Historical look at Feral Rotation Complexity with Ovale

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Historical look at Feral Rotation Complexity with Ovale

Post by Leafkiller » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:36 am

As I have pretty much retired from the game, I thought I would share some history on the Ovale scripts from different expansions. Looking through these scripts it is pretty obvious how much more complex the feral rotation has become over time. Part of this is Blizzard's doing as they continue to add more complexity to the game and part of it is our fault as we have gotten much more sophisticated over time, both in simulations and in the capabilities of Ovale. I am certainly partially to blame as I have relentlessly pursued more dps in my simulation work and Ovale scripts through all of Cata and into MoP. Onto the scripts:

Prior to the Ovale scripts we used the addon Feral By Night, which stopped being updated when the author, nightcrowler, took a break from playing. FBN was an outgrowth of nightcrowler's simulation tool described here: http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t49702-fera ... tion_tool/
nightcrowler did some amazing work, and is the grandfather of the work we have continued to this day with the Ovale scripts. Among other things, he went so far as to optimize his addon around different fights.

The first person (I am aware of) to write a viable Ovale script was Furion. You can read a many page discussion showing the early evolution of the script here: http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t84378-visu ... on_ingame/

While Furion was trying to visualize the simc work in his script, Bkim was the first one to actually represent the simc script line by line in Ovale. Note that Bkim references this discussion that Mihir started about using simc to optimize feral dps: http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t81052-best ... tioncraft/
Here is the post where Bkim introduced his script in Furion's thread: http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t84378-visu ... ost1494633

After Furion, Fatalsaint took over maintaining the Ovale script. Here is the post where he first posted his script: http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t84378-visu ... ost1584139

After Fatalsaint, Alaron took over the script. If you read the comments in the scripts that Alaron maintained, you will see he references Fatalsaint as the source of his script). Here is a link to his final Wrath script: http://pastebin.com/1KdT6uZU. The thread where this was discussed is here: http://fluiddruid.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=33

With the advent of Cata, RL was keeping Alaron too busy to update the script, and both Mihir and I posted new scripts. At some point Mihir got busy with other things and my script became the de facto feral script. Here is the post where I introduced my script: http://fluiddruid.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=427#p427
Note that with Cata, my primary tool for simulation was Mew, which was allowed me more flexibility in optimizing the script. Also, Yawning was very quick to fix bugs I found and made a lot of enhancements I requested along the way. Here is a link to Mihir's script: http://fluiddruid.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=63

These days, aggixx, with help from Tinderhoof, has pretty much taken over both the feral simc work and the Ovale script. The complexity and power of the script in MoP is significant compared to Cata. Probably the most significant difference occurred when Jeshu wrote Nerien's Ovale Scripts, joined the Ovale dev team and started participating on this forum. While in cata, Yawning's devotion to improving Mew was the most significant contributor to our ability to improve the dps (and add complexity) in MoP it has been Jeshu's willingness to enhance Ovale to support significant features such as measuring relative spell power and energy pooling that has allowed us to move the bar on dps (and complexity).

If you look through the various threads I linked, you will see a great many ferals who have made significant contributions to our rotation and dps. It is my personal belief that we have optimized the script to a level that makes it extremely difficult (if not impossible) to achieve optimum dps without having Ovale (or an equivalent move suggester) running. While it is never correct to blindly follow the Ovale script as it does not take into account multiple targets and fight mechanics, it is better than any other addon in the game at identifying small windows of opportunity to squeeze out more dps.

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Re: Historical look at Feral Rotation Complexity with Ovale

Post by Loteru » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:06 pm

It's very cool to see this kind of historical information. I've been playing feral for many years now and it's through the efforts of these individuals -- past, present, and likely future -- that I've gotten as much enjoyment from the spec as I have.

A massive thanks to all of you who have contributed your time and expertise (capped of course!) to help eek out that last bit of DPS.

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Re: Historical look at Feral Rotation Complexity with Ovale

Post by Alaron » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:00 pm

This brought back some memories for me, so I figured I'd share my inspirations.

When I started playing Feral and getting interested in mechanics, there wasn't much in the way of discussion out there. Ferals had just been made DPS-viable in Wrath. Wowhead was just supplanting Thottbot as the primary database tool. World of Logs didn't exist yet (we were all using WoW Web Stats and its horrible interface). There was no Icy Veins, noxxic, etc. and forum discussion level was at it's usual low signal/noise ratio.
  • I got my start by reading Kalon's excellent blog ThinkTank (which was started to discuss all tank classes, but ended up being solely Feral). Go check out his 3.0.2/WotLK FAQ for some cool history moments. He featured a post of mine in 2009, which got my blog off the ground in terms of traffic, so much love.
  • Karthis had a blog, Of Teeth and Claws, that was also excellent, though it's no longer up. Here's an archive shot.
  • Toskk's DPS calculator was king back in WOTLK; both for the calculator, and for the intelligent forum discussion. While I think most of the ferals moved over here eventually, a few people still hang out there.
  • Rawr was A LOT more popular back then. It's still around, but the change from a downloadable program to a Silverlight app was pretty unpopular, and led to a lot of class developers abandoning it for Simulationcraft. Once Ask Mr. Robot came out and took all the less-hardcore theorycrafters away, there wasn't a lot of support left. Sad, really; it's still a very good paperdoll tool.
One interesting quirk; Rawr and AMR both got their start as feral-specific modeling tools. Yes, we are the most complicated class. :)

As for me, I had a ton of free time on my hands; I was in Army IT schools for most of 2010, which left a lot to be desired, so I ended up scriptwriting and theorycrafting a lot. Once I was deployed to Iraq in 2011, though...not so much time. I'm very grateful that people have stepped up and kept the discussion going, even though I'm not able to jump in and participate at the level I used to.

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