Sorry that I’ve been silent for a while, the last few weeks have been very busy. Between family obligations and a number of other projects, I just haven’t had a lot of time to blog. Also, I was pretty happy with that last blog post, and figured it could stand to have some more front page time. But things are slowing down for me in real life, so it’s about time I got us caught up.
First of all, Simulationcraft version 540-5 has been released this week. As always, you can get it at the download page. It contains several notable improvements/changes for us
- Updated TMI bosses
- Damages fine-tuned to be closer to Garrosh damage
- DoT damage fixed at 5% of raw melee damage
- T17Q boss added for fun / playing with full heroic profiles
- HTML reports re-written to show healing (HPS) and absorption (APS) independently for clarity.
- Charts still show HPS+APS like they did before
- Divine Protection bugfix (this was actually in 540-4, I just didn’t blog about it)
- Retribution APL tweaked for higher DPS, T16 profiles updated
To illustrate the reporting issue, here’s how it looks for a T16N profile that’s been tweaked to use Sacred Shield instead of Eternal Flame:
The “Results, Spec, and Gear” section now breaks down HPS and APS independently in a more readable fashion. So in this case, we generated 85892.2 healing per second, ignoring overhealing, and our Sacred Shield gave us 37299.5 absorption per second. The title line reports this as total HPS+APS, which is 123192 HPS, followed by the absorption in parentheses to tell you how much of that total was due to absorbs.
I’ll also note that the results you see with these bosses are a little weird. For example, if you sim the T16H profile against the T16H25 TMI boss, you get a health timeline that looks something like this:
In other words, we’re generating more self-healing than the boss is dishing out in DPS. This surprised me at first, but as far as I can tell the simulation is fairly accurate. It turns out that Eternal Flame and Seal of Insight scale very well with attack power, and thus with Vengeance. At a certain Vengeance level (reached around 10N T16 levels in appropriate gear) we simply become self-sufficient against this boss thanks to the sheer AP scaling of those two skills.
This means that at the top end, the TMI results will be fairly insensitive to small stat changes, and thus if you generate stat weights you might get garbage. And unfortunately, cranking up the boss doesn’t always fix the problem – in many cases the sheer Vengeance increase is large enough that it doesn’t matter.
I haven’t found a good solution to this yet, unfortunately. Part of the issue is that the simulation is very rigid – the boss always attacks you every 1.5 seconds, so your Vengeance timeline looks something like this:
And note that this isn’t the averaged version – this is for a one-iteration sim. Vengeance flatlines after the ~20-30 second ramp-up period, which makes you a self-sufficient healing dynamo. In reality, bosses look like this:
This is total AP, but obviously most of that is Vengeance. I don’t start tanking on this boss (25H Malkorok), so my AP is pretty flat until I taunt. then we have the slow ramp-up from ~200k to ~500k as I take damage. Then the other tank taunts and my Vengeance begins to decay away. And this cycle repeats itself over the course of the fight.
Simulationcraft has no concept of aggro, so we can’t do tank swaps (yet). But in any event, it’s clear that at no point do we have a steady 500k Vengeance at our disposal. Our average while tanking is probably closer to 300k-350k, so our survival tweaks should be aimed at optimizing around that value. Which means we somehow have to artificially decrease the Vengeance we have in Simcraft.
My tentative plan at the moment is to introduce a damage source that doesn’t grant Vengeance, like a ground effect that your tank automatically stands in. Then the TMI bosses would always include some amount of damage from this source to artificially reduce the Vengeance that boss grants. I don’t think I’m going to bother doing this until the next expansion, which gives me some time to think about whether this is really the best implementation or not. I’m open to alternatives if people want to suggest them.
In case you were wondering where that sexy AP vs. time graph came from in the last section, it’s from Warcraft Logs. This is a new competitor to World of Logs designed and run by ex-Tankadin (now Feral Druid) Kihra of Temerity. I’ve been helping him bugtest it over the past month or two, though I really don’t deserve much credit since all I do is upload some logs and complain to him about things that are broken. It’s just recently gone into its Friends & Family alpha phase, so the client is invite-only at this point. But if you want to play around and see what sorts of things it can do, you can dig through my guild’s logs here: http://www.warcraftlogs.com/guilds/6/
There are a lot of features that are planned for this site that I’m not comfortable talking about without Kihra’s permission, but if they all pan out this will be the go-to site for combat log analysis. I really can’t wait until it becomes publicly available. And of course, one of features I will incessantly nag Kihra to implement until he does so is automatic calculation of TMI for an encounter based on your health resource log.
Anyway, I encourage you to peruse the site and see what it can do. Note that I’m not directly involved with the site at all, just a friend of Kihra’s who offered to help test the site. So if you’re interested in participating in the beta, you’re probably better off watching @Kihra and @WarcraftLogs on twitter.
Hopefully I’ll have some time in the next month or two to do a full blog post on the site with a basic How-To guide and maybe highlight some of the more novel features. We’ll see though, we’re only a week away from Blizzcon!
Speaking of BlizzCon, I’ll be attending this year. I haven’t figured out my complete schedule, but I do know I’ll be at the WoWInsider/wowhead party on Thursday night at the Anabella. Beyond that nothings certain, but I’ll probably be at the Hilton parties Friday and Saturday night. I probably won’t have a custom badge or anything, but if you look for a short guy in jeans and a polo shirt wearing a “Hi, My Name Is Theck” sticker, you might spot me. If you want to meet up or say hi, watch my twitter – I’ll probably be tweeting where I’ll be during the con so that people can find me.