World of Logs part 3 – Logs!

Over the last week, I’ve been trawling through our logs, trying to solve a problem: in Madness of Deathwing, our tanks kept dying.

Tank deaths drive me nuts. We’re two-healing this fight, myself and Marlae our holy pally, and I know we’re both working our butts off, so when our RL says in vent “why are our tanks dying?” there’s silence.

You know that moment.

I want to be able to give an answer, but I can’t, not without a greater understanding of the fight. My first reaction probably should be to read up strat guides and watch videos, but no. My first reaction is to turn to the logs to find out exactly what’s happening.

Questions needing answers

That leads me to ask a series of questions that range in specificity, but basically build on one another:

  1. On each attempt, what caused the wipe?
  2. Each time the wipe was caused by a tank death, what caused the death?
  3. Each time the tank died to Impale, how much damage was taken?
  4. Each time the tank died to Impale, were they getting enough healing?
  5. Wait a second. How does Impale even work? (I hadn’t asked myself this before, I’d just written it off as a ‘high damage attack the boss thing does’.)
  6. How much damage does Impale generally do then? (Because they aren’t dying to EVERY Impale.)
  7. What can we change to stop tanks dying?

So my first step is to look at our attempts, and classify the wipes.

This bit is a bit laborious, but I go through and look at each attempt, zoom into each tank death and look to see if they were killed by impale or by something else.

Using World of logs to answer them

To do this, I bring up the damage done graph (or any of the others, it doesn’t matter) and hover over the red line that indicates a death.

There’s a mini summary of the last three things that happened to that player.

Sometimes that’s enough, but in this example, there wasn’t an impale in the last couple of lines, so I right click to see more details.

So it look slike maybe Deadunkown wasn’t getting enough healing. Marlae was direct healing him, but he was only getting Rejuv ticks from me. Based on this, I organised a position swap – as I know he was going out of range for me. And this week was much better.

I then compile all of the wipes like this:

Attempt 1 (7:06)
Tank death to 250K impale at 19:21
Tank death to 256k impale 19:26

Attempt2 (8:05)
Tank death to 256k impale 19:36

Attempt 3 (8:09)
Wiped at Cataclysm

Attempt 4 (4:27)
Tank death to 111k impale 19:58

and so on.

Then I can get an *objective* summary of what’s causing wipes. Some nights I feel like I’m failing at my job over and over… but when I look back at logs it’s something earlier in the chain of events that’s actually causing the wipes.  (And some nights I AM just failing over and over…)

So after having confirmed that 1. tank deaths were causing a lot of wipes, 2 (&4). The tank deaths were sometimes caused by Impales and sometimes caused by a lack of healing (erm, my fault!) and 3. Tank impale deaths could sometimes be VERY high… I then turn to question 5 and 6.

Now I want to know how Impale works, and how much damage it does generally.

To see how much damage it’s doing on average, I can use the WoL information about Impale.

To do this I click on the name of one of the tanks in one of the damage done/taken graphs, or by navigating to their info using the menu:

I sure I select ‘Full report’ because I want averages for the whole night, and then click on ‘Impale’.

This is what I see:

What we’re looking for is the average hits:

EP took 48 Impales at an average of: 209331
Dead took 42 Impales at an average of: 150123

Woah. Okay, so firstly EP is taking more damage on average. I didn’t expect that. I chatted to EP and he mathed it out for me, and just using tanking and cooldown multipliers, warrior tanks WILL take more damage from Impales. But I didn’t ralise this, and it’s really helpful for me for healing the fight.

Secondly, the averages are taking into account all those big hits that killed the tanks…. I need to see the hits that didn’t kill the tanks so I can get a feel for the order of magnitude and the variability.

All the Impales!

To do this I check out the logs themselves, in this case I use the expression editor.

This can be a bit intimidating, as the expression editor is very powerful. But in this case I’m just going to do a simple search on all of the occurrences of the spell “Impale” so I just type that in as below. Case matters, as do the quote marks.

Aannd out are spat three pages of Impale info. I can page through all of that at my leisure, but what I actually did was paste it into a text editor so I can have a play with it.

I started off just trying to work out what was going on with Impale, so I isolated what looked like a normal every day impale sequence during one tentacle emerge, it looks a bit like this when everything goes well:

[19:43:39.797] Mutated Corruption casts Impale on Easypeasy
[19:43:39.977] Easypeasy afflicted by Impale from Mutated Corruption
[19:43:43.779] Mutated Corruption’s Impale fades from Easypeasy
[19:43:44.246] Mutated Corruption Impale Easypeasy 180000
[19:43:44.246] Easypeasy afflicted by Impale from Mutated Corruption
[19:44:15.927] Mutated Corruption casts Impale on Deadunknown
[19:44:15.974] Deadunknown afflicted by Impale from Mutated Corruption
[19:44:19.962] Mutated Corruption’s Impale fades from Deadunknown
[19:44:20.385] Mutated Corruption Impale Deadunknown 92499 (A: 25581)
[19:44:20.385] Deadunknown afflicted by Impale from Mutated Corruption
[19:44:29.207] Mutated Corruption’s Impale fades from Easypeasy
[19:45:05.542] Mutated Corruption’s Impale fades from Deadunknown

This is when I realised I didn’t understand what was going on with Impale. To me the order of events unfolds like this:

Part 1:

[19:43:39.797] Mutated Corruption casts Impale on Easypeasy
[19:43:39.977] Easypeasy afflicted by Impale from Mutated Corruption
[19:43:43.779] Mutated Corruption’s Impale fades from Easypeasy
[19:43:44.246] Mutated Corruption Impale Easypeasy 180000
[19:43:44.246] Easypeasy afflicted by Impale from Mutated Corruption

Translation: A while after he’s been tanking the tentacle, the tentacle casts Impale. At that point, EP gets an Impale debuff, that lasts 4 seconds and then expires. When it expires, EP takes 180k Damage, and gets an Impale debuff. What?! /lost

Part 2:

[19:44:15.927] Mutated Corruption casts Impale on Deadunknown
[19:44:15.974] Deadunknown afflicted by Impale from Mutated Corruption
[19:44:19.962] Mutated Corruption’s Impale fades from Deadunknown
[19:44:20.385] Mutated Corruption Impale Deadunknown 92499 (A: 25581)
[19:44:20.385] Deadunknown afflicted by Impale from Mutated Corruption

Translation: Dead taunts the tentacle. A while after he’s been tanking the tentacle, the tentacle casts Impale. At that point, Dead gets an Impale debuff, that lasts 4 seconds and then expires. When it expires, Dead takes 92k Damage, and gets an Impale debuff. Huh? still lost.

Part 3:

[19:44:29.207] Mutated Corruption’s Impale fades from Easypeasy
[19:45:05.542] Mutated Corruption’s Impale fades from Deadunknown

Translation: A bit later the debuff fades from the tanks.

So I look up ‘Impale’ on Wowhead, and as usual I’m confused by there being multiple debuffs with the same name. Certainly on my raid frames, Impale suddenly appeared on the tanks and ticked down, and then ticked down again, and I had no idea what was going on.

This is where you get to laugh at me. Go on, it’s okay.

So I when I post my WoL trawlings on our guild forums I also admit I don’t know how Impale works. EP explains that what I’m seeing is a ‘count down’ debuff that’s applied, and then 4 seconds later it expires and then does damage. Then 45 seconds later the ‘double damage from Impale’ debuff expires, and it’s that debuff that forces you to tank swap, as Impale is cast about every 30-40 seconds. Okay so finally my logs and my raid frames make sense. Back to the logs.

I then went through and grouped all of the Impales by attempt and by how many tentacles we fought each go… That looked a bit like this (just showing one, but you get the idea).

Attempt 7
Tent 1
[20:25:03.508] Mutated Corruption Impale Easypeasy 212420 (A: 3580)
[20:25:39.254] Mutated Corruption Impale Deadunknown 122019 (A: 25581)
Tent 2
[20:27:30.140] Mutated Corruption Impale Easypeasy 185684 (A: 8716)
[20:28:06.306] Mutated Corruption Impale Deadunknown 234856 (A: 1304)
Tent 3
[20:30:05.962] Mutated Corruption Impale Easypeasy 191394 (A: 3006)
[20:30:42.143] Mutated Corruption Impale Deadunknown 116299 (A: 31301)
Tent 4
[20:33:18.826] Mutated Corruption Impale Easypeasy 256153 (O: 60227, A: 7620)
[20:33:54.567] Mutated Corruption Impale Deadunknown 92499 (A: 25581)

Onto question 7.

How does that all help?

Now I can get some idea of the hits that are healable and the hits that aren’t. I can see the variability across the whole fight, and can see how crucial it is that I/we prioritise cooldowns for EP (our weakest link, obviously ;-) ) and I can see how to time WHEN my big heals land. And I can see that I really need to stand with both tanks in range (duh).

We only had a few pulls last night – but tank deaths didn’t cause a single wipe. Wish us luck tonight!

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3 Responses to World of Logs part 3 – Logs!

  1. Dennis says:

    Interesting use of WOL – I’m a big fan of going through the data as well, but I have to admit that in this particular case you’d have been better served by reading the dungeon journal in the first place. Impale deals 400k damage pre-mitigation which basically means that a tank NEEDS to use at least a 20%ish damage reduction CD to survive. Even then that’s often not enough, and the best bet is to use a major cooldown for each impale. My groups have had a lot more success 1 tanking madness and burning down the tentacles before they cast a second impale. The extra dps helps with getting through tendrils and cataclysm as well. We have a bear MT who only has one major CD on a 3m timer so we occasionally have to use pain suppression when that isn’t up. Hope your group learned a bit from your data :)

  2. Glow Glow says:

    Hey Dennis, thanks for dropping by.

    I did read the dungeon journal. Our tanks were still dying. What I was really interested in was the mechanics of the Impale itself – when it was cast, how the tanks knew when it was being cast, and the nature of the timing of it all. If the tanks know when it’s being cast, then I can too – and time my heals to land when they will be of best benefit. The dungeon journal did not give me the level of detail I was interested in here. Correct me if I’m wrong.
    I really like the idea of one tanking this fight though :-) How do you deal with the two big guys in phase two? Does he single tank them both?

    Edit: Oh and my data may or may not have helped, the group, but it sure helped me :-) And we have killed him :-)

  3. Cristina says:

    Solo tanking is based on the idea that you only get one set of adds in last phase (meaning kill the boss before the second set spawns). And if it’s done right, you can have your tank with basically all his / her CDs up for that, pick up both adds, blow CDs, pop Bloodlust here if needed. Damage is insane though, so be careful.