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How do you theorycraft?

How do you theorycraft?

Postby Nixx » 11 Aug 2012, 20:59

The following is probably horribly worded.

Basically my goal for MoP is to learn genuine theorycrafting beyond just running my character through Simcraft and doing what it tells me to or just reading Kilee's guide and doing what it tells me to. I basically want to learn what I need to to be able to generate all of the information in things like Kilee's guide or Twintop's stat weights for MoP talents for myself so I'm not reliant upon other people updating their work and keeping it constant. I'd also really like to learn how to fully weigh things like more difficult trinket procs (like Cunning's Proc or Deathbringer's Will). It may not be as hard as I'm thinking or it may be harder, I don't know. I'm not really sure where to start on it.

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Re: How do you theorycraft?

Postby Marathal » 12 Aug 2012, 05:44

Gointo bookmark this in case someone posts. I want to know too.
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Re: How do you theorycraft?

Postby Woaden » 12 Aug 2012, 13:31

A large part of it comes down to simple math and a bit of research.

For instance if a Trinket procs 1,000 Intellect for 10 seconds and has a 60 second cool down then the value of that proc is:
Code: Select all
[10/(60 + avg time between CD and proc)]* 1,000 * Stat Weight

You would either have to test for how long the ICD is or look it up. Note that at different amounts of Haste you'll have more / less time between the CD being up and it procing (if it's not on use). Then you'll add the value of the static portion of the Trinket which we'll make up and say it's 500 Haste:
Code: Select all
500 * Stat Weight

For a total formula of:
Code: Select all
{[Proc or On Use Duation / (Cool Down + Avg Time btwn CD up and Proc or Use)] * (Proc or On Use Stat Amount * Stat Weight)} + (Static Stat Amount * Stat Weight)


With procs that do damage you have to see what it hits for, average time between charge builds, area of effect / number of targets affected. These can be a little murkier depending on movement, number of targets in a particular fight. That looks more like:
Code: Select all
{[(Average Damage Amount * Number of Targets Affected) / (Cooldown + Avg Time btwn CD up and Proc)] + (Static Stat Amount * Stat Weight)}

Now "Average Damage Amount" and "Number of Targets Affected" can variate and this is one I'm more comfortable leaving to Althor and others to determine it's overall 'Average' value. However anyone can roughly calculate it's value to them with some pencil math or Simcraft.

The more difficult part (imo) is analyzing different talents and abilities that rely on formulas to calculate their damage and often times interact with several other talents and/or abilities. You have to figure out what's additive, multiplicative, etc.

For all of the above you also have to figure how much time spent moving will affect each, average Uptimes on your spells and average times between MBs... you get the idea.

As it looks right now they're keeping things relatively tight with tuning for us and utility choices are the more compelling ones.

Simcraft is easily one of the most important tools though and being able to use that fully is huge. Comparing different gearsets, spell useage / priority, figuring out DPETs, Stat curves and plateaus, etc.

Edit: Fixed
Last edited by Woaden on 13 Aug 2012, 18:31, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How do you theorycraft?

Postby Woaden » 13 Aug 2012, 17:19

Finished my post. Feel free to point out areas where I'm wrong.
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Re: How do you theorycraft?

Postby Marathal » 13 Aug 2012, 17:54

But do you multiply that result by the value of the stats?

lets say bonus to haste of 1000 and a bonus to intellect of 1000 both for 10 seconds with an internal CD of 60 seconds would yield the same number, but one is worth more. right??
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Re: How do you theorycraft?

Postby Woaden » 13 Aug 2012, 18:19

The simple answer is that the Stat Values are already multiplied by their appropriate Stat Weights (or Psuedo Power aka PP) in those formulas. I've done some examples below using your Procs.

Let's assume that it's a roughly 10% proc chance on DoT ticks or Direct damage. On average let's say it takes you 15 seconds to damage a target 10 times which would be your Average Time Between CD being up and it Proc'ing. Let's also assume that for you Intellect = 1.00, and Haste = 0.75. To be inclusive for the formula let's say both have a 250 Static Amount of Intellect.


Intellect Proc Trinket:
Einstein's Chalkboard
Equip: +250 Intellect
Equip: Your damaging spells have a chance to grant 1,000 Intellect for 10 seconds.

Code: Select all
{[10 Second Duration / (60 Second Cooldown + 15 Second Average Time Between CD and it Proc'ing)] * (1,000 Intellect * 1.00 Stat Weight)} + (250 Intellect * 1.00 Stat Value) = 383.33 PP


Haste Proc Trinket:
Usain's Sneaker
Equip: +250 Intellect
Equip: Your damaging spells have a chance to grant 1,000 Haste for 10 seconds.

Code: Select all
{[10 Second Duration / (60 Second Cooldown + 15 Second Average Time Between CD and it Proc'ing)] * (1,000 Haste * 0.75 Stat Weight)} + (250 Intellect * 1.00 Stat Value) = 350.00 PP


Overall that's a difference of 33.33 PP in favor of the Intellect Proc Trinket.

Edited for mistakes because my mind works faster than my hands do sometimes >.<
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Re: How do you theorycraft?

Postby Woaden » 13 Aug 2012, 18:39

For me personally on Trinkets I will use exact stat weights NOT normalized for Intellect amounts when determining their particular value for me. Simcraft can produce those numbers and simply ratios them down so that Intellect = 1.00. That's why Intellect (or previously Spell Power or Spell Damage or Shadow Spell Damage) always has a value of 1.00.

In the EPGP loot system I always made sure to keep my points above certain other casters to make sure I got the most significant upgrade for myself that they might also want; forgoing the smaller upgrades in favor of them. I also insisted that all things considered for loot council or ties that the item went to who it would be the largest upgrade for. I almost always got the First Uber Trinket of Doom and Second to get the Weapon of Supreme Dominance because of this approach.

I know that idea is nothing new because Weapons and Trinkets are big shiny drops but being able to mathematically state in chat to your loot council that "I know that Uber Trinket of Doom is a 352.85 DPS upgrade for me" can be convincing enough to get you that piece when you might not have received it otherwise. Knowledge is Power, truly.

/steps on soapbox

Having a great understanding of Theorycrafting / Stat Weights / Simcraft for most Classes and Specs is almost essential for any GM of a Progression Guild and at least some of the Officers as well. Knowing these things doesn't just help you better understand what's going on with your own stuff, but allows you to improve your entire raid if you're willing to help out. That's how I became an Officer within weeks (or less, lul) of every guild I was in during Wrath of the Lich King.

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Re: How do you theorycraft?

Postby Marathal » 13 Aug 2012, 19:06

I kind sort of get that. But do other variables apply? Like if we determine that the CD can be used say prior to casting DP. Or say the two stats involved were Intellect and Mastery but one particular spell or piece of gear got a better boost from a Mastery increase.
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Re: How do you theorycraft?

Postby Woaden » 13 Aug 2012, 19:21

Like if we determine that the CD can be used say prior to casting DP, or say the two stats involved were Intellect and Mastery but one particular spell or piece of gear got a better boost from a Mastery increase

This is where we get into Min/Maxing territory. There will always be more efficient ways to use certain Trinkets than others. There will also be certain stat values that will change when one stat reaches X value. How things are evaluated in general are for the masses where eking out that extra value doesn't happen very often.

For those interested there will almost always be a specific discussion on things like that either here at H2P or over at EJ that you can reference (and participate in!).

Those situations come down to analytical thinking. For example there used to be a discussion on how to most effectively use Inner Focus to get the most damage (which was on MF). If done right you might have seen a DPS increase in the 10's. However I only used it for Divine Hymn. Aside from saving me the mana from the costliest ability at the time it also put out bigger heals and therefor helped the raid more. That mana savings / bigger heals were worth more to me at the time than the extra Crit Damage on MF ticks.

That's also something to keep in mind Damage vs. Utility. Being a hybrid DPS Spec Shadow has run into that quandary a number of times in the past and I'm sure it will again. This is absolutely something that is specific to YOUR playstyle, YOUR raid, the encounters YOU'RE doing.
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Re: How do you theorycraft?

Postby Marathal » 14 Aug 2012, 04:45

See where I get confused, and I am sure a very large number of players too, is when new info is discovered.

Example: For awhile Bottled Wishes was considered a trap. It looked good

Equip: Increases your haste rating by 458 (3.58% @ L85).
Use: Increases your spell power by 2290 for 15 sec. (1 Min, 30 Sec Cooldown)

But recomendations were to get other drops from LFR or raids to fill the slot.

Flash forward to the fine tuning of the burst burn fights, and now all of a sudded its a good trinket for those fights. I may be generalizing there and a bit off of the circumstances.


When I was raiding and really paid attention to gear and BiS lists, I had my little cheat sheets, with every boss, and what they could drop that was an upgrade to me, I had MaxDPS up on the laptop right next to me so I could quickly check how much of an increase I was looking at. Reforging added a twist to everything. Now it didn't need to be 100% BiS.

I may just have to take what you have told me, sit down in front of Excel, and work up some formula generating charts. Theory was never my strong point, but practical applications always was. So maybe if I can put it in somehting that makes sense to me. LOL, brain wandering.
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