Shadowcraft Feedback

Rogue
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We're doing some end of the expansion analysis of Shadowcraft over at EJ. Therefore, in order to try and extend the range of where we gather feedback, I'm going to start up a thread over here.

Any comments or criticisms will do. Didn't like the flow of the gui? Thought that splash image on the home page was pretty cool? Thought there should be a mobile version? Wanted more control of the calculations? No holds barred.
Mobile version is very much a yes.

It would be even more cool if a PvP version could be made, or at least a way to modify stat weights for personal theorycrafting.
Speaking of Shadowcraft its down?!

Like Backstabi said Mobile would be cool so I can do a reforge from my iPhone while in game and a pvp option would be awesome. I liked the GUI personally, way better than any of the other reforge tools out there.
Shadowcraft itself needs a news/alerts area, specifically to handle things like "this trinket doesn't work right" or "you need to actually equip the dagger to see the real stat value". You can gather a lot of this info by reading the Shadowcraft thread at EJ, but having it immediately available when using Shadowcraft lets me know exactly what still is and isn't working.
Yeah Shadowcraft has been down. I'm not sure if everyone decided to check the site out today since we're reviewing it (and crashed it) or if it's a coincidence that a backend connection failed. Unfortunately I don't have any control over that server.
Mobile version is very much a yes.

It would be even more cool if a PvP version could be made, or at least a way to modify stat weights for personal theorycrafting.


I love shadowcraft and can't think of anything other than the above quote to add to it.
A PvP Shadowcraft is impractical and nonviable.

The reason Shadowcraft is so valuable is because DPS and PvE is a static matter. If we try to apply that to PvP, it'll streamline rogues into "right" and "wrong" instead of prompting them to be innovative and creative in their PvP ways.

It's like this: in PvE, crit is sometimes a bad stat to have not because its effect sucks, but because other stats outshine it. This is a mathematical fact. In PvP, however, a crit can mean the difference between life and death, while the same can be said of other stats like haste giving you just enough energy to execute another backstab or increasing your swing time enough so that your melee attacks really wear down the opponent.

(this is the point at which Cloaked realized that an official Shadowcraft guy made this thread)

Um... >_>

to put it simply, Shadowcraft is a DPS analyzer. There is no DPS in PvP and trying to serialize it as we do PvE is a bad idea, Cloaked thinks.
I dislike the scrollbar for gear modification on the left side - it's jumpy and irritating on Opera. I'll scroll down to the bottom and it'll suddenly be at the top again.
I can think of very few improvements for shadowcraft. The only improvements that come to mind would be an addition of a mobile addition and an in game addon. Both would be nice but neither are really game breaking. Shadowcraft is the best sim I have ever used, by leaps and bounds.
04/10/2012 07:48 AMPosted by Ninjablaze
Shadowcraft is the best sim I have ever used, by leaps and bounds.

The periodic Askmrrobot-versus-Shadowcraft arguments on here are always such a hoot. :)

I disagree with the poison maven that a ShadowCraft allowing for PvP optimization would somehow be unviable. In a world where ShadowCraft could allow for customizable stat caps and stat weights (similar to wowreforge), I think it's conceivable that the engine could be set up to calculate for "best burst," "highest dps" or "optimal resilience" and allow folks to select for that.

The bigger question, in my mind, is whether there's any point in doing such a thing. The sheer existence of ShadowCraft as a Web-based program has dramatically expanded the number of people who can use it; for a tool created by some of the most elitist jerks around (HAHAHAH IM SO FUNY), as this expansion has gone on (and Raid Finder has entered the scene), ShadowCraft has evolved into the ideal tool for the casual raider. It has serious mass appeal.

PvP encompasses a far smaller and more fragmented set of players, though, and as Ekidna said, a person's role can differ significantly depending on the composition of their group and the goal they're trying to achieve. So, sure, expanding the engine into PvP could be cool for some folks... but is it worth putting the time into doing that?

Similarly... why a mobile app? Putting aside how critical screen size alone is when you're tooling around in ShadowCraft, how many people would really spend substantial amounts of time trying to optimize their gear while they're stuck in traffic on the freeway, or walking between their dorm and class, or loading packages onto a UPS truck?

Personally, I don't especially think ShadowCraft needs to try to be more than it is. What it does need to do, though, is decide who it wants to cater to. It was created to be a tool primarily for high-end raiders, borderline theorycrafters and people who mistakenly think they actually know what they're talking about (see avatar at left), which as a result leaves the entire tool less hand-holdy than one might expect from something that looks so cool. If the long-term aim of ShadowCraft is to appeal to whole wide world of end-game PvE, it could benefit from dungeon-versus-raid settings, warnings to the user that their reforges aren't optimized, prominent messages noting that you must equip/reforge items before you can determine whether they're an upgrade... Those sort of friendly-user-experience bits that make the tool easier to use for the people who are increasingly using it.
04/10/2012 08:11 AMPosted by Rfeann
In a world where ShadowCraft could allow for customizable stat caps and stat weights

This would be phenomenal. Especially for working out your reforges for fights like H:Spine, or just letting it be used to optimize your gear for 5-man heroics as well as raids.
04/10/2012 08:11 AMPosted by Rfeann
customizable stat caps and stat weights

This, very much this. I also question the need for a mobile app - how would it display the info needed and various options in an efficient, effective way, given the size of most mobile screens (let's set aside iPads for the moment)?

Otherwise amazing piece of work, thanks for keeping it rolling!
04/10/2012 10:41 AMPosted by Antoniolo
This, very much this. I also question the need for a mobile app - how would it display the info needed and various options in an efficient, effective way, given the size of most mobile screens (let's set aside iPads for the moment)?


I don't know. There isn't a planned feature set or anything. All of this is to gauge how people used it, what they thought worked well, and what needs improvements.

Even if there was a lot of interest in a mobile app, the odds are it would still be low on the totem pole. The issue isn't just how it people could work with it, since I'm sure it could be done, but how it could interface with the game and other locations efficiently. For example, exporting reforges (one of the more popular features) would be impossible without having access to a desktop that runs Warcraft. At that point why would you need the mobile app? The only significant draw, as we can see now, to a mobile Shadowcraft would be looking for gear upgrades while you wait for a meeting, at a bus stop, watch tv, etc without needing a laptop. The effort to achieve that would be pretty significant compared to the payoff, both the physical limitations and size of the user base.
I also second Rfeann's suggestion of an option for raid vs dungeon analysis. I can't imagine that this would be all that difficult as the only real difference between them is the hit/expertise caps, so tying in a check to use one cap or another shouldn't be that complex (especially compared to some of the other things that shadowcraft already takes into consideration).

Anyways, I think the reason that Cloaked said that a PvP shadowcraft wouldn't be viable is simply because shadowcraft, at its core, is about telling the user what the best setup is based on a "simple" calculation of what produces the best overall dps, but in pvp "best" is much less straightforward.

That being said, the ability to create your own EP values and EP breakpoints to override the self-calculated values could also be a useful feature, that could be used both for pvp and for experimental purposes, primarily for the reforging feature. Other reforging tools out there provide this sort of functionality that can be used for things like pvp or other niche situations, so it'd be nice to not have to use a different tool for this.

Maybe a feature to be able to mark any buggy items so that it's more visible to people when an item has a known issue with it even if they haven't been checking the known issues sticky on EJs, so that they're not confused when they happen to switch from their LFR WoU to the normal version and shadowcraft suddenly says their dps has gone down by 1k. Like maybe just a highlight or a little ! icon along with a tooltip note pointing them to the known issues sticky so they can see what the issue with the item is.
I really like Shadowcraft, it seems to be the most accurate rogue reforge tool available. I appreciate all of the work the developers put into it.

There needs to be a way to change specs and reforge while on the site. Currently if your armory is set to combat spec and you are on shadowcraft and you change it to Sub, you will get inaccurate reforging information. Not a big deal but would be nice to play around with specs and reforges without having to log in and out of game changing spec’s to save in armory.
04/11/2012 10:38 AMPosted by Darthquad
There needs to be a way to change specs and reforge while on the site. Currently if your armory is set to combat spec and you are on shadowcraft and you change it to Sub, you will get inaccurate reforging information. Not a big deal but would be nice to play around with specs and reforges without having to log in and out of game changing spec’s to save in armory.
I'm actually not sure what you're referring to.
04/11/2012 11:33 AMPosted by Pins
I'm actually not sure what you're referring to.


I have experienced this error or well. Here's the scenario:

You log out in your combat spec with combat reforges. You load from armory. You manually switch the spec on shadowcraft to sub and hit "reforge". It runs the reforge optimization but the values it produces are not correct for sub nor are they correct for combat.

If you log out in your sub spec with combat reforges, load your profile on shadowcraft from your armory and hit "reforge" it will correctly reforge you for sub.

Also, any word on when shadowcraft will be back online?
I'm pretty sure that's an issue with occasionally erratic EP weights for subtlety, and the way the reforger cuts corners to speed up the process.

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