3.07.2008

Meters

This excerpt is copied from a post I made in my guild's Combat Log forums:
"We post combat logs because we belong to the school of thought that the more information you have, the better of a player you can become. The sole purpose of posting these logs is so that you can spend time evaluating what you did in a raid and think about how you can improve. We don't care if you did 50% of the raid damage by yourself, there is always something you can do to improve your play."

Meters can be a powerful tool for raid analysis, but tools have no value if you don't know how to use them.

You cannot simply pull up the meters and see who is number one on the healing meter for the night and call it a day. Measuring a person's overall output isn't always valuable information. I've known many healers that can spam their way to the top of a healing meter and yet remain completely unable to keep a tank alive when push comes to shove. Meters mean nothing if they are not considered within the context of raid success. With that in mind, I'd like to highlight a few things that I always check when I look over our WWS reports to evaluate our healers.

1) If this is a buff class how often did they cast their buff?
2) On a fight where dispells are important (Archimonde curses, RoS phase 1), how many dispells did they catch?
3) How often did they res?
4) What consumables did they use?
5) "Who heals whom" report - What were they doing when their assignment is okay? (also, if nothing is around to heal, did they dps?)
6) Tank Death reports - What spells were cast on the tank as he/she died? If you didn't cast a spell why? If you did, why'd you pick the spell you cast?
7) Healer Death reports - Check to see who's dead at this point, if it's not a wipe check to see what killed them. Envenom + Flamestrike + Blizzard all at once might be unavoidable (actually happened me to me), 5 ticks of standing in doomfire is a really dumb way to die.
8) Specific Roles - in my raids healers have assignments, if you're assigned to heal tank x and he takes 300,000 damage and another healer is assigned to heal tank y who takes 400,000 damage and tank x and tank y are across the room from each other, then it makes sense than you're going to do less healing than the other healer.
9) Damage in - I check this report so I have a good idea of the varying levels of hps needed to heal certain targets. This helps me evaluate how many healers I really need for a given fight.

While WWS is useful for after raid evaluation it has limitations. WWS provides a compilation of total events. It weighs all events equally regardless of when they occurred. WWS does not discriminate between damage taken while a pull is active and running into a blizzard to kill yourself after a wipe is called.

What WWS doesn't show and how to get this information
1) Who got that clutch heal? - This is the hardest thing to catch, but ask the tank often times they notice who healed them first.
2) Mana management - While you can see innervates, mana pots and trinkets, you can't see the actual mana levels as the fight progressed. Litmus shows you the mana levels of whatever classes you choose to see and you can set it up to give you alerts when players reach a certain level. (I love litmus)
3) Priorities: How the player picks who to heal/dispell - Xperl Raid monitor, this can set up by class. Mine is small and unobtrusive and allows me to see who everyone has targeted and what spell they are casting.

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