Thursday, December 4, 2008

Level 80 Rogue Stats, Part 2: Simple Maths

Math. No one, except maybe that demonic woman who taught you 8th grade algebra, wants math to be part of their free time. It's not fun, or at least many of us have been trained to think it's not fun.

But math is a part of every recreational activity that even the least math-y person enjoys. Baseball is all about statistics, angle, and velocity, while billiards is pretty much trigonometry and basic physics with balls. Heck, even beer has to be measured. How many glasses of beer can we get from this pitcher? Should we get two?

My advice: get two.

And WoW, being a nerdy pursuit, is even more steeped in numbers. In all seriousness, WoW is little more than a pretty graphical sheen put over an invisible Matrix of math equations. And I'm here to give you the red pill for your rogue.

So what's going on under the hood? A LOT. And most of it you don't need to understand in order to top the damage meters while staying alive, and generally being an all-around asset to your group. You can just follow a few basic rules-of-thumb, and you'll be able to get an A or B+ in rogueing. Unfortunately, if you are going for that elusive A+, you're going to need the spreadsheet. Sorry.

Deciding whether a piece of gear is an upgrade is not as complicated as it seems.

First, you need to understand the concept of "Equivalency Points". Equivalent is a big word, but we all know it means "the same as" or "equal to". Why do we need these? Because we need to translate all of the different stats on an item, each with their different relative values to your DPS, into a single language so we can easily compare them.

According to those hardcore theorycrafters over at Elitist Jerks, the generally-accepted EP weights for Combat are:
  • Agility = 1 EP
  • Attack Power = .5 EP
  • Crit = .75 EP
  • Expertise = .8 EP
  • Haste = .7 EP
  • Hit= .8 EP in most cases. If you have 0%-9% total hit (including 5% from talents), it's worth more at .9 EP. If you have between 9% and 17%, it's worth .8 EP. If you have over 17% total, it drops to .7 EP.
  • Armor Penetration = .6 EP

The EP weights for Mutilate are:
  • Agility = 1 EP
  • Attack Power = .5 EP
  • Crit = .8 EP
  • Expertise = .95 EP
  • Haste = .7 EP
  • Hit= .9 EP in most cases. If you have 0%-9% total hit (including any from talents), it's worth more at 1.1 EP. If you have between 9% and 17%, it's worth .9 EP. If you have over 17% total, it drops to .65 EP.
  • Armor Penetration = .5 EP

Be warned, these weights will change based on what gear you currently have. That's what the spreadsheets are for. But if you are looking to simplify your math, you'll see that a few patterns emerge:

1 agility tends to be equal to 2 AP. Most ratings land at about 3/4 (.75) of an agility point. A special case is expertise for mutilate builds, where it is worth nearly as much as agility. Also, armor penetration is worth just over half an agility point. It won't be exact, but you can use these observations to get a general idea of how good a piece of gear is by translating all of the values into agility equivalency points ("the same as" agility!).

So, for those who want to do as little math as possible and get on with the killing (preferably of mages), the best quick 'n dirty way to figure out an item's "DPS Score" is in the following steps. I'll use as my example a cloak with 30 agility, 25 hit rating, 15 crit rating, and 100 attack power.
  1. Divide the Attack Power on the item in half. (100 AP = 50 EP)
  2. Add to the agility number. Remember, agility=EP (30 agi + 50EP= 80 EP)
  3. Combine the hit/crit ratings (25 + 15 = 40). If present, also include haste and expertise, remembering that expertise is a special case for Mutilate buids.
  4. Remove about a quarter off this rating total (40*3/4 = 30 EP). Do this either with quick mental guesstimates, or use the calculator on your computer if you want more exact numbers.
  5. Add the rating value to agi+AP value (30 EP + 80 EP = 110 EP).
And bam, you're done! You've determined that the cloak is worth roughly 110 EP, and can now compare it to a similar item to see which one will give you more dps. If the item has armor penetration, remember to divide that stat in half instead to find the EP value. Again, this isn't an exact measurement, but it does give a good idea while requiring as little pause as possible from actually playing with your new gear. If EP totals for two items are very close as Mutilate, remember that +hit is generally more valuable than haste or crit.

The steps listed above may at first seem like more bother than you'd like. But I guarantee you that if you try using them a few times, they will quickly become second nature, and you'll start to appreciate being able to quickly evaluate if an item is an upgrade or not.

The more specific conversation about why these values are the way they are, and how come hit is no longer king like it was back in TBC, will have to wait until next week.

1 comment:

Ixobelle said...

i was a shadowpanther whore on my rogue.

they calculate all the values so you don't need to, and you just sort the list by "I R PVP" or "I R KILL BOSS" and se if the item that JUST DROPPED is higher up on the page that what you're wearing.

quick and easy to do on my 2nd monitor in the middle of a run while the rolls (or DKP, whatever) is being sorted out.

it doesn't account for specs, but I knew my rogue well enough to know only sissy rogues use stamina and have an offhand weapon equipped. I wore cloth dresses and beat people with my fishing pole.