Holy Avenger and EF Blanketing – The Results
As I was researching yesterday’s post (and by researching, I mean creepy stalking top Holy Pally parsers on World of Logs), I noticed that every one of them was using a healing technique I hadn’t tried:
I checked both 10s and 25s, under the Heroics tab. Both used this trick, though 25s players seemed more likely to blow Divine Favor and Avenging Wrath at the same time as Holy Avenger (time for a macro?) while 10s generally staggered their CDs out more.
So it seems I’m well behind the times (that’s what happens when WoW takes the backseat for months), but I’m sure I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE.
Plus before and after screenshots are always tons of fun.
On top of using the Holy Avenger trick, I also started tracking Illuminated Healing (Mastery). I doubt it made a significant difference but it did lightly influence where I would cast my Holy Radiance/Holy Shock/Eternal Flame.
Our healing comp was a bit different than last week too. Last week my Copally was away, and this week we were missing our Monk and Druid S. This would have an effect on how each of us heal in comparison to one and other, but I really don’t think it would account for a drastic change. After all, we rarely use the same healing comp on a given fight from week to week anyway.
In terms of gear, if you look at the past few weeks, my gear will have improved, but between this week and last, the only differences were how I found two pieces that made me to think “I could have sworn I’d reforged these!“, and my weekly VP gear upgrading. So, some influence on my stats, but less than a clear change.
Notes on Throughput and Functionality
This is obviously a post on throughput. Throughput has its place. After all, if healers can’t keep up with the damage or with their teammates, they’re holding the raid back. Plus, guild and healing leads from all brackets (yes, I’ve seen leads from guilds who can’t kill normal Horridon obsess over healing meters) don’t see past meters and HPS. So meter milking is a good skill to have if you want some peace and quiet.
However, throughput is not a replacement for functionality.
A healer’s first priority is to keep the raid (or healing assignment, depending on the team and the fight) alive through every mechanic. Standing still and spamming heals isn’t a luxury most of us have access to. (And even if it were, it doesn’t sound very fun, you know?)
My poor copally, who ended up, without his knowledge (if this were real science, this experiment would never make it past the ethics committee) being a control subject, is by far a better healer than I am. I spend more energy looking up techniques, but he makes less mistakes than me, and doesn’t panic and freeze up the way I do. When it comes to choosing a paladin for exploratory fights, he is the obvious choice.
Once your priorities are covered, though, there’s nothing wrong with taking your art to the next level and squeezing extra out of your character.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Holy Avenger to a freshly-pressed, new paladin. I’d like to see a new paladin healer master Beacon healing, Holy Power cycling and cooldown management before adding yet another CD. Once those are down, then by all means.
For your amusement, here is a list of my screw ups last night as I tried to fit the new technique into my routine:
1- On H-Jin’Rokh, dropped a fissure in the middle of raid.
2- On H-Horridon, almost got eaten by my pink dino (have really no idea how I survived that)
3- On H-Council, drowned in Quicksand
4- On H-Iron Council, got 3 stacks of flame lines, had to bubble, then had no bubble left to mask my inability to handle tornadoes. Also missed my pre-tornado Aura Mastery.
While on the average raid night, I earn no shortage of “that’s not good” and “Rykga, Rykga, Rykga“, the above aren’t mistakes I typically make (except for pre-tornado Aura Mastery. I always screw that one up.)
But enough chitchat. Here are the preliminary results of my healing with Holy Avenger experiement. (Also keep in mind that I was very clumsy with the technique. Imagine what this would look like if my CD timing were perfected!)
I actually didn’t have any logs for last week’s Heroic Jin’Rokh, so I used the logs from two weeks ago (which, I believe, was also the nerf week). There maybe have a few upgrades since then, but enough to account for twice as much healing?
Everyone else increased their output only a little and the difference between Copally (who, for the sake of science was not using Holy Avenger) and I increased far more than you’d expect from simple gear upgrades.
The lower HPS in the After shot is due to 5 healing last week and 6 healing this week. I also had a lot of trouble balancing mana and my pink dino with the Holy Avenger technique. Still, Holy Avenger gave me enough oomph to pull ahead of our Shammies and gave me a significant advantage over Copally.
We’ve got a 5-9k HPS improvement in comparison to the stagnation you can see for most everyone else (Shaman M being the exception). I also went from being solid bottom to being, well, not solid bottom. If this were the only fight I was looking at, I wouldn’t consider the difference to be significant, but since every fight shows a level of improvement, I will give credit to Holy Advenger.
Again a 5-10k difference and a solid advantage over Copally. I think Holy Avenger has even more potential on this fight, but since this was my first time using it for Durumu, my timing really wasn’t ideal.
At barely 2 minutes long, Animus may be too short a fight for the results to mean anything, and I think we would see far more difference had I been able to use up a second Holy Avenger. Animus healing is also very position dependant, but since I’ve had the same assignment every week, I figured I might as well look at the logs. Copally and I have mirrored assignments (I’m back left, he’s back right), so perhaps the fact that he beat me on first week and I did better this week may have something to do with Holy Avenger.
Heroic Iron Qon
I sadly don’t have reliable Before logs for Iron Qon. Last week was our first kill and I had my face on the floor for the most healing-intense phase of the fight. Still, I was much stronger than I’ve been in past weeks in comparison to my teammates and I had a distinct advantage over Copally. I was, however, really out of mana at the end and my CD timing was a bit off. With some refinement, I can see Holy Avenger being super powerful here.
I purposely left out 4 fights, each for unique reasons.
1- Heroic Tortos: Crystal Shell makes healing too weird for me to draw conclusions from the logs.
2- Heroic Ji-Kun: Not sure if the combat log recording has been fixed for this fight (the extreme range made it screwy), but I don’t trust it enough to look at Ji-Kun meters.
3- Heroic Megaera: The end result wasn’t consistent with the other fights and I thought the reasons were interesting enough to merit their own blog post.
4- Normal Primordius: While the end result did support the use of Holy Avenger, I find that taking or not taking buffs on that fight skew results too much for them to be worth looking at.
On every fight, there is a difference of varying importance between Before and After logs. On some of fights, I wouldn’t consider the end result significant on its own, but in light of the other fights, it seems that switching from Diving Purpose to Holy Avenger consistently increased my throughput. Keep in mind, as well, that I was pretty clumsy with CD timing and building Holy Power while Holy Avenger is active. With practice, the difference between Before and After could be become much, much larger.
I’m quite positive the Holy Avenger offers a distinct advantage over Divine Purpose, and I suspect this holds true for any fight (except maybe an uber short fight like Animus).
For a new paladin, especially one who always forgets to use CDs, I would suggest learning paladin basics and fight mechanics before trading in Divine Purpose, however, tying Holy Avenger, Avenging Wrath and Divine Favor into a macro could make using throughput cooldowns a no brainer. (I don’t really like using macros- just a personal preference, but I might try it tonight, just to see. We’re working on Heroic Consorts and I think this combo will be especially fantastic.)