Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: To Heal or Not to Heal

I’m going to start this off with a recent PUG story.

Don’t make me get all Discipline on your @&$!

Using my handy dandy Dungeon Finder the other day, when the queue popped up, it had that telltale message that the dungeon is already in progress.

Whenever that happens I hesitate. This is my last chance before getting stuck in something potentially horrible.

Given the gear and skill I have on my priest, more often than not I just accept and hope for the best. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t.

I got popped into Pit of Saron, staring at some Rimefang butt and standing on top of a dead tank while the rest of the group was in the cave eating and drinking and getting ready.

Great, a lazy tank who refused to run back, and instead decided to wait until the LFD found him a healer who was fool enough to rez him. Wonder why the last healer left?

So, I rezzed him.

I applied all three of my buffs and as I was throwing a Penance on the tank that I  had just rezzed and was at about 1% health, he emotes a /charge and goes in.

Split second decision making. Do I attempt to keep him alive (I’m not even sure if I can but, damn I love a challenge), or do I let him die and most likely the rest of us wipe because of his idiocy?

I’m sad to say, I healed him. I used all my cooldowns. I healed my little ass off. I did it. I kept the numb nuts alive despite his complete lack of ability to pay attention to even his own health bar. It felt good, but it also felt oh so wrong.

This is something I regret. This is one of those situations where I should have let him die, despite the consequences. I honestly feel that this tank needed to be taught a lesson, but I wasn’t the one to do it. I did say something to him after the boss was down, but a tongue lashing is never going to sting as much as a death/corpse run.

Healer Decision Making 101

It is a strange, strange world we play in, when I feel guilty for keeping someone alive.

In most situations I try to keep everyone alive no matter what. This is the nature of what a healer is. That said, there are always priorities.

  1. ME. I am my top priority. If I die then I can’t keep trying to keep you and everyone else alive.
  2. The Tank. The tank should be the one attempting to hold aggro and keeping baddies from nomming my face.
  3. DPS. If things don’t die at a reasonable rate, it’s likely I will run out of mana and we all will die. DPS must stay alive if I can arrange it.
  4. Pets. I will bubble and renew your pets as long as you don’t leave growl on or it doesn’t run halfway across the instance aggroing everthing.

Despite what you might think, it is very difficult for me to distinguish between different names on my healing UI. It takes extra effort for me to exclude someone from healing, so it’s very unlikely that I will even try to do this, even if you’re a total douchebag. I’m more apt to try to votekick you than to stop healing you.

That said, there have been a few situations where I have deliberately made the effort not to heal particular people.

The fresh 80 warrior who queued as DPS/Tank for a random heroic and got the DPS role, but insisted on “tanking” even though we had a better tank who was actually Defense capped. Squishy warrior in mostly DPS gear but holding a shield taunts repeatedly off of the “real” tank. Both myself and the “real” tank get irritated because the one the Squishy wanted to tank kept getting loose and nomming my face. I warned him I would stop healing him, and I followed through with that promise. He stopped taunting and we got through the dungeon.

1337 Hunter who wouldn’t let the tank pull mobs, and didn’t MD, but allowed his pet to tank. Poor tank is rage starved and can’t get aggro. I warn that I’m going to stop healing his pet and ask that he let the tank pull. I follow through with that promise. He stopped pulling and we got through the dungeon.

These are the situations where I am going to stop healing you. Typically I do this in situations where your behavior is detrimental to the group, and I question whether we can complete the dungeon if it continues. I always give a verbal warning first, so you have time to change the behavior. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t.

4 Responses to Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: To Heal or Not to Heal

  1. I completely agree with you. That’s very similar to my criteria for refusing to heal someone at all.

    Thanks for responding!

  2. [...] down when players aren’t making any effort to contribute.  Love and War in Azeroth discusses using the threat of not healing to fix issues in a group.  Six-Inch Heals gives an example of a ret Paladin refusing to turn Righteous Fury off: [...]

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