How important is healing+absorbs exactly?

I noticed Blizzard saying recently that healing done + absorbs is a poor statistic for judging a classes ability to heal. I was just wondering what people think of this? Do you agree? Disagree? Why?

The way I see it is it's all that matters really. I guess a small amount can be said for throughput or HPS over a small segment of time for healing through high spike damage, but absorbs are better at that anyway and they're counted for.

I just don't understand the argument from Blizzard, it's not as if mana regen is an issue now, so the only thing that matters really is healing done, isn't it? It was different at the start of the xpac, but I see it being less and less so as MoP goes on. The more you can heal over an encounter the better you are as a healer...

It seems even their own changes for 5.4 are betraying their opinions with 2 of the most under-performing specs in this metric getting buffs, leaving only holy priests that are "fine" some how... I just don't get it and would like some clarification.
Edited by Hotndot on 7/5/2013 3:55 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Priest
11060
I'd like to see the actual quote, but I don't really see what other metrics there could be. I suppose in something stupid like LFR or farm content you can get tryhard disc priests making sure there's nothing for anyone else to heal but for progression content if should theoretically be fair to compare, as that's what Blizzard should be balancing classes around anyways.
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100 Night Elf Druid
6070
07/05/2013 04:04 AMPosted by Tenri
I'd like to see the actual quote, but I don't really see what other metrics there could be.


Well, the simplest metric of all is win rate with a particular spec in the raid. Similar but not quite equivalent: number of attempts before boss downed, number of weeks before boss downed (either measured from the previous boss or from the patch), average ilvl of raid at first kill. Each of these can be measured separately for each boss in the tier. In each case, you want to compare raids with different healing comps, using raids without that particular spec in them as the control group.

If those kinds of measures are substantially different among specs then there is probably a problem. If overall success/ability to win fights *isn't* substantially different among specs but meter numbers are, then somebody is outsniping/meter padding, but it doesn't impact the raid's ability to down the boss.

This is quite different from representation: if Disc, for example, is popular, that tells you one thing, but if raids with Disc in them are downing bosses sooner and with lower overall ilvl than raids without Disc in them, that tells you a different and very much more important thing: in that case you would be justified in concluding that Disc is OP.

I don't think these kinds of statistics are readily available to players, but Blizzard could very well be equipped to collect them.

Aggregate healing is almost meaningless because the value of healing one player at one time can be very different from the value of healing another player at another time.

If one healer has a goal of keeping people alive and another has a goal of topping the meters, it's perfectly possible that they will both get what they want: nobody dies, and the second healer tops the meters. Which one is a better healer? Which is it more important to have the tools for in your spec?

Healing is not just damage dealing backwards.
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Starting to make a habit of this... but...

Calonderiel explained, far more eloquently than I could, exactly what I think about this issue.
Edited by Morenn on 7/5/2013 6:59 AM PDT
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87 Blood Elf Priest
5430
Well actualy for class vs class HPS is a good way to judge a class effiency, just don't forget to add the class utility + CD in the mix. But don't compare different players by HPS vs HPS

If your doing progression you need enough HPS to stay alive.

I'm sorry but if class X can't pull the HPS then class Y and do not bring utility to compasate then class X need a buff (or class Y a nerf).

Now if your doing LFR or farming content no HPS isn't a good way to judge the players as some class just get better at snipping then others.

But doing progression if your healers is doing snipping to top the healing meter he will just end beeing oom and you will whipe.

P.S. Absorb > healing on progression for obvious reasons.
Edited by Nemul on 7/5/2013 7:11 AM PDT
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90 Troll Druid
10000
07/05/2013 03:52 AMPosted by Hotndot
I just don't understand the argument from Blizzard, it's not as if mana regen is an issue now, so the only thing that matters really is healing done, isn't it?


Not entirely. What matters is ability to keep people alive - raid survivability and utility can be more important than sustained healing. To that end, absorbs and short-term spike healing can be more useful than 'normal' heals, even if the actual values are lower.

It's a little less important at this point in the current tier because due to gear, health pools and spike HPS have generally surpassed thresholds for mechanics that used to be far more dangerous. However, looking into next tier, the absorb healers will still be instrumental in progression, even though their absorbs+healing will probably not compare to a mistweaver, rdruid, or hpriest.

Disc is also invaluable on progression because in addition to the flexibility and utility that it brings for raid survivability, the damage it provides is non-negligible when enrage timers are tight (especially for 10m). Mistweavers are also strong in this regard, though of course they are a throughput healer rather than an absorb healer.

I'm not certain what exactly the 'underperforming' specs are that you're referencing, but I'll assume you mean rsham and rdruid. I don't think resto druids are in any way weak - we are just outshined by mistweavers in a lot of ways (hpriests, though they are coming more and more into favor in 25, are still underrated imo and will probably also shine more brightly as their gear continues to scale).

As for rsham, they, like disc, are invaluable for progression because of the utility they bring. I would argue that SLT is in the single best raid cd for fulfilling the main healer role of keeping the raid alive (providing, of course, that you can stack enough people in it for it to function properly). Their mastery and throughput cooldowns are also very, very good for fights that are still difficult, and mana tide totem can be a godsend for the other healers. At this point, their cohealers' gear may have outscaled the use of rsham mastery and MTT, but complaints about rshams being terrible are largely unfounded in my opinion. I acknowledge that they do need help to address spread healing, but that's more an issue with their toolkit than with their potential for throughput.
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90 Human Paladin
15480
Fight requires x amount of hps to survive encounter +/- per raid due to ability to avoid stuff.

Raid comp based on minimum healing requirement to meet x.

It is important.

Judging classes becomes harder with abilities that do not show up as hps, purity/pw:b/devo/ect.

Anyone with the choice is going to bring the class with the most output mixed with utility to an encounter. As everything in this game except a couple of select gimmick fights are based around dps requirements be it soft or hard enrage.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
13680
a completely different scenario:

you can have a healer whos amazing at raid healing, but who has low mana regen. on some fights, they could single handedly heal the entire raid throughout all the low damage phases, and therefore get very high numbers. but the low mana regen means they can't handle super spike healing very well without going oom. the other healer has to handle most of the spike damage for the entire raid. to do so, he goes virtually oom during that time, and while he is completely 100% required for progression, he doesn't get high numbers for the raid as a whole, because he can afford to stand around and do nothing but regen mana between spikes while the other healer heals people.

most healers dont spec that way these days obviously, but its still doable; and obviously you tend not to have quite such extreme cases, but you do still get healers who are better at one kind of healing than another kind - and if the kind you are good at happens to get high meters, that doesn't mean you are actually you are better than the other guy - but it ALSO doesn't mean that the other guy is better than you.

healing is simply not something meters is particularly good at describing, EXCEPT if you are attempting to heal the entire raid, during the entire encounter. If you are doing that, then numbers matter, but generally, that's not how healers act since it usually leeds to oom-wipe.
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100 Tauren Druid
19705
07/05/2013 03:52 AMPosted by Hotndot
The way I see it is it's all that matters really. I guess a small amount can be said for throughput or HPS over a small segment of time for healing through high spike damage, but absorbs are better at that anyway and they're counted for.

Which is why most raiding guilds bring 6 Disc priests every night.

Oh, wait...

I just don't understand the argument from Blizzard, it's not as if mana regen is an issue now, so the only thing that matters really is healing done, isn't it? It was different at the start of the xpac, but I see it being less and less so as MoP goes on. The more you can heal over an encounter the better you are as a healer...

And this is where things get fuzzy. I haven't done the math myself, but if I recall correctly, certain classes have a ceiling on the amount of HPS they can pump out, where other classes do not, or have a much higher effective ceiling (hello, monks!). If an encounter doesn't require the absolute max HPS, yes, absorb classes will always look better on the meters. If an encounter does, the raw throughput classes will start to shine.

And I do think you really are undervaluing utility. Sure, for farm nights, it really doesn't matter at all. However, if you and your group are at the point where "the only thing that matters is healing done", you really need to start working on more of the heroics, or on some of the sillier achievements. That statement is an indication of stagnation, not of class/encounter design.
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22 Gnome Warrior
80
You have to be careful here. Snipe healing to top the meters is not the same as reactive healing that saves raid members from death.

Absorbs and smart heals that are part of the "standard rotation" of a healer are simply awesome at sniping initial damage and topping off the raid over time. That is why disc priests hold so many healing records. Add in the power of the Spirit Shell cool down when used properly, and you can understand why that spec is so popular.

I think there is a balancing issue with a couple of "OP" healing specs, but a smart raid leader knows the difference between burst HPS and steady snipe-type healing and uses both effectively.
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Hmmm, thanks for all the responses, appreciated the fresh pov.
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100 Tauren Druid
9040
I noticed Blizzard saying recently that healing done + absorbs is a poor statistic for judging a classes ability to heal. I was just wondering what people think of this? Do you agree? Disagree? Why?

The way I see it is it's all that matters really. I guess a small amount can be said for throughput or HPS over a small segment of time for healing through high spike damage, but absorbs are better at that anyway and they're counted for.


Not sure but you, or someone, likely asked a question in a vacuum. Comparing apples to oranges in vacuum is really bad.
Just a rough example, to shed some light on why just looking at raw healing/absorbs can be a terrible metric;
Every encounter is different, every raid comp (in theory.....) is "different"

Take horridon on normal as a rough example, 10man, and you 2-3 heal it. The second you put a disc priest in that group, every other healer's numbers go vastly lower. Well the numbers say they're behind or "worse healers" but is that really how it is? Because two fights later come horridon and even megaera, that same disc priest can get blown out of the water.

I think, you've quoted a Dev (or blizzard, whatever you want to call it) who was answering likely such a question as normal - "Derrr my numbers can't compete on recount look at thems!, buff mah class nao or i unsub!"

There's far more to balance than just raw numbers of healing.
If it were just raw numbers to balance..well...You would have 6 classes of healers, doing the exact same crap. With the same strengths and weaknesses. Do we want that? I don't think so.
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I honestly still don't know though, I've healed as both holy and disc (10 and 25 man, nothing too heroic, but on average raid teams), and every single time it's easier to do better numbers with disc, and it really feels like those numbers are helping the raid more (including the dps of course,) despite holy being my preferred, more knowledgeable spec and having played it for longer.

I just feel my hots and aoe heals going to waste where as with disc my shields almost never do.

It just makes me sad for blizzard to discount the numbers when it literally feels like what the numbers are saying is right in a raid environment.

I know ofcourse holy has a lot of tools that disc doesn't and vice versa... But at the end of the day if disc has more opportunity to heal up and prevent more damage being taken than holy, which it does by all accounts... Then it's the better spec at healing isn't it?

And I don't mean to turn this into a holy v disc discussion... The question holds true for any number of spec's/classes. I've just never seen someone do better numbers consistently, and then at the end of the raid think "oh, but it was their fault we didn't progress." (unless they failed at mechanics or something unrelated)
Edited by Hotndot on 7/5/2013 10:40 AM PDT
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100 Tauren Druid
9040
I honestly still don't know though, I've healed as both holy and disc (10 and 25 man, nothing too heroic, but on average raid teams), and every single time it's easier to do better numbers with disc, and it really feels like those numbers are helping the raid more (including the dps of course,) despite holy being my preferred, more knowledgeable spec and having played it for longer.

I just feel my hots and aoe heals going to waste where as with disc my shields almost never do.



Disc is easy to be a heal sniper. You get there first.

It's very encounter dependent. Easier encounters and a disc can easily just snipe everything. I can literally afk on horridon, council. When it comes to tortos, megaera, and most the entire second half of ToT, I'm either equal to disc numbers or above.
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I know ofcourse holy has a lot of tools that disc doesn't and vice versa... But at the end of the day if disc has more opportunity to heal up and prevent more damage being taken than holy, which it does by all accounts... Then it's the better spec at healing isn't it?


Holy heals for so much more than disc but there has to be damage to heal in the first place.

Holy - good for actual healing.

Disc - good for healing when there's no damage.

Most fights involve limited damage because people are overgeared or because of fight design, disc excels at these fights.
Edited by Venomheart on 7/5/2013 11:08 AM PDT
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100 Night Elf Druid
6070
I just feel my hots and aoe heals going to waste where as with disc my shields almost never do.


If your heal makes someone else's go to overheal, or someone else's heal makes yours go to overheal, the effect for the raid is the same: one wasted heal.

So whose fault is it really? Logically, it has to be assigned to the person who started their cast later; they could have known that their heal would be unnecessary when they cast it. (Maybe they even did know, but wanted to look better on the meters so the RL wouldn't bench them...) But meters will often blame the HoT or the longer casting time spell for overhealing, even though that heal was necessary and useful when it was cast.

This is probably the biggest problem with meters: they outright reward sniping even when it is objectively a waste of mana (because the other heal would have healed that person as much as they needed anyway).

Sometimes that doesn't matter because mana is so loose lately, but if you have a choice whether to snipe someone else's heal or let it finish, and the target isn't damaged enough to take both heals, you should let their heal finish and save your mana -- if you want your raid to succeed. If you want your meter numbers to succeed you should snipe, and that's why meters lead to toxic "competitive healing".

Most fights involve limited damage because people are overgeared or because of fight design, disc excels at these fights.


And then websites come up with "spec scores" based on averaging together progression and farm, even if they ought to know that farm is just a meter padding snipefest and will throw off the numbers from fights that matter.

Numbers don't lie, but people can lie with numbers, and even when they don't, numbers can be very easy to misunderstand. Most people have poor math and analytic skills and MMORPG players are no exception.

I'm not saying you have to be Nate Silver to know who is doing a good job of healing, but at least you should make some attempt to understand what is going on and not just latch on to the first number someone (or worse, some computer program) puts in front of your face.

The purpose of healing is not to top the meters, but to keep the raid alive; people who judge healers by the meters create big problems in the circumstances where those things are not the same.
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90 Pandaren Priest
9920
When looking at meters looking at total healing and spell usage is as, if not more, important than hps/healing done. You can tell you whether a priest (in my case since I understand the class better than the others) or any healer is good or bad (or lazy) by their spell usage alone ignoring numbers. It's not that meters lie it's that they don't really show spell priority well and don't show time either. A much better system is logs as they show when what healers do what and you can see if you and your team are healing at the right moments.

To the op, I think the poster was probably saying more that healing does not equal absorbs. They aren't really the same thing as one is reactive and one is preventative. The two specs of holy and disc are at completely opposite ends of the spectrum with disc trying to help the raid not take damage and holy at its most effective when the raid is taking a bunch of damage. At the end of the day if you kill the boss, everyone is alive, and you feel like you are doing the best you can, does it really make a difference what the meters look like?

Numbers without context and examination are more harm than good and people make far more out of the healing meters than they should. Tbh, if a disc priest is topping the meters by a substantial amount you either have a) A really good disc priest, b) really bad other healers, or c) and most likely, are overhealing the content. The more gear your team gets the more the disc priest will go ahead as there is only so much damage to heal and the bigger the shields, the more stealing they will do and so forth.

Also, holy is getting a substantial buff in 5.4 with the changes to FDCL and the 2 set bonus especially that I think it will even out with disc in effectiveness and is better at the higher gear levels currently in some people's opinions. Disc and holy are at the moment the highest ranked two specs in the game which makes priest the best healer if you see it that way. Imo holy will be a force to be reckoned with when played well with the current changes (but then again so is any well geared, well played class.) Plus, we are still far away from 5.4 so who knows what is going to happen at release.
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100 Pandaren Monk
10675
I hope all healers have absorbs abilities as it can save raiders from careless mistake. Absorb is like prevention. PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.

For example, single tanking Oondasta:
Tank really need absorb healing b4 taking Frill Blast (800k damage).
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
I hope all healers have absorbs abilities as it can save raiders from careless mistake. Absorb is like prevention. PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.

For example, single tanking Oondasta:
Tank really need absorb healing b4 taking Frill Blast (800k damage).


That'll totally work for you on Malkorak.
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90 Pandaren Priest
9920
I mean they are giving what 4 out of 5 classes some form of absorbs now in 5.4 with 2 sets and stuff. I think that's quite enough honestly. Absorbs are what makes disc priests and paladins unique where as hots are a defining factor of druids and mistweavers with holy priests and shamans in the middle with a more AoE/burst style. I'm sure it's hard enough from a design standpoint having essentially 6 healing classes and trying to make them all unique and fun to play in their own right. I think that too much homogenization will make the game stale and classes boring to play.

Plus honestly things like frill blast are there for a reason so you don't solo tank Oondasta. And yeah you can get around it with clever use of mechanics but the idea is that tanks can manage aggro or die and healers heal. It's just like the work around on Primordius. Can you do it? Yeah. Should you? It's kinda a gameplay vs loot decision and will gimp in the end if you want to work on heroic progression. I'd prefer to stay true to game design rather than risk wiping for trying to be clever with mechanics (except for skipping the Ji-kun trash but only cause it's so annoying.)
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