[edit 12 aug: fixed broken link, sorry for fat-fingering the first link to the site in question]
You’ve probably all been told at one point or another to “use the spreadsheet”. They mean this spreadsheet, and here‘s the guide I wrote for it. Since then, the cries for a version that would work for people who don’t have access to Microsoft Office could be heard for miles. Luckily for us, the always effervescent Zeherah has created an amazing online tool that does just this.
Let’s start at the beginning! How can you tell whether you should be gemming agility or armor penetration? How can you see whether it’s worth breaking your 4 piece T8 bonus to use a better T9 non-tier piece? How can you see how much DPS not having judgment of wisdom on your target costs? How about improved and glyphed hunter’s mark? All these questions are too complex to be estimated. The only way is to either test it yourself under raid conditions (and believe you me, the last thing your raid leader wants to hear from a hunter is “Guys, mind if I try something different on this fight?”) or use a simulator that models our DPS based on the algorithms measured in game.
www.femaledwarf.com is one of those simulators. Basically, you can import your character, make changes, and see how they affect you. Let’s go over the steps:
Sign In or Create Your Account
You need an account to save profiles, which we’ll be doing.
Import Your Character
Now that you’re signed in, you want to import your character. Don’t start filling anything out until you’ve done this, as it might get overwritten. Note that if you use your secondary spec mainly (as I do) you’ll need to check the “secondary spec: box. Also, now that the armory supports pets, you can import your raiding pet by name.
Check On The Settings
This is an important step many people forget. The default settings have to be changed in several places in order to properly reflect your DPS in game:
Here’s the shot rotation section. Clicking on “enable common shot rotation” will pre-populate the normal rotation for your spec, however if you’re a little bit of a statistical outlier and have a non-standard rotation (like I don’t use arcane shot), go ahead and drag it off to the right. Don’t check the “rotation test” check because it introduces server lag. It can be used if you have a unique rotation and latency combination that’s not correctly being represented in the algorithms.
Here’s the buffs and debuffs. “Enable best raid” button will just go ahead and give you everything, however if you’re in a guild where some things are just not readilly available, go ahead and make those changes. I remove judgment of wisdom.
Lastly, you have the settings:
This is where alchemists have to check the mixology box, and where we need to verify our latency. Other than those, the rest is usually fine left default.
Calculate Your DPS and Save Your Baseline Profile
Now that we have our gear, talents, glyphs, and pet imported, and our rotation, buffs, and settings set up, let’s see where we start from by clicking “update DPS” to get our baseline.
Now here we can save the profile to go back if we need to.
Note I gave it a name without special characters, and elected to share it publicly. To find the link for sharing your profile, you need to go to the load profile button at the top of the page:
Lastly, if you don’t need to be able to go back and look at your profile, but instead want to do the equivalent of writing down the final DPS on a notepad, click on the DPS scratchpad button next to the “save settings” button:
Test Your Changes!
Here’s the interesting part. Want to see how much DPS you’ll get by replacing those last few gems? Go to the gear area and make the changes you want, and the update the DPS again and it will tell you your new DPS.
That’s it- you now know how to properly use the DPS calculator! Enjoy :)