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Posts with tag healing-meters

The right and the wrong ways to use healing meters

The right and the wrong ways to use healing meters
Meters are a sticky topic. My esteemed colleagues Dawn Moore and Matt Low have both touched on them and their use in the past, but it's time for a few lessons. Some home truths, if you will. Healing meters are something of a problem. Why are they an issue? Well, healing isn't measurable in the same way as DPS is. A while back, in my guild, we had a paladin healer who bragged constantly about his HPS -- yes, healing per second.

Now, DPS isn't even the optimal way to measure damage. HPS is far from the optimal way to measure healing. Why not? Well, there's so much more to healing than just raw numbers. If the paladin in question blindly blasted out his max HPS in a short fight, he might accidentally be efficient, but on longer fights, where triage healing was needed and DPS was tight, he went out of mana immediately. He was using healing meters the wrong way. He was using them like damage meters, looking at hard numbers and thinking that was the measure of a good healer. So how should you use them? And what are the pitfalls to avoid?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Spiritual Guidance: How to increase your HPS as a holy priest

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Remember last month when I talked about increasing your HPS as a discipline priest through an aggressive style of healing? Well, this week I'm going to do it again for holy priests. So if you've be looking to climb up the healing meters and make other healers hate you, stick around.

The philosophy behind increasing your output as a holy priest is quite different than that of a disc priest. It's still very greedy but it's not nearly as competitive, since it doesn't require you to directly snipe heals from other healers. Instead, you'll be searching for every half second where you can utilize your most powerful spells and do so before other healers have the chance to do something similar. Just like with disc priests, you'll be milking your mana bar for all it's worth and spamming your regenerative cooldowns whenever you can.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: How to increase your HPS as a discipline priest

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

I received an email three weeks back from a discipline priest who told me she thought her performance on the healing meters was too low. Though there wasn't any pressure on her from her guild to change what she was doing, she was bothered that her peers often outhealed her by a significant amount -- even another discipline priest with worse gear and a laggy computer. She told me she'd first noticed it at the start of Cataclysm, despite the fact that her performance on meters should have gone up with the change to combat logs (which allowed absorption from Power Word: Shield and Divine Aegis to register on meters). She kept up with her assignments regardless, and none of her targets ever died, but something just didn't seem right to her.

The priest linked me her armory but said that she didn't think it was anything to do with her gear choices, which I agreed with upon my own inspection. She also described what she was casting, none of which seemed horribly egregious to me. What could be wrong?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Addon Spotlight: Helpers for priest healers

Addon Spotlight focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same. This week, Addon Spotlight gives priest healers some suggestions for awesome healing helpers!

Since there is still no beta addon news to cover and most of the user interface changes have been well documented, I continue to hang my head in shame, waiting feverishly for new word about addons in Cataclysm. Instead, I have taken to occasionally playing a human priest named Helicopter. Back in vanilla WoW, I was a raid-healing priest who basically played like the speeds of a tractor: a turtle for "slow" and a rabbit for "fast." The entirety of my existence consisted of picking one of two heals for the job, and that was that. When I popped into beta, rolled up a priest and set to work, I had no idea what I was doing.

This week's Addon Spotlight is all about the things that I wish I had in beta -- an amalgamation of some awesome healing priest addons that can hopefully help out all you aspiring holy and discipline priests. Shadow, I don't hate, I promise. You'll have your day in the ... shade? You get enough tough love from your majordomo already, anyhow. Healer priests, this one's for you, with some vanilla priest stories thrown in for fun, of course.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

AddOn Spotlight: Skada

AddOn Spotlight focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience - the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond - your AddOns folder will never be the same! This week, we do some mad-deeps.

Before I start my first Addon Spotlight, I wanted to quickly give a primer on my Addon/UI preferences and the way I hope to spotlight and review addons here at WoW.com. World of Warcraft is over five years old now, and in such a short period of time a ragtag bunch of Addon coders and modders fashioned thousands of addons, making the game playable. Over five years the addon environment has evolved so greatly that now, in addition to discussing form and function, we can judge addons from an aesthetic approach. Addons that allow for greater customization and tailored appearances are now the norm. I strive to help players find not only the most useful and functional addons but also the most aesthetically pleasing of the bunch. I hope everyone reading will appreciate the mix of form, function and aesthetics, creating a better UI for everyone.

My first Addon Spotlight is a great example of what I love about a good addon. Skada is a DPS meter following in the footsteps of Recount, the current ubiquitous DPS meter and bragging device currently in WoW. Recount, however, always gave me memory problems and felt sluggish. And, as a personal pet peeve, I never liked the bugle. We'll get to the bugle later. Recount does the job, however, and most of us never look back. So why switch to Skada?

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Tips on using Recount for tanks and others

Just in case you missed this excellent post about how to use Recount to its full potential (we also snuck it in our Daily Quest column a little while back), it's definitely worth a look. Most players just use Recount to check their own damage numbers, but as 4 Haelz points out, there's definitely a lot more to it than just that. Not only can it be used to examine overall output on fights and instances, but you can use it as a tool to monitor what kinds of spells are producing the most for you, and how your damage or healing output changes over time. You can also have it track who you've healed the most, or which targets you've really gone to town on, and you can then make adjustments to your play style from there.

Now, Honor's Code has another great post about the addon, this one specifically for tanks. Recount will actually let you bring up a "Death Report" feature that will allow you, as a tank, to suss out exactly what went wrong on that last wipe, whether it was something you were late on, or whether your teammates should have done something that they didn't. You can even broadcast that Death Report, so you can show the person at fault (of course you have to be tactful with this -- you have to make sure the person you're "correcting" understands that you're just trying to get better, not attacking them) exactly what happened and when.

Recount is such an excellent addon, and so many of us just use the top level functions of watching the meters (sometimes to the point where it isn't helpful at all). But used in the right way, Recount provides a treasure trove of information on what you've done during a boss fight, and how you can make yourself and the rest of your raid even better.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Raiding, Bosses

Does overhealing matter?

An interesting question came up in the WoW LiveJournal community early today: what does overhealing mean? At first I was a little surprised at the question, but then I realized they meant it not as "what is overhealing?" (to which the answer is that overhealing is the portion of your heals that would push the target past max health, and thus is in a sense "wasted"), but rather as "what does overhealing say about your healers?"

As a raid healer, my perspective agrees with most of the LiveJournal commenters: if your healer isn't having mana issues, don't worry too much about overhealing. It's going to be a natural consequence of proactive healing spells (Prayer of Mending, all HoTs, Earth Shield). In addition, most classes' big heals are too big to be used to their full extent all the time - to take an example from one of the comments, if I wait until targets are 10k in the hole before hitting them with something, we'll have a lot more deaths. Finally, sometimes overhealing can be actively helpful, as in the case of talents like Serendipity. I'd rather overheal by 1k than fill the hole exactly, because then I get a chunk of mana back.

However, if a healer is massively overhealing (the precise amounts to look for depend on the class), and is having mana issues, it can be a useful indicator that something is wrong with their playstyle - or they have a lot of latency. So, in summary: don't worry about it unless they're going OOM. Healing meters still suck, even the overhealing meters.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Why healing meters suck

Matticus also has a guest blogger on his site (I posted about Phaelia's guest blogger earlier today), and he's got a great post up too, about healing meters and why they just aren't helpful to anyone. Damage meters are well known to be disliked by many players -- while they can often show some DPSers where they fit in the general rankings, they're usually still not a great indicator of performance (and when DPS gets really involved in beating the meters, then things go bad quickly).

But healing meters are even worse. Given all of the crazy mechanics in the game (from armor and self-heals to situational abilities and AoE heals), they are very rarely (if ever) a valid interpretation of who's doing the healing and whether they're doing it right or wrong. And as guest blogger Ulkesshern says, more healing doesn't make a better healer anyway -- overhealing and spamming big heals do not mean you're a good healer, though they may get you higher on the healing meters.

There is one good word for healing meters, and that's to give the healer an ego boost after you show off the DPS meters at the end of the instance (usually they're on the bottom of DPS, and so when you switch over to healing, they're happy to be back on top again). But Ulkesshern makes a good point: for anything worth tabulating or tracking, healing meters are not to be trusted or followed.

Filed under: Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Bosses, Buffs

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