Saturday, 31 July 2010

Guest Post: Healing with Vudho

Today's post is a special guest post from Qieth from Qieth's Quips. I've written a guest post for his blog too, so go check it out!

Out of all the druid specs, restoration is probably my least favorite. It is not something that I would willingly spec into. Some people like healing, some people like tanking, some like to DPS. And it is very clear that I don't really like healing.

But alas, there came a time when my guild master causiously approached me. He knew about my reservations towards restoration, of course, for I had made sure everyone did. We had a talk regarding "if I could find a suitable offspec, because we didn't really need any feral offspecs" and I had to agree with the fact that, "Yes, once in a while another resto druid would be useful". So after making him swear on his son, signed on a contract with his own blood, that I would only have to do occasional healing, I took it upon me to learn how to heal.

And here's the thing. DPS'ing can be difficult, my any means. You need to know what to do. Being a moonkin is not the hardest spec to play, but it is certainly not the easiest. It does not compare - at all - to the difficulty of playing any healer class. And I am never one to do something half. I cannot accept being "alright". Good enough is not good enough.

After reading up on restoration, and gathering gear more fitting for the spec, I still felt that there was something missing. My grid, despite its ability to show little marks if my target had a HOT on it, didn't quite seem to cut it. It certainly didn't give me the control and overview that I needed to do my job. So I set out to find an addon that did. That addon is called Vuhdo.

Vuhdo is a raid frame made specifically for healers. Sure, DPS classes can use it as well, and I have grown quite fond of it, but it really shines in the hands of a healer. Vuhdo looks and works like many other raid frames. You have your 10-25 members. You see their health, mana and who has aggro. You can see incoming heals - I guess this is all pretty much standard.

But it is the amount of control that you get with Vuhdo that I really enjoy. Vuhdo lets you easely bind your spells to your mouse buttons, and have them act like a mouseover macro. You could have rejuvination on left click, wild growth on right click, and regrowth, nourish, life bloom, swiftmend and healing touch, as well as any other ability for that matter, on whatever mouse button or keyboard button you want. Now, you could probably get much of the same functionality if you combine Grid with Clique, and there are probably many other addons that can do this as well, but this is a build in functionality of Vuhdo.

I can target someone and heal them normally, or I can use my mouse buttons to throw any sort of spell without ever touching my keyboard, and without ever losing my real target. That is always nice. This is very easy to set up, and it offers a lot of customization. Heck, I can even set it to only do this when I am in my restoration spec, and give a different functionality when I am specced for balance. Maybe - when I am balance - I would rather have that my right clicks on the raid frame threw out an innervate, and left click was for combat resses. All of this can be customized depending on spec, button and your personal preferences.

For restoration druids, it is important that we know the status of our HOTs. Vuhdo is an expert in showing this, as it will give us little indicators for each of our HOTs. A red mark at the side shows my regrowth. A blue mark tells me that the target has a rejuvination on it. A yellow mark at the top shows the status of lifeblooms, and even how many of them that are on the target - it turns green when I have stacked lifebloom to three. And when these HOTs are about to run out, I will get a little timer inside of them, telling me excactly when this HOT will fall off.

Vuhdo has a lot of options, but it generally works "out of the box" with little need to change and correct. But it is when you get down and dirty that you can really have a lot of fun. One of the most awesome features I have found - especially when playing a healer - is the indication of raid buffs and debuff. Any raid buff or debuff. I could, for example, set it to show any PW:Shields on any target in the raid, with the actual buff icon, and also with a little timer. Or I could have it show stacks of Unstable Magic during Sindragosa, or Vile Gas from Rotface. I can see other peoples heals, my innervates, other peoples innervates or maybe use it to coordinate my wild growth with that of other restoration druids.

It is truly an amazingly fun addon to use. It gives me a lot of control, it gives me a great overview, and it does what it has to do - and so much more. Grid might work for you. Or maybe you're using nUI. Pitbull? The standard interface? Whatever your current favorite is, I urge you to try out Vuhdo, give it a spin for a few raids, try out the many functionalities. It is truly the epiphany of raid frames for healing.

Download Vuhdo here!
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