Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Healers' Assignments

I have noticed a huge decrease in raid leaders passing out healing assignments lately. I was in VoA the other day, and the raid leader actually mentioned that us healers should decide who we are going to heal, and work it out amongst ourselves. My first reaction was psh, we don't need assignments for this, heal people below 100% hp. We never spoke with each other, or designated healing assignments amongst ourselves. End result- had no issues and killed Toravon. But WHY!?

Why does it seem like healing assignments are unimportant nowadays? We don't even get healing assignments in my 25 man ICC. Seems sort of weird. Is it just my group? I would say not, because all of the pugs I have been in, neglect healing assignments as well. There could be a few reasons for this new strategy, or lack thereof, in raids. Maybe the raids are too simple, or the healers are so awesome, or maybe people are getting so impatient and have very high expectations in raids!

I kinda think all of the above is partially true. The newer raids are much simpler in mechanics as far as healers are concerned. Ulduar was a healing heaven, as far as things to do and difficulty. In ToC and ICC, most fights could be two healed even by many PuGs and less experienced raiding guilds. Is Blizzard trying to make up for the fact that we don't have enough healers by requiring less? I find some of the fights challenging when healing in ICC with only two healers, but shouldn't it require three healers?

What about healers being extra awesome? I think as the game goes on, players seem to be getting more skilled and knowledgeable. Healers, in particular, have a great desire to learn about their classes, and work as a team. As the game continues healers understand what they are supposed to be focused on, without an assignment. Paladins work out their beacons among themselves. Shamans discuss earth shields, and totems if needed. Priests and druids pretty much heal the raid with HoTs and shields on the tanks. Healers know how to work together, and the assignments are kind of assumed nowadays. It seems to work too.

In PuGs, people have seemed to reach the height of impatience. You can get ridiculed for handing out assignments, or going into details on how the fight works. Which is why many raid leaders ask for achievements and GS. They don't want to take time to explain the fight to people who have never done it. This impatience in PuGs is really starting to take the fun away from the game. Even in five man heroics, everything is so rushed because people just want their frost emblems damn it!   This strat doesn't work for me. I kinda go along with it, I even think it is crazy to hand out healing assignments in certain places. But what about people who don't know the fight? Is it fair how we have become so hurried in places. I remember in BC where people really took their time on that evil bitch in Mechanar, b/c she was hard! In most 5 mans in BC, tanks marked everything, and asked the dps to cc. I can't recall the last time I was asked to sheep something that wasn't a raid member who was mind controlled. I wish we could get back to the way things were. Running raids and heroics for fun, and maybe gear. But really trying to coordinate the fight.

For now, the lack of healing assignments seems to be working out okay. But is that really what healers want? I think not. I think healers, above all, enjoy planning, and understanding the game. So they want challenges that force them to talk with one another and divide up roles. Hopefully something changes in the future, to force players to do this. Personally I enjoy having assignments and giving assignments. It makes me think about the game and understand other classes as a raid leader. Being able to coordinate fights is what makes WoW so much fun for me. Asking me to aoe everything down, or throw HoTs and everyone without thinking, is not enough.


Anonymous said...

One of my biggest pet peeves is the lack of healing assignments. And even though we're being lazy and outgearing some content, we NEED them. In Onyxia, when the tank picks up Onyxia, and the other tanks stay where they are to finish off the whelps... you NEED some healers to go with the MT and some to stay behind. It's range. It's common sense. It's stupid not to have a plan in place beforehand. Cause you know that if someone dies, he's going to make a backhand comment like "I wasn't getting heals." I love the phrase "getting heals". Like heals come from a heal dispenser in the bathroom, same as paper towels.

And it's not just in pugs! I generally do the healing assignments for my guild, but I need to know specific things to do that. Like which tank is doing what role. Little stuff. When I have to ask the raid leader multiple times "who is tanking x" only to be met with silence, followed by a ready check, it makes me want to stab someone. NO I AM NOT READY. I CAN'T DO ASSIGNMENTS IF YOU DON'T TELL ME WHO THE MAIN TANK IS! It's all well and good that the tanks have worked it out amongst themselves, but the rest of us need to know what they decided - ESPECIALLY when we're in a 25 with multiple tank-capable toons, and some of them are going DPS. Sometimes non-healers are so... clueless as to what we need to do our jobs.