Healing Meters and You - A Guide to Recount.

85 Human Paladin
5020
So I have noticed through both my in-game experience and experience through these forums that there seem to be a vast number of people who either overemphasize the point of Healing Meters, or those who completely devalue it. Hopefully this thread will clarify a few things, and allow those inexperienced with Recount see what it can and can not do in a down and dirty format.

Anyone with credible knowledge on certain tabs on recount that are not covered or covered fully, feel free to add, and I will edit the OP to reflect it.

What Total Healing, HPS, etc, actually means.

Total Healing Done

So the first big thing I notice has some ignorance around it (Note: Ignorance, it's not just stupid people who don't know, and there is a difference) is what Total Healing Done means, especially in relation to overhealing.

Total Healing Done reflects EFFECTIVE heals done, depending on the meter it can either factor in bubbles such as a Priest's Power Word: Shield and Paladin's Illuminated Healing, or it may not. This means a Druid's HoTs that overheals, or a paladin's beacon or whatever is NOT represented in this tab.

How can these numbers help in developing a strategy? Simple, let's say you run a 10 man and you are doing Shannox with 3 healers, all 3 are known good healers, however, in this fight you notice your Shaman has half of the healing done as your other two healers, and the other two healers find the fight is extraordinarily easy to heal. You can now have the Shaman switch to his DPS spec and speed up the kill, making your weekly farm runs more speedy. Also, keep in mind, the faster a boss dies, the less healing is needed. This is especially true on fights such as Beth'tilac who have soft enrages.

Note that I did not once say a healer who is ranked last on this chart is bad. All 3 could be amazing healers and one just has a slightly better connection. Please keep in mind that this should not be a sole reason to determine a healer's skill, but used in conjunction with HPS and actually watching, it can help assess problem areas.

Also, on Recount at least if you scroll over someone's name on this tab it will show their top used spells. This can give you an idea of how your fellow healer's rotation is to identify any problems or just make a more synergistic flow between healers overall.

HPS

This is an especially hot topic around here, and seems to be the most prone to the polar extremes. EG: "dood ur hps is only 6k ubad healz" "LULZ im rocking 30k hps while the other healers are only doing 12k LULZ"

How is HPS useful for your review of a fight? Simple really, a simple observation of recount's HPS will point you to the down and dirty. The more fast "hard" heals a healer puts out, the higher this number goes. Now then, knowing this, you can use HPS to determine a few things:

Firstly (The hot topic): Is the healer with xHPS bad? That depends. In the case of a wipe, all healers should be pushing their HPS, as this is when the flash heals, the tranquilities, etc come out in a fever. So if you're constantly wiping on Beth, it's not a controlling adds issue, etc and you notice one healer is still at his normal 8k HPS? Chances are he's either not fully informed about his cooldowns or he's using them improperly.

Another notion that ties into this is that low HPS always means a bad healer. Not true, especially in 5 mans. I have had many zandas where I pulled 4k HPS simply because the DPS and tank were that good. Healers can not heal damage that doesn't occur, and remember what we said about healing that isn't actually, you know, healing? Yeah, it won't show. So remember, if no one has died, everyone has stayed in green and all of the healer(s) HPS is low, that just means the DPS and/or tank are just rolling with the A game.

Various notes when using meter add-ons

First thing is obviously, different meters function differently and they won't show the exact same numbers. I know Skada and Recount both define DPS/HPS differently due to different definitions of "uptime".

Certain meter add ons may also be affected by proximity, some may synch with one another so that as long as someone in the group who is out of range has the add on, it will record.

Now, a request. I do not blow smoke, and I will openly admit I would like to add a section on activity but as I do not know the in's and out's, I humbly ask someone who knows what exactly factors into that *as a healer* chimes in so I can edit the OP to show it. All I know is when 2 healers have sky high activity and one has dead low activity on wipes, it's a bad sign.

I hope this cleared a few things up in regards to people not knowing how to read those two healing tabs.
Edited by Valfodr on 10/20/2011 3:04 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11560
The most important part about HPS is that it depends entirely on the damage your group takes.

If my HPS is low, it might not be because I'm bad, but because my group is good.
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85 Dwarf Shaman
4240
Recount is usually pretty far off. WoL is the only good measure of healing output in my opinion. But then again, it is just my opinion.
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86 Tauren Druid
9855
Recount is fine for a quick snapshot. It may not be as accurate as WoL or Raidlogs; but, it is not so far skewed to say that it is useless.
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I would to know why Recount numbers are sometimes different from similar add-ons like Skada.

Might want to point out that proximity can affect Recount. On fights like Conclave of Winds everyone is so spread apart that the logs may not capture the other healers' data.
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85 Human Paladin
5020
Ehcks, that was mentioned in the OP.

I'll be sure to add a various notes section and be sure to add in proximity and the importance of WoL. I forget that's not known game-wide.
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90 Human Paladin
9050
10/20/2011 01:50 PMPosted by Phedree
I would to know why Recount numbers are sometimes different from similar add-ons like Skada.

Recount and Skada calculate dps and hps differently. Recount only counts active time (which allows for inflation of numbers) while Skada goes by effective, using the total duration of the fight to determine your hps or dps. It's the same reason that Recount can give people high dps when their total damage is low.
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90 Draenei Shaman
16170
Being a shaman in Cata has had its share of challenges and "throughput" is the biggie. However, having two other lesser geared healers i have truly begun to wonder if recount healing meters are accurately reporting shaman heals.

I began to notice on my newish healers that on difficult pulls they were topping the meters at 17k-20k in order to keep the group up. (for example the mob at top of stair in ZA before the boss that surges. a fairly ruff pull in some groups) My shaman on very same pull is showing 9k heals on same pull consistently. How is this POSSIBLE. I have watched the meters consistently since noticing the discrepancy and my disc priest also is pulling super high numbers on this pull in order to keep group up (more like 16k on disc and 17-20K on druid) and 10k'ish on shaman who is very geared. i realize that there is an element of OVER heals inherent in the other two classes however .. it really reallly made me start to wonder if there is a problem with how recount is recognizing my heals as shaman cuz certainly i also overheal there.

The thing is this .. So with three healers healing through very similar dmg spikes and really doing heals only as needed these are what i get?

geared shaman shows 9-10k heals and group lives..
not geared disc priest shows 16k heals and group lives.
semi geared druid shows at times 20k heals and group lives.

wouldnt that make u think recount not accurately reporting my heals on shaman? its making ME think so.

I'm curious as to whether anyone else has noticed something similar.
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90 Draenei Shaman
16170
Being a shaman in Cata has had its share of challenges and "throughput" is the biggie. However, having two other lesser geared healers i have truly begun to wonder if recount healing meters are accurately reporting shaman heals.

I began to notice on my newish healers that on difficult pulls they were topping the meters at 17k-20k in order to keep the group up. (for example the mob at top of stair in ZA before the boss that surges. a fairly ruff pull in some groups) My shaman on very same pull is showing 9k heals on same pull consistently. How is this POSSIBLE. I have watched the meters consistently since noticing the discrepancy and my disc priest also is pulling super high numbers on this pull in order to keep group up (more like 16k on disc and 17-20K on druid) and 10k'ish on shaman who is very geared. i realize that there is an element of OVER heals inherent in the other two classes however .. it really reallly made me start to wonder if there is a problem with how recount is recognizing my heals as shaman cuz certainly i also overheal there.

The thing is this .. So with three healers healing through very similar dmg spikes and really doing heals only as needed these are what i get?

geared shaman shows 9-10k heals and group lives..
not geared disc priest shows 16k heals and group lives.
semi geared druid shows at times 20k heals and group lives.

wouldnt that make u think recount not accurately reporting my heals on shaman? its making ME think so.

I'm curious as to whether anyone else has noticed something similar.
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90 Human Paladin
9050
I don't play with a shaman to give an answer to that. Log the fight next time and check out what WoL has to say. Even glance at the graph to see where those spikes happened and how much your hps went up in relation to the other healers.

Most of the current content doesn't need a third healer either. If the other two feel like heal sniping and the third one feels like being efficient, then there's usually a large gap in hps.
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85 Human Paladin
5020
I don't play with a shaman to give an answer to that. Log the fight next time and check out what WoL has to say. Even glance at the graph to see where those spikes happened and how much your hps went up in relation to the other healers.

Most of the current content doesn't need a third healer either. If the other two feel like heal sniping and the third one feels like being efficient, then there's usually a large gap in hps.


This would be my suggestion, and as my shaman isn't 85 and probably won't be (Or won't be 85 and as geared as my other healers) I wouldn't be the best to answer that, as my WoL would be skewed. Run WoL and post it, then tell your results here Stormeey. If there's some glaring error that we find I'm sure the makers of recount/skada/etc would love to know.
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85 Night Elf Priest
5635
Possibilities are: when you did it on your shaman you got a group that was better at avoiding damage.

Or, Recount will show HPS higher than other meters if the healing is spiky. For instance, on Baleroc I do SUPER spiky HPS, and it'll show my HPS as something like 60k. Ridiculously high. But then I upload the same fight to WoL and it has my HPS as like 30k. So if your druid/disc priest are healing the group with bursty healing like tranq or PoH, it may show higher HPS on Recount than if you're doing steadier healing. I couldn't say for sure without seeing a WoL and Recount comparison, but that's my best guess.
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85 Blood Elf Priest
1925
Why is this even a discussion? There is an excellent and fool proof tool to measure healing success: Did we wipe? If yes, look at why instead of recount. If no, who cares?

Recount was once a gentle and helpful tool allowing a raid leader to break down the core issues of a regular wipe and approach raid members with grace and aplomb. No longer is this the case and no longer is recount viable or useful.

HPS, like DPS, can be tricked and manipulated in various forms. This makes the statistics useless in PUGs with players that have trained themselves to top meters without being a useful addition to a group. On top of that, throughput is often NOT the cause of a wipe. Poor target management, lack of CC, pulling too aggressively, tank not using survival cooldowns, lack of debuffs, etc. are all factors that have nothing to do with throughput. The necessary through put will always be equal the the group's ability to keep themselves alive and unharmed. Mechanics alone demand significantly less HPS when played perfectly than many people would believe.

Not that any of this matters at all, Recount and the Cult of HPS will remain until the end of the game and then move to the next, poisoning it like it has this one. Sad times.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
10380
Now, a request. I do not blow smoke, and I will openly admit I would like to add a section on activity but as I do not know the in's and out's, I humbly ask someone who knows what exactly factors into that *as a healer* chimes in so I can edit the OP to show it. All I know is when 2 healers have sky high activity and one has dead low activity on wipes, it's a bad sign.

I hope this cleared a few things up in regards to people not knowing how to read those two healing tabs.

Activity varies quite a lot by spec, and within a given spec, it may vary by assignment. It's generally not a very good measure of anything, especially healing.

Basically, in theory, "activity" measures the amount of time you spend doing stuff to things. So theoretically, it could be a useful measure of how much time a player spends actively contributing. The wonkiness comes in from this: if you cast a HoT or DoT, you're "active" for the entire duration of that HoT or DoT, regardless of what else you might do while it's ticking. On the other hand, if you cast a direct heal, you're only "active" for the cast time of that heal. Unless you're a holy priest, in which case you also get to count the 6 seconds after the heal because of Holy's Mastery.

So a druid or shaman healer or the mythical tank-healing holy priest is going to have basically maxed-out "activity" (equal to or even beating the spriests/afflocks/boomkins) even if they're tabbing out and eating a sandwich, as long as they can keep Riptide, Lifebloom, or Renew going on a tank. A druid or shaman who's not very nearly matching your top-activity players may be cause for concern, and you should definitely check the WoL report for their HoT uptimes.

In the middle of the pack, alongside the rest of the DPS, you should find your raid healing holy priests and (slightly below them) your raid healing disc priests, thanks to Echo of Light and Glyph of Prayer of Healing slightly inflating active time beyond the end of a spam period. Disc priests who spec Atonement may generate higher-than-expected activity.

At the other extreme, a holy paladin or tank healing disc priest is likely to have quite low activity (down with the arcane mages, or possibly even lower), because unlike the others, they're not getting credited for any of the time they spend doing nothing. You should not be surprised or concerned if the bottom of your activity meter is filled with your arcane mages, holy paladins, disc priests, and other not-suitable-for-Dark-Intent specs.
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85 Blood Elf Priest
7695
Whats a healing meter?
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90 Draenei Shaman
16170
Well, i guess its a discussion for me at the moment because there is so much dissing of shamans in general. On arathor its even a common topic in trade. That shamans are weak healers, only good as back up heals on raids or back up on tanks etc. Unless they are in a 25 man tossing rain around. And while shamans may certainly shine in 25's i am confident that even tho the numbers show otherwise , that i completely out heal my two other healing toons. Besides, there are only 2 guilds on arathor doing 25's atmand i am not in one of them.

I believe if no one ever looked at meters they would never believe for one moment that i am not an excellent healer. But since everyone is measuring our effectiveness that way.. i dont know how to combat it. We dont wipe, we clear bosses, etc. And it is not MY group saying how worthless shamans are. But it is still hard to have to listen to that crap all the time and wish i understood. I think if i understood how it worked/didnt work i at least wouldnt feel so discouraged. I remember the days when recount didnt combine heals and absorbs for priests and at first glance their heals were low. Somehow .. someway.. i have come to believe that shamans have ended up there as well.

I have fought all the way through cata to keep finding a way to eke out more heals , more mana, etc.. because i am a big fan of my shaman and have really fought hard to not give up in the face of so many nerfs by blizz. And believe me, i know MANY shamans who just shelved their restos and rolled new toons.

I WILL say, healing in cata has taught me more about shaman healing than i ever could have imagined. For that i am grateful to be sure.

So in the face of all the dissing i am trying to take the high road, i never try to pad my meters with uneccesary heals, focus on raid awareness, raid movement, conserving mana for dmg spikes, and being the last one alive if there IS a wipe tossing heals as i fall over lol or the suicide dive into rag's lava. I realize that those are true measures of a good player/healer, but i'm sure we ALL know many ppl do not see things that way.

I started this topic only to see if anyone else had ever wondered the same thing that i wonder. If recount is properly measuring our heals. Regardless of the answers.. I will still always look for ways to improve my healing style, rotation, forging & talents.

I continue to look forward to any commentaries.
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