The Secret Life of Healers

Spinks posted an excellent article talking about healing in MMOs, and in particular how healers have a set of “secret rules” that dictate who they will heal first, who they will let die, and who they will string along.  The Healers Union #421 of Cleveland are displeased that she revealed their insidious habits, but it’s good that it’s out in the open now.

The thing is, yes, these secret rules exist.  I know this because I’ve talked to quite a few healers, and because I’ve been playing one extensively in WoW for the past few months.  Being a healer puts you in a position of power over your group, although it’s a twisted relationship because you’re also under your group as well — if they all die, guess who gets blamed?  It’s a heady power to have, determining who lives and who dies (or at least, who deserves to live more).

Although that sounds kind of, well, evil in a way, I see it as one of the perks of the job, and nothing I really abuse too much — just when, as Spinks said, you’re asked to heal stupid and you just draw the line.

Case in point, earlier today I was in a group to run a dungeon, and the hunter comes in with a full 10 minute rez sickness debuff on him.  He’s very upfront about it — “Sorry guys, but my damage is going to suck for the next 10 minutes but I didn’t want to lose my spot in the queue” — and we’re left grinding our teeth, because it’ll take 15 minutes to kick the leeching idiot.

That’s one of the few times where I snapped my fingers and went, “Buster, you just lost healing privileges”.  Not that I said that out loud or anything — we trees are the sneaky, silent sort — but the guy didn’t get heal one from me even as he kept pulling too much aggro and wasn’t able to handle it due to his 75% less armor and stats.  Oops, you died?   Again?  So sorry to hear that.  What?  I’ll rez you as soon as I’m done making a smoothie.

Mmm.  Smoothies.


16 thoughts on “The Secret Life of Healers

  1. canazza January 15, 2010 / 9:18 am

    did they up the kick timer? I remember kicking someone with rez sickness before their buff wore off. Mind you, he was a replacement tank.

  2. Capn John January 15, 2010 / 9:35 am

    That’s odd, because Rez Sickness come with a 75% damage debuff. And yet the Hunter was still able to pull Aggro? I assume it was because he targeted the wrong Mobs, yes?

    Because if he was targeting the correct Mobs, following the Kill order, but still pulling Aggro in spite of Rez Sickness and a 75% DPS debuff…then your Tank sucked. Yeah, I went there, but then I have a soft spot for Hunters

    However! I’m also willing to admit that many are screw ups (or the term ‘Huntard’ wouldn’t exist). And you were there (I wasn’t) so most likely he was targeting the wrong Mobs. Because unless your Tank sucked, targeting the wrong Mobs is the only way you could ever pull Aggro with Rez Sickness.

  3. Syp January 15, 2010 / 9:36 am

    @ John – Yup, that’s exactly what happened. He’d pull independent of the tank before the tank could establish AOE aggro.

  4. Brian Inman January 15, 2010 / 10:13 am

    I am an angry healer most of the time. Basically if you are an idiot I let you die.

    I don’t know how many times I would have to remind tanks I need to drink. They expect us to watch their bars, but they don’t have enough respect to watch your mana bar back.

    I absolutely despise Rogues. I have never met one who doesn’t think they are Mr. DPS Meters, and takes damage like crazy. I am not going to let the main tank die, or the rest of the group because you are diverting my heals because of stupidity.

  5. battlechicken January 15, 2010 / 10:33 am

    Ahhh, healing. I love being a moonkin, but healing is still my favorite job.

    Healers have to learn the hard way the secret rules, usually. For instance, back when I was still in blues and healing heroic SL (remember THAT place? /shudder), I was trying desperately to keep everyone alive and failing. Our GM was in the group with us (talk about pressure, I was brand new, and he was my druid idol at the time) told me, “Heal the tank, screw everyone else.”

    That’s how I learned that tanks take priority.

    I died about 25 times before I realized that I was the second priority.

  6. Jomu January 15, 2010 / 11:11 am

    mmm smoothies indeed..

  7. Chris January 15, 2010 / 11:15 am

    Was he misdirecting to himself? Last night I was healing a group and I swear (not kidding) all other four people in group held aggro 90%. I think they each had there own mob. It was the wierdest thing I have ever seen. It was the first time I ever struggled on a normal mode dungeon.

  8. Genda January 15, 2010 / 11:56 am

    I’ve been playing my Resto Shaman again recently, so this is really striking close to home. Blog post incoming. \

    I have to confess that in the month or so of the Dungeon Finder, I have allowed 4 characters to die on purpose. That’s not too bad, right? One a week?

    Two of them were being stupid and two of them were insufferable douche bags. I won’t tolerate being berated, or having my friends berated over and over again. I’ll warn you, and if you insist on continuing, I will make sure you die on the last boss, and will leave the group without rezzing you. Like that guy last night who was barking at Br3ntbr0 through the whole dungeon. To you I say; “haha, sir.”

    Pro tip: If your tank and healer are in the same guild or from the same server, assume they know each other and make nice. Otherwise healer justice may be doled out. Be forewarned.

    Now everyone knows. 😀

    Have a nice day.

  9. Bootleg January 15, 2010 / 12:05 pm

    Yeah, I definitely have my own set of rules when I heal. It’s funny because I never really gave it much thought before. My most douchey rule – If you’re an idiot throughout a run and are constantly causing me heartburn (in any form)… If you die at the end of our run on the boss, I’ll leave without rezzing you. I don’t get to do this nearly as often as I’d like. 😉

    These days though, I just heal my booty off and don’t say a word just to get through. Stupid is as stupid does, and I just want to get it done so I can move on to the next. If I can’t handle the stupid, I just leave, no complaints or drama. Everything but the tank is easily replaced these days, so no big loss.

    Also, with gear being so OP in comparison to most all the heroic content, sometimes the whole, I wont heal you rule, is toothless. I was in a run of H DTK and decided that since the tank was being a complete jerk, I was going to let him die. You know, teach him a lesson! I didn’t cast a single heal on him through several waves of trash a boss and little bit more trash before I realized I was completely superfluous.

  10. Capn John January 15, 2010 / 1:46 pm

    After playing DPS for sooooo long I had my first real foray into Tanking last night on my 42 Pally. I specifically chose RFD not because I was overly high for it, but because it’s almost full of Melee with very few Casters.

    Being a Newbie Pally Tank I wanted to take it slow until I got the hang of it, which I think bored the pants off my Priest (that’s assuming he was wearing Pants ;).

    I had to chuckle when someone threw up a DPS meter and I was #1 😀

    I didn’t hold Aggro all the time but I got it back whenever I lost it. And there was one massive pull where it actually got rather fun (in spite of the chaos), but nobody died and I think the Priest was actually glad to finally have something to do 😀

    I got my Plate Helm of Amnennar, but the Spider Tut didn’t give up the Plate Chest piece, so I’m probably going back in again tonight.

    I will say this, Pally Tank is a lot less stressful than Warrior Tanking. Or maybe Warriors have it a lot easier now than when I tried it a few years ago.

  11. Mesar January 15, 2010 / 3:13 pm

    Even though I prefer to heal, I usually kick idiots rather than not heal in protest. If the kick timer isn’t up I’ll state in /party “If that behaviour continues I’m voting to kick in 5 minutes.”

    I just can’t abide douche-baggery in my groups. If can’t get through a 30 minute instance without insulting someone you can go to the end of the LFD queue.

    Last week I had a tank wearing +Spi cloth because “It had more stamina that my plate”.. a cloth wearing tank… /facepalm /votekick

  12. CunningB January 16, 2010 / 8:47 am

    Yup as others have said I run a similar rule as a tank called, You Pull It You Tank It, taunts only used if the dps switches to the correct marked target and the mob looks like its about to go chew on the healer. ^^

  13. Bristal February 2, 2010 / 4:10 pm

    Just started healing instances on my new baby 71 priest. It’s interesting that there are so many ways to piss off a healer. Four instances down, and I’m already irritated at people’s douchieness. Expecting me to heal between pulls, not running back after wipes, blaming “no heals” as I rez you after the LAST BOSS when you were the only DPS who took any damage.

    I’ve run hundreds of dungeons on my hunter main and can count on 1 hand the number of times I was truly irritated by people.

    This thread gives me strength.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s