Posts Tagged ‘Healing


Healing is..

Tam’s recent post over at Righteous Orbs sort of made me think. Is healing easy / easier than dps ? Is it more fun, more stress, or just.. more ?

Ercles commented that for him, healing is more stressful, while dps (until you have mechanics of an encounter hard wired into your brain) is more challenging. And in a way, i am inclined to believe him. There is a certain “do not mess it up or it will all go to hell” quality about healing, and most boss fights are over once one or two healers are down, while they can still be won with one or two dps down. But perhaps that is seeing things too simple ?

Looking through the web, i came across quite a few posts which claimed this or that being easier or better. (one recent example can be found here) Finding a consensus on this seems not that easy, and as the last poster commented (oh, not this again) it seems to be a point which is difficult to agree on.

So, i actually want to stay away from trying to claim one to be harder than the other. In my eyes, it is a lot about how you like to play your game. So, for some people, it is easier to tank things, while for others it is easier to keep things alive, while the third group prefers to make things dead. Preference in the end.

Let us look back at what Tamarind wrote :

… DPS Get Bad Press. There’s too much talk about interchangeable DPS, or stupid DPS, or DPS just not being as important or necessary as tanks and healers. Bullshit. In that fight, I stood at the back in my sissy room and cast flash heal and prayer of mending (everybody was generally too spread out for AoE heals to be very effective) and that was it. A monkey could have done it, assuming you programmed my flash heal button to give him a banana, or an orgasm, every time he cast it. The DPS, by contrast, were changing targets, running around, controlling adds, co-ordinating attacks on the shield …

While he is probably very right in stating that raid healing in that encounter is like a very simplistic single target “whack-a-mole” game with a limited need for location awareness (“do not stand in the green stuff – ever”), i personally do not see this as a negative comment, and i definately do not read it as “Healing is Facerolling”, as DwRedux commented on it. Different encounters have different levels of complexity for different people, and this one specific one seems to be a dps challenge.

So, healing is not facerolling. But what is it ? It is an evil whack-a-mole. At least on that, most healers seem to agree. And for me, quite a bit of fun comes into it when you actually realize that sometimes you can predict the right mole to show up, and whack it just before the had is up, so to speak. That makes it

  • different from dps, as you actually can (and probably should) try to anticipate what will happen, and act against it
  • easier than dps, because in the end, your array of targets varies little, and there are just two main distractions. (staying in range of the moles, and not staying in whatever stuff you should move out of)
  • Fun.

So, for me (and yes, this is a purely personal preference, and should not be seen as any kind of global statement), healing is primarily a lot of fun. A bit more fun that dps (which i have tried, too)

But, going back to what i mentioned above, healing is also more stressful. Mostly, (and again Ercles mentioned that, but allow me to repeat it) because of the risks.  There usually are fewer healers than dps. So, losing one has a bigger impact on overall performance than losing a dps. Losing a tank is worse (undeniably), but different from the tanks and dps, it is the job of the healers NOT to lose anyone. So, in a simplistic world, people could say losing any raid member means the healers were not quite good enough.

Before everyone jumps on this – i know that anyone can actively ensure that their character will not make it to the end of the fight alive. And in some fights, it is impossible to keep all the moles whacked. But the truth still is – if a healer misses too many moles, the game is over before the bad guy (or lady, as in this case) has been taken down.

And that is the responsibility of all healers. Be it raid or tank healing, the main game is “do not miss too many moles or the game is over”. Raid healers have more moles, and might loose a few permanently in a fight. Tank healers usually have just one mole, and may never fully lose that, but might miss a few bonks if they recover well enough.

That is unique to healing. Dps and Tank mechanics change in their own way between encounters, but for healing, the major chain (aside of global effects) is the “mole dynamics”. Of course, there are more and less interesting encounters out there.

I peronally like Saurfang’s moles. Lazy start, very regular mole appearance, followed by a frantic finale. Also, i am looking forward to one of the yet not seen encounters, where there is actually a mole which needs to be hammered down before all the other small moles have been lost.

So.. where is my bottom line ?

Unsurprisingly, healing is

  • fun
    • sometimes stressful
      • mole-heavy
        • resource management
          • and of course



Why the rush

There.. the old year is.. well, old. And gone, by now. And the new year is here, together with a brand new decade. Many will hope for a decade which is better than the last, but i have to admit that i am rather pleased with how the last decade turned out. Yes, there were a few downsides, but overall, it went ok.

(This explicitly excludes the guy from the airport who must have used enough Eau de Cologne to cover an elephant in rosy scent – you, sir – stink. And it was not just the smell.. it was more the burning sensation in my eyes. Sitting beside you was a punishment i would rather not visit on anyone with a sense of smell.)

Swapping from the olFireworksd to the new decade went without a hitch too. For the first time in decades (sorry, i just could not let that pass) i even had snow for new years eve, although i sort of ensured that would be the case by traveling to a place where snow is.. well.. common. Still, here are two impressions from last night, which both sort of capture the feeling. The right one is outside the house – the road up to the village, while the left one is from where we stared at rockets being shot up. If the pictures make it seem as if it was cold – it was.. and it was not. Well.. just about -10 degrees.

But.. back to what this blog is about – WoW, healing, and decency.

There, i must admit that i have been

  • slacking at blogging.
  • trying the sanity tap (i.e the LfG tool)
  • pushing my warlock (no, there will not be to 80

Doing that, i have to ask – Why the rush ?

Yes, i can understand that running heroics is more exhilarating when you do it fast. And i agree – you really learn to do your things right if you survive. And of course, completing Halls of Lightning in under 14 minutes should be worth an achievement (Blizzard, i hope you are NOT listening). But honestly.. once the last boss is dead, and your team is at least partially alive, why the hell do you have to run off to do whatever you want to do next before everyone has their body back.

I may be old fashioned in this, and it may be the DPS who kept yanking aggro and forcing you to heal him who is having yet another out of body experience, but hey – they were YOUR team. Without them, you would still be standing at the entrance, staring the dwarves in the face and wondering “how the heck am i going to get through here alive, with my “sissy robe” for armor, and my bad breath for my most formidable weapon ?

So, Healers out there.. why the rush running off at the end of an instance without sparing 20 seconds to resurrect those who did not make it ? Tell me.. i would really want to know.

For me, that is indecent. So no, you will not see me do that. And if you do, rest assured you will have

  • managed to annoy me greatly before
  • gotten a whisper letting you know that i would rather have you stay dead
  • be welcome on my (short) list of people i will never PuG with again.