What I think of healers
The folks over at Blog Azeroth have an interesting shared topic this week: What do non-healers think of healers? It’s a thought-provoking subject that’s spawned some great thoughts, but it’s one that I’m not sure I’m qualified to blog upon.
You see, I have a dirty little secret. I’ve never played a healer. Never.
I have three healing-capable alts, a 70 druid, a 69 shaman, and a 32ish paladin. They have never for one second of their lives been resto, resto, or holy respectively. They’re feral, enhancement, and lolret. I’ve never offspec healed an instance with any of them.
What’s worse, the even dirtier part of my dirty little secret is that basically, I’m a DPS whore. Yes, I have a prot warrior as my main, and I have no plans to change that aside from continuing to develop Linedan’s arms offspec so he can contribute more on one-tank raid fights. But my other high-level alts–two hunters, one blood DK, one feral druid, and one enhancement shaman–are all about various ways of bringing the pain. The thought of trying to heal even a weak normal instance, on any class/spec combination, scares me far worse than tanking any heroic raid encounter in the game.
So this leaves me in a quandary. How can I possibly discuss “what a non-healer thinks of healers” when I’ve never played a healer and have only the vaguest idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the various classes and specs?
The fact is, I really don’t care how a healer keeps me standing, only that they do. You can use big heals, medium heals, little heals, pew-pew heals, bubbles, shields, HOTs, bandages, duct tape, spackle, grout, little cartoon Thrall Band-Aids, Red Bull, medkits from Half-Life 2, Class II controlled substances…I. Don’t. Care. Just keep me alive to keep the mobs off you, and I’ll let you worry about the mechanics of how you do it. You don’t tell me how to tank, I don’t tell you how to heal, and together, we will rule the galaxy as…uh…tank and squishy or something.
I trust my healer(s) implicitly when I tank. I picked up a bad habit in vanilla WoW that’s carried through Burning Crusade and into Wrath, and while I’ve gotten better about it, I’ve yet to completely shake it. I don’t pay as much attention to my own health as I should. This came about because when I was learning to tank, at level 60, I had to focus every one of my few remaining brain cells on gaining and holding agro on multiple mobs…while tanking for one of the highest-DPS rogues on the entire server. (This was, of course, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and warriors’ multiple-target tanking required a hell of a lot of work. And I could barely stay ahead of this guy on a single boss target, much less multiples.) Combine that with the fact that we had a couple of really solid healers in the crew, and I tended to just forget about my health, put it in their hands, and focused everything forward on the mobs.
I still do it, more than I should. I dutifully get a healthstone at the start of every raid, and every raid, no matter how many times I die, I still have it when I log out. I accumulate redonkulous amounts of healing potions. I still lug around a single Nightmare Seed that I haven’t used in months. I just have a simple faith that no matter how deep the kimchi gets, if I’m doing my job and intelligently using my cooldowns like Shield Wall and Shield Block, and if I’m not standing in Bad Stuff, the healer or healers that I’ve got behind me are always going to save my ass. Period. And the best part is, 99.9% of the time, I’m right.
I have a lot of respect for healers. It’s not nearly as much fun as DPS and just as, maybe more, stressful than tanking. The players who are hardcore dedicated to the art of green glowy whack-a-mole or shiny golden PEWPEWPEW have my undying lessthanthree and my eternal gratitude.
But if you want to know whether I think a holy paladin or a disc priest is better for healing me? Brother, I have no damn idea. I love you all equally.