Changes? Patch? I don’t know what the heck you’re talking about.
Feral? Ha! This is the all-tree, all the time channel. Didn’t you get the memo?
Since everyone in the world has told me how good healing addons are, such as Grid and Healbot, I thought I’d try one on.
I had to go outside the norm, of course.
Well heck, Matt has his hands in offering advice for this? Let’s give it a shot!
I installed it, messed around with it a little, then forced some suckers… I mean, guildies… to go into Drak’theron Keep heroic with me to test it out.
What it does up front, of course, is arrange your party/raid nameplates into a nice grid. These names are treated as mouseover targets… and built into the addon is the ability to assign which spells you would like associated with your mouseover clicks, including regular clicks, Alt-clicks, and Ctrl-clicks.
And it is a nice, small footprint.
Now, the key here is that with the built-in ability to set up what spell gets cast when the mouse cursor is hovering over a nameplate in the VuhDo panel, I can quickly move from player to player dropping HoTs, monitoring health, topping off or refreshing HoTs, etc. Plus, since my nameplate is mixed in there too…. I don’t forget to heal myself.
Oh, did I mention that when you cast one of your class spells that has a HoT component on the target, it displays a tiny customizable colored marker on the nameplate, and a countdown timer so you can see at a glance how long everyone’s HoTs will last?
I set my click settings based on my cast priorities I’m currently using while fumbling around learning.
My normal cast priority is to put Rejuve up first, pop 3 stacks of Lifebloom (and only recast when the entire stack drops off), Swiftmend as an instant heal for topping off when health drops fast, Nourish as top off healing when I’ve got more time (or no HoTs on target), and Wild Growth for the party as a whole.
Regrowth and Healing Touch really are kinda back burner so far. Emergency situations, pretty much.
So here is my setup in the VuhDo panel for clicking without using ctrl or alt. Just mouseover a nameplate and left click, right click or center mouseclick. (My mouse is a Logitech MX510 with two thumb buttons, but they are set to Innervate right now, and I haven’t bothered fancying it up yet by changing it).
Simple yet effective. Since Rejuve is my most cast initial spell, it goes as my most comfortable/practised mouse button, the straightforward left-click. Since Lifebloom is number two on my frequently cast list, it gets a right-click. Since Swiftmend is for fast action with HoTs up, it goes on my center-click.
The Ctrl-click is the second tier of stuff.
I love Nourish as a true top off, since I can use it on anyone in the party regardless of HoT presence, and have it go pretty fast for immediate benefit. About the same mana cost as Swiftmend, more effective if the target has HoTs up, but works even if there aren’t any HoTs, unlike Swiftmend. So I put that as Ctrl-left click.
My third most frequently cast spell is Wild Growth. I like hitting the tank with that to spread some HoT love on the melee. So, since I am going to be casting frequent right-click Lifeblooms, three casts to make a stack, being able to simply add a Ctrl to the right-click to add a party HoT seems synergistic to me. Right-click, right-click, right-click, ctrl-right-click. nice and smooth.
Regrowth is on the ctrl-middle button… but I ain’t actually needed to use that yet.
Sooo…. how did it go?
I mean, the theory of how I intended to do it sounded fine, but once we were in a heroic actually using this setup for the first time, how did we fare?
Well, we decided to pull King Dred with 6 extra adds up to try for the Achievement, none of us had ever done it before… and one shot it with no deaths.
Yeah, it worked for me JUST fine.
If you look at that 5-man VuhDo panel (what you can see around the Achievement splash window), you’ll see that there is a small purple square displayed on Graimerin’s nameplate, with the number 2 inside. That is the icon showing Rejuve is on and has 2 seconds left before expiring.
You can also see the arrows around Graimerin’s name, which indicate he has aggro. This works on all nameplates, and shows you who has aggro from something at all times. If the Rogue suddenly has aggro arrows, even thought the main tank still does as well? Then you know the Rogue pulled aggro on a mob, so drop some HoTs on his butt and verbally warn the tank the Rogue went Rambo.
Finally, you see the bars showing Gift of the Wild, Thorns and Rejuve? That’s the addon Quartz. One of the things Quartz does is show you any buffs or spells that you cast, and their durations, that are on the target you’ve got selected. Since all healing with VuhDo is a mouseover without selecting or changing targets, I can select the main tank as my target, and not leave him no matter who I’m healing.
So I can have Quartz showing my Thorns buff duration on the main tank, among other uses.
The one thing you don’t see in that picture, is that when someone runs out of your cast range, their nameplate dims out. When you’re on King Dred and he fears, or you’ve got a main tank and an offtank running around grabbing adds, it is AWESOME to be able to see that someone ran out of your range, and respond instantly.
I did have one glitch in that fight, I was down to 3k mana towards the end, decided to do a proactive Innervate on myself… and used the #5 mouse button to cast it.
While my mouse pointer was hovering over Graimerin, the Paladin tank.
So Grai got a nice full mana bar, while I was sucking fumes right at the end.
“Healing on empty… healing on… healing wild… I’ve been healing on empty, now his health is behind…. gotta heal what you can, just to keep your tank alive” (My apologies to Jackson Browne).
After Drak’theron Keep was cleared, Grai had to go and beat his chillin’s into submission, so I went and joined a quick 25 man Obsidian Sanctum pug as a healer.
No further customization to VuhDo… and it hurt.
See, I use X-Perl, and in 25 man mode, my VuhDo bar uses a ton of landscape right along with all those raid frames.
Once I disabled all X-Perl unitframes on the fly, we were back in business, and I was the third healer in healing done.
I won’t describe the smoothness, or lack thereof, of that run. God, sometimes I think I do these train wrecks just so I appreciate my guildies even more.
I will say that I could by gosh stay on top of keeping Rejuve and Lifebloom up on the main tank, off tank, a lot of the party, and keep Nourish and Switftmend and Wild Growth going a lot too.
Yes, I was healing MT, OT and party all at once. The group was that much fun.
Mah point be, I think that, from my own personal experiences, if you are a fresh new tree, you’re looking to start healing, and are fearful of figuring out how to configure Grid or something… I can strongly recommend VuhDo as an extremely noob-friendly solution, ESPECIALLY for 5 man heroics.
The key is to set your keybindings to something that feels natural to you, and have fun!