Understanding Warcraft Logs: How to Become a Better Raider

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Hello, my name is Partyzone and I am going to teach you how to properly analyze and learn from your logs to become the best raider you can be.

Step 1 – Locating the Logs

Locate the logs of your character. To do this, simply go to warcraftlogs.com and in the search box, type in your characters name. Doing this will give you a list of all your current highest parses and the percentile you placed in.

When you notice you are not doing well on a certain boss you can click on it and it will take you to a page with all of your previous logs on that boss and this is where you start your digging. Just click on the percentile for that fight to see that specific log.

Step 2 – Improving Yourself

Once you have successfully pulled the log you want to review, copy the URL and open up a separate page. Then type in wowanalyzer.com and at the top of the screen paste in the warcraft logs URL.

This is an extremely useful tool that helps with the basics of your class and helps you to understand common mistakes that a lot of people make. This is why you should always start by doing this – once you paste your logs’ URL, you will be given a character selection screen and you only need to find your name. For example, let’s click on Beastmastery to see how he does. (click your portrait)

This website tracks almost everything, giving you the building blocks to improve your performance. Taking a look at Beastmastery’s page lets us see where he needs improvement.

Now according to this, he has a few abilities he sat on for too long – primarily Kill Command and Chimaera Shot, but he did use his Barbed Shot and Aspect of the Wild on CD practically every time. That means if he were to use Kill Command and Chimaera Shot a tad bit more he would most likely see a DPS increase. 

There is more to it than just this – you can even check how to overcap your resource downtime. You can also access the suggestions tab by scrolling down to the bottom of the screen, giving you possible things you can change to improve.

Step 3 – Talents & Statistics

The next thing you want to do is make sure your talents and stats are correct. The best way to be certain of that is to look at what other people of your class and specialization are using. To do this, go to the main blog page www.warcraftlogs.com and in the top left select the 3 lines button. Then select the raid you are want to view rankings on.

On this page, you want to filter according to your class and spec. Select the drop-down for classes in the upper center part of the logs page and filter it to yours.

For this section, we will use warlocks as an example. At the top of every boss category, it will list the most common Talents, Trinkets, and as of 8.2 Azerite essences. 

You should be aware of the talents and trinket you have been running and can see if you are using anything suboptimal, or different from the top-end players. This is also the page where you can see how the best of the best are statted and even check their rotations, CD usage and even potions being used (we did receive new ones with 8.2 that may be better for your class). 

What we are going to do is click on the top player and we will analyze the log. 

Once in his guild’s log, you want to select his name again to pull up his information specifically.

Step 4 – Comparing Builds

Understanding the players build. Once we are on the character’s specific information from this log, it should show you a list of his top damaging abilities broken down. This is the information you want to look at later; you can disregard it for the time being. Click on the summary button at the top.

This page will give you everything you need to know about the player. It will tell you the gear he is wearing, the talents he selected, the azerite traits he selected, and even give you his stats haste mastery crit, etc.

You want to pull your personal information up the same way you did him and compare the two. Shown above is the rank#1 lock for this encounter, below is mine.

So as you can see we are almost equal in haste but there is a large difference between our mastery and crit. So I can assume I may be focusing a little too much on crit and not enough on mastery. Now this page is great to try and compare apples to apples to see if there are things you can generally tweak to try and become more optimal. I always advise to sim yourself to see what you should be doing stat-wise. This is also a great spot to see what azerite traits he is stacking compared to what I’m stacking. 

It is a safe practice to look at this for a few of the top-end raiders. You just simply do the same thing you just did on maybe rank #2 or #3 on the list, then rinse and repeat.

Step 5 – Reading the Logs

Reading his logs is the next step. You want to click back at “damage done” in the top part of the screen.

This will take you back to the breakdown in damage so you can see what they are doing compared to what you are. Again I will use my lock as an example compared to a rank#1 warlock.


Rank #1 lock:

Now fight duration and gear will have a play in how many more times I used my abilities as well as how hard my abilities hit. But what we can tell here is I am currently inline with which of my abilities did the most damage in the same order as his, meaning that I was using them appropriately.

You may have a case where you focused too much on using single target abilities over cleave or even AOE and this is a great way to tell if you were wrong. If you hover over any of the abilities it will tell you how hard they were hitting. That will give you a better understanding of that ability.   

Step 6 – Timeline & Casts

The final step of the basics of log reading is seeing the rotation the top end player is doing. Now you know what you are doing for your rotation, so when you read theirs you should be able to spot a difference if there is any. So to see their rotation go to the top right where it says timelines and click it, then right below that click “casts”.

Keep in mind, if your class has a precast they are doing on pull a lot of times that won’t show up so I would recommend to still do your appropriate precast (DON’T YOU DARE EARLY PULL).

This is what it should look like:

What’s amazing about this is it not only shows you what they have cast but also when they are doing it – so if you are curious about what they are doing at certain parts of the encounter you can just scroll to the time it happens at. You can also pull yours up the same way and compare it and see what you can change to do better. 

This sums up the basics of reading a log and improving your overall performance. One last thing to understand is YOU CAN’T BREAK THE WEBSITE. So please explore, look at total damage taken, look at healthstones used and take a tour around to get more acquainted with the website. Once you learn how to use this website, you will be able to skyrocket your overall performance and become a top raider. Thank you for reading this and if you enjoyed the guide give me a follow on either my twitch or social media links below.


twitter: @Partyzone9

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