As some of you know, I programmed a character optimizer for Diablo 3 some time ago that I was using for personal use. The reason I did that was that I wasn't happy with many of the options available so far. There are spreadsheets out there, but they only calculate what they were designed for, and no more. I know there's an effective health calculator out there too, but the UI required too much scrolling, and since it was based on final stats and not the individual elements, it was difficult to more specific calculations or comparisons.
Now, I've had my program written and working for sometime, but it was for personal use. So I spent the weekend tying it up to a real database, and I started adding a full ajax user interface on top of it. I still have a lot of work to do, but I just wanted people to know where I was.
Why should you care? I think my program's design is a lot more approachable and user-friendly compared to the alternatives. Things are organized very well (because there's a very rich object model that mirrors what the actual game uses), so it'll be easy for you to jump around to different characters, customize the calculation engines and simulation engines, and do whatever kind of comparisons you want with very little user input. Also, the program stores your characters in a database, so they're never going to get lost.
I am also never limited by spreadsheets, since I have the power of the entire Java language at my disposal. The possibilities are endless on what this can do for everyone.
Right now I'm focusing on delivering the basics, and I'll keep adding more and more complex things when I find time. Basically the idea is that you can setup your character's build and equipment, and do various calculations and comparisons on it to improve your character.
Equipment Comparison: See something on the AH and want to know if it's an upgrade? Simply login, select the item slot, and enter the new piece of gear's affixes. The application will tell you how everything changes, and by what % amounts. It'll show green or red variations to make it easier to spot huge drops in performance in a particular area, especially effective health and dps/dph.
The UI still needs to be coded to support this, but the code that actually does it has long been finished for awhile.
(non-UI version - just console output).
Clone & Character Comparison: I found it really useful to simply clone a character's build, equipment, etc. and tweak a full things just to compare the two. With this web app, you can do that. That way if you're thinking about dropping a defensive passive for an offensive one, you'll be able to see in real terms just what you're losing and gaining.
The system is also really flexible in what it can compare. Eventually, I'll open it up so you can compare your characters against other people's, probably looking things up by someone's battle tag or something. That way if someone has a lot more dps than you do, you can inspect their build and character to see exactly why this is the case.
Item Slot Simulation - Given a number of target affixes, the program will compute what affixes and values you will need to get an upgrade for an item slot. It takes into consideration your build and the rest of your gear. There are settings to filter out suggestions if the drop in effective health or dps is too great. You can also specify options like the minimum amount of improvement in an area.
Essentially you can tell the application: "I want at least 5% boost to my dps, and I'm willing to sacrifice up to 2% effective health in order to get it." The system will then show you all of the affix combinations and the minimum values that meet your requirements.
I find this feature really useful when I'm looking for gear on the AH. I know for a fact that if I spend the time putting in all the values suggested by the application into the AH, I know they will be upgrades for me (and I can always check in the Equipment Comparison tool just to make sure). If I don't find anything in my price range, I don't have to waste time looking for items since the program already told me what the minimum affixes/values were to begin with. This is a huge time saver.
Gear Simulation This part of the program will simply tell you what the absolute best gear for a given class/build would be given a # of affixes to analyze. It takes into account passives, ability buffs, and even things like One With Everything (so it'll be smart enough to add on Poison Resistance for example to maximum EH). It's a very smart tool.
I find this feature to be amazing. It essentially calculates the best affixes for every gear slot, and will find the combination of items that gives you the maximum dps and effective health possible. Essentially, it's calculating what the best gear for a character can be for. All you have to do is just buy all the pieces on the AH, and you're done.
I will likely need beta testers soon. I was playing on asking Nonoha and MagicRectangle if they wanted to beta test.
I will also be accepting donations when I go live, either in the form of PayPal or in the form of gear. I will link my character profiles so that you can see what pieces of gear I need. If you have an upgrade for me and would like to donate that to show your appreciation, I would appreciate it! Because I spend a lot of time making this program, I didn't farm as much as I wanted to.
If you want to help in other ways, please let me know.
That's it. I will keep you posted as to how the UI is coming along, as that is all there is left to do. Writing a full ajax application takes a bit of work, but it'll be worth it for everyone. I also have a fair amount of polishing.