Hello everyone! Publik here bringing you another round of discussion on how we sim shadow priests for all of our theorycrafting content. In this post I'm going to go over our broad methodology for how we run our sims, and why we believe this is a better way of doing things.
Coming from Legion things have remained largely the same, with a few minor tweaks to the tool sets we run and how our sims are published. We now utilize Raidbots for the majority of our sim work, which means we can publish new data much faster than we used to. For the time being you can see preliminary sims stored in my GitHub repo. The data isn't super easy to read and not exactly the most UI friendly thing to look at, so each sim category will get its own post when the data is ready to be fully published.
Raidbots and SimulationCraft
The first thing I want to cover is Raidbots and SimulationCraft. For those of you that don't know these tools are fundamentally the same, Raidbots is just a cloud application that runs SimulationCraft in the cloud, yay clouds! Regardless of the two tools these are both incredibly powerful applications. That being said, just because they are powerful that does not mean they are simple to use or always produce perfect data. While these are quite popular tools, for that reason we suggest the general player base sticks to the resources we publish for things. All of our sims are run with injecting various levels of Adds, Movement, and number of boss targets to guage how shadow performs in a wide range of scenarios.
All of these aspects of the game are omitted when you just sim your character for patchwerk single target. The shadow team here at HowToPriest is working very hard to give characters other options than just patchwerk single target that is reliable and more accurate to raiding on your character. Unfortunately most of us just play shadow priest, so some of these problems won't translate to such an extreme case with other classes and specs, but the same ideas apply.
Okay so you've broken down why Raidbots and SimC don't paint the full picture....now what? Well that's a very good question. With the addition of titanforging and N* combinations of gearing, it's really difficult to figure out which pieces of gear to use. Luckily the team at WCP has a few options for you. In terms of accuracy this is what I like to tell people to follow:
- Resources on WarcraftPriests
- SimC Raidbots Patchwerk Single Target
Wait what is magicsim? I won't dive too deep into magicsim in this post, you can check out the full walkthrough here though.
So generally speaking using magicsim can give you more accurate results than the others, but it is not a "quick" tool. To get more accurate data the sim will take significantly longer to complete, so if that doesn't sound good to you I recommend following the resources I posted above instead of just doing patchwerk style simming.
The big take away from using magicsim is the option to handle composite simming. The idea of a composite sim is to take multiple situations of adds, lust timings, movement/mechanics, etc and sim your character against all of these combinations of fight styles. Magicsim gives you the ability to sim your character in the same way that the Shadow TC team does our large batch sims for every patch.
So with composite sims, instead of just doing a single patchwerk no movement sim on single target, you can do 2 targets, adds, movement on a specific set schedule to model fights in the raid. The team develops a "Composite" model each raid tier that weighs out the different fight types based on when you see these mechanics in a raid.
While there are plenty of options for simming your character, keep in mind none of these options are perfect. They all have their problems and each tackles a specific problem quite differently. At the end of the day these are just tools in your arsenal for determining what gear to use, they are not the bible or the end all be all of gear options. It is better to sim your character (maybe a few different ways) and then try it out in game yourself to see if you notice an improvement. Now just another word of caution...just because something sims higher, or one certain pull you did 5 billion DPS, doesn't mean that set is the best either. The game has a very high amount of RNG currently, so always test multiple times in-game or with multiple sim sets to get an idea of how much of an impact a certain piece of gear has.
Theorycrafter, SimC dev, & Guide Writer