Greedy Goblin

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Your Christmas present is: RAWR!

Though I wrote that buying presents is sub-optimal (to giving its price as money), I still made a little present for you, one that I couldn't sell anyway: information. So no anti-social rant today, just something that you surely can use (or already using): rawr.

It's a program that you can use to find errors you made with your character, find proper upgrades and good enchants. At first, you can load your character from the armory (make sure that you did not log out with fishing hat and pole):

At first you should check your talent spec:

As you can see my spec is almost, but not fully optimal. In the individual talent analysis you can see what's missing and what bad talents were picked. This case I miss 2 points from Arcane mind and 2 points from Arcane flows, having Magic Absorption and Slow. I made that choice on purpose to decrease the number of wipes in PuGs by tanking ranged casters (PuG tanks can't do that) and slowing melee monsters chasing the healer:

At least I did not mess up my glyphs:

You can select gear slots to analyze and also set filters to select the places where you can go for upgrades. This case I'll check where can I upgrade my first ring with a better blue item:

As you can see, my current Runed Mana Band is not the best, I'd have 34 DPS higher if I'd get a ring from Violet hold:

You can also analyze enchants. This case I could upgrade my weapon enchant, too bad that both enchants need epic abyss crystal, so no-go on this project:

The program recalculates everything after spec or gear change. After I logged out as frost (losing 3% hit from talents), the same ring as above turns out much worse than it was before, and the new best it a crafted that has hit on it (don't worry, I have hitcapped frost gear):

Of course the program knows much-much more, but even using these basics (and showing them to your 0/0/71 guildmates) can turn a 800DPS guy into a 2000DPS guy.


Dread said...


Or you could just know what your needs are ahead of time. I've done more than enough research on my character type to not need to download an external program to make these decisions for me. It's kind of like paying for a personal trainer rather than learning how to be stronger for yourself via picking up a book. Yet another way to "better yourself" while still remaining dumb.

KevMar said...

I am a huge fan of rawr. People can also combine this with target dummy practice. Uncheck all the buffs you don't have and that should give you your target dps.

Midnight said...

I don't understand why you don't have the best possible enchants. You can't afford abyss crystals to enchant your weapon? That is mindblowingly surprising.

Dmitry said...

The best phrase about spreadsheets and tools like Rawr I have encountered:

- Spreadsheets attempt to model the statistical average dps you would do in a completely stationary fight against a single boss target.

Understanding this phrase is key to proper usage of Rawr and other similar software.

And by the way, it is bugged as hell. It crashes often, it seems to refuse to run on single-core CPU's, and some class modules are way inaccurate. (Hunter, anyone?)

TL;DR: It can certainly show you if your character has obvious flaws (like SP warriors or 0/0/71 guys), otherwise use with caution.

BH said...

@Dread - You know your character. Hard.Ass.

People have to start somewhere, and if it gets the 800DPS kid interested in actually learning their class, it's obviously a win. If not, he's still doing 1200 more DPS in your PuG (assuming you're not in a failass guild), also a win.

Nice resource Gevlon.

tyra said...

Kevmar already touched on it- but make sure you only check off raid buffs that you will have in the raid. Some of them can make huge differences (sunder armor).

Also, you can definetely sell people information! (maybe slightly less in WoW). you paid a warlock a couple thousand gold to get your lock to 2k dps, a while ago. If people don't know about the forums/EJ, you could probably exploit that fact.

In real life, people pay specialists for information that no one else may have (be it their expertise, or insider information.)

Knowledge is power, friend.

Fierydemise said...

One important caveat:
While rawr is wonderful for some classes there are a number of others for which rawr has support but the support is very limited. The major caveat here should be applied to rogues since rawr ostensibly has a rogue module but this module is lacking a developer so the information that comes out of rawr.rogue is suspect at best.

Zeran said...

Really? You would advise someone to buy a book that costs as much as a personal trainer, and spend the time reading it before they spend the same (probably more) time working out to achieve the same results? I'm not sure what you paid for rawr, but it cost me the same as my EJ account (30 seconds or so). It has since saved me hours trying to figure out the math behind the 100page threads your suggesting we all study.

TLDR: making inefficient choice = dumb. Using efficient tools = smart.

tyra said...

@Dread: it is impossible for you to napkin math exactly what stats are optimal for you. One very obvious example of this is the armor penetration formula. It was so confusing, they had to publish it.

You would also be extremely hard pressed to decide which item is better, when comparing 100 haste to 30 strength, etc.? How do you model Bryntroll (not even rawr can do this perfectly).You can understand why one is better, without having to manually crunch out the numbers. You could gain nothing from doing it by hand, and lose a lot of time (especially if you did it for every upgrade, or every possible set up).

Anonymous said...

@Midnight : read

Niko said...

I'd never use rawr for talents.
When I still played WoW (3.2) the frost mage talents have been buggy as hell (in the game).
Rawr told me to pick 3/3 Endured Winter which would have been insane, since it would have crippled the effect of Replenishment.
If I remember correctly, Rawr has not been aware of ghost charges and didn't cast the free Fireball only at movement.
Rawr also doesn't take raid utility in concern. (Druid:Revitalize)

The trinket emulation is very buggy as well.

I did use Rawr a lot with my frost mage, but I wouldn't recommend it to beginners who don't know nothing why they should pick this specific talent as an example.

Larísa said...

I used to love Rawr. However on my new pc, which is run on Vista, it doesn't work anymore. The pc locks up completely and I have to restart it all over. It really HATES Rawr. Isn't Rawr Vista compatible? I don't expect you to know the answer, but maybe someone else of your +3k readers does...

Anonymous said...

Tried it, very unstable softawre, lots of bugs but the biggest caveat is :
If you are smart enough to understand fully how this program works and it's inherent limitations then you are probably smart enough to get the same information by browsing the adequates forums for 10 minutes.
Don't try to discover the wheel yourself when the information is already available for Free on the net.

Anonymous said...

I've tried to use RAWR on my prot pally. Whenever I try to optimize, it always tells me I'm missing a shoulder enchant. When I look at the item screen it shows that I have the shoulder enchant. Is this just something I should ignore and let the optimize run?

Newton said...

Contrary to popular belief, stat weights change as your stats change. The stat weighting you find on EJ might have been calculated with T9 BiS as the baseline. Doing the stat weighting by hand isn't impossible, but its a very tedious work because you have to work with multiple variables. Hence, spreadsheets and programs like RAWR. Everytime you change a stat, your stat weighting changes. As you progess through the tiers the stat weights can change enough to cause one stat to be worth more than another relatively speaking. Unless you can do the complex math of these spreadsheets in your head, your idea of 'what you need' is probably wrong.

To make things more complicated, most of the 'optimal' raid talent specs and associated stat weights are built around top-end gear, they can perform horribly when you're running lower end gear. The most notable is specs relying on high crit rates to keep procced buffs/debuffs up '100% of the time'.

Gold NoScripts said...

I'm going to test out RAWR this weekend. tonight Keep in mind I'm highly suspect that it will improve my DPS. I already have very good DPS. I've been playing for years and really feel like I have a firm hold on how to min/max my character with out relying on a tool. This appears to be how a lot of people feel.

So I'm going to test it out. I'll use RAWR over the weekend and report back my results.

I'm going to try it with my paladin using both protection/ret specs, and also with my arcane mage. If I have time I might use my DK as well.

Vulpina said...

@Larisa - I do use it on my Vista machine, and while it does HATE to load rawr, if you leave it and let it load and do its thing for a few minutes it *will* open and be usable. I don't know why it has that hangup but if you're patient it'll open.

And thanks Gevlon, I do have this program but I somehow missed the option for only selecting the places that are available to you for upgrades, my guild only does 10-man normals, so it's time consuming to sift through everything else. Happy Holidays to you too!

Nagbag said...

"It's kind of like paying for a personal trainer rather than learning how to be stronger for yourself via picking up a book. "

Such program as Rawr IS a book, in a sense. Like some active animated diagram. It's a tool, not a worker.

I did stop using this program when i learned all things behind spelldamage maths. And will start to use it again for some new role/class i might decide to develop in the future.

Nielas said...

I have only run Rawr on Vista and had minimal problems. Every so often it will lock up on an Optimize but that usually means that my Available Gear list is too bloated.

The way Rawr does enchants and gems is not intuitive when you first start using it. One annoying thing is that just because you have an enchant or gem equiped, it will not automatically consider it for optimizing, you have to set the available enchants seperately and use the gemming templates to tell it what gems to consider.

I use Rawr for gear comparisons and for generating gear upgrade lists. It is an invaluable tool for finding out where I can get upgrades and how significant an upgrade it is.

I never use it for talents since I don't fully trust its algorithms on this and EJ tends to be a source that gives me better depth of information about stuff like this.

The key to using this program and similar spreadsheets and applications is to not take everything it tells you as gospel. If you do not understand a suggestion it makes, research it. If you disagree with what it is telling you, override the optimizer. I am not going to change my entire gemming just because Rawr is suggesting it, I will first find out why it is telling me to do it and then decide if the change is worth it (eg will the new ICC gear make the issue moot).

It is a great and powerfull tool but you have to be smart about using it. Follow it blindly and you are going walk yourself off the cliff.

strutt said...

@Dread, I dont know where to begin... The program just makes it alot easier for people to see what will give them the best DPS for certain changes to there toon, without having to spend the gold, or time figuring it out. For us Hunters we have for our spread sheet. in 3 seconds I can tell you how much of a DPS increase it would be for me to switch to the Crafted mail piece. Do that in your head in under 10 seconds with your toon. What about if your a hunter and want to see what the increase it would be to change your 20 agil. gems to 10agi + 10Crit and get the socket bonus, You would have to do alot of math, or spend alot of gold. I can just goto this spread sheet, throw in the gems i want to change and see what the DPS diffrence will be. I highly doubt that you know as much as you think you know about your class.

Sid said...

Thanks for the present, it's very useful.

Merry Christmas Gevlon!

Tonus said...

I think that Dread is saying that you can use a tool like Rawr to do a lot of the work for you, or learn more about the game and your class via research in order to make those decisions for yourself.

I think it comes down to what kind of player you are. I think that hardcore raiders (and players who love to do the in-depth research) are more likely to learn the smallest details about their class and investigate and crunch numbers until their eyes bleed, because they can't wait for program updates and need to be as sharp as possible on the new content.

Most players don't want to delve that deeply into a game or spend so much time, and for them the guides and spreadsheets and programs are a very useful tool. And yes, we understand that we are at the mercy of them. All of them eventually become outdated, and if you don't keep up with them (or if they are abandoned) you are likely to use sub-standard gear, talent, and rotation choices.

I'd guess that a lot of players are somewhere in between. They learn what they can, then fill the rest with information from others.

Feist said...

N.B. - Rawr is not good for all specs of all classes. Most notably, the Rogue and Warlock models are either severly underdeveloped or out of date, and SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON.

Nick S. said...

I really like Rawr, but I have to double-check it against a spreadsheet as the Hunter model has some inaccuracies, particularly with procs.

Gobbie said...

Merry Christmas to Gevlon and all he's readers.

Thankyou for "revealing" rawr to all the M&S Gevlon. It will make the game easyer for the rest of us if all optimize.


zbysow said...

According to rawr MM specc is twice as good as survival.. And BM is twice as good as MM. I know my class and checked this program just out of curiosity. Its quite dangerous to blindly follow it, seems very innacurate in many cases.

Olga said...

Tools like this depend very strong on math they creators coded in. Also they need to be updated very often, as changes in the game are made very frequently.
I do use EnhSim, and despite it's way better than Rawr module, it still doesn't contain the math for fire elemental simply because noone have done proper testing yet.
Having 5 years of math studying, i'd also want to add that even if those tools are coded properly and take into account all recent in-game changes, the situation we model tends to be so complicated and vary so much on bosses that you simply can't use this tool for making decisions with small upgrades and small spec difference.
For example we know that affli > destro atm. But when we look on available icc bosses, we see that all fights have short dps cycles with breaks and target-switching, so it makes destro perform better again. You can't simulate everything - adds hp, breaks length, etc, so you can't rely fully on this tools.

Newton said...

Simulationcraft is a more complex simulator designed to better model fights. It has Patchwerk style fights and 'helter skelter' figjts with movement events and such. It only models DPS, so people don't 'die' or get heals during the fight, but you can model performance with more than one player at a time, make assumptions such as a ghost paladin is always judging wisdom for the benefit of the characters being modeled.

It supports loading from RAWR, Armory, Wowhead profiler and from some preset BiS templates loaded from WoWHead. Again, like any tool, its only as good as the code and effort that went into it, but some of the classes have alot of activity and the official forum for each class is a post on EJ.

Anonymous said...

Rawr sucks because all spreadsheets for a certain class, landsouls to name on, are far better in calculating dps numbers and upgrades their numbers are usually more acurate better tested and overall the data is more complete. rawr often ignores finetuning like arpen softcap and after that regemming str , but before that gemming arpen, rawr just straight out tells you to go arpen. As a warrior it tells you not to take (fury) the second charge talent(dont know english name i am german) while this talent provides great mobility which makes it better on most fight than the 1 rage everry 10 seconds talent which sucks.

Thomas said...

@Larísa: I have been running Rawr for the past year on Vista 64-bit with no problems. The only time I have problems is if I compile the developer version, but that I should expect the developer version to be buggy occasionally.

When you start Rawr the splash-screen can seen to hang, and it can actually hang for a minute or so before the application appears

Dread said...

@Tonus, thank you.

All I'm saying is there's those who want results without learning anything, and then there's those who want to know what goes into the recipe. Sure, it's a great beginner tool. For beginners. If you don't move beyond it though you'll never really improve. Flame or call me an elitist all you want, but using spreadsheets and programs to do all the work for you just keeps you bad.

Anonymous said...

Personally I like Simcraft better, but I do understand some certain class lack the module to run it. Rawr is nice but some classes just don't have the proper setup so it is best not to use it at all. It would be nicer if one can go look up some other optimizer/simulation program that supports the class that you need.

Shem said...

It is crucial you check raid buffs when using Rawr or the numbers will be TOTALLY different to what EJ says for a raid environment.

For a Moonkin, for example, mana regen is covered by replenishment and BoW mostly. It is rare for a Moonkin to have mana issues. However without raid buffs ticked mp5 gear starts to look really attractive.

Other than that I'd say the virtue of Rawr lies in what Newton says. As you change one piece of gear the relative values of other pieces of gear change, too. This helps cope with the crit and haste soft-caps for Moonkin, the hit hard-cap for all casters and other such stages of gear.

I know what gear is generally good for me, but if given a choice between a crit/spi piece and a crit/haste piece of a lower item-level it can be a harder call to make and does depend largely on where my gear is at right now.

Bluefoot said...

Are you sure Rawr is up to date? I ran my rogue though and according to it Combat spec is ahead of Mutilate by a large margin, although it clearly is not even since 3.3, even after the 5% Hunger for Blood nerf.