Capturing your raiding sessions in detail with World of Logs

One of the most powerful tools available to raid leaders in the World of Warcraft is the excellent World of Logs client.  Ever wanted to replay your raiding session at your leisure, while getting a detailed look at what each of your members did?  World of Logs will let you do that, and much more.  Keep reading for an overview of what World of Logs offers, and a how to start taking advantage of it.

What the heck is World of Logs?

From the website: World of Logs (WoL) is a “combat log analyzer which allows gamers to save, share and analyze their raiding experiences conveniently and thoroughly in World of Warcraft.”  In a nutshell, WoL will allow you to record your raid so that you can pick it apart later, in as much detail as you want.  Best of all, WoL is simple to set up, and completely free to use (a paid premium account is available, but definitely not necessary to get the most out of the tool).

A sample WoL report

WoL report displaying DPS on a Putricide wipe.

Just a few of the things that WoL will help you with:

  • Taking a detailed look at your raiders’ DPS & healing, including exactly what abilities they’re using
  • Finding out exactly how people are dying, including a replay of the last few seconds leading up to a death
  • Checking the uptime on important buffs & debuffs
  • Seeing exactly where healing is going
  • Easily identifying raiders that are spending a lot of time idle during boss fights

… and a lot more.   If it happened during the raid, you can probably analyze it with WoL.

If you’ve been around awhile, you may be thinking that WoL sounds a lot like WoW Web Stats (WWS), or WoW Meters Online, two other online combat log parsers.  WoL is indeed similar to these other tools, however WoL has a few advantages.  First, the WoL site is usually quite speedy.  The WoW Meters Online site has been plagued with painfully slow page loads at times, and the WWS site is offline at the time of this writing — not an uncommon occurance.  Second, the WoL site is very robust and offers the most advanced analysis, subjectively in the least confusing manner.  Finally, the WoL site is significantly more “polished” than the others — the design is clean, and you won’t find many typos or grammatical errors.

Ok, sounds great.  Where do I sign up?

Getting started is simple.  First, you’ll need to head on over to the WoL website to register and set up your guild.  This shouldn’t take more than a couple minutes.  Once you’ve successfully registered, make sure that you’re logged in at the WoL website, and follow their instructions on setting up the client.  It’s a simple process, however you may run into issues if you don’t have Java installed on your computer, since the WoL client requires it.  If that happens to you, simply head on over to the Java site and follow the instructions there.  Once Java is installed, just restart your browser and go back to the WoL site, and you should be all set.

The WoL site offers a couple different suggestions on how to get your raid sessions imported into their client.  I recommend a slightly different method — simply install the Loggerhead addon, which will take care of logging for you automatically.  The advantage with this way is that you won’t have to remember to start the WoL client (or type /combatlog) before each of your raiding sessions.  After you install the addon, whenever you zone into an instance, Loggerhead will ask you if you want to enable logging.  It will remember your choice for each instance you visit, and automatically save the combat log for you in the future.  Whenever you’re done playing, simply open the WoL client, and point it to the log that Loggerhead saved for you (it will be located in your World of Warcraft/Logs folder).

So I uploaded my combat log to the WoL site — now what?

WoL metric header

Mouseover "Dashboard" in the WoL header to choose a metric to examine.

WoL segment header

Mouseover "Full Report" in the WoL header to pick the segment of the log you want to look at.

Now the fun begins!  After you successfully upload a log, you’ll be taken to the WoL “dashboard” page for that full raid automatically.  This page can be a little bit intimidating, as it is full of graphs and numbers, and it isn’t exactly obvious where you should begin.  Let’s assume that you want to example a particular boss attempt, as will usually be the case.  To begin, place your mouse over the “Full Report” text in the header, which presents a dropdown of ways that the report can be segmented.  The most useful selection here is the “Bosses” sub-menu — mouseover it to open a list of all the bosses that were attempted in this raid.  If the boss took more than a single try to defeat, you can mouseover that boss to bring up yet another sub-menu showing the list of each individual wipe, and (hopefully) the eventual kill.

A click on any of these individual boss attempts will tell WoL to “zoom in” on that particular segment of the raid.  Doing so presents you with a new dashboard screen that shows the slice of time that your raid was actively engaged in that particular boss attempt.  However, the dashboard isn’t all that interesting by itself.  To really start looking at what happened, you’ll need to tell WoL exactly what you’re interested in.  To do that, you simply mouseover the “Dashboard” text in the header.  A sub-menu will open, presenting you with quite a few potential metrics to examine.

Many of you will probably jump straight to the “Damage Done” report, which shows you information similar to what you’d see in Recount or other in-game damage meter addons, with a few useful additions (such as highlighting where heroism and other key abilities were used on the DPS graph).  I’ll leave it to you to explore from here, but don’t forget to check out the other reports — as a raid leader, I find myself using “Deaths Overview” and “Survivability” the most, but they’re all useful. 

Now that you’ve been introduced to WoL (and hopefully see the tremendous potential it offers), I highly recommend that you start generating reports for your guild’s raids, and sharing them with your fellow members.  Linking to these reports in your guild’s forums after a raiding session is a great way to start up some intelligent post-raid discussion, and identify areas for future improvement.

I’ll be re-visiting WoL from time to time to demonstrate how you can use it to troubleshoot all sorts of issues that might be holding back your guild’s raiding success.  Stay tuned!

Comments are closed.