Damage Parser - Why I Believe We Should Have One

Travesh Profile Options #1

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Damage Parser - Why I Believe We Should Have One

Warning: Massive wall of text incoming.

Hello everyone, I'm Travesh and I'm here today to explain why I think people should have the option to have a damage parser. (Some of you WoW players may know it as a damage meter, same thing.)

A little background of myself, and reasoning why I, personally, want a damage parser. I played rift for about 7 months, I thoroughly enjoyed end game raiding and used a program called ACT that was modded to include rift's combat log file to show information about... well.. combat.
I found this tool very useful, I will go into more detail later about the kind of things it could do, but in short it showed my DPS and I could set it to update at regular intervals throughout the fight, I could break down a certain fight and look at everyone's DPS that was in that fight. Further breaking down a certain character that was in that fight, I could see every ability they used, the percentage a certain ability did of their total DPS, how many times that certain ability hit the monster, the average hit of that ability, the highest hit of that ability, among many many other options.

Well all those features, I really found useful. You may call me an elitist in MMOs, but I spent hours on the Rift Public Test Shard going through my own set rotations, tweaking, looking at my breakdown of abilities and percentages, and finding the perfect rotation, until I consistently parsed the highest I could to my ability of DPS.

Honestly, I cannot find a reason why you would not want that plethora of information, it really helps out a player and can help you improve your game by seeing how other people play. But I will go into more details about arguments for and against parsers later.

The Combat Log

First off, to have a parser, the game of TERA would need a combat log. (As far as I know we do not have one in the game's files). That is why I am hoping to get this thread out there so mods and eventually developers will see this and hopefully just think about implementing a combat log into this game. The combat log (in Rift at least) was a text file that logged your combat as you went into combat, and ACT opened this log and automatically put it on display for you to easily see and decipher.


The Competitive Side of MMOs

In my opinion, end game MMOs are meant to be competitive. What else would you strive for besides being the very best?
In this thread here: https://forum.tera-europe.com/showthread.php?t=39553
You can see at the bottom a guy named Teohtime worded, beautifully, why combat meters/parses should be implemented.

Teohtime on 2012-02-23 19:36:39 UTC
...Competition is the soul of gaming. An MMO entices you from start to finish to improve every aspect of your gameplay, pushing you to gain character power by leveling, upgrading skills, hunting for tiny gear upgrades, optimising your build and your playstyle for maximum performance. For a game like this to then go ahead and hide your performance in a group from you and prevent you from comparing yourself against others or competing in any fashion, is a ridiculous abberation that has no place in a video game.

I want to push myself to perform as well as i can in whatever i'm doing, in TERA PvE that means judging which attacks i can fit in before i have to dodge to maximise damage done, dodging at the last possible moment and resuming damage as quickly as possible, using abilities that go through attacks whenever possible so that i do not have to stop damage, positioning myself for maximum damage bonuses whenever possible, anticipating boss movement from animations, positioning myself appropriately, reacting as quickly and effectively to it as possible or simply interupting it to stop the movement whenever i can. I want to avoid as much damage as i can while effectively dealing as much damage as possible.

I want all of that to matter and be visible and measurable, to be tweaked and improved over time. If you are so scared of the idea that you or other people may be demonstratably better or worse than eachother, you might be better off playing Mario Party, where your performance is decided by a dice roll, and nobody has to deal with the realities of competition.


I agree 100%, I cherish the idea of being able to see my own DPS, being able to tweak my dps, and becoming the best to my ability. I really have nothing to add, thank you for that post Teohtime.


ACT - Advanced Combat Tracker

ACT was created originally for Everquest II, it now supports Rift, Aion, and Age of Conan along with EQ2.
On their website http://advancedcombattracker.com/ you can see the list of features that comes with this parser. I am not saying ACT is the only parser, or even the best, but it's the one I used in Rift and it worked BEAUTIFULLY. It was easy to set up, simple explanation, very customizable, and had all the features you could ever want to help better yourself as a player.

As I mentioned earlier, I would spend hours a day on the Rift PTS attacking the combat dummy, watching my parser on a second-by-second update, and trying to maximize my DPS potential. This worked for me because I use a second monitor, though you can also use this just by having it run in the background, after a fight you can bring it up on your screen, and look at anything you want to see.

Basically, ACT displays a fight as follows: The large bulk of the program, in the middle, will be all the players in the fight, their name and DPS. To the left in a smaller panel, will be all the fights you have parsed in the session ACT has been opened, and the length of each fight in brackets. You have the option to merge or delete fights by check marking them.

Next to each fight is a plus sign to bring down the dropdown. In the dropdown, you can see every players name who fought in that certain fight.

Now, you can click on a players name you want to see a breakdown of, and the large bulk of the program turns into a list of all abilities used by that players, with a pie chart at the bottom giving the percentage of each ability to your DPS.

You can then see each ability's damage total, DPS total, average hit, median hit, minimum hit, maximum hit, number of times you hit an enemy with it, number of times you used the ability overall, your hit percent, and your crit percent. All of that is in one easy to read screen.

I do not have a screenshot of my own parse, but here is a screenshot of a player named Azyurel's parse, a parse I used to compare my own parse to.

http://imageshack.us/f/805/pyrolock.png/

You can see in the left, the fights against the practice dummy, and in the middle that abilities and other information of that certain fight.


Arguments Against a DPS Parser

Here I will go over some common arguments I saw on these forums against a DPS parser, and I will explain why I disagree.

"Dungeons will start requiring people to do X amount of DPS, just like WoW did!"
WoW, the game itself, did not force people to not allow people without X amount of DPS in dungeons in the game. The community did that, and unless you think the Tera community is as bad as the WoW community, that won't happen. Also, this never happened in Rift, even though almost everyone I knew used a damage parser, not to single people out who are bad dps, but to always be able to see their own DPS.

"Bosses move too much and are dynamic, you will never be able to pull of a rotation."
This is beside the point. I agree completely with not having a rotation, and the bosses are dynamic, but that still doesn't change the fact that I always want to be able to see my DPS and improve myself.

"Party Leaders will kick people for not having X amount of DPS in the middle of a dungeon."
Well that person is a huge [filtered] then. Again, that is something wrong with the person, not the game. As a party leader, I would never deprive someone of something they are working for by kicking them. Parsers will even help those people to learn to pull better DPS.

"People will QQ about their class not doing enough DPS and the developers will have to balance the game and it will turn in to WoW!"
I find this very funny, you can find it here in this guy's thread http://tera-forums.enmasse.com/forums/general-discussion/topics/The-NO-DAMAGE-TRACKER-reasoning
It is funny because the guy starts the thread off by saying this game and WoW's combat are 100% different, and then adds later that if TERA gets combat meters TERA will turn in to WoW. I find it hilarious, but back on topic, people are ALREADY QQing about classes, and I believe it is mostly just players who aren't as skilled that are the ones who go around complaining about their class. Good players will be around the same DPS, seeing as how we have to dodge mechanics and there are NOT set rotations because of the game being so dynamic, that all classes will be balanced around DPS on boss fights.

"I'd rather have 5 people doing 100 DPS but they don't die throughout the fight than 5 people doing 10,000 DPS but they die constantly throughout the fight."
This has nothing to do with damage parsers, unless you are under the impression that people trying to parse their highest dps are just staring intently at the damage parser and not at the boss fight mechanics at all. Why not just have people trying better themselves by looking at a damage parser when the fight is over and focus on playing the game while the fight is going on. Also, if you do die that much but pull good numbers, you still aren't considered "great" just like if you never die but barely ever hit the monster.

"People who don't carry their weight simply die a lot in Tera, it's a much clearer indicator than any dps meter."
So you're saying I can be the best player in the game if I so choose to just run around the boss in circles and never get hit by anything? I don't even have to DPS I can just run around and I'm good?
No, I think my point is proven.

I am willing to have civil discussion about any other arguments against a damage parser this community may have, in hopes that I can change your mind and that a combat log file may be implemented one day.

Thank you for your time and I hope I have at least shone a little light on the subject of damage parsers, hopefully educating everyone on how useful they are.

-Trav
Travesh Profile Options #2

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Also, if anyone can share codes for making words bigger/different colors that would be helpful to organize this wall of text >.<

Please leave discussion here, would love to have civil discussions on this matter.
XxPraeToriaNxX Profile Options #3

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gezodiac Profile Options #4

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSCcIv_dLlg
Aarex Profile Options #5

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I am big on numbers, I min and max basically every game. But here in TERA I don't believe we need one at all, way too many variables that add/subtract to damage sustainability - The numbers alone would mean nothing other than "Oh hey I did 12k to that guy" which is easy to do with your mind and eyes (I hope...). I would agree with you if this game was anything like WoW or RIFT but it's not.

In this type of game, with this combat system I just don't believe a damage parser (DPS meter) would be beneficial at all.
Travesh Profile Options #6

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Thanks for the support Archangel.

Gezo, if you can at least contribute to the matter and explain why you feel that way, it would be helpful.
Travesh Profile Options #7

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Zeila on 2012-02-27 23:15:19 UTC - view
I am big on numbers, I min and max basically every game. But here in TERA I don't believe we need one at all, way too many variables that add/subtract to damage sustainability - The numbers alone would mean nothing other than "Oh hey I did 12k to that guy" which is easy to do with your mind and eyes (I hope...). I would agree with you if this game was anything like WoW or RIFT but it's not.

In this type of game, with this combat system I just don't believe a damage parser (DPS meter) would be beneficial at all.


I understand where you are coming from, with all the variables, but I am assuming boss fights at end game will be a little longer than the average lvl 27 dungeon boss. From previous MMO experience boss fights can be around 15-20 minutes (I'm looking at YOU Akylios >.<) so I personally think that the numbers will round out after that amount of time.
Fatwa Profile Options #8

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Popori Archer
I fully support parsing for the maximization of efficiency while gaming, and have used it constantly in other games to be the best that I can be at any give task, as the more damage I put out - the less time I spend swinging at things, which equates to more time doing other things.

That being said, I do not feel that a parser would do anyone justice in TERA. Whereas with an Auto-Attack game, you have a consistent source of sustainable DPS, I fall into the 'dynamic' camp of the arguments against adding a parser to TERA, as I feel there are too many variables to adequately create a baseline experience.

You'll notice that you yourself seek out the most consistent target to perfect your rotations, the targeting dummy. Those don't exist in TERA, and you cannot create an environment where you have the same set of variables over and over again. That causes the data to be skewed.

While I would agree that even some data is better than none, as noted earlier I am all about the maximization of efficiency, and do not feel that being partially efficient - some of the time - is a suitable reason to attempt it. You either are or you aren't in my book.

Again, I use those programs heavily for statistical analysis in other games. However, all of those games are tab-target, auto-attack based games where measurable baselines can be achieved. I do not agree with the arguments against parsers when they involved people abusing data (kicked from groups, etc). Likewise, I do not agree with people getting huffy if they're kicked from a guild that clearly states you should seek maximum efficiency via the use of a parser. Efficiency reduces overall time spent attacking, time spent attacking takes away from time doing other things, time doing other things dictates overall time management. If I can complete content in 30 minutes instead of 1 1/2 hours, I'll opt for the 30 minutes so I can do other things during the remaining hour of game time I would otherwise have spent locked in content with a party.
qw12po09 Profile Options #9

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Demise Lvl.60
Mount Tyrannas (PVP)
High Elf Mystic
You can judge your own performance and the performance of your party members better by watching the fight than by looking at numbers and %ages in a DPS meter. Your argument that "Tera's community is superior and won't pull that [filtered]" is moot. When given the tools to easily judge someone's worth at face value with pure numbers they will do so.

It's bad enough in Tera that you can inspect someone's gear and judge them from that without ever seeing their skills. Having DPS meters would just add to that.

No one can stop people from making unofficial DPS meters, if you really want one then make one and roll with it. I do not think that there should be an official one built into the client however. I would like to think that the game itself and it's publishers should support a higher way of judging your party members and your own performance than a built in meter.
spyder0065 Profile Options #10

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the numbers in tera will never be accurate. theres to much dodging and other factors that come into play you can have a melee class and a caster class. the melee would have to move around alot more therefore doing less damage then a class that can stay in one position. you want numbers when theyll mean nothing at all. i have a 27 sorc and a 27 slayer. sorc play requires much less moving than my slayer which in means more damage done which means bigger numbers even though my slayer hits harder. they add dps meters in this game and theyll lose all melee classes that care about unimportant numbers that in the long run mean nothing