Lets help this Holy Pally not suck at Putricide

Healing meters have to be taken with a grain a salt. Or rather with a whole block of salt, iceberg style. What do I mean? Well, the overall effective healing done page on WoW stat tools like World of Logs does give us some useful information, but the bulk of the usefulness is hidden below the surface.

In other words, I was a bit concerned by the meters in our Putricide attempts last Monday. I started tearing them apart, trying to figure out the problem(s). As I was having the time of my life (I love, love, love stats!), it dawned on me that I should share how I go about exploring poor performance.

Overall healing done for Putricide attempts

In this case, one healer, Rykga, has much lower output than the others. Lets investigate a bit more to figure out why and what we could suggest for improvements.

Rykga is my paladin, so no worries, no feelings will be hurt in the making of this post! She’s a Holy Light (HL) paladin with about 2.8k spell power, 700 haste and 36k mana, unbuffed. “Other” is the other holy paladin in the raid. He’s a bit of a hybrid right now, making the transition from a HL build to a Flash of Light (FoL) build. His spell power is significantly higher than Rykga’s, his mana is lower and his haste and crit are about the same. Both paladins use similar Holy/Prot specs.

If you are confused by this whole HoL/FoL build thingy, please check out this post.

Note as well that both Rykga and Other were assigned to heal the main tank.

To save on internet space, I’m not going to do the most in-depth analysis in the world, but I will try to cover all the elements I consider when mulling over a poor performance.

1- Active Time

Healing done, first attempt of the night

Active Time refers to the amount of time spent casting. I picked this particular attempt because it was the most extreme. Rykga spent far less time casting than the other healers, to the point where she was outhealed by a ret paladin. How embarassing! The cause of a low active time is generally one or more of the following:

a) Early death
b) Standing around, looking pretty
c) Frequent range/LOS issues

Lets look at the survivability page for this particular fight.

Survivability, attempt 1

Rykga lived through 47.6% of the fight. If you subtract her active time from that, you get the percentage of time she was alive and not casting. It comes out to 0.8%, which is about a second. Going by how imprecise WoL is and how much movement is required for Putricide, this is neglectable.

But just for kicks, lets ask her about her impressions. Did she feel like she was just standing around, did she have range issues?

Rykga: As a matter of fact, I did feel like I had range issues for the first attempt. My assignment was the main tank. I had missed our 10 man Putricide attempts that week so I wasn’t sure of our strategy. I had trouble following the tank during that first attempt but once I got the moving rhythm down, it all fell into place.

2- Overhealing

Click to see the full size image!

Rykga has quite a bit more overheal than Other. Even considering their different healing styles (HL vs FoL), Ryk’s overheal is still noticeable.

Overhealing isn’t a big deal. I don’t worry about it. However, a high overheal might hold some clues as to why a player is performing poorly. While high overheal can just mean that a healer is spamming, it may mean:

  • Lag
  • Poor reaction time
  • Low haste

Ryk’s high number of casts despite an untimely death shows that she is indeed a spell spammer. We know her and Other have similar haste, so lets look up her Judgements of the Pure uptime.

I used the Judgement of the Pure uptime associated with the attempt in the Overheal/Spell Breakdown image. She did kept it up 66.9% of the time, which is identical to her active time on this attempt, meaning she kept it up the entire time she was alive. So haste is a non issue.

As for lag and poor reaction time, lets see what she has to say.

Rykga: I don’t notice any lag, but I do run with 300-500 latency most of the time, which may affect my output. I don’t know about reaction time, although the number of times I stand in the fire might say something about that! I am a spell spammer, I only stop casting when I’m running or when I’m dead.

3- Choice of Spells

Recycled picture much?

Other is clearly a FoL spammer and does well. Rykga switches between casting HL and FoL. Paladins from other guilds who’ve performed well on this fight seem to stick with HL or HL/Beacon.

Sacred Shield is notably underused by Rykga. Perhaps not enough to make a huge influence, but it’s an easy spell to cast and should be kept up as much as possible. Word of caution, though, when you run with 5 paladins in a raid, SS is constantly being overridden.

Judgment of LightJoL deserves a special mention here. While it didn’t affect Other’s overall healing much (out of 5 paladins in the raid, 4 judge light), the constant raid damage in the Putricide fight makes this spell very, very, very strong. I’ve seen it count for 20-35% of a paladin’s effective healing. Since JoL is constantly getting overridden and since it doesn’t matter who in the raid is judging light, effective healing done from JoL should be subtracted when comparing two paladins.

4- Standing in the Fire

I know, I fail at WoW :(

The deaths page is quite useful in check how a player died. It has to be considered carefully since we don’t want to blame someone for dying after a wipe is called. Still, if someone frequently dies early, we can see where some weaknesses are.

Dying to Malleable Goo on Putricide is a no-no.
Dying exclusively to Mutated Transformation means Ryk needs to pay more attention to her own health and heal herself as needed.
Dying to Ooze Eruption, Expunged Gas, Gaseous Bloat may or may not be her fault.

Lets ask her about her self-impressions.

Rykga: I have to admit, I was making a lot of stupid mistakes and my reaction time was slower than usual. I was pretty exhausted that night and was just coming back from a trip so I was a bit rusty. I must have stood in every piece of crap on the floor.


Conclusions, recommendations

What can Rykga do to improve?

  • Familiarize herself with any range/kitting/movement strategies before the raid
  • Favor Holy Light over Flash of Light : Holy Light seems to be the spell of choice for her considering her build, the amount of tank damage, the usefulness of the Holy Light glyph splash healing and the fact that her partner is mostly Flash of Light style.
  • Be creative with Sacred Shield: Keep it up, preferably somewhere it won’t be overridden.
  • Use Divine Sacrifice/Divine Guardian more often: Not mentioned earlier, nor will affect stats much, but with all the constant raid damage, Divine Sacrifice used on cooldown would be helpful to everyone.
  • Hit the BGs: Working on that situational/self-health awareness can prevent stupid deaths.
  • Get some rest before the raid when possible: A pre-raid power nap can help with situation awareness and improve reaction time.

And there we have it! That’s the jist of how I evaluate myself after a pathetic performance.

I hope my awesome teammate “Other” doesn’t mind that I gave him a bad nickname and used him for comparison purposes. I don’t know if he reads this or not, but if he does…um…hi!!

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10 Comments on “Lets help this Holy Pally not suck at Putricide”

  1. Windsoar Says:

    Should I call this a pox and say I cast it on you :P

    Enjoyed reading another analysis–it is SO much easier to analyze your own performance, but it definitely helps when reading other class/specs sheets–especially the healers.

    • Ophelie Says:

      What does a “pox” mean?

      It is definitely easier to analyze your own performances! When you know exactly what was happening in their raid, assignments and human errors, it makes the task so much simpler. I think everyone should analyze their own performances, especially on progression fights.

      It’s also easier to target a specific problem than to do a general analysis of someone’s play. I really didn’t intend for this to be a response post to yours! This doesn’t address general evaluation and is really targeted at how I figured what I was doing wrong on this fight.

      I look forward to the next time I try this fight to see if my healing has improved.

      • Windsoar Says:

        Pox is an archaic way of saying disease :P

        I really enjoyed reading it–I always like looking at the numbers, and having the on-hand “this is what happened with the event” was really great.

  2. Rohan Says:

    One tip about range issues is that Beacon of Light has a *60* yard range, whereas most of your other heals have a 40 yard range.

    So, if you’re assigned to heal a target that occasionally goes out of range, Beacon them, and heal people closer to you.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Oh, very, very good point! I didn’t think of discussing Beacon, but since range is annoying in this fight, I should have paid more attention to it in going over my performance.

      I did use that trick, but noticed my beacon often failing while the tank was out of range. Whether this was due to my targets being too far away from the tank or due to my beacon expiring, I’m not sure. When “Other” and I use beacon on the same target, I end up relying on my battle text to tell me when to refresh my beacon.

      I should add in my recommendations: Get a beacon timer.

  3. Dristanel Says:

    What a useful post!

    I’ve been following your blog for a bit and really like your writing style. I play a HL paladin on The Scryers server and while my guild isn’t yet to the 25 man encounter for this, we are working on the 10 man version. Got him down to 8% before we had to call it last week. Hopefully he’s going down this week.

    I’m not sure how much of a difference there is between the two fights, but I definitely did notice a range issue, as well. And boy did I feel hella embarrassed the couple of times I got hit by Goo. Having to say over Vent ‘Somebody cover the tank for me, I suck’ is not a fun experience.

    I’m looking at my own logs and I, too, am saddened by my performance. We 3-heal it at this point, and with all three of us having to pump out 3-4k HPS I don’t see it dropping to 2 healers any time soon, though we did discuss it because we were hitting the enrage timer.

    I’m noticing on the log I have, I’ve only got 87% healing time, which begs the question… what the hell was I doing 12% of the time? The druid has 100% uptime which isn’t surprising – his HoTs were rolling through the stun. But two stuns does not account for 12% of the battle, and I don’t remember dying. I do remember not having much to heal until green slimes got missed or gas caught up with someone, then healing like a crazed monkey for a few seconds, then back to trying to not stand in stuff.

    P3 was a different beast, of course. I don’t remember having time to do anything (aside from healing!) but strafe out of ooze during that phase. I’m going to try popping a LoH on one of our tanks during that phase to give them the damage buffer, see if that helps keep them alive longer. Unfortunately there’s not much I can do about the berserk. At least… I assume there isn’t.

    Curious to know your thoughts on this, and if you have a moment I’m happy to link a log for you to look over.

    • Dristanel Says:

      Yikes, make that 5-7k HPS. I thought the other number was a bit low…

    • Ophelie Says:

      Sorry it took me so long to get back to you! Things have been pretty crazy this week!

      I actually haven’t seen much of phase 3 so I can’t comment on that. I’ve also only tanked on 10 man, so I’m not sure how different that version of the fight is.

      For the 87% active time, I wouldn’t worry about it much unless it’s causing your output to suffer. The time you weren’t casting, you could have been moving, trying to get in range, have interrupted unneeded spells or, if a wipe was called, died before everyone else.

      To know when WoL thinks you died, you can check the survivability page like in the image in the post. (I did photoshop it a little so it would fit into a blog post, but you should still be able to find your way around the page.)

      I have to mention that the Active Time numbers on WoL can be a little strange. Sometimes it shows someone active more than 100% of the time. The numbers might also not line up with other log parsers you may be using. I really question how accurate it is. Active Time is the first thing I look at when someone has an usually low output, but it’s not applicable to every situation.

      I hope that helps!

  4. Sushicookie Says:

    Yeah, logs make me cranky. I cannot figure out how the other druid out heals me so much. I haven’t looked as extensively into it, because I’m Miss Emo-Pants druid but from a glance, I think that stupid legendary mace is whopping my ass. >:(

    I know healing meters aren’t the most accurate, but they still make me cranky and not want to heal.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Aww! Logs shouldn’t make you cranky! They’re fun, fun, fun to play with!

      I’d subtract the healing done from the mace the same way I subtract JoL healing for a paladin when comparing two healers. There’s no point in giving credit for something that can’t be controlled!

      From our logs, the mace *does* do noticeable healing on the meters, but it doesn’t make or break a healer. Actually, notice on the first image I posted, the two “raid healers”. The one with Valanyr is second.


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