You’re a bad healer because…(Part 2)

24 February, 2010

I bought a parrot, and the parrot talked, but it did not say I’m hungry, so it died – Mitch Hedberg

“You’re a bad healer…” is a multi-part series on the dynamics of raid healing in WoW.  Part 1 focused on what persona it takes to be an effective (and consistent) raid healer.  Part 2 will focus on how to make you more efficient as a healer through the use of mods/macros and overall best practice.  Part 3 (and possibly more) to come where we’ll take a look at a few specific fights that tend to give healers trouble.

Many will tell you that healing in an MMO is more of an art than a strict science, and they would be right to a degree.  There is no set rotation and the variety and distribution of your heals will change from fight to fight.  All of this is true, but there are a few fundamental metrics that you can analyze to improve your healing. This is what happens when someone takes damage in a raid:

  1. The healer recognizes the damage
  2. The healer chooses a spell to cast
  3. The healer begins to cast the spell
  4. The spell is cast, the player is healed
  5. Check for the next healing target

The time it takes to get from 1 to 5 is where all of your focus should be when healing. Some of these can be improved before you even step foot into a raid instance.  Which of these gives you the most problems? Depending on your experience level and the encounter, it could be any of the above.  Pinpointing where to improve is like a Chef improving a recipe they’ve been making for years.  It takes practice, experience, and a little creativity to get the job done.

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You’re a bad healer because…(Part 1)

15 February, 2010

Good healing isn’t about preventing a fall,  It’s about bracing for impact.

This is part 1 in a series on healing (and more specifically raid healing).  Part 1 will focus on what it takes in a person to be a great healer.  Part 2 will focus on the tools of a quality healer.  Part 3, Fights that tend to give healers fits.

You can google “wow how to heal…” and find 2.8 Million results. No really, go google it, you’ll find plenty of resources trying to teach you how to be a more effective healer and how to not look like a complete fool when trying to get a regular raiding spot as a healer.

First let me give you the perspective not of a healer, but of a raid leader.  As everyone knows there are 3 types of people in a raid: tank, healer, DPS.  Tanks and Healers each have a job with a binary result.  Either someone lives, or they don”t.  You either have enough healing to keep everyone alive, or you don’t.  There is no surer way to have a guaranteed raid invite (or to be kicked quickly) than to be a healer.  Quality healers that know their stuff and actually enjoy healing are the rarest Warcraft players out there.  If you find them, you don’t let them go.

Healers don’t need gear.  They don’t need spreadsheets.  Good healers need a raid frame setup, a brain, and a set of balls.  Healers and tanks can’t distinguish themselves by healing more or tanking harder.  We only get credit for being exceptional, and even then it’s kind of a wash.

Saving The Day ™

There’s always that scene in a disaster movie where an unsuspecting nameless pedestrian is walking aimlessly as the city crumbles around him.  The Hero of the story is running around looking for his lost son (or wife or daughter) and sees said pedestrian walking just 15 ft beneath a concrete overhang about to collapse (they’re probably holding a baby).  He takes a glance at the concrete, a glance around to see if anyone else is there to help (there never is), a glance at the baby, and then quickly runs over and tackles them out of danger just as the two ton slab falls and crushes the side walk.

The man gets up and yells at the Hero, “what the hell did you do that for-“before glancing at the wreckage where he used to be standing.  The Hero mutters a “you’re welcome” before jogging off to find some other random victim.

That is good raid healing in a nutshell.

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