How To Utilize The Combat Log Vol. 3: Training Dummy Tests

In the first two posts on the series we learned how to set up the Advanced Combat Tracker and evaluate dungeon runs. Today we are going to look at another very popular way to utilize the Combat Log: Dummy Tests. Several areas in Neverwinter such as Dread Ring or the Trade of Blades feature Training Dummies that players can hit infinitely. This makes them ideal to test builds and record and compare DPS meters. Experimental Theory To understand the value of these tests we need to talk about experimental theory a bit. Any empiric study faces the challenge to balance between internal and external validity. Internal validity is an estimation how accurately an observed effect can be credited to its assumed cause. External validity describes to which extent results can be held true for other cases and situations. As you might imagine our recorded dungeon runs do not offer enough internal validity in terms of builds. Too many other stuff factors into your DPS. Even doing two runs with the exact same build can lead to vastly different numbers, because you have no chance controlling all conditions like group composition or the type of mobs you face. This is where dummy tests

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How To Utilize The Combat Log Vol. 2: Evaluate Dungeon Runs

Today we finally continue our small series about the combat log and the advanced combat tracker. Sorry it took so long, but this somehow was always postponed in favor of other stuff. Anyway, in our first post you should have learned how to properly set up the ACT and how to start and stop logging. Now it’s time to look at the data of an actual dungeon run and what to gain from it. The example Lostmauth run I’m using can be downloaded here. Importing Runs There are multiple ways of organizing your logs and I’m going to describe how I do it. Dealing with ACT you might find that another approach works better for you however. I like to delete the main log file before recording a run. That way the actual run will be saved in its own file and I can rename or move it afterwards. Of course while logging the ACT will continuously populate and update the data live, but I like to import the generated log file. To do that, go to the “Import/Export” tab, choose to import a log file and select the run. The “Main” tab will update with a new “Import Zone” with data

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How To Utilize The Combat Log Vol. 1: Installing ACT

The paingiver chart matters to many players in dungeons and they think they do well or worse depending on their place in the ranking. The paingiver however is indeed pretty faulty, because it lacks context and doesn’t factor in buffs. Some characters might just have been faster than others and almost killed or one shotted a group of monsters before others were even in reach. The only way to get reliable data on your damage is parsing the Combat Log. The tool doing all the work for us is called Advanced Combat Tracker (ACT) and is a multi-mmo combat tracker. It reads the log that Neverwinter creates and converts the data into useful tables and graphs. It’s a legal program and aligns to the ToS, so no worries. With the ACT the term DPS that players like to refer to when speaking about their damage output is recorded. Damage per second is the amount of damage you deal over a second on average and can be used to measures how viable your damage build is. But ACT’s usefulness doesn’t stop there. It can also be used to maximize healing output, show the buffs a player received, save and load logs to compare data and help to track

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