However, I've come to realize that knowing HOW to heal is not really the same thing as knowing how to coordinate a group of healers.
I am seeking advice on the mechanics of healing leadership. I'd prefer to avoid discussions of which-class-is-better-at-what since that is discussed in other threads.
As a beginning, I've prepped an internal briefing that's posted on our forums. I've reproduced it below and would appreciate your feedback....
Raid healing is all about working as a team. Each class has advantages and disadvantages that force us to work together for the success of the raid. For this reason, I'm enclosing some basic rules and thoughts that will hopefully maximize our performance. Your feedback is appreciated.
Please join the BLUEHEALERS chat channel so we can keep healing instructions out of /ra chat.
Assignments are considered priorities. You won't get yelled at for occasional cross healing. But please don't cross heal unless there is an emergency (a tank below 50% without incoming heals or multiple clothies taking damage).
Remember that mana efficiency depends on using big slow heals instead of lots of fast ones. This means that the tank won't always be at 100%. A typical MT healer is most efficient using slow heals in ranks that yield between 2000 and 4000 non-crit healing. So don't assume that we're asleep because we let the tank slip from 13K to 9K health. We need that much "stretch" to maximize efficiency.
PRAYER OF MENDING
PrOM should be used on all pulls, since it front loads heals while moving aggro to the tank. If your assigned tank is not pulling, then please use your PrOM on the pulling tank just after the first hit. This gives us two PrOMs worth of aggro building.
Sometimes we let the tanks pull when they are at less than 100% health. We do this in order to get the full effect from PrOM. (If PRoM heals for 2K, but the mob only hits for 1K damage, then we've missed an opportunity to give the tank another 1K in healing aggro).
It's important that everybody else be topped off at the pull, especially on two tank pulls where we want PrOM bouncing between them like a tennis ball. Keep your eyes open for warlocks who life tap at the last moment and ask them to top off and bandage before the pull.
Part of being a good healer is knowing what consumables to use in different situations. I think that it's important to keep a balanced set of gear and then swap out secondary gear and consumables according to the needs of the fight.
I recommend that everybody keep the following in inventory:
- Super Mana Pots (Bring enough, times two plus 10%)
- Magesblood Pots (MP5) and Healing Power Pots (+Heal) -OR- the flasks of your choice.
- Fish Sticks (+Heal) and Sporefish (MP5) plus your favorite stamina food. (Note that Sporefish is somewhat difficult to find on this server).
- Dreamless Sleep Potions (For mana naps)
- Swiftness Potions ("Run Away!!! Run Away!!!")
- Nightmare Seeds can be expensive, but are very useful when you know you're going to get whalloped.
- Superior Mana Oil (Zaharah can make this by the gallon. Bring Netherbloom and Arcane Dust.)
- Bandages (I'm not kidding. It keeps you outside the five second rule.)
- Reagents. (Of course)
I don't carry healing pots since I prefer to keep my potion cooldown available. Instead, I use desparate prayer + healthstone + nightmare seed. But YMMV.
I would prefer to keep the choice of primary GUI an individual decision. This is a matter of style and our diversity gives us strength.
But I expect everybody to RUN Healbot (at least in the background). I don't care whether you use another primary click interface, but it's a huge help to our fellow healers when we can see your incoming heals.
Other mandatory add=ons include:
KLH Threat Meter (or compatible meter, such as OMEN)
A CT-RAID or PERL compatible information sharing add-on.
Our fearless leader, is always looking for a way to speed up raid progress. One way healers can contribute to speedy post-wipe recovery is to rez people in the proper order.
1. Other Rezzers
2. Spellcasters who have to mana up and/or buff the party.
3. Pet classes who have to rez/summon their own pets.
4. All others.
I realize that it's tempting to rez the raid leader first since it's good to suck up to the boss. But you will notice that Rogues are not a priority on this list. Besides, he's too busy yelling at us for wiping to accept the rez.
It's also important to quickly identify people who died in awkward or dangerous locations so we can ask them to run back and wait for summon as early as possible.
NON COMBAT HEALING
Another way to speed things up during raids is to minimize healing AFTER combat. It makes no sense to use up all your mana healing the party while the DPS casters are drinking. We end up with everybody standing around waiting for the healers to mana up AGAIN.
Fast touch ups are okay. But if there was a big fight then it's usually faster to have everybody eat while ALL the casters mana up. (Mage food is free).
It may sound silly to focus so much on trivial details. But we're on a tight schedule. Fast recovery during trash clearing translates directly to more time on the boss.
DPS Pets are not a priority. Tanking pets are.
If the raid leader asks somebody's pet to tank a mob, then please give them the same priority as on off tank. It's not that difficult since most pets have enough stamina that an occastional HOT will be sufficient (Yes, regular HOTS stack with Mend Pet).
If your raid GUI does not show pets by default, then learn how to turn it on. Alternatively, use the /focus function to temporarily add a pet to your interface.
Fear Ward is unique in that it has a 30 second cooldown and no "Prayer of" group buff. It also requires frequent re-application due to its short duration and cancel-on-use mechanics.
This means that sometimes it's necessary to prioritize who gets fear ward before a pull. Typical priority goes as follows:
2. Healers who may be in fear range (because I can't heal while I'm scared).
3. Melee and others who may be in fear range (including pets).
4. Ranged DPS who are usually outside of fear range.
5. Warlocks last. (Tradition)
Usually we only cover the first two groups, but if time permits then ward as many people as possible.
Note that this sometimes means that pets get warded when ranged DPS doesn't. They're easy to forget, but if you've ever seen a pet feared into a group of adds then you know why pets are important.
I'm sure that everybody has already heard my rants about healing meters, so I will be brief: There is no such thing as "winning" the healing meter. Healing is not a contest. Meters are tools for performance improvement. *end of rant*
I currently use SW Stats to track combat effective healing, target selection and mana efficiency. I'm also playing around with Wow Web Statistics (WWS), which is a favorite on the Elitist Jerks web site. I plan to take Recap for a spin, too.
SW Stats shows me who is healing whom and what spells are used (I'm always trying to improve my ratio of fast heals to efficient heals, for example).
I also use the X-Perl GUI to check who is using which consumables, just in case anybody forgets.
I'm sorry if you have a problem with my "watching our performance." I realize that I'm probably not qualified to tell a druid or pally how to play their class. But benchmarking helps us identify two things: problems and opportunities. We tend to recruit very selectively, so I'm glad to say that we rarely have performance problems. However, if you're not the kind of person who enjoys talking about opportunities for improvement, then you're probably in the wrong guild.
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