Logs are an incredible important part of analysing your performance as a healer; not to see how how much HPS you did on XX fight, because hps alone is a fairly unimportant metric, but to see how you utilised your spells and what you can improve on. But reading logs is something of a skill in itself, and it can be difficult to evaluate your performance (or the performance of others) if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for.
Here, I run down the basics of dissecting a Mistweaver monk log and also share some other resources that will be helpful.
What’s a log?
First things first: what exactly is a log and how do you get one?
The most popular logging software/website is currently Warcraft Logs. There’s an excellent guide on their own website of how to get started. A log records pretty much all the combat events that happen in game for every player (and for bosses) and contain a huge amount of information. Picking through the information to find the stuff that’s relevant to you is the real challenge!
Let’s say you have set up Warcraft Logs and logged your first raid. It’s now after the raid and you want to take a look and see how you did. When you open up your log for a particular raid night, you’ll be presented with an interface like this:
The easiest way to start is by selecting a specific fight that you would like to evaluate. Let’s take my Guldan kill. When you click on a fight, you’ll be presented with this:
There’s a mass of things going on on this page, and I imagine it’s around this time that most people close Warcraft Logs down, vowing never to return, but us Mistweavers are made of sterner stuff, right? Essentially, this page is just a summary that brings together some of the elements of the fight. It’s useful for a quick glance, but not what we need for more in-depth analysis. So ignore all the squiggly lines and other things and click on the Healing menu item at the top.
Now we’re getting somewhere! Next, click on your character name and you’ll be presented with a breakdown of your own spells. This is where the analysis begins.
Let’s ignore the graph at the top for the time being and focus on the list of spells below
There’s a lot of information here to sift through, but we can do some basic analysis very quickly
The first thing I look at when I’m evaluating a Mistweaver log is the uptime on Renewing Mist. This should be 100% or as close to as possible. Here, I obviously missed a few casts and consequently had a sub-100% uptime on it, so that’s something I’ll be more aware of on our next kill. As Renewing Mist (ReM) should be cast on cooldown, if you are, say, sub 95% or so, you’re missing a lot of casts and should focus on making sure you hit that ReM button every eight seconds as much as possible.
The next thing I like to look at is cooldown usage. A lot of healers whose logs I evaluate are ultra-conservative with their cooldowns and hang onto them for whole fights sometimes. Cooldowns are made to be used. If you scroll up to the top of the page, you should be able to see the length of the fight you are looking at. You can use that to work out how many of XX cooldown you theoretically could have got into a fight. Now, realistically you are never going to use your cooldowns the second they come off as the damage patterns of fights don’t work that way, and there’s sometimes times where you need to save a cooldown. However, if you have an eight-minute fight but have only cast Chi Ji once, or only cast Revival once, then you need to think about making better use. Cooldowns aren’t always about doing raw healing; cooldowns save mana for yourself and other healers by healing raid-wide damage that would otherwise take a lot of resources to fill. Take the Guldan fight in this log, for example, I got three Revivals by using one very early in phase one (to heal a liquid hellfire), another in phase two (to heal another hellfire) and one in phase three. If I’d sat on it, I’d have kept my Revival for phase three, sure, but I’d also have missed out on saved mana for other other healers in phases one and two.
Another useful metric the logs display is overhealing. Now, overhealing is normal, especially when you have healer over time spells (HoTs) like we do as they continue ticking even when someone is at full health. That said, looking at overhealing of particular spells and overall can be helpful to make sure that you’re using the most efficient spells for the situation. For example, in my Guldan log, I notice this.
My Enveloping Mist had almost 50% overheal, which isn’t very good. I used it a lot in that fight because we don’t have a Holy Paladin and so I was trying to heal tanks, but with a Resto Druid and Holy Priest also there, it wasn’t getting to tick to its full potential. Next time, I should probably tone down my EvM a little more and only use it when I can make more out of it as at the moment, it’s not proving a particularly efficient spell for me. Contrast it with my Vivify, which is only 20% overheal, and I should maybe prioritise Vivifying the tanks more than using Enveloping Mist.
Already, you will probably have learned a few things about your log and got some ideas of what to focus on. But what if you want to dig deeper? Warcraft Logs has a ton of options and you could spend most of the day investigating. But there’s a more concise way to see the things we want to focus on now.
The website Check My WoW analysis your log for you and gather everything together into a really easy-to-read format. While you can get the same information yourself with some work in Warcraft Logs, I’m a huge supporter of making things as easy as possible on yourself.
When you head to the Check My Wow website, it’ll ask you for your log ID, which is basically the bunch of letters and numbers of the URL of your log.
Once you do that, you need to select your character from the list of characters on the left (yes, you can analyse other people’s logs and if you’re nosy, like me, it’s quite fun to do!) and then choose to process all kills or only specific fights.
Once a fight has been process, you can click on View Report.
On the first page, there is some useful information
We already looked at overhealing and Renewing Mist uptime earlier, but the Enveloping Mist effectiveness log below breaks each EnV cast down to show you how much overhealed (and what portion of the spell ‘event’, ie. the mastery or the spell itself, overhealed the most). This is quite interesting but I wouldn’t recommend reading through them all! Let’s go back to the top and choose Cast Efficiency from the menu.
Oh dear, a big red ‘Needs Improvement’. Yikes! Let’s have a look and see if it’s as dire as it sounds.
I used 3/3 Revivals so that’s good news, and same with Chi Ji. But I only used one Life Cocoon when I could have had three. However, we didn’t have a Holy Pala on this run so I always like to sit on my LC for large spike damage on the tanks. I probably can be a bit freer with it sometimes so I’ll bear that in mind.
I could have got six mana tea casts off but only managed four. That’s not great as it’s a long fight and I should be using it as often as possible. I was probably waiting for more intense healing periods to come, but I might have waited to long and missed mana-saving opportunities there. My Renewing Mist casts weren’t too bad – you’ll never get 100% cast efficiency as unless you’re a robot, you won’t manage to press ReM on cooldown every eight seconds without fail. I’m happy enough with only missing nine casts over such a long fight. Likewise, Thunder Focus Tea.
However, I am disappointed that I missed so many Chi Bursts. Chi Burst is free healing and I missed seven opportunities. I suspect these were mostly in phase three when we’re a bit more spread out, but I should have improved my positioning so I could utilise Chi Burst more and save my mana.
One of the most interesting parts of Check My Wow is the section we’re going to look at now: Resource Management. This is where you can see the healing per mana of your spells. Essentially, it shows you what your most efficient spells are as well as your least efficient ones.
From this, I can see that my most efficient spell was Revival. Well, no surprises there – it’s my three-minute cooldown that heals the entire raid for not very much mana. My next most efficient spell is Effuse, which you might find interesting as, pre 7.2, it’s not a spell we tend to cast much. However, looking to the right, we can see that I only cast three of them (Effuse is 22k mana) and the reason I cast any at all was because I had the legendary legs which give random TFT procs to certain spells. The Effuses I cast here were buffed by 200%, hence why they were so efficient. Now that 7.2 has hit, though, Effuse is much more efficient than it may appear on paper as you also get Sheilun’s Gift stacks, which feed in to Whispers of Shaohao healing.
Now, the next most efficient healing might come as a surprise! It’s Essence Font! A common complaint about Essence Font is that it costs too much mana. But delving deeper into cast efficiency, we can actually see that it’s a very efficient spell for the healing it does. Seeing it like this, with the numbers in front of you, might make you reevaluate how you think of this spell. There’s no doubt that it has a high mana cost, but in terms of the healing it does, it’s often our most efficient spell for healing a large group of people after or during raid-wide damage. Renewing Mist is an efficient spell as is Vivify but when evaluating Vivify, remember that, most likely, the majority of your Vivifies are either being cast under Uplifting Trance (so benefiting from 40% increased healing) or with Thunder Focus Tea in some cases (So they are mana-neutral). In addition, the four-piece T19 buffs Vivify healing as well as the legendary boots, if you have them.
This just shows the important of taking context into account when reviewing numbers. Numbers are useful, but they don’t tell the whole story! The other tab offer interesting information about your cooldown usage and also how well you healed low health targets – if you want to feel really bad about yourself, go and look at the ones where people died and realise no one healed them for a good ten seconds!
This is just a very basic look at analysing your logs. You can spend hours poring over them, but hopefully this guide has give you an idea of where to start. And if you ever need someone else to read your logs and give their feedback, come and say hello in Peak of Serenity Discord!