Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I've got the itch

The new raiding season began today a midst another round of Blizzard's servers having seizures. There has to be a pill for that.

We don't actually begin our official raiding until tomorrow night so we have yet to be effected by it but I did follow one Fullspectrum's healers as he battled the login was not good.

I'm genuinely excited.  I haven't been for a while now. I lost the drive at the end of MoP and literally up until today I had little desire to play wow at all. I've been focused in on Minecraft lately but today the winds changed.

This season will certainly be different for me as I am now officially in charge. This is my ship, it sinks or floats by the skill of my guidance... and I couldn't be more nervous.
I desperately need a recruitment officer. We will not grow properly until I find the right person to head up our HR department. Its just not something I am good at.

So what I have for now is a 6 hour, two day a week raiding schedule, 2 tanks and a DPS locked in plus another DPS who I have a feeling will be there but it is unconfirmed. That gives us 4 for sure and most likely 5. 5/6 on Fridays when I know we will have an extra hand.
Its a good starting point. We will have to use the LFG channel and be fast about removing trouble and replacing with something useful.
Its up to me. That is a scary thought and one I have been trying my best to avoid but somehow I always end up leading and this time its more my fault than ever. And to be honest I want to lead. I want to be sure that when all goes to shit that I have no one to blame but myself because I can handle that more that chalking it up to some one else's poor leadership.

And the thing is I get the impression that the people who follow me actually believe I'm an ok leader. Sure they think I need a van down by the river but they seem happy with me leading for the most part. Of course this does mean that they aren't so happy when I vanish for a few months to dig blocks and they are right...I lost my fire. Nothing to it but to do it now though. Get back in there and start swinging.

I can't wait for tomorrow night.

Friday, November 14, 2014

oh the lag....the laaaaaaaaag

So if you haven't heard WoD dropped....well like 23 hrs ago. I'm now 92... =(
I couldn't have hit 100 even if I had wanted to today. Area52 was very ill, poor little guy just couldn't take the invasion of the Iron Nerds.


I still have opinions.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Move your body body

There is an Army cadence that we used to have to echo while running that had the line "Move your body, body". It always stuck with me.
Despite my extreme loathing for propelling my body forward with more than a modest amount of velocity I sure did love the cadences...many of them told tales of powerful old grandma's. /shrug

From Dayani
The reason to be a Priest, if you really want to stay Priest, is that you're so much more mobile than any other healer except Druid. The Renew/CoH engine in Sanctuary Chakra is incredibly powerful and movement is extremely intensive in WoD encounters. Holy Priest actually feels like the most "complete" healer on the beta to me, although I'll admit Resto Shaman feels nice too.
 In my last post I was lamenting the lack of utility in the Priest toolbox. What I didn't post was an addendum stating that at least in pre-release the healing felt really really good and given all other factors I just needed one reason to consider a Priest over another class.
Dayani took the time to write a well thought out reply and I appreciate her for doing so. Her reply carries even more weight due to the fact that she has seen these classes in action in the beta. Her thoughts aren't simple pontifications but are backed by actual data and they provide the answer that I was hoping for.

You see a class must provide something that others can not in order to hold enough value to bring it instead of some other higher value class. Sometimes that value is simply availability but in this case I am controlling the toon so I get to choose which one to play. I like Priests. I will need to see Disc in action at 100 but at 90 they are doing very well and Holy just feels solid. So if they are also the most mobile and feel very complete compared to others that provide more bells, whistles, and totems then that is a pretty good reason to stick with the class.

Furthermore limiting a tool kit to healing and a very few other things allows me to focus on being the best healer I can be without the need to juggle a handful of situationaly(really, that's not a word google???) useful abilities. Now of course if I find any uses for Chain Undead, Dispel Magic, or Dominate Mind then I'll be all over that like hot on sour.

I still don't understand the multistrike attunment and more importantly why Holy didn't get the raid buff for multistrike. There are far too many times when the developers do odd things that I would love to hear explained, love to hear the logic behind. /sigh

Healing Rain...healing rain....Purple healing raiaiaian

So the changes are in but we are still stuck as children without our full set of adult abilities. Or maybe more like adolescents I suppose. Still the changes are in.

So what do I think? Well...I think I may swap mains from priest to Shaman. I also think the new grouping tool will be both a blessing and a curse.

Let's discuss shall we.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Weak Auras; Strong Addon

This isn't a major post, just some notes to myself as we prepare to enter pre-WoD and I have to do the ritual UI dance.

Weak Auras
Spells and Their CDs
Short CD spells will go on the spell bar along with their CDs. I think I'll actually make a group for Holy/Disc/Druid/Sham/Monk/Pal this time instead of the single bar I had for MoP.

Long CDs go at the bottom of the screen.

CC we priest have any CC =,( of the screen.

Track Renews. Worth it to track PW:S? Probably not. Will assess other healers as I get to know them. Also track PoM.

Throughput Buffs in one bar group

Regen Buffs in another.

Throughput has priority, so for something like Serendipity it would go in regen.

Dispels are tracked by when they are on CD. This is the same for any rarely used spell.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Do Priests Lack Good Raid Utility?

One root, but only as a talent. One fear, same tree as the root. No battle rez, no way to remove movement impairing effects from allies. Disc received a Silence but Holy still has none. Fear Ward is nice but on a 3 min CD. Warriors now have access to Stam buff.

The MoP proving grounds really highlighted the lack of offensive utility Priests have in the game. We have some decent spells like levitate and Leap of Faith but they just don't compare to the utility of the shaman or druid. Dispel Magic would be great if it was more useful in a raiding environment.

I'm trying to justify a why a Priest would be needed in a Raid during WoD. Trying to figure out if I should switch over and play a Shaman as my main.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


With MoP finally winding down there is little motivation left in me to really do much MoP related "stuff" and having gotten the legendary cloak on Alaphnull there isn't much left to do anyhow. Instead I'm looking forward and making a list of things I'd like to get accomplished come WoD.

First though a list of things I would have liked to have completed but didn't get around to:

  • Shaman up to level 90, I boosted a Monk and wish I could go back and unboost her.
  • Tillers all best friends. There's still time to do this and its not going anywhere so maybe in WoD
  • All Royal Satchels on all main toons and all Bank Royals on other toons. I just got lazy with this one. 
  • Proven Healer. I made it to Endless Wave 22 and have lost the drive. With so much changing for WoD I just don't see the point in pushing for this. 
I'm sure there is a ton more but meh, MoP is over. Long live WoD. 

Goals for WoD:

  • Holy Priest to 100 and get Proven Healer
  • Disc Priest to 100 plus Proven Healer
  • Shaman to 100, Proven Healer
  • Druid to 100, Proven Healer
  • Holy Pally to 100, Proven Healer
  • Monk to 100, Proven Healer
  • Get Alaphnull to max archaeology and work on getting the wolf pup
  • Complete all Heroic Raid Content for T17
  • Work on the Mythic content for T17.  
  • Get a large number of pets to 25 and work on Battle Pet cheevos
  • All Gold Challenge modes
  • Get new bags in all slots on main toons and in Bank slots on toons under level cap. 
Basic list for now but I will be expanding it come the release once I'm getting down and dirty.

Friday, September 26, 2014



Given a group with 2 tanks, 4 to 6 healers, and 12 to 14 DPS there are 5.97138E+23 different permutations that can arise from different spec selection. If you look only at class then the number is 1.17947E+20. 

Five mans run with 1 tank, 1 healer, and 3 DPS as is standard look a bit better at 365,010 permutations for specs and 54,925 class based permutations. 

It's a wonder anything is ever balanced at all. 

Let us image for a moment that you playing a game of chess. Your opponent is the computer and it runs one of 9 different scripts that determine how it will respond to your moves, how aggressive of defensive it is, etc. The game is to figure out how to beat each one within a specific amount of time. Attaining the quickest time on all nine gives a very nice reward. Attaining a slower but still quick speed gives a reward and finally attaining a certain maximal time gives a final reward. Anytime beyond this maximal time has no reward. 

To further complicate things you only move one type of unit. You have a team of players that you work with and they move the other types of units. 
So one player moves the King, one moves the Queen, one for the Bishops, another on the Knights, one more on the Rooks, and a final player moves the Pawns. 6 players in all and each of you has to work together in order to beat the computer opponent in a quick enough time to reward you the prize you are after. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

I've got to get better

So I'm thinking that perhaps transcribing what went wrong and where I lost it may help me to improve.

I can fraps and log the attempts and go back and articulate what went wrong.
I'll also try to write up something immediately after an attempt.

I'm consistently hitting mid teens with no problem and usually losing out to poor planning and not mana so I'm kinda ok with my gear.

Attempt 1

Forgot to log.... XD

so Wave 19. Whew. Felt ok. Lost some mana made some mistakes. How did I lose it? Kavan was low, everyone was low. Mana was low. I didn't get her stabilized quick enough. I was flustered.

So that an issue. So many people low and not knowing how to get out of that situation. Shouldn't have been there in the first place but still.

So I put in a few more attempts before I had to leave for work.

Notes to work on:

  • no point in saving mana if that doesn't save lives. I've been trying hard to focus on Heal use but sometimes I need a greater heal or a hard flash heal instead. I need to start recognizing this difference. 
  • Anticipate. Up to wave 5 I know what is coming and have internalized it. I need to work on remembering what 6,7,8 are and have. 9 for now is simply the oh shit wave but I should work on better understanding it. I've read it a million times but its not been internalized yet and this means I'm wasting and saving mana at inappropriate times. 
  • continue to work on fears and interrupts. As a priest this is very limited but I was watching Hamlet's vid again and noticed him move over to a Hive Singer and fear it out of combat for some time. I need to work on this. 
So yeah. Not too much longer to go in the xpac and still 11 waves shy of my goal. On top of that I'm super happy with mana and health in wave 11-19 considering the increased damage coming in wave 20-30. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rethinking Spirit Part 2

In my last post I made the assertion that Spirit could be viewed as a kind of regen haste. In this post I'd like to expand upon that idea and dig a bit deeper into the way regen haste influences our game play as healers.

Our common metrics for evaluating healing spells are not influenced by spirit or regen in the same way that they are for other stats. Heal per Mana, Heal per Cast, and Heal per Cast Time ignore Spirit and thus can not be used in order to evaluate the value of Spirit in our day to day healing.
This begs the question of what metric is useful for evaluating Spirit and more importantly how are we to think about Spirit in order to move away from the common "Spirit until you are comfortable" advice that is so common today and into a world where a hard value for Spirit is feasible.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rethinking Spirit

In Hamlet's excellent articles on healing theory and practice he asks us to reconsider our stance on Spirit and  attempts to get us thinking about Spirit's value within our limited stat budget.

Parts one, two, and three especially he walks us through our character sheet and shows how Int, crit, and mastery increase the amount we heal. He then begins to set us thinking about our spells in a new light by separating those with cooldowns from those without and showing that the no cooldown spells are a sort of filler to be used when our CD spells are not available.

In this post he talks about haste and how haste's value is assessed for our stat budget. Haste is shown to work differently than int, crit, and mast in that it doesn't increase the amount a spell heals for nor does it effect our cooldown spells. Haste simply allows our casts to occur quicker and at certain values adds ticks to our HoTs.

At the end of our Journey with Hamlet we have learned much about how our spells work and about how we should begin to look at our toolbox. Haste and Spirit, we are told, must carry their weight if we are to allocate our stat points to them. And yet...Spirit still seems to have an ephemeral quality to it. We don't really have a concrete way to think about it other than saying X amount is like a Greater Heal (Hamlet uses Rejuv as he is primarily a Druid, I will be leaning on the Holy Priest's spellbook for my examples).

I first read those articles around February and only now six months later have I come up with a way to think about Spirit that relates it concretely to one of our other stats, namely Haste.

Healer Gold Again

One of the idiosyncrasies of the Proving Grounds is they are character based and not account based. Each toon must make his or her own journey from bronze to endless.

And so I have been working on my Warlords main alaphnull. Bronze and silver were a breeze as expected but gold took me a few tries. Not as many as with airibear to be sure but still a few.

Tonight I got gold in two tries and more than that the successful attempt felt really good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Been a long time since I rock and rolled

A lot has happened.

So my SoO team's progress stalled out at 13/14 normal. There were many many problems but what it finally came down to was that the desire was present but the drive was lacking.

I was not happy with the results. Do I blame anyone? Yes. Myself.

So I hopped over to look at the Fullspectrum guild page again, like I do when I'm feeling that I have not put myself in the right environment to test myself and I applied.
They only accept 5% of submitted apps however so I needed a backup plan.

And then it occurred to me, "If Oatz can do it why can't I?"
Seriously. I have the drive, I have the passion, and most importantly I have the patients. I have been selling myself short because of personal insecurity for too long. I can do this, I will do this.

I so I informed my old guilds officer core and set out with the goal of building my own raid guild based off the example that Oatz and Fullspectrum set.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The perfect guild?

Brushing aside the fact that we each have a different definition of perfection, do perfect guilds exist?

I have to say yes. I've applied to one that I would have to say fits my definition of perfect. They are very selective though and as they only accept the top 5% of applicants I'm not holding my breath. I sure hope they accept me though.

So what is it that makes them so perfect, aside from their raid times matching my own?

For one they are highly selective which insures that all members fit well into the whole. Second they are driven without having names on their roster who are carries.

Honestly if I was to form my own guild I would use them as the model.
so who are they?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ten Questions

My answers to ALT: ernative's 10 questions

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
    Initially I started back in Vanilla when some EvE buddies began playing this new game. I had always had a fondness for swords and sorcery so I tried it out. I ended up only playing 3 months and stopping to return my full attention to EvE.
Then in 2009 my SO began to play WoW. I kept looking over her shoulder and marveling at what she was doing and then eventually rolled my own toon to play with her.
2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
    A Human warrior named Ectar. I figured that human and warrior would be the easiest to understand while I got used to the way the world worked. Coming from an AD&D background this seemed logical. Several dozen Hogger wipes later I gave up and rolled an Orc Hunter named Alaph. This guy made it to level 23 before I stopped and moved back to EvE.
When I started playing again I rolled what I now consider my true first character. My SO and I rolled mages, her a human, me a draenei. We terrorized the land spamming blizzard together and generally having a great time. That mages name was Airistal and she is now a goblin. I still love the draenei though and if I ever go back to playing alliance I will once again be draenei.
3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
    My SO wanted to be human so we were Alliance. I love the draenei but have always liked the Horde symbol and colors more. Thankfully I like goblins and pandas are neutral so I’ve had toons that I enjoy playing. I get teased a lot because even though I’m a guy I care a lot about how my character looks. I mainly play female characters because often I find the female model fits more with my idea of what my character should look like. Two main exceptions are draenei pallies and goblin shaman. Oh and anything Tauren. I really, really wish draenei could be Horde as they are my favorite race and would look good in red and black riding windriders.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
    Defeating Ragnaros on 10N during Firelands was very epic for me. This was the first time I had raided with any level of competence and this was a massive accomplishment. I had also played a large role in our strategy for the kill. The joy we felt after weeks of hard work was amazing. Sadly we were not able to carry that same feeling over into Dragon Soul and I eventually left the guild with much heartbreak.

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
    Raiding bar none. From the first time I was invited to do a Zul'gurub run as a 70 something to the most current runs through Siege I have always loved raiding and especially raiding with a tight knit group of devoted players.
6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
    I love my little farm on Half Hill. With each character I work to get my little hut all cleaned up and the pot bubbling with whatever delicious stew it is that is cooking in there. Logging in I can run down to the mailbox then tend to my garden. I am really hoping that Garrisons are able to carry over this feeling of this being my little space. It would be nice to see more interaction and to be able to do more from your own space.
   I suppose before Mists I would always go to the secret room in Dalaran. I worked hard to get all the books and it was nice to be up there alone sometimes.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
    I have a few days worth on an old account that I can no longer access. I also have main changed recently. I’ve played since 2009 logging some 40 hours a week or more when I’m in an active cycle. I’ve let my account lapse twice since then so no not continuous.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
    No! Emphatically no. There are two things that will make me read a quests text; 1)I can’t figure out what needs to be done to complete it, 2) transient guilt I feel when doing wiki lore reads. I really love the lore and love learning all the in-game and out of game history behind things. I’m a bit more interested in the story of the players and developers than I am about the characters and in-game figures. I absolutely love boss kill videos that include the player comms.
I seem to have gotten a bit off topic. I think my main problem is that I do not want to read in this medium. I love reading too, and on the computer no less but it is such a jarring pause to the action of the game. It is so unnatural. I enjoyed the way SWTOR did the spoken quests and would love if WoW at least had quest givers say their dialogue. I know it would be a ton of work but as is I just ignore the work they have done.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?
   I regret that I went back to EvE and didn’t get to enjoy Vanilla and onwards. Hindsight is 20/20 and I had a LOT of great EvE memories but I wish I could tap into the alternate universe where I had chosen WoW.
   In the same vein I wish I had tried a healing class sooner. I began healing at the start of Siege, or well that November anyhow and I fell in love. Not just with healing mind you but the healer community is absolutely amazing.
10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?
   Other than all the real life friends I’ve made I’m not sure. I’d love to say that raiding taught me something about organization and being a leader but honestly I transferred skills I learned in the military to raiding. Good question but I don’t have a good answer.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

PGs are always on my mind

In the lull between wrapping up our adventures in SoO and our new adventures on Draenor I am back in the Proving Grounds working towards my proven healer title. This time around I'm going in on my new main toon Alaphnull, a spunky little goblin priest trained in the ways of Holy profiteering.

I'm using a google doc to track the gear I pick up that is above 463 ilvl and has spirit as a native stat. I've found it is rather difficult to browse through gear as we do for non-scaled items and this has been the best way to track all the items I acquire.

PG Sheet

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Echos of Light

Question, does echo of light take into account partial percents of mastery?

Methodology; cast a healing spell and examine the ticks.

Greater Heal 99409

2 Echo Ticks each 9957

so each tick was 10.02%

Mastery is 20.03.

Answer Mastery delivers 50% of total bonus per tick in two ticks. Crit is also applied.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The WoD Raiding Mainifesto

For me, and as such for Bandage Brigade, raiding is not simply a means to go forth and slay dragons and gather loot. For us raiding is instead a place for enthusiastic, dedicated people to join forces in order to tackle a larger goal while at the same time working to get the absolute most from ourselves.
I am not looking to carry warm bodies through the halls of evil each week in order to facilitate a disinterested and disengaged raid group.
The lessons learned in T16 will be applied moving forward and this time around I would rather take the night off as opposed to forcing myself to meet an obligation for which there is no passion and no enthusiasm.

Going forward into Warlords we will be looking to fill our ranks with those who are hungry to achieve. Those for whom simply downing a boss is not enough as they strive ever forward to be the absolute best in class. From the inexperienced but hungry eyed noob to energetic, self motivated veteran, coming up for T17 it will not simply be enough enough to just show up.

I am looking to fill our ranks with players who will fill our forums with discussions of class and spec and boss mechanics. Who will go on for hours about this or that gear and this or that rotation. People who desire a dialogue and wish to wear away the hours sharing new sources of knowledge and new found inspirations.

The new raid system will help facilitate a greater flexibility in who we are able to take with us and how we work to grow our younger raiders from within.

As we get closer and closer to this new paradigm becoming a reality I will go into more detail about our plans going forward.
For now I would like all prospective raiders to begin to consider their desired role, class, and spec and to begin sharing on our forums bits of knowledge that will eventually grow into the successful steam train that is
Bandage Brigade Core Progression Raid.

The times for our raids will be Tuesdays and Wednesdays as mandatory progression nights. Form-up will begin at 1930 hours server time. Raiders above the entry level are expected to have their gear properly maintained, have appropriate consumables on hand, and be on at form-up time. The first boss pull is expected no later than 2000 hours and the raid will not pull after 2230 hours wrapping up and ending after the conclusion of this last pull.
Those who wish to maintain core raider status will need to maintain 90% attendance, have a strong forum presence, and show competency with their respective role, class, and spec in regards to gear and play.

We will also hold a raid at the same time on Sunday evening to facilitate alternates, hopefuls, and core members attempting to fill in holes in gearing. The Sunday runs are optional and will not count against core attendance. We will run non-progression bosses or use it to reset an extended lockout.

I look forward to forging ahead in Draenor  with my BB brethren beside me! Come Raid With Us Yarrr!!!!

-alaphnull, raid ossifer

Holy Healing Gnatman

I was chatting with a fellow priest from guild the other day about priestly healing in WoD and given the state of affairs on beta right now he decided he better learn to play holy. Now honestly I'd say its a bit early to get all hysterical but...given the changes coming and the lack of legendary life vests that we won't have to lean on it may very well be worth having a good understanding of Holy going forward.

As always however I do recommend heading into the Proving Grounds and going for the hardest level you have available to get a real idea of what healing without all the bad-aids is like.

As for me, now that our raid team has wrapped up its pilgrimage into SoO I will be focusing on getting my Proven Healer title along with trying to find some dedicated souls to head into CMs with. I don't really care for the priest CM outfit but I really enjoy the CM environment and would like to push that as far as I can if I can find four other no-lifers to join me.

In the mean time here are some helpful hints for Holy from the worst priest in the game. YMMV.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Red Mage

The idea of Holy DPS has been around for a good while now and there are plenty of posts written on the subject that will be more well thought out than this one but I contend that 90% of the fun of this game is puzzle solving. Use this approved strat, AMR your gear, follows these rules...that's not my style.
I will concede that it is a good idea to review these commonly accepted "right" ways to play if for no other reason than much of the theorycrafting ground work and testing will have been done for you and provides a good way to see ideas that turned out to be absolute rubbish.

So...our group is working on Garry 10N. Now the accepted approach is 1 tank 2 heals, 1 tank 1 heal, 2 tanks 1 heal, or 2 tanks 2 heals. 2 tanks 3 heals is viewed as pure insanity and I can see why. Phase 2 and the dream phases need fast execution in order to minimize the nasty mechanics which they can produce. Short dream and phase 2 fights are highly successful.

But damit if we simply wanted to follow everyone elses advice we would join cookie cutter guild and be done with it. Now I will admit that we had/have some serious flaws in general play but current scrutiny from community eyes has encouraged people to shape up. Tonight we saw multiple P3s and had a low teens wipe as well. In the spirit of embracing my RLs desire to have a nice healing pad but also put out some nice DPS...and have fun while doing it I have forgone Disc and looked into the Holy toolbox for something I can enjoy playing and still achieve our goals. Is it optimal? Hell no. Are we making it harder than it should be? Hell yes. Do we care? Only if our current playstyle will deny us a kill and tonight we saw that better handling of  P3, speeding up of dream phases and P2, and pushing ourselves just a bit further will definitely lead to a kill.

And so here I am, tinkering with the Red Mage.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Thinking about Healing

One of the lessons that has come to me as I have begun to actually begin healing conscientiously is one that is so obvious that even when it is talked about it bears little weight...because its so damn simple on paper:

Each Heal has a certain amount of health loss for which it is good for.

For example, a heal that gives back 100 points of health is overkill (or overheal) for a player with a only 10 points of damage.  This is such a simply and logical idea that I'm not sure it sunk in with me until I began to actively work at being a more efficient healer and I'm not certain how well my healing guild mates understand the topic in practice even though I'm sure they would all recognize its value in conversation.

What got me was trying to come up with a way to tell what size heal to use on players of varying health pools as my raid frames are normalized to size. Half a bar for a tank is bit larger of a health loss than for a mage. I finally settled on showing health deficit within the frame and have come to understand in general how much my various spells hit for.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A small homework assignment for theorycrafting Holy

With the coming of Warlords and a paradigm shift in the healing will work I've been leveling up a new priest to sit atop my character selection screen as my main. And while the impetus of change was borne out of a desire to play...well...not a panda I've rolled up a cute little goblin to take Airibear's place. This has also given me the excuse to level as Holy and see healing as Holy outside of the SoO environment.

I'm closing in on level 34 and with it one of my favorite spells, Serendipity.

As serendipity changes the efficiency of Greater Heal it is worth examining the numbers behind the various spells involved if only as an exercise in healicrafting.

We will examine the use of Heal, Greater Heal, and Flash Heal for a level 34 Holy Priest to determine the ideal heal per mana and heal per second for using these spells. Stats will be taken from my character as she is in her level 32 form even though level 34 is required for these tests.

Int - 177
SP - 230 (253 with IF)
Base Mana - 1400
Spi - 90
Haste - 8.08%
Crit - 13.88%
Combat Regen - 78 MP5 (15.6MP1)

Our Spells:

Heal - [620+(253*1.024]*[1.1388] = avg 1001
                   Cast - [2.5/1.0808] = 2.31s
                   Cost - [1400*0.019] = 26.6 (Mana +)

Flash Heal - [803+(253*1.314)]*[1.1388] = avg 1293
                    Cast - [1.5/1.0808] = 1.38s
                    Cost - [1400*0.059] = 82.6 (Mana -)

Greater Heal - [1323+(253*2.19)]*[1.1388] = avg 2137
                       Cast Time - [2.5/1.0808] = 2.31s
                       Cost - [1400*0.059] = 82.6 (Mana -)

Serendipity stacks after a cast of Flash Heal and take up to 2 stacks. We will examine what things look like after each stack. Each stack reduce cast time by 20% and mana cost by 20%. No Glyphs or Talents are applicable at this level (FDCL at level 45 changes things dramatically).

 GH(S1) - Cast Time - 1.848   Mana - 66.08 (Mana -)
GH(S2) -  Cast Time - 1.386   Mana - 49.56 (Mana -)

Before we begin to examine throughput and efficiency it is worth noting that Heal is our only mana positive choice at this level and thus would be the go to spell to top up players who have slipped under our Renew's ability to sustain them. Health pools are also small enough that the 2 FHs needed to build 2 stacks would be more than enough to top almost anyone off. Whether or not players could sustain enough damage to allow not only for two FHs to be used but then to require a GH is questionable in the 20s allotted by our Serenity buff. That said, GH(S2) essentially becomes a cheaper 2xFH with a cast time of only 1 FH making it a wonderful choice if ever in a situation where fast heavy healing is useful.

On to HPM and HPS:

Heal - 37.63 HPM   433.33 HPS
FH   - 15.65 HPM   936.96 HPS
GH  -  25.87 HPM   925.11 HPS
GHS1 - 32.34 HPM   1156.39 HPS
GHS2  - 43.12 HPM    1541.85 HPS

Finally I want to look at a rotation for each stack verse simply Heal spam.

FHGHS1 - Time 3.228s  Mana 148.68  aHP+ 3430  HPM 23.07  HPS 1062.58
FHx2GHS2 - Time 4.146s  Mana 214.76  aHP+ 4723  HPM 21.99  HPS 1139.17

Both of these rotations complete their casts before the second Heal in a Heal spam rotation would have begun.

Interestingly GHS2 is our most efficient casting choice looked at on its own yet slips below FHGHS1 when rotation is considered. Throughput remains high even after rotation is considered.

I believe the conclusion to be drawn from this is that casting Flash Heal's as a rotational choice with the desire to build to GHS2 is inefficient and should be avoided but certainly over the course of a fight if a third FH is needed it is better to cast GHS2 or the timing of the buff wearing off, fight coming to a close, or other factor favor's it then a GHS1 is a better option than a second Flash Heal.

Interesting stuff that becomes even more interesting once FDCL changes the balance of power at level 45.

We will reexamine then =)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A new UI....again....and then an emergency

I can't help it I love fiddling with my UI.
To celebrate our forthcoming Garry kill I plan to redo my UI.

When I wrote this a few days ago I had planned for this to be a long term project that allowed me to reconnect with the default UI while spending time with each addon as it came along.

Then my computer had a small stroke and I lost all my weak auras. This was a few minutes before one of our tanks was going to form a Garrosh group.

With my crippled UI I limped in and realized that almost half of my output is handled by my UI.
Some might say learn to play without the UI noob. To them I respond, would you ask me to learn to see without my glasses?
The items in my UI are mostly not for show or because they are cool. Instead I use addons like glasses to compensate for something I know I have a deficit with.
My UI breaking would be like my glasses breaking.

For now I have that ugly pair of emergency glasses ready to get me through Garrosh but I will be speading up my revamp.

For warlords I will learn to see again until my new glasses have all been updated and are ready for the world....of warcraft

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Twitting WoD

Thanks to  and 
I'm beginning to get a picture of what holy priest healing will look like as we ding 100.

So a stripped down pandaren priest will have:

5% crit, 784 spirit, 1093 spell power (and though I didn't get Int my guess is these are the same), 3200 combat regen, and 6431 out of combat regen. confirmed int and sp are = here

With some gear on :

14.08 crit, 5.29 haste, 0 mast, 784 spirit, 4854 spell power, regen is unchanged. Also I think this is pvp gear from the mekkator beta server. int is 3589 here

Thanks Sha!!!!

So what does this tell us? Well very little if you are looking for specifics but if you want rough numbers then this is a gold mine. From wowhead we can use the spell power values to get a low heal estimate. Secondary stats will improve this low estimate as we gain them but its nice to know a starting point.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Drood Review

We have a druid in our raid group who has come up as my next investigative target for evaluating our raid team.
Our current target is Thok and using WCL I see that average HPS is 150kish, our drood is pulling between 50 and 70k... time to investigate.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

the 5% solution

I'm not in a good mood.
It's work related and not raid related but I really want to vent. Even though it is work related its clouded my entire mind.

5% on Thok tonight. 5%

We have good raiders in our group. We have 7 who there almost every week.


30% is keeping us from being so much more than we are. 20% is the usual we are missing but one player is coming up missing more and more.

Even with 20% missing we miss a key clutch healer.
I also feel that if we had a solid 10 the 70% might try harder. And with even more we could push people to improve in order to save their seat.

This work issue really has me down and its making me upset about one of the best nights in raiding we've had in a long time.

I'm done for the night. I'm not logging in tomorrow either. A day off.

I have a lot of work to do for next weeks Thok attempts. It would make me ever so happy if all of our 70% put in the same or even nearly the same effort.

Good night peoples who read this.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Back to Work and Back to thinking about Healing, plus some BB news

So first some Bandage Brigade (BB) Raider news:

Our raid team was formed late in the SoO game with initial runs beginning around November of last year (2013). Over the past seven months we have been plagued with roster changes and major shakeups, including the two cursed slots we can't seem to keep filled. We saw a brand new tank and healer begin their new careers in these new roles (both have extensive raiding histories but not in their new given roles). One of those being myself after switching from mage to priest. Since then I have attained healer gold and learned much but still have a long, long way to go before I can say that I have mastered the role.

Despite all of that we downed Spoils tonight and put in two decent pulls on Thok. A few weeks ago we finally said no to any further resets and have since been pushing content in an effort to get Garrosh down before 6.0 takes the wolves away. It hasn't been easy especially with up to 4 new and sometimes old faces changing hands each week. On top of all that we have been plagued with the same lack of certain loot problems that so many others have had this tier. In fact last night I managed to get two very nice Flex Garrosh kills and was awarded three bags of gold for my effort. =P. I'm still running LFR trinkets and off-hand despite dozens of bonus rolls.
I understand RNG can be painful for some but it sucks when you are one the people on the left side of the bell curve who almost always get screwed in order to allow right siders to enjoy all the wonderful joys that loot can bring.
Ah well, life goes on ;)

After the page break I want to jot down my thoughts about healing in an attempt to not only clear my head but perhaps help others in BB become more conscientious healers as well.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Been a While, This is the Goals Post


  • Individual sets for Holy and Disc
  • Garrosh Kill
  • Trinkets Dammit
  • All Tillers as Friends
  • T5 set, the angel looking one
  • Proven Healer
  • Not much really, might pick her back up in WoD
  • Oh yeah make the Darkmoon trinket for Airibear
  • Learn to play Mistweaver
  • in that vein, Gold Healer
  • Max out gathering profs
  • once druid is of level switch to leather profs
  • Max out Jewel and Enchanting
  • Make the panther mounts
  • Hit 90
  • Gold Healer for druid
  • max gathering profs
  • Hit 90, and then 100
  • Get ready to use as main in WoD
  • Alchemy, Flask Master, Engineering, Goblin
Minor goals, level and gain Gold healer on Shammy and Paladin. 

Wait for WoD to see if profession will be important or stupid, who knows. 
I want to get a pet team to 25 at some point I'm just not focused enough to actually do it. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Holy! Disc! Holy! Disc! Holy! Disc!

Gearing in SoO has reached the point of being able to allow us to use generalized sets for farm content and then going back to a more focused set for progression.

Before continuing be aware of the following disclaimers:
I am not a 14/14H raider. Our group is still pushing normal progression so bear that in mind when I discuss available gear and the fights I'm planning for.
Secondly I'm not a master theorycrafter. I understand many of the basic concepts behind gearing and playing my class but if I attempt to dig too deep into the mathy parts there will be mistakes. Corrections are always welcome as are opinions.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Holy Malkorok Batbear

So our first attempt on Malk in Disc was disc-appointing.
This week I switched to Holy and last night went a ton better...but I can improve.

So I was thinking about the four piece bonus and wondering if it was really worth it. It took me a little while to really appreciate what is going on with it.
The idea is this: create a weak aura to track 4p stacks; before the pull pop off three CoH or PoM or whatever and see how long the 4p lasts; if it has a long duration then I can wait for mana to regen; does anything break it? combat start?; if not pre stack it then wait for pull.

Pre-pot, power infusion+synapse springs+shadowfiend, Halo, PW:San with 3 stacks on tank/melee area.
Settle into bind, bind, PoH and flash, flash, PoH/GH routine. Use FDCL procs to keep serenity up for faster PoH or GHs, these are lovely to drop on people who are plummeting to the ground right after a nice Renew. Divine insight myself as needed for soaking. CoH on CD to keep 4p up for PW:San renewal.

Now as we get near phase 2 I need to insure that 4p is at 3 stacks. Rumor is PoM has no effect as it doesn't bounce under Malks shields (so dropping the PoM glyph for a CoH glyph) but it can still be used to ping a stack of 4p instantly if I'm short before phase 2.

For phase 2 I'll drop a lightspring, guardian...whom?, the tanks, especially our blood DK Wort aren't really in as much danger as someone like Tonk or Fran so maybe one of them? drop PW:San then bind, bind, PoH my way through phase 2.
I would HoH but this didn't work so well with the debuff dropping on random targets. Maybe save HoH for near the end to top off shields? Also need to find time for Focus or hymn of mana.

Tonight should go a lot better

We got the kill

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lessons Forgotten?

So it occurs to me that I never really got around to posting what I actually learned from my PG runs yesterday.

  • The value of properly using CC
  • 8k mana can be a lot
  • I make poor spell choices under duress
  • control the room
  • cooldown use is poorly thought out
So as day one has ended I have to ask what is my goal for day two?
Well, today I want to focus on making better use of cooldowns. From my few CC choices to raid CDs I want to make a more informed and knowledgeable decision when I slam that key.

So there you go.
I think I need sleep first however. I'm very tired.

Emo Raiders

I want to try and get this down before work pulls me away. I was already removed from the initial thoughts by family related stuff so this won't be as raw as I wanted it.

In anything in life we have two separate states we approach problems from: 1) the outside looking in, whether before hand doing prep or after doing review and 2) in the thick of it.
With 1 we have the opportunity to be cold and analytically. Time is on our side and we can move at a leisurely pace without having to rush or make rash decisions.
2 on the hand puts us in a situation where stress and emotion begin to eat away at our careful planning. Suddenly we loose the ability to make informed and well thought out decisions and instead begin to act from either muscle memory or emotion.
This is why the military drills and drills and drills. Once stress clouds all rationality you will either act in a way you have trained your body to act or you will act in an unknown and possibly dangerous manner.

And yes I know I am taking a discussion of very serious real life activities and applying them to a "damn game" as the wife likes to say.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Something to Prove

My journey into the proving grounds may be a bit different that most people hope to accomplish when they step foot into the arena. The title is of little consequence to me and instead this is a sort of journey to learn healing or rather to learn to be a better healer.

I'll be tackling this problem as a Holy priest and will begin with a non-optimized set of gear comprised of merely a handful of pieces I can find laying about in my bank. Until I become comfortable with spell choice and predicting the incoming wave gear will remain as is, to emphasis it will only be once gear is the obvious limiting factor that I will make changes.

Little Boxes Filled with Health but They Don't All Look the Same

I played as a mage for years. DPS is easy...well comparatively anyhow. You have a simple job; maximize uptime of rotation in order to deal out the most damage possible. You don't pull....oh god do you not pull. You aren't responsible for anyone's life...arguably your own but that's just pickin at straws. It's an easy life to learn the ebb and flow of raiding. As you get a handle on the basics it is comparatively easy to add in more complex maneuvers like silencing, dispelling, and the like.

And then one day Blizzard's ever evolving machine deals your class a blow that drains the joy out of it. I want to be clear that this isn't a question of whether the decision was a good one or a bad one it was simply one that you personally did not enjoy.

Desubb? Sure but........

Real Life often interrupts my train of thought, mainly because I write at work. My job by nature allows sporadic and unreliable downtime mixed with massive uptime so often get into the writing zone only to be ripped away and my direction changed. This is one of those times......

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Raiding is easy

Is it?
The numbers are not on the side of the vitriol. My home realm of Area-52 has seen five guilds complete 14/14H mode...on either 25 or 10 man. FIVE!!!

Raiding is easy conceptually. During Vanilla and TBC raiding was much harder for a few reasons:

  • Tuning was much, much tighter
  • The larger raid size and more convoluted attunements made filling slots harder 
  • Internet connections were less stable
  • Our computers were less powerful
  • We were still new to all of this
  • The plethora of helpful sites did not exist
Blizzard finally realized that the strain was too much not just on the 1% of raiders but on their overhead for having to spend so much on the 1%. They are still trying to figure out the best formula for pleasing the majority of their population that numbers in the small country realm. Its hard to please them all.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Guess which MMO I'm playing?

I fire up the game and go to create a new character. First I need a race, there are two factions and each has different races. I find the one I want and then fiddle with it until I like the appearance. I also need to make sure the class I want to play is available for that race...annoying but traditional.

Ok done, slap on a name and I'm in a starting zone near some NPC with a marker over their head., click, OMG who cares just give me the quest already.
Finally. Now I didn't read any of that crap so I'll need some context clues and the mini-log to figure what asinine task I need to complete to get me that much closer to getting out of this damned starting area.

A few hours later and I'm level 10 and finally in a big city. There are banks and auction houses and other stuff. I still need to grind a bit before I can start in with the small group stuff....and it's gonna be a loooong annoying grind until I can do large group content with my friends. But hey at least the country side is pretty.

So which game? Not EvE-online, that's about all you can say.

Yes Wildstar has shinny combat and tons of customization and spiffy spaceman themes (see waterson I did there?) but is it enough? Wildstar is innovative but under the hood it is still the same damn game we've been playing for years and years. Start off weak, do some boring quests that I have no investment in and omg if its the 5th time I've done them they are groan worthy, grind, grind, grind until I come to the "end game" and can finally start playing.
Worse, Wildstar is behind the tech with it's end game. Do raids scale from 20 to 40 or are they fixed in size? From what I can tell they are fixed and holy shit did Vanilla WoW not teach us that managing forty peoples schedules, availability, gear, consumables, skill, etc etc was a royal pain in the ass? WoW's Flex technology is the new gold standard leaving anyone doing fixed raid sizes in the dust. Sure I might have thirty people on but odds are some can't make it, in Warlords I need only a third of my team to show up and I'm good, unless I'm doing Mythic and then yes I need all 20.
Wildstar is for old school hardcore types though so yeah!
Ok I hear ya and thats fine so long as they are ok with subscriptions in the EvE size group and not the WoW size group.

And speaking of EvE, when are we going to see a wow style Dev group look towards the stars and say "Hey why do players have to grind forever to be part of massive end game?"
In eve a new player has a role in large fleet battles from the very beginning. A fact that Goon Swarm has hilariously exploited in the past. Another thing EvE does that WoW/EQ clones do not is allows you to play any race with any skill with any of your friends. Why not have Horde Gnomes (well why have gnomes at all yuck) or Exile Chua? Why not a Panada Paladin or Wildstar equivalently restricted class/race combo?

Unless Wildstar plans to serve a very small niche community, like EvE does, they will find a similar fate to SWTOR. Why? Because despite all of the pretty dressing we still have the exact same grisly meat and potatoes. Why are my bags still filled with junk? If its junk and you know I'm going to sell it anyway just me give me the damn cash! Wanna innovate? Make everything that I can pick up have some use somewhere. Maybe I don't want it but someone else might. Why do vendors sell absolute crap that is easily replaced with only a minimal amount of grinding? How about they only sell the "junk" or greens or whatever that players sell to them and then the player gets a small percentage when someone buys what I sold to the vendor? They are like mini-auto-priced-auctioneers. Why make me go through the beginner area everytime I start a new toon?  I HATE the panda area and the Goblin area and even though I've only played one Chua and one other thing I already know I'm gonna hate redoing those damn zones again. Why not take WoW's proving grounds to the next level? If I've leveled up before just put me in the city where I can go to a dojo with a virtual group to test my healing or tanking and virtual baddies to play with my DPS, its not mandatory but it is available. Further if I do choose to go to the dojo give me an outward sign of how well I did so I can say "See healer Gold ON THIS SPECIFIC CLASS, I'm good to raid yes?".

When you look past the glitz and glamour you will see that Wildstar is...ok so the word clone is treacherous...similar to WoW...worse it's WoW during Cata not MoP. Stop changing WoWs clothes and claiming you are innovating, take some time to find out what players like and what annoys the shit out of them and fix that and then make your new innovative MMO. If you need some ideas go play EvE-online for a while and figure out how to integrate its good features with WoWs, slap on your snazzy graphics and different but not really that different combat system and put a game that makes me want to play it because its awesome and not because I really don't want to level a Druid for the fourth time...oh but its Raid Night, good bye Wildstar which my guild doesn't play and even if they did I still have a long grind until I'm leveled enough to raid, I may be tired of WoW but this is where my raid group is and where ten years of mounts and memories is and since Wildstar is basically the same but without my friends, my gear, my stuff, my investment, but all the same annoyances I'll just stick to WoW. Kthnks buy.

Friday, May 9, 2014

What rolls down hills, somethingsomethin, rolls over the neighbors dog

Its LOG, log, is big, its heavy, its wood.

12 Wipes O Wipping

Wednesday nights raid was a wipe fest. A good old fashioned slam your head on the desk wipe fest. The first half of the evening turned out to be tanking issues. Well I say turned out but it pretty damn obvious when Jugg turned his head to follow the out going tank and spewed hot lava all over the raid.

But once that issue was resolved...what the hell was the issue?
It didn't take logs to see that we simply were not able to live through the siege phase. As the hot tar poured out players were dropping like flies. Why?!? We've done this boss a dozen times before and while he wasn't on full farm status we should have been deep within the refine cycle (I realize I have explained boss cycles yet so I'll do that at the end).
I initially thought healing was the issue. It made sense, siege phase doles out high sustained damage that could easily lead to a wipe cascade if healers did not adapt quick enough.
So into the logs I went.
At first it seemed my suspicions had been confirmed. Almost every wipe was occurring at the 3 minute mark just as siege phase was ending. My own healing numbers seemed a bit down from previous nights with less atonement and more PoH. In addition to that Shade, our Druid, had been teamed up with our new, and temporary, healer Bludmace (shaman).
Could it be that Blud somehow was not able to help compensate Shade as well as Zya (disc) or Os (Holy Pally)? The numbers looked oddly in their favor. So it must have been me? I needed to know who was dying and when and so I turned to one of WCL's most innovative features, the replay.

By turning on advanced combat logs WCL is able to give a replay of the fight with all the actors in their appropriate positions. As it turned out this was very, very informative.
What I initially suspected to be a healer failure turned out to be a raider failure. For whatever reason on this night we simply failed to properly position ourselves as the beast bore down on us. Players would go flying wildly when Jugg blew them back and then would be out of range of healers or healers (myself =( ) would be out of range of them. So yes it was a healing problem but not a raw one.
Our old enemy raid awareness reared its ugly wiptastic head.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Notes For SoO 22April14

Tomorrow night we once again return to the Seige of Orggrimar. This week we will be introducing a few new faces and working to stabalize our core team in order to really get down to some progression.

For the first few bosses which we have on farm I will be trying out a few new mods to see if they will end up being usefull.
I'm trying to find a good fail finder mod and have Phoenixstyle and Ensidiafails lined up.
I also found a neat little mod called Panic Tracker which shows incoming damage verse incoming heals.
Finally I will be giving Big Wigs a go as a replacement for DBM. I was able to play around with it a bit before work tonight and I am very excited about its potential.

Before raid tomorrow I need to go collect my warforged seals and give Ordos a good beat down. After that I need to get the last upgrade for my chest so it will be 2/2. Also even though the guild does provide consumables I like to carry my own so I need to restock.

Boss specific notes after the break.

UI Evolved

Part of my responsibilities as Raid Officer for Bandage Brigade is assisting enthusiastic new raid leaders and helping to mentor them. One of our officers who has been playing wow for some years has decided to head up a Flex team on Saturday nights. The only catch is ....he has never raided before, except for LFR but if you know me you know I don't count that as raiding.

So he's been talking with myself and the other officers and shoring up his knowledge base and we came across the discussion of add-ons. An early Zen Wiping post touched on this but sometimes its easier to see things than to just read some vague armchair philosophy. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Triage Healing coming to WoD? How about Raid Wipe Differential Diagnosis till then?


This is much more readable version I listed in my guilds officer area

Understanding why wipes occur is important for any raid leader, or at the very least having someone on board who who can figure this out for you.
Ok, so wipes occur for one of four reasons:
1 - Tanks failed to controll the boss or adds that require a tank
2 - DPS failed to do enough damage during the encounter
3 - Healers insuffentiently healed the fight
4 - Raid mechanics were poorly executed
How do you know which one was the cause of the wipe?
The best way to examine the deaths that led up to the wipe cascade (for ten man this is roughly the first three deaths, or first four if a battle res was used).
Were you under the enrage timer but the wipe cascade occured because a boss was smashing everyones face? Then it was the tanks (this happens to us when Wort forgets to turn on his blood presence or Tonk forgets his seal of righteusness). Check that your tanks are playing properly, council if needed and retry.
Was everything great until you hit the enrage? In this case DPS was too low (when we first began the Norushen fight this was our main issue.) If so look at your DPS players? Does their dmg seem low for their gear? Check that they know their rotation, understand how to gem/enchant/reforge their gear, and know when to use DPS cooldowns to maximize their output. If all of that is good then their gear is simply too low, you can try dumping a healer for more DPS so long as you don't hit the third wall.
The next two are more complicated but also interrelated.
If your raid is dieing becuase they are taking too much unavoidable damage then your healing is insuffcient. Like DPS above check spec and gear and look into healing competency. If all looks good ditch a DPS for a another healer and hope you don't hit wall 2.
The thing is though we aren't robots nor are we top 1% players. We will be taking avoidable damage. The top 1% may only take 10% avoidable damage the whole fight (this is why they are so conserned with a 1% DPS gain that simply wouldn't phase our group). The rest of us take considerably more avoidable damage and healers must compensate.
Galakras burn phase is a great example of taxing healers and seeing what they can put out. On the other hand Dark Shaman test the raids ability to control damage mechanics and stay alive. Finally General Nazgrim is designed to test your raids ability to prioritize targets and understand boss stances (if shamans heal him it will be a wipe, if DPS don't understand Battle stance is for mild DPS and add control, Berserker stance is for cooldowns and heavy DPS while still control adds, and Defensive stance is a time to sit back and regenerate while dealing with adds then the fight gets many times more difficult).
You will have to look at logs for this one and talk to (or be one of )the healers and then talk to your raid as a whole. Make sure people are avoiding the fire, using raid and personal defensive cooldowns, and that healers are performing well. Again you may have to swap a DPS for an extra healer and hope you still have enough DPE (damage per encounter). Or maybe you need to have your healers do some research and become better, or as Moke says "Stop being a noob Air!"
Once you know what to look for you will be better able to direct raiders thoughts after a wipe in order to find and work on a solution.
Soon we will discuss logging and how to interpret logs so you can hone in what the actual problem is.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What add-ons do you consider mandatory for raiding?

The simple answer is only the ones that improve your performance.

o.O .....and.....which ones are those?

This is a much tougher question. I've been in and seen many guilds that require certain add-ons. Does simply having recount or omen or DBM make you a better raider?


Omen is a bit of non-issue now a days. You saw this one more in the old days when it was easy to strip threat off of a tank.
See the thing is simply downloading these add-ons is not beneficial for most raiders. For one thing omen should you the entire groups threat. It was difficult to parse through and find yourself on the list and even if you did you had to take a few milliseconds or more to parse this data.
DBM suffers the same fate, out of the box it simply provides both too much information and too little. Does a non-tank really need to know how many stacks of Tank Death debuff are being applied? No. Do you really need a warning to tell you not to stand in the big red circle? No.
DBM can be extremely useful but only if you go into it and turn off the things that never apply to you and turn on the ones that do. After a wipe ask yourself which warnings you ignored and which you spent time parsing the multitude of bars to pay attention to. Turn off the ones you ignored, check for ones that track things that you spent time wishing you had a warning for and then when a bar appears you know that that bar is special to you.

Recount/Skada are a mess in the hands of the ill informed. First off do you really know what they do? How about what they don't do?
What these add-ons do is track the amount of damage you put out and the length of time you are in combat mode. They don't care what target you hit, if died, if you stood in the stupid the whole fight, if you front ended your damage then picked your nose while your mana bar slowly crept back up. The HPS charts are even worse, they are almost completely useless as a method of evaluating healing.

Finally if you just run an add-on without thought or care as to what it does you may never see the things the add-on is supposed to show you. It does no good if your DBM warning are at the top of your screen and you never look there during a fight.

This is one of the reason I love Weakauras, when you setup an aura you are invested in its creation and its success. You have ownership of it and its yours. I guarantee the WA icon you spent 20 minutes making is going right where you can see it every single time its up. If only because we humans are just vain like that.

At the same time I absolutely hate when people say "I just use the default UI. Blizzard designed it and so it should be all you need."
You know what else Blizzard designed? The ability for creative people to make add-ons and further the ability for players to customize their UIs to insane degrees.
Few other games allow this much modification of the UI.

If that doesn't convince you then try this one on for size:
The default UI is designed to work for new players and max level players, for raiders and pvpers, for healers and tanks and DPS, for 11 classes and 34 specs. It is meant to work for Granny and for the young-uns.
The default UI is over generalized to the point of weakness. The only answer I would accept for someone not tweaking their UI is "It works and I'm too lazy to optimize it". Fair enough.

The rest of us should work to increase the amount of useful information and the efficiency with which it is displayed while removing extraneous noise and poor placement. Any add-on that is distracting you is making you a worse raider. Any information that takes time for you to find, parse, and react to is inefficient.
Don't just shrug it off as part of the add-on that you are gonna have to live with, find a solution. As someone who records many of my raid attempts I have found upon re-watching my own play that something on my screen was completely ignored (I removed it) or something was out of the way (I moved it) or confusing (I made it bigger and moved it to a place that made more sense to me). I'm constantly looking for what I'm doing poorly and working to find a solution.

So my list of required add-ons for raiders is not filled with something you can find on curse or wowinterface, instead it is the idea that what ever you use make sure it works for you. Make sure it helps you and does not do more harm than good. Good raiders shouldn't have to be told what add-ons they must use because a good raider is a raider who is constantly and perpetually looking to improve her raid performance. She will find the add-ons that work....or she will find herself on the bench wondering why.


Before you Raid....

I f  I could sit all my raiders down and force them to watch one video and read one blog entry they would be the following:

Fail Faster. While the topic here is actually game design the concept applies all through out our lives. Raiding especially. If we could learn to recover faster and rework bad play we would all get just a bit further. Wipes are not a failure, not learning from wipes is.

Raid Awareness is a Learned and Practiced Skill.

This is wonderful blog post by a man named Hamlet who writes about healing mainly. I'm sure he was simply putting down some thoughts he had but what he ended up with was a Raider Manifesto. Raiders should read this, think about it, read it again, then read it again. Read it once a month. Read it every night you spend wiping. Just read it.

These two works more than anything form the basis of what a good raider should be.

EDIT: I'd like to add one thing, as a raider the best thing you can do post wipe is assess your play and determine what mistakes you made. Don't be dismissive about it and skip over every thought you have about that thing that that OTHER person did which screwed you over. Simply think back and find all the fire you stood in, the OSB you forgot to push, the ability you missed and own them all. Those were your mistakes, no one else, they can get their own because you own these. If you can think of a helpful way to avoid the mistake again mention it. If it is simply a matter of pay more attention just do a mental note.