As you may have well heard by now, shadowcraft is being discontinued. Working on ShC was a fantastic experience. I am extremely proud of the front-end re-write, not just because I helped build it, but because it really is the front end this app needed after all these years. But we just couldn't get the engine up to the level of accuracy that players expect today. The level of sophistication that players want from their tools is far beyond what a model will produce without tremendous effort. And the pace of change in the game and complexities of the models makes that effort difficult.

Regular players are generally happy with stat priorities, as they should be. But you don't even need to download anything to run a sim today with tools like raidbots. The hardcore players want to optimize for specific fights and specific mechanics. Something that is difficult to support for models.

Models are still easier to use for playing around with basic gear and stats, and we had considered trying to retrofit ShC to use simc on the backend, possibly compiling simc for the browser (not even sure how feasible that would be). But I had already been toying with the idea to run the ShC engine in the browser just to get more performance. A simulation really wouldn't work with the level of interactivity we expect from shadowcraft. There are just so many gear permutations now.

The community has really coalesced around simulation, for better or worse. I take solace that we were the last major modeling tool standing at least. And certainly the most interactive character optimization app.

There is also the human factor behind this. All of us devs are constantly busy with other projects and recruitment efforts have proven ineffective. When I started on ShC, I was an aspiring developer, and since then I landed a development job and started a career in software development. And it is in no small part because of this project, and not the least because of the great developers that helped guide me on this project.

If this sounds like I'm making excuses. It is because I am. It was very hard to let go of the project. It is hard to express how saddened I was to discontinue shadowcraft. I had made a name for myself, such as it is, in the WoW community on the official forums helping answer questions for fellow players, often using shadowcraft to show how things worked or dig into sticky questions. The beginnings of shadowcraft has paralleled my beginnings in the wider wow community. Seeing it go while I also see myself moving away from the wow community since starting my new career was surprisingly emotional. So many people have put their time and passion into this game, and into the tools that players use, it speaks to the tremendous spirit of our fellow players, and why we all got so involved with this amazing community.

Sunday, Jul. 29th, 2018