Healers: Simplify Your Healing Tank Targets

New hotness

Nowadays, our raids frequently carry as little as 3 tanks to as many as 5. Keeping track of who’s heaing who can be a bit of a doozy. Even the tiniest confusion or overlap can be wipe a raid. Here’s a quick tip make assigning heals easier.

Old and Busted

In older raids, we’d have only 1 main tank and maybe a handful of off tanks. Jobs back then were pretty static. A set number of healers would overheal the main tank while the rest of the healer benchwarmers and waterboys would keep tabs on the off tanks. It worked fine then because the encounters weren’t that complicated to deal with. But oh how times have changed.

New Hotness

I’m introducing a new concept of mine that I came up with a few months ago. It started when my Guild began working on Hydross. As you know, Hydross requires 2 different tanks to jump and hold aggro on him. It doesn’t make sense to say heal the main tank. There’s only one real main tank. Even then, that main tank might be rotated off to different roles or different mobs depending on things like resistance fights and such. For some fights, it’s impossible and even inconvenient to declare a single main tank. A great example is a fight such as Al’ar where you end up using as many as 4 tanks simultaneously. When you’re fighting Leotheras, half the time you’re healing a warlock who by most definitions would not be considered your Guild’s main tank.

Chances are your Guild’s already doing it. I’m simply putting a name to it.

The Active Tank

I defined the active tank as the player that’s currently holding aggro on the main boss right now. It could be any player or any class on the the boss at any time. It’s usually determined by the target of target window.

An example of healing assignments for Al’ar on Phase 2:

  • Pete the Paladin is healing Tim who is grabbing all the birds
  • Reginald and Riley, the 2 Resto Shamans, will be healing the raid
  • Penelope, Price, and Dominic (2 Priests and a Druid) will be healing the active tank which could either be Tyler, Thomas, or Tootoo

If you’re the healing leader, you’re going to recognize what a pain in the ass it is to tell your healers:

“Heal Tyler, Tootoo or Thomas, whoever happens to have aggro on Al’ar at the moment.”

It’s easier to tell your Priests to cover the active tank. By saying that, your healers should recognize that their job is to heal whoever has aggro on the boss.

I’m always on the lookout for different labels and methods to make healing assignments easier on a raid. Are there other ways that you use or that your Guild uses to simply healing assignments more?

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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.

Comments

  1. I am the healing leader for our raids and I have been doing something similar for quite some time now. We are just now making the 25 man transition, so I don’t have any SSC/TK experience, but we’ve been farming kara for the past 4 months and have been working our way through ZA.

    There are two specific examples that come to mind: Netherspite and Nalorakk. On Netherspite, it is a lot easier to assign healers to “Red Beam” and “Blue Beam” duty, then assign them to heal Tank 1 and Tank 2 (depending on who is tanking) and heal Warlock A and SPriest B (depending on the Blue Beam extra damage soaker). This way, it also promotes raid awareness and your healers are paying attention to what is going on around them. They will need to pay attention to see where these beams spawn and which person is going to be in them. The other example is for the Bear boss in ZA (simpler version). This one isn’t very hard to figure out, but you need some serious heals on Nalorakk and 1 healer per tank won’t cut it. So the solution: “Heal the tank with aggro at the time.”

    Also, if you are the healing leader in your raids, I hope you are using a mod called Heal Organizer. This mod will give you an interface window with all the healing/dispelling/decursing/abolish poisoning/hybrid classes in your raid. You can then assign them healing duties (or dispelling duties) by dragging them and dropping them into many different customizable sections whose headers you can change. You can then click one button to have it broadcast in the channel of your choice (/ra, /rw, /). You can also save your setups for future use. Another handy option is that you can check a box to have it whisper everyone that has an assignment so that you know your healers specifically got it. And to top it all off, anyone can send you a tell with the word “heal” (/t Birkin heal) and it will automatically send them a reply with their assignment. (Although lots of my DPS buddies think it’s funny to spam my chat during Kara by sending me a tell with “heal” and getting “You are not assigned” messages spammed back…over and over…haha) Oh, I almost forgot that for Heal Organizer, to get the interface menu, you have to type a “/” command. (I’m at work now and can’t look it up) Instead of memorizing this and typing it every time you want to change assignments around, it’s much easier to put that “/” command into a macro and throw it on one of your extra bars so it is just a button click away.

  2. This is pretty close to how my official healer lead does things, though, as a resto shaman (and the only shaman in the raid) I rarely get more direction than “Anna, do your thing”.

    However, when ‘Buu the healer lead is gone, I’m usually the one organizing. And this is what happens then: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8155203@N05/2186137961/

    They tell me that there’s help for people with that kind of a sticky-note problem, but I’m not so sure…

  3. Anna: That’s HILARIOUS! I personally have a whiteboard for that kind of thing.

    Birkin: Interesting mod. I’ll have to take a look at it. We do things the old fashioned way via macros.

  4. Very good blog Matt

  5. I actually use the macro interface for this….Under my character specific tab I have “Heal1” through “Heal6”, and I put trash healing assignments (which remain the same throughout the night) in Heal1, with different templates for each boss fight in 2-6 depending if we are doing TK or SSC.

    For example, my Tidewalker template is as follows:
    MT: , , , , and . Murloc tank: . Raid: . Watery Graves: .

    And then I can just insert names of healers we’re using that night, and copy paste it into raid or the healing channel whenever someone says “Hey what’s my assignment again this fight?” And with the commas and periods, I can easily answer my RL when *he* asks, “How many healers do we need tonight?” 🙂

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