Friday, January 29, 2010

Measuring Absorbs

Ah, Discipline Priests. According to some meters, they are the worst healers. According to other meters, they are the best healers because their shields prevent so much damage. What's the truth? Who really knows? Probably somewhere in the middle, would be my guess.

All of this is because the combat log does not report absorbs correctly.

The lesson here is, again, one of feedback. You need to feedback to be able to correctly evaluate abilities.

How does Sacred Shield compare to the other abilities? Is it weak or strong? I have no idea. I take it on faith that it's doing good, so I keep it up on the tanks always. But I really don't know.

That could actually be another point in favor of the FoL paladin healing style. Focusing on Spellpower gives you a really strong Sacred Shield. Maybe that's the element which makes the build truly viable. We don't know, though. We can theorycraft, but theorycraft really needs data to confirm the math.

If you have a game with a combat log, all effects need to reported and properly attributable. Blizzard really needs to get a proper reporting system for absorbs up and running.


  1. I've thought about downloading Recount Guessed Absorbs, but the disclaimers on the add-on make it sound as if it would be just as effective doing a /roll (1-3000) in coming up with a number, so I skip it.

    One of my healing partners dumped his shadow spec for disc. When he jumps into disco, I notice the difference in the amount of healing needed. It doesn't show on the meters, but it shows in the game play.

  2. You should be analyzing your raid using the warcraft logger anyway - which accurately records how much damage is shielded.

    Tools such as worldoflogs also accurately accounts for shielding damage (both PW:S and Sacred Shield).

    I think what you said in the blog post might have been true in the last expansion... but it certainly is possible to evaluate shielding performance right now.

  3. Worldoflogs isn't 100% accurate. Their listing is an estimate based on the last shield cast on the target.

    Check out this forum thread for more details on they come up with their estimates.

  4. I'm sure it was at the last BlizzCon or in a more recent post they said the logs would begin reporting absorbs in Cataclysm. I can't find the reference now though.

  5. WoL isn't 100% accurate, but it's good enough to give you a general eye on how useful Sacred Shield is. I tend to have almost 100% up time on SS on the MT and it's about 5-7% of my total healing, generally. On Festergut (where I never let it drop and it's proccing every available time [aka the perfect fight for SS]), it accounted for about 6.7% of my healing or 115311 damage absorbed. It's not -bad,- but just not exciting. My Val'anyr proc absorbed 75k more than that.

    The main problem with SS, at least to me, is that it's single target only and you only cast it once a minute. It's really... -boring.- Heck, everything about a FoL build just seems so "boring TBC healing" to me.

  6. WoL is, however, 100% accurate when your SS is the only shield out there. It only gets fuzzy when you start having other paladins or Disc priests (or even bear tanks) throwing their shields about. That may be a hard situation to come across, but if you log a 10 player raid or what not where you have the only shields it can give you a pretty accurate measure of what the effectiveness of your SS is.

  7. Sacred shield will absorb 75% of your spell power + 500 every 6 seconds if I remember correctly. Since it only occurs every 6 seconds and absorbs a small amount, it's safe to assume this get fully used up every 6 seconds on your main tank.