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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.

UI for Healing Valithria Dreamwalker February 17, 2010

Posted by Leiyan in AddOns/Mods/Macros, Icecrown Citadel, Tree.
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Instead of having a fancy dinner on Valentine’s day, my husband and I were in the upper reaches of Ice Crown Citadel, saving a green dragon by the name of Valithria.  We found 8 other adventurers, willing to forgo the holiday in favor of mauling faces, and we managed a guild first Valithria  save.   As we have yet to save this drake in 25s, I think our experiences here will help us fine tune our guild raid attempts on Thursday and there are a couple of points I wanted to go over.

Our 10s team:

Tanks: A Prot Paladin and a Prot Warrior
Healers: A Resto Druid (myself) and a Resto Shaman as drake healers.  Our Feral Druid graciously specced Tree to raid/tank heal for this boss.
DPS: A Rogue, a Ret Paladin , a Hunter, a Warlock, and a Moonkin.

Now, since I went through the portals, I honestly have very little idea of what the DPS, Tanks, or other Resto Druid did during that fight.  Suffice it to say, they were an excellent team and they did a fantastic job of killing the adds and staying alive long enough for the Shaman and I to heal Valithria.  For the remainder of this post, I am going to focus on setting up a Druid UI for healing Valithria.

Valithria Dreamwalker UI Settings

I had about 8 attempts on this encounter as a drake healer on our second night of trying in 25s.  Given that I had been relegated to raid/tank healing for the first night I was relatively unprepared for the switch to drake healing.  Luckily, I did have a spare Rapid Rejuvenation glyph on hand, but I spent the first few attempts adjusting Quartz to show my healing buffs on the drake, writing a macro to quickly re-attain Valithria as my target, setting up Power Auras to tell me how many stacks I had, how long they would last, and how long I had left in the Dream State, and getting some first hand experience with the green clouds.  I was finally getting into my stride around the fifth attempt once I was able to get my UI set up.

HoT Timers
As others have mentioned, having a HoT timer can be of crucial importance.  I already had quartz installed, so I simply had to enable the focus buffs module, resize it, and place it in an appropriate location on my screen.  At first, right in the middle of my screen, right on top of my character and above my raid frames, seemed an obvious choice… but that quickly proved to be a terrible idea as I couldn’t click on the portals to get into the Dream State.  I frantically disabled it partway through the attempt and had to use the little buff icons on my focus frame.

Next, I followed the advice I’ve seen in various places and disabled my raid frames.  I moved the focus buff bars to where my raid frames used to be.  This worked out very well.  My eyes were already used to watching that area of my screen while paying attention to where my character was standing (to avoid the Fire and what not), so I was able to pay attention to my refresh timers, move out of void zones, and get to portals fairly easily.

For future attempts, I do not think I’ll be using a HoT timer of any sort…. I’ll explain this in more detail in another post.

Macros

I’m a little uncertain how much benefit Wild Growth has in this encounter, or if other Trees would recommend using it or not, but I decided to include it in my rotation. When I was healing the raid/tank, I made sure to put Wild Growth of Valithria every cooldown… raid members stood near enough to the drake that it splashed onto at least 4 or 5 others (I used Glyph of Wild Growth) while healing Valithria so I never skimped on my assignment while helping a little with drake healing. As a drake healer and using Glyph of Nourish, Wild Growth adds 6% more healing to Nourish, so I figured I could help with a little raid healing while not skimming on my drake healing assignment.  In either situation this macro came in extremely handy.
#showtooltip Wild Growth
/target Valithria
/focus
/cast Wild Growth

As a raid healer, this macro would automatically target Valithria for the Wild Growth and it put her as my focus target so I can see how the fight was progressing over all. As a drake healer, this assured that my focus buff bars would become active again and set Valithria as my target without having to frantically click all over the screen trying to find her behind raid members and adds.

Power Auras Classic

After going through the Dream State a few times, I quickly saw the need for a big number on my screen to tell me when I only had 3 or 4 seconds left in the Dream State.  I was also having difficulty tracking how many buffs I had and how much longer they would last.  The little red debuff bars on the side of my screen just wasn’t cutting it, so here comes my favorite addon to the rescue.

I think I’m still going to tweak things a little bit, but this image basically shows how I intend to have my auras set up.  The big plus sign means that I have the Emerald Vigor debuff on me.  The number in the upper left side is how many stacks are active, the number in the upper right side is how much longer the debuff will last.  The ring circling around that indicates that I am currently inside the Dream State, while the timer at the top counts down how many seconds I have left before being dropped out of the Dream.  I think I’m going to move that timer to the bottom of the ring so that it is more visible.  I might move the stack number and stack timer to the lower half of the plus sign as well…and I’ll probably change that icon.  I was in a hurry when I set it up. =)

Anyways, these auras helped me keep track of what was going on so very much.  They were probably the single biggest contributor to helping me feel more confident in the Dream.

Also, despite the greenish tint to the Dream and the bright green color of my auras, I found them easy to see while flying around.

Emerald Vigor
Version:st3.0.0E; gcd:bofalse; b:nu0; anim1:nu1; g:nu1; optunitn:bofalse; ignoremaj:botrue; stacksLower:nu0; target:bofalse; icon:stInterface\Icons\Spell_Nature_ElementalShields; size:nu0.75; torsion:nu1; r:nu0.23137254901961; y:nu164; x:nu0; customname:st; groupany:botrue; isAlive:botrue; timerduration:nu0; unitn:st; bufftype:nu2; stacks:nu0; focus:bofalse; raid:bofalse; texture:nu25; alpha:nu0.75; aurastext:st; symetrie:nu0; owntex:bofalse; isResting:bofalse; duration:nu0; mine:bofalse; multiids:st; inVehicle:bofalse; speed:nu1; anim2:nu0; spec2:botrue; stacksOperator:st>; realaura:nu1; InactiveDueToState:botrue; threshold:nu50; exact:botrue; textaura:bofalse; sound:nu0; wowtex:bofalse; groupOrSelf:bofalse; customsound:st; combat:nu0; id:nu145; inParty:nu0; HideRequest:bofalse; Active:botrue; aurastextfont:nu1; buffname:stEmerald Vigor; inRaid:nu0; tooltipCheck:st; customtex:bofalse; stance:nu10; isSecondary:bofalse; thresholdinvert:bofalse; spec1:botrue; Debug:bofalse; beginSpin:bofalse; Showing:botrue; UseOldAnimations:bofalse; begin:nu0; off:bofalse; party:bofalse; texmode:nu1; inverse:bofalse; ismounted:bofalse; targetfriend:bofalse; randomcolor:bofalse; finish:nu1; timer.InvertAuraBelow:nu0; timer.dual:bofalse; timer.HideLeadingZeros:bofalse; timer.h:nu1; timer.ShowOnAuraHide:bofalse; timer.UpdatePing:bofalse; timer.Texture:stDefault; timer.enabled:botrue; timer.Showing:botrue; timer.lastShownLarge:nu2; timer.y:nu196; timer.x:nu40; timer.CustomDuration:nu0; timer.Transparent:bofalse; timer.a:nu1; timer.HideRequest:botrue; timer.id:nu145; timer.cents:bofalse; stacks.a:nu1; stacks.Showing:botrue; stacks.HideLeadingZeros:bofalse; stacks.enabled:botrue; stacks.y:nu194; stacks.h:nu1; stacks.id:nu145; stacks.Transparent:bofalse; stacks.UpdatePing:bofalse; stacks.lastShownValue:nu4; stacks.x:nu-45; stacks.Texture:stDefault

Dream State
Version:st3.0.0E; gcd:bofalse; b:nu0; anim1:nu1; g:nu1; optunitn:bofalse; ignoremaj:botrue; stacksLower:nu0; target:bofalse; icon:stInterface\Icons\Spell_Arcane_PortalShattrath; size:nu1.2999999523163; torsion:nu1; r:nu0.35686274509804; y:nu151; x:nu0; customname:st; groupany:botrue; isAlive:botrue; timerduration:nu0; unitn:st; bufftype:nu2; stacks:nu0; focus:bofalse; raid:bofalse; texture:nu1; alpha:nu0.75; aurastext:st; symetrie:nu0; owntex:bofalse; isResting:bofalse; duration:nu0; mine:bofalse; multiids:st; inVehicle:bofalse; speed:nu1; anim2:nu0; stacksOperator:st>=; realaura:nu1; spec2:botrue; InactiveDueToState:botrue; threshold:nu50; exact:bofalse; textaura:bofalse; sound:nu0; wowtex:bofalse; groupOrSelf:bofalse; customsound:st; combat:nu0; id:nu146; inParty:nu0; HideRequest:bofalse; Active:botrue; aurastextfont:nu1; buffname:stDream State; inRaid:nu0; tooltipCheck:st; customtex:bofalse; stance:nu10; isSecondary:bofalse; thresholdinvert:bofalse; spec1:botrue; Debug:bofalse; beginSpin:bofalse; Showing:botrue; UseOldAnimations:bofalse; begin:nu0; off:bofalse; party:bofalse; texmode:nu1; inverse:bofalse; ismounted:bofalse; targetfriend:bofalse; randomcolor:bofalse; finish:nu1; timer.InvertAuraBelow:nu0; timer.dual:bofalse; timer.HideLeadingZeros:bofalse; timer.h:nu2; timer.ShowOnAuraHide:bofalse; timer.UpdatePing:bofalse; timer.Texture:stDefault; timer.enabled:botrue; timer.Showing:botrue; timer.lastShownLarge:nu1; timer.lastShownSmall:nu4; timer.y:nu247; timer.x:nu-13; timer.CustomDuration:nu0; timer.Transparent:bofalse; timer.a:nu1; timer.HideRequest:botrue; timer.id:nu146; timer.cents:botrue

And that is about it for this post.  In my next post on this fight I’m going to talk more about my healing strategy.

[3.3.3] Eclipse Procs in Power Auras January 26, 2010

Posted by Leiyan in AddOns/Mods/Macros, Moonkin.
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UDPATE 2/10/2011: I’ve noticed this still gets a lot of views, so I would direct anyone who finds this post to a related post on Heart of the Wild.

UPDATE 4/5/2010:  Patch 3.3.3 brought a minor change to the Eclipse proc for Balance Druids.  As many Moonkin recall, the buff was called “Eclipse” regardless of if it buffed Wrath or Starfire.  This is no longer the case.

An eclipse that buffs Starfire is now named: Eclipse (Lunar)
An eclipse that buffs Wrath is now named: Eclipse (Solar)

These terms can now be used instead of the spell numbers I described below.  Of course, the spell numbers will still work so you wont need to update/change your Power Aura settings unless you want to.  A very nice, and very needed, change.  Thanks, Blizz!

—————

I found this lovely little addon about a year ago but only since October 2009, when I ran Moonkin spec in my guilds Yogg+1 10s group and used it to display the free Starfire proc from the Tier 8 2 piece bonus  did I start seeing how useful it was.  Even then, its only been in the last month or two that I have really use of Power Auras Classic to its fullest with all four specs of the Druid class.

Angelya’s post in Revive & Rejuvenate reminded me of how little I had been able to find regarding how to properly display Eclipse Procs when I was searching for that information.  Luckily I somehow came across the spell numbers for the two buffs in Wowhead.  Right now, I have no idea -how- I found the spell numbers.  No matter what I try, I can’t seem to repeat the search that lead me to these numbers in the first place, which is probably why so many Moonkin out there also do not seem to know they exist.

So, in the interests of getting the information out there as much as possible:
For the Eclipse that boosts Starfire use: [48518]
For the Eclipse that boosts Wrath use: [48517]

Make sure to include the []’s in the Name field.  That is the proper syntax for using Wowhead spell numbers in Power Auras Classic.

My aura for both procs look exactly the same, and are found in the same spot on my screen.  The Lunar Eclipse is tinted blue and the Solar Eclipse is tinted orange (just like the buffs appear on my character).  Naturally, both also have a countdown timer to display how much longer I can keep spamming before it wears off.  Being a Restoration Druid at heart, this simple aura display has greatly increased my DPS, making it rather obvious when I should be hitting one button instead of the other. =)