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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The sixth section shows potion usage for the raid team, both pre-pots and combat potions. This is something our team could improve on.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.