GW2 Raidar: How to Read the Logs

My guild is doing a lot of raiding these days, and with that has come a lot of log sharing and data analysis. It’s come to my attention, however, that many people aren’t exactly sure how to read and interpret the logs. You know what that means: time for a guide!

First, though, a warning: there are so many factors that affect these numbers that are outside the control of each individual. There are certainly things that each player has control over–like gear, rotation, and positioning–but then there’s everything else. Logs can offer insight into areas for improvement, but they’re best used to foster improvement over time. Don’t get hung up on comparing DPS numbers against Snowcrows benchmarks. Don’t beat yourself up because your boon output was in the 3rd percentile. Executing mechanics and getting clean kills is WAY MORE IMPORTANT than earning high marks.

Intensity vs Duration

The first point of confusion for many people is intensity vs duration. Might is a boon that stacks intensity. If I have 1 stack of might, and someone grants me 1 more might, I now have 2 stacks of might. Conversely, quickness is a boon that stacks duration. If I have 4s of quickness, and someone grants me 4s more of quickness, I now have 8s of quickness.

There are two primary reasons why this distinction is important when looking at logs. First, one stack of might is very different than twenty-five stacks of might. Second, might is capped at 25 stacks, so there is a limit to how much can be applied whereas a duration-stacking boon will simply keep extending its duration. A third point to consider is that having more than 100% uptime for a duration-stacking boon could be seen as wasteful e.g., ending a fight with 3m of fury remaining is no better than ending a fight with 1s remaining. (Regen creates a gray area since 1s of regen from your healer is more potent than 1s of regen from a DPS character.)

Uptime vs Output

Here are my rules of thumb for what to focus on when looking at boons & buffs:

  • Uptime for might 
  • Uptime for other buffs you receive
  • Output and uptime for other buffs you provide

Because might stacks and has a cap of 25, there’s only so much application that can occur. If a 10-person squad’s might uptime is 24 with one druid producing an output of 160 and another just 80, you can’t draw any clear conclusions about the performance of either druid. It’s very possible that both druids would’ve been able to provide the same might uptime alone. What matters most is that the team produced just about as much might as it could handle–and that’s great! If the squad’s overall uptime is low, looking at might output could help determine which expected sources aren’t producing, but keep in mind all the different factors that could influence that number.

If you’re receiving buffs, you’ll want to look at uptime because this is the percentage of time that you had the buff. Compare your uptime to others in your group and squad. Were you the only one that was low? Maybe you were out of position or in a special role that left you out of range.

Conversely, if you’re providing buffs, you’ll want to look at both uptime and output. Output alone can be ambiguous because it’s an average. So, for a 10-person squad, 100% output can be 100% duration for one person or 10% duration for 10 people. Or, in the case of might, 100 can mean an average of 20 stacks for 5 people or an average of 10 stacks for 10 people. You want to look at the uptime for the people you’re giving buffs to (just your group vs the entire squad) and compare it to your output. For example, a support chrono is usually providing quickness and alacrity to their group, so perfect output would be 500% with uptimes for everyone in the party being at 100%.

Damage Received

The metric is pretty straightforward. This is how much damage you took. Is your squad really high above the average? Are you really high compared to others in your squad? High values could mean that you or your squad aren’t executing mechanics, have poor positioning, need more mitigation (e.g., protection, frost aura), or need more condi cleanse.

Boss Metrics

The idea with boss metrics is to tell you how well you’re executing boss-specific mechanics, but the usefulness varies by boss. For example, Cairn will tell you how many times people were hit by shards or teleported. We’ve had clean runs with only 5 total shard hits and messy clears with more than 60; it’s a fantastic way to measure the progress of your skill.

It’s great to look at boss metrics when learning and evaluating a specific boss as well as determining individual performance. It can also be used to paint a more complete picture; for instance, maybe during a Slothasor fight your damage output was low or damage taken was high because you kept getting poison and/or focused.

Damage Output (DPS)

This is very similar to damage received in that a lot of the value is in the relativity of the numbers rather than the numbers themselves. Is there just one person with low DPS, one group, or the entire squad? What explanations can you provide for anomalies? Don’t look at just one person and compare them to published benchmarks without taking the context of the whole group into consideration.

Interpreting the Results

Now we know how to read the logs, but how do you use that information to improve? You’re basically going to employ the scientific method: make observations, come up with theories for how to improve, test those theories, and repeat. Let’s look at some example scenarios.

Sample 1: I’m a support chrono capable of producing near-100% alacrity and quickness against the kitty golem. However, my actual numbers are typically much lower.

Compare your uptime to that of your fellow party members. If everybody’s numbers are low, including your own, you may need to improve your rotation. If yours is high and theirs are low, it’s probably a positioning problem. If only some party members are low, those individual party members may need to concentrate on better positioning to improve uptime. If everybody’s numbers are inconsistent, it could be you that needs to focus on your positioning.

Sample 2: I’m a healer druid, and I’m having problems keeping people alive. Might and regeneration uptime are both good, and I don’t think healing output is the problem.

Look at boss metrics to see if there are mechanics that people are failing on. Also check damage taken numbers to see if the team seems to be taking significantly above-average damage; if numbers are unusually high, you’ll need to come up with guesses about why. Are there attacks that can be avoided? Would more condi cleanse or better protection uptime help? Are some people taking notably more damage than others? Do you see differences in their boon durations? Try getting players that are taking normal amounts of damage to explain how they do the fight, and this may produce some revelations to other players that are taking higher damage. Similarly, you could have the excessive damage takers explain their understanding of the fight & mechanics which might provide you with a chance to jump in with “Whoa, whoa, whoa–there’s the problem. Don’t do X when that happens, do Y!”

Advertisements

GW2 Raidar Registration & API Key Howto

GW2Raidar is a great tool for monitoring your squad’s raid performance, and I always like looking at statistics to determine how we’re progressing.  One of the cool things about Raidar is that it will pick up logs from others and automatically show them in your encounters–so there’s value in signing up even if you aren’t uploading logs yourself.

Registration is pretty straightforward, but you do need to provide a GW2 API key for your account. This is short guide for how to create the key and use it during registration with GW2Raidar.

Generate the API Key

  1. Browse to https://account.arena.net/applications
  2. Login using your GW2/ArenaNet credentials
  3. Click “New Key”
  4. Enter a name and click Create API Key
    1. Name must include the phrase “GW2RAIDAR”
    2. Only the “account” permission is required
  5. Copy the new API key to your clipboard

Now you can use the key to register with GW2Raidar

  1. Browse to https://www.gw2raidar.com/register
  2. Paste the API key from your clipboard

HoT/PoF Solo Hero Point Farm

Whew! I finally finished unlocking all 18 elite specializations from Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire. This wasn’t really ever a goal of mine until a couple weeks ago when I realized I only had a few left, and farming Hero Points has been a primary activity since then. Since I’ve been chasing all those HPs, I’ve become quite proficient, and most of this work has been done solo.

The fastest way to get all these HPs, particularly on the HoT maps, is to find an HP train. Sometimes there isn’t a train, though, and you still want to make some progress: this guide is for you. This guide focuses on the four maps from HoT and five maps from PoF. Fully unlocking an elite specialization requires 250 hero points i.e. 25 Hero Points. There are 52 soloable points to go after below–enough to fully unlock both elite specializations without ever requiring a group!

Dulfy has great guides for all HoT map hero points. I’ll just reference those instead of rewriting a worse version. I use the term “questionably-soloable” for HPs that I was able to solo with some classes but not others. If you’ve got good survivability and high DPS, you might be fine, but proceed with caution.

The “solo total” shown next to each map title is a running total of the soloable HPs covered map-by-map in the list. In other words, you can fully unlock all elite specializations without doing any of the more difficult/group HPs. Note that questionably-soloable HPs are not included in this running total, so you can skip those and still unlock everything.

Verdant Brink (Dulfy Guide) – 11 HPs (solo total: 7)

  • 7 soloable
  • 2 questionably-soloable: Nightthistle Blossom (#2) and Security Console/Golem (#10)

Auric Basin (Dulfy Guide) – 11 HPs (solo total: 11)

  • 4 soloable
  • 3 questionably-soloable: Golem (#4), Mordrem Flower (#7), and Trespassers (#8)

Tangled Depths (Dulfy Guide) – 11 HPs (solo total: 16)

  • 5 soloable
  • 4 questionably-soloable: Troll (#1), Nightthistle Bloom (#4), Spider Eggs (#7), Inquisitor’s Campsite/Frog (#8)

Dragon’s Stand (Dulfy Guide) – 7 HPs (solo total: 23)

  • 7 soloable but 4 require a successful meta event
  • Tangent: You can do 100% map completion during a single meta event. Pick a lane, get all POIs & vistas. Once commanders are down, get the three blighting tower HPs (while rest of map is fighting Mordremoth). Join the rest of the map in killing Mordremoth. Get your reward and the vista & HP near the reward chest, then circle back to get the other HPs and any remaining vistas & POIs.

Crystal Oasis – 5 HPs, all soloable (solo total: 28)

  1. Veteran Confessor Opeyemi (moderate) – Kite the boss and don’t stand in bad stuff.
  2. Abandoned Forged Ore (moderate) – Avoid projectiles by dodging, absorbing, or reflecting.
  3. Veteran Magic-Muddled Djinn (easy) – The djinn’s not so bad, but watch out for nearby roaming hydras.
  4. Unearthed Ruins (easy) – There’s a veteran mob protecting the HP. It’s not too difficult, but it can also be avoided. → Good opportunity to pop into Desert Highlands to unlock the map & waypoint on your way to #5.
  5. Branded Pyramid (easy) – There’s a narrow path inside the pyramid that leads up to the HP.

Desert Highlands – 7 HPs, all soloable (solo total: 35)

  1. Glint’s Lair (easy) – There’s a veteran spark, but it’s easy to kill.
  2. Branded Crystal (difficult) – This one’s annoying because if you get knocked off, you stay in combat and can’t get back up. Time your dodges, use aegis/stability, or find some friends.
  3. Eternal Fire (easy) – You need certain mounts to get up there, but it’s just a point you commune with.
  4. Glowing Campfire (easy) – Protected by a veteran worm and its friends.
  5. Veteran Yandra Stonetusk (easy) – Kill pets and kite.
  6. Veteran Jubua the Wildfire (moderate) – Keep ranged and dodge attacks. Destroying the break bar helps, if you’ve got the cc for it.
  7. Dusty Bones (easy) – Spawns a veteran dust elemental. Stay ranged to avoid blinds and dodge its whirlwind attacks.

Elon Riverlands – 8 HPs, all soloable (solo total: 43)

  1. Branded Relic (easy) – Similar to the Magic-Muddled Djinn in Crystal Oasis, it’s easy but keep an eye out for wandering hydras in the area.
  2. Forgotten Shrine (easy) – Guarded by a veteran djinn and assorted branded mobs.
  3. General’s Grave (moderate) – Spawns a veteran Awakened mob. Keep some distance and avoid its big area-effect attacks.
  4. Veteran Trunt (moderate) – Hard-hitting stuns and knockdown attacks. Dodge, aegis, and stability help.
  5. Fresh Meat (moderate) – Spawns a veteran sand lion with two friends. Watch out for other sand lions in the area. You’ll want to keep your distance as their attacks will blind and cc you.
  6. Lohrashi the Mournful (difficult) – An elementalist that casts a lot of lava fonts, he’s given me trouble with a few different characters. I’m not sure what the secret is here, you just need to avoid his attacks and burst him down. Consider bringing an extra sustain ability–or a couple friends.
  7. Throne of Pellentia (easy) – Clear the giant wurms that chucks rocks at you (or use aegis or stability) then commune with the point.
  8. Fallen Giant (moderate) – Lots of harpies in the area can overwhelm you if you get too much. Move slowly so you don’t get too much, and it’s usually okay.

The Desolation – 6 HPs, all soloable (solo total: 49)

  1. Broken Egg (moderate) – Spawns a veteran harpy and 3 other harpies. DPS the non-veterans down quickly, as they don’t have much health but hit hard with ranged attacks.
  2. The Mouth of Torment (difficult) – Small groups with veteran trash mixed in. Choose your path carefully as you make your way to the center to commune.
  3. Awakened Wanderer (moderate) – Try to keep away and avoid his frontal-cone attacks.
  4. Gnarled Tree (difficult) – A big jacaranda that heals itself. Be sure to clear trash in the area before starting the fight.
  5. The Bone Palace (easy) – Use your springer mount to jump up to the bridges that lead you to the Hero Point up above. Be careful about walking in the front door which can trigger an event.
  6. Shanna the Valorous (moderate) – A ghost with cc stun attacks. Dodge and kite.

Domain of Vabbi – 3 HPs, all soloable but difficult (solo total: 52)

These three hero points are all more challenging than others in the PoF maps. They’re soloable but can be tricky, especially if you’re running a squishy build. If you give one a few tries and don’t feel like you’re close to getting it, it’s probably best to recruit a friend or two in map chat.

  1. Hunter Glorg (difficult) – Kill a branded mob.
  2. Master Utku (difficult) – Three veteran mobs that attack all at once. It’s best to use abilities to group them, then hit them with a bursty cleave.
  3. Mother Tharwa (difficult) – You need to kill 5 veteran mobs.

WvW Enrichments

I finally got my first ever precursor drop: Howl. I’d been thinking about investing time into crafting a legendary, and Howler was already on my short list, so timing was perfect. One of the required materials is a Gift of Battle, which is only obtainable through WvW.

World vs World is the game mode I’ve spent the least amount of time in and, subsequently, know the least about. I’ve dabbled here and there, but it’s never really “stuck” with me. But here I am, forced to grind out a reward track in order to get my Gift of Battle. (Tangent: it’s not a total bummer; I’ve been meaning to give WvW another shot anyway, now that I’m in an active guild with some level of organization and participation.)

As I was starting my Gift of Battle farm, I learned that WvW offers two enrichments available from the laurel vendor: one to increase reward track progress by 5% and one to increase WvW XP gains by 10%. They’re pretty cheap, too, at just 5 laurels and 125 badges of honor.

Condi Renegade

I’ve recently been playing catch-up on unlocking all elite specializations for all classes. Renegade is one I’ve been putting off because, well, I’m a really bad revenant in PVE. I die alot, I don’t like the class mechanics, and it’s just not fun. Since it was so un-fun, I decided to give renegade a shot even though it was only half unlocked.

So, even though I had 0 trait choice because I had only unlocked 1 choice for each tier, and even though I only had the heal and one utility skill for renegade stance, it was a lot of fun–probably the most fun I’ve ever had with revenant in PVE. Since then, I’ve gone on to fully unlock the specialization and enjoyed all of it.

Inspired by the fun, I thought I’d do a little build-crafting. First, a disclaimer: I haven’t really been into theorycrafting in the past. I usually just start with a current meta build and tweak a trait here & there until I find something that’s fun and fits my playstyle. In other words, this build’s probably not going to win any awards, but I came up with it on my own and it’s fun to play.

Here’s a link to the build.

As I looked through the different trait lines, I noticed a few synergies that I wanted to try to capitalize on. The first two were fury and bleed damage. In the Renegade trait line, Blood Fury means fury increases bleeding duration and applies Kalla’s Fervor–stacking increase in ferocity and condition damage–so it’s clear that we want to apply a lot of fury to ourselves. The minor trait Endless Enmity gives us free fury whenever we crit a foe below the threshold of 50%. Next, I chose Heartpiercer to increase bleeding damage by 25% and make shortbow skills piercing. The next minor trait, Brutal Momentum, gives us vigor when we gain fury and 33% crit chance when we’re at full endurance. And, finally, I took Lasting Legacy to make Kalla’s Fervor stronger & longer.

For the second trait line, I chose Corruption. The first minor trait, Rampant Vex, gives a 33% chance to apply torment on critical hit. Because there’s so much emphasis on fury and crits already, this is a great way to get more passive condi damage. Next up, Venom Enhancement applies poison whenever you inflict torment–so now we have passive application of both torment and poison. Abyssal Chill applies torment (and subsequently, poison) whenever you inflict chill. This is great because it enhances Unyielding Anguish, changing it from an area chill to a targeted damage ability. Axe #4 also gains damage because it has the chill effect, too. The third minor trait, Yearning Empowerment, increases duration and damage of torment, which is clearly awesome since we’ve been talking so much about torment. The final major trait is Diabolic Inferno, which applies 2 stacks of burning when using an elite. Pulsating Pestilence also seems like a valid choice for multiple targets, like a mini-Epidemic.

Corruption was an easy choice because of all the condi damage, but the third line was a little trickier. I decided to use Invocation mostly for the synergy with fury, which we’re already focused on in the Renegade line. The first minor trait in Invocation, Invoker’s Rage, gives us fury whenever we invoke a legend. More free fury? I’ll take it. Fierce Infusion is yet another source of fury. Ferocious Aggression increases damage (and condition damage) by 7% while under the effect of fury. Incensed Response gives 5 stacks of might when you grant yourself fury. The last major trait was a tricky choice; Song of the Mists provides more condi damage when switching between legends whereas Roiling Mists doubles the effectiveness of fury, granting 40% crit chance instead of 20%. Song of the Mists seems better for multiple targets and Roiling Mists for single target.

For weapon and armor stats, the choice seems obvious: vipers to increase condition damage and extend condition duration. I decided to use Renegade runes because this build generates a lot of ferocity due to Kalla’s Fervor plus will be critting nearly 100% of the time due to fury uptime, Brutal Momentum (33% when full endurance), and Roiling Mists (if traited, 100% crit while under effects of fury). I chose Sigil of Torment and Sigil of Venom  Sigil of Malice for mace/axe; Sigil of Torment will apply an AOE torment (and therefore, poison) every 5 seconds, and Sigil of Venom will extend the duration of all those big poison applications that we’re getting from the torments. On the shortbow, I chose Sigil of Agony to increase the duration of all the bleeds and Sigil of Smoldering to increase duration of burns from Citadel Bombardment, shortbow #4 & #5, and elite skills. (Edit: Venom Enhancement has an internal cooldown of 10 seconds, so the build doesn’t generate nearly as much poison as I was initially expecting. It does generate a ton of torment, though. Sigil of Malice is a better choice than Sigil of Venom to extend the duration of all that torment.)

I need to practice the DPS rotation, but these are key concepts:

  1. While wielding mace/axe: use mace #3, axe #4 & #5, and Unyielding Anguish (Legendary Demon) off cooldown to apply maximum stacks of torment and poison
  2. Weapon swap to shortbow before invoking Embrace the Darkness (Legendary Demon elite) to use its Sigil of Smoldering to increase duration of burning applied by Diabolic Inferno
  3. While wielding shorbow: use all skills, Citadel Bombardment, and Razorclaw’s Rage off cooldown; keep distance and kite where possible to make the torment really sting
  4. Cast Soulcleave’s Summit (Legendary Renegade elite) before weapon swapping back to mace/axe to again take advantage of Sigil of Smoldering to increase duration of burning applied by Diabolic Inferno

This build’s very much a work-in-progress, but I’m very excited about it and have been having a ton of fun tinkering with it. If you have suggestions for things to change or how to improve it, I’d love to hear!

Project: Volcanus

Ever since I found out Volcanus was a thing, I’ve wanted it. When I first found out about it, it would’ve been way to much to pursue, though, and I forgot about it. I was looking for a new one-handed sword skin and re-remembered Volcanus. I bet it’s actually within reach for me now!

The greatsword is a mystic forge recipe. In checking the required base ingredients, I found that I didn’t have much beyond the 100 mystic coins. The other key thing I have is a level 400 chef, which is required to make the Vial of Liquid Flame. I did some quick math and found that it was going to be about a 200g project.

Time to make a shopping list!

What I have:

  • 100 Mystic Coins
  • Recipe: Liquid Flame (purchased for 10g)
  • Gift of Baelfire (bought for 500 Flame Legion Charr Carvings)
  • Eldritch Scroll (bought for 50 Spirit Shards)

What I need:

  • 350 Molten Lodestones
  • 100 Destroyer Lodestones
  • 250 Ghost Peppers

All things considered, not too bad. I had about 120g already. I crafted a few Deldrimor Steel Ingots to sell along with some unidentified dyes. I’ve got 2 reward chests left for the current PvP season, which will be good for another 35g. Pretty sure I can wrap this project up by the end of the week!