Kae's Guide to Resto Raid-Healing: Part 1, UI

Resto Druid UI

First up is User Interface setup. While it is possible to heal with the default UI, reaction times will increase significantly by adding mods and macros. Macros and keybinds do not even require downloading external mods, though mods can make your raid frames and cooldown monitors much more informative and easy to read.

Raid Frames:
If you don't have a good set of raid frames that lets you see both personal buffs and debuffs on them (including curses/poisons), then you need to find one you like and install it: Grid, SRaidFrames, Healbot, whatever, just get it and use it and make sure you can see YOUR lifebloom timers, rejuvs, regrowths, wild growths, curses, poisons, and can add in any major boss-type debuffs down the road. This is why I like Grid so much: I can add all of these things easily, and customize it to my specific needs without including things I would view as clutter.

The buffs/debuffs/statuses you want to be able to see on each raid member include:
  • Your lifebloom: timer and stack size
  • Your rejuvenation
  • Your regrowth
  • Your Wild Growth
  • If another druid has put up regrowth or rejuv, making the target swiftmendable
  • Curses
  • Poisons
  • Aggro (pre-emptive hots)
  • Health
  • Low mana (sharing innervate)
  • Range (target is out of healing range)
  • Specific enemy abilities, such as heavy DoTs, mortal strike, grabs, etc.

I do NOT recommend using Decursive in tandem with your raid frames. Decursive will put your cleanses in a separate group of raid frames when you need to be watching health bars and hot timers in another frame, and it just turns to clutter and results in poor reaction times.

For maximum efficiency, you should use one single set of raid frames (like Grid to the left) and make sure it includes curses/poisons.

Keybinds and Macros:

Clicking on spells on the action bar is fine and dandy if you aren't using them to save someone's virtual life.  The time it takes to target the player, move your mouse to the spell, and click on the spell are precious seconds that you can easily cut out by having mouseover healing and keybinds.

Whether you go with mouseover macros or the mod Clique is up to your preference, as they result in the same speed. Pick one and set it up, and practice practice practice: muscle memory on where your spells are bound will vastly improve your reaction time.
  • Mouseover Macros:
    These are special macros that are keybound to mouse buttons and/or to your keyboard keys via the default keybind menu, your action bar mod, or a mod like BindPad. The key to mouseover macros is that they will instantly target whoever your mouse is hovering over, rather than requiring you to select a target with a second click. They can be set up to use modifier keys (ctrl, alt, shift) to toggle between spells. Make sure you bind them in places your hand can easily reach. I prefer macros over Clique since they aren't reliant on a mod.
  • Clique:
    This is a mod that will bind your spells to mouse buttons using modifier keys (ctrl, alt, shift) to toggle between spells, using an in-game interface to set up the spells per each click. Make sure you make these spells target on mouseover, as well.
In both cases, I recommend that you avoid using your ventrilo push-to-talk binding as a spell modifier. So, if you use CTRL as your push-to-talk, don't use [mod:ctrl] in your macros or ctrl-click spells in Clique.

Mouseover macros are built as such:

/cast [@mouseover,help] [help] [@player] SpellName

The above macro will cast SpellName at any friendly target you are mousing over, else at your friendly target, else at yourself. Just replace SpellName with the name of your spell. If you want to just copy-paste a bunch of my macros, you can find many of them here, but be prepared: my macros contain multiple spells that the macro decides on depending on my shapeshift form and what modifier key (alt or shift) I am pressing with it.

I will put two simple macros below:

A good NS+HT macro:

/cast [combat] Nature's Swiftness
/cast [@mouseover,help] [help] [@player] Healing Touch

A standard resurrect macro:
/cast [combat] Rebirth; Revive
/s Resurrecting %T!

When setting up your keybinds, you will want to make sure you put your most useful keys in comfortable, easy to use locations. I have mine all mapped out here, if you'd like some ideas. These are the abilities you want most rapid access to (in general, vague order of use):
  • Rejuvenation
  • Wild Growth
  • Lifebloom
  • Swiftmend
  • Nourish
  • Regrowth
  • Remove Curse, Abolish Poison
  • Nature's Swiftness + Healing Touch (bound together in a macro)
  • Innervate, potions
  • Click-use Trinkets
  • Tree form (and probably a /cancelform macro too)
  • Barkskin, Warstomp/Shadow Meld, Nature's Grasp, Cyclone: your CC and self-preservation buttons.
  • Revive/Rebirth


In addition, you want to monitor the cooldowns on these spells:
  • Wild Growth
  • Swiftmend
  • Nature's Swiftness
  • Innervate
  • Click-use Trinkets
  • Rebirth
  • Barkskin, Warstomp/Shadow Meld, Nature's Grasp
Set up your UI to enable this, be it with a mod like SexyCooldown or Power Auras, or with just a set of action bars showing the abilities in a place you can easily glance at.

For further reading on User Interface topics:

In the next section, I will cover the mechanics of the resto druid: spec, glyphs, and spell use.