paladins behaving badly
April 10, 2010
A commenter by the name of Tankadin asked me to look at some problems with my Protection Paladin stats page. First off, apologies for the time it has taken to respond to this; I’m always happy to check for errors.
Tankadin asked whether 1.2 was a reasonable minimum mainhand attack speed for prot pallies. That is what the data shows. Level 80 prot pallies come equipped with a variety of weapons in the mainhand slot. In my sample we have this for mainhand speed:
The other question was: why do they show any offhand dps, when they should be equipped with shields. The answer to this one is a bit more disturbing. The stats shown in the armoury are all calculated on the server side (presumably to prevent people reverse-engineering the equations involved) and there is no direct connection in the XML between the stats and the items that the character is equipped with.
No doubt, somewhere in the bowels of Blizz’s servers, the stats are being computed by taking into account the bonuses granted by each item, gem, enchant et cetera, but when the data gets to your browser it is just a set of disconnected numbers.
What is happening is that a paladin who has nothing equipped in the offhand slot gets reported as having a non-zero offhand dps. It is a purely theoretical number since there is no weapon in the slot that could attack anybody using that dps. But the number is there in the XML.
So, regrettably, that table is… misunderestimated… There may be other examples of this in some of the stats reports and I’ll try to set aside some time to see if some better sanity checks can be put in place. Unfortunately there are limits to what can be done since I use a lot of pretty generic SQL to do the work.
Tankadin’s final questions were about whether the stats were being influenced by outliers. Well, outliers there certainly are. I found one one level 80 prot pally wielding this in the mainhand slot. If you’re ever tempted to equip it for the next guild raid, you’ll be pleased to know that it has an attack speed of 2.0!
The reason why that doesn’t bother me too much is that the outliers form a relatively small proportion of the sample set. Most characters adopt one or another of a very small subset of items. We might call them the “popular” group. We’ve remarked on this interesting distribution before, but its worth looking at a chart again. Here is a plot of the number of level 80 protection paladins equipped with each distinct item in the mainhand slot:
You can see the “long tail” of outliers which stretches to the right hand axis of the chart, but the reality is that there are about 1800 toons in the long tail, compared to 22,000 toons in the popular camp.