Tuesday, September 2, 2008

WoW Web Stats

Wow Web Stats has been around for some time now. I'm actually surprised when I mention it to people in my guild or send them a link to a report page, and they are curious how I did it and what addon is needed. Since it seems like it's not as well known as I thought it was, I figured it was a good topic for game mechanics.

Basically WWS is a free service that will take a combat log and parse it, extrapolate the data and spit it back to you in an easy to read format. It does not require an addon, although a combatlog addon can make it easier. More on that in a minute. You will need to sign up for a free account on their site and be able to run the Wow Web Stats client via a Java application. They give easy to understand directions on the web site.

So how does it work? WoW records everything that happens during fights in a combat log. You can have this log recorded to a text file by simply typing /combatlog at any time during the game. This text file will appear in your World of Warcraft file in a subfolder called Logs as wowcombatlog.txt. So when you enter Karazhan (or any instance) just type /combatlog and go about your raid. If you wipe and exit the instance, you will have to type it again when you enter. At the end of the raid, type /combatlog again to turn it off, log out, and go to the Logs folder in your WoW directory. Copy the txt file to the desktop and then go to the WWS website, start their client and upload the txt file. You should see something like this...

That's kind of small, so I don't know if you can read it, but I've used the anonymous report so the names are all different anyway. This chart is for damage done through our Kara raid that went to Aran. By checking the different options you can see damage received, heals, and a host of other statistics. You can see individual results, group results, and also what killed who and when, how long it took to finish, or kill a boss, and a lot of other things. It's a great tool for raid leaders who want to analyze the raid and see what areas they can improve, or it's a lot of fun for people like me who like to play with numbers.

That's WoW Web Stats in a nut shell. You can get an addon such as clsaver which will automatically turn the log on and off when you enter and exit the instance. This is nice, as I often would forget to type /combatlog when I need to. You just have to tell clsaver to log an instance once, and it will remember to do that instance for every future time you run it. Do this by typing /clsaver toggle your first time in the instance.

A couple of things to note. The combat log can be a little finicky at times, probably due to my incompetence. After you upload the log to to WoW Web stats, you should delete the file in your logs folder. If you do not, then the next time you are in an instance, the new log will be added to the end of the old one. This will make the file unreadable for WWS. So the best way to do it is as follows:

Step 1) Run the instance and use /combatlog or an addon to do it automatically.
Step 2) Logout
Step 3) Copy the txt file to the desktop and delete the file in your logs folder.
Step 4) Upload the file from the desktop
Step 5) Check out your awesome DPS or heals or whatever.
Step 6) Log back in and repeat steps 1 through 6 after next instance run.

You can copy the URL of your report and send it to other people to view. You can also make the names anonymous if you want to show people, but don't want to broadcast who in your guild was who, for privacy concerns. You can also set up permissions so that other people can upload reports to your account, such as a guild leader or something.

Thanks for reading, and have a good morning!

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Last night I actually remembered /combatlog when we started Karazhan last night. I didn't remember to turn it off but I logged right after Kara so I didn't think it would make much of a difference.

Now I cannot find a wowcombatlog.txt file anywhere on my system. I of course first looked in the /logs folder and anded up doing a system search for the file but no dice.

Did forgetting to /combatlog before logging out cause my problem or do I have some other user error I'm not aware of?