Healing... Fun?

Dungeons, Raids and Scenarios
I see a lot of people QQ'ing about healing in Cata, and I'm not surprised. The healing experience in this game has become a tough proposition. I understand the intention with bringing back CC and trying to make things difficult again, but I have to say that I'm not having a lot of fun as a main healer. A lot of that is because I'm OOM, because no matter how carefully I manage my mana (Up to and including chain chugging 25G mana potions) I find that I end up OOM on important pulls because people aren't using enough CC, are breaking CC, or are just generally doing stupid things. If I dare to queue for a random, I either spend forever trying to clear simple content or I leave group and wait for deserter to expire to try again.

In the TBC days, you had to CC and structure pulls too. The difference in TBC was that **you** as a healer felt powerful. Your heals actually pushed peoples health meters. You didn't have to neglect healing DPS who took aoe splash etc. If dps pulled real aggro, they died. If the tank got 3 or 4 mobs on him because of broken CC, he generally died. At some point with multiple adds, the tank's health just got too spiky to keep up effectively and the whole equation fell apart.

In Cata, your heals are useless. You have an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness to push effective heals. The rate of damage may be lower in comparison, but you just can't bring their health bar up without totally neglecting mana management, which sucks because if you don't manage mana you will kill everyone too.

I'm sick of playing a role where I feel totally powerless. Please give us back effective healing. Buff mob damage and make it more intermittent if need be, but allow us to feel like we're powerful again. Tanks get to take a beating, DPS get's to dish out big crits, combos, or whatever, healers get to sit in the back and recast the most mana efficient heal a million times. WHOA, 8k CRIT!!!! OMG!!!

Don't do away with mana management, don't do away with CC, don't do away with skilled playing requirements, but DO make healers feel like they are good for something.
You have effectively captured my feelings thus far as a healer. Something made it feel less enjoyable, and it is that sense of powerlessness. If someone does take spike damage, I need to dump mana like its hot and cast several spells to just get them back to 40%. I cannot pre-HOT the group when I know AoE is coming because then I just bleed mana, and when I react to incoming damage my heals seem to put nary a dent in their health bars. I am not pushing hard content at all, but even in my normal dungeon runs I feel this way. Maybe it will get better when my average item level goes up, but the sense of being powerless right now makes healing much less fun than in BC, when CC was important too.
So far, I'm having a lot of fun healing. I've only done one heroic (Throne of Tides guild run), and Baradin Hold raid, and a whole bunch of normals (both pugged and guild runs). Mana conservation can be tricky, didn't really have much trouble on the heroic with it (actually, needed to go back and reforge some spirit back into haste, since cast time was more of an issue). I like getting to CC whether I'm healing or DPS. It *is* tricky getting effective healing and being efficient, and sometimes for spiky damage, I just have to throw a lot of heals out there. I try to use mana tide, my trinkets, and sometimes pots as effectively as possible, and when people aren't taking damage, I'll sit to improve my mana regen. Sometimes it's effective to use CH or Healing Rain, other times, people are too spread out for it to help much. Depending on the group composition, sometimes the tank or a DPS can throw out a couple backup heals to help me get through the spikes a bit better (and when I've gone DPS, I've helped out with that as well). Effective interrupts and spacial awareness can reduce the damage taken a lot. 8k seems incredibly low for a healing crit, even for the smaller heals.

Hunger, I felt that way at first about healing in normals (that Healing Rain/CH didn't do enough to help much, had to spam GHW on multiple targets). Getting better iLevel/etc. does help a lot with that, and I've been able to heal through "oops" like people pulling without the tank being there/etc. on normal the last 4 days or so. I think part of it is adjusting my style as well. I don't have any specific suggestions for you, since Druids are such a different class, but I want to encourage you to give it another few days/work on getting upgrades and see how it goes. The tank's avoidance/damage mitigation and holding threat, and the dps's ability to stay out of bad makes a tremendous difference - one group may think you're a fantastic healer and want to chain queue with you, and the next might think you're horrid, even though *they're* the ones that are making the difference.
I agree, I would love to see the BC healing style return, I hate the Cata healing changes. =(
Thanks for the advice Hallany. I have a feeling that once my guild has more people eligible to do heroics (casual guild) things will start looking up. So far, my gut is saying DPS and tanks I am paired up with are making it a bit tougher for me, but I will definitely be working on better gear and enchants over the next couple weeks.
I've healed a lot of cross-realm randoms, as well as going with friends and guildies (on normal). Sometimes people make mistakes (like the couple of pulls I mentioned), but most have been pretty competent. I did have a pretty horrid run in Lost City normal the first time I healed it. On the second boss, everyone (especially the tank) was taking an enormous amount of damage, and I just couldn't keep up at all. The tank yelled at me that "this fight is really easy to quick heal for" and dropped group, followed by the DPS. I got the same one again in the random dungeon finder an hour later - guild run of a tank who hadn't been there before, wasn't as geared as the previous one, and 3 hunters. I warned them that I'd really struggled on that boss the previous time, and would probably have to focus on the tank and myself, and for them to bandage or pot if they needed to. We one-shotted it with *very* little raid damage, and the tank's damage was *very* manageable. I still had about a quarter of my mana at the end. So, the group you get definitely makes a huge difference!

My guild was in the opposite situation for gearing up and running normals - I joined up a bit behind the curve, so most people were already running heroics when I was just about to turn 84. So, sometimes people didn't want to bother with normals, or just were already busy. Anyway, I am confident it will be fun again for you soon, just try to be patient with yourself and the people in your group. :) Feel free to ask for more cc (if the group is capable of it) to take the pressure off a bit, and I *think* you can use some yourself (roots and hibernate, depending on the mob).
When you start to break into 346 gear and raiding, you start to feel powerful again. You still can't panic save people like before, but you develop an interesting synergy with the other healer(s) that's quite potent.
Yeah, a lot of the healing problems fall away once you get a set of 346+ gear.

Also, am I the only one that remembers that First-Aid was 100% required for DPS during BC, because they were allowed to heal themselves, and save the healers mana. I'm guessing the % of people with max FA has tanked, and can be looked into picking up.
I leveled this priest 'alt' to 85 practically through LFD alone, and I absolutely love healing as a Holy Priest. I had some issues with mana(oom A LOT) when I first hit 85, and I farmed normals to gear up as well as I could before stepping foot into heroics. The only time I run out of mana now is when something goes terribly, terribly wrong. That being said, I still can't heal dumb.

One thing I've noticed is players having lag/latency issues casuing problems in my dungeon groups. Or they must just be using that as an excuse for their own poor performance.

Rogue in Lost City Heroic, standing in Earthquake. I didn't even try to heal him. "LOL I lagged."


First boss, he dies.

Me: "When the boss puts you down, get away from bombs and click Lightwell."

Earthquake-eating Rogue: "Flash Heal me you suck as a healer."

He leaves. We finish dungeon with nary another death.


When people die, they blame the healer. I have given up trying to explain to people that every time they don't interrupt/cc/kill adds/move out of death they get to sit and watch me drink after EVERY pull. Either they don't understand, or they don't care.

I don't need my heals to push bars a big way to have fun.

If everyone lived, then I did my job. I hated the spiky damage of WotLK.

I really enjoy Cataclysm healing.
I used to like my holy pally. He's always been an alt but I've always kept him up raid/gear-wise. He's still 80 at the moment. He's going to stay 80 and I'm never going to play him. I liked how strong the class felt before. I ran some heroics after the 4.0 patch on him and it just feels... lame. He's in pretty much full 264 so it wasn't at all difficult... it was just not fun. I was thinking about maining him for Cata as holy but now he's benched for the long haul. I can't even enjoy him as Ret because... well let's be honest, when was the last time you had a pally top recount when he wasn't the tank in a group of bads? ICC pre-4.0? I'll stick to DPS/tank, things that are still actually fun.
I'm having a blast healing in Cata so far. Is it hard? Yes. Do I have to work harder then normal? Absolutley. Am I mad about it? Not at all.

This is a game, and things should be challenging. If you are having problems healing maybe you just need to review what your doing and find things that you can change, because healing is, in my eyes, perfectly tuned at the moment.
Just ran a NORMAL Grim Batol that was absolutely unfun. Chain-pulling DK, fine. First pack of trash after trogg room he runs down the stairs and pulls, I immediately have to start spamming FH to keep him up. Then he proceeds to move AROUND THE CORNER out of my los.

I asked to please (yes I said please) try to stay in my los, he says "RAG!"

Two pulls later he positions himself BEHIND the rock by the last drake on the right, out of my los and dies.

What gives? Situation like these are so frustrating, sometimes I don't know what to do.
12/27/2010 11:16 AMPosted by Onit
What gives? Situation like these are so frustrating, sometimes I don't know what to do.

You have 3 options:
1.) Chase him and keep him in LOS. Put a symbol over his head if it helps keep track of him. Liberal use of cooldowns are called for to help keep him alive.

2.) Let him die then politely explain why he's now dead. He'll either shape up, vote to kick you or get vote kicked himself. Being polite and calm about it will help sway the 3 dps to your side so any attempt to kick you would be defeated.

3.) Leave the group and go do archeology while the dungeon cooldown finishes.
Sorry to be the one to tell you OP, but maybe you're just not as good at healing as you thought you were. Good players are enjoying the new challenge and raid bosses are being killed. If you can't adapt to it maybe you should try something else.
Healing is either stressful or boring now. Before people flame me for being bad, I've finished all the heroics as a healer, and I have 364+ average ilevel and two epic healing pieces. I still don't see the fun in the new healing style.

I think much of the "fun" some people have is from having a huge epeen, bragging about how good they are and having other people flatter them about how good they are.
Pve healing is lots of fun.
12/27/2010 8:53 AMPosted by Onit
When people die, they blame the healer. I have given up trying to explain to people that every time they don't interrupt/cc/kill adds/move out of death they get to sit and watch me drink after EVERY pull. Either they don't understand, or they don't care.

^ This is where the problem lies, right here.

Blizzard (it might have GC himself) stated that they want the player base to move past the whole idea that "anytime someone dies, it's the healer's fault." While that would be great, there's just one slight issue:
People have been blaming others for their own mistakes for 6 years and counting.

The guy who doesn't move out of the laser beam or stands on the mines now? He's the same guy who used to blow up all of Group 6 with Living Bomb.
People don't learn because they don't want to learn. And though its been said countless times, it still holds true: Wrath only made that attitude worse. Players went from not wanting to learn to not having to learn.

And now that things are headed back the other way, groups are running into problems. Problems like players dying. And what happens when someone dies in this game?
Yep. Blame the healer.
And so we're right back where we started.

The problem with the Cata healing model is that healers have to rely on others to do their jobs effectively. Now I'm all for teamwork (this is a MMO, not a goddamn XBox), but as anybody who has ever PUG'd anything (in any MMO. Ever.) can tell you, a lot of people just aren't team players. They don't want to clear an instance with a group; They want to "solo" the place while someone else keeps them from getting hit back, or another someone else keeps them alive...so they can enjoy the massive boost their role received (godly Health pools, massive damage output increases, and generally more utility).

We healers are not being coy when we say someone dies standing next to a Lightwell with 10 charges still on it, or bumrush giant trash pulls while wearing quest greens they got 3 levels ago.

Last expansion we could cover their mistakes. Partly because gear was handed out like candy, but largely because we simply had to...the game sure as Hell didn't encourage people to play better, just play faster. In this expansion we can't. Which, when coupled with the fact that our heals hit for far less (as a percentage of total Health) than they did before and our spells cost five times what they used to, all adds up to a lot of healers glancing sideways at each other and asking, "Okay...when does the fun start?"

Those of you who enjoy the new model, I've noticed, have been having good experiences with the groups you were in. Those of you not enjoying it have been in bad groups.

Now I'm the first player to say that anything, (ANYTHING!) is better than that sh!tstorm called Wrath of the Lich King. I really like the idea of groups being better, rather than faster. CC not just for PvP anymore? Yes please. Encourage people to have one decently-geared but well-played main, rather than 10 well-geared but pooly-played alts? Gimme some of that.

But right now, the WoW community as a whole isn't there yet. And in the journey to get there, a lot of healers (right or wrong, for better or worse) are feeling left behind.

A blue once stated that (paraphrasing this), "World of Warcraft is about improving your character. Players want to progress and feel stronger so they have something to show for the time they have invested."
Healers were once strong; I won't lie, being able to save somebody when they screwed up (even screwed up badly) was a great feeling. Saving lives is what healing is all about, no?
But of the 3 roles, healers currently are feeling the least strong. You can't blame them for being unhappy, annoyed, upset or perhaps simply a tad bit disappointed, by that.

edit: better formatting...paragraphs are good
I'm having more fun healing now than I have in a very long time. I farmed normals for gear upgrades and did a lot of questing for rep rewards and quest items. My first heroic was a little difficult to heal, but it went fine. After a few more heroics, I had completely gotten over any apprehension I may have had.

The game is better than ever.

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