Monday, March 22, 2010

Now I know how the other side lives

Last Thursday night we headed back into ICC with a different group of 10 than we did on Tuesday. I ended up going on my Shaman (Daluaan) in his resto spec.

I'd healed up through Saurfang before. A couple times, actually. Or, rather, I should say that I've healed up to Saurfang. We always have one of our healers go DPS for that fight and every time I've gone on Dal, it's been me. I'm usually the weakest healer in the bunch and my Enhance DPS is not too it works out.

Well it just so happened that our group was cooking along fairly well, so we thought, "hey, why not see what we can do against Festergut and Buttface?"

The funny thing about tanking (and DPSing) is that they don't really change. Yeah, you might use some different abilities if you're dealing with a group instead of a single target, or you might have to move to avoid different things. But in the end tanking is tanking. Dishing out damage is dishing out damage.

Now, maybe I just say this because I'm more used to tanking and DPSing. They take up 3 of the 4 specs of my two raid-toons and the leveling spec of every alt I've ever played. Maybe any healers who read my blog will disagree with my next sentence.

Healing changes. Holy crap, does it change. Healing the Ugly Bros isn't anything like healing that ranty queen B, Deathwhimper.

Even though Dal is a pretty competent healer, I've never healed current content on him. He's always been a tier behind, if not more. As such, I've never really been in a group with him where at least half the raid didn't moderately outgear the encounters or where I really had to pull my own weight healing. I just had to be "the 3rd healer." Even the couple times that I did the Lower Spire previously, I never really felt like I was in a position where I was being tested.

Festergut and Rotface? Yeah...they were a test. We ultimately two-shot both of them. But I directly attribute both wipes to my utter noobishness and inability to handle healing demands on fights where people can't get carried.

The most eye-opening part for me is seeing how hard it is for healers to cope with the mistakes the rest of us make.

As a tank, if someone else makes a mistake, it usually means I have to toss out a Growl followed by a quick FF and everything's good again.

As a DPS, if someone makes a mistake...well...I might have to stop DPSing long enough to throw a brez. But it usually doesn't affect me. Or there's usually very little I can do about it even if it does. (Flame Wreaths, anybody?)

Being used to these roles, when I did something bad, I usually brushed it off with a quick "sorry" and then went about my business.

Never. Again.

Healers, I have a whole new respect for you guys and what you have to put up with when I quickly say "sorry."

I think everyone should have to heal progression content at least once in their raiding career now. And the more mistake prone they are when they play...the more mistake prone people they have to heal.

I can't say it with anymore detail than that. If you heal, you know. If you don't, no description I could conjure up with words would do the experience 1/1000th of the justice it demands. You just have to experience it.

On the positive side, I found out that HealBot makes calling out the Mutated Infections a lot easier than trying to watch DBM announcements.


  1. Most healers are used to it, to be honest. The one piece of advise I'd give for all the people out there is not to chew out your healers. The number of "points of failure" for a healer during an encounter is staggering. Mistakes will be made.

    The problem is that there's little real useful advice for the new healer out there. Every fight has a different damage pattern/tempo, and until you know that pattern, it's very difficult to find your bearings. (That's why first tries of most new bosses usually end up ugly. Healers have NO CLUE what pattern to expect)

    And because there's not much discussion of this, most players don't know how difficult healing is.

  2. Argathne

    I agree that those two are hard. But as a pally. You should pity us. 0 AoE heals. One instant cast heal. The only upside is i can heal the tank and myself at the same time. Long story short. Glad you see what us healers have to handle. Its fun but annoying at the same time =)

  3. That's an interesting way to look at healing and you're right, it is different for each fight and for each group of characters as well. You have to get to know your tanks and how they pull and who on your dps list is likely to get smacked around. I have always chosen either a healer or a tanking capable character for my mains, although sometimes it's nice to be dps...... I agree that we should all try on different hats as it makes you appreciate the other roles very much. Thanks, Dianne