Tag Archives: healing meters

A First Look at Resto Raid Healing

Apotheosis officially started raiding last week. We finished the week with 4/6 bosses killed in Mogu-Shan vaults so I thought it would be a good time to take a look at how resto Druids (or more specifically, this resto Druid) are doing in raids.

After the ease of healing all the heroic dungeons, the normal mode raids were a step up in difficulty. Mana was definitely a concern at times. When I fought my first raid boss, when Mogu’Shan Vaults opened I had about 4500 spirit. This was not enough. I’m now sitting around 6000 spirit, which feels much better.

The Stone Guard

Stone Guard on Tuesday was probably my best performance of the week, healing meter-wise.

I assigned myself to heal our Monk tank, who was tanking 1 add. Here’s what my healing breakdown looked like:

49% of my healing went to my assigned tank, 14% went to another tank and the rest of the raid split the rest of my healing.

Lifebloom did some really strong healing, mostly because I was the only healer assigned to my tank, I think, so it had the chance to heal (rather than overheal) a lot. Rejuv also did a lot of healing as it was constantly rolling on my tank and was used to spot heal the raid. Regrowth was my main direct heal. Because I used Regrowth so much, and was focused on tank healing, Living Seed had a good showing (comparatively), doing 4.3% of my healing.

Overall, there’s nothing too surprising here. The HoT portion of Swiftmend did very little healing as the raid is spread out for most of this fight. I also tended to use SM on my tank so he would benefit from it rather than try to place it so it would heal more people. Wild Mushrooms, as expected, are complete shit. I used them once on this fight and this week I will avoid them altogether. I used Healing Touch 7 times – 4 of those were in combination with Nature’s Swiftness, while the rest were out of habit. This week I will work on not hard casting HT at all, as it is inferior to Regrowth.

Sadly, I had an Amethyst Pool spawn under me just as I started channelling my first Tranquility, so that got interrupted after only one pulse.

Here’s what my buffs cast tab looks like:

As expected, it’s really easy to keep Harmony up 100% of the time. Boo. I’m happy that for the most part, I was good about using my new abilities. The fight lasted 5:46 and I used Ironbark on my tank twice. I used Symbiosis on a Monk and I remembered to use Fortifying Brew twice as well. I could up my Nature’s Swiftness uses a little bit. The one big omission I see here is a lack of tier 6 talent use. This tells me that I probably forgot to switch HotW (which I use in dungeons) for Nature’s Vigil before this fight started. Oops.

Besides a few small things regarding spell use that I can improve on this week, I was happy with my healing on Stone Guard. I felt very strong as a tank healer, much better equipped to handle it than I was in Cata.

Feng the Accursed

Feng is the boss that gave my raid the most trouble. It’s also the fight that hurt my mana pool the most. We ended up using 7 healers for this to compensate for all the damage going out in phase 3.

Those darn Monks. Our entire raid was stacked on top of each other for at least half of this fight, so Spinning Crane Kick and Chi Burst kinda destroyed everyone else in terms of healing. Still, I don’t think I did too bad.

I was raid healing on this fight, so my healing breakdown is a little different, a lot less of my healing comes from direct heals. The Swiftmend HoT is performing much better on this fight since we’re stacked up so often. I did use Mushrooms a couple times on this fight, but only because there are parts of phase 1 and 2 where there’s nothing to heal, so I wasn’t losing anything by setting them up. Still though, they hit for an average of 3500 (before overheal), that’s not even a drop in the bucket.

The only reason Harmony isn’t at 100% here is because I died near the end of the fight. Tree of Life and Nature’s Vigil were really useful on this fight, as there are so many times when the raid damage is incredible. I made sure to use them once in phase 1 and then again to help handle phase 3. Nature’s Vigil also did 750,000 damage to the boss, not a huge amount, but every bit helps. My NS and Fortifying Brew use could have been better and I didn’t use Ironbark at all, which is awful. And goddamn it, I need to stop interrupting my Tranquility cast.

This was a tough fight. I had to make sure I was conserving as much mana as possible in phase 2 in order to be able to handle phase 3. Having two big output increasing cooldowns (and Tranq) for phase 3 is really useful.

Gara’jal

Gara’jal was by far the easiest fight for me to heal. I was assigned to one of the groups that goes down into the spirit realm. The spirit realm was simple to deal with. The first time I went down I used Tranquility to heal everyone up. The 2nd time I just tossed out WG and a few Rejuvs then spammed Regrowth.. Tranq was back up for the 3rd. Because of the mana regen buff you get in the spirit realm, mana wasn’t a concern and I could spam my little heart out.

Because of phasing, the overall healing meters are worthless on this fight, but here’s how my healing breakdown looked.

Pretty standard for raid healing.

I felt really good on this fight. Tranquility was excellent for the spirit world. Ironbark (which I used 3 times on this) was very nice to put on a tank who had Voodoo Doll to prevent some incoming raid damage, and I thought that my HoTs dealt with Voodoo Doll on the raid quite nicely.

Spirit Kings

This was another fight that was relatively easy to heal, mostly because my raid did an amazing job at avoiding everything that could be avoided.

Those Monks… This is another fight where the raid is stacked up for 50% of the encounter. The combination of it being a single-tank fight, plus our raid avoiding all the damage meant there wasn’t a whole lot to heal.

The fact that Tranquility is was my highest healing spell is absurd. That, along with the HUGE amount of overheal on Rejuv and Lifebloom tell me 6 healers is too many.

There’s something a little odd about these numbers – pretty sure Living Seed didn’t have 100% uptime. Spirit Kings is a long fight with a 10 minute enrage, so you can use your cooldowns at least 3 times each. Nature’s Vigil did 850k damage to the boss. Hoever, now that I’ve seen how little healing is needed when things are done correctly, I’ll probably try using Heart of the Wild next time to see if I can help even more with dps.

Overall

Overall, I thought druid healing was fun and effective my first week in Mogu’shan Vaults. My new cooldowns were fun to play with and interesting to find the best timing for. Though it was a little disconcerting to see myself anywhere but on top of the healing meters more often than not, I never felt like I wasn’t equipped to handle the incoming damage. There are a few spots where I can improve my spell use and hopefully increase my healing.

Goal for this week: beat those Monks!

Heal Sniping and Meter Padding

The list of stupid gaming terms I think should be completely abolished from people’s vocabularies is long, but today the one on the top of that list is Heal Sniping.

I first heard this term back in Ulduar. My Horde main was my Shaman back then and my go-to spells were Riptide and hasted Lesser Healing Waves. As I read through blogs and forums looking for healing tips, I noticed that many people referred to this method of healing as sniping.

What is heal sniping?

Heal sniping is healing a target that will be healed by someone else shortly. If you can get your heal off faster, you get all the credit on the healing meters, while the person whose heal lands after gets nothing but overheal. Sniping is stealing a heal from someone else. The term generally implies competition among healing teams and bad, meter-whoring intentions by the sniper.

I’ve seen people refer to all sorts of things as sniping:

  • My RT/LHW example above. Fast heals = sniping
  • Pre-HoTing = sniping
  • Power Word: Shield = sniping
  • Healing someone with a HoT on them = sniping
  • Using healing cooldowns outside of emergency situations = sniping
  • Healing anyone you’re not specifically assigned to heal = sniping

I call bullshit.

The biggest problem with the term heal sniping is that it implies bad intent. If I know that the other druid is casting a slow Healing Touch on target A and I cast a fast Regrowth on them before it goes off so I look good on meters then yes, technically I’m sniping. But does that really happen? Raid frames can tell you when someone has a heal incoming but they can’t tell you if the caster is going to have to stop casting to move out of something bad, may not tell you if the heal will bring them to full and there’s likely more damage coming soon anyway. Am I using a fast heal to be an asshole or am I just trying to save target A from floor-tanking for the rest of the encounter?

Healing is a team effort, and the healers work together to keep everyone alive. If we avoided any healing spells and tactics that could be considered sniping, no one would get healed. Thinking about healing in terms of sniping is the wrong mindset. It’s not a competition. If everyone gets healed and no one dies, you win – collectively.

If I’m assigned to heal the tank and I use a spare GCD when the tank’s not in danger to cast a Wild Growth on the raid am I sniping from the raid healers? No. I’m helping them. If I’m assigned to raid heal and I stack Lifebloom on the tank along with a few direct heals when I can manage them am I sniping from the tank healers? Nope, just helping out. If my assignments are at safe health levels and I pop a quick heal on someone dangerously low on health who is not my assignment am I sniping in an attempt to appear higher on the healing meter? Of course not, I’m trying to save someone from dying. Cross-healing is an important part of being a healer – knowing when you should stick to your own targets and when you can afford to help out others is one of the things that separates the good healers from the bad.

Snipe healing is often paired with another stupid concept – meter padding.

I need to clarify (because I know some people are misinformed) that overheal does not pad the meters. Healing meters (such as those on World of Logs) show the amount of effective healing done. So if I throw Rejuvs on as many people as I can even if they’re not taking damage, I’m not making myself look (superficially) better in any way. I’m just being an idiot. It is impossible to ‘pad the meter’ with overheal.

If your assignments don’t die and you’re not running out of mana too soon, tossing out your high HPS spells to put out as much healing as possible isn’t meter padding. It’s doing your job to keep the raid healed.

Every healer should be healing their ass off and working to put out as much healing as they possibly can.

There are a couple real examples of meter-padding, but I would hope they don’t happen often. If you take extra damage so you have more to heal or continue to heal after a wipe has been called, that’s meter-padding. Of course, those things are extremely obvious to anyone paying attention and those caught doing either should be laughed right out of the raid.

But what’s the real problem?

The problem with terms like sniping and meter padding is that they are non-descriptive, blanket statements that get thrown around too much. You could call any healer who does well on the meters and casts a lot of high HPS spells a meter-padder, when in reality they’re just doing their job to the best of their ability. These terms also distract from what’s really going wrong. Almost every problem that can be generically attributed one of these things has a real, specific problem behind it.

If my assigned target dies because I’m busy healing someone else’s target then I lack focus, the ability to follow assignments and the instinct to know when I can safely spare a heal for someone else.

If I run out of mana because I’ve been busy casting heals on those who aren’t taking damage or casting more heals than necessary then I’m inefficient, and need to learn how to manage my mana better.

If healers have spare GCDs and mana to heal everyone else’s targets consistently, there are too many healers in the fight.

If everything goes well, no one dies due to lack of heals and the boss goes down, congratulations! There’s no need for slinging around terms like sniping.

I’m not saying that players who’d rather place highly on the meters than play effectively don’t exist, but to any healing lead/raid leader/log analyser worth their salt it’s going to be pretty obvious who these players are. Who cares if you have the highest HPS when your targets are always dead? Or if you’re wiping? No one focused on progression does.

When your healing team runs into trouble, address it head-on and find out what the real problems are. Stop using terms like sniping and meter padding and remember that healing is a team sport.

*Just to clarify, before the comments start, this post has nothing to do with me or either of my raid teams. I read a couple posts this week that talked about snipe healing – one condemning it, one extolling its virtues. This isn’t even a direct response to either of those posts, just a tangent my brain went on after thinking about the subject for a while.*