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The healer shortage and how to fix it

The Tank Shortage is a topic that's come up a few times before, though thankfully, since the release of Wrath, Death Knights have more or less solved the situation. But the issue facing us now is just as dire: a Healer Shortage. Ghostcrawler acknowledges that there may be such a shortage on the forums, and he gives two reasons: first, lots of people are still working their way up to level 80, and the majority of healers may still be leveling through Northrend. And second, they've beefed up and changed a lot of DPS builds lately, so many pre-Wrath healers may have respecced DPS to try it or to level a bit, and haven't gone back yet.

Later, he backpedals a bit -- not everyone is experiencing a healer shortage, and while he's already told us Blizzard is working on ways to make healing more "fun," he also points out that some people enjoy the whack-a-mole game. Still, just because a problem isn't affecting everyone doesn't mean it's a problem: it's true that lots of groups are having trouble finding healers, and lots of healers would rather not watch health bars all day.

We're very curious to see what changes Blizzard might have in mind for healing -- we discussed quite a few on the healer podcast a while back, including making healing spells a little less attention-intensive, and giving healers some UI ways to keep their eyes on the fight rather than their party members. And of course, if the rumors are true, we'll hopefully have a new healer Hero class to come and fill in the blanks. GC says this isn't a matter of tweaking things in one patch, so we are definitely a few patches away, but there is hope for healers on the horizon.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Raiding, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Where have the tanks gone?

Unlike many guilds, my guild has never had a problem with finding healers in TBC. We have a ton of 70 shamans, most of whom are resto specced and on nearly all the time. We have a couple of priests with good healing gear. We even have some up-and-coming paladins who are in the mid-60s.

Instead, our problems are tank-related. Like most guilds, we have a good number of warriors, about evenly divided between tanks and DPS warriors. But our tanks seem to have fallen into the habit of mysteriously disappearing for days at a time, which has slowed their leveling speed. Two of our tanks are still 67, which kind of puts a damper on Karazhan plans. Two of our prot warriors are 70, but one let his game card expire and can't afford a new one and the other is only on occasionally. So as of now, our theoretical main tank is a feral druid. Admittedly, he is a very GOOD feral druid, and he is excellent in five-mans and heroics, but he's not quite confident that he can handle the big raid bosses.

Other guilds I've spoken to have reported similar issues. One has a shortage of prot warriors and is having difficulty in Karazhan with druid tanks, and as for five-mans, "we've got 20 people wanting to instance and 2 tanks online." Another has trouble "finding tanks that wake up in time for raids." The third guild has enough tanks right now, but the leader noted that they leveled slowly.

As I see it, the problem has three parts. First, prot warriors level slowly, so the first warriors to 70 are likely to be those who spec arms or fury and have the gear for it. Second, warriors are sort of gimp right now, and many warriors have switched to other classes, either because they didn't like being nerfed or because they had trouble getting into a guild as a warrior. And finally, most raiding guilds only needed two or three regular protection warriors for their raids. When forty people doing one instance with three tanks turns into forty people doing eight instances, needing eight tanks, there's likely to be a perceived tank shortage -- even if you have the same number of tanks you did before.

Have you noticed a tank shortage on your guild or server? What do you think players can do to make life easier for tanks?

Filed under: Druid, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Instances, Raiding

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