I have to apologize for this post in advance because I’m feeling whiny and spiteful. This post is terribly biased.
Last night I participated one of the least enjoyable raids I can remember. It had nothing to do with my raid group – we were having fun on Mumble and though things were occasionally a little sloppy, we did okay at killing bosses. It was all about healer balance and my performance in particular. First of all, I was dead a lot. I may as well have been trying to catch the Lightning Diffusions on Heroic Jin’Rokh, I couldn’t have done any worse at that. But what really made the raid unenjoyable was trying to get any healing done with 2 Holy Pallies an 2 Disc Priests healing in the raid. Ugh.
I’m going to admit something here – I love topping meters. I know, I know, that’s not what healing is about a lot of the time, but I don’t care. I want my orange bar on top. Seeing myself 4th or 5th on a list feels shitty. Hell, I don’t even like to be 2nd. For the first time, taking into consideration my toolkit and the toolkit the other classes have, I don’t think it’s likely I’m going to see my name on top of any meter no matter how hard I try. Unless I sit half my healers to give my HoTs a chance to actually do something - but that’s not very nice.
Last night’s raid put two thoughts into my head.
First, raiding has a huge fundamental flaw. As you progress, you get more gear, you get better at handling mechanics. DPS players are rewarded for this progress by being able to put out more and more damage and watching their number soar. Healers, on the other hand, are rewarded by watching their overheal numbers inflate, having less to do and maybe even losing their raid slots as raid leaders sit them to bring in more dps. No idea how to fix this, but it sucks.
Second, (and this is where I become irrational and take out my frustration on everyone else) I think some classes just have it easier. I’ve written about how I think too much healing is “smart” before. Spells which require very little effort, thought or skill do the bulk of most class’s healing. Druids are not excluded from this, but we do have the distinction of having our heals be very much dependent on what the rest of the people in our raid are doing.
Let’s take a look at how much thought or effort Druid spells require.
Rejuvenation – Usually does 20-30% of healing. Doesn’t require a whole lot of thought, but if you are careless with it all you’re going to get is a whole lot of overheal and run yourself oom. Takes 12 seconds to complete the heal. (As a side note, we’re the only healer who has the bulk of their healing done by a targeted, single-target heal).
Wild Growth – Usually does 20-30% of healing. Requires next to no thought. Don’t cast on someone standing in a corner by themselves, don’t cast when everyone is at full health and you’ve done your job with WG. Takes 7 seconds to complete the heal.
Tranquility - Usually does 10-20% of healing. No thought required.
Swiftmend (both components) – Usually does 10-20% of healing. Swiftmend often involves making a choice. Do I SM the tank who’s dipping low and end up with the ground effect only healing 1 person? Or do I SM someone who doesn’t really need it, but is standing in a group of people? Placement of the ground heal important, but so is the ability to use it reactively for an instant, large heal.
Lifebloom – Healing really depends on fight and assignment. Can do 5% of total healing, can do 20%. Can be proactively and reactively swapped around to whoever needs to most. Needs to be refreshed often.
Wild Mushrooms – Again, healing depends on fight. Isn’t used at all on some, can make up 20% of healing on others (really only on one other fight though). Need to be positioned properly, need to be charged fully, need to be used at the right time, and you can’t get out of range of them. One of the trickier spells to use.
Regrowth/Healing Touch – Usually makes up about 5-8% of healing. Requires decent reaction/timing.
Now lets look at the heals other classes get that piss me off the most and make my silly little HoTs seem like a waste of time and effort.
Illuminated Healing – This can make up 50% of a Paladin’s healing done. And it’s completely passive. And it procs from overhealing. Seriously.
All of the Priest T6 talents – Instant, only one of them requires a target (and the target really doesn’t matter because it likes to bounce to people really far away). Hit a button and watch your raid take half a million healing in 2 seconds.
Circle of Healing / Light of Dawn – Sort of the equivalent of Wild Growth except they heal instantly so are less prone to overheal. They also trigger Illuminated Healing or Echo of Light for extra free healing.
Prayer of Mending – Instant, super cheap, bounces around on its own! Subject to overpowered set bonuses.
Renewing Mist/Uplift - RM is just like Rejuv. Except it’s cheaper. And it generates a Monk’s secondary resource. And it spreads to extra targets by itself. Is the HoT not doing enough on it’s own? Uplift for burst healing!
Atonement – I’m a Disc Priest. I could literally just Penance/Smite/Solace the boss for the whole fight and still outheal other healers with Atonement and Divine Aegis (especially on bosses/adds who take more damage).
Druids have their share of mindless healing (plus we only have 7 healing spells to use! Give us more!!!). But we also have to actually pick a target for our heals a lot of the time, which is an affliction most classes don’t suffer from
I’m ready for my cheat heals now.