Downside of Heads Up Healing

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the concept of heads up healing. The basic idea is relying visually on the screen away from the raid frames to spot impending attacks. Being able to spot who the attack is going to land on should buy the healer a few precious global cooldowns to get even more heals.

Well, I think I found a flaw with that strategy.

It’s to do with Mages.

There’s a Mage in the guild, let’s call him Echo. We were working on Mimiron last night and getting another handle on phase 1 again. The ranged players were divided equally among the… tridrants (Is there a 3-version of quadrant?).

Naturally a Napalm shoots out from the Flame Leviathan look-alike that Mimi sits on. The trajectory of the shot shows that it’s going to hit a player in my area. Sure enough, it strikes Echo and I’m able to target him by clicking the center of the Napalm while he’s on fire and all that.

But his heath bar isn’t moving. Moments later, he is burned to crisp. I frowned. I know I hit him. I saw Penance fly out and followed up with a shield. It was one of the few times where I connected with a heal and still lost a player.

A pause.

A curse.

A sigh.

I fired a disgusted look skyward as I realized my error.

That wasn’t Echo.

I healed Echo’s Mirror Image.

Learn from my mistakes. Pay close attention to who you’re targeting. When it comes to Mages, they’re more than meets the eye.

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!
About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. Dollhouse fan?

    If so, then you’re the other person who watched that show 😉

  2. @Sweetiebird: Coincidental, I assure you. I prefer to mask the names of players for the sake or privacy ^^. A simple Armory look up of the guild, and it should be a no brainer which Mage I’m referring to. =D

    (Yes, I also did watch all of Dollhouse per Lil’s recommendation)

  3. Lakland says:

    Also – Echo needs to learn where his Ice Block is… and to stand near the “heads-down” healers.

  4. Is that what that is called? I never had a word for it. I do that on Mimiron though, where I’ll watch for the bomb to drop then target and assist / shield the person its going to run to or on Kologarn watching the eye beams and preemptively shielding the person he looks at. If you can do it then it really helps but I think it calls for a lot of added awareness that most peeps don’t have.

    Xeonios last blog post..Scheduling Headaches

  5. Lychordia says:

    I was doing the same thing in Wintergrasp. Sometimes there are just so many people and more than one full raid. So to help other raids I would just start to point/click/heal. I wonder how many mirror images I wasted mana on before I realized my error. I look closer at my targets now. Sometimes it’s just not as much fun watching health bars as it is watching the screen. I mean, isn’t that why I bought my 21″ widescreen flat panel LCD? Don’t tell me it’s for the questing. I will just sleep through that excuse.

  6. Ellyndia says:

    I’ve Power Infused a Mirror Image before using the heads-up method. My only solace is the fact that the mirror image lasted as long as the PI did. For those 15 seconds, he was the fasted image alive.

  7. I totally got you addicted to that show, didn’t I?

  8. I wonder what “echo” did that was soooo bad that your other healers ( kaldora and the rest…) left him to be healed by you 🙂

    Agronas last blog post..Re: Your Leadership

  9. I’m not sure our Echo is as hot as the Dollhouse’s Echo 😉 Pretty darn lovable anyways.

  10. Heads-Up healing is nice and all, but you can solve a lot of the problems you give via Grid. KT’s Iceblocks? Can be set as a debuff in grid. Mimi’s Napalm? Ignis’ Slagpot? Kolo’s Grip? They can all be set to show as an icon in grid, notifying you of these “heal-me-now” moments.

    It is still handy for things like Sartharion’s lavawalls and Mimiron’s hardmode doomfires. But I think it is still 90% raidframe healing.


  1. […] Chances are, you’ll be assigned to one of your tanks. But it doesn’t mean you should remain idle either. A Shield and Penance combination should be able to take and cover anyone nailed by pesky Napalms. If you’ve configured your addons to do it, they can highlight the debuff on your frames. Most of the time, your attention will be locked on to the tanks. I personally keep a visual eye on Napalms as they fly out so I can click on the player itself when it lands. 9 times out of 10, I’ll hit the player who is getting doused by it. Sometimes I’ll get unlucky and hit something else (like a Mirror Image). […]

Speak Your Mind