A post on the World of Warcraft

Healing by the Numbers Again

“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”
Friedrich Nietzsche


Healing by the Numbers Again

NB: If you spend too much time thinking about it, it might drive you crazy!

Context:
When I was a-huntering in WoD, everyone played Survival while it was the top DPS spec. One of the big lessons was on multi-shot because it had a bleed effect and was an AoE spell. The best way to play was to let those bleeds do their job over time while you might focus on a bigger mob. The temptation was strong to keep multi-shotting those adds to make them disappear sooner.

Overhealing:
I look at my Logs for our Heroic Gul’dan kill. Druid, Shammy and Holy Pally are all overhealing by a massive amount. The top three spells for each healer are between 25% and 50% overheals!

This is nothing new, overhealing is a measured thing on any meter-type addon. What is telling, I think, is that we are not letting our spells run their full course and heal up our players over time — which is our design.

Of course, I can not find the Dev postings from pre-Legion but, as I recall, the intention was that everyone would get used to never being fully topped up. Without Spirit to regenerate our mana, we’d have to be crafty with our resources. Also, tanks would be dependant on outside healing beyond their own resources, leaning heavier on the dedicated healers.

Clearly this is not happening at all. Our blood DK, a tank, often out-heals the healers. We healers will not allow players to not be topped off and will massively over-heal to get them topped off. The initial design did not work out.

Only the highest skilled group of players would see the original design intention. Those players would be under-geared by our standards, avoid the damage with aplomb and healers would allow their spells to run the full course. Resources would be an issue and each encounter would be executed like a well-drilled ballet. Sounds like the World First guys, doesn’t it?

We see in each encounter the potential for raid-wide damage destroying half of the players. And we can not allow that. So we over-heal and every healer does it; from the normal dungeon pug to the top mythic raid.

The healing numbers are skewed and are not telling much of a story. If everyone is over-healing then what could it possibly matter who the top healer is on the charts? The top healer is so anal-compulsive that he is topping off even the 95% healed. I would guess that ALL healers are a bit anal-compulsive; especially if they are looking at charts which we all are! Egads!

It would be tough for anyone to tell me to get my healing numbers up when Efflorescence is cooking along with 61% overhealing. In that case, I’m not doing anything but dropping a circle off cooldown.

As healers we will always be balancing the actual fight experience against the charts. It is as if we are playing two different games at the same time. If you think about it too much, especially overhealing, it might drive you nuts!

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