To begin- I first used Healbot when I was around level 40 on my paladin, my first character and used it all the way up to when I got bored with it and how it looked in ToGC and decided to finally give Grid+Clique a fair shake. I still am using Grid+Clique on my main computer, but my backup laptop still has healbot on it. So I love them both.
First off, I’ve never liked the whole “Addons make the game less pure, and I’m a purist.” I said that once to a good friend (and healing companion) and he lol’d at me so hard I couldn’t talk to him for a week. Maybe if you had an addon that took over your toon for you, or actually moved you out of the fire, and chose what spells to cast, when, and on who- Sure, that’s like using steroids in baseball (Mark McGwire, you suck!) as it just plain hurts the game. Now, if you have an addon that just makes your choices and abilities easier to use, and more streamlined in your gathering of information then it is simply like you are deciding to use a glove in center field, not just your bare hands. And you decided to use signals to your base runners, instead of them just figuring it out. Limiting yourself to not have these things does not make logical sense unless you are a masochist or you are looking for a challenge. Hardmodes do the same thing- Do this fight, but with one hand behind your back. Quite the feat, but you chose to make it harder.
Also, Blizzard supports addons now a day. If you don’t believe me look to the quest interface; I dumped my Questhelper on my alts because I more or less have the utility it provided from Blizzard now in their built in UI. They have an in game threat meter. They made arena enemy frames. These are all very useful and popular addons that they decided to make a part of the main UI. One part of the game that I really feel is lacking in the UI is simply the raidframes. To be frank, the ones in game have to be pulled out manually (I think? I haven’t used them since I was leveling in TBC on my first char) they are ugly, and don’t provide the necessary information or customizable options needed from all classes for raidframes to be effective. On top of this, Blizzard has a built in, easy to use, macro writing tool. And who doesn’t love macros??
It always amazes me that people who claim addons are useless and not needed claim their macros work just as well. Well good sir! I have only this to say to you- “Your macros work almost as, or just as effective as my addon does. But my addon’s benefits come from the fact that it is more malleable to multiple classes/uses AND better at processing information than your macros are.” In fact, macros just DO what your healbot or Grid+Clique do. The problem is that both those setups outstrip your prewritten macros when you say… Use a different character, a different spell, decide you want to respect, your targets change, your raid change, your tanks respect, the encounter messes you around, and so on. I can think of thousands of scenarios here, but instead I’ll just get into personal experience where my addons allow me freedom to do more things in a raid.
On my pally specifically, I hated having to target people before I healed them, I found it clunky and cumbersome. To be honest, I became a monster at being able to raid heal on my paladin specifically because I did NOT have to select the target for where my heals were to land. Also, having to judge (and wanting to do so as much as possible) means that a paladin must target the boss/adds from time to time. Even if you have raid frames and are clicking them then using a macro, as druids always tell me is so easy to do… you are losing fractions of a second. Fractions of a second? What’s the big deal Tur?!?!?!?!111ONE111!!??? It’s not like a fraction of a second is going to do much for you on that heal! Sure, that one heal may not matter and it could have been delayed… that one time… but let me tell you, in a 10 minute fight fractions add up into real seconds, and seconds mean GCDs, which means more raw healing output. Plain and simple, you will be more active. Secondly, if you think that fraction of a second won’t matter… well go heal ToGC25 Gormok when the worms are about to come out and have your tanks tell you their CDs are all, well… on CD. You will WISH you had fractions of a second there (especially considering you swap tanks many many times there).
On my priest, How could I swap targets with so many different spells if not for the click-casting of either addon? I couldn’t. I just heal more efficient, and the same raidframes I click on also tell me if they are in range, have debuffs, or anything else I need to know. About 70% of the druids I met did not use any sort of healing addon when I first met them. I convinced about half of them to give an addon a try. All of those who tried looked at my addon and said “Hey, it does exactly what I do already… except it just eliminates one little step in between, making me just slightly faster. Why wouldn’t I use this??”
Shaman?? Well that healing companion of mine who laughed at me in that conversation way back when, he’s been my healing shaman partner my entire raiding experience. He’s always used healbot, and he has the worst setup for his buttons. His mouse wheel click button is Chain Heal. He claims it made sense back in 5mans when he set it up, but I just lol at him now, Cause he has to hit that thing so often in raids. Anywhoo, Shaman healing is more similar to Pally I guess in that it is more stand in one spot and cast with cast times, and I just got him to try the swap to grid+clique after he’d been using HB for as long as I had.
All in all, there is literally zero downside to using one of these addons, other than resources on a slower computer. I will say though, Healbot does NOT use a lot of resources and is pretty much all you need considering if you use decursive, you may disable that as HB does that as well, and either addon can be used as a full set of raidframes as well. To me, healbot or Grid+Clique is like using PallyPower, and to not use that just does NOT make sense? Even the “I don’t have a nice computer” argument makes sense! All it says to me is “I’m really lazy and I don’t like to be efficient.” This is odd to think that people ACTIVELY MAKE THESE DECISIONS TO HURT THEMSELVES, yet they do it on a daily basis. Hell, I make those decisions when others tell me they are no-brainers I suppose. I decide to stay up 4 hours playing wow and go to work for a full 11 or 12 hour day on 2 or 3 hours rest? Sure, why not. Makes sense to me! Most of my RL friends don’t get it.
*here’s to hoping everyone sees that I am the smartest one and they should all do what I say*
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