+Heal vs +Int
A reader asked:
What I’m struggling with specifically is +heals vs +int. So far, my research (all of one source to date) has turned up that all other things being equal, +3.8 Healing = +1 Int. So, given the choice between a +40 healing item and a +11 Int item, the latter wins.
I’ve seen the comparisons, and the problem is in some assumptions. Rather than go through the details, let me start with the general question: Is it better to have a larger mana pool from which to play, or to get more use out of each mana point you use? And the answer is – in general, it depends on how you play.
Yep, never an easy answer for that one. But I can show you how to figure out what it is for YOU. Here’s the route.
First, you need to determine what your personal spell use rate is. You need to go back to your own stats, of course, to see what spells you tend to cast at what frequency. Now you’re going to refer to this list a couple of times.
The first time, you’re going to determine your basic HPM (Healing per Mana). List your spells and how frequently you use them. Determine how much mana each uses. Determine how much healing you get – and don’t forget to work in the healing from crits. For each healing spell, you get a healing per mana value. Multiply that by the percentage of time you use each spell, and add those numbers together. Congratulations, you’ve got your average HPM.
Multiply that by the amount of mana you’re thinking of adding — in this case, 165 (11 int) — to determine how much healing this enchant or gem is nominally providing. Got it? Good, now let’s go get the other half so we can do a flat comparison.
Back to your list. Now for each of your spells you need to look up one little thing — the coefficient value for spell bonus. While there are several good sources, I still tend to use Wowwiki’s page. Now, for each spell multiply the bonus heal times the appropriate coefficient to get how much +heal that spell gets. Now divide THAT number by the mana cost for the spell so you get a rather tiny number (almost always far less than one), which I’ll call +heal per mana. OK, now that number is going to get even smaller. You’re going to multiply THAT by the proportion of time the spell forms your healing package, and then add all those together. Now you’ve got your average +heal per mana, and if we stopped there you’d have a very, very small number. Fortunately, we’re not done. One more step:
Multiply that tiny number, the +heal per mana, by your mana pool. Now once more we’ve got a “depends on play” issue. If you consistently play buffed (food, arcane intellect, potions/elixirs, and so forth), then use your normal buffed mana pool. If you play mostly unbuffed, use that number. This number will tell you how much (nominal) additional healing the +heal will add.
Compare, and lean toward the better choice. I said lean – it’s worth remembering that +heal is only 1/3 as useful for things like grinding. Which means once more that the numbers will have to be adjusted based on YOUR playstyle.
Let’s take an off-the-cuff example to pull all this together. Let me assume, just for a minute, that I only use Renew Rank 12 with Spiritual Healing and Improved Renew but have no other bonuses. And while I’m at it, I have a mana pool of 6000. Finally, I’m wanting my raw base value, so I’m going to compare +1 int to +1 healing.
The spell gives me a nominal 1404 healing from 450 mana. That’s 3.12 hpm.
+1 int will give me 15 more mana, or 46.8 more healing out of my total pool.
The coefficient for renew is 100%, so +1 healbonus is still 1. 1/450 is 0.222(repeating) +heal per mana. Multiply that by my mana pool of 6000 and I have a total gain of 13 1/3 additional healing.
Which means for THIS example caster +1 int is nominally equal to 3.51 +heal.
But the example caster isn’t you and it isn’t me. And my number for my caster with my current values won’t be your caster with your current values.
I’ve got one more bit to really make things murky. There are valid reasons for making the estimate based on your BASE (ie, without gear) and on your current FULLY GEARED numbers. I tend to lean toward full gear, but the arguments for base as well are quite valid. There is NO ONE RIGHT ANSWER – no one-size-fits-all solution. I know that’s frustrating, but it’s reality.
The best answer FOR YOU depends on you. Worse, what’s right today may not be right tomorrow – your playstyle may change, or the buffs and gear available change. But hopefully I’ve given you enough guide to figure out what’s best for you.
Go have fun.