Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Lag, gear, raid fillers and poor performance

Its been a while since I posted here and the reason was once again too much work in the way. I have been travelling the last week and I have been having chain meetings the week before. Being exhausted from the whole thing had a sever impact in my performance in guild raids. Granted, I have never been our guilds best healer but sometimes I feel I am just not outputting enough and I am not helping my guild.

So, I have been thinking about what needs to be done, insight to my performance etc. My conclusions? As with anything in Warcraft I sometimes I feel I got the right excuses. Other times that I am just fooling myself, or simply trying to find excuses for being poor. But in any case here is my brainstorm...

Real Life tiredness:

Its probably the most important reason but raiding after a tiresome day or a trip in the Middle East definitely has an impact on performance. I have noticed that after some time my responses are much slower, my anticipation of incoming damage is crap and I generally make poor judgements. What I am optimistic about though is when I fuck up, I know what happened. I just need to fix it. And start getting some sleep before raids. After all I DO raid to relax and get my mind of things so I might as well be more... prepared for it.


I must admit I have slacked in getting proper gear. Things of course did not improve by missing a few raids or working on my own on my toon but I have also been reluctant in mix-and-matching new items as they come. In other words I have not been bold enough and thought a bit too much on what items I should have. However, I started tweaking things yesterday and I feel this can be solved easily.

And my favourite subject of all, the grand excuse as I say...

Tech healing vs Nuke healing:

(Check here for differentiation, I often call tech-healing anything that does not involve an HL nuke)

Yes, I know its being used a lot as an excuse but in my case its probably very applicable. I have been closely monitoring my performance on 10-mans and I must admit I have no problems there. In fact I have been doing just fine. I always felt 10-mans are more challenging, there is a lot of player-intervention due to the smaller number of raiders. Simply put, there is more room to heal, dps and make a difference. Now, being a Technical healer since I remember myself I am used to having a `pace' in my healing rotations that accommodates the 10-man damage patterns more than anything. In those scenarios you do not only need to output more, but in the right time. And you need to do that along with your healing peer or peers. That is - in my humble opinion - the ultimate challenge. And I have been feeling that on the healing front 10-mans are much better tuned than 25-men. Or - if its not the raid mechanics themselves - two or three healers of different class work better together than a mixture of 6,7 or 8 classes .

Now, monitoring our raids for the last few days I noticed that nuking paladins make a huge impact. Granted, in some scenarios they can not keep up with aoe-healing classes. But generally speaking the Holy-Light splash seems to work just fine. Only recently I had to adjust my healing to err on that side after some... insight, former guild-mates. Now, call me stubborn or a dinosaur. I just can not do it to the max. I feel its immensely more fun to try to squeeze that Flash of light in the right time. Unfortunately I have to keep up with times. And I have always been a `mainstream' person, hence I am reluctant in going for a proper Flash of Heal build (which needs some fine gear to work properly). I have been therefore constantly trying to pick up my healing output, while not loosing much on awareness and mobility. Although I have had some silly deaths the few recent weeks - 90% of which where because I either tried to do too much of took calculated risks which obviously were not calculated properly :-p - I was always proud of my awareness. But check point 1 and you will see how it all comes together...

At the end of the day though, I have been wondering what is the importance of that person at the bottom of the healing meter list - where I have been ending up quite a bit. Could the raid do without? Well. Probably. But just to give myself a pat on the back - excuses excuses... - it you take that person, the filler as I like to call it - you will most probably crumble. Cause healing is not only about how much. Its also about when. And if that person at the bottom of the list heals in a timed manner, the odd heal might make a difference in dying or being repeatedly healed by different healers. In other words, I'd like to believe I am the one that prevents death, while others just fill up your healthpoints bar...

Unfortunately, Silvermoon server is in a very bad state and lag is more abundant than bones in Icecrown. Lag is definitely not helping us a lot and trying to Tech-heal in such an environment is just impossible. So I end up trying to nuke, which seems not to work as I'd like it to be.

All of the above might be simply an excuse and the real reason of my poor performance is not being able to cut it any more. But, one thing I've got is being stubborn. Extremely stubborn. And I still have not said my last word...


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