(This post is a continuation of Healers Have To Die and the PvP Addon Arms Race, my defense of the controversial PvP addon Healers Have To Die (HHTD). You may want to revisit my arguments in that post before reading.)
Despite my best efforts to get healers to take the initiative, I don’t see many yells for assistance in the battlegrounds. And leveling two healers through PvP right now, I understand why – when I’m getting focus fired, I have about 1 second to switch over and start spamming heals onto myself before I’m dead. The last thing I want to do is to bang the Help Me! macro, which is kinda out of the way, when I really want to cast Nature’s Swiftness or Power Word: Shield to buy myself time.
It’s okay. I should probably macro yells for help into my panic button; I’m still amazed at how effective SaySapped is at telling other players what’s going on. But I keep forgetting to do this because I have a much better personal solution: Healers Have to Die.
Healers Have to Die is the single best addon I have used to protect friendly healers in a battleground, bar none. I am not kidding here. It may be a valuable tool for DPS in PvP to help identify enemy healers, but where I’m discovering it really shines is by identifying friendly healers, marking them, and – most important of all – notifying you when they are under attack.
I wished for another addon called Healers Have To Live. I got it in Healers Have To Die.
HOW HHTD PROTECTS HEALERS
Take a look at the screen at the top of this post. This is my level 70 warrior twink, Ashwalker, fighting at Iceblood Graveyard in Alterac Valley. The camera is zoomed way out so I can see everything around me, but I can’t see details like what kind of clothes people are wearing or even really casting without UI assistance.
You’ll hopefully notice the large blue cross in the screen. This is a friendly healer that HHTD has detected. HHTD looks for specific spells that are usually only cast by healing specs, so it doesn’t get fooled by a Feral Druid casting Rejuvenation – it picks up the real healers.
When a healer shows up in a scrum, I know it now. Enemy healers, friendly healers – they’re all visually represented in a way which makes me know who to protect at all costs – no guesswork.
But that’s just the first part of HHTD’s defense.
When HHTD detects that a friendly healer is getting attacked, it lets you know in BIG HUGE LETTERS across your screen. It tells you which healer is getting attacked, and by whom.
Oh yeah, it spits out warnings in your chat window, too, in case you aren’t looking at the top of your screen.
And it does all this by default.
If there is one addon I absolutely want my BG team to be running, it’s HHTD. Not only for finding opposing healers – I want it for that – but also because it increases everyone’s situational awareness to come to the defense of friendly healers.
How would you not want that?
POP QUIZ: WHERE’S WALDO?
Let’s try a little test. Click on the picture above to view it at a bigger size, look at it for 2 seconds – be honest here – and then close it and come back to reading. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
All done? Good. Pop quiz time, then. Without looking, which healer was being attacked, the top one or the bottom one?
I’ll wager that a good number of you actually will get this right, and pick the healer near the bottom of the screen. But it’s not easy; Beamz’s nameplate is obscured, while Ranting’s is not.
Now, let’s be really honest here – how many of you would have known that Beamz was getting attacked at all, had it not been for the HHTD warning?
I know I wouldn’t have. Unless I saw a mob right on his face, I’d assume that he was fine and dandy, surrounded by people who could take care of him.
To be honest, if I didn’t have HHTD, I wouldn’t have known he was even there, let alone that he needed help. There are 12 friendly players and 3 friendly pets on the screen. HHTD makes my own healers stand out.
HOW TO MAKE HHTD WORK FOR DPS
One of the biggest challenges in getting people to use HHTD to its full potential is that DPS generally don’t run with friendly nameplates on, therefore they’ll never see that a healer is in trouble.
I use Tidy Plates, combined with Threat Plates for PvE, to help manage my friendly nameplates.
Tidy Plates allows you to automate the display of your nameplates based on your combat state, so you don’t have to walk around Stormwind or Orgrimmar with huge crowds of glowing nameplates blocking your view. By selecting the “Show during Combat, Hide when Combat ends” option, friendly plates smoothy come up in combat, and disappear when I leave. It’s really slick.
The second part of my setup is HHTD itself:
Here is the HHTD basic configuration tab. The configuration is relatively straightforward, but you’ll want to make sure that:
- Protect friendly healers is On. Seriously, why would you have this off?
- Set friendly healer’s role is On. If you’re the BG leader and you spot a healer who didn’t mark themselves as such, this sets it for you.
- Announcer and Name Plate Hooker are both On.
These are the default settings. I can’t emphasize that enough, you don’t have to do anything but install HHTD to get it to start working to protect healers.
Healers are your friends. It doesn’t matter if they have a funny name, or are from a different server – all healers are your friends. Don’t abandon them to the rogues.
Get HHTD so your friends can live.
CLARIFICATIONS AND FINAL WORDS
I see a lot of assumptions made in the forums when HHTD comes up, usually made by people who haven’t really looked into the addon, let alone tried it to see how it works. But even when you try it out, you might have some misconceptions about how it works.
- HHTD only modifies name plates; it doesn’t set raid markers or share information with other players. HHTD’s crosses are only visible to those people running the addon. It’s not like AVR, which shared information with other clients to modify the game world. It’s not setting BG-wide markings on your healers. It is hooking into nameplates and modifying them if someone casts a specific type of spell, NOT communicating that info across clients.
- HHTD doesn’t target other players or cast any spells. Whenever I see an argument saying that HHTD does this, I wonder what addon they tried out, because that addon sounds much better than the one I’m using.
- HHTD is pretty tough to fool. This is one I’m guilty of believing wasn’t true – thinking that I could get a cross over my head as a Feral Druid casting some healing spells. It’s wrong. The lua code looks for spells that only healing-spec healers use, or a certain amount of healing from the base spells. It’s actually easier to fool people than it is the addon, just because if you have a big mana pool and are standing in the back casting sparkly healing spells, folks probably aren’t going to check to make sure that it’s Resto, not Elemental.
- HHTD detects friendly healers. Now you know just how good of a job it does.
I wrote my original defense of HHTD still struggling with the Healers Have to Live concept. At the time, I thought its absence was a weakness in the addon, but it really was a deficiency in my understanding of it. In the subsequent months, I’ve come to explore and appreciate how much better I can be as a PvPer by understanding where my own healers are, no matter how crazy things are getting.
Healers Have to Die is an excellent PvP addon, and I fully recommend it. Not only will it help you find enemy healers, it will help you defend your own teammates better.