Shadowlands Gear Optimization Roadmap

Shadowlands is here, and so is the new optimizer! (It will be live within the next 1-2 hours.)

As always, new expansions get off to a bumpy start, so here is what to expect from both AMR and Blizzard:

Launch Day

All features will be available with the following exceptions:

  1. The Legendary upgrade finder search isn’t quite ready. We need one or two more days to calculate the rankings.

  2. The Guide pages will take another couple days to finish.

Both of these things will be ready at the very latest, next reset. Most likely much sooner.

Optimization Notes

The current strategies should give you a very good ranking, but they are not perfect! Blizzard is still re-balancing things (they put out a hotfix just hours before launch!), and you can be certain that Blizzard will do many balancing tweaks over the next two weeks.

We will update as quickly as possible leading up to the opening of the first raid, and continue to refine our rankings. Expect things to change!

Legendary Rankings

In particular, certain legendaries still need to be optimized and ranked. What we have is in the ballpark, but a few might be a bit lower or higher than they should be. We’ll have this sorted out before people get to the point where they need to decide on their first legendary.

Sub-60 Characters

As always, we design the optimizer for max-level characters, with a covenant, and some level-appropriate gear.

That said, the optimizer will work just fine as you level, and is very convenient, especially when used in conjunction with the in-game addon to import/export sets of gear. But! The further you are from level 60, and the further you are from “raid-ready” gear levels (around ilvl180+), the more “fuzz” the rankings will have.

Don’t worry about it! It’s still pretty close, and you get and replace gear very quickly as you move towards end-game dungeons, raids, and other activities. This is how we have always run data – we focus on high accuracy around the most common gear levels.

Going Forward

We have a few extra features on the table for early in Shadowlands coming soon, and as always, please let us know if you have requests, suggestions, or run into issues. The earlier you give us a suggestion or report a bug, the faster we can act on it!

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Just a note for the version that is going live right at launch:

We found and fixed a bug with Rogue’s Night Fae covenant (some old code triggering Vanish was still hanging around), but we don’t have time to recalculate it before we put up the site. Shadowdust Locket will be way over-valued for Night Fae rogues as a result. We should be able to update that in 24 hours.

Also, Echo of Eonar is ranking too high for a number of healer setups - we’re exploring that and working on a fix.

Let us know if you see anything that needs looking into!

Looks good guys!

Though I’m getting a message currently that:

"Talent info is currently being updated for DemonHunterHavoc

Ticket Number: e71351c7fe874cee8ce540a29e8eeea3 "

Still doing some last minute hotfixes like Bliz? :stuck_out_tongue:

Dealing with a technical issue swapping from beta servers to live, sorry :frowning:


The rogue issues are updated – we are now addressing some issues with Discipline Priest legendary rankings, hope to have those resolved later today.

when is shadowlands ready… still have battleofazeroth as gear guide??

Shadowlands optimizer is already up there! The guide section of the site we’re working on, will be available this week sometime.

When are you going to fix Fury Warriors optimizing? It’s still wanting me to enchant and gem Mastery. It should be Haste. I finally customized the wheel to 640 Haste> 520Mas> 460Crit > 380Ver. Which gave me a lot better DPS but it’s not perfect. Thanks.

We would need more information to respond to this. In general the optimizer is looking to get both mastery and haste on Fury warriors, as those are the two strongest stats and optimal builds will have both in roughly equal amounts. The gear you have available to you will determine what the optimizer does in any particular case.

Wow and Icy Veins both say:
The stat priority for Fury Warrior is:

  1. Strength;
  2. Haste;
  3. Mastery;
  4. Critical Strike;
  5. Versatility.

On their Graphs it looks like Haste is just barely above Mastery. Just about the same amount that Mastery is above Crit and Crit is above Vers. That doesn’t make them the same. When I ran the opt. the first time and it wanted me to Gem & Enchant Mastery. I Did…Waisted my gold because my DPS wasn’t right. So I replaced all the gems and what enchants I could with haste and it went up. The I played with your customizing wheel for quite a while and settled on, like I said above. Settled on 640 Haste> 520Mas> 460Crit > 380Ver. and my dps was much better. My gear level is only 132.
Not really sure what more info you need. Hope this helps. Thanks for the reply.

Our gearing strategies are centered around character that are higher item level.

Regardless, you won’t see much of a swing in damage if you play optimally whether you get more haste or more mastery.

We don’t use stat weights anymore - they are very limited in their usefulness. We create a model of the game that predicts simulated DPS. The optimizer picks the gear that will most likely simulate highest, which will most likely give you the best damage in-game. If you want me to look at your specific case, use the help link above the gear table and create a snapshot id. Post that and I can show you how the optimizer arrives at the suggestions that it makes.

I’m confident right now that the optimizer is working correctly for Fury Warriors.

Our gearing strategies are centered around character that are higher item level.???

What do you guess that minimum will be when we can trust it to be correct? 158ish? And if it tells me to gem and enchant everything Mastery at that level, then…

Sorry. I don’t see any help link above.

First: I love “Ask Mr. Robot”! You are doing a fantastic job. I am a huge fan and promote you whenever I can.

My question: How confident are you with the current Legendary recommendations/Simulations overall?`

I am a Balance Druid and my question concerns mostly “Balance of all Things” and “Circle of Life and Death”.

You seem to prefer “Circle” over “BOAT” when I use “Best In Slot”. Which is pretty different from everything else I read on the Internet (Blood Mallet / SimulationCraft / WowHead / Icy Veins…). Is this just not updated or do you consider more “details”?

I like to trust you more, but do you maybe have some additional Information for me to understand the difference?

Same with covenants. Your default Simulation Balance-Druid is Venthyr. Is this by design or not updated? Do you know more? Do you test better/differently?

If you have time for a response, it would really help me out.

btw: I am a programmer, you can talk sharp if you like xD

AMR’s team did a blog post if you want talking about “covenant choice” that you may be interested in :
Picking a Covenant: Mostly Good Choices – Ask Mr. Robot
I have no clue about your legendary tho. Swol is probably the one with the more insight about that.

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There were pretty major bugs with Convoke the Spirits (Druid NF ability) until last week, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the covenant rankings were biased against NF in one way or another.

In general, the data quality on a site like AMR is driven by two factors:

  • The quality of the simulator
  • The quality of the rotation being simulated

AMR’s simulator is generally OK, though it definitely doesn’t have as much manpower behind it as SimC, and it’s not always up to date with the research and data mining (e.g. trinkets missing implementation, more obscure mechanics like Convoke not correctly implemented). Some features I find are really cool, for example I find it better at simulating movement and human latency than SimC is.

The rotations however I’ve found to be very variable in quality. Usually you need rotation adjustments to make the best out of some trinkets or legendaries, and since most of the theorycrafters work with SimC the SimC rotations usually take these things into account while AMR rotations don’t. BOAT on Balance is a great example of that, where there is a 5-10% performance difference between BOAT with the “normal” rotation and BOAT with a special rotation to make best use of the proc. Since AMR doesn’t have that special rotation, it’s likely undervaluing the legendary effect by quite a lot. Unlike BOAT, Circle doesn’t really need any rotation change to make full use of, so that one would be valued “correctly” by AMR.

Unfortunately, the only way to really figure this out right now is to dig into the SimC and AMR rotations and understand where the differences are coming from.

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I did some work on this last week. I disagree that you could get 5-10% more damage with balance of all things compared to a “normal” rotation - it’s not that strong an item by itself. I was able to squeeze out another 1% or so. We’ll crunch the numbers and re-rank accordingly. I know the rotations I make look simpler and less “researched” but that is generally just a perception. The rotations I use are how they are intentionally, not because of a lack of manpower. Sometimes there is a clever optimization for a particular build that other folks come up with first, and I incorporate those trends as they emerge. Sometimes I find things first, and those eventually make their way into the world too - usually when someone else comes up with it independently :wink:

In my experience the simc APL authors include a lot of extremely complicated conditions that often only specifically yield DPS increases in patchwerk simc sims. Often I cannot recreate the theoretical gains even if I use the exact same rotations in our simulator. A lot of this gets down to our two different models of the game and how we allow the simulator to make decisions. Simc allows for perfect reaction time and a few impossible types of choices to be made. APL authors can mitigate some of that by using things like .react in the simc APLs, but the onus is on the APL author. The AMR simulator has that built in to the simulator settings instead of being rotation-specific. Also, our simulator was built from the ground up to be more like a human as far as reaction time goes. It’s not as popular as simc, of course, but we built it after using simc heavily for many years. Our simulator is an evolution of simulation beyond what simc does, in our opinion. Otherwise it would have been a waste of time to make it.

For balance in particular, we went over the simc model vs the amr model with a fine-toothed comb during BfA. Neither I nor simc folks could find any particular outstanding bug with either model after a little back and forth. But, simulation results were measurably different for some cases. Extra conditions in their APL that gave DPS increases in simc gave no corresponding increase in AMR. To me, this was a good indication that the underlying models being used were influencing the results. Maybe that still exists in the shadowlands version. I haven’t had the time yet to do a deep dive into simc. If big differences persist, I can do so once things settle down.

I’d say I’m pretty confident there won’t be huge swings. I am still actively doing QA (I never stop really), but I also expect a balance pass by blizz that hits some of these items. I can’t totally rule out some clever build I haven’t noticed increasing the potential power of a legendary item. I also can’t rule out certain items having more practical power than a simulator gives to them. After the raid comes out, I do plan to make some more scripts for the simulator that simulate a few fights in current tier content. That could be useful for people as another data point to help make their decisions.


Just to follow up on this: I think that the people referencing Balance of All Things as way stronger than other legendary items are doing it mostly in the context of Night Fae/Convoke the Spirits. Using Convoke right at the start of Celestial Alignment to benefit from Balance of All Things is pretty huge. Our rotation is already doing this - I put in a little tweak that makes sure not to delay it which adds a tad more damage.

As far as I can tell, the rotation we have is making good use of Balance of All Things at this point. I think we need to recalculate some of the rankings, which we can do in the next day or so.

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Thank you Swol for your feedback, very appreciated.

Can you tell please me at what gear level the optimizer starts working best for Fury and where the help link above is? All i see is Gear, Simulator, Addon, Blog and Forum. Thanks in advance. Fozzgate.

It should work well as soon as you get to heroic dungeon level, even lower it will be fine. so like 160?