Addon: Instant Health is Pants Crappingly Awesome

During this weeks Twisted Nether blogcast, one of the questions posed by Fimlys was what addons I currently favor the most. I said to him that I favoured Pitbull the most but there was another addon called Instant Health that was beginning to grow on me. I touched about it in some details on the blogcast and promised a blog post specifically on the addon and here it is.

The problem

WoW servers don’t update health bars instantaneously. The information is sent from a player to the server, then from the server to your UI. There are two interaction points where lag due to hardware or ISP issues can cause problems, and although this typically happens in regular intervals, it can take as long as 3 seconds to complete.

All healers have been in situations where their heals have gone off, yet the target still died. Cooldowns and trinkets were blown at the last possible moment to add more “oomph” to their heals. Our efforts were futile because even though it showed that we did cast our instants, it did not appear to have been tracked or anything.

The solution

I acted on a tip from Aylii and Lang, my main tank. They both advised me to take a hard look at an addon called Instant Health. The beta was released a little over a week ago. So what’s it about?

This addon updates the health of player/party/raid members and pets much faster than normal by using your local combat log data rather than waiting for the server to send updated health information to you.

It works with Blizzard’s default UI as well as ANY custom addon you might have installed. All you need to do is put it in your addons folder and enable it!
Notice, this addon only speeds up health updates for player/party/raid members and pets. (People that are recorded in your combat log.) Players/mobs that are not in your group will have their health updated normally.

The trial

Intrigued, I had to get a copy of the addon quickly and stress-test the sucker. I forwarded a copy to Wynthea as well, so we could compare notes afterward. So how did Instant Health stack up to our combined play?

In a word, scary. This mod updates health lightning fast. You’ll get a better idea by observing a protection Paladin tanking waves of trash in Mount Hyjal. By updating health on a much faster scale, I’ve found that I’ve been able to make decisions even quicker. Information is life for healers and the faster we get it the faster we can make choices. It’s an awesome addon for us twitch healers that rely on quick reactions. Non healers might think that it’s redundant for an addon that updates heath only a fraction of a second sooner than server updates but they wouldn’t understand. 9 out of 10 Matts agree that this addon is an absolute must have for any raiding healer (the other Matt passed out in shock and stress of watching health bars drop too fast).


I’m very impressed with the potential of this add-on. Personally, I heal less Whack-a-mole style, and more proactively – paying attention primarily to those with aggro – so the benefit to my reaction time on MT healing is negligible. Where this mod really shines is with tough decision-making: you can see which player’s health is dropping fastest and react with better information. The biggest drawback to Instant Health is that when it acesses the information, it somehow changes what is reported to any other combat log parser you may use. Recount, SWstats, WWS, and Recap will all be so dramatically skewed that they become unusable. If you feel like rolling up your sleeves, you CAN fix it yourself – rename the addon’s directory, LUA file, and TOC to ZZZ_Instant_Health, so that the order-of-access is properly aligned. (If you don’t feel completely comfortable doing this, DON’T!) There is also a minor issue affecting default UI Target-of-Target frames that cannot be corrected. Other raid-frames do not have this problem. These relatively minor issues aside, I think this is a great tool. Spell Haste is becoming more and more important as a stat, and anything else that can decrease the time it takes to get a heal on someone that needs it is huge.


13 thoughts on “Addon: Instant Health is Pants Crappingly Awesome”

  1. I’ve been evaluating this addon myself but have found a startling number of heals display as overhealing that never would have shown up that way before. I’m not sure whether it’s truly overhealing that wasn’t communicated to me before or if it’s some sort of drawback of the mod that it misrepresents some effective healing as overhealing. Either way, it makes the mod frustrating to use, and I’m as yet undecided whether to recommend it to my readers.

  2. Don’t forget it’s still in beta, but it does show some promise. I’ve had my tank at -22000 heath before but it was an anomaly during the Archimonde fight when a Warrior took a big hit at the same time the immunity effects came into play. Seeing as I’ve not experimented with the mod on a Resto Druid, I can’t say for sure. Some further experimentation will be needed. But I will say I’ve also caught myself doing a few overheals here and there when I wind up a Greater Heal even moreso than usual.

  3. I’m a resto druid and I use this mod. Its great for reacting to spike damage. Like the good old NS + HT macro type heal. Najentus, and Rage winterchill are great examples where this mod helps you get a heal to those that need it very soon. My reaction time increases alot on those fights. For other fights its not as beneficial. Its helps but when you are already charging up heals on players you know will take damage its less beneficial.

    I will say this. IT WILL mess up your meters. Oh does it mess them up. It doesn’t break anyone elses meters, but I noticed my recount saying I was 10-20% ahead of people on the meters which is not correct. So users beware. Your meters will be useless and you will have to rely upon others. The comments on the Curse website for this addon even have a post from the author of recount critizing how poorly the addon is coded and how it thrashes other addons. It won’t affect WWS to my knowledge as WWS relies upon the combat log output to generate its data. Recounter & SWStats rely upon the LUA events that are generated from the server. To my knowledge those events aren’t included in the combat log.

    Either way, if you need some results find another player and ask him for the results. :-p The mod is in beta, and hopefully they will improve it.

    Gorgonnash Horde!

  4. If the quick fix in Wyn’s post really works, is there a way to get a couple quick walkthroughs on how to modify the files? I know enough about wow modding to be dangerous.

  5. Okay, to clear it up:

    The issues with overhealing and any combat-log parsers are due to the fact that Warcraft allows add-ons that want to access the information to do so in as fair a way as possible, since they can’t all have it at once. It’s alphabetical. This is why changing the file-names to start with ZZZ puts it at the END of the info-access queue.

    Note: I AM NOT A PROGRAMMER. I noticed that my combat-parsers were jacked up, and I asked Google why. What I found was that because Instant Health is programmed to show PRE-EVENT values on your frames, not POST-EVENT values (when the tank gets hit, on your screen it LOOKS like it’s happened before it ACTUALLY happens) and your Recount reads the heal WHEN YOU CAST IT… there’s a conflict. IH says their health is lower (because it will be), and Recount says you cast a heal on a target that didn’t need it – an overheal. Those of you who’ve been running Recount have probably seen your Druid’s chalk up a lot of points through final-tick Lifeblooms.

    I know that’s convoluted, but that’s as clear as I can make it now. Just know that moving Instant Health to the back of the combat-log access line will fix the compatibility issues.

  6. Confirming that the heals will look like over healing on SCT (and, I am assuming, other parsers) and Recount will be very off. But the addon does sync with healbot very well and accurately shows the target’s hit points healed. In my opinion, Instant Health is extremely helpful because the raid members’ hit points are updated more frequently which helps with decision making and ACTING quicker. Now I can readily see who has already been healed (healbot also shows if there is an incoming heal to any target) and stop casting and heal a different target that needs a heal. Rating: 4.95 stars out of 5 stars (with 5 stars being uber kick ass-tastic)

  7. Pingback: swstats
  8. I am trying to follow the link, and find “Instant Health” to download, but fail. It seems that curse removed it and its nowhere to be found.

    Can you post a new link or something?


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