Affeena’s Druid Debut

Affeena dinged 85 on Friday and I healed all of the Tier 11 raid content on Tuesday (normal mode).  I’m excited and having lots of fun.  However, I want to really learn how to heal well on my druid, so it’s time to evaluate my first night of healing.

I will use my favorite healing blog, Cannot Be Tamed, for guidance in my evaluation of my druid healing.  Jasyla has a great page on her site that walks you through Evaluating Healers in World of Logs.  This will be the basis for my evaluation.

I am using the logs from a couple of fights from our run last night for our evaluation.  The format for my evaluation will be quote from Jasyla’s Evaluating Healers in World of Logs page followed by my comments related to how I rate in each area.

Healing Spells Evaluation

Spell selection

Is the druid using all their available spells?

Grade: B+

All spells were used; however, Regrowth usage was pretty low.  This could be used more when clear casting procs.

Top Spells

Wild Growth will generally be at the top in terms of healing done, doing 30-40% of total healing no matter what the druid’s assignment is.

Grade: A-

29% is very close to 30%, but at least it was my top spell.

Overhealing

Overhealing isn’t a very useful stat when looking at resto druids. HoTs, by their nature will be high on overhealing.

Grade: Not Applicable – Thank Goodness

Lifebloom

Lifebloom uptime should be in the 90-100% range on most fights.

Grade: C-

Lifebloom seems to be one of the most important spells for druid’s.  My uptime was only 77.7%.  While this could have been worse, this is definitely sub-par.

Tranquility

With a 3 minute cooldown it can be used 2-3 times on most fights. Each Tranquility should tick 20 times.

Grade: B

One usage of Tranquility is probably fine for a fight under 5 minutes, however, the raid damage is pretty constant, so there is no reason to save it.  I could have used it early and again when the cooldown was up.  On the plus side, it did tick the full 20 times.

Swiftmend

Swiftmend has a 15 second cooldown, so it can be used 4 times per minute. It’s unrealistic to use SM every time it’s available (those with Efflorescence in their spec will likely want to line up its use with raid damaging abilities), but it should be used often.

Grade: D

I only used Swiftmend 6 times during the fight when it could have been used up to 18 times if I had been casting it on cooldown.  I remember thinking I should cast that on a melee player taking damage so the Efflorescence would heal the other melee; however, it didn’t seem like the melee were taking lots of damage. After putting too much thought into it during the fight, then I obviously just ended up not casting it very much.

Direct Heals

Though direct heals should not make up the bulk of a druid’s healing, they should be used fairly frequently on any fight. You should see multiple uses of Regrowth, Healing Touch and Nourish.

Grade: C

Based on the Harmony uptime below, I’m not casting enough direct heals.  In addition, I’m not utilizing my Regrowth spell much, as noted above.  I think I should be using this as my direct heal of choice when clear casting is up.

Buffs Evaluation

Lifebloom

As noted above, uptime should be as close to 100% as possible.

Grade: Already graded above

Harmony

This is druids’ mastery which increases the effect of all HoTs while it’s active. Harmony should be up as much as possible, look for 90%+ uptime. If uptime is much lower, the druid needs to cast more direct heals to keep it active.

Grade: C+

My Harmony up-time was only 76%.   I decided this wasn’t so bad for this fight when I realized that a good portion of the time this was not active was during the “head” phase.  However, when I looked at other encounters I see that my up-time varies between 60% and 90%.  I obviously need work here.

Tree of Life

ToL has a 3 minute cooldown. In your average 4-7 minute fight it should be used twice. A third use can be squeezed into fights that last longer.

Grade: C

I used TOL once on this fight.  As I noted with Tranquility, I probably could have used TOL twice in a fight of this length knowing that there isn’t a specific burst time for damage.  I’m rating myself worse on this item because I’m also struggling with accidentally using TOL because the buttons I have it bound to with Clique don’t seem to be working out with me.  I keep trying to cast Swiftmend and casting TOL instead.  This might be part of the reason why my Swiftmend usage is low.  TOL was used early in this fight and the cooldown was up toward the end.  I missed an opportunity to use it twice on this fight.

Nature’s Grace

NG gives 15% haste for 15 seconds after casting Regrowth. It has a 1 minute cooldown. Ideal uptime is 20-25%.

Grade: D

I completely forgot about this wonderful haste buff from Regrowth.  Since my regrowth usage was really low (noted above), my Nature’s Grace up-time was a dismal 5.3%.

Barkskin

Barkskin can be used once per minute. It should be used often (though not neccessarily on cooldown).

Grade: F

I failed to use Barkskin at all.  I need to map this to a more intuitive place on my mouse to encourage me to use it more.

Tranquility

Tranquility should be used on every fight. The amount should be a multiple of 20.

Grade: Already graded above

Innervate

Innervate has a 3-minute cooldown. It should be used at 70-80% mana the first time, then whenever it’s off cooldown to get as much mana as possible. It can be combined with things like Power Torrent procs to return more mana.

Grade: C

I used innervate too far into the fight to allow for two uses.

Nature’s Swiftness

If the druid has this in their spec, it should be used on every fight.

Grade: A

I wanted to give myself an A for something.  I might not be using this in the best manner, but I have it macro’ed with my Healing Touch spell.  Therefore, I did use it twice on this fight.  There is probably a better way to take advantage of it, but for now I’ll take it.

Trinkets

If the druid has an on-use trinket equipped, check the cooldown on it and the amount of times used. They should be used the maximum amount possible.

Grade: Not Applicable with my crappy gear

Final Grade and Action Plan for Improvement

Final Grade: C
(mediocre at best)

On a positive note, I have lots of room for improvement, so there is hope that someday Affeena will be cranking out some pretty good healing numbers.

I have to admit that the overall healing experience for the night went better than expected.  I was pretty nervous considering I had only healed in a 5 man group probably 4 times in total.  I had read through these guidelines when I dinged 85, but remembering all of your healing goals while you are in the heat of the moment is different than reading an article and “knowing” what to do.

To give myself a better chance of becoming a successful healer on Affeena, I thought I should put together an action plan with goals for the items where I need the most work.

  • Change my mouse button assignments for Tranquility and Tree of Life.  This had to be the most frustrating part of the night…casting my awesome big spells when I wasn’t wanting to.  Nothing like wasting Tranquility when very little damage is going out.  This should be a simple update for me, but I need to make sure I get used to finding these spells quickly when needed.
  • Increase my Lifebloom up-time.  My goal is 90% up-time, and I will remind myself of this goal at the start of each encounter.  I have a power aura set up to watch this on my tank, but I couldn’t get it to show me a big alert when it falls off.  I’ll have to see if I can get that to work.
  • Increase my Harmony up-time.  My goal will be 90% up-time for this one as well.  Since this is accomplished by casting more direct healing spells, this will help with getting a better mix of healing spells as well.

The above items will be my first areas of focus.  Once I accomplish those goals, I’ll start focusing on these other items as well.  I’m secretly hoping that I’ll naturally improve these items as well as I get more healing practice.

  • Better use of Swiftmend and Regrowth (Nature’s Grace)
  • Multiple uses of Tranquility, TOL, Innervate, etc in one boss fight
  • Use of Barkskin (any use would be an improvement at this point)

I have a week now before I’ll get to raid next on this character.  I’ll try to run lots of heroics to practice these items before the next raid week.  Hopefully, by this time, I’ll have half-way decent gear (no longer wearing an heirloom item on my head) and I can start reviewing my stats as well.

Happy Raiding!

~Daff /Affeena

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