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Meters, Meters, Meters: The Paladin P.I.T.A

June 11, 2009

Since the demise of most of my holy paladin sources (Feraro’s Scandal, BoK going Prot and Siha… where are you woman?) I’ve been doing a lot of reading on Plusheal.com about my class. I used to not especially like this site. Its more of a community for discussion on a more…. casual (? thats not the word, but whatever) level. Not to say that there aren’t some fantastic theorycrafters and great knowledge swapped around, but more that its for paladins (and every healer for that matter) of every level of play.

Anyway! I’ve been lurking their paladin forums pretty frequently recently reading on some of the problems that have been plaguing my fellow healadins and also myself. It actually made me feel a bit better to see that I wasn’t the only person wondering if they’re doing something wrong since stepping a plated-foot into Ulduar.

I’ll start off by talking about my paladin-past. When I first started healing Heroics and 5mans I really loathed Paladin healing. I found it to be impossible at times. It got better and then I started raiding Naxx10 with Vae Victus and instantly I fell into my healing niche. When I was really wanting to showoff I could easily top the healing meter, besting my healing partner who was a standup resto druid. Before the Divine Plea nerf and the Glyph of Holy Light nerf, I could even go into Naxx25 Pugs and destroy the meters there as well. I remember one 25man OS where I came in 2nd, only being beaten out by a Resto Druid from the top guild on our server… in my lowly 10man gear. Even after the two nerfs I mentioned, I was still feeling extremely confident in my healing and was often sought-out for PuGs and various guilds in the raiding scene and yes, still topping the meters.

Now its not to say that I’m no longer confident in healing, because I am. I’m still one of the better Holy Paladins on my server (albeit its an RP server, with only a handful of “raiding” guilds) and my gear is falling into place in the Tier 8 Content. However what continues to haunt myself and other Paladins is that while in Ulduar10 and even in Naxx25 still, I am still up there on the meters, but once in Ulduar25 I plummet all the way to the bottom of the list, usually tied or on par with our Discipline Priest.

What could cause this? I could understand a sliding scale… I’ve just joined a more “serious” guild full of very competent healers in amazing gear. I could see if I didn’t measure up as well with them as opposed to 25man PuG healers. As I mentioned though, I go with those same healers in Ulduar10 and while I’m never 1st, on occasion I can pull 2nd and on the nights when I’m last its not by a marginal amount, only maybe 2-3%.

Its something that worries a lot of Paladins and it makes them start to slip into the devious habit that infected a lot of DPS in BC raiding, the dangerous habit of letting the meters distract you from your job in the raid. I remember being the Mage Lead: We’re hitting up Mt. Hyjal, squealing gleefully at our inflated AOE numbers on the meter. Suddenly a Lock pulls ahead (Nerf Seed!) and there goes the Fire Mage… tossing that Flamestrike a bit too early, frantically hitting Dragon’s Breath and then when its too late, trying to Frost Nova and get out there before all those ghouls chew through the tissue paper of their armor. And then they’re dead. And no one tops the meter from the floor. They knew better… they knew to wait. They had waited all the other times. But the competitive nature of the meters suddenly made them go stupid and mistakes were made.

The same thing can happen when healing. Hell I won’t even lie… I’ve done it. You’re standing there at Ignus healing your tank as normal. Everytime a Flame Jet goes off you see your entire Raid at half health. You start to think to yourself “All those people need heals… I could Beacon the Tank… I could snipe all those raid heals… nothing will happen.” Except you weren’t counting on that pesky CoH Priest who instantly heals up the 5 people you were just about to heal, causing you to overheal and therefore leaving no heals to go to your Beacon Target (THE TANK) and then oops… tank goes splat… raid wipes. You don’t care though, you suck up to that CoH priest and throw him a DI… the bastard!

*coughs* Sorry I got a little distracted.

Seriously though while I like to be overdramatic and tell a funny story, there is a lot of truth to those two scenarios. I’ve read countless stories just like these and yes, maybe even engaged in a little extra-curricular healing myself. To be honest though, I have stopped doing that. For one, it doesn’t even put a dent in the amount of healing that your Druids and CoH Priests are doing – not even close lol. For two, all it does is stress me the hell out! Because if the tank dies – thats my fault and no one is gonna pat me on the back for healing that Shadow Priest who just used SW:Death and was probably about to heal themself up with VE anyway. The risk doesn’t come anywhere near the gain and therefore I don’t bother anymore. I save my Beacon for the OT or even myself on fights like Hodir. I sit back and keep my focus on the tank. Meters be damned. That really is our job as a Paladin. Its what we excel at… its what we do.

As you get further into Ulduar your tank is going to get better geared. Better Gear = Less Damage and Less Damage = Less Healing. Luckily for me I have an amazing Healing Lead who understands this and I have not once been called out for having low numbers. The tank lives through the fight and the boss doesn’t. Loot is had by all and thats the point of the encounter for healers, not the flippin’ meters.

Moral of the story is this: You can’t judge the worth of your healer by any meter aside from the health meter. You may have that Paladin who is putting out higher numbers, but chances are that Paladin isn’t sticking to their assignment and theyre letting someone else pick up the slack on the tank. Not to mention wearing out your raid healers by stepping on their heals, their job. No one likes a showoff anyway!

All you healadins keep this in mind while moving through Ulduar and don’t let it get you discouraged. And if it comes down to a wipe, go ahead and give that CoH Priest your Divine Intervention – they’re probably way more stressed out than you are anyway.

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5 comments

  1. “no one is gonna pat me on the back for healing that Shadow Priest who just used SW:Death and was probably about to heal themself up with VE anyway.”

    /wave!

    I’ve never understood healing meters TBH. If someone sucks at healing, it’s not going to show on the meters it’s going to show by their target beind face down ass up.

    You should link your blog on Plusheal.com!


  2. Check out http://www.holypaladin.net if you’re looking for a new Holy Paladin blog. Its also more casual oriented and mostly for newer players but it has some good info.


  3. While healing meters can provide some data that allows for insightful analysis, it is so easy to misuse them – e.g. the Pat was #1 since his HPS was #1.

    But let me be advocat diablo for healing meters: if enough people think they matter, then they matter. Whether they *should* matter is an entirely different question about whether they *do* matter. Many people never PUG and are in an enlightened guild where the GM, RL, and CM all understand pallies and their strengths and issues. But many are not. I remember a RL lecturing a pally to get their 30% OH down. lol.

    The analogy is SP or HP. The same people who give long lectures on vent about balance will ask a a single question before dipping into LFG: what’s their spellpower? Bob has more health, he is MT. Actions speak louder than words.

    I am not saying this is right and I am sure people in realm-first guilds do not have this problem and yes the world would be a better place if everyone were as rational, knowledgeable, intelligent and good-looking as we are. But frequently they are not. “Naive” might be too harsh, but I find some of the most virulent attackers of healing meters to be a bit unrealistic about their real-world place once you leave the top tier. YMMV

    A salesman once told me “don’t confuse doing the business with getting the business”


    • Very well put friend. I couldn’t agree more.

      Going along with what you said about PuGing people: I also have a slight issue with sites like Wow-Heroes. They can be useful to a degree, but how many items are BIS (or at least close to BIS) but still have an ilvl of 200. This lowers your overall gear score and therefore gives off the impression that you’re not as geared as someone who might simply be taking items from Ulduar just because they’re from Ulduar. Just because it has a high ilvl, doesn’t necessarily mean its better in the slot.

      Meters and Gear-Rating Scores can indeed be a good thing, but only if people use them correctly.


  4. “As you get further into Ulduar your tank is going to get better geared. Better Gear = Less Damage and Less Damage = Less Healing. Luckily for me I have an amazing Healing Lead who understands this and I have not once been called out for having low numbers.”

    I am raiding ulduar 25 too, and Your so lucky, the healing leader in my guild does not understand that, and saying that my healing is to low 😦



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