It isn’t a project if it’s permanent


I just realized today how very long it has been since I’ve used any sort of fancy UI or add-ons.  It was back in March that my UI finally utterly broke with a patch and I decided to return to my Zero Add-on Project.  Believe it or not, I’ve been running the base UI ever since.  9/12 ICC hardmodes and I’m still pulling those little raid frames out to heal.  After so long, the default UI is really -my- default, so I can’t really consider this any sort of experiment any longer.  I’ve had time to collect my thoughts, analyze my impressions and I think I can say it now.

Healing add-ons do more damage than good.  I’ve heard healing with base UI is like “eating soup with a fork,” but I’ve come to see using Vuhdo or the like as “eating rice with a fork,” instead.  (A fork and soy sauce!  GASP!)  By making healing a simple matter of point and click, it removes the finesse of doing things like making macros or learning each of the unique debuffs so that you can spot them.  Instead, Clique sets up your macros for you and the raid UI turns the affected person’s bar a funky color to tell you to Cleanse/decurse.

I don’t think I have ever had a conversation with a raiding healer where they said “oh sure, I could totally heal without my add-ons.”  These UIs make healing easier, but they do so in a way that causes players to become dependent on them.  It is like back in elementary school when we learned our basic arithmetic.  When faced with having to learn multiplication, I asked my teachers why we should bother when we could just use a calculator instead.  The answer to that is very apparent to see immediately after WoW patches.  Healers scramble to update their add-ons so that they can get back to raiding, since they’ve convinced themselves that it would be impossible otherwise.  We forget how to do longhand division because we depend on programs to pick up the slack for us.

Most likely, I’ll never become a crusader for the viewpoint that everyone should give up their fancy UIs, simply because I don’t see it being possible.  Humans are by nature creatures who want to do as little work as we can get away with.  Because of this, healing add-ons are rampant and the overwhelming majority of raiders are committed to their use.  So I think I’m going to keep myself to being an example that it -is- viable to raid without all the shortcuts, without overly taxing ourselves.  When people say that it isn’t possible, I’ll be able to counter that without having to get on a soapbox every time.  Maybe by just existing, I’ll be able to help break some of the dependence out there.

Edit:  I didn’t edit the text itself, but I wanted to point people to the follow-up post here. There are a lot of words being put into my mouth.  Thanks!



  1. I agree with your stance on healing UI addons. I myself am finding Grid lacking more and more when healing on my holy pally and priest, and have been considering switching to Vuhdo.

    My wife, on the other hand, a holy priest, is 11/12 in heroic ICC25 in her guild, and she raids without any UI addons whatsoever. I can definitely understand why you’d find it easier to not use any UI addons, seeing how well it works for her.

    • I’m surprised there’s another hardmode healer out there who uses base UI! 😀 That’s pretty awesome to hear.

  2. Out of curiosity, how are debuffs displayed on the default UI?

    I use Grid and Clique. When someone has a curse or poison their frame doesn’t turn a funky colour to indicate the need to abolish some generic poison/curse, I see the actual debuff icon so I know exactly what they’re affected by.

    • The icon for the debuff displays next to the raid bar.

  3. …It isn’t a comment if you have your own blog and are verbose like the rest of us bloggers 😀

    Sorry Codi, yet again one of my comments on a blog post has ended up so long that is becomes a post in itself 🙂


  4. Would be interested in knowing how difficult it is to heal on various classes without addons. I didn’t start using them til I was getting into raiding but without Vuhdo I don’t think I could keep track of all my hots and would end up either letting them drop or re-adding them. However, my Holy Pally could heal without addons if I wanted her to.

    • Well, I heal on all four classes and I find that shaman are the easiest without add-ons. All you need is a good eye for distances and to remember who you just cast RT on. After that would be healadins, although you do need to work on your internal timers for Beacon and SShield. Disc priests aren’t -so- bad, if you know your fights and are familiar with your PoM cooldown. The Weakened Soul debuff can really help with bubblebot timing. Tree druids are certainly the hardest, but it’s actually not too bad if you’re familiar with the length of time your HoTs roll for and if you work up a rhythm. I actually tend to find it a little easier than the Disc priest, as my RJ will -always- last the same length of time (whereas PW:S can pop early). I RJ by groups, going down each of the base raid frames and popping a WG on a melee person for every 5th RJ. Since I’m in a 10-man, I know how long I have before I have to RJ the first group again, meaning that I know my cushion time in which to Swiftmend or toss a Regrowth/Nourish on the tank for spike damage.

      Really, it’s all about internal rhythm. 🙂

  5. “By making healing a simple matter of point and click, it removes the finesse of doing things like making macros or learning each of the unique debuffs so that you can spot them.”

    That’s an annoying statment. I know each unique debuff because I am a weirdo and add them to grid individually myself. I’m not sure why macros are OK but healing add-ons are not (seems arbitrary). I think healing with finesse has very little to do with add-ons or the lack of.

    • Macros are part of the game itself, programmed into it. Add-ons are a third party invention, not part of the game as it was designed. Using macros requires more knowledge and practice that having an add-on that does it for you automatically. Knowing how macros work allows for a deeper knowledge of the game. Using an add-on for that purpose gives the player a less in-depth gaming experience.

      • I don’t really see the difference… Do I want to be a raider or a macro “programmer”? What difference does it make if I make a macro with a modifier and a @target or I just have Clique do it? It’s exactly the same result, without the clutter of macros.

        I’m impressed that you can heal with the default UI, but I honestly don’t see that working for most people. Unless they have a huge screen and a thing for memorizing the icon of every single debuff in the game, I guess… I find that very silly honestly, and I don’t see why I’d bother doing it.

      • (This was also supposed to be an answer for the Clique comment down there.)

      • So if I write a macro to heal by clicking on a raid frame it’s ok, but if I use an addon to do the SAME THING, then I’m a bad healer?

        Sorry, but healing is not about writing macros and memorizing debuff icons. It’s about choosing the right spell for the right situation and prioritizing, and you can do that with or without addons. You don’t lose the finesse of healing by using an addon.

        The finesse of healing isn’t in how you deliver your spells, it’s in which spells you use. It’s the choices you make as a healer during an encounter – not beforehand.

        You wrote macros, and I downloaded an addon – neither of us are better or worse than the other because of that.

      • Hrm, I would have to disagree. I think quite a bit of finesse is in how it’s done. For example, my healadin raiding partner until recently (miss him) was just unbelievably skilled at timely delivery of heals. During movement fights, it was like he would just slip around the screen like a ghost, delivery -just- enough healing at -just- the right times. (He’s an incredible PvPer which helped.) Compared to him, I just stomp around during movement fights and go gung-ho at all times like the world will end if I ever let up! LOL

        The finesse that I see being lost has to do with the “internal healing rhythm” that should be developed in a player. It’s like a dance; you have to really know the steps in order to flow through them seamlessly. 🙂 As far as the macros thing goes… It’s a matter of skill and knowledge (one that was over emphasized by the Righteous Orbs article, I think). If people don’t need to learn to make macros, they won’t learn to make them. Thus, that is a part of their role they do not have knowledge of.

      • When I said how you deliver the heals, I meant the means you use – whether you use mouse-over macros or addons. I did not mean how you move around the screen and what your style of healing is. Based on your response, I think you mistook what I meant there. I probably didn’t choose the right words for what I wanted to get across.

        You can find a healing rhythem with addons. Any good healer, addons or not, will find that rhythem. Macros are a part of the game that you can use to make things EASIER – just like you can use addons to make things easier. You don’t need to have a knowledge of macros to be a good player.

        I program for a living. Yes I could probably come home and write macros so I can play without addons. Do I want to? No. Why reinvent the wheel? Macros are not apart of the healer’s role as you seem to think. They are just a tool to make our role easier.

      • I’m… still not sure I understand what you mean. 😡 When I had HoT trackers, I had a sort of rhythm. “GCD, HoT, GCD, HoT, etc.” But now my internal rhythm includes HoT duration times and WG/Swiftmend CDs. The rhythm is more pronounced, less like marching and more like playing a drum set.

        I think a large part of the problem is that I absolutely disagree that “easier = better.” Easier -can- mean better, but it isn’t necessarily so.

  6. And how do healing add-ons make healing a simple matter of point and click? I understand that’s what Healbot use to do, but it doesn’t know. (And I think that’s a good thing.)

    • Uh, that’s exactly what Clique does. Point at a raid frame, click a button to heal them.

      Edit: Click a -mouse- button, I should clarify.

      • Mouseover macros do the EXACT same thing.

      • That you put the time and effort into making, yes. 🙂

  7. When faced with having to learn multiplication, I asked my teachers why we should bother when we could just use a calculator instead.

    To which the answer is “it isn’t a question of ‘instead'”.

    But as a teacher I’d never advise a student *not* to use a calculator, even for basic multiplication.

    • That’s a little bit sad, that you’d not encourage students to learn how to do multiplication. I see so many adults at my work who can’t do basic math and it makes me really look at the failings of “western society.”

      Back to the topic at hand: Healing add-ons have a purpose of making healing easier. That is why people use them. So while it might be noble to think that a person could be highly educated in the finer points of writing macros -and- use an add-on to do it for them, it is not realistic.

      • That’s a little bit sad, that you’d not encourage students to learn how to do multiplication

        Oh I absolutely teach my students to do multiplication:

        a x b = ab.

        That’s multiplication. The rest is just counting. I’m a scientist, which means I teach *real* mathematics, which has precious little to do with multiplication tables.

        The great failing of western society is that it confuses memorization with education, and thinks there’s some kind of nobility in rote-learning and donkey work.

        If you are doing an exam, and you need to calculate – let’s say – the charge stored on a 2200 microfarad capacitor when it is connected to a twelve volt power supply then yes, you could break it down as follows:

        Two thousand two hundred is twenty two times a hundred. Twenty two times twelve is ten times twelve, plus twelve, all multiplied by two. So a hundred and twenty, plus twelve is one hundred and thirty two, multiplied by two is two hundred and sixty four. Then two hundred and sixty four multiplied by one hundred is twenty-six thousand four hundred. Then divide by a million to get zero point zero-two-six-four Coulombs.

        Or you can type it into a calculator directly.

        In an exam you have approximately sixty seconds to solve that question, under high-pressure conditions. Trying to do it in your head isn’t noble or serious or hardcore, it’s just stupid. Because you could make a mistake, which could cause you to drop a grade boundary, which could stop you getting into university.

        And what do you get in return, other than satisfying some vague notion that using a calculator is somehow “wrong”?

        Getting back to the point in hand, the point is not that somebody can be “highly educated in the finer points of writing macros and still use an add-on to do it for them” the point is that somebody can be a top-end raid-level healer and *correctly* feel that writing their own macros is a waste of freaking time.

        Do you, personally, value the challenges that come from working with the (frankly crappy) default UI? I have no doubt you do – but do not for one moment think that this makes you a better healer than people who don’t. It just makes you a healer who chooses to play sub-optimally.

      • re: calculator use – I would never suggest that using a calculator or computer for higher level math is incorrect; I am talking about basic level math. Knowing what 10% of $500 is, for example. I run into adults -daily- who cannot do that in their heads because they’ve come to rely on shortcuts to do it for them. (In this case, they just have me do it.)

        To tie it into the game, the sort of math you are talking about is akin to my wanting everyone to know how to program their own add-ons. Obviously an unrealistic goal! Basic math is akin to knowing how to write mouseover macros or knowing how long RJ lasts. I suppose you could really cut my entire point of view down to: I want people to know how the game works and using add-ons causes people to be able to skip swathes of that knowledge.

        I do find it a bit funny that my playing is considered “sub-optimal” because I actually play -the game- and not some third-party addition. LOL

      • Except that the arbitrary distinction isn’t useful.

        10% of £500 is £50, but what’s 3% of £1325.64? It’s the *same level* of mathematics, it’s just that one uses friendly numbers and one doesn’t.

        Also: if I wanted to know how to make a mouseover macro, I’d look it up on the internet. At which point all I’d be doing is copying somebody else’s work anyway. At that point what do I actually gain by writing the damned thing myself (which is really just a matter of copying) instead of letting the whole thing be automated?

      • Okay, let’s use your less friendly numbers. Is it unreasonable to do that in your head? It’s basic math. Just figure out 1% and then multiply by 3. 39.7692 We learned to do that in elementary school. Is is really that wrong to expect adults to do it?

        As to your example of just copying off the internet… Well, it obviously doesn’t make me entirely -happy- that people would just copy and paste the macro (lazy, lazy humans we all are!), but there is a certainly amount of learning that can be obtained from doing so. Years and years ago, that was how I initially taught myself HTML, by copying other people’s work. By doing so, I was able to see the code and slowly absorb it. If I had instead allowed a program to generate all my code for me, I’d have not gotten to see -why- things work like they do.

        Of course, macros are only a part of what I’m talking about. HoT timers are another big part of healing add-ons. Their use negates the need to develop an internal awareness of how long our spells last and what the rhythm of the fight is. That add-on that let you draw on the ground where you were supposed to stand during Sindy? That negated a lot of the need to be aware of your character’s surroundings.

        I don’t like add-ons because they create dependence and decrease the need to learn game mechanics. Countering “they help make us lazy” with “we’d find other ways to be lazy” doesn’t seem very compelling to me. LOL

      • Just figure out 1% and then multiply by 3. 39.7692

        Which, if you work it out in your head, involves taking each number, multiplying it individually, and carrying which is slower than using a calculator and involves no deeper understanding.

        I’d also point out that you’ve ignored the fact that we’re talking about money here, and that you can’t have 0.0092 of a pound. Which again is why I’d rather my students focused on understanding the whole subject than on party tricks. The correct answer is actually either £39.76 or £39.77 depending on what you’re actually working out.

      • I don’t really get what you mean by “deeper understanding.” Is every adult my state being able to figure out sales tax in their heads going to solve cancer? No. Would it increase the general education level of the state? Yes. I’m not really seeing the problem here in expecting adult members of society to be able to do something that a fifth grader is expected to do. It’s not about how fast or slow it is; it is about having the ability to do it on demand without having to hunt down a calculator to do your thinking for you. (And yes, I realize that you have to round for money problems. I assumed that you wanted a specific answer, since you gave a more complicated sum.)

      • It’s not about how fast or slow it is; it is about having the ability to do it on demand without having to hunt down a calculator to do your thinking for you

        If you believe that the rote application of the methods of long multiplication constitutes “thinking” then I genuinely pity you.

  8. […] discussion recently about the use, or otherwise, of add-ons for healing – specifically Codi writes here that she’s been healing with the default UI since the last patch; and although the only […]

  9. Codi – what do you think of non healing addons? Have you completely removed all addons?

    I’d just say that I’m raiding at a reasonably high level and the people I raid with know the game mechanics. Implying that people who don’t use addons are somehow better is irrelevant when you’re wiping by small percentages on the remaining hardmode encounters in the game. The average length of time playing the game varies but generally is around 4-5 years amongst our raid squad. They know their classes in depth, they know how to write macros and they could if pushed use no addons.

    But then we’d be less efficient and our performances wouldn’t be as strong. A key dispel could be the difference between a wipe and kill. I could probably do a bang up job dpsing but without my timers, I’d only roughly know when my next CD was ready or when my next autoshot would finish so I could stutter it, or when the tank could do with some threat padding. Because the timers also give me an easy to see time in seconds it means I can plan when the best to time to do something is in relation to the rest of the fight by looking at my bossmod. Do you see? My performance is enhanced by these things that the blizzard UI doesn’t show either as clearly or at all.

    • I think you make a very viable point Codi in that it is possible to raid without using addons. However, I will say that for the majority of players nowadays, it would actually be over-taxing them.

      I play a resto druid in an end-game raiding guild, and I think that of all the healers, a resto druid is the most difficult to heal with without using addons like grid + clique or Vuhdo. Yes, it is true that you can work up a rhythm and have a general sense about when your HoTs will be wearing off. However, with things such as the Rapid Rejuvenation glyph, my rejuv lasts a variable amount of time based on my raid buffs and our raid composition. Not to mention, you talked about using a very, very basic rotation (5x rejuv, WG, repeat) that does not include maintaining regrowth on the tank(s) or nourishing raid members who need to be healed quickly (infest on heroic LK). What happens when you get the necrotic plague and have to run, and lose count of what number of rejuv you were on and who you put them on last? You’ve got 25 raid members to keep track of and sometimes I don’t put a rejuv on them in a particular order because I’m anticipating particular damage on particular people based on ranged/melee status, location, and what is happening in the fight. The basic UI doesn’t tell you any information regarding HoTs, not to mention all the mouse-over macros you’d have to make in order to heal using them. Frankly, I’m quite sure I can push my mouse button faster than someone could push a keybind and hover over a target.

      My point being, my healing is actually GREATLY benefited by using Vuhdo. I’m not wasting mana refreshing a rejuv on a target that still has 5 seconds left on it and I can visually see who I can swiftmend. And just because Vuhdo automatically puts the icons up for debuffs does NOT mean I don’t know what they are and what sort of damage they cause. I still have to understand the strategy, the movement required, the things to avoid, and who to expect to take damage. All that is part of being a raider and particularly a resto druid who has to have an intricate understanding of the fight in order to be able to pre-HoT and heal effectively.


      • Oops, and I forgot to mention the resto druid T10 4pc bonus – procs additional rejuvs on raid members. Guess what, putting another rejuv on a target with the procced rejuv does NOT refresh the timer on the rejuv and it is a complete waste. The only way to tell who the additional rejuv has procced on is by using an addon or actually targeting the person and looking through their buffs to see if they already have a rejuv up.


      • An excellent example and I really appreciate it! You’ve given me something to think about on this topic and mull over for my (completely unplanned until today!) response.

    • To be frank, I have no opinion on non-healers and their add-ons. LOL I’ve never used them, as I’ve never really DPSed in any sort of serious way.

  10. Hello
    Im wondering about something. Is it that You intentionaly made this post sound this way? Or was it just an accident that You can’t separate Your opinions from Your ego?

    Just to be clear. I have no problems whatsoever with Your opinion on the addon subject. Everyone who plays WoW is entitled to do it the was she/he pleases. And so are You. And so am I and the next person.

    What rubs me the wrong way in this post of Yours is THE WAY You throw Your *opinion* at others. With emphasis on the word “opinion”.

    I somehow have a feeling that this post has less to do with actual case of one using addons or not and more to do with an attempt (not too bright in my *opinion* 🙂 to boost up Your ego (or whatever) at a cost of other people’s feelings.

    Up untill Your last paragraph I just thought You are being a little (“a little” 😉 over the top with all this, but then..

    “Most likely, I’ll never become a crusader for the viewpoint that everyone should give up their fancy UIs(…)”

    Er.. say what?..seriously?! I mean.. SRSLY??? heh.. Yeah, You are not a “crusader”. Because…

    “So I think I’m going to keep myself to being an example(…)Maybe by just existing, I’ll be able to help break some of the dependence out there.”

    ..in reality You are.. The Last Becaon Of Hope (as far as You know, according to Yourself:) for those lazy addon users, dontcha?

    Man, I still have bump on my head from when I fell under my desk due to uncontrolable burst of laugh You caused.

    But back to subject. I cant help but wonder.. what on earth made You think that You actually can go and tell people how to play? (“(…)my entire point of view down to: *I WANT* people to know how the game works and blah blah”).
    You are just yet another person with her own opinion. Thats great, really. You play every healing class? Nice. You do ICC hardmodes? Good for You. You do all that with no addons? Its my opinion You criple Yourself because of that but hey! If thats what You like go ahead, I dont mind.

    But I DO mind when You go and produce a post in this egocentric and elitist fashon. Not because it irritates me (which, tbh, it does), but because You *have no right* to go and make people feel bad because they choose different playstyle then You do. What You did in here is not “voicing Your thoughts and analized impressions”, but setting Your *opinion* on the matter as the valid and proper way_of_things (judged, of course, by You) and making people who dont agree with it look/feel like the lazy/ignorant/lesser/dumb/whatever else ones.

    Meaning that by not merly stating Your opinion, but making it The Valid One, You are passing judgment on everyone who is not thinking Your Way. And THAT is what You have NO RIGHT to do.

    I gather from what You write here that You are a grown up person, which really puzzels me. Dont You really know that whether You communicate with someone vis a vis or with the blog as a medium, You still should show at least the tinniest bit of respect/consideration for people who actually take time to listen/read what You have to say?

    Noone blames You for stating Your opinion, ‘coz it’s just that – an opinion. Its the snotty/elitist way You presented it in that irritates me.

    • I’m… not sure what to say to this? To quote you, I was “voicing [my] thoughts and anazlized [sic] impressions,” which pretty much -means- that I was stating my opinion. And, really, this -is- my blog. So stating my opinions here seems pretty much the thing to do.

      The fact that I’m a snob has been stated all over the place here. (I’m a grammar/spelling/typing snob too!) I’m not one to hide who I am on my own website. Do I run around telling strangers “amg u r a nub 4 using clique wtf?” Absolutely not. But I’m pretty sure that I have the right to write my impressions, with no personal attacks on anyone at all, on my blog.

      • But of course. Regarding my quotation, i was refering to this -> “I’ve had time to collect my thoughts, analyze my impressions and I think I can say it now”.

        I believe that I – quite clearly (and frankly several times too) – said in my post, that I have no problems or anything with your *opinion* on the matter. By no means I was trying to take away Your right to express Yourself, especially since this -is- Your blog, and all 🙂

        Its not even the snotty way in which You choose to communicate that is the problem. You are, after all, free to write in whatever form you want.

        But dont You understand, that what You actually did was not simply announce Your opinion to readers, but instead basicly created a situation in which everyone that disagrees with You is automaticly judged as the lesser/dumber/lazier one?

        You can say what You want of course. But when You speak not to empty air, but other people (in here for example) You should be considerate enough to state Your opinions in a manner that doesnt pass judgment on everyone with different point of view. You shouldnt try to create a situation in which others feel that the way they choose is somewhat lesser to what You say.

        You say there are no personal attacks in what You wrote? Well sure your text is not directed at anyone or something. But *any* addon using healer that will stumble across this post and reads it can easly be disturbed with it. I mean, You with all Your shiny hardmodes and crap state here that No-addon-Way is The True Healer’s Way and everyone else is no good and lazy and probably cant multiply 7×9 as well.

        So I will say it again: state your opinions in whatever form you like, but for crying out loud, when doing so in public, try not to piss on everyone’s else opinions in the process.

        P.S. [sic]ing me is not necessary, as i really dont care. Altho it was probably more for Your benefit then mine anyway.

      • If I was lacking clarity in my original post, I do apologize for that. It wasn’t meant to be a discussion post at all, just a small passing whim explaining why I hadn’t been writing for my “blog post series.” It was four short paragraphs, FAR less than I would normally write on any topic of interest. If I had realized that it would become a point of contention, I would have absolutely tried to be far more clear that my beef is with the add-ons -themselves- and not with the people.

        That said, I try very hard to not use personal attacks both in real life and on the internet/WoW. It is probably my #1 rule when interacting with people. If I disagree with someone, I work hard to make sure I am arguing against the -concepts- and not the -person.- But if arguing against the concepts disturbs the people who old to that concept… what exactly am I supposed to do? The only way to keep from insulting people would be to never post an opinion.

  11. For reference I use Grid and mouse-over macros i’ve writen myself.

    Sure I could heal without healing add-ons, but why would I? The default raid frames are clunky and not overly good to look at. Plus one of my favorite things about WoW is the ability to customise the interface.

    I used to click cast and frankly it wasn’t as effective as mouse over casting. I can’t see any relationship between using add-ons, or not, and finesse.

    Gobble gobble.

    • To quote a previous reply I wrote: “The finesse that I see being lost has to do with the “internal healing rhythm” that should be developed in a player. It’s like a dance; you have to really know the steps in order to flow through them seamlessly.” Much of that relates to HoT/CD timers and how using them doesn’t foster having an inner clock or sense of time during fights.

  12. I tank, heal and dps with the same UI.. which I have modified with addons so it looks nothing whatsoever like the ‘default’ blizz UI. Sure, I use VuhDo for my raid frames (Pitbull for my party frames), elk’s buff bars, power auras.. all sorts of stuff.. but none of my addons give me any way of outputting abilities that isn’t part of the default game. I don’t click-heal; I use mouseover macros for a lot of things since before I started healing, it just seemed reasonable to continue.

    What my addons DO do is present information to me in a way that gets it from the game to my brain in a way that I can understand fast and easily, so I can react faster. You might find it more ‘real’ or ‘pure’ or whatever to have to notice a tiny little debuff icon that you then have to cleanse, but having my raid frames turn someone’s bar a different colour when they get that debuff isn’t actually giving me any more info than you’re getting.. it is just displaying that info in a way I can react to immediately if necessary. There is NO reason to deal with information in a form that won’t get me that information as fast.. among other things, purposefully crippling my ability to do my job is rude as fuck to the guys I raid with.

    Also, and the main reason I use addons; the ‘default’ UI is ugly as sin, IMO.. even if my addons didn’t help with presenting information, I’d use em because they make the screen I’m staring at for hours while raiding much less hard on the eyes.

    • The default UI was really hard on my eyes at first, too, but I got used to it. 🙂 My old UI was super pretty; I really missed it at first when it utterly broke. 😦

  13. It sounds to me like the style of healing you advocate is at least somewhat rotation based, am I correct? It was my distaste for rotation based DPS that got me to start healing in the first place. I like things to be reactive. That’s not to say that I don’t have a sense of a “rhythm” of healing, or even different healing patterns that accompany different tanking classes. But if healing became much more rotation based, I would quickly lose interest.

    As a Holy Paladin, I don’t worry too much about hot timers (although I tend to have a general idea when my SS/FOL hot is running out even without timers), but I can refresh Beacon and SS and Judgments of the Pure based on my internal clock alone. I can adjust my sense of the GCD between characters with more/less haste rating.

    In fact, I even write my own macros… and then plug them into my healing addons. That’s one of the things I particularly love about VuhDo. I can put custom addons in seamlessly. What my UI does for me is save me time. Those fractions of a second sometimes are critical. The biggest change is in positioning things close together so I’m making economical movements with my mouse. I was shocked how much faster I became when everything I needed was on the same side of the screen. Keeping my most clicked items close also prevents strain, which as a person with a history of repetitive motion injuries is a huge factor.

    In short… I feel like I already have the skills you’re describing, and my addons STILL improve my performance as a healer. Why wouldn’t I want to be faster, more accurate, and more comfortable?

    • “It was my distaste for rotation based DPS…”
      “As a Holy Paladin…”

      Spamming Holy Light is totally not a rotation…


      • I don’t spam holy light. I’m a flash of light pally. 😛

        And yeah, it’s too boring for me, that’s why I’m leveling a priest and a shaman.

    • Pressing 1 button is a really boring rotation, isn’t it? 😀 (Just joking, BTW, I know we press more than 1 button to heal as paladins.)

  14. It boils down to this. What is the healers job? To keep everyone alive! How do you do that job? By healing or mitigating damage on players at the right time based on the encounter at hand. How do you know when the best time is? By experience. Doing the same content over and over.

    Using a healing addon, while simplifying things for you, does actually help you learn an encounter faster because you are less focussed on the mechanic of doing your job (Look for debuff, click player frame, press action button, look at health bars, click player frame, Flash heal) and you can instead focus on what ACTION is the best for moment and get the ACTION performed as efficiently as possible. Prayer of Healing vs Circle of Healing? Flash Heal vs Renew? All those kinds of decisions are what healing is about. Not HOW you get the action but WHAT the action actually is. The fact that an addon allows you to minimise the HOW to enhance your ability to decide on the WHAT does not make it worse.

    In fact, if you feel you are good a healer as you say you are with the basic tools provided by the default UI, you would probably be a better healer upgrading your tools. Just like an F1 driver might kick ass as a driver, he will DEFINITELY take a better car to win. The better car allows him to do his job better. Just because you feel confident with base UI does not make it The Right Way. An awesome driver in a crap car is about equivalent to a crap driver in awesome car. Right now, you sound like the former believeing his car is the better.

    PS: The add on system is not a third party development. Blizzard supports the whole add on framework with a large cost to them in development and time. And they routinely ban add ons that “break” the game.

    • Healing add-ons in their current form build dependence, which is what my problem with them is. I understand cosmetic add-ons that change how things look on your screen and I generally have few problems with them. It is the add-ons that encourage people to feel they cannot heal without them that I take issue with.

      I actually would have to argue that I am a better healer now that I’ve gotten rid of my add-ons. I never used to pay attention to how long my CDs were, just using them when my timers were up. I never paid attention to what exactly I was Cleansing, just got rid of them when people’s bars turned blue/green. My add-ons had allowed me to be less -mindful- and more “healbot,” if that makes any sense.

      As for the “third-party” bit, I meant that the add-ons themselves are third-party, not the framework put into place by Blizzard.

      • I’ve gotta say.. if you indeed “never used to pay attention to how long my CDs were, just using them when my timers were up. I never paid attention to what exactly I was Cleansing, just got rid of them when people’s bars turned blue/green.”

        Then, I can see why you might think that using addons turns people into heal-bots. However, I can assure you that even though I use VuhDo to tell me when someone has a debuff rather than constantly hunting though their buff/debuff lists to find when they have that one I need to remove, I am still fully aware of what I’m removing and why. I don’t see how anyone can raid successfully without having a situational awareness of the whole fight, which includes all abilities and exactly what they do.. or at least what their impact is on the raid as a whole.

        Now, if for you to have that awareness requires that you not use addons, then I understand that. But don’t make the jump from ‘when I used addons, I paid less attention to the fight’ to ‘everyone who uses healing addons pays less attention to the fight’ because I can assure you 100% that is both not so and faulty judgement.

  15. […] at Moar HPS! posted about not using add-ons, which prompted a response from Chas and Tam at Righteous Orbs. I think they both make some […]

  16. You’ve mentioned in a number of comments that you’ve internalized the timings for druid HoTs you use during a raid. I’m guessing you must not use the Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation. If you do, unless your raid composition is incredibly consistent, the duration of your HoTs would vary from night to night or even fight to fight. That’s the sort of situation where an addon that shows HoT would by necessity trump going without such an addon, unless you’re a exceptional math whiz who can convert x Haste Rating into y Rejuv duration mentally, and adjust your internal sense of timing accordingly.

    • I can’t answer that without getting -more- people mad at me, so I’m going to have to pass. LOL

      • Weak cop-out says what?

  17. […] Codi presented her ‘no healing addon experiment’ and explained why it had become permanent, as well as her philosophy on addons. Tam was one of many to respond.  As was Miss Medicina with a thoughtful overview  (Sorry for bringing the subject up again, guys, but those are both excellent posts.) […]

  18. From the original post:
    “These UIs make healing easier, but they do so in a way that causes players to become dependent on them.”

    I believe a similar argument could be made that written language makes it easier to store information, making people dependent on books instead of their own memory. But if simply presenting information is a better format — whether via the development of writing or by an addon for a computer game — removes the “finesse” from the situation, perhaps that finesse wasn’t very interesting to begin with. As an example, I suspect that most healers would see a sharp reduction in performance by switching to an ancient 640×480 monitor. While such a player could pejoratively be described as “dependent” on a larger monitor, I think a better explanation is that the player suddenly had less input with which to inform his or her decisions.

  19. […] week there was a big commotion in the blogosphere over a post about add-ons made by Codi at Moar HPS. What started out as an update on her Zero Add-on project quickly turned into a topic of contention […]

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