Let’s talk sims for windwalker
I’m sure you are already familiar with a thing called Raidbots, but maybe not as much with the inner workings. In this article I will go over the basics and explain how to best use it as a windwalker.
How it Works
Raidbots is a website that runs the program Simulationcraft for you. Simulationcraft has a big database of spells, effects, gear, etc and knows how they all interact. Using this it will make a simulation of a character doing it’s rotation and tracks damage, buff uptime and much much more. To make it more accurate, it will do this many many times (called iterations) and give you the average results. The character it will use is whatever you put in, this will usually be your own character with maybe a few changes to see how they compare. The rotation it follows comes from the Action Priority List, or APL. These lists are maintained by theorycrafters from the respective specs. If you want you can also make your own APL or adjust the existing one.
How to Sim Yourself
Get the SimulationCraft add-on, type /simc in game and copy the text, go to Raidbots and click whatever type of sim you want (Top Gear, Gear Compare, Quick Sim), paste the output in the ‘Load from SimC Addon’ box and select items, traits, talents, whatever else you want to compare, then select the settings you want to sim with. If you want to use a custom APL just put that in the ‘Custom APL’ box at the bottom.
Now that you know how it works here are some Windwalker specifics when it comes to simming.
Look out for these
Sims assume you heal yourself for 8% of your max hp every time. In reality your target has to be missing at least 8% HP, you have to be within range of that target and that target has to be within range of the boss. To adjust this you can use “override.spell_data=effect.750964.base_value=X spell_query=spec_spell.name=reverse_harm” in a custom sim, where you replace X with what % of max HP it should hit for (default 8).
Sims will, outside of a few niche scenarios, not delay cooldowns and thus always have Clockwork Heart line up with CDs. In reality you often have to delay cooldowns for mechanics or burn phases, resulting in a value loss of the trait.
Any time you have more targets or a shorter fight length than your sim settings, you won’t get the same amount of debuff stacks as the sim will. This will lower the value of each hit and you won’t get the same results as your sim will.
If you want to simulate a single target fight with adds further away that you won’t hit with your other abilities but that can cause your stars to sometimes land on the adds.You can use “bfa.infinite_stars_miss_chance=X” where X is the chance for a proc not to hit (0 is always hitting, 1 is always missing). This is useful for a fight like Mythic Nzoth where the later phase has 3 targets, so the chance to hit Nzoth is only 33%, so you want to use the override; “bfa.infinite_stars_miss_chance=0.66”.
It always hits in sims. In a real fight mobs can move out of it before it lands making it deal no damage.
It’s not just how many allies you have using it. It’s also about how often you have to move away from the shards currently on the ground and start from scratch again. Sims will never have this problem as there are no positional requirements for Worldvein shards in Simc. Make sure you compare buff uptime from your logs/dps meter with your sims.
Formless Void minor
Make sure you set the Symbiotic Presence uptime accordingly. In raids the default 90% uptime is usually correct, but when simming for dungeons you won’t have nearly the same uptime.
They change too often and breakpoints can be scary. Please just use Top Gear, Gear Compare, and Droptimizer to look for upgrades or compare items you already got. More info on the problems with stat weights here and here.
Known APL Issues
Things that either are not implemented or not implemented correctly. This is usually because it is either a lot of work that we don’t deem worth it, or it is very new. If you see problems that are not listed here, please contact me (scurch#0088) on discord and I will look into it.
While I am happy with how cooldowns are done on single target, they could use some work for aoe. The APL for example does not take add spawn timings into consideration. This means that cooldowns that don’t naturally line up with the add spawns or are told not to because it’s better on single target will underperform in sims. I will look into improving this in the future, but probably not for BfA anymore.
There is currently an issue with trinket slots affecting the order trinkets are cast in. This can cause issues with Mydas or Coral in combination with a damage trinket, Gladiator’s Badge or Galecaller’s Boon. There is currently also an issue with Cyclotronic Blast not being cast at all. We’re working on getting this fixed, but for the time being both of these issues are avoided if you use the default APL paste from below, this is the same APL just coded a bit differently.
Catered towards a general set-up
APLs are made in mind with what is currently the general set-up at high-ish levels of gear. For example, the current average Nyalotha mythic raider will have 2-3 Open Palm Strike traits and 1 or 0 Glory of the Dawn traits. This sways the priority in favor of Fists of Fury over Rising Sun Kick and the APL reflect this. If you are not in this group the APL will not be as accurate for you. This is typically only a small difference.
Not Working Correctly in Simc
The following things are not working correctly in the Simulationcraft program:
Chi Burst is not giving any Chi if pre-casted and is only ever giving 1 Chi on normal casts, even if it hits more than 1 target. If Chi Burst isn’t coming out on top in aoe sims this is why. It still should be your default pick when you can hit more than 1 target.
Bugs are not typically not implemented in Simc. This will include beneficial bugs like keeping Mark of the Crane stacks or Whirling Dragon Punch at the end of Storm, Earth and Fire, and disadvantageous bugs like Whirling Dragon Punch not being usable at times. The 30% galeburst contribution from non-ability damage sources is implemented in Simc as we don’t see it as a bug.
A bit about the most popular fightstyles and how well they go with the Windwalker APL. What exactly every fight style does you can find out here.
Very straightforward burn with however many targets you have selected present at all times. This is the best supported fight style in our APL.
Dungeon Slice is a mixture of single target and short aoe fights. The creator of Raidbots wrote an easy to understand article about it here. You can use this fight style if you want to emulate a dungeon, but you have to know a few things.
- Don’t look at the dps number it spits out, this fight style is to help you make decisions on gear and talent choices, it is not made to give you an idea of what dps you should be doing.
- Like I mentioned before, add spawn timings are not taken into consideration. This can mean cooldowns are sometimes being used ineffective. Do some thinking if what you are comparing is cooldown orientated or a cooldown itself.
- Dungeon Slice is and will never be an exact match of your dungeon runs. Don’t purely rely on sims and ask for advice when you’re unsure, or if you just want a second opinion.
This is Patchwerk with movement added in. Movement means you are forced to move a certain distance or time and are unable to cast and often will be out of range for certain abilities. While you will have movement in real fights, I generally don’t recommend using sims involving movement. The APL does not take upcoming movement into consideration and can screw up things like your cooldown window heavily. This can make sims less accurate, since in fights you usually are able to plan ahead and won’t make the same mistake.
A boss present at all times with 5 adds spawning in frequently and some movement. You can use this fight style to simulate raid bosses that have adds joining the fight, but I tend to stay clear of this one myself. You have all the problems of add timings and movement that I talked about before on top of being very aoe focused, 5 adds up roughly 44% of the time is a lot. I recommend doing both a single target and multi target Patchwerk sims and making a decision based on those 2. If you mostly only care about single target damage with cleave as a nice bonus you can do a 2 target Patchwerk sim or use the Cleave Add fight style.
The reason there are some special APLs here is because I could not integrate them into the default APL without causing other issues.
This is the current default APL.
With the flexibility that charges give you, it is possible to wait and see if you get any procs before using Storm Earth and Fire. This APL will try to line up your spare SEFs with the Agility proc (Draconic Empowerment) from Ashjra’kamas, Shroud of Resolve while still making sure to always save 1 charge of SEF for Touch of Death. You only really start to notice any difference if you have VoP minor