Revisiting Binding Heal & Surge Of Light

21 Jun

A short time ago, I began to wonder if Binding Heal had a higher chance of triggering Surge of Light than other spells that are included in the talent.  I set out to try and prove this, but only got so far, mostly due to my lack of experience with theorycrafting and number crunching.  While I felt like I had made some progress in proving my point, there was a lot more that could be done to make my case.

Enter Velidra, a warlock blogger and acquaintance of mine that I met through Twitter.  He saw some potential in what I was doing and what I wanted to accomplish and offered his assistance with this.  Yesterday, he sent me the table below and an explanation of what he did and what the following numbers mean.

Would Binding Heal trigger Surge of Light more?  Let’s find out!

Spell Recording status Casts Procs % Chance
Heal Done 6600 406 0.061515151515152
Greater Heal Done 3585 224 0.0625
Flash Heal Done 3471 196 0.056467876692596
Binding Heal Done 8517 1064 0.12492661735353
Binding Heal (both halves) Done 17034 1064 0.062463308676764
Smite Done 4570 302 0.066083150984683
Smite + Atonement Done 6076 374 0.061553653719552

Using a G19 keyboard, Velidra created a macro that would press a button (which would be tied to a corresponding heal) every 0.5 seconds until stopped.  He would then leave the keyboard and the macro running overnight or while he was at work or away from the house.  Velidra did this six times or once per spell tested.

You can see from the chart which spell was used, how many times it was cast, how many times it triggered Surge of Light and the overall percentage rate of the triggered effect.  You can also see that Velidra chose to test Smite by itself and then Smite with points in Atonement (to see if the heal that comes from Smite would also have a chance to trigger Surge of Light).

As expected, each heal had about the same chance of triggering Surge of Light as the others, or a 6% chance.  It’s interesting to note that each half of the heal from Binding Light (because it heals 2 people) had a 6% chance to trigger Surge of Light.  This means when you combine both heals from Binding Heal into one and read the corresponding row on the table, you see a combined proc rate of 12%.

Binding Heal triggered Surge of Light twice as often as the other spells listed, because it healed two people at the same time and each heal had a 6% change of triggering the Surge of Light effect.  So it would seem that my theory was correct!

What does this mean?

It means that we now know that there is a spell, out of the five or six that are capable of triggering Surge of Light, which has double the chance to give you a free heal that would typically be seen as expensive or inefficient if you were casting it on its own (Flash Heal).  This means that the more we use Binding Heal, the more often we will have stacks of Serendipity, which means that we could start seeing more Greater Heal usage and that Prayer of Healing can be cast more quickly and at a reduced cost.

These are all potentially great things that I feel continue to give healing priests a lot more versatility.  This also gives us the opportunity to find use for spells that we typically wouldn’t use, because we feel they’re not appropriate for a situation, too expensive or because they take too long to cast.  Knowing how Binding Heal ties in with Surge of Light could stand to change that and make those inefficient heals that Blizzard said we should get used to using a lot less painless and a lot more fun to use.

An enormous “Thank You” goes out to Velidra, for coming to me with this amazing idea and taking time out of his schedule to do this, to organize the results and to explain them to me.  He deserves most of the credit for everything that you see here and I hope you all find some use in what we discovered together.  Feel free to stop by his blog sometime, if you’re ever in the mood to read about all things warlock, with a side of general PVE commentary or reach out to him on Twitter.



6 Responses to “Revisiting Binding Heal & Surge Of Light”

  1. Derevka June 22, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    What could really make this interesting would be a proc per mana calc added to the grid. While 12% is better than 6%, does it net out better on a mana conservation side? /ponders

    • Oestrus June 22, 2011 at 8:21 am #

      I’m still kind of new at this, so I apologize if my response sounds noob-like or if I’m way off base here.

      What your suggesting does sound like another interesting piece of the puzzle. I’m not sure how we would determine that, though.

      Would we take the total amount of mana spent on Binding Heal and then divide it by the amount of mana that we would have spent on the Flash Heal, had we not triggered Surge of Light and had to spend that mana normally?

      Or, would we take the total amount of mana spent on Binding Heal and divide it by the number of times it triggered Surge of Light and see if the total cost were less than if we spent the mana on both Binding Heal and Flash Heal?

      I think I may have just repeated myself, but I didn’t mean to. Hopefully one of those questions made sense.

      • Derevka June 22, 2011 at 8:51 am #

        The 2nd is the most concise.
        For example if I spent 100,000 mana and proc’d 100 times. vs. If I spent 130,000 and proced 100 times.

        My knee jerk assumption believes it’ll work out similarly to how the HPM works for 2 FH vs 1 BH.

        Then you could try to extrapolate does the increased SoL proc, offset the increased mana cost (and lower HPS) of BH for single target healing (using that instead of FH) in exchange for SoL… but since it still is RNG and proc dependent, what does that mean should you go on a SoL “drought”.

        Viscerally, I can only suspect that it wont be that great, since the proc chances are still quite low (6% and 12%). But more importantly, how often are we REALLY casting FH/BH to make that logic really worthwhile? Gheal for crosshealing/tank support… sure. But leveraging SoL procs to outweigh BH over FH? Unlikely.

        Sorry… I kinda rambled and had a ‘train of thought’ dump.

        Adding that data I suggested, is more just ‘interesting’ information than practical… but would be interesting to see, IMO.

        • Oestrus June 22, 2011 at 10:42 am #

          I guess what I was trying to do was find a way to make Surge of Light and by extension, many of the spells included in it more appealing.

          It depends on how you heal through your own damage and when you heal yourself. Do you heal yourself first and then other people? Do you prop yourself back up with a group heal like PoH or do you bounce CoH off of yourself? Do you use Desperate Prayer religiously (no pun intended)? Do you click the Lightwell, if you’re nearby?

          If we’re going to be relying more on inefficient spells, I felt it wouldn’t hurt to find ways to make them less inefficient, so we wouldn’t feel as insulted by having to use them to get through content.


  1. Circle Of Healing Webring – Version 2.0 « The Stories Of O - July 11, 2011

    […] targets have Renew on them that it will refresh the duration on both people.  It’s also been shown to trigger Surge of Light more and that absolutely knocks my socks […]

  2. Evaluating Holy Priests with World of Logs | Cannot be Tamed - July 12, 2011

    […] where the priest and their assignment are both taking damage. Binding Heal is also more likely to proc Surge of Light for free, instant Flash […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: