A Quick and Dirty Guide to Rawr

6 10 2009

For the uninitiated, Rawr is a program that players can use to evaluate different pieces of gear. Rawr does fuzzy math things which I am not qualified to talk about and gives a value for every item available to you, with the highest value being the best item. What is optimal may change, however, based on your current gear. For example, if you have capped expertise as a DPS, items with expertise on them will not be valued highly. You can set filters to ignore, say, Trial of the Grand Crusader-25. Finally, Rawr gives an estimate of your DPS on a 10-minute (that’s the default time) patchwerk-esque encounter where you set what buffs you have and what rotation you use.

Rawr can be a little bit intimidating when you first download it, and this guide will help you get started and hopefully make you fall in love with Rawr.

Step 1: Download Rawr and load up your character (File -> Load from Armory)

Make sure your character has the correct gear (i.e. DPS gear if you are a DPS character) when you log off so that you don’t have to go in and change each piece of gear manually. Before you go off and look at upgrades or die of shock at the fact that Rawr is telling you that your DPS is only 2400 there are a few important steps to take.

Step 2: Check off buffs that your raid group regularly has (under the buffs tab)

Since Rawr evaluates gear based on your current stats (including buffs you have), it’s important to select buffs that accurately portray a regular raid night for your guild. If you only raid 10s, for example, don’t go checking off every available buff or you won’t get accurate information.

Step 3: Make sure your rotation, talent spec and glyphs are correct

The rotation is found under Options, just hit the Rotation Details button. Pick whatever is appropriate to your spec and modify as needed. The default rotations are taken from EJ discussion, so if you follow that you’re probably familiar with them already. Review talents and glyphs to make sure everything is up to date (sometimes Armory can be slow and/or stupid). Also make sure to set up any enchants that disappeared in the move from Armory to Rawr.

Now for the good stuff

Those are the basic steps you need to take to start using Rawr. Now you can use it to test out what items are upgrades and which are not. A few things to note before you start that, though:

  • Just because an item does not have Strength doesn’t mean it’s not an upgrade (for me, Collar of Ceaseless Torment is pre-25 hardmode BiS)
  • Remember that while an item might be BiS with one set of gear it won’t necessarily be BiS all the time (item values are dynamic and change based on your current gear)
  • Leather is an option too
  • You still have to use your judgment; for example, exclusively following WoW will not always keep you at the Hit or Expertise cap, so if you prefer to keep them capped you have to consider that on your own

The easiest piece of gear to look at for a Death Knight is the sigil. Since it doesn’t provide any complex stats (i.e. Hit, ArPen, Expertise) it’s not going to change very much based on your gear and stats.

On the right part of Rawr, select the dropdown menu next to “Slot: Gear” and choose Ranged

Now you’ll get a numerical value (DPS) for each sigil. The one with the highest value is worth the most DPS. So go out, find that sigil, and now you’ve got a piece of BiS. Other slots, especially head, shoulders, chest, legs and gloves, are more complicated (these are the slots tier pieces go in). The most important thing when using Rawr is to keep an open mind while still thinking critically. Don’t let Rawr make all your decisions for you. That said, it’s a great tool for evaluating pieces of gear and comparing items. This is especially true when comparing Agility items to Strength ones, since it’s usually not obvious (you typically lose a few AP) that one or the other is better.



6 responses

7 10 2009

Great post.

A few things I have found out through talking to other people and messing around with the program is:

– Check “enforce gem requirements” – This is what will make your Meta work. If you don’t check it, Rawr will toss in whatever gem it feels is best and then your Meta won’t work.

– You can check mark gear that you own and when you use the Optimize feature it will also weigh this gear as well. Using this method, I now use Grim Toll instead of some of the Ulduar trinkets and have improved my DPS since ToC gear doesn’t have a lot of +hit on it. Because of this, I have a bank full of gear dating all the way back to Naxx (we are on 25/Heroic ToGC now). I slide the slider all the way to the right for the most thorough search.

– Make sure, make sure, make sure that all of your necessary stats are still soft/hard capped. For some reason, the DK bloke that sets the DK stat weights doesn’t like Expertise, maybe he is an Unholy DK, idk, but Rawr will dump you all the way to 0 Expertise if you don’t watch it on an optimize. I am sure there is a way to tweak this, I just haven’t found it yet. But if you use the pull down tab to select “focus on Expertise” is will max out your Expertise, so watch it.

– Rawr doesn’t use Epic gems, you have to turn them on. It uses the Rare gems as default gems.

– Something that I am in the works to figure out is Rawr can also optimize your Talent Build to tailor it to your gear, much in the same manner that it tailors your gear to your Talent Build.

– There are more ways to set priorities for Rawr than I know of. Guildies have told me that you can set it to maintain Hit soft cap or change it to Spell cap and the same with Expertise and any other stat. I am still learning the program, so I can’t tell you anymore than that.

– It works for tanking as well, although I have always been DPS, mostly Blood DPS, so I can’t comment on this feature, but I know our Tanks use it for their gear as well.

– One thing I use it for is for comparisons and inspections. I review all the DK apps to our Guild and I will pull them up on Rawr (from an Armory pull) and see how they compare to myself, as the Blood DK, and one of our other DKs that is Unholy and as geared as I am. This gives me an idea of the kind of DPS they can pull. Furthermore, I can look at their spec, on Armory as well as Rawr, and enter in changes so I can make recommendations on things they need to change, or in some cases spot improvements that I have implemented. You can also use this feature to see how changing you spec may improve or decrease your performance in case you were thinking about a respec.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to share some thoughts on this program.

7 10 2009

Another common adjustment that is required is to adjust your “lag” setting. This is really important as Rawr adjusts the haste value dependant on the lag you typically play with. As a quick rule of thumb – the higher your ping, the lower the benefit of haste.

7 10 2009
Pennelope Pennebaker

I can’t comment on the whole piece, because the egregious error in the second sentence compelled me to respond.

Rawr DOES NOT use stat weights.

Rawr still doesn’t use relative stat weights.
Tue at 12:03 PM

Astrylian is the main project leader, her most recent comment on stat weights was … last night.

Rawr examines your gear, calculates dps, hps, tps whatever, stores that number then substitutes another piece of available gear and recalculates. After the value for every slot and every available gear combination and every available gem is calculated, those values are optimized and the highest is presented to the user as an optimized gear set.

I think now that I won’t bother with reading the rest of the piece, because anyone who would make such a terrible error about the most fundamental aspect of Rawr is unqualified to give advice on it’s use.

7 10 2009

Thanks for the info, Pennelope. I’ve updated the post and hope it now makes more sense.

8 01 2010

Dear Pennelope Douchebag,

Chill the F out. You make it sound like the worst offense in the world to mistakenly think RAWR uses stat weights. You come across as a rude, snobbish e-peener.

There’s a lot of other good information about RAWR here. Stop stroking your ego and finish reading it.

2 08 2010

Please note, Pennelope was in part quoting Astrylian, project lead for Rawr.
Also, we get the stat weight issue over and over and over again. It’s just flat out wrong, and so many of us on staff have gotten a bit agro about the issue.

Rawr.Tank Dev
(And picking up Rawr.DPSDK now too.)

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