Blizzard's in-game meters vs Recount et al.

90 Tauren Druid
7280
I've read through several of the many other forum threads debating a Blizzard-endorsed in-game meter. There seem to be a few common arguments for and against. First, against:

1) It might send a false message that Blizzard endorses meters as a performance evaluation tool, when fights are about more than meters (dps, threat, damage taken, healing done, overhealing, dispels, or otherwise)
2) It would encourage misuse of those meters

Frankly, both of those arguments fail, for four reasons. The first two are weak, but the third and fourth are pretty damning and conclusive:

1) Meters are being used well and misused already. You can't stick your head in the sand and pretend they don't exist or matter. The question is only whether the meters come from an unreliable 3rd party source or an in-game source.

2) While a single meter (dps only, or healing done only, etc.) is not an appropriate tool for evaluating performance, having multiple sources of information *is*, in fact, a useful tool for figuring out what's happening. If, as was the case in my old guild, we hit 6min on Garajal with only 2 healers and he's not yet dead, dps *is* in fact the problem, and wanting to know who needs to pick up their game is a valid concern. On the MV trash in LFR, I can pull up dispels, and if one healer just isn't dispeling at all, I can whisper them personally with a tactful request instead of idly ranting or embarrassing people in public. Those are two examples, but really there are countless others. Is raw dps valuable in and of itself? No, but no one's arguing for a raw dps count only; we're asking for data analysis tools (note: tools plural, not "tool"). These are tools we currently have to get from a third party, and whose considerable limitations we have to accept before trying to use them.The notion that meters do not describe performance or are not useful for raiders is wildly inaccurate and I'd even venture to say dishonest since Blizzard really does know better. Data collection is a good thing.

3) Blizzard ALREADY HAS (more accurately: *has had for many years*) an in-game meter in use. BGs and Arenas already measure damage done, healing done, HKs, deaths, and some other numbers, and post them for all to see. This "argument" that Blizzard doesn't endorse meter use is nonsense. They do, and have for a long time, just only in one part of the game, and paradoxically in the part of the game where total damage and healing numbers are even *less* meaningful because of the incomparably larger number of context-dependent factors involved in pvp. At least with raiding there is a boss, and people are in general doing comparable tasks. What difference is there between the meter already in place in the game for pvp and the ones people have been requesting for pve? The only major qualitative difference I can see is that people want more data--damage targets, spells used, damage taken with sources (i.e. how much people stood in fires), etc.--from pve meters. That goes back to point (1): raiders are not, in fact, so single-minded as to care about total damage alone and misuse those data while ignoring the rest.

4) Ghostcrawler and the other developers also EXPLICITLY ASKED for parses from players that *required* the use of addons when providing theorycrafting feedback in their beta thread. The developers themselves called for people to report the results from meters, indicating the value they place on them.

In sum:

- This is a quality of life improvement. I want to know how I and other healers are doing, how the raid as a whole is doing, and what we could do better when the boss hasn't died yet. These tools help figure that out, and they would be made more reliable through an in-game tool.
- You already have a tool you endorse, and use it in one of the least appropriate settings possible. It's not a matter of official endorsement, misuse, or what have you. It's a matter of using data from the whole instance or from a single player's computer.
- It would affect a large number of people, it has been requested innumerable times, and it would require very little new programming. According to Ghostcrawler's own rubric, that's exactly the type of addition you should *have made* many years ago.
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90 Human Warlock
16820
They asked for parses during beta and stressed that they valued those parses far more then what your dps meter said in game.

The parse uses the in game combat log, and an outside website to take that text document and turn it into a more usable source of data, though you could have just gave them the text document. It would be just the same as giving them a world of logs link. It doesn't require any in game addons to get this info.

They wanted parses, not what recount, skada, etc. showed you.

Though, those addons, at times are just as effective as a combat log parse would be, however it involves going abit more in depth with those meter addons. I think the parse websites are just more popular for it, due to the fact that, breaking down what's going wrong or right in any given fight, is just easier down on an outside website, instead of clogging your game ui with all the different charts and graphs you'd have to access in the addons to make it similar to a parsing site.
Edited by Brugavino on 12/1/2012 1:18 PM PST
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100 Dwarf Death Knight
18230
Blizzard cares about balance across characters, and if there's a huge discrepancy that's really unfair, they correct it. Most obviously, you saw Garalon changed because player logs showed combat cleaves being miles above everyone, and it stated a bug

They don't add meters so people won't have official ways of making fun of someone, outside "LLLLOLOLOLL YOUR ILEVEL IS 1 POINT LOWER THAN ME YOU SUCK" Crap that they started once they started endorsing the ilevel/Gearscore crap

And my usual argument against Blizzard incorperating Add-ons

The add-on developers do a better job, Blizzard can't devote the resources to side things like addons that some people spend their lives on now.
Edited by Postonforums on 12/1/2012 1:34 PM PST
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90 Human Warlock
16820
As far as blizzard adding in their own meter for pve content, I don't see it as a glaring need for the game. The current addons are fine and if you're the type that wants more accessible, easily comparable info, well that's as simple as typing /combatlog before pulls.

I"d prefer more content, over added ui/function features.

It's the best mmo in the world, and that's primarily due to their content. Over the past few years imo, they've added enough new bells and whistles.

People play for the content, stop trying to reinvent the wheel and just pump out content. More raids, bgs, 5 mans, arena maps.
Edited by Brugavino on 12/1/2012 1:25 PM PST
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90 Tauren Druid
7280
That's a much better argument, thank you Brugavino. I hadn't realized the differences between parses and addons, and I agree that content is more important than ui features, although I don't think the people making content would be the same people making ui features or that those resources are shared. So, I don't think the two are mutually exclusive.

Postonforums: I am frustrated specifically by the lack of reliability of current addons in particular fights like Garajal, Elegon, and Garalon, but I think Brugavino is suggesting that other, more reliable tools exist out there somewhere or within the game already. I could look at those in more depth. To me, I just don't see it as a huge stretch. We already have the user interface set-up in some domains like BGs, but just not in raids, and not with as much detail. It would be nice not to have to go through the pomp and circumstance to get that, or especially pay for a separate service like worldoflogs to get the information I'd like to see.
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100 Blood Elf Warlock
19910
One point you may want to add is related to one of your concerns:

While I can see Blizzard not wanting in-game meters because it would be abused, you raised a valid point that they ARE used, and I can't think of a single raid/LFR i've ever been in where someone wasn't running it.

The issue is that if Blizzard doesn't have it, the worst of the players think that it means that Blizzard doesn't care about DPS, and these are the players who just ignore what others say to them because "hey, if there aren't meters and the boss dies, then we did FINE".

Meters should be included to get rid of this notion. What would also make it really cool would be if there was a "failure line", a VERY CONSERVATIVE line where, if you were below it, would indicate to you that your DPS was too low for the current encounter. It would not be based on your ilvl, and would assume you have the lowest ilvl required to enter the instance.
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90 Blood Elf Warlock
15355
One point you may want to add is related to one of your concerns:

While I can see Blizzard not wanting in-game meters because it would be abused, you raised a valid point that they ARE used, and I can't think of a single raid/LFR i've ever been in where someone wasn't running it.

The issue is that if Blizzard doesn't have it, the worst of the players think that it means that Blizzard doesn't care about DPS, and these are the players who just ignore what others say to them because "hey, if there aren't meters and the boss dies, then we did FINE".

Meters should be included to get rid of this notion. What would also make it really cool would be if there was a "failure line", a VERY CONSERVATIVE line where, if you were below it, would indicate to you that your DPS was too low for the current encounter. It would not be based on your ilvl, and would assume you have the lowest ilvl required to enter the instance.


Personally I don't care one way or the other about whether or not Blizzard institutes in game meters. I could care less who has the top overall dps in a raid or who has the highest dps on trash. The only place I think DPS has any importance at all is NOWHERE. What I think has some importance is "damage done" over individual boss fights.

The suggestion of a "failure line" for dps however is something that I would not support at all and for a very good reason. Every expansion I have noticed where people have what appears to be low DPS in logs and also in recount and skada posts along with many other damage meters but when looking at the damage done a different story is told.

One instance in particular of this stands out in my memory from Cata. A mage putting up DPS numbers of 43k dps on a boss in firelands and a little old shadowpriest doing 28k someone in the group posted that and laughed until someone else posted damage done and the shadowpriest had done 3.8 million more damage than the mage. Burst dps verus damage over time. Also that shadowpriest did a lot of other things as well, tossing out heals and shields when needed to help out the healers. I have seen stuff like this a lot in logs and on meters.

Some might argue that if they were better healers they would not need any help. Well that might be true and it might not but there is a lot more involved in a good raid group than who has the better dps. A good raid group works as a team and if there is anyone in the group who does not want to sacrifice their dps to help the group then they are the failure even if they are #1 on the logs or addon meter.

There are other things that are just as important or even more important in a raid than DPS.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
11000
12/09/2012 01:30 PMPosted by Morganlefey
One instance in particular of this stands out in my memory from Cata. A mage putting up DPS numbers of 43k dps on a boss in firelands and a little old shadowpriest doing 28k someone in the group posted that and laughed until someone else posted damage done and the shadowpriest had done 3.8 million more damage than the mage. Burst dps verus damage over time.


This didn't happen. If the shadow priest did more damage than the mage, he also did more damage per second. The fact that the meter said otherwise is an artifact of how the damage meter in question measured uptime (like the mage died and it locked in his dps instead of incrementing it down for each second he was inactive).
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100 Dwarf Death Knight
18230
One point you may want to add is related to one of your concerns:

While I can see Blizzard not wanting in-game meters because it would be abused, you raised a valid point that they ARE used, and I can't think of a single raid/LFR i've ever been in where someone wasn't running it.

The issue is that if Blizzard doesn't have it, the worst of the players think that it means that Blizzard doesn't care about DPS, and these are the players who just ignore what others say to them because "hey, if there aren't meters and the boss dies, then we did FINE".

Meters should be included to get rid of this notion. What would also make it really cool would be if there was a "failure line", a VERY CONSERVATIVE line where, if you were below it, would indicate to you that your DPS was too low for the current encounter. It would not be based on your ilvl, and would assume you have the lowest ilvl required to enter the instance.


Personally I don't care one way or the other about whether or not Blizzard institutes in game meters. I could care less who has the top overall dps in a raid or who has the highest dps on trash. The only place I think DPS has any importance at all is NOWHERE. What I think has some importance is "damage done" over individual boss fights.

The suggestion of a "failure line" for dps however is something that I would not support at all and for a very good reason. Every expansion I have noticed where people have what appears to be low DPS in logs and also in recount and skada posts along with many other damage meters but when looking at the damage done a different story is told.

One instance in particular of this stands out in my memory from Cata. A mage putting up DPS numbers of 43k dps on a boss in firelands and a little old shadowpriest doing 28k someone in the group posted that and laughed until someone else posted damage done and the shadowpriest had done 3.8 million more damage than the mage. Burst dps verus damage over time. Also that shadowpriest did a lot of other things as well, tossing out heals and shields when needed to help out the healers. I have seen stuff like this a lot in logs and on meters.

Some might argue that if they were better healers they would not need any help. Well that might be true and it might not but there is a lot more involved in a good raid group than who has the better dps. A good raid group works as a team and if there is anyone in the group who does not want to sacrifice their dps to help the group then they are the failure even if they are #1 on the logs or addon meter.

There are other things that are just as important or even more important in a raid than DPS.


The only time DPS and Damage done will vary in ratios is if someones dead for an extended period of time.

Effective DPS is much more important.
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100 Gnome Monk
17295
There already is an in-game damage meter. That's what /combatlog is. You just use a parsing tool like WoL or an addon like Recount to make it easier to read, essentially.
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100 Night Elf Warrior
18190
The average player doesn't really need an in-game dps/healing/dispel/whatever meter to play. Most of the uses you've listed are the sorts of fine tuned optimization that they want to leave to addons so the base UI can be light weight and easy to approach for a newer player.

They improved the raid frames so that you didn't need addons for what most considered very basic functionality for raid frames for healers. While its still true that most healers that play even somewhat seriously have some sort of raid frame addon, a new player can use the current frames without being crippled.

They added the threat meter because threat is an important game mechanic that was previously essentially completely invisible without an addon. While threat is mostly automatic for tanks now, it wasn't fair to have an invisible line you couldn't cross without dying or causing a wipe or something.

They added the in-game power aura animations because it was extremely easy to miss procs when you had to look for a buff in the corner of the screen in a sea of other buffs, or maybe some subtle animation on your character in a sea of other characters/mobs, or listen for a sound in the din of everything else around.

A player doesn't need a meter to figure out the basics of what they should do, however. Buttons light up when you should probably hit them, and its not like say, an elemental shaman is going to have a hard time figuring out lava burst does a lot of damage compared to lightning bolt and they should use that. If the player is interested in fine tuned optimization, then its expected that part of that may involve addons and third party research.
Edited by Asthas on 12/9/2012 4:26 PM PST
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100 Dwarf Death Knight
18230
12/09/2012 04:17 PMPosted by Asthas
The average player doesn't really need an in-game dps/healing/dispel/whatever meter to play. Most of the uses you've listed are the sorts of fine tuned optimization that they want to leave to addons so the base UI can be light weight and easy to approach for a newer player.


New players need meters more, so they can figure out why frost bolt sucks on an arcane mage
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100 Night Elf Warrior
18190
The average player doesn't really need an in-game dps/healing/dispel/whatever meter to play. Most of the uses you've listed are the sorts of fine tuned optimization that they want to leave to addons so the base UI can be light weight and easy to approach for a newer player.


New players need meters more, so they can figure out why frost bolt sucks on an arcane mage


If they can't tell with the numerous indicators they have now, the meter isn't going to change things. The game already provides numbers for that kind of extremely coarse feedback...the numbers that pop up on enemies when you damage them. That alone makes it clear that arcane blast is the superior filler to frost bolt. Then there are the beginner tooltips, and spec descriptions (which could be improved), and the in game power auras.

The notion that the player that doesn't get the right general idea from all of those will instead do a controlled test on a target dummy to compare rotations is absurd.
Edited by Asthas on 12/9/2012 6:02 PM PST
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90 Night Elf Druid
17755
The notion that the player that doesn't get the right general idea from all of those will instead do a controlled test on a target dummy to compare rotations is absurd.


This is 80% true.

One trend that can be seen not just here, but in any other MMO when it's released is that people are absolutely terrified of "damage meters" as if players are just going to use it to abuse other players. What tends to happen however in those games is that players do that anyway, except they do it based on absolutely nothing (Omg ARcher in TERA, /kick, Omg Noob Guardian in GW2 etc.), so "hiding" numbers tends to be worse than not hiding it.

Or to put it another way, they go all the way back to Vanilla where some people get irrational about how good or bad a spec is with not enough information to actually back it up.
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100 Pandaren Priest
17840
Asthas has got it. Voicechat is rather important, so it was added to the game (nobody uses it, but it's there). DBM notifications are extremely important, so they were added in the form of boss emotes and announcements. (but not the timerbars)

Lacking DPS meters doesn't cause an in-game obstacle to clearing basic content. It could get added simply because it's a very common addon and it'd be nice to have at least one patch release where Recount's memory usage doesn't @#&#@ everything sideways. But if it is implemented as part of the core game, it will be a very simplistic version and most players will continue to use addons for their more complete functionality.
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100 Dwarf Death Knight
18230
12/09/2012 06:00 PMPosted by Asthas
The notion that the player that doesn't get the right general idea from all of those will instead do a controlled test on a target dummy to compare rotations is absurd.


That is a bad example, but one I've run into literally over a dozen times, another one would be dots. In the case of warlocks, without having some kind of math or meter feedback, a player won't know how effect what dots are worth, especially trying to wing it on my affliction lock, I've realized just how hard a class like that would be to play without research, knowledge and addons.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
17950
One instance in particular of this stands out in my memory from Cata. A mage putting up DPS numbers of 43k dps on a boss in firelands and a little old shadowpriest doing 28k someone in the group posted that and laughed until someone else posted damage done and the shadowpriest had done 3.8 million more damage than the mage. Burst dps verus damage over time.


This didn't happen. If the shadow priest did more damage than the mage, he also did more damage per second. The fact that the meter said otherwise is an artifact of how the damage meter in question measured uptime (like the mage died and it locked in his dps instead of incrementing it down for each second he was inactive).


That can and does happen more often than you think and a lot of people have a hard time believing it. I have seen it more often with warlocks and mages than anything else though.

I have looked into this before and if meters are still working basically the same then it is still happening. The way it worked at the time I was interested in DPS VS Damage done I will give in this example. Mages, at least at that time, did mainly burst DPS. Warlocks and shadowpriests mainly did damage over time. Now think back to cata or even wrath. A mage casts arcane blast and it hits hard doing 50k damage (as an example) and a warlock or spriest dots up that target. The dots from the warlock and priest are NOT going to hit for 50k a tic but they will deal nice damage every few seconds for a period of time. Depending on the way in which the damage is calculated for the burst dps they could either be at the top on a dps meter or lower on a damage done meter. It is all in how it is calculated and none of the couple of ways damage is calculated are wrong it is all based on when the person who made the addon wants to start and stop the measuring points.

But if I’ve got a high dps doesn’t that mean that I’ve got a high damage output?

Yes and no. The difference between damage output and dps isn’t that dps doesn’t measure damage. Dps is an average, so if you do a large amount of beginning burst damage then you will look like you’ve got a high dps, even when your damage gets weaker throughout the fight. All you’ve managed to do is make the dps meter put your name at the top. On the other hand, if you start with your attacks in a smooth rotation, doing high constant, sustainable, damage for the entire fight your damage output can be huge. Yes, you’ll only be second or third on the dps meter, but what really matters is killing bosses, not numbers, because numbers suck and there is no perfect meter nor is there a perfect way to calculate the numbers because different people view DPS and Damage Done in different ways.

It may be one of the flaws in people putting to much stock into meters which in my opinion is just a tool you can use to smooth flaws in your casting or strikes to improve individual performance.
Edited by Salilenda on 12/16/2012 4:36 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Mage
11000


This didn't happen. If the shadow priest did more damage than the mage, he also did more damage per second. The fact that the meter said otherwise is an artifact of how the damage meter in question measured uptime (like the mage died and it locked in his dps instead of incrementing it down for each second he was inactive).


That can and does happen more often than you think and a lot of people have a hard time believing it. I have seen it more often with warlocks and mages than anything else though.

I have looked into this before and if meters are still working basically the same then it is still happening. The way it worked at the time I was interested in DPS VS Damage done I will give in this example. Mages, at least at that time, did mainly burst DPS. Warlocks and shadowpriests mainly did damage over time. Now think back to cata or even wrath. A mage casts arcane blast and it hits hard doing 50k damage (as an example) and a warlock or spriest dots up that target. The dots from the warlock and priest are NOT going to hit for 50k a tic but they will deal nice damage every few seconds for a period of time. Depending on the way in which the damage is calculated for the burst dps they could either be at the top on a dps meter or lower on a damage done meter. It is all in how it is calculated and none of the couple of ways damage is calculated are wrong it is all based on when the person who made the addon wants to start and stop the measuring points.

But if I’ve got a high dps doesn’t that mean that I’ve got a high damage output?

Yes and no. The difference between damage output and dps isn’t that dps doesn’t measure damage. Dps is an average, so if you do a large amount of beginning burst damage then you will look like you’ve got a high dps, even when your damage gets weaker throughout the fight. All you’ve managed to do is make the dps meter put your name at the top. On the other hand, if you start with your attacks in a smooth rotation, doing high constant, sustainable, damage for the entire fight your damage output can be huge. Yes, you’ll only be second or third on the dps meter, but what really matters is killing bosses, not numbers, because numbers suck and there is no perfect meter nor is there a perfect way to calculate the numbers because different people view DPS and Damage Done in different ways.

It may be one of the flaws in people putting to much stock into meters which in my opinion is just a tool you can use to smooth flaws in your casting or strikes to improve individual performance.


Actually, no, DPS and damage done represent the same values. If your damage meter has someone doing more dps than a person they did less damage than, it's an artifact of the meter. You know, just like I posted above.

EDIT:

To clarify, if your Arcane Mage bursts 200kdps and dies 40 seconds into the fight, and at the end of the fight your damage meter has him as the top dps, it means your damage meter is very stupid, not that DPS and Damage Done are not intrinsically linked concepts.
Edited by Mahourai on 12/16/2012 5:33 PM PST
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