First, do no harm…

Wotcha everyone,

Well, I can tick another of the boxes in the “I-Spy Book of Healing: Warhammer Online Edition”…

It’s the “Why didn’t you heal me?” box.  It’s one of my favourites, because it always has the unspoken addendum “Is it because you’re an idiot, or just a rubbish healer?”

I only ever hear this from people outside my guild.  Generally, it’s from a dps class.  Normally, it’s someone I’m grouped with.  Usually, they’ve just died.

Is it my fault they’ve died?  No.  But I am a contributing factor in their untimely, unseemly demise.

Let me explain further:

There is a belief amongst players that anyone with healing skills and abilities has a duty, a requirement, to heal all the time.  That by not spending every second healing, the healer is not only letting himself down, but his class and his calling.  Witness the screams of agony from World of Warcraft: Shamans who want to melee, and Druids who turn into anything other than a tree.  Their screams are the manifestation of the prejudice that sees a class *with* healing, and *only* sees the healing.

Hybrid classes will always get it rough.  The ability to perform two or three roles becomes the ability to do one, and not as well as a pure healer class.

There is also the belief that a healer should heal, no matter what the situation, or the danger to the healer themselves.  DPS classes do damage.  Well-played dps classes don’t draw too much aggro, and therefore don’t need silly amounts of healing, which then draws the aggro onto the healer.  In a standard mob fight this means the healer has to waste time keeping themselves alive, as well as everyone else.  In a boss fight, this usually means the healer gets one-shotted, followed by the rest of the group.

Finally, there is the belief that just because you’re in a group with a healer, you *deserve* healing.  That it is your unassailable right.

Sorry, but it isn’t.

I am not a healbot.  I’m not going to follow you around and heal you constantly, *just* because we’re in the same group.  As the one with the healing skills, I get to choose how and when to use them.  If you’re a dps class that is incapable of managing your aggro, you will annoy me, and that means less healing.  If you keep getting aggro where you shouldn’t, I will stop healing you.  And every so often, that means you get to “take one for the team”.  Especially if you’re taking my attention away from the tank in A Bad Way(tm).  Because the tank gets priority for heals every day of the week…

It’s a harsh truth, but truth all the same.

I would feel it to the day I die if I let a real person die.  I would feel awful if I let a small furry animal die.  I’d feel bad if I let down a friend.  Do I feel bad about letting a character in an online game die?  No.  Sometimes it makes me giggle.  Gosh, I am a bad, bad man.



17 Responses

  1. It makes me wonder if the Ironbreaker I saw in beta called Healme got many heals – although I suspect it was a dye-hard healer rolling an alt as a joke 🙂

  2. Ahh, this is why I rolled a smite cleric in daoc.

    Just so you can stand on their corpse and smite things when they complain…

    Pff, heals, there’s a ress in the game for a reason…

  3. I dunno if I really agree with this. I don’t think people should be forced to do anything they don’t want, but healers really should understand why healing is so powerful and not ignore that side of their abilities.

    I was in a scenario this morning with my white lion and the healers were conspicuously not healing. One of the tanks suggested politely that if they healed, we would win. And they said, no, the other team were doing too much damage and healing themselves also so clearly our team had to put out maximum damage to beat them.

    They didn’t believe that healing would help us to win. I’m fine with people choosing not to, but it makes me uncomfortable when people don’t even understand why anyone would ask (I know Hawley isn’t, but it just came to mind).

    Also it doesn’t seem fair. I heal them when I’m on my Archmage, why can’t they heal my alt?!! gits 🙂

  4. Rule Number 1 of First Aid… don’t become a casualty yourself!!

    As for healing in Scenarios.. I did a few very enjoyable Phoenix Gates yesterday and saw the awesome power of the Archmage at work, I only died twice and did 45k damage coming second in DPS, which for a sword and Board tank is more a testiment to the Archmages that kept throwing evil looks over my shoulder!!!

  5. As somebody who had played healer classes in sevral MMOs, I heartily agree with your post. Some players seem to think that you are there to serve them and them alone. I have had “rez plz” in Pugs in WoW as soon as that player went down, regardless of the fact that we are, y’know, still in combat. I get “heal plz” when a players health starts to drop because I have actually died and they didn’t notice. If you cannot be bothered to at least be aware of whether I am dead or alive, not to mention perhaps try to help me stay alive, why should I return the favour? And why is is *always* the dps classes that seem to be like this. In a good party everybody works as a team, in a bad party people just rush off and expect to be kept alive.

  6. Of course healers should do their jobs – like every other archetype. (And it can take a while to learn what it is and how to do it well.) Still, I agree, but more because it’s an entitlement thing. I detest entitlement, doesn’t matter what class it’s coming from.

    Anyone who thinks *I* should somehow feel obliged do something just because *they* want me to had better bloody well be married to me, because otherwise it ain’t happening. The more I get bossed around, the less I’ll heal em. Call me contrary.

  7. I think one of the bonuses of playing a healer is that you can let people die when they piss you off 😉

  8. The problem is I want to let people die, but I always come back to healing them. Me and Hawley in another game have been known to play healer ‘chicken’ though, where you see how low an annoying person can get before you save them.

    Actually, maybe me and Hawley just shouldn’t be allowed to heal together ;p

  9. Wotcha everyone,

    Shhh! Arbitrary. That was lag, remember?


    You might be right, though. We do seem to be a bad (good) influence on each other. Heheh.


  10. dps: “Why didn’t you heal me?”
    healer: “I was otherewise occupied.”
    dps: “Do you suck or something?”
    healer: “Actually, I really wanted you in particular to die, because people keep telling me you’re a noob.”
    dps: “Go back go WoW”
    healer: “Roll a healer.”

  11. I play a swordmaster and I get almost NO heals even if I am tanking a PQ boss, a keep lord or rushing into the enemy lines to keep the healers busy among hundreds of warriorpriests.

    Am i allowed to complain?

  12. I play a WP as my main. All I do is throw a HoT out there once in a while. Shoody healing, but I’m still in demand because a good number of WPs refuse to heal anyone but themselves. I find it a little bizarre.

    I also find that White Lions and Witch Hunters tend to fall apart in RvR. They haven’t quite accepted the idea that they are not tanks. Hit and run, darnit! Score your kill and get the heck out — no healer can keep you up with only medium or light armor in a pitched melee!

  13. I think you bring up some really good points.

    My responses are my personal views only, as I think people’s positions on this will pretty depend on whether they play healer/hybrid classes or not.

    Firstly, I think it’s all very situational. In a PvE group, whether it be a PQ or instance or just plain vanilla quest, then my #1 job is to ensure we succeed the task. That means healing the tank, and where needed, other people. I agree that dps classes who scream “HEAL PLZ” while continually pulling aggro should be let die, but I’ll temper that with the fact that I’ll mostly do instanced content with guild-mates and the PQ’s are all about completing quickly for the influence/ boxes really, so healing a dps class makes sense, but 90% of my time I’ll be topoping the tanks up and using my offensive abilities to buff my heals. So I won’t cry when over-aggroers die. In encounters where there are multiple champions in play with a small group, I’ll be doing my level best to keep everyone up.

    Conversely, in PvP, whether it’s scenarios or outdoor RvR, here my job really needs to be to heal. The tanks need to keep the healers unencumbered, but letting dps die means that no-one is killing the tanks targets. Of course I use offensive spells, but my #1 role here is to heal. Of course, in a random filled scenario, team-play is massively variable 😦

    But my view is such because I’ve specced/talented to heal and that will be my itemisation goals also. If someone wants to play a dps shaman, fine, just they need to expect people to expect heals until they show how they perform on damage meters 🙂

    I’ve played a healer as main toon in every mmo I’ve played, whether it be white mage, combat medic, priest, shaman or any whatever. I’ve played and raided as shadow priest , feral druid and enhancement shaman, so I fully appreciate the lure of the dark-side. In all those cases, I’m specced for damage and wouldn’t join a group expecting to heal.

  14. After ten plus years of playing MMO’s, anyone who bitches about me not healing them immediately goes on my /ignore list. Sorry, but the harsh reality is, I play games for fun, not to be bothered by random strangers, and I do the best I can to heal anybody I can at all times.

  15. Why is it always “Heal plz”? If they’re so keen to get healed the least they can do is make the effort to express themselves clearly in English. If they can’t be bothered typing “please” then it can’t be important enough for me to target them and press “1”.

    All too often people play like idiots, and expect the poor healers to pick up the pieces, and all too often it’s easier to blame the healer than the real cause of the problem.

  16. heh – have you seen this? You’re not the only one that feels that way. 🙂

  17. Hah.. though I don’t play WAR, crap like this happens to me all the time. In fact, today I got so frustrated with it, I logged out and contemplated not healing anymore (though I enjoy the crap out of it)

    But.. it’s been that way forever.. and I don’t see it ever changing. Healers are always the ones blamed for everything.

    It’s part of the healer code. Or it should be.

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