re: The Line Between Theory and Application01/01/2010
An interesting post over at Life in Group 5 that touches a bit on some conversations I’ve been having recently about theorycrafting. I’ll especially point you to Drug’s response as it absolutely illustrates my take on what people consider the “limitations” of theorycraft models.
Something else I want to add to this is part of my own person reasoning for crafting as much as I do. People like to say that healing can’t be all about planning out situations to maximize your numbers, that it is about reaction to unexpected situations and using your intuition to deal with it. But I can tell you right now that I cannot learn fights that way. I absolutely do not learn by doing. This is true in everything about me. Back when I was learning to drive (many, many years ago!), my father would take me out to the parking lot and tell me to “feel” when the car needed to be shifted into a higher gear. I would get frustrated and fail terribly because even when I succeeded in getting the car moving, I hadn’t actually learned anything about how it was done and couldn’t replicate it. It wasn’t until I went to the library to look up how a manual transmission -works- that I was able to get the hang of it. Knowing about torque to speed ratios gave me the background to know what I was “feeling” for.
This is very similar to how I heal in WoW. I am a very intuitive person, but my intuition is wrapped up in applying what I know to unexpected situations, not in coming up with new solutions while I do things. It’s one of the reasons that I’m actually very bad at PvP! Modeling for PvP is nearly useless and it makes me nuts. You have to learn as you go and I’m just terrible at that. In PvE, there are only so many variables you have to work with per encounter. While it’s certainly not possible to model for -everything- that happens in that encounter, I have enough knowledge stored in my brain to usually allow me to compensate, further aided by quick reaction times. I don’t have to model for “if our only Tree druid dies” and work out every specific because I already have the stored information of how Trees heal, what our Tree’s assignment was, who else was aiding in that assignment, the fight mechanics of the encounter we are currently on, who has the highest flexibility of the other healers to cover for the dead Tree, how I can increase my own throughput to help compensate without overtaxing my mana, etc. These are all things that I pull up in my head as a quick response to a bad situation and all of it is from theorycrafting!
For me, it’s all a matter of having a strong background of knowledge in order to condition myself to respond to things. I can’t just “feel” when I need more throughput or more regen by doing fights. I’m not wired to learn that way!