Pride and Progression
Imagine, if you will, a guild. A group of people united in the common interest of slaying internet dragons. This guild consist of three groups of people: tanks, DPS, and healers.
Meet Bella. She’s a healer, a paladin healer in fact. She’s had quite the time adjusting to the game changes, but she’s managed to hold her own. Bella feels ready and capable of facing any challenge that the game might throw at her. However, what Bella doesn’t know is that there is one challenge she isn’t ready for, a challenge that comes from…
The Healer Core.
You see, Bella has this philosophy about healing. In our 5-man runs, she disapproves of DPS or tanks actively healing themselves or others, or any excess use of cooldowns. This seems like an asinine philosophy at first, and the rest of the healers are diametrically opposed to it, but there is some logic to it.
She likes a challenge. She likes to know that the healing the party is receiving is coming from her, and she likes to gauge how well she is doing as a healer on her ability to keep the party up through thick and thin, by herself.
The logic I was referring to is this: if DPS or tanks are healing, or when the aforementioned are hitting cooldowns to mitigate relatively minor amounts of damage, she no longer has a comparative standard with which to judge herself. The intent, then, is that she is seeking to improve her performance, whether it be a higher throughput of heals or increased mana efficiency or what have you. Truthfully, none of us can say that is an ignoble goal.
Now, before everyone gets up in arms about how irresponsible it is to put all of that pressure on one person’s shoulders, relax. She takes up the mantle willingly and, if I may say so, quite well. If, for whatever reason, she simply cannot do the healing all by herself, she voluntarily leaves the group and lets us find another healer, though this has yet to happen in my experience.
Where her attitude becomes an issue is with paladin tanks. From what I know (and paladin tanks, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), once the tank establishes a proper threat lead from the DPS, it is considered ‘good form’ to start using the HP you generate to heal yourself via WoG.
Bella gripes about this practice. She feels it’s violating her healing philosophy, and she won’t be able to properly measure her performance if the tank is healing themselves.
So the question becomes: is this a legitimate complaint? Let’s look at an example.
Last night, a few guildies and I got together and decided to queue a random heroic. Anafielle, frequent guest poster over at Righteous Defense and our guild’s dedicated offtank, was leading the charge as our meat shield. We queued into Lost City and were on the big guy pictured above, the first boss of the instance. We reached the 30% mark when our healer (not Bella) died. Rather than call it a wipe, we continued onward. I started using my HP on WoG heals, and Ana chained cooldowns and also healed herself using WoG. We downed the boss moments later with the rest of the party alive and well.
Could we have recovered if the healer had died even earlier? Probably. It didn’t seem like the boss was hitting all that hard; all we had to do was to avoid the shockwaves and bombs and we were golden.
Could we have done that encounter without the healer altogether? Maybe. I’m not a healer so I really can’t say that with any certainty, but Ana was doing so well sub-30% that I was using WoG on our DPS as well.
Tying this into Bella’s argument, depending on the encounter, a paladin tank can keep themselves alive for a considerable amount of time without receiving a single heal from the healer. If the tank is taking incredible amounts of damage, it is inconsiderate of her attitude towards self-healing, but it benefits the whole party by keeping the encounter going that much longer.
In the end it becomes a decision between pride and progression; an easy choice, if you ask me.
So what can our troubled pally healer do? My advice to her would be to treat the WoG heals the tank is throwing on themselves as a passive buff or proc, or even a mini-cooldown. Rather than having the tank get out of a very good practice, she needs to re-evaluate her position and, if nothing else, take one for the team.
What do you think? Do you agree with some or all of her viewpoint, and why?