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.

15 Replies to “The Importance of a Parse in an Application”

  1. Great post! I agree – love me some logs. This is a bit of a side-topic rant but I feel very strongly about this tool and I’d love to share. There’s a web utility that will make comparing multiple people or even multiple of your own logs on one screen.

    I absolutely love this tool! In a raid setting I like to use this after the fact to compare my performance to that of my peers (or characters I look up to) on the same fight. For example, if there are three arcane mages in your 25 man group you can plug the information from your Ragnaros kill for each of the three and it will make a detailed comparison and present it in an easy-to-read format. This helps you detail not only how you can improve, but where you were excelling, places your peers can improve, and assist you in setting personal goals for the next week.

    You can also use this tool to take your own performance for the past few weeks and compare them side-by-side. You can see if you achieved the goals you set for yourself, where you improved, where you didn’t, etc.

    I cannot recommend this tool enough!

  2. I’m no genius when it comes to digging through Logs, but I completely agree that they are an invaluable resource in figuring out just what exactly HAPPENED in a fight. Were I in a more serious progressive guild, I’d have a similar attitude towards parses on applications, at least for the classes I have sufficient knowledge about to accurately decipher.

    Your log story made me think of a funny mystery that we solved only through Log diving. On a Baleroc kill, everything was going great, our Decimation tank taunted to take the Decimations, and she went from 100% to DEAD, despite having more than the required amount of health. We were baffled, until we dug through the logs and realized that the warrior’s Rallying Cry had fallen off something like 0.3 seconds before Decimation Blade hit…but after Bale had cast it. So the hit that WOULD have been 90% (or whatever) of her health, was now over 100%. After we found this out, we laughed and laughed.

  3. Serrath – Yup, I’ve taken a look at those and it’s defintely a lot of interesting information. I’ve put my baby pally and Madrana up against each other for fun. ;)

    Joe Ego – I actually still use clsaver, even though it’s out of date. it works beautifully:

    It basically asks “are you in a raid” and “are you in a battleground?” and if the answers are yes and no, it logs. No need to update instance names/IDs/etc.

  4. Kurn,

    Do you mind sharing how your guild’s recruitment policy works? Our guild is trying to see if our process is a bad fit. Some of the applicants seem pretty put off by it, but we’re not sure if we’re overly anal of some people are just whiny.

    We have people apply. We look over their app, and if it looks ok we invite them to a trial raid with our guild. Sadly, we pretty usually have at least one spot open. After that raid we make a decision, yes or no, and invite them or tell them we’re not interested. If we want to invite them we have a vent interview with a couple of officers where we tell them about the culture of the guild and find what they’re looking for, and see if it’s a good fit.

    After they’re a member they’re an initiate for two weeks and then pretty uniformly they get promoted to raider. In theory, if something goes wrong during those weeks they’re not promoted, but that has never happened.

    A few applicants have expressed how weird it is to make them run with us before an invite, and our process can take a long time.

    I think it works well in getting people who are a good fit for our guild, but I worry we’re losing people who may be a good fit because of how long it can take.

  5. UFTimmy – I’d like to continue this in an email conversation with you, so hit me up at kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com. But, for now..

    People apply to the guild in a publicly-visible recruitment forum. They answer the ~20 questions we have. (Some are short, some are long.) They post their application and then members of the guild who are knowledgeable about the class/spec will generally chime in.

    I’ll always respond to the app and ask my own questions of them.

    I also open up a thread containing the person’s application in full in a private section of the forums that neither applicants nor Initiates have access to. The guildies can then talk frankly about any issues they may have.

    If we’re looking for the class and there are no terribly glaring issues, we’ll move to the interview process and chat with them on mumble for about a half hour or so. This is used to get a feel for their personality and also to get them to answer any outstanding questions the guildies had.

    In the interview is usually myself and a couple of other people, depending on who’s familiar with the class. Either during or after the interview, we consult with each other via whispers/guild chat/etc about whether or not we’d like to trial the applicant. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. Recently, we had two paladin tanks who we felt would both be good fits, but we only had one available spot. We took some extra time there and ultimately picked one of the tanks and he’s done great for us — but the other probably would have, too. It was a tough choice and it was based largely on how the guildies reacted to them both during interviews.

    We have a limit of about 9 raids with us as an Initiate. This is roughly around 3 weeks of time. We have a separate thread about this person as an Initiate in that same private section of the forums, where feedback and potential problems come up. We can also extend the Initiate period by another week, if we choose, and we let the Initiate know why and give them a chance to fix those issues. If they can’t, we thank them for their time. If they can, sweet, they get promoted.

    Inviting someone to the guild as soon as they transfer is important, I think. Our initiates have almost full forum access, including alt-run info, all the raid info, obviously, general discussion stuff, etc. It immediately allows them to include themselves in the community, plus benefit from the guild perks.

    A long initiation period isn’t a problem — ours is longer than yours! — but we’re also very selective in who we do decide to trial. Go look at our app forum:

    12 apps in the last week, 4 accepted, 6 declined, 2 still waiting for parses.

  6. What happens if someone wants to start raiding with a new guild but hasn’t ever raided before? That’s exactly what I’m going through. I want to join a raiding guild on my main, a hunter, but I’ve never raided current content before with my guild. I could post parses of myself in Zul’Gurub or Zul’Aman but I don’t think that’ll work.

  7. Kurn, I looked at your application form and I was surprised to see no questions asked about VoIP (vent, mumble etc). This is a requirement for most progression guilds and is often a question whether the applicant has access to vent or not in applications. Is it because it’s a given people have access to VoIP, or not required in order to be able to raid with you?

    I am curious as to why you don’t ask this question on your application!

  8. Harvoc – Surely you’ve done Baradin Hold? While I prefer a parse of current content, that’s a little bit like saying “Looking for more for Firelands, show me the achievement or you can’t come!” I will occasionally accept a Baradin Hold parse. However, even an unsuccessful pug’s parse would do. Pugging is part of the gearing game.

    Aidrana – You missed it, then. :)

    12) Do you have a stable internet connection, a computer that can handle the game and are you able to use/install mods required by the guild? Are you willing to speak on Mumble if necessary during raids?

    We have a non-optional Mumble interview after the application process as well.

    That said, I’ve raided progression content without the use of mumble or Vent or anything of the sort. It’s a different kind of progression guild and not one that I really enjoy, but it definitely made me a better player.

    Here’s an older blog post that talks a bit about that:

  9. Yes, I definitely missed that last part of #12- my apologies!

    I agree with you in regards to Vent, but not going to hijack this to change it to a completely different topic :)

    As for your post on WoL parses, I rely on my own parses enormously to keep track of what I should be doing, for the greater good of the raid and to keep my own performance in tip-top shape.

    It helps to know what you’ve been stepping in, or being hit with for that matter, and to gauge when to use your healing CDs. Next time you go in a raid, you remember this and try harder to avoid stuff. It gradually becomes instinct, and you don’t even have to think about it anymore. This is what it’s like for me, and it’s definitely a good thing to have as a raider.
    Do you review their parses with the applicators if it is a reason for declining their application?

  10. Hey Kurn- great post! I’d been meaning to start parsing logs ages and ages ago, and after a long string of errors on my end (‘I ARE LOG FITE YAY– aw shit it wasn’t actually on’… three times… -_-) I finally managed to.

    I was -shocked- at my uptime on Harmony, which was sub 50%. I really thought I’d be doing much better than that, and now I know I have to focus on keeping that up for a significant buff to my healing. I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t looked.

    The other, perhaps unintentional benefit of parsing logs is that you might find yourself trying to make every fight really -count- so that if you ever had to share the logs with someone, you wouldn’t shame yourself. IE, I didn’t hug any firewalls on Rag, which I do more frequently than I care to confess because ‘OH MY GOD HEAL ALL THE THINGS’.

  11. Aidrana – no worries, with regards to missing #12. I bet half the apps do, too. (Although I occasionally get people who are like “What… is mumble?!?”)

    I spend most of my time with the parses about hip-deep in them, digging away to try to find causes for a wipe, or what went wrong that led to the wipe. I do log everything I do, whether it’s a BH on Kurn or an Apotheosis raid on Madrana or a baby pally raid on Skywall. With my hunter parses, I try to figure out what I can do better, personally. With baby pally logs, I also spend a lot of time looking to see what I can do better and a lot less time looking at the raid as a whole. But, with Apotheosis raids, it’s all “what the effing eff went wrong THIS time?” And then sometimes looking at my own stuff. (Surprisingly, most of the time things go wrong in a raid, it’s not my fault!)

    I do use it to keep an eye on people to see if they followed assignments (DPS or healing) and such as well, but mostly it’s to troubleshoot or to better understand a mechanic.

    As to applicants, I will occasionally engage in conversation with them about their logs. If, for example, a marksmanship hunter is glyphed for Chimera Shot and doesn’t want to change it because they are absolutely insistent that they NEVER delay getting that shot off, I’ll dig through the parse and go “12 seconds between Chim shots here, 9 seconds here, 11 seconds here, 14 seconds here” and ask them if they’d like to reconsider their stance. ;)

    Most of the time, when an applicant has a sub-par log, it’s in conjunction with gear well below our ilvl requirement. The log is almost never what prevents us from bringing someone in on a trial. We’ve had it happen that, once accepted, an Initiate isn’t doing well on their trial and I’ll go through the logs with someone knowledgeable (or they’ll send me their thoughts) and we’ll communicate with the Initiate about what we’d like to see more of, but again, it’s rarely the log but rather the overall performance that will prevent a promotion to Raider from Initiate.

    So no, I don’t talk to apps about their parse as a reason for declining them, but if there are issues, they will generally come up in conversation beforehand.

    Whew. I’m wordy…

    Dyna – Harmony is great for me (as a raid leader/healing lead) to use as a metric for the resto druids in my group. I almost don’t care what your other healing numbers are so long as harmony is up over 90%. I’d definitely recommend Beru’s Power Aura for maintaining awareness of harmony:

    It’s true that when you’re specifically logging (if it’s not a habitual thing for you), you do try to make yourself look as awesome as possible. When I was applying to my baby pally’s guild as that toon, I ran a BH and I did everything I could to look AWESOME… except that I “let” my tank die. (I took my eyes off him for 2 seconds to dodge green fire and he died because he had the debuff or whatever.) But I found it amusing that I was trying SO VERY HARD because I knew it could be (and would be?) picked apart by the guild I was apping to, even though they knew me to be a very strong healer in general.

    I find I always have to consciously try not to eat fire and such just so that I can call out those who do. >.> There’s only do many times I can say “Look, I need to work on this, too, but you guys need to stop standing in the damn fire!”

  12. Wordy or not, thank you for replying :) I really enjoy your insightful posts, even though my paladin isn’t as active as I’d like her to be!

    I’ve often wondered if guild have actually used logs as a reason for declining applications without bringing them for trial runs. This is a bit premature if there is room for improvement, but I suppose it can be enough of a reason for declining if the guild isn’t interested in looking for players who need to improve though.

  13. Aidrana – Glad someone appreciates the wordiness. ;D

    I’m sure that some higher-end guilds absolutely do turn people down based on their logs. While I don’t really believe I need to teach someone how to play their class, I do believe that some learning will be required to know how best to play your class in our raid group and maybe that means adjusting to a more common way of playing your class that wouldn’t work for you in your prior guild situation. I like to give people chances and the only times I’ll really turn someone down is if there’s a clear personality conflict of if they just flat-out don’t meet our requirements. (ie: Sorry, Mr. 359 tank who hasn’t even done Occu’thar, much less any FL boss, but I can’t fit you into my raid group at this time.)

  14. That is reasonable. I would also expect people to know their class, and have at least some experience in the content/difficulty I’m currenting raiding in. The willingness to learn to improve is a positive quality to have as a raider, for sure. Parses give you exactly the means to do that :)

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