Editors note: Please welcome the illustrious Zeherah, creator of www.femaledwarf.com! She has awesomely agreed to write up the occasional post when she can think of something that would benefit us! Today, it’s about how to learn from logs.
Step 1: Create a Log and Post It
- Use the /combatlog command to start your combat log when your raid begins. Use it again when you want to stop logging (typcially at the end of the raid). If you have to relog you’ll have to start logging again. There are mods to do this for you automatically if you like.
- When you are finished raiding, close WoW (to make sure the log buffer gets written out to the file) then go to the Logs folder in your World of Warcraft folder to find your log. The log file will be named WoWCombatLog.txt (if you like you can rename it so you can store it for future reference).
- Create a free account on a web log site. I recommend World of Logs (http://www.worldoflogs.com/) but there are other options if you prefer them. Download the client (which is usually a Java applet) and launch it.
- Select your log via the client and use the option to upload it to the server. When it’s finished, your log should be posted (and most likely it will be loaded into your browser automatically).
Step 2: Analyze Your Performance
Sections of Interest:
- Dashboard – If you mouse over this you’ll find the different sections of your log report. For a hunter the most useful section will be Damage Done, but there may be other sections of interest to you, including the Log Browser which lets you search for specific details in the report, and the Analyze section which can enable you to compare performance on subsections of a fight
- Full Report - If you mouse over this you’ll find a list of all the parts of the raid. You can select Kills for example to limit the report display to only boss kills, or select a specific kill or wipe from the submenu. This is extremely useful since studying performance on specific fights is far more useful typically than comparing performance over an entire night including trash
- Players – If you mouse over this you’ll find a list of all the players in the raid, sorted by class. If you want to look at details for a specific player this is where you can select them (note you can also get to the player specific reports by clicking on their name in the Damage Done report)
- Creatures – If you mouse over this you’ll find a list of all the creatures encountered in the raid, including bosses. Generally this section is not extremely useful, but sometimes if you are trying to track specific details like what the uptime of a debuff such as sunder armor was on a boss, this would be a good way to find it.
- Graph – This will show a graph of your damage done, healing done, damage taken and healing taken over the course of the fight
- Damage by Spell – This will give you a breakdown of all damage done and taken by the type. It’s a useful section because it’ll give you an idea of if your attack breakdown matches what should be expected and if you’re taking damage you shouldn’t be during a fight
- Healing by Spell – Shows what healing you did and took, generally not significant for hunters
- Damage by Actor - Shows what damage you did and took from each target (note this doesn’t include pets and will include friendly fire such as spore damage on Festergut)
- Healing by Actor – Same as damage by actor but for healing
- Buffs Gained - Shows all the buffs/debuffs and power gains (typically mana regen) you received over the course of the fight. This includes buffs from others and your pets. You can see the uptime of the buffs as well. If you use the # next to the uptime display it will show the uptime in a graph at the top. You can stack multiple uptime displays on the graph to see how your various buffs/debuffs overlapped
- Buffs Cast - Same as buffs gained but only includes ones cast by you. Generally this is more useful if you’re trying to find things like your own buff uptimes, but keep in mind buffs cast by your pet such as Call of the Wild will not show up here
- Deaths – will show a report of your deaths and the events leading up to them
Damage Done/Healing Done Sections - You can select a section of the graph with your mouse and right click and use the “Set page to selection” option in order to study only a portion of the fight. This is extremely useful when trying to track performance on important sections of a fight, such as phase 3 on Putricide.
What To Look For:
- Damage Ranking – How much damage did you do relative to other players, especially ones of your own class/spec. You can use the expand arrow to see details about how much damage your pet contributed (by default it gets included in your total). You can also check the top ranked players on the fight for your class/spec by going to the rankings section. Comparing your dps from week to week will also help you track your progress.
- Damage Breakdown – Select your character and look at the damage by spell section. What kind of damage did you do? How many times did you use each shot? It’s especially useful to compare your breakdown to other people with the same spec (either in your raid or from another log) to see if people doing more damage than you had a similar breakdown, which might indicate if you’re mistiming your shots, using a bad shot priority, not making good use of instants while moving, etc. If your pet is especially low perhaps you’ve not managing them well or not making sure they’ve been properly buffed. Keep in mind when comparing yourself to another hunter in a report that if their gear/talents are significantly different from yours that could affect their breakdown (i.e. an MM hunter gemmed for ArPen is going to have a lot more heavy physical damage compared to one gemmed for agility)
- Cooldown Management - are you using all the cooldowns you have available to you and timing them well? On your character selection go under the Buffs Gained section. You can see a list of all buffs you gained over the course of the fight. You can also select the # sign next to each buff to see a graph of when it was applied. Displaying the graph for multiple buffs (such as rapid fire and call of the wild) will help you see if you’re stacking them together and whether you’re timing them well. You may also want to look at your trinket buffs, heroism/bloodlust, kill command, etc. You should also take a look at whether you’re managing other buffs such as Sniper Training properly, the uptime should give you an idea of how often they’re up for.
- What Happened? – You can also look under Buffs Gained to see what debuffs were applied to you and how long they were active. This can be useful on some fights to take into account things that may have reduced your dps (such as Vile Gas on Festergut) or whether you’re making sure debuffs aren’t getting too high (such as Chilled to the Bone or Mystic Buffet on Sindragosa). You can display these on a graph using the # so you can see if they occurred during your cooldowns or even how high they stacked. You can also look under the Power Gains section if you want to try to figure out how much mana regeneration you have coming in if you’re having mana issues during a fight. If you died on a fight you can also take a look at the Deaths tab to get the details of what happened before you died, which may help you avoid death in the future or help the raid leader figure out what’s killing people on a fight.