Thursday, October 9, 2008

Healers need thick skin

I’m questioning my decision to play an Archmage in WAR. Not because I don’t like the class or suck at playing it – but because playing a healer requires a thick skin. This is my first healing class in an MMO. While it’s not a “true” healer, it’s certainly a healer and clearly the major role for the class.

I’ve read other people write about how healers get blamed for everything, but I guess it never really sunk in. I mean, I knew healers got more than the fair share of the blame – I just never really empathized with it. It’s one thing to know they are unfairly blamed and another thing to get unfairly blamed.

I was bitching about it to a friend the other day on vent and as a former Holy Paladin in WoW, he welcomed me to the club. As he said, “Tank dies and everyone asks why he didn’t get healed. Tank lives and everyone says ‘great job tanking!’ It comes with the territory.” And with those words it suddenly dawned on me why he’s playing a Tank in WAR.

Frustrating and Thankless Job
I think what is most mind boggling is that people expect you to keep them alive even when they do stupid shit.

In WAR, you can rez while in combat but the player comes back with 20% health. If you have 2500 health, you are going to come back with 500 health. My best heal at that level does +800 and takes three seconds to cast. So after three seconds, I can get you to 50% health at best if you take no damage. Give me oh… 6 or 7 seconds, I can get a couple of HoTs on you and full health no problem.

If you run into combat right away – there is a damn good chance you are going to die again. Please don’t do it. The guy who just rezzed you KNOWS you are at 20% health and intends to heal you. I promise. Just give him the chance.

When I played DPS, I didn’t do stupid crap like that and if I did – I knew the only person to blame was myself. The fact that the far majority of people are self centered and oblivious to their own actions has caught me a bit by surprise. I mean – I *knew* this but I really didn’t *KNOW* it until I started healing.

I played a Tank for a long time in WoW, so I’m used to people doing stupid things. I’m just not used to getting the blame when THEY do the stupid thing.

I’ve healed you for 3000 in the last X seconds.
Reply with Thank You to stop receiving Heal Reports.

The other mind boggling thing is the guy who complains he’s not getting any heals when – you were healing them! I’m tempted to write an addon for the sole purpose of sending people tells about how much my heal does to them. The basic idea being that you send them Heal Reports about your exploits and they don’t stop until you get a Thank You. Heal Reports would only be sent to non-Healers.

I’d release such a thing on Curse for all other pissed off healers everywhere. I would call it Annoying Heal Reports or some such. What do you think? Should I write it?

A part of me knows this would likely only inflame the situation, but I’m sorely tempted to piss people off anyway. Alternately, I might write an “anti-heal” addon which actually works to prevents you from healing players on your blacklist. Someone complains? Add them to your list and you get a notification if you accidently target them and/or it auto-cancels a heal and retargets someone else.

I realize I’m QQing here, but all I can say is that I was unprepared for it. I’m going to level this Archmage up to 40, but I remain undecided about whether or not I will be playing this class or my Bright Wizard at the end-game. Likely both, but I can already tell that for my own sanity I will need the option of playing the Bright Wizard occasionally.

Either way, I have a healthy respect for the bitching and moaning that Healers get all the time. More than that, I really respect the players who continue to play healers despite the constant bitching and complaining about lack of healing.

I enjoy the Archmage because I enjoy helping the team win. However, I’m also realizing that at least part of me also wants the recognition for helping the team win. Healing is ironically perhaps the most important part of the equation and gets the least amount of respect or glory.

So which do I like more? The glory or the winning? Sadly, I’m leaning towards the glory…


Scott said...

I've been the "rock star tank" and enjoy that. I've also been the healer (both in WAR though only the healer's getting played... the little I play WAR that is) and it's day and night.

Depending on the situation, though, I don't have a problem being "that healer" who just says "if you're going to repeatedly be a stupid fuckwad, I will let you die and not rez you." I've done it in just about every game, except in dungeons or raids where the whole group would have to stop what they're doing to get the idiot back. Assuming he doesn't rage-quit.

In WAR... I've only done scenarios and they're just FPS maps. Die, respawn, you're back in the action, and I don't really see where it makes that big a difference either way if anyone survives each fight or not.

Open RvR maybe that's a different story. I may or may not find out, depending on whether my overall attitude towards WAR improves.

Shalkis said...

I might have mentioned this elsewhere, but having both a healer and a tank as guild leaders sets things into perspective. Especially when both are adept at using WWS/Recount/Grim Reaper and will always let you know whether you died because you did something stupid or because you really didn't get healed when you were supposed to. Usually it's the former.

haslo said...

Both these addons sound really intriguing :) While I have made good experiences with my healer only so far, I would certainly install them, just to be prepared in case I had to use them.

The heal report addon should be configureable though, not only work as a blanket opt-out thing, but also as a non-opt-out list thing where you can manually add (and remove, but only the addon user himself can do that) people you want on the notification list.

Anonymous said...

I’d release such a thing on Curse for all other pissed off healers everywhere. I would call it Annoying Heal Reports or some such. What do you think? Should I write it?

Yes, yes you should.

Charge for it; get rich from the millions of sales, and retire.

yunkndatwunk said...

I thought tanks get blamed a lot? In WoW when I pug instances I see dps pulling aggro all the time cause they can't wait for the tank to even hit the mob once let alone sunder it, and they yell and bitch at the tank.

I agree the grim reports/ counting addons have been a great help in raids so people don't get blamed for things. (they're good for improving yourself too of course!)

Also just having a healer or tank raid leader helps, since they "get it". My tank raid leader would give 1 warning to people complaining about heals, and if they didn't stop then mute them in vent. :)

Christian said...

I disagree that healers never get recognition (outside of guild groups). It's just that the situations where the healers are obviously the champions occur less frequently. Healers get their pedestals in stupidly long fights.

I've now participated in a decent handful of WAR keep sieges and been on both the offense and the defense. Some of them have gone mostly by the book, and then healers are ignored in favor of tanks and DPS making quick work of everything.

But we had a few extreme situations, and people recognized that it was the healing that led to success. When mobs/players are running all over the place, no one knows what to do, it takes forever to kill anything but people don't die (or get res'd quickly if they do), people know it's because the healers were on the ball.

I don't think scenarios, dungeons, etc. are good situations for healers to shine because the fighting is over so quickly. WAR's open world RvR allows for longer sustained fights. And the longer a fight goes, the more people realize that they haven't died in 15 minutes of sustained combat because a healer has their back.

Ixobelle said...

lol, both of those addons sound AWESOME

Anonymous said...

Sid, welcome to the club.

Christian, sorry but I have to disagree. Get a chat log and notice the praises and epeens, and you'll see the healers tend to get less. Who gets the crap for not doing their job? Yep, healers.

That said I see a lot more complaint in forums than in game. See, I've come to realize it's only about 10 to 20% of the players who are being a-holes about the healers. And if they're stupid enough to make the comments during the game, they tend to take massive crap from the players who are getting heals and seeing the healer work and know the healer's kind of useful. In forums... forums tend to be full of flame crap.

None the less I've received much more crap for "not healing" than I ever did for "huntard" or "bad tanking", much less any other class.

Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Joe said...

Please write the mod, hell I'll donate to it if you do. This article hit the nail on the idiot's head.