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Combat Logs

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#1 Malan


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Posted 15 August 2006 - 02:27 PM

For those of you who do a lot of combat log analysis, how do you determine the flow of combat? What tools do you use? ie, on encounter X the MT suddenly dies - the healers claim he was one shotted, that heals were on the way etc etc. How do you determine what exactly happened, the detective work that needs to be done? It seems to me you'd want to know what the characters health was (was he topped off?), where there heals incoming (who started casting what, and when?), when would those heals have landed (were they just too late?), and were there any other contributing factors (exploding bugs on the Emps fight, other environmental damage, loss of a buff, etc). Does anyone have a good methodology for this?

#2 Prague


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Posted 15 August 2006 - 03:02 PM

The best method is to have a fraps of the fight as well as a combatlog from the MT. If there is a load of information, then find where the MT died and then start scrolling up looking for his last massive spike damage which is easily found by looking for several lines in a row of heals on the MT. Make sure you know the MT's HP for the fight and then see if the several lines of heals add up to more than that. It seems to be the case fairly often as healers are quick to get the MT back to full after a spike and that tends to result in some overhealing. From there you know the MT is at full health and then just do a running tally of his hits and heals. I usually replace the date in the combat log with the MT's life. As far as other contributing factors that directly effect the MT, they will show up in his combat log.

Example from when my guild was working on Huhu:
7000 01:09:52.531  Novo's Healing Touch heals Mendo for 1084.
5046 01:09:53.343  Princess Huhuran hits Mendo for 1954. (crushing)
4878 01:09:53.484  Mendo suffers 168 Nature damage from Princess Huhuran's Acid Spit. (560 resisted)
2488 01:09:54.796  Princess Huhuran crits Mendo for 2390.
1817 01:09:55.562  Mendo suffers 671 Nature damage from Princess Huhuran's Acid Spit.
2166 01:09:55.562  Mendo gains 349 health from Rick's Renew.
 928 01:09:55.906  Princess Huhuran hits Mendo for 1238.
1850 01:09:56.437  Gibson's Lesser Healing Wave heals Mendo for 922.
 585 01:09:57.109  Princess Huhuran hits Mendo for 1265.
   0 01:09:57.625  Mendo suffers 672 Nature damage from Princess Huhuran's Acid Spit.
7/28 01:09:58.171  Mendo dies.
In this example the tank went without any heals for over four seconds. Were the healers out of mana or dead? This is where fraps (from a healer or a ranged class) comes in handy as well. You can see what is going on exactly at the time of the MT's death. Another thing which I stole from a screenshot of Gurg's UI was to use Nurfed's raid unitframes to make a frame that showed all of the healer's mana. If you do this and are not the one frapsing the fight, then just make sure you make a mental note to print screen as soon as the tank dies so you can see mana.

To make the combatlogs more manageable, I use EditPlus though any text editor with better functionality than notepad should work fine. You can search for the MT's name (or "you" if the log was provided by the MT) and set a marker. This will add a little icon next to any line mentioning the MT's name so you can quickly edit out all other lines. That is specifically for seeing what happened to the MT. Other cases you may want to see who was being hit by blizzard or exploding bugs so you would search for those terms and mark them.

I'm still fairly new to the whole combat log analysis so hopefully more experienced people will be able to offer more advice.

Fake edit: the above combat log snippet helped us decide to have our MT put on more tanking gear and less NR seeing as how the NR was constant and predictable and crits and crushing blows were not. Changing this strategy lead to us downing Huhu the following week. So there is one example of how useful the combat log can be.

#3 Malan


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Posted 15 August 2006 - 03:09 PM

What would be great would be for an addon to do that sort of thing for you in game - before a fight set a target to be watched and then it captures all the relevant data with analysis for you - showing time between heals, dmg spikes, the ebb and flow of the tank's health.

#4 Mazrim


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Posted 17 August 2006 - 04:03 AM

You can type in /combatlog to parse all the info put in there to a text file, but you have to be careful cause if you leave it parseing for a long time you get crazy large text files. Also make sure to remember the time whatever event you want to look at happend so you can find it in the text file easier.

Although you have to actually exit the game for wow to write the log. (located in World of Warcraft\Logs\WoWCombatLog.txt)

#5 Malan


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Posted 17 August 2006 - 04:21 AM

Yah, I know *how* to get the logs, I was looking for methods of how to usefully parse it for meaningful events rather than just scrolling through it by hand.

#6 burghy


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Posted 17 August 2006 - 04:44 AM

A software that can search using regular expressions (edit+ for example). Or you need to code something.
Here's some sample code that checks for hateful strikes:

perl (try active perl distribution for a fast setup):
open (INFILE, "C:/World of Warcraft/Logs/WoWCombatLog.txt") or die "Can't open log file!";
$match = "Patchwerk's Hateful";
while (<INFILE>)
	my $line = $_;
	if ($line =~ /[0-9]+\/[0-9]+ ([0-9]+)\:([0-9]+)\:([0-9]+)\.([0-9]+)  .*$match/) {
		print $line;
close INFILE;
$lines = file("C:/World of Warcraft/Logs/WoWCombatLog.txt") or die("Can't open log file!");
$match = "Patchwerk's Hateful";
foreach ($lines as $line)
	if (preg_match("/[0-9]+\/[0-9]+ ([0-9]+)\:([0-9]+)\:([0-9]+)\.([0-9]+)  .*".$match."/", $line, $results))
		echo $results[0]."\n";

#7 Brodda Thep

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 04:58 AM

I really don't know if an ingame combat parser woudl be that useful for this type of stuff.

Definately learning regular expressions will help a ton. I use grep, though I imagine there is a gui version somewhere that would spit out all line matches into a seperate window. I just haven't found one yet. (I havne't tried very hard either.)

#8 Renaldo


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Posted 17 August 2006 - 05:05 AM

I just saw a post on the Guild Relation forums about this.

What do you think of damage meters, either in the raid or as a post-mortem analysis?

Do you allow people to run them, or broadcast the results?

Do you think they improve performance, or are merely an ep33n tool for dps and healing classes?


For my raids, damage meter spam has been disallowed not just because it's annoying, but because when misused it harms the raid. Too often I've seen a mob running loose and a fury warrior refusing to taunt it off the healers because his DPS would suffer by pulling out a shield. Too often I've seen a rogue not bother feinting or a warlock overbolting and pulling aggro, and getting a few people killed from a breath attack. Too often I've seen healers run themselves out of mana too early due to massive overhealing on a squishy target, while the main tank does a faceplant.

But I've also found, when used appropriately, meters can really help performance. So, I don't care if people run them... in fact I kind of encourage it, but spamming the raid and using it to chide anyone is not allowed. Meters almost NEVER tell the whole story, so saying "that priest isn't healing!" when they've done 80% of the cleansing is BS.

One of the first meters is Damage Meters, located at http://www.curse-gam...magemeters.html My favorite in-game one is Recap located at http://www.curse-gam...61-1-recap.html

The weaknesses of the first one is that it doesn't show things like Overhealing, or give a good way to analyze. It's hard to see what others are doing. It only shows damage, or healing, or deaths, or damage taken. Very little other information is stored, except it does give a breakdown of some of the abilities if you hold down the control key over yourself. It also allows a sync channel, so that you get more info from distant sources which you cannot see.

The second one, Recap, gives some very nice statistics such as overhealing and better analyses. It's much more useful to me, for real-time and long-term statistics. It's very useful for comparing talent specs, for instance.

Recently, someone pointed to Wow Web Stats in this forum, located at http://lossendil.fr/serendipity . This is exactly the tool I was looking for... it requires no plugin, and runs in java. All it does is parse one or more combat logs (toggled in-game simply with /combatlog) and merges the volumnious logs to produce an html result. You then upload the directory to your website. The reason I like this tool is because it gathers ALL the visible information. You can tell how many times your Bloodfang or Hand of Justice procced, how many healing potions someone drank, how many times they bandaged, stealthed, changed stances (!), drank a mana potion, and so on.

It also gives you a timeline of your raid.

It suffers from the fact that you can only see a short distance around you, which is why it has to be able to merge multiple combat logs. Here's an example of a couple logs I've done: http://www.knights-w...ds/wws-history/

So, if you previously didn't like damage meters due to the ep33n thing, what do you think of them when used as an analysis tool?


Check the http://lossendil.fr/serendipity out.

#9 Malan


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Posted 17 August 2006 - 05:18 AM

That's actually pretty interesting Renaldo, hopefully that's what the SW_Stats author is intending his HTML output to be like once its completed. But looking at it, it still seems to be *just* a damage meter (albeit a web based one with a lot of detail). My original question was more directed at finding meaningful events - tank dies, was it because his assigned healers were topping someone else off, or they started the heals too late (not anticipating dmg), healers were out of mana? In my mind's eye I see this raid tool as almost like a fraps playing back showing health and mana bars going up and down as damage comes in/out and heals go out, but unlike a fraps it can be stopped and have details examined at any time in the recording. Pipe dream perhaps.

#10 Northerner


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Posted 17 August 2006 - 05:25 AM

http://www.lexacorp.com.pg/ has a basic linestripper that I've used for a long time. It ain't fancy and it is completely useless in comparison to grep or a decent line editor but does have the advantage of being quite user friendly. I shoot it to non-technical friends often and they seem to pick it up much more easily in comparison to perl or even edit+ or wingrep and so on. That isn't exactly what you were asking for of course but it is a tool to add to the box perhaps.

For in-game work I do like swstats for rough and dirty analysis but ideally you would want to find a competant coder in-guild to write custom stuff that meets your needs. Seperating flow and timeline from overall performance is a bit tricky of course but it isn't generally too hard to determine what killed the MT for example or at least determine the steps you may need to take that will result in reducing overall raid damage or mana use. This should all get much, much easier next patch when 'silent' channels become an option for datasharing.

#11 burghy


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Posted 17 August 2006 - 07:32 AM

A bit of attention to the combat log would be also very helpfull. Forced dump with a console command (instead of exit game), create new files instead of append, monster yell/emotes added, in combat/out of combat states. A lot of things could be easier with just a day's work from one of their coders.

#12 mutagen


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Posted 17 August 2006 - 07:50 AM

Battle History looks useful, though it requires all of your healers to be running the Forecast addon to capture healing events.

A log merger and something like this running as a standalone app would be a wonderful tool for sorting out new fights. I wouldn't be surprised to see many of the cutting edge content guilds having in-house tools to automate these sorts of things (which I suppose is what the OP is asking for).

My two (not-so-informed) sents.

#13 Malan


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Posted 17 August 2006 - 12:25 PM

Battle History looks useful, though it requires all of your healers to be running the Forecast addon to capture healing events.

If that showed damage coming in to a target (such as a tank) and didn't require all the healers to have an additional mod, that BattleHistory would probably be perfect for figuring out what went wrong in a fight.

#14 lossendil


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Posted 18 August 2006 - 11:29 AM

Oyo !

I'm the creator of WWS.
I ran a poll on WWS web site recently about the features people would like me to add to WWS, there was

5) Death replay
Why did someone die ? "Death replay" will replay the last few seconds before each death to verify if healers were looking somewhere else or if the player took 10k of critics in 2 seconds.

But it didn't get many votes. None in fact :)
I guess you can still go to my forum http://www.lossendil...forum/index.php (public forum, no need to log) and push for this feature. I'm working on other stuff for the moment, but once it's done I might switch to that if enough people are interested.



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