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The Fighting Healer
#1
I was wondering if anyone who has healed much in heroic dungeons or raids has any tips on good addons to help when the healer is called on to move around a lot, or especially to participate in the fighting, as well as heal.

So far this is the most challenging battles I've been in. So I'll add one more question. Are there any really "must haves" out there for healing -as far as addons go? (I don't know if it will matter or not, but I am asking for Cord who is a Paladin.)

I'd also be interested to hear if anyone has any tricks of the trade they would like to share for healing a raid. I know every fight is bound to be different and plenty of things are likely class specific, but I just thought there might be things that people have picked up that it would be helpful to know. A kind of collective healers' wisdom, if you will.

Well, that's all. Thanks.
-Cordeiris
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#2
Deadly Boss Mods has alerted me to pretty much everything I've needed to be aware of as far as moving/aoedamage/etc.

I know many healers who swear by x-pearl. I hear grid is nice as well as quartz. Healbot is also a popular one.

At the moment I'm not running any mods besides omen, DBM, and questhelper so I can't give an opinion on which of the above is "best".

I'm not familiar with paladin healing compared to priest, so I suppose healing tips will have to be left to someone who's knowledgable.
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#3
I find that a DeadlyBossMods-style assistance mod can be very helpful, especially for dealing with timing- or position-dependent fights.

The mod Thanuist mentioned is "X-Perl". I have experimented with a number of grid and click-healing mods but have never really found one that fits my style. I believe Jabadue is a fan, however.

The core healer task is "pick a character, select a character, cast a heal, repeat"... whatever works for you and gets your reaction time down is good. I think about how far my eyes have to move to scan the playfield, how far my fingers have to move to cast the right spell, and (rarely) whether my mouse has to move to select the right spell.

If you're spending a lot of time scanning the screen, mods that move all the data closer together can help. In 25-man raiding, I try to position all the raid bars close together so I can scan the entire set quickly.

If you are using your mouse for anything, you might want to look into using macros to put more than one function on a single key. You can make a macro so that a normal keypress does one thing, a ctrl-keypress does another, an alt-keypress another... I typically code my trinkets and insta-cast spells that way, so "2" is chain heal, "ctrl-2" is trinketed chain heal, and "alt-2" is instacast chain heal, that sort of thing.

Lots of those mods work to optimize the "select a character -> cast a heal" step, by turning that into a single action or click. I've tried to use them, but I just can't reprogram myself away from four years of select-and-cast. That probably means I'm a little slower than I could be.

I'm not sure how many of my other tricks are going to be relevant in Wrath! Lots of pre-Wrath raid healing was about mana endurance, and involved tricks like drinking early to get your potion cooldown started ASAP. WIth the changes to cooldowns, some of that won't matter as much now. But I'm sure we'll find things out as we go.
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#4
Pre-BC, I used CTRaid for raid frames and emergency monitor but healed/played via the keyboard. When I started raiding again just a year ago, the guild I was in required (yes, required) Healbot for all healers whether they used it or not, because of the features it offered to help OTHER healers in the raid. I learned to use it and got used to it. Here's what I use.

Healbot - raid frames, clicky healing/casting and targeting, buff monitor, debuff (disease/dispel in my case) monitor, resurrection monitor and announcements. Healbot can also be configured to give announcements on any spell cast, essentially, but I find that too spammy so I have "unset" that feature to give no messages. Disadvantage to Healbot for me is that I feel my keyboard healing has slipped and I rely on the mod too much. But otherwise, I have grown to like it a lot. First and foremost is some sort of raid frames, whether it is Healbot or something else, so I can see every player and pet all the time.

Deadly Boss Mods - timers and boss info like "Flame Wreath" on Shade of Aran pop in the middle of the screen. I have noticed in a few Wrath instances that the boss's target is even named in the mid-screen warning of what he/she is about to do. For example, the ability Keristrasza (sp?) in Nexus uses to freeze a random target appears with that target listed on the warning. Excellent tip for being ready to dispel those chains and prevent extra damage from that Intense Cold debuff you have to move to dispel. I hope to see more of that type thing in this one as I progress. If not DBM, there are others such as BigWigs. A boss mod is a great help on movement issues.

oRa2 - ALA uses this one to set main tank / assist windows. Very helpful.

Omen - I run this but often forget to watch it. It is useful as a priest because it can provide advance notice that I need to be ready to Fade. Of course, the aggro warnings that it and Healbot flash do this as well but every little bit helps on those warnings when things are hectic and warnings can be easily missed.

Pally Power - this was required in Saerrina's original raid guild too. This helps the pallies coordinate their blessings. Not sure how critical this is now with the drastic changes and so few blessings to toss out. But if it is set, it helps the pally remember what is supposed to be cast on whom. Like wisdom for elemental and resto shaman whereas that enhance shaman in the group wants might. If you have two shaman needing different blessings, the mod helps keep it straight and I think provides notices to refresh. I haven't played with that enough on Neely to really understand it though.

Focus - the in-game focus target functions have a lot of good uses but I am not very versed on this. I am learning though. In Kara, this was an excellent tool for maintaining my shackle. Wish I'd learned to use it a lot sooner. In Naxx, I have used the focus target specifically for the Razuvius fight because I can more easily pull him up as target, assist and figure out which initiate (or whatever those are) he's beating on. I will fine-tune this in the future and use it far more, hopefully.


(Bleh, as usual I ramble. >.<)
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#5
A Healer basically shouldn't start fighting unless directed to do so by the raid leader - so that's easy.

I use XPerl and Clique, in the same sort of way as Oryx uses key combos.

Who to heal varies from class to class. Anyone can be a healer in a Heroic, but in Raid, your Priests and Druids are typically healing the main tank, while Shamans and Paladins are doing raid-wide heals. That being said, I'm pretty sure every Healer now has access to both Timed-cast heals as well as HoTs - Shamans can talent into Riptide and Earth Shield, Paladins can glyph one of their spells to be a HoT, I forget which one.

If you're just healing a Main Tank, I know Shamans have talents now to deal with Overheals to keep them from being wasted mana - overheals return some mana and can heal other raid members. So don't be afraid to keep the tank topped off.

The final lesson for any beginning Healer or Tank - learn when to feel guilty and when not feel guilty for someone dying. Hunter multi-shots into a CC'd crowd? Their fault. Rogue has bad luck and the sap breaks and comes after him? Not his fault, but not really yours, either. Mage gets one-shotted by some burly beastie? Well, you couldn't have healed him, so don't beat yourself up.
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#6
Great stuff. Thanks, both of you.

Unfortunately, I am also currently point and casting it. I have my three most used heals (small heal, big heal and cleanse) on numbers and use one finger to help move since I got used to using the letter pad for movement along with the mouse. I would like to find out how to change what some of my letter keys do, if possible. I think that's more likely to work for me than having to hit shift or alt, but I'm not sure if I can do this. The game has is set up, for example, to open bags with "b". Does anyone know if there's a way to change that, so that it instead casts a spell or uses a trinket?

I have made one alteration to my set up that has really made a difference for me. Since the kids' room is next to where I play, I keep the lights really low. I used to sometimes accidentally put my fingers on the wrong number keys due to this and would end up hitting cleanse and wondering why my heal wasn't going off. Not so helpful for keeping the group alive... so my solution has been to superglue three tiny gems to my three most used heal buttons. This way, I can always feel if my finger placement is right. Big Grin

Heh, Thanks Waka! That's great advise. I haven't been on many raids before so the overall dynamics of a group of healers working together is good to know about. It's actually good to hear about when to take the blame too. I tend to almost always feel there was something else I could have done to save someone, but I've been realizing that in some fights you just can't save them all. If it comes down to the MoB doing some heavy damage AoE and I have to choose the tank or someone else, I've been going for the tank first. (This is of coarse only if he isn't Beaconed at the time, which would mean I would mostly heal everyone else before the tank)

As for the glyph that gives Paladins a HoT, I used it for a bit, but don't have it on right now. I need to double check, but I think it was for the Flash Heal, the lesser heal, and I wasn't sure it really made such a huge difference. But then, I was using it while Ret and leveling. Maybe I should give it another try.

And thanks, Searrina. I didn't think you rambled at all, it was just what I wanted to know! Smile
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#7
Yes, you can rebind any key to any function. Click on the little computer icon, then "Key Bindings", and go nuts. Wink
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#8
For 5-mans, I actually bind party member targeting to the keyboard. (right hand selects target, left hands selects heal). This is harder to do in larger groups, but I still make sure I can keyboard-target all the tanks, main healers, and anyone who has an assignment that requires special healing.

I haven't been able to completely eliminate my mouse, I still use it to change camera angles, and if for some reason I'm targetting an enemy, or yon random dps who has gotten into a tight spot.

Omen and Deadly Boss Mods are helpful but not absolutely necessary most of the time. The only healy-mod I use is DoTimer to keep track of multiple HoT's on multiple targets...I'm thinking that may not be so useful for a paladin :lol:
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#9
Ok, thanks all! Looks like I have some testing to do. Big Grin
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#10
Wakaraina Wrote:Who to heal varies from class to class. Anyone can be a healer in a Heroic, but in Raid, your Priests and Druids are typically healing the main tank, while Shamans and Paladins are doing raid-wide heals. That being said, I'm pretty sure every Healer now has access to both Timed-cast heals as well as HoTs - Shamans can talent into Riptide and Earth Shield, Paladins can glyph one of their spells to be a HoT, I forget which one.
Actually, the more accepted "niches" for healers are
Main tank: paladins and disc priests (although disc priests are noted as being slightly inferior and more of a "stick them there if you don't have a pally")
Raid: Shamans and druids due to chain heal and hots (in order respectively)

Holy priests are the jack of all trades, but master of none.

Of course you'll always see variation in an individual raid, but the general consensus is the above
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#11
Thanuist Wrote:Actually, the more accepted "niches" for healers are

...

Of course you'll always see variation in an individual raid, but the general consensus is the above
Well, I just know who I heal, really. I have been pwned for healer-know-who.

And the last bit, that it varies, is absolutely ditto'd.
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#12
Wakaraina Wrote:The final lesson for any beginning Healer or Tank - learn when to feel guilty and when not feel guilty for someone dying. Hunter multi-shots into a CC'd crowd? Their fault. Rogue has bad luck and the sap breaks and comes after him? Not his fault, but not really yours, either. Mage gets one-shotted by some burly beastie? Well, you couldn't have healed him, so don't beat yourself up.

Mages dying are never your fault 8-) and usually most amusing to watch explode. <flees>

I use Xperl myself, along with Deadly Boss Mods, Hot Candy (probably not needed for a pally, it's a hot timer), and decursive. There's a whole slew of other ones but I'm the mod queen and have a billion that probably aren't REALLY necessary but make my life easier. (until patch days break them all) I also use Instant Health which can be found here http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addon...87283.aspx oddly enough it doesn't show up if you do a search for it on curse but I tracked down the download page. For actual healing I've made macros for all my heals so they are mouseover macros. For example:

regrowth:
#showtooltip Regrowth
/cast [target=mouseover, exists, help] [target=target, exists] [target=player] Regrowth;

This way I can have anything at all targeted (which is usually nothing) and heal whoever I run my mouse over in the raid/group list, or the actual character on the screen. So I just mouseover who I want to heal and hit my hotkey.
Don't mess with the trees!


"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."

~Bill Cosby
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