So Saga has written a post on this weeks Blog Azeroth Challenge: "When should a healer let someone die?" here via this and it kinda resonated with me. Plus Jong wrote a post waaaaaaaaaay back that I still love (and it's soooooo true!) I'm a bit out of blogging inspiration at present* so I figured I'd set to work on writing my thoughts on the topic... but I only managed 3 1/2 hours sleep last night so the 'thoughts' might be even less coherent than usual.
First of all, I was a 'reasonably' good healer, back in the day, when I was a holy spec'd priest and raid healing. I'm a horrible healer now - disc really wrecked healing for me, in conjunction with Ulduar (and apologies to all the disco-dude(ttes) and Ulduar fans out there) hence why I'm holding out hopes for resto-druid healing in Cata - totally different to priest healing so yeah, I'm gonna try and regain ma healer-mojo that way...
One of the things I really struggled with as a healer, was healer guilt. I hated it when people died, and always took it as a personal failing. Nevermind that you can't heal stupid, nevermind that you can't heal with no mana, nevermind that you can't heal when the DPS are out of LoS... If someone, anyone, died, no matter how fucking stupid they'd been, I felt personally responsible for it. You can imagine how much fun I had raiding, right? Actually, it wasn't so bad. My halcyon days of raiding, were, without a doubt, good old Kara, and healing didn't stress me out too much there - raid leading was the stressor! I guess the main reason healing in raids is (un)pleasant is to do with your fellow healer team. If you all gel as a unit, and stick to your 'assignments' whilst having each others backs it's just a joy and a delight. If your fellow healers snipe heals, don't have the faintest fucking clue that an 'assignment' is just that - not some optional shit that your raid leaders are wittering about down vent... With Kara it was the former - the other healers were great!!
Due to the above-mentioned healer guilt - I didn't let people die. Ever. If someone died it was because I physically couldn't keep them alive. Sure, I had people who I would... prioritise, I guess, but that's not the same thing as wilfully letting someone die. And before you flame me, telling me that stupid DPS who don't move deserve to DIAF, I'm not disagreeing with you per se, I'm justifying my healer guilt, m'kay? I find it slightly odd that healers have that much... influence in their role. You rarely see a tank refusing to, umm, tank or generate threat (well, not intentionally anyways) nor do you often see DPS-ers failing to pew. Ok maybe since the dungeon finder you might do, but in general you didn't used to. If a tank said, or implied: 'nah, I think I'll just generate a bit of threat when I fancy doing so' the rest of the group/raid would be slightly wtf? but it seems to be accepted that healers pick and choose who they heal. Which, I would suggest, is a potentially awkward power-(im)balance.
But yeah, the people you do want to heal are those who just go fractionally out of their way to make things a bit easier for you. The hunter who puts a trap at your feet, the rogue who bandages, the mage who sheeps the add who thinks you look tasty. Hell, I'm shallow as a puddle - I used to heal the retadin in my raids who used, umm seal of pally-emo as was (I forget the name - possibly Martyr?) because basically he was a fucking superstar and a complete bitch (in a good way) and because he thanked me for my healing. See - I'm so shallow that I have hidden shallows. If you were nice to me you got a reserved spot on the healer list. And not 'nice' in a creepy 'give me epixx' way, just 'nice' in a 'civilised human being' way.
Actually I did (kinda) let someone die once. And it was the main tank. In Ulduar. BUT I can kind of explain... The MT healer I despised, he was an arrogant SoB who was never in the wrong, and of course, he was awesome-healer-of-leetness-extraordinaire... Except that he wasn't. He had the thickest skin of anyone I have ever met. He made Gevlon look like a touchy-feely- tree-hugger. And I was fed up with picking up after him and covering his ass (which he denied - umm, hulloes? Last I saw druids didn't have sparkly fucking heals - that would be Penance that well-known disco-priest heal !) So I stopped healing our MT, I was on OT duty so it wasn't like I was standing around whistling, and the MT died and we wiped. What a shock (sorry Khef, but I couldn't stand it anymore) and then it happened again. But then I admitted it (kinda) in officer chat and carried on as before. Point proved. But I still feel slightly guilty - not about Rifka (you arrogant git) but for Khef, our lovely tank who wasn't used to dying so always sounded so shocked and disgusted at the point where he ate dirt.
Generally, though, I was the happy go lucky (externally anyway, inside I was emo as this) healer who chucked sparkles and rainbows around in a carebear manner. But I don't heal nowadays and I suspect that LFG, which, let's not forget, I can't handle as a DPS, would make me retract my above stance completely...
*The only other post topic floating round in my head was a fairly NSFW one along the lines of whether (un)successful raids have an effect on your... *ahem* never mind. And blame Himself for that one.