Millions of players across the globe play World of Warcraft (WoW), an extremely popular, massive multiplayer online role playing computer game (MMORPG). In WoW, players build characters, go on adventures, earn new gear and items, and level up their characters. While a novice might enjoy merely putting together appealing outfits for their characters, dedicated players know that the gear, items, and the combination with which they use them can have an extreme impact on the game. Enter, Ask Mr. Robot.
What Is Ask Mr. Robot?
Ask Mr. Robot is an addon for the Twitch App. The Twitch App is a favorite piece of computer software for gamers that, in addition to being a streaming platform, allows users to customize the look and feel of their computer games with addons (add-ons) and mods (modifications). Ask Mr. Robot is one of those addons and is popular among serious WoW players.
The addon is a data-junkie's dream. When a player imports his or her character information into the the website with the help of the addon, Ask Mr. Robot helps inform and guide players' gear decisions within the game. There are
a number of features that allow the addon to do this.
The first and most popular feature is the Optimizer. Players input their characters, and Ask Mr. Robot suggests optimizations for their gear, powers, enchantments, and gems. Not only will the addon
indicate that one sword is better than another, for example; it will also suggest powerful combinations with other gear the user has,
as well as provide shopping lists for what the user should aim to acquire
in order to become more powerful.
Additionally, Ask Mr. Robot offers robust Simulations that allow players to import their characters from the game and simulate a battle using their gear against a specific chosen enemy. The addon takes into consideration all of the players' variables including gear, items, levels, etc. as well as all the variables of the different enemies the player is simulating opposing.
These simulations can be controlled in detail, including letting the player control the margin of error for the simulation. If the player chooses an extremely low margin of error, for example, the addon will continue to run the simulation until it is sure of the results. The simulations can be saved and shared amongst WoW teammates, called Guilds. Overall, the simulations produce data and charts that any hardcore player would be excited to pore over.
Speaking of data, Ask Mr. Robot also tracks the activity of players in raids and provides data about the encounter. Raids are pre-arranged combat encounters where a team of players opposes a predictable series of enemies in hopes of defeating them and gaining a collection of random gear to be distributed among the team.
Many of the most dedicated players join Guilds, or “teams” within WoW, and the Guilds are constantly trying to improve themselves as a whole. The raid data tracking is especially important for these devotees, as it helps them to optimize their gameplay strategy, recognize their weaknesses, highlight their strengths, distribute earned items appropriately, and overall improve the Guild's abilities.
Best In Bags
One of the features that players are currently most excited about is the “Best in Bags” feature. This is a impressive feature because it attempts to combine the mathematically best option with the addon's best guess at the player's preferences. WoW is, after all, a role playing game. The players are playing characters, and while they want their characters to be the best they can be, they also want to be true to the “role” of their fictional character.
The algorithm does this by comparing upwards of a billion different gear combinations (truly that high for advanced players!) and producing thirty significantly different gear setups that favor different gameplay and allow the user to choose their favorite. As the player makes his or her choices, Ask Mr. Robot tries to learn the player's preferences and so produce increasingly enticing (yet still effective) combinations of gear.
Overall, Ask Mr. Robot is a collection of data producing algorithms geared toward diehard WoW players who are looking to increase their skills and their abilities within the game. It takes the guesswork out of what gear will work best in the most effective combinations, and it allows players to focus on increasing their skills instead of inferring which gear to keep or equip.
Is There A Need For Ask Mr. Robot?
There is absolutely a need for addons like Ask Mr. Robot. Many WoW players are smart, high achievers who are devoted to their craft and advancing their skills. They collect themselves into Guilds and develop communities within WoW to propel each other forward as well as advance their own characters and in-game achievements. They meet regularly to raid at increasingly higher levels with aims of team achievement, but also with hopes of being the top contributor on their team. It is vitally important that players are at the top of their game and contributing to the best of their abilities.
Who Is It For?
These are players who are serious about developing their skills and their online characters. If they had to guess or use trial-and-error to determine which gear combination would be most effective against a specific enemy, they would perform poorly to the detriment of themselves and their team.
Ask Mr. Robot runs millions of algorithms ahead of time so that it has data at the ready when a player inputs his or her character information. Then it only takes the player minutes instead of hours to evaluate and optimize gear. As a result, in the time that they're not competing with their teams, they can be improving their skills, which can't be done by an algorithm.
There are definitely other similar addons that players love. Pawn, for example, is a quick and convenient tool that will tell a player if one item is better or worse than another. However, it doesn't have the full scaling combinations, variables, and data production of Ask Mr. Robot. For players who like the deep dive into data and the high climb to achievement, there is absolutely a need for robust and intensive algorithms of Ask Mr. Robot.
How To Get Started With Ask Mr. Robot
If you are interested in using Ask Mr. Robot, you're in luck - it's a fairly simple process. This is an addon to the WoW game, so if you don't already have a WoW account, that's where you will need to start .
For those of you who already have a WoW account, the best way to use Ask Mr. Robot is via the Twitch Desktop App. You will see the Ask Mr. Robot (AMR) addon as an option to download and install.
For the technically savvy and Twitch-adverse, you also have the option to download the addon manually. If you'd like to do that, you can download the file from their website (link: https://www.askmrrobot.com/addon), extract the contents to your Interface/Addons, and restart WoW.
Once you have your character in WoW and your AMR addon installed, you're ready to optimize your character! The addonis constantly updated, so check their blog or YouTube channel for the most recent tutorials. Please note that this is a resource primarily for people who are deep into the game and already have lots of gear or items that can be paired in different combinations. If you are just starting out, you may want to earn some items before trying the tool.
So, is there value in addons like Ask Mr. Robot? Absolutely.
Ask Mr. Robot is able to take the guesswork out of gear optimization, which is a huge component of excelling as a WoW player. As we saw with the Best in Bags feature, the algorithm is still learning how to account for preferences, but in terms of pure stats, it's probably better than your average player - or even your above average player.
There is a movement in the world in general to only do what can't be outsourced to a robot. That's why we have Alexa, slow cookers, Roombas, and smartphones. This is no different. Players outsource the grunt work of gear rating and data tracking, and as a result, they're able to focus on the components that a robot can't do. They can analyze the data and suggestions presented by the algorithms, and make decisions that fit their preferences and gameplay style. They can devote themselves to developing their skills as an individual and as a team.
Skill development can never be outsourced. To be excellent at anything will always take hard work and dedication. However, there's futility in working hard while using your tools ineffectively, which is why Ask Mr. Robot is a tremendous asset to WoW players serious about taking their game to the next level.