Healing Precision in 25-Man Raids

Healing a 25-man raid can be a daunting task. While there are more healers to compensate for the larger group, who those healers choose to heal is not static. We as healers have the tendency to heal the lowest-health person as quickly as possible to prevent death. However, in the world of Cataclysm, where damaging mechanics often leave a moment of reprieve and triage, this tendency often leads to multiple healers focusing on the same people, neglecting others until the very last moment, when it’s too late. Luckily, there are a few tricks that can be used to alleviate the lack of healing precision in 25-mans.

Limit the Number of Targets Healers Have in Range

By leaving healers to free-for-all heal the raid during an encounter, you increase the mental strain on those healers, forcing more split-second decisions to be made and leaving opportunities for unintended neglect to sneak in and cause raider death. Limiting the number of people a healer can heal using range limits can help improve focus and reduce mental stress when a raid takes a large damage hit.

Seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Trust me, though, it works.

The method I used to fix issues my healers were having on Chimaeron was to limit the number of targets they each had in healing range. This forced them to concentrate on bringing only a few health bars above 10k health in the small windows of time between acid volleys and Massacres. While splitting and limiting the healers may seem detrimental to the raid, it in fact freed up the burden each healer had by a significant amount, allowing them to concentrate on only a handful of people at a time.

Note: This assumes your raid frames will fade or dim when someone is out of range, but even the default UI has this functionality now, so it shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Assign Specific Groups or Targets to Healers

While I’m sure this has been covered by many other raid management and healing articles, it is nevertheless still important. Similar to the above trick, giving someone an assigned group or target to heal gives them a goal. They can focus on keeping their assignment up, as well as their own health and mana, instead of worrying about all 25 raiders’ health bars.

A related trick regarding healers and assignments comes into play when looking at healer skill. If you’ve recently started up a raiding team or want to test a new healing recruit, assign them to a role where you will easily be able to gauge their performance. Examples of this include healing tanks or kiters.

Use Healing Zones Whenever Possible

With tools like Efflorescence, Healing Rain, and Power Word: Barrier, among others, grouping up to take advantage of these types of spells is one of the best things you can do to handle raid damage in 25-mans. While it may not be healing precision per se, it still allows healers to breathe for a moment and focus on more immediate threats, such as tank death or near-fatal strike mechanics.

Take note that you should only do this when it is feasible. Trying to group up when the boss has a tendency to cause explosions or demolish people standing near each other are good reasons to not worry about these spells.

Oh, also make sure to have your entire raid click the Lightwell!

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  1. For the first trick, do you suggest that the healers modify the point where people show out of range, for example 25yds Grid will show out of range instead of 40yds. Or were we talking more about Zone coverage as opposed to Man to Man?

    And for the second trick, for the raid leaders – make sure to set up the group assignments in a way that makes sense. You may wish to help Resto Shamans for example by giving them a melee group so that they can be fairly certain most of their targets will be within CH jump range of each other.

    • With group assignments, yeah. You basically want to set it up so to try and maximize healing done. If that means sticking resto shamans on melee, cool. Or having them heal a select group of ranged or something that stay close together.

    • Matt’s reply pretty much covers it. Certain classes have innate advantages in healing different groups (shaman and melee, for example).

      As for the range limiting, I was referring to the default 40 yard limitation on heals. I use the default raid frames when healing, so the article was written from that basis. If you feel you or your healers would benefit more from using an addon to further limit the range, feel free to do so.

      As for zoning, splitting the healers and the people you want them to focus on into different areas of the room (e.g. corners of Chimaeron’s room) helps to prevent any major confusion on where people need to return to after a phase involving movement and group mix-ups. If your group doesn’t have directional or locational issues, feel free to put them anywhere you want, so long as they are still limited to their focused group. It varies on a raid-by-raid basis, really.

  2. I’m a big fan of healing assignments. It’s a tough lesson that I think every healer should learn: even though you want to heal everyone, the raid will be more successful if you each focus on your assigned targets, so you are not distracted or out of mana when the people you’re supposed to be watching need you.

    Moving healers to be out of range of more people is an interesting idea, but in addition to this being limited by encounter design and room size, I’d also wonder if it could cause *more* distraction. I’ve known plenty of healers that would run across a room to “save” someone, potentially leaving their assigned targets high and dry!

    • Most healers are used to healing everyone they possibly can, so it can be hard to break that habit sometimes. The best thing you can do with people who worry about out-of-range targets when healing is to get them into the mind set of standing where they need to be and (I’m surprised I’m saying this) encourage tunnel-vision on their group.

      Generally, practice will help fix those types of issues best.

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