Nearly a year ago, I started work on an elemental DPS spreadsheet to fill the gap left in my need for theorycraft-supported knowledge after SEIC stopped development. A month later I released this on the Elitist Jerks and Wowhead forums as the ZAP! spreadsheet, and ended up basing the vast majority of what I wrote on this blog on its conclusions. I thoroughly enjoyed the process and found it very rewarding, and it was very significant for me because it gave me something to do at a time when everything else in my life had been put on hold. And as is usual when I hack together a tool of that sort found that it took on something of a life of its own in my head – so it was not so much a spreadsheet that I wrote as a pet that I looked after, albeit one which sometimes bit me in the shins or left hairballs on the couch.
Given the above, I feel a bit more sad than I probably should do to have to finally decide not to go ahead with my planned 4.x/Cataclysm rewrite and abandon ZAP! for the foreseeable future. I wasn’t able to get the work done over the summer that I’d hoped, and now my RL situation is just not going to make it possible to put in the necessary amount of work and concentration – especially with the vast amount of stuff that’s still in flux and the astonishing complexity of the developing elemental rotation.
But of course the elemental theorycraft which I relied on my spreadsheet for is not going to dry up: there’s still and will continue to be the SimulationCraft project, various folk have been writing their own models to answer specific elemental questions, and most excitingly EnhSim has recruited Bink to help develop elemental support. EnhSim is an incredible project and is basically what made Enhancement theorycraft possible with all their complexity in WotLK, so having it support elemental in Cataclysm is very exciting. I should also point out that it was EnhSim and SimC research that I relied upon to implement fire totem support into ZAP!.
The spreadsheet will continue to be useful until the release of patch 4.0.1, upon which point it’ll be obsolete and I’ll archive the pages about it here on the blog.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s given me feedback on ZAP! – whether submitting bug reports, contributing possible solutions, discussing mechanics or even asking questions which helped me get more familiar with the maths and implement new features. I’d also like to thank all those who’ve sent me encouraging PMs or left nice comments, and of course to once again thank Bink in particular, for SEIC and for all the work he’s done past and present to help us know how best to play elemental. It’s always been a lot of fun to work on ZAP! precisely because of all the great interaction it’s allowed me to have with y’all.
Edit: Oh, also, WoW Insider has another new elemental columnist in the shape of Pewter, who succeeds the retiring Bink. Her first article deals with the 4.0.1 pre-Cataclysm patch presently on the PTR and is full of awesome, so go check it out if you’ve not yet!