When a Healer… shouldn’t

8 Jul

This shared topic is more than worth writing about.  There are a lot of opinions out there about healing.  Folks talk about using healing as a lesson, healing as a form of triage, and some healing basics.  Despite spending most of my days as a shady, I do raid lead, which requires a considerable knowledge of the healing lane.  I also stay up to date on priest healing, and break out of my shell to do it every once in a while.  Here goes!

Healing as a Lesson

Have any dps out there ever said to themselves “this healer isn’t healing me.  I should examine what I’m doing and carefully correct it”?  I doubt it.  The more likely response is, “this healer sucks” which only infuriates the healer more.  Do yourself a favor, and don’t let keeping people alive make you feel the need to parent them.  If an unhealed target isn’t likely to quickly learn their lesson, it isn’t worth stressing over.

This means if your tank keeps pulling and you’re going OOM, don’t stop healing.  In fact, pull out all the stops.  To be frank, stretching yourself in situations like this makes you a better healer.  If it isn’t the day for personal growth, say something in chat.  If that doesn’t fix it, don’t stress, just pop CDs.

Healing Triage

There is a clear order in the World (of Warcraft) but healers often forget it.  You’re healing order goes:

  • assignment,
  • yourself,
  • tank(s),
  • DPS who die quickly for whatever reason,
  • other healers,
  • everyone else.

If you don’t have time to make it all the way down that list before having to return to the top, you let the bottom people die.

Note, that that list puts players who are dying often over more conservative dps.  I’m not encouraging players to rely completely on their healers, but a healer should always keep an eye on folks who are regularly taking extra damage, for whatever reason.

Also note that tanks are on that list.  Even if your assignment is raid healing, you need to keep a wise eye to the tanks.  The mark of a great healer is knowing when tanks are fully covered by other healers, and being able to move down a triage list faster.

Finally, Some Healer Basics

Your role is to restore life.  Its better to do that with a heal than a rez.  Healing isn’t a method of control, its a game mechanic.  A tank who refuses to pull unless people play his way is on a powertrip.  So is a healer who refuses to heal is trying out the same thing.  It isn’t a way to win friends or influence people.


3 Responses to “When a Healer… shouldn’t”

  1. ecclesiasticaldiscipline July 24, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    I know this post was very different from how I feel, but I still really appreciate the response. I think sometimes thoughtful dialogue can make anyone see the issue from a different side. I’m not sure it changed my mind, but it made me think.

    Incidentally, I also wonder if some of our differences sprout from you considering a more raiding oriented perspective (where I completely agree) versus doing randoms.

    • calsong July 24, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

      I do tend to consider most things from a raid perspective. I rarely do randoms anymore; most of my time in game is spent raiding, arena-ing or team building.

      That’s where this philosophy stems from. I believe healers are a part of a bigger team. All contributions, be they by healing or by not healing, are about making the team do better.

      A thoughtful dialog is why I blog. Thank you very much for your comment!


  1. When Should a Healer Let Someone Die? « Ecclesiastical Discipline - July 24, 2010

    […] always doing one’s best to keep everyone alive. While Calsong  at Mindspike had arguably the most differing perspective than mine, I have to say she explains her reasoning well and I completely respect that.  Type […]

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