The Vague and the Theorycrafted

5 07 2009

Since the new Frost-DW talent (Threat of Thassarian) was announced a few weeks ago, people at Elitist Jerks have been furiously hitting dummies and calculators (see this thread) to figure out exactly what the mechanics of the new talent are. I have the utmost respect for these people, but I can’t help feeling like the job of finding these things out is completely avoidable. Since Ghostcrawler revealed the details of how Armor Penetration, the game’s most complex stat, works, why not do this for other stats, mechanics or talents?

1+1= window?

1+1= window?

The main purpose of the EJ thread I linked earlier in this post is to determine what affects and what does not affect the damage of various DW abilities, such as Frost Strike and white damage. One example of this is whether sigils like Sigil of the Vengeful Heart and Sigil of Awareness apply their bonuses equally to main-hand and off-hand strike damage or with different numbers for each  weapon. There are numerous other mechanics being tested, some answered, some not. Once we know the mechanics and the math, we can then begin to delve into the actual game and mess with talent specs, gear and stat optimization and rotations.

So my question is this: does Blizzard want us (or at least those skilled in math) to have to jump the mechanics/numbers hurdle in order to play the game the best we possibly can? For a while now, EJ has provided readers and posters with math behind what talents/stats/gear are good and which are bad, and that’s not going away. But I fail to see the use in leaving these mechanics (such as those involved in Threat of Thassarian) vague, thus making people do exhaustive research on questions that Blizzard already no doubt has the answers to. If they gave us the math, we could get to the game faster and more easily.

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6 responses

6 07 2009
Typhoon Andrew

I’ve always thought Blizzard aimed the game at three levels; those who TheoryCraft, those who listen to TheoryCraft eventually, and those who don’t care at all about the stats.

I’m sure they like the fact these tests go on, and in part I think even if they didn’t the tests would happen anyway (part of having several million geeks playing your game).

But I’m confident (despite no actual evidence) that they aspire to not have to overload a player with complex stats. The stats are there in the game (see your character screen for details), but they really are not fussed if all you do is roleplay.

I also think that sometimes they do not know what impact a change will have. Sometimes they just don’t consider the combinations that all the players will, and sometimes they screw-up. The degree of that knowledge is varied by the complexity and gravity of the change (obviously). They’re humans just like us.

7 07 2009

@Andrew, /agree.

I too feel the same way that there are three different “classes” player.

Not being a math geek, I fall in the second category, but I tend to not use EJ because I find it kind of unorganized unless you read all 39 pages of posts, whereas a place like is a lot more organized where the authors (for the most part) keep the main page or first post updated around the info developed over the same 39 pages of posts. But that is my opinion, and you can take it for what it is worth…..

7 07 2009

I took a quick look at the DK compendium over at Tankspot, and I found it rather lacking compared to EJ. It had some strange specs in it for Frost (2/51/18? O.o) and generally seemed out of date. While the first post of EJ threads may not always be updated (though all three current DPS threads have excellent first posts these days), I find that the discussions that take place as the threads go on are invaluable to learning about your class. This is at least true for DKs, since I have very little experience with any of the other class forums there.

8 07 2009
Typhoon Andrew

@shopx3 – Skeletonjack is good too, and has some excellent summary posts that stay relevant over time. Specs for 3.2 are mainly unresolved, and even the EJ guys are keeping the conjecture down to an absolute minimum.

8 07 2009

I meant they were lacking in 3.1 information, since they had a lot of weird specs that didn’t mesh with what most people were using. 3.2 information is all conjecture at the moment since the PTR will likely change a lot before it goes live.

14 07 2009
Typhoon Andrew

@shopx3 – very true. Conjecture does help us get a sense of what we’ll be playing though. Like the fact Unholy dps is getting a change, but I’m not reading anything that makes be burst out angry hate. No idea on the tank chances or frost/blood affects yet.

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