4 Reasons Healing Meters Suck

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This is a guest post by Ulkesshern, an EU Holy Paladin from Hellfire

Matticus put a plea out for guest posts and despite it been something I’ve never done I figured ‘Hey, why not?’ and offered up my services and here I am! I’m a Holy Paladin from the EU realm of Hellfire and I’m currently enjoying the delights of the 25 man content.

For my inaugural post I’ve decided to focus on one of my major bug bears, the absolutely terrible creations that are healing meters and the issues I perceive with them.

Issue 1: More Healing does not equal Better Healers

Without trying to oversimplify the job of DPS their job is basically to do damage, the more damage they do the (arguably) better they are, boss health is constant so the more damage they do the quicker the boss dies, the quicker people get their loot and the quicker you progress. However that really isn’t the case for healers. Picture this scenario, you’ve all just hit 80, you’re all predominantly in your old Tier 6 or quest rewards and you head to Naxx.

People are going to be taking massive amounts of damage, Tank mitigation will be low, DPS will be low so the encounters will be lasting longer and as such you’re going to be healing your heart out. Fast forward to the point when you go back with everyone in shiny Level 80 epics. The tanks don’t lose as much health every hit, encounters last half the amount of time and you’re not going to be breaking a sweat.

Then out come the meters!

“Oh wow my DPS is almost double what it was when we started here” cries StabbyStabster your top Rogue.
“Yeah mine too, we’re awesome now” join in the rest of the DPS.

Then someone links the healing comparison.

Well look at that, you’ve healed probably half of what you healed last time and instantly the people who don’t get it start moaning at you for not pulling your weight. The thing is we scale almost inversely with the raids gear level, but in the minds of so many people bigger numbers equals better players.

Issue 2: Situational Situations are Situational

This is something that an amazing amount of people just fail to understand, who you are assigned to heal can greatly affect your position on the meters, and I saw a wonderful example of this in a raid I was in last night. We were twenty manning Patchwerk for the achievement (yes I like achievements). Our tanks were a Death Knight, a Druid and a Warrior and our healing team comprised of 3 Paladins, a Priest and Shaman. The Paladins were assigned one Tank each while beaconing a different Tank, so all 3 Tanks had one Paladin and were the recipient of one Beacon, while the Priest and Shaman were assigned to just go crazy on all of the tanks.

We killed him pretty easily and were impressed with ourselves, and then someone linked the healing meter, Two Paladins at the top, followed by the Priest and then the Druid. Languishing at the bottom was the Third Paladin.

At first glance, it seemed that the Paladin was failed as his healing done was absolutely terrible. However when you thought about it, there were reasons.

Firstly, he was topping the over healing meters by a large margin. Then realization sets in, he was healing the main Tank, not the hateful strike soaks, and as such there was a lot less damage to heal and because Beacon of Light only transfers effective healing (of which there was very little). Whereas the other Paladins were hitting with ~14k effective heals and getting them beaconed across for about the same, the “bottom Paladins” heals weren’t needed as much and as such weren’t getting beaconed either.

3 Paladins, 3 Targets, 3 Players spamming the same heals with very different results. To some people that means that one of them was failing, a scenario that had entered no ones mind until the meters were linked. Just seconds earlier everyone was congratulating the Healers on such a good job!

At the end of the day, no one died except the boss and it was a good clean kill, only once the meters were show did any doubt suddenly arise as to the performance of healers.

Issue 3: Some Classes outclass Classes

A sad but true truth is that some classes usually end up beating others, Paladins can’t HoT or multi target as well (if at all) as Priests, Shaman, Druids and a lot of players just can’t understand that.

I once had a Guild Master state that “All of our healers are fantastic except our Paladins”. His reasoning? The other healers always beat the Paladins on meters (Late TBC Content). We tried to explain that no one ever died so we were doing our job but it just didn’t cut it, as far as he was concerned, the other classes were topping the meters so they were better and the Paladins were failing. We weren’t failing; he just couldn’t get his head around the different class mechanics and intended roles of the healing classes. Amusingly all the Paladins left soon after.

I daren’t even poke the sleeping bear that is absorption/mitigation effects. I feel for you Discipline Priests, I really do!

Issue 4: Meters are not infallible

Nothing and nobody is perfect (even me!) and meters are no exception, I’ve seen five people link meters from the same fight that have shown completely different results. I’ve seen WWS reports where I apparently wasn’t even there! I’ve spoken to Paladins who make a deal with a Warlock to keep them beaconed and instruct them to life tap like crazy. I’ve played with Priests who did nothing but spam Circle of Healing relentlessly and Shaman who may have just had a keyboard with one button marked Chain Heal. I’ve seen people of all spec that completely ignore whatever healing assignments they have in order to just spam quick heals on someone the second they take damage, I once had a Warlock point out that they really didn’t need 9 separate people to heal him the second he life tapped. I’ve even known people just type random numbers into raid chat and try and pass them off as a meter!

Final Thoughts

Meters do have a place, they’re amazingly useful for DPS, they also do serve a purpose for Healers, but they sure as anything aren’t something you can just glance at quickly and pick out who is top. If no one in the raid is dying our job is getting done and getting done well. If people are dropping like flies then perhaps consult some meters, look at what’s happening though, don’t just assume that the person on the bottom is there because he is terrible!

I’ve had meters running since Kara and I think I’ve looked at them perhaps once, coming top on a little chart doesn’t make you the worlds greatest Healer, doing your job and keeping people alive no matter how much or how little healing it requires makes you a good Healer.

(And no I don’t live at the bottom of meters!)

55 thoughts on “4 Reasons Healing Meters Suck”

  1. I use meters to find when my healers are dpsing instead of healing 😉

    I couldn’t agree more though, I’ve been trying to break healers from staring at the meters since mid TBC. Thankfully I have a guild leader who understand meters for healing don’t mean the same things as dps. While they have their place and can be a useful tool, but I agree can often times breed the wrong mentality (see your issue: 4)

    I often live by the motto “did we wipe? no? Good job healers!” “did we wipe? yes? Was it a healers fault? no? Good job healers!”


    Lodurs last blog post.."A plague o’ both your houses!”

  2. If you didn’t care about meters you wouldn’t have put the last disclaimer in 😛

    Seriously though, I agree with everything in this post, especially the part about discipline priests, since so much of what they bring is uncounted in the number game.

    You hit the nail right on the head though when you’re trying to measure how your healers are doing

    1. Is the boss dead?
    2. Is anyone else dead?

    That’s all that matters. Numbers are subjective at BEST. If someone only puts out 100HPS but saves the tank when all other healers are busy/incapacitated for a few seconds then that person was the top healer in my book, but most raid leaders and raid members don’t see it in that light. Much like the business world it’s all about the metrics, and all you can do is hope that in the end your work will get recognized by a smart boss (or raid leader). If not, you’re better off without them anyways.

    Nice post!

    Deloss last blog post..DK Misconceptions

  3. Over the holidays, as a lot of people were taking somewhat of a break from raiding, some of our raiders went to go with another guild who was also short on players in Naxx 25. Our guild often uses meters in the way described: more of a DPS tool to see relative performance, and not really utilized all that much as far as measuring healing effectiveness. The guild that they had run with, though, lived and died by the meters. It got to the point where our top Resto druid, who has been an awesome healer for years, was really bothered with the way she was treated in this run, mostly because she stuck to her assignment. She was pointed to one of the other guilds druid, who was dominating the charts. However, a lot of this was most likely due to wasteful Wild Growth spam, which tends to really pad meters.

    The point of a lot of this is that measuring healing ability is a much more picky thing then picking at the logs at the end of the fight. A much better choice to look at is to see how well their assignment survived. HPS out is always going to be along the lines of Damage taken. Theres not really any way to get around it.

  4. It’s not so much that healing meters are inherently bad, as they are a horribly mis-used tool.

    Example – one of our druids macroed the heck out of his heals, and was very dis-satisfied with his performance at 80. After looking at a WWS parse, we were able to figure out that his macros specified the rank of his heals and that he’d been down-ranking on accident.

    It was meters that alerted him to the problem, and WWS that helped him pin-point the actual cause. That said, every time I tag along on a 25 man with my holy paladin alt, I try not to actually look at the meters, to keep from being horribly horribly demoralized. 😛

  5. Just a comment for all you holy paladins:
    Step 1: convince your ret paladin friends that they don’t need to use judgment of light because of the extra aggro
    Step 2: tell them that the patch notes are lying about removing the aggro component of JoL
    Step 3: cast JoL on cooldown
    Step 4: ???
    Step 5: PROFIT!!!

  6. My guild naxx runs are very heavy on healers. We usually bring 6 – 7 eventhough we can probably get the job done with 4 or 5. So usually a couple of us will just try to top the healing meters for fun, just spamming heals carelessly around the raid asking people to stand in the fire. My gear can’t match the other healers right now so I usually just dps. Although my 1100 dps doesn’t do much compared to the Boomkins 4500dps. :'(

    Maybe I’ll spec some kind of restokin hybrid so I can heal for healing intensive fights but dps semi-effectively when I’m not really needed. But then I’ll have to spend DKP on +hit gear. /sigh

  7. Healing meters for a specific fight are extremely dependent on the assigned job, the fight mechanics, style of healing, and gear. I often look at healing meters to see what types of heals they are casting. For example, if someone is assigned to heal a tank but are casting Circle of Healing 90% of the time, they might be caring more for the healing meters than doing their job.

    While being top on healing meters isn’t too important, being bottom of the healing meters over the course of an entire Naxx raid could be cause for concern. You might need to look at his gear, how he’s healing, etc to find out if this was an aberration or a symptom of poor performance. Some healers are afraid of running out of mana and won’t heal until people start taking damage. In some fights this is fine but there are occasions where you need to be proactive instead of reactive. Others might be lazy and just healing the same target without paying attention to what’s going on. We had one guy who was at the bottom of the healing meters for a while only to find out that his roommates were downloading stuff and his ping was really bad.

    Healing meters are more of a tool to improve one’s healing. They have their use but are nothing like DPS meters.

  8. Healing meters are deceiving. They can be used for edge content healing strategy and to see if they current strategy is plausible. It is also good for the Healing Leaders to make sure that people are doing what they are supposed to be doing and to the target they are assigned. They can teaching tool if some players have in-efficient spell selection. But just having them up and seeing bottom line, you are right. Situational situations are situational.

    I’ve been looking over our WWS reports and trying to get a grasp of the mitigated damage during a Patchwork25 encounter. Problem is we haven’t done it without a Disc Priest for damage mitigation. Does anyone have data or a link to the effectiveness of the damage mitigation for a Disc Priest? How the damage mitigation scale with spell power and crit?

  9. It is true that your position on the healing meter is highly situational, however combat log analysis is, nonetheless, a very useful tool. The thing I think it’s most useful for is comparing two players of the same class that had the same assignment on a particular fight.

    For example, the Twins fight in Sunwell; 3 Resto Shamans, two of whom take the top two spots and the last one is rock bottom. They’ve all been farming the instance for quite a long time and have mostly the same (almost) best-in-slot gear. In this case, it is really obvious that the last one is under performing and the WWS can be used to see what the problem seems to be.
    The same thing could be said about two druids on Malygos healing in the Vortex – if one of them is doing significantly less healing output, it is obvious he is under performing.
    I guess a lot of examples like this can be found.

    Bottom line is, however, using the infamous healing meters (note how I tried to refer to them as combat log analyzers) isn’t the thing to use to compare people of different classes or different raid assignments, but is an excellent tool to see if players of the same class with the same assignment on a particular fight are doing their maximum.

  10. Glad to see that all the commentators are not just nodding in agreement with this post.

    Some online log parsers such as WWS or WoW Meter Online can be fantastic tools to analyze your healing output compared to your peers. Also if you’re repeatedly wiping on a single encounter meters can be excellent tools to figure out whats going wrong, assuming the people reading them are not morons =)

  11. We went into Naxx last night with 2 healer, me ( a CoH Priest ) and our guild Gm ( shammy) and 4 undergeared DPS and a brand new tank ( what were we thinking) We cleared the spider quarter and then called it cos it was just way too hard.

    The shammy seemed depressed afterwards and i asked why. He felt he was the reason we were dying since his healing was low. OF course it was low, he was the only poison and curse dispeller we had.

    Looking at the meters was a bad bad move, except for the fact that we realised we might need to balance the two guild runs a little more since the other run had all the pallys and mages

    Everytime a new healer joins us and looks at the meters, I remind them… ” we are a healing team” .. Not one of us can do it alone so we bring along some of our buddies to help. Meters are not the deciding factor. The fun and success are more important, with the emphasis on the fun part

  12. If you wipe the first thing you should be looking at is the death report of the first few people to go down, only if that doesn’t provide any answers go over to the healing meters. As said healing is a team effort, as long as noone is letting themselves be carried or using a horribly wrong healing method I’m really not that interested in your hps.

    @ Altros: But why are you giving your resto druid an assignment at all? Unless your raid has no priests or paladins at all restricting the amount of targets a resto druid should heal is a huge waste of their potential. With our current talents it is easy to run a full hot stack on the tanks and then spot heal all over the raid without going oom, and in my opinion this is how a druid is most effectively utilized.

  13. I think every healer should take a look a their WWS reports once in a while, just to see where they can improve.

    I also ABSOLUTELY agree with Qodeus that WWS reports and meters are good for comparing apples to apples.

    And right along the same lines, “Issue #2” speaks loudly to me. When I was healing lead and our guild had a different GM (who I still love), I would get PASSIONATELY defensive of one of our paladins. On Vashj, she was CONSISTENTLY the bottom of the meters. What I knew that our GM didn’t know, was that I assigned her to a side of the staircase with only 2 DPS and bad LoS. He was comparing her to 2 mobile resto druids! Can’t compare apples to oranges.

    DPS can’t tell the difference between apples & apples and oranges & oranges – so keep healing meters in healer chat!

    Aertimuss last blog post..Wrath Resto Druid Trinkets (With a Focus on Mana Regen Trinkets)

  14. Excellent guest post.

    As a restro shaman, I am not going to lie that I dont like seeing myselft at the top of the healing chart. However, you are right…it means very little.

    Someone already said this but I mostly use the meters to check out how my trinkets/glyphs are proc’ing. I like looking at the over-healing meter as well…

    Remember, there is no such thing as too much information

    Teks last blog post..Tuesday Maintenance Boredom – DK tanking and IPhone apps

  15. Another thing to keep in mind is that people are often looking at raw numbers, which tend to be rather meaningless. Just as an example, after we buff up with a Prayer of Fortitude I’ll often hit CoH a few times to bring everybody up to full. (For the record, I’m not at all a CoH spammer and I honestly have trouble understanding why people would heal that way–this is one of a very limited set of circumstances that I cast it at all, much less multiple times.) Likewise if anybody dies or just has some damage at the end of a fight, I’ll probably throw them a heal. Obviously, both of these situations increase my total heal numbers quite a bit each time, but none of them have anything at all to do with how well I may or may not have performed that day. In both cases, these are also almost completely effective heals (since CoH is a smart heal and I use the smallest possible heal to get somebody up if I’m not castin that), so looking at effective healing doesn’t provide any better of a picture.

    The flip side is overheals. I do glance at that from time to time to see how I’m doing at selecting the proper heals at the proper times, but I can remember a few raid runs where for whatever reason (lag, reaction time, UI, who knows!) I always found myself dropping a heal a fraction of a second after somebody else did. The issue was compounded by the fact that we didn’t have any healing assignments, so other than tanks being top priority it was pretty much a free-for-all in terms of who heals whom, when. I didn’t look at that particular meter but I’m sure my overheals were crazy. Still, it was a successful raid overall.

    I’ll echo what other people said: Ultimately I judge my own success as a healer based on whether or not people I could have saved stay alive. I don’t fret too much about people who died that I couldn’t have done anything about, nor dwell too much on how much healing I ultimately did to accomplish my job.

    Isn’t that what being a healer is all about?

  16. I use WWS to double check to see if healers are using all their tricks at their disposal. One pally never shows heals from Judgement of Light, mana return from Seals, very little mana return from Divine Plea, so on and so forth. We’re working on that.

    I use Judgement of Light a lot and although it only ticks for 300-400 heals sporadically, it has often accounted for over 1 million of my heals and 17% of my total. Granted about 60-70% of it is overheals, but at least it’s up when it’s needed and I benefit from the haste anyway.

    Anyone reading healing meters without looking at the behind the scenes either needs to be trained on how to read them, roll a healer themselves, or just get out of the way!

    kyrileans last blog post..How Do You Motivate Members?

  17. Situational situations are situatonal !
    Yes, I had a classic in late TBC – I (holy pally) had just joined a raiding guild. After raiding with them for a month or so, the RL pulled me aside and wanted to know why I wasn’t healing as much as the other pally and why I was consistently at the bottom of the meters. After all, I had better gear, so I must be slacking off!
    I tried to explain that my target was the MT (and helping out on the OT when I needed to), he had the most HP, he just simply didn’t need as many heals, if I took my eyes off him, he was liable to take large spike damage, and that if he didn’t die, where was the problem?
    He just said, but I was healing some 50% less than the other pally and why wasn’t I doing a better job! /sigh /gquit

  18. One thing sort of alluded to but not fully pointed out is that once everyone is fully healed the only thing that happens with further healing is overheal that does nothing. In these situations where no one is dieing if a healer at the bottom of the list improves their stats all they are really doing is taking it away from other healers to balance out the healing stats.

    Or to look at it another way the people at the top of the list are hogging the heals.

    In my guild we sometimes run Naxx with three resto druids. Generally the other two are at the top of the WWS healing charts while I tend to be much lower than either of them. But when they are along I look for other things to do such as I will have 200 poison and curse removals compared to their 0. I will be focusing on using heals other than Wild Growth to balance things out. The other day both of these druids were not in our regular Naxx run and things shifted around dramatically with me moving up and only seriously being challenged by a CoH spammer.

    WWS and such are good to use to compare what spells you use in comparison to someone else and to look and see if you are getting your job done. But to look at the list and assume just because somone has 8million in heals and you only did 5 milion that they are great and you suck misses the point of not only the stats but the entire raid.

    Sadly even healers don’t seem to understand that you only get to the top of the heal list at the expense of the other healers. Don’t bogart that tank!

  19. I keep Recount installed and with a dedicated spot in my UI despite being a healer, just so I can keep tabs on who in my heroic/raid pugs is doing good DPS to remember to invite them again to future runs. Only very rarely do I ever switch it over to the healing tab. Usually the only reason is so that I can see the details of my own healing (what percent of my healing that run was from which spells, etc), not so much so I can compare myself with the other healers

    I’m usually at or near the top of the healing meters when other people post them, but it’s because I’m a druid and our pugs have no assignments, so I’m busily healing whoever I can while running HoTs on the tanks at the same time. It doesn’t surprise me that I’m doing more healing than the other people, and I won’t lie and say it doesn’t make me feel good about my healing ability, but at the same time I know logically it doesn’t mean anything. I think at the end of the run if nobody died and I wasn’t running out of mana from being wasteful, I was doing a fine job.

    I even take the DPS meters with a grain of salt a lot of the time, since my prot pally friend and I run heroics AoE-style with no CC, and some classes are just fundamentally better at AoE than others. I fully expect the boomkin to beat the feral druid in a situation like that. Healers aren’t the only ones who can beat others situationally. Meters can be very useful, but only if you know what they mean.

  20. Healing meters in game, such as recount, are great for getting a quick glance to see if anything is blatantly wrong (i.e. COH priest who is always top but suddenly drops to dead last), making sure healers are healing assignments (especially on new/difficult content when strats haven’t been finalized) and not sniping, and reviewing my own spells cast to verify I’m not focusing on one spell to the exclusion of others.

    WWS or WMO are great for reviewing a night’s work to see if strats need to be improved or if specific healers need a little work.

    Who’s on top rarely matters due to the variance in assignments. It drives me crazy when people insist on linking healing meters in game because the amount healed doesn’t mean anything without further info….

  21. This is definitely an interesting reading for everybody who’s not a healer. There are lots of misconception on healers, because there are often perceived as inverted dpsers.

    As we’re sharing tips, I’d like to know what you think about damage taken meters.
    I personnally use them for a few things : comparing heals received and damage taken in percentage (so I know if someone is getting to much attention), and looking for unusual patterns (a distance dps who’s taking far more damage than other people… that will tell me to be more attentive to this person, or to let him die to let him understand he is not suppose to offtank)

  22. As the DK Tank that was main tanking Patchwerk in the raid mentioned in the above article, I am glad that I was not the GM that was focussed on healing meters, ever.

    The only time I look at a healing meter is to see what a healer was doing when his target died, ie who else was he healing that maybe he shouldn’t be. Purely to fix a problem if needed.

    Ulk is quite a modest guy, but he is also one of the most dedicated and talented healers I know of, who can look for solutions and assist a raid with better and better healing assignments.

    I am blessed in gaving an excellent team of players, including healers, who take it quite personally when they let a target down. I am very proud to both raid and arena with the author, and people can learn a lot from his words.

  23. While I agree that whom tops the charts is pointless healing meters can be a great utility if used properly.

    I use it to troubleshoot problems, ie: track if healers are sticking to their assignments, Patchwerk OT almost dying at pull because shammy was using Chain Heal on his assignment instead of Healing Wave, find out that a druid is using rank 1 Wild Growth because he never trained up on the spell.

  24. I’m a Resto druid in a causal 10man raiding guild.
    My partner in crime for running Naxx10 is a Holy Priest.

    Now as you know Priests have alot better aoe healing than a druid, yet druids can manage spike damage alot better over 1 and usualy 2 Tanks/targets than a priest.
    So when one of our newer DPS tried linking the Healing meters we all laughed at him. My number 1 priority is to keep the tanks alive and my Priest friend concentrates on the group more than the tanks. This ofcourse is subject to encounter but its our usual rolls. It works very well but the Healing meters would be Horrible to look at.


  25. As a holy paladin, running with good groups in 5 man content: i started finding myself with nothing to do since armour levels of the group was impressive and i could heal the damage taken with 1 or two quick spell casts. I’d say “WTB more damage” and then i started lending my hand in DPS.

    With a good group, i can hit 7-8% dps, with bad groups i’ve hit upwards of 10-12% a number of times.

    These skills honed in 5 man content, I hardly heal at all in 10 man nax during trash pulls and even on bosses i’m often contributing 4-7% DPS, kinda De-tuning the whole raid by my DPS level since it’s not really expected or counted on.

    the cool thing is, im leading healing meters on bosses, and im never running out of mana since they want paladin healers to be in melee range to heal since BoW and JoW are an integral part of our mana regen. (im usualy at 100% mana regardless of what im doing DPS/Healing, even for long boss fights).

    with 30% crit, 450 haste, 20k mana and 1900 sp I like to think im the Healing DPS leader of my guild 😀

    that being said, the REASON i have to DPS and not do my actual spec’d duties is the fact that i dont have a HoT. The two priesties i run with have all the damage already taken care of before the damage is even done, so there isnt a lot of damage for ME to take care of. There’s only one thing left to keep me occupied in a raid and thats holy shocking, judging, and melee attacking an enemy – with some heals thrown in.

    also, something that’s over looked in terms of pallies, is the Holy sheild we can cast on tanks/raid. -500 Dmg off the top of each hit, its almost like a HoT…but it doesnt show on the healing meters either..

  26. Lagavoulin, you may want to look at the actual Sacred Shield mechanics again, though the confusing tooltip doesn’t help. Sacred shield is affected by your spellpower aka ‘bonus healing’ like anything else. In additon to granting you the Flash crit bonus (which is less mana burned to maintain constant prememptive Flash spam of a topped off tank, and a more effective stream of it to boot), the secondary buff absorbs 500 + (spellpower * .75) per application. In your case thats 1925 damage. The secondary buff appears when the shieldee takes a hit (but doesn’t absorb until the next hit) and disappears when its done absorbing, max once per 6 seconds. So 30 second buff divided by 6 is 5 probable applications if the tanks is taking constant hits, times 1925 equals 9625 points of damage prevented, none of which shows up on the heal meters.

    Usually tanks are tanking enough damage that it doesn’t hide a huge percentage from your heals from the meters but used on raid members taking periodic damage, shield can hide more significant chunks of your don’t-need-to-heal-since-I-prevented-it-in-the-first-place healing. File that with Hammer of Justice on the mob about to eat the mage.

    Also, like the Disc priest shield mitigation, this is BETTER than a heal, since it increases the target’s effective health pool, instead of just refilling it, and can be cast when your target is at 100%, like a HoT.

  27. I didnt know it scaled with SP, but it figures it should. Very fun 😀 That tooltip is much to confusing though..

    also..the “pally CC, to save a squishie” is one of my favorite manuvers. I also like trying to grab agro on the errant mob and tow him back to the tank.

  28. Healing meters are useful for some things. I use them to compare different gear. Also to compare the mana efficiency of my healing spells. Recount is pretty awesome for that. Especially if you are in a group and are trying to learn from a more experienced healer of the same class. You can find out what spells they use and in what proportions.

  29. Whenever I see someone saying healing meters don’t matter, it makes me doubt their ability to use meters intelligently. Sadly, this is just the case. Even worse, the OP engages in meter bashing without proposing an alternative way to assess the healers’ performance in a raid. Until someone comes up with something better, meters will continue to be the best way to do precisely that.

    People usually forget that healing done by the healers isn’t the only meter available. There is also the healing taken by the targets. This is easily available ingame if you use Recount, in WWS under the “Who heals whom” report, or in WoW Meter Online under the “Healing Target Analysis” tab.

    Cross-referencing the healing done and healing taken meters is an immensely rich source of information — and, currently, the best way to assess a healer’s performance. It’s common for a MT healer to rank low in healing done overall but to rank first in originating the heals taken by his target.

    In the example of the third paladin you mentioned, I would expect him to rank very well in healing taken by the MT. If he doesn’t, then he wasn’t being useful to the raid at all, period. A healer who ranks low in healing done AND healing taken by the tanks can’t be doing much.

    Following the same logic, a healer that is assigned to raid healing can be expected to rank very low on healing taken by the tanks, but I do expect him to rank high in healing done overall. A raid healing assignment is, in fact, the only case when overall healing done matters a lot. This case alone should be enough to safeguard the usefulness of ‘healing done’ meters.

  30. Bless you for this! I was about to quit playing my Holy Paladin and level up my priest! Our healers ask for and get healing meters all the time, and I’m consistantly on the bottom and I’m one of the best geared healers in the guild.
    Now I had to wonder, why is it that my healing has been successful for 80 levels, but now I’m a “bad” healer? I’ve been struggling with this for weeks now, and finding different opinions on the forums, and chats; I should never worry about overheals, I should spam Holy Light, Tank alive+Boss dead=Good Job, lowest on the meter=bad healer. I couldn’t figure out if I was a bad healer, or even if I was doing anything wrong with all the conflicting opinions about healing statistics and tactics. I honestly thought that with the changes (Beacon of light, Seals, etc.) my healing was even better, but the meters were telling me and everyone else something different!
    The one time my tank died, and it was my fault, I was busy trying to heal everyone to boost my numbers on the healing meter. A mistake I won’t be making again!
    You’ve given me new hope that my Paladin can still be an effective healer for my guild. Thank you.

  31. Holy paladins own and should always be used with a main tank. Healing meter dont matter (even though i constantly top them), so just get out there and kill some bosses for phat lewts.

  32. Well, thats partially true, but I feel like trusting recount when it says I’m doing more than double effective healing(1,87m to be precise) than all other healers on sapphiron 25 (I was only druid in the raid).
    Sometimes people use the “healing meters suck” wording instead of improving their playstyle. A raid-healing shaman spamming chain heal on MT from my guild may be a good example.
    My opinion is that if you’re trying to do the best and improve yourself and your mind isn’t full of EPIXX purple signs, you will be the best regardless of what meters say or don’t. I dont have my personal playstyle yet, i’m not sure what spells to use in what situations, i’m trying, and i’m topping healing meters, and in the end of overhealing meters. I analyze what I have done right and wrong with my precious recount after every serious fight, and I think everyone should do this.

  33. Recount: Deaths
    I agree that keeping people alive is a healer’s job, but this doesn’t mean it’s the healer’s fault if people die. Actually it rarely ever is. Healing people who know what to do is an easy job. Healing people who do mistakes (standing in aoe, overaggroing etc.) can be impossible. With recount you can determine people’s cause of death. You can blame the healer only if it’s something that can’t be avoided (if he isn’t too busy healing things that aren’t supposed to happen).

    Recount: Healing done
    This can indicate a healer’s performance if you keep in mind that recount doesn’t count absorptions and that a healer can’t effectively heal more than there is to heal.
    1. A healer might be assigned to heal a target that doesn’t take a lot of damage.
    2. As a tree I always get the feeling that I don’t leave much to do for other healers, because everything they want to do I have done before. But this doesn’t mean they couldn’t heal it if I wasn’t there! It only means that my hots are smaller and faster, while their spells are bigger and slower.

    Spell Information
    If you know enough about healing that you can estimate what class should use what spells on what target when he heals at what boss with what kind of other healers, then you can start to criticize a healer. Else, rather keep your mouth shut.

  34. I was linked to this post after my first run healing Ulduar (I’m normally a tank, but I’m dual-spec healed and have a good healing set). I can’t tell you how depressing it was to be at the bottom of the healing meter (I was a guest in another guild’s raid)

    My bf, who heals on his shaman, and was part of the same raid, scolded me for looking at the meters, and pointed out that I was assigned the second OT (a bear tank who required very little healing most of the time, as he had obscene amounts of mitigation). His comment: “Your tank didn’t die, you’re doing your job.”

    I still felt a bit depressed about it, but after asking some full-time healers and getting pointed here, I don’t feel quite so bad. (until this point, I’ve only done off-healing in sections of Naxx that don’t require three tanks).

    I know my performance could be better…my gemming wasn’t quite optimized, and I could probably use a bit better gear. But we got invited back, so I guess we didn’t do too badly 🙂
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..gamshig bas gaihamshig =-.

  35. I dont understand all of this “woe is me” talk from pally healers. On my realm, they are of the most arrogant players in the game – always showing HPS meters at the end of a raid because they top the charts. Or, trying to show that THEY are not the cause of repeated wipes. And they act all high & mighty and take the “lead” role with other healers by trying to tell them what to do.

    Typical response from pally healers: ” Hey, numbers don’t lie “. The charts sometimes show them as healing 40% – 60% more than other healers usually due mostly to the beacon of light talent, as was mentioned by Matticus earlier.

    HEALING IS SITUATIONAL. btw – pally healers also top the charts on overhealing.

  36. Thanks for posting this Matticus, you make some great points. I’m actually in a TotC pug right now and I was wondering why I was so low on Jaraxxus, then I found out that healing incinerate flesh doesn’t show up.

  37. ive been playing holy paladin., and i beat priests and druids on healing meters specially on 10-man and 25-man instances., the secret., judgement of light, everytime judgement of light can be used., i cast it on boss., it’s like rain of green damage.,


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