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Raiding Guide – Part 3


“Essential Reading – Part 3”

Whether you are someone who is just taking their first steps towards raiding or someone who is an experienced raider and wants to further improve their performance, this Raiding Guide will point you to the right direction in order to find the necessary tools to optimize your knowledge and gameplay.

We will try to keep this section as up to date as possible with all the latest news and changes. Though, please keep in mind that this guide is by no means exhaustive and there is a large number of websites and resources on the internet to help you with optimizing your character for raiding.


Learn to Analyze

1. Introduction

Reaching the right level to tackle what you want to do is a long and arduous path for most players. It depends on the environment you’re in (guild, teammates), the class you are playing, etc. There is only one factor that is of relevance for a guide: yourself. Any amount of talent for the game will only take you so far, as such it is good for everyone to put in a certain amount of work and that is precisely what logs are good for.

In this guide, we will cover as much as possible to try to give you the help needed to start understanding how they can help you improve your gameplay but first let’s start with the basic skill: Reading the information.

2. Learning to read the information

(We will use one of the guild’s logs for this section.)

  1. Finding the log you’re looking for
  2. Let’s create a scenario where the guild has done a raid and you want to know how you did.
    First head to
    Then, in the field at the top of your screen, type:

    warcraftlogs guildsearch
    Select the guild and, voilà, you’re on the guild’s logs calendar.
    warcraftlogs guild logs

    For this example, we will use our raid, the 1st of November in Ny’alotha. Simply click on it and you will reach the log itself.

  3. Overalls and Per Targets
  4. Click on The Hivemind Mythic and you will reach the first screen necessary for analysis.
    For the sake of simplification, we will do an overview of the DPS since the ways to obtain the information does not fundamentally change from healing, damage taken or damage done.

    As such, let’s start with the summary.

    You will find here a… summary of the fight with an overview of the raid compositions, the talents chosen by each player, their gear, etc.
    When you find yourself wondering why someone with the same gear did a certain percentage more than what you did (or less if you want to help a teammate), it is a good starting point since the answer can simply be an essence build (for Battle for Azeroth), a talent choice or a wrong stats build, just so to name a few.

    warcraftlogs gear compare
    Then, look at the top of the screen, you will find a menu where every type of information is accessible.
    warcraftlogs logs menu
    Click on “Damage Done” and let the page load.
    A few information about the Hivemind Mythic, it is a cleave fight with a lot of priority targeting, mechanics, …which is the perfect example for what we’re trying to do.

    Let’s take a look at the overall damage.
    warcraftlogs damage done

    • Parse %: How well you did compared to everyone in the same class/specialization with you. Note: This value ignores the Item Level, as such it is often meaningless.
    • Name: Each character’s nickname.
    • Amount: The overall amount of damage each individual did during the fight.
    • ilvl: The invividual item levels during the specific fight.
    • ilvl %: Your ranking against people of the same class/specialization with you. Note: This value is more interesting as it ranks you against people in the same range of gear item level, which makes more sense.
    • Active: Your activity on the boss, should be as close as possible to 100%.
    • DPS: Your Damage Per Second for the whole fight. (This can heavily vary since it’s based on the whole fight and if you have a period of intense mechanics and invulnerability or if you die… this will falter dramatically)

    We chose this fight for something different than pure DPS. Like we said in the introduction, this fight requires moments of priority targeting: When the “Aqir Darter” spawns, the damage should switch to them. Let’s see how our melee leader Kenney did.

    By mouse hovering his name, we can see this:
    warcraftlogs damage on targets
    9.06% of his overall damage was assigned to the Darters. But how does it compare to everyone in the raid. By looking above, just below the menu bar, we can see:
    warcraftlogs damage on add
    Click on all enemies and select “Aqir Darter”.
    warcraftlogs player damage
    We can see straight away that Kenney was the top DPS on those priority targets.
    It is important to note that this is applicable to all types of measurements. For example, you can search for the priority target of a healer or the opposite. Take the point of view of an add and see where did the damage came from, as the example below:
    warcraftlogs player damage on add

  5. Casts and Uptimes
  6. Another tool that will be of importance later in the guide is situated at the right of the menu. We’re talking about Casts, click on it and let’s observe the results.
    warcraftlogs casts
    The last column (CPM stands for Casts Per Minute) is the most important even though it is often the most finicky one since it will count some procs or passives as being a Cast.
    Once again, let’s use Kenney as our example, click on his name and observe the chart.
    warcraftlogs individual casts
    We are now able to see the way he spent his actions during the fight as well the uptimes of his buffs and abilities. Make a mental note of this, we will need it later on.

  7. Replays
  8. As the last of this introduction, we cannot skip over the Replays.
    warcraftlogs replays
    It will basically do a bird-eye view of the fight, allowing you to see the positioning mistake you might have made, where some adds spawns, etc.

3. Improving by comparing logs

  1. Of being competitive
  2. We’re going to make a “small” parenthesis in this guide to talk about the idea of being competitive.
    By nature, all DPS competes for that sweet top spot at the top of Details!, Skada or Recount. It is important to emphasize that competition inside the guild (or any guild really) should be kept friendly and to the point.
    What you should be aiming for though, is competing against the players of the same class/specialization with you, which is one of the purposes of the logs. But more than that, it is also the perfect way to learn from “better” players than you and in order to do so, we will transition to the next section, rightfully called:

  3. Searching for the right “opponent”
  4. Now that you know the what and how to play with logs, we will touch the part of learning from it. As you should already know, any type of content will require you to learn and to work on it to be able to become better.
    And the logs will provide you the perfect “opponent” if you know how to look for it.

    It should be obvious that you cannot compare a log simply by picking the best player of your class/specialization since they may have a completely different setup than you and, more often than not, a different time kill.
    As such, it comes down to the nitty gritty part of finding a way to compare and while we won’t do an analysis of the differences, we will show you how to select and compare with your perfect opponent.
    To give you an idea of the task this could represent, select the boss you want to do a comparison on (in our case, we will switch to Maut).
    warcraftlogs choose boss
    Click on rankings, select the parameters of your search.
    In this case : Subtlety Rogues, All Item Levels and Pre-patch.

    You should already see an important point in the form of this:
    warcraftlogs top 100 breakdown

    Interesting to look upon.

    Now, imagine that we need to find a comparable log. To do so, we need:

    • Our Time to Kill the boss
    • The player we want to compare (Kenney in our case)
    • And similar talents

    And since Kenney’s logs are, usually, really good, we need to compare with a higher caliber player and while there are multiple ways to look after this. You will understand we chose the easiest one.

    Go back to our kill log then, in the top right menu, select compare.
    warcraftlogs replays
    Note: In that new page, you will be able to compare 2 players from raid between each other, useful if you have duplicates and one is performing differently than the other.

    Select the player you want to compare and the parameters.

    warcraftlogs compare
    And click on search.

    In this case we will go for rank 1, that is really close in almost every comparison point we wanted.
    Once you’ve selected it, you should see this kind of screen:
    warcraftlogs compare screen
    A window that should look familiar since it is the same as before for the exception of the screen being divided to allow an easier comparison.

Congratulations on reaching this third part of our “Essential Raiding Guide”. By now, you should have a good idea of the how to become a better raider by being proactive in working on your class, in the simming process and in being able to read logs enough for you to compare yourself with a better player and see how the differences in talents choice, mechanical execution, …do indeed make a difference on your overall damage/healing.

I want to thank you for reaching this part and not giving up until the end and I stay at your disposal for any in-depth questions that you may have.

Welcome to Gordian Knot!

Thanks to Skilhunter, Athlios and Kenney for their input and help!

Notes: This page has been updated the 16th of November 2020.