The Importance of a Parse in an Application

As you may be aware, Apotheosis is currently recruiting. As such, we’ve had 8 applications in the last five days. One of our requirements is a log parse of you in your raiding spec.

Personally, I’m not terribly fussy, but I do prefer a recent log in Firelands content.

Three of the eight applicants, plus a fourth who has yet to actually apply (mostly because he doesn’t have a parse), had no log parse of themselves. Actually, another one of those didn’t have any he’d personally logged, but his guild did and I was able to dig up some parses, so that worked out.

Kurn, you may be wondering, why do you need a parse? Why won’t a screenshot of Recount or Skada work, especially if I’m a healer or a DPS?

Quite simply, Recount and Skada are nice little tools that you can refer to in the moment and get a basic idea of if you were doing the right thing. A parse, particularly a World of Logs parse (which is the only one I can strongly recommend), will not only show that you did, for example, use Aura Mastery 3 times in a fight, but it will show WHEN you used Aura Mastery. It’ll also show what else was happening in the raid at that time. Essentially, it shows what Recount and Skada do, but it adds the elements of time and context to all your abilities.

I can read a World of Logs parse and, assuming I’m familiar with the fight, I can figure out the story of the wipe, without even talking to the people involved.

And that’s why a parse is so important in an application to a raiding guild. They don’t lie — they tell you everything. They tell you how many traps an app hit on Shannox (and which kind), they tell you if someone stands in Magma Flow on Rhyolith or is familiar with spider wrangling on Beth’tilac. They tell you if someone is inexplicably drawn to fire on Alysrazor or if someone screwed up their Baleroc rotation. They tell you how many times Leaping Flames hit someone on Majordomo or how many Lava Waves someone surfed on during Ragnaros.

It’s how I realized that Aura Mastery has absolutely no effect on Beth’tilac’s Ember Flare. Comparing the damage taken by the raid before and after Aura Mastery was used, it was clear that no resists occurred, even with Aura Mastery. That means that Ember Flare is not at all resistable by Resistance Aura or Resistance Totem, nor by the boost from Aura Mastery.

Here’s another example of how detailed those logs can get. At one point, my guild was working on Heroic Magmaw, which was not the easiest encounter at the time. I was on the skeleton tank and, for whatever reason, the Magmaw tank died a couple of times. I went for what I like to call a log dive, which is where I go to the World of Logs parse and sift through it to see what the assigned healers were doing at the time. Turns out that one of them was having fun DPSing the boss and the other was raid healing when both should have been on the tank who ended up dying. Without logs, I basically wouldn’t have had a clue. The person raid healing would have had their raid healing all wrapped up in their total healing done and, if asked about it, the person DPSing could have easily said it was during a lull or something to deflect responsibility.

With a parse, neither could deny that they should have both been focused on the tank, as their assignments requested.

I feel that it’s not only important to be able to zero in on issues that happened during the raid, but also to better evaluate my own performance. And that’s where I get confused about people not having logs of their performance available to them, particularly those looking for new homes. How can your prospective new guild know how good you are at avoiding environmental damage if you don’t have logs? How can they know you know your rotation if you don’t have logs?

Answer? We can’t know.

So I use the logs to evaluate our raid, our individual healers, check out applicants and, of course, to improve my own performances on a fairly regular basis. I know, flat-out, that I don’t use my Guardian of Ancient Kings enough. It’s one of those “new-fangled” abilities that came about in Cataclysm, so I’ve used the logs in the past to help me identify when some of the best times to use it are. Because of that, I now use most of my burst cooldowns on our first group-up after the first Molten Seeds on Ragnaros and on the second, I use Guardian of Ancient Kings. Since we’re all grouped up, even if all I do is heal my tank, the splash heals are really effective in that particular scenario. If I didn’t check my logs consistently, I probably wouldn’t have thought to start to use the CD in that way.

So it’s a way for me to improve my own playing by being aware of what I did right and what I could have done better and you just don’t get that from a damage meter. You really only get that kind of detail in a parse.

I think every class and spec can use World of Logs parses to their advantage, even tanks, to better improve themselves and having logs that you recorded (or if you were aware of your guild’s logging) shows that maybe you spent more than five seconds glancing at the overall damage or healing done. It shows that the possibility exists that you dug through the logs to see what you could do better, how you could improve your own performance.

But Kurn, you ask, how can I use a World of Logs parse to evaluate myself or others?

How you use World of Logs will differ based on the person/class/spec you’re evaluating, but here are some great links:

Apotheosis‘ own Jasyla:  Evaluating Healers with World of Logs at Cannot Be Tamed

A series of posts by Ophelie about using WoL at The Bossy Pally and the Giant Spoon

Some YouTube videos over at BandageSpec

So remember, kids, bring a parse with you when you go applying to other guilds! It’s not just the damage and healing they’re interested in — it’s all the little things that can’t hide away in a parse that we’re looking to see.

Grim Batol (Beta Build 12857)

Okay, after some serious technical issues tonight, I believe I’ve finally managed to produce an actual video. It’s not perfect, it’s ugly in some spots… But here ya go.

I don’t know if it was my group or if the instance was really just that different from, say, Blackrock Caverns, Throne of the Tides or Stonecore… but Grim Batol was easy to heal.

It could also have been my gear. I swapped out some ICC pieces for some greens, reforged a lot of spirit and some crit both to Mastery to give me a significant amount of mastery (400-some instead of like, 40-some) and so my heals were creating shields that were 11% of the heal, not 8%.

There are these drakes you’re supposed to mount up on that will allow you to supposedly blow up groups of trash, but they’re bugged, apparently, so we did things the old-fashioned way — with crowd control. We used a lot of hex and banish (haha, many elementals were immune to the shammy’s Bind Elemental, but not the warlock’s Banish) and a lot of Freezing Traps.

My tank was a level 85 death knight who had over 100k health once buffed.

Two of the DPS were also 85 and were around 70kish health. The other DPS was 84 and was around 60k health. I think I had the least at around 50-55k.

If this Grim Batol run is an example of what healing is supposed to be like in Cataclysm, then *maybe* things aren’t quite so bleak. I still don’t feel too much like a paladin, mind you, but let me tell you about the instance run.

Over the course of the run, there was 10,149,585 damage done. There was 10,098,252 healing done. We had one wipe on a bad pull, but that was it. 26.7% overhealing done.

There are four bosses. The first and last are not in the video, unfortunately.

The first is General Umbriss. He’s a dragon who is hilariously bugged. His Bleeding Wound is not ticking for 5-6k extra damage. Oh, no.

[23:05:44.390] General Umbriss casts Bleeding Wound on Shiramune
[23:05:44.390] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 11408 (O: -1)
[23:05:44.390] Shiramune afflicted by Bleeding Wound from General Umbriss
[23:05:46.430] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 13299 (O: -1)
[23:05:48.402] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 13299 (O: -1)
[23:05:50.412] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 11831 (O: -1, A: 1468)
[23:05:52.407] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 13299 (O: -1)
[23:05:54.394] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 9210 (O: -1, A: 765)
[23:05:56.414] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune Absorb (9974)
[23:05:57.662] Shiramune’s Bleeding Wound fades

It only faded because I threw Hand of Protection on my tank once I saw how low he was getting. We knew it was bugged going in and the plan was to sort of kite/ping-pong him around a bit. So when I noticed the tank actually running away and getting really low on health, I tossed him a BOP, then waited a second, then a Hand of Freedom to wipe off the BOP. I cannot emphasize how important that combination has been in various instances and raids since Trial of the Crusader. Stupid Gormok was actually good for something!

And no, I’m not sure what the hell that absorb is. That’s way too much absorption for my piddling little mastery and it doesn’t show that I used Lay on Hands or anything (although I know I used it now and again).

Anyways, the tank grabbed the boss shortly after I healed him to full (hello, Divine Light, how ARE you?) and got the bleed again:

[23:06:21.759] General Umbriss casts Bleeding Wound on Shiramune
[23:06:21.764] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 9916 (O: -1)
[23:06:21.764] Shiramune afflicted by Bleeding Wound from General Umbriss
[23:06:23.772] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 26153 (O: -1)
[23:06:25.696] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 25161 (O: -1, A: 991)
[23:06:27.742] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 26152 (O: -1)
[23:06:29.721] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 19614 (O: -1)
[23:06:31.715] Shiramune’s Bleeding Wound fades

Let me just say that that tank’s Death Strike was healing him for upwards of 17k.

After the boss, which should be a lot easier when the bleed is fixed, you move through the instance a bit and get some trash packs with two casters and a Gronn. The casters, Twilight Beguilers, cast Chained Mind, which stuns you for five seconds. 1.5 second cast. I’m not sure if it’s interruptable, but make sure you CC one of these guys, because the tank AND the healer getting stunned is bad.

The Enslaved Gronn Brute does hit hard. I forgot to mention this in the video, but he can cast Crunch Armor on his target. It’s very possible to deal with one Beguiler and the Gronn at once, then deal with the CCed mob.

Forgemaster Throngus is the second boss, who is fairly well detailed in the video.

You can see that he starts out hitting hard, but relatively slowly:

[23:11:31.754] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune  14776 (O: -1, A: 1408)
[23:11:35.160] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 2261 (O: -1, A: 12101)
[23:11:37.021] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 12388 (O: -1)

Then he gains his sword thing (Dual Blades) and starts to hit more frequently, although it seems it’s for a little less, particularly from the off-hand. (4-5k hits, as opposed to 10-12k hits.)

[23:11:45.186] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune  Absorb (11344)
[23:11:46.084] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 2117 (O: -1, A: 2204)
[23:11:46.196] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune Dodge
[23:11:46.196] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 7743 (O: -1, A: 2204)
[23:11:47.130] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 10726 (O: -1)
[23:11:48.225] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 4206 (O: -1, A: 741)
[23:11:49.306] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 11928 (O: -1)
[23:11:49.417] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 12730 (O: -1)
[23:11:49.417] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 10612 (O: -1)

Key points here: That is not a Consecration! Don’t stand in it! It’s a visual cue to get you to move out of the Cave In. ;)

The third boss is Drahga Shadowburner, a caster, who summons elementals and a dragon. The dragon will eventually run away and you can finish off Shadowburner at that point. Really, not a challenging fight. It reminds me a little of the Rend fight in UBRS, but that was a lot more difficult than this seemed to be.

The last boss is Erudax. He looks like General Vezax and there are some Forgotten One type mobs in the trash in his room.

Near as I can understand it, you want to be spread out for this boss to avoid sharing the Binding Shadows, but you need to group up for Shadow Gale. Other than that, not a tough encounter, although I did see an add. Whether the add was part of the fight or we didn’t clear all of the trash, I’m not sure.

Anyways, I hope that look at Grim Batol is useful! Here’s the parse, which doesn’t break things up all nicely yet, but at least you can take a look at things.

Worst. RNG. Ever.

So, on heroic, Professor Putricide casts Unbound Plague twice in a row, a minute or so apart, whenever he casts it. So you have to play hot potato with the plague for two minutes without getting people with Plague Sickness to grab it.


[19:44:21.389] Professor Putricide casts Unbound Plague

This is the second plague of a set.

[19:44:21.399] Moonkin’s Unbound Plague fades

This is the first plague the moonkin has passed to a warlock.

[19:44:21.399] Moonkin afflicted by Plague Sickness from Moonkin

This is the moonkin getting Plague Sickness at the same instant he has passed the plague off.

You may notice that this is 0.01 seconds after Professor Putricide has cast the second Unbound Plague.

[19:44:21.413] Moonkin afflicted by Unbound Plague from Professor Putricide

This is the moonkin getting the NEW plague almost immediately after passing the old one off to the warlock. He does NOT have Plague Sickness at the second that Putricide casts Unbound Plague. .01 seconds before he gets Plague Sickness, Putricide cast the new plague. The rule has always seemed to be that if you have Plague Sickness, you cannot get a new plague.

How’s that for some crappy luck? Gah.

An interesting idea.

If you’ve never raided with me, but you read my blog, you already know that I’m long-winded as all get out.

If you’ve both raided with me and read my blog, you know that I’m not just long-winded as all get out, but that I am very detail-oriented and I use that to go through the logs and pick apart where a raid went wrong.

My RL friend the resto druid told my former raid leader that she thinks I might actually enjoy going through parses more than playing the game itself. Sometimes, I think she has a point. ;)

I had an EPIC-length post that I sent to my RL friend the resto druid and my former raid leader in regards to the Failadin who apped to that guild a couple of months ago. You know, the one who only cast Sacred Shield when he was MCed by Lady Deathwhisper.

I actually sent that post to the other GOOD holy paladin in the guild and he was like “… you should do this for a living.” He also could not believe how bad the pally app was, but anyways. ;)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve sent out a couple of these analyses to the raid leaders and the GM of my current guild, in the hopes of pointing out some issues that they may or may not be aware of, but that I know need to be addressed in order to progress in various encounters. Because they’re SO LONG and SO DETAILED, I’m sure their eyes tend to glaze over. ;)

So my GM snagged me on Vent last night and we had a long chat about going over parses and stuff and we may have found a constructive outlet for my ramblings and my attention to detail and stuff.

It also involves a Cliff’s Notes version of the raid analyses. ;)

Also, in talking to her last night, about all kinds of guild ideal stuff, I realized that, if all goes well with the planning of Apotheosis 2.0, I’m really going to miss my current guild. I know that I’m new, that I’ve only been there for three weeks and that the honeymoon period is still going on, but I honestly really like how things are done and the attitudes of people, for the most part. (I think the biggest issue I might have with the guild is that, as a raiding group, the raiders have an occasional tendency to talk themselves out of being able to do something — they can sometimes think they’re going to fail, so they do. I have thoughts about that, too, because it’s the first time I’ve really encountered that sort of thing. Most guilds I’ve been in have either been too cocky or too stupid to realize they “can’t” get something done. ;))

I feel good that Apotheosis will come back and kick ass in Cataclysm. I really do. But if it doesn’t, I think I have a really good alternative open to me. And hey, if it means I don’t have to be GM? SWEET. ;D

Amusing screenshots.

After parsing my Ruby Sanctum 10 run the other night, I about fell over laughing at the rankings. The hunter is my brother. I’m the resto shaman who starts with a K. Our buddy Maj is the frost DK.

Hilariously amusing to be one of the first parses up. My brother was ranked world 10th in DPS on Baltharus and Zarithrian!

Today, the continuation, where we actually go out and kill Halion. With a little luck. :)

Holy How-to #5 – To Beacon or not to Beacon

Welcome to my Holy How-To for PVE Paladins. This is the fifth of what I hope to be a great many posts aimed at helping holy paladins succeed at PVE content. I will focus primarily on max-level talent specs, glyphs, enchants, gems and the like, including tools, tips and tricks that I use, but I hope to touch on levelling content and advice as well.

Today, I’ll discuss our 51-point talent, Beacon of Light. Sadly, the spell is also referred to as “bacon”, usually prompting people to discuss the deliciousness of said food item. Anyways. Beacon is a simple spell that is either completely overpowered or entirely useless. It depends on how you use it and the configuration of the encounters in which you use it. Oddly, even over 18 months since its introduction, this spell still causes confusion among raid leaders, healing leads, other healers and even holy paladins themselves. So I thought I’d try to shed some light (ha, ha!) on this subject.

Continue reading “Holy How-to #5 – To Beacon or not to Beacon”

General updates.

1) Emerald Vigor now has a combat log entry!!! Rejoice, readers of parses!

2) As you may be able to tell from my recent achievements, I have started doing arenas with Majik and my brother. I did some 2s with Maj yesterday, will do some 2s with my brother today, then the three of us will do some 3s today. All I have to say is that I hate warlocks more now than I ever did in BC. But Majik’s new unholy spec works very nicely to give us the burst we need and my PVE spec is actually not half bad for arenas. I decided to get on the arena bandwagon with the guys because I did a VOA25 and my Wrathful legs dropped… and I won them. Heh. With some honor and some emblems of triumph, combined with other drops I’d previously gotten, I still have crappy resilience, but it’s better than none at all. I don’t feel like what priests must feel they’re wearing. And we actually won 7 (and lost 7), most of the wins coming after Majik switched specs.

3) Got bitten last night on Blood Queen, which was just WEIRD. It was in the last minute of the fight, though, so I didn’t have to bite anyone. I think someone screwed up significantly for me to get bitten. But hey, it got me my achievement!

4) My brother has applied to a casual raiding guild and he did ICC10 for the first (real) time last night. (He’d previously gone in and attempted Festergut on a pug a couple of times and done a couple rep runs.) I looked at his parse and he didn’t do too badly at all. He’s a good player, don’t get me wrong — this isn’t surprising or anything. But it seems so weird that he’s a HUNTER. My brother has only ever been a resto druid or a rogue in raids. He was very good at what he did. He’s very good at what he’s doing now, too. I’m kind of proud of the kid. I’m less proud of the fact that I explained all the fights to him  in detail, rather than have him go to, mind you. ;)

5) Emerald Vigor! Combat log entry!!! YAY! :D

More later, including the insanity that was Ignis the Furnace Master Must Die! I just wanted to share those bits.