Ask Mr. Robot Combat Infographics

Analysing combat logs to figure out why your raid is dying can be very intimidating and confusing. No longer shall you have to sift through an endless stream of numbers thanks to a new feature Ask Mr Robot have developed called Combat Infographics.

WARNING! – This post is going to be a bit long. I will do my best to break it up into manageable chunks, but it will still be quite long. Please take your time reading and if you have any questions please feel free to email me, tweet me or comment. Thank you.

What this feature does is it takes a combat log you submit and presents data such as DPS, potion usage, avoidable damage and details about specific mechanics of an encounter and displays them with an info graphic. This is a very visually appealing and much easier way to understand what your raid is doing well and what they can improve on. One really great feature is that you can see how well your raid team compares to other raid teams completing the same encounter. Ask Mr. Robot collects data from all the combat logs uploaded to calculate median values. Scored above the median value in a given metric gives your raid team a better score.

I wont be going into how to set up the addon and desktop app, there is a guide and a video on their website. There will be screen shots throughout the post and here is the link to the actual log where you can interact with it.

Beastlord Darmac (Normal)
I will be showing my raid teams logs for Beastlord Darmac which we are currently working on (I forgot to turn on the logs for Gruul). For those who have not seen Beastlord Darmac yet, it is a four phase fight where the boss mounts three different animals at set HP percentages and the raid has to deal with the new mechanics each animal brings. When they animal dies the boss keeps the abilities that animal granted for the rest of the encounter. Our raid chose to go Ironcrusher (Elekk) > Cruelfang (Wolf) > Dreadwing (Rylak).

From a Feral Druid perspective the fight is very fun and we bring some good raid utility. The fight is predominantly single target with some periodic burst AOE damage to deal with the Call the Pack mechanic – a swarm of small adds that need to be dps’d down. Druids can also remove the Savage Howl enrage effect. Now that you have a basic understanding of the encounter lets look at the first infographic.

Infographic
After uploading a log, clicking the infographic link will bring up the infographic. The first section contains details about which encounter you are viewing – date & time, number of attempts, fight length and gives you an option to choose a player from the raid to see their performance compared to the rest of the raid. I have selected myself in this case.

Combat log info

In this section you can select between bosses,  individual attempts or all attempts as a whole for each boss, and different players.

Summary
The second section provides a simple visual summary of the log. There is a row of circular icons with the inner circle containing an image of the thing being measured e.g. a potion icon for potions, and the outer coloured circle showing how effective the raid was. The outer circle starts in the bottom centre as orange and progresses clockwise around the icon changing colour to yellow and then green the ‘better’ the raid team performed on that metric compared a median value from all the data submitted. This section also shows information about item level, wipe rate and success rate for your item level.

Visual Summary

This combat log was from our forth attempt. Hopefully within the next two attempts will get a kill based on this data.

The first icon is DPS represented by a sword and it has a quarter orange circle around the outside meaning that our raid’s dps is a little on the low side. The next icon is potion usage and it has a yellow circle around half of the icon, meaning that 50% of our raid was using potions. Avoidable damage is more complicated which I will explain in detail in a section further down. The Savage Howl mechanic (the wolf’s head icon) is simply an enrage effect on the boss that needs to be dispelled. The measure for this mechanic is the amount of time the enrage was active before it was dispelled i.e. the shorter the during of the enrage, the higher the raid scores. Since the outer circle is green it means we scored higher than the median. And the same is true for the other mechanics. You can see that the outer circle of the Conflagration mechanic is very small and orange. This means that it took the raid team a long time to dispel the debuff from players, placing the team below the median.

By mousing over these icons you get a pop out showing greater detail. Mousing over the potions icon for example shows the raid teams overall score, the median percentage, the raid teams percentage and if you have a player selected from the previous section, that players percentage as well as a short description of metric. Similarly with Savage Howl, mousing over the icon shows the raid teams overall score, the median and raid teams score.

Mouse over close up of Potions and Savage Howl.

Mouse over close up of Potions and Savage Howl. I have myself selected as the player and I used both my pre-pot and my combat potion, as indicated by the 100%.

How Well Did We Play?
The third section provides a scoring breakdown of performance, basically condensing the raids performance into a single number for easy comparison. The list format is a visually easy way to see what the raid team does will and what can be improved. As with the summary at the beginning, the scores are coloured coded with the selected players score on the left side and the raid teams score on the right side.

DPS Scores

From this section it is easy to see that the raid team needs to work on Conflagration and Pack Beats if they want to lift their score.

From this you can see that both the raid and my own performance was above the median. What let me down is my dps. As a Feral Druid I can improve by;

  • Wasting less combo points; using generators when at 5 combo points because a finisher failed to connect. This is partially a UI problem with my combo points being shown by combat text which fades after a few secs, and me not paying attention.
  • Getting better gear; I still have a dungeon heroic belt and some upgrades from available from Highmaul. Also the stat optimisation in Highmaul is terrible and much better in Blackrock Foundry, so some pieces with lower or equal item level but better stat optimisation, may yield better results.
  • Getting buffs in Patch 6.1; AOE damage is what bumps player’s dps on this fight up, which is what Feral is lacking at the moment. There is some buffs to Thrash and Swipe in the works which could help in addition to some single target buffs.

The raid team did score above the median dealing with Savage Howl, Pinned Down and Inferno Breath very well. Dispelling Conflagration sooner, killing the adds from Call the Pack faster, increasing our dps and hps and having more team members use potions would dramatically increase our score.

How Much Damage Did We Do?
This section is all about dps, and is broken up into three subsections. First is our raw numbers. For this attempt the raid teams average dps was 22.3k and I ranked third with 25.7k. The circles are yellow and orange indicating that we are below the median.

The second subsection shows our percentile ranking. Basically how many teams / players did we do better than. My personal ranking was the 46th percentile and the raids was the 26th. Possible explanations for this are the low average item level of the team and lack of potions. For me personally, the encounter isn’t “ideal” for Feral Druids due to the AOE component, I am a little lacking in the gear department, and the Ferals are currently under performing in general. This part of the reason for the buffs in Patch 6.1.

The last subsection compares our performance to other players in our own class and gear level. I performed in the 97th percentile, which is quite high (hence the green circle). However the raid team is under performing placing in the 44th percentile. The percentile rankings for the top 5 dps are also shown in the right. You can see Kahatahi and Sarivaris performing really well reaching the 96th and 94th percentiles respectively.

How much damage did we do

This section is amazing as it answers common questions of raiders (do I do good dps?) and puts it in context (Is this dps good for my gear?).

This information is good at letting me know that I’m doing really well for my gear level. However I feel that the sample could become skewed over time by people submitting combat logs when they out-gear the content, thus raising the median value. My raid team is currently only raiding normal. If teams capable of clearing mythic difficulty and in mythic gear were to submit a lot of data, it could lead to very misleading / inaccurate results. Something to ask Mr. Robot.

DPS
The fifth section is dps record, basically the same as you would get from Recount or Skada. It also provides a scores for all the dps players and the raid team.

DPS meter

Because this data is now logged I may not need to run Recount in game anymore. Recount can be a resource hog, not running it may give me better computer performance.

By clicking on player you can view the dps breakdown of spells and targets hit. I really like that it visually showed the damage break down of Thrash with two separate bars; one for the direct damage and one for the damage over time.

Thrash damage portions

Thrash is visually broken into two bars; one for direct damage and one for its dot.

Potion Use
The sixth section shows potion usage for the raid team, both pre-pots and combat potions. This is something our team could improve on.

Potion usage

I think it would be easy to “game” this metric for the sake of achieving a high score. It’s not as simple for tanks and healers to use potions like a DPS does.

Avoidable Damage
This section is broken down by each damaging ability and the raid is given a score for each ability. You can see which players took how much damage from which source. This can potentially be really important for understanding wipes with no ‘apparent’ cause, or are blamed on RNG. Remember that context is important when interpreting the data.

This was our last attempt for the night so there are some abnormalities where we pushed past when we should have wiped and were having a strategy discussion while the encounter was still in progress. However there are still some areas where the team can improve. Some of the melee got hit by Rend and Tear so they need to pay more attention and run out when necessary, and Conflagration wasn’t dispelled as quick as it could have been.

Avoidable Damage

This section is highly interactive. You can show all, some or none of each ability so have a click around.

The next five sections go into detail about each mechanic giving score and comparisons to other kills at the same difficulty. It’s pretty straight forward. Our team can improve on Pack Beasts and Conflagration. We handled the Savage Howl, Pinned Down and Inferno Breath mechanics very well.

Pack Beasts

Pack Beasts

Caption

Pinned Down

Pinned Down

Caption

Savage Howl

Savage Howl

Caption

Inferno Breath

Inferno Breath

Caption

Conflagration

Conflagration

Caption

Deaths
The last section is a death log. It shows the time of death, the enemy, the killing blow and how much damage was taken. Another good tool to look at when learning new encounters.

Deaths

Caption

Final Thoughts
And that’s the end! I was really excited when I first saw the video on this feature as I am terrible at extracting meaningful data from World of Logs. But it was still a bit overwhelming and confusing to begin with. Originally I had trouble understanding the score for each metric. I couldn’t see how it was calculated and felt it was somewhat arbitrary, but after looking deeper I understand it much better now. That said I still feel that there is loads more data I can pull from this kind of combat logging. However I think that there are still few bugs / kinks to work out. There were some attempts where I used both my pre-pot and combat potion but the logs only recorded the pre-pot. I also noticed that on attempts when Savage Howl was dispelled almost instantly, it also failed to appear in the log. This wont stop me using it though. I’m looking forward to our next raid and I hope I remember to turn the logging on >_>

What are your thoughts on Ask Mr. Robots combat log infographics? Have you used other combat logging services such as World of Logs and Warcraft logs? How does this one stand up to the others? Let me know what you think. You can leave a comment on the post, send me an email at fileunderferal@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @Elamari_ or you can like and / or leave a comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.

~Elamari

Patch 6.1 Survival Guide

Patch 6.1 is dropping this week and Ferals are in for some buffs! Let’s have a look. Patch Notes for the PTR are here and MMO Champion has a guide here and a notes here.

Single Target Buffs
Feral single target damage has dropped off as other classes have geared up. Ferals have historically not scaled well with gear increases and often need buffs as the expansion goes on (Savage Roar was buffed to 40% from 30% in Siege of Ogrimmar). To help address this we see some buffs to Ferocious Bite, Shred and Rip.

There is some concern from the Druid community that this minor buffing of direct damage abilities is the beginning of shifting our damage away from primarily dots and that it will lead to changes in the damage niche that it occupies. I’m not as concerned as this section of the community but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. From a class balance perspective, it’s important to remember that “middle of the pack” is perfectly fine. We don’t need to be at the top to be considered ‘balanced‘. This is a common argument point on the forums but is not the way the developers approach class balance.

AOE / Cleave Buffs
The state of Feral AOE damage is pretty poor and a common complaint amongst the Druid community. However I would like to point out that our burst AOE is not as bad as people claim when properly planned for – knowing the fight mechanics & energy pooling, though it’s not fantastic either. However there are some encounters were some sustained burst is required, Imperator Mar’gok & Beastlord Dramac for example. Swipe is receiving a much needed buff along with Thrash.

  • Moonfire (Feral) damage increased by 5%.
  • Thrash (Cat Form) damage increased by 20%.
  • Swipe damage increased by 20%.

I’ve included Moonfire because it’s for the Lunar Inspiration talent, which is mostly for 2-3 target fights. There is some discussion here about how the buff to Moonfire interacts and its potential damage loss / opportunity costs. Personally I’m not a fan of the talent and I’m happy to stick with Bloodtalons. The 20% buff to AOE is great, though not fantastic. People complain that Swipe hit’s like a wet noodle, but I feel they are forgetting Swipe’s other benefits; it generates combo points now and is affected by Primal Fury. Swiping multiple targets can net several combo points which can be good for keeping Savage Roar up and getting Rip on multiple targets. Also something to note, Thrash isn’t worth using single target yet as it was last expansion.

Talents Buffs
There were a few tweaks to talents for other specs, but the only one that remotely applies to Feral’s is the buff to renewal. That said, it’s a talent not taken very often by PVE Feral’s, it may see more play in PVP but I’m not really qualified to comment.

  • Renewal now instantly heals for 30% of max health (up from 22%).

It has been buffed back to it’s original percentage value. It was nerfed it Patch 6.0 along with all other percentage based heals due to the damage and healer redesign. The purpose behind most of the talent changes in this patch was to make each talent in it’s row more competitive rather than their being a clear cut choice. However I don’t think this enough to make it a more competitive choice with a passive smart / raid heal and a strong on demand preventive shield.

That’s it for Feral changes. What do you think of the buffs, were they enough? Do you think that Feral’s niche should move away from dots to a more direct damage style? Let me know what you think. You can leave a comment on the post, send me an email at fileunderferal@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @Elamari_ or you can like and / or leave a comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.

~Elamari

Cat Nap #10 – The Nexy Show episode 22 Community Spotlight

My blog was lucky enough to be featured in the community spotlight segment of episode 22 of The Nexy Show – http://thenexyshow.podbean.com/e/episode-22-warcraft-crowfall-dying-light-boom-beach/.

The Nexy ShowThe Nexy Show is a World of Warcraft & Gaming Podcast hosted by Esmeralda Sky and BigHair! They are two real life friends who share a love for gaming! We are a general gaming podcast but we are currently focusing more on World of Warcraft. The gaming content in our show depends on what games we are playing at the time.

Follow the hosts and show on Twitter:

~Elamari

Highmaul Raiding Feral Druid POV

With the release of Blackrock Foundry less than a week away I thought it was time to get this post out. So let’s have a look at Highmaul from a Feral Druid’s point of view.

Kargath Bladefist
I really like this fight, it is a great introductory boss. For Feral Druid’s it’s basically a second Butcher (read Patchwerk) fight. Incarnation and Bloodtalons are your go to talents. Our poor AOE damage means that we wont be assigned to the Chain Hurl group allowing us to focus on our single target damage. I found that you can use Skull Bash to charge back into the boss after the knockback from Kargath channeling Chain Hurl. I did try using Feral Charge, but Skull Bash is just as good. More for the Heroic version of the fight, but watch out where the ranged are positioned when they are targeted for his Berserker Rush. If the target is behind you and the boss turns around you can get 2 shot very easily. The damage on normal allows you to take several seconds worth of damage. On Mythic I think it’s likely a one shot. The Glyph of Stampeding Roar may help some of your ranged with the Berserker Rush, but it depends on your raid comp, there may be enough other speed boosts so yours isn’t needed. Check with your raid leader. Feel free to roll some Rejuv’s on the Impaled tank too, every bit of utility contributes to the success of the team.

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Feral Druid Macros in Warlords of Draenor

This is an update post of my current macros now that Warlords of Draenor is live. As with keybinding there is no one “correct” set up but you may find some of these useful. It’s common for players to use mouse over macros for healing spells and de-cursing, but I have a separate addon I used for those applications so unfortunately I wont be discussing mouse over macros.

1. Berserk, Incarnation & Tiger’s Fury Macro
Berserk and Incarnation are both on 3 min cool downs making them ideal to macro together. However there are some issues with it because Incarnation triggers a global cool down (GCD). This can sometimes cause Berserk to activate and not Incarnation when the macro is activate during another GCD. Some people suggest having Incarnation on a separate bind  “to prevent unnecessarily losing 1 second of the Berserk buff, but this is a small gain“. This macro will also will activate Tiger’s Fury every time it is pressed and is available.

#showtooltip Berserk
/use Incarnation: King of the Jungle
/use Berserk
/use Tiger's Fury

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Feral Druid Keybinds in Warlords of Draenor

Now that I have reached level 100 and have access to all of my abilities, spells and talents it’s time to look out how to place them on my bars. The purpose of this post is to show what my kindbindings are and give some tips for people looking to learn. I’m not going to go into ‘how to keybind‘ but I will link some articles for those who would like to read more.

Where I currently stand
I am still progressing from clicking to keybinding so I still have some spells that aren’t keybound e.g. my mount, Travel / Flight Forms, Mark of the Wild and others. I also use the addon Clique for spells that interact with raid frames like Rebirth, Remove Corruption, Soothe, Entangling Roots, Rejuvenation etc… This is mainly for easy targeting as Clique functions very similarly to mouse over macro’s but without the need for a keyboard press, bar space or target select + activation. I’ve talked about why I use Clique in greater detail and how to set it up in this post.

My keyboard set up
My keyboard is set up to have my core rotation, defensive abilities and some utility spells bound. Below is an image of a keyboard showing which buttons I have bound.

keybinds by type

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Episode 78 of the Training Dummies – Get the Nitty Gritty On The Feral Kitty

Hend and Rob over at The Training Dummies podcast have honoured me by asking me to be a guest host for an episode on Feral Druids.

“The guys stopped deleting their Druids for long enough to realize that maybe Druids do have some awesome to bring to the table. In this episode Rob and Hend are joined by long time friend of the show and Feral Druid rockstar, Elamari! We get into the nitty gritty of Feral kitty talents, dps, and glyphs and even clear the air about DoT snap-shotting. We also learn that Mike Preach was wrong about Feral kittys and the level 100 talents are kind of awesome!”

Direct Link

http://www.thetrainingdummies.com/2014/11/25/episode-78-nitty-gritty-on-the-feral-kitty/

~Elamari