Combat Log Add-ons (Recount/Skada) How to, how NOT to.

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Combat Log Add-ons (Recount/Skada) How to, how NOT to.

Postby Ailuropoda » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:01 am

Used introspectively, combat log add-ons have some value. They also have some limited application in analyzing a raid group, if used judiciously and tactfully, at the discretion of the raid leader.

So let's start how NOT to use these tools:

[Guild] (Àrthás): fail pug ful of bads so trd of caryng nbs
[Guild] (Àrthás): Recount - DPS for Overall Data
[Guild] (Àrthás): 1. Àrthás 35425.2 (35.2%)
[Guild] (Àrthás): 2. Stabby 29688.7 (29.5%)
[Guild] (Àrthás): 3. RCain 19725.4 (19.6%)
[Guild] (Àrthás): 4. Îńsæńity 13586.4 (13.5%)
[Guild] (Àrthás): 5. SirHealsaLot 2214.1 (2.2%)
[Guild] (Àrthás): xD

What's wrong with the above example? First and foremost, it's posted in guild chat. I hear that's a no no.

So since I can't post my numbers in guild chat, what good is this thing? Well, the interesting data isn't found in overall dps, and dps on a the boss rarely tells the whole story. It's definitely not found in comparing the dps of an affliction warlock (currently the highest dps in the game) to that of an arms warrior (currently the lowest dps in the game). It's a bit more complicated than that.

Most fights have a target prioritization. Target boss, when adds come out, kill the adds, get back on boss kinda thing. Okay, so how am I doing here? That can be interesting.

A lot of fights have avoidable damage. By not standing in the fire, the healers have better mana resources to heal you up when you are taking damage that can't be avoided. Combat log add-ons can give you an idea how well you're reacting to things.

Some encounters offer opportunities to greatly improve your performance through special buffs. These may or may not be spread evenly or available to all party members. As one example, in the Gara'jal encounter, when you enter the spirit world and you are healed, you gain a buff called Spiritual Innervation. It's unique to each class, but basically improves your performance. These buffs can also account for disparity between dps on any given encounter.

Friendly fire can also be interesting. Now, not all friendly fire is avoidable, not all friendly fire is bad. (In most cases it is) Am I staying away from the group when I have a debuff that not only damages me, but damages anyone around me? Arcane Resonance, hello.

All of this really oversimplifies where the real interesting information lies for each encounter, because it really is so scenario-specific to each encounter.

None of this is to say that DPS (e) is meaningless. It's critically important, within the context of all the other things that are important.

Perhaps the most valuable application of any combat log add-on is comparing performance between two players of the same class and similar gear levels, especially when the other player has better numbers, and referencing this against their spell usage and talents. Wow, that other talent option really performs better for this encounter.

If you're into the numbers thing, include other measures of performance along with effective dps. Good raid performance is multi-dimensional.

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Re: Combat Log Add-ons (Recount/Skada) How to, how NOT to.

Postby rednab » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:22 am

This is a good start to the conversation about damage/healing meters. Damage meters is something that I really, really do not like. I have seen them constantly abused and misused and it really has become one of my pet peeves. In my first raiding guild in vanilla, damage and healing meters were outlawed not only in guild chat but also in raid chat. They were only to be used in officer chat, where class leaders were to use the information to try and help the raiders in their class with making adjustments to things like speccing and rotation.

I became most disgusted with damage meters when LFR came online in Cataclysm. In LFR, Blizzard has tuned the encounter with crap gear on players in mind....hence low dps. There were no gear checks in DS LFR...the only way to wipe a raid in LFR DS was to ignore the few mechanics they left remaining in the encounters. Yet ever time there was a wipe, the butt fedoras would immediately throw up a damage meter posting and would start screaming to throw out the low dps guys. Than is totally moronic as low dps had nothing to do with the wipe....ignoring game mechanics had everything to do with the wipe. Now I know nothing can be done about random LFRs, and the people who make life miserable in them, but it would be nice of folks to leave the damage meters at home.

I run recount.....but I will never, ever posts it in any type of chat. It is for my educational purposes only. And within a guild, should stay within the officer/class leader ranks.
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Re: Combat Log Add-ons (Recount/Skada) How to, how NOT to.

Postby TreesSpeak » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:46 pm

My preferred use of Skada (can't stand the look of recount :P ) is the Buff Uptime, Debuff Uptime, and an extra mod called Skada Tanks. Debuff tracking is incredibly useful for DoT Classes, but I use it to improve my mage bombs and warrior Colossus Smash uptimes.

The Skada Tanks mod adds "Healing Required" -- damage taken minus self healing. Under the damage taken heading, this mod also tracks tanking cooldowns per attack taken. It tells you what percentages of each attack taken were covered by 1 buff, 2 buffs, no buffs, etc.

I rarely compare damage, and only do it when looking for improvements to strategies or composition. It's useful to know who to put on adds, etc.
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Re: Combat Log Add-ons (Recount/Skada) How to, how NOT to.

Postby Cilraaz » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:44 pm

TreesSpeak wrote:The Skada Tanks mod adds "Healing Required" -- damage taken minus self healing.

I had not heard of that one before, but I might have to add that for my Monk. Thanks!

Personally, I use Skada for primarily a threat meter. I have it bounce to threat while in combat and back to damage done after combat. I use the damage done portion to compare myself to myself. If I'm pulling 60k one fight and 40k another, then I need to see what I could add or change (unless it's something like Elegon with a bit of downtime on the swaps). I'll also check damage taken to see if I'm not using my active mitigation well enough, though I might start using that Skada Tanks addition instead. The last (and lowest priority) use of Skada for me is to find obvious "slackers". If the dungeon group is ranging from 90k to 60k and one guy is doing 20k, then maybe they're a new player that I could give one or two pointers, providing they're open to help/suggestions. Even if they're not open to advice, I have to be in a horrible mood to use poor dps as an excuse to complain about someone. I'm too lazy for that, and it's just easier to roll my eyes and keep moving.
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Re: Combat Log Add-ons (Recount/Skada) How to, how NOT to.

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