Healer Evaluations

(Note: This is probably one of the weirdest posts I’ve ever made. I sound like I have multiple personalities.)

Early this week, I started in on healer evaluations. I really wanted to take a look at what my healers were doing and give them some feedback and some direction. I felt I’d been a little too busy leading raids to really chat with my healers during raid time, so I decided to evaluate all of them based on the week’s raids. I was grumbling about doing so on Twitter and a LOT of people were curious about what these evaluations entailed, and could they see an anonymous one?

Rather than compromise any of my actual healers’ privacy, I decided to evaluate myself so that I can post my own evaluation here. I didn’t learn a whole lot while combing through the parses, but I thought I’d share with you a taste of what my healers got from me. I had to basically pretend that I was addressing a healer who wasn’t me. *I* knew various justifications and reasons for various things, but I had to pretend that “my healing lead” had no idea, and then write from that perspective. Thus, I’m writing as Kurn to Madrana. I feel very weird doing so!

Apotheosis’ logs are free for people to view, since I think it’s important for prospective apps to see logs for good and bad nights. Here are our logs. I’m reviewing January 4th, January 6th and January 9th (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday).

Okay, here we go.

Hey Madrana! :) Here’s a quick evaluation based on our first three raids. You’re being evaluated on attendence, respecting assignments/healing appropriately and not dying to dumb shit. That’s the technical term, yes. ;) There’s also a bonus category of “being awesome”. There’s also a section for “things to improve” at the bottom.

1) Attendence: 5/5

Perfect attendence. You were on-time, prepared and were available for the full duration of the raid.

2) Respecting Assignments/Healing Appropriately: 4.5/5

Magmaw: Healing was primarily distributed over both tanks during the five attempts. The only time tanks died was on a called wipe or when the DPS weren’t able to adequately chain Magmaw, thereby extending the Mangle and killing the tank. You were on tanks, so this is fine and entirely what was expected. 91.7% uptime on Beacon of Light on all Magmaw attempts, 86.2% JOTP uptime, which could use a little work. Good use of regen abilities and trinkets in order to regain mana during the DPS burn phases. Good use of Aura Mastery to help combat the Ignition. Didn’t make any use of Hand of Sacrifice (range issues?) or Hand of Protection for a DPS (not watching them at all?).

Omnotron (Tuesday): Very strong healing on your assigned tank, who received almost 50% of your total healing over all 10 attempts. Beacon uptime was strong, but again, JOTP uptime could be better. Good use of Aura Mastery to combat Magmatron’s flames, good use of Hand of Sacrifice to mitigate damage on various raid members. Good use of Hand of Salvation on over-eager DPS!

Omnotron kill: Strong healing on your assigned tank again, good stuff. While Beacon of Light doesn’t show up as a buff cast (likely cast pre-combat), this means that when it fell off, you neglected to refresh it. Since most of your heals were directly to the tank you were beaconing, you lost out on a LOT of holy power.

Halfus: Excellent work on the tanks, helping out on Fog while focusing on Dayden. On the kill, your uptimes for Beacon and JOTP were both in the 80% range, so that needs work. Good use of CDs such as BOP, Divine Plea, Divine Protection, Aura Mastery, Hand of Sacrifice, Divine Favor. The only thing that could have improved here is if you hadn’t died in the first minute.

Valiona & Theralion: Great focus on Dayden here, although why Toga got 8.7% of your total healing is an interesting question… On the kill, he received 12.2% of your healing. Again, Beacon isn’t showing up for half the fight, but I know there was an issue with it on this fight for some reason. That said, great JOTP uptime (over 96%), good to see a HoSac use, a BOP, a Divine Shield, Divine Favor… Good job here.

3) Not Dying to Stupid Shit: 3.5/5

Magmaw: On the early fights (possibly called wipes), you got hit with a couple of Parasitic Infections. Just wanted to make sure you were aware of that. You ALSO got beaned with Massive Crash three times. I know it’s hard to heal the tank if he’s being Mangled without risking this, but maybe throw HoSac on him and run back out? Or use Divine Protection or Divine Shield here when you run in on a Mangle. Over all the attempts, you took a fair amount of damage from Pillar of Flame: 460705, with 112096 coming on the kill. Definitely need to work on that.

Omnotron: You did an all right job in avoiding Poison Bombs, coming in at the middle of the pack with 2 hits over all the learning attempts on Tuesday. Could be better, but not horrible considering the lack of experience we all have with the fight. You got hit 0 times on the kill, which is great to see.

Halfus: Fireball Barrage. We all died to it more than once and there was no way we could dodge it some of the time that it was in use, but you died to it on the kill and had to use your soulstone to pop back up. Knowing that you have a crappy integrated graphics card, you’ll just have to watch more carefully for the effect, as faint as it might be for you. It would be great if there were a projected texture for it, but there isn’t. Boss mods will come in handy when they’re fully up to date to help you know when you’re standing in it, but until then, you really need to watch your feet on this fight.

Valiona & Theralion: You spent 6.6 seconds in the Twilight Realm, most likely on called-for wipes, as you were dying, since your time there was so low. Good job dodging the mechanics of the fight. Your friendly fire from Engulfing Magic was middle of the pack, but could be better, particularly since unless Holy Radiance is active, you don’t have anything ticking to cause damage. On the kill, you had Engulfing Magic and caused 0 friendly fire, which is great. Looks like you bubbled EM off, which is probably a good plan. Good positioning to avoid damage from Devouring Flames, too.

Overall, apart from the Fireball Barrage and Pillar of Flame (admit it, you’re a closet pyromaniac and this is how you indulge yourself safely, right?), you did a great job in dodging most of the environmental issues we saw in last week’s fights.

4) Being Awesome: 4/5

– While you were WOEFULLY unprepared to raid lead for Omnotron on Tuesday, you got your shit together and had everything prepped for people to read for Thursday. Good work on Magmaw, Halfus and the double dragons, though.
– Listening to your healers for feedback for healing assignments is great — use them as a resource for information!
– You did a lot of work towards ensuring everyone was ready to raid and had made the same efforts to prepare themselves. It did not go unnoticed!

Total: 17/20

Pleased overall, although you definitely want to watch for some of the environmental stuff.

Specific Things to Improve:
– Pillar of Flame, Fireball Barrage. Basically, anything to do with fire, since you were fine with the shadow damage and poison/electricity stuff on other fights.
– Beacon uptime was good except on that Omnotron fight. I know you told me that you had refreshed it on Valiona and the logs confirm it, despite the low uptime, oddly enough.
– JOTP – gotta make sure that is up over 90% each fight.

Thank you for being a great addition to the healing team. I’m really looking forward to working with you through this content!

So there you go, that’s what most healers got a version of. It took me around an hour to 90 minutes for each, depending on the various issues I saw with the healers. Not something I want to do every week, but definitely something to do once a month or so.

28 comments

  1. prenden2 says:

    Seems like an awful amount of work. Watch out for GM burnout!

  2. Kurn says:

    prenden2 – Once I got the hang of it, it wasn’t so bad. I go through the logs in detail anyways, so I had an idea of what to look for to start with. DEFINITELY not something I’m going to do every single week. 8 hours of evals is a lot, even for me. ;)

  3. Rhii says:

    Is someone else reviewing dps/tanks? *curious*

  4. xmolder says:

    @Rhii: Yeah, sort of. It all ends up as “Most of you aren’t as good as Dreadsinger or Pigglywiggly. Work on that.”

  5. Apple says:

    XD Oh, X, you are shameless.

  6. Kurn says:

    Rhii – No, they’re not getting as thorough a workout as the healers are, mostly because with so many DPS, it’s pretty impractical, and the tank lead can easily chat with the three other tanks in raid or in their tank channel or whatever.

    My physical DPS lead is still catching up to the rest of the guild since he was working 14h days during December, so he wouldn’t be able to do that and there are just SO many casters.

    What I’ll be doing with the DPS is looking over the “did you die to dumb shit” section and look at anyone who’s frighteningly low on DPS (if they weren’t assigned to various interrupts/tasks). Primarily, at any rate.

  7. Kaboomski says:

    Hey Kurn, nice to see how you approach this. I’ve been tasked with combing through combatlog parses for my guild. I also try to focus on healers, extremely low dps, survivability in general and tanks using cooldowns appropriately. Just too bad I’m the only one doing this atm ;)

    I like your approach and it really gives me some ideas on how to evaluate healers from my guild. I guess I should be using the Expression Editor more than I’m currently doing.

    Anyway, thanks! Great post! :)

  8. Serrath says:

    Is it bad that I want you to look at my logs and evaluate me? :P

  9. adgamorix says:

    No Avenging Wrath on the Magmaw kill – /sadface.

    Fortunately, I only go over my own log parses. I don’t do our other healer(s), just because I’m looking for personal improvement, and am not responsible for doing evals for everyone.

  10. Sierra says:

    As my guild’s unofficial healing officer, this was very helpful in giving me ideas on how to go through logs and assess performance effectively. I think someone would call for my head if I actually sent them a review like this, but it’s great for ideas on where to say ‘hey, this was low’, or ‘watch out here’. I’d be interested to see what you’d say in a review of other healing classes too.

  11. Palaria says:

    Some advise on keeping judgement up.

    Not sure what addon’s you are using but I have found that Power Auras has been a god send with helping me keep my judgement up. (98% for the night with our last raid)

    Right now I just have it showing me when Holy Shock is off CD and then I know that I can judge right after (or pretty close to it)

  12. Palaria says:

    Okay so recount lies, WoL shows I have a 95% uptime with my Judgement.

    but either way I would not have nearly that w/o the help of Power Aura’s

  13. Fog says:

    @ Rhii – You dare even fathom that our tanking even needs evaluations?! For shame!!

  14. Jasyla says:

    This is extremely helpful. I was just asking about what to look for in paladin logs today. Other than JotP and Beacon are there any other buffs I should be looking at uptime for?

  15. Palaria says:

    @Jasyla:
    Depends on your spec and the encounters.

    To keep thing simple you can ask yourself this:
    1> Did I use all of my Pally tricks to help keep the raid alive?

    This might mean you used Aura Mastery every time AOE happens to help mitigate damage. So you would not be looking at a percentage but Number number of times used vs number of times the bosses AOE’d (for example)

    2> When you wipe, could it of been prevented by burning a CD?

  16. Exul says:

    Wow, impressive amount of work and dedication. I’ve never been in a guild with such officer activism… /jealous. I hope they appriciate it for the effort to improve them and not just criticism. Great job Kurn!

    In agreement with Palaria. I also recently loaded Power Auras to improve my JoP uptime and has worked quite well. I have symbols appear near my raid frames when Shock and Judgement are off CD. If I see them, I use them. Also working to add a red “X” when Beacon is not on someone in raid, to help get it back up if I forgot to refresh.

    Keep up the good work!

  17. adgamorix says:

    Jasyla – I had a pretty thourough self examination on my site a few days ago – http://paladindivineplea.blogspot.com/2011/01/pouring-over-logs-where-i-can-improve.html – and my last few posts have been about log parses and CoolDowns.

    Look for HoSac, Aura Mastery, Avenging Wrath, etc – check all the CDs. Look at the focus page to see if people are really sticking to their assigned targets, etc. I’m pretty sure you can get a timeline view so you can actually see if AM was cast at the right time, but that’s getting pretty deep into the logs.

  18. Kurn says:

    Kaboomski – Glad you found it helpful. :)

    Serrath – haha, no, not bad, but I definitely do not have the time to do so right now. :/

    adgamorix – I’m bad at using it outside of offsetting DP, which is something I need to work on, for sure. :)

    Sierra – haha, yeah, being the GM and “official” healing lead, I can sort of get away with sending evals like this. ;) I don’t think some of the healers were particularly thrilled at my reviews, but I do hope to open a dialogue. The things that I would respond back to my “healing lead” self are quite numerous — not that I was terribly off-base in anything I said about my own performance, but I’d definitely talk a bit about some of the stuff found in the review.

    For other classes…

    – appropriate use of cooldowns (Guardian Spirit, Pain Suppression, Nature’s Swiftness – for both shammies and druids, Tranquility, Rebirth, etc)
    – appropriate use of spells. If you see a priest only spamming Flash Heal vs. the other heals in their toolkit, they’re doing it wrong. A holy priest should be using Chakra frequently and your discs should be using Smite an awful lot for Evangelism and Archangel, and that’ll heal people through Atonement, too. Look for things like Healing Rain and Effloresence and Holy Word: Sanctuary as well.

    Palaria – I use clcbpt so it’s a matter of me just looking at my timer bars. I should be judging more often, period, for the mana regen. It’s very obvious to me when it’s run out. I just have to make sure to react to it falling off and judge. Power Auras runs heavy on my crappy laptop, so I don’t tend to use it, although when I eventually get a new computer (in the next couple of months, hopefully) I’ll definitely be making use of Power Auras and ForteXorcist and all sorts of other fun tools! :)

    Fog – Oh, I don’t know… our tank officer accidentally zoning into the twilight realm on our Valiona & Theralion kill was pretty hilarious.

    Jasyla – Basically what Palaria and adgamorix said. It’s not really uptime per se, but use of abilities. BOP (Hand of Protection), Hand of Sacrifice, Lay on Hands, Aura Mastery, Avenging Wrath, Divine Favor, mana back from Divine Plea and Seal of Insight/Judgement… Hand of Salvation, Cleanse. All that stuff. :)

    Exul – I’m definitely the overachieving officer in my guild. My RL friend the Resto Druid claims I like going through the logs more than actually raiding and she occasionally has a point. ;) Thanks for the comment. :)

  19. Palaria says:

    Forgot to mention, that my Raid Frames show me when someone has Bacon (mine or another pallys) on them, with a timer.

    Also have it setup to show me if someone has any kind of Pally Buff/CD this will prevent you from burning a CD on someone. Since we raid with 5 Pallys I cannot tell you the number of times this has helped me save CD’s

    Most Raid frames will do this, it just takes a bit of time and effort to get them setup.

  20. Kurn says:

    Palaria – Yeah, I have Hand of Sacrifice on my raid frames as well as Forbearance. (And PS, GS and a variety of tanking CDs as well.) We definitely need to coordinate use of these a bit better in general. On Tuesday on Maloriak, my brother got someone’s HoSac AND someone’s PS AND had popped Ardent Defender, all at once, haha. Quite the sight. ;)

    I also have a pink dot on my raid frames to illustrate Beacon of Light (mine or anyone’s) so I can see whose beacon is where. :)

  21. Palaria says:

    May I suggested looking at TukUI (www.tukui.org) I am using Elv22’s edit of it (he is a pally tank) its extremely Light Weight, and has pretty much all you need built into it, save a Boss Timer Mod (BigWigs/DBM/DVE)

    Link to a Screen Shot of the UI in action (healer POV ie myself!)
    http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn196/Zumwaa/WoWScrnShot_010811_152952.jpg

  22. Ophelie says:

    That’s some nice stuff. I’m jealous! I bet for feedback all the time, but have never received anything beyond “you’re doing ok”. Even on bad nights where I’m playing horribly, all I ever get is “you’re doing ok”.

    Would you ever consider eventually asking your healers to submit self evaluations, once they know what you expect of them? It’s something I’ve wondered about in my own guild: how do my guildies perceive their own play as compared to how the healing leads see those individuals’ play. Knowing how to play well is a fantastic thing, but I find that knowing how to judge one’s own performance is the only way to really improve.

  23. John says:

    The only suggestion I would be to put the Too-long; Didn’t Read (aka Summary) at the top, rather than at the bottom, even though it should be written last. You can set the tone for the review, and it focuses people and avoids having their eyes gloss over by the time you tell them what you really think.

  24. Thomas says:

    Personally i have Power Auras set to inform me about all important short cooldowns. So, there is HoSac, Judgement (i cast it every CD, since it is a huge mana regen, my JotP uptime is 100%), Divine Protection (40 sec CD is something you want to use often on raid encounters), Holy Power (full stack) and a trinket. There is no way to miss my CDs :)
    Healbot shows me BoL uptime on my target so i am always having it up (just checked yesterday Valiona kill – 100% uptime).
    Besides, i find some parts of your evaluation as helpful. But, i wouldn’t give any notes and subjective opinions (i mean using words such as good, great, and so on, IMO). People will start to compete with others and that’s something you don’t want to have.

  25. Thomas says:

    Now i see, you’re using too less judgements. On my 7 minute (your was 8 minutes as i remember) Valiona fight, i have nearly 2x more judgements casts and so nearly 2x more mana gained. You wouldn’t need to use Divine Plea to get some mana back (honestly i can’t find a time spot to use safetly my DP on this fight :)
    Judgement is something you want to cast every single CD :)

  26. Exul says:

    I’ve never had a problem popping DP on Valiona fight at the dragon transitions… raid shouldn’t be taking dmg and all heals can help with tank if needed.

  27. Thomas says:

    Maybe, but i don’t need to use my plea on this fight at all. Forgetting to judge obviously forces you to.

  28. Kurn says:

    Two weeks late. Eesh. Sorry, guys.

    Palaria – Not sure it’s worth switching to a whole new UI for what’ll probably be less than a month left with my crappy laptop, but I appreciate the recommendation! Thank you. :)

    Ophelie – I always like getting honest feedback about my performance. Even if it’s “Kurn, don’t stand in the damn fire!!!”, I like hearing it. So I want to make sure my healers know where they stand with me.

    Self-evals are an interesting idea. Probably, once they’re more familiar with what I’m looking for. Of course, a self-eval probably still means I need to do my own eval, so I’m not sure what’ll happen there.

    John – Well, that’s fair enough, although my guildies are aware I’m pretty loquacious and expect it of me. ;) My concern is that if they read the summary before the rest of it, they’ll ONLY read the summary and glean the most important information that way. I’d rather they read the examples I set out and then have the summary solidify things for them. But a possibility for others, for sure. Just not my preference.

    Thomas – Since I’m the healing lead, my opinions are basically the ones that matter. ;) I don’t want people to compete with others, exactly. I want people to compete with themselves. I want to do better than I did last week and I want others to think that way, too. Those subjective words of praise indicate to the healers reading what they need to work on. IMHO. :)

    As to judging, yes, my judging needs work, but my priority is to, you know, heal. If I can squeeze out judgements every 8 seconds, I endeavour to do so. :)

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