Capture the healer

Inspired by a long and fevered discussion on Teamspeak, and also by watching how people play from my vantage point as a healer:

So, when you’re in a scenario (and we’ll stick to scenarios right now, as keep and open field is a little different for a few reasons):

  • Do you go for the enemy healer?
  • Do you protect your own healer?

There will always be divided opinion and in some ways it’s dictated by the make-up of the group. We know the enemy will drop faster if we can kill all their healers, but so will we if all our healers are killed. We know this, but that’s not always how it plays out.

RvR as a healer can be pretty stressful with line of sight issues, people running off in separate directions, everyone feeling they’re the healers’ main target. So let’s look at it, who is the main target?

  • Do you heal the tank that has your back, but the extra armour?
  • Do you heal the other healer who can keep you covered if need be?
  • Do you heal the MDPS who should be off killing something squishy?
  • Do you heal the RDPS who are very very squishy and always off doing something dangerous?

You have to make the decision in a split second to make a difference, taking into account dps being done on your target, range and keeping up with your target and line of sight (and whether to use group heals in the situation).

As a tank you need to decide who to guard and when to attack and push the enemy, as the shield wall makes a lot of sense. You can’t always be standing by a healer, though it’s always thoroughly appreciated.

As dps, you want to be out killing. It’s what you’re built for. I know this. I even understand and expect this. But you won’t be on tanks (really, you WON’T/shouldn’t), you’ll be on the isolated, or the squishy. And you go down FAST! I try, I really do, keeping up the dps is what keeps up the groups’ kill rate, but it’s just not always possible. And hey, remember if they’re attacking healers keeping the healers covered will produce lots of nice squishy and ready-to-die targets.

And let’s not forget we have different flavours of dps too, some more squishy than others. The glass cannons (sorc and bright wizard) really need to be on the attack, they’re built for it. The slightly less squishy versions – witch hunter, witch elf, marauder, white lion – they have a role to play in both attacking the objectives of the scenario and also protecting the healer.

I don’t worry too much if I die in a scenario, I’d hope others don’t either. As Spinks has previously posted, some scenarios go heinously badly. It’s not just because we come across a super-organised group. Sometimes we do something dumb, myself included. Sometimes I miss the ball and heal the wrong person, choose the wrong heal, hurl myself at an objective because I want to see what it’s like to do something like that, decide to test out something in my mastery.. sometimes I’m targeted by 5 people and survive, sometimes I watch as their dps targets all our Bright Wizards when I’m standing next to them.. and I wonder if they’re on a grudge match of some sort. I’m a dwarf, I’m female – I understand grudges 🙂

Just the other night I was in a scenario where someone was bitching about the healers. I was amused because I could see us all healing non-stop while he cheerfully ran out of range and all across the map. Someone asked him why he didn’t go play a healer – and he just laughed.

That’s our lot. Especially in RvR.

10 Responses

  1. From what I’ve seen so far, 9 out of 10 “Where the hell is the healing?!” questions are from people who should learn to play their bloody class, or people who feel the need to make excuses when a scenario goes wrong.

    Don’t make excuses, nobody cares. Just play again and win one next time.

  2. I heal anyone who looks as though they know what they’re doing and is in range!

    Although we were discussing last night if when you could see someone was going to die, you might be better to throw out some DoTs instead of healing them so you could get an instant res (as an Archmage).

  3. I’d add to your post that rez are really important. This bring back people instantly in the fight without having to wait for them to run back.

    I’d also ignore people saying they are never healed. Most of the time they are running alone in front of ten people.

  4. As a ranged DPS (Engineer) I never expect any heals at all – If they come, they are appreciated and made full use of, but I have the philosophy that if I can look after myself, the heals will get thrown to people that need them more.

    I think its a case of balancing cautious play (ie not getting burned down in three seconds) and doing something useful for your team.

    Its also useful that engineers have a number of good abilities for reducing the effectiveness of enemies..

    That’s not to say that I never want healing, I just appreciate that I (quite rightly) come quite a long way down the healing priority list when it comes to winning!

  5. I play an IB. I never, ever, expect a heal in RvR, especially if I’m in the front line trying to kill The Dude With The Thing (TM, (C) or whatever). Any time I move forward to disrupt the healers or the RDPS griefing OUR healers, I consider myself on a suicide mission to cause as much havoc as possible before I snuff it (line up a group of healers/ RDPS and either punt them into the far distance, or at least out of range of their target). So to see other players bleating for a “heal ffs” just pisses me off. Look after yersel’ properly on the field of battle and you’ll have no need to squeal “heal me FFS” like a stuck Squig.
    You will die, often, far more often than you’re comfortable with, when playing RvR. Get over it.

  6. When I’m on my Black Orc, some healer love is always welcome. I already have pretty awesome survival skills, so a little healing basically means I’ll be in the other team’s face forever. And the more enemies I can trick into focusing on my green self, the happier my DPS will be.

    When I’m on my little Witch Elf however, I never actually expect any healing. I realize I’m squishier than a paper bag so I don’t really expect for anyone to try and keep me up. I just get by on my own with hit and run tactics. Prowl around, pop up behind the squishie, kill the squishie, get out of there, rinse and repeat.

    And finally, when I’m on my low rank Zealot, I’ll try to use instant HoTs on as many people as I can (gawd, targeting can be a bloody pain in this game) but the morale/shield/big heals are usually reserved for the tanks who go and do their thing (ie: charge in the middle of the enemy group, not run back when they’ve taken a hit or two, etc etc). If the tank’s doing alright, then I’ll look into saving a squishie. But if you’re a marauder and you just charged headfirst into a group of six, way ahead of our tanks, then don’t come complaining that you went down in under 10 seconds. It’s your own doing mate.

    Ooomph, long comment. Anyhow, I’ve also put together a small list of (mostly common sense) things I would expect healers to do when working with me (the tank).


  7. Nice article, Alex! *snaffles for this week’s links*

  8. […] and thank­less jo­­b. And as y­o­­u­ c­an read in the B­o­o­k­ o­f­ G­r­udg­es­, ma­n­­y p­e­op­le­ in­­ P­vP­ […]

  9. […] Sid67 so correctly remarks healing is a frustrating and thankless job. And as you can read in the Book of Grudges, many people in PvP target the healers first, because that is the clever thing to do." I […]

  10. […] enemy learns as a basic tactic is “kill the healer first.” It’s not always the best tactic in every situation but it is the simplest that is generally sound. And even if you aren’t a primary kill target, […]

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