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.