WWS – Following the frisbee and other peculiar spells
One of the more frustrating things (at first glance) to track is how useful the frisbee/chakra/prayer of mending is being for you. Quite frankly, the author’s never going to successfully extract that info because of the way it gets logged – which is related to the way it puts the heal-threat on the person healed instead of you. All thing are mixed blessings, after all… Still, you can get some idea of how effective it’s been. I hope and expect that this look at tracking the PoM will give you insight of other ‘special uses’ – and I’ll occasionally point out these opportunities during various digressions.
Open WWS and get your report — if you don’t have one, either browse for one of the generically acceptable or create your own. (I recommend the latter so you have memory of what really happened to match against what you think you’re seeing.) Pick your split (or the full report), and then Browse:Abilities.
Take a moment to look at this befuddling list of things that happened. Things that caused damage out, things that healed. Applied, Gains (increases in something like mana or rage), Buffs and Debuffs. Gah, what a list. But we need to start here for a couple of reasons.
The first is to notice something kind of important. We’re going to look for our prayer of mending. “Well, Duh,” you say, “Right there in Heals.” Yep. But it also shows up in Applied. And Buffs. And you go, “Huh? Why – it’s a heal, right?” Well, yes, but it works… OK, let’s get a wee bit technical (not too much), because once you grasp this you’ll see how you’ll be tracking the path of the frisbee – and perhaps the spellfiend and the VT and, well, a bunch of other stuff that’s not straight “Bam!” actions (like DoTs.)
When you do something, you do damage, heal, or “other”. If it’s the last, the action is “applied”. Yep, that’s the first three tables. Now there are a few things that don’t do any of the three ‘actions’ but instead go directly to effects — warrior’s Bloodrage being an example. These are rare and we can pretty much ignore it other than knowing it’s there. Anyway, everything else is an effect OTHER THAN a change in health (mostly). Gain, Buff, and Debuff. Buffs are stickies that help the target, debuffs are stickies that harm the target. Gains are helps to the target that aren’t coming from stickies.
Now here’s the thing. Your PoM is applied by you. It’s a buff on another player – it’s beneficial, but it doesn’t do anything at time of application. When it goes off, it’s a heal — and due to its nature, it’s “applied” by the person holding it.
Ready for the most important thing? This is all background. You don’t have to KNOW it, just be aware so as to have an idea whether you can track the spell and its effects or not. Yep, I just dragged you through an unnecessary explanation. (grin) Let’s get back on track, shall we?
Find the Prayer of Mending on any of the three lists, and click it. Voila – three tables. Heals, Performed, and Buffs. Heals is every time the frisbee triggered and actually healed. Performed is Applied, and it’s every time a player sent it to another player. Now, I can pretty much guarantee that the “performed” count is going to be close to if not over twice as high as “heals” count. You’re running into two factors here. First, remember that each tick of the frisbee is technically two applications. It’s an application of the heal on the holder, and it’s an application of the cast to the next holder. Of course there won’t be a perfect doubling. First, your log will not catch EVERYTHING – range, lag, and such all have an impact. Second, the ‘last man’ will apply a heal and the frisbee fades. In the same line, you cast but don’t heal. So there’s a not-quite-doubling. Finally, the ‘buffs’ category is something else again. If the potential is sitting there but never triggers a heal, it’s a buff.
So you can see how many times you cast the frisbee in the first place – your “performed” minus your “heals” and (if there) your “buffs”. You can figure the average number of passes – total the “heals”, divide by how many times you cast. 5 minus this number, times the number of casts, ([5-avg passes]/casts) should be pretty close to the total number of Buffs. Now you know about how many times your casts got swallowed (the buffs) AND you have an idea how often you “interrupted” the casts with yet another frisbee – intentional or otherwise. Oh – subtract the calculation you just did from the total buffs, multiply by 5 for this. Compare this number (interrupted casts) to total casts and you get an idea – not perfect, but an idea – of how effectively you’re using the spell.
Wow, did I confuse you with all that? OK, let’s come at it sideways. I can, with this, determine how often I cast PoM, approximately how many bounces each cast makes, and about how often I cast it again even though it’s not yet done bouncing. As a bonus, I can tell who is “swallowing” my casts (that buffs table), which may help me determine some details – is it ranged or melee? If the latter, is it being swallowed because I’m interrupting too early, or is it because the mob/boss is dead while the fribee’s active? Or the tank’s holding aggro really, really well? Yes, I have to look other places to nail the information, but now…
I’ll be chasing whether I’m using it as much as I should, but I’m going to use a different spell for that – one the shadowpriests will get more use from seeing. After my long-winded intros, I figure you deserve the smaller nuggets – besides, it gives me more days of posting…