Healers – a display of quality

The Egotistical Priest made an excellent response to a letter from Sephran here. I added a comment from which I’m going to extract the key points and repost here – plus some responses to comments over there. (In other words, go there to get the whole thing, then see what’s here for supplemental.)

Damage meters for priests come darn close to being worthless in themselves. See, for Kill Team members quantity IS quality – the more you do the better, though doing it faster (DPS instead of just damage) the better yet. For healers, quantity isn’t really quality.

How much healing you do depends solely on how much is needed. And if there is more than one healer, the healer of the tank is hopefully going to be healing a lot more than the healer for the kill team.

In the end, healers have three rough indicators of their quality. Obviously there are deaths – the lower, the better. [edited for clarity] All else is polish While all else is polish, two are also rough indicators: overheals, and healing assistance.

And the easiest to measure polish is overheals – and while I’ve already ridiculed the over-reliance on that when HoTs and overlapping heals are ongoing, the truth is the lower the overheal number (or percentage) the better you’re managing your heals — the better your quality.

A hard to measure but in my opinion extremely important polish is your assistance of out-of-target heals. This needs an example. Say you’re a(the) kill-team healer, and things are REALLY under control. You see the tank down some health, so you cast a heal that way. STOP SIMULATION. If you’re working well with the other healer, you didn’t cause them to overheal. Now you may have done it by telling them you’re helping. You may have an addon that lets you know what they’re casting so you cast a small supplemental. Maybe you are experienced enough to know what you’d be casting about now and so what the upcoming heal will be so you automatically throw a small supplemental – maybe that fast flash heal so the tank-team healer has time to get the Healing Wave (Shaman, 3 second base cast time) off.

For what it’s worth, you’re really only going to figure this out after the battle. Everyone knows if you let someone die – though you’ll have to do some digging to determine if they were stupid (casters catching Murmur’s melee-range AoE, for example) or if it was not-so-good heals on your part. Damage Meters will give you overheals, but that’s about it. SWStats and Recount can be configured to let you know who healed where, while WWS will do that automatically. In all cases you’ll need to actually look at logs to decide if out-of-target healing was the cause of an overheal or if they caught and saved someone when the designated healer got behind the curve, with overheals coming at a different time.

In short, there are a lot of tools that will help spot possible problems. But only careful examination of the whole battle will determine the healer’s quality and potential for improvement.

And for healers, it’s all about quality – quantity just happens.


~ by Kirk on August 14, 2007.

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