Photo-Receptor Focus on: Healing
It was a almost a year of raiding before I discovered I was actually a healer at heart. I’m not even sure how I started healing, but I know it was on an alt. My DPS was less than spectacular, no matter what I did, so I started bringing in my healer.
More after the jump…
Once I got in and really gave it a go, I discovered that I loved healing and was actually pretty good at it. Not great. I’ll never be that super brilliant player, but I’m solid, dependable and I love it. I work at it, though, because that’s the only way to improve and be the best I possibly can be.
Healers are a special breed. We can get blamed for just about everyone that dies in a raid, but the truth is, it’s often other players not knowing how to play their own class. Yep, healers get a bad rap, that’s for sure.
So what do I mean by that? Well, one thing is when DPS pull off the tank and die. It’s up to DPS to watch their threat and not pull off the tank to begin with, but too often they want to show how “bad” they are – and oh boy, do they ever show that. Unfortunately for them, it’s not the slang kind of bad, but just the plain old bad. And they often can’t take more than one or two hits before they are down. No way a healer can save them, but we get the blame anyway. And more often than we should.
Unless, of course, you’re in awesome groups. I’ve been in both, but don’t play for very long with those who don’t have respect for the healers. I’ve been pretty lucky in that regard. I’ve had fantastic guilds I raided with, who didn’t yell at their healers.
So what, exactly, does it take to be a healer? Like tanks, gear is important. You want to get the best you can and you need to know what stats to stack for your class because they vary.
Know you particular class’s abilities. Not just the heals, but your rez, CCs, quick movement abilities and interrupts. Anything that can help in a pinch. Have them on your bar and kdnow where they are. That way you can cast them without having to look for them and waste precious seconds.
Obviously, staying focused on the group’s health is key. That means using some sort of raid UI. I still miss those mods I had, but I’m adapting. Depending on whether you’re ops healing or tank healing will determine where most of your attention goes, but usually I try to keep everyone as full as I can get them. If it comes to a choice between DPS and a tank, the heal will always go to the tank first, though. Also keeping an eye out for the other healers is key. Tanks, healers, DPS is usually my order, but I do love to see nice full health bars across the board.
You need to be aware of what’s around you and under you. Not standing in fire is a good thing. Having to spend force to heal yourself needlessly is not a good thing. Yeah, that old situational awareness thing again. And healers can get into a healing “zone” where they start focusing on heals and their ops UI and forget about what else might be going on. Usually their tanks or ops leaders know who has a tendency to do this and will watch out for them. Hardcore groups have less patience with this type of healer, though.
Also, try to make an effort to actually watch the fights and see what’s going on. I remember practicing tanking back in the day and thinking,” Oh ,so that’s what this fight looks like.” I was so focused on little bars of health, I missed the good stuff a lot of the time.
Don’t try to “help” with DPS on a boss. It wastes force you will need for healing. Obviously, there are fights where you can do that, but not very often in ops. You may feel you need to be doing something, but you will be very soon and you want everything topped off when you get to that point.
So, to recap, have the right gear, know your class, stay on top of everyone’s health, be aware of what’s going on around you and don’t help DPS. Pretty simple, right?
That’s my two credits on healing. What’s yours?