A small rant (or rather, why healing meters suck).

July 28, 2009

Whenever I heal, I have a whale of a time. However, there is one thing that somebody can do,that will inevitably make me rage. Something that I’ve noticed on my shaman, on my priest, in pugs, and sometimes even in guild runs.

That something is exploiting meters.

As DPS, it’s pretty easy to exploit meters. Some may even say it’s fine and dandy, because the arguable purpose of DPS is to do well on meters, and that is how DPS are assessed. Moreover, some of those mobs will have to die eventually, so you may as well AOE them down and pull some sick numbers AMIRITE? I know it’s easy to exploit meters because (sorry Burn!) I’ve done it myself. Kologarn is at 5% and rubble spawns and the raid lead goes “just finish him off” and there the meter exploiter stands, frantically mindsearing / hurricaning / raining fire upon what remnants of rubble are being happily tanked and are on the verge of despawn. The warrior who cleaves at XT, the warlock who multidots during Council hardmode- you raid with these people, but probably didn’t notice, because hey, nobody died (apart from the boss. Hopefully.).

Now, to get back on topic. What happens when a tank healer tries to top meters with similar disregard?

Answer: the tank dies. Yes, the tank will die if all you cast are a few lousy circle of healings and renew. Yes, somebody else will have to pick up the slack, whilst (more than likely), cursing you to the depths of healing hell. This is much more difficult in a 10man than a large raid, given that there are often 2 healers, sometimes 3.

For the love of all that is holy, heal your assignment. Being the healer to pick up the slack is extremely frustrating and the people who know how healing works best – i.e. your peers, will not think that you are the Chuck Norris of healing as they try to prevent the wipe that you are FACILITATING by your sloppy heals!

So, almighty Fa, I hear you ask, why do people do this?

The fact of the matter is, that the meter exploiter wants to be renowned as the best healer, or at the very least, better than the other healers in the raid. Often, some nab has linked the meters to them in the past and gone “lololol u suck”. They believe that topping healing meters is the best way to show their l337 skills. Well guess what, they’re WRONG and if your healing officer, or GM, goes by healing meters alone, then, screw it, they’re assessing healing in a very dangerous manner. As aforementioned, the other healers will probably think you are a dimwit who cannot follow simple instructions, if they’re having to heal your target for you.


Meters are not the devil. World of Logs is an amazing tool to analyse your healing squad. Although I don’t always agree with what he has to say, Matticus has an excellent post on how to read such data on his blog, that is much more detailed than what I’m about to post. When considering somebody’s healing performance, there are several factors to consider:

1. Their assignment (tank / raid / special *ability* target – e.g slagpot).
2. Their class and spec (a disc priest or a paladin would be hard pushed to do more raw healing than say, a resto druid)
3. Their gear (oh yes, gear is a factor. Better gear = faster, bigger heals, and the license to go “all out” without worrying about going oom)
4. The nature of the encounter (although shamans have a wonderful group heal, this is not going to shine on much more mobile encounters where druids and priests can liberally cast WG/CoH). Is there a lot of raid damage that allows raid healers to excel?
5. The makeup of the raid / who else is on the healer’s target. (In a raid full of shamans and paladins, a sole priest or druid will do extremely well. 3 healers on one tank will result in overhealing, and all 3 healers doing less well on the meters overall than say, if there were 2 good healers. It’s math!)
6. Non healing spells cast – dispels, shields, CC.
7. The damage they took – did they stand in fire for 20 seconds? The damage they did to the raid? Did they get charged with something painful and kill half the raid? (Grobbulus / Kologarn / Freya).
8. The  most obvious: the death count of their assignments, and whether such deaths (if any) could have been prevented.

TL,DR: Heal your target, please!


7 Responses to “A small rant (or rather, why healing meters suck).”

  1. Aylia said

    “The warrior who cleaves at XT”
    There is nothing wrong with this, less damage taken on the (off)tank is good. I have however “exploited” cleave on emalon (where aoe is pointless as the add that needs to die, gets healed beforehand, and adds keep spawning).

    That being slightly offtopic… tank healers that can raidheal and keep their assigned target up are a godsend.
    It’s just a problem when they’re not aware when they can’t do both.

    • Fa said

      Thanks for the note on XT ^_^

      And re the last point: it’s not about people offhealing – a tank healer that can keep their target up and raid heal a little is what I’d expect from a competent healer (not a Godsend, it’s just what I’d expect from a healer with a clue). The article is about people who ignore their assignment pretty much totally in a bid to top meters.

  2. Zark said

    whomever takes leading the healing meter as a healer seriously should fuck off and roll dps

  3. Shadria said

    I found a post on mmo-champ way back about why DKs did so good DPS in ulduar. basically someone made a reply saying DKs were shit, and started listing how to manipulate meters to top DPS as a DK. I wish I remembered to mention it here 😦

  4. Evanee said

    Healing meters do serve another purpose besides analysis: They can inspire the competitive players to stay on their toes for the duration of the raid, even at points where they would normally lose interest.

    Agreed, noone should ever put the meters before their assignments, but without the motivation of “big brother” watching me I would probably slack alot more on especially farm raids. 🙂

    • Fa said

      That’s a really good point, and something I didn’t really think of. I can admit that I probably (even subconsciously) heal more vehemently if I know meters are running / have recount up.

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