Today’s featured add-on is something of a favorite point of debate among gamers. I am speaking, of course about the healer’s right-hand man: the Healing Add-on. Primary Examples of this include HealBot, VuhDo, and Grid. There may be others, but these big 3 are the “name brands” of the genre. I’ll get to the debate in another article, but for now, please enjoy a standard just-the-facts highlight of HealBot. Before we start yet another debate, please remember that this is an article about what HealBot can do and not an article about what *only* HealBot can do. You shouldn’t assume that these features are only available to HealBot. In fact, almost everything I mention will surely appear in any standard healing add-on.
HealBot in test mode to show what frames could look like in a group situation. The green bars represent player’s health. The white bars represent what would be the player’s energy, rage, mana, etc. and would be color-coded to match the appropriate resource type (rage is red, etc.). This panel can be resized, recolored, etc.
So, what’s so great about HealBot?
- Monitoring. The biggest advantage of something like HealBot is that it puts everything you need to know in an interface that is easy to see and understand. You can see health bars, debuffs, shields, HoTs, and incoming heals in one place (that is scalable, movable, etc) to make it easier to process. You can also (optionally) show the rage, energy, runic power, and mana of everyone in the raid. Healing is a decision game; you might as well make them *informed* decisions.
- Click-casting. HealBot allows you to assign different spells to different mouse click so that you can cast spells without worrying about your actionbars. This is like mapping hotkeys, except that it is mouseclicks instead of button presses. For example, you can map your slow heal to left click. Then when you need to cast that big slow heal on somebody you just left click on their name in the raid frame. Modifier keys (alt, control, shift) allow you to have as many clicks as you need.
- Buffs. HealBot can let you know when somebody you can buff is not buffed (and it allows you to buff them with a click). Very handy to remind you to refresh buffs when they expire or to rebuff after a member or two dies on an attempt.
- Debuffs. HealBot lets you know when somebody has a debuff by changing their bar according to a color-coded key. If you can cleanse the debuff, it allows you to do so with a click, but it is also useful to keep track of non-cleansable debuffs that might mean you need to increase healing (for example, a bleed effect like the magnataur boss in Trial of the Crusader) or stop damage (like any boss that has a spell or damage reflect).
- Targeting. HealBot heals without changing targets. That means you can keep an eye on the enemy, for example, rather than targeting whoever needs a heal. Very nice for watching for phase shifts triggered by health (at 50% or 35% health, for example), enemy casting bars, etc. Alternately, it allows you to change targets to assist another player simply by assigning the Assist function to a click.
- Friendly Spells.Any ability that you would cast on a friendly player can be set to a HealBot click for quick and easy access. This includes threat redirection (ex: Misdirect, Tricks of the Trade), bubbles (ex: Power Word: Shield, Hand of Protection), taunts (ex: Righteous Defense, target of target taunt macros), movement effects (ex: Slowfall, Waterwalking, Leap of Faith), and mini-buffs (ex: Power Infusion, Unholy Frenzy), or any other helpful targeted effect (ex: Thorns, Innervate, Resurrection).
- Monitor Aggro. Any player with aggro will have a flashing red border in HealBot. Really great so that you know who to heal because he’s about to take some spike damage, or who to avoid healing so you don’t draw aggro when he dies.
- Customizable Interface.You can customize your user interface to look however you want. You can change the size, shape, color, and spacing of the bars representing the toons in just about any way you want. Through the use of skins, you can change interfaces quickly and easily with the press of a button, and even program HealBot to change automatically in certain situations (like automatically switching to your battleground skin whenever you enter a battleground).
- Auto-Features. You can set up HealBot to automatically target a player when you cast a spell on them. You can also set up HealBot to automatically use a trinket on CD when you cast the related spell. For example, you can set up HealBot to use your SP-boost trinket (if available) whenever you cast your emergency heal. It’s sort of like being able to macro your trinket into your spell(s) without having to write the macro.
There are undoubtedly many more uses and features for HealBot, but these are the ones that spring to mind. Suffice it to say that I find HealBot useful enough to have it enabled on all of my toons, and not just the healers.