Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What (not) to wear, Public Beta 1

Here's the first semi-real version of the chart I mentioned last time. It is essentially a "how long am I going to wear this, and when can I expect to get it?" chart for SPriests. This image just shows the Feet for now so that you can get a feel for it.

  • Horizontally along the bottom you can see the +Shadow damage of the character wearing the specific gear.
  • The vertical orientation is meaningless—it's just an order to make a pretty layout.
  • The width of each gear bar is the +Shadow range for which people are currently wearing that gear. There is at least one person at the very beginning of that range, and one at the very end of that range. (Except for the perfect squares, which mean that only one person has it equipped, but I didn't want a zero-width sliver.)
  • The color theme tells you where you get the item. Bright yellow gear, for example, are quest rewards, while the darker gold are crafted.
  • The color gradient shows you how the players are distributed within the range. In this example, you can see that the Footpads of Madness, while they cover a large range, really only have a few small clumps of players wearing them. On the other hand, FSW Boots are worn pretty much consistently across the range.

I have, for now, intentionally left out how many people are wearing the gear. I thought about scaling the bars vertically based on popularity, but I'm not sure what that would communicate. (And, really, I don't think I want to tackle the logic to wrangle a much more complicated layout.) In most cases you can infer how many people are wearing the gear by looking at the distribution gradient.

I'm hoping that this will help the "what gear should I go for next" and "should I swap out X for Y when they are basically the same" type questions over on I'm sure it won't completely eliminate them, but it's bound to help someone other than just me.

I need more data. Many of these items are only equipped by a single person on our server, which doesn't make for a good statistical population. If anyone would like to drop a comment and suggest a particular server that I should include (this data is from Bleeding Hollow), I can do so.

Also, what do you think? Too much clown vomit? Not enough cowbell?


Hexapuma said...

I always find this type of information interesting and amusing. Unfortunately I don't play a shadow priest... Love to see one for hunters though.

It would probably be a bit to heavy to show all item slots but I guess it would be interesting to see the items that have the longest use... like the Frozen Shadowweave Boots.

Ho Ho said...

What about creating 3D charts? X=spelldamage, Y=number of users, Z=different items.

Any chanches you'll release the source code for your program?

apanthropesp said...

I've started looking into creating a Hunter version, as well, for a guildie. It's a little trickier, as I don't "get" Hunter stats. What would be the horizontal progression scale? Agility? Attack Power? Crit? Some formulaic combination? SPriests are nice and easy because until SWP-level content we don't care about anything but +Shadow. The ProtWarr version for another guildie is similarly easy, as all he cares about is HP.

And yeah, the all-item version for Hunters is ridiculously long. I need to come up with some way of reducing the complexity without losing value. (Just because only 1 or 2 people are using an item doesn't mean it shouldn't be listed.)

As for 3D ... it's an interesting idea.

I have no problem with releasing the source code. It's done in ColdFusion against a SQL Server backend, but it's straightforward enough that it could be easily ported to your favorite language. Once I get the project to a semi-stable state, I'll put it up on Google Code.

Hexapuma said...

I imagine you would have to take a subset of hunters such as survival hunters. They go for agility all the way...