Doing Massive Heals

One of the times we all dread is when the tank plunges 50 percent in health, and we know the mob is winding up to do it again. When this happens we want to put as MUCH health onto the tank as possible RIGHT NOW — hopefully enough to survive the next hit, preferably enough to get up to the safe zone. The fact it’s more likely with an avoidance tank than a mitigation tanks is immaterial at this point – we just need BIG HEALZ STAT. This is the only time I love me some crits – I just wish they were more reliable. Anyway…

There are two techniques for doing what we want. The first is the method you see recommended most often. Interrupt-casting GHs, it’s called. It has a major risk in that 100% of your attention is focused on the tank — casts elsewhere break the interrupt-cast. It’s done, however, because it works. And if your party is large enough or lucky enough to have a dedicated healer, it’s a great tool — even if the healer isn’t a priest. Let’s examine it in a touch more detail.

GH takes 2.5 seconds (after talents) to cast. If we stop and start it again at the 2 second point, two very important factors come into play. First — we are outside the 5SR. (which means if there are multiple healers and you’re the boss healer, rotating healers through this duty gives secondary but big benefits.) Second, the odds are very much in our favor that it will take less than 2.5 seconds to get that Big Heal onto the tank. The only thing the healer has to do is avoid getting flustered and panic-interrupt/restart GH when the tank needs the heal. Oh, and avoid suffering from the boredom of pressing one button every two seconds for a 9 minute fight…

I will point out one typical flaw and a fix for the flaw. Far too often when I watch a healer on this duty, they interrupt by pressing escape or jumping or… what this means is that there’s a small pause between the interrupt and the recast that doesn’t need to be there. There’s a fix, of course – one that I’ve mentioned before. Use a /stopcasting macro.

/cast Greater Heal

One button stops Greater Heal and starts casting Greater Heal. Elegant, no? No pause between, no chance of hitting the wrong button after escape or jumping out of a safe spot or, well, all the things that can go wrong. Just one button every two seconds till you need to let it cast.

But as I said, there’s another way – though it carries its own risks. Ready?

Accept a faster, good heal now and follow it with the greater heal. (What, you thought I had a miracle? Seriously, though…)

Here’s the issue. The tank needs something so that if he takes another huge hit he doesn’t die. If the mob can slap three monster hits – one that dropped the tank from ~90% to ~50%, one for ~50 to ~10, one for dead with an overkill of 30% – there isn’t a darn thing you can do. But get a short breathing space and maybe you can recover.

The question becomes… what spell? I… don’t have a “best” recommendation as it’s going to depend on your talents and playstyle and gear and so forth. However, I’ll point out the two competing factors.

First, consider “RIGHT NOW” to mean “RIGHT NOW”. In this case, an instant beats a 1.5 second spell even though both mean the GH starts at the 1.5 second point AND the instant won’t heal as much. In another post I make disparaging remarks about Circle of Healing, but this is an ideal opportunity for use. It is, however, “only” going to be a fraction of what you can get from most ‘shorter’ healspells — the other consideration.

See, the other consideration is that due to GCD you have to wait 1.5 seconds to start your GH regardless of choice. Given that, FH may be the better choice. Very close to 50% the healing of GH, it’s two to three times as powerful as any “instant” heal you can toss. But it IS a 1.5 second delay — and that flat. out. sucks.

If you choose this route, though, you can (again) make a macro. Call it your HLZ macro. (Have I pointed out the nifty benefit of macro labels? No. I see another post…) Assuming you chose Flash Heal as your spell:

/use 13
/castsequence reset=target/combat/15 Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Greater Heal

hmmm, better explain this one, I guess.

Stopcasting means you automatically stop any casts you’re in the middle of doing – it just stops (which is one less thing for you to think about).

Target=focus… As a healer, I automatically set my priority healtarget — almost always the main tank unless raid-assigned elsewise — as my focus. This step means it doesn’t matter what I WAS targeting, what’s coming is going to the tank. Yes, I can add a bit that lets me use alts and ctls and such so I stay on my current target or target myself, but that’s too complex for this post.

Use 13. I am putting my uber-heal trinket in 13 – my top trinket slot. Now if I’ve got more heal trinkets that’ll work together I’ll stack them with more use statements — see other macro posts for how that works.

Castsequence is a nifty thing. Like the earlier macro it means I can just click one button over and over – which helps prevent the “OOPS I MEANT TO CLICK…” The first time I click I get Flash heal. The second time it’ll be Greater heal. The third time it’ll be Greater heal. The fourth time, since I finished the list, it returns to the beginning and I get another Flash. But in the middle are some odd pieces I need to further explain.

Reset. If any of these conditions apply, start the sequence over from the first.

If I change target, then the next time I press this button start from the first spell (Flash heal).

If I start a new combat, then the next time I press this button start from the first spell.

If it’s been more than 15 seconds, start from the first spell. This one, by the way, confuses people. They try to tie it to cooldown spells. It doesn’t work that way. The full description might be better read as: If it’s been more than 15 seconds since the last time I pressed this button, start from the first spell. But why does this matter? Because if the castsequence tries to cast a spell and the spell doesn’t go off, the next time you push the button it tries the spell again. Since we’re talking heals I’ll forgo further discussion for now — I’ll do more macro posts, though, because they’re so darn useful.

The key, bottom line, is that you have a one-button process that pops your “OMG NEED BIG HLZ NOW” trinket(s), points you at the only player you think needs this, kicks a fast decent heal, then casts a couple of Big Heals. It’s your Don’t Panic button.

Which is about the best we can come to doing Massive Heals barring luck with crits while we’re having to pay attention to the whole party.

Pick what works for you, apply it, and have fun.

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~ by Kirk on August 24, 2007.

4 Responses to “Doing Massive Heals”

  1. That macro is nice – why not make it nicer!
    Firstly, you would use /target focus, BUT that changes your target. So if you happen to on someone else, it may take a little time to flick over, even from the macro, and you dont get to see how your target is doing.

    I would try
    /use 13
    /use 14
    /usesequence [target=focus] reset=15/combat Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Greater Heal

    Also, you say instant is > 1.5 sec cast.

    If you use an instant cast, it will trigger GCD so you ant do anything for 1.5 secs, same as a 1.5 sec cast. However, the heal coeffeecient on a 1.5 will be higher — more healing done.
    even if you say the 1.5 secs where you arent casting cos it was instant make it better than a 1.5 sec cast, you cant exploit that by waiting 3.5 secs by for ur GHheals.
    and also, becuase the 5SR only stops WHEN the spell STOPS casting (ie 1.5) you get 1.5 secs extra in the 5SR.

    Thus, 1.5 sec cast > Instant on a single target

  2. lol, that should read /stopcasting, not /stopcastingf

  3. @Mera,
    Re the targeting – nice touch. Changed in mine (though I’ll let others find your gem in progress). As to the instant,

    no, you missed why instant is better FOR SOME PEOPLE.

    With an instant (excluding Renew) the effect is, well, instant. The delay before you can cast the next spell is identical to the 1.5 second cast-time, and the coefficient for a 1.5 (the benefit you get from bonus healing gear) is better than it is for an instant. And in fact (as you can see by my macro) I tend to prefer Flash Heal.

    But it is going to be 1.5 seconds before your tank gets a heal — 1.5 seconds later than an instant such as Circle of Healing — or PW:S — will be providing SOMETHING.

    It’s a tradeoff and both positions have merit.

    Small minor addendum — the 5SR doesn’t matter in this case because you’re going to follow directly on its heals with a GH.

  4. [...] expounded on a major Priestly Endeavor: casting Greater Heals (some good macro advice here too!). He also wrote a post I intended to write (*grin*) about knowing [...]

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