You’re listening to the Star Forge podcast with Scya and Mal, two nerds who have a lot to say about Star Wars: The Old Republic and all its ‘features’ – rest assured, the podcast is working as intended.
⚠️ This podcast is rated E.S. for extremely silly and may contain bad words bad jokes and other bad content that is not suitable for children maybe it is we don’t know we’re not their parents.
Episode 15 – StarParse
- ⭐ Group & Solo Topic: StarParse
Scya: When playing any type of content in Star Wars: The Old Republic, when you hit things with your lightsaber or your blaster, you do a certain amount of damage. If you have flytext enabled, the amount of damage you do will show up as a little piece of text on the screen – but how do you know how much damage you’re doing over the course of a fight? How do you know if you’re doing well, or if you need to get better? Parsing is the act of measuring how much damage or healing you’re doing, comparing it with how others have done, and practicing getting better by seeing exactly how much damage you’re doing with your parse. Whether you’re playing solo and want to become a better player, or are taking on the most difficult content in the game, parsing is a really satisfying way of getting better at your class.
Scya: At the time of recording this, you can only track your own damage nad healing numbers – there’s no such thing as group combat logging that keeps track of everyone’s combat numbers, like there is in other games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy 14. That means there’s no way for your team members to know how much damage or healing you’re doing – or for you to know how well they’re doing.
Mal: So! Lets do brief history of parsers! I’ll start with this one, one of the first, the Mox Parser! I actually met the guy who made this parser at the very first Cantina SWTOR ever had. It appears to have not been updated since January 2013, it was one of the first ones available but it was very short-lived.
Another brief tool was TORParse, but I believe that hasn’t really been used since 2014.
The first one that I really used was called Parsec. It had a very user friendly look to it and we used it in our rad group for many years. Parsec was fiddly if you were on a sage, to get the correct SPS numbers you had to enter something special in the settings. At this point, I barely remember Parsec because the last time I used it was probably 7 years ago. Once StarParse came out everyone switched over to that.
Scya: Before we talk more about Star Parse, there’s also a website called Parsley (Parsley.io is the website – Parsley like the herb) that you can visit to see combat logs people have uploaded. The main way I personally use this site is for when people ask me who the “best” class to play is – it’s the only real source we have numbers about how well classes are performing.
Scya: This website also has leaderboards for boss fights in the game, broken down by difficulty, 8m or 16m, and if you are a dps or a healer. You can actually upload logs directly to Parsley if you have entered that account information saved in Star Parse. Parsley also indicates if the person who uploaded a log used a nightmare crystal or not so those people aren’t pulling anything over on anyone.
Mal: And strangely enough, most of the top dps logs on the leaderboard were done without the use of a nightmare crystal which lends credit to my prior argument that a crystal cannot make you press your buttons and know your class better. HAH!Scya: So lets get right into Star Parse, what it means, how it’s useful and why you should not be intimidated by it – and why now is a great time to start learning to use it.
Mal: First reason to start using it now: the creator of Star Parse, Ixale tweeted in September 2021
So the jig is up. If you are scared people will know what you are doing in the game they will after 7.0. Head on over to ixparse.com and lets get going.
Mal: First let me ask you Scya– do you use Star Parse?
Scya: iuugghhhhhhhh (no)
Mal: So you’ve downloaded Star Parse. Now you need to make sure combat logging is actually turned on in SWTOR. Again this is not a default setting. WHY? WHY do they make things so hard for people? Scya, tell the people how the hell to turn that on.
Scya: To turn combat logging, press your ESC key while logged in, choose Preferences from the menu, then go to the Combat Logging tab, and lastly check the box that says “Enable combat logging to file” and press ok.
Scya: You also may need to know where your combat logs are. Mine are located in My Documents – Star Wars The Old Republic – Combat Logs
Technical path is C:\Users\USERNAME\\Documents\Star Wars – The Old Republic\CombatLogs
Mal: Okay, now you can use this all by your lonesome to see how you are doing with dps, heals or tanking by simply pressing the Parse button in the upper left hand portion of the screen. This can still be beneficial to you even if you are just doing flashpoints or story! If you run into a problem, if you die or have trouble figuring out what is going on in a fight, you can come right into the parser and see what happened.
Scya: When players say they are “parsing”, this is exactly what they are doing. They’ve turned on Starparse, and are attacking a training dummy on their ship, while trying to get better at their rotation or priority system for their class. Like I said – this can be for player who want to practice to run solo content, like the Eternal Championship or the Master Mode Chapters, or for players looking to get better at PvP, or players jumping into harder Operations. You pull up your favorite guide, I really like merlynswtor.com for beginners guides, follow along with the rotation, and then look at your numbers. As you get better at combat, the numbers should go up, and if you are planning to play with friends or a guild who parses they can usually give you an idea of what number goals you should be shooting for!
Mal: But lets say you are ready to raid with a group! There are 4 options on the leftish side of Star Parse: File, Interface, Timers, and Raiding. If you click Raid and then go to settings it opens up another menu where you can input a Name and a Password.
Scya: If you’re playing with a regular group, you can ask them if there’s a starparse, and they’ll usually give you the username and password to input.
Mal: I have no idea if there is a limit on how many Star Parse groups you can store, but I have 9 at the moment. After that, press the X on that box, head back the main screen and now when you click on “Raiding” you should see the group you just entered. Select that group, it gets a check mark next to it, then you want to press the Raid button in the upper right hand corner. NOT parse. If you press Parse, you will not load into the group and you will have a bad time.
Mal: So lets say you do one pull, now there is information on the screen– exciting! Now lets talk about what all that gibberish actually is.
Mal: Let’s start on the Raid tab
In the Damage Dealt box: The total is the amount of damage total you dealt to anything and everything in the fight you were killing. DPS is how much damage you did per second while doing that.
Next up is Threat, the total you generated and how much you generated per second. If you are a tank and someone is ripping the boss off of you, checking TPS can help you know who to guard
After that we have one that can be important: Damage Taken. This tells you how much damage you took total and how much you took per second. In a lot of fights if you have very high DTPS and someone of the same style of class does NOT, you might be missing a mechanic or you need to adjust something you are doing. Some fights there is naturally a lot of damage going out, but again if you seem to have very high numbers there and other people don’t, speak up and try to diagnose the issue.
Moving on to the healing box! Again here we have the total amount of healing you have done, how much Healing Per Second you did and a percentage. I’ll talk about the percentages in a minute. The next set of numbers you see are EHPS which is your effective heals per second which is the number that actually matters when it comes to healing. This basically means how much healing you did that was effective and actually healed people instead of fluff. After this is a category that is particularly important for sage/sorc healers APS (or sps) absorb per second (shield per second). This tells you how much you shielded IE: Bubble. If you are on a sage and this number is low you are doing it wrong. 😉
So at the end of all this is a percentage! If you roll over any of the names in Star Parse it will tell you the person’s spec, their effect healing, dps or damage taken rating, shielding done & received and APM which stands for Actions Per Minute. The percentage is actually how well you did on a fight compared to other people who are using Star Parse. So for example here my heal percentage is 69, the best number in the galaxy dudes, so that means that 31% of people did better than that on this fight for my spec.
The percentages are nice to see where you are, but I don’t put too much stock in them mostly because a lot depends on what is going on in the fight.
Scya: Especially in harder content, different players will have different roles in the fights that have mechanics, and that can really affect the numbers – if you’re contributing to mechanics, you’re still helping win the fight, even if you’re not doing a majority of the damage.
Mal: Maybe a dps was a little low but maybe it was because one of the tanks died and the dps had to taunt the boss and hold it for a few seconds and lost dps that way. Maybe things were going great and there just wasn’t too much to heal. I don’t concern myself too much with the percentages, they are a lot of epeen points.
What I DO concern myself with – and so should you – is APM. Actions per minute. As my husband says, the way to succeed in SWTOR is ABP, always be pressing. Always be pressing buttons.
Scya: always be pressing ha!!!!
Mal: In the picture I referenced it shows an APM of 38.72, which means I did almost 39 actions in a minute. If you find that you are lagging behind in healing, tanking, or dps look at your APM and see how it compares to someone else of the same class as you. For example, on my TK sage/lightning sorc I do at least 50 APM, sometimes less if it’s a fight with a lot of pauses and breaks like most of the fights in Dread Palace or sometimes it is even more than 50APM especially if it’s just a hard mode raid and a straight-parse fight like Red on Dxun. If you are doing 30 APM on the same class, you might say “Hey now, what are you doing that I’m not and how can I change that?” As long as the person or people you can ask are not total assholes I highly recommend that!
Lets work backwards in the tabs now and talk about the Combat Log. The number one reason this is useful is because it can tell you why you died. There is always a reason you died. There are a lot of bugs in SWTOR, there are a lot of bull shit ways to die. However, at least 90% of the time you died because of a valid reason and the parser will tell you why. Here we go: Last week I was dpsing Apex HM 16m where the dps check is much tighter. So here’s me, I died to a rocket salvo for 75k. Wait what? 75k? Is that normal?
At the top of the combat log is a nifty search box! I can type in “rocket” to see what kind of damage rocket salvo had been doing to me in that fight
And would you look at that, most of the rocket salvo hits on me were no damage to 20k damage! No damage as I was absorbing them with my force bubble. It also tells me that I died to 3 ticks of rocket salvo that were 75k each! That tells me the group failed dps checks that caused the boss to essentially enrage and do triple damage. This tells me someone somewhere needs to get good.
This can also help you figure out what went wrong if you are killed by 0 damage in the game or if it says something like -39483972347 damage. A lot of times that is something going wrong mechanically like a death mark not getting cleansed in the Dread Council fight etc.
This log can ALSO tell you what type of damage the bosses do if you hover over the attack in Star Parse which helps with mitigation! There are different types of damage in the game which shows up on the screen in fly text as yellow (force/tech damage) or white (melee/ranged damage). Bosses can do those types of damage and in addition to that they can also do Energy & Kinetic, Internal and Elemental. I’m not going to go too too much into that part, but just be aware that also factors into your mitigation. If the boss is only doing white damage you popping Resilience to gain 200% force/tech resistance is not gonna do shit. You popping saber reflect (which is used to reflect single target attacks) is not going to do shit if the boss is doing an AOE. There are many useful guides out there about damage types and how to mitigate them, please go find them and help you help yourself make things easier for your playtime!
Moving away from the tabs down here we are going to hit up the top of Star Parse where it says Timers!
Scya: As someone who doesn’t really use Starparse for group content, Timers are one of the big things I adore about Starparse.
Mal: Timers are super useful tools that Star Parse has and some are built in like this timer here that will tell you when Tyrans is sending out Deathmarks on the Dread Palace council fight.
However, I use a crazy pack of Star Parse timers that can be found here:
I don’t always use timers, but it’s fun to play around and see what they are and how they work. If you are struggling on a mechanic you can bet your ass there’s a timer to help with it. Have doom on Dread Guard fight? There is a timer to tell you when you have 5 seconds left on doom so you can pop your cheese. There’s a Dread Guard timer to tell you if you are growing a lovely green puddle of death under your feet. Like I said, most of the time I don’t have these on because I don’t need them at this point, but if you are newer to raiding it can really help!
Scya: I also don’t continuously use Timers but there are a ton that can really help – for example, if you are running the bombs for the Temple of Sacrifice operation, I still haven’t figured out how to properly time that one without the timers.
Mal: The last thing I’m going to throw out about Star Parse is Interface. If you click on Interface at the top of StarParse you can pop out a little box that shows Raid Damage, Raid Heals, and Raid Threat.
This can help you see how you are doing, if you need to pick it up during the fight, how things are going etc etc.
Also under the Interface menu you will find an option called Raid Hots.If you turn this on it will make a crazy grey and red grid pop up on your screen. There are 8 boxes, one box for each member in your raid. If you are doing a 16m it can be tedious to make this work, but it will. Once you place a hot on all your group members you will see their character name in the grid. Just put the names in the right spot (and watch out for people swapping people around in the raid frame). When you are done press “Lock Overlays” in the Interface menu. Now when you tab back into the game you will see a little green box pop up next to that person’s name if they have an active hot! When the hot falls off, the box goes away. This is very very very very valuable for commando/merc and scoundrel/op healers. SO valuable! No more wasting GCDs clicking on people in the raid frame checking to see if they have packs still rolling on them or trauma probes still up. It will even tell you on a scoundrel if they have 1 or 2 packs although that can be janky sometimes. It is not as useful on a sage/sorc because of how bubble works, that might change in 7.0 but I’m not sure. For now, this is an amazing tool to use on the other two heal classes. Set it up and be amazing!
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