*theorycrafting*is brought to life usually by the wish of wanting to improve one's performance in the raids or whatever content. Many

*theorycrafter*strive to become better in

*DPS*(

*Damage Per Second*),

*healing*or

*tanking*as these are the most common disciplines one will find.

#### Value and Priority of Skills

I'm going to explain this topic without using any hard examples from the games I play (

*Wildstar*and*Guild Wars 2*currently). You can apply this to any game though and it's just simple math that no one really cares much about probably.#### Someone Else Did It

Most of the time if you play a game and you want to play something better than that somehow more or less random via gut feel constructed

*build*of yours. So you start to search for "*builds*" on google. Slap your*class*on that search and you'll most likely end up with a good*build*, some website that contains*builds*or the*meta build*that is highly appraised, everyone plays and either loves or hates.#### Evaluate Skills

There are several ways to evaluate skills in comparison to a game. One way to compare

*skills*is by comparing the total damage they do. The problem here, however, is that we look at the*burst*, high damage in a low amount of time.
For example, we have a

*skill*A that deals 1207 damage and a*cooldown*of 5 seconds and
a

*skill*B that deals 612 damage and a*cooldown*of 2 seconds.
Now in the heat of the moment, of course, our

*skill*A deals 1207 damage and*skill*B only 612 damage. That means*skill*A has a higher burst. This would be useful if an encounter requires players to throw out as much damage as possible as fast as possible.
However, if we want to go with the highest

*DPS*, this would not be it. Of course, the burst damage of*skill*A is higher but*skill*B can be activated more often. 2.5 times more often. So in this case, until we deal with our 1207 damage of*skill*A again we deal with the damage of*skill*B 2.5 times as often. That sounds tedious to compare this way and there is another way. When we have or calculate the total damage a*skill*does we can divide this number by the*cooldown*. If a*skill*has a cast time or activation time this time is added on the*cooldown*. We want the time between the first appliance of damage and the second appliance of damage. Let's compare our*skills*this way:*Skill*A deals 1207 damage with a

*cooldown*of 5 seconds. That's

*1207 / 5s = 241*damage per second.

*Skill*B deals 612 damage with a

*cooldown*of 2 seconds. That's

*612 / 2s = 306*damage per second.

Look at that. Now

*Skill*B is better.#### What About Damage over Time?

It makes no difference. Just sum up the total damage. Let's say we have a

*skill*C that deals 320 damage and does a*DoT*(*Damage over Time*), for example bleeding dealing 52 every second for 8 seconds with a*cooldown*of 3 seconds.
If we sum the damage up we get

*8 * 52 + 320 = 736*total damage. Now we can divide it by its*cooldown*and we get*736 / 3s = ~245.33*damage per second.
As you can see it works just as usual.

#### What Do I Need This For?

When a new

*patch*that changed a lot or brought in*balancing*gets released it takes a short while for*guilds*and people to do the*theorycrafting*and create the*builds*. Sometimes these people don't have the time to do all the numbers on paper or maybe they're not doing the math but just try it out on a "target dummy" or "target golem". Whatever the case may be, you can calculate the value of a*skill*this way and set some priorities for your*skills*when playing.*Skills*with higher damage per second have a higher priority to be used.