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Parser Usage Guide

kamokamikamokami Posts: 1,617 Arc User
edited April 17 in Power Discussion
PARSER USAGE GUIDE: harness the power of numbers to improve your builds & gameplay!

This is a step-by-step guide for setting up and using your parser. Using a parser you can improve your build and rotation when you are in the middle of a retcon, see what powers other players are using during various encounters, and measure the effectiveness of different powers and tactics.

Who this guide is for:
Players who want the ability to know how their builds perform on demand
Players who are curious about how other players achieve certain results
Players who are excited by the prospect of learning about how the game works "under the hood"

CONTENTS
1. SETUP: installation, settings, list of custom boss names
2. FAQ: troubleshooting & misc questions
3. USAGE: testing builds & parsing Cosmics

SETUP
*** Keybinds for Logging ***
Open up Champions and set up the following keybinds to start and stop logging:
/bind numpad1 "combatlog 1"
/bind numpad0 "combatlog 0"

Once the above binds are set up you can quickly start and stop logging combat in-game. Pressing "1" on your numpad will start logging and pressing "0" will stop it.

IMPORTANT - To make sure everything works:
1. Go to the powerhouse training dummy room
2. Turn on logging: press "1" on your numpad or enter /combatlog 1 into your chatbox
3. Attack the training dummy for about 30 seconds
4. Turn off logging: press "0" on your numpad or enter /combatlog 0 into you chatbox
5. Go to Champions installation folder and then navigate here:.../Champions Online/Live/logs/GameClient
6. Look for a file starting with the word "Combatlog"
7. If you see it then you've set up Champions to log your fights. Next we're going to get a parser to parse those logs.

*** Parser Installation ***
1. Download Advanced Combat Tracker (ACT): LINK (http://advancedcombattracker.com/includes/page-download.php?id=56)
2. Get the Champions Online 64 bit plugin: LINK (https://bit.ly/2TXV5o1)
3. Place the Champions plugin file (CO-ACTLib64.dll) in C:Program Files (x86)/Advanced Combat Tracker (ACT installation folder from step 1).
4. Open ACT by double-clicking on Advanced Combat Tracker.exe in the intallation folder.
5. Click the Plugin tab in ACT, click the "Browse" button, go to the ACT installation folder, select the plugin file (CO-ACTLib64.dll) and press "Open".
6. Click the Options tab, select Miscellaneous in the category list on the left.
7. Click the "Open Log" button & browse to .../Champions Online/Live/logs/GameClient (the folder with your log file), select the file that starts with "Combatlog" and press "Open".
8. Your parser is now ready. Next we'll set up your views and mini-window and make sure everything works.

*** Parser Settings ***
Open up ACT and go to the Options tab. Reference the following screenshots below to set up your table views and activate your Mini-Window:

Encounter View Options: LINK (http://i.imgur.com/ftuOwa4.png)
Combatant View Options: LINK (http://i.imgur.com/KXAVbdc.png)
Damage Type View Options: LINK (https://i.imgur.com/rs2jNLX.png)
Attack Type View Options: LINK (https://i.imgur.com/PhtS5rs.png)

Your Mini-Window stays on top of everything else so that you can see DPS while you play. Activate it by pressing the "Show Mini" button: LINK (http://i.imgur.com/GbskKCW.png)

IMPORTANT - To make sure everything works:
1. Go back to Champions Online...your Mini-Window should be floating on top of the game
2. Turn on logging by pressing "1" on your numpad and attack the training dummy for about 30 seconds.
You should see your DPS in the Mini-Window. You'll also get more details if you open up ACT, double click on your name, then double click on "Attack Out".

Custom Boss NPC List
1. Go to the Options tab in ACT
2. Scroll to the bottom of options categories and select "General" under "CO Parsing"
3. Add the exact following list into your Custom Boss NPC List to parse what different NPCs do in various encounters:
---
Alert_,Warlord,Kraken,Carrier,Cybermind,Nemesis,Mega_Destroid,Mechanon,Enervating_Crystal,Shadow_Crystal,Shadow_Portal,Oubliette,Portal_Guardian,Slug,Courage,Tenacity,Fortitude,Qwyjibo,Frost_Tomb,Teleiosaurus,Teleiosaurus_Hatchling,Kigatilik,Akhlut,Keelut,Amaguq,Qiqirn,Shadowdestroyer,Eidolon_of_Destruction,Medusa_Teleioclone,Grond_Teleioclone,Gravitar_Teleioclone,Teleios_Epic
---

Here's an example of how your parser will separate out NPCs once you have the above list in place:



ALL DONE. ENJOY YOUR NEW ABILITY!

FAQ
"what's the difference between logging and parsing?"
- Logging is a feature of the game. When you type "/combatlog 1" into the text box you are telling the game to *capture combat data*. This can be done without running or installing a parser. The captured data resides in log files in a folder on your machine. You can then do whatever you want with those log files. Open the files with Notepad or Excell...or import them into a parser. In the context of CO, parsing is the act of *reading captured data* from those log files and re-organizing it so that it can be analyzed.

"what is encDPS vs DPS?"
- encDPS = (Damage Dealt during Encounter) / (# of Seconds of Encounter)
- DPS = (Damage Dealt during Encounter) / (# of Seconds spent Dealing Damage)
- it's important to see both because if you have been logging a fight for 5 minutes, and someone joined only 1 minute ago then their encDPS will be very low...but only because they were not around. To get a real sense for their performance you'd look at their DPS.

"what is HPS?"
- HPS = (Healing done during Encounter) / (# of Seconds spent Healing)

"did I really heal that much?"
- probably not unfortunately. The healing amount that shows up in the parser is usually massively overcounting heals. If someone takes 10 damage and you heal them for 6,000 then the parser thinks you healed back 6,000 damage.

"where is my threat?"
- threat is not logged directly so there's no direct way to parse it. One way to compare threat of one build vs another is to have a friend deal a set amount of damage to a test dummy, parse that to make sure, and then see which of your tank's builds takes the test dummy's aggro in the least amount of time.

"what is the range for the combatlog command?"
- 200ft. This has not been verified. If anyone has a verified range for logging combat please let me know. Anything outside of this range will not be logged.

"my parser displays totally different DPS numbers from my friend's parser...what's wrong?"
- most of the time this is because the two players started and ended logging at different times. First thing to check is start time and duration on both parses.
- if above is the same, compare total damage dealt, number of hits, max hit, and crit rate
- one or more of the numbers above should be significantly different, otherwise your parses should not be off by more than 10-15% from those of your friend.
Post edited by kamokami on

Comments

  • kamokamikamokami Posts: 1,617 Arc User
    edited May 1
    USAGE
    1. HOW TO: Test Your Build In the Powerhouse

    Relevant Views:
    Combatant View
    This view shows what the player or NPC did and what happened to them. Everything from heals recieved to damage dealt is here. If you want to dive in deeper you can double-click on any particular row to get more detail. The Combatant View is primarily useful for evaluating performance throughout a given parse as opposed to just getting a final result at the end.

    It is great for tuning your damage rotation for maximum dps...try out different rotations and watch the line graph over time, if it ticks up then you're on the right track!



    Damage Type View
    This view shows the breakdown of the player's DPS by power. You can use it to determine how much a given power contributes to your or another player's overall damage output. This can help you decide whether or not that power should be in your rotation. Most of the parses you see posted on the forums are screenshots of this view. Here is an example:



    - - -

    Testing Full Build Rotations
    The main challenge with getting high quality results for any rotation more complicated than pressing one button is user-error..aka you. Because you are human, there will be variance in how well you run your rotation during a given test.

    Anything with a CD or a duration...ultimates, devices, active offenses, temp damage buffs, DoTs, debuffs, etc...can muddle up the results if it's not triggered with consistent timing. Since we are testing full build rotations we'll want to include all of it while ensuring consistency as much as possible. To make this happen we break up trying out the new build into 2 parts: Practice & Testing.

    1. Practice: get yourself to 8 form stacks then practice your rotation for about 2-3 minutes. Get used to watching for when powers come off cooldown and discover ideal combinations of AOs, DoTs, etc.
    2. Testing: once you feel familiar with the rotation, you're ready to log and parse it. To make sure that you get a few rounds of AOs, DoTs, and Ultimates through the test I suggest testing a full build rotation for a minimum of 5 minutes. Start logging once you are at 8 form stacks and don't stop until 5 minutes are up.

    New rotations will be at a disadvantage if you test them against whatever you're used to running. Keep this in mind when evaluating a possible retcon. Depending on how complex the new rotation is, a bit of practice can increase your dps anywhere from 15% to 40% all without changing your build. More complex rotations, like Fire, require more practice to reach their full potential.

    Testing Individual Powers
    There is a lot less to mess up here so it's much easier to test the damage of individual powers, but we'll still want to control for as many variables as possible.
    a. use a circle of arcane power or something else to make sure you never run out of energy and can spam the power non-stop
    b. start the logging once you are at 8 form stacks or just turn your form off
    c. use only the individual power you are testing.....nothing else
    d. if testing a charge power, use full charges
    e. if testing a maintain, run through the full maintain
    f. if testing tap dps, you can avoid accidental charges by forcing a key to tap the power with the following bind:
    /bind t "powertrayexec 1 7 $$ powertrayexec 0 7"
    This will make it so that pressing "t" will tap the power in the leftmost slot in the top row (above the default energy builder slot)
    g. control for the randomness of crit chance by logging at least several hundred hits

    Important Numbers:
    While you'll hear a lot about the DPS number, if you want to know how that DPS was achieved it will be vital to look at the following numbers. Whether you are parsing a full build rotation, an individual power test, or even a cosmic encounter these numbers will help you figure out what's going on. You can see them broken out by power: go to the Combatant View by double clicking on the player's name, then double click on "Attack Out", which leads you to the Damage Type View.

    MaxHit: maximum damage dealt by that power in one hit
    Crit Rate: % of hits that were crits
    Resistance: % of damage that was mitigated by the target. Note that this does not equate to resistance in CO. Training dummies, for example, have 20% resistance...same as 1 stack of Defiance...in this column, the parser shows *mitigation* which would come out to 16.7%. A bit confusing :(
    Number of Hits: how many times did the power hit
    Duration: how long was the fight logged for
    Avg Delay: duration in seconds / number of hits

    Powerhouse vs The Real World:
    Parsing builds, rotations, and individual powers vs the training dummies in the Powerhouse gives you a highly controlled environment in which to see how well some choices compare to others. Your DPS in the powerhouse is likely to be higher than your DPS in a given encounter. When evaluating performance remember that:
    a. powerhouse regenerating dummies don't fight back, but different encounters require varying levels of blocking, moving, healing
    b. powerhouse regenerating dummies have 20% resistance (16.7% mitigation), but different bosses in the game have different resistances. Cosmics, for example, have variable resistance that scales based on the number of players there. Usually 2-4X that of the training dummies.
    c. in the powerhouse, you likely just have your own powers to rely on to apply buffs & debuffs. But in team settings, you could have various combinations of auras on you that improve energy efficiency, damage buffs, threat, etc...and a variety of debuffs that your teammates are applying on your target which could increase the dps of some of your powers. All of this varies by encounter.


    ADVANCED FEATURES
    I will provide a brief description for each one as there is not enough space here to describe them fully. If you are interested in them feel free to explore for yourself.

    Timeline
    Right-click on the encounter and then click on "Timeline" to see this view. It allows you to see what happened over time among allies vs enemies or even individuals if you select that in the top right dropdown menu.



    You can click on the colored parts of the timeline to see exactly what was going on at any given point in time via the Encounter Log Search tool:



    Encounter VCR
    This is one of my favorite tools. It allows you to literally replay what happened during an encounter and watch it over time. Very useful to see who, when, and how someone is contributing to completing various objectives of a fight. One way to potentially use this tool to improve gameplay is to record a video of you playing and then play it alongside the Encounter VCR tool.



    Disclaimer: I did not make the parser. The CO Parsing Plugin was made by @quasimojo1 and his thread is here. The Advanced Combat Log Tracker (ACT) was made by the people here.
    Post edited by kamokami on
  • crosschancrosschan Posts: 920 Arc User
    edited August 2017
    Solid stuff, definitely needs a sticky so people see this.
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  • warcanchwarcanch Posts: 643 Arc User
    edited August 2017
    How much does the DRAYSHA SUPERCHARGER really help? At what number of stacks should I optimally turn it off? Do I really get a nice boost of 30 seconds after I turn it off?​​
    .

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  • kamokamikamokami Posts: 1,617 Arc User
    warcanch said:

    How much does the DRAYSHA SUPERCHARGER really help? At what number of stacks should I optimally turn it off? Do I really get a nice boost of 30 seconds after I turn it off?​​

    It depends on you character. I've found the reduced charge time and reduced cd time buffs to be the most helpful. The stacking damage buff is in the General Bonus layer....so how much it helps depends on how far into DR your char is in this layer.

    A perfect question to anser by running some test with a parser. I suggest setting up the keybinds mentioned at the start of the "SETUP" section so you can easily start and stop logging.

    To test the supercharger damage buff on its own, I'd get to 8 form stacks and use a maintain or a toggle with a very high number of hits per second. Since we'll want as much sample data as we can get for the duration of the buff. Can try Plasma Beam or Minigun along with Circle of Arcane Power so you don't lose energy mid-test.

    Get to 8 stacks, start the maintain, then start logging and draysha at the same time. Since it's a stacking damage buff you'll want to get as close to 20 stacks as possible to see a real difference. If you can get a healer friend to help you that would be best...if not take plenty of self-heals for the test. Turn off logging as soon as you turn off draysha. Assuming you got to 19 stacks, that would be 19 seconds of data and with a hit every 0.25 secs....should get us 76 hits total for our test sample.

    Now we repeat this but without draysha to get our control sample. Get to 8 stacks, run the maintain, turn on logging for 19 secs and then turn it off.

    You should now have 2 entries in your parser. Check the Combatant View to compare the dps line graphs of the entries to make sure they are roughly the same, then double click on Attack Out to see the breakdown for your maintain.

    Between control and test, make sure duration, number of hits, and crit chance were close to the same. Now to see the damage buff difference, look at the median hit and max hit values....max hit is likely to be a crit. The difference between max + median hits for Control vs Test parses is how much the supercharger is buffing your damage by.

  • sandukutupusandukutupu Posts: 49 Arc User
    I don't know if you are aware but there is a parser "geared" to all Cryptic games, no plugin needed. I don't use a parser but I understand what they do. I just don't geek out on statistical math.

    https://sourceforge.net/projects/combatlogparser/

    This one includes the source code in case you are paranoid, and it will run in Window, Linux, and MAC OS.
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  • kamokamikamokami Posts: 1,617 Arc User

    I don't know if you are aware but there is a parser "geared" to all Cryptic games, no plugin needed. I don't use a parser but I understand what they do. I just don't geek out on statistical math.

    https://sourceforge.net/projects/combatlogparser/

    This one includes the source code in case you are paranoid, and it will run in Window, Linux, and MAC OS.

    The latest update to it was in 2014. While the plugin by @quasimojo1 was last updated in 2016. Also I suggest ACT due to how powerful it is with regards to diving into a combatlog to answer specific questions.

    Still a good link to include for those who want the option.
  • opalflameopalflame Posts: 206 Arc User
    I'm having a little problem with the parser. For some reason, I can't get the mini-window to show above CO. Everything else seems to be working fine though.
  • kamokamikamokami Posts: 1,617 Arc User
    opalflame said:

    I'm having a little problem with the parser. For some reason, I can't get the mini-window to show above CO. Everything else seems to be working fine though.

    Hmm first time I'm hearing that. Does it show above other things? Are you running CO in windowed mode?

  • opalflameopalflame Posts: 206 Arc User
    It does show above other things and I'm not running CO in windowed mode.
  • kamokamikamokami Posts: 1,617 Arc User
    edited September 2017
    opalflame said:

    It does show above other things and I'm not running CO in windowed mode.

    Try running co in windowed mode and see if it sits on top of it then. I don't normally run fullscreen but I can test it out on my end to see if that will work.
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,116 Arc User
    Woot! Got it to work.

    Is there a simple way to get the on/off keybind on all my characters without having to do it on each one individually?
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  • kamokamikamokami Posts: 1,617 Arc User

    Woot! Got it to work.

    Is there a simple way to get the on/off keybind on all my characters without having to do it on each one individually?

    You still have to do it for every char individually.

    If you are ok having all of your characters use the same keybinds then you can save a tiny bit of time by doing this:
    1. log on to a char with the on/off keybinds already set up
    2. use /bind_save_file to save the keybinds for that char
    3. log on to each char and use /bind_load_file to import the set of keybinds from the previous char
    4. log on to the next char, click into your chat text box, press the up arrow to load in the last command you typed from step 3 and press Enter to apply it
    5. repeat step 4 for each of your chars

    But you can also just do steps 3 to 5 with just the on/off command binds as well....instead of importing all of your keybinds. It would just take an extra keypress.

  • eyesofthedragonxeyesofthedragonx Posts: 7 Arc User
    this ^
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,116 Arc User
    I hadn't used the parser in about a week. When I fired it up I got this message:

    The currently open log file has not been modified for over a week.
    Please ensure /log is on in-game and you have selected the correct log file.

    Not sure what to do here. Any help would be great.
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  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,212 Arc User

    I hadn't used the parser in about a week. When I fired it up I got this message:

    The currently open log file has not been modified for over a week.
    Please ensure /log is on in-game and you have selected the correct log file.

    Not sure what to do here. Any help would be great.

    What you do is ignore that message.
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,116 Arc User
    Thanks. That did the trick. So many things to ignore. Ignore update and this warning.
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  • jzaklanjzaklan Posts: 3 Arc User
    I have done all the steps up to:
    kamokami said:

    9. Click the "Open Log" button & browse to .../Champions Online/Live/logs/GameClient (the folder with your log file), select the file that starts with "Combatlog" and press "Open".

    The problem is that there is no Combatlog in the folder--I used the search function to verify this. Any guidance would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  • kamokamikamokami Posts: 1,617 Arc User
    jzaklan said:

    I have done all the steps up to:

    The problem is that there is no Combatlog in the folder--I used the search function to verify this. Any guidance would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Try this:
    go to the powerhouse testing dummy room.
    manually type in the following into your chat box: /combatlog 1
    hit the test dummy for about a minute
    check the folder again.....make sure it's the Live folder and not the Playtest one.
  • garyg07garyg07 Posts: 16 Arc User
    So, I've tried everything I can think of with this, I wanted better keybinds than numpad, didn't work, tried numpad didn't work, tried manually typing it, didn't work. What am I missing here? The log folder doesn't ever have anything in it, the keybinds seem to have worked as i don't get an error of any sort and numpad 1 no longer activates my EB, soooo somethings working it's just not showing up. Am I in the wrong folder? PF86x/steam/steamapps/champs/live/logs (or whatever) empty nodda zip nothing. Ideas?
  • carrionbaggagecarrionbaggage Posts: 682 Community Moderator
    edited June 2018
    Are there no files at all in that folder, or just no Combatlog files?

    If you've used the /combatlog 1 command and recorded some combat, try searching your drive for any files containing Combatlog in the filename. If your game is saving to a different folder, that should help point you to it.
  • melphyx2melphyx2 Posts: 171 Arc User
    should update?

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  • kamokamikamokami Posts: 1,617 Arc User
    melphyx2 wrote: »
    should update?

    No. If you update the CO plugin won't work with ACT.
  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,212 Arc User
    If someone has a VB compiler it would be possible to compile a new version that worked with the current version of the parser; the difference is that the DLL is compiled 32 bit while the parser got converted to 64 bit.
  • qawsadaqawsada Posts: 512 Arc User
    If you haven't done so already, make a shortcut of each of the Log folder and place one of the shortcut in the other Log folder. For example, you make a shortcut of the Log folder from the Live Folder and place it in the Log folder of the PTS folder and vice versa. This would make it easier to switch from one client to another.
  • kamokamikamokami Posts: 1,617 Arc User
    Updates:
    - updated the Installation instructions to include the 64 bit plugin
    - removed all the warnings around not updating ACT since with the new plugin version you won't have to worry about that
    - added a "Advanced Features" section to briefly describe some of the other features available in the parser for those who are interested.
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,116 Arc User
    Thanks for the updated information. If the older plugin is working fine is there any need to go to the 64 bit version? Does the 64 bit provide something the other doesn't?
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  • kamokamikamokami Posts: 1,617 Arc User
    jaazaniah1 wrote: »
    Thanks for the updated information. If the older plugin is working fine is there any need to go to the 64 bit version? Does the 64 bit provide something the other doesn't?

    No urgent need for the time being if you already have a working version of the old ACT and plugin. You may want it to be faster to parse large files or you may want to use some of the other plugins on ACT's site or ACT may release a new feature that you might want.

    Those would be reasons to upgrade if you are so inclined.
  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,212 Arc User
    jaazaniah1 wrote: »
    Thanks for the updated information. If the older plugin is working fine is there any need to go to the 64 bit version? Does the 64 bit provide something the other doesn't?
    It provides no longer needing to cancel out of being asked to upgrade your ACT version.
  • kamokamikamokami Posts: 1,617 Arc User
    edited April 6
    I recently had a question about how to figure out what's hitting you in a given encounter. Especially as a Main Tank. For others who are curious here is how.

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