A Rogue, a Druid and a Priest walk into a bar.
The bartender asks them what they want.
The Rogue says, “Gimme some fresh leather gear, heavy on the agility and crit. I’m DPS.”
The Druid says, “I’ll have what he’s having. I’m a tank.”
The Priest says, “Gimme some rings, necklaces and trinkets heavy on intellect and spirit, I’m the healer.”
The Druid says, “I’ll have what he’s having. Sometimes I’m a healer.”
The bartender says, “Hey, who do you think you are, pal, a hunter?”
The Druid says, “No, that’s my alt. Hey, you got any BoE epics that I can need roll for him?”

I read somewhere that you’re supposed to open your speech with a joke. There you go.

I checked. It didn’t say it had to be a funny joke.

About this Priest thing.

I re-rolled a Priest, dear lord help me a gnome Priest, and went Discipline spec.

I dinged 15 yesterday, and immediately stopped questing. I went LFD as the healer, and leveled to 20 by the end of the night.

This may surprise you, but Priests don’t heal anything like Druids.

Bubble? BUBBLE?!?

Man, I’m a Druid tank, we were taught to hate and fear that bubble.

The bubble meant we no get hit in face. If we no get hit in face, we no get rage. If we no get rage we no hit bad guys. We no hit bad guys, we no get aggro.

We no hold aggro, and that dumb son of a bitch that bubbled us on the run in just died screaming “Tank? WTF?!?!”

Years of training have taught me to sneer at bubbles.

To be a Bear Tank, you gotta be fast and you gotta like pain. You eat it like candy. The more I get hurt, the more dangerous I become. But you got to be durable, too. Real durable. Most ain’t. 

You want to bubble me? What do I look like, a Paladin? “Ack! My bubble popped, they can touch me with their gooey zombie hands, I just had a bath last week, run away, run away!”

Bear tanks do it in the buff.

Just sayin’.

While I’m kidding my fellow tanks, I’ll acknowledge the Warriors and Death Knights for keeping it real and getting down and dirty with us.

Warriors: “Look, last time they took a swing at me, I felt something get through. I’m telling you, bolt on another couple steel plates, and this time, weld some more damn razor fins on top. If they’re gonna hit me, I want ‘em to suffer, damnit.”

Armorer: “But you’re already layered in 6 inches of steel with blades and spikes over everything but your asshole. If I add any more you’ll need a crane to get into combat.”

Warriors: “What? That’s unacceptable! I expect blades and spikes everywhere! Especially protecting me arse! Get weldin’!”

Death Knights: “… What do I care if they hit me? I’m already dead. If they cut off my fist, I’ll just choke them to death with it. Dirt? Slime? Have you SEEN what I clawed my way out of to get here? A little slime just adds color.”

I kid because I care. (bonus points if you know where that line came from, it’s one of my favorites.)

Back to the topic!

My Priest is specced Discipline, because Hedwig told me to. I wish I could say that I researched it, but I’d be lying.

I asked, “Which spec is the one that you think would be most fun to level as for pug healing?”

I was told Disc.

From what I understand as a Druid and Hunter aficionado, Priests what spec Disc can do this thing called Atonement Healing, which means that when you DPS the bad guys with Smite and Holy Fire, part of the damage you do heals the people around you in a completely uncontrolled fashion.

That sounds fascinating.

The more DPS I do, the more healing output I have? Really? God bless you, Blizz, you’ve given Healers a reason to obsess about damage meters too. That took skill.

Of course, from levels 15 through 20, I ain’t got Atonement yet. In fact, I only just got Holy Fire.

What I’ve got, are a damn expensive bubble, a Flash Heal fast big spendy heal, a piss poor long cast meager Heal, and a Renew instant cost HoT.

That’s enough for going on with.

First thing I noticed… son of a, really? REALLY? None of my caster cloth Heirlooms have Spirit on them? Really?

Way to encourage overpowered tanks and heals in the leveling pugs. /sarcasm.

No, by all means, let’s maximize DPS burst damage, we don’t need mana to keep idiots alive while they stand in the fire.

That’s okay. It’s better than being poked in the eye by a banana… or even a pointy stick.

I did, in sequence, Ragefire Chasm, Deadmines, Wailing Caverns and Shadowfang Keep.

In two of those, I zoned in at the first boss, to find the tank and DPS all looking at me, like I better not suck.

In each one, three of the other four people shared guilds. The tank was always one of the folks with two guildies.

I’ll give the tanks I saw credit. They tried. There were marks, there was an orderly progression, there was movement.

The rest of the DPS, on the other hand…

I’m gonna keep healing pugs. It’s certainly entertaining.

What I have to decide is how I’m going to handle the DPS players.

When DPS players attack whatever they feel like without paying any attention to aggro or the tank, what should I do?

When DPS players stand in bad stuff and their health plummets, what should I do?

It looks at first glance like there are two ways I could go with this.

I could try to teach the DPS the consequences of their actions, in the hopes that they will learn what not to do in a very darwinian way. It would also be an investment in the mental health of their future healers.

The mind I save could be my own.

All that I would have to do, is closely monitor the reasons the DPS take damage, and make a conscious decision to withhold my heals if I don’t approve of their behavior. 

The other way I could go would be to ignore what any of the rest do, keep my head down, and do everything in my power to keep everyone alive, starting with me, then the tank, and then everyone else in that order.

Now, if I just do my best to keep everyone alive and do my own job, I’ll be benefitting myself a ton.

I’ll be forced to learn how to heal as efficiently as possible, using the right heal with the right cost and cast time for the purpose at hand. I’d HAVE to, because I’d never know when the group would all decide to take a swim in lava for shits and grins.

I’d get smooth, short runs. If I keep everyone alive, then there would be less deaths, less downtime for run backs and rezzes, less QQ, less drama.

Overall, it would be a decent experience, and I would be as happy in the short term as possible.

In the long term, especially if most healers act like I do and try to heal everyone just to benefit themselves with smooth, drama free runs, then the players will never be forced to learn anything beyond “Blow all cooldowns, stand still going all out, move to next group. Rinse and repeat.”

That will lead to healers that might be trying to learn themselves getting treated like scum for not being overpowered and capable of handling idiots with the self-preservation instincts of a lemming and the life expentancy of a mayfly.

There is a fallacy at the heart of my dilemma. I’m sure you caught it, my friends.

I said there were two ways I could go… and that’s not true.

There is a third way… I could do my own job the best I can, but also watch the actions of other players, and offer unsolicited advice in a friendly, non-aggressive way if I have suggestions on how players could improve their teamwork.

The question really comes down to, is it any of my business how anyone else chooses to play their character?

And even if it is, where is it my responsibility to make other people play the way I think they should, and punish them if they don’t?

Are the lower level dungeons there for pure fun, anything goes, you pays your money the same as everyone else, you takes your chances on what you get?

Are the dungeons there as a proving ground, a place to learn how to play your class and role in a group environment?

Are they a little of column A, a little of column B?

If they’re just there for fun, even only partly for fun, then it’s none of my business how other people play.

I queued up as a healer, and nothing in the PUG checklist said, “You are signing up to heal this group, unless people in it do stuff you don’t like.”

There are no conditions placed on the other members. They signed up to pew pew or stab stab, or tankity tank, and I signed up to heal. I’d be flat out wrong to not heal.

Low level dungeons can be a great place for people to start learning how to play their class and role, but you don’t get all the abilities at the beginning that you do at max level. I think the current system was designed to introduce players slowly to the concept of the abilities and how they are used, giving us time to get the hang of what we’ve got before adding more.

If we can’t practise at low levels the way we’ll be playing at max, then it’s meant for fun as well.  

So, the way I see it, I can see people act like idiots, and I can blog about people acting like idiots, and I can put idiots on ignore if they do not play their characters in a group setting the way I would like them to.

But where the line is drawn, is where I can control my own actions. If I don’t like how people act, then I change my own behavior. I either don’t queue up, I choose only to queue with friends or players whose style I know, I queue but place people I don’t like on ignore so I don’t see them again, or I mention during the run, in a non-aggressive way, things I would ask players to do to help the run go smoothly, and offer guidance and suggestions to be helpful.

Regardless of what else I do, if I queue up, then I made a commitment to either play my role the best I can, or leave the group as an acknowledgement that I cannot handle the conditions and give the group a chance at a healer that can. 

It’s funny, isn’t it? It’s exactly the same as approaching runs as a tank, except the tank is expected and encouraged to lead, and part of leadership is establishing clear expectations for the team.

The healer is a more passive. You follow along, keep up, mana up, and try to keep everyone alive.

You are used to persevering through the tough places, to enduring in frustration but keeping your mouth shut and following the tanks lead.

I wonder how long I can go leveling as a quiet, dutiful healer before I crack?

Update: Thanks to Some Random Guy, who reminded me I didn’t finish this the way I intended. I need to clarify a little bit about the bubble mechanic. As Some Random Guy said, the bubbles were changed a while back so your rage generation will still continue even while bubbled. Also, rage generation mechanics in general were modified so more of your rage comes from damage you deal in comparison to damage received than it used to in the time I was talking about. So, the days of having to strip naked to get rage back while running through content you vastly outlevel are pretty much gone. I fully intended to mention this in the post, but got distracted by shinies. I failed at closing the circle. /sigh.

38 Responses to “Raise ‘em right or rock and roll?”
  1. Some Random Guy says:

    Good post, but I just wanted to clarify for anybody reading along: The priest (and paladin) bubble no longer inhibits rage generation, and hasn’t since sometime in WotLK.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Just an FYI, I did update the post about this. I meant to cover that at the end to close the circle, and just forgot. :)

      Thanks, Some Random Guy!

  2. Manxome says:

    Gotta admire your holding the line there :)

    But I’ll make a suggestion. You can get even more of the sort of challenge that teaches if you hold the “problem DPS” at low health levels. This has been my approach to split the difference of not “healing stupid” and keeping the experience as a healer – and the group’s progess – rolling along.

    I tend to shoot to hold these individuals at 10-15% health levels and see how long I can keep them there. At worst I figure, it teaches them the useful skill of minimizing damage and using their self-healing abilities (where available)!

  3. Shatamall says:

    My bank alt is a Disc priest. She’s now level 70 (it’s that much fun to play). :)

    FYI, Atonement is the best thing ever. Otherwise, LFD healing on her would be hella boring (tank takes 20% damage… bubble + renew… yawn… bubble random dps damage… scratch butt… bubble tank again… oh look, everything’s dead). Make sure you pick up the glyph of bubble when you can.

    My only gripe with her is that heirlooms + decent blue gear from instances gives you a mana pool that takes a couple of drinks to refill if you get into a hairy situation. Archangel helps (I keep forgetting to pop shadowfiend).

    I’d think that you’d be fine with the healing. I mean, you had a resto offspec for a time there, IIRC. Yeah, you have to watch mana sometimes, but by and large, you can keep most of the people up and alive without a lot of effort. I’ve never found healing really stressful (except the one time I volunteered to heal the last couple of bosses in ZG when our healer dropped and my resto kit was around iLevel 346. We did it, but I was scraping the barrel a few times).

    • bigbearbutt says:

      You’re right, I haven’t found it hard to pick up, and I haven’t let anyone die, although they came close on the last boss in Shadowfang Keep, all level 20s pulling the entire room at once with all melee standing on top of the boss and not moving away.

      Doing that I found that Penance has a WONDERFULLY low mana cost. Since I was OOM the last third of the fight, Penance was my savior.

      It doesn’t hurt that I configured Vuh’Do before starting, so I have super fast response time.

      Glyph of Bubble, huh? I will go check that out.

  4. Fangtastic says:

    Nice post BBB, I often think about this myself – if I can heal a group through “stupid”, I’m setting them up to crap on another healer (or a healer alt of mine!) that isn’t as geared. But it is hard to tell people how they could do better without sounding like a jerk.

    A few days ago, I was on my rogue in heroic HoO and the warrior kept running in to mobs and being rage starved on the pull. I suggested that he use charge instead of running in and he sniped back with a retort that he knew what he was doing, thank you very much. I shut up then and made sure I always used tricks on him on every pull. :)

    As for Disc, it is so very different from druid healing and as much fun in a different way. I love atonement healing – holy fire and smite let me contribute at least half of what a typical dps does and as long as I am focused on healing the tank only (the dps avoiding damage where they can), it works really well. As a bonus you get funky wings too!

    The real weakness for disc play is AoE healing. If you’re used to wild growth and rejuv/swiftmend to do passive aoe healing, you’ll feel its lack a lot. Especially in Cata where group wide damage is no joke.

    I heal on my priest and my druid and I find switching between them always keeps healing fresh for me.

    Hey, if you crack under the strain of healing pugs, you can always go shadow and melt faces! Other than trinkets, you probably won’t need to change anything about your gear either!

  5. bigbearbutt says:

    I have a level 76 priest on Kael’thas, only ever played as Shadow. That character has been abandoned since Wrath hit. I’m starting this new priest for a fresh take on things. :)

    • The Dewd says:

      I never got a Priest past level 10 until Cata. I rolled a Gnome Priest as soon as they became available (ok, just before Cata) to give it one more try. Between getting to see all the changes in the world and being smart enough to level with full Heirlooms plus mining/herbing, I was well into Outland when the Cataclysm actually hit in December. I got my priest to 85 for the guild and haven’t done too much with her other than a bit of dpsing and healing for Love is in The Air and a ton of gathering but I just love my wee li’l Gnome Priesty. Maybe one day I’ll figure out how to play her better.

  6. Blackbear says:

    Good post. If you intend on teaching the low level players something about the mechanics of instances and pug parties, I would suggest creating very informative yet brief statements like, “Don’t stand in fire, or you’ll die!” and “Don’t hit things that the tank isn’t hitting, or you’ll die!” and then placing those statements into macros which can then have a handy icon placed on a bar to activate, or some other easy-to-reach keybind for constant spamming. Though I will point out, simply saying these educational statements in p/chat doesn’t necessarily mean that pugs will improve. But, one can always hope.

    And yes, atonement healing, or as I call it, smite healing is the coolest thing in Wow since Wow sliced bread. It actually does very well with melee heavy groups, not as effective with ranged heavy groups, unless you can convince the ranged to close in on the tank to within (10 yards?) smite healing range.

    :-P

    P.S. The earlier post by Some Random Guy is correct, disc priest bubbles no longer stifle rage generation.

  7. Rades says:

    For healing lowbies, I definitely say try to heal everyone, but be aware of your own limitations. If it starts to get to the point where you have to choose between you/the tank or a DPS, definitely let them die. Honestly, a few deaths may teach them a bit of a lesson, where as (seemingly) intentionally letting them die repeatedly might make the lesson lost in anger and just cause stress/fighting in the group.

    Also, as lowbies, there’s also the possibility that they just don’t know any better! Perhaps they don’t fully understand that the healer actually can’t just heal everyone doing whatever they want. And if you are able to civilly educate them, the game populace has become a better place. :D

  8. Zwingl says:

    I tanked SFK a couple of nights ago on my baby paladin. He has no heirlooms, but did have the shield from WC. Anyway, I was clueless about the fights, especially the last one. Having always played ranged (hunter), I didn’t know about the green nasty aoe that the bosses lay out. I was lucky enough to have a druid, and a dwarven priest advise me through these fights. Sure, it seemed that for a second the druid was getting annoyed (I would too), his main was a Tankadin, but I responded respectfully and thankfully. In the end, his annoyance turned to great advice for me as a new tank. The priest also spoke up, which was very helpful. I’m just glad that they stuck with me through the end. I’ve a lot of learning to do.

    Z

  9. Gutworm says:

    Great post and very well written / fun to read. :)

    A while back now, during BC, I was just getting my first character to endgame and being shown the ropes of endgame play etiquette, along with a number of other newbies, by our guild master. He had us all in vent and was running us through Hellfire Ramparts, showing us what a Line-of-sight pull was and how to respond when a tank does that, why pets should have taunt turned off, when to AoE and when not to, etc.
    One particular thing he said over vent has stuck with me firmly ever since. He said it in a joking manner, but there was clearly wisdom to his words.
    He called it the Tanking Mantra and it states;
    If the Tank dies, it is the Healers fault.
    If the Healer dies, it is the Tanks fault.
    If the DPS die, it is their own damn fault!

    I love reciting this when I tank on my DK and Druid.
    It is short and to the point, it can be said in a funny way and yet, more often than not, it gets the point across to all but the most stubborn players.

  10. Vrykerion says:

    I always try to heal to the best of my ability. Regardless of ‘stupid’. If I can’t save you, I won’t. But if I can toss a quick HoT over onto you to cover you for a few extras seconds to realize your in the bad, I will. I always remind myself to never attribute something to maliciousness that can be explained by ignorance. A quick mention of “You need to move out of the purple stuff or I’ll have a hard time healing you. :( ” can go a surprisingly long way. Maybe they didn’t notice it. Maybe they didn’t know about it. Goodness knows that I’ve stood in bad before and simply not noticed because I was watching cooldowns or something until I get hit by a heal. I think we all have at one point or another. And hopefully on the next attempt/run they’ll be more mindful of it.

    And if not, I can only imagine what their repair bill must be like. :|

  11. K says:

    If you’ve got a low level heirloomed priest, bear, I really recommend you queue for some battlegrounds. Everyone thinks twink DPS is overpowered, but a twink healer just leaves you giggling maniacally while all the green bars fill up again and again and again…

    K

  12. Ben says:

    First Bear is a Huntard now he is a Priest !

    A Disc priest , shame on you :)

    Here i was thinking Bear was old school :P

    In wrath i leveled a pally tank (i now the shame :)

    But i was like you bear i thought im never Dpsing with this guy so…

    Tank spec from level 10 , the thing is

    Up to level 40 tanking just means you hit it first , well for the pally

    And dps well they are …. ? in a hurry ? a lot :)

    So untill you are doing say maraudon and up.

    Embrace the challenge of healing the ass hats.

    You will get some mad skills and the satisfaction of knowing.

  13. spinks says:

    Yeah, I do have a thing for spiky armour … *hide* .. and shields!

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I know, right? I swear half the armor sets look like Blizz took a mountain of steel, a package of razor blades and a welder and said, “Make it so.”

      • bigbearbutt says:

        And for the record, I don’t see anything wrong with that from an artistic point of view.

        I do think that, if I were to wear it, I’d be wanting a strategically placed access port. Sadly, such access ports could work both ways, but at some point, you have to ask yourself if the ultimate in protection is really worth the consequences.

  14. Savvy-Savvage says:

    I withhold heals not based on particular behaviors but based on patterns of behavior. I can usually tell when a guy is new and kinda lost versus when he knows better but feels entitled to behave badly because he’s “awesome”.

    “Oh wow! I’ve never been here. What a neat place. What’s that thing do? Where did you get that item? Is healing fun? I died a lot in this other dungeon I did. I don’t know what it was called but man… it was neat! Look at me! I’m throwing fireballs! HAHA!”

    or

    “I guess I just have to pull since you guys are slow. Look at me, I’m tanking… on a hunter. I have five 85’s on another server. You guys are nubs. My brother is fully epic. Oh wow, I died. Anyone have a damage meter for that fight? Can I roll need on that? Thanks guys, I’ma try to find a new group that can keep up. No offense. Don’t worry, you’ll get it I guess.

    Verily I say unto you that the fastest way to find out which person you are dealing with is to ask them nicely not to do something if they can help it and observe their response. Half the time the guy linking his meters is linking damage done and calling it DPS and hasn’t reset his meter from a day of questing as if nobody can tell the difference.

    • Gutworm says:

      “…Half the time the guy linking his meters is linking damage done and calling it DPS…”

      Oh my, I am laughing so hard right now.
      I have run into this person so frequently in the last couple of weeks.

      Awesome Macro below too! Too funny. :)

    • bigbearbutt says:

      You speak the truth, my friend. I’d never consider teach the new and inexperienced with repair bills.

      I guess I don’t think of those kinds of players as a problem. JUst as you say, they might not know what to do 100%, they usually err on the point of not doing anything when in doubt, or auto-attack.

      You nail, and I mean NAIL the characterization of the people I’d like to teach a lesson about teamwork. Sadly, it’s funny because it’s so damn true. I think you nailed it better than anyone I’ve ever seen.

  15. Savvy-Savvage says:

    Consider this adaptation of a tanking announcement macro I have:

    “Hello fellow adventurers. I will be your healer today. I take healing very seriously but I also respect your sovereign right to die. If you pull when I have no mana, I am in another room or have asked for a pause; If you AOE DPS when the tank is single targeting or single target DPS when the tank is AOEing; If you stand in fire, poison, acme holes to hell or any other such avoidable damage; If you run out and tackle an incoming line of sight pull; I will consider this to mean you are exorcising that right and leave you to it. Out of respect, I will not heal you or even try to rez. I will simply say a prayer and look away. Shall we?”

    • Rowtan says:

      LOL @S-S – nice macro.

      I gave up pug healing a long time ago … I only have a finite amount of time available to play WoW, and that is certainly not going to be spent getting told I’m a “nub” or any variation thereof. The stupid thing is, the majority of people who call you names are the ones that don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

      My tactic for healing stupid is fairly basic – they get one “get out of jail free card” – and a polite warning to avoid the puddle/AoE/Pulling stuff off the tank – after that if they’re lucky they’ll get a HoT on them and they’ll realise, or they die. I’ve noticed often that if you have a “stupid” with you, encounters are much easier to heal and complete with “stupid” dead – it’s therefore a well used tactic (assuming “stupid” is a dpser!)

      On the priest it’s more fun … we get the “Life Grip” – if you’re quick enough and see someone stood in crap, you can yank them out of there with a dramatic flair. EVERYONE knows they were stood in something they shouldn’t, then :P

    • Mhorgrim says:

      I soo was ROFL over this, I love the macro-ness of it. Very nice!

    • bigbearbutt says:

      If you run across a Priest using this, don’t be surprised.

  16. Zoldar says:

    I think there are several factors to consider:
    – Low level dungeons are relatively easy, even without heirlooms, so keeping everybody up is feasible most of the time.
    – Some low level characters are new to the game/that class/role.
    – Some players are just rude (regardless of their gaming expertise).

    I’ve been shammy healing since the first levels, and what I do is:
    – Bring a tank I trust with me (one less asshat to worry about).
    – Try to warn in a friendly way all dps that pull on their own. The first few times, I heal the best I can.
    – Watch out for sings of “asshatness”, and let those players’ hp drop to 10% and let them linger there.
    – If there’s any crap behavior against the tank or me, I let them die.
    – If I think a player is new to the game, I do my best to heal him and if I can, give him some advice.

    Sometimes I wonder if it really is worth trying to “teach” other players. Some people just won’t listen, but some people make the effort very rewarding.

    It’s a pity that most players have a go go go attitude in the low levels, and they don’t change in Cata dungeons, leading to wipes and frustration.

  17. stormpaw says:

    “capable of handling idiots with the self-preservation instincts of a lemming and the life expectancy of a mayfly”

    OMG, ROFLMAO!!! That is such an epic description of the dps I see day in and out – thanks for putting a big smile on my face on anotherwise deary “summers” day in Scotland!!!

  18. Pazi says:

    I always hope for dumb dps (and tanks) because I look at it as an opportunity to better myself. I have given up to teach other players, they become stupider with every expansion, I’m sorry I have to say this. Of course I try to heal everyone, because if I don’t it will hurt me in the end with repair bills and/or long waittimes because the tanks leaves in frustration.
    And I just started a new druid as a tank without any heirlooms just so the overgearded healers have to work a little for their money xD

  19. Morrighan says:

    I find I have problems due to the stacking debuff Arrogance. Arrogance reduces healing done by a massive 25% per application. If it stacks high enough, the player becomes impossible to heal. Things that cause Arrogance to stack are:

    – dps pulling instead of the tank, stacks faster after you have been asked not to, causes the healer to explode if you have been asked not to but are an asshat hunter/rogue
    – ninja looting from the tank/healer for your ‘offspec’ (i.e. the spec you aren’t using but your current tank/healer is)
    – not dpsing the marked mob, stacks faster after you have been asked not to
    – criticising the tank/healer after you did something wrong to pull aggro and/or die
    – general nastiness such as ‘omg you’re so gay for wanting me to move out of that thing that one-shots me’
    – criticising people for low dps, stacks faster the lower level the dungeon is

    Nothing removes Arrogance apart from death. Arrogance is less common in lower level dungeons where people are often genuinely learning and might not even apply until after you have been asked not to do something.

  20. Ely says:

    Healing on a Disc priest is really fun and I hardly ever run out of mana at the higher levels. But lately I’ve been healing on a Pally and and it is soo different from priest or druid heals .

    I’m glad your having fun with a priest, and dpsin/levelin is easier as well :)

  21. Siobhann says:

    Easy. Here’s the thing. Triage and knowing what the party is doing is a valuable skill, whether or not you decide to save their butts. It can be a challenge to keep someone at 30% health and worried about dying without actually letting them die. ;-) Here’s what I do on PUGs.

    1) Determine whether the tank has a clue. This will be apparent within two pulls. If he’s not holding aggro, it depends on my mood whether I drop group or settle in for a tricky run where I hone skills and see what I can pull off.
    2) If the tank has a clue, I toss out appropriate heals for DPS. Riptides or Rejuvs, WG, etc. When that isn’t enough to keep someone up because they stood in a pool of bad or pulled aggro I say “Sorry – couldn’t heal you through that.” Often experienced players will say “my bad”. Inexperienced players will sometimes start to pay a little more attention. I have seen people start to move out of crap on the floor, although they still tend to take a tick more than a good player. As long as there is effort, I will return with my best effort.
    3) If anyone is rude, a jerk, or makes no effort to take less damage, they get the same level of consideration/effort. That generally means they will die quite a bit but it’s often to the benefit of the party to have them face-down on the floor where they aren’t getting into trouble. ;-)

    I’ll never forget the jumping, AB spamming, PvP-titled arcane mage in heroic Shattered Halls. The party did our best at first but there were loose mobs everywhere because of this stupid mage. After a while we realized that there was a pretty good strategy using the mage as bait. The tank would pull and stand near the jumping mage as best as he could. The mage would AB and aggro everything but the hunter’s trap target, bringing it to the tank. I’d let the mage die since healing was only causing me aggro trouble, the tank would thunderclap, and we would have a dead mage and a nicely controlled pull. The mage got mad even though we told him he would live if he would just target skull and quit the AoE. He left in an angry huff.

  22. Hedwig says:

    “My Priest is specced Discipline, because Hedwig told me to.” Love it! :)

    What you’re talking about here – the question of whether or not to “heal stupid (or uninformed)” is a question that does not go away – ever.
    There will always be someone standing in fire, attacking things before the tank, and spamming recount after every pull.

    For me, I tend to almost always heal them anyway. Once in a blue moon, when I just can’t take it anymore (usually when they are a jerk on top of being incompetent) , I’ll let them die – on purpose. I won’t do this if letting the person die will compromise the safety of others. But even then, letting one dps die on purpose – someone will call you out on being a bad healer. Sometimes you just have to ask yourself if it’s worth it. 99% of the time.. I’ll just heal them anyway.

    We have a saying on a few guildies notes, that I’m sure goes back to something somewhere that I’m not familiar with. The saying is: “You can’t heal stupid” and sometimes it’s true. But every now and then, when running one of these horrible pug runs – I take extra pride in the fact that the dps were stupid, but I healed them anyway. I’m that good. LOL

    Meanwhile… I’m having run tanking and healing on my paladin alt. She’s up to level 68 already! :)

  23. feorfin says:

    I recently rolled a dwarf shaman god bless his stubby little soul. I love healing, but I totally hear ya about having “teachable moments” in pugs. I had a Frost DK queue as tank who couldn’t hold any aggro at all for the obvious reason. Thankfully there was a Kitty in the group who went Bear to off tank. I tried to suggest to let the Druid pull but the only response I could get out of the DK was “No”. I put my earth shield on the Bear and let the DK drop dangerously close to dying but I couldn’t not heal him. Despite his refusal to be part of a discussion and be a team player I still couldn’t let him die. I decided to look at it as a glass half full sort of experience. At least I had a solid Druid picking up the slack. If we had wiped maybe I wouldn’t have felt the same way.

  24. Thom says:

    I’ve been running a baby hunter through instances recently, and I have to say, I feel for healers. The number of tanks who pull asininely large numbers of mobs and expect to be healed through it is amazing. Even better, they do so without be REMOTELY able to hold AoE threat on the mobs.

    It goes something like this:

    Tank pulls 15 mobs.
    OK, I gave him 5 seconds, I should be good. Mark a mob, /petattack, Trap Launcher / Explosive Trap, single Multishot …

    Crap, I pulled aggro already!
    Feign Death
    Wait another 5 seconds
    Multishot …

    WHY ARE THERE ANIMALS EATING MY FACE?
    OK, Ice Trap and Disengage
    Start kiting til Feign Death is up again

    Shit, they’re on the healer now. Tank’s still not picking them up.
    OK, trapped one, Wyvern Stung one, kiting the other two again …
    Oh good, the tank broke my trap, and my wyvern sting. And they’re somehow still chasing me.

    Seriously, mark a skull. I’ll kill the skull. Mark 2-3 CCs for me. I’ll handle all of them. But if you’re going to pull the “ZOMGAOEZERGRUSHEVERYTHING” trick … learn to hold a little AoE threat.

    Anyway, sorry for the slightly OT rant, just saw the couple comments about healers being pissed off about DPS taking threat, and had to throw that out there.

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