Healing a 25-man raid can be a daunting task. While there are more healers to compensate for the larger group, who those healers choose to heal is not static. We as healers have the tendency to heal the lowest-health person as quickly as possible to prevent death. However, in the world of Cataclysm, where damaging mechanics often leave a moment of reprieve and triage, this tendency often leads to multiple healers focusing on the same people, neglecting others until the very last moment, when it’s too late. Luckily, there are a few tricks that can be used to alleviate the lack of healing precision in 25-mans.
Limit the Number of Targets Healers Have in Range
By leaving healers to free-for-all heal the raid during an encounter, you increase the mental strain on those healers, forcing more split-second decisions to be made and leaving opportunities for unintended neglect to sneak in and cause raider death. Limiting the number of people a healer can heal using range limits can help improve focus and reduce mental stress when a raid takes a large damage hit.
Seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Trust me, though, it works.
The method I used to fix issues my healers were having on Chimaeron was to limit the number of targets they each had in healing range. This forced them to concentrate on bringing only a few health bars above 10k health in the small windows of time between acid volleys and Massacres. While splitting and limiting the healers may seem detrimental to the raid, it in fact freed up the burden each healer had by a significant amount, allowing them to concentrate on only a handful of people at a time.
Note: This assumes your raid frames will fade or dim when someone is out of range, but even the default UI has this functionality now, so it shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Assign Specific Groups or Targets to Healers
While I’m sure this has been covered by many other raid management and healing articles, it is nevertheless still important. Similar to the above trick, giving someone an assigned group or target to heal gives them a goal. They can focus on keeping their assignment up, as well as their own health and mana, instead of worrying about all 25 raiders’ health bars.
A related trick regarding healers and assignments comes into play when looking at healer skill. If you’ve recently started up a raiding team or want to test a new healing recruit, assign them to a role where you will easily be able to gauge their performance. Examples of this include healing tanks or kiters.
Use Healing Zones Whenever Possible
With tools like Efflorescence, Healing Rain, and Power Word: Barrier, among others, grouping up to take advantage of these types of spells is one of the best things you can do to handle raid damage in 25-mans. While it may not be healing precision per se, it still allows healers to breathe for a moment and focus on more immediate threats, such as tank death or near-fatal strike mechanics.
Take note that you should only do this when it is feasible. Trying to group up when the boss has a tendency to cause explosions or demolish people standing near each other are good reasons to not worry about these spells.
Oh, also make sure to have your entire raid click the Lightwell!