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  1. #1

    Simcraft and you!

    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.*


    Downloading
    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
    [img width=600]http://i34.tinypic.com/2hey6ma.jpg[/img]




    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.
    [img width=600]http://i33.tinypic.com/f1m61f.jpg[/img]




    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
    [img width=600]http://i36.tinypic.com/2nk4ehk.jpg[/img]




    Step 4 - Saving the file as a .bat
    Go to file -> Save As...
    [img width=600]http://i36.tinypic.com/2wpqwiu.jpg[/img]
    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.
    [IMG width=600]http://i37.tinypic.com/eleckm.jpg[/img]




    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.
    [img width=600]http://i36.tinypic.com/1zr2t00.jpg[/img]

    Right Click the file -> Open With... -> Scroll down and select Notepad -> OK

    [img width=600]http://i37.tinypic.com/21cb3vq.jpg[/img]




    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).
    [img width=600]http://i33.tinypic.com/10romsy.jpg[/img]

    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?

    [img width=600]http://i35.tinypic.com/dvt6i9.jpg[/img]

    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.

    EX:
    trinket2=living_flame,stats=400hit,use=505sp_20dur_120cd

    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:

    trinket2=living_flame,stats=400hit_800haste_200crit_1000sp,use=505sp_20dur_120cd

    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).

    [IMG width=600]http://i33.tinypic.com/vnh1s6.jpg[/img]

    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.
    [img width=600]http://i37.tinypic.com/2qm0uhe.jpg[/img]
    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.

    Enjoy!
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  2. #2
    Legendary! gherkin's Avatar
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    Re: Simcraft and you!

    Reported.... for sticky.

    R.I.P. YARG

  3. #3

    Re: Simcraft and you!

    Amazing....

    Can't wait to try it.
    Your comments are duly noted and ignored.
    I punch a hobo every time someone says 'it's not a rotation it's a priority list lol'.

  4. #4

    Re: Simcraft and you!

    Fixed some errors that cropped up when I transposed it from the guild website. Should be all good now with all pictures displayed.

    Once I get the auto-parse script working I'll get that posted too.
    This space for rent.

  5. #5

    Re: Simcraft and you!

    Orrrr...... You can use the GUI that just came out. Works well for anyone that gets confused in the command prompt. And it really us just a million times easier.

    http://code.google.com/p/simulationcraft/downloads/list

  6. #6

    Re: Simcraft and you!

    Wow, a nice guide, i think that will help alot of people out.

    Just to note you don't have to manually change gear in the simcraft file. If you just create some profiles on wowhead and note the profile number, you can put it in the command line as 'wowhead=123456' and it will search for it. Much easier.

    Also if anyone raids 10man or say, 25man without a shaman, and happens to want to know how to set it up with just the raid buffs that are provided, you can run simcraft with all the classes you have selected in mind and it will run it for all profiles together as a raid. The way to do this is to go into the simcraft.bat file, edit it and put in a command as follows:

    simcraft.exe wowhead=15665228 save_profiles=1
    or
    simcraft.exe armory=eu,executus,jenerena save_profiles=1 (for me for example)

    You do this for each raid member who you usually raid with. It will then create a simcraft file for that player. Then go into the Raid_T9 (or T8 whatever you have) simcraft file, open it in notepad and delete all the classes you dont want, and replace the classes/specs you do want with the simcraft files of all the players, so for for example it would be

    save_jenerena.simcraft

    instead of the T9_warlock_00_13_58 or whatever it's called.

    Once you have all these listed, you can then either drag the file onto scale factors for individual scale factors or if you just want to see dps differences you can double click the file and just run it as a normal simcraft. Scale factors takes alot longer, around 5 minutes or so but it is a nice tool.

    I do this simply because we rarely have a shaman in our raids so the value of haste is obviously going to be higher.

  7. #7

    Re: Simcraft and you!

    I have looked over the new GUI version and it seems OK, but it dumps your profile after every run. So after a run you have to reload the profile and go through it all again. It seems very cumbersome.

    The DOS version, as outlined above seems faster especially if you are only after scale factors. The GUI version allows you to run scale factors after your sim, but the DOS version allows you to just run the scale factors or sim - separately. This makes trying out new sets of gear to get your scale factors faster - at least it seems that way for me.

    There are other discussions going on about scaling factors and time to die or target swapping in fights. If you wish to edit the duration of the fight for either the sim or scale factors, just right click on SIMCRAFT or SCALE_FACTORS and change the time=300s to time=60s or time=35s and save the file and run your sim/scaling.
    This space for rent.

  8. #8

    Re: Simcraft and you!

    Amazing guide!! I've been interested in using Simcraft for a while but couldn't get a foothold on it so I gave up but thanks to this guide I understand it now.

    One thing I'm wondering about though is for trinkets I wanted to put in the Illustration but I can't figure out exactly how to format the script line so that it works properly.

    Anyone know what to do here?

  9. #9

    Re: Simcraft and you!

    Quote Originally Posted by thewooduu
    One thing I'm wondering about though is for trinkets I wanted to put in the Illustration but I can't figure out exactly how to format the script line so that it works properly.

    Anyone know what to do here?
    If you do not use wowhead profiles, you can simply replace one of your trinket lines (after pulling your armory data as outlined above) with:

    trinket1=illustration_of_the_dragon_soul,equip=onspellhit_20sp_10stack_10dur

    -or-

    trinket2=illustration_of_the_dragon_soul,equip=onspellhit_20sp_10stack_10dur

    [IMG width=600]http://i37.tinypic.com/35hpizq.jpg[/img]
    This space for rent.

  10. #10

    Re: Simcraft and you!

    Awesome guide! Thank you!

  11. #11

    Re: Simcraft and you!

    Editing fight time

    This is another thing you may wish to play with. If you right click the SCALE_FACTORS.bat or SIMCRAFT.bat files and choose EDIT you will see a time setting.

    [IMG width=600]http://i36.tinypic.com/2m2jcro.jpg[/img]

    This is an image from editing SCALE_FACTORS.bat. Do not worry about or change anything else. You can see that the default is set to 300s (5m). You can change this to whatever - 30s, 90s, 112s, 1337s - then save and close the file. You can then drag your armory profile to the corresponding altered .bat file and it will use this time parameter as the basis for either giving you your sim results or scale factors.

    Notice that your scale factors may change based on fight length. You can always reset the value back to the default of 300s by editing the file you modified again later and changing the value back to 300s.

    Do realize that the shorter the fight the higher your DPS will be. This is because when you tell simcraft 'this fight is for 90 seconds', it assumes that 45s of that has bloodlust/heroism, and your trinkets - especially on 'use' trinkets. On heavy movement fights that last 90s, but 3 groups of 90s (DPS DPS DPS for 90s, 10 to 15s of movement, DPS DPS DPS for 90s, etc.) you actually don't get to pop bloodlust each 90s. Still, within that 90s, you can see how stats will affect your scaling.

    Some fights will have you target swapping a lot (hard modes in ToC). Some fights will make you have to start and stop DPS a lot by running (FC). Some fights have specific phases where you only do DPS for X seconds. Look at your gear and the general time it takes you for this to see if there may be other items or values that fit your needs.
    This space for rent.

  12. #12

    Re: Simcraft and you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Modez
    Editing fight time

    This is another thing you may wish to play with. If you right click the SCALE_FACTORS.bat or SIMCRAFT.bat files and choose EDIT you will see a time setting.



    This is an image from editing SCALE_FACTORS.bat. Do not worry about or change anything else. You can see that the default is set to 300s (5m). You can change this to whatever - 30s, 90s, 112s, 1337s - then save and close the file. You can then drag your armory profile to the corresponding altered .bat file and it will use this time parameter as the basis for either giving you your sim results or scale factors.

    Notice that your scale factors may change based on fight length. You can always reset the value back to the default of 300s by editing the file you modified again later and changing the value back to 300s.

    Do realize that the shorter the fight the higher your DPS will be. This is because when you tell simcraft 'this fight is for 90 seconds', it assumes that 45s of that has bloodlust/heroism, and your trinkets - especially on 'use' trinkets. On heavy movement fights that last 90s, but 3 groups of 90s (DPS DPS DPS for 90s, 10 to 15s of movement, DPS DPS DPS for 90s, etc.) you actually don't get to pop bloodlust each 90s. Still, within that 90s, you can see how stats will affect your scaling.

    Some fights will have you target swapping a lot (hard modes in ToC). Some fights will make you have to start and stop DPS a lot by running (FC). Some fights have specific phases where you only do DPS for X seconds. Look at your gear and the general time it takes you for this to see if there may be other items or values that fit your needs.
    I like this...Thank you for putting it in

  13. #13
    My bans cleave. Dinnerbone's Avatar
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    Re: [Guide] Simcraft and you!

    Nice work.
    Join us on the official MMO-Champion IRC channel!
    #mmo-champion of irc.quakenet.org or click here if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

  14. #14

    Re: [Guide] Simcraft and you!

    Modez that's a nice idea, but i'm not sure how i could work that into my simulations. The thing is, there is no point in running one for every single fight changing the length as you go. The scale factors are only going to change for each one.

    Are you saying that most fights favour 90 second bursts? So you should run with that? I'm not gonna get a new piece of gear and run simcraft for every boss fight and run an average of my scale factors.

  15. #15

    Re: [Guide] Simcraft and you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenerena
    I'm not gonna get a new piece of gear and run simcraft for every boss fight and run an average of my scale factors.
    Some will do this - honestly I do this. If you sit down one day and scale up haste by 100, crit by 100, and spell power up and down, and for each one of these changes do a 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 etc times, you will take about 30m total running different sims. If you record your results, then you have already seen what your gear will look like after upgrade X.

    Some may elect to run sims after each new item for different times. Others may not. The goal I had when composing this thread was simple: give people the tools so they can understand simcraft usage and give them the options that they may wish to explore. It is up to you how much you want to dig or how accurate you want to push your numbers to be. This thread merely outlines how to get to that point should you desire it.
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  16. #16
    Legendary! gherkin's Avatar
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    Re: [Guide] Simcraft and you!

    When timing Destruction, it doesn't matter how long the fight its, but rather how well the length of the fight lines up with spell cooldowns. Destro has no execute and target hp doesn't make a difference. Therefore, if the boss lines up to die at 9 out of 10s on a conflag, it will show less damage and different scale factors than one that ends immediately after a conflag (and the last tick of Immolate).


    R.I.P. YARG

  17. #17
    Legendary! gherkin's Avatar
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    Re: [Guide] Simcraft and you!

    @Modez - I just discovered that these forums allow resizing of images. If you:
    Code:
    [img width=600]HTTP://WWW.IMAGELOCATION.JPG[/img]
    it will automatically resize the image to 600px width and preserve the aspect ratio height. If its too small, people can right click and hit "View Image" to see the full size version. I don't think it will be too small.

    Since your images are very large, I thought this might help. Cheers.

    R.I.P. YARG

  18. #18

    Re: [Guide] Simcraft and you!

    I run on some really large monitors at a some very sexy resolutions. I went ahead and made the changes for those that are not so fortunate. I wasn't aware of that sizing code. Thanks.
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  19. #19
    Legendary! gherkin's Avatar
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    Re: [Guide] Simcraft and you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Modez
    I run on some really large monitors at a some very sexy resolutions. I went ahead and made the changes for those that are not so fortunate. I wasn't aware of that sizing code. Thanks.
    I'm at 1680x1050 myself, but when I resized the window down to 1280x768 for some work stuff my "fix ur dps" images were gigantic. I fixed mine, thought you might want to know for yours. Glad it was of use!

    R.I.P. YARG

  20. #20

    Re: [Guide] Simcraft and you!

    I don't have simcraft.bat .... redownloaded it and everything :-/ SO I have no where to drag my bat file that I created...how do I fix this?

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