The hardcore theorycrafters can get pretty dang close to our internal formulas, but that’s not necessarily going to stay the case. We will make adjustments to the formulas for various reasons (e.g. we want to tune crit up across the board, we want to tune this specific ability down, we’re raising the level cap in an expansion, we want to change things up for this season, etc.) which can often invalidate previous assumptions.
In a lot of ways, the theorycrafters are actually the mirror opposites to designers. We designers start with the math and use it to try to craft the intended player experience. Our goal is to create a combat experience that is fun and engaging for the player. The theorycrafters start with the player experience and try to figure out all of the math that drives it. Their goal is usually to optimize their combat performance, even if it means sacrificing the engaging gameplay to do it. It’s a pretty major distinction - lots of people can understand what it means to break down an experience into the component mathematical parts, but it is far rarer to find people who can use those math components to craft an interesting experience.
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