the Kib did on his spreadsheet. Note that this data is the minimum you’ll have if you do all activities, as it doesn’t account for drops from mobs or rares that give Artifact Power.

Here’s a timeline I put together based on his data (click for full size).

Artifact Power Offspec

What is the best Artifact path?

If you want the best path, you’d have to look through 100 or even 1000 possible paths. So clearly this isn’t easily done by a human, so we set Mr. Robot to the task.

He will take your given setup, including all of your gear and talents, then run through every single combination and recommend an Artifact path customized to you.

There’s also a mode that’s handy while you level it up – Mr. Robot will take your current progress on the Artifact and find the next best trait to get. Since you’ll be spending about 5 days at each trait before you get a new one, this can be a very helpful recommendation.

I have a video that covers what we call “Batch” simulations. It’s not scary, hang in there with me. There’s also a video-chapter specifically for the Artifact Path that you can skip to if you’d like.

Backing up a step: let’s take a quick look at Artifact Power (AP)

Here is the super-fast, really basic overview:

  • When you hit level 110: You don’t get Artifact Power from quests, but everything you kill has a chance to drop items that reward you with AP.  From what I’ve seen, you might acquire a few thousand Artifact Power from these drops while leveling.
  • Each day you can gain at least 2,380 Artifact Power. There is also a weekly Mythic dungeon quest reward for 3,500. And every mob has a chance to drop AP rewards.
  • You get over 10,000 Artifact Power for each faction rank with Suramar.
  • You can increase the rate at which you gain Artifact Power by increasing your Artifact Knowledge. The Knowledge level acts as a multiplier on AP gained by most sources. This is done with a quest in the class hall, and can increase your Knowledge every 5 days (or sooner if you don’t play often as a catch-up mechanism).
  • You can reset your artifact weapon, for the cost of the NEXT trait.

How fast can I get traits in my weapon?

  • Once you hit level 110, you can get 4,680 Artifact Power from the end zone quests (Suramar) and the first set of dailies. The first 11 Artifact Traits cost 4,625 AP. Which is why you can get 11 traits when you hit 110.
  • The 12th and 13th Artifact Traits aren’t very expensive and you get get those 1 day after you hit 110.
  • Once you hit 13 Traits, it will take you about 2-3 days to earn enough Artifact Power to go up 1 rank.
  • Once you hit 19 Artifact Traits, it will take you about 4-5 days to earn enough Artifact Power to go up 1 rank. This holds true all the way to maxing out your artifact, assuming you are diligently doing all of your dailies and increasing your Artifact Knowledge ranks too.

Want to see the data for yourself, check out Kib’s spreadsheet.

Questions or Feedback?

If you’re still new to the simulator, never fear, we are here to help. First, check out this crash-course video. Full a full list of simulator resources, visit our simulator page which has super short videos like the 1-minute-guide to customizing your character, as well as super in-depth guides like how to compare two different rotations to make an even better rotation.

Hit us up on our forums or on Discord.

Demon Hunters & Legion Support

“Why can’t I load my Demon Hunter on the site?”

We have support for Havoc on the beta site, where you can play with gear and get DPS numbers. It’s pretty easy to do, and completely free! Vengeance will have to wait a little big longer though.

As always, we’ll have full support by the time the expansion launches (we’ve never missed an expansion deadline yet!) There are just 3 of us working on the whole site, so sometimes we need these last few days and weeks to iron out all of the bugs and finishing touches before we go live.

We have a whole new site upgrade that we’re launching with Legion. The backend code is all new and shiny. Some new feature improvements are coming too (like even easier flows to Best in Bags). But the final site isn’t quite ready yet, so it hasn’t been pushed live.

So I ask on Mr. Robot’s behalf, if you can hang in just a tiny bit longer, he’ll have full gear-optimization support for both Demon Hunter specs by Legion launch, promise! And in return, he will hand-polish all of your armor for launch as well. Pinky swear! Continue reading

Arcane Mages: When to start the burn phase

One of the biggest questions for Arcane Mages in Legion is… When should I start my burn phase?

How long it takes for an Arcane Mage to burn through their mana varies quite a bit – it’s never the same from one burn phase to the next, which is why this has been such a difficult question to answer. But we’ve solved it by asking Mr. Robot to learn how long each burn phase lasts in every simulation. Then he reports the shortest, longest, and average durations in the report so we can start to answer this difficult question.

After a lot of testing, a pattern emerged. The duration of your burn phase depends on your Mastery:Haste ratios, which appears to hold true at any gear level (during tests with Quickening). It’s important to note that these are initial findings and things might change as we do more testing. Continue reading

Outlaw Roll the Bones Buffs

Updated for Aug 8 & 11 Hotfixes.

When Warcraft Legion launches, everyone’s wondering what Outlaw rogues should fish for when using Roll the Bones (RtB)? More buffs, Shark Infested Waters, or both?

Reroll the Bones to fish for any 2 or more buffs.  You have a 35% chance to get any 2 buff combo.

(Before the hotfix it was best to fish for Shark or any 3+. That recommendation no longer stands). Continue reading

Simulator Boss Modeling – Volunteer raiders needed

We’re working on the models for each Legion boss and will be putting those into the simulator. That means you’ll be able to answer questions for a specific boss, like “What should my DPS be on the first boss?” Or maybe you want to know “What are the best trinkets for the end boss?”

You get the idea.

But to do this right, we need log data, sometimes with very specific tests. If you’re up to the challenge, let me know. It requires that you turn on advanced combat logging, and send us your raw combat log text file.

Specific test #1: How hard does each boss’s melee auto attack hit?

If/When the raids come back up:

  • We need to make sure your armor stays CONSTANT.  And that you don’t use any defensive abilities. This is to make sure we get the full, raw, auto attack damage amount.
  • We suggest that a tank and a couple of healers go in, and try to get hit 50 times or so. The healers need to make sure they only HEAL. No absorbs or anything that affects armor or reduces damage taken.
  • Send us the log, and tell us what boss and the character to look that was hit.
  • We need this for every boss, on Normal, Heroic and Mythic. Normal is always open, so that’s our best place to start.
  • You don’t have to do every boss, if we get a bunch of volunteers, we can cover more ground 🙂

Upload logs to our dropbox. And leave a comment here with the info you tested, or ping me on Twitter @AskMrRobot or in our Discord.

Raw logs of kills:

  • We’ll need to get spell data and timing on all of the other abilities. So raw logs of boss kills with no special tests, will be very helpful as well. Especially for the 2nd raid, as we won’t be able to get to that again for a while.

Upload logs to our dropbox.

Boss Experts:

  • If you feel like you’re pretty knowledgeable about a boss, let us know! If you feel like you’d be explaining the strategy to your team, then we’d love to talk to you. Hit us up on Discord.

 

Legion Pre Patch 7.0

Character updates

It’s possible that characters won’t update correctly from the armory. We are unable to test those changes until Blizzard updates their site. It’s possible something changed in the API that we need to modify on our end. It’s possible the armory lags. Either way, we have a workaround for you! You need to get our updated addon  – look for version 38 (after 10am PST). Instructions to update your character from the addon can be found here.

Stat weights

No one really knows what they should be for the Legion pre patch. The class changes are still in flux, and people are still figuring out the best ways to play with the new talents and changes to abilities. Since none of this is solid, all stat weights you see people post are best guesses.

If you want to change the default ones we have, click on the edit button next to the stat weights and have fun! Mr. Robot will suggest new gear based on any set of weights you give him.

We suggest using the Legion pre patch to experiment with all of the changes to your class, and not stress about being perfect out of the gate. And by experimenting now, you’ll have a better handle on your spec when Legion launches.  Continue reading

Share your Legion APL / Rotation

We’ve made it easier for you to share any Legion APL / rotation. You can also ‘subscribe’ to someone’s rotation and get all of their updates automatically.

You might see people asking for a Legion APL for their class. APL stands for “Action Priority List” – basically a spell rotation. Simulators use an APL (rotation) to mimic a boss fight and estimate your dps. But not everyone plays the same, so we want to get more people involved in making rotations for Legion. Share them with friends, post in forums to collaborate in making one better, the list goes on.

Let’s say Zoopercat makes a rotation and wants to share it with a few people. She clicks the share button, gets a link, and posts it in the guild forums (or on discord).  Let’s say Yellowfive clicks on the link – he can see the rotation that Zoopercat made. If he wants, he can click “Add to List” so the rotation shows up in the drop down menu when setting up a simulation. And that’s not all! Anytime Zoopercat updates that rotation, it’s automatically updated for Yellowfive too!

Share Legion APL / Rotations Share Legion APL / RotationsUse a shared Legion APL / Rotation

Suggestions on Sharing your Legion APL / Rotation

  • Make a descriptive name – when people click on the link, they will see the name of your rotation and know what it is for.
  • “In Development” / WIP names – if you want to share or collaborate on rotations, it might be a good idea to put “Dev” or “WIP” (work in progress) in the name. That way people know it isn’t perfect yet. And they might make a copy and play with it too. Example: Zoops Balance WIP
  • Release names – you can also make a release version. This could be updated with the latest theories that test out. Sure, it might not be optimal yet, but as you update it, it will get better and better. Example: Zoops Balance Release

Editing Rotations

For a quick start guide on editing rotations, check out this video. For help on how to guess & test rotations, try this video.

And for a full list of help and FAQ, check out our Simulator Help Page.

 

The New Legion Simulator

TLDR: Mr. Robot has a new super-powerful simulator. You just push a button on our website, no need to download anything. For how-to tips & videos, visit this page.

Have Legion Questions?

Did you know there are several quadrillion viable combinations of gear, talents and artifact traits for every level 110 Legion character? I bet you’ve had a lot of questions about what the best talents are, or how spell changes are shaping up! I know I have…   What if there was a button to get the answers yourself… would you push the magical button?!

Push it.

/Launch Simulator

We built a new Legion simulator.  “So a new simulator?! How is this going to change things?” you might be asking. Let me give you the TLDR version:

  • Goal #1: End the “Black Box Theorycrafting” era and move into “Public Theorycrafting.” Instead of requiring your trust, we wanted to earn it, by making every little detail public on a wiki. What’s that phrase, “Trust, but verify” ?
  • Goal #2: Increase confidence in simulation as a method to model the game. For example, Patchwerk fights don’t exist so it’s easy to dismiss results of a simulation based on that type of fight. So our simulator will model out every boss in Legion.
  • Goal #3: Ignite collaboration and creativity to take theorycrafting to a whole new level. We don’t want you to rely on just our 1 or 2 spell rotations. Instead, everything is public and easily editable, so anyone can tweak rotations, making them better and better. We also don’t want you to rely on just one boss script… the system will let you choose from a list of scripts for each boss, like ranged, melee, a 9-minute strategy or a 3-minute strategy. This also opens up an opportunity to create very specific spell rotations for each boss in Legion.

We’ve been working for the past month with some of the top theorycrafters and top mythic guilds to make sure the system is in tip-top shape. So far so good, and now we’re ready to release it the Legion version to the public. Keep in mind, it is still a beta (so if something looks like a bug and sounds like a bug, it’s probably a bug. Please report it!)

Moving to “Public Theorycrafting”

An incredible amount of advice on the “right way” to play or gear is controlled by very few people who haven’t been required to prove our work… it’s in a Black Box. I say “our” because Ask Mr. Robot does fall into this category. We guarantee that we will get you the single best optimized set of gear, which we did verify and prove. However, it’s based on stat weights… which come from simulation results that we didn’t publish the details on.  Most advice based on simulations, whether on a tool like ours or in a guide, has had little-to-no independent verification. We’re changing that.

To ensure that the information driving the simulations is easily viewed and verified, it can’t be buried in code. So we pulled nearly everything out of the code and moved it to a wiki.

All of the information on the wiki is then turned into code to run your simulations, automatically and on-demand. Let that sink in… a wiki that powers an entire simulator.

How does this wiki make theorycrafting more public? 

The wiki lets you see how any spell works, how buffs interact, or the assumptions made in spell rotations. It’s critical to make this information accessible, so that it’s easily verifiable by class experts, theorycrafters, and you! This means thousands or hundreds of thousands of people can verify the accuracy of each spec, instead of just a handful of people.

In addition to verifying the mechanics of the Legion simulator, the community can verify assumptions and conclusions of class experts’ simulations. Every simulation is saved (forever), and easily shareable. This means you can see the results as well as all of the details that went into the simulation, like what spell rotation was chosen, what gear was equipped, which talents were selected, and so on.

Now let’s say you look at those assumptions and wonder if a different talent setup would be better, along with a slightly different rotation to make the best use of that talent. You can use their setup as a starting point, select that other talent and drag & drop spells in the rotation to adjust it. Then run your version of the simulation and compare results. Let’s say your setup gets more DPS, so you share it. Someone else might come along and tweak your setup, and the process continues to iterate. Instead of tapping into just 1 or 2 people’s knowledge, this model opens it up to tap into everyone.

Models for every Legion Boss

If we go through the effort to make sure every spell mechanic is properly implemented and to create min/maxxed spell rotations, it seems silly to throw that level of accuracy at exaggerated bosses that don’t exist. “Patchwerk” fights assume pure single target where you never move (when’s the last time that happened?). And AoE fights aren’t 100% AoE all the time… the packs of adds come and go. Modeling a boss really isn’t much different than modeling a spec’s spell mechanics and spell rotations. So we’re going the extra mile to add every single boss for Legion into the simulator.

It doesn’t stop there… what if your team uses a special strategy on a boss? Or what if the melee never have to move out of things, but ranged players do? What about multi-targeting? Those require different models, which is why we will be releasing a boss editor that’s as easy to use as the rotation editor.  Perhaps hunters need a special boss setup, now they can have it.

While we have the boss mechanisms ready, the actual bosses aren’t live yet.  As they are released for testing in the Legion beta, we’ll add them to the Legion simulator.

Ready for Legion!

Here’s a list of what’s ready:

  • Every DPS spec’s spell mechanics are implemented (if something seems wrong, it’s a bug, and will usually be fixed in 24 hours or less of the report)
  • Basic rotations for every spec (but not min-maxxed yet, feel free to play with the rotations though!)
  • Reporting with filters and searching built in
  • All regular Legion gear is available to equip (trinkets, special legendaries and set bonuses are not yet modeled)
  • All pages are easily shared, just grab the URL and post it to a forum or send to a friend.
  • Web-based simulations (use our servers, on the cloud, free)
  • Full, fast support! Need help learning the system, have a specific question, or need to report a bug. We’re friendly and we’re dedicating time to help you!
    • Discussions: discord or forums
    • Specific questions: discord or forums
    • Bug reports: forums

Here’s what’s coming

Known issues can be found here.

  • Client program so you can run more processor intensive simulations
  • Trinkets, special legendaries and set bonus implementation
  • Batch simulations (like trying 10 different talent setups all at once and compare the DPS between them. Or do a simulation for every combination of haste and mastery between 1,000 & 5,000 rating and graph the results)
  • Distributed simulations (running one of those large batches across multiple computers… like 2 of your own and your mom’s)
  • Legion bosses (and the boss editor), as they are released for testing on the Legion Beta
  • Stat weight generation

Give it a try!

Head over to beta.askmrrobot.com. You can use the beta version of the addon to load a character or use one of the default templates. There’s more tips on our Simulator FAQ page.

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.

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)

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