Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
Note that it is the outcome I am questioning.

I am not having problems with "4 orcs should be an appropriate challenge for a level 1 party" but rather with the expectations that a standard fight should consume about 20% of the party's resources and a standard adventuring day should consume about 80% of the party's recourses. This is independent of player skill or optimization level.
Depends on your party though. It is possible your players won't use consumable items of abilities (ie spell slots) for fear of "wasting" them. This lowers their effectiveness dramatically and throws formulas off. Or they panic and use all of their items every fight and are out of resources constantly. The DMG was written with assumptions that don't always hold true.