Friday, January 16, 2009
Healing - do I really need THAT add-on?
Recently on several blogs I follow, there has been a discussion, and heated rebuttal, of whether it is good to use add-ons while healing. Now, I am no expert on add-ons (my husband is nodding his head as I type this), but there are a few I use because they help me with my awareness. I'm big on not so many add-ons, mostly because I operate on my husbands last built computer (now hooked up to the 42" widescreen in the living room) or my laptop, and have not so much memory and disk space that I can use them frivolously. These add-ons don't cast heals or dispels or disease cleaners. Do I lean on them too much? Perhaps. It is hard, in a raid, to use the Blizzard supplied UI to spot things like disease and magic debuffs. I am able to spot low bars, and renew/bubble/omgty insta-flash heal the ones I can catch, but if it's a dot that is killing them, they're just going to die anyway. I am not that good.
Now, I have guildmates that use quite a few add-ons to heal. They are more knowledgeable and, more than likely, have more space/more memory/less crap on their machines with which to handle the added usage. Do they do better on the charts? Yes. Dispel-faster than me. Cure Disease-before I even think about it. But then, who am I kidding? They are also college students with faster reflexes and less distractions. Quite likely, they could run modless and still run circles around me. Oh, yeah, circles, can't do that either when I am healing. I still haven't learned my key bindings, so I'm clicking. I'll bet if I used some of their add-ons, it might even out the reflex/distraction difference.
I got side tracked. I think there are some talented add-on authors out there. Some add-ons are wonderful additions that can aid a healer in spotting areas of necessity. Would I use something like Healbot? Nope. I just read the Curse page on it, and I like plug in and play add-ons...this one wants me to configure stuff. Some of you like spending time in game configuring add-ons (my husband is not paying attention, I was pointing directly at him), I do not.
My conclusion to this discussion? It doesn't change my position...if you got 'em, use 'em. If they're broken and you can't live without them, well, sorry, here's my unused copy of World of Warcraft Programming. Fix it or wait for the author to catch up. Maybe that level 12 hunter you've been using as a bank character needs a few levels? I'll continue being an adequate(not fabulous) healer with my sad short list of add-ons.
For those that are curious...a list of what I currently use (hopefully pictured well in the snapshot above)
Auctioneer(not pictured. gathers pricing data and eases auctionhouse headaches)
Autobar(all consumables,trinkets,buffs,and much more...on configurable bars shown in default setting)
Bartender4(allows skinning and arrangement of bars/buttons your way!)
Cartographer(discovers the map. allows note taking and waypoint creation)
Gatherer(not pictured-gathers your nodes and group/raid/guild found nodes and puts them on map)
Lynstats(line on top of screen with latency, memory usage, xp to level, mail indicator, rested indicator)
MBB(gathers all my minimap buttons in a handly little area)
MikScrollingBattleText(not pictured-adds ready abilities notification (off cd or on activation)
MrPlow(not pictured-sorts bags)
Omen(not pictured-threat meter extraordinaire)
OneBag3(takes all bags and makes them one :))
OneBank3(not pictured, but set up much like above)
Postal(not pictured, adds open all and other great functions to mailing)
Questhelper (buggy atm..I don't reccomend it for WOTLK stuff)
RatingBuster(shows what stats on gear add what to healing/dmg/etc)
Routes(not pictured, works with gatherer to make a node route on maps)
SexyMap(gotta have something pretty to look at!)
Violation(not pictured-a meter for all things measurable while grouped)
What add-ons help with my awareness?
Bartender has a range indicator on the button when I target.
Omen (and the red ring on my picture, and the larger scrolling text) let me know when to cool off and let people take a little damage so I can survive.
Autobar helps with buffing (class specific bar with left click self, right click group/raid buff options)
MLKScrollingBattleText to announce debuffs starting and buffs ending and special abilities that have come available.
All these add-ons do is translate information and abilities already available to me into a more easily digestable form. I still have to act on that information. And that is how I like to play.
Play it your way, it's your 15 bucks. Just wanted to throw in my 2 copper.