Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Testing the Robot

Or The post in which I do not make dirty jokes about robots...

A couple weeks ago raiders at Eff were asked to submit their upgrade list to assist with raid scheduling. This was an interesting exercise for me... Of course, I have gear lists. But the lists I usually make are lists of all possible upgrades. So for glove upgrades I had Grips of the Failed Immortals, Hands of the Twilight Council, Flamebloom Gloves, and Shadowflame Handwraps.

I needed a way to narrow down the list of not just gloves, but all of my pieces to just one upgrade for each. Well, the message included this:

"Use Ask Mr Robot if you want to figure it out fast and loose."

Huh. I've heard of Mr. Robot before, but I've never used it. What's this Robot all about anyway?

Turns out, he's about OPTIMIZATION. One of my favorite topics as a computer scientist. My favorite feature, let me show it to you:

It will generate a Best-In-Slot list for any level of gear (level 85 and up) that you're looking at. Until just two weeks ago, that would have been Pre-Raid for me. I ran the crap out of the trolls dungeons until they gave up significant 353 caster cloth. Except for the very first night, these went smoothly enough. It helps to have people along who have done them as raids.


Plz can haz Karazhan 5-man?



The other options are pretty neat too. I usually tell it to ignore expensive enchants, because... y'know, I'm not rolling in Maelstrom Crystals.

Actually, I tell it to ignore most other things except the Darkmoon Cards. I might see if I can put a Volcano Deck together. Not that I'm in need of gold sinks or anything. I am in need of better trinkets.

According to Mr. Robot, I am in need of a lot of things. My optimize screen is a study in failed (according to Mr. Robot) reforging and enchanting.

I was rather put out by this. Suboptimal? Le angst! I mean, I followed all the appropriate rules of reforging for warlocks. Maybe not the enchanting so much... I generally just use what's available at the time. Still! I'm totally awesome! ...right?

Well... no.

My dps is not what it could be. So let's see if this Mr. Robot guy can help me out.

The Setup

The only buffs that I tested with are the ones that I can provide myself. Also left out: Flask of the Draconic Mind and Severed Sagefish Head.

The Control

See below, to the best of my ability, my standing dps at its maximum. Just me and my imp against the world.

My dps epeen, is it big enough? I'm afraid its not big enough.

The Test

This section is not worthy of a screenshot. You don't need to see me hanging out with the Reforging guy or mindlessly rearranging the enchanting mats I've been hoarding since before the server transfer. Promise.

The Results

After blindly following the mandates of Mr. Robot:

Some Conclusions

Ok, so 700 points of dps increase is not the epic conclusion I had hoped for. Regardless, it is an improvement. For a few seconds, I was definitely afraid I wouldn't see any improvement at all - or worse, a decrease in dps.

It also wasn't the easy fix I could have hoped for. I'll need to research other avenues to determine why my dps isn't meeting my own, possibly delusional standards.

One thing I totally loved though? Thanks to Mr. Robot I'm no longer over the hit cap. I'm a smidgen under it, actually. So close to the hit-cap I can not only taste it - I could have it for breakfast if I wanted to. All with the advantage of no wasted stat points.

Further Research?

The only point of contention I might have is the call for a wrath enchant. I can't wrap my brain around 28 spellpower trumping 50 haste. I mean, I love haste.

Despite the fact that I know haste balancing is kind of delicate with plateaus that must be observed, its difficult for me to accept that sometimes less haste is the way to go. When the numbers back it up, though, I have to concede.


The final step, of course, is seeing if I can bring this improvement to life in a raid situation. Until I can do that, there's no saying for sure whether this wasn't just a (highly entertaining) waste of time.

I think Mr. Robot has done all right by my warlock. I look forward to further testing.

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