First time healer: Too freaking hectic, Help!

86 Dwarf Shaman
5940
So I decided to get dual spec and become a healer for the very first time in my 3 1/2 years of playing as a dps/tank. I must say, this is a tough job. Maybe it's shamans in general, but I feel my stress levels rise exponentially when I heal. Especially I see a person's life drop like a rock.

Case in point: We were doing Nexus earlier and the first pull with the dragon pack and that lightning rift made the tank go from 100 to like 30 in 2 seconds so needless to say, we wiped because I was not expecting so much damage.

Learning to balance my 5 healing spells at a given time is pretty tough, but I am managing to make it work. But I am still having trouble when my entire party (including myself) takes damage. Small party damage is okay, but when your entire party has 9 or 10 stacks of intense cold because they don't know how to sidestep every 10 seconds on Keristraza, it makes me want to quit. Especially because I am blamed for the resultant mass deaths that occur. How am I supposed to deal with this? When a dps pulls aggro mid cast and drops like a rock, how do I save them? How do I save myself with healing aggro from mobs the tank didn't pick up?

I have raid frames turned on so that makes things easier, but still I'm not sure if I am going to stay as resto or shift over to elemental. It feels good to get things done, but I am responsible for so many lives and this is a lot of pressure on me.

Thanks for reading. I know it's a lot, but this is a new experience for me.
Edited by Guccimayne on 11/27/2010 7:15 PM PST
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85 Night Elf Druid
6330
If you stick with it long enough it'll become just as mindless/effortless depending on the content you're doing. It can be rough at first but it's very rewarding at the same time.

There's nothing wrong with letting the group know that you're new to healing, maybe even whisper the tank so he slows down a little, you'll find it comes easier to you after a while till you get to the point where it's just second nature and plummeting health bars become a way to amuse yourself as you toy with the dps ;)

It is probably the toughest role, especially to jump into without experience but I say stick with it until you find your groove, then decide whether you enjoy it or not.
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86 Dwarf Shaman
5940
Don't let the morons that need you to hold their hands get to you.


I try not to. I can do Azjol and Old Kingdom just fine, but some people are magnets for damage in other instances. I'm hoping that things get easier in heroics because the tanks are most likely properly geared/experienced.
Edited by Guccimayne on 11/27/2010 7:19 PM PST
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90 Human Rogue
5140
Get healing addon with spell bindings (like Healbot) or mouseover macros with stock raid frames. Get a mouse with 5 or more buttons, bind all heals to mouse buttons, and shift/alt/ctrl clicks as necessary for less-used things and cooldowns, like a NS + GHW macro for instance. You should be healing entirely by single clicks on raid frames.

With that, and some memorization of your bindings, you can react to anything with blinding speed and accuracy and will be hailed as a healing god.

Oh, and DO NOT HOLD BACK COOLDOWNS! If you think it's needed, do not hesitate - losing the cooldown is far preferable to a death.

A few dungeons like this, you'll feel zero pressure, and healing can be quite enjoyable.
Edited by Mallias on 11/27/2010 7:31 PM PST
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So I decided to get dual spec and become a healer for the very first time in my 3 1/2 years of playing as a dps/tank. I must say, this is a tough job. Maybe it's shamans in general, but I feel my stress levels rise exponentially when I heal. Especially I see a person's life drop like a rock.

Case in point: We were doing Nexus earlier and the first pull with the dragon pack and that lightning rift made the tank go from 100 to like 30 in 2 seconds so needless to say, we wiped because I was not expecting so much damage.

Learning to balance my 5 healing spells at a given time is pretty tough, but I am managing to make it work. But I am still having trouble when my entire party (including myself) takes damage. Small party damage is okay, but when your entire party has 9 or 10 stacks of intense cold because they don't know how to sidestep every 10 seconds on Keristraza, it makes me want to quit. Especially because I am blamed for the resultant mass deaths that occur. How am I supposed to deal with this? When a dps pulls aggro mid cast and drops like a rock, how do I save them? How do I save myself with healing aggro from mobs the tank didn't pick up?

I have raid frames turned on so that makes things easier, but still I'm not sure if I am going to stay as resto or shift over to elemental. It feels good to get things done, but I am responsible for so many lives and this is a lot of pressure on me.

Thanks for reading. I know it's a lot, but this is a new experience for me.




well dude here is what i have to say i was the same way but i was a dpser for liek 5 years before i tried healing and my first healing clas was a shammy I SUCKED and i mean SUCKED we alwamost wiped on every pull i heals cuz ther was just toooo much going on at once what really saved me was Heal bot the add on its a LIVE SAVER littaly its makes this pimpler and made me love healing i dont wanna say i cat heal with out it not but i dont wanna try its easy to set up and imo it works awesome with shammy healer b/c we only have the 5 or so healing spells try it out and come back and let me know
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86 Dwarf Shaman
5940




well dude here is what i have to say i was the same way but i was a dpser for liek 5 years before i tried healing and my first healing clas was a shammy I SUCKED and i mean SUCKED we alwamost wiped on every pull i heals cuz ther was just toooo much going on at once what really saved me was Heal bot the add on its a LIVE SAVER littaly its makes this pimpler and made me love healing i dont wanna say i cat heal with out it not but i dont wanna try its easy to set up and imo it works awesome with shammy healer b/c we only have the 5 or so healing spells try it out and come back and let me know


How does healbot work?
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85 Troll Druid
4620
So I decided to get dual spec and become a healer for the very first time in my 3 1/2 years of playing as a dps/tank. I must say, this is a tough job. Maybe it's shamans in general, but I feel my stress levels rise exponentially when I heal. Especially I see a person's life drop like a rock.

Case in point: We were doing Nexus earlier and the first pull with the dragon pack and that lightning rift made the tank go from 100 to like 30 in 2 seconds so needless to say, we wiped because I was not expecting so much damage.

Learning to balance my 5 healing spells at a given time is pretty tough, but I am managing to make it work. But I am still having trouble when my entire party (including myself) takes damage. Small party damage is okay, but when your entire party has 9 or 10 stacks of intense cold because they don't know how to sidestep every 10 seconds on Keristraza, it makes me want to quit. Especially because I am blamed for the resultant mass deaths that occur. How am I supposed to deal with this? When a dps pulls aggro mid cast and drops like a rock, how do I save them? How do I save myself with healing aggro from mobs the tank didn't pick up?

I have raid frames turned on so that makes things easier, but still I'm not sure if I am going to stay as resto or shift over to elemental. It feels good to get things done, but I am responsible for so many lives and this is a lot of pressure on me..


Sounds like you just had a bad group, man. Fortunately, healers only have a 3-5 minute wait in a random queue, so my advice is to just drop group if you have people failing and blaming you for it.

With that said, another piece of advice I can give you is this: download one of the following addons:

Grid + Clique (two addons, you need both)
Healbot
Vuhdo

These addons are unit frames that allow you to mouse over a unit frame and click to heal. You assign a heal to a specific click; for example you can have--

Right click = Earth Shield
Left click = healing surge
Shift + Left click = chain heal
Middle click = dispel

and so on and so forth. You simply hover over the unit needed a heal and click. Trust me, you NEED one of these addons-- they're life savers. It turns healing into whack-a-mole (you'll get it after you use it). They also display pertinent debuffs as well as fade out a unit frame of whoever is out of range.

Good luck.
Edited by Outiluke on 11/27/2010 8:30 PM PST
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85 Night Elf Druid
2240
Best way to explain it is too just install it and play around with it... trust me you'll fall in love with it


http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/heal-bot-continued.aspx
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HEALBOT is a godsend for healers. I used to heal ZG back when resto shamans were.. iffy.

Shows when debuffs are on your party members..

I have this set up

Left Click - Lesser heal
Right Click - Greater heal
Shift left click - Chain heal
Alt left click - dispell
middle click - riptide

You still have the occasional huge drop in health. Natures swiftness is nice for that. :)
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90 Dwarf Shaman
7030
How does healbot work?


Healbot is a great addon, but it can be a little confusing if you have never used anything like it before.

Go to Youtube and type Healbot in the search field - there are quite a few video tutorials that do an excelllent job at explaining how Healbot works and how to set it up. Check out vids for Vuhdo and grid+clique also while you are there, they are good too.

If these type of addons don't really appeal to you, there is another one called Healium that you might like. It's not a bad way to learn healing - helps alot with reducing the stress and is a little more intuitive in it's approach. However, once you are comfortable with healing you may want to transition to Healbot type healing as most people find they have a higher level of performance with that format.
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90 Tauren Shaman
11215

But I am still having trouble when my entire party (including myself) takes damage. Small party damage is okay, but when your entire party has 9 or 10 stacks of intense cold because they don't know how to sidestep every 10 seconds on Keristraza, it makes me want to quit.


This is not your fault. You can't heal stupid. I usually say "Make sure you jump" for that boss but if no one moved, you can say "You have to move to clear the debuff" when you run back (spice it with expletives to your taste.) Same goes for clearing stacks on that giant in POS.

Now the earlier one where the tank spiked to 30% was your fault. This is something you just have to get used to. Healing Surge is your friend. NS is your friend. If you froze up, it happens when you're learning, that's ok. NS becomes a reflex. Tank dips? NS!

Always use NS if you even THINK it might be needed. And remember you can NS a CH if the group is dipping. It is a very short cooldown, use it!

Shaman don't have training wheels (real cooldowns.) So you have to anticipate. ABC- Always Be Casting. Keep riptide and Earthshield up.
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5 Human Warlock
0
So I decided to get dual spec and become a healer for the very first time in my 3 1/2 years of playing as a dps/tank. I must say, this is a tough job. Maybe it's shamans in general, but I feel my stress levels rise exponentially when I heal. Especially I see a person's life drop like a rock.

Case in point: We were doing Nexus earlier and the first pull with the dragon pack and that lightning rift made the tank go from 100 to like 30 in 2 seconds so needless to say, we wiped because I was not expecting so much damage.

Learning to balance my 5 healing spells at a given time is pretty tough, but I am managing to make it work. But I am still having trouble when my entire party (including myself) takes damage. Small party damage is okay, but when your entire party has 9 or 10 stacks of intense cold because they don't know how to sidestep every 10 seconds on Keristraza, it makes me want to quit. Especially because I am blamed for the resultant mass deaths that occur. How am I supposed to deal with this? When a dps pulls aggro mid cast and drops like a rock, how do I save them? How do I save myself with healing aggro from mobs the tank didn't pick up?

I have raid frames turned on so that makes things easier, but still I'm not sure if I am going to stay as resto or shift over to elemental. It feels good to get things done, but I am responsible for so many lives and this is a lot of pressure on me.

Thanks for reading. I know it's a lot, but this is a new experience for me.


Just keep at it. You will eventually learn to react automatically to big hits and large AoE damage. Addons and macros help a lot. Do some research and get some good ones. Make sure ES stays up. Make sure everything is refreshed at the start of a boss encounter. Make sure your shields and weapon buffs stay up. Learn to prioritize. You must keep the tank and yourself alive, then worry about the others. If you get aggro, move to the tank so you can enter their AoE area or so they can retarget and pick up the mobs. Against a boss, always be casting. You can interrupt by moving if no healing is required. Try to be aware of your surroundings, boss emotes, etc. Healers tend to tunnel health bars and it takes additional effort to remain aware of what's going on during an encounter. Next to actually leading a raid encounter, healing is the most rewarding experience in WoW, so good luck and keep at it.
Edited by Merise on 11/28/2010 2:20 AM PST
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85 Blood Elf Priest
9585
To help reduce tunnel vision (something other posters mentioned) you can move your raid/party frames close to the center of your screen.

If you're just starting out your best bet is to run with a group of friends- especially if you have a friend who is a tank. If possible, get on vent with him! Being able to communicate freely and even privately in that way may help to alleviate some of the anxiety.
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85 Tauren Shaman
GoL
3985
This is how you handle: instead of the thought of letting someone die because they are a moron get you down. You. Feed. On. Their. Tears.

I use the deep, hearty laugh. You can use whichever one gives you the most joy.
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Personally, I prefer a Clique and Grid set up over Healbot, it's more customizable.

http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u78/Tassiaw/UIBreakdown.jpg

With Clique, I have all of my heal spells and cooldowns bound to Right click, left click, and middle click with alt, shift, and ctrl modifiers.

Ex: Ctrl+Left click - Flash Heal, Ctrl+Middle click - Heal, Ctrl+Right click - Renew, Alt+Left click - Prayer of Mending, Alt+Middle click - Prayer of Healing, Shift+Left click - Greater Heal, Shift+Middle click - Guardian Spirit, Ctrl+Shift+Left click - Power Word: Shield, Ctrl+Shift+Right click - Circle of Healing.

I use my back, forward, and middle buttons (with ctrl/alt) for chakra, fade, psychic scream, mind control, mana burn, shackle, shadowfiend, etc.

1-9 are used for damage spells.

It can be overwhelming to learn to heal, but eventually it'll become second nature to you. I've been healing as a priest, shaman, and druid for 6 years (a little pally healing tossed in now and again), and I remember how daunting a task it seemed at first. I think the hardest thing for most healers to learn isn't the healing itself, but how to stay aware of your surroundings while watching health bars like a hawk. I know healers that have been doing this for a couple years, and still don't know how to watch their surroundings.

It's easy to get tunnel vision, and completely acceptable in low-end heroics, but if you want to raid, or if you have to carry a terrible group, tunnel vision isn't a luxury you can afford. This is where having a clean, simple UI with the information you need available to you can greatly help.

Hope this was useful to you. Stick with it!

Edit: Updated picture, I forgot to explain Decursive.
Edited by Elannora on 11/28/2010 6:06 AM PST
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90 Night Elf Priest
12765
Its a dance; when you are learning it, the steps seem to come too fast and furious and you can never seem to catch up; but after you get some practice at it, you aren't so much "catching up" but continuously moving in time with the music. And the dance has the same theme whether you are pushing the latest raid, or taking your newly level 15 toon into its first LFD random.
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85 Blood Elf Priest
3585
How does healbot work?


Healbot is a great addon, but it can be a little confusing if you have never used anything like it before.

Go to Youtube and type Healbot in the search field - there are quite a few video tutorials that do an excelllent job at explaining how Healbot works and how to set it up. Check out vids for Vuhdo and grid+clique also while you are there, they are good too.

If these type of addons don't really appeal to you, there is another one called Healium that you might like. It's not a bad way to learn healing - helps alot with reducing the stress and is a little more intuitive in it's approach. However, once you are comfortable with healing you may want to transition to Healbot type healing as most people find they have a higher level of performance with that format.


This, for the healium. I found that when I rolled this toon, my first toon eva, I had all the addons everybody suggested...Information overload, too much to remember for my little brain. I found Healium, through the Curse Client, and it was perfect for my beginner healer mindset. I also got Decursive and planted it right above the healium, for party dispelling.

It also has some of the point and click of grid and healbot, which you can start to play with once you get comfortable with everything you need to keep track of.

After that, move to healbot, grid, or one of the others that people of suggested. Healium is great to get you into the healer mindset, but after you get a certain "mastery" of healing you are gonna find it holds you back and you'll need to move on to a more adept addon.

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90 Blood Elf Priest
10380
(1) Get a healing addon, or suite of addons.
Standalones: Healbot, VuhDo
Easy-to-configure combinations: X-Perl and Clique, Grid and Clique
If you want everything to be exactly the way you want it and don't mind spending 4-5 hours designing unit frames: PitBull, mouseover macros, and Clique

(3) Know what you have to monitor to maintain maximum effectiveness. As a shaman, the main things you're monitoring are your Earth Shield (should always be on the tank), Water Shield (should always be up, make a habit of refreshing it whenever you're not frantically spamming heals on someone), and that haste buff you get from casting Riptide (you should keep this at damn near 100% uptime by using Riptide very nearly on CD). Find a way to make these things blatantly obvious to you so that you don't have to think about checking buffs. This is a similar process to arranging your UI as a tank/DPS so you can watch your procs/dots/CDs; the main difference is that as a healer, you should be aware that your primary visual focus will usually be on your party/raid frames, so any indicators should generally be near there.

(4) Know your class's strengths and weaknesses. As a shaman, your strengths are single-target healing and healing groups of people stacked close together. So instruct your group to stack an any fight with heavy group damage and no requirement to spread. Anyone who doesn't listen....well, they can die. Know that even if all the DPS dies, as a shaman, you can keep yourself and a tank alive long enough to duo any WOTLK 5man encounter, because your single target healing is rock solid.

(5) Know your "oh !!!#" buttons and your "oh !!!#" situations. For a shaman, an "oh !!!#" situation is when 4 or more people are in imminent danger of dying and you're the only one who can save them. Your "oh !!!#" button, in situations like a 5-man dungeon where there's no major coordinated strategizing about fight mechanics, is Bloodlust/Heroism. So blow bloodlust and mash your healing rotation. (I have yet to figure out what to do on a shaman in an "oh !!!#" situation in a raid)

(6) Know your heals, what they can do, what they can't do. You have Riptide, which can save someone from certain death long enough to get a quick heal off; LHW (or Riptide-hasted HW), which can save someone from imminent death; CH, which can stabilize the whole group but can't be counted on to save a life (so Riptide through the most-likely-to-die person first, and then CH through them); GHW, which can heal a substantial amount of damage on a target not in immediate danger and let you ignore that target for a few seconds while you take care of others; and HW, which is worth spamming to keep people topped off. Keep this knowledge in mind; with experience, you'll become conditioned to use it reflexively to get the right heal off in the right situation.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
6500
Like other people have said, it sounds like your group sucked and was taking a lot of avoidable damage. Those are the kinds of people that are going to be in for a rude awakening in Cata.

I think some of us have done a disservice to all healers (including myself) by healing stupid people in randoms for so long. When I out gear heroics I can basically keep them up through an overwhelming amount of stupidity. You don't even need a tank in heroics when the healer is geared and I think people got to use to being able to do basically whatever they wanted without consequence of dieing. It's unfortunately why they blame you if they die while being stupid I think. They expect you to save them no matter what they do. They will be kicked from groups or added to ignore lists in Cata.
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