What Defines Good Healing?

90 Night Elf Druid
9565
No, this is a serious question because I still don't believe meters truly 100% can define a good healer. I have read that meters are still good indicators to weed out extremely bad players but to a point. I've been healing for all five years that I've played this game. This is my main character. I will tell you right now, I'm not the best healer you're going to find. I'm learning everyday, yes you can learn a lot in five years and more, about how to heal right, when to use what heals. See I don't raid often, my profile should back up my story, but I do run quite a few dungeons, and I do get compliments about how I am a good healer and all that. See raiding I find to be completely different from running dungeons because now you're running with two other healers, strictly talking about 10 man raiding.

Or however many is needed for 25m (6?). I'm always on the bottom of the charts, but is my contribution really declining the rest of the group? I understand, that yes, perhaps I'm being carried, and I don't mean to put much strain on the rest of my healing team but instead of telling me I'm bad, how about you give me some pointers to make me better? Raiding is the one place where I struggle to be a good healer. Maybe it's not my place, it's possible, but does it really mean I'm not contributing at all? I have gone oom, numerously trying to "catch up" only to still be last. It could be gear, too. I just find great disappointment in myself because I absolutely enjoy healing over anything else in this game. Perhaps I'm just beating myself up too hard, but is there really a true way to define good healing?
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90 Pandaren Shaman
9735
Well, personally, I evaluate myself by looking at my healing done vs. overhealing done, activity (dispells, interrupts, etc), whether or not people died, and cooldown usage.

Are we talking about LFR here though? Because LFR meters mean nothing whatsoever. Generally they are way over healed, and whoever is spamming fastest (or bubbling most) tops the meters.

I don't know enough about druids to speak to why you are consistently at the bottom of the meters, but I will say you're not super geared so that's undoubtedly part of it. I wouldn't worry too much about it unless you're in a raid that needs you to pick things up to win.
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90 Night Elf Druid
9565
Well, personally, I evaluate myself by looking at my healing done vs. overhealing done, activity (dispells, interrupts, etc), whether or not people died, and cooldown usage.

Are we talking about LFR here though? Because LFR meters mean nothing whatsoever. Generally they are way over healed, and whoever is spamming fastest (or bubbling most) tops the meters.

I don't know enough about druids to speak to why you are consistently at the bottom of the meters, but I will say you're not super geared so that's undoubtedly part of it. I wouldn't worry too much about it unless you're in a raid that needs you to pick things up to win.

I'm kind of going back in time when I raided back in Cata, in real raids, there were nice people helping me out to better myself, and I still applying what they've said to me to now. I remember running 10m DS normal not LFR, and I was badly at the bottom of the charts, but nobody seemed to really care. I died on Spine, for it was my first time, and yes I died when he spinned, and they all died even though the Disc Priest and Resto Shammy were amazing healers. Even though I'm still low on the charts, our second attempt was a win because I finally understood the mechanics, and I think my small contribution helped the raid. Doesn't mean I'm not trying, I'm doing a lot of what I can to help. I guess I shouldn't count LFR, but are you saying everybody should be almost equal on the charts to be defined as a good healer? In dungeons, nobody dies, and I don't have to drink, and we're fine, but when I'm paired with other healers, it really does turn me into an extremely bad healer according to the charts, even though the group is progressing. Yes, I believe my gear can count towards the lack of healing I'm putting out. During ICC, one of the healers who was topping the charts told me not to worry about the charts because they don't really count true healing because I was upset about being badly at the bottom. Everybody else I've raided with usually help me if I need improvement, but I've never been kicked for "bad healing". Raiding that is. I've been kicked from one dungeon before and I was healing. We just kept wiping on that one boss in the lava, and he destroys a platform, and everybody moves to the next platform. It was one of the three dungeons that came with Cata, I forget what it's called. There was Well of Eternity, the one with Thrall, and you had the one with two random bosses, and the dragon with the hour glass...forget what it's called, but we were on the boss with the platforms on the lava, and people usually skipped the dragonkin trash.

That boss was always healing intense for me because people would be swimming in the lava too long, the Tank always got hit hard, and we just kept wiping and wiping, and they finally kicked me. That's the only time I got kicked as a healer, and it was more mutual then anything because I felt nobody contributed to help me out, you know?
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90 Draenei Shaman
12770
LFR forces groups to bring 6 healers (you mentioned 6 healers in 25man in your post, so I figure you're talking about LFR. Very few normal/heroic 25man groups use 6 healers except in unusual fights)

6 healers is waaayyyyyyyy too many healers for LFR content; the damage LFR fights do is scaled waaaayyyyyy down from normal-mode damage, and so then to force the group to bring 6 heal-specc'd players is... ridiculous.

The people who top the LFR healing meters are a) quite often overgeared for the difficulty of LFR content (... it doesn't take much gear to overgear LFR) and b) quite often skilled at pushing their healing in ways that snipe the healing from the other healers who aren't playing so aggressively.

Overgearing also means they likely have superior regen, which allows them to heal aggressively.

Meanwhile, they heal aggressively because you *can* "heal stupid" through an awful lot of LFR... if a geared/skilled healer slacks off when things seem to be going ok, they then aren't necessarily set up to "save" the raid from wiping if something goes wrong unexpectedly.

Also, of course, some simply enjoy dominating the healing chart.

Anyway... long story short...

The hps a healer can "burst" can and does matter here and there in progression raiding. Some fights simply require that x amt of intense healing be done within a 15sec window or whatever, and if the healing team can't meet that requirement, the raid will wipe.

However beyond that type of "big number" situation, total healing done is usually a function of "how many people didn't handle mechanics properly, and therefore took more damage than was necessary?". What matters more than being 1st on the meter is "did I use my cooldowns to good effect?" "am I making the most out of my healer's active mana regen?" "can I take the necessary steps in a clutch situation to save a player from dying?" "do I have non-healing abilities which would be useful for x y or z mechanic in this fight [such as me being able to drop Earthbind Totem to slow the Whirl Turtles on Tortos, or my RL who plays a holy priest using the... I think it's Psyfiend? talent to save himself from being smushed to jelly by a runaway Protector on Lei Shi]"

Those things don't really show up on healing meters. I mean, they're *there* but you have to dig for them. Some of them do contribute to how much healing you do... but your value as a healer goes far beyond whether you do 1k or 15k less hps than the next person.
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90 Tauren Druid
8435
The definition of a good healer;

1; Knows their entire toolkit and how to use it/when to use what.

2; Can handle raid mechanics and multitasking without having it hurt their ability to heal (ie, Avoiding standing in the fire should not cause your healer's hps to drop.

3; Teamwork. Good healers work together. The Holy Paladin my team had a while back went <50% mana on Horridon before the 3rd door and I was sitting @100% because there was nothing to heal. I literally opened up on vent and tore him a new one; Dude, you have other healers, I understand you want to look good for meters because you have insecurities, but it's a team game. If you could solo heal this, I wouldn't be here. Therefore, Effing work with your co-healer because I don't like sitting here with my thumb up my !@#$, I'm not going to blow mana just to compete on the meters when it's not needed, making us both OOM when it's actually needed. So tone it down and work together.

Mostly #3. This is hardest to find. Teamwork and knowledge of your cohealers is paramount in healing. #1 & #2 are fairly common attributes.

*And to sum it up, because of all of these, you have to have actually healed yourself to properly judge/analyze your healers. This is why a good raid leader, who is non-healer will defer to his longest tenured most trusted healer when it comes to asking questions about another healer/judging a potential new healer.
Edited by Tonydanza on 4/24/2013 4:35 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Druid
9565
See this is where it gets tricky. You got some who say "meters" and some who say "know mechanics", but you see I'm all about "progression". I progress through dungeons, and our raid progresses through raids, even though according to meters, my heals in comparison to others is lacking. Perhaps, I still don't understand how healing in this game works, it's a possibility, I'm open to suggestions. I just don't like Tanking, at all. I'm pretty OK with DPSing. I'm leveling up my mage, but after their nerf, I'm not all that hype about it, anymore. I might level up my DK. I was always good with her, too.
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90 Night Elf Priest
13930
This may not be possible (I'm not sure if you're able to get into a pug [non-LFR] raid this week), but it would be fantastic to see logs.

  • If you're not sure what logs are, I'm referring to World of Logs. Head to their website, create an account, and download the client; once in game, simply type /combatlog. Any combat you're in will be recorded. When you've finished, you can upload the report using the WoL client.
  •  
     
    Linking those logs will allow us to provide better feedback. While meters can be used for a quick glance at contribution, dispels, deaths, etc, you're not going to be getting the whole story. That's where WoL and your explanations come in. We can analyze what spells you're using, who you're using them on, when you're using them, and provide feedback based on that.
    Edited by Elethia on 4/24/2013 4:41 PM PDT
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    90 Night Elf Druid
    9565
    This may not be possible (I'm not sure if you're able to get into a pug [non-LFR] raid this week), but it would be fantastic to see logs.

  • If you're not sure what logs are, I'm referring to World of Logs. Head to their website, create an account, and download the client; once in game, simply type /combatlog. Any combat you're in will be recorded. When you've finished, you can upload the report using the WoL client.
  •  
     
    Linking those logs will allow us to provide better feedback. While meters can be used for a quick glance at contribution, dispels, deaths, etc, you're not going to be getting the whole story. That's where WoL and your explanations come in. We can analyze what spells you're using, who you're using them on, when you're using them, and provide feedback based on that.

    I use curse client, does curse provide anything close to WoL? I'm not discounting going to get WoL, I just don't want intermingling clients.
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    90 Night Elf Druid
    11915
    I use curse client, does curse provide anything close to WoL? I'm not discounting going to get WoL, I just don't want intermingling clients.

    What? What do you mean by intermingling clients?

    Curse Client and WoL don't interfere with each other in any way. Curse is basically a web browser that goes to a single website and downloads files to the Addon folder. WoL uploads the logs the game itself creates to a website where you can easily filter through the details.
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    90 Night Elf Druid
    9565
    04/24/2013 05:13 PMPosted by Mitimem
    Curse Client and WoL don't interfere with each other

    This is what I was wondering by "intermingling" thank you.
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    90 Gnome Monk
    7430
    1) Did everyone live?
    2) Did the boss die?

    If 1 & 2 both=yes healing was "good", if either =no then there might be a problem with the healing...

    Yes, that puts it in very broad terms and is not really useful if you are talking about comparing healers within the group to each other. However, there are too many variables to point at a, b, or c and say "that is good" or "that is bad" with blanket statements. You can make generalizations such as "high overhealing is bad" but without accurate context how do you define high overhealing? Plus there are class differences that blanket statements like that don't always take into account. As an example, in general my overhealing will be dramatically higher than our disc priest's due to the class mechanics. It doesn't mean I was bad or she was good on that particular log, it just points out a difference in how our tools work (in most cases).

    edited to fix a glaring OOPS...
    Edited by Linnelle on 4/25/2013 10:19 AM PDT
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    90 Night Elf Priest
    13930
    Linnelle, that's probably the biggest generalization one can make—far worse than any of the smaller ones you mentioned subsequently.
    Edited by Elethia on 4/24/2013 11:18 PM PDT
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    90 Blood Elf Paladin
    1560
    -Helping keep the raid alive
    -Being part of the team
    -Not running out of mana by play-style actions
    -Knowing each encounter and your role
    -Communication with other healers
    -Getting to most out of your gear/gems and enchanting
    -Having fun
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    90 Blood Elf Priest
    11405
    04/24/2013 04:08 PMPosted by Aaeiyn
    I'm kind of going back in time when I raided back in Cata, in real raids, there were nice people helping me out to better myself, and I still applying what they've said to me to now. I remember running 10m DS normal not LFR, and I was badly at the bottom of the charts, but nobody seemed to really care. I died on Spine, for it was my first time, and yes I died when he spinned, and they all died even though the Disc Priest and Resto Shammy were amazing healers. Even though I'm still low on the charts, our second attempt was a win because I finally understood the mechanics, and I think my small contribution helped the raid. Doesn't mean I'm not trying, I'm doing a lot of what I can to help. I guess I shouldn't count LFR, but are you saying everybody should be almost equal on the charts to be defined as a good healer?


    HPS/healing done correlates to good healing in the same way that height correlates to being a good lawyer.

    Virtually every good lawyer is relatively tall compared to the average for humanity - you don't find many 6-year-olds practicing law - but that doesn't mean you want Shaquille O'Neal to represent you in a court of law.

    When (skilled) players want to look at logs to determine what is wrong, they're really looking at the spell mix more than anything else - process is far more important than what the logs show.

    In a solo-healing setting, you need to know the balance of your spells. In a multi-healing setting, you generally need to know the balance of everyone's spells. For example, as a Holy Priest in a 5-man, I'll use Flash Heal all the time because it's far more efficient to wait until the last possible second before someone dies to see if my HoT effects can bring them back than it is to keep them topped off. But in a raid setting, I'll rarely use Flash Heal because I can't afford to let them get that low and some other healer probably has the 'mid-range' healing I ignore in a 5-man covered pretty well.
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    90 Gnome Monk
    7430
    Linnelle, that's probably the biggest generalization one can make—far worse than any of the smaller ones you mentioned subsequently.


    While it may well be a horrible generalization, it really gets to the heart of the matter.

    If no one in the party dies and the boss does then the healing was adequate, good, up to par, or however you want to express it. You cannot do better than 100% survival+enemy dead. If you want to dive deeper into things so you can point at healer a, b, or c and get them to improve individually that is another matter but the topic at hand is "what defines good healing?" and the answer is simple and basic-100% survival on your side is good, less than 100% may not be (there have been some fights where 100% survival is impossible due to mechanics).

    Healing is 100% about the team surviving and 0% about competetiveness amongst the healers in a good healing team. If your personal interest in a raid is in showing up well on some meter or log comparison or whatever then go dps. Being a healer is about doing whatever it takes to enable your team to succeed even if it means sacrificing your standing on the almighty meters.
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    90 Draenei Shaman
    12770
    04/25/2013 10:32 AMPosted by Linnelle
    Linnelle, that's probably the biggest generalization one can make—far worse than any of the smaller ones you mentioned subsequently.
    Healing is 100% about the team surviving and 0% about competetiveness amongst the healers in a good healing team. If your personal interest in a raid is in showing up well on some meter or log comparison or whatever then go dps. Being a healer is about doing whatever it takes to enable your team to succeed even if it means sacrificing your standing on the almighty meters.


    Well, but we've all been in situations where the boss died, *despite* less-than-adequate healing actions being taken by one of the healers. That's the heart of the OP's question, to me.

    It's not the kills that define the good healing (though they may certainly showcase good healing!) it's what individual healers do with the wipes. Does a healer go "pshhh, dps needs to step it up" or "that guy doesn't know how to tank" or "well, let's throw ourselves at the boss again" with no further reflection? Or does a healer take stock of the situation and ask him/herself "maybe I'll try x y or z talent/glyph/spell to deal with the situation and see how it plays out" or "hmmm, I should try to remember to keep myself positioned to Lifegrip Joe in case that happens in the future" or "damn, I missed Renewing Mist coming off cooldown for a couple of seconds a few times and then wouldn't you know it, I didn't have good coverage when it was time for me to Thunder Focus Tea; gotta keep a better eye on that timer despite all the mayhem going on".
    Edited by Ellarix on 4/25/2013 11:10 AM PDT
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    90 Blood Elf Paladin
    7465
    It completely ignores the heart of the matter. If one of the healers does 6% of the total healing but no one dies because the other 5 JUST manage to cover that, it doesn't mean the healer doing 6% healing is doing good. The average healing of the RAID in this case is good (or rather, VERY good) but the 6th healer is letting the raid down. You need to look at a lot more than just "did we make it" to work out if a particular healer is doing his job.
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    90 Troll Druid
    HC
    12650
    IMO, "good healing" is defined by how well you are able to make on-the-spot decisions on who you should heal, based on the damage pattern of a fight, and what spells you choose to use. This implies how well/bad you decide to use your mana, and how you manage your cooldowns. I think it's also defined by how well you are able to work with your co-healer(s), and being able to adapt to their playstyle while not limiting yourself.

    It's not always on you, it really does matter who you heal with. You need to have synergy or the outcome can deter you from believing you're doing just fine. I can tell you right now that my previous healing partner would hardly look at the tanks, so I was extremely inefficient with my mana and was "low on the meters", but it did not in any way imply I did "bad healing". It was not my fault that the better tank healing class between the two of us was not tank healing, it's because he was relying on me to do it since I took initiative. This comes down to not having any form of synergy.
    Edited by Fleurs on 4/25/2013 11:23 AM PDT
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    90 Gnome Monk
    7430
    It completely ignores the heart of the matter. If one of the healers does 6% of the total healing but no one dies because the other 5 JUST manage to cover that, it doesn't mean the healer doing 6% healing is doing good. The average healing of the RAID in this case is good (or rather, VERY good) but the 6th healer is letting the raid down. You need to look at a lot more than just "did we make it" to work out if a particular healer is doing his job.


    Yes, that puts it in very broad terms and is not really useful if you are talking about comparing healers within the group to each other. However, there are too many variables to point at a, b, or c and say "that is good" or "that is bad" with blanket statements


    Gee, I kind of said that originally.

    Some things can be gleaned easily by looking at logs/meters such as the slacker in your example, other things such as the situation brought up by the OP are not so clear.

    As Fleurs pointed out, sometimes you do the things needed to see your raid succeed even knowing they are less than optimal for your personal meter performance. In our raid I spend a lot of time healing the tanks because I have better reflexes/connection or whatever. I just accept it and move on knowing my meter numbers on those fights will be lower than I could be putting up with different assignments. OMG I'm a terrible monk healer because I only did 80k on Tsulong-no, I did what that particular group needed me to do to defeat the encounter that day.

    You generally can't just look at a meter number and the raidbots average or whatever and say "that healer is bad" unless they are blatantly horrible or slacking. Even your example could be questionable as it could well be the result of having too many healers for the content, the healer being way undergeared compared to the others, and so on or they could just be terrible/slacking. Without digging deeper than just a hps number you really can't judge a healer's performance.
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    90 Troll Shaman
    17270
    Meters give the following information:
    Death Tab
    -How people died, like how healers died, did they die stupidly and needlessly due to their own mistakes.
    -How people died, like if a healer is failing to time key abilities around the mechanics of a fight so they never got "mushroom bloom"
    -How people died, like if a tank dies who a paladin was assigned to healing but there was no beacon nor EF on them.
    Healing Tab
    -How much general healing is going out, keeping in mind that bulk healing prevents people from getting dangerously low in the first place under most conditions.
    -How much healing players did to specific players as apposed to general raid meter padding.
    -Number of times abilities were used (some back calculation from periodic/hots is required)
    Dispel Tab
    -Self explanatory
    Damage Tab
    -2 healers doing the same HPS, but one is contributing 50k DPS... you need to sit one to get more raid dps... who do you sit?
    Mana / Energy Gains
    -Whether it be on use trinkets, mana tea, divine plea, innervate, hymns, solace/mind bender.

    Add in WoL with buff uptimes. Oh man.

    I <3 the meters. Just not in the traditional... meters=a list of 6 healers HPS + 2 tanks, in order from top to bottom.
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