Assuming 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.
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.
Remember 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 Whom
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.