[Still True] Guide to Logging

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Due to the recent patch and the changes that Warlocks, among other classes, have undergone, people are now more than ever concerned about how they are performing. I believe that the best way to evaluate performance is in evaluating your logs--and, without knowledge of how to analyze logs, or how to log, that's impossible. This guide should cover those sufficiently and allow interested players to improve their performance, or, if they would prefer, ask for help.


Please feel welcome to dispute anything posted. I am very dedicated to making an accurate guide that keeps up with all the newest theorycrafting, and to that extent, I will be doing my best to keep up with recent information--but nobody is perfect.

Table of Contents
  • 1 - How to Log
  • -1: WarcraftLogs
    -2: Downloading/Running Logs
    -3: Known Bugs
  • 2 - Guide to Reading Logs
  • -1: The Interface
    -2: The Tabs
  • 3 - How to Evaluate Performance Using Logs
  • -1: Basics
    -2: Destruction
    -3: Affliction
    -4: Demonology
  • 4 - Conclusion
  • -1: Afterword
    -2: Help with Evaluation

    Guide to Navigating the Thread:

    If you want to jump to a specific section in the thread, use Ctrl-F and type in the section number, then a dash, then the subsection
    number. For example, if I wanted to jump to the Known Bugs section, which is in Section 1, and is Subsection 3, I'd type "1-3" into Ctrl-F!

    Section 1 - How to Log

    1-1: WarcraftLogs

    WarcraftLogs (https://www.warcraftlogs.com/) is a World of Warcraft fansite dedicated to hosting interactive combat logs and fight rankings for current and past raids in WoW. It is commonly used, to great effect, to evaluate how well someone is performing compared to other players of their spec and to optimal play.

    By the end of this guide, it is my belief that you will both understand how to evaluate logs and why we evaluate logs.

    -Why Warcraft Logs?
    Warcraft Logs is a lot more user-friendly and in-depth than World of Logs--not to mention that its developers (who I am wholly unrelated to) are continuing to update and build on its foundation, where World of Logs, to my knowledge, is remaining stagnant.

    1-2: Downloading/Setting Up the Logs Client

    The WarcraftLogs website is fairly self-explanatory with regards to setting up the client, but in any guide for log analysis must be a guide for actually logging. I've broken it down into a 3 step system.

    1: Go to https://www.warcraftlogs.com/
    2: Find this [ http://puu.sh/dxBDb/3fed32d7d1.png ] section--it's in the upper right-hand corner of the home screen. Click "Sign Up," and make an account!
    3: Now that you're logged in, go to where you clicked "Sign Up"--your username will have replaced that option! Click your username, and a dropdown menu will appear. Select "Download Client" and install it!

    Then, start the client on your computer while playing WoW.

    This window should appear: [ http://puu.sh/dTL5x/25b02f7b54.jpg ]

    From there, hit Live Log, and you'll arrive at this screen: [ http://puu.sh/dTLcR/ad07786613.jpg ]

    Then, if you wish, you can select what page to record your logs on (the default, as you can see, is Personal Logs), and click go!

    Then, all you need to do is enter World of Warcraft, enter "/combatlog" and raid! All the combat you're doing is now being recorded in real time to Warcraft Logs, where it can be analyzed.

    When you're done, simply type "/combatlog" again in-game to stop recording combat logs, and click "Stop" on the client!

    Advanced Combat Logging: In game, to enable Advanced Combat Logging, access the main menu (usually by clicking escape), select System, select Network, and check the boss for Advanced Combat Logging.

    1-3: Known Bugs

    Sometimes, when attempting to log, the client will record nothing, or state "Error - Bad Line". While this is not intended, it is more common than isolated--it can be fixed by simply restarting logs.

    Section 2 - Reading Logs

    2-1: The Interface

    The WarcraftLogs interface is intuitive and user-friendly. An example of a log is one of my Personal Logs, found at [ http://tinyurl.com/k66hywk ]. I will be using this log for the purposes of demonstration throughout this guide.

    [ http://puu.sh/dxCDv/bb44cf32ef.png ]

    The image above is what you will first see when reading a log. The first page it shows you (the one shown) is a summary of the various measures of performance recorded by the service. Each of the different tabs (Damage Done, Damage Taken, Healing) will take you to a page that details each individual type of performance. These will be covered in the following section.

    The Graph

    The Graph can be manipulated and modified to display only certain data--whether you wish to focus on a specific player, a specific damaging mechanic, or a specific portion of the fight.

    To access a specific portion, simply click and drag from one end of the graph you'd like to observe to the other--it'll automatically display only the information from that slice of the graph.

    To display a specific player or mechanic, simply select that option from one of the tables below the graph.

    The Options

    The options, located in the upper left hand of your screen, will look similar to these
    [ http://puu.sh/dxD8d/4b43537a58.jpg ].

    Each of the selections (The Butcher, All Friendlies, etc.) have a small arrow to their right--indicating the presence of a dropdown menu.

    You can select these to choose which boss you would like to observe (selecting The Butcher, in this case), which kill of that boss (if there is more than one in a log), or which player/enemy you would like to observe (selecting "All Friendlies" in this case).


    Located just below the graph are three tabs: Tables View, Events View, and Fight Analysis.

    Tables View provides the standard table of values--useful in other sections for viewing uptimes, percentages, and other numeric values.

    Events View simply lists each combat log event by time, useful for determining specific cast orders or time between events. [ http://puu.sh/dxDDd/b792b43c05.png ]

    Fight Analysis is a handy, automatic, mechanics analysis of the fight. It's useful for determining who caused wipes, or what went wrong on a kill.

    2-2: The Tabs

  • Damage Done:

  • This is likely your primary tab of interest. When evaluating warlock DPS, it is one of the main two tabs that you will actually be interested in.

    When you click this tab, it will default to taking you to a screen similar to the summary--a graph, with a tables view of Damage Done and DPS beneath it.
    [ http://puu.sh/dxDS9/076101ed08.png ]

    From here, you can observe how your DPS is compared to the rest of your raid for the fight. However, for evaluation, we must look at the specifics. From there, you would click on your name from the tables view--which would take you to a tables view of your abilities used and damaging effects. [ http://puu.sh/dxE0m/b583e10694.png ]

  • Damage Taken

  • This tab is similar in nature to Damage Done, but displays Damage Taken instead. You can use it to determine uptimes of damaging debuffs and other effects in the same manner you would with Damage Done. It is, however, not entirely relevant to evaluating Warlock DPS (very useful to determine who's draining your healers' mana, though!)

  • Healing

  • This tab is similar to both Damage Done and Damage Taken, but again, deals with healing and healing buffs instead. Useful to determine how much you're healing for with self-heals, but not relevant to DPS.

  • Buffs

  • For Warlock DPS analysis, the Buffs tab will be fairly invaluable. It is a graph -- which is less interesting than the preeceeding tabs' graphs -- and a table containing the uptimes of Damage, Defensive, Healing, Movement, and Raid buffs, in addition to stances and unknown buffs.

    The reason it's important to Warlocks is not to determine if someone had buffs--but to determine how they're reacting to Trinket Procs, using Dark Soul, using their potions, or even Fire and Brimstone in some situations.

    If you click on a particular player, it will take you to a screen similar to this one:
    [ http://puu.sh/dxEIj/ae75429356.png ]

  • Debuffs

  • This tab is less important than the others in terms of DPS analysis, but functions similarly to buffs--but with debuffs.

  • Deaths

  • This tab simply displays deaths and the time leading to those deaths--it can be invaluable in determining who is at fault for a given death.

  • Interrupts

  • This tab displays all interrupts used and can be used to fix issues in interrupt orders in raids.

  • Dispels

  • This tab displays dispells and can be used to determine which player is dispelling the most, or if someone dispelled something they were not meant to. Works for both Offensive and Healer dispells.

  • Resources

  • This tab allows you to view resource expenditure/generation over a fight. It can be used for Demonic Fury, Burning Embers, and Soul Shards and displays raw gain, wasted amount, and net gain.

  • Casts

  • This tab displays number of casts, time spent casting, et cetera. It's especially useful to assist in correcting an opening sequence or observing a particular set of casts (such as a Hand of Gul'dan 2-stacking mishap).

  • Summons

  • Shows all pet, minion, guardian, and demon summons throughout a fight.

  • Replay

  • This feature can show the positioning of players throughout a given fight provided the logging player is using "advanced combat logging," an option found in-game.

    Section 3 - How to Evaluate Performance Using Logs

    3-1: The Basics

    Before you evaluate each given spec, it's helpful to know what kind of things you're going to be looking for.

    -DoT/Debuff Uptimes: You are going to be looking through the Damage Done section of a Warlock's spellcasts, looking for Damage over Time or other debuffs effects such as Immolate, Corruption, Haunt or Doom. Different DoTs or Debuffs will call for different uptimes.

    An example: [ http://puu.sh/dxGe8/43d53f1d91.png ]

    -Cast Ratios: You may also be looking for ratios of one spells' casts to another. This can be done very easily by looking at the casts column and checking numbers.

    An example: [ http://puu.sh/dxGkX/81bd70a89b.png ]

    -Buff Usage: All specs have some degree of resource pooling for certain procs or cooldowns. You will be comparing the amount of certain buffs cast, such as Dark Soul or on-use trinkets, the times that randomly proccing trinkets activate, and more to determine how effectively someone is using their spells.

    An example: [ http://puu.sh/dxGsY/f960820817.png ]


    Section 4 - Conclusion

    4-1: Afterword

    I am not the best Warlock, and I accept this--however, I am passionate about this class, and intend to go forward in WoD with stronger progression and theorycrafting than before. I especially hope that I can help new or returning Warlocks--or even experienced Warlocks who want to brush up on their play--improve and perform better as time goes forward.

    4-2: Help with Evaluation

    If you'd like for a more experienced Warlock to look over your logs and provide their insight, simply post a link to the logs and some basic background information in the thread below. There is a great number of experienced, skilled, and helpful Warlocks around who enjoy doing just that!
    Changelog/Notable Events:
    12/16/14 - 4:04 PM - Basic Guide Completed, pending additions and/or corrections
    12/16/14 - 5:42 PM - Reckless' contributions to demo analysis added
    12/17/14 - 1:21 PM - Removed a dumb thing
    12/31/14 - 10:05 AM - Updated guide to reflect changes to the uploader's UI
    2/25/15 - 1:16 PM - Updated guide because Demonbolt is booty now
    2/25/15 - 1:50 PM - Added Credit section
    3/23/15 - 4:20 PM - Changed title

    Guide Finished!

    Good guide, Hedo!

    Really, write it already.
    I think I did alright! If anyone wants to read it over and point out any flaws I made or even add suggestions of your own, really, be my guest!
    12/16/2014 04:05 PMPosted by Hedo
    I think I did alright! If anyone wants to read it over and point out any flaws I made or even add suggestions of your own, really, be my guest!

    How do I turn on advanced logging?
    12/16/2014 04:07 PMPosted by Oniania
    How do I turn on advanced logging?

    I'll add this to the guide in a minute! good idea

    12/16/2014 02:16 PMPosted by Hedo
    Advanced Combat Logging: In game, to enabled Advanced Combat Logging, access the main menu (usually by clicking escape), select System, select Network, and check the boss for Advanced Combat Logging.
    Why would I pick warcraftlogs over worldoflogs ?

    Pros and cons to each?
    12/16/2014 02:16 PMPosted by Hedo
    -Why Warcraft Logs?
    Warcraft Logs is a lot more user-friendly and in-depth than World of Logs--not to mention that its developers (who I am wholly unrelated to) are continuing to update and build on its foundation, where World of Logs, to my knowledge, is remaining stagnant.

    Good guide, very informative :)
    12/16/2014 02:16 PMPosted by Hedo
    3-4: Demonology

    check the DB debuff uptime.

    Still working out exact numbers, but I'm thinking 60-65% on the uptime of it.

    I'd say closer to 95% uptime on both dots, they're not exactly hard to maintain.

    Make sure HoG dot is close to 40, over 40 you're going to be looking at not stacking but just maximizing uptime which is a loss.
    Thanks for this bae
    reported this thread

    for a sticky out of love <3

    roses for all
    12/16/2014 05:51 PMPosted by Mordecaí
    you should copy paste this guide too in the dungeon/raid forum. This can be applied to any class.

    i prefer masterclass warlocks
    12/16/2014 06:21 PMPosted by Mordecaí

    very much so
    This guide cured my ebola.


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