This post was published long before the Mists of Pandara Expansion.
The tips and techniques explained here may be outdated.

Podcasts, Proofs and Theorycrafting

While driving back from my vacation (12 hour to get there, 21 hours to get back *grumble*) (How were we supposed to know that the Grapevine mountain pass was closed due to snow.. and really, Garmin(GPS device of infinite goodness) is very resistant when you try to get it to give you a different route home… {sarcasm} Three hour traffic jams are fun.. especially in the middle of the Mojave desert {/sarcasm}) I had the opportunity to think about.. well anything that would keep me from nodding off.

I have a small yearning to do a podcast. I think it’s a “be part of the cool kids” thing. The problem is I really don’t think we need another “here’s what I did this week and news you could have read off of WowInsider or MMO-Champion” type podcast.. and I can’t come up with any sort of distinct slant on the Wow topic that would last for longer than 3 episodes OR wouldn’t bore my listeners to tears (theorycraft much). So .. meh. I guess I’ll stick to listening to podcasts and blogging.

BTW: Costco has a very cool bluetooth accessory for ~$70. It allows you to take tunes/podcasts that you have saved on your phone/ipod/bluetooth accessible device and to broadcast them onto an empty FM radio station in your car. So we spent most of our trip listening to all of the Wow podcasts I’d downloaded onto my Blackberry Storm. It will also broadcast your incoming phone calls onto your FM stereo.. but the caller reported that it sounded like crap on their end. For listening to the podcasts it was crystal clear and very very convenient.

As a general rule (and I know this will surprise some of you) I’ve generally hated math classes. I hated having to learn arbitrary rules the never seemed to have any practical application. There was one notable exception. When I was younger.. we’re talking like 7th or 8th grade (~14 years old) I had a math class where we had to do geometric proofs. You had to repeat the problem, state which theorems you were using to solve the problem and show all your work and demonstrate how the theorems applied to this problem. I -LOVED- that math class. I reveled in the perfection of proving my point and providing all the backup documentation. LOVED IT! Coincidentally, I also loved the class I took in college about Boolean Algebra… but that’s not really relevant.

Anyway.. I think WoW theorycrafting for me is a lot like doing those proofs. First I have to state the problem (or whatever it is I’m trying to test/prove). Then I have to state my “Assumptions” (the “facts” I’m using as the basis for my solution). Then I have to show all my work to come to a solution. The biggest problem is that unlike the immutable rules concerning isosceles triangles and the quadratic equation, Wow Theorycrafting “facts” are sometimes just random guesses.. and in other cases Blizz changes the whole underlying system so the assumptions become just plain wrong.

Regardless, I groove on it.

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4 comments to Podcasts, Proofs and Theorycrafting

  • Ah, The Grapevine. How come it seems like wherever you want to go in CA you have to cross it?

    Brandon Tilleys last blog post..Howling Blast Cooldown Not Removed

  • Try other vacations, Brandon. Arizona, Las Vegas, Mexico… none of those require the Grapevine. heh.

    And why is it that that’s the only math class that I hated? It was like I was stating the obvious most of the time. If you couldn’t follow that a + b = c so c – b = a, then I really don’t have the time to explain it to you. Go back to beginning Algebra.

  • For my math minor I had to take two semesters of Math Analysis. Basically, its proving calculus from scratch. I thought I liked proofs too… :-) . It wasn’t really that hard, just gets repetitive, and there’s a point where I want to go: You can all see where this is going, do we really have to finish it? Derivatives were where it was at for me. However, now I avoid in-game math whenever possible, so go figure.

    You could do a weekly “spell justification” spotlight, wherein you try and justify the existence of spells like the Eye of Killrogg and Shadowflame. I’d do it but it might come off sarcastic :-) . I don’t know, I never have time for podcasts anyways, just thought it’d be funny and you seem to always know good uses for the, umm, less visited spells.

    Fulguraliss last blog post..Faith, Hope, and Love

  • 21 hours on the road, yikes! Glad you’re back!

    Why not start up a “how to” podcast. How to do the math theory on this certain spell. How to analyze the hit cap properly. How to…be all sorts of mathy and sciencey.

    I’ve never come across a podcast like that where it was far more “brainy” and technical than just general topics. Of course, this sort of podcast would be more for the theorycrafting nerds, but they might be interested in joining you and adding in their own jargon.

    Caits last blog post..Guest Spot Tuesday