PLEASE check out the Rawr3 Beta as we're getting close to release and need as many bug submission reports as possible to get her ready!
Why should I use Rawr?
Rawr is not meant to replace Shandara's sheet. It is meant to be used in conjunction with it. Any major discrepancy between Rawr and Shandara's sheet should be reported to me for investigation before you move on and waste gold/time/materials on what could be a bug. We have not had the exposure that Shandara has had, and so bugs are still possible.
Shandara's spreadsheet is fantastic. I'm an avid user of it. However, nothing is perfect, and Shandara has had bugs in the past. Having a second tool that simulates Hunter DPS will help make both tools better, as discrepancies could mean a bug in Rawr, or it could mean a bug in Shandara's sheet.
Also, there are a lot of features that come with the Rawr package that you just can't get in a spreadsheet due to technical limitations. For one, Rawr will let you flag all the items/gems/enchants/buffs that you have available, and automatically optimize itself to tell you the best items to wear and the best way to gem/enchant them. It removes a lot of the guesswork needed by finding the best solution for you. You can also set parameters that you want to optimize on, such as maintaining a certain buffed health, crit chance, miss chance, or resist rate.
Rawr also has custom combat options you can set if you're optimizing for a specific fight. While some of these options are still in the works for Hunter, they are definitely on the way. You can set how long you're attacking the boss from behind, how often you need to move out of combat range, how often you may be feared/stunned, and how often you're able to hit multiple targets. It also provides custom calculations for maintaining buffs or debuffs on the raid. If you need to maintain Hunters Mark, specific stings, etc, Rawr will replace global cooldowns with those abilities, decreasing your DPS and providing value to talents/glyphs that increase their duration.
Rawr does not use AEP in its gear ranking. When it's telling you how much of a DPS increase each item is, it does so by actually swapping the item into your current gear and calculating how much your DPS increases. It also has a feature to evaluate the strength of an upgrade based on other items you may have sitting in your bags (ie, you're at the hit cap already, but if you pick up that new belt with hit, you can swap out your hit gem and your hit ring for a larger upgrade). This takes only a few clicks; no more manually swapping your gear around to find out if that new belt is an actual upgrade!
What Rawr Doesn't Do
It wouldn't be fair to Shandara if I touted all the things that Rawr does better without also explaining what Shandara's sheet does better.
1) It is much easier to make changes to Shandara's sheet than it is to make changes to Rawr. Rawr is open source, but it's written in CSharp; if you don't know CSharp or you don't have Visual Studio, you won't be able to make changes to the actual calculations. However, you can still create new items or change procs/trinket use effects to your hearts content.
2) It's more difficult to find specific errors in Rawr for the same reason as it is to make changes (see #1). If you have a CSharp IDE and can step through code, it's very easy to find/fix bugs, but if you do not then Rawr will be more of a black box than Shandara's sheet is.
3) Shandara's rotation setup is basically what is being used in Rawr, which has some rather serious issues when it comes to a large number of edge cases. We do have a solution for this, it just takes a lot of time to implement and we're not going to make it live until it's close to fully functional for minimal impact to the end users. That's not to say that Shandara's or the current code used in Rawr is 'wrong' just that it doesn't play well under certain conditions.
4) Shandara is the author of both the MM, BM and Surv hunter modules of his spreadsheet. I am the Arms programmer for Rawr, and now the Hunter programmer for Rawr. Unfortunately, I'm not as familiar with Hunter rotations and talents as I am with Arms work so it's taking some adjustment to fully learn the Hunter Mindsets.
I'd like to start gathering feedback from the community. Do people find this utility useful? What bugs have you found? What new features would you like to see?
Please feel free at any time to ask questions here on this thread regarding Rawr.Hunter. However, before doing so, please note that we have several resources at our disposal that may be able to answer your question before publicly asking it.
- The Rawr Discussions Page: This is easily searchable and answers a lot of questions right off the bat. Chances are, if you are asking it, someone else already has.
- The Rawr Issue Tracker: Use this to report issues with Hunter and the Base Rawr program. Be sure to check both Open and previously Closed issues before posting a new one.
- The Hunter Options Pane in Rawr: In here there's an entire section dedicated to How to Use Hunter (for Basic and Advanced Users), Frequently Asked Questions, and the Patch Notes. MANY questions can be answered simply by reading through these.
Notes about current release
- Haste can be spiky in it's value. This is because certain levels of haste can fit an extra attack into a rotation, which has stronger impacts on DPS changes than normal. The new rotation system on the way will correct this issue.
- Readiness and similar talents can jump in value at certain Fight durations or have no value in others. This will be corrected by the new rotation code.
- When a lot of settings are changed to custom at the same time, the model slows down. Performance is something we are definitely looking at improving all the time but there are other concerns that are taking a higher priority right now.
A question burning in everyone's mind is when are we going to support the changes that are occurring in Cataclysm such as the Mastery system and class changes? Well, we are hoping to bring Rawr3 out of Beta in the next 30 days and from that point we'll begin a branch in the code for Cata changes. A Rawr4 Beta should start a few weeks before Cata's release.