Thursday, November 15, 2007

Somebody Stop Me

I think perhaps Someone already did. And Aerislan.

Lemme 'splain...

In my approach to 70, I've started getting the gear itch. Normally we treat that with some gold bond powder, but I'm going to treat it with some math. Gear is starting to be less throw-away now that 70 is just a few ticks away. I'm trying to learn how to do some analysis to form a goal-oriented gear progression strategy. How's that for a Dilbert-type statement?

I shared some thoughts about [Skyforged Great Axe] and [Survivalist's Pike]. Specifically wanting to trash [Survivalist's Pike] and farm mats for [Skyforged Great Axe] and find a Blacksmith to craft it.

Someone and Aerislan pointed out some compelling reasons for me to re-think my choice.

Firstly, you need to be a Master Axesmith to weild Skyforged Great Axe, so the whole conversation is a completely moot issue.

But for the sake of learning how to think this stuff out, I'm going to start off with sharing with you the semi-detailed and hugely faulty logic behind my original choice between the two weapons...

First thing I looked at is the effort/cost to obtain each.

Survivalist's Pike - (A) I already have it, so no effort to obtain. (B) If I didn't have it, just an easy quest that's not too time consuming.

Skyforged Great Axe - Lets pretend you don't need to be a Master Axesmith, because I really don't want to analyze the effort and cost of reaching a sufficient level of Blacksmithing and getting the recipe and such and so forth. That's actually an infinite cost, because you can have my dual gathering profs when you pry them from my cold dead hands, axe or no axe. At least for now, so bring up the profs to me again when I'm in a better mood, and maybe I'll consider crafting. But not yet.

Pretend for the sake of the argument that the Axe is, as I had originally figured, something that I'll farm the mats for and then locate a blacksmith to craft it.

The materials necessary are:
20xAdamantite Bar
6xPrimal Air

I'm a miner, so I can farm the adamantite, and I'll have to find mobs to kill for the motes of air. I think I found some of those dropping in Nagrand, but I'd have to check up on that for a place with a good drop rate. Basically, for me, it'll be opportunity cost of NOT selling these mats, rather than gold out of my pocket to purchase them, but either way...

I checked the AH on my server wednesday morning, and here's what I found:

20xAdamantite Bar = 23g79s

And the real fun...

1xPrimal Air = 26g0s
6xPrimal Air = 156g0s

So the opportunity cost for the raw mats is 179g79s. And just for good measure, since I already have the Pike, I'd be selling it to a vendor in this scenario, so that'll reclaim 7g90s which will bring the total down to 171g89s.

Now, something I'm deliberately leaving out is the fact that I'd have to spend a TON of time farming the 60 motes of air. So there's the intangible cost of my time in there. But there's also a TON of other stuff I'd collect and sell along the way. The only place that I've encountered motes of air so far, sorta central Nagrand, also happens to be a hugely productive herbing and mining area, so perhaps would make the effort actually a net profit on gold, and then be faced only with my intangible time expense. But moving along...

A bit pricey, but if the stat improvements were suitable, I'll eat the 171g cost without batting an eye.

Now we're moving out of my comfort zone (collecting herbs/minerals and reaping nice profits) and into my house of pain...the mathematics behind various stats on WoW equipment.

AND remember that I'm trying to share my thoughts when I first came up with this cockamamie idea. So you need to put yourself in my head, and not in your head where this stuff makes sense. And also, this is a point in time when I don't have the nice comments you've all since provided on my first blog post, which actually spell some of it out for me. SO...back to when I started out...

Survivalist's Pike (uncommon)
172-259 Damage - Speed 3.20
(67.3 DPS)
+21 agi
+30 sta
+20 int
Equip: +40 ap

Skyforged Great Axe (rare)
213-321 Damage - Speed 3.40
(78.5 DPS)
Equip: +80 ap
Equip: +35 crit

So how the hell do I compare these? RatingBuster has been suggested. I'll install that when I get a chance, but I didn't have it at the time.

I'll try to be overly verbose and explicit, to (A) bore you, and (B) let you follow my thought process so you can show me where I go wrong.

Since I don't really know where to start with the comparison, I start by eliminating variables. The first one is the damage of the weapon itself. I assume this means the damage that it inflicts when swung at an enemy in melee combat, and does not impact my ranged damage fired from my gun. I'm a Beast Master and stay the F out of melee pretty much all the time. Even more so with the tiny dead zone. So I'm going to ignore this stat. Does this damage number have any bearing on my ranged attacks via gun?

Looking over the rest of the stats, I still don't know where to start, so I start with things easy to compare to eachother. Hmmmm...looks like both bring a bonus to my attack power, so that's easy to compare. Hey, cool. I can do that. +80 is better than +40. And I can even quantitatively say its twice the bonus. Look at me...doing math..w00t!!! Based on this, I gave one point to the Axe. Axe 1, Pike 0.

Ok, that's where ez mode ends. Now we're into the real fun.

This is where my quantitative capabilities end. Now I'm purely into intuitive mode.

Please feel free to tear me apart on this next section. The real thing that I'd love is if some readers could direct me to a place that will let me learn about this, rather than just spell it out for me (ie, help me skill up my fishing, don't just mail me a stack of winter squid).

So I know that I like critical hits. +crit sure sounds like it'll improve that. I also have some idea that +agi helps my crit but I have no idea how much. So looking at the +35 crit and the +21 agi, my gut instinct (probably wrong) is telling me that the 35 is better than the 21, both because its a bigger number, and also because it directly involves crit, so I'm assuming it will improve my bottom line more. Point goes to the axe. Axe 2, Pike 0.

Intellect...Not sure what this guy does for me other than increase my mana pool. Ok, I like that. More mana means more special shots. With aspect of the viper, I've been feeling OK on mana though, so I'm not overly concerned with the +20 the Pike gives me. I'll give the pike a halfzie for this one. Axe 2, Pike .5.

And lastly stamina. I like the stamina for me a little bit. How much? I dunno, because I do my best to avoid getting hit. Doesnt always work, but I like my attacks better. BUT, poor little Ruby, my pet, she takes quite a beating. Whether main tanking for me when I solo, or off-tanking for poorly tanked groups who focus threat on one target and let mobs spank my healers regularly, she is begging me for stamina.

Ok, so I know stamina is good, but I have no idea what is a good target number of overall stamina to shoot for. Since its confusing me, I'll consider it a wash and move on. I'm willing to bet that's a bad idea, but oh well. Point goes to the Pike. Axe 2, Pike 1.5.

So that's sort of the inner thoughts of why I originally chose the Axe as the target of my desire. Hugely faulty logic. Perhaps a bit of blue-ism mixed in there. So maybe I gave a half point to the axe, just for being blue, and because i'm a n00b who does stuff like that. Axe 2.5, Pike 1.5.

Now I've got to read and re-read all the comments to my previous post and see if I can make heads or tails of this.


Someone said...

Sounds pretty logical explanation!

As for teaching, there's no better place than the Wiki: Formulas and Game Mechanics. Sure, it may be a bit overwhelming, but if you focus on what you need, you'll find it there!

Of especial good value, you'll find some AGIlity comparison tables, e.g., how much AGI you need for 1% crit or 1% dodge. And much, much more...

But, installing *and* configuring RatingBuster will do the trick in-game in a much nicer way. (And don't despair: the "configuring" part is just selecting what stats you want it to summarize, such as RAP, HP, Mana, Ranged Crit %, etc, etc).

Solsikke said...

A very easy way of quick comparing in the game is getting a mod from wowace called HunterAEP. It calculates a items value to you in points and when doing a roll you can quickly see if the thing is better for you. Ofc it's not flawless and you might have to adjust the numbers in the addon to your own preference, but for quick and easy comparing it's really neat. Good luck on your weapon hunt!

Aerislan said...

I wasn't meaning to insult your intelligence or anything like that. Rather than make a huge comment with 200 links I'll (/gasp) resurrect my blog (I closed it and I'll explain why) and post what I feel are decent, somewhat easily attainable gear upgrades for the "not-quite 70" to 70 hunters that don't involve heroics or raids to obtain. The axe would have been a really sweet upgrade were it no for the master axesmith requirement.

Aerislan said...

P.S. @someone: How do I get a picture to show up with my comments?!

Sebulon said...

Hey again Amava, seems like I'm commenting ur posts backwrds but... :)

Bigredkitty has alot of info on gear and what he thinks u need, also being a BM.

some base numbers (taken from memory so there might be some incorrectness but nothing eartstopping).

14 RAP=1 dps
20 crit rating =1% increase in crit %atge
1 Agi=1 RAP (i.e 14 AGI=1 dps)
Agi also effects armor and dodge and crit
40 Agi = 1% more crit
1 stam=20 HP

I might forget some but these are the basics.