How to Read a Raid Log

Every time I raid, I try to run a log. What that means is I give the client a command (/combatlog), and WoW spits out every single line of combat into a text file. If you’ve ever wondered exactly what happens in a fight, however, this is the thing to refer to. It’s sort of humbling.

In my case, I use an addon to turn the combat log on and off, because I am lazy. Clsaver does a wonderful job for me, because all I have to do is tell it once which instances I want to record, and it remembers that for the future. Then I can blissfully forget about it until it’s time to upload logs.

Unfortunately, WoW doesn’t do anything smart, like make separate combat logs for each time it records. No, it puts it all into one big (BIG) text file. While I used to go through the file by hand and delete the battles I didn’t care about, that would literally take half an hour at a time. Eventually I badgered my husband into writing a combat log parser that would extract logs from the dates I requested. It’s worked like a charm ever since.

Once I have a single text file of the log I want to upload, I then choose a log service to upload it to. WWS used to be my favorite, but it’s been horribly neglected since before Ulduar. Most recently, BMR moved on to using World of Logs and while I disliked it at first, I’ve come to really appreciate how much information it manages to show on one page. The colored line graphs are pretty, too. ^.^

With all that said, I’m always wary of any log I record that puts me on the top of the meters. So I usually wait for another raid member to post their uploaded log, and go by those numbers. But for some reason, nobody’s been posting logs lately…and thus, I have only my own to look at.

Last night, we ran 25-man ToC and VoA.


So…yeah. >.>

Here are the basics for reading a dps report on WoL:

Column 1: Player Name
The player names go here. When you click on the triangle, it will bring up all the names associated with that player’s damage output – mainly, pets – and the associated numbers across the board. All the names are color-coded for class, save Mahrou, who’s blue. My wolf is not a Mage.  O.o

Column 2: Total Damage Done
This is the total amount of damage done by that player for the entire raid. When you have pets showing, it will show the individual damage done by the player and his pet.

Column 3: Percent of Total Damage Done
This column takes the total damage done by the player, and gives a percentage based on that damage out of damage done by the entire raid. When pets are showing, it gives individual percentages for both player and pet.

Column 4: DPS Done
The next two columns are tricky. This first one gives you your DPS (damage-per-second) for the time that you were active during the raid. Once again, it will show the pet dps separate from the player dps.

Column 5: Effective DPS Done
This is the real dps number, since it takes your damage over the fight and calculates it over the full duration of the fight. So you might’ve done 5k dps while you were alive, but bit the dust halfway through, making your effective dps 2500. Can be very humbling.

Column 6: Active Time
Simply, this is how long you were alive and kicking during the fight. It even gives you a percentage, in case your forgot how early on you started eating floor.

These are just the basics of reading a raiding log – you can click around on almost every item in the list, and each page will give you more detailed information on the fight. If I clicked ‘Tchann’ on the report pictured above, it would show me all the attacks I used during the battle, how many hit, how many hit critically, etc…a plethora of information that can be vital for truly tricking out your character.

Now that the log primer is out of the way, I can get to my real point in posting this: don’t let anyone EVER tell you Beast Mastery isn’t raid viable. Right up there is proof to the contrary. 🙂


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3 Responses to “How to Read a Raid Log”

  1. Pike Says:

    I’ve been fluctuating between 5.5k and 6k DPS as BM lately… sometimes higher… it makes me giggle…

    (though on the other hand we have this mage and warlock who do about 7k+ DPS sooo…)

  2. Phil Says:

    Pike, we both know that they’re just lucky.


  3. Eresin Says:

    totally unrelated but I just noticed the snow on your blog, it’s great! I miss raiding…must get back into then come back to read this post!

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