h1

Seri sez: Eight WoW web tools that will change your life forever.

December 18, 2008

hammerOk, so maybe the title is a smidge over the top. Did it get your attention, though? It did? Great.

I’m always interested in new web-based tools that enhance my WoW experience. Whether I’m theorycrafting, reviewing applications, conducting performance evaluations or just doing a quick check of what gem I have in my gloves, I like to have the tools at my disposal to do the job quickly and efficiently. I’m very pleased that most of my favorite tools have made it through the expansion to be fully updated and feature-rich, but there are a few new tools I’ve recently discovered that are pretty darn handy too.

Here’s a list of my top 8 WoW web tools (in no particular order), all of which are fully compatible with WotLK and the recent Armory overhaul:

1. WoWJuju Reputation Calculator

pie!

This is a great tool for seeing your (or someone else’s) reputations at a glance and determining what you need to do to get where you want to be (and how long it’s going to take to get there). I used a tool similar to this (wowreputationcalculator.com) in TBC, and while I liked the interface a little better it hasn’t been fully updated yet for WotLK. The WoWJuju calculator does fully cover WotLK factions and their repeatable quests. Plus, pie charts! Who doesn’t like pie charts?

2. WoW Heroes

This tool is something of an armory ‘quick look’ tool but also provides gear rankings and suggested instances for the gear level. If you ever used WoW Armory Light or Be.Imba you’re familiar with these concepts. Three cheers for one-stop shopping? It’s not a bad way of giving someone a quick once-over and loads a bit faster than the official WoW Armory. Also includes quick links to item upgrades on Wowhead.

3 & 4. Warcrafter & Chardev Character Planner

These two tools do basically the same thing but with two very different interfaces. Enter your character name/server and it’ll populate talents/gear for you. What do you do then? You can swap out talents, gear pieces, gems, enchants and buffs to see how it changes your stats. This is very helpful, both for tweaking what you already have and seeing how upgrades will affect you. Personally, I prefer the Chardev Character Planner interface. I’ve always found Warcrafter to be extremely cumbersome, but I’ll use it if Chardev is down for maintenance or something.

5. Loot Rank

scale

Loot Rank is a very powerful tool that allows you to search for gear based on stat weights that you specify. With that said… I haven’t really figured out how to use it. The ‘weights’ make very little sense to me, but I’m not a hardcore theorycrafter either. Of course, I understand the concept of weighing stats and prioritizing some over others but what exactly does it mean to have a 28.3 haste weight and 14 crit weight? Yeah, no clue where these numbers come from. It does provide some sample templates for different classes/specs but opinions vary as to whether or not they’re optimal. You can probably find more information about weight templates for your class on Elitist Jerks. I think of this as the tool I know I would love if I just knew how to use it.

6. Zusterke’s Int & Spirit Regen Tool

I believe Jov mentioned this one in her recent Int vs Spirit discussion, but I thought it worth mentioning again. This tool will help you see where your regen currently stands and help you figure out whether you’re better off adding Int or Spirit to improve it. I’m not sure why we need a tool for this, it’s good enough for me to know that I need to shoot for a 1:1 Int to Spirit ratio… but if you like lots of numbers and equations and need to know what’s behind that guideline… this is the place to go!

7. WoW Web Stats

Wow Web Stats is (mostly) updated for WotLK now and is a great tool for post-raid examination and reflection. If your raid group isn’t using WWS, it should be. What a lot of people don’t know is that anyone can run this and post reports. If your raid/guild officers aren’t using WWS or aren’t posting links to reports after raids for whatever reason, you can start saving your combat logs and uploading them yourself just for your own edification. One of these days I’ll get around to posting a guide for self-review with WWS. If such a thing would be interesting to you, let me know. It might motivate me to actually do it.

Last minute edit: Wednesday evening someone mentioned Wow Meter to me as an alternative to WWS. Supposedly, it is the up and coming bigger and better raid analysis tool… YMMV.

calculator

8. Zaltu’s Spell Haste Calculator

A Rogue blog is probably the last place anyone would think to look for a spell haste calculator, but Zaltu over at One Rogue’s Journey has just that. He wrote it for a friend of his and figured he might as well throw it up on his site for the general public. It’s pretty spiffy, and I recommend it for all your spell haste calculating needs.

Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Have a tool to suggest? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail!

About these ads

12 comments

  1. Lootzor weights. TL;DR – go to wowhead, browse items, “Create Filter”, “Select a weight scale”, pick your class/spec and check “group by slot”. Et voila! Caution you may have to click “show more results” for all items to show up – I haven’t confirmed this bug yet though.

    http://tinyurl.com/3zps9c

    The long version – if you weight spellpower as 2, crit as 1, then spellpower is worth twice as much. So your most precious stats will generally have the highest numbers. MP5 is a bit of an exception, since even small amounts of MP5 numbers have a big effect. Working these out from scratch is indeed for the hardcore TCers only (how much haste is 1pt of int worth, hmm?).

    The good news is there are presets (you can see the wowhead ones by clicking “show details” in the weight scale box). Any nub can hack these about to get the effect they’re after. For example I’m very nearly haste capped, so I might want to take 20% off the haste weight. It will still offer me haste items, if they have a lot of haste or other stats, but they’ll generally be ordered lower.

    I recommend a light touch, even if you “don’t care” about a stat, enough of it will change your mind.
    And yeah I couldn’t live without loot weighting :D

    You could try Pawn for in game info, I haven’t bothered setting it up yet though.


  2. For healing weights, check out this – http://dwarfpriest.com/2008/11/07/weighing-priest-healing-stats/

    Dwarf Priest did healing stat weights for Disc. and Holy. You can see how she got the numbers, at least.


  3. Oh, please please please I would really love a write-up on using WWS or an equivalent tool. Currently I use Recount, not because I’m a meter whore (I really really dislike ppl who post during runs) but because I want to see how many times I panicked and maybe used the “wrong” spell on a certain fight. Like Heroic Patchwerk. How many times did I use WG? (Which I know makes me a BAD TREE on that fight.) How effective was my planned RG spam, etc etc etc. Only reason I haven’t been using WWS is that it feels indimitading to me. Thank you


  4. @ Aelinna – Ok, that sort of makes sense… but not really. Heh. I mean, should the numbers all add up to something? Is it a scale of 1 to 10? I get that a weight of 2 is twice as heavy as a weight of 1, but what about 28.3 vs 41.6? Where do they get these wacky numbers anyway? *puzzled* This is why I usually just check out Wowhead and do my own arbitrary analysis.

    @ Isisxotic – Thanks muchly! I probably skimmed that one, bad Seri. :)

    @ Aoyanagi – Request noted! Right now I’m checking out the reports on WoW Meter from our raid last night to see how it compares to WWS. Initial impression is that I feel about as overloaded with data as I did when I first started reading WWS reports. Heh.


  5. WWS and WMO together are making me feel like a complete tard. (And WMO points out to me how reliant I’d gotten on the overview WWS provided. WMO seems to only allow scanning per fight, and I’m used to being able to take a wider view to do things like see how many times someone died, or how many times they SFiended, etc…)

    I spent the morning on both sites and… yeah, nothing like web analysis to make me feel dumb. ><


  6. The numbers don’t have to add up to anything, they’re a purely relative measure of importance.
    So if I say “haste 20, power 40″ that’s exactly the same as “haste 1, power 2″. I have no idea why ppl use decimal weights, they could just multiply by 10 ^_^

    I still eyeball the items it throws at me, there are some things it’s hard to account for like whether it’s enough of an upgrade to bid against someone else, who might consider it best-in-slot.
    Sometimes I’ll pick #2 because #1 is too regen focused, although that probably just means I should tweak the weights.
    I tend to undervalue int and mp5 though, the weighted lists help me realise “okay 22mp5 *matters*”.

    For obtaining the weights… well… it’s long and complicated. An easy one to start with is crit. Well a mage gets 50% extra damage on a crit, so a 1000 pt frostbolt becomes a 1500 hit. So 100% crit chance would be worth 500 per frostbolt, ergo 1% crit chance is worth 5 per frostbolt. Assuming a spellpower coefficient of 1, 1% crit chance = +5 spellpower. Now it takes, I don’t know, say 40 points of crit rating to get 1% crit chance. So 40 crit rating = 5 spellpower, or 1 spellpower = 8 crit rating. That is, 1 spellpower is 8 times as good as 1 crit rating. So the weights you’d use are “8 spellpower, 1 crit rating”. The easy way to work this out is to divide across then take the reciprocal (turn the fractions upside down).

    If 5 spellpower = 40 crit rating = 35 haste, divide by 5.
    1 = 8 = 7. Now divide across:
    1/8 = 1 = 7/8. And again:
    1/56 = 1/7 = 1/8. Now take the reciprocal:
    56 : 7 : 8. There are your weights!

    Now suppose the mage takes a talent which doubles the crit damage bonus. Suddenly crit is worth twice as much. That’s easy to deal with and we don’t have to go through all the math again – just double the weight.
    56 : 7*2 : 8.
    56 : 14 : 8.

    For regen stats, you have to assume a set fight length, so you know whether you’re likely to go OOM. Then you take an expected distribution of spells, eg from WWS, work out your MPS, work out the benefit from not being OOM compared to having more punch, add some special sauce and calculate the weights.

    By all means have a shot but… I’ll be using someone else’s weights, tyvm. I have to rush home to raid now but I hope I helped a little bit at least :)

    @Aoyanagi: WoWInsider (Marci Knox) did a nice piece on reading WWS for healers some time ago, might be worth a read while you wait


  7. Incoming theorycraft rant:

    The basics of loot ranking is numerical modeling. In other words, in order to get accurate values, you need to be able to numerically model your class and its performance in at least a somewhat accurate way. Then you take the resulting equations and plug your current values into them for all but the quantities you want to measure, solve through, and get your comparative weights.

    Most weighting systems use Effective Spell Power (ESP) or Effective Attack Power (EAP) as their baseline value-that is, set the value of those stats as “1″, and then derive the values of other stats based on that assumption. For some things, this is fairly easy; for instance, a ret paladin has a value of 1 str = 2.2 EAP, because 1 strength is 2 ap, and there’s a talent that increases strength by 10%.

    For others, it’s more tricky; while the reason that spell power and attack power are usually chosen as the baseline is that they scale linearly, most of the rating stats scale logarithmically, which means that comparison can only really be valid for a small range before it begins to diverge. This is important primarily because it means that *any ranking you give to a rating based stat is only valid for your current level of gear and levels very close to it.* To have an accurate measure of stat weights, you have to revise them whenever you upgrade your gear to any significant degree. That’s why you will often see the template stats listed as “template-t5″ and “template-t6″; they’re calculated based on a baseline of what you might be expected to have in that particular content.

    To me, though, this severely limits the value of loot ranking, because the decision still needs to be made based on the gear that you’re already wearing, rather than just “plug the numbers into the magic formula and get the best piece of gear out.” That is, in order to really use loot ranking well, you have to already understand the math behind your class well enough to recognize whether a given template/weighting is sufficiently close to your actual scaling to be worth considering, and at that point, you should probably already be able to figure out what gear is better by eyeballing it.

    Even rules-of-thumb probably provide enough information to make good decisions, although they are still overly talismanic and frequently lead to poor decision making; the 1-1 spirit/int ratio is really just an expression of the fact that the stats are equally good, and doesn’t mean that an item with 20 int and 20 spi is better than an item with 10 int and 50 spi, for instance.

    But, yeah. TL;DR: loot ranking can be useful for comparing specific pieces of gear based on your current stats, but its accuracy degrades considerably when used for anything else.


  8. Very handy tools!

    I’ll have to check out the Rep calculator, but up to now, I’ve been using FactionFriend, and it’s worked pretty smoothly.

    Oh, and in response to a comment almost a month ago – yes, it’s alright if you call me Pixel. Pix works, too. :D


  9. [...] Vote Seri sez: Eight WoW web tools that will change your life forever. [...]


  10. [...] *Links taken from personal use, Internet surfing, friend recommendations and World of Snarkcraft’s recent post. [...]


  11. [...] of checking myself out on Beimba. I blame Seri over at Snarkcraft for an interesting post about WoW web tools for this. The result was a “that’s nice dear” type thought and I moved on with my [...]


  12. [...] *Links taken from personal use, internet surfing, friend recommendations and a World of Snarkcraft  post. [...]



Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: