Sunday, September 27, 2009

Finding My Niche: Here's Why (Theorycrafters Can Be Wrong).

In figuring out a bit of this blogging thing, I perhaps made one of the classic mistakes: I didn't write enough for my "audience" and wrote more from a personal perspective.

Finding My Niche is an ongoing personal journey about best performing my role as a DPS Death Knight and therefore the quintessential topic for my blog and entire WoW experience.

If you raid as a dps DK (or a tank for that matter), I'd imagine that would be your primary concern as well.

Now, you can spend a lot of time keeping up with the various theorycrafters, most famously found at Elitist Jerks - I certainly do. There's a lot of famous and smart people that post there and a lot of good tools.

So, why don't I just adopt the cookie cutter spec that the theorycrafters say is the best?  GC said it very well with some general comments about theorycrafting in general and dps specifically:

Theorycrafting and game balance
Sometimes players aren't seeing the right numbers. Players put a lot of faith in simulations, target dummy tests, data base packages, theorycrafting and simple fights. None of those sources of information are totally invalid. None of them tell the whole story either. Often players are comparing apples and oranges because they are considering a fight which is very good for another class or comparing themselves to an overpowered class who has already gotten nerfs (that do not show up until the next patch). Players also tend to downplay any fight with adds ("trash doesn't matter") even though there are very few single-target boss fights. Players tend to downplay half of the fights as "gimmick fights" which leaves only Patchwerk and maybe Golemagg.

Often, player sense of perspective is wrong. The classes are closer than they have been at any time in the history of WoW. Could they be better? Absolutely. But when we read these threads that talk about a class problem (even low dps) as being the Worst Thing Ever That Has Always Been This Way, they sort of lose some of their credibility. There are some specs who we see as legitimately not making it into PvE groups very often (such as Frost mages and Demo locks) and some specs that just don't feel very viable in PvP (such as Prot warriors or Fire Mages). Many of the other "am being sat" anecdotes are overblown.

Often, we have made a fix and players just haven't seen it yet because the next build isn't out. It is very telling right now that there are a lot of "I logged into the game, tried hitting something for 5 seconds and didn't notice a dps increase" threads. What we deal with a lot are trends, and trends can take a lot of time to emerge.

Sometimes we even agree something is a problem, but A) aren't sure how we want to fix it yet, B) think that an upcoming change will fix the problem, or C) are just focused on other problems at the moment. You can ask why we won't at least acknowledge a problem even if we have no immediate plans to fix it. But ask yourself if you would be one of those people who would post "Why won't you fix it if you know it's a problem?"
So, my FMN series is all about trying to find the best fit for me. It may not work out the same for you, but I hope my 'in vivo' experience is helpful for giving you a little perspective on finding your own niche as a raiding DK.

and look for my 2H Unholy article soon!


  1. ohh... finding my niche = FMN. haha, some of the alternatives are not so flattering! :)

  2. I am really bad at following the 'blogging rules' but I like your personal stuff as well as your hardcore DK analysis stuff, especially because I am frivolous and too references to rotation make my eyes glaze over :) I guess as long as you're enjoying what you're writing, people will enjoy reading it. Sorry if that sounds terribly fluffy but I didn't want you to be worrying about content, like, five posts into your blog - which is going splendidly :)

    Also for some reason when you click the link to your blog when you've left a comment on mine, for example, I think there's typo on the link? Missing 's' on the end of goddess? So that probably doesn't help :)

  3. Ah, thanks guys!
    True, the two of you write very differently, but exceedingly well. :)

    Thanks for the heads up Tam I'll try to fix my link.


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