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Healing classes and DPS gear in raids

Earlier today, I had a ten-minute argument with a former druid about healers and DPS gear in raids. The basic question of the argument was "Under a generic, fixed-price DKP system, should a healing-specced hybrid get equal priority for a DPS item as a DPS class?"

As an example, you are running BWL with your guild. You kill Ebonroc and the Ebony Flame Gloves drop. Who gets it, a disc/holy priest with slightly more DKP who wants them to PVP with, or a warlock who will raid with them? Does the Ashkandi go to warriors before holy paladins? And what about the nightmare that is prioritization on the Drake Fang Talisman?

My druid friend argued that:

  • Healing is a thankless job that is worth nothing outside of raids, so healers should get equal bidding priority on DPS items for farming and PVP.
  • DPS classes who want priority on DPS loot are using healers to get new gear and then not rewarding them.
  • Keeping your healers happy is very important, since there's a greater risk of healing burnout and healers ditching for another guild.
  • If you've earned the DKP, you should be able to spend it on things that will benefit your class as a whole, not just your raiding group.
  • Non-healers can never understand what it's like to be a healer.

As a rogue, I pointed out that:

  • If someone is raiding as a feral druid/elemental shaman/retribution paladin, they should have equal priority on DPS gear, but giving DPS gear won in raids to healers as PVP toys instead of classes that will use it on future raids hurts the raiding group as a whole.
  • There is a lot of gear that is specifically designed for offspecs in AQ40 and the 20-man instances, and PVP gear can be obtained through ... PVP.
  • Healers can get DPS gear when the DPSers have gotten first dibs. If you have an instance on farm for a while, it won't take very long for healers to begin getting their damage gear.
  • If you're really not happy healing and are only doing it for the purplez, I don't want you in my raid group because you're going to ditch raiding and go PVP as soon as you get what you want from the guild.
  • Certain healers need to get off their crosses, because the rest of us could use the wood.

After a while, we decided that we could never come to a reasonable solution to the problem in a zero-sum DKP system. But it makes me wonder how other players handle this, especially raid leaders and healers.

Does your guild let healers have equal access to damage loot, or is it prioritized for raiding damage-dealers? If you're a healer, do you wish you could grab that first Corrupted Ashbringer or Staff of the Shadow Flame, or will you hold off for later?

Thanks to Sloppy, Shado and Sark for help with the itemization of this post.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Instances

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