Posts Tagged ‘tools’

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Seri sez: Wowhead Profiler — Yet another Armory tool?

June 26, 2009

Introducing Wowhead ProfilerThe folks over at Wowhead launched their new character profiler tool, Wowhead Profiler, yesterday. According to the announcement in their blog, it has been under development for over 2 years and they’re extremely excited about it. I can’t say my initial enthusiasm was matched… do we really need yet another caching tool? Nonetheless, it’s from Wowhead, which has a pretty good history of making good tools…. I kind of felt obligated to check it out, and I figured as long as I was at it I would regurgitate some of the experience for your benefit.

Wowhead Profiler has the bonus of a pretty familiar interface for searching. When you load up the main profiles page it will by default show you everything. You can then use filters to narrow your search down, or choose a Region, Realm and type in a character name to jump to someone specific. The filters are pretty nifty. You can narrow the results down by level, region, realm, character name, faction, guild, arena teams, gear rating, profession and… much more.

If a character hasn’t been seen yet, Wowhead Profiler consults the armory. (It does have a surprising amount of seed data, though a lot of it is old.) You can also tell it to manually add a character to the resync queue, though the refresh may not be immediate depending on current traffic. The site is designed to keep its armory requests spread out, which I’m sure Blizzard appreciates. Characters that haven’t been updated in a while seem to be automatically added to the resync queue when you pull up their profile page. You can tell, because the ‘Resync’ button becomes grayed out and there’s a message at the top of the profile letting you know that it is resyncing.

Theoretically, you can use the profiler as a sandbox to swap gems/enchants and items around and see how they affect your stats but I didn’t have much luck with that. Right clicking an item brings up a menu with options to choose from, but when I chose ‘equip item’ and entered the name of an item in the search field it did a whole lot of nothing. Thinking that maybe it was a browser problem (I’m using the Firefox 3.5 beta at the moment), I swapped to Safari (4.0) and discovered that right-clicking did absolutely nothing there. :(

You can also save copies of the profile if you want to build multiple gear sets, which is potentially awesome for hybrids and off-spec planning… assuming others don’t have the functionality problems that I encountered when it comes to swapping gear around. (Presumably it’s working for someone or they wouldn’t have released the tool.)

Other features include a summary box that shows you at-a-glance where a character stands as far as gear ranking, raid progression, and badges earned. That has the potential to be pretty handy. While I don’t put much stock in gear rankings, being able to see whether someone has the raid experience they claim at a glance like that is pretty valuable. You can also quickly search for upgrades using Wowhead’s default stat weights or your own, which is handy.At-a-glance summary: mousing over the raid icons shows you which achievements they have & haven't completed.

Other misc thoughts…

It’s faster than the Armory when it comes to looking up item information, and as mentioned before the interface is very familiar to folks that have spent any time using Wowhead.

I found I encountered frequent slowdowns when loading character profiles while I was looking it over, but it is probably just due to traffic since the tool is so new.

I was a bit perplexed at first by the empty space in the middle of the character profile pages, uncertain what was supposed to go there until I switched browsers and discovered that it’s an advertising frame (thank you AdBlockPlus). That gave me a bit of a chuckle… a giant advertisement in the middle of the page? GG, Wowhead.

On the whole… it has potential but I’m underwhelmed. I’ll have to check on it later to see if I can actually use the gear-swapping options and play around with it some more, but in the meantime I’ll just keep using Chardev.

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Tea with Zusterke part 3: Conclusions

June 4, 2009

A few weeks ago, we ran the idea of having Zusterke (of PlusHeal fame) do a post outlining the actual math part of regen to answer all of your priesty questions. Thankfully, since the Snark Mavens do very little in the way of hardcore mathcraft, he said yes. This is the final part of his results.

Some Considerations for Holy Spirits

consider

We’ve seen that the optimal ratio turns around 600 spirit for 1300 intellect. But we have also seen that we can easily take 200 spirit or intellect more and keep a fairly balanced score. This gives us some room to tailor our regen stats to our likings, without risking a severe penalty in our regen. So let us examine the factors that impact our balance:

  • Lowered FSR: Some fights have phases and breaks in the healing. This can increase the value of spirit notably (say, 800 spi v 1400 int).
  • Higher FSR: hard fights can be very demanding and rip away that chance on a regen break, decreasing the value of spirit and changing the ratio a few points in favor of intellect. But such fights also diminish your chance on a hymn of hope or it can make relying on Replenishment, shadowfiend etc more risky. In short: our balance favors more intellect but a healthy spirit basis becomes ever more important.
  • Higher Crit: if you like a lot of crit, then you may score higher uptimes for holy concentration. This can easily up your HC time by 20% and really give spirit a push.
  • Single target spam: if you spam a lot more single target heals, you will have more chance to proc holy concentration and up your spirit regen notably.
  • Raid synergy: some raiding guilds really try to min max their raid groups. This means you really rely on some of your manabar based regen effects!
  • Hymn of Hope + Shadowfiend: if you have the chance to use both together, do it! The 20% increase of your max mana effectively increases the performance of your shadowfiend by 20%. This tips the balance a bit in favor of intellect. But a fight that can allows such a break is likely to have a lowered FSR time.
  • Shadowfiend + Bloodlust/Heroism: Bloodlust increases the haste of your fiend, giving more hits and thus more mana. This is a superb way to make your intellect count!
  • Hymn of Hope + Replenishment: the increase of yout max mana increases the effect of your Replenishment. This favors stacking a bit more intellect.
  • Spirit as backbone: when problems come your way, spirit will be your savior. When your group is sub optimal, your cooldowns got burned too early (or messed up!), or the guy providing replenishment bubble hearthstone’s out of Patchwerk, your intellect based regen drops like a stone. Intellect gives great synergy with the group, but that makes the group its lifelink. Having a healthy base of spirit can back you up under those odd circumstances.

There are probably a dozen more considerations that could manipulate the balance between intellect and spirit but I think I summed most of them here. Feel free to comment on more ideas!

Conclusion

It’s been a long post but I think we’ve reached some interesting conclusions for both the holy and discipline priest.

Discipline priests still gain the most out of intellect. In fact, it is unlikely that spirit will ever catch up with intellect as regen stat. Still, spirit beats mp5 for discipline priests with more than 1.1K intellect, which is definitely an eye opener for some!

Holy priests can still stack spirit and intellect with to a 6:13 or 8:13 ratio in favor of intellect and do just fine. Having more spirit will provide a great backbone in your regen model (and SP bonus!), but having more intellect will do great in min maxed raids. In fact, the optimal ratio has a couple of hundred points of leeway. With the current itemization in 3.1, I recommend going for intellect+spirit gear and gemming for intellect whenever you need more regen! I’m still a big fan of a healthy spirit basis, but intellect is definitely our biggest regen stat for now.

Whew! Y’all still there?  Thank you all for your patience in this really awesome discussion.  And again, huge thanks to Zusterke for putting it together for us.  I hope this was helpful to all of you (I know I learned a lot!)  And remember: if you’d like to continue discussion on this, consider heading to PlusHeal and opening it up to the community at large!

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Tea with Zusterke part 2: Versus

June 3, 2009

A few weeks ago, we ran the idea of having Zusterke (of PlusHeal fame) do a post outlining the actual math part of regen to answer all of your priesty questions.  Thankfully, since the Snark Mavens do very little in the way of hardcore mathcraft, he said yes.  This is part 2 of his results.

MP5 vs Intellect

Round 1: Disc priests
It is quite easy to prove that intellect is better than mp5 for disc priests. If we take into account the stat cost of mp5, then we need to compare 1 intellect with 0.4 mp5. We have seen that our manabar regeneration alone provides more mp5 per point of intellect, so intellect clearly wins.

Round 2: Holy priests.
For holy priests, we only got 0.3403 mp5 per point intellect from manabar based regen. So, Intellect is 0.0597 mp5 short to beat the stat mp5. This is where the contribution of intellect in our spirit regen kicks in:intvsmp5So, we need a minimum amount of spirit to support our intellect. This condition is very easy: for 1000 intellect, we only need 308 base spirit or 324 spirit unbuffed. It is fairly safe to assume a holy priest will have that amount of spirit and thus intellect beats mp5.

MP5 vs Spirit

When we inspected the value of spirit in our regen model, we found it evolves with intellect. When comparing spirit to mp5, the evident question we will bump in is not “if” spirit will beat mp5 but “how much intellect” is needed.

brainzRound 1: Disc priest
It has been debated many times whether Disc priests should take spirit or MP5. We know that the value of spirit scales with intellect, and so it is reasonable to assume that spirit may outscale mp5. Let’s check when that happens:spivsmp5disc

Round 2: holy priest
The value of spirit is not limited to its regen for holy priests, thanks to spiritual guidance. Still, it remains primarily a regen stat. We compare 1 spirit with 0.4 mp5:spivsmp5h2Given 1065 intellect unbuffed, spirit can beat mp5 when raidbuffed. Starting raiders without sufficient intellect on their gear may find mp5 slightly more performant at first, but spirit will gradually outscale mp5 by the time they leave naxx 10m and the spellpower bonus from spirit makes the stat preferable quite early in the content.

intellect

Intellect vs. Spirit

With the introduction of manabar based regen in WotLK, intellect climbed to one of the most potent regeneration stats. For disc priests it was considered the most favorable regen stat, while holies tried to balance it with a fair amount of spirit. With the changes in 3.1, spirit regen lost some ground and manabar regen gained some. Let’s see how the balance evolved.balance

Round 1: Disc Priest
For disc priests, we ‘guess’ that intellect still outscores spirit and we try to prove it. We compare their values:spivsintdDoes this make sense? Like… any sense? It does! Basically this comparison tells us that we can stack a boatload of intellect before spirit catches up. For example, with 0 spirit, the optimal value for intellect is 2025! Well, intellect clearly wins this one!

Round 2: Holy Priest
For holy priests, the balance between intellect and spirit was far more delicate in 3.0 than for Disc priests. Typically a 1:1 ratio was considered optimal. For 3.1 we relate the value of intellect by the value of spirit. If it is above 100%, intellect is more valuable than spirit and if it’s below 100% then spirit is more valuable than intellect:spivsinth

At this point, the formula doesn’t seem to make much sense.. at least it doesn’t to me. But we can put it in a spreadsheet and work out the ratio for various stat levels:holy-spiKeep in mind that these are basestats and thus spirit should be a tad higher. Still, it’s quite clear that spirit has lost some considerable ground to intellect! That is, for 20% HC Uptime, 90% FSR and no specific synergy with your manabar regen abilities. Do check that other ratio’s, with some more spirit or some intellect also score quite well as optimal (less than 10% difference).

Stay tuned tomorrow for the final part of this guide. Zusterke will wrap everything up and give those tl;dr math-haters out there the bottom line.

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Tea with Zusterke part 1: The Groundwork

June 2, 2009

A few weeks ago, we ran the idea of having Zusterke (of PlusHeal fame) do a post outlining the actual math part of regen to answer all of your priesty questions.  Thankfully, since the Snark Mavens do very little in the way of hardcore mathcraft, he said yes.  This is part 1 of his results.

Stat Wars

There are two challenges about theorycrafting. The first part is the theorycrafting: how to examine and calculate what you need. The second part, is translating it into human language. I found that part 2 is often more challenging and requires more patience than part 1. When Joveta kindly asked me if I would give a shot at explaining our regen model in human language, I accepted the challenge. I leave it to the faithful readers of Snarkcraft.com to judge whether I succeeded.

theorycraftThe regeneration model of WoW has seen a lot of changes with patch 3.1: spirit/intellect regeneration was nerfed outside the five second rule, the shadowfiend is buffed, Rapture and Holy Concentration have changed. The regeneration model is so complex it almost obscures the effectiveness of our regeneration stats and leaves us guessing how to gear. Unfortunately there is no straight answer as circumstances and gear level have a great impact on our regeneration model. So, I’ll try to tackle some of these problems and provide a more detailed answer.

Manabar Regen

WotLK introduced several abilities that grant us a fixed % of our maximum mana over a period of time. Some of these have changed in patch 3.1 so we’ll go over them one by one.

Replenishment
Replenishment is now available for frost mages and destro locks. This makes the availability of Replenishment more reliable and ever more important to take into account.

The regeneration offered by Replenishment remains the same. It offers 0.25% of your manabar every second, which is 1.25% of your manabar every 5 seconds. But it is optimistic to consider it fully effective the whole time. At plusheal, we observed that the effect of Replenishment does not work 100% because refreshing buffs or missed refreshes can diminish the amount of ticks you get. You can easily verify this in any WWS parse (see image).

replenishmentHaving checked dozens of WWS parses, it seems Replenishment ticks 75-95% of the time (see screenie). I consider 85% an average which yields me: 85%*1.25% = 1.0625% of my manabar as mana every five seconds.

Shadowfiend
The shadowfiend was buffed in patch 3.1. It now delivers 5% of your maximum mana per attack, rather than 4% per hit. It can total to 60% of your manabar over 5 minutes which is equivalent to 1% of your maximum mana per 5 secs.

Hymn of Hope
Hymn of Hope changed a lot in. While it is still a channeled spell, it choses 3 targets randomly every 2 seconds. The spell is quite situational and unreliable when used. Therefore, I will not use its regen in this theorycraft.

Mana Tide Totem
The mana tide totem yields 6% mana every 3 seconds for 12 seconds. With a 5 minute cooldown, this gives about 0.4% of your maximum mana every 5 seconds. In my guild we tend to give this totem to dps, rather than healers, and I’ve read from several players that I’m no exception. I will not include it in this theorycraft, but for those who are interested in it: it yields 0.06 mp5 per point of intellect.

Rapture
Rapture is a fundamental regen talent for any Disc priest. It can yield 2.5% of your mana, every 12 seconds, when a shield is absorbed. However, timing this shield consumption is hard to control. Let’s add a few seconds as safety line and assume it procs every 15 seconds on average. This corresponds to shield spamming the main tank who will absorb his shields anyway. In this case, we get 2.5% every 15 seconds or 0.8333% of your maximum mana every 5 seconds.

Our maximum mana can be calculated as follows:maxmanaWe can calculate the percentage of maximum mana per 5 seconds we get for both Disc and Holy priest. We can use that percent to calculate how much mp5 per point of intellect we get from manabar based regen but here we must take into account the bonus on intellect accordingly: Mental Strength for Disc and Blessing of Kings for both Disc and Holy. We get:manabarregen

Spirit Regen

Our spirit/intellect regen changed a lot in patch 3.1. The base regen of spirit and intellect was nerfed by 40% but our regen while casting from meditation was increased to 50%. As a net result, we get the exact same amount of regen while casting but notice a considerable nerf in our mana regen while not casting.

To make matters more complex, Holy priests now get Holy Concentration: a regen buff that depends on crit. The uptime of Holy Concentration can vary wildly depending on playstyle and healing assignment so I won’t go into details about it for now. Perhaps this may interest some in another guest post, if fate, Seri and Jovi will be so kind. For now, I recommend to check your WWS parses to see what uptimes you obtain from Holy Concentration.regen2

SenseThese values probably like an odd mix of Thalassian and Chinese so let’s simplify them. We assume 90% time spent inside the five second rule and for holy priests we add 20% Holy Concentration uptime (see image). This is a bit pessimistic but it’s better to play safe. Holy priests tend to have a notably higher mana consumption when raidhealing and most raidhealing spells do not trigger holy concentration.holyconcentrationTaking into account buffs from talents and Blessing of Kings, we get:valueholy

valuedisc

These formula’s do not reveal immediately the value of intellect or spirit. But it does reveal an important property of both:

  • Spirit evolves with the amount of (/square root of) intellect you have.
  • Intellect evolves with the ratio it has with spirit.
  • Stay tuned tomorrow for a special Wednesday Snarkcraft. Zusterke will cover the Int vs Spirit debate. Thanks for reading and a special thanks to Zusterke for putting this thing together!

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    Seri sez: L2WWS Episode Two: Exploring your first report.

    April 16, 2009

    asl2Assuming you were following along in Episode One, you’ve now had two weeks to log yourself some combat and upload it to WWS. Now that you have a report to look at (here, borrow one of mine if you don’t have one… slacker), what can you do with it?

    I. The Big Picture

    It might seem like a confusing jumble of numbers at first. It’s tempting to look at that first graph, click on the Healing tab to see whose e-peen is the largest and then call it a day (especially if yours doesn’t quite measure up like you thought it did). Don’t stop there! This is one of the dangers of reports like these: Total healing output only tells you so much, and the healer that outputs the most healing on your raids may not necessarily be your best healer. (One-button CoH spammers of yore come to mind.) So, don’t discount the graph entirely. It’s OK to start with the big picture.

    You should generally expect your raid healers to be near the top of the chart while your tank healers are lower, because raid healers are throwing around a lot of hots and/or AOE heals. It’s the functional equivalent of a water canon vs a garden hose. Your raid healers are putting out big fires, while your tank healers are a little more precise. Sure, you could water your petunias with the water canon but imagine the mess that’d leave behind.

    Anyway, if something looks hinkey (a raid healer at the bottom, a tank healer at the top) make a note of it before you move on. Keep in mind that a Discipline Priest’s overall Healing Done may seem low because a lot of their utility lies in mitigation.

    I’ll give you a moment.

    *hums Jeopardy theme*

    Ok, moving on!

    II. Taking a closer look.magnify

    The next thing I recommend you do is go through your log one boss at a time (by choosing the boss name from the selection next to “Split” at the top) and look at the same overall healing chart. Is everyone about where you expect?

    If someone seems unusually low, check their “Presence” (the column right next to their name.) A raider’s Presence should be 98-100% if they were alive for the whole fight. Lower than that, it means they probably died. Keep in mind that a raider’s Presence is not necessarily an indication of ‘time spent healing’… there’s another stat for that elsewhere. Presence is simply the amount of time the raider is present doing something in the combat log, whether that is healing someone, doing damage, taking damage or giving/receiving buffs.

    III. Taking an even closer look.

    You can click on an individual raider’s name on the chart to go to a breakdown of their spell/ability usage. From there you can see what their heals were landing for, how many they cast, what their crit rate was and much more.

    ** Tip: To see a more detailed breakdown by spell, including its min/max and crit min/max, mouse over that spell’s line until it highlights and then click in an empty space. If you click the spell name itself, you’ll jump to another page that shows a breakdown of everyone who used that spell. That can be useful too, but it’s not the tip! **

    If they died during the fight, there will be a “Deaths” line above the first set of tabs with a timestamp for each death that occurred. You can click the timestamp link to jump to the combat log, which will show you what happened in the seconds before their death. Hopefully it will be pretty obvious what killed them but you might have to scroll back a little bit in the combat log to get a clear picture. If you’ve never seen a combat log before you might be startled by just how much can happen in a single second.

    microscopeRemember how I mentioned time spent healing? That is also on this individual breakdown screen, in the stats at the top. You can see their Damage Out, Damage In and Healing totals and time spent doing each activity broken down there.

    A word of caution: While “HPS Time” is a fairly useful stat (defined as the time spent healing during that segment of the log), “HPS” is generally not. While DPS done is a perfectly valid method of evaluating damage dealers, HPS is not an adequate measure of healing done.

    Was Healing Done low but Presence high? Maybe they were DPSing for some of the fight.

    Was Healing Done low and Presence low but they didn’t die? Sounds like they either got disconnected or were standing around twiddling their thumbs a lot.

    IV. Class Summary

    The next thing I like to do is check out the Class Summary. To do this, select a boss fight (or All Bosses) from the “Split” menu and from the “Browse” menu choose “Raid & Mobs” and then “Priests.” It will show a DPS/HPS breakdown at the top, followed by damaging spells in the middle and healing spells on the bottom. Compare spell usage between the Priests, keeping in mind what their roles and specs were (tank vs raid, disc vs holy, etc.).

    Although this display will not let you break down the spell-by-spell statistics (min/max etc.) it does show you the average amount the heal landed for. It’s interesting to see how that varies from person to person depending on their spec and/or gear level.

    V. Who Heals Whomtarget

    The last screen I’m going to talk about today is the Who Heals Whom screen. To view this, choose “Who Heals Whom” from the “Browse” menu at the top. You can view this boss by boss if you want (this helps if healing assignments vary a lot for your group) or by all bosses. This will show you a pair of somewhat confusing tables (Who Heals Whom & Who is Healed by Whom) with slightly less confusing instructions for how to read them.

    The table on the top (Who Heals Whom) is the one most likely to be helpful when reviewing healers. Find the healer on the top and you can scan down the column under their name to see what percentage of their heals went to which raid member (listed on the left). Tank healers should have a large percentage of their heals going to the tank(s), while raid healers should be more evenly spread.

    “Focus” is a confusing stat that only confuses me more the more I think about it so all I will say is this: Low Focus = fewer people healed. High Focus = lots of different people healed.

    That should be enough to get you started, though there is still a lot more that WWS can do. In Episode Three, I’ll offer some tips, tricks and advanced techniques for the brave, bold and/or foolish. I have a few things up my sleeve, but if you have a WWS tip you feel is particularly handy and would like me to consider for Episode Three feel free to comment here or shoot me an e-mail.

    Episode Three may or may not debut next week, but I promise not to keep you in suspense for too long.

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    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.

    Point your browser at the Wow Web Stats site’s registration page. Register. Really, if you can’t get past this step you should probably quit while you’re ahead and e-mail me so I can laugh at you.

    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.It's a log! (And a frog.) Get it? (Hint: The frog is irrelevant.)

    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.

    Common Problems:

    • 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!

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    Seri sez: Eight WoW web tools that will change your life forever.

    December 18, 2008

    hammerOk, so maybe the title is a smidge over the top. Did it get your attention, though? It did? Great.

    I’m always interested in new web-based tools that enhance my WoW experience. Whether I’m theorycrafting, reviewing applications, conducting performance evaluations or just doing a quick check of what gem I have in my gloves, I like to have the tools at my disposal to do the job quickly and efficiently. I’m very pleased that most of my favorite tools have made it through the expansion to be fully updated and feature-rich, but there are a few new tools I’ve recently discovered that are pretty darn handy too.

    Here’s a list of my top 8 WoW web tools (in no particular order), all of which are fully compatible with WotLK and the recent Armory overhaul:

    1. WoWJuju Reputation Calculator

    pie!

    This is a great tool for seeing your (or someone else’s) reputations at a glance and determining what you need to do to get where you want to be (and how long it’s going to take to get there). I used a tool similar to this (wowreputationcalculator.com) in TBC, and while I liked the interface a little better it hasn’t been fully updated yet for WotLK. The WoWJuju calculator does fully cover WotLK factions and their repeatable quests. Plus, pie charts! Who doesn’t like pie charts?

    2. WoW Heroes

    This tool is something of an armory ‘quick look’ tool but also provides gear rankings and suggested instances for the gear level. If you ever used WoW Armory Light or Be.Imba you’re familiar with these concepts. Three cheers for one-stop shopping? It’s not a bad way of giving someone a quick once-over and loads a bit faster than the official WoW Armory. Also includes quick links to item upgrades on Wowhead.

    3 & 4. Warcrafter & Chardev Character Planner

    These two tools do basically the same thing but with two very different interfaces. Enter your character name/server and it’ll populate talents/gear for you. What do you do then? You can swap out talents, gear pieces, gems, enchants and buffs to see how it changes your stats. This is very helpful, both for tweaking what you already have and seeing how upgrades will affect you. Personally, I prefer the Chardev Character Planner interface. I’ve always found Warcrafter to be extremely cumbersome, but I’ll use it if Chardev is down for maintenance or something.

    5. Loot Rank

    scale

    Loot Rank is a very powerful tool that allows you to search for gear based on stat weights that you specify. With that said… I haven’t really figured out how to use it. The ‘weights’ make very little sense to me, but I’m not a hardcore theorycrafter either. Of course, I understand the concept of weighing stats and prioritizing some over others but what exactly does it mean to have a 28.3 haste weight and 14 crit weight? Yeah, no clue where these numbers come from. It does provide some sample templates for different classes/specs but opinions vary as to whether or not they’re optimal. You can probably find more information about weight templates for your class on Elitist Jerks. I think of this as the tool I know I would love if I just knew how to use it.

    6. Zusterke’s Int & Spirit Regen Tool

    I believe Jov mentioned this one in her recent Int vs Spirit discussion, but I thought it worth mentioning again. This tool will help you see where your regen currently stands and help you figure out whether you’re better off adding Int or Spirit to improve it. I’m not sure why we need a tool for this, it’s good enough for me to know that I need to shoot for a 1:1 Int to Spirit ratio… but if you like lots of numbers and equations and need to know what’s behind that guideline… this is the place to go!

    7. WoW Web Stats

    Wow Web Stats is (mostly) updated for WotLK now and is a great tool for post-raid examination and reflection. If your raid group isn’t using WWS, it should be. What a lot of people don’t know is that anyone can run this and post reports. If your raid/guild officers aren’t using WWS or aren’t posting links to reports after raids for whatever reason, you can start saving your combat logs and uploading them yourself just for your own edification. One of these days I’ll get around to posting a guide for self-review with WWS. If such a thing would be interesting to you, let me know. It might motivate me to actually do it.

    Last minute edit: Wednesday evening someone mentioned Wow Meter to me as an alternative to WWS. Supposedly, it is the up and coming bigger and better raid analysis tool… YMMV.

    calculator

    8. Zaltu’s Spell Haste Calculator

    A Rogue blog is probably the last place anyone would think to look for a spell haste calculator, but Zaltu over at One Rogue’s Journey has just that. He wrote it for a friend of his and figured he might as well throw it up on his site for the general public. It’s pretty spiffy, and I recommend it for all your spell haste calculating needs.

    Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Have a tool to suggest? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail!

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