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.
- Part 1: Intro: Simulating tanks & the factors that need to be taken into account
- Part 2: Modeling boss fight mechanics, taking damage, and ‘rotations’
- Part 3: Modeling heals, metrics, and balancing survival with DPS
- Part 4: Measuring survivability (TUF)
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.