Detailed Patchwerk Strategy + tailor made healing addon menu

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    Detailed Patchwerk Strategy + tailor made healing addon

    This is a healing add designed by the most popular WOW forum in China and a very famous Chinese WOW guild. Along with the addon, the author has detailed their healing strategy, which completely devoid the importance of individual judgement and mana conservation.

    Forum link: http://bbs.ngacn.com/notice.php?fid=-1#30
    Download link: http://ngacn.com/penguin/Zpatchwerk.rar

    I have done the translation and made a few comments:

    Part 1: Healing Strategy

    There are 2 main types of Patchwerk healing strategy: "Pre-Heal" and "Post-Heal". The first one is to spam heal and interrupt in time, the second one is to start casting heals when a warrior's HP starts dropping. I must point out that "Pre-Heal" is also a very good strategy, it has its own advantages and a lot of successful cases, acceptable fault tolerance. However, "Pre-Heal" has one unavoidable limitation - it can't be replicated - for the healing force of a raid, "Pre-Heal" may be handy, but it doesn't mean that another healing force can do the same. There are problems with ability, gear and coordination, but the major problem is that this strategy overly relies on individual judgement, and lacks the possibility of overall control.

    From combat log analysis, we noticed that patchwerk's hateful strike is obviously an ability with precise calculation. In situtation where there are 3 off tanks, every off tank gets hit by hateful strike every 3.6 seconds, this is within the casting time of the 3 healing classes' longest casting spells. The casting time of the most efficient long casting spells for healing classes is 2.5 seconds, just longer than the 2.4 second interval in a 2 off tank situation (dacheng: but shorter than 3.6 second in 3 off tank situation). This ensures a very orderly cycle:

    OT-A hit(0 sec) - OT-B hit (1.2 sec) - OT-c hit(2.4 sec) - OT-A healed(2.5 sec) - OT-A hit again (3.6 sec) - OT-B healed (3.7 sec)......

    Of course, this is a strategy purely based on theory, aka "a strategy that would work perfectly with 0ms lag". In reality, taking into account latency and human reaction time, this strategy has absolutely no chance of being carried out successfully - if there wasn't the power of science to help us.

    After our first day of attempts, we designed this addon, we call it zpw (zeg patchwerk addon). It's designed by Zeg from NGA according to our requirements. One of our MT Fionee made some changes to functions and wrote the configuration interface. Its function is: after you run it, it will show a "Patchwerk plays with you" button on your screen. Nothing but a tip will appear when you click it normally. When patchwerk's hateful strike hit a particular warrior, the button will change colour and allow you to click it once to cast a pre-set healing spell.

    ZPW's design is based purely on one consideration, that's to minimize the delay due to network latency and human reaction time. It checks local combat log, i.e "Patchwerk's Hateful strike Hit ..." message. It does not rely on long distance communication or long distance request for other data to make a decision, therefore minimize the problem due to network latency. From combat log analysis, average healing delay was between 0.5 sec to 1.5 sec; after using ZPW, average delay drops to 0.2 to 0.7 sec. In actual fight, healers often find their heals start casting before the warrior's HP starts dropping on screen.

    I believe ZPW has almost solved the delay problem with "Post-Heal", but it still has problems it can't solve. We know that in this strategy, healing spells need to land on warriors 2.4 sec to 3.6 sec after hateful strike. This means for paladins and priests, the window of time they can cast is 1.1 sec, but for druis, that window for healing touch is only 0.6 sec. Even with the best network connection and the fastest human reaction time, we still can't guarantee the druids using ZPW can cast healing touch 100% of the time during that 0.6 sec window. If druids use rank 4 healing touch (2.5sec), then the healing amount will not be sufficient.

    Therefore we assign only priests and paladins to do OT healing. We assign 4 priests and paladins to each off tank, any combination. After each hateful strike, These 4 healers use ZPW to cast a 2500 heal, exact ranks are to be adjusted according to individual gear level. A fully raid buffed warrior with greater stoneshield, should be able to take only 5.6k to 8k dmg from a hateful strike (after demo shout), this means we have assigned 25% over heal, this is to ensure when any one of the 4 healers, for whatever reason, fails to cast the spell in time, the warrior can still be healed to full HP.

    This way, we can ensure OT's survival - at least in the first few minutes.

    Part II: Mana Management

    The second problem to patchwerk encounter is that: what happens when healers are out of mana? Every raid will encounter this problem possibly. For "Pre-heal" heal spamming, this problem is more acute, because it depends more on individual interrupt and different mana management, the result is that whithin the same healing group, some are already OOM when others still have much mana left, however, due to hateful stike's periodic characteristic, a healing group's lasting power is the lasting power of the one who OOM fisrt.

    With the help of ZPW, we can make sure healer mana within each healing group go down at the same rate, because for every hateful strike, every healer within a healing group will cast exactly one spell, overall mana consumption can be estimated, it does not depend on the dmg a warrior gets, but depends solely on the number of hateful strike he gets. Simple calculation shows that for a 7min fight, 46000 mana is required per healer. I am no healer, therefore you know it better than I do, this number can't be reached by using major mana potion, dark rune, BoW and/or any other consumables. The result is that there will be a healer group oom first at a particular time, therefore make this healing strategy fail. (Dacheng: My priest should be able to get about 24k mana in 7min, 9k start + 11k+ self regened + 3k+ from BoW, while always within 5sec cast rule)

    We have a simply solution, the solution has something to do with the pattern of Hateful strike.

    First of all I don't want to discuss the principle of Hateful Strike, the topic has been debated for very long time, I believe many people's observation and experience are correct. I treat it as a black box, 2 different mechanisms can result in the same behaviour, what we care is the behavior and how to counter it, as for inner machanism, it doesn't matter.

    To make it simple, without any other interference, Hateful strike will strike the OT with the highest HP currently. Assuming 3 OT's HPs are: A>B>C, then under our healing strategy, order of Hateful strike is A-B-C-A-B-C... The key is here.

    If in this order, A parries, then next attack will still be on A, because he still has the highest HP, but if B parries, then the order will be A(0) - B(dodge)(1.2) - B(2.4) - |A HEALED| (2.5) - A (3.6) - B ... C does not get hit in this cycle, his healing group saves mana and get time to regen mana. This is when we consider only 1 cycle. From here, you can see that the healing burden is A>B>C. Actual fight and combat log record also prove that the healing group for the warrior with the lowest HP can even keep 80% mana during the entired fight.

    Then should we arrange healing groups accordingly? This may be how you approach this problem, but not ours. We control the target of Hateful Strike. We control the maximum HP of our 3 OTs, make sure the difference between the highest and the lowest is within 120, A>B>C. When we reach a particular point of fight, A who gets hit the most clicks off the effect of elixir of fortitude, His hp then drops to the lowest, B>C>A; 2nd point, B clicks off, C>A>B; 3rd point, A drinks a new elixir of fortitude, A>C>B (Hm, it should be B drink it immediately after A to make it A>B>C again). This way, we can make Hateful Strike attack the target we want, therefore give healing groups in need of mana recovery time.

    The game of Patchwerk, the key is just a few purple elixirs.

    Part III Warrior Gear Choice (dacheng: just some key points, tired)

    1. 1 MT and 3 OT, but OTs get more incoming damage.
    2. Armor first, we keep armor at 12K and above, with greater stoneshield potion. That's about 70% reduction, with demo shout, hateful strike dmg can be reduced to a very manageable range.
    3. MT armor can reach 15k with inspiration, normal attack with demo shout therefore hit for 1.5k-1.7k. ZPW can manage OT healing, MT healing is still done normally.
    4. OT gear focuses on dodge and parry. Our 3 OTs keep 40% parry+dodge. Stormpike+Onyxia >>> Styleen+Gem; if you still have them, 2 x vigilance charms are the cheapest and best choice.
    5. Other than normal consumables, use a strong agility potion, cheap 1.25% dodge.

    Part IV: Other problems

    Druids: We used 4 druids to heal MT first, but the result wasn't great, then we switched one druid with his priest alt (:S someone with 2 healing classes), and this alt has 34% crit rate (dacheng: must be inspiration spec), the result was fantastic.

    Known BUg:
    1. before start, healers' target should be empty or their assigned warrior.
    2. compatibility problem with addons that change the format of combat log, resulting in ZPW unable to recognize message. Solution: Healers turn them off.
    3. recommendation: healers should turn off all addons that rely on channel to do data exchange, to reduce latency. Actually we allow healers to turn off all addons including CTRA.

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