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Thread: Using SimulationCraft

  1. #1
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    Using SimulationCraft

    SimCraft is a deceptively simple program that seems to frustrate a lot of people trying to use it. Some of the problems range from the inability to get it to work at all, to getting extremely unreliable results because of using it incorrectly.

    All of this assumes you have downloaded the GUI version of SimCraft and are using it. While the command line version works just fine, this is aimed at the more lay user. The current release version is available from: http://code.google.com/p/simulationcraft/downloads/list

    Also, I am not a developer of SimC, just a fan. While I'm happy to help with basic troubleshooting (via PM), any bugs should be reported to: http://code.google.com/p/simulationcraft/issues/list

    The Basics: This will take your current character and generate an output of your theoretical optimal output based on the default rotation in SimC.
    • 1. Open Simulationcraft.exe
      2. Go to the Import Tab, the default should be Battle.net, if that is not selected, go to it. Type in your characters name in the browser that pops up and find your character in the drop down list.
      3. Wait till the load bar in the bottom right of the screen is at 100%, then click import.
      [Note: this will import your character exactly, make sure you are in the correct gear/spec if you want accurate results.]
      4. This will generate a large text output, for basic users you can ignore this entirely. DO NOT HIT SIMULATE YET.
      5. Go to Options>Globals. There are a fairly large number of options here.
      - Version: When the PTR is up and there is a current PTR version of SimC working, you can select between the two, or run a comparison sim of both. This should usually be set to Live.
      - Iterations: This is the number of times SimC will simulate your character using the parameters you set. To get accurate stat weights, you should select 10,000.
      - Length: The duration of the fight in seconds
      - Vary Length: Randomly varies the duration of fight that will be simulated within the ranges shown. Varying fight durations will make sure you don't end up with "sweet spots" with regards to your dot durations or cooldowns lining up perfectly.
      - Adds: This generates additional mobs in the encounter, this is recommended OFF for most simulations.
      - Fight Style: SimC can simulate different types of fights, the default should be Patchwerk (tank and spank.) If you want to simulate heavy movement in a fight to see where your stats may vary, you can select Helter Skelter. For basic users, Patchwerk is recommended.
      - Target Race: Default is Humanoid, this is irrelevant for Elemental Shaman, but some classes have/had bonuses to other targets.
      - Player Skill: This setting attempts to model imperfect play. An Elite player always hits their rotation 100% perfectly. The other levels will model clipping spells and basic focus related mistakes. For the sake of modeling accurately, you should leave this on Elite.
      - Threads: This will determine the speed that SimC runs but is limited by your system. If you know you have a multicore processor, it can make use of up to 8 threads. If you do not, or are unsure, leave it at 1.
      - Smooth RNG: To generate simulations, SimC generates "seeds." Selecting this function will force a normalized distribution rather than truly random performance. This function is mostly irrelevant for your basic user.
      - Armory Region: Default is US, select another region if your character is not on a US server.
      - Armory Spec: This will tell the Sim to use the spec you are not logged out in. Useful if you are using SimC away from home and can't log out properly.
      - Generate Debug: This should be Disabled normally. This is only useful if you are reporting bugs to the SimC devs.
      6. Options>Buffs/Debuffs: Select the Buffs/Debuffs you want active in the Sim in their respective tabs. For an accurate Sim, use the buffs/debuffs you are most likely to have available.
      7. Options>Scaling: Select the stats you'd like to have stat weights generated for. Note that it will do this based on your next stat weight using only your current gear level. Use these intelligently, there are levels where an additional point of a stat might be worth more than others.
      8. Options>Plots: This will generate a line graph for the selected stats so you can see the impact of adding X more of a given stat and where the relative stat weights will move. This is useful to see if your generated stat weights are inflated because of a spike in a stat value (maybe adding an extra tick to Flame Shock, etc.)
      [NOTE: This will greatly increase the length of time it takes to generate your report. If you want to quickly generate a report, or generate multiples, these should probably be left off unless you are making specific use of them.]
      9. Go to the Simulate tab. You will see the text that were used when you imported, at the bottom right, click Simulate. This will take some time, be patient.
      10. Once the Simulation is finished, it should take you to the final tab and let you browse the results. Congratulations, you have finished your first Sim!.

  2. #2
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    Re: Using SimCraft

    Other more advanced functions

    All of these assume you know how to use the basic functions already.

    Using an alternate profile:

    Why?: You might want to try and generate a BiS list for yourself, you may want to test out gear upgrades before you get them. Whatever your reason, this is how you do it.

    1. Go to Import. There are a variety of options to import from.
    -CharDev: A 3rd party site that SimC recently teamed up with. Significant development time has been dedicate to create compatibility, if you are concerned with
    -Rawr: Will use a character you've already created using Rawr. You will need to know where you saved it on your own computer to use it.
    - BiS: There is some confusion about what exactly this profile is. The SimC devs have created default profiles for each class/spec. These are not infallible. These are best estimates of what the BiS list for a given class looks like, if you can generate a better one using the SimC Patchwerk defaults report it to the developers via the Issues link in the OP.
    - History: Allows you to quickly pull up a profile you've already used. Useful if you don't want to keep using Battle.net to find your profiles.

    2. Click Import.

    Changing the default rotation

    1. Import your desired profile.

    2. In the Simulate panel, there will be a large amount of text, find the section that has:
    Code:
    actions+=/food,type=seafood_magnifique_feast
    actions+=/flametongue_weapon,weapon=main
    actions+=/lightning_shield
    actions+=/mana_spring_totem
    actions+=/wrath_of_air_totem
    actions+=/snapshot_stats
    actions+=/volcanic_potion,if=!in_combat
    3. SimC follows the action list set in order of availability. The default list will tell it to drop totems and then follow the accepted rotation. You can edit it by moving actions+ up and down the list. Nothing should be below Lightning Bolt on the list unless you don't want it to ever get used unless Lightning Bolt cannot (out of mana, for instance.)

    4. For an example of editing a priority, we'll use the Earth Shock logic:

    Code:
    actions+=/earth_shock,if=buff.lightning_shield.stack=9
    This default line tells the program to Earth Shock anytime there are 9 stacks of Lightning Shield. Using the default it will never Shock at 7 or 8.

    Example alterations:
    Code:
    actions+=/earth_shock,if=buff.lightning_shield.stack>=8
    This tells it to shock if there are 8 or more charges.

    Code:
    actions+=/earth_shock,if=buff.lightning_shield.stack>=8&dot.flame_shock.remains>=5.0
    This will tell it to Earth Shock only if there are more than 8 charges and there is more than 5 seconds left on Flame Shock.

    The options are pretty endless, but syntax is very important. Note in the example, I use "&" rather than a second "if=". SimC will treat two "if=" statements separated by a comma as OR rather than AND, causing it to fire on either condition rather than on both.

  3. #3
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    Re: Using SimCraft

    Known Issues with SimulationCraft
    - Trinkets are usually the last thing to get updated in a new release. You can check uptime and such in the report. Generally, the more complicated the trinket, the less likely it is to be 100% accurate. Simple "click this for a stat" and "proc this stats for X seconds." usually work just fine, provided they follow conventional CD rules.
    - Use trinkets will be used on cooldown unless you specify otherwise. Sometimes this is not optimal usage of click trinkets and may skew the value. Use your judgment before making rash gear decisions on otherwise tiny SimC result differences.
    - You need to manually download new versions relatively frequently. The developers are quick to fix bugs, but a new release will not always come out immediately. If you are proficient enough to use an SVN client, you can get instant updates, otherwise you'll have to wait.
    For help with doing a manual build: http://code.google.com/p/simulationcraf ... HowToBuild

  4. #4

    Re: Using SimCraft

    Great post.

  5. #5

    Re: Using SimCraft

    How do you generate the simulation if you pull the character information from CharDev instead? (It's not letting me load my character from bnet currently.)
    Armory: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/characte...image/advanced
    "My only enemy is time." - Charlie Chaplin

  6. #6

    Re: Using SimCraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Moshne
    Quote Originally Posted by Graven
    How do you generate the simulation if you pull the character information from CharDev instead? (It's not letting me load my character from bnet currently.)
    It appears to be bugged with CharDev. When you say it won't let you pull from B.net, what is the problem? I'm having no trouble pulling up Gravenimage@Sen'jin.
    When I click Import, it takes me to the Simulate tab with this text: "# Unable to generate profile from: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/s ... age/simple"
    Armory: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/characte...image/advanced
    "My only enemy is time." - Charlie Chaplin

  7. #7

    Re: Using SimulationCraft

    Just used the Sim for the first time. After running it where do I find my stat weights?

  8. #8
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    Re: Using SimulationCraft

    Make sure you are using the most recent version. I'm unable to duplicate the problem with the latest build. The fact that it is trying to pull your simple profile rather than your advanced one makes me thing it is out of date.

    To get you going aside from that, I copied the text that your profile gives, you can just paste it into the Simulate tab and run the simulation from there after setting all your options.
    Code:
    #!./simc 
    
    shaman=gravenimage
    origin="http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/senjin/gravenimage/advanced"
    level=85
    race=troll
    use_pre_potion=1
    professions=Herbalism=525/Alchemy=525
    talents=http://www.wowhead.com/talent#shaman-323202321223110132120300200000000000000000000000000000000
    glyphs=lightning_bolt/lava_burst/flame_shock/lightning_shield/thunder/stoneclaw_totem/astral_recall/thunderstorm/renewed_life
    actions=flask,type=draconic_mind
    actions+=/food,type=seafood_magnifique_feast
    actions+=/flametongue_weapon,weapon=main
    actions+=/lightning_shield
    actions+=/mana_spring_totem
    actions+=/wrath_of_air_totem
    actions+=/snapshot_stats
    actions+=/volcanic_potion,if=!in_combat|buff.bloodlust.react
    actions+=/wind_shear
    actions+=/bloodlust,health_percentage<=25
    actions+=/bloodlust,time_to_die<=60
    actions+=/berserking
    actions+=/elemental_mastery
    actions+=/flame_shock,if=!ticking
    actions+=/lava_burst,if=(dot.flame_shock.remains-cast_time)>=0.05
    actions+=/earth_shock,if=buff.lightning_shield.stack=9
    actions+=/fire_elemental_totem
    actions+=/searing_totem
    actions+=/chain_lightning,if=target.adds>2
    actions+=/lightning_bolt
    actions+=/thunderstorm
    head=helm_of_the_nether_scion,type=mail,ilevel=359,quality=epic,stats=1977armor_140haste_281int_244spi_512sta,gems=chaotic_shadowspirit_20int_20spi_30int,enchant=60int_35crit
    neck=yellow_smoke_pendant,ilevel=359,quality=epic,stats=127crit_190int_127mastery_286sta,reforge=crit_spi
    shoulders=burden_of_lost_humanity,heroic=1,type=mail,ilevel=346,quality=rare,stats=1741armor_205int_130mastery_150spi_337sta,reforge=mastery_haste,gems=40int_10mastery,enchant=50int_25haste
    shirt=primitive_mantle,ilevel=1
    chest=twilight_scale_chestguard,type=mail,ilevel=359,quality=epic,stats=2433armor_214crit_216haste_321int_512sta,reforge=crit_spi,gems=40int_10haste,enchant=40spi
    waist=waistguard_of_hatred,type=mail,ilevel=359,quality=epic,stats=1369armor_233int_149mastery_169spi_380sta,reforge=mastery_haste,gems=40int_40int
    legs=kilt_of_the_raging_elements,type=mail,ilevel=359,quality=epic,stats=2129armor_228haste_301int_188spi_512sta,gems=20haste_20int_20int_20spi_20int,enchant=95int_55spi
    feet=earthmenders_boots,type=mail,ilevel=359,quality=epic,stats=1673armor_149crit_233int_169spi_380sta,reforge=crit_hit,gems=40int,enchant=50haste
    wrists=shackles_of_the_betrayed,heroic=1,type=mail,ilevel=346,quality=rare,stats=1016armor_112haste_168int_112spi_252sta,enchant=50haste
    hands=gloves_of_the_raging_elements,type=mail,ilevel=359,quality=epic,stats=1521armor_169crit_149haste_233int_380sta,reforge=crit_spi,gems=20int_20spi_10int,enchant=50haste
    finger1=ring_of_the_boy_emperor,ilevel=359,quality=epic,stats=127haste_190int_127mastery_286sta
    finger2=veneficial_band,heroic=1,ilevel=346,quality=rare,stats=168int_120mastery_98spi_252sta,reforge=mastery_haste
    trinket1=vibrant_alchemist_stone,ilevel=359,quality=epic,stats=194haste_301int,gems=40int_10int
    trinket2=darkmoon_card_volcano,ilevel=359,quality=epic,stats=321mastery,reforge=mastery_haste,equip=onspelldamage_1200+10fire_1600int_30%_12dur_45cd
    back=periwinkle_cloak,heroic=1,ilevel=346,quality=rare,stats=580armor_112haste_168int_112mastery_252sta,enchant=50int
    main_hand=incineratus,ilevel=359,quality=epic,stats=97haste_146int_97mastery_1954sp_219sta,enchant=power_torrent,weapon=dagger_1.80speed_45min_84max
    off_hand=elementium_stormshield,ilevel=359,quality=epic,stats=11896armor_127haste_190int_127spi_286sta,enchant=100int
    ranged=relic_of_eonar,ilevel=359,quality=epic,stats=72crit_107int_72spi_161sta,reforge=crit_haste,gems=40int
    tabard=darkspear_tabard,ilevel=1
    # Gear Summary
    # gear_stamina=5007
    # gear_intellect=4220
    # gear_spirit=1686
    # gear_spell_power=1954
    # gear_hit_rating=59
    # gear_crit_rating=531
    # gear_haste_rating=2022
    # gear_mastery_rating=906
    # gear_armor=26335
    # meta_gem=chaotic_shadowspirit
    # tier11_2pc_caster=1
    # main_hand=incineratus,weapon=dagger_1.80speed_45min_84max,enchant=power_torrent

  9. #9

    Re: Using SimulationCraft

    Interesting. It's showing Mastery a little ahead of Haste for me at the moment.

  10. #10
    Just sim it! Ike's Avatar
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    Re: Using SimulationCraft

    For me, too.

    And then when id adjust my stats (like gem mastery/int instead of haste/int), it would show my dps going down.

  11. #11

    Re: Using SimulationCraft

    Ditto, it's also showing mastery ahead for me. I'm a little reluctant to rush out and reforge/gem on the strength of this

    Will it's relative value diminish as I seek it out? (Basically will it promote a "balance" between mastery and haste?)

    Either way, brilliant post mosh. Perhaps some more info on how to interpret the relevant info would also be great!

    Edit: Nvm - apparently there's a section for that IN simcraft, my bad

  12. #12

    Re: Using SimulationCraft

    well, that's the value of mastery with your current level of haste - if you reforge, then the value of mastery relative to haste, based on your 'new' haste value will of course be different Personally haste comes out every so slightly ahead, but for most intents and purposes I'm viewing them as of equal value for now, until I gear to a point where there is a significant difference.
    The 'mental Shaman Blog : Talking totems, Warcraft, feminism, mental illness and intersectionality in virtual spaces.
    I also podcast at Obscurecast and write for WoW Insider
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  13. #13

    Re: Using SimulationCraft

    I suspected as much, but this creates something of a dilemma as far as gearing is concerned, right? Or am I being flat out stupid here?

  14. #14

    Re: Using SimulationCraft

    Hence all the cautionary notes we use. DEP can be seen as a way to evalute gear upgrades that will be in addition to your current stats. The best option is often to use rawr or simcraft to sim an upgrade. Alternatively just use the DEPs as a relative guide, taking note of whether the difference between the stats is significant. If you're low on haste, then the DEP of haste is always going to be higher than mastery. If you're 1700+ you may well see it round the other way.
    The 'mental Shaman Blog : Talking totems, Warcraft, feminism, mental illness and intersectionality in virtual spaces.
    I also podcast at Obscurecast and write for WoW Insider
    @mentalshaman

  15. #15

    Re: Using SimulationCraft

    Sure, I understand that much. For example, for me mastery is coming out a decent amount above haste. So presumably this implies a mastery-centric upgrade for me such as chimaeron's bracers would be a boon indeed.

    So, assuming I got them. This would again presumably mean that reforging the mastery to haste would not be desirable, right? So I suppose I would need to take great care modelling each new upgrade, until around the point that haste/mastery are equal in value?

    Forgive me please if all this seems painfully obvious to you, I'm more of a "basic principles" man than a theorycrafter.

  16. #16
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    Re: Using SimulationCraft

    Using the stat plotting function that I mentioned above is also helpful for things like this. While it is obviously relatively to your current gear level and only adjusting one stat, it will give you an idea of whether Mastery/Haste or pulling ahead because of their absolute value, or if it is just a quirk of your stats.

    You may also want to evaluate the stats using the Helter Skelter setting. That will adjust your stats a bit and probably give you a more realistic setting for a typical fight. If a Patchwerk fight would favor something slightly, but it is disfavored significantly when you factor in movement, you may want to be use some caution in changing your gearing for it.

  17. #17

    Re: Using SimulationCraft

    so this great thing can be used for any class and specc? or is it just for our beloved elementals?

  18. #18

  19. #19

    Re: Using SimulationCraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Moshne
    Using the stat plotting function that I mentioned above is also helpful for things like this. While it is obviously relatively to your current gear level and only adjusting one stat, it will give you an idea of whether Mastery/Haste or pulling ahead because of their absolute value, or if it is just a quirk of your stats.

    You may also want to evaluate the stats using the Helter Skelter setting. That will adjust your stats a bit and probably give you a more realistic setting for a typical fight. If a Patchwerk fight would favor something slightly, but it is disfavored significantly when you factor in movement, you may want to be use some caution in changing your gearing for it.

    Ok thanks for the tip!

  20. #20
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    Re: Using SimulationCraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorica
    so this great thing can be used for any class and specc? or is it just for our beloved elementals?
    I can't speak personally for all specs, but yes it is extremely functional for almost everything. Each class/spec is only as good as the module that is written for it, like Rawr. However, unlike Rawr, this one gets substantially more time put into keeping it updated. Mechanically most spells in WoW work the same, with only a few changes for the niche ones needed. Once they developed a working system to model the spells it was just a matter of getting a solid priority setup for each class, which they've done pretty well.

    The standard cautionary note still exists for any theorycrafting software though. These are written by people voluntarily in their free time and can have mistakes. Use your own reasoned judgement to make sure you understand why the program tells you to do something counterintuitive before you do it. If it doesn't make sense, it may be wrong.

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