RAWR!

Posted in Feral, Technical on Mar 13, 2008

If you’re at all like me, you must agonize over what particular trinkets to use and when, which gems would best suit your current build or raid position, and how exactly to tune your DPS set so you can buff your groups and still churn out the numbers. As any good tank knows, there isn’t ever one set of gear to rule them all—a solid base of (generally) tier gear and an assortment of interchangeable accessories can optimize you for maximum threat generation, dodge, damage soak, or overall survivability.

 

 

That being said, I’m well aware there are mods such as EquipCompare that are specifically created to help tanks and other numbers crunchers get the most out of their gear, and various spreadsheets created by intrepid players, like SuraBear’s ThreatCalculator or Phae’s Trinket Comparison. Unlike some people, I’m not a fan of having eight billion mods that will inevitably reset at an inconvenient moment or after a crash, and when I open up a spreadsheet and start seeing numbers swimming in front of my face, I’m alternately boggled or gripped by the rigor mortis of high school statistics memories. Astrylian of Whisperwind (US) has somehow foreseen my woeful mathematical skills (and everyone else’s) and created a mastermind of a program called Rawr. Updated frequently, as soon as new information about abilities, coefficients and gear becomes available, Rawr allows druids to import their armory information and view exactly how their gear fares compared to the “best” out there—and offers intuitive suggestions on what will improve it.

 

“Radtacular!” I thought, mulling over my recent upgrades and deciding how best to enchant them. “Why don’t I check this out?” I downloaded the program this morning and found that it was entirely more easy to use than I’d anticipated and that it offered gemming and chanting advice, options that allowed you to customize what buffs you’d be wearing and what auras would be affecting you, what particular chants you already have or want to change, and, in the case of cat DPS, whether or not your powershifting and when. Every piece of information available about your gear and the gear you could have (including items available in 2.4) has been broken down into how it will factor into your combat: what your approximate avoided attacks will be, what your white and yellow damage might be, and even an estimate of overall DPS based on properly utilized rotations. Wowzers. Let’s take a look at how it works, using my less than optimal DPS gear as an example:

Here we’re looking at my helm, the Mask of the Deceiver, and where it stands in terms of DPS as compared to other leather items available. Clearly, it’s not that awesome, but until just yesterday I had my T4 gear gemmed for tanking. Now that I’ve replaced my gloves and helm with T6, I can re-gem the Stag-Helm of Malorne for DPS and utilize the two-piece energy bonus appropriately (until I can get my grubby paws on the Cursed Vision of Sargeras). Rawr is showing me where I stand in terms of overall damage (as indicated by the purple), and even how I can improve my particular piece of gear by gemming it differently—if you notice, Mask of the Deceiver is listed again beneath the one I have highlighted, but it’s gemmed in an (arguably) inferior fashion.

 

Now let’s take a look at what Rawr does for tanking. I’ve loaded Runyarusco’s armory profile into the interface (so it’s whatever bear gear I had on) and ticked off the raid buffs I’d be using under the “Buffs” tab. Here’s what I get:

Rawr once again shows me where I stand in terms of overall survivability, but I can use the “Sort” function at the top to show pure mitigation stats or pure survivability stats. The red part of the bar graph represents the amount of mitigation stats the item possesses while the blue portion represents the survivability an item’s stats possess. I had initially been uncertain whether or not I wanted to socket the Thunderheart Cover with AGI/STA gems for mitigation, as I’m generally of the more STA the better! camp, but after using this program and sorting items based on overall survivability (the sum total of the survivability and mitigation stats), I seem to be somewhat justified in my assertions.

 

Essentially, Astrylian has provided us druids with an incredibly accessible interface that utilizes spreadsheet data provided by a myriad array of theorycrafters, and I highly recommend that anyone interested in maximizing their tanking or DPS gear download it. No, seriously. Do it. My only real complaint is that it seems a little buggy; if I switch between “Bear” and “Cat” mode too often, the program crashes and I need to restart it. Fortunately, you can save your profile for quick loading later.

 

If only I could keep track of all my trinkets.

 

 

3 Comments

  • At 2008.03.13 17:05, Phaelia said:

    Great review. Rawr looks like an amazing application! Ferals (and Boomkin) are so lucky.

    • At 2008.03.14 06:22, Syll said:

      Wow! Thanks much for this review! Does it apply for resto drus? Either way, I’m posting it to bring it to the attention of my guildies. =)

      • At 2008.03.14 07:56, Runycat said:

        @Syll
        Hey, no problemo. It’s been an exceptional too so far, and I’ve only been using it for what, a day and a half? Right now it’s configured for cat, bear, boomkin, mages and warlocks, and I know that the author of the program is looking to expand that. I have a feeling there may be some restoration spreadsheet data in the works, but right now it’s not functional for trees. Leave Astrylian some feedback and see what happens! Thanks for reading.

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