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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.

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

People often want to do different Best in Bags setups, so we’ve added in that functionality for BfA. For example: one for raiding and one for Mythic+. Or maybe you also want a second raid setup for bosses where you switch talents.

Raid Mythic+ optimize multiple specs

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

Addon gear sets multiple specs in game

The addon has a dropdown menu now, to swap between your setups and specs.

When you export your setups to the addon, all of them get exported. You can switch between them in the drop down menu at the top of the Gear tab.

Addon in-game equipment manager best gear sets

In-Game equipment manager – Ask Mr. Robot addon exports right to it.

Once you equip one of the setups, our addon also creates a gear set in the in-game equipment manager.

For a more in-depth tutorial on creating multiple gear setups, check out this post.

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.

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 (once it’s released). For now, dungeon and crafted sources will probably be the most helpful.

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). I will have a narrated, full video soon. Below the video are some screenshots.

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.

Find upgrades in Battle for Azeroth

Find upgrades for each spec

This is important because the upgrades are based on the best gear that you already own. When we launch multiple setups, you’ll also be able to pick one of those. So you can find upgrades for your main spec, single target and a mythic+ set, all my choosing the setup on the left.

The screenshot above shows that I have Best in Bags setups for Balance (my main spec, listed in the #1 spot), Feral, and Guardian. 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 character.

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
  • 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 say you plan to clear Normal Uldir and kill the 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 it’s fun (and 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.

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!)

Continue reading

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

Mr. Robot’s BfA Timeline

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. Continue reading

BfA Tank Diminishing Returns

Diminishing returns shows up in many places in Battle for Azeroth: damage reduction from Armor, Stagger and blocking attacks, and chance to dodge, parry or block attacks are the most prominent. Calling it an “often misunderstood” topic isn’t quite right… most people get it. People tend to argue about it a lot more than they actually misunderstand it, because there are a lot of valid ways to look at it… it’s like the Necker cube of WoW.

We are going to talk specifically about Armor, but the same logic applies to block amount, dodge chance, etc. — they all use a fundamentally similar formula. Continue reading

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