Critical self analysis – not always nice but has to be done ^^

As I have been posting and tweeting, Otaku has recently started in Firelands. So far, we are not doing too badly – we spend approx 1 1/2 hours raiding, 2 nights a week and took down Beth’Tilac on our third night (so about 7-8 wipes before we got it). Then we went back and got her again and tried Shannox, and on the second “proper” attempt got him to 32%.

Some of us are rather geeky when it comes to number and graphs and such (ok, ok, I admit it – me and maybe one other :P) so back in Wrath I started a WoL account and recorded some of our fights but frankly the content was pretty easy for us and with few exceptions we either cleared it with no issue or the problem was blatantly obvious (such as people not positioning correctly on Sindragosa), so we never properly studied the WoL reports. Likewise when we started the T11 content, the team was constantly switching and we had breaks of a couple of weeks where we did nothing much and so I never recorded any of the fights.

However, going into Firelands we have a much more stable group and are going for (hopefully) steady progression. Bearing this in mind, I downloaded the WoL client and started recording again (as well as another guildie frapsing the kills). So I now have data for a few attempts on Beth and 1 kill (typically I forgot to record the 2nd and best kill as I had vent issues) and a few attempts on Shannox.

NEWSFLASH! – Nobody is perfect!
Now personally I know I have had a few issues as healer – we all like to think we are awesome and at times as a resto druid it is easy to get complacent when looking at the meters, as the lack of mitigation and the abundance of pure HPS looks very nice. However, in reality we can all improve and thats where the ability to do some critical self analysis comes in. It works on many levels.

Initially you have the ability to check out problems and determine (and accept) if it was your fault. This can be as simple as forgetting a CD (sorry guys, forgot Tranq + ToL was off cd) to a actual error in your style (I have seen someone who had regrowth as their primary heal and was wiping constantly due to OOM). Being able to identify these obvious problems, admit (even to yourself) that it is YOUR mistake and your responsibility to correct it, and then to be able to find out the fix for the problem, is core to being a good player of any kind, especially in a group situation.

Once you have the basics of your role, class etc sorted and have a suitable rotation or whatever going, then it is time to delve a little deeper. This is where the likes of World of Logs comes in, and the results are not always pretty. Unfortunately this doesn’t make the problems potentially any less serious, it just means that most people won’t even notice them, and you can try to get away with it. This can be very tempting, especially when you can see a problem but cba to fix it, don’t know how, don’t like the fix or whatever.

So what’s wrong with Katarnas?
Thankfully not too much I think 🙂 I know that many things I do correctly and without issue;

  • During a fight I utilise my full range of abilites, rather than concentrating on only 2-3
  • My general spell usage order is good (LB, WG, Rejuv = top 3 in some order)
  • My HPS/total healing is consistently high(est) in our healing team,
  • Generally I tend to avoid tunnel vision and don’t die to stupid crap (well except that one time on ODS but…. nevermind),
  • Her overhealing is acceptable (you expect HoTs to overheal and so long as you don’t have OOM trouble then overhealing isn’t too bad)
  • I tend to be good at time management e.g. I know when to heal and when to rest for a few seconds and regain mana instead of spamming for the sake of it

However, there are a few issues I am aware of before I even go deep into the logs or compare myself to other druids on the same boss;

  • I tend to not use SM as much as I should, given the efficiency of it, the fact it’s instant cast, proc’s eff + harmony etc I really need to use it more
  • My harmony uptime is pretty bad, I get caught up with other things and let it drop off waaaay too much, on average I am probably lucky to have it up 70% of the time ^^
  • I tend to be very protective of my CDs and have a habit of always saving them for the it all goes pear shaped, so my 2 min CD trinket usually gets used once in a fight, maybe twice if things go bad early on, innervate doesn’t get used too much and so on. This is especially bad as I have the haste CD from herbalism as well as a on use trinket.

This is where WoL and such is handy
In the spirit of trying to demonstrate how to be able to effectively analyse your own performance, find fixes for issues and then implement them I am going to review a few of my key issues I know I have, show the data from WoL and then explain the fixes. Some of them I suspect are common issues, others possibly not so. Also, this should serve as a summary for my self and I can refer back to it if I forget anything. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I will be able to review multiple logs of the same boss and see a marked improvement in my performance.

Kat’s Issues (all data shown is from our first Beth’Tilac kill)

Swiftmend
Problem: As the screen above shows, basically I don’t use it often enough. SM has a 15 sec cooldown, and the Beth’Tilac fight lasted 7:13. So potentially that’s 28-29 times I could have used it, I used SM 7. Essentially I averaged a swiftmend a minute, or only 25% of the potential usage. This is bad because as I said above, SM has many pros and little on the way of cons.
Fix: USE IT MORE! 😀 Simple to say, possibly harder to do. I have copied some of the power auras that Jasyla posted up on her Druid PA page, so hopefully this visual recognition will help get me into a better routine for using it.

Harmony and CD usage
Problem: Harmony first; this is a very cool buff and as such should have as close to 100% uptime as possible (at least >90%) mine is 66.4%. Not Good, must improve. CDs next; as with SM, each of these CDs has a maximum number of times in can be used in any given fight, for this fight of 7:13, that would 3 times for Tranq and ToL (3min CD, use at 0, 3 and 6 mins) and 4 times for the Moonwell and Lifeblood (2 min CD, use at 0, 2, 4 and 6). Obviously those are simply the MAXIMUM possible uses, not the best. However, each ability was only used once. The reason for this is I generally hang to CDs until I really need them, when possibly I don’t need to.
Fix: Harmony again is relatively easy and is tied to the SM problem above. Once again, I have copied one of Jasyla’s awesome auras and now get a loud ping and flashing symbol when Harmony drops off. The cooldowns are slightly different though, I think I just need to get used to using them earlier on in a fight so that they are off CD by the time we hit a nuke phase, enrage etc. It’s not on the list, but the same applies to Innervate, need to try and set up an aura or such that pings at around 70% mana so I know I need to pop it then.

My other “issues” are thankfully not so big and should just require a slight adaptation to my healing style rather than anything major. Things like I need to try and maintain a bit higher uptime on LB (I am aiming for 90-95% uptime, currently get 85%ish), better usage of SM when I do use it so that the Eff effect is more productive and so on.

Luckily when I checked out some other druids and their healing logs against my own for Beth’Tilac, generally mine seems to be pretty average. I know that every fight is different and reliant on the group, good positioning, other healers and so on, but I am sure that after checking around a dozen parses and seeing that mine was fairly similar I think that I can say Kat’s healing is doing ok except for the issues mentioned above.

So, next raid is tonight, got my shiny new power auras and everything ready and going to remember to log the Beth’Tilac kill and hopefully I shall see an improvement in my problems I mentioned above.

Kat

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Posted on September 6, 2011, in Healing, PvE, Raiding, Resto. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Along with all of the things you’ve already outlined, I would also recommend checking up on your Barkskin usage during raids. Barkskin is one of the most underutilized abilities among non Bear-Druids in my experience. Any encounter with bursts of raid wide damage (which is something like…. all of them?) should show every druid in the raid popping Barkskin (20% reduced damage)

    • Hmm, I could probably pop it more, but I tend to use it when I feel it’s necessary rather than just all the time it’s off CD, though a bit more usage would be good.

      I should probably get into habit of using it for things like Beth’s AoE periods while she is still in phase one.

      Cheers for the feedback 🙂

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