Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tunnel Vision

Contrary to what some dpsers or tanks may think, healing is not easy. Most of the healing classes have several tools at their disposal to help them heal effectively. Syll, over at recently wrote and excellent series of blog posts summarizing the healing tools and healing styles available to holy priests, discipline priests, restoration shaman and holy paladins. Those posts talk about how different we are. This post is going to touch on one of the major problems I have while healing. From my conversations with other healers, druids and otherwise, I gather that it is a more or less common issue for all of us. Tunnel vision. When you are locked into healing, you focus on a small part of your UI: the health bars of the raid, 5-man heroic group whatever. As time goes on, my field of vision grows smaller and smaller until all I can see are those little green (woe be upon us if they start turning orange or red) bars. This is all well and good in fights like patchwerk where movement is unnecessary. But there are bosses in the game that punish us for that.

For example, Sartharion with one or more drakes up harkens back to the more traditional "don't stand in stuff" raiding mentality. There is so much going on: void zones, flame waves, whelps, blazes. And each one requires a different action from the healers.

We were doing Sarth+2D a couple of weeks ago. I kept dying. Mostly it was only peripherally my fault: I had to catch up with a tank who was avoiding a falme wave so I ran through said wave or I had too many whelps on me because I didn't stand close enough to the tank's Death and Decay when they spawned; things like that. A handful of times though I died (and consequently wiped the raid - there is VERY little room for error Sarth+2D or +3D) because of stupid errors: I stood in a void zone, I was hit by a flame wave, I even wandered into Sartharion's breath weapon once. All that because of tunnel vision.

Since then, I have tweaked my UI to offer me a more focused view of the important parts of the raid area. My healing bars have moved closer to the center of the screen, my keybindings for things like barkskin and bear form have moved closer to where my left hand normally lies on the keyboard.

Last night we did Sarth+2D again. I did much better. We are still not quite there. Our healing is not quite enough to cope with an enraged Sartharion AND a drake up AND whelps AND blazes. Even with Ritavu and myself both cross-healing on both tanks, it was still not enough.

So what are the strategies some of the rest of you use to minimize the effects of tunnel vision? I can use all the help I can get...


Syll said...

thanks for the mention of my posts on other healers, Elk! I'm with you. I cleaned up my UI quite a bit and have gotten advice about how to do more from my readers since then. I seem to have the most tunnel vision issues on new encounters. Once I've learned them, I seem to be much more comfortable and able to get out of the black pancakes of death. But it's never all that easy. I have to keep reminding myself.

Lorangriel said...

I saw how you've set up your UI, Syll and I'm not sure that keeping healing bars that separate from the gaming area of the screen would work for me. I will try it, but it seems like I will miss things just because they are happening so far away.

Syll said...

p.s. Elk, I just tagged you on my blog =)