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.
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
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.
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.
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:
- 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
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 Light – JoL 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
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.
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!!