Why do I Need Battle Text? Let Me Tell You!

So last night, I was super ready to raid : flasks, Symbols of Kings, repairs. An exciting new raid week was in store for me and I couldn’t wait!

Then, right from the first pull, something was…off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it yet, but I was definitely being rubbed the wrong way. A feeling of frustration was growing under my skin. Being the introspective sort, I began to analyze my feelings.

Was it the lag?

No, not lag. While my teammates were complaining about lag, I wasn’t particularly affected.

Was it the rogues talking shop on vent again?

No, they were putting me to sleep earlier with their chatter, but now they were focused on the raid. (You’d think rogues would be the stealthy quiet type, but nooooo, not in my guild!)

Dammit, what’s bothering me?

Hmmm…. Wait- I know! My scrolling battle text isn’t working!





I had to resist the overwhelming urge to tear all my hair out, right then and there, using both hands. Then I fought off the need to break down and sob.

Did you know some paladins can heal without scrolling battle text? Seriously! How is that even possible? Oh, I can go without healing addons if I have to. I can pass on shmexy titan panel that shows me my gold and durability and provides cool icons that help me access the configuration pages of my other addons. I can even play reasonably well without DBM. (Actually, DBM was broken too and it wasn’t bothering me too much.) But scrolling battle text? I NEED NEED NEED it.

Pretty, pretty battle text!

(Putting in a cut here…I hate cuts, but for some reason, whenever I use bullets, WordPress screws up my page layout if I don’t cover them up with a cut)

I believe there is a way to configure the default UI to show you some useful information as to what you’re doing, but battle text makes it so easy!

I use Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text. I know there are others out there that do the same thing, but MSBT was the first one I found. I liked it and have been using it since. Right out of the box:

  • The healing and damage I’m doing scroll on the right side of my screen. Healing is green numbers, damage is white.
  • Little spell icons show next to the healing/damage so I see what ability is going through.
  • Next to the healing numbers is the name of the person receiving the heal.
  • It shows me how much I’m overhealing for.

Basically, every healing spell I cast looks like this:

Effective heal (Overheal) Person healed [Spell Icon]

I know there are all sorts of fancy things I could do with MSBT to make it even prettier and more convenient, but it’s perfectly usable straight out of the box.

What do I use this for?

  • Monitoring my Beacon. While I do track it on Grid, I run with another holy paladin and I can’t always tell which Beacon is mine. Plus, Battle Text will show me if my Beacon isn’t working due to line of sight or range issues.
  • Monitoring Overheal. Sometimes if feels like a spell went through but it was overheal. Sometimes it feels like a spell was overheal but it wasn’t. Monitoring overheal helps me choose my spells more effectively as well as give me an idea of how the other healers are doing.
  • Noticing healing problems. I know what my Flash of Light typically heals for. Same for Holy Shock, same for Holy Light. If they’re healing for less, there’s something going on. Possibly a debuff I wasn’t expecting. Possibly an equipment manager bug. You wouldn’t believe how many times this has saved me from healing an entire raid with half of my tanking gear on.

And this isn’t just useful for healing! Oh no! When I’m tanking, or when I’m bravely exploring Outland heroics on my lonesome, reading the damage my abilities are doing and the damage I’m taking will also uncover red flags. I can adjust my play to different situations and, um, switch into proper gear should I have neglected to do so during my last spec swap (not that it ever happens, of course!).

So to end my story, as soon as I was able to take 2 minutes during the raid, I quickly logged out and updated MSBT. Then I sighed happily as I admired my battle text. Glorious, glorious battle text.

EDIT: Added a screenshot.

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14 Comments on “Why do I Need Battle Text? Let Me Tell You!”

  1. Shayzani Says:

    Haha I had the same panic moment recently. That jarring sense of wrongness followed by the dawning revelation of the problem much later is always a great experience.

  2. crankyhealer Says:

    Not that this is a substitute for msbt – but can’t you config your grid under auras to “show only mine” on bacon?

    • Ophelie Says:

      Yeah, you can. I haven’t looked deeply into it, but I believe you can only have it show everyones, or just yours. I like to keep track of my teammate’s beacon too, so ideally, I’d want it to show both our beacons, but make them look different. I do need to look further into that, though. I also need to arse myself to get a beacon timer.

      • Crankyhealer Says:

        AHA!!! Gridstatushots supports bacon. So you can configure your bacon color under gridstatushots options and then have it take priority over “everyone else’s bacon” boring aura in the default grid menu. Gridstatushots allows you to fade the color when your hot/status is about to expire.

        If you want a timer within grid, try using gridstatushots with gridindicatorcornertext. The corner text won’t do a cooldown for hots/statuses selected through the default grid menu, but will do it in conjunction with gridstatushots.

        • Ophelie Says:

          Ooo thank you! I will check that out!

          I ended up getting myself a timer called “Beacon of Light Timer” (Very original name) but if I don’t like it, I’ll check out gridindicatorcornertext.


    We have a rogue in our group too, and for the love of God we can’t get him to shut up in vent. No matter how many hints, threats, and messages i shoot his way. it goes something like this…

    *rogue goes into sneaky form and starts running around the first room in ICC*

    in vent: “HAHHAA LOOK AT ME IM BEING SNEAKY oh shit i died, DONT WORRY” as a giant pack of mobs comes running at us.

    grrr. rogues.

    • Ophelie Says:


      Ours are sort of like that too, except for that we have three and they kind of feed off each other. And they like to argue about rogue theorycrafting stuff, which causes everyone in the channel to instantly fall asleep. I suppose it’s the modern, less violent version of sap.

  4. Hempia Says:

    I wish I didn’t have to go so bare bones for my UI. I would love to have the information you do. I, however, do use the default scrolling text although it doesn’t show me that overheal nor latency.

    I have to be so careful about what I choose to have and find myself more dependent upon DBM and a raid frames addon then scrolling text.

    And them rogues, huh! Looks like we’re going back down to 2 now. 😉

    • Ophelie Says:

      The one that switching still talks like a rogue though!

      I feel for you. I used to have a dying computer and I couldn’t do anything with it. It was so frustrating. When it finally gave its last puttputtputt and I bought a new one, the first thing I did was download tons of addons and run around Dalaran with my settings turned up.

      I think the default battle text is better than nothing. You don’t have Beacon to follow and while seeing overheal is nice, you can probably get by fine without it.

  5. Windsoar Says:

    I fell in love with SCT when I was tanking and keeping track of my avoidance, but I find it painfully distracting on my healer!

    • Ophelie Says:


      I guess it took me awhile to get used to, but once I got the hang of it, I couldn’t do without! I do tend to be a bit of a control freak who needs to know absolutely everything going in the raid…

  6. […] The Bossy Pally and the Giant Spoon Once upon a time…. « Why do I Need Battle Text? Let Me Tell You! […]

  7. Dristanel Says:

    I recently reinstalled MSBT. I used it on my tank religiously to track avoidance (lul, DK: miss miss SPLAT) but hadn’t used it as a healer yet. I find the healing numbers themselves slightly distracting, but that could be because I have them placed oddly. However, the dead-center indicators in big pretty text are very useful.

    Ironically, I’ve gotten a bit more use on my shaman thus far. -Water Shield is a nice indicator for when I am not paying attention, and the Maelstrom Weapons: 5 stacks! makes sure I am using my abilities to the best of their potential.

    I’d gotten used to watching for visible cues on Killing Machine and Rime, so tanking on the DK hasn’t changed all that much with it back again.

    I’ll tell you what though… it weirds me the hell out on my hunter. I go to Volley and it’s like… Why is it not damaging anything! …Oh.

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