Seri sez: L2WWS Episode One: Laying the groundwork.April 2, 2009
Wow Web Stats (WWS) is a raid analysis tool that you either hate or love (or maybe love to hate). However, it constantly surprises me how many raiders view WWS as some mysterious thing that their raid leader may or may not use. I would say that maybe one in ten applicants to our guild is actually able to provide a link to a WWS log. In fact, it’s about a 50/50 shot of them even knowing what we mean when we ask for a link to a WWS log.
This is a gross injustice. You don’t need to be a raid leader or guild officer to generate a combat log and upload it to WWS. In fact, it’s so simple I’m going to tell you how in 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Create your WWS account.
WWS offers both free and paid accounts. You can upload as many reports as you like, but reports uploaded by free accounts expire after 15 days. Paid accounts also get benefits like no banner ads and priority loading for your reports, but really… if this is just an account for your personal use and not your guild’s you can probably get by with a free account.
Step 2: Generate a combat log.
This is easy. Just type /combatlog in your chat window and then engage in some combat. Done. Typing /combatlog again will toggle it off, but it will also turn itself off when you log out. (So keep in mind, if you disconnect during a raid you need to type /combatlog again to resume logging!)
I recommend the Loggerhead add-on to help you with turning your combat log on/off. It’s easy to forget, and Loggerhead can be configured to prompt you to turn your combat log on whenever you enter a new zone or even just automatically start logging without asking you.
Whether you log manually or via Loggerhead, your log will be stored in the Logs folder inside your World of Warcraft folder. The log’s name is “WoWCombatlog.txt”
Step 3: Upload your report.
Go back to the WWS site and log in. Click where it says ‘Client’ at the top of the page to launch the WWS upload client. This is a Java app that runs on both Macs and PCs. Yay!
On the configuration tab, enter your WWS account name and password. Checking the “archive and delete” checkbox is recommended. It will allow the client to rename/compress your log when it’s finished so that a new combat log will be generated the next time you /combatlog.
Once you’re ready to upload, go to the upload tab and click “Add a combat log” to get started. Navigate to your World of Warcraft Logs folder and locate the combat log you want to upload. (Remember, it’s called “WoWCombatlog.txt”) Use the “Comment” field to name the log so that you know what the hell it is when you’re looking at your report list. The date isn’t necessary, as WWS will automatically know the date based on the contents of the log.
When you’re ready to upload, click the “Host Report” button and watch it go! It’ll tell you when it’s done.
Reports are anonymous by default, and once you upload the report it will automatically pop up in your browser. You can then share the URL it generates with anyone you want to share it with. (Don’t worry about bookmarking the URL or anything, if you need to get back to it you can just click the “My reports” link when you’re logged in to WWS to see a list of all your reports.)
See? I told you it was simple.
- Log needs to be pruned. WWS won’t accept logs that span long periods of time (I’m not sure offhand what the cut-off is but I think it’s around 15 hours. Most of us don’t raid for 15 hours at a stretch, but if you’re forgetful like I am you might forget you logged a raid and then log a second raid in the same file. When that happens, just open the log in the text editor of your choice and use the time stamp at the beginning of the lines to determine where one raid stops and another begins. From there, you can either delete one of the raids or cut/paste it into a new file so you can upload it too.
- Log corrupt. This happens sometimes. Your log might just have gobblty-gook in it somewhere from a random disconnect, computer crash, or general binary fart during logging. When this happens, the WWS client usually spits a less than helpful error and you need to open the log in a text editor to look for the lines that don’t seem to be formatted like the rest and remove them.
- Upload/parse just fails. Yeah, sometimes the WWS client just decides it doesn’t like a log for whatever reason and locks up. This is particularly annoying for Naxx logs because they’re so big that they take a good bit of time to upload/parse. Sometimes a corrupt log will cause this, but if you can’t figure out what’s wrong with it you may just have to live without a report for that particular raid.
I’d be interested to read any comments/suggestions from others that have had success dealing with problematic log files!
Anyway, that’s all for today’s installment. I’m sure you’re dying to figure out what to do with your report once it’s uploaded. I’ll cover that in Episode Two… in the meantime, click around and do some exploring. It’s a brave new world!