Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Theory-crafting and me

My university has many witty t-shirts that the various dorm houses and undergraduate societies sell as fundraisers. One of the popular ones is "That's all well and good in practice, but how does it work in theory?" in celebration of my college's renown investigation into the sciences.

The hunter class is one of the most popular to research and model damage for, no doubt by virtue of the popularity of the class itself, but it is very difficult to find a hunter forum that does not delve into the realm of theory-crafting. I think its safe to say that most raiding hunters are expected to know what makes their dps tick and be able to defend their choices of gear, glyphs, and gems/enchants.

That said, I don't theory-craft. I know I would draw in more readers to the Butterfly if I did, but I admit, the process simply does not interest me much, mainly because I'm already an unwilling theoretical ecologist and do enough math on my own time to warrant more in my WoW time. I'm up to my waist in differential equations and generalized linear models on such a regular basis that extending more effort towards computing the benefits of Armor Penetration is just a little much. I'll read the forums (when I'm in the mood) but I won't actively work out the formulas.

Another reason I don't have so much heart in the matter is because I recognize that the ideal situations for these models are very rare in the actual game. Another t-shirt we have here reads "Theory comes and goes, but a data point is forever" - sure, that talent point in X instead of Y will give you 50 more DPS... under Z conditions. The numbers you get in game will be a more accurate representation of your DPS than a spreadsheet, only because you have to work with the circumstances on hand. Imagine the numbers you could get on Loatheb if would could just stay in one spot, and the spores were killed on top of you!

Where my science stands out is in statistics. While this really only has applications for loot drop and spawn rates, I use it for other social functions as well. I told one of our melee to prove that he doesn't die on bosses any more frequently than the other melee by doing an ANOVA.

So, sorry I don't populate my little corner of the internets with formulas for maximizing your DPS. I hope you love me regardless :3 I do encourage you to go out to any of the forums and blogs out there that do cater to theory-crafting, if that's your thing. Otherwise, don't fret it. Knowing why is enough; knowing how is optional.

1 comment:

Rilgon Arcsinh said...

Imagine the numbers you could get on Loatheb if would could just stay in one spot, and the spores were killed on top of you!