In Wrath: you joined a raid. There’s a paladin and a druid as heals. You know right away that the paladin is tank healing and the druid is raid healing.
Leading up to Cataclysm: a lot of talk about triage, mana management, tweaking heals… and a general sense that if the paladin wants to raid heal and the druid wants to tank heal, the system is going to support that.
Join a Firelands raid: there’s a paladin and a druid as heals. The paladin is tank healing, the druid is raid healing, and nobody really thinks twice about it.
Maybe that’s simplified but it really does seem the state of things right now. Of course, since I’m a druid healer and the always-there other member of my healer team is a paladin, maybe I’m helping perpetuate that myth. Maybe we could shake things up. But we don’t. She just doesn’t have as many AOE tools as I do. My big heals are wet noodles compared to hers, and there’s nothing I have that’s comparable to Beacon of Light (or Bacon of Light as certain of our raiders keep calling it)
I’m perfectly willing to tank heal. I had very little trouble with Baleroc as far as keeping a tank up went. I was even doing one of the Shannox tanks until our shaman pointed out that this fight was not a good one for her to be raid healing. But again, there was my perception, that shaman are better at raid healing than tank healing, that had me put her on the raid in the first place.
And priests? I have no idea how those weirdoes work at all. We’re talking about having our shaman switch to her priest and that could be…. interesting… but I have a feeling that my default configuration is going to be to keep myself on raid and Kerick on tanks, and the other healer can just fill in wherever.
But it makes sense! Wild Growth is such a cheap, easy little AOE to toss out. I’ve got enough mana that I can toss Rejuvs around like it was Wrath again. And I proc free Regrowths all the time – if the tank ain’t hurting, someone in the raid is. Depending on the fight, I can’t necessarily keep the whole raid alive but I can come close. And Kerick owns at keeping the tanks up. Sure I’ve got Lifebloom on one of them and I toss a few heals their way when I need to, but I just don’t need to.
So, is it in our class or in ourselves that these stereotypes are set? Maybe I just do better at raid healing because I’m vaguely OCD about healing bars and have to heal everyone right NOW darn it. Maybe Kerick is better at using her cooldowns to fill up a tank right before the next Decimation Blade hits, not because she has better cooldowns but because that’s what she’s practiced.
But – I don’t think that’s the whole of it. I read blogs and I never read about raid-healing paladins. Sometimes about tank healing druids, but mostly in the sense of “I can tank heal, why doesn’t my raid ever let me?” Shaman and priests don’t seem quite so stereotyped. I’m not sure why that is.
Is it really just me? Was I reading too much into things before Cataclysm? I’m not saying I’m disappointed: I’m just saying I want to make sure I’m not doing things wrong!