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Combat parsers are becoming an integral part of MMORPG's, as they help players achieve peak performance. At the same time, it is important to understand the proper usage of parsers, as they can also bring about negative effects as well. Let's take a look at what Rift combat parsers are for and how they can be used effectively.

The first thing we need to do is look at what the Rift combat parsers are. In their most basic sense, they allow you to quantify DPS/HPS to get a comparative number. As an example, one may have 300 DPS (Damage Per Second) and 100 HPS (Heals per Second) output. Understanding these numbers helps because it allows you to test different skill rotations, gear, etc.

At the same time, this also has other excellent benefits. Some Rift parsers, such as the Advanced Combat Tracker (with the Rift plugin), keep up with incoming damage and even log the skills that are being used. This information allows players to not only keep up with their outgoing DPS/HPS, but also keep up with how their skills and gear benefit them in terms of defense. Knowing the skills helps because it allows a much more thorough breakdown of effectiveness.

At the same time that these Rift parsers have good benefits, when used incorrectly they can also be negative. The biggest reason this is true is because DPS/HPS are not always going to be the same. If you do 10 parses over the same time period, you will often find that the numbers can vary. You may do 1000, then 900, then 1150 and then 800. As a result, taking someone's parse over a short period and then basing whether or not they can join you on raids or in dungeons requires being very flexible. This is caused by both the RNG (Random Number Generator) in the game, as well as the fact that the parsers themselves are not always accurate. They are to be used as a guide, rather than a definitive evaluation.

The best way to use Rift combat parsers is as follows:

  • If you can, watch the parser in real time. For in game add ons this can be done pretty easily, however when using 3rd party ones it may require watching it on a secondary monitor (which I prefer, as you can see charts and other things and keep up with much more accurate parses that way)
  • Use them to help judge situations, rather than people. As an example, while some may have low DPS on certain bosses, if you are still successful do not use the knowledge to out cast them. If anything, use it to help teach them to become better
  • Remember that there are many factors that can contribute to the DPS/HPS numbers. Do not be fast to judge; keep watching and see if the numbers go up or stay low

When it comes to evaluating boss fights that you are having problems with, take a look at the HPS and DPS ratings. The way to evaluate situations in which you are hitting the enrage timer or are losing one or more players due to healing problems is as follows:

  • If there are 2 or more healers with below, say, 400 HPS, you can have one swap to DPS
  • If there are 3 or more healers with above 700 HPS, you might need another
  • If the tank is dying quickly and healers are all outputting low HPS, look in to another possible tank or evaluate what the current one is doing wrong. This is a sign that the damage output from the boss is too high for the healers to even get started

Please keep in mind that all of the above are to be taken as guidance. Different situations can be taken differently, however for the most part those are the ways to analyze boss battles.

In conclusion, realize that Rift combat parsers are simply tools to help with success and being able to look over information you otherwise might have missed. They are not there to attack other players. Please parse responsibly!

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