Thursday, August 19, 2010

Your Healers Know

They make decisions constantly on who lives and who dies. This is their role in a raid. And when tanks go down or when key utility players need to stay up, you maybe on your own.
  • Can you use your Healthstone when needed?
  • Can you reduce your overall damage intake?
  • Can you avoid unnecessary damage?
  • Can you pot if you need to?
  • Can you be self sufficient until the raid healers get stabilized?
As DPS you will quickly learn where you are on that list.

We all have bad nights. I am prone to bad moments. I die. But before I ever blame a healer I evaluate the last moments before my death.
  • Was a tank dead?
  • Was my designated raid healer dead?
  • Was the capability of that raid healer high enough to keep me up when the raid goes wrong?
  • Was I standing where I was not too?
  • Was I having a brain fart?
After EVERY death I recommend reading your combat log. And if necessary get an addon that records for you the last few actions before your death. (I have not used an addon in a while so I don’t have one to recommend.)

If you are a caster and see you got cleaved for 76K… yea… no healer could prevent that. It was a completely a YOU problem. What? Oh? You say the tank died? Was your Shatter on cooldown? I recommend sending it back to the Rogue who might be able to Evasion tank for 15 seconds. A quick moving Druid might Rebirth a tank in that time. Just because it didn’t work eight times you tried Shattering it doesn’t mean that ninth time it will. But how do you know until you try?

The encounter AOE killed you with a 9K tick and 2K overkill? Was your Healthstone used? Did you use a Health Pot? Did your designated raid healer die? Was your raid healer helping a priority target because their healer went down, like a tank healer? Were you out of range of your designated healer?


There are a lot of questions after each death. “I didn’t get a heal.” is not a reason to die if there were options and you didn’t use them.

“Can I survive.” is the ultimate game.

For me, this is my game. If we down a new boss and I am not alive at the end it is extremely bitter sweet for me. To take the bitterness out, I make sure I used all my resources so at least I tried to stay alive as long as possible. If that didn’t occur, I research the ability used to kill me. Making sure the likelihood of that same mistake is lowered.

Your healers KNOW if you are prone to death. When things are going wrong they also KNOW if they “waste” a heal on DPS they quickly mentally prioritize to those who will use the time to extra advantage.

Matticus had a post documenting the mentality of a healer when things start going wrong. There are a lot of things you can do to help your healers. Knowing this is what is going on in your healer's head, I ask how can I help.

I am not one of the last DPS standing because I am known for standing in fire, get hit by goo, am out of range, or DPSing random targets.

I KNOW my healers heal me. I also KNOW that if I am having a horrible night, dieing every fight, I get healer whispers “Is everything all right?” That is not normal for me and they are reevaluating my heal priority. They KNOW. They Know. They know.


  1. I couldn't tell you the number of times I've seen DPS in my raids sit there at half health and just wait for a heal.. then die. Some DPS just feel that if they need a heal, that's the healers job.. not ours to keep ourselves alive. You can't DPS if you're dead so keeping yourself alive should be the #1 priority IMO.

    "Did you use your healthstone or a pot?"
    "I forgot I had one"


  2. There is of course a happy median, and balanced teeter-totter of equilibrium. While I don't EXPECT a heal, I certainly HOPE that the healers are doing their jobs, like the tanks are doing theirs, and hopefully the dps is pounding away on the boss.


    There realistically are basic JOBS that everyone has to do. Healers HEAL, DPS DPS'ESEESSS, Tanks TANK... but superseding all that, is the COMMONALITY of STAY ALIVE!!!

    Don't blame DPS for always being the ones to forget the basic premises of raiding. There are of course MORE of those little PEW PEWers and WHACKITY-WHACKS, so it makes common sense that more of them are nublettes, asshats, and non raiders and DIE.

    Everyone says, DEAD DPS = NO DPS... ya well, F'that. DEAD HEALERS = NO DPS... DEAD TANKS = NO DPS... and in most events / encounters boss kills are measured in taking that BIG-UGLIES health to zero.

    So, ya.. use your health pots, use your health stones, soul shatter, ice block, run around in circles, CC, take the mob to a tank, bubble and hearth... whatever it takes, stay alive, be aware, and have fun!

  3. BTW... when I die because a tank dies... it makes me extremely angry... Can someone else please sit 2nd in aggro DAMMIT!

  4. Thank you for the post Hydra. Most dps have no idea how hard it is to keep all 10/25 people alive when shit hits the fan. So when they die, it's easier to blame a healer than to think what they could have done to give the healers a few more moments to catch up.

    That said, I agree to Faid too, sometimes the healers are healing wrong targets, or let themselves get killed for stupid shit too... and their responsibility of staying alive impacts on the raid staying alive as well. :P

    There are healing priorities; people would be naive to not think there are. When mana isn't an issue, I heal everyone I can (even those who aren't my assignments), still respecting priorities. When I need to use my mana more efficiently, I have to choose who to heal - and unfortunately, who I should let die. Sometimes I make wise choices - that one dps I healed is responsible for helping pushing a boss down. Sometimes, I make a bad choice - which, in a critical moment, most likely leads to a wipe. =/

    It's everyone's responsibility to stay alive, but more importantly, to have fun. It's just a game. :)

  5. Thank you,

    The life of a healer isn’t necessarily an easy one. I do it because I love it, not because I am a horrible dps or a bad tank on my alts. It’s because I love the satisfaction you feel when you’ve kept that new tank alive, or saved the rogue just before they go squish.

    I love being a healer because you have to think ahead, and prioritize. Your brain not only has to think about the tank but everyone else, who is taking damage and why. Is there an aoe? Is that dps not moving from the poo? If the person is ignoring tacts and demanding heals I like to introduce them to my blacklist. If it’s someone new and still learning what is going on most of the time I will give them some slack.

    As someone who currently isn’t in a raiding guild I still like to do a pug every now and then and on the server that I am currently playing on I am surprised by the amount of respect healers in pugs get, the good players out there are quick to defend the healers if it isn’t our fault, I remember a time when it wasn’t like that, when everything was blamed on the healers.

    I will also admit that yes we do mess up to. We stand in the wrong place, and just kill ourselves, it happens, we are only human after all. But it’s nice to see people like you trying to see it from our perspective and know that sometimes we just can’t keep everyone alive.

  6. I sit second on aggro quite a bit Faid. I just bubble and watch you die. Then I DI someone and watch everyone else die.


  7. :) Marker you bitch!! :)

    I have to admit though, it is sometimes very satisfying knowing that there is someone sitting right below you in aggro, and you KNOW they are not watching their aggro tables, so you pull deliberately, SOUL SHATTER, and watch them take it in the face!!!

    Of course when you do it to me... I'm not impressed... but it does have a tendency to make them pay attention...