Craziness

Well! This past couple of weeks has been interesting both in the world of Physics and of Warcraft! I’ve been extremely busy, so that should explain the lack of updates. Things are coming though, never you worry.

Warcraft

With roster problems and tank shortages, AWOL DPS and miscellaneous router outages, you’d have thought <The Silver Raven> wouldn’t have had any progress whatsoever! However, tonight on our second night at Feng the Accursed we killed him! That’s nice fast progress for us in terms of overall raid time, even if it’s been weeks since our last proper progress. Feng was really easy once we managed to co-ordinate healer cooldowns properly and the tanks got the hang of Shroud. Our killshot:

We’re also pleased that Gara’Jal the Spiritbinder is already getting down to the low teens before the enrage timer hits. We expect to have him down next week!

Physics

My paper is progressing apace, but simultaneously I have to juggle writing an 80 page dissertation (fun fun fun) and also preparation for my return to Uni and pre-reading for potential PhD positions. That’s a lot of work (to somewhat understate it).

I’m also excited to be going to the NI Days conference for LabVIEW users in London two weeks from now. While I’m not presenting (thank god!) I will be listening intently and I’ll have to prepare myself to learn the most I can from it.

On top of all that, I’m starting to look for PhD positions. It’s not a fun activity, but it’s exciting when I get responses. Hopefully I’ll eventually convert the responses into real applications.

Sadness

It’s because of the above reasons in real life that I’ve got to skip a couple of weeks raiding. I realised that it’s a true indicator of a good raid team when you’re genuinely sad to have to skip nearly a month of progress with them. I was genuinely gutted to have to tell our Raid Leader that I wouldn’t be around. Ahwell, as they say “real life is more important,” and I agree in this case.

Theorycraft

I’ve been interested in discussions about Healing Stream Totem and Healing Tide Totem recently. Binkenstein et al. seem to think that it’s bugged because“both follow what we’re expecting to see, except for randomly adding extra ticks, which is an outstanding bug”. I would contend that if the model isn’t predicting the behaviour and Blizzard haven’t confirmed it as a bug (they’ve had a lot of time) then there’s something wrong with the theory.

My intention would normally be to test it myself and find out, but I have no time for that at the moment due to the above reasons. In that case, I’m going to lay out more or less what I think is happening and hope someone can pick up from here.

My theory is that HST behaves in a strange manner. Within certain Haste ranges, the exact number of ticks is predictable and sensible according to current theory. When Haste approaches a breakpoint, however, I think that the number of ticks becomes probabilistic! That is to say; there is a well defined probability of getting X ticks, and there is a similarly well defined probability of getting X+1 ticks. Both of these probabilities are linear with Haste.

If you were to measure the mean number of ticks at different Haste levels around a breakpoint, you should then see a linear increase in the mean with Haste value. The mean should follow;

mean = X.P(X)+(X+1).P(X+1)

Example: the transition between 8 and 9 ticks. X = 8, and P(X) is linear with Haste (in our example take an arbitrary value of 0.8). That means that P(X+1) = 0.2 and so:

mean (example) = 8*0.8+9*0.2 = 8.2 ticks

The challenge is then to determine the scaling coefficient, A, given the expression:

P(X+1) = A * (Haste)

Which can be done by substituting into the previous equation and so on.

I hope someone takes a look at this! It would certainly explain why randomly adding extra ticks” seems to be the case.

Update! Shortly after I posted this, I discovered that Binkenstein has actually beaten me to the punch by a couple of hours in proposing this. To prove that this idea was actually mine [i.e. I’m not just trying to rip him off! I came up with this separately] see my comments (timed and dated) on the Icy Veins Forums.

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About stoove

Steve lives a double life: opinionated Physics student at Surrey University by day ("Steve"), computer games and World of Warcraft nerd by night ("Stoove"). Possibly lives in Guildford for most of the year. It's rumoured that he's a gigantic geek who reads New Scientist for fun. Some people think he's sane but they've been repeatedly proved wrong. His influences probably include such mythical beings as Ben Goldacre, PZ Meyers, Richard Feynman, Jim Al-Khalili, Animal from the Muppets, Ian M Banks, Aron Diaz (AKA Dresden Codak), and the leprechaun he knows only as "Petey". You can follow Steve on twitter but it probably won't help you when he conquers the world.
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4 Responses to Craziness

  1. Therya says:

    It wouldn’t really explain though why at 0 haste HST gets 8 ticks and at lets say 3600 it gets 6 :-/
    Other than that I tend to agree with you, if it’s not confirmed as a bug probably it’s the theory that needs to be looked at.

    • stoove says:

      I’m not sure I’ve heard of that particular phenomenon. The reason I’m doubtful of the current situation of the theory is that the testing methods are… well, frankly they’re awful. For instance: In the instance you quote, how many repeats were made?

      Frequently, these measurements have been made with only one repetition and hence it’s impossible to tell whether the cause is a bug (in which case it would be consistent) or probabilistic (in which case we need an average value). One of the current problems with the TC community (in my opinion) is that a lot of weight is placed upon Simcraft and extremely simple models, where proper testing could eludicate mechanisms well. For an example of excellent practice, see @TheckPhD and his blog Sacred Duty – that’s rigour right there (IMO).

      Note that I’m not saying that Simcraft is useless or there isn’t enough effort put into it. I admire the fanatical work which goes on around Simcraft, but it does appear to me that the TC community is too much left out in the cold when Simcraft and easy models can’t explain something. This is the case that we’re currently seeing.

  2. Therya says:

    I run the same haste example 10 times while noting down my latency and taking screenshots. But it’s true, that’s just me I don’t trust all people that are giving me examples either. I am not sure how I can solve this, if it was a matter of getting an extra tick or not close to the breakpoint then I could attribute it to latency but I don’t know what to do about HST loosing 2 ticks in higher haste levels. I am not sure I want to devote more time in this either :-/

  3. stoove says:

    For me, it’s not that I don’t *want* to it’s that I don’t have time to at all! =[

    Well it could be that it really is a bug or that it’s server latency, or indeed that there’s a combination of multiple effects going on. If you want to share your testing I’d be interested to see the numbers – if you can post a link then awesome. Otherwise, shout at me on Twitter or organize something else with me. You could also get involved by posting a link to the information on Icy Veins in this forum:

    http://www.icy-veins.com/forums/forum/26-shaman/

    Cheers =]

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