I've been considering ways to assist with defiler links in game, without needing addons.

There are addon's that can track one's links and foul growth, but I found them to be obtrusive, I'm an old school healer, wow like hellbots clutter my screen. Without doubt the top tier player finds them useful if not essential, my thought has always been that they trivialise the game and if the use is too common the devs then tune the fights for people using the addon and not traditional healing.

If we think about the issue of a zone event which you are actively participating in. It's easy, it's something everyone does.

One places their links on the best people in your current rift and one hopes that as you move from rift to rift the links stay with you, as you ride you see them taking damage from mobs and I am thinking that your link is helping them not be unseated. That's yet untested, just a thought.

Some die on the way, and your link drops off later to rejoin you. You don't know they are now unlinked.

A simple solution to knowing if your links are there or not would be to keep the link spell icon on your hotbar dark if it's active. As soon as a link dies the link button lights up. Very simple, should be easy to implement and I am thinking in the raid environment should a link die and another healer BRez them, the link spell showing as lit will prompt you to re-establish it.

A harder solution, but one that might also be nice is a two phased shading. The link is black if it's in use and the linked player is within 100 meters of you. The link is grey if it's in use and the player is more than 100 meters from you.

This is probably not useful in the raid environment but would be invaluable in zone events, you would know at a glance who had split off and relink them. One could write a macro to cancel all links then redo them every fight, sure, but if the work was done to darken/lighten the spell on the link being active or not then it may be a good time to help more.

Another nice thing would be to make the link spell itself a toggle. Target and click and they are linked and the button is darkened. Click the button a second time and they are unlinked.

Yes, one can easily right click the buff and close the link, but this may be easier and quicker and not break your healing rhythm if you've ended up linking a player who is engrossed with standing in the fire and thus hurting you.

As for knowing who has your links - which you would know in a raid but easily forget in a zone event - two thoughts come to mind.

An icon over each links head (think NPC icon) that shows the link. The bonus with this for the raid environment is you will have an excellent spacial idea of exactly where everyone is. Not sure if a raider would find that handy.

As an improvement you might see a differeng NPC icon over your raid's head for other people's links. smaller size maybe, semi transparent, upside down, whatever.

Less ideal, to put down the linked players name, or three letters onto the spell, like you see with a macro. But I'm not convinced myself that's ideal, too many issues, especially in zone events.

Just random brain droppings throwing out to see if it sparks a killer idea in anyone.