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Raid Rx: Addons for the healing lead

Matt Low

Raid Rx has returned from retirement! Every Thursday (usually, unless there's a PTR soon), Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week it's all about the tools of communication!

You've just been promoted. You've been granted supreme authority over the rest of the healers in the guild. Your guild leader has placed you in charge and made it clear that you are responsible for quarterbacking the healers in the raids. Your healers start looking to you relieved that someone who has a general understanding of the different strengths of the healer classes will be instructing them on what to do.

So now what?

Assigning healers can be a huge headache. I know I've done it and I keep some pain relievers on hand. We haven't gotten to the multiphasic-switch-healing fights yet. We're still waiting on Ulduar for that. This is a great time to get acquainted with different addons and methods for healing assignments.

The Macro Method

As you might be able to tell, this method does not involve the use of addons. It just uses macros. For the current end game raiding scene, macros can still do the job. Ideally, your healing communication happens in a different channel.

In my case, just because I like to prove that I'm actually doing something, I'll echo it in raid warning (check with your raid leader before actually doing that as some may not appreciate it).

Here you can see the fictitious WoW Insider healing group at work. The macro is clearly labeled "ILLIDAN". The first line of the macro is prefixed with the actual "when" of the healing. As I mentioned earlier, it's not entirely important in the early game. But as you progress throughout the next level of instances, precision in communication becomes important.

The format I use in this macro is target: then healer. The assigned healing targets are listed first before I list who their healers are. If there's a healer not mentioned, they automatically know they're on raid duty.

Bonus points for using the macro method? These are exportable. This means that you can copy and paste these in to your guild's raiding forums. Doing this allows assignments to be handled by anyone as the template assignments are already in place. Useful if you're going to be out of action for a while!

The downside is that if your healers change, you'll have to edit their names and such manually. There is also a limit to the amount of characters you can enter into a macro (255) and the amount of macros you can make.

Note about double shifting: Depending on your raid makeup, you may like to double shift your healers. Note that in addition to healing our respective groups, Elizabeth and I are also healing the MT.

Surgeon General

Credit for this one is courtesy of Kestrel's Aerie. In fact, Kestrel even wrote up a post dedicated to outlining the features and reviewing of Surgeon General.

Download it

I have to say that this is by far one of the best healing assignment mods I've ever seen. Trust me on this as I've worked with a fair share of mods for assigning healing.

Brimmstone's Surgeon General blows everything out of the water. Why?

It features:

  • Saved healing configurations
  • Multi phase fight support
  • Automatic healer detection
  • Echoes assignments to raid or a designated chat channel
  • Multiple bosses and raid dungeons can be configured

What it doesn't do is automatically assign healers for you. That's still your job. You have to fill in the blanks by typing in the name of your targets.

In the shot above, example healing assignments are given out. Instances and bosses are already pre-loaded into the addon. The autofill button on the bottom left can be used to load up detected healers in your raid group. At the bottom, there are two places to report the assignments: In your raid or in a customized channel (or both).

Don't forget to save your healing configurations for later!

Here's another shot of the same interface. Raid instances from Karazhan all the way to Eye of Eternity are included.

If the encounter has multiple phases, go ahead and enter the name and the appropriate tanks. Be sure to enable by checking boxes on the bottom or else it won't allow you to enter the names.

Here's what the final raid channel export looks like. Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie refer to phase names. The ~'s represent phase switches. For example, Matticus is healing Optimus in Alpha and Eowyn in Bravo. He's not required to heal anyone specifically in Charlie.


Heal Organizer

This is one of the earlier mods I've used before. It hasn't been updated since the end of October 2008. It does the same thing similar to Surgeon General.

When the list of healers is automatically populated, all you need to do is drag and drop their names next to the appropriate tank.

The downside? You can't multi shift healers. Once a healer is assigned to a tank, they're not able to be assigned to anyone else (via the addon anyway).

Upcoming changes include multi phase support.

Heal Assign

My knowledge of Heal Assign is a little limited. I haven't played around with this one as much as I'd have liked to. Note that this is a command line mod. There's no graphical UI for it quite yet. Healers with the mod running will have a window that shows unit bars listing their assignments.

All of your healers will have to have Heal Assign installed and toggled on for this to work. Your healers are able to assign or unassign themselves from their tanks and targets. Raiders must have an Assistant (or be Raid Leader) in order to assign other healers.

Want some more advice for working with the healers in your guild? Raid Rx has you covered with all there is to know! Looking for less healer-centric raiding advice? Take a look at our raiding column Ready Check.

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