Healer Validation and Accountability

It’s not easy being a healer.

You get the short end of the stick pretty often, and often get blamed for a wipe. I’m sure this has been said a million times before, but I got a quick lesson in it this weekend.

More often then not, it is a PUG that will bring out the Elitists in people, it will also bring out the most fail in some cases. It was a mix of both during that Friday night venture into Icecrown Citadel. As I mentioned in my last post, this group didn’t look too bad, folks would talk in Raid chat, and keep things somewhat lively while we waited to fill the ranks. I was good to go with consumables, reagents, etc. (forgot to grab some water though). Once we all got inside, we determined who had what role.

1 Prot Paladin Tank
1 Prot Warrior Tank (slightly undergeared)
1 DK DPS
1 Ret Paladin DPS
2 Rogue DPS (one of them being the RL)
2 Warlock DPS
1 Druid Healer
1 Paladin Healer (me)

A decent setup, though a bit melee heavy if you ask me. But with Holy Light splash heals, it should be ok to keep the group together while still focusing on the tanks.

As of Friday evening, I had just redone my Holy spec to move away from the Critadin build and into the more popular, and seemingly more flexible DSpally (thanks @Matticus and @Rilgon). I had yet to use this spec, so I was a bit fresh to the healing style. In addition my gear was still a bit more optimized for having that extra 5% crit buffer. Even with the change, I was still sitting at a comfortable 30% crit unbuffed, and a hefty mana pool. I did make a note though, to create a macro for the Divine Sacrifice, so that I don’t have to bubble every time, wasting extra chances at Divine Shield or Lay on Hands to Forbearance. I personally enjoyed the fact that Sacred Shield lasted 1 minute though, that was really nice, and saved mana in the long run.

Back to the story though. We entered ICC hoping to at least clear the first wing, though it sounded like they wanted to push further. I kind of doubted this because one of the tanks sounded iffy as to whether they’d be able to stay. We took on the first group of mobs and cleared up to the spiders, and things suddenly started going down the shitter. I do agree that there was a good bit of melee DPS, so maybe they didn’t notice (though lack of situational/raid awareness is not a valid excuse). Anyway, I was webbed by one of the spiders, and was helpless. I would have bubbled, but I had to use it on the first group since the tank forgot to put Righteous Fury on, and it decided to come after me as soon as I shielded and bubbled him. So, I’m stuck wrapped up, and unable to heal.  Needless to say, the group nearly wiped if it wasn’t for the good graces of the Druid healer.

Suddenly I get a whisper from the rogue RL: “dude, u need to pick up healing”. Normally I don’t react, but this was a rediculous request. Now, I do not base my skill on meters, but I was still sitting at 3200 overall HPS (minutely below the druid healer who was able to heal the whole time), and had only 40% over heal, not bad for a single target healer who was wrapped most of the time. So I replied, “I was wrapped nearly that whole fight, and am still on par with the Druid in healing done”. I only got a reply of “Oh ok.”

That Really Grinds my Gears.

That Really Grinds my Gears.

This really grinds my gears. If he had been a real RL, and paid attention to what was happening to the rest of the raid, instead of trying to top the DPS charts, he would have noticed this, and I wouldn’t have gotten such a statement thrown my way. I could be overreacting, but I don’t really think so, as I got a whisper from the Druid healer as well, to much of the same effect.

I think that my reaction would have been different, if I had just been slacking off, or not payint much attention. However, as I have mentioned before, though I don’t raid regularly, when I do, I treat it as serious business. I make sure to pay attention to all that’s around me, attempt to not get healer’s tunnel vision, and don’t want to make myself look bad.

Well, I ended up showing them what I was capable of. Overcoming the Druid, and practically raid healing while still keeping the tanks up. I was pulling out all the stops, and using every little trick that I knew, including the new ones available to me due to the talent change I had just made. Suddenly, the same druid who had echoed the remark of the RL ealier, was now giving me praises on the healing I had been doing, especially during the movement parts of Lord Marrowgar. This took him off my hit list, simple as that.

Needless to say, there wasn’t another wipe until one of the tanks decided to get insta-gibbed by Daddy Saurfang, cause he didn’t know to jump back. I may have been able to save him, but I was also trying to keep the folks coming back from getting gibbed by axes, and dodging rockets. I do take responsibility though, as most healers would feel. He was my charge, and I should have been able to save him.

The next thing that I used as ammunition was keeping two marks and the tank up, and this was only because the melee were getting AoE happy, and we were inendated with Blood Points from the Blood Beasts. Again, an issue of the rest of the raid also paying attention.

Well, fortunate for me, the RL apparently had to leave, and popped on out, leaving only 7 of us, and we went on to have a little fun, saving the raid from several wipes, which appeared imminent.

The point that I’m trying to make, is that healers are a very important part of a raid group. I don’t want to come across as saying that no other aspect of a raid group is important, but without healers, there would be nothing keeping the tank from dieing, and the mob/boss from eating your face.

Validation
A compliment here or there, especially in a PUG can go a long way. I don’t mean to shower them with praises, but if they pull the group out of a rough situation, give them a little pat on the back. Give them a bit of validation that they are doing good.

Accountability
However, also be prepared to take responsibility as well. It is the healer’s job to keep the tank/raid alive. If the other players are appropriately geared, and are not standing in the bad stuff, then there is no reason that you should not be able to keep them alive. You need to be ready to be held accountable for the actions that you take.

Keep these things in mind, and you won’t end up feeling as frusterated as I did on Friday. Validate those who are doing their jobs, but also hold those who are at fault accountable. And on the other shoe, accept any kind of validation you can get, and don’t be afraid of a bit of responsibility, that’s why you are a healer in the first place.

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9 thoughts on “Healer Validation and Accountability

  1. Healers can get mistakenly given blame easily. So can tanks, but not as much as healers. That’s why there is so much dps in the wow world, not many want the responsibility. And credit is rarely given, though I try to be generous with positive reinforcement for a job well done.

    • I totally agree. I tanked for a while, and if you happened to lose aggro on one mob and didn’t catch it before it got one hit on a DPS or healer, then you got briped at. Maybe that’s why I decided to go Ret as my offspec, to blow off a bit of steam, but still do my job, and pay attention to what else is happening.

      BTW, good to see you comment, still haven’t seen you online at the same time as me, haha. Plus working in a different building sucks. 🙂

  2. Oh it burns me so bad when someone tries to toss blame to a healer in those types of situtations… And is almost always the person who could have prevented the action in the first place.

    Healing can often be a very thankless job – especially in pug groups. I have learned that I have to be much more outspoken and even “bitchy” in pug groups compared to my ability to be nice and level headed with my guild. Fortunately, I have a dedicated raid team now and don’t have to pug much of anything other than VOA but let me tell you, they start hollering at healers for the raid dying when the damn ranged dps are not killing orbs cause they want big purdy numbers on recount so stay on the boss – yah I’m the tree pointing fingers and callin you out, better believe it! Now, if you don’t see me running around flailing my arms about while I hot the holy moonfire out of you, then by all means blame me for your death… but if you stood there and let that orb suck out your soul, freeze it and then chew it up while you played – let me find how many ways I can poke the big guy in the room with my tiny arrows – well you had it comin.

    • I’ve almost gotten to the point of being vindictive before. Letting certain DPS die simply because they complained that I didn’t heal them fast enough while they let their fancy boots light on fire. I also believe that some of this is due to the ease of access to gear. I won’t diss it, though, as I’ve taken full advantage of it, as I’m not able to get on much. However, if you have the gear, you should have the skill, or at least attempt at skill to match.

      It has happened like that before for me on Torvalon the Ice Farter. I’ve seen several raid members get frozen and start dropping in health, simply because they won’t move. I personally have been seen running around the room, getting chased by Ice orbs, healing as much as I can (remember Holy Pallies can’t heal real easy when moving), even blowing my bubble cooldown so that I don’t die and can continue keeping less than worthy DPS alive.

      I do feel though, that even DPS need to pay attention to where their healers are, and where they are standing in relation to them. Not only for LoS purposes, but also so that they know if a healer needs a hand in getting a Kobold off their back, or the like.

  3. Wow I didn’t know you played your healer more so then a tank. Then that gives us something to talk about when I come back home to visit on the 14th. But yeah I always liked playing the healer in games don’t know why though. My Discipline spec healer is just now getting good. and not at lvl 80 yet though >_>. I noticed though not many people play priests as the healers why is that.

    P.S. And if you don’t know who this is, it is me Stephen

    • Yup, it’s my main spec, and I’m more confident healing then I am tanking for the most part, though I have tanked ICC twice all the way through the lower spire.

    • Also, there are more priest healers than you think, especially in end game. Holy Priests for the Raid heals, and Disc priests for their flexibility in raid and tank healing, and their tasty bubbles. Just look up some strategies on the Lich King fight, and how a Disc Priest can make some of the encounter super easy.

      • Okay I will be sure todo that. do you know of any good sites to look up good tactics for it so I don’t look bad when I start raiding.

      • Depends on what kinds of tactics. If you’re talking about raiding tactics for bosses, then I’d hit Bosskillers and be sure to download the Deadly Boss Mods addon, I sometimes will post a boss tactic here (See Healer Trust, a quick and dirty guide to Festergut in ICC, mixed with my personal rantings). As for tactics on Discipline Healing (which I believe that you are), I’d hit World of Matticus or I Like Bubbles. There are a few others on my link bar to the right, but these two popped up off the top of my head.

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