• Bares mostly like the taste of fase!


Swipe damage doubled. Kthxbai.

Yep, that’s about it. Looks pretty short compared to Reesi’s Bear Survival Guide to Patch 4.1, but that’s all that Blizzard has given to cats this patch. Well, we don’t need hit anymore to Skull Bash successfully, which is also pretty nice. So with this buff, we will likely be more competitive when it comes to AE DPS, and we should start using Swipe with less targets available to swipe. I haven’t been able to theorycraft at how many targets it would be worth switching over from tab dotting, but my gut feeling is 3 is a good number to start swiping.

There’s been some concerns that this change seems to good to be true and it is due a nerf, but I don’t really see it that way. Many other classes also received AE buffs, so this is definitely part of a larger AE DPS balancing. Nerfing this change would likely require nerfing all the other classes too, so I’d have to assume the developers have tested the new numbers and are more or less happy with them.. for now.

The Feral State of DPS, pre-4.1, was not as bad as some would like us to believe. Yes, according to few WOL ranking aggregator sites out there we are at the bottom of the melee pile, but it’s reallly not that bad since the entire melee pile is all within 5% of each other, meaning the melee DPS as a whole is fairly well balanced. A 5% difference between the top and the bottom is actually pretty good considering Blizzard’s track record. Of course, the big issue is the huge difference between the ranged and melee pile, which is a far bigger problem Blizzard needs to look at. With the Swipe change, I’d expect Feral Cats to close the 5% gap slightly. I’m concerned though, that some ranged DPS are also receiving AE buffs, which is likely to widen the gap between the ranged and the melee pile.

With the 4.1 release also comes a new release of Mew, updated to Mew-20110425. Major changes since last release:

  • Simulation Progress Bar updates now throttled to reduce system resource overhead
  • (4.1) Berserk is now off the GCD
  • Leafkiller’s optimized Cat Strategy is now available in Samples/universal1.script (please read this before using it)
  • Simulations now generates a Report Output, which can be copy and pasted

We have created a Google Discussion Group as the official feedback and support forum for Mew. We will continue to keep an eye on a few other forums and on my blog, but not as frequently. Also when reporting results of your own Simulation runs, please copy and paste the entire Report Output (from the Report tab) in your post. This will allow us to analyze your results better.

My Cat DPS Guide on the main forum isn’t fully updated yet, will get to it ASAP.

Mew and RSVs

April 17, 2011

Mew was recently updated to 20110412 last week. These were the major changes:

  • Dark Intent’s periodic damage increase is now 1/2/3% per 4.1 PTR patch notes.
  • Interrupts are reliable per 4.1 patch notes.
  • Simulation is now the default model for all new profiles.
  • The Simulator now allows for casting Rebirth/Tranquility durring the encounter.
  • Furor and Predator’s Swiftness are now modeled by the Simulator.
  • Spell Vulnerability/Haste/Crit Taken are specifiable buffs/debuffs (Mostly used for Tranquility/Rebirth, also affects certain trinkets).
  • New Simulator script calls getBerserkBaseDuration(), getEncounterDuration(), getElapsedTime(), and isAutoAttackEnabled()
  • New Simulator script actions AUTOATTACK_START, AUTOATTACK_STOP.
  • The Simulator now expects the script to manage the swing timer.
  • Formulation no longer uses Ferocious Bite at all over 25% mob HP.
  • New option that will cause Mew to model Glyph of Shred as +1/1/2 ticks.
  • BUG: Change potion cooldown. (Was 60 sec is now 120 sec, no DPS impact for encounter durations worth modeling.)
  • BUG: Apply the ToTT multiplier to trinket sourced damage procs. (DMC:H is still sub-par compared to other options.)
  • BUG: Stampede buff duration is now always 8 sec regardless of the number of points in the talent.
  • Numerous other internal changes, please see the SVN commit logs if you are curious.

A couple more 4.1 changes has not made it in yet but are fixed within SVN: Dark Intent bonus reduced to 3%, and Berserk is off the GCD now. At the moment Yawning is looking at updating the Pivot UI to allow the use of the Mew Bear Simulations while I’m doing some work on improving the backend and writing a Chardev importer.

A few weeks ago, I’ve reported that Glyph of Berserk is now better than Glyph of Tiger’s Fury. We’ve since discovered that we could push a little more DPS by expending energy instead of pooling energy while Tiger’s Fury is up. This increases the value of the Glyph of Tiger’s Fury to the point where it gives slightly more DPS than Glyph of Berserk, but it is all very dependent on the duration of the encounter. Some encounter durations favor Glyph of Berserk, but overall, Glyph of Tiger’s Fury is a slight win. However, I would continue to recommend Glyph of Berserk over Glyph of Tiger’s Fury because of the extra utility it gives during encounters that feature burn phases – and the majority of encounters this tier do.

Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of questions asked about the Relative Stat Values (RSV) produced by Mew. There has been weird RSV results obtained, and I’ve found that in just about all cases, this is caused by running Mew Simulation with insufficient iterations. The default 10k iterations is sufficient to test if one strategy is better than another, or if changing a piece of gear gives any improvement in performance. However, for the purpose of generating RSVs, I would recommend using 1 million iterations.

When Mew Simulation reports DPS results and RSV results, it gives the corresponding 95% confidence limits for the result too. For example if Mew reports “DPS: 22000.00 +/- 10.0″, it means that we are 95% confident that the true mean lies between 21990 and 22010. Running more iterations will reduce the error and give us a mean value that would be more accurate. Running 10k iterations, we are looking at RSVs having values like “Hit Rating: 0.9500 +/- 0.15″, and you can see that the error is unacceptably large to the point where it is being useless to compare against something like “Crit Rating: 1.05 +/- 0.15″. In order for Crit Rating is better than Hit Rating with statistical significance (95% confidence), the RSV measured for Crit Rating needs to be 0.15 * SQRT(2) = 0.212 more than that of Hit Rating. Increasing the number of iterations by 100 times to 1million will reduce the Error by 10 times, to ~0.015 requiring 0.0212 difference in RSV, which is far more acceptable.

We know that Mastery is the best secondary stat, so that will always be the priority. Haste and Critical Strike Rating are sort of the joint second-best, so with the help of Kurenin, I’ve prepared 3 different E359 BIS profiles: Haste Oriented, Crit Oriented, Balanced. These are the results:

Haste Oriented Crit Oriented Balanced Error
DPS 23491.0 23562.6 23528.8 +/- 1.2
Agility 3.023 3.021 3.021 +/- 0.016
Strength 2.266 2.280 2.274 +/- 0.016
Mastery Rating 1.140 1.178 1.162 +/- 0.016
Crit Rating 1.049 1.020 1.035 +/- 0.016
Haste Rating 0.944 1.094 1.160 +/- 0.016
Hit Rating 0.979 0.988 0.981 +/- 0.016
Expertise Rating 0.971 0.978 0.973 +/- 0.016

The error of +/- 0.016 means we require a difference of 0.023 to confirm (with 95% confidence) that one stat is statistically better than another stat.

The results of the Haste-Oriented Profile are not unexpected – Over-pushing Haste Rating causes the value of Haste Rating to fall even below the values of Hit Rating and Expertise Rating. In the Crit-Oriented Profile, Haste Rating’s value increases and is now better than Crit Rating while still belong lower than Mastery Rating.

It is the Balanced Profile that is giving surprising results. It would have been expected that the Balanced  Profile provides the highest DPS, where Haste Rating and Crit Rating should have similar values. Instead Haste Rating’s value has been pushed up to the point of being statistically similar as Mastery Rating, while the overall DPS has dropped to below that of the Crit-Oriented Profile.

This is all rather strange and I have not yet worked out the reason for this. It would probably take a few more profiles with varying levels of Crit/Haste balance to get a better picture, but this will take a lot to do. Furthermore I’ve just realized that the profiles had Glyph of Tiger’s Fury instead of Glyph of Berserk which may affect the results. Also, I’m using a newer (unreleased) version of Mew that has the 4.1 Berserk changes in. I’m also looking into testing E372 profiles too.

So much work, so little time….

I’ve been updating my Bear Spreadsheet periodically since I first posted it up. Mainly bug fixes and updating with newly available information, but very little new features. Well, I’ve recently added a couple of new features, they are not quite polished yet and are not absolutely accurate, but good enough to give us some insight.

The first item is a basic model for Vengeance decay. This is pretty tricky because Vengeance decays in two ways. Basically, the first time you receive Vengeance, it will tick every 2 seconds. If within the last 2 seconds you were never attacked at all, then Vengeance decays by 10% of the highest value of Vengeance achieved. If you were attacked (whether successfully or not), Vengeance decays by 5% of current Vengeance, and adds 5% of total damage received during the 2 seconds.

Modeling Vengeance decay is easy enough if the boss is attacking you every 2s or faster, and if we assume that each hit will take you to the Vengeance Cap. Vengeance should average out to .95 ^ (mean_time_between_successful_attacks / 2)  It gets trickier when the boss attacks slower than 2s where there is a possibility that the 2s window may pass without a boss attack. Assuming the boss always hits, the average vengeance is 1 – .1 * (boss_atttack_speed – 2)

Of course, the boss doesn’t always hit, so the two equations have to be combined, and I do not have any idea on how to do that correctly. Currently, I simply add the two decays together, which will inflate the decay quite a bit because of double counting. Until I know of a better solution, this will have to do for now. If there are any mathematics experts out there that can solve this, I would really appreciate your help.

The other new feature is the addition of a Threat Per Second model. There’s been some interest in this, especially with the changes in 4.1, and I got quite a bit of help from Arielle on this. The rotation modeling is not perfect – it assumes a fixed 18s rotation and doesn’t quite take into account misses messing with the rotation, but I think it’s sufficiently good enough to get good insight out of the resulting stat values. And wow, does Hit and Expertise Rating really pwnfase. I hope you find it useful. I’ve been tempted to collect another set of feral gear for the purpose of maximizing DPS in farmed content and heroic dungeons… well, someone has to do the DPS in those random heroics while carrying scrub ‘damage dealers’.

Of course, the obvious solution to the two problems above is to Simulate instead of Formulate. This has always been the goal eventually, using Mew as the framework to perform Simulations to discover our best TPS priority system and expected TPS, and can easily model our vengeance decay too. I just haven’t found the time to work on that myself… but guess what? Yawning!

Apparently Yawning has been bored lately, so it was pretty easy for Arielle and myself to con tempt Yawning (with the promise of Qtpis) to do some work on Mew’s Bear Model, and boy, did he take up the challenge with renewed vigor! There’s been quite some work on it, all of it is in SVN, if any of you are so inclined to check it out and build it yourself. It may be a couple of weeks before we are ready to update the UI to support it, with the help of Ceridan who has joined the Mew team to help out on UI. If you are interested in helping to develop for Mew, please let me know, we could certainly use some help!

Meanwhile, we owe Yawning a Qtpi or two… if any of you are a Qtpi and would like to volunteer, please drop a message in comment, thanks!