Warning: the following post is full of broad, sweeping generalizations that are only true of me, and maybe not even then.
Imagine this as one of those “tell-all” articles featured prominently on the cover of Cosmopolitan, “Things Your Healer Won’t Tell You”, or “The Things You Think You Know (but don’t)”. Actually, don’t imagine it that way. I’ve never actually read one of those articles and they might be really lame.
I’ve been reading some blogs about what healing is going to be like in Cataclysm, posts about what Blizzard wants it to be like, and that has me wondering; are we healers all just plain nuts? There are things I do, things I think, and I’m not sure how they’ll match with our new healing methods.
- When you die, I feel guilty – no ifs, ands, or buts.
There’s a reason why we joke about “Oh, no heals for you” – because we can’t do it. Once you’re a healer, in that mode, it’s almost impossible to let someone’s health bar drop low without trying to heal him. Often, we don’t really recognize any health bar as a particular person. We know which ones represent the tanks, we have things organized so we sort of know who is where – but when I’m in the thick of things, I don’t ever think “Oh yeah I was going to let xxArthaaasxxx die, he’s a jerk”.
In Cataclysm, we’re going to have to let people sit at less-than-max health and that is going to be really really hard. All my instincts say “Heal that bar!”
- Healing is my thing
The same pleasure a rogue in super-epic-ilvl277 gear gets in topping a dps meter, I get in ending a fight with everyone alive. I like healing, I find it fun and challenging and the only job in the game that reaches out and grabs me by the throat. I’ve dpsed and tanked 11/12 fights in ICC – meh. I just don’t care to do that regularly. But I’ll heal ICC over and over and over again, because when I’m healing, every fight is different every time. You are fighting a boss and his minions: I am fighting death itself. Your scorecard is the amount of damage you put out; mine is the number of people I saved. If we wipe, you get upset with other people for screwing up; I get mad at myself for not saving them anyway.
- I find healing fun even as it is
But I do see their points – because I find healing fun in 10 mans and not so much in 25s. Spamming Rejuv on groups 3-5 is not really super fun. Spamming rejuv on the whole raid, looking where to place Efflorescence, rolling Lifebloom on a tank, checking to see if I need to spend a whole two seconds casting a single Nourish – that is fun, and I get to do that in ten mans. I’m worried that they will be crippling me by making me worry about mana. I’m going to give it a try, and learn how to roll with the punches. I mean, I was concerned that I wouldn’t like druid healing after the changes and now, other than missing my tree, I’m ok with it.
- I don’t really want to dps
I’ll qualify this. When I outgear the content, sure, dropping Hurricane is fun. But I want encounters to be hard and expect me to focus on healing, not hard and expect me to focus on both healing and dps. Maybe some people like this, but please, Blizzard, give us a way to avoid it. I have an off spec, I use my off spec, let me dps in that.
- My toolset is awesome! All except for the wonky egg seperator…
Blizzard has given all the healing classes a range of tools to use. Some classes have a billion, like Holy Priests. Druids have about 9 and that’s more manageable. Still, I eye them a little suspiciously. It’s like my utensil drawer. There’s my trusty spatula and a good knife, and then a whisk, and I guess I use that peeler sometimes if I’m using my knife for something else, but what is that weird plastic doodad anyway? And why does anyone need an asparagus trimmer?
My heals are like that. I love how Mastery works with druid hots. I love, love the way Efflorescence triggers off Swiftmend – it just feels right, like you’re blooming the heal and causing life to grow. But we have these nice fast or instant cast hots – and then we have long, comparatively slow casts of Nourish and Healing Touch and they just don’t feel right. I feel like one of them should be shorter, and one longer. Then we could really pick and choose what to use. As it is, I still am not using HT; if I have to cast anything, it’s Nourish because I almost always have a hot on the target already (and thus, get my mastery bonus plus the backed in bonus to Nourish). Healing Touch is that egg separator – it’s just taking up room in my drawer, I feel a bit embarrassed about it, and maybe one day I’ll use it but I won’t be bragging about it to my friends.
- We’re gossipy little backbiters
If your raid has more than two healers, I guarantee you at least two of them whisper each other multiple times during the raid. It’s like a rule. “That tank had four stacks of X””. “Healer Y is using THAT spell, can you believe it?” “Why won’t the mage decurse? Ok we’ll work around that”. I’m getting worse, too. I used to just gripe at my husband; now it’s whispers. Why don’t we say these things out loud? Well, sometimes it’s a healer-related FYI kinda thing. Sometimes it’s because we don’t want to sound accusatory. Also I think healers have a bit of an inferiority complex and we’re afraid that if we say “X did Y” that what the raid hears is “I’m a lousy healer and I can’t deal with this”.
(Someone please tell me this is really universal. It has to be, right? I’m not always the first one to start whispering…)
- I’ve played games that are like spreadsheets. Healing isn’t like playing a spreadsheet
Yes, there are bars on your screen and you spend a lot of time looking at them. No, this does not make WoW into “Excel with sound effects”. If you want that, go play EVE Online. If you think we have that, go play EVE Online. Now there is a game that has spreadsheets. Yeah, so sometimes I miss cool effects or visuals. Tough. I like my little squares of healing. They are the source of my power.
- I don’t want to worry about mana
But I will. I get that. I’ll learn. I just don’t want to – I’m terrified that every wipe in Cataclysm will be twice my fault – once because I let people die, once because I ran out of mana. That if I were a better healer my mana would stay full even when the dps is not doing their job. I want more enrage timers on bosses. Make it obvious why we failed. Don’t blame it on me! There is nothing worse than staring at people dying, and your empty mana bar.
- I’m still going to heal
Even if I do have to use my egg separator, worry about mana, deal with guilt complexes, whatever. Because that’s what I love in this game.
Bring it on.