Q4tQ: How do you measure how "good" a healer is? Or, alternatively, how do you measure whether a healer is bad (accurately)? Preferably a scale, but binary measurements are also ok.
As a long time healer, I feel it can be difficult to accurately measure how "good" a healer is. The most basic question to ask is: are people dying? If the answer is no, then odds are your healer is just fine. That being said, people dying isn't necessary the mark of a bad healer, either, because no amount of healing is going to help the person who refuses to move out of the fire, you know?
There are a couple of things you can look for when it comes to evaluating the skill of a healer. First is mana management. Are they often running out of mana? If the answer is yes, there are a few potential culprits: poor quality gear, poor choice of gear (i.e. going for the wrong stats), and poor spell usage. The first two are more easily addressed than the last, but the second two situations (poor choice of gear and poor spell usage) could be the mark of a clueless healer.
The next way to evaluate your healer is to check their overhealing. Some healing classes overheal by nature--a Resto druid, with their abundance of HoTs, is probably going to have a much higher overhealing rate than most others. However, that overhealing should come primarily from spells like Lifebloom, the mushroom, and Rejuvenation; HoTs that are kept rolling as much as possible and are not necessarily used in direct response to damage. If, on the other hand, your Resto druid has a lot of overhealing from Healing Touch, you may have a problem.
The other thing high rates of overhealing can indicate is a failure to choose the correct spell. If your healer is always going out of mana but also has sky-high rates of overhealing, that may mean they're choosing the fast, expensive spells when they should be choosing the slow, efficient spells and vice versa.
Overall, short of really blatant failures like DPSing the boss while the tank gets smashed, I'm afraid there's not really a good shorthand way to evaluate the quality of your healers. You're going to have to do some digging in logs to really get a sense of what's going on. Something you may be able to try is to give your healers really strict group assignments in raids and watch what happens--does one group struggle to stay alive while the other thrives? That's not a perfect solution, but it's a start.
Do we have any idea when 6.0 (the prepatch) hits? And do we get a warning beforehand? I am at 7/9 CM Gold on my lock and want to get the remaining 2 for mount and xmorg.
As of now? Nope. No idea whatsoever when patch 6.0 will hit. That being said, I'm sure there's still plenty of time for you to get your last two challenge modes. Blizzard will surely give fair warning before 6.0 goes live, so I wouldn't worry until we have more concrete information on their timelines.
NONWOWQ4TQ: Steam Summer Sale!!
What's anyone picking up and playing? So far I'm into Contagion. It's a multi-player zombie apocalypse survival game, very fun.
So far on my list I have: Dragon Age, Gone Home, Mirror's Edge, and Broken Age. Everyone?