- For combat logging outside the game, see CVar advancedCombatLogging.
A damage meter is the colloquial term for an AddOn that parses the combat log to measure player performance during combat. Despite the name, damage meters often track statistics appopriate for dps, healer and tank roles (e.g. dispels, critical strikes, overhealing, deaths).
Damage meters are very popular. Notable examples include:
- "Recount" (Cryect et al. 2007), more than 100 million downloads
- "Details!" (Terciob et al. 2013), more than 100 million downloads
- "Skada" (Zarnivoop et al. 2009), more than 30 million downloads
Damage meters are also widely criticised, particularly in group play.
- Reducing combat to single benchmark ignores other actions benefiting the welfare of the group. Players may also perceive inferiority on this single basis, whether justified or not. AddOns have other measures, but studying them requires greater effort.
- During a wipe, damage meters cannot account for abilities used in later stages such as . Conversely, consistent performance below the group norm in early phases could indicate a genuine problem.
It is therefore generally-accepted etiquette to refrain from pasting damage meter output into party chat windows. Regardless if the intent is to praise or condemn, it is preferable to speak about (or /whisper) a single person's damage rather than pasting results for a whole group.
Damage meters are non-authoritative, principally limited to the combat log range. Players dispersed in a large room or split phases will have incomplete logs. This is overcome with hidden addon traffic, but requires several players to install compatible AddOns.
Meanwhile, different meters measure the same combat log differently. This can result from deliberate differences in how each AddOn interprets similar data:
- When combat begins, including precasting.
- When combat ends, including deaths and DoTs that continue after death.
- Whether to include unique encounter abilities; and if not, how to record the time spent using them in lieu of normal abilities.