The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

June 18, 2008

Chain Healing Mechanics for Non-healers

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 9:03 am

The most beautiful thing a resto shaman sees is a chain heal cast on the tank that hits the rogue and the fury warrior too. The saddest thing a resto shaman sees is a chain heal cast on the mage which hits only the mage, especially when AoE has caused damage to the whole group or raid. I’m not picking on mages… Well I am, but it applies to all ranged DPS. Chain heal, in my experience, is rarely as effective on ranged DPS as it is on tanks and melee DPS.

When chain heal is cast, it hits its target and heals some amount of damage we’ll call X. If there are friendly targets in the raid or party (excluding elementals, but including pets) who are within 10 to 15 yards (I haven’t found the exact range) and who need healing, chain heal will jump to the target who has taken the most damage. This jump will heal for about half of the healing of the first target (X/2). Following the same rules, chain heal will find a third target and heal about a quarter if the healing applied to the first target (X/4).

If there are no targets that need healing in range when calculating the next jump, chain heal won’t jump. What does this mean to people who are taking damage and want some healing from your raid healer? If possible, get fairly close to whoever the shaman’s chain heal target is. You can’t predict this, but most shaman will target the person who has taken the most damage, or who are the most valuable to the raid. In fights with lots of short range AoE damage, cuddling up to your buddies might be hazardous, but when there is raid damage, or really long range AoE, it’s probably better to stand near some other folks if you’re interested in getting some chain heal love.

I love toys, and there is a new one out called GridStatusChainRule. It’s an addon displays the efficiency of chain heal in grid at various ranks. It can also display how many jumps a target is in range of who need healing. Sadly, this functionality requires people in the group or raid to be using the helper module, “ChainRuleHelper”. Both are bundled in a zip file at: It’s a fairly new module and I haven’t raided with it yet. I’ll probably post a review once I’ve seen it in action.

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