Jan 9, 2008

Moar About Light

In my mind, there are two reasons to use Light rank 4: Keeps Light's Grace up for potentially faster big heals and saves mana/cast (if you're using [Libram of Absolute Truth], taking 27 mana off Light's). This was hailed as the greatest thing since sliced bread back when the T5 set bonus reduced Light's cast time even more, making it 1.5 sec after the first cast. Then we pwned both PvE priests and arena healing, and they took it away. :(

The downside is (at least when I tested it in all T5) each cast of rank 4 Light heals for less than a cast of max rank Flash, at something like 200hp less. So even if the cast times were equal, you were trading healing for mana. But now they're not equal and Light takes 2 sec to cast even with LG up. In one of the "I hate you! Die!" letters I occassionally receive, the paladin even went so far of accusing me of padding the healing meters because I used Flash. Yep, that's how much less healing Light rank 4 was doing. I let it slide that you're not actually supposed to be chain casting it... Just using it for LG. After all, she wasn't even playing my faction and had stollen my WWS. ;)

In certain situations, you're going to need to cast Light. The percentage chance of this happening is inversely proportional to how many other healers, specifically priests, are in your group. (If you don't has math, more healers = less chance) That's not to say I don't hesitate to cast big heals if the situation calls for it. I can always drink mana back later.

Pulling up the most recent WWS of MH/BT (cleared MH, 2 bosses in BT, plus trash, I'm Virgo on the WWS) I casted a total of 1,563 times and 15 of those were Lights. So that's a 0.9% chance of me using Light. To be fair, I pulled up the other paladin's info. Out of 1427 casts (I'm not counting the holy shocking he seems to enjoy), he used Light 95 times or 6.6%. Our healing amounts and averages look nearly identical, so those are rank 9 and rank 11 Lights, not rank 4's that he's using.

So let's go with his numbers. I could be making him do all the healing work or he could be going all out on trash, who knows. I don't have the time today to look at each boss fight and count. So 6.6% of the time a paladin needed to use Light. If I do some fuzzy math, 1427 casts = 95 Lights + 1332 Flashes. If you take that as one big long fight and recalc it for the rolling rank 4 Lights, you'll get the following breakdown: 1,213 Flashes, 119 rank 4 lights, 95 rank 9 Lights. The total cast time to reach 1427 casts with rank 4 Light's is 23.78 seconds longer than if you just cast 95-2.5 sec big heals+ton of Flashes. Now, this is a +37 min fight, so that's not exactly a huge amount, but that's still about 16 Flashes that you're missing out on.

Another question is how much less healing does rank 4 Lights do compared to Flash with my current gear? Well, I did try it out the other night but sadly WWS seems to have jumbled up our Council fight and I don't even see the fight where we won. The best I can do is come practice casting tonight when I get home. I think the gear thing is important since my +healing has gone up.

One of the biggest non-math arguments for using rank 4 Lights is: If shaving 0.5 sec off a big heal keeps someone from dying and prevents a wipe, then it's all worth it. This is like relying on your crit or an item proc to heal someone back up. I care more about the day in and day out.

I haven't touched on the whole saving mana aspect, which is what made my h8ter convinced that spamming rank 4's was the way to go. I have yet to come across a boss where buffing to the teeth and proactively drinking mana pots still resulted in going OOM. And I don't even tell me this sob story if you're sitting in a group with a shadow priest. I never get one and do just fine.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Is there anything we can't understand through math? (Allow me to answer myself: the heart of a lady.) Excellent work! It confirms essentially what I've understood as our role in healing groups: we roxxor soxxorz/boxxorz at quickly healing people and topping off party members while spending next to no mana to do it. Using Holy Light liberally is a one-way ticket to /oom, so it's usually best to leave that piece of healing to the priests, whose Greater Heal is more efficient than our Holy Light, in no small part due to the fact that most priests have insane amounts of spirit to recoup the cost. We plate-priests get our jollies on intellect rather than spirit.

I unfortunately lack the capability to check my HL/FoL breakdown during any given raid, but your post validates that there is no conceivable reason to exclusively downrank a Holy Light to replace Flash of Light. Granted, with the old T5 set bonus and good literature, the alternative was downright sexy. With that stripped away, FoL has a more clearly defined role; a role at which it clearly excels.

A downranked Holy Light is situationally useful, but certainly not worth banking on in the long run. HL4 merely provides a temporary concession out of necessity. The added crit somewhat makes up for the lower HPM/HPS, but only just.

What can I say, Val? When you're right, you're right. =) Great post.