Paying Your Dues: Running Your Own Sims

A Little History

Back when he was running the Warcraft Hunters Union, Frostheim had a little saying that he's still well known for: Pay Your Dues.

There may be several things you can take from that simple statement, but what he meant was: do everything you can to perform your role as best as possible, regardless of how small of an increase you're going to make; like never bringing a tenacity bear when you could be bringing a ferocity pet.

This is a tenant that many hunters have really tried to take to heart over the years, but I think it could always bear repeating.

Can Someone Link Me a Spec DPS Chart?

The thing that's been bothering me lately, as I've been trying to keep my eyes on the SimC IRC, is the number of people asking for a comparison chart of all the DPS specs, and the benefit they'll get from the set bonuses, when they could very easily make the same chart themselves, or better yet, do the comparisons for their actual character, with their actual gear.

To clarify here, I think the people who go through the trouble of making these and sending out links to the general wow population are doing a good thing. It's useful information, and that's always good to share.  But, there's a reason people need to pay their dues.

As with anything, data without context is rarely helpful, and often leads to misinformation. To understand those charts, you need to have at least a basic concept of how SimC works.  When the chart was made, the user had the option of comparing many things. They may have been comparing the preset APL with the pre-set BiS lists, or they could have been using their own APLs and gear lists.  They can compare off-set pieces to tier pieces with set bonuses, or they can compare tier pieces with the set bonuses turned off to tier pieces with the set bonuses turned on.  The same goes for checking the comparisons with the previous tier's set bonuses.  They could actually put in the previous tiers gear, or they could use the current tier's gear and artificially add the previous tier's set bonuses.

And the thing is, all of these are meaningful, useful comparisons to make, so long as the user knows what data they're looking at.  If you then are getting a link to this chart from someone who saw it linked on twitter, there's a good chance you won't know all the settings the person who created it used. And the data then will have almost no reasonable application to how your guild distributes loot.

Of course, a lot of wow players have some big names that they've decided to trust.  I'm totally fine with that.  If you're team decided they're going to base how they hand out set pieces on how some guy from Midwinter described it, you'll end up doing ok. It'll be good enough.

Paying Your Dues

The trouble is, what's good enough for the support classes is not what our goal should be.  Our goal is to do everything we can to perform our role as best as possible.

If you want to know how much a set bonus is going to benefit you, import your character from the armory, and start running some sims. Check yourself with the gear you currently have, and compare it to if you were to switch out two of your tier 17 pieces with two new tier 18 pieces.  Look at how that affects your stat scaling. Then, try the same test, but head over to your options tab first, and try some different fight styles.  I promise, it won't take that long.  Then you can go to your Raid Leader, and say with confidence that you need this item as soon as possible, but that other item, you can pass it to someone else until another drops. You're not only helping yourself, but you're helping your entire raid team, as others who need it more might get a chance to get their set bonuses first, or you'll get it and then do amazing DPS, helping everyone down the boss faster.  Either way, the whole team is better off.

When I first started writing this, I was planning on putting a little disclaimer at the end.  I was going to say something like "you know, if you're in a fairly casual, friends and family type guild, none of this probably matters", and to some extent, that's true. Most more casual guilds aren't going to hand out loot based on who it benefits more anyhow.  But, after looking through old WHU posts for links, I've decided to leave that part out (other than that I'm telling you about it right now).  Instead, I want to say this, it doesn't matter if you're in the race for mythic world first, or your only goal is to finish normal mode before the next tier comes out, do absolutely everything you can to perform your role as well as possible.  If that means spending an extra ten minutes running some sims on yourself before raid, or spending a half hour over the weekend learning how to read sims, there are worse ways to spend your time.

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