All of the new BfA talents are here with the pre-patch, and our shiny new gear is soooo close.

You’re probably wondering when you can play with those on our site. Or maybe not.  Maybe you are in game having too much fun to worry about optimization (that’s my advice!).

Still, it would be nice to know what to expect on our site, and when, right? Here’s a TLDR and image that covers the basics.

TLDR Timeline
  • BfA pre-patch: Generic gear rankings based on simulations for generic characters, not custom to you. This is temporary, during pre-patch only. Also, the Legion simulator is retired and the BfA simulator has taken its place on beta.askmrrobot.com.
  • BfA Launch: Gear rankings will be gradually customized to you with BfA launch, eventually being based on entirely simulations custom to you again.
  • Raid Launch. Full adaptive gearing strategies will be live (based on simulations totally custom to you). Testing simulations against raid logs of top players begins. Game will have hotfixes and we’ll update along with those.

 

Ask Mr. Robot BfA Timeline

BFA Beta

We have a  beta version of the BfA simulator live on beta.askmrrobot.com. This replaces the Legion simulator, which is now retired.

The beta simulator is on the beta domain for a good reason: this is the ‘implementation’ pass – where we get everything implemented with some in-game testing. Then we do real testing on it to find anything that isn’t correctly modeling the game. We won’t move it over to the main site domain until we are confident in the quality.

Beta simulator details:

  • All specs are implemented, including tanks and healers, balanced for 120
  • All talents and spells implemented to match current version of the Beta (note, things change often and we’ll update asap to reflect those changes) *Update: As of July 16, 4pm PST, new data was posted and we will have that updated by July 17 (targeting mid-day, so we can finish testing it for accuracy).
  • Base rotations are available for every spec, including tanks and healers. These are intentionally simple rotations, and we’ll be building on them to provide advanced rotation options. You can customize the base rotations now if you’re into a little rotational theorycrafting (see guide part 1 and part 2).
  • There are generic bosses right now (Uldir bosses will be released starting with the raid)
  • All BfA items are available in the simulator (a handful of trinkets are not yet implemented because we need more data, like pet-summoning trinkets). Note that some iLevels might be off, as the game data doesn’t give that information and we have to do extra research to verify all iLevels. Legion legendaries and trinket procs are disabled in the BfA simulator.
  • Azerite powers are all implemented. Sim away!

If you are looking to browse talents and gear for BfA, you can do that on the beta simulator page. I have a few tips:

  • Choose a ‘single sim’ (it’s the only type implemented right now, the other types are disabled from Legion until we add BfA support)
  • On step 3, when you setup your character:
    • The player details let you set your Heart of Azeroth level. If you want to be able to select any of the Azerite powers, set the Heart of Azeroth level to 33 (the current highest level needed to unlock all powers)
    • When you load a gear list, you can search for any Azerite power by name in the search box

Note: even though we’ve tried to ensure accuracy with in-game testing on the Beta servers, we aren’t able to double and triple check the data against the live game and logs. If you see a bug, let us know (on our forums). Since we fix bugs within 24 hours, if you found one, it’s likely we don’t know about it.

Pre-patch

Expansion pre-patches are always chaotic for a site like ours, for a number of reasons:

  • The game is balanced for max level (120), but we are all still 110
  • Stats scale differently at 110 than 120
  • The game has bugs. The simulator (which drives gear optimization) hasn’t been tested enough to weed out bugs, but we’ll be working on that!
  • Things will change again when BfA launches

On top of that, our Adaptive Gearing Strategies (the evolution of ‘stat weights’) take a lot of time and money to run. In order to create them, we run every relevant combination of talents and gear that you might get at any point during BfA and Uldir (the first raid).

We have to do this for every spec, for all the talents and gear, so we can make sure it is custom to your character and your preferences. This is why you no longer have to ‘sim’ every time your gear changes – we’ve already done it for you. It takes about 2 weeks (across thousands of computing cores) to complete the simulations necessary to customize gear for every character.

Some of the computing power is from people like you, who let us use their computer when they aren’t, and the rest we pay for so we can get these done in a reasonable amount of time. (If you want to help by contributing with your computer, sign up to be notified by email – you will ONLY get emails about that topic, nothing else).

Anyway, I’m getting to my point, promise!

Because of the weird in-between state our characters are in during pre-patch, and because of the cost to compute Gearing Strategies that adapt to you, we have a temporary hybrid solution during pre-patch. (Things will be back to normal when BfA launches).

During the pre-patch, our gear recommendations will be based on simulations for a generic character, not custom to you. The advice we give you will be good enough, but it won’t be as customized as we usually give you. So we’ve improved the system that lets you manually edit stat weights and trinket/legendary rankings, in an effort to make that easier for you to use.

You might find legendary and trinket rankings are different than what you prefer with this temporary hybrid solution. My recommendation is to lock in your favored items and Mr. Robot will optimize around that.

Once BfA launches, we will be back to giving you custom recommendations based on Adaptive Gearing Strategies again. And thanks for your understanding. This is where I wish we were psychic and knew what changes would be coming.

BfA Launch

During the pre-patch, we’ll start running simulations that will calculate the customized Gearing Strategies that adapt to you. We’ll roll them out after BfA launches and update them as balance patches happen.

We fully expect to see a few tuning changes on launch. When those happen, we’ll update our simulator and recalculate gear recommendations that it affects.

As you get to max level, I advise you to keep all of your trinkets and items, as gear recommendations will likely change over the next several weeks as the game gets tuned, and as we find and fix any bugs in our simulator (yes, they happen, just like bugs happen in-game).

With BfA launch, we’ll be able to start in-game tests against live data to double check accuracy of the simulator and gear recommendations.

The site will also get a little makeover. We like to do this every expansion to improve on usability. For example, locking an item in was meant to be a power-user feature in Legion, but a lot of people really liked it. So we’re making that more obvious and easier to use. We also have filters that let you control the sources of gear – if you don’t run Mythic raids, you won’t see Mythic gear. It was behind a filter icon that often went overlooked. So we’re making those more obvious as well.

I can’t wait for you all to see the new layout and to hear what you think!  The redesign also has a little surprise that we’ll be announcing soon.

Raid Launch

Once the raid launches, we’ll be able to compare our simulator reports to real logs of top players. This lets us:

  • Ensure damage, crit, etc matches on every spell
  • Make sure trinkets are properly tuned (for example, how many targets does an AoE trinket usually hit in each fight?)
  • Make sure rotations match what top players can actually do. (It makes no sense to program a rotation if no human can do it. A simulator needs to model what humans can do, if it is going to be used to rank items that humans are using)

We’ve done this kind of testing in the past and will continue to do it throughout BfA. It’s helpful not only for us, but so you can have confidence in the simulator and gear rankings as well.