Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why I like to heal "undergeared" tanks in 5-Man!

Slightly ranty post about my views on healing in "modern" random heroics 5-Man dungeons.

Today I was taking some time to read one of my favorite blogs writer Larisa from The Pink Pigtail Inn. She is a gnome mage (best combo class in the game!) and is currently leveling a druid and had her first shots at healing in LK.
She talks about a recent topic surfacing in several blogs around arguing about more rewards for tanks & healers in random 5-Men.
My view is that more reward isn't what we need to tank or heal for you (which is what I do in this game 90% of my time), it is exactly what Larisa says:
As we separated after UK, as I had to leave for real life stuff, the leader said: “I’m sure you’ll make a fine healer at lvl 80”. It may not sound as anything special, but I tell you, for the terrified newbie healer, it meant more than any drop Gordon could have brought me. I was exhausted from the tension and strain, but my healing heart was glowing with pride.

My simple conclusion is: All you need is love.

Give me a cheer and a hug and I’ll heal my arse off for you in any instance you like. Regardless of what awards it offers.
I'm not attracted by loot, it is useful, I like when it's nice, but I don't mind at all where I am on the meters as long as I do my job right.
I think a lot of "true heart" healers and tanks are the same, we do that because we like it, not because we want more "rewards". There is some pride in the tank & healer role, and that is enough for us ... as long as other players aknowledge we're doing our best with the gear we have and that tanking or healing isn't always a happy funny time.
There is a much direct penalty for an under-performing tank or healer, lack of heals or effectiveness as a tank (survival or threat generation) shows much more than a low dps on the meters. It directly impacts the other members and can cause wipes which cost gold. That is were you can see these roles as more stressful.

That's where I'm going ... ungrateful players.
Larisa cited a post from Calli from Pew Pew Lazers tiled Angry Priest is Angry. Seeing it cited by Larisa, and the author being a discipline priest (like that :p) I went to read it.
Even if it's a bit too ranty probably to convince most, I completely agree with Calli on her point:
People asking for a vote kick of a tank not in 4 pieces T9 in a random heroic dungeon (not Halls of Reflection !) are just pure lazy bums that I don't want to play with.
When LK started tanks were at most around 24K unbuffed and healers were having a much lower spell power. I was there healing, it was harder, and all in all, it was much more fun!

So yes, I'm proud to say that "I love to heal undergeared tanks in 5-Men" !
When I say undergeared it's according to the idea people have that a tank for heroics has to have more than 40K health nowadays ... silly snobs. I've healed a warrior tank friend with my priest, in all random heroics (before 3.3) when he was still all in blues, and we were perfectly fine, he's a good player and a good tank, and if he was a bit short in life my, then T8 geared, priest was more than enough to secure him and the group 100% of the time.
Healing a slightly less geared tank is a bit more work, but it wakes me up, it's fun because there is a little challenge where most random 5-Men are not anymore. And that's what I miss now ... the fun of the challenge in 5-Man.

My pride, and what I'm happy of when I finish an instance, is a 0 death clean ride. When people die I'm not happy, even if it's completely their fault, I still feel like I failed somehow. (Yes you the dps standing in the fire, you can ruin my fun by just being silly. Not because we didn't drop loot, because you died, you idiot!)
If the tank or the group is slightly less geared, and I'm working more, it's even more fun.
I remember of my first runs of Naxramass with my priest, it was with a small guild (her guild raiding ulduar 25 at that time) whose tanks were still half in blues, and the others raid members too, me included. It was a real challenge, yes Naxramass was a challenge ... for the sole reason that we were doing it at the right level of gear.

All in all my view is that overgearing content is nice for fast runs, but tend to really turn players into snobs that don't remember what fun challenge can be, if they ever knew what challenge is.

As sidenotes on this new LFG system, you could find some interest in reading these posts, also ranty in other ways, about what I'd consider as the way of "running with anonymous players" given to us by the cross-server LFG tool:
Dechion on
WTF! Group Ninja?
Gnomeaggedon on If you’re THAT 1337, GTFO of my Random Dungeon!
TyphoonAndrew on LGD Perspectives
You could find them interesting, as I did.


  1. Nice follow-up post! Even with my limited healing experience I can recognize the guilt feeling SO well! It doesn't matter if the dps has done something really stupid, it still has a bitter taste. Keep everyone alive! That's the only thing I measure my performance against.

  2. Hi Larisa ^^
    Nice to see you here, I always appreciate your posts so much :P

    Yes, whatever the reason, wherever I am in raid or a 5-Man, when someone dies I feel somehow that I failed. I'm getting better at not feeling as bad in a raid when I'm on tank duty and someone else in the raid dies. But I think that trying hard to keep everyone alive is the healer way of dedicating themselves to the group.
    And that's probably why healing is somehow stressful, as it is for a tank to do his best to keep all mobs on him and never let a healer (or even a dpser) be beaten on.

    Have fun with your druid, you will love how well druids heal once you get a good amount of spellpower. I find druid healing relaxing, just because hots tick all the time as long as you are a little proactive (as you seem to be considering you're saying you overheal a lot).
    Druids really start to shine once you have enough spellpower to heal a whole instance just with hots and a couple Regrowth on bosses. Then you'll go from liking your druid tree to loving it :)

  3. Ok, I have to confess that "Angry Priest is Angry" was one hell of a rant and more than a little over the top, but I was absolutely fuming at the treatment that poor tank received. I'd rather run an instance with an undergeared tank who's making an effort and trying hard than a bunch of lazy idiotic gear-snobs who show up with ungemmed and unenchanted Tier 9 and want to do nothing more strenuous than lean on their AOE button.

    Yeah, I realise this means I might have to actually... you know... heal, but at the end of the day if I can't keep a 24k unbuffed health tank up in Heroic Violet Hold I may as well go play Hello Kitty Island Adventure. :p

  4. Hello Kitty Island Adventure, hehe Calli :P
    I just wish there were more people like you and Larisa in the community. It'd make this game more fun and less mindless grind for epics. Happily everyone is not a snob, but the random group dungeon tool tends to anonymize things a bit too much and encourages this trend.
    Please continue to heal "undergeared" good tanks, they will make the great tanks that we all like to see in raids :)