Tobold's Blog
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I'm a healbot

So following the advise of half of my readers, I installed the Healbot addon and went raiding yesterday. The thing does pretty much what I asked for: One-click healing, although of course you need modifier keys like shift and alt to get access to more than 3 healing spells.

Nevertheless I wasn't totally happy with Healbot, because I couldn't get the out of range indicator to work properly. The manual even has a FAQ point about that, but I still couldn't get it to work. The problem appears to be that Healbot has the two states of "enabled" and "disabled", apparently to do with whether you are in combat or not, and the disabled state messes with the "out of range" state or something. Or it was just lag, or some other problem. Anyway, I couldn't get the damn thing to reliably show me who was in range of my healing spells at all times. Which is strange, because the standard Blizzard UI raid bars seem to do that fine (unless its some other addon I installed which adds the out of range functionality to the Blizzard UI raid bars).

The other problem I had with Healbot was that I'm not sure whether it is working as intended regarding debuffs. The bars change colors when somebody gets diseased or affected by a magic debuff, but clicking on the bar just heals the person. I still need to click on the other window provided by Decursive to dispel magic or abolish disease. Is Healbot supposed to work as decurse too? Is the fact that I have Decursive installed messing with Healbot's decursing feature, or did I just not set it up right. Guess I'll have to take more time to read the long documentation.
I play a holy paladin and I use healbot. Compared to you I have much less spells to use though, so its easier to create the keybindings.

To your first problem I don't have a solution, range detection works fine with me in combat, and I have never checked it out of combat.

The second problem I might be able to help with. When healbot shows that somebody has a debuff, you need to use your keybind that is assigned to Dispel Magic or cure disease as far as I know. I have Cleanse bound on Shift+Rightclick, and only use that on debuffed targets.

Not sure if that has helped...

Go to a battleground and use the time there for Healbot tweaking. There's enough small battles in those to provide a decent testing ground. Try to get into bigger BG like Alterac Valley because in there the impact of a missed heal will be less (more potential healers to cover you and longer battles to help you recover from a wrong action). Also a healer is a very welcome class in any BG and you will have fun while you "work"
I still think Grid is better than Healbot >_>
As you can no longer use addons and macros to do decision-making (a la Decursive picking the correct dispel spell), this functionality probably doesn't exist, and you'll need to manually bind and cast your dispels.
You can certainly decurse using Healbot, just go to the spells tab and type in "Dispel" to your chosen mouse bind. I've never experienced the problem you refer to on the range stuff so I would suggest sticking with Healbot a bit longer before giving up on it. The real power of Healbot for me was being able to use macro's on the keybindings too! So for instance I can create a macro called NSHW like this:

/cast Tidal Force
/cast Nature's Swiftness
/cast [target=hbtarget] Healing Wave

You can then type the name of the macro into Healbot on one of the key combos and get to use it like any other spell. So you can expand upon this by having certain mouse combos as emergency buttons essentially and pop trinkets, racials. All sorts to get the most out of it.

It still suffers from the "stare at the Health Bars the entire fight" syndrome though :(
The Healbot docs can be a bit confusing.
For example the intelligent casting of abolish/dispel/rez/buffing with the left mouse button only works out of combat. During combat you have to use the normal configured mouse buttons and modifiers.

Ahh yes, I remember now how confusing the "intelligent" casting can be. I ended up turning this off so as it does what I tell it to rather than what it thinks is best.

Healbot has a fairly large about of buttons and sliders that can be adjusted to suit most peoples tastes.
As far as the range thing goes, I noticed that the bar gets lighter if the person is out of range. You can really see this in the fight before Thaddius, when the tanks are getting thrown around.

If I were you I would turn smartcast off, because it only works out of combat. It also has a habit of casting rejuv when I really wanted to hit off something else.

If you end up healing with your druid, I wouldn't suggest binding the battle rez to healbot because it doesn't work. It ends up turning the cursor into a hand and you still have to find their body or click on their portrait.
I use healbot and decursive together, it cuts down on my modifier keys. I haven't had a problem with the out of range portion of healbot.
In my opinion, having tried Healbot, I much preferred the Clique / Grid combo. Or Clique / Xperl (but that's a bit more system intensive)
Healbot is great, but just has too many options to wade through before you get it up and running. (Xperl has a similar problem).

However, if you don't already use it, a casting bar mod such as Quartz, is also an excellent way to improve your healing. Using a latency monitor on your casting bar allows you to start casting the next heal before the last one has even hit.

Also, for info, Clique allows macro creation too.
Hi Tobold!

Personally I've tried to use both healbot and grid and have been less than pleased with the results. Healbot seems overly complicated to set-up and maintain with patch changes so I just gave up. Grid was a bit better and cleaner to work with but still took a great deal of set-up time and tweaking. Currently I just stick with custom unit frames via Pitbull that show health, range, and debuff icons to help me with healing/decursing.

I am a key-clicker and mouse-mover so I don't like binding spells to my mousekeys since I am constantly moving about in fights. I don't know if you are alike or if you are the mouse-clicker and key-mover type. I find that key clicking is more efficient once you've established the muscle memory of your spell rotations and mousing helps me move, pan the view, and select targets easily. Just my two-cents.
I'm a happy healbot short and stout, here is my med-kit and here is my grout. When I whip up green bars hear me shout.. Don't pull agro you dps clout!
Tobold - I have a non-addon suggestion that you may have already done but maybe not. I played a healer in WAR and reaction time + being able to heal on the run was very important. I can see this as being a similar situation to the raid you mention above. If you play with the movement keys bound to WASD (default i think) then the only number keys that are easy and quick to hit are 1,2,3, and maybe 4, but even to hit those you have to reach and may miss from time to time. What I did in WAR is bind my heals and some other critical spells to the keys around WASD. You have Q, E, Z, X, and C. Usually the default bindings for these keys are not needed at all or not very critical and can be moved. That set up leaves you with 7-9 spells hot keyed so you can targ and press very quickly. I find I quickly get use to certain spells being at certain spots and it almost becomes a reaction I hardly even have to think about. Another thing to think about is if targeting becomes a challenge in a crowded area (common in WAR) then binding a key to cycle through the nearest player characters can speed things up too.
I just noticed that my comment and Sorcefire's suggestion are very similar... >) You definitely establish a muscle memory by binding keys that way. Combine key binds with macros and this can increase the net benefit as well.
Sorry for the comment spam, but "F" is a great key for your most critical or most used spell as well. It has the "bump" for home row and is easy to find in a frantic fight... >)
I experienced the problem with range vs disabled when I first started using healbot. To fix the problem, go to the healing tab, and set the alert level to 100%. This will get rid of the annoying disabled problem. Then on the Skin 2 page, adjust out of range opacity to whatever you want it to be so you can tell the difference between in and out of range and you'll be golden.
Pitbulls > Healbot
Thanks for the relevant feedback Scott. The Alert slider to 100% completely fixed the problem.
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