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Healing Effectiveness for Valithria Dreamwalker February 17, 2010

Posted by Leiyan in AddOns/Mods/Macros, Icecrown Citadel, Tree.
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After my guilds eight or so attempts on Valithria last week, I glanced through my recount logs, trying to make sense of how well I managed to maintain my HoTs and how effective my healing was over all.  What I saw didn’t really surprise me and here is a screen shot of my healing done on Valithria for our longest attempt of the evening (a little over 8 minutes, if I recall correctly).

I spent a lot of my time outside of the Dream State staring at my focus buff bars, refreshing HoTs and casting Nourish whenever I had a spare moment.  I didn’t Swiftmend as often as I would have liked, but I still threw it in there a good number of times.  Though it seemed like healing Valithria would be a lot like healing a tank, the focus on raw throughput as opposed to keeping the target alive coupled with the portal phases made it a super hectic experience and I felt a bit frazzeled by the end. When healing a tank, clipping your HoTs isnt the best idea, but its far from detrimental to your healing especially if you have the regen to support sustained casting.  In this fight…every HoT clipped is that many less seconds that could have been spent spamming Nourish for optimum throughput.  I dropped HoTs, accidentally refreshed Lifebloom when it was already at three stacks badly delaying the bloom, died once or twice to a void zone, and even missed an entire portal phase.

Well, I glanced through the recount logs of the other healers to see how they were managing with this new outlook on healing, curious as to what kind of spells they were using…  I shouldn’t have been surprised by these graphs, but when I first saw them I was floored.

The Paladins

The Shaman

The Priests

Four of the other five healers did 70% or more of their healing on Valithria with a single spell, and the last Priest there, still did over 50% of their Valithria healing with a single spell and another 25% with a different spell.  Now I’m not a Priest, or a Paladin, or a Shaman. I can’t speak to how they heal, and I’m not looking to critique anything, but it was rather surprising to see that most of the other healers on this fight were hitting a single button over and over again while I was regularly using five or six different spells and doing everything I could to maintain four different HoTs.

I had a sudden vision of how much simpler this fight might be if I only had to spam one button.  I could pay a lot more attention to making sure I was near a portal spawn point, to getting into the portal as soon as it opened, and to moving out of the void zones.  Now, I could go into Valithria next time intending to basically spam Nourish or a Glyph-ed Regrowth, but I think I would loose too much healing for that to be a worthwhile endeavor.  I needed to figure out what my ideal rotation would be instead of scrambling to figure out what my next cast should be while paying attention to everything else going on in that fight.

In many ways, Valithria is a DPS race for healer.  For the most part you need to stand there and work your rotation to the best of your ability.  It was thinking on that when I came up with the idea for a healer HPS macro.  It almost feels like cheating to write a healing rotation macro, but dps do that sort of thing all the time. I know that such macros can never really replace or exceed being able to play your class well a dealing with unexpected situations… but when there are so many other things vying for your attention and seeing that so many of the other healers are basically one button spamming….I couldn’t help but try to write one out.

The results…?

This screen shot was taken from our successful 10s Valithria save, using the first iteration of my macro.  I’ve since improved on it, but I haven’t had a chance to try it in action, so this will have to suffice.

As you can see, my Nourish spam went up by about 10%, but the other spells are still strongly represented.  The improved macro, which I’ll post below, fine tunes some of the timings, and includes Wild Growth and Swiftmend (the macro I used for the image above didn’t include either of those so I had to throw them in on the fly).  Neither versions of my macro include Healing Touch… I’m planning to cast NS+HT at least twice, one at the very beginning and one near the end of the fight when I (hopefully) have 25-30 Emerald Vigor stacks. Again, it isn’t exactly fair to compare this screen shot to the first one posted above since one is from 25s and one is from 10s, but I think it’s a good enough approximation.

The Valithria One-Button Spam Healing Macro
/castsequence reset=9
Rejuvenation,Swiftmend,Lifebloom,Regrowth,Nourish,Wild
Growth,Nourish,Nourish,Lifebloom,Nourish,Nourish,
Rejuvenation,Wild Growth,Nourish,Swiftmend,Lifebloom,
Nourish,Nourish,Wild Growth,Nourish,Nourish,Nourish,
Nourish,Nourish,Nourish

This macro is actually not intended to be the only button you would ever hit. It’s supposed to work with the macro posted in my previous entry, for acquiring Valithria as a target and casting Wild Growth to start out with. It will take about 30 seconds to complete the macro, you’ll probably end up back in the Dream before completing it fully. Also, this macro resets to the beginning of the casting sequence after 9 seconds of not being used (basically it will start over from the beginning every time you fall out of the Dream). Unfortunately, I believe all of my HoTs will fall off Valithria shortly after entering the Dream, so I’ll have to spend some time reworking the end of the macro to maximum my healing while not present.

The macro is built around being haste capped and using Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation.  As a side note, it does not account for Nature Grace procs, but since it already assumes 1 second GCDs (and 1 second Nourish casts), a NG proc wont change anything in regards to timing.

Anyways, I’ll be trying out this new macro when we get to Valithria on 25s this week. Personally, in the 10s, I found I was able to spend more time focusing on getting into the portals quickly and maintaining my Emerald Vigor stacks and less time watching my focus buff bars. In fact, with this macro I don’t believe that I even need to see my HoTs on my target… something to consider.

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