Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reading the Game Logs

When I got started PvPing I kept on dieing. One thing I noticed was that while the enemy was hurting me, I was barely scratching them. This made no sense to me until I discovered the game-logs. If you look under your EVE folder in 'My Documents' you will see a folder called 'Game Logs'. This folder contains log files from combat actions of your ship. A new file is started everytime you jump or warp.

At the top of the file is a header:

Listener: Toterra
Session started: 2010.10.20 03:28:37

This simply contains the date and character information. More interesting is information about warping like the following:

[ 2010.10.20 03:28:48 ] (notify) Warping to Stargate (9KOE-A)

In this case I have warped to a stargate and this is logged. Then we get to the real meat of the log. Each time you warp scramble (or disrupt) someone you get the following type of statement:

[ 2010.10.20 03:29:55 ] (notify) You have started trying to warp scramble Isaak Hamilton [101SM]<S2N>(Ishkur).

Then each time you fire a gun or a group of guns you get a message like the following if one of the weapons hits:

[ 2010.10.20 03:29:55 ] (combat) Your group of 150mm Light AutoCannon II hits Isaak Hamilton [101SM]<S2N>(Ishkur), doing 139.9 damage.

or the following if they all miss:

[ 2010.10.20 03:29:59 ] (combat) Your group of 150mm Light AutoCannon II misses Isaak Hamilton [101SM]<S2N>(Ishkur) completely.

Conversly you receive information about what the enemy is doing to you. Here I am being scrammed by the enemy:

[ 2010.10.20 03:29:57 ] (notify) Isaak Hamilton [101SM]<S2N>(Ishkur) has started trying to warp scramble you!

Here I am being hit:

[ 2010.10.20 03:30:33 ] (combat) Isaak Hamilton [101SM]<S2N>(Ishkur) aims well at you, inflicting 112.3 damage.

And here I am being shot at and missed:

[ 2010.10.20 03:30:00 ] (combat) Isaak Hamilton [101SM]<S2N>(Ishkur) misses you completely.

Drones work a little oddly. While you do receive notification of being hit by a drone like the following:

[ 2010.10.20 03:30:03 ] (combat) Hobgoblin II belonging to Isaak Hamilton lightly hits you, doing 34.0 damage.

Unfortunately the log will not contain notification of your own drones doing damage.

Another problem with the logs is weapon grouping. If even one weapon in a group hits a hit is logged even if all of the remaining weapons miss. Obviously the reduced damage is indicated in the 'inflicted damage' portion however. If you want to study the logs a lot I recommend un-grouping your guns so that you can see how many hit and how many miss.

When a ship gets blown up there is a message that either your weapons are deactivating due to the enemy being blow up, or in this case there is a notification that my ship was destroyed:

[ 2010.10.20 03:31:25 ] (notify) Ship is out of control

Some other useful information in the logs includes data about running out of capacitor and failed attempts to enter warp.

All of this information can be very useful after a battle. Especially in the beginning when trying to understand the tracking mechanics. It was only by checking the logs that I began to realize why I was not doing damage. Either I was out of range or failing to track the targets. After changes to my fittings and tactics I was able to remedy this and start doing some killing. Even now after most battles I look through the logs to try and replay what actually happened. Often I discover things like not realizing that I was being neuted (running out of cap) or that my guns were not doing the damage that they should have. By continuously examining my own performance I can avoid making mistakes in the future. In this case I confirmed that for the most part I succeeded in getting under the Ishkur's guns. However I was late in switching to the drones, not that it would have mattered since the drones managed to get under my tracking somehow. In the future I should web the drones I am shooting at so that I can hit them... then go after the Ishkur.


  1. I found that, if your PC is fast enough, running FRAPS during an engagement is a valuable help as well. Reviewing the footage after the fight makes it easy to see piloting errors, and also to put the combat logs into context.

  2. Excellent tip Druur. Unfortunately for me and my P.O.S. computer turning on FRAPS during a fight is pretty much suicide. I definitely need a new computer.

  3. A handy way to have a look at your logs:

    Makes looking at battles a *lot* easier.

  4. Thanks for the link Max. I will likely do another article about the tools available to analyze combat logs. I hadn't see the one you mentioned before but it looks pretty good. I also developed one a while ago that works in real-time which I should dust off and release. You can see it running on the right side of this image:


  6. ISSAK... No frackin way. If you want to discuss it more you can meet me in the Hemin system most late NA TZ evenings. Name your ship class and we can have a "discussion" if you wish.

  7. Isaak is my real life brother. He is not "anonymous" guy. o/, though