Simulating DPS, even as a tank, is pretty straightforward. Most people who are familiar with simulators ‘get’ this concept and have used tank sims for this purpose.

Simulating your survival as a tank isn’t as straightforward and requires a more complex system. Since it’s complex and new to most people, I’ll be covering the system in detail in this series of tank-simulation articles.

What factors need to be taken into account to sim tanks?

Damage taken – Obviously, tank sims need to model incoming damage, including:

  • How hard the Boss auto attacks you
  • How much damage you take from special attacks and other spells, and how often they hit
  • How much damage you take from debuffs
  • Damage spikes from stacking debuffs and other high-damage spells

Boss fight phases and mechanics – Real boss fights are more than a collection of damage spells – they have phases and other mechanics that require special logic.

  • Mechanics that require tank swapping (and the logic / timing on when to swap)
  • Adds and secondary bosses that you might have to tank
  • High damage phases that require big cooldowns to survive, and the ability to predict when these will happen
  • Phases that let you spend resources on DPS instead of survivability (when appropriate)
  • AoE phases that require different ability usage

Healing – Modeling a healing team allows us to measure your survivability and the value of your own self-heals.

  • How much self healing and damage mitigation you do
  • A team of ‘real’ healers who react to your health like real players do, and who make realistic spell choices
  • A heal team with an appropriate item level so they aren’t over or under healing you
  • Dying – yep, the simulator has to let you die if your healers can’t keep up or your gear isn’t good enough

Metrics – both survivability and dps are important for tank simulations, so we need to measure both.

  • Measuring your survivability
  • Measuring your DPS
  • Finding the right balance between survivability and DPS

While you can see and edit all of these things in the theorycraft wiki (it’s open source), that doesn’t give you a comprehensive overview. It would be very hard to look through the wiki without some background information.

So we’ll cover each of these topics in-depth over the next 2 articles. My goal is that by the end, you understand how the simulations work and have confidence in the results.

Next up & bonus reading

Prior to this tanking series,  Yellowfive (our developer and our guild’s tank), published all of the tank mitigation formulas. He also did a followup article explaining the concept of Diminishing Returns.

As for the next series in the article, I go into details about how we model boss fight mechanics.

Simming Tanks - Part 2: Modeling Boss Fights