Okidoki, so the mats are easy enough... A lot of them can be substituted by other ones.
Simulationcraft can be swapped with the legendary theorycraft spreadsheet, you can use wowpedia instead of wowhead and mmo-champion's forums got most of the info that I use elitistjerks for.
Now for the step by step cooking instructions:
1. Read up! First we have to figure out what stats are important for the toon and how much they "weight".
To lazy for reading? Ask a class advisor or just spam trade and believe EVERYTHING they tell you
There are excellent forums here at mmo-champion with a lot of good ppl eager to help out if you got doubts.
As a warlock I use elitistjerks.com and wowmb.net a lot for information about my class, rotations, priorities etc.
Still dont have the info you need? Well, luckily enough for you slackers out there you can just go ahead and use the rest of the guide and you'll find out anyways
2. Get an updated version of simulationcraft and run it. I know elitistjerks normally have a good secure link somwhere. The above link goes to the official simulationcraft project on google code.
Downloading and installing wow-related software is allways a risk. But hey, I use an authenticator so Im pretty safe.
Once you started simulationcraft click the options tab and you should get 5 subtabs:
Globals, Buffs, Debuffs, Scaling and Plots
Globals contain general settings. The various settings tweak what kind of fight will be simulated. Since we are not really interested in getting a estimated dps but more in getting info on how much our stats weight - it is less important how we set this up.
Patch: make sure this is the latest patch.
Iterations: more iterations equals more reliable results.
Lenght: I normally go with the standard 300ms. But of course if you are interested in shorter/longer fights only you should change this number accordingly.
Fight style: What kind of fight do you normally find yourself in? Not overly important for getting your stat weights. I go with patchwerk.
The rest is pretty self-explanatory.
Heres my setup:
Whenever I compile shopping list I normally make sure nothing is ticked under buffs and debuffs.
This is optional and up to personal preference. If you want a more "real" case simulated - go ahead and check the ones that you deem normal for your raids.
Now to the interesting one: Scaling.
If youve done your homework you should know what stats are important.
Make sure you tick those on this tab. If you're to lazy and/or havent been able to figure out wich ones are important yet - tick em all!
Heres what it looks like for me:
As you can see Ive ticked spirit even though Im a warlock. I just wanted to see this number to confirm what Ive read about locks and spirit on the forums
Plots tab can be ignored as well. (These decide if you want fancy plotted graphs for some stats and makes the simulation take longer)
On to the next step!
3. Importing your toon
Click the Import tab. You should see the wow armory start page here. Just search for you toon.
Make sure its the right stuff and spec thats showing.
Click the import button in the lower right corner. This will prolly take a while so be patient
When its done the button should have changed to "simulate!". Click this.
4. Analyzing the results
Simulationcraft automatically swap tab to results when the simulaition is done.
Scroll down to "Scale factors". These are the numbers you want.
Note that the weight of hit does NOT represent dps gain but rather dps loss per point.
5. Check whats what and where it is.
Start up your browser and head over to guildox.com and go to their loot rank page.
Now there are three steps here.
A. Stat weights. Set all to 0 except those that you got from your simulationcraft. Important!!!
B. Filters. Set Class, Armor type, Level and what kind of items to include.
I normally filter out all the stuff that I cant get or that is to damn hard to get (like raid boss drops are right now).
C. Import your toons current equipment from the wow amory. This is optional.
Click "view loot ranking".
Voila - you now have lists of items and upgrades!
Heres my upgrade list for boots:
As you can see I should repgrind Ramkahen for the best available upgrade.
I use wowhead to get more information about specific items
Dont forget that your statweights change whenever your stats change. This means you have to resimulate whenever you get some major upgrades.
Hope it helps...
Absolutely amazing guide. Thank you very much. After 3 locked threads on MMO-Champion to the effect of how to generate these weight numbers, and being infractioned on EJ for "Hand holding" (Due to asking about reasonable ways to generate Sustained / Burst averages since Rawr is useless for Holy Priests at the moment), someone provided a fantastic guide.
Excellent guide, I have fallen in love with these tools! Many many MANY thanks to you for putting this together so that those of us 'in the dark' might discover it. I just want to ask, how might this apply to tanks? Same concept? Is it safe? I ask 'cause the SimCraft system seems like it might be designed for DPS, specifically and that things like parry or dodge may not be completely implemented properly. Would love to know if I'm wrong, though.