Warning, all, this one rambles….

I’m a stats monkey – a peruser of the numbers so as to figure out what I did and where I need to improve. After a bit of looking, I’ve come to a simple realization.

Pretty much nobody uses the stats machines for PVP. Pardon me while I think that’s … not optimal. (There, that was nice and polite.)

What convinced me nobody’s doing this was when I went to my combat log to extract BG stats — WHAT? NO COMBAT LOG? mutter, mutter.

My autostart program doesn’t kick in for battlegrounds. Just instances. I don’t use SWS or Recount right now because they each drop my framerate a lot. (Either one running while things get thick and hairy and I’m running with a framerate of 3 to 4. That’s not conducive to survival.) WWS… chokes on a small problem — there is no differentiation between faction.

It’s blatantly obvious everyone just shrugs at using stats for PVP. Which means…


Let’s get started. And the very first thing is to repeat what I already said — YOU HAVE TO TURN ON YOUR COMBAT LOG YOURSELF. /combatlog is the command. If you’ve built a macro that starts it and kicks it to the max range that’s even better, but not as essential.

Not as essential? huh?

Well, unless you’re getting shared combat logs from the other players, the sad reality is that all the battlegrounds are too big for you to get all the data. Gruul’s lair would only take a small corner of Warsong Gulch or EotS. AV or AB? snicker.

Now if you’ve GOT guildies or other friends who’ll share the load, great. But let’s start with solo analysis.

Actually, let’s start with doing what’s necessary to have something useful. You’ve started combatlog, and fought. The round is over, and you’ve got two minutes to leave. You want to do two things – you REALLY WANT to do these two things. First, stop your combat log. Second, with the battleground results page up, take a screenshot. If you have to, do two or three to get everyone. If you want to go overboard, get more shots of the alliance-only and horde-only results.

Why? Two reason. First, these results are the only place you’ll get some stats. Such as who capped? How often did various players die? As a reality check, what does it show for damage and healing?

Second, though, is the absolutely critical reason – and I’ll get there in just a minute.

There are now plenty of places that tell you how to load your combat log – do a search for WWS on my page, or on BRK or Ego or Kestrel or… or even on WowWebStats itself. Not going through that, quite. With one exception.

When you load characters, I can pretty well guarantee that a lot of them are going to come up as “mob”. You’re in a BG, and half the people fighting are mobs. Since a lot of them are from other servers, you don’t even have a decent chance of knowing whether the Psmith that shows is this one or that one. And besides, pausing to chase Each And Every Name through the armory is tedious and painful.

But you don’t have to do that because (gasp) you took a screenshot. And the screenshot shows every player involved. Even, it turns out, those who bailed halfway through. (or at least I did in my test – your mileage may vary.) So I can literally tell every player AND what class they are, and update appropriately.

I also know what faction claims each player. This is rather important, because when I open my nifty little WWS report, I discover that there are no foes. sigh.

I can tell that I’m going to have an extensive wishlist for Lossendil in the not so distant future. After, of course, I figure out what I really need. Anyway…

The opening page is, bluntly, worthless for me. For what it’s worth I suspect it will again be useful in arena, but for BG… feh.

Who heals whom (and its parallel resource, who harms whom) is pretty much worthless in a pug. In a pre-made I can see it getting very useful. The big thing it tells me is how did I distribute my heals, and then I can compare that to how effective my healtargets were – damage done, flags/bases taken, to some extent HKs and KBs, that sort of thing.

What’s going to get REAL useful is when I click on my name. Here’s where I can see how many times I did what – and get an idea if maybe I should have done something a bit more (or less) often.

For example, because I’ve got reflective shield I can tell how useful my shield was. (This battle, I took about 70,500 damage. Since I have a 50% reflection, I can tell my shield absorbed another ~9,000 damage. I’ll take it. I can see I cast 14 PoMs – way too few, all things considered. Oh, look, player x ate a big chunk of them – though they did bounce some.

I can see I died five times to four different players – twice to a warrior, and once each to a warlock, a hunter, and a druid. And I can scroll through the few seconds preceding my death and see if it was one of the solo deaths or if I was being mass-ganked. Oh, and I can see if others were playing in that few bits as well — I know, for example, that the warrior died just after killing me. (Target Dummies R Us.)

I can also tell who I damaged and how much. (not a lot, of course, but still).

I can’t tell everything, of course. Psychic scream, for example, is a “who got it”, not “who gave it”. There was another priest around. Actually, there were three – two on the other side.

These are really just first impressions. I know stats are both useful and NOT the whole story. And with WWS I can get a handle on what I did by the numbers as well as the impressions.

I’ll be revisiting using WWS as I get a better handle on how to use what it says effectively AS A PVP-BG player. I’m hoping that some of you will also have ideas. I already know I’m going to ask for some additional stuff for that use, just… not sure which things, yet. besides faction, I mean.

So feel free to drop by again, speak up, whatever. I’ll keep poking at it. In the meantime…

have fun.

~ by Kirk on February 8, 2008.

4 Responses to “WWS and PVP-BG”

  1. Nice timing on this, since I’m just now getting into BGs for the first time. I use Violation as my damage meter; I think I’ll expand it a bit for BG (8 lines isn’t quite enough!) to some rudimentary analysis. (BTW, Violation automatically opens your combat log to max distance by default whenever you join a group.)

    I thought I should point out, though, that I’ve never explained how to open one’s combat log. I know how to do it; I’ve just never discussed it. If I ever needed to, I’d send my readers to you, or BRK, or Ego, or… 😉

  2. If you have hard drive and framerate to spare, a full movie of (almost) the battle can be helpful. It’s not for everyone, but being able to go back and watch the film of what happened can give you better insight of what to look for and what you could have done differently.

  3. […] in 2.4, I’ll probably make use of some of the updated addons and do some number crunching, Kirk-style. This entry was written by ologhai, posted on February 9, 2008 at 4:51 pm, filed under Arenas. […]

  4. I use loggerhead, it lets you choose which zones/instances you wish to enable combat logging the first time you enter them, and remembers your choice every time you go there. It’s pretty slick.

    You’re right, the overall report is useless – not everyone is within 200 yards at all times, kinda making the report moot. Extremely useful for your own actions though.

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