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 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

ACT Plugin Tab
ACT Plugin Tab

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.

ACT Options
ACT Options

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.

9 thoughts on “How To Utilize The Combat Log Vol. 1: Installing ACT

  • Avatar
    May 10, 2016 at 1:05 pm
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    Thank you for this! Very well written!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    June 2, 2016 at 9:49 pm
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    The script no longer works with the latest ACT. They changed from 32 bit of data storage to 64 bit.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      June 17, 2016 at 3:24 pm
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      To get ACT to work properly now with latest version of ACT, you need to run the ACTx86.exe file in C:\Program Files (x86)\Advanced Combat Tracker\
      The default shortcut is x64 version and doesn’t work properly with the NW parser plugin.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    September 7, 2016 at 1:48 am
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    Hmm, doesnt work for me. After Add/Enable Plugin i get error-message “Compile Error: There were errors compiling the plugin source file. Please refer to the Plugin Info panel for more information.”

    Reply
    • NWO_Unblogged
      September 7, 2016 at 4:50 am
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      Thanks. We’ll check on this.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        November 3, 2016 at 8:10 am
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        Any news on this? I still have this error today.

        Reply
        • NWO_Unblogged
          November 3, 2016 at 9:04 am
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          Have you tried previous versions of ACT? The plugin is no longer actively developed and unfortunately might not work with the latest version of ACT. Also check marty’s comment.

          Reply
  • Avatar
    December 11, 2016 at 11:32 am
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    I have the same compile errors

    Reply

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