How2: Combat Logging on the Beta – Six Simple Steps!

loggings

Some time recently, Blizzard took the first step towards addon allowance, likely around the same time they released this blue post.

If you haven’t read my last article, I would remind you that it is mandatory, but either way the point is that I think I have even more evidence now towards my prediction.

I’m a bit late discovering this, but it hasn’t been possible for that long. Trust me, its one of the first things I tested during the Alpha! The big issue is the data being gathered by the logging sites isn’t recognizable, and even now it is barely so.

To use an example:
In MoP beta, If anyone used a Symbiosis spell to do damage it completely destroyed the log. While you could upload and read the datum from MoP quite clearly, because it didn’t recognize how a Retribution Paladin was able to use Wrath, everything went haywire. The issue was present in Recount as well when addons were eventually enabled, and made testing a real nightmare, as essentially every time anyone used Symbiosis to effect the combat table, it added a new person to the list and would reset the data

I don’t know how much this was the game’s fault or the actual people developing the combat log coding, but either way I am here to officially inform you that it is now doable. I will walk you though everything you need to know about how to set this up, and will demonstrate a bit of what I was able to acquire this week, despite the bug with DPS gear scaling being non-existent.

Step <ONE>:

Sign up and get started!

Sign up and get started!

Head over to http://www.warcraftlogs.com/

This isn’t an article to bash or promote any of the options, but it does appear that Warcraft Logs is being actively worked on and improving, where as the other options have seemingly fallen into disrepair.

If its your first time using the site, you may need to spend some time familiarizing yourself as well. This is not within the scope of this article, but should be easily figured out. Simply make an account and get comfortable.

Continue on when you are ready.

Step Two:

Get the Client installed!

Get the Client installed!

This client uses Adobe Air instead of java plugins, so you should immediately be satisfied. Its unlikely you have Adobe AIR on your computer already though, so when you click the link, make sure to install AIR first, and then move on to the Client package.

Once you get both done, it should unpack by itself and be ready to mess about with.

Step Three:

Create Shortcut, open client!

Create Shortcut, open client!

The client is pretty basic, even with its expanded features, but lets take a moment to talk about all the things you need to know here.

First of all, you will need to log in with your actual account from the website. The client will sync your data between server side and client side and things will appear as they do now. There is an optional step not included here which you can exercise to create a guild, but once again, beyond the scope of this guide. If you would like to do that, feel free, but it is entirely optional for the beta. If you contribute to a guild, its advisable you upload these as private, especially if your guild takes logs serious. No need to clutter their pages with messy beta logs that make no real sense to non-testers. (we call them no beta club)

Now the two final selectors are your most important assets. Essentially, you can choose to either upload a log that you have stored to view and dissect it, or you can upload a live report which is what most people will chose to do. Both are viable options here, but in case you have already been on the beta and wish to view previous data, you can choose to exercise this option.

If you wish to log from here on out, ignore that feature.

Step Four:

Establish Log Destination!

Establish Log Destination!

Article inception! Anyway, next step is simply press Browse and navigate to your beta folder.

In case you can’t find it, the easiest way to determine the path is to right click any WoW icon you have on your desktop, and click “Open File Location.” Then backwards navigate from there to where the default folder when clicking Browse on the log client takes you.

If you still can’t figure it out, you may need to check if your computer is plugged in. Yes maam, I understand how important this matter is, but please calm down. I’m trying to help.

Step 1-4 were entirely setting up the logging client to receive the data, but the chances are you need to enact a few more steps before you are officially ready to collect!

Step Five:

Establish the Log File!

Establish the Log File!

If this is the first time doing so, your folder will look like it does now. The client is set to recognize any LOG file that appears in there, but currently there are none! You see, Blizzard by default does not have combat logging running. Thankfully as well, because if this were the case your computer may accidentally fill up with crap you don’t even want.

In order to establish the log file, but also keep it neat and tidy, we are going to use a simple macro in game.

Open your macros, find an icon that fits your tastes, and make the entirety of it:
/combatlog

Who said this was going to be complicated!

Now, put that macro some where and press it. When you do, you will see yellow text saying
Combat being logged to Logs/wowcombatlog.txt

Press it again and it will say
Combat logging disabled.

This macro now allows you to log specifically what you want, if you wish to eliminate all the extra crap that will likely come along. Just make sure you remember to turn it on and off at the right times!

If this is your first time and you are serious about this, I would just leave it on whenever you are inside any instance or dungeon. Its best to have the whole log there so you can break down every second of your time in there. But there is also the option to only log for bosses. Just make sure you are out of combat when you start the log, otherwise it wont appear properly, even on Live!

Now logging in enabled, you are welcome to enter an instance and go nuts! Make sure you press the START button on the log client as well.
All your actions will be recorded, including you movement through the rooms, any healing or damage you do, and how long you spend on each combat session.

Once you have completed the dungeon, the next step is viewing your work!

Step Six:

Part 1: Collection Complete?

Part 1: Collection Complete? Click View Report!

Part 2: Decipher!

Part 2: Decipher!

 

Follow the instructions on the above images, and you should now be on the page your log is stored at. Note the highlighted text on the top left of the second image, as it is very important.

So typically, this website’s output reader and storage breaks each combat instance down by “Boss kills” and otherwise. This is obviously to include everything, but negate the pile of crap you would have to wade through to see each attempt on a boss. So typically, you would select the menu you wish to operate out of, and search below it for the specific combat instance you wish to examine.

Unfortunately, currently in the beta this is not the case. However, it is savvy enough to also name each combat instance under the first mob engaged. So essentially, if you see something with a generic name, you can assume this is trash or something equivalent.

However, if you see a specific name such as “Commander Tharbek” then you know this is a boss encounter! It’s just not properly labeled yet. Its very likely that by the time many of you read this, the issue described has been fixed though. So ya, sorry for wasting your time!

Anyway, you should be all set now. Just leaf through every combat instance and find whats important to you. The issue with 5 man content is the bosses typically have a lot of strange mechanics that interact with dps uptime in different ways, so just take it all with a grain of salt.

Also, I think its best if you only examine your ability in dungeons for now. Open world Logging has always been strange, no reason to complicate it even more with Beta!

 

For those of you interested, you can check out some of UBRS done by myself as a Monk tank.

*Also, as of July 11 2014, Beta scaling is not working. Its scaling level 100 DPS specs to 90, and not effecting 90s at all. This is apparently being hotfixed shortly, but just wanted you to understand why the DPS in these logs is so low. Only look at the Tank and Healing numbers! You have been warned.

http://www.warcraftlogs.com/reports/vGX8Zf1N3MxPnTkV#fight=9

Even though the scaling is broken (meaning their characters are level 90 attacking high level bosses,) it is obvious to see Destro locks are currently better then weapon warrior. I’d make a post about this on the official forums.

As always, if you have any questions about this, feel free to ask here or on our forums!

 

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