Posts Tagged ‘gearscore’

WoW Mythbusters: Gearing for Heroics

03/03/2010

Come patch 3.3.3, it will be possible to vote kick players immediately – from the start of the instance.

So, you zone in, and see that the mage has a gearscore of 2k… do you boot the player?  Does their bad gear mean a longer run?   Does kicking actually benefit you? It you think vote kicking the undergeared dps means a shorter run, two things must be true.  First, it must be the case that higher gearscores are generally associated with higher damage output.  Second, it must be true that more geared groups will clear heroics more quickly.

The results:  the effect is tiny

  • TL;DR: Better-geared dps certainly do more damage, but the effect on the speed of the run is fairly small. A 1000-pt increase in gearscore results in a 50-second shorter instance.

Part 1:  Gear and DPS.

As before, I’m using data on approximately 100 runs through LFD, where I collected information on the performance of players.  For this section, I’ve excluded my own characters from the analysis.

In order to make the numbers comparable, I’ve re-computed DPS to be

DPS = total damage done / time in combat of the highest dps in the run

This penalizes players who are afk or late to enter fights, which happens surprisingly often in these runs.  (These players are doing less damage, slowing down the run – and if that is more likely for players with a given gearscore, its important to penalize appropriately).

Below, I’ve plotted the relationship between the adjusted DPS of players and their gearscore.  The points are coded by the class of the player.

Surprise to nobody:  better gear means more damage done.  Regardless of class or instance run, an additional point of gearscore is associated with a 1 dps increase, for the average player.

But does the link still hold between gear and the time to finish an instance?

Part 2:  Gear and time to finish

At a basic level, if more geared DPS means a faster run, then the higher the total gearscore of the DPS, the shorter the run should be (on average).

Below, as a first cut at the data, I’ve plotted the relationship between the time to finish the run (in seconds) and the total gearscore of the DPS.*

The relationship might be there, but it isn’t strong.  However – instances vary in how long they take to complete (in particular, because of the intro scene, Culling of Stratholme takes much longer than the other instances).  So I need to control for those effects.  In addition, because the gear of the tank has an effect, I’ll need to account for that too.

Below is a partial regression plot of the time to complete a run on the total gearscore of the group.  (A partial regression plot is like a scatterplot, but the plot is controlling for the effects of the instance run and the gear of the tank.)
Accounting for the instance being run and the gear of the tank, higher gearscores are associated with shorter heroics.  Raising the total gearscore of the dps by 1000 shortens the instance by around 50 seconds (I’ll try to find a way to add the results of the regression to wordpress… in what follows I’m interpreting those results).

In other words, replacing the 2k gearscore mage with a 4.5k gearscore mage (the average for DPS in the sample) would shorten the instance by just over 2 minutes.

But what about the tank?  The tank’s effect on the speed of the group is roughly sixfold the effect of the dps.  On average, a 1000-pt increase in the gear of the tank results in a 5-minute reduction in the time of the instance.

(I should note:  the gear of the healer has virtually no effect on the speed of the instance.)

Part 3:  So what does this mean?

I want to be clear – I’m not endorsing kicking anyone from heroics based on gear.  The difference between “omg, this guy is in all greens and heirlooms” and a 264-decked ICC’r… is about 3 minutes off the run.

Three.  Little.  Minutes.

So what you need to ask yourself – is `saving’ at most 3 minutes really worth being a jerk, and raining on someone else’s day?

Consider this my little plea to relax while playing the game, and just enjoy the run.

[Confirmed – But don’t be a jerk]

Related note:  stop dropping Oculus.  Its 2 minutes shorter than even AN.

*For the attentive, yes, I was in a 50-minute PoS run.  I died both digitally and inside.

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WoW Mythbusters: LFD Gear Matching

02/25/2010

A second rumor I’ve heard about the LFD system is that it does match-making based on the gear of players.  Under-geared players will tend to be matched with well-geared players, and vice-versa.  The dungeon finder will therefore create groups that should be able to clear, even for fresh 80s.

TL;DR:  This appears to be true – LFD involves a matchmaking system that places less-geared players into well-geared groups.

Second Approach: Group Gear Levels

Suppose, for a moment, that the set of players I’ve grouped with is representative of the population of WoW players. (Yet, somehow, nobody got booted from these runs / acted like a jerk / was a complete and total idiot… so given whats been blogged about, this might be a heroic assumption.)

If the que was going to randomly assign groups, it’d pick 1 tank, 1 healer, and 3 dps out of the assortment of players I’ve been matched with.    On this random assignment theory, LFD would produce groups that were both under and overgeared – which I’m going to approximate by looking at average gear scores for each group.

LFD, if it is matching groups based on gear, should distort this distribution. I’m guessing that Blizzard is mostly concerned with avoiding “wipefest” groups – and so ensures that freshly-leveled 80s aren’t placed together into heroics.  I’d expect this would yield under-dispersion: fewer groups with worse gear.  (This would also alter the distribution of average and higher-geared groups, but the effects are more ambiguous).

I’ve simulated the distribution of average gearscores given the players I’ve observed over ~100 runs, and compared it to the actual data.  The plot on the right graphs the average gearscore each group I’ve encountered in LFD, by type of instance.  The plot on the left shows the estimated average gearscore of each group, had groups been randomly generated.

The LFD system is preventing under-geared groups from forming:  my model random group generator produces some groups with abysmal gearscores.   Some groups would have an average gearscore of under 3k.   I never observed any groups with this level of gear, even on my worst-geared characters.  (Note:  its still entirely possible to clear heroics with this gear – just not at the pace generally expected nowadays.)

By preventing under-geared groups from forming, LFD produces fewer all-star groups than would be expected.  The average average group score (ha – confusing or what?) is slightly lower for LFD than expected.  To see this – look at the peaks of each distribution.  For the random groups – on the left – there are many more groups around the 5k average.  The LFD peak is slightly lower – around 4.8k.  LFD is also producing more groups with 4-4.5k averages than the random generator model.  Why?  Because its raising up the otherwise-undergeared groups to this level.

These effects occur regardless of heroic ‘type’.  (Some players que specifically into ICC-5 and ToC-5, for upgrades via drops, so these instances should have distorted distributions – but the effect occurs, regardless of heroic type.)

What does this mean?  Its unlikely that LFD is producing groups randomly.  Instead, its newbie-friendly, ensuring that the worst geared players are matched with players with better gear.

[Plausible]


PS:  Admittedly, this would be easier to do with data on the overall distribution of gearscores, the distribution of tanks, etc.  But please stop me before I write a webcrawler.

Converting WoW-Heroes to GS

02/23/2010

TL;DR:  it isn’t a ratio – but can be approximated by a simple equation,  GearScore = 1.64 * WoW-Heroes + 859.55

(Note:  not the score that includes gems and enchants, just the score from gear.)

More than a few people seem confused about how to convert their WoW-Heroes “score” into a GearScore rating.  So, I collected data on the WoW-Heroes and GearScores of 50 people sitting around Dalaran.  I checked that each character was in the same spec, that weapon/trinket slots were the same, and that wow-heroes had been updated recently.   The results:

The above plots the data I’ve collected, and the line of best fit from a simple regression.  Pretty much all you need for fairly accurate conversion between the two systems is to ditch the enchant/gem component of WoW-Heroes (which the site does automatically!).  But – and this is pretty cool – the plotted line isn’t a simple ratio.

Why an equation and not a ratio?  If you look closely at the plot above, the ratio between WoW-Heroes and GearScore declines, at higher levels of gear.  For players below 4k GS, 2.1 is a more accurate ratio, while for players above 5500 GS, 1.93 is more accurate. Hence the (estimated regression) equation,

GearScore = 1.64 * WowHeroes + 859.55

[Warning:  Math Geek content]  The declining ratio between WH and GS is statistically significant, even given the limited sample size.  I’m pretty certain that this isn’t a linear relationship – but given that I don’t observe many players with gearscores below 3.5k, its hard to make better inferences.