Theorycrafting in Schools

I think it’s a great idea. Kids always complain about not seeing the real-world application of higher math, why not use video games as the learning platform?

OK, it’s a stretch to use WoW as a “real life” application for math, but have you seen some of the stuff people do in the name of theorycrafting?

Example that is full of outdated information:

I get all warm and fuzzy looking at the charts and formulas, so pretty…

Anyway, today’s post contains math; math which I cannot claim credit or blame for… which is really why I’m putting this out here. It kinda makes sense to me, but so does theorycrafting in schools so I should probably get some more opinions.

The other day I happened across this post on DPS and damage:, which creepily enough, came 2 days after I had a very similar conversation with our DK tank. Global consciousness at work. Get out of my head!

Many players advertise their DPS as “proof” of ability. But where does it stand against total damage dealt? I believe the tank and I run on similar thought tracks that no one player (especially in 5-man content) is brought solely for bosses and no one is brought solely for trash, everyone can and should be contributing something the entire run. Besides, Fan of Knives makes a really cool noise; Blizzard should reduce the energy cost on it so our rogue can spam it.

For the sake of brevity, I won’t be talking about the impact of utility. We all know that spellstealing, counterspelling, kicking, whatever you do takes away from DPS. But I don’t want to get that complicated.

I sent the tank the following stats from a heroic Utgarde Keep run that he and I had PuGed, taken stright from my Recount data:

  • Arcane Mage – 1636656 damage, 27.3% of total damage dealt, 2392.6 DPS
  • DK DPS – 1565409 damage, 26.1% of total damage dealt, 2123.4 DPS
  • Ret Pally – 1377483 damage, 23% of total damage dealt, 1929.4 DPS
  • DK Tank – 1369650 damage, 22.8% of total damage dealt, 1578.9 DPS
  • Holy Pally – 45774 damage, 0.8% of total damage dealt, 68.1 DPS

In this sampling, all of the DPS classes have access to AoE abilities and UK isn’t really that heavy on AoE trash pulls, so we should be vaguely equal in that regard. Most mobs are up long enough for everyone to get a shot in on them, unlike say CoS, where the little zombies die as soon as they hit the tank’s Death and Decay or Consecrate and I don’t get any credit for them. The damage done by the healer is inconsequential, we promptly ignored it.

The first thing we noticed is that the ret pally had a much higher DPS than the tank (1929.4 to 1578.9), but only dealt 0.2% more of the damage. This makes us very suspicious of the DPS numbers. The tank started chewing on the numbers and came up with the concept of “real DPS” using the tank as a baseline.

Math Section!

Using the tank’s percentage of damage as the base, he proposed that the ret pally had a “real DPS” value of 1592.75.

Formula: (Ret Pally’s % of damage / Tank’s % of damage) * Tank’s DPS = “real DPS”
(23 / 22.8) * 1578.9 = 1592.75

Suddenly the DPS lines up to be more what was expected when comparing the total percentage of damage done.

Following the formula, we end up with the following stats:

  • Arcane Mage – 1890.53 “real DPS”
  • DK DPS – 1807.43 “real DPS”
  • Ret Pally – 1592.75 “real DPS”
  • DK Tank – 1578.9 base DPS

Taking it even further, he calculated “fight uptime” percentage for each of us. We assume that the tank is in the fight 100% of the time and his DPS serves as both his own “real DPS” and the DPS from the meter. This lead him to:

Formula: “real DPS” / meter DPS = “fight uptime”
1592.75 / 1929.4 = 82% “fight  uptime”

For the party it loos like this:

  • Arcane Mage – 79%
  • DK DPS – 85%
  • Ret Pally – 82%
  • DK Tank – 100%

We think my “fight uptime” is lower since I am the most likely to pull aggro I have to be a little more cautious than the plate-wearers and, like most casters, I get a lot of “your target is dead” messages when the melee gets a string of crits right at the end. The problem gets worse as there are fewer mobs in a pack to target, I only have so many instants to cast but they never run out of auto attacks. And there’s always a fight or two where I linger over my nummy mana strudel for just one more tick before joining the fray.

It makes sense to me. But I also put ketchup on fried chicken and have been told that I’m bizarre for doing so. Is there a correlation between trusting math and applying condiments to poultry? I’m not sure.

The real ramification for us on this is that we generally have one person in the group with decent DPS, but does *so* much less overall damage than the tank. The pattern continues across different instances, so it shouldn’t be attributable to, “well, that class just has it rough in [name of instance].” If this “real DPS” thing is a sound calculation, we can start using it to better assess an individual’s ability instead of a raw DPS score.

I would love to see some responses about these calculations. “Real DPS” yay or nay? Ketchup on chicken yay or nay?


3 comments on “Theorycrafting in Schools

  1. repgrind says:

    Mayonnaise on chicken. I’m not very good with math though.


  2. Darraxus says:

    I think that the reason you see the decent dps and the low output has to do with the amount of time they spend in the fight. If you have someone who is lurking and looting while you are killing, they may have more dps but having done that damage in less seconds.


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