The term, theorycraft, is derived from the videogame Starcraft. Theorycraft is “the mathematical analysis of video game mechanics in an attempt to better understand the inner workings of the game.” This blog entry will take a look at the impact Theorycraft has had on a very popular online game “World of Warcraft”.

It is estimated that of the 2.5 million players in America and Europe who reach the highest level of World of Warcraft, about 50% of these players have understanding of the mathematics behind basic moves.

The webpages on Shaman Enhancement, from elitist jerks, show formulas for the weapons advancement for one of the classes (Shamans) in the World of Warcraft. Several of the formulas from the webpage are shown below.

The main graph (duplicated below) shows the probability distribution depending on the speed of the weapon. This page on Basic TheoryCrafting shows basic methods used to calculate game probability.

If you have students interested in gaming who might be interested on viewing examples of how mathematics can help their gameplay, they can visit the Theorycrafting Think Tank, a wiki-driven system (with accuracy maintained by editors) that contains formus of easy-to-reference, organized information about Theorycrafting for WoW.

Submitted by Jim Pardini (a community college student) and his instructor, Dan Petrak.

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