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World of Warcraft has very few game mechanics published. As a result, we get to see a fair bit of detective work trying to suss out details about how the game works before Blizzard changes it on us. A lot of this work happens on the Elitist Jerks Class Mechanics forum.

Another aspect is once the mechanics are determined, how should one maximize/minimize the effect.

I almost called this category "Mathematics" rather than "Mechanics" since a lot of mechanics research seems to turn out to being attempts to turn the game into mathematical equations or relationships. Still, good thing I like math.

Kids driving Yogg-Saron down FDR Drive

I have been doing some amount of work on combat log analysis recently. There are certain things for which neither WWS nor WoL are suitable.

When Blizzard redid the combat logs in 2.4, they added GUID columns for each participant in the line (source and destination or, if you prefer, subject and object). The GUIDs can be used to uniquely identify a participant.

According to WoWWiki's page on UnitGUID(), you can determine the type of object using a bitmask. If you shift the GUID right 52-bits and do a boolean AND with 0x7:

  • 0 is a player.
  • 1 is a world object.
  • 3 is an NPC.
  • 4 is a pet.
  • 5 is a vehicle.

(In US realms, the third digit from the left will show this. In EU realms, the higher bits seem to be used for something recently.)

So, given the following GUIDs:

  • The entity with GUID 0x0200000000322CF9 is a player. (My mage on Stormrage.)
  • The entity with GUID 0xF130008061003BD7 is an NPC. (Thorim)
  • The entity with GUID 0xF13000752E004257 is also an NPC. ("Desecrated Ground V")
  • The entity with GUID 0xF14007BC02000063 is a pet. (An imp.)
  • The entity with GUID 0xF150008208030C23 is a vehicle. (Yogg-Saron)

Yes, Yogg-Saron is a vehicle. Other mobs which appear as vehicles include the Constrictor Tentacles, Ignis, and Archavon the Stone Watcher. All of these mobs have effects that physically hinder or affect a character in some fashion. This suggests that these are designated as vehicles as a side effect of the internal mechanic for these effects.

There is something hilarious about Yogg-Saron as a vehicle though.

On making models

In the quest of determining how to mathematically model spell haste, I've come to realize a handful of things:

1. Spell haste only provides a DPS buff when considering a duration-based model. In my standard mana-based model (damage based on exhausting the mana pool), spell haste breaks even at best.

2. There's a handful of things where the mathematical modeling gets a little weird. For example, the casting time for a spell can never drop below 1.5s. I'm not sure how to handle bounds like that in a mathematical formula other than saying something like t = blah, blah, >= 1.5.

3. You know, using a spreadsheet is probably just a lot simpler. Vontre says he's updated his spreadsheet.

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