Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Moonkin Tools: Rawr

Rawr

What: Rawr is a formulation based executable application that models several classes and rolls. The project was originally started by Astrylian as a Feral Druid tool, but many developers have been added to expand the tool to other classes. Dopefish is the current Moonkin developer on the project.

Where: You can download the tool from Rawr's website here. They also maintain a thread on the Elitist Jerks forums to document changes and handle questions. You can find it here.

How to Use: I'm not going to go in depth here for two reasons. First, Rawr is a little more complicated then can be easily explained here quickly. Second, they already have very good documentation on their web. The two main things you will want to look at are the Rawr Video and the Rawr Help section. If you have additional questions I suggest you go to the Discussions site. You can search the topics. If you don't find your answer, you can post the question yourself.

Pros:
  • Documentation: A tool is useless if potential users can't figure out how to use it. I do think that the current documentation can be expanded and improved, but what they have is great. At the very least it is much better then the documentation for WrathCalcs and Simcraft. I posted several links in the How to Use section. What I like most is the discussions site. It's nice to be able to ask a question if you don't understand something or search the questions that other people have already asked.


  • User Friendly: Rawr is the most user friendly tool I've seen out there. Since it has a GUI interface, even people that are not that computer savvy should be able to use it effectively. On top of that, it allows you to download your profile from the Armory to get started quickly.

  • Functionality: Rawr has some neat little functions that you won't find on other tools. The Optimizer is a particularly cool feature. If you select the gear pieces you have available to you, clicking the Optimizer will tell you what is the best set of gear possible. You can also swap pieces of gear in and out to see how they will impact your DPS. You can also change up your gems and enchants to see what affect that will have.

  • Alt-Friendly: If your like me and have a couple of alts one of the nice things about Rawr is that you can use it to evaluate several classes and specs. The tool doesn't cover all specs, and I don't know the quality of the other modules, but Rawr is a good place to start if you want to evaluate your Alt without downloading another spreadsheet.
Cons:
  • Black Box: Unless you understand C# Rawr is a just a Black Box that you put numbers in and have numbers spit back out to you. Since I am not a programmer I don't understand the guts of the program, and I don't like the fact that I don't know how it got from point A to point B.

    The reason I don't like it is because every tool makes assumptions and has limitations. If you don't understand those assumptions and limitations it is impossible to account for them in your choices. I know this won't be a big deal for some users, but I like to know whats going on behind the curtain.

  • Calculation Questions: I am not saying they are wrong, and according to Dopefish, with the exception of trinkets, the calcs in Rawr are the same as the calcs in WrathCalcs. However, I have experienced unusual results when using Rawr. For example, this was a couple of upgrades ago, but when I first put my profile into Rawr it recommended a MF/SF rotation with no IS.

    Obviously this goes against the conventional wisdom and raises some questions about the tool. However, Dopefish says that Rawr.Moonkin has been reviewed and fact-checked by third party reviewers. At this time they are unable to find what is causing the differences between the tools.


  • Out of Date UI: The big question I had when I first looked at Rawr was if it was updated for the 3.2 version of Eclipse? The current UI doesn't give a good indication that it is, and the current UI shows DPS results by Rotation. However, Dopefish says the current version of Eclipse is fully integrated into the tool.
TL:DR

Rawr is a very nice tool for evaluating upgrades and the different gear options. The documentation provided and the User Friendliness of the tool sets it apart from the other options.

That said, I do have some small concerns about the calculations. I think they are probably directionally correct and can accurately predict most gear upgrades. However, some of the results provided are confusing.

20 comments:

Hardy said...

Add another CON please: "Rawr is a Windows app".

Which means unless Mac users want to buy Windows to run it in a virtual machine, we are out of luck.

Philipp said...

Rawr works under Wine in Linux so you should be able to run it in Mac. But this is not user-friendly way.

Maestro said...

Rawr has consistently suggested gear or rotations that did not make sense to me and when I crunched the numbers myself, did not create an upgrade at all. I haven't touched the tool in several patches now due to the poor results I received earlier. Perhaps now I should go back and give it another go.

Kaleyl of Bladefist said...

I use Rawr all the time for moonkin and feral sets.

To the people who get bad numbers and weird "upgrade" lists, I will say take some time to actually learn to use the tool.

You have to tell it what buffs you have, let it know you have replenishment and innervate and will generally never run out of mana.. otherwise yes it will recommend that mp5 trink.

Personally I think Rawr values haste to much at the moment, but again I don't pay attention to the rotation list or even all the "upgrades." I look at stats.. and those are almost always correct.

Know your class and what numbers you want for optimal gear, then plug them in until you find those numbers!

Erdluf said...

Its easy to tell if Rawr does something with Eclipse. Remove Eclipse from your talents, and see what happens to your DPS.

Some things to check if optimization is giving funny results:

1) Do you have appropriate gear marked as available?

2) Do you have appropriate raid buffs and options?

3) Are all the gems you might want in an active gemming template?

4) Are all the enchants you might use marked as available?

5) Check the talents, and the glyph selection.

It would be nice if Rawr would sanity check some of those things for you: No spellthread? Really!?!?

Tsuki said...

Rawr is nice for an easy access of possible upgrades, but sometimes it boggles me with some results/suggestions. Right now, it's showing me Sympathetic Amice (Grobbulus) is ahead of T9 if sorted by sustained damage. Results like that make me a bit skeptical about the other suggestions.

Graylo said...

@Erdluf

1. I should have been a little clearer about my Eclipse concerns. I wondered if it was updated for 3.2, because the current interface suggests rotations like MF/IS/SF or MF/IS/W. Since these are an irrelevant way of looking at Moonkin DPS it made me wonder if it had been updated.

2. Most of my strange results with Rawr have centered around IS. My own calcs say that it is good. Wrathcalcs says it's good, and I haven't looked at it recently but Simcraft says that it is good, but Rawr says it was not good.

I did check all of the appropriate buffs, talents, glyph and gems. The results are just a little strange.

Anonymous said...

Rawr is a great tool is you take the time to learn how to use it. I've never had any "weird" or "strange" gear/rotation recommendations if you set it up correctly.

Most people have very low attention span, and first use the tool for about 30 minutes before deeming it "bad". To be realistic, you need to give yourself about two weeks worth of learning and trials before you really understand how to use it properly. Things like raid buffs, gems, and slot enchantments are easily overlooked items, but contribute to the optimization process greatly.

When I first used Rawr, it took me about a week to get all my gear, gems, enchants, talents, buffs, target options, and rotations set correctly, then another week to fully understand what it was doing when I tried to optimize with different choices.

Ryan said...

I have been using rawr for 2 or 3 years now, and overall I can say that I trust it. That said, my gut reaction to the moonkin gear lists is that it seems to favor int and mana regen disproportionately. YMMV

Kaifeng of Lethon said...

The developer (not me) is working on a web-based version of RAWR. Still in beta from what I've heard, but that should take care of us Mac users.

There are some inconsistencies and outdatedness, but it's still solid tool if you know how to use it. Play around with it, see how you like it.

Just don't use it as your only tool. Read the blogs (thanks Gray!), try other sites like wow-heroes.com and wowpopular.com, and do some research yourself. If you are looking for a single magical solution -- no program is going to give you that.

Superku said...

Using the optimizer i'm getting some funny results. Like it wants me to move my Runed Dragon's Eye from my wrist to my ring. I can see absolutely no reason why that would be any better.

Also, something I wanted your opinion on. I have Belt of Pale Thorns(245), the yellow slot socketed with a Runed Cardinal Ruby, but RAWR wants me to use a Potent Ametrine. I can't see how the 5sp bonus would be worth it. Who's right, me or rawr?

Andres said...

I love RAWR. Use it for all my gearing needs.

@Superku I would definitely take 17sp+10crit over 23 sp

QuestionC said...

@superku

It's common for Moonkin stat weights to recommend an orange gem to pick up a Yellow socket +SP bonus. I believe the Simcraft Moonkin BiS profile does this as well.

Superku said...

Yes, yes, I get that it's common and that lots would do it. I just don't get WHY? According to rawr's stat weights I shouldn't pick an orange gem (I am aware they aren't accurate yadda yadda) and according to simcrafts weights I shouldn't either. Going through Hamlet's wrathcalc and the weight for each spell in various conditions it doesn't seem worth it. And on top of that any gear upgrade is going to make SP more worth compared to crit.

So why?

Hinalover said...

The thing with RAWR is that it is a community program that allows you to generate a set of gear more easily than the C++ or Excel theorycrafting programs out there. Yes there is oddities out there in the program but Dupefish and the other developers are trying to sort out the bugs in the program. Like all programs out there, there is always bugs that need fixing, and RAWR is one of them. The latest version of RAWR has all of the 3.2.2 updates in them and Dupe is currently trying to set up 3.3 PTR changes as well (he has at least set up a few spell triggers and the Idol in place). My specialty is mage and kitty druid and I try to help them out when possible while trying to help less informed people on the discussion threads on their site. Most times if you see that it is asking you to get MP5 items, 9 times out of 10 is because you need to mark some form of replenishment in the buff tab. Yes there is going to be a Web based version of RAWR. However, as a forewarning, it is going to be using Microsoft Silverlight as it's Web-based display program. It is currently in an Alpha state on the web (I have worked with the online version personally) but it currently lacks a lot of the features and updates that the stand-alone program uses. The web based version is schedualed to be released when RAWR 3.0 comes out. However that is not planned to be released for many months down the road. One feature of 3.0 that is planned is a boss handler system. This feature simulates each boss's fights. Whether your moving 20% of the time or your stationary 100% of the time. How much is the boss hitting for, etc. Currently it is only implemented in the Warrior DPS model but they want to expand the feature to all models. This is to allow you to see what your dps would be in a certain fight instead of always evaluating your dps on a Patchwork fight.

Nardash said...

@Superku I'd agree with Andres that 10 crit is probably better than 6 sp.

The reason Rawr will sometimes move gems when it makes no difference is that the optimizer doesn't start from the gear and gems you have, but just finds combinations of the gear you've selected as available, and then picks one of the equally good best ways of gemming them. It doesn't start from the gear you have equipped and change bits from there. I also find it annoying when it does that, but I've learnt to ignore it.

Ian Darke said...

I've been using Rawr for a long time. The models aren't perfect, but I feel that they are far richer than a spreadsheet interface.

That vast majority of problems people have with Rawr results usually boil down to either not using it properly (i.e. having all the right buffs, enchants, gems, etc available for optimization) or simply not understanding the value of what it suggests.

Rawr can occasionally be silly and suggest for you to make a different gemming combination than the one you have that has the same result, but I've yet to see it suggest a gemming combination that it believes as an upgrade that is not actually one.

Someone earlier was baffled why Rawr was recommending they put an Orange gem into a yellow instead of a Red. The answer is simple, the set bonus for that particular piece of gear was more valuable than the loss of spell power from putting in a red gem.

The developers have been working on trying to incorporate more of a "theorycrafting" approach into future code bases (i.e. remove the concept of a "rotation" and instead actually simulate extended combat w/ various procs firing/etc).

Anonymous said...

Rawr is a wonderful tool. However, it is no replacement for understanding your class.

For example, if you have 4 pieces of T8.5, it will tell you that a T9 piece is a downgrade. However, if you replace 2 pieces for T9, you will end up with an upgrade. Which is perfectly fine and logical. (The optimizer, although a pain to setup, is able to work around this issue).

I use Rawr, and have been using it for over a year. However, I always tell people to be careful with it. It is a dangerous tool, and I've seen people wasting 1000s of gold replacing gems, just to find out they forgot to check one box, and so their gear is now worse.

If Rawr makes a recommendation that doesn't make sense, 99% of the time it is something you did wrong, not Rawr (configuration etc). Yes, there are bugs. I've found one, reported, and had it fixed, but that was once in over a year. Know your toon, know the class and how it is supposed to work. And THEN use Rawr to make your life easier.

Adoriele said...

"Add another CON please: "Rawr is a Windows app"."

Just as a sort-of heads-up, Rawr 3.0 will be Mac-native (at least on Intel-based Macs). Not sure when that'll be released, it's been in the works for a while, but there you go.

Anonymous said...

A very simple question. I am trying to use RAWR (Grokat, Azjol-Nerub), but two things.

1) Is there an option to just say 'best possible enchants' rather than having to select them all manually?

2) More crucially, whenever I use the optimiser, it suggests a setup that puts me miles below my 263 hit cap. Any way to force this as else the tool is useless!

Cheers Grok