Gah! Weekends!

How could I have missed Talk Like a Pirate day?!

I’m handing in my Geek card!

Well, I have been busy… I’ve been testing the so-called uberbuild in Champions Online, Ice/Regen, and yes, it is broken. Either that or the rest of the game is broken. Because honestly, every power in the set deals some silly damage. Snow Storm is excellent at clearing out henchmen, Shatter for cleaning up the now chilly Villians and Snowstorming again to down any straggling Super Villians. All the while you’re not caring about your HP, because regen will keep you topped up as Recovery is a main stat of Ice, and also scales Regen – and thus, is a must for your Super-stats.

I created Gearheart, a clone of my old Gnome Frost-mage from WoW (the first char I raided with, and the first that saw Majordomo) on Friday, and by Sunday Night had ploughed her way from 1 to 21, and that’s between all the other stuff that happened this weekend. I figure I clocked in about 12 hours over the weekend on CO though, but other time was spent on something else.

I’m kinda getting into the whole Theorycraft in Champions now, and kinda wanted to get data out of my combat logs to pore over and work out my maximum DPS. As much as I dislike Min/Maxing, a basic understanding of the background numbers isn’t something to shy from. There are some rudimentary combat log viewers out there, but none that really compare to the awesomeness that was Recount in WoW.

So, armed with a massive .log file from Gearheart’s adventures over the weekend, I set about making a Combat Log viewer in the vein of Recount in C#. I think I did pretty well. The only flaw I’ve found is that if you don’t defeat an enemy, then it counts all your attempts as one fight, and thus the DPS column is a little skewed 🙂 – Damage done and casts work okay, as well as seperating out multiple instances of the same mob – thankfully Cryptic gave each enemy a unique id (in the form C[239235@Singing Cowboy] or whatever) so the likelyhood of you coming across something with the same UID is low, and once I fix fight detection (I already have a few ideas on how to impliment it) it’ll be no issue at all.

One problem I faced was that the combat log is basically a comma-deliminated list. Which is simple enough, until you get to the point where you’re facing off against Mind, Inc. enemies… that is, “Mind, Inc” with a comma in it, or fighting Cowboy Gunslingers with powers like “Dance, Fool, Dance” which totally screws up the parsing. One thing I noticed about the standard comma list is that none of the items begin with a space, and that every comma I came across DID have a space after it. So before parsing each line of the log, I replaced all “, ” (comma with a space) with something inocuous – like a space, or a full stop.

I have got some uselessfull data from it. For example, Kevin Poe’s Personal Force Field absorbed 3500 damage in the 2 fights I had with him, and Snowstorms Acellerated Metabolism returns 11 Energy per tick.

I’ll likely release the current build sometime tonight (unless I get engrossed in making it work again, in which case I’ll have a decent stab at releasing a working version on Tuesday/Wednesday)

I think I’ll have my geek card back thank you.

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