How to Use Shaman HEP
Why You Want to Use Shaman HEP
The concept behind Shaman Healing Equivalency Points (HEP) is simple but powerful. By parsing a combat log from your raid last night, it should be possible to figure out what stats will do the most to improve your healing numbers. For example, if you already have a ton of crit rating but not much spellpower, 1 point of spellpower might have more value for you than a point of crit rating. Or, if you tend to cast a lot of Healing Waves on the tank, you should value different stats than a Chain Heal obsessed raid healer. What you need to know is whether you should put a haste or spellpower gem in your new gear, or whether the crafted legs are better than the tier piece based on your playstyle.
Thankfully, there are people like Stassart who can write programs to tell you just that. Shaman HEP will provide stat weightings based on how you heal with your resto shaman. You feed it a combat log, it tells you what stats to aim for. You’ll get an output that looks something like this:
Shaman Healing Equivalency Points:
1 SP = 1
1 mp5 = 0.8593 (calculated)
1 mana = 0.0171
1 Haste rating = 2.2066
1 Crit rating = 0.8428
1 INT = 0.7362 (actual)
1 INT = 0.9029 (max theoretical)
What does this mean? Well, we use spellpower as a baseline, so it will always be worth 1 HEP. Comparing the other numbers to this baseline can help you determine your gearing choices. For me, haste has a value of 2.2, which means it is more than twice as valuable as a point of spellpower. Thus, a Quick King’s Amber is worth about 44 HEP (2.2 HEP per haste point x 20 haste). In contrast, a Runed Cardinal Ruby is worth only 23 HEP (1 HEP per spellpower x 23 spellpower). A Reckless Ametrine (my irrational personal favorite), is worth 34 HEP (12 HEP for the spellpower, 22 for the haste). If I just wanted to gear for raw throughput, I’d be stacking as much haste as possible, not gearing for spellpower or mp5.
I can also take these stat weightings and important them into a program like Pawn (Shaman HEP will output a nice long string of text you can copy and paste right into Pawn, making this very simple). Then, Pawn will add a little number at the bottom of each item tooltip you mouse over in-game, showing you how much HEP it is worth. This will help you quickly eyeball whether a drop is an upgrade, so you don’t have to think “well, this drop doesn’t have any mp5, but it does have some crit, and I guess it has a little less haste but like 5 more spellpower … and the ilevel is better so that will help my Gearscore … man I hate Gearscore some times … um screw it I guess I’ll just roll and sort it out later.”
Ok, Actually Using Shaman HEP
If you are someone like Stassart, getting to this point is probably really easy. If you are someone like me, you head over to Curse.com to download the program, see things like “this program is written in Perl and needs a Perl interpreter” and start to freak out a bit. You read the “simple” instructions on Elitist Jerks and start to doubt your intelligence. You probably think, “you know what, I can probably just eyeball my stats or copy some stat weightings from someone else.” Well, I managed to work my way through Shaman HEP after some initial hesitation, so this post is here to help you do the same.
- Go to curse.com and download the shaman_hep addon. Technically, it’s not really an addon since it is a standalone program. You run it from your desktop, not from the WoW client.
- Go to Elitist Jerks, where they will give you simple instructions on how to use shaman_hep.
- Confused? Make a post on EJ and wait for someone to call you an idiot. There, wasn’t that fun?
- Ok, fine, I’ll try to help. First, unzip the shaman_hep download into your /world of warcraft/logs directory. You can put it somewhere else, but this make things easiest.
- Find the file named shaman_hep.cfg. I assume .cfg stands for “configuration” because that’s what this file does. Create a copy of this file, so if you screw something up you can go back to the original. What I do is right-click, select copy, then right-click again in the same window and select paste. Now, right-click on this new file and give it a better name. I chose “Wugan.cfg” (without the quotation marks please). You might want to pick your own character name, unless you’re already stalking me or something.
- Now, open up your .cfg file so you can customize it to your character. In windows, you’ll probably get the “hey, please tell me how to open this program, I’m just a stupid computer” message. Tell it to use notepad.
- Once you have it opened, you’re going to have to do a fair amount of reading to get things set up. In short, lines that start with # are there to help you figure out what to do. Lines without a # are there to capture information about your character. For example, PLAYER_NAME = Wugan, SPELLPOWER = 2629, and so on. Your job is to go through the .cfg file and change everything to reflect your character. Follow the directions carefully. Note that spellpower is not what you see on your character sheet in the game, but the individual spellpower of all your gear added up.
- Go download and install ActivePerl. I have no idea what this really is, but it seems safe and lets you run shaman_hep.
- Get a combat log. You can do this manually by typing /combatlog in the game. From that point on, the game will save the output of your combat to WoWCombatLog.txt, which resides in your log file. To get a useful combat log, start one before your raid. After the raid, REMEMBER to go RENAME YOUR COMBAT LOG in your /world of warcraft/logs directory. I use a format like “Wugan ICC 01-28-10.”
- I can’t tell you how many times I have started a combat log one night, forgotten to rename the log, and then added another evenings worth of raiding the following evening. Or better yet, included some random data from soloing or PvP. If you do this a couple times, you will have a huge worthless mess of a combat log. An addon like Loggerhead can automate turning on and off your combat log, but you’ll still need to go rename it if you don’t want multiple logs to get combined.
- Ok, you have shaman_hep configured, you’ve installed a Perl interpreter, and you have a combat log that you want to parse. Shaman-hep doesn’t have a fancy, easy to use graphical interface, which is what you’re used to with most programs. Instead, you’re going to go old school and run this program from the MS-DOS command prompt. It’s really not that hard though; if you’ve read this far, you can do it.
- In Windows XP, click on Start, then Run. Type in “cmd” and hit ok. Now, change to the directory to where you downloaded shaman_hep. For most people, you will do this by typing “cd c:\program files\world of warcraft\logs” or maybe yours is in c:\games\world of warcraft\logs”. If you have WoW installed somewhere else, hopefully you know enough about DOS to change to that directory.
- I don’t run Vista, but according to Stassart you can “Open Explorer to the shaman_hep folder, shift-right click on the folder and select “Open Command Window here.””
- Once you’re in the right spot, type perl shaman_hep.pl -c [Insert Character Name Here].cfg WowCombatLog.txt > Report.
- You didn’t really type “insert character name here” did you? Make sure it’s something like Wugan.cfg. If you changed the name of your combat log, make sure to use that name instead of WowCombatLog.txt.
- Here’s what that line of text is telling your computer to do, roughly. “Perl” tells it to run something in perl, I assume. “Shaman_hep.pl – c” tells it what to run. Wugan.cfg tells it to use your configuration file. “WoWCombatLog.txt” tells it what log to run the report on. “> Report” tells it where to output the results of the program, in this case a file called “report” that will be placed in your logs folder.
- Shaman_hep may take a while to run, so give it some time and if it’s still staring at you 15 minutes later, try to figure out where you went wrong.
- If it worked, open up the “report” file in notepad and scroll towards the bottom to discover your personal Shaman HEP values. Congrats! There is a ton of other information in the report, so dig around and enjoy.
In a future post, I’ll discuss the limitations of relying 100% on shaman HEP values to gear your character. In short, you need to make sure that you won’t be running out of mana based on your raid, playstyle, and comfort with having a low mana pool. Having 1200 haste makes for some really fast chain heal spam, but it can also make you OOM real fast if you’re not careful. You also need to consider your role in the raid. But, knowing your Shaman HEP stat weightings is a great start to making informed gear choices for your little healing machine, and every serious raiding shaman should at least know how to get these numbers.