1. #1
    Grunt BillyBarnacle's Avatar
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    (Balance) Stats, BiS, Maths - Oh My!

    Hello everyone. Relatively advanced moonkin here - yet there's still one facet of everything this expansion that gives my brain the run-arounds.

    Not necessarily looking for a push towards the direction of a guide or WrathCalcs, as those are the direct contributors as to the development of my issue here. The conflict lies with the (in)ability to analyze pieces at face value and decide its potency once embedded into the entire set of gear. I'm very aware of the stat priorities and debates that have surrounded them, and can generally distinguish a winner among 2-3 pieces of the same slot side by side - but optimal standalone pieces are hardly relevant or yield optimal results overall.

    Essentially, what I'm fishing for is finding what exactly top druids are doing to fully optimize their itemization. From extensive reading, I find that the most common route people immediately point to is WrathCalcs, Simcraft, and AskMrRobot. On the opposite side of that token, I constantly notice how off WC/SimC stat weights are when it comes to mastery & crit. I constantly hear how AMR is full of 'rough estimates' and inaccurate for complete optimization - yet AMR is the tool that's closest to what I'm searching for. Sadly though, when I plug any top-tier druid in, MrRobot starts spitting red everywhere!

    At a very basic level, I could forsake all of the calculators and automation and attempt configuring a set of gear that maximizes crit, preserves 10289 haste and hit cap, then pour all of the excess into mastery. Sounds simple enough, but then we get into reforging. That alone will takes hours to find what I would believe to be an optimal web of reforges, then find out there's a chain of other pieces I can alter to more perfectly hit those sweet spots and squeeze out more of the good stuff.

    So, apologies if all of that's convoluted... but the question posed remains: What do you use for optimal reforging/gear strategies when coming up with BiS and the interchangeable pieces while going for that gear? Thanks! - Billy

  2. #2
    I believe the current BiS list was made up in Wrathcalcs by Slippykins.

    The problem with using AMR default is that they are exactly what you said, they are estimated stat weights that aren't specific to an individual character. The same applies for the item ranking in AMR, it can give a total value based on the stats on the piece of gear but it doesn't consider other items, caps, breakpoints or anything. This is why the Malkorok ring and Galakras belt aren't BiS even though they are seemingly better than the BiS options at first glance.

    Some things you should probably also know about the programs available; Simcraft is going to be the best option for finding out stat weights due to how it works, in that it gets it data from a massive amount of iterations of simulated gameplay. WrathCalcs I honestly don't know why it is popular, possibly because it is a spreadsheet and is made specific for Boomkins people think it must automatically be the best, I don't know. The problem is WrathCalcs runs on calculated averages and lacks the ability to fully optimize gameplay by CD/proc stacking as an actual player would do.

    Both programs have the same underlying problem though, they cannot simulate movement properly. WrathCalcs lacks an option all together whereas Simcraft has an option but all it does it cause breaks in your rotation which it fills with instant cast spells, it is incapable of preparing for movement or moving in staggered steps to continue casting. This comes into play with stat weights because as you said they are seemingly off for Mastery/Crit but they actually aren't. The problem is that Mastery loses value during movement as it slows down your Eclipse cycles, whereas Crit gives you extra SS procs which can fill GCDs during movement. Also as with a lot of other classes in the game stats work together, having lots of Mastery will increase the Value of Crit while having lots of Crit will increase the value of Mastery. What this means is that it is possible that Mastery is better than Crit at a certain value, but it would require a fight in which you can be standing still 100% of the time, which don't happen very often.

    As far as AMR goes it is a fantastic tool for optimizing gems, enchants and reforging but that is assuming you have done the required work elsewhere (Simcraft) to get the right stat weights to do it's job properly. Another good feature of AMR is the Export to Simcraft feature which allows you to export a gear set to put into Simcraft so you can easily test different gear sets to find the best one.


    Your post was somewhat convoluted as you said so there may have been a key point I missed but I hope you can use this information to find out whatever you wanted to know.
    Last edited by Glurp; 2014-01-18 at 03:17 PM.

  3. #3
    Grunt BillyBarnacle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glurp View Post
    Your post was somewhat convoluted as you said so there may have been a key point I missed but I hope you can use this information to find out whatever you wanted to know.
    Thanks for the reply, it is much appreciated and it indeed helping to further hone my perception. So the current recommendation is to obtain stat weights via Simcraft, then utilize those in conjunction with MrRobot to fully optimize without fear of a miscalculation or misinterpretation on my end? I recall attempting that before but the weights were through the roof or seemed incredibly weird. However, I do have a sim coming through the pipe at the time of writing this.

    I definitely follow along on the points about crit v. mastery and am also heavily in favor of the practicality crit brings. I've looked over Slippy's BiS list many times, but my worry is given WrathCalc's stat weights, and the fact that list was forged solely from WC, does that mean it may not be entirely accurate for actual gameplay? Examples being stuff like the Galakras belt and maybe Klaxxi dagger.

    Again, thank you and sorry for being all over the place in my post. My two primary concerns are a.) If WC/SimC weights are solely single target oriented and aren't fully accurate for real gameplay, how do I obtain the correct ones? and b.) Forming a BiS list alone without hours of trial and error with reforges. Thanks!
    Last edited by BillyBarnacle; 2014-01-18 at 03:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBarnacle View Post
    I've looked over Slippy's BiS list many times, but my worry is given WrathCalc's stat weights, and the fact that list was forged solely from WC, does that mean it may not be entirely accurate for actual gameplay? Examples being stuff like the Galakras belt and maybe Klaxxi dagger.
    I'm not sure. Another questionable thing about the BiS list is that is uses DoC which could skew the results. As far as the Galakras belt goes I haven't tested it however I did test the Klaxxi dagger. I found it to be ~200 DPS less than the Garrosh mace (both HWF) for myself, could differ from character to character but the results I found corresponded with the BiS list's item comparisons.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBarnacle View Post
    Again, thank you and sorry for being all over the place in my post. My two primary concerns are a.) If WC/SimC weights are solely single target oriented and aren't fully accurate for real gameplay, how do I obtain the correct ones? and b.) Forming a BiS list alone without hours of trial and error with reforges. Thanks!
    There is no way to get 100% accurate sims or stat weights. The best you can do is use Simcraft and then use your own intuition to make guesses based on what you know about the sim vs actual gameplay.

    As for comparing gear sets I believe trial and error is the only way to do it however you should be able to roughly compare items based on the total number of stats of them to rule out a few pieces from different slots.



    EDIT: I suggest taking Miraclous' advice that perfecting your play is going to give a bigger difference than changing a couple of gear pieces or reforging would ever give.

    Also out of curiosity I did some Sims about different gear sets. BiS refers to Slippykin's BiS list with any changes listed, talents are Inc + HotW, professions are Engi + Tailoring except where listed.
    Last edited by Glurp; 2014-01-18 at 05:26 PM.

  5. #5
    The Patient
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    You'd do better by trying to improve your play instead of spending your time trying to find the optimal BiS list or stat weights. The stat wieghts shown by WC are as accurate as you're going to get them (unless something new popped up recently, I haven't been following the scene), and there is no one BiS set that will be best in all situations. Singletarget fights, multiple target fights (spread or stacked) or other gimmick fights will all benefit from slightly different stat weights and at the moment there's no way to simulate them all. Also even if you find the optimal BiS list, do you take into account warforged gear? Because that changes all the reforges and possibly itemisation compared to normal gear. Also it's very improbably that you manage to get a full BiS warforged set ^^.
    The most performance gain you can get is improving your play.

  6. #6
    Essentially what's posted above. If you do have access to all the gear in the game your weights are going to be tailored to you specifically as you gear up regardless. You can't cross the worlds of everything theoretical and actual in-game playstyle implementation, especially without external resources. Unless you're a math major, there's much customized guesswork to be involved.
    Last edited by Baba; 2014-01-18 at 05:04 PM.

  7. #7
    Grunt BillyBarnacle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glurp View Post
    Also out of curiosity I did some Sims about different gear sets. BiS refers to Slippykin's BiS list with any changes listed, talents are Inc + HotW, professions are Engi + Tailoring except where listed.
    Interesting, I ran a couple of sims on myself with some shaky results like haste skyrocketing in scaling past int. It still continues to pose my problem of finding the correct weights that showcase the real value of crit... were you using those mastery favored weights in those sims or have custom, more applicable ones? Also, did you import each of those sets from AMR? Thanks again.

    And yes I do agree with playstyle being the main conrtibuter to optimization, I do believe I can get that covered myself. Nobody really perfect but if there was a void there I'm confident in the resources out there availible to me. It's just for this subject in particular everything seems to be quite inconsistent.

  8. #8
    Moderator Slippykins's Avatar
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    Typically when I try to create a BiS list I use a combination of WrathCalcs, SimCraft and common sense. If we've just finished a tier and a certain stat has been the absolute best, hands-down, no question about it, and then in one of my simulations find it's been surpassed with no change to boomkin abilities or talents, then I question the results. It's really good when you can get both SimCraft and WrathCalcs to agree on a certain point (like stat priority, or best professions), and they do most of the time. It seems people have developed an aversion to WrathCalcs simply because it's only a spreadsheet and calculates an average over time, rather than adapting to situations and buffs (which will provide optimal gameplay). In this regard, WrathCalcs is deficient in its analysis.

    However, while it may provide slightly inaccurate synergies between certain talents, trinkets and abilities, it should still give a rough estimate on how things go together. Say WrathCalcs tells us 1 crit = 5 mastery. We're not going to reasonably expect the combination of initial fight burst to cause a complete reversal or overtaking over the entire fight and warrant a stat priority change. When we talk about that sort of interaction, we aren't going to see much of a change, but if the values are relatively close it could cause a flip. They would need to be pretty close though.

    Furthermore, combining WrathCalcs results with SimCraft allows us to double-check and strengthen the analyses. Each tool uses very different algorithms to calculate DPS and options, so to have them in agreement is a big deal. If they both have a consensus on a BiS list or a talent or stat priority, then it's quite likely we'll see the same data in-game.

    And at the same time, we don't need tools to calculate everything for us. It's a basic conclusion that taking DoC will reduce the value of mastery relative to other stats (because of stat interaction and multi-variable calculus). Or, we can also conclude taking FoN will also reduce mastery relative to other stats because the treants don't benefit from mastery but do the others. Other common sense approaches would be acknowledging where stats should fall off (e.g., haste diminishing after the GCD cap or capping out a spell), and when they should increase (e.g., a slight burst in DPS when going over a high-probability-in-uptime haste breakpoint).

    So tl;dr, I think the best analysis is done with a combination of common sense, all tools available and then relating it to in-game data. World of Logs top logs are not appropriate pieces of data for an analysis because of the randomness of their logs and tiny sample size.

  9. #9
    Stood in the Fire lappee's Avatar
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    The basic idea of simcraft is great, and it works pretty well all around. It just lacks proper in-depth priority list, its just doesnt consider all the cases with its current (last time i checked it) which makes it a lil off in my eyes and is the whole reason why i prefer wrathcalcs over it. Pure averages are just way simpler, cleaner and more trustworthy than uncompleted priority list that can screw up the results

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