Timing is Everything!

Timing is Everything!

timing

You know the old saying timing is everything right? Well it’s very true for healing. Bad timing can cause a dead tank, or a wiped raid. Management of global cooldowns, spell cooldowns and compensating for lag can make all the difference in the world between a bad healer a so-so healer or a good healer. So, how can we deal with these as healer? Well there are a couple mods that I’ve found quite useful for dealing with this.

Quartz

Quartz is a casting bar mod addon that replaces the default Warcraft one. It is highly customizable and is very useful for help with compensating for latency.

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That’s a picture of it in use. The icon of the spell is displayed to the left of the bar and the bar shows the time left on the cast, as well as the estimated time of completion. In this case you can see that my Lesser Healing Wave was taking 0.9 seconds to cast, and had 0.1 seconds left before it completed. I couldn’t get a good picture of it, but it adds a latency marker at the end of the casting bar. It’s a red block with with the latency added in on the bottom of it. You can see it slightly at the back end of the 0.9. You have to enable the feature in the options for the addon, but once you do you’ll be good to go.

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It will compensate for whatever latency the game has, and anytime you see your cast bar hit that red block, it’s safe to hit another spell and have it begin to cast when your current one is done. This is useful for many reasons, chief among them is to keep your heals streaming without interruption. Nothing worse then hitting a heal and not have it start to cast, only to find your tank or DPS dead as a result. The mod is highly customizable in look, size and what it shows you. It can show you everything from your own global cooldown, how long is left on an interrupt on you as well as function as an enemy casting bar display. If you haven’t taken a look at Quartz, you might want to.

Fortex

Fortex is a mod that tracks quite a bit of information for you. At first glance you’re probably saying to yourself “but that’s just for warlocks”, but I can assure you it’s not. The mod has an options for every class’ cooldowns in the game.

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You can see here that it makes a bar for you to use. The bar is resizable and you can adjust it’s color. When you cast a spell with the cooldown, it will show on the bar at the time marker closest to its cooldown. When a spell reaches the end of its cool down a splash icon will display growing outwards from the endpoint to let you know it’s ready. You can see in the image above my Riptide has just become available while my Nature’s Swiftness is still on cooldown. I’ve found this very handy because it’s something I can catch out of my peripheral vision easily while still keeping my eyes on the encounter and health bars. It has a ton of options and many for other classes

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It can show you debuffs, soulstones, buffs, even trinket cooldowns. I’ve also found this very handy on my Death Knight and my Hunter. Since installing it I can tell you my healing has gone up as well as my DPS on my other toons. Knowing when your spells and trinkets are available and using them as quickly as possible can make a tremendous impact on your healing and damage output. This mod definitely helps me get the most bang for my buck out of my spells and trinkets.

Having a mod that helps you compensate for your latency and one that can help you manage your cooldowns is incredibly useful. There are many out there, I suggest taking a look through all the ones that are available and find ones that work for you and fit your play style and your User Interface. I just happen to have found these two mods quite useful in this endeavor. Here’s a picture of how these two mods fit with my UI featuring my friend’s lovely pet Gertrude tanking Chillmaw for us.

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So what about you? Have you found any mods that you find useful for managing your cooldowns? How about a good casting bar to help compensate for latency?

Until next time, Happy Healing!

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Image courtesy of www.sharewareplaza.com

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About Lodur

Lodur is the right hand shaman to Matticus on World of Matticus, and a recruiting officer of Conquest and Co-Host of For the Lore podcast. Read more of his works at WoW Insider.

Comments

  1. Got a picture showing off the lovely latency aspect of Quartz. Makes queuing up spells that much faster!

    Image: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3628/3629152708_aa4e018be6_o.jpg

  2. Fortex was just recommended to me by a friend. I currently use DoTimer on my Druid for watching Lifeblooms or Insect Swarm/Moonfire DoTs. That mod works ok, but its ridiculously difficult to configure. Two recommendations in two days… I’ll be trying Fortex soon!

    As for the latency thing, I use Quartz like you. I’ve found that, over time, you get an innate feel for the latency. Like when you cast mount you can start moving before the game catches up with you. I played a mage during the BWL days and I had one of those /cancelcast macros and ended up doing quite well once I got a feel for the latency.

    I love the GCD bar in Quartz. As a Druid, that’s really what I’m working against and it helps to have that up on the screen.

    Kevins last blog post..Finding Shaman Pre-Naxx Gear

  3. I have so much love for these two mods. SO. MUCH. LOVE.

    elfennaus last blog post..Exploring, Questing, and Other Mindlessly Fun Stuff

  4. I use Ellipsis which has the same CD bar ( well kind of the same ). since i also use riptide on every CD it’s good to see who has it atm, also tracks other things like totems etc

    http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info10749-EllipsisMulti-TargetDoTTimers.html

  5. Nepharius says:

    I use XPerl for my unit frames, which incorporates a pre-cast indicator on the casting bar, and TotemTimers, which has many options for more then just totems, including many cooldown timers. The latter is more shaman specific, however. 🙂

    I’d also like to mention that on my tank alt, I use IceHUD, which incorporates a pre-cast indicator into the casting bar as well, and is so customizable that one could get lost for days figuring it all out for one character. 😉

  6. Using CooldownTimers2 atm which is similair in that it splashes the spells that are coming off cooldown. But it has a set of bars that diminish (like buffs running out) instead of the timeline bar. I heard of Fortex a short while ago but seeing these screenshots I now actually know what it is and will give it a try!

    Quartz is default 😉

  7. ForteX seems really cool. I’ll have to try it out on my Disc Priest.
    .-= Caladein´s last blog ..Playing with Wolfram|Alpha =-.

  8. I like to get lots of information so I’m probably using more mods than I really need hehe.

    Quartz – of course!
    Cooldown Timers 2
    Mik Scrolling Combat Text
    Omni CC

    I also use Squawk & Awe for my boomkin which is excellent for managing eclipse procs.

    On my hunter I created a special bar using Cooldown timers specifically for Lock & Load which I position above my quartz bar to ensure that I notice it’s proc straight away. The ability to create custom cooldown bars is one of the reasons I really like this mod.

    I tried using the Facemelter mod on my priest but I found it visually annoying and it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know.
    .-= Jezrael´s last blog ..Character =-.

  9. Augustine says:

    I would recommend checking out PowerAuras for cooldown/proc tracking. I use it on all my toons now and it’s a great help. It takes a bit to figure out how to configure it properly, but once you get it running it’s fabulous.

  10. I totally used the video the author at Tank Like a Girl made to set up my power auras. http://www.tanklikeagirl.com/2009/04/08/addon-corner-power-auras-setup

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