To begin this series, a nice surprise, in the sense that every benchmarked AddOn behaves properly for pure solo play.
The benchmark was run on my protection pallie, in ShadowMoon Valley, the ruins of Karabor, for some AoE grinding. I did 7 pulls totaling about 65 mobs, and while holy shield and consecration were always up, I varied sealing / judging between a crusader / retribution combo (for the people not familiar with the paladin, crusader amplifies holy damage while retribution does holy damage), and various combinations of light (healing) and wisdom (mana recovery) together.
I bubbled twice, potted twice, bandaged once in the whole process.
Screenshots and some more comments after the jump.
DamageMeters and Violation remained below the threshold displayed by PerformanceFu and both qualify as the lightweight champions. On the other end of the scale, while SW Stats in itself actually decreased its memory usage by a hefty chunk, its logging utility sw_unilog went from below threshold up to a whopping 4.18MiB. Recount also keeps a timeline and is nowhere near that bad. Note that you can run SW Stats without unilog, though, and you would have a nice and pretty lightweight memory footprint.
Of course, some of the other AddOns I’m using show big increases as well, but since it isn’t these I’m benchmarking, we’ll conveniently ignore them.
Assessment has a wealth of information available behind a couple of mouse clicks. One very nice touch is that whenever you select some generic category like damage done, it will not just display the result in the bar format we’re used to, but if you left-click on the bar, it will actually drill down to detailed information, as shown in the second screenshot to the right, showing for instance the different DD spells I have been using during the fight. You can then further drill down each spell or skill to get a view on hit, crit and miss rates. To go back one level you simply right-click on the window and you navigate up again. On the con side, however, Assessment rounds the values to thousands above 10k, and therefore you can’t get the same level of accuracy as all the other AddOns provide. I have been perusing the menus but haven’t been able to locate an option to increase the display precision. Visually, Assessment suffers from another draw-back: the font size is tiny and hard to read on my monitor, and here, too, I haven’t been able to find any settings to change that.
EDIT: Assessment (co-) author Roartindon commented with the following:
Assessment has options to change just about any bit of the UI.
Stop the rounding by modifying the tags – go to Display Sets and change the text tag (remove the “:Short” portion)
Font sizes are changed under window options.
So the options actually are there.
For all its reputation about accuracy issues, for a non-pet single player it has no apparent flaws. It’s simple, lightweight, and gets the job done. What I dislike is the way detailed information is displayed (and SW Stats suffers from the same basic flaw).
There is little more to say about DamageMeters, the venerable oldtimer is still right where it should be, performing the tasks you want it done. No surprises neither good nor bad, except that in terms of memory management it has a very light footprint, a quality it shares with Violation.
Ah, Recap. A couple of months ago, during my first attempt to replace SW Stats with something Ace-based because at that time, leveraging the common libraries was an obsession of mine, I didn’t really appreciate it to its full extent, and skipped it after a while. But after a couple of days running this benchmarking exercise, I really like this one a lot. It provides both a simple and visually appealing overview (the bar-shaped line at the top of the screenshot to the right), and the kind of detailed information you would normally only find presented at-a-glance in WWS – the big window on the bottom left part of the screenshot. In terms of accuracy, it is worth pointing out that Recap actually recorded one overheal where no other did (including the WWS record), of 52 points. Total healing value is exactly the same as the others, though. 52 points should correspond to mercy, a libram effect which heals me a bit whenever I judge a seal.
One other oddity (probably an UI copy / paste fluke which will eventually get removed when the interface gets cleaned up), as the observant reader you are will have noted, there are no crushing heals in the game
Recap also has one particularity, it only updates itself once the fight is over, with about 5 seconds of interval time between the moment your UI shows you out of combat and the refresh moment. It might just be a tool worth recommending to players aware that they spend too much time with their eyes glued to their Damage Meter instead of paying attention to the fight proper in a raid environment. In terms of memory usage, Recap is in the middle of the pack and is definitely worth a try if you’re looking into a new meter, at least based on this first benchmark.
Recount is famous for its pie-charts, as you can see on the left-hand screenshot. Where Assessment offers click-through drilldowns, once you left-click one of the value bars in the main window (upper right corner) the detail window pops up. Merely hovering above one of the lines in the upper half changes the display in the lower half accordingly, offering a very nice visual representation of the same kind of details you would get out of Assessment. The visual approach taken by Recount definitely gets major props for innovation when compared to the other AddOns we are testing out.
In terms of memory footprint, Recount, despite its reputation as becoming a massive memory hog through usage, stays in the lower middle of the pack. At the time of the two performance screenshots, it is worth noting that it has, however, had the biggest increase (except SW_unilog) of them all. One of the benchmarks I plan to run should be significantly longer and therefore give more insight on whether that reputation is deserved or not.
SW Stats used to be part of many server-first raiding guilds recommended or even mandatory AddOns at a point in time where DamageMeters had a bad rap for inaccuracy in late 2005 and 2006. It is basically a rethought incarnation of its predecessor. The user may configure up to 10 tabs each displaying a different type of information, from the classical damage or heal meters to (I think this is an unique feature), the mana efficiency of the player’s individual spell usage. I recommend any caster DPS to spend some time using this feature when they reach endgame to optimize their spell rotations, BTW, it works wonders.
SW Stats offers also a wealth of additional filters for the information you wish to display, from limiting the classes to focusing on one single player – which back in the day when WWS wasn’t available or widely known would be used to great effect by class officers wanting to examine the spell rotations of a new recruits. As such, I have used SW Stats myself as a teaching tool, both for self-optimization back in my warlock raiding days, and advising other locks.
On the con side, the detail view suffers from the same visually unappealing clutter than DamageMeters, and probably could benefit from looking at its other peers for some ideas towards improvement. Still, the data is here, and that’s what counts.
Memory-wise, it’s the only AddOn which actually decreased its footprint during the test – as long as you don’t use the logging utility which comes with it (but can be disabled as an individual addon).
Violation is the youngest AddOn of the whole bunch, and only recently started to display values beyond just damage dealt. It is written by two of the pillars of the Ace community, Ammo and Rabbit, a duo which drives among others the boss mod BigWigs and the Ace2 CTRA-replacement oRA2. And true to what we’ve come to expect from AddOns where Rabbit is involved, Violation follows the same design philosophy as all his other tools we have reviewed so far: A knack for combining simplicity and narrow, focused purpose.
As shown on the screenshot to the left, hovering over a value bar pops up a Details window quite like what SW Stats and DamageMeters provide. But where the other two are messy and hard to read, we get a clean and visually appealing layout which allows for a very nice and clear reading of all the values.
Due to its young age and probably also overall light and narrow design philosophy, what you see on the popup window is all there is, no other values or details are currently available. Still, Violation distinguishes itself with a tiny memory footprint and should definitely be worth a try for the average player who just wants a Damage Meter without needless bells and whistles to keep track of what’s happening in an instance run. Last but not least, Violation can not just synchronize with other group members using it, but also SW Stats or DamageMeters. This is definitely the kind of additional features which distinguishes Violation from its peers, and even if it currently doesn’t have the level of detail a dedicated player might need, gets my recommendation as the DamageMeter to watch in the future.
And this concludes our first benchmark. For reference, you will find, as a closing, the WWS screenshot for the run below. Coming soon, a low level hunter & pet benchmark, which will start showing quite some differences where this first one had none.