How much do PW:S and DA absorb?

Edit: Ver 3.0.9

An interesting question that has been bouncing around in my head for a month or so is how effective are Power Word: Shield and Divine Aegis in terms of absorption.  Let me go back a bit.  From time to time someone prints a healing meter to party or guild chat for motivations of their own.  Much as I tried to resist and tell myself I didn’t care what ‘my numbers’ looked like I couldn’t help myself. 🙂  I looked.

Just for discussions sake here are some numbers from a recent raid:

Holy priest 500k
Disc priest 360K
Holy Paladin 360K

Much as I tried to fight it the question formed itself in my mind about how effective I was and why the numbers were so different. Mostly it had me wondering about how effective are PW:S and Divine Aegis are as I knew they weren’t counted as healing.  There isn’t much data available yet, but Tales of a Priest pointed out an interesting modification to Recount which attempts to capture absorption.

DiscRecount, as it is called, is still new and being worked on but for some rough numbers it should be a starting point. The addon uses a number of assumptions.  The main one relevant here is that 100% of every PW:S and Divine Aegis cast absorb damage.  I’m not entirely comfortable with these assumptions.  Because of the way it’s used PW:S is absorbed about *pulls a number from the air* 80% of the time so this one isn’t too bad, but Divine Aegis, being based on criticals and therefore random is absorbed less so.  For example you Flash Heal a DPS to top them up and they get a Divine Aegis.  There is a reasonable chance they won’t take enough damage before the shield expires to use it.  Or you get three (or even 2) criticals in a row with Penance. Etc.

I haven’t used the addon myself yet, but the discussion regarding it does contain some interesting points.  These being that PW:S accounts for 32% of Disc healing+absorption and Divine Aegis 15%.  Now given my reservations above we might work with some more conservative numbers, say 25% for PW:S and 8% for Divine Aegis (25% + 8% = 33% and a third more is easier to remember).  This would be higher for MT healing and lower if your raid healing.  This basically means that if you take your healing numbers and multiply them by 1.33 you get an estimate of your combined healing+absorption.

If we look back at the example numbers from above they now look like this:

Holy priest 500k
Disc priest 479K
Holy Paladin 360K

Much more respectable from my point of view.  I know the holy priest was doing more AoE healing (as you would expect) and he slightly out geared me.  I in turn slightly out-geared the holy paly.  In the holy paladins defence I was kinda riding her assignment somewhat.  I was shielding, PoMing, Renewing and even direct healing the main tank a fair bit, which would have been reducing her effective healing.  The reason for me riding her assignment is long and not that interesting to most people so I won’t go into it.

Anyway, so what is the take home message today?  Disc priests are absorbing and additional amount of about 33% on top of the amount they are actually healing.

Edit: These numbers are quite similar to Matticus’ rule-of-thumb of 30%.

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One Response to How much do PW:S and DA absorb?

  1. […] this on total healing not effective healing.  DA will stack in 3.1, which is a big buff.  Previously I have estimated combined DA and PW:S absorption to be about 33% on top of measured healing.  With […]

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