Sunday, February 15, 2009

Raid healing


DPS players always talk about rotations they use, macros to keep up those rotations, etc. When healing as a resto druid, there's a very loose rotation you can use, but in general, *everything* you do is based on what's happening to everyone around you. I feel that healing is the epitome of adaptation.

My loose (emphasis on loose) rotation is something like this (say, if I'm tank healing and throwing some raid heals around when I can):

  • Tank pulls.
  • If the tank has low HP overall (which is rarely the case in our Naxx25 runs, but in 10s and 5s the tank might still be in the process of gearing up), I start with a Regrowth to bump him up right away and mitigate any initial damage.
  • If the tank is fine on health, I might start with a Regrowth anyway, or I'll go with Rejuv, LB, LB, regrowth, LB (Rejuv first because it takes a bit to start to tick, so I want to get it on there right away).
  • Refresh LBs as they tick down.
  • Refresh Regrowth before its timer is up (for the glyph).
  • Refresh Rejuv as necessary.
  • If a DPS takes a spike in damage, I'll use rejuv+swiftmend.
  • If the tank, or a necessary DPS takes a ton of damage, I'll use NS+HT. (Necessary = we're trying to beat an enrage timer, for example).
  • And I use WG every single time it's up.

Ok, did you catch that last part?

Our guild ran a Naxx25 last Wednesday. These are the heals I used:

Wild Growth was almost a THIRD of all my heals. Note that it was also used wisely; only 10% of it was overheal. So it's not like I was running around spamming it every 6 seconds to no avail. 90% of the time, it was needed.
My first thought was, am I doing this wrong? Literally, I heard that stern booming disembodied voice in my head, the voice of, I don't know, the healy wow gods, or perhaps Ghostcrawler, and it's all like: "If you're using wild growth every time it's up, you're doing it wrong." With the reverb and what not? You know what I'm talking about. And then I'm thinking, what if that voice is right??

Blizzard did not intend to have us use WG all the time. They tried to dissuade us from this by implementing the 6 second cool down. And it seems they also don't want us to use every time the cool down is up, either. Blue says:

"At 6 seconds, you would still want to use CoH/WG in the right situations (though hopefully not *every* time they are up)"

But I'm finding a use for it...pretty much every time it's up. I mean hell, if people weren't taking so much freaking damage all over the place, maybe I wouldn't spam it. If it was less viable, or cost more mana, or *something*, I would definitely think about using it less.

Some numbers:

A 3 stack of lifeblooms cost 42% base mana.
A regrowth costs 29% base mana.
A wild growth costs 23% mana.

AND: If you've got good spell power and all your buffs, your WG is going to hit for close to 800 on that first tick, and then tick every second for a little less for seven seconds. The last tick is usually somewhere around 500 for each person. So it averages out to roughly 650 per tick. That's like putting 2 lifeblooms (because 2 LBs tick for about 650 a second) on 5 different people (yes, I'm ignoring the bloom, and the extra 3 seconds to LB from talents/glyphs. Just looking at the basic ticks). Which would take 10 GCDs to accomplish. And a ton of mana. Whereas WG takes ONE GCD, and like, no mana at all.

Of course this doesn't mean that you should, as a hard fast rule, put WG on everyone all the time every time it's up - there are situations where it's not the best heal.

And I'm not really advocating that it be nerfed, although I can see how it looks like I am. I mean, it already *was* nerfed with the implement of the 6 second cool down. I guess overall I'm just more surprised that my healing style is WG oriented, and I'm surprised at how good a heal it can be.

The rest of the chart seems pretty normal. Lifebloom, Regrowth, Rejuv, etc. I'm not a big Regrowth healer like some others, but since I've gotten the glyph, I'm working on it. For me, Regrowth is too slow, and I get antsy and impatient waiting for a 1.8 second cast >.<

So "am I doing it wrong"? Well...I don't really think so. I topped the healing charts for that raid overall, and for all bosses (and we have some really great healers in our guild, so I don't really *expect* to top the charts every time.. although one can hope =P). And more importantly, our raid didn't wipe once, on any boss, including Sapph and KT.

Interestingly, the other resto druid in the raid also had WG as his most-used heal.

Are other people finding themselves using WG more often than not, or are we both just an anomaly?


8 remarks:

Anonymous said...

I've only been Resto for a few weeks so I'm no expert (leveled and raided at bit in BC as feral, leveled WotLK Balance, went Resto on the fly for a raid the other day and realized it was what I should have been doing all along).

I just keep liking WG more and more. I'm very much looking forward to the 3.1 Replenish/Revitalize buff. I can easily see the benefit of keeping it up as much as possible.

Who do you tend to target? The people I raid with don't seem to group up into nice bunches of 5 according to whether or not they could use a heal.

Flyv said...

I believe the 10% overheal number you see for Wild Growth is underestimated. Last I checked, HoTs don't count as overheal if the person with the HoT is at 100%; the heal never gets reported at all. So you're not seeing the WG tick on folks at full health.

Which isn't to say that WG is a bad idea; overheal is an overrated statistic, anyway.

Averna said...

@ Anonymous - I usually target one of the melee (a rogue, or a death knight), because I figure there's enough of them grouped up to have WG hit at least a few of them. Otherwise, I sometimes target one of the ranged and hope that it will hit another nearby ranged. But there are quite a few bosses in Naxx where people should be grouped up close enough to warrant using it... Noth, Thaddius, even Heigan and Maexxna, and Patchwerk (mostly just for the tanks).

@ Flyv - if the ticks from WG that are on people with full health aren't counted as overheal, then what's that 10%? (because isn't that the amount of heal that's put on people with 100% health? I think I'm just confused. I do actually remember hearing a while ago from someone (forget who, and when) that the overheal for hots on wws/recount were a little off). And you're right, overheal is overrated in general, so I guess it doesn't really matter - but I do want to understand your comment :)

Anonymous said...

The overheal gets recorded when a hot tick fills up the last hp and the spillover of the tick is wasted, that counts as (x overheal).

If the target is already full on hp's and the hot is supposed to tick, the combat log shows nothing, though the tick is still wasted > overheal. This can't be recorded unless the mod you use attempts to detect which hots was cast when an if the hot was supposed to tick, but didn't.. but then again the mod would need to know for how much.. it would be really complicated unless blizzard makes a change to reflect hot tick overheal in the combat log.

Flyv said...

Hey Averna, I just double-checked this in-game and yes, 100% overheal on HoTs is still not logged. You can see this yourself by looking at the in-game combat log. For example:

I'm currently 1081 points from full health. I cast Rejuvenation on me, and in my full feral gear + spec it ticks for 591. Here's what's in the combat log:

Flyv gains 591 Health from Flyv's Rejuvenation
Flyv gains 490 Health from Flyv's Rejuvenation (101 Overhealed)

The key thing here is only two ticks of Rejuvenation are logged, not the full 5. The game never logs "Flyv gains 0 Health from Flyv's Rejuvenation (591 Overhealed)", either in-game or in the .txt file WWS uses.

Direct heals are different. If you cast Healing Touch on someone at full health you'll see "heals for 0 (5302 overheal)" or the like. But the game just doesn't log HoT overheals, probably to avoid too much spam. The end result is that HoT overheal is always under-estimated in reports like Recount or WWS. That's why Druids always look like the smartest healers :-)

The 10% overheal you do see from Wild Growth is probably for those cases where the tick did apply, but only partially.

Overheal only matters if you needed the mana or time to do something else. Right now the game balance is such that healers generally have plenty of mana, so if you've got a free cooldown there's no harm in throwing out a Wild Growth even if it's not fully consumed. And because it's a smart heal, it'll even help those who need it most.

Averna said...

Ah, gotcha. Ok, that makes sense. Interesting! I'll keep that in mind when looking at wws from now on =)

Skroo said...

How many resto shamans are in your raid? If the answer is < 2 then that would explain why you are using WG more often.

Christopher Schmidt said...

Obviously, this is an ages old post, but I'm pretty sure 3.2 changed the 'overheal not being reported on 100% targets'. Specifically, I started noticing it because my hunter's 'spirit bond' numbers started ticking all the time, even when wandering around Dalaran, which they didn't do before 3.2.

Since I have visual display of heals on my screen, this is actually pretty annoying :p but it's good to know that there's a good reason for it.