I have an overhealing problem, I freely admit it. While I am often in the top three for hps and overall healing in Recount, I have also become somewhat of a superstar (in the bad way) on the overhealing charts. This wasn’t always the case. When I first started raiding I was dead center of both charts in our 25-man raid, and second (out of two) in both charts for our 10-man raid. As I began refining my healing technique, reading more and more about resto-druiding overall, and getting gear better suited to the task at hand, I found myself steadily improving my hps output. Hooray!
On the downside, I was also steadily increasing my overheals. Boo!
Yesterday, during both our 25- and 10-man, I watched my overhealing carefully. I found that it seems to be caused by several factors:
- Overzealous Early Healing – Having been burned by tanks exploding early on in a boss-fight, I tend to stack tons on them in the beginning of a fight, when the tics of a HoT aren’t necessarily doing much yet.
- Working with Priests on the Same Targets – I put my happy little HoTs on a target and watch their health begin to move upward. A helpful priest comes along, fills them to the brim with green, glowing health bar goodness, and my heals keep on trucking, even though there’s no damage to heal. 😦
- Too Much Crazy Spam-Healing, Not Enough Careful Thought – Sometimes I found that I just followed a habitual healing pattern whether my intended heal target really needed it or not.
- Too Much Mana Regeneration – This shouldn’t be a problem, right? If I’m always brimming over with mana or only occasionally needing an innervate, I should be a jolly little tree…except…Always having enough mana makes me sloppy. I’m not as careful about my heals (see above) and waste mana healing when people don’t necessarily need it. As a result, I put myself in a poor position for mana-intensive fights (like General Vezax).
So I began to make minor changes in the way I healed, and I noticed almost instantaneous results, both in my Recount numbers and in my enjoyment of the game.
First and foremost, I started thinking about each heal. (Okay, maybe not every single one, but an overall increase in Thoughts per Heal…) Did the target really need the heal? Was the target under constant bombardment (like the tank) or was this a one-time heal? Was I branching too far out of my healing assignment – in other words, was another healer going to waltz in and heal my target any minute? What spell was I planning on using, and was it the most efficient and effective way of healing my target?
While all of these thoughts have certainly gone through my mind before while resto-ing, a lot of my actual healing had become rather rote of late. I tended to lather, rinse, repeat over and over because I was no longer terrified that I was a Bad Healer Who Doesn’t Know What She’s Doing And They’re All Going To Laugh At Me. Thinking about these things again while healing the raid or a tank or both was helpful. It didn’t stop me from overhealing, but it did help bring my overhealing down. And, happily, it didn’t really slow my overall hps output.
I communicated with (and trusted) my fellow healers more. I don’t think there’s any way to really avoid burst heals and HoTs tripping over each other in the healing world. “Overhealed” is better than “dead”, after all. But trusting that people are going to take care of their heal assignments, watching their mana, and helping them out only when they actually need it helped me to reduce wasteful mana expenditures and overzealous HoTs.
I still overheal, and I always will. But thanks to my zealous efforts to curb my extra doctoring (and some rockin’ teamwork) I had enough mana to keep my careful healing at maximum efficiency so that our 10-man downed General Vezax last night on our second ever try! (For those of you who have not yet fought this Faceless-Nightmare-Mated-With-A-Lobster behemoth, he has a fun aura that stops all natural mana regeneration. Therefore if you are using a spell, you better be making the most of it.)
I’m hoping soon I’ll be down from slapping full-body casts on minor cuts and bruises to just swaddling them in a yard of bandages. (I’d say a mere Band-Aid, but I don’t want to reach for the stars just yet…)
Update: Based on super-helpful comments from more astute players than myself, I was reminded that patch 3.2 made it so that druid HoT tics that happened post-full-health-bar still count as heals, which was not the case previously. Therefore druids all over the place are leaping to the top of the overheal chart, just like yours truly. While this makes it a slightly less sweat-worthy worry, I still feel that overhealing is something to watch for. It’s not bad, per se, but it can be an overuse of one’s mana or a sign of losing focus/attention, as it was for me. Still, I’m relieved that I didn’t return from my hiatus as a rampant overhealer, but rather I simply downloaded patch 3.2 and carried on as normal. 😉