I wrote this post for my guild earlier today (windows based). It is written for someone who may not spend a lot of time with computers (as some in the guild are), so keep those flames away. You can use it to help understand how to get started. This works for any DPS/TPS class, not just locks, but classes are better represented by the results than others. Hope it helps.
There are a lot of folks out there who do not have the time when at home or at work to really research what is the next best possible stat to put on their gear. Well, fear not, as this guide will give you the quick and dirty usage from simcraft to help you determine stat weights.
*NOTE: Realize that simcraft assumes a few things. For instance - it assumes and stand and nuke fight [patchwerk]. It also assumes 0 lag. On top of that, it assumes ideal rotations. This is why typically simcraft will say you should get higher (by 1-2k) more DPS than you actually get in a fight.*
First things first: We need to download simcraft. It can be found here. Click the link on the right side of the screen as shown in the image.
Realize that this DOES NOT need WoW installed on your machine to be able to run it. It will parse off your armory (online) to get your gear. This makes it a great thing to do at work if you have time. The whole process (once you get the hang of it) takes about 2 minutes.
WTF is this sheet?
Now we have a zip file. Since we will be creating a .bat file to automate things for you, there is no reason to put this in a directory where you can easily navigate to it in command prompt. If that last sentence made no sense: extract the folders/files in the zip file wherever you want. The desktop is a great place for now - you can always move it later.
Simcraft does not have a GUI [graphical user interface]. It doesn't look real pretty, though it does format its output in html and does look pretty when it is done. We'll get to that in a bit.
I want this to be about me!
There are preloaded profiles in Simcraft. Those are great if you have all best in slot items, but we don't. Therefore they will not be an accurate representation of what you can or can not do, and what you should or should not gear for. If we are to get a good idea of what you need then we need to capture your gear from the armory.
You have to do this manually - kind of. We are going to create a .bat file. What a .bat file does is run a command. Therefore, once we create this .bat file and you follow the instructions of how to use it, you will never have to type out anything to pull your armory again. Also, steps will follow on how to use the .bat file to get what you are after.
So, for those who have never done this [pictures for you]:
Step 1 - Open your unzipped simcraft folder
Step 2 - Creating the .bat
Right click in a blank space and create a new text file. You do not need to name it, just open it up for now.
Step 3 - Putting the command line in the .bat file
What you should enter should be:
armory=us,Alleria,[YOUR NAME] save=[YOUR NAME].simcraft save_profiles=1
Step 4 - Saving the file as a .bat
Go to file -> Save As...
I called mine GetAnti.bat This can be done for every character that you have, but you need to make a different file for each one, so I made sure to denote in the name that this one gets the info for Anti.
You must change 'Save as type' to All Files as shown in the picture to ensure that the file is not names GetAnti.bat.txt This would not work.
Step 5 - Getting your armory profile into Simcraft
Left click the file we just created and hold the button down, so you can drag it anywhere you want. Drag it to the SIMCRAFT.bat file. If you drag it to simcraft.exe it will not work. You must drag it to the correct file. Once you have gotten it there, release the mouse button and the file will start to work its magic. Once it is done, you can close all windows except for the Simcraft folder window.
Step 6 - Making the file readable
One thing that Simcraft does is not allocate for the dranaei hit aura [to make it more neutral for horde]. If you are hit capped without a squid then you can skip that portion of these steps, but you still need to read how to make the file readable and how to tweak the numbers. If you are not hit capped without a squid, you must do this so that your scaling factors will not be off. If you are not hit capped without a squid you will have to do this every time you update your files from the armory - don't worry though - it's real quick and you'll never have to do the next steps where you tell windows what to use to open the files.
*Note: You only have to tell windows the first time that this should be opened with a text editor. After this you'll never have to do it again, but you will still have to open the file to edit your hit*
To do this we have to tell windows what program to be able to edit your profile with that you pulled from armory. There were 3 files created after you ran the armory parse. We will be doing the following to the [YOUR NAME].simcraft file.
Right Click the file -> Open With... -> Scroll down and select Notepad -> OK
Step 6.1 - Editing for Hit (Crit/Haste/Agi/Stam etc.)
Everyone should read this step. If any of the images are too small right click them and select View. This is the bread and butter step of how to really play with Simcraft. We will be editing for hit here, but you can raise or lower any stat to see how it affects your scaling.
So, now that windows knows how to open it, double-click [YOUR NAME].simcraft file. You should get this (except for the red line, see below).
I like to use my trinket slot to edit things. It makes it pretty easy to add in what you want and don't want. We need to make hit a non-factor. If you know how hit and scaling works, once you are at the cap, then excess means it scales at 0 - as it does nothing. This in turn does not affect other things, like haste, more or less valuable. Hit scales by itself since it means 'do I hit or not', which is a binary answer (yes or no). So, when I use 400 here, you could use 10000 - it makes no difference, the point is to simply have you character be at least at the hit cap.
When the simulation runs, it will account for all other buffs in the raid. It just doesn't pick up dranaei, so that is why we are going to do this. Now realize, that you can add, say 60 haste, in here somewhere. This will affect your scaling factors, and tell you what stat is most valuable once you get 60 more haste if everything else was kept constant. This allows you to plan out your gear route, and also to input that gear into Simcraft by virtue of the gains and stats from it (because that is all that matters, not the name), without having it equipped on your armory. You can also lower any other stat, etc, to see how things scale together (as crit and haste typically are related - as one goes up the other needs to as well or your DPS suffers - you can't just do all crit or all hit). Make sense?
So I changed my hit to 400, which means that after the raid buffs, I am way over cap, making hit a non-factor.
If you wanted to add in other stats, look at the other stats as they are listed on the other items.
so if I wanted to add 800 haste 200 crit and 1000 spell power to my current gear, I would add it in the trinket slot by changing it to:
See? Easy. Now go to File -> Save and close the file.
Step 7 - Getting your scale factors
Now, I do not care what Simcraft thinks my DPS should be, because most fights have some movement. Most fights have you swap to adds. Most fights have lag. You can use it (by dragging [YOUR NAME].simcraft to the SIMCRAFT.bat file - NOT simcraft.exe), so you can see in an ideal situation what you should be pulling, in terms of damage % breakdown by spell and DPS. I do use it sometimes for certain things, but I feel that scaling factors is what most people reading this can benefit from.
What I do care about are my scaling factors. So left-click and drag your [YOUR NAME].simcraft file to SCALE_FACTORS.bat Another DOS window will pop up and it will start running. It will take a minute or so, as you should realize it is tweaking your gear up and down per stat and DPSing from start to finish 20000 times (as the default).
After this is done there will be a new file in your simcraft folder that will open via firefox or IE. You should be using firefox, shame on you if it shows up as IE. Anyway, double-click that file to open it.
There are your scaling factors. It also shows what your damage should look like. So, in my case, in the gear I have, I have a good ratio of haste to crit. The main thing I need is spell power. 1 spell power for me equals the largest gain in damage out.
If you use the [YOUR NAME].simcraft file on SIMCRAFT.bat you will get what your damage should look like in a raid. If you click the wowhead link, it will show you items that are better than what you have (highest first) and their gear upgrade score in comparison to what you are currently wearing.
If you need to update from your armory, or botched up the editing of your profile once you get it downloaded, simply delete (if you don't delete it will overwrite the old files anyway):
[YOUR NAME].simcraft ; [YOUR NAME].txt ; [YOUR NAME].html (the file that opens with firefox/IE)
You would start at the step where you drag (in my case GetAnti.bat) your file to SIMCRAFT.BAT file again to get your armory updated and go through the other steps [starting at step 5]. After you do it once or twice you will realize this takes no time at all.