The title this week is Guest Post: An Introduction to Healing as a Team.
This week I'm hosting a guest post from my good friend Restomak of Stormrage. He has been a healing priest for a lot of years now, and I've always found that he has a refreshing perspective on healing no matter what the state of the game currently is. I am definitely lacking in knowledge when it comes to healing in World of Warcraft, so here's Resto with his first post here on the Kavern:
While the raid as a whole is considered a team you may notice that there are many friendly competitions within the team, particularly among DPS and about their numbers. There are many encounters in which healers too can have friendly competitions, but healers above all other roles should remember that they work as a team and that the best healing core is a healing team with established synergy. Healing assignments are a good example of when healers work as a team and with that in mind I will give a basic overview of the mindset a healer should try to have when healing in a raid.
As a tank healer you know your tanks should not die for any reason and that you should do everything in your power to keep them alive. If your tank dies the last thing you want to do is to place the blame. Note that there is a large difference here between placing the blame and figuring out what went wrong; you want to figure out how the tank died and what the reasoning for it was, but you do not want to start pointing fingers. In most cases there was something you, the tank, and another healer (and sometimes a DPS) could have done to prevent that death. If something could have been done make a mental note to work on doing that better in the next attempt.
As a raid healer you should remember that every player in the raid is considered a part of your assignment. Your goal as a raid healer is to prevent the deaths of every player in your raid. It is a daunting task, without a doubt, but remember there are other healers in the raid to share the burden with you. In most cases you should feel responsible, in part, for any player death and you should reflect for a moment upon what you can do to prevent it from happening again in the future. You are also responsible for tanks even though there are healers likely assigned specifically to them and you should try to always be ready to throw a cooldown or a clutch heal on the tanks if it is needed.
If, as a raid healer, are given a more specific assignment than simply healing the raid as a whole, it is very important to note that your goal as a raid healer changes drastically from above. There are many reasons to be assigned to a specific role or group in a raid and it should be your job as a healer to be ready adapt to an assignment. In many encounters this tier (particularly Ji-kun) players will be spread throughout the room and more specific assignments must be used in order to complete the encounter.
In situations when you are assigned a group to heal your primary goal as a raid healer should no longer be the raid as a whole, but to keep your assigned players alive. You should assume that the other healers in your team will not always be able to help you with your assignment; but more importantly you should trust your other healers to complete their own assignments with minimal help from you or other healers. It is okay to help out other healers with their assignments, but you must remember that your priority is your own assignment. A common reason for a player dying within a healer’s assignment is because the healer tried to heal a player in another assignment and temporarily left his or her own assignment without healing.
The idea of healing assignments beyond the standard tank or raid healing assignments is not a new idea, but has been used less and less as the game progressed into Wrath of the Lich King and through Cataclysm. It was used almost not at all in Dragon Soul in which nearly every encounter had the raid basically stack up for healing and use “smart” heals. While it is not anywhere near as important of a topic in 10-player raiding it has become one of the largest causes of healer burnout in 25-player raiding this expansion as many healers are finding it too difficult to adapt back to a more team-oriented setting. With this in mind there will be another post soon that goes more into detail about how to handle healing assignments effectively, including but not limited to important points such as communication and cooldown usage.