January 4th, 2021
Improve your DPS with WoWAnalyzer
Being able to fulfill your role as a DPS means that you should always be looking for improvements to your damage. Whether you’re a chart-topping player, or someone who is looking to greatly improve, using tools to help analyze your performance is a helpful and healthy choice to ensure that you’re able to perform to the best of your abilities. One such tool is WoWAnalyzer.com, an online analysis site which helps to identify opportunities within your rotation, prioritization, and resource management to provide you with actionable feedback to improve your performance.
Getting Started with WoWAnalyzer
To begin auditing your performance, head over to the WoWAnalyzer homepage where you’ll be able to choose one of three options for finding your character.
- Enter a link to any WarcraftLogs report
- Search for your character via Realm/Name
- Search for your guild via Realm/Name
All options will search based off of public-facing WarcraftLogs entries, so it’s up to you on which option you want to choose. Personally, I would suggest entering a WarcraftLogs link that contains the fight you specifically want to see because it offers a scoped view, but you’re welcome to choose any that is better for your workflow.
Find the character you want to audit
In order to use the WoWAnalyzer tool, you’ll first need to have a set of raid logs from your raid night. Even if you choose to use the “character search” feature, this will ultimately pull from WarcraftLogs, so be sure to have at least one public facing set of logs before beginning. For the sake of this guide, you can use my team’s raid logs from our first Normal clear earlier this week, which can be found here: https://www.warcraftlogs.com/reports/YpLwXdrNPVaGhFqm
Need help getting logs? Warcraft logs has a guide on how to get started.
Once you’ve run the tool, you’ll be shown a screen of all bosses you were in combat with for that raid night. For this example, we’ll be viewing the information from the boss named Sludgefist, which is a great fight to audit due to its minimal mechanics and static timing. Once a fight has been selected, you can then choose an individual character from within the raid to audit in more detail, such as my character, Hrothguard.
Reading the Report
After choosing an individual character to audit, WoWAnalyzer will parse through the data within the logs, then generate a report for you to review regarding that character’s performance. The report is broken down into various sections, accessible via a horizontal menu at the top of the page, covering an Overview, Statistics, Timeline, Resource Usage, and Cooldowns.
Each section has a different focus to allow you to dive as deep as you want to, even down to a second-by-second recount of the fight and how you performed. That said, if you’re looking to keep things simple I’d suggest primarily looking at the Overview and Statistics tabs, which will give you the bulk of information needed to begin making improvements.
Not all specializations are currently supported by WoWAnalyzer. This is a community-driven tool, meaning that WoWAnalyzer might not be up to date for your specific class’s specialization if there has been changes to your class between patches or expansions, often lagging behind a few months. If your specialization has not been updated yet, you’ll be met with a screen which reads “Sorry, this spec is currently not supported”.
Using the Overview Tab
The default report view, Overview, contains information at-a-glance for you to consider. Most notably would be the two subsections of “Checklist” and “Suggestions”. They both communicate the same information, but using different methods. It will help to inform you of gaps in usage for various skills, which you should ensure are always cast when appropriate. For example, in the above screenshot for my Protection Warrior, the Checklist suggests that I make sure to use both Thunder Clap and Shield Slam more frequently, which would improve my performance for the fight.
The other section within the Overview tab is “Suggestions”, which uses the same information as the Checklist, but explains what needs to be done in a more understandable format. This section has an optional “minor importance” toggle in the upper-right which I suggest enabling to help inform you of both Major and Minor improvements to be made. For example, in the above screenshot it’s still telling me that I need to be casting Thunder Clap more frequently, but it has the added insight of “Don’t cast Demoralizing Shout at more than 60 rage”, which is something that I would not have learned without toggling the Minor Importance options on. In my opinion, the Suggestions tab is the most important section to read.
All feedback should be taken into account to improve overall performance.
Using the Statistics Tab
Much like the Overview tab, the Statistics tab provides direct information about how your class performed during a specific fight, showing breakdowns for Damage and healing, as well as how much downtime you experienced and any resource wasting. The Statistics section can cleave some general information, but the biggest takeaway will come from the subsection below this one, named “Abilities”
The abilities section is extremely useful because it shows you the number of spells which you could have cast, alongside how many were actually cast. Some of these spells will be optional (such as fluff spells), but anything important will be marked with a “can be improved” to the side of them. Putting focus on ensuring that spells marked as important get used more often can directly bolster your success at fights, so be sure to keep an eye open for them and make adjustments to your rotation accordingly!
Undercasting important spells is the largest contributor to low DPS and should be a top priority to fix.
Go forth and improve!
Using WoWAnalyzer can directly help improve your damage, survivability, or healing– but you need to take the time and effort to properly investigate your current shortcomings in order to improve. Using tools like WoWAnalyzer helps to make this easier to accomplish and more pleasant to digest, so be sure to reach for it early and often.