DPS Calculation Explained: Active Time vs. Elapsed Time

October 24th, 2018

Two players can do the same total damage during a fight yet have significantly different DPS numbers. You may be wondering how this is possible.

In most cases DPS is calculated by dividing the total damage by the total elapsed time. “Elapsed time” is just the length of the fight. Most DPS calculators will subtract time you spent dead, and some will start the clock from when you entered the fight instead of when your group entered the fight. But if you stay alive and pull with the group, DPS calculation is done by using the duration of the fight, which I call elapsed time.

WoW, however, has a metric known as “active time“. For DPS this is essentially the amount of time you’re attacking the target. It includes time spent doing the following:

  • Channeling/performing a TYPE_DAMAGE ability
  • Waiting for the global cooldown to finish

Some DPS calculators in WoW, and most prominently the Recount addon, default to using active time instead of elapsed time when calculating DPS, thus changing it from “damage over time” to “damage over time for those times you were attacking the target”. When defined this way, DPS becomes an indicator of how effectively you can damage, but it’s not as good for judging how well you do in a fight overall.

This was quite confusing to me at first. Many people in WoW are adamant about how it’s better to look at total damage than DPS. Normally there’s no difference between the two—DPS is simply the total damage with a common scale factor applied and the two can be used interchangeably. But if you’re used to the numbers given by Recount, that is not the case.

Unlimited Pet Leveling with Sir Galveston

October 1st, 2018

NOTE: This guide was written in 2018 and was correct and up-to-date at that time. Things change, however, so please leave a comment if anything needs to be added or changed.

Sir Galveston is a pet master in Dalaran – Broken Isles who periodically appears for a world quest. He’s great for leveling an arbitrary number of pets, for the following reasons:

  • Sir Galveston remains after the world quest is done and can be fought repeatedly until you leave the zone, leveling as many pets as you wish.
  • The carry pet takes no damage and can be any level.
  • The required pets are fairly inexpensive and easy to obtain, assuming you have revered status with Court of Farondis in Legion.
  • Rewards significant pet XP, even for a level 24 carry pet.
  • Reliable: I’m seeing about a 1-2% failure rate.
  • Well-scripted: the only variation is whether or not you repeat the final action.
  • Fairly short: typically less than 90 seconds.


How to Get a Water-Walking Mount

September 24th, 2018

NOTE: This guide was written in 2018 and was correct and up-to-date at that time. Things change, however, so please leave a comment if anything needs to be added or changed.

With the advent of the Battle for Azeroth expansion and its lack of flying, many people realized they needed a mount that could walk on water. Here’s a quick guide on how to get them.


Carbon Nanotubes May Not Be the Wonder Material After All

June 13th, 2016

NanotubeThere have been great hopes that a carbon nanotube cable could be used to create a space elevator, providing easy access to orbit. According to recent research, however, that may not be possible for the foreseeable future. Even atomic-level defects in the nanotube will greatly reduce its strength, and current mass manufacturing techniques are quite error-prone.

Link: https://www.newscientist.com/…

What are Enterprise Social Networks and Why Should I Care?

November 1st, 2015

Social NetworkIt’s now possible to set up a closed social network, a la Facebook, for a limited group of users such as a company. Sort of like how some companies have a private internet (called an intranet), they can have a private Facebook (called an enterprise social network). You get the benefits of collaboration, networking, custom business apps, etc. It’s sort of like what Lotus Notes did back in the day.

Enterprise social netowrking is not hypothetical—the linked article discusses how the Royal Bank of Scotland is deploying Facebook at Work for 100,000 employees. And most notably, it’s an opportunity for Facebook to make money selling a product, versus selling advertisements.

Link: http://www.techrepublic.com/…

How to Fix Windows 7 Unable to Create or Find a System Partition on an SSD

October 30th, 2015

Windows LogoMy primary hard drive died, and I decided to replace it with an SSD to help speed up my system. When I tried to install Windows 7 on the new drive, however, I kept getting this error message: “Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the Setup log files for more information.” (<RANT>And just WHERE would these log files BE?!?</RANT>) Most of the “solutions” on the web dealt with correctly configuring the disk partition. I had used the Windows installer to set up the partition, but just to make sure, I booted into Linux and set the boot flag for the partition. Didn’t work. So I used DiskPart from the Windows recovery console. Didn’t work either.

Finally I came across an article that mentioned BIOS settings, and that did the trick. The SATA Mode (that’s what it’s called in my setup program but it varies) was set to IDE and needed to be AHCI. After making that change the install went smoothly. The article also said that you should not use Intel® Smart Response Technology, which is another BIOS option.

Windows 10 to Get Its First Major Update

October 30th, 2015

Windows LogoSince Windows 10 was released with its free upgrade offer, I’ve been telling people to delay upgrading until after the first major update—which will happen sometime in the next week or so. It’s pretty much a no-brainer to take advantage of the free upgrade, and most of the major issues should be ironed out after this update, so I say “go for it.”

Link: http://www.pcworld.com/…

Windows 10 Has a Native Print to PDF Function

September 22nd, 2015

MicrosoftIn a move that is long overdue, Microsoft has added a “printer” to Windows 10 that will generate a PDF file of what you’re printing. It will show up in your printer list, just like the XPS Document Writer has for all those years, but this will be much more useful.

Link: http://www.techrepublic.com/…

Stupid Criminal Stories #21

October 10th, 2014

ThiefThis one is absolutely mind-numbing in the amount of stupidity shown. A man burglarized a house, used the victim’s computer to log in to Facebook, and didn’t log out. The homeowner posted his phone number on the burglar’s Facebook page, in the hopes that someone who knew the burglar would contact him. Instead, the burglar himself texted the homeowner and arranged to meet so he could pick up some clothing he’d left in the house. He actually showed up, so the homeowner called the police and the burglar was arrested.

Link: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/…
(via Kim Komando)

Sci-fi Becomes Sci-fact: Autonomous Swarm Boats

October 7th, 2014

ShipAutomated combat systems have long held a place in science fiction. Warfare turns into battles between machines, some directly controlled by human beings and some completely autonomous. We’ve all heard about the airplane drones that are seeing significant use in recent conflicts, but here’s something quite different. The US Navy is testing autonomous swarm boats. They’re small, unmanned boats that sense the environment and work together to achieve their objective. That may be to protect a particular ship, attack a target, etc. It’s quite interesting. Note, however, that the Navy doesn’t allow the swarm boats to utilize their weapons unless there is a human being on board. The linked video explains in more detail.

Link: http://www.youtube.com/…
(via Kim Komando)

Microsoft Announces Windows 10

October 1st, 2014

Windows LogoMicrosoft has announced Windows 10. (What happened to Windows 9 you may ask — who knows?) Details are sparse, but they did say that it will run on all devices a la Windows 8, but will configure itself for the device type. So PC users will see a Windows 7 interface while phone users will get a start screen with tiles. Also, there will be a single app store with apps that run on all platforms and devices. Sounds like they learned from Windows 8.

Link: http://www.komando.com/…

Remote Kill Switches are a Bad Idea

May 29th, 2014

GuillotineRecently I’ve been hearing about government support for remote kill switches, say in automobiles for law enforcement use, or in cell phones for when they’re stolen. And my first thought is always that some hacker is going to find a way to trigger the switch and cause all kinds of problems.

Apparently the hackers had the same thought. The linked article covers a situation where stolen iCloud credentials were used to lock out iPhones via the “Find My iPhone” anti-theft feature.

Link: http://time.com/…
(via Kim Komando)