I’m back! After a long vacation and a subsequent holiday, I am back to blogging full time. Although I got one blog in on the couch while my parents watched some football, I really have not had much time for my blog. Well with the holidays gone, and the next one 24 days away, I have a few weeks of solid posts regarding my favorite flavors of the month. The Christmas Tree is up, I am back to work, and I am back to blogging! I wanted to talk a bit about a spreadsheet I have been developing.
Creating a user friendly interface
After breaking down all of the information that went into Theck’s new formula, it is now time to deal with real world application, sure the calculations and derivations that it took to get to those last three formulas, with all of the variables defined are interesting, however most of us do not see the Matrix as code, we just want something simple and easy to work with to understand if we should swap out a gear set in between fights. This is where I come in. I have begun to create a spreadsheet that the greater community can use to evaluate gear choices, and I wanted to discus it in further detail here so that people know what it is about and have the opportunity to provide feedback before its grand unveiling.
This is my first draft of the UI. It is a basic excel spreadsheet with the formulas already built in. It provides descriptions for all of the fields that you need to fill in and will export the final values to specific fields with in the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is color coded to allow for a “gear evaluations for dummies” type feel. The pink (because we are paladins) is all of the information that you should get from both your character screen during a raid, as well as WWS, WOL, etc parses. The green cells are values that you must input in order to give you the calculation’s results, and the yellow cells are constants that MAY be changed but are pretty standard for normal gearing, raid buffs, and consumables. It is also important to note that I kept the yellow cells visible so that other tank classes could alter those values based on their talents, racial abilities, etc and still use the tool.
I just want to also provide the disclaimer that I am by no means an excel genius. In fact, I am no where near the expert levels of the program, however I do use spreadsheets on a daily basis at my job and I like them to be formatted, user friendly, and overall specific to the task at hand. So please be gentle when critiquing the simplistic nature of the sheet, as it only provides relative information for quick evaluation in between pulls and nothing more.
How to use the spreadsheet
There are three specific things that this spreadsheet can tell you, and all of them require a bit more interpretation once you have gotten the information that it provides. I would like to go over each of these important pieces of information one by one and tell you what they are and what we can do with our new found information.
Definitions up front:
X – Percent of total damage taken which was from Bleed Damage
Y – Percent of total damage taken which was from Magic Damage
H – Your total raid buffed health value
A – Your total raid buffed armor
Ma – Your total raid buffed reduction in incoming damage from Armor
Effective Health Calculator
The first and foremost thing that this spreadsheet gives you is an absolute value for your effective health which accounts for physical, bleed, and magic damage. This number is relative to the gear you are wearing, the encounter you are tanking, and all of the talents, consumables, and buffs that you have. When you input all of the values that are required by the spreadsheet, H, A, X, Y, and Ma, you will get a number at the bottom. This is your effective health. This value alone does not really give you much information, but what it does give you is a starting point.
What you should do with this information is compare it with different gear choices, armor and stamina values, as well as resistances to establish mathematically which gear set is the best set for a given encounter. Which ever set gives you the highest effective health value is the one that you should be wearing for a given encounter with set X and Y values. As each encounter has different X and Y values, your evaluations have to be done on a boss by boss basis.
Change in Stamina and Change in Armor Calcuators
The second thing that the spreadsheet will calculate for you is a change in stamina. We all know that the general rule for the stamina to armor ratio is that 1 stamina is roughly equal to 11.7 armor. However how do we evaluate this ratio with the new understanding of relative X and Y values during a given fight. The relative benefit we see from armor changes as X and Y increase, and this calculator will tell you what change in armor is required to give you the same effective health benefit as a similar change in Stamina. Specifically, if you know the relative X and Y values for a fight, and you want to compare pieces, you can plug in the change in Stamina and Armor of a given slot into the spreadsheet and it will give you relative values of the counter part which would provide the same amount of effective health.
To provide you with an example, If you wanted to check to see if a bonus armor piece of gear was as good as that piece with 15 more stamina, you would input your relative values of X and Y into the spread sheet and then type 15 into the dS (or change in Stamina) cell on the spreadsheet and the spreadsheet would output the relative amount of armor required to equal 15 stamina with respect to effective health. This is a powerful tool when assembling gear sets for progression content, where surviving burst is your most important job.
The third thing that the spreadsheet does is the exact mirror of the evaluation above. It will calculate a change in armor and give you its relative stamina value for any given fight, provided that you input X and Y values. So, you can see how much stamina a given piece of gear has to have to eclipse the bonus armor that you have on another piece.
As you can see, all of these calculations are relative, and they do not provide absolute answers, but guidelines. You can not type a few values into the spreadsheet and get out a best in slot, time to live gear set. This is a very specific tool for a very specific, however powerful, purpose. It will allow you to compare gear sets for given fights to tell you which one will provide you with the most effective health for surviving burst. It will also provide you with modified Stamina to Armor ratios for any fight, accounting for all magical and bleed damage that you take. And it will give you everything you need to understand if you can survive the burst that just killed you by swapping gear.
However, it is important to understand that if you provide the wrong data for the specific required fields, it will provide you with the wrong answer. You must evaluate where you want to obtain X and Y from the parses, and use the correct situations and values in order to get the proper outcome. If you do this, it will help you immensely in your struggles to get past tank checks, but only if you select the correct values.