A couple of suggestions

Feb 3, 2009 at 1:31 PM
Edited Feb 3, 2009 at 1:34 PM
Greetings Asperity,

Thanks for a fantastic initiative. This program helps bring our gaming to the next level, and we are many here on the European community that follow this project with great interest - myself included. Having tested the application to a certain extent, I have a few suggestions that I would like to share. Seeing that I'm no programmer myself some of them might be unrealistic and would require a great effort to implement, but I rest assured that you'll stop me when it becomes wishful thinking.

Exporting data. Learning how my combat table is composed is very helpful, but I find the true value in the comparison of other combat tables - be it different skill sequences, different choice of weapons or maybe even in different environments. As such, the crucial part of CStats to me is in the ability to export the data and compare it with other bits of data. The post on the US forums about DPS in Library of Steel is a good example. So, here's a few things that could help make it more convenient:
  • Export data to a CSV file ready for use in Excel (XML needs some adjustments to work).
  • Include in the file the same data that's shown in CStats - average damage, % of total damage etc.
Collapsing encounters. The nature of these things is that you need a fairly large amount of data to make it statistically accurate. I therefore think it would go a long way if you could collapse the encounters. Say you've killed 10 bears in Bree-land; instead of exporting the data bear by bear, it would be great if CStats could bring a summary of those fights. Ultimately, I want to see a spreadsheet of my performance in Dark Delvings - not on 30 different encounters in Dark Delvings. As I see it, there are two ways this can be achieved:
  1. Make an "Export Summary" button that adds all of the logged encounters together. One displaying the grand total, and one sorted by mob type and level.
  2. Add an additional tab at the bottom of the parsing log displaying a summary which can then be exported in the usual manner.
Merging CStats. This is possibly the most experimental (and technically toughest?) of my suggestions. But I find it is a really important function of any combat analysis tool, that you can compare the log with other players you might have played with while gathering data. The learning curve increase exponentially when I can compare my DPS on Gurvand in Dark Delvings with a fellow Champion, and then look what skill used made the difference. Or if I'm to sharpen the raid performance of my kinnies, and see where we can improve our efforts. Again, the thread on the US forums concerning DPS comparisons proves a demand on this. The chances of this turning CStats into an e-peen tool are remote, since the application is still only single-perspective. The only way to achieve this that I can think of is by implementing an Upload File function. This would be good for two reasons:
  • Making it possible to use previously logged data for later usage.
  • Enabling other player's logged data to show up together with your own data, making comparisons straightforward and accurate.
Anyway, that's what I had in mind for now. I hope you can use the inputs. I'll be looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us in the upcoming versions.

Kind regards
Feb 4, 2009 at 1:40 PM
Thanks Alash for the kind words. To address your concerns:

Exporting Data: this is already in the works, dubbed the Reports System, and it will be the dominant feature in the next release. I currently use an Office 2003 compatible XML format for compatibility with 03 and 07.

Collapsing encounters: I can do this, but I might wait a version to see how the Reports System work. Reports allow you to select encounters, and the reports will collapse them if it needs to in order to produce the relevant information.

Merging CStats: I'll look into sometime soon, but no specific timetable when this will happen. CStats' primary focus right now is providing personalized information, so features that are "sharing" centric aren't top priority.