5 Barriers of a Raid Healer – Part 5: Healing Against Your Will

5 Barriers of a Raid Healer – Part 5: Healing Against Your Will

Image courtesy of andrewatla

Each Saturday for the next five weeks, I will be writing about one barrier of the raid healer. Healers are often overshadowed and looked over since we are expected to simply know what to do. With luck, this five part series will help you to become a better raid healer whether you are a varsity or a freshman.

So far, I have covered:

Barrier 5: Healing Under Duress

"It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny."
Jean Nidetch

I firmly believe that different people are catered for different skills. Some players are meant to DPS. Some are meant to heal. Some are destined to stand toe to toe with a boss and his attention for as long as possible. Then there are the rare few who excel at any task demanded of them. These players are special. Why? Because not everyone can fulfill dual roles. Need an extra tank? Drop 50 gold for a Paladin’s respec and they can do it in a pinch

Unfortunately, not all of us can fulfill dual positions like that. My friends and guildmates can tell you I’m a worldclass healer but I can’t DPS worth crap.

Now imagine the reverse.

Let me introduce to you the Raid Leaders dilemma:

  • Short a healer
  • Excess DPS
  • Does not want a pickup player

The thought process going through his head is to take a DPS hybrid and ask that player to switch to a healing spec. If the player has no qualms or issues about doing so, then by all means go for it. But you should realize that this is only a temporary solution to a temporary problem. Sooner or later, the grind of switching back and forth between holy and DPS is going to take it’s toll on that player. The fact is, that Shadow Priest you asked to go holy does not want to raid holy.

So why is he doing it? Two reasons:

  1. Wants to raid
  2. Wants to progress

Loyal guild members will obviously take the hit to go forward because they want to see some real progress made. But it’s not the best thing to do. Players that have DPS’d their entire WoW career undergo a period of adjustment. They need to get familiar with spell cast sequence, positioning, healing strategy and so forth.

I’ve seen extreme cases where GM’s have asked players to either respec or risk not raiding. I understand where they are coming from since some encounters require a certain number of healers. Depending on your server, you might have a limited pool of talented players to choose from. But don’t force a respec in the name of Guild progression. The player you get after the respec could be turn out to be a disgruntled player who will not enjoy his new role in the game. Given enough time, the bitterness could result in that player leaving the Guild. You are now back in square one without a healer. Instead, you have suffered a net loss of a player.

Solutions for the GM

Recruiting is the first viable option. If you can somehow find yourself a full time healer, then you will never need to ask a DPS player to respec again.

This one might be not-so-smart option, but consider grabbing a pickup healer from a different Guild. It might be possible to find a healer who isn’t raiding that week or anything with their Guild to fill in a spot for you. Do your research in armory and do some background checks of that player.

Solutions for the player

Assuming you don’t want to heal, make it known right away how long this arrangement can go on for. Give a set number of raids or pick a date. Having a deadline will apply a bit of pressure to your GM to get the ball rolling instead of not actively looking and being lazy. But have a talk with him or her and let them know that if it continues to go on, you’ll have to consider leaving and looking for another Guild that’s more receptive of your abilities.

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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.



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