Hey all!
Iskalla and I have teamed up to create a new way to display, disseminate and document theorycrafting for Boomkin with BFA, and have put in a tremendous amount of effort to bring this in time for the expansion. Essentially, we were unhappy with the traditional methods of theorycrafting, which typically followed the pattern of:
  • sim all builds,
  • compare top choices,
  • make justifications based on the ordering.
This style of theorycrafting, while correct in most instances, lacked further data analysis and explorative insights. In general this approach works, and the inconsistencies with top builds in WarcraftLogs can be hand-waved as "simulation error" or "sims are junk." We strongly refute this point, and argue that sims are only as good as the model and assumptions behind it. As such, a large part of this project has been to target these deficiencies, and relax some of the constricting assumptions we have historically clung to.
Chickendb is the first major step into data analytics and data aggregation, combined with a shiny front-end with Power BI visuals and interactivity. We're putting a whole new spin on theorycrafting, and letting the user become the one in charge of what they see. You can explore the results of over 50 separate sims with 95+ profiles per sim, and go straight to the information you need. We've cleaned, cut-up and reported the actual insightful items hiding in each sim report, giving you the ability to really see what makes up your DPS and how impactful your decisions really are.
We hope you all enjoy this first introduction to chickendb. We are looking for feedback on the analytics, look-and-feel and general usability of the site, so please contact us if you have any suggestions, comments or queries.

Slip and Iska
how to use
General information
Chickendb is designed to be updated with every change to the spec, so that you can see exactly what those change notes really mean. In the future we hope to have an automatic refresh cycle, but for the moment we will be only updating when changes come for Boomkins. Expect frequent updates while we push out the phase 1 modules!
Site navigation
When you first visit chickendb, you will be greeted with the landing page.
All of our theorycrafting and data analytics will be available through the "Analytics" menu item. Once you've selected the report you wish to view, you can navigate around the report pages by clicking on the tabs along the bottom of the report.
We also have a handy Simcraft code generator, available through the "Simc tools" menu item! In this tool, you can generate talent, azerite and raid_event scripts to add to your own sims.
Now that we've covered navigating the site, we'll delve into manipulating the report through the embedded and interactive tools of Power BI.
The main parameters used for the sims on chickendb are as follows:
  • Average fight length: 300s
  • Standard deviation of fight length: 10%
  • Skill of player: 100% (perfect rotation)
  • All buffs, BL/Hero, etc
  • Fight style: Patchwerk
  • Level of char: 120
We model four fight styles:
Single target
This is just a patchwerk fight, and needs no aditional assumptions.
An additional X targets are added to the fight and are present for the total of the encounter. Think any council boss where AoE is possible on all targets
An additional X targets are added to the fight and are present for the total of the encounter. However, this targets spawn up to 40yd apart from the main target. All targets are withing the casting range of the player, but not in range of AoE abilities of each other.
Think any council boss where targets need to be spread and AoE abilities such as Starfall don't reach.
Add waves
Additional targets are added to the fight, spawning every certain amount of time and lasting until killed. Think any encounter where you have a main target and add waves appear every certain time.
The following assumptions apply:
  • Each add wave consists of 5 adds
  • Add waves start 10s into the fight
  • Each add wave lasts for 20s on average, being 10s minimum and 30s maximum
  • The cooldown of the add waves is variable - and we obtain the total uptime from the combination of it and each wave uptime
Power BI basics
Chickendb uses Power BI to provide the interactive visuals for the site. Since Power BI is a very powerful tool, it can be a little daunting when first using it. As such, here are some handy tips and tricks to help you get started!
Filters are the lifeblood of Power BI, and are important for using our reports. The main report filters are typically on the left-hand side and will have a few different metrics to choose from.
Simply select the filters to generate the report you're interested in. For example, selecting "cleave" in Sim Type and "4" in Targets will show the 4 target cleave sim. This will filter the two graphs on the right-hand side to show you only the results relevant to your selection.
Filters are prevalent on each page of the report, and allow you to see the results of multiple simulation sets at the click of a button!
Power BI also allows you to select items within a visual, and show you related information in the other visuals on the same page! The default behaviour is highlighting. To see this in action, watch what happens when we select "Shooting Stars" in the Talent DPS graph.

As you can see, the DPS Breakdown chart now highlights the Shooting Stars portion of each build where it appears. This allows you to easily see the impact of each talent -- as you can see above, Shooting Stars is in all the top builds, indicating that it's most likely overpowered in this scenario.
Focus mode
In the case where you want to see a particular visual in more detail, or you would like to take a screenshot of something for your guide, focus mode is your friend. Hovering over the top-right corner of any visual will allow you to expand it to the full size of the report. This is especially handy when you want to take a high-resolution image of the visual for publishing later (just make sure to credit us as your source!).

simc tools - balance
Tier 15
Tier 75
Tier 90
Tier 100
work in progress
about chickendb
What is chickendb?
Chickendb is our solution to assuaging the hold feelcrafting has on contemporary spec analysis. With our roots deep in data analysis and telling stories with visuals, we have found the levels of hand-waving and weak opinions to be too high. Additionally, the gap between simulations and WarcraftLogs rankings has tended to make sims look inconsistent, inaccurate and inapplicable. The argument usually devoles to ideal world vs. real world, implying that sims are too basic to give meaningful results.
However, we argue that sims are powerful, and can provide much more than what has been shown. Sims are our most powerful theorycrafting tool, and to simply dismiss them is not only wasteful but criminal. If the sims are wrong, it's because it hasn't been written properly, or we have made the wrong assumptions. You put in crap, you get crap. It's that simple.
Chickendb is a way to report and analyse raw sim data, delivering clean, intuitive and interactive visuals for everyone to consume. We provide the data so guide writers can be confident in their analysis and know the data they're using is the best available. Chickendb aims to be a one-stop-shop for all analytics pertaining to Boomkins, providing the basis for all guides and information needed.
Phases and goals
Chickendb is currently in beta -- we have only just created the skeleton, and will be quickly adding new features and tools to the site as we wrap up phase 1. By the end of phase 1, we plan to have the following available at a minimum:
  • Sim breakdowns by talent, azerite and trinket
  • Analysis by fight length, fight type and target scaling
  • Easy, intuitive navigation
  • Clean and simple UI
We're currently 85% of the way through phase 1, and will be pushing to have it complete before BFA launches.
Phase 2 is still in development, but we will be focusing on chickendb as a data aggregator, and expanding on our inter-spec analysis.
Phase 3 of the project will be the transition from Boomkin analytics to general Sim analytics. We plan to integrate all other DPS specs into our analysis, using the same metrics as we've proven with Boomkin, in order to provide inter-spec comparisons and data aggregation.
We're excited to share all of this with you, and hope that you will be able to grow and learn with us along the way!
About the authors
Chickendb is run by two long-time Boomkin players -- Slippykins and Iskalla.
Slippykins has played Boomkin since BC, and has been theorycrafting since the end of Wrath. This was back when we used WrathCalcs to do our analysis, written and maintained by Hamlet on the EJ forums. Times have changed a lot since then, notwithstanding the spec itself. Slip has played casual, hardcore and semi-hardcore for most of his raiding experience, with his top achievements during his time with Arathian Knights on US-Cenarius. Since then, he has lived in two countries and finished a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Finance along the way. Slip has a passion for data analytics and econometrics, with proficiency in R, Matlab, Power BI and SQL. Slip currently moderates the Druid forum on MMO-Champion and Dreamgrove, the Druid discord.
Iskalla has also played Moonkin (she doesn't like the term Boomkin) since BC, and has raided almost every tier onwards. She started being engaged with the Druid community on Dreamgrove in early 2017, and has contributed to wowanalyzer and Emerald Dreamcatcher theorycrafting. Iskalla is a coder at heart, and loves nothing more than to settle in with a nice Excel spreadsheet at night (this is a lie). She recently moved to Australia, Land of the Spooders, and had to make a new US account. She doesn't recommend changing regions to anyone.
Slippykins and Iskalla met on the Druid discord, and now live together in Melbourne (best city in Australia). You can contact them via Discord: Slippykins#0001 and Iskalla#0001.