Breaking in The Newbie

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So you’ve just recruited a new healer and need to integrate them into your healing line up. The question a lot of people have is how do you do this effectively? Well, it will obviously be different a little bit for every guild but I’d like to offer up some tips

As a Leader

Communication

Probably the most important thing you can do is talk with the new person. Make sure they understand the rules of the raid if there are any. If they don’t know the specific rules of a raid it’s too easy to trample on them. Communicate healing assignments to them and see how they react. Seeing if they can follow an assignment is a great indicator of their raid mentality. If you have a veteran healer of their class in your raids that performs well, ask them to talk to the newbie and gauge their performance. Most importantly socialize with them a little bit. Getting to know someone a little bit can make a big difference in how they perform and react. Also being able to judge if the person can communicate effectively, as well as if they mesh with the other personalities of the raid is a good thing to do.

Performance

This is something you think wouldn’t be an issue, but it is. You have to be able to put the player in a situation where you can accurately gauge skill and knowledge of the role. If you bring them to a raid that you out gear, with your team of best healers, chances are the new guy wont show up quite as well against the others. It’s easier if the person is equally geared but chances are just as likely that they are below your current gear content. Give them a place to shine, take them on 10 man runs with alt healers, take them on heroic runs, chain pull and see how they react. Give them a chance to show you their moxie without the saturation of other over geared healers.

Evaluation

When it comes time to look at what they’ve done, take the time to include them in the analysis. They may have done things that you don’t quite understand, but they might have a perfectly logical reason for doing them. Talk to them about the runs you’ve done, things you like, things that might be concerns, you’d be surprised how many people respond very well to just being talked to about what’s going on.

As an Applicant

Be Vocal

Don’t just be the silent kid who follows along behind the pack. Be vocal, say hi, converse with the your fellow healers and guildies let them see your personality. Don’t overrun ventrilo or take over the conversation, but try to be sociable. It goes a long way when people can see your personality shine a bit. Don’t be afraid to offer to go on heroic runs and such.

Ask Questions

I encourage my raiders to ask questions if they are ever unsure about anything. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for clarification or anything really. I’ve had raiders ask why we do things a certain way compared to another, and it’s OK with me, I have zero problem explaining why we’re doing it one way if someone cares to know.

Don’t Be Afraid

Probably the most important thing I can say is don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t try to be someone or something you’re not. There’s nothing worse then trying to shoe horn yourself into a little category or check box. Just be you!

Have fun!

It is a game after all! If you’re not having fun with the people you’re around, then what’s the point? We want to have fun too and if you can have fun with us, well that’s just a ton of points in your favor.

Practical Application

I’m going to share with you a story of one of my healing team members, you might know him. He’s a little bald Dwarf named Thespius. You might have seen him around Here and There. He came to me as a transfer applicant, he transferred servers just for the chance to raid with me and mine. We had talked over twitter and on AIM and email, and eventually he decide it was worth while to hop servers and spend time with us. I talked to him outside of the game so I had a decent understanding of his personality and I made it clear what I was looking for in a healer and a raider. We were both on the same page. And then after he was transferred on server we got him into one of our ToC (25) raids.

Keep in mind he is a Disc Priest for the next part. I started switching him back and forth between tanking heals and raid healing, purposely overlapping him and my other Disc Priest multiple times. I wanted to see how he would react and if it would interrupt his rolling if he got to a target that already had the weakened soul debuff. He didn’t make one complaint, nor did he break stride. He performed very well, never questioning orders. He had one suggestion that night and sent me a tell about it right away, and I encourage this in all my raiders as we either succeed or fail as a guild. I had also sent a tell out to the healers to give it all they got and not go easy so I can see if he can keep up (we out geared him a little bit ). At the end of the night I uploaded numbers to World of Logs. Thespius had performed more then admirably, he did downright fantastic! My healers had given their all and he kept right up with us despite the gear discrepancy.

I talked to him the next day and let him know what a fantastic job he did and that I was happy to have him on my healing team.

We talked, he listened to assignments and he wasn’t afraid to be himself. Since then he has contributed to strategy as the guild was working on three lights in the darkness. Communication between us was clear and he always responded when I gave assignments letting me know he knew what to do. He performed well, and was very personable with everyone in the guild, going along with heroics and raids and just having a blast. Honestly was one of the best applicants I’ve had in a long time.

Being the newbie isn’t always the most fun thing, but just remember to be yourself and have fun!

So how about you out there. How do you try to integrate the new recruits? What about when you first joined your guild? Any tips you want to Share?

That’s it for today, until next time, Happy Healing~

Sig

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About Lodur

Lodur is the right hand shaman to Matticus on World of Matticus, and a recruiting officer of Conquest and Co-Host of For the Lore podcast. Read more of his works at WoW Insider.

Comments

  1. “Evaluation

    When it comes… …you’d be surprised how many people respond very well to just being talked to about what’s going on.”

    Most important point for evaluating your new healer performance – they are new. Surprising, eh? My point is, the new healer has no idea where to other healers reach out in their helping out and where you need to cover for them. I will give you an example:

    Signup wise, my new guild runs a 3 healer team – priest, paladin and shaman. I got in as fourth healer, second shaman. My first raids I was lost – I didn’t know people’s roles by name, so was unsure about placing my CHs. I as well didn’t know where they will cover for me and where they need some help. In the end, I felt very bad and incompetent. But guess what, few raids later I know exactly what will happen. I know when to shift from my healing to help them, why to mind my own business big time so I can keep and now I even know what damage intake I can “let go” and heal something else cause they will be there.

    I am used nowadays to our melee team habits, how much spread they are, who’s worth CHing through and who is not. And all the runs go a lot smoother nowadays. I won’t say there aren’t any hiccups, cause of course there are. But generaly, I am way more confident in my healing shoes now.

    Next up would, directly related to above, would be integrating the healer into your healing team outside raids – healer team is oftentimes tight-knit fellowship, due to various reasons (blogged about) and you should really ask your healer lead or other healers to try and give your newbie a proper welcome. You will all profit from this in the “being vocal” part. They definitely won’t be feeling like “overstepping” line while whispering to clear out assigments and the like.
    .-= Rahana´s last blog ..Healer crowd, PlusHeal and why we are who we are… =-.

  2. I really appreciated the article and also Rahans comments and blog. I wish a lot of GLs would read them. It seems to me its easier for GLs to evaluate dpsers and tanks than it is healers. Measuring the amount of healing done is fail big time. I myself have had a bad experience joining a very good guild and evaluated after a normal ulduar 25man run with tanks and dpsers geared with Totc normal and heroic gear… And competeing as a singletarget healer with 5 other healers!!!! LOL – talking about fail big time. it is exactly as Rahana points out – you have to know your healing team members and how they heal – and you have to know the rest of the raidmembers. And that takes time. Also being a newbie paladin healer where one of the other paladin healer s(an officer even) never says a word to you – not even Hi and welcome – makes you wonder. It might have been a good guild but their way of handling new people and evaluting them sucked big time.
    Why don’t we start an discussion over at plusheal about how guilds handle their healers? It would be interesting!

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