4 Joys of Healing

4 Joys of Healing


This is a guest post by Gothica, a Holy Paladin from EU’s Scarshield Legion

I’d like to introduce myself by saying from the outset that I’m a healer and I love it! Let me explain why.


Healing is all about winning. Know why people take healers to dungeons, raids and arenas? Because we make wins happen. We do this by using our heals, making judgment calls about which tool to use and who to use it on. It’s extraordinarily effective and a lot of fun.

Whacking moles

Healing is a minigame within World of Warcraft that is actually pretty fun in its own right. You’re looking at a rack of life bars. Suddenly one drops, heal it fast before it hits zero. You could actually play the healing mingame as a game in its own right which is why the playstyle is called whack-a-mole (after a popular game where you had to club moles off your lawn).

In WoW, you’re whacking moles (reacting to health deficits and healing them) in the larger context of the MMO. After you have whacked your moles, you may find your guild has killed a new raid boss or your arena team has won a match. Sometimes the minigame is so absorbing you barely notice the wider context. Sometimes it is your keen management of the wider context while staying on top of the healing that allows you to succeed where others wouldn’t.

The social side

You are who you heal.

As a healer, the quality of your game experience, your ability to get things done, and the amount of fun you have is very much determined by who you heal. This is both positive and negative.

The negative is that sometimes you will find yourself grouped with bad and rude players. But that’s outweighed by the positive.

The positive is that not only is it easy to meet nice players but that they will actively start to seek you out as you progress your character. After all, they want a competent friendly healer with good gear and will be keen to play with you as you establish yourself. Healers can become very popular, and you’ll be added to many people’s Friends Lists.


With the possible exception of leveling, healers progress fast in all aspects of the game. You will be able to jump into instances whenever you want, get raid situations that a DPSer of your gear and skill wouldn’t get into and be sought out for arena teams. Most healers can wear lesser gear without it really mattering resulting in us gearing up fast. We generally don’t have so much competition for our loot.


Those are some good reasons to try a healer. It can seem from the outside like a stressful and thankless task. It isn’t. It’s a fun minigame that wins you friends and admirers.

Why do you like healing?

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. I love healing because it has no rotation. It requires you to think about who you heal and how on the fly. Rotations make my mind numb…

  2. I recently switch to healing (from being a hunter to holy pally). I switched for 2 main reasons, first my guild needed a healer (although they were not that happy of loosing one of their main dpser in the process), and mainly because i was bored, i am not a big fan of what blizzard is doing to hunters these days.
    Anyway, I like my new raid spot, somehow I feel more useful as a healer as i felt before.

    Douceurs last blog post..Tonight’s madness

  3. Healing and to a lesser extent tanking have a more dramatic failure mode than DPS. If you screw up your dps rotation the boss kill takes a few seconds longer. Honestly in most cases a dps could lose connection and come back a minute later and we’d be fine. Lose a healer and you probably wipe. Miss a damage burst, or react too slowly and you wipe. Less in 25 mans, but even then you hopefully aren’t rolling with too many redundant healers.

    Basically as a healer, there’s more on the line in every pull. Some people don’t react well to that — they would rather have less personal responsibility and/or more margin for error. But for thoseof us who are willing to step up to the role, its more exciting than polishing your rotation.

    You could argue that as a healer you’re less involved with the actual combat, but I’m here to tell you that every challenging pull has its own damage model, and the key to being a really good healer is being able to anticipate and respond to aggro shifts, aoe raid damage, burst damage, all the while keeping aware of your own surroundings so that you’re not standing in the fire/cloud/eartchquake/lightning. Plus as a paladin, we’re more involved than ever with judging mobs and whatnot.

  4. I love healing because I love my tanks, and they’re happy when they don’t fall over dead.

    Kittss last blog post..Miniature Post – My Heart Breaks all the Time

  5. I have two healers, so there must be something I like about it!

    Feeling important certainly helps, as well as being able to be helpful. Oh, and being able to get groups. >.> I played a hunter for awhile and forgot what back to back instancing was like.

    It is stressful, though, and I find it harder to guage my performance with the glaring exception of we live vs we don’t live. I sort of miss the more clear cut judgement that DPS meters offer. I always worry about being a bad healer in raids.

    Ambrosines last blog post..Tanks and Bubbles

  6. My first “real” healing experience was on my pally for a ramparts group.

    I loved it…it was so much different the the pew pew I had done up until then…and on my way to 58 I solo quested and only healed myself.

    Was I a good healer? No. Nobody died but I walked out feeling that all there was to healing (at that level of the game anyway) was to simply wack-a-mole and watch the shared XP roll in. Even then I knew I should have been watching my surroundings more and tossing a holyshock in on a mob here and there when the group was topped off but I was too excited with the concept of “This is just like having a kickass group of NPCs that stomp the mobs teeth in….just heal and I win.”

    Aurdons last blog post..Mage Fanservice: A-mage-ing Videos!

  7. Great post… this is very similar to the post I made (with Matticus and Phae quotes).

    Me its feeling like I saved the day. Came in with that big important critical heal, and prevented someone from going nose down in the dirt!


  8. dscomboulat says:

    it helps to heal because at least I KNOW that tank is gonna get a heal. whack a mole sucks but I do it. The spots in raids, instainces and the offset shadow set that I have from people not needing it in my successful raids would make 90% of the wow population hate me. =)

  9. It’s all about the lazer beams of love.

    Lodurs last blog post.."A plague o’ both your houses!”

  10. I switched from a mage in BC to a holy priest and haven’t looked back. Healing is way more challenging, plus you feel needed (lots of “hey want to heal ____” whispers). I was so happy when they added damage to healing gear, suddenly I could kill things, it was amazing. Now that everything is spell damage, I’m ready for dual specs so I can do dailys as shadow.

    The only thing I don’t think is quite true is the bit about loot competition. Shaman and pallies have no competition for loot (who else can or wants to wear mail/plate with spell power?). However, as a priest you have all casters rolling on the same loot, the resto druid, the moonkin, mage, and warlock, are always at war with you on loot. It’s a battlefield, expect a lot of competition on everything if you’re a priest.

  11. I heal because it’s the most dynamic job in the game. Spamming damage into a boss is boring as hell.

  12. So I can pick who to die.

  13. Thanks for the excellent replies. I think there may be more good reasons to heal in the comments than in the original post!

  14. First of all I will say, it’s a great post you have made.

    Why i love healing?
    I love healing becuase it’s different from the other contents in the game, and yea it’s like whack-a-mole when you are raiding 10-man without healbot, pitbull or any other “healing improveing” addons, but it then get into an interesting advanced whack-a-mole when you raid 25-man, hehe.

    But generally why i like to heal, it’s a job where you don’t know what challenges that lies ahead.

    Kind regards, Ditrim, Bronzebeard, human healadin.

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