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 down bugs or abilities that are not working as intended.
To access the magic you first need to install the program. Browse to http://advancedcombattracker.com/ and install it like any other program. Next you need the small plugin for Neverwinter that has luckily been created for us as well. It converts the data provided from the game to the ACT. You can download the plugin here: https://github.com/nilsbrummond/Neverwinter-ACT-Plugin. You need the ‘Neverwinter.cs’ and don’t worry that is hasn’t been changed for two years. It’s still working. You may want to save the plugin file in your ACT folder, but any destination does.
*** UPDATE Feb 2018 *** There’s a new plugin available here: https://forum.arcgames.com/neverwinter/discussion/1238063/advanced-combat-tracker-plugin-for-neverwinter-updates-feb-2018
Now bring up ACT, go to the Plugins tab, click ‘Browse’ and select the saved Neverwinter.cs. Choose ‘Add/Enable Plugin’ and of all worked it should look like the picture on the left.
Now you are ready to import a Combat Log of Neverwinter. The logs are saved in the Neverwinter\live\logs\GameClient directory of your installation, but if you haven’t ever recorded a log, it will be empty. In the game the command ‘/combatlog 1’ starts saving the log and ‘/combatlog 0’, or quitting the game, disables it again. A general advise is to not let the game simply log everything, because the log can grow rather big and the usefulness is just not there. You are better off parsing a specific run or sequence and stop logging after that.
To specify your log file, move to the ‘Options’ tab in the ACT and hit ‘Open Log’. The Combat Tracker might feedback that the log file hasn’t been changed for a long time, but that’s OK. Activating the logging ingame will now live update the table on the ‘Main’ tab with the data from the Combat Log.
You have done it! ACT is ready to go and in future posts of this series we will describe how to read and use the data.