Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Encouraging Bad Habits with Good Healing

I have an obsessive need to see everyone's hp bars at full. It's true. I was running Steamvaults with a mix of PuG and guildies when one of our members had to go (it was kind of late). So, we asked our Hunter CO, Harl, to fill in for us. He was nice and gracious and logged off his little priest so we could use his amazing BM dps. Now, I knew he wasn't in the group prior, I knew he wasn't in the instance and he wasn't even in the same zone, but, since we were in battle, immediately as he joined I noticed there was a small chunk of his life missing and I tried to toss him a lifebloom. I was upset when it said "Out of Range." I told my guildmates and they laughed, and Harl thanked me for trying to save him.

You might be thinking, "That's all well and good, but what does it have to do with the title of the blog post?" Well, I'm getting to it.

Due to my excessive need to make sure everyone is alive and well and performing optimally, I cover for others' mistakes. I do overgear for 5-mans. I'm at 1299 +healing with enough mana to ride through most bosses with no innervate or trinketing. Now, some mistakes are honest and unavoidable. The pet got feared into another group. That's what I'm here for, the honest mistakes. I'm geared up as much as I am so that I can keep you alive. It's what I live for, honest. I tried to BG on my hunter and was frustrated with my inability to fill the flag carrier's health bar while he was being attacked.

What I'm really addressing is the attitude that occasionally carries over with a healer who is well-geared and over-geared for an instance. People start to get sloppy. "I can handle the threat because of my gear." No, handling the threat implies you are making sure you are not generating more than the tank, especially when it's a tank who needs practice and wants practice. Making things hard on him is not going to instill confidence.

Unfortunately, due to my obsession with not letting people die and my fear of being yelled at, I cover for others' purposeful mistakes as well as innocent ones, as I'm sure many do. It's difficult sometimes to just let your teammate die because they are playing the "who has more threat" game, because healers tend to feel responsible, and they are often held accountable when the group dies. Unfortunately, when people see that they can pull these stunts and get away with it, it just reinforces the idea that they can do it again, and that it's acceptable. Meanwhile, the healer is chain-chugging pots and innervating and working their butt off to make sure everyone in the party stays in tip-top shape in case another pat is pulled. At the same time, the feral druid shifted from kitty to bear to play taunt tug-of-war with the warrior and the hunter is meleeing with his pet unrezzed for half the instance, while the mage wands the CC.

Maybe these are your guildmates, and they're just trying to have some fun and relax. Explain, calmly and clearly with no accusatory language, that you are not having fun, you are not able to relax, and you are using valuable consumables to try and keep them alive while they have their fun. If there is a guildie who is being "trained," as it were, explain that this is setting a bad example and is not helping them to improve their skills. Help them understand that it is not a good idea to screw around in level 70 instances, even if they're geared from SSC and beyond, especially when there are lesser-geared members along. If they continue along the same path, let them die. When they become upset, tell them you explained it and you cannot use your time in such a way. If you're feeling charitable, give them one more chance to fix it. But remember, your repair bill, especially as you start getting to the point where you over-gear for instances, is oftentimes more expensive than what you will get from the instance. Remind them of this.

If it is a PuG, you owe them nothing, and you do not owe them an increase in your repair bill. Explain that you cannot finish it with the group, and leave. Do not be derrogatory or accusatory, simply state that you cannot finish, and leave. If you feel like maybe they will listen, then explain the situation. If it does not improve, you can leave with a clear conscience.


Loni Huff said...

I think for a Resto Druid, it's particularly difficult for us to allow a group member to "take their lumps" when they've done something to deserve it. After all, we can't just resurrect them once they've died, and the whole group ends up inconvenienced while the group member in question moseys back to the instance.

Bell said...

@phaelia - You're right, of course. We're very touchy about our Rebirth. I usually run without another means of resurrection, at the most another druid. It's kind of a toss-up. Though, it depends. If they keep doing what it is that got them killed, eventually it can lead to a wipe, which is even more time wasted! There's no easy solution. Sadface.

Matticus said...

I'm so glad I rolled a Priest =). Then again, there's something to be said about having the power to save lives or with hold them.

Chris said...

You should really take your own advice and let whomever you're referring to in this post (because that situation is far too exact to have been thought off the top of your head) and tell the group to slow down and stop rushing.

On the other hand, it was really late and 3/5 of the group just wanted to get it over with.

Bell said...

@matticus - I really envy you priests.

@chris - I believe whenever I raised any objections I was shot down on the basis of "our gear can handle it." Also, we did not have a mage with us. ^^

SportChick said...

While it isn't the point of your post, I have to say I am soo glad to know there is someone else out there like me - I can't STAND when people's health goes down, even a tick.

Great advice and excellent post.

Anonymous said...

As to what Phaelia said, I agree in most regards. But on that note, you can certainly heal them through their fuck-up the first time and casually remind them that if they do it again, they're going to find themselves running back.

You can do the exact same thing if you're a tank. As soon as folks get careless and start DPSing before I've even touched a mob, I generally just sit back and let it destroy them. I care very little, and I don't like it when people waste my time.

Unknown said...

My main is a holy paladin and I find that I do get obsessed in getting everyone's health bar topped up. Even the mage who has been continually pulling before the tank. And yes I'm usually overgeared for those instances. Your article has given me food for thought. (Maybe let the mage die next time :)).

I've recently gotten my druid to 70 and now specced resto. I would like to thank you for the informative posts. It'll be a good challenge learning to heal in a different way.

Anonymous said...

I have the same obsessive need to keep all bars full. I felt as tho you were describing me :-) I give 110% when I heal, guild run or pug run. I tend to overthink my mistakes rather than recognize someone may have made a mistake that lead to their own death ... newbie healer .. that's me :-(

Anonymous said...

This post is more relevant than ever in Wrath.


Anonymous said...

I saw someone mentioned how this is more prevalent in WoLK. I actually experienced this more in BC. But, the blog is so right. Even with revive and no reagent bRez I focus on topped off health bars because I guess I've always noticed it keeps peoples attitudes more positive when they think they are slightly invincible.
Such a double-edge sword. The healing that gives confidence births arrogance and loss of skill :'(
Overall I'm a recount whore and focus on healing done total, activity and not being numero uno on the OH meter. I tend to be one of the more highly reguarded healers to my guild, yet feel like I can't hang with CoOH priests or the geared pally's putting out just in-sane spamadin delight. I seem to evade the blame I should get for said topic, but I read and feel guilty. In a positive thought, I think I'll be keeping it in mind and more mindful when helping players that are trying to learn their class a little more.

Author said...

The sad thing is, you let them die even after warning them openly and you get "Heals suck, drop healer and get better heals".

Anonymous said...

If you a good resto druid you casn let them drop to 1k hp and then heal them. they tend to get the hint when they see that they almosted died. Works on the tanks too,A fast rejev. and swiftmend will get them back up.

Anonymous said...

I usually give one warning to the whole group. It goes like this, "If you continue to pull aggro off the tank you might die." The smart ones understand this and throttle it down a notch. The unsmart ones die and the group moves on.