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Raid Rx: 4 more healing lessons


Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community and the new healing, raiding, and guild management podcast, Matticast.

First, I wanted to add that there was some awesome discussion going on in the last Raid Rx post I wrote. I wanted to just stress that the purpose of the post was to help illustrate the various challenges that healers faced. It wasn't meant as a "hate on healers" type of post. Tanks and DPS players could help alleviate some of the strain and the pressure placed on the healers just by keeping a few things in mind. At the same time, the healer perspective is often different then the other two roles. That's why I wanted to open up a dialogue to see what we could do to help each other get better and the gaming experience much more enjoyable. I figured that if we all tried to present our different perspectives, then maybe heroics and raids would go easier for everyone.

It is rather surprising the different things you learn if you take a moment and just listen to what other people have to say. As a guild leader, a player, and a writer, I've learned to keep my mouth shut and hear or read what others have to say about stuff. It is a difficult skill to pick up.

You know, the next time I need to take time off from writing a Raid Rx column, maybe I'll get a tank or that Christian Belt fellow to fill in.

In a continuation from last week's post, I wanted to raise a few points.

Don't be stubborn on healing

Some damage is avoidable. Some damage can be mitigated. Some damage is going to come through, no matter what. Like it or not, it's our duty as healers to keep players alive within reason and to the best of our ability. If someone needs to die, let him drop. But if you're on a boss like Rajh who has that big sun bomb thing that just nukes everyone, you absolutely have to use everything you can to keep people alive. I personally don't think it is feasible to expect players to keep themselves alive through that. The damage from it isn't exactly lethal, but you can't shrug it off, either.

In a raid setting like the Omnitron Defense System, Magmatron has an Incineration Security Measure that hits everybody. It is a part of the encounter, like it or not. If it were me, I could either tell people to heal themselves up or I could do what my role is and help sustain them. It's really a no-brainer at that point. The underlying message I want to get across here is to not be unnecessarily difficult. I've worked with and played with difficult healers in the past, and for whatever reason, they would just refuse to do what was being asked. Encounters ended up being tougher and would take longer overall. As a result, everyone loses.

Besides, some people make a mistake. You can bail them out. Could you imagine if hockey goalies just told the defense men that it was entirely up to them to prevent the opposition from rushing into their zone and scoring? Those teams rely on their goalies to bail them out because they're the last line of defense. Well, guess what? As healers, we are the last line of defense, and we should bail our team out. If we don't, we all lose. The hallmark of a disciplined healer is someone who can keep that level of irritability in check.

Resurrecting players versus running back

Herein lies an interesting dilemma. On the one hand, there is a wipe. If everyone dies, everyone runs back together. We can all agree on that.

But recently during trash, I've started adopting two different conditional mindsets where I'll tell players to either stay dead or run back, depending on how we're doing.

Let me give you a brief example. The initial trash packs in Bastion of Twilight consist of pulls of up to 10 mobs. When we first started, the odds of someone dying were quite high. If a player died in the opening seconds of a trash pull, I'd immediately bark at them to start releasing and flying back. If a player died while the group was about to finish off the last remaining trash mob in a pull, I'd tell them to just stay down.

Why?

Because of time and efficiency. I realized early on that there are going to be times when it is quicker to tell a player to run back or it might be quicker for them to just stay dead and get someone to resurrect them. If I tell them to run back, they'll usually zone in while we're halfway through a pack of trash. A few quick heals, and they'll be back on the front lines DPSing their hearts out. In the second situation, I'll resurrect them because the 10-second cast on my resurrect is faster than the 50 seconds it takes for them to fly back and head to our position.

The sooner we get going, the sooner we get out. This is especially true based on where how far the group is in any instance.

We should adjust to the tank

This took a bit of time for me to really digest. We're not exactly the center of the world here. The tanks have an extremely difficult job when it comes to positioning bosses and rounding up mobs. We can work with them to determine the most optimal places for us to do our jobs. No healer wants to get breathed on or cleaved or tail swiped. We have a better look of the encounter then a tank would (usually). It helps immensely if the tank adjusts his position to the boss, then the healers adjust to the tank, and then the rest of the DPSers adjust their positions accordingly.

Tunnel vision affects everyone

Yes, even me. On our first Chimaeron kill on 25, I fat-fingered my character sheet halfway through the encounter. Didn't even realize it until minutes later. My peripheral vision was constantly working overtime between my raid frames and the center of my screen. Everything else was just not noticeable. The best way to prevent tunnel vision is to just try and remain conscious of the fact.

Yeah, I call that hitting the zone. When you can land precision heals and stay alive through everything being thrown at you with random whispers, or Post-It notes or other stuff on your screen, you are in in that zone.

If you're doing these things already, great! If not, then I urge you to at least consider them first before outright dismissing them. Nothing wrong with trying to explore ways where we can improve at what we do.

Need advice on working with the healers in your guild? Raid Rx has you covered. Send your questions about raid healing to mattl@wowinsider.com. For less healer-centric raiding advice, visit Ready Check for advanced tactics and advice for the endgame raider.

Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

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