Monday, July 12, 2010

Healing Arrogance

Enough about RealID. I want to talk about the game again. :)

So I've been levelling up (another) priest lately, and having a lot of fun with the simplicity of the levelling process. You find a !, go kill the stuff it wants you to, then go back and find the ?. And when you get bored of quests, you queue for LFD. As soon as I hit 40 I bought myself a dual spec, so I always queue as dps and heals, but I usually get in as heals. So I've been healing my way through about 75% of the levelling process, really, and along the way I've noticed a few things and developed a few habits.

I didn't really think they were bad habits until my bf happened to mention offhand that I was a bit of an arrogant healer. I disagreed with him at the time, and even after thinking about it I still do. Let me list some of them, and I'd love to hear other people's opinions, especially healers.

Before I begin, let me clarify something. Those of you who have recently levelled up a priest would know that until you hit around level 45 (maybe a few levels prior) you have drastic mana issues while healing. If the tank takes one or two pulls at a time, you'll be fine, but today's tanks tend to think they can take on everything in sight at once. Whenever my tanks did this, I found myself needing to drink after each pull. Perhaps this is my own bad gear choices but whatever the cause, the situation I was in was one of extreme mana-rationing.

The List

  • I refuse to heal hunter's pets unless they are doing something useful, AND the hunter is also healing it. A good hunter will not allow her pet to pull agro unless it is absolutely necessary (ie something is eating the healer), therefore the pet should not need to be healed unless there is some kind of aoe damage.
  • I refuse to heal a tapping warlock unless they are out of mana mid-fight. And further to this - if said warlock refuses to drink between pulls and taps instead, expecting to be healed, then enters the fight on 30% health and pulls agro, I WILL let them die. To me, that is arrogance and stupidity on the part of the warlock, not me.
  • At this level tanks usually don't bother to check the healer's mana before pulling. I understand this, so when I need to drink I say so in party chat. If a tank goes off and pulls after I've said I need to drink, I don't mind letting him die.

To my mind, all of these things - checking the healer's mana, healing your own pet, and not tapping to 30% right before a pull - are common courtesy and common sense. Therefore it's not being arrogant to put the tank or other party members first. But I will be interested to hear other opinions, even if you agree with my bf on this one.


  1. It's been a while since I've healed a lower level instance, but here's my take in general:
    - Hunter pets should not take any damage. I don't purposely avoid healing them, but I don't keep pet frames up. AoE healing and hunter heals should be plenty to keep them at full health if they are being used properly.
    - I heal warlocks when they tap. No reason to not throw a HoT on them.
    - I don't let tanks die. When the tank dies, the rest of the group usually follows so you're punishing everyone for one person's mistake.

  2. Thanks for your comment Jasyla. :) Healing a tapping lock depends heavily on the mana situation. If I have limited mana, every hot I throw to the lock is one I don't get to put on the tank. The fact that the lock's damage is self-inflicted puts it to the bottom of my mental heal priority list. But if I have the mana available I usually do end up hotting them, even if I'm irritate by having to do it.

    With the tank thing, I'm not sure I explained that very well. If they run off and pull something and I have very little mana, I usually do try and save the party. I don't think I've ever let the whole party wipe, because usually if the tank runs off to pull while I'm still drinking, the other party members are standing next to me out of combat, drinking too. ;)

  3. Hunter Pets - I don't have a UI for them, and unless they're doing something useful, I am not healing them either. The hunter can cast mend pet, it's like a level 15 skill.

    Warlocks - I'll HoT them, no reason not to, it gets the instance done faster and Warlocks burn a lot of mana.

    I think Tanks and pulling is complicated. I've honestly never had mana issues, though overzealous tanks can push you... But sometimes they screw up and they know they did. That said, I think it's perfectly fine for tanks to pull while I am drinking. As long as they're real tanks (Prot spec, using stamina items when possible) they can often take some hits.

    That said, may I ask what spec are you leveling as? I am wonder if your mana issues are from lack of Meditation.

  4. I'm using a pure holy spec as my healing spec. I'm in the high 40s at the moment, so I haven't branched out to the disc tree yet.

    After I read your comment I went and played with the talent calculator and discovered a very nice little disc/holy spec I could use instead. At the low level I am, it hadn't even crossed my mind that I should be branching out into other trees. Thanks very much for the advice, etai!

  5. The real secret is, no matter what spec you're leveling as, it's almost always best to spend the first 3-5 points in shadow if you do any amount of solo questing/killing. (Spirit Tap).

    But yeah, Meditation is supreme important -- that's why it's becoming baseline ability in Cataclysm. What's essentially happening right now is you have ZERO mana regen in instances. Anyways! Be nice to hear if you notice the difference with Meditation.

  6. Meditation makes a big difference, but I haven't done lobie healing under level 70 on a priest so not sure what level its best to start filling in your disc tree for it. I don't seem to be getting many priest healers in my tanking escapades in the lobie dungeons though,

  7. Hmm... About those Warlocks...

    As a Pally healer, I don't have the HoTs that others do. Okay, there's the Glyph of Holy Light, but if you're like me and try not to spam it so much due to it's mana bite at lower levels, that's not much of a help.

    Therefore, I put locks under the "unless they're keeling over" category of healing. They may even get into the "oh HELL no!" category if they are constantly using Life Tap in place of actually drinking.

    Hunters, well, it depends. If the Hunter is actually just being a jerk, forget it. If the Hunter is having trouble learning the ropes, I'm inclined to be more charitable.

    And tanks... Don't get me started.