Category: Tutorials (page 1 of 3)

Tips, tricks, and tutorials for AMR features

Upgrade Finder Tutorial

Upgrade Finder

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

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

How to setup the Upgrade search

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

Find upgrades in Battle for Azeroth

Find upgrades for each spec

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

Find upgrades - normal dungeons

Search through the list with advanced filtering

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

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

How to spend your bonus rolls

This Upgrade search gets some extra special features.

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

Bonus rolls - how to spend them and get upgrades

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

Find Upgrades - bonus rolls uldir and mythic

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

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

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

Upgrade to Premium for $12 a year

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

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

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

Worst in Bags

Worst in Bags WoW Addon - Bank

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

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

A new kind of Warcraft class guide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

Best in Bags – Customize Feature

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

Customize Gear

/raises hand

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

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

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

How To Use It

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

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

Customize Best in Bags - Top tier gear setups

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

Alternate options - top tier stat and azerite options

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

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

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

Top tier gear selections - clear preference

What does tier 1, 2 and 3 mean?

Each alternate setup is assigned a tier.

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

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

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

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

Azerite and gem/enchant thresholds

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

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

How It Works

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

How do we pick setups?

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

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

We do not do it like this.

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

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

How do we pick the gear in each setup?

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

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

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

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

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

There Can Be More Than One

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

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

Best in Bags: Multiple setups

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

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

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

Unexpected Azerite Power & Gear Suggestions

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

“Nope, keep the old one on.”

W. T. F. ?!

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

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

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

Tank Gear Optimizer

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

Toughness Level

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

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

Reorigination Array Info & Rankings

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

How does Reorigination Array work?

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

You need to meet a few conditions to activate it.

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

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

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

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

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

Healer sims (part 4) – different heal styles & theorycraft

There are a lot of ways to effectively heal your team and keep your teammates alive. Healing simulations let us experiment with different styles of healing and determine which ones can keep a team alive.

Simulation also lets us compare the potential healing output of these different styles. Ultimately, any style that keeps everyone alive is equivalent for all practical purposes, but it is fun to also try to maximize the healing per second.

How to determine the best ways to heal?

A tool like this makes it possible to test different ideas with each class and quantify the results. You’ll see us doing that a lot and pushing healing theorycraft into a new frontier.

Okay, maybe that’s overstating it a bit, but you will see us discovering non-traditional ways to heal that work as well as the popular styles. We’re excited to share these with you and break a few traditional rules without sacrificing your ability to keep people alive.

Let’s look at an example set of rotations for Holy Priests to demonstrate this.

Holy Priests have really strong AoE healing, so ‘rotations’ that focus almost entirely on AoE are quite popular.  Even though their AoE is so strong, we wanted to see if a mix of AoE and spot healing could stand up to the power of a rotation focused mainly on AoE.

To test this, we set up a rotation for each style in the simulator.

  • All AoE healing (see rotation): uses Prayer of Healing liberally to keep the raid topped up, only using single direct heals if a player is in a lot of danger.
  • Mix of AoE & spot healing (see rotation): makes good use of the single target, mana-efficient spell, Heal, when there isn’t a lot of danger to the raid.

Next we simulated each one and compared the results:

Holy Priest AoE Healing sims

 

The spell usage for each rotation is significantly different. But they both end up with the same healing effectiveness.

“Finding unexpected or surprising results makes theorycraft fun.” -Swol

This example was particularly surprising. Most people (including us), wouldn’t have expected the Mix AoE/Spot healing rotation to be equal to (or surpass) the power of the AoE-focused rotation. But we tested it anyway and found another viable way to heal.

Developing rotations: a philosophy

We approach rotations with no pre-conceived ideas of what “should” be the best way to heal. We know what’s popular and already working, but we like to keep an open mind to other possibilities.

We experiment with and test any and every idea we (and our users) think of. Once we find something that keeps everyone alive, we also try to maximize the potential HPS.

Our thinking is that we will give more flexibility to your raid team to absorb mistakes, like standing in blood pools during fights. We generally avoid extremely ‘specialized’ healing styles for our own theorycraft since most people don’t play Warcraft at a level where they can just have one very specific healing task in the fight. Most healers have to be a “jack of all trades” in their raids, sometimes AoE-ing, sometimes spot-healing, and sometimes hitting that darn emergency button.

Metrics: HPS & Ally Deaths

I talked a lot about measuring the effectiveness of different healing styles. That means we need some metrics in order to compare them. Let’s dig into those a bit more.

Healing simulations

HPS (Healing per Second). Most of us healers have a love/hate relationship with this metric. It’s actually a very good metric for measuring total throughput (how much total healing can you do?). That’s a great number to have. But it’s gotten a bad reputation from people abusing it by healing specifically to top the meters.

When someone tries to cheese the system, they knowingly snarf heals and use big cooldowns before anyone else so they can keep their healing numbers high. (I previously reported on this over at Blizzard Watch, if you are interested). They are focused on topping the meters, rather than healing the right target at the right time.

But the simulator isn’t trying to cheese the meters, so it removes that factor from the equation, making HPS a great way to quantify healing.

Another way to measure healing is to figure out what results in the least deaths. We call this “Ally Deaths” on the simulation reports. Our goal is to help you select talents, gear, and answer any other questions in a way that results in the least number of deaths.

Accounting for your mana

The simulator knows how much mana each spell costs. It knows your Global Cooldown (GCD) and how much your cast times are reduced by Haste. It knows when a proc happens making your next heal spell free, and so on.

The simulator knows how much mana you started with and how much you have throughout the fight. This allows the simulator to cast spells, use up mana, regen mana back, and continue just like you would in a real boss fight. It can even execute logic that triggers certain spells or trinkets if you have less than (or more than) a specific amount of mana (like an on-use trinket that restores mana).

If you run out of mana, the simulator isn’t able to cast spells, which will result in lower HPS or more Ally Deaths. This makes it easy to measure things like:

  • The impact of high-Haste builds: if you are running out of mana, more Haste isn’t going to help you as much as Mastery or Crit would.
  • Mana trinkets: if you are running out of mana, a mana trinket might be your best option over one that does extra healing.
  • Mana-efficient heals: you can determine if more mana efficient heals would result in more healing until you get better gear.

Mana also factors into your ‘healing style’ choice. If you heal too aggressively, you run out of mana. If you are too passive, people die. Simulations help you find  that balance.

Conclusion

Simming healers requires a much more complex system than DPS. I hope I covered enough details to answer all (or most) of your questions. If you want to discuss anything about healing sims, or have any remaining questions, head over to this forum thread.

If you are excited to test things out on your own healer, head over to the simulator and load your character.

Lastly, we’re always testing ideas on fun, effective ways to heal. We post some of the more interesting findings in articles. If you want to be notified when those come out, sign up for my email list.

I personally write every email and I promise to never include promotions or spammy things. I send 1-4 emails a month, depending on how much we have to share.

Healer sims (Part 3) – modeling actual healing

Part 3 of this series covers actual healing. This is where we answer the BIG question: how do you sim healers?

How real players heal in-game

In order to answer the question, “how do you sim healers,” we should look at how real players heal.

Let’s say you are the team’s star healer (because I know you are). Let’s also say a new Resto Druid joins the team and asks for your advice on healing. Some of your advice might include:

(You can mouseover linked spells for tooltips. Also, in case you aren’t familiar with Resto Druids, I have notes in italics. )

  • Keep Lifebloom (HoT) on the tank (or yourself if you have the Photosynthesis talent). If possible refresh it when there are 4.5 seconds or less left on the HoT. (You get a larger “bloom” heal on the final tick of Lifebloom. Refreshing with less than 30% of the HoT duration remaining will also trigger the “bloom” and extend the duration of the HoT with no loss of ticks). 
  • Use Regrowth (Big Heal + HoT)  on the lowest health person when you have the Clearcasting buff. (Regrowth is generally a high-cost mana spell that does a lot of healing. Spamming it is a quick way to run out of mana. The Clearcasting buff makes it free to use)
  • Use Wild Growth (AoE HoT) when 6+ people in the raid are injured and you have some Rejuvenations (HoT) out. (The Resto Druid mastery increases your healing by 5% for every HoT on the target)

Healing boils down to a set of rules, like the ones above. But they also need to be put in priority order. Let’s look at another set of possible rules and how they  might compete for priority:

  1. Keep Lifebloom (HoT) on the tank, refreshing within 4.5 seconds of the final tick.
  2. Use Swiftmend (a life-saving instant-heal) if a raid member’s life drops below 30%.

Let’s assume there is only 1 second left on the tank’s lifebloom who is at 70% health and someone’s health just dropped below 30%. Which rule do you execute first?

Your answer determines the priority order of those two rules. In this example, the tank doesn’t appear to be in immediate danger, so we’d put the Swiftmend rule at the top.

But what would make you refresh Lifebloom on the tank over healing that other player? Perhaps if the tank’s life was at 50%? Or maybe if you are in a high tank-damage phase of the fight where every last bit of healing on the tank is critical. We’ll come back to this in a bit.

As you probably already know, healing can end up being a complicated set of rules that you are always reacting to in a fight. Let’s see how those can be translated into a healing sim.

Translating healing rules into the simulator

This section is not a tutorial on programming a simulator. Instead, it is intended to help you understand how the simulator is programmed to think like a human.

Simple rules

As long as you can describe a rule, it can be programmed into the simulator. Let’s look at how a Lifebloom spell is implemented in the simulator:

Healing apls - example spell

 

That rules says to use Lifebloom on the tank if there are 4.5 or less seconds left on the hot (HotRemainingSec). The simulator also has convenience functions for HoTs built right in, so you can replace that rule with CanRefreshHoT(Lifebloom).

These rules can be as simple or as complex as you want.

Complex rules

Speaking of complex rules – let’s come back to the example where you have to choose who to heal first: refresh Lifebloom on the tank or use Swiftmend on the person who just dropped below 30% health.

Let’s say there is a phase in the fight where the tank takes massive damage and he needs every last heal. This is where the advanced features of the healing simulator come into play.

Remember in part 2 of this series we talked about how boss fights are modeled? The major-tank damage phase of a boss fight is flagged so that the healing ‘rules’ can react to a dangerous situation just like a real player would. The priority of rules might look like this:

  1. If it’s a major-tank damage phase, use Lifebloom on the tank, refreshing it within 4.5 seconds of the final tick
  2. Use Swiftmend if a raid member’s life drops below 30%
  3. Use Lifebloom on the tank, refreshing it within 4.5 seconds of the final tick

You see the Lifebloom rule is there twice because the priority is important. It takes top priority only if it’s during a major tank-damage phase, otherwise, players below 30% health are more important. This is one way to program the simulator to make sure it picks the right spells and targets at the right time.

Grouping rules

As your team’s star healer, you probably don’t think of your spell rules and priority like that last example. You aren’t listing Lifebloom out in your head twice… always asking first, “Are we in a major tank-damage phase? If so, I should use Lifebloom, if not, I should do something else.”

Instead, you probably say to yourself, “When I am in a major-tank damage phase, switch to this set of rules.” You might also say, “When we are in a heavy raid-wide AoE damage phase, switch to my heavy AoE healing.”

Our ‘grouping’ feature in the simulator allows us to organize these healing rules to be more similar to how us humans think. The groups of rules might look like this:

  • When we are in a major-tank damage phase, jump to this set of rules:
    • Use Ironbark on the tank (a damage reduction buff)
    • Keep Lifebloom on the tank and refresh it with 4.5 or less seconds left
    • If the tank’s life drops below 60%, use Swiftmend (instant, life-saving heal)
    • Etc.
  • If a big AoE damage part of the fight is about to happen, use these rules:
    • Pre-HoT as many raid members as possible with Rejuvenation. Then when the AoE phase starts:
    • Pop cooldowns
    • Use Tranquility (big raid-wide AoE heal). (Note: big cooldowns like this are coordinated with other healers on the team, which the simulator accounts for. See “Other team healers” section for more info)
    • Etc
  • During normal phases of the fight, use these rules:
    • Use Swiftmend on any player who drops below 30% health
    • Use Wild Growth (AoE) when 6+ players are injured and you have Rejuvenations out
    • Use Lifebloom on the tank and refresh it with 4.5 second or less left
    • Etc.

These types of groupings allow for a simulated player to anticipate and prepare for specific events, just like players do in a real fight.

What about unexpected events, like healing someone who stands in the fire?

In part 2 of this series, we talked about how the boss script can account for people standing in fire. It’s a philosophical decision: do you want to simulate your team under the assumption they execute the fight well, that several people stand in fire, or do you want to make it a random chance? Whichever you pick, the boss script can be customized for that.

As for the healing rules, you can cover those to handle either situation. Rules like these will cover the fire standers:

  • Use Swiftmend (instant, life-saving heal) on anyone below 30% health
  • Use Rejuvenation on injured allies, starting with the most injured first
  • Use Wild Growth if 6+ members are injured

Those will be a part of your healing rules whether the boss script assumes the best or worst of your team. How often the simulator executes those rules will depend on the boss script, which controls who is taking damage and how much damage they are taking.

Adding Human Fuzziness

Humans don’t think like a computer, and we also don’t heal as exact as a computer can.

As humans, we aren’t waiting to use a heal until someone is at exactly 75% health… we use it when someone’s health bar looks like it is in that ballpark.

The simulator has a built-in feature to account for this.

Let’s say this is one of your rules:

  • HoT anyone who has 75% health or less

The simulator will put a HoT on anyone between 70% and 80% health because it has a +/- 5% buffer built in.

As a human, you inherently know that you should not just heal anyone below 75% health, but that you should also start with the person who has the lowest health.  So your rule would actually look like this:

  • HoT anyone who has 75% health or less, starting with the most injured player.

The simulator has another built-in human fuzz factor when trying to find the most injured player. As a computer, it can obviously pick between someone with 62% health and 62.5% health.

As a human, we won’t be that exact, especially in the middle of a chaotic battle. The simulator orders people by the most-injured, but then adds some ‘fuzz’ to be more human-like. If several of lowest players are within 5% of each other, one will be randomly chosen.

Other team healers & overhealing

Now that we’ve covered how to handle your healing, what about other healers on the team? They are also modeled in the simulator.

Right now, we model 3 types: a Restoration Druid, a Restoration Shaman, and a Mistweaver Monk. We did that to cover the different healing ‘styles’ you would find on a typical team.

Each of these types of healers has a set of basic spells they use under certain conditions. Let’s look at the Restoration Druid for an example. The AI healer has the following spells:

  • Tranquility (raid-wide AoE spell with a long cooldown that is usually coordinated with other healers)
  • Swiftmend (life-saving instant-heal)
  • Wild Growth (raid-wide AoE HoT)
  • Efflorescence (HoT on a target location)
  • Regrowth (direct heal + Hot)
  • Lifebloom (HoT)
  • Rejuvenation (HoT)

These spells also have conditions. For example, the conditions for Rejuvenation are:

  • Use Rejuvenation if an ally is at 85% health or lower
  • Use Rejuvenation if an AoE phase is coming up in 8 seconds or less (to pre-HoT the raid)

These “AI Healers” act like your other raid healers. This means they are reacting to similar environmental queues and health bars. They might heal someone you just put a HoT on or they might finish casting a big heal on the most injured player before you do. Both of these scenarios cause you to overheal.

These healers and their rules can also be customized through the theorycraft wiki. It’s pretty advanced, so if you want some help, hit us up on the forums. I hope to have some nice videos for this during Battle for Azeroth.

Coming up in part 4: Simming healing styles & theorycraft

We take a step back and look at how to evaluate healers by comparing rotations and looking at different metrics.

Simming healers BFA - part 4

 

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