Throughout my healing career, I have used many methods to help me heal more effectively. When I began the game I used the dreaded WoW UI and just clicked on a target and then casted the heal by pressing the number key I had it associated with.
When I became a little more WoW savvy, I would then use my F keys to choose the target and then hit the number button for the heal. This made my healing way faster than before, but was only useful for 5 mans. I never played with my mouse, only using it to loot. This method worked for a long while with me, what was until I wanted to raid.
Obviously you do not have 40 F keys available to use and I did not even like using all 10 F keys for 10 Mans. I had to find a new method. I did my research and found out all about WoW addons. I was enchanted! I loved the idea of changing my screen to fit my needs.
I started by using the WoW raid frames to change my healing. I would pull them out onto my screen, click on the names and then heal. This worked, depending on fight I would have some lag with clicking but I was getting really fast at this.
Then about 2 years ago I found Grid, and even since then we have been having a sultry love affair. I love this raid UI, which I also use during 5 mans as well. This let me keep my raid frames small and still be able to click on them and then hit my heal number. I would still use my F keys to heal the party I was in (usually the tank group because of old Tree of Life Buff). I was just as fast as when I used WoW frames, but my screen was much less cluttered. Plus Grid would show my who had aggro, health, mana, and any debuffs the party had. It was like everything all in one!
Today I use Grid with mouseover Macros to make my healing even more effective but that is a different discussion.
Another useful addon to heal heal is SmartDeBuff. Debuffing can be a major part of healing, especially in certain fights. This addon has all party/raid members grouped by class (or by group number) and when they get any debuff that you can remove, it will mark the box with a “L” or “R.” This means you must left or right click on the persons box. This will remove the debuff from the target without making you choose them and lose your target! This makes debuffing insanely easy.
SmartBuff is another big helper. Most healing classes have a few buffs to give out and how annoying is it for people to ask for buffs all the time? Very! With this addon, all it takes is a middle mouse wheel roll and you will buff everyone who needs it! Takes the guesswork out of buffing.
These are just a few addons that I feel help me heal. But of course I run with many more!
Pitbull – I love this addon. It makes your player interface very customizable. I can change my health and mana bars, my character portrait, and target information. You can also do party windows ad raid windows here too.
Bartender4 – This addon makes your bars look neat and clean! Completely customizable. Don’t like squared buttons? Have circle ones! Want to hide some bars so that they only appear when you put your mouse over it? You can do it too! I actually love this feature, it makes my bars less cluttered.
Sexy Map – This lets you move your mini map and make it look however you want it. Pretty neat!
Recount – Tells you what you healed during a fight and raid. Also reports DPS, Damage taken, total damage done and many other things! Will compile reports till reset.
Prat – Colors your chat frames by Guild, Party, Raid, ect. Also colors names of players by class. A fun addon!
BTex – Lets you create a background for your screen. You can download or create your own!
Monkey Clock – Customizable clock that you can move.
Monkey Quest – Clean quest log you can move and keep track of quests with. Color codes by level difficulty.
Buffalo3 – Move your buffs and debuffs to maximize room.
Fubar Addons (the addons will NOT pop up during combat, you can turn that feature on and off):
- FriendFu – Lists all your friends. Can see them without opening the menu!
- GuildFu – Easy way to see guild members. Same as FriendFu but for guildies!
- HeyFu – Tells you when you have a whisper. Great if you missed it!
- XPFu – Gives you a summary of days played, level, xp amount and xp needed. Great for leveling.
- DurabilityFu – Lets you know what your armor is at. Also tells you how must it will cost to repair for all rep levels.
- CurrencyFu – How much money you have. The menu that pops up when you hover over it will tell you how much you have throughout all your characters and how much you spent and lost.
- BagFu – How much free bag space you have.
I also run WIM which is a WoW instant message screen. It helps me keep track of everyone I am talking to on there own condensed screen.
Healbot…I do not want to say much about this because I know this topic can be a big feather rufflier in the healing community but I will say a few things. I hate Failbot…I mean Healbot =P (No offense just a joke in our main 10 man group! ) . I just find it clunky and unreliable. If someone leaves group your bars are all messed up?! What if they leave during a fight? Your screwed! Plus I feel that it just lets people who cannot heal out of a wet paper bag the ability to heal with addons only (j/k! =P <—-forgot this the first time! Blogging during class FAIL) ….That is all…
**EDIT from my comment but just to get it all out there – I truth, I know a ton of people who use Healbot and are awesome. Some are not. I know a ton of people who use grid and again some are great and some are not. I know a few who use original WoW UI and are AMAZING! It is all personal preference. I say go with what makes you a good healer and productive. But make sure you do not need an addon and can heal without if something crashes in your UI (which I know a few have experienced). If you can heal with an addon and without, I feel that you will feel more confident as a healer and be able to face any challenges.
After raid tonight, I will be posting a raid picture and highlighting Grid, SmartBuff, and SmartDebuff in their full effect! Stay Tuned.