Holy Trinity 2.0 – Healers

•December 16, 2011 • 2 Comments

(Recommended to read the Intro for further understanding of this post.  For comments basically stating “that wont work because tanks/healers do xxxxx instead” – be sure to read both the tanking and DD posts when they are up.)

Holy Trinity 2.0 – Healers

I’m going to start with Healers, because as in the Intro post, I think there is an issue with DDs requiring heals when they make a mistake.  The DD discussion would feel out of place considering current mechanics – that is, without first removing the ability to heal DDs from Healers.

What changes would I make to DDs so they are more self-sufficient? That is, so that others could not compensate for them in the event of major failures?  Well, aside from encounter design that’s basically just “go DPS that add over there” or “use some ability to CC or otherwise control this add”, it seems that the biggest help DDs get is from external healing.  Hrmm, that’s maybe something we could change.

You might say, “Of course they get external healing (from Healers), that’s because they can’t heal themselves!!”  In current design, no, they can not.  Currently, Healers are expected to heal all damage from all sources done to all players.  But what if Healers couldn’t heal DDs?  What if GCDs were too constrained, or casts were too long, or healing was more channelled?

Let me give some examples. 

A change could be made to make healing require a very strict use of GCDs such that missing too many would lead to tank death.  This might be too harsh penalizing those with less than stellar connections, and less than perfect understanding of the class.  The idea here is that Healers would litterally not have the GCD requirement to use heals for DDs.

Changes could be made to make more (all) healing spells channeled.  Think a healing version Mind Flay. Having all spells be channeled might be boring, so asomething would likely be needed to keep healing interesting.  The idea here is that putting a quick HoT on the DDs then continueing to heal the Tank is out of the question.  Channeling a heal for the DDs would obviously mean the Tank isn’t getting heals for the duration. 

Alternate: “Charged” heals – just pressing the healing button casts a very small, very expensive heal.  The longer you hold down the healing button, the more efficient the spell gets.  More mana would be used, but healing amount would go up at a higher rate. When the button is released, the heal is cast/mana used based on how long you held down the button.  This technique could possibly be used to also throw in some heals for DDs, but they would be very inefficient and likely not enough to cover mistakes – also takes away from Tank healing at the same time. 

Similar idea with long cast times – starting a 5 sec cast on a DD means the tank won’t be getting healed for at least 10 secs (5 secs for the DD heal to go off, then another 5 for the Healer to get a 2nd heal for the Tank.)  Similar problems with the channeled/charged strategy in that this would probably be a pretty boring playstyle only pressing a button once every 5 secs or less. 


What about this?  Make healing spells cost a ludicrous amount of mana (maybe 2-4x current costs). Then give Healers a buff they can place on the tank that reduces the mana cost of heals back to “normal” levels (50-80%).  This way, healing Tanks is equal to current mechanics, but throwing a heal on a DD would cost a huge portion of the Healers mana pool.  The cost of the buff would also be hugenormous, leaving out the idea of putting the buff on the DD, then healing him, then putting it back on the Tank and resuming business as usual.  The idea is that DDs litterally can not be healed, and that healing a DD would be a mistake on the part of the Healer.

Other obvious changes would need to be made, such as removing AoE healing, and/or modify it so that it can not be used often.  I like the idea of the old school 5 min Tranquility, and wouldn’t mind keeping that in – but everything else would pretty much go.

There are probably other ways to ensure that Healers do not heal DDs during an encounter.  These are some I came up with off the top of my head.


Holy Trinity 2.0 – Intro

•December 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(Note: this entire series is mostly just me putting my thoughts on (virtual) paper for later reference, clarity and for some sort of organization.  even though it’s written in the style as a regular blog post. For clarification on acronym reference and other info read the prelude.)

Here’s what got me thinking about this in the first place.

Tanks and Healers “learn” immediately. 
For Healers – not enough heals = people die.
For Tanks – mob wasn’t positioned correctly and killed/damaged others.  Threat, etc.

Not only that, for the most part, they know WHY they failed.  Didn’t dispel quick enough, didn’t taunt, didn’t use my cooldown, healed the wrong target, etc

DDs don’t have the opportunity learn quickly, ignoring non-universal duties such as interupting, CC, etc.  An individual DD’s damage is combined into a pool of all the others in the raid.  Arguably the best indicator of DD failure is “standing in the fire” and dieing, thus dropping DPS output to zero for the remainder of the fight (I hesitate to include this as Tanks and Healers can also do the same, and thus isn’t a DD specific duty).  Aside from that it’s not until AFTER the fight is over when you can tell if an individual player is pulling their weight (typically).  Even more so, you typically can’t find out which specific DD is underperforming (or if you can figure that out which specific DD failed – WHY did he fail?) without utilizing 3rd party resources (combat log parsers/addons).  There’s nothing in a boss fight that pops out and says “DD you failed!”, like there is for Tanks and Healers. The best DDs can do without 3rd party help is how well they “feel” they are performing.

At least in my totally biased opinion.

Continue reading ‘Holy Trinity 2.0 – Intro’

GearScore, minus the “Score” (part 4)

•October 1, 2010 • 1 Comment

So I basically bashed the GearScore addon in my previous 3 posts, saying that it’s stupid.

No, that’s not what I did.  What I said was that using gear as a basis for future performance is a flawed theory.  The addon does a good job at what it was programmed to do – give an overall summary of a player’s gear.  Yes, I also know that you can further inspect a player by targetting them and typing “/gs” to get more details about their spec, etc.  Used in that fashion, the addon really isn’t all that terrible.  It does give an overview of what instances and bosses the player has killed and not killed.  It does also give a good estimate of caps, such as Hit and uncrittability (for tanks). 

It is still not that perfect by any means.  And although, I really do not want this to be entirely about the addon, I fell like I need to explain somethings – mostly to (re)illustrate some of my points.

Continue reading ‘GearScore, minus the “Score” (part 4)’

GearScore, minus the “Score” (part 3)

•July 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

In part 2 of this series, I breifly went over part of why PUG leaders lead raids the way they do (and I use the word “lead” very loosely here.)  It comes down to being inexperienced and/or being lazy.  At the end of part 2, I had 3 points that highlighted why choosing gear as a basis for future performance is flawed in its theory.  Those 3 points again for your enjoyment;

  • encounters are designed to be more or less gear independent
  • encounters are designed around meeting minimum levels of performance, while gear only provides a maximum level of performance
  • the benefits that additional gear does provide are only shown (ironically) on players that do not need the additional gear to be successful
  • Continue reading ‘GearScore, minus the “Score” (part 3)’

    GearScore, minus the “Score” (part 2)

    •June 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

    In part 1 of this series I very briefly explained how gear no longer equates to experience (and therefore skill set), while also trying to explain a slight problem in the GearScore addon.  The problem with the GS addon is that is values gear solely based on the item level of the gear, and not how the gear was acquired.

    Ironically, gear acquired through the badge system undermines the whole gearing system if you’re looking for PUG raids.  In a guild scenario, this is not really a problem.

    But in a PUG – gear in and of itself – holds about as much bearing as the player’s name.  And here’s why. Continue reading ‘GearScore, minus the “Score” (part 2)’

    GearScore, minus the “Score” (part 1)

    •June 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

    GearScore – The Addon.

    You probably either hate it, or love it.  For those that have been dwelling under a rock for the past year, GearScore is an addon that calculates the item level of all pieces of gear you’re wearing and converts it to a common number – the credit score of addons if you will.  The addon has received increased visibility lately, mostly from players that do not like that they were denied a spot in a PUG raid due to their gear score.

    Players blame the addon for trying to summarize their abilities and capabilities into a singular non-granular number.  Although the addon highlights the problem, I do not think it lies within the addon itself, but rather with common (mis)perceptions. Continue reading ‘GearScore, minus the “Score” (part 1)’

    Casual vs Hardcore

    •September 29, 2009 • 1 Comment

    The “casual” vs “hardcore” debate has been going on for as long as I have been playing video games.  It started well before WoW, probably somewhere in Ultima Online or Everquest.  Who knows?  What I do know is that the 2 terms often bring animosity between players that would otherwise play together nicely. 

    So what makes a Hardcore player?  What makes a Casual player?  And why can the two never get along?

    Continue reading ‘Casual vs Hardcore’