Simcraft – Beginner Guide to WoW Sims


Hi! I’m Hazel, and this is a beginner’s guide to using Simcraft. For a long time, I thought of Simcraft as this convoluted, mathy thing that theorycrafters use to fuel their witchcraft. While that is still a little bit true, Simcraft isn’t THAT scary. It can be a really useful tool for everyday raiders, and there’s no reason why you can’t get on board. So what exactly can you, as an everyday DPS or Tank, use Simcraft for? There’s three main things that’ll make your life better. First one, and the one I do the most, is using Simcraft to compare two pieces of gear such as trinkets. Figuring out an upgrade on anything with a Proc, On-Use or Set Bonus is a job best suited for Simcraft. The second thing is comparing talents. You might be able to look up a guide to show you the best talents for raiding, but Simcraft will take into account your gear, trinkets and stats to give you a personlized answer. Maybe you got a weird legendary that buffs a talent you’ve never used. Simcraft can compare two choices with your current gear to tell you which one’s going to squirt out the most damage.

The third thing is extracting Stat Weights. Maybe you’re really excited to set up Pawn but nobody seems to have exact stat weights for your spec. Maybe you got a strange trinket or legendary and you don’t know if it changes them. Stat weights are not one size fits all, and Simcraft can tell you exactly how strong each stat is for your talent build and current gear.

You can then plug those stat weights into Ask Mr Robot or the Pawn add-on to get exact, percentage based data on how a new piece of loot compares to your gear. First thing you gotta do is Download and install simcraft. There’s a link to the download page in the description under this video. You’ll need an unzipping software like 7Zip to unload it. Installing is really quick, it doesn’t take too much room and it hasn’t given my system computer AIDS yet.

Get that loaded up and let’s take a look at the interface. Next you need to load up your character. You can select your realm and type your name here, or the tab lets you load it up through the webpage. Click Import and it’ll pull up this big wall of text on the Simulate page which looks scarier than it is. All this is is a profile of your character. Leave it alone for now and let’s look at the Options.

There’s an awful lot of options here, but usually we only need to look at a couple of them. Under Iterations, set that to either 10k or 25k. Simming 25k iterations will take longer, but it’s more reliable da==ta and I’d recommend 25k if you’re using this to get stat weights. If you have an older computer or you’re just comparing gear, 10k should be fine. Next, we pick the fight style. Most of the time you want to set this on Patchwerk or Light Movement. If you’re want to find out what’s best for standing still shooting at your target, select Patchwerk. If you want the sim to assume you’re moving a bit, like to avoid raid mechanics, select Light Movement.

For number of enemies, select how many targets you’re attacking. Most fights in Emerald Nightmare and almost every fight in Mythic dungeons is single target for most of it, so I’m leaving that on 1 for now. I’ve also set the Target level to Raid Boss. Under the Buffs/Debuffs tab, you can choose whether you want it to assume you get a Bloodlust. If your raid group somehow doesn’t have a bloodlust, turn that off. If you want to get stat weights with your sim, then tab over to scaling. Enable Scaling, then toggle all character stats. Flip to the Simulate tab, click the Simulate button at the bottom and let it do it’s thing.

Depending on how many iterations you set, how good your computer is and whether you’re pulling stat weights, this could anywhere from ten seconds to a few minutes. When it’s done, it should pull up Results for you to look at. At the top, we have the most important thing, a DPS number. That’s how much damage my character can do, with my setup, in the type of raid fight we set up in the options. The sim is assuming perfect conditions, so if it gives you a number that seems impossible remember that playing WoW is never going to go quite like a sim. You can look over all sorts of cool graphs, like how much of your damage is coming from each ability and how much of your time you’re spending on each spell. As a Shadow Priest, there’s an awful lot of Mind Flay.

If you’re struggling with your damage, you can compare this info with your raid logs to get an idea for what you could be doing more. So that’s all pretty cool, but what I really want to know is whether I should switch out my Gnawed Thumb Ring for this new Dreadful Cyclopean Signet. First, I’m going to name the profile we just simmed as Gnawed Thumb Ring.

Next, I need a second profile with the new ring. You can edit it in here with the item ID, but I’m lazy so I just log into WoW, change my ring, exit, give it a second for the armory to update and re-import from armory. Let’s name this second profile Dreadful Signet, and run the same sim again. Now, it says that with my new ring, I’ll do roughly 20k more damage. Guess I’m keeping that on! You can run the same comparisons with different talents, too. To edit your talents in the profile, just enter the build you want to sim into the talent calculator. Copy the URL of the calculator with your build, and paste it in here where it says talents. You can also edit your race just by typing in a different one here. If I wanted to see how much damage I’d do as a Dwarf or Draenei, that’s super easy.

If you enabled Scaling in your options, you’ll have a little table with stat weights for your setup in the results near the top. Beneath them, there’s a String that you can copy right into the Pawn addon so you can easily compare gear in game. Keep in mind that those will change with different gear, talents, legendaries and even versions of simcraft, so update often!And that’s Simcraft! See, it’s not even scary. Thanks for watching! Let me know what you think, don’t forget to subscribe, and have a wonderful, wonderful day.


Read More: WoW Basics: How-to on stats and gear!