Saturday 10 July 2010

Shared Topic: Heal priorities

This week's Blog Azeroth shared topic was suggested by Ecclesiastical Discipline:
Where do you draw the line on shifting the priority of someone's heals down (or refusing to heal them all together)? Is it if they upset you personally? If they are consistently standing in the fire? If they have lame dps? If they aren't managing their aggro? If they go afk for fifteen minutes in the middle of a boss fight? Is it only when it's jeopardizing the entire group's success? I believe there is a point for every healer, but where does the gray area fall? Does anyone really heal the jerk who is offensive and stands in fire when there is anyone else who needs healing?
In general, I'm a calm and reasonable player. I wasn't always like that - when I first started raiding I was one of those people who would get extremely frustrated every wipe, although I never told anyone off for being crap (out loud, anyway). Nowadays, people who rage in raids make me giggle.

When healing, I do always try to keep everyone alive, even if they are being a complete idiot. I think it's just an automatic reaction to the health bars dropping.

There are a few situations, however, where I feel it's alright to let someone die.

1. Everyone is taking damage.
In this situation, keeping the tank (or my heal assignment) and myself alive is the priority.  I will throw Wild Growth out when it's available, but my casts are going into the tank if heavy damage is going on.

2. If a dps and I are taking damage.
I often forget this until it's too late, but as a healer taking damage, your priority should be yourself. If you're not alive, no-one gets any healing! Unless of course you have one of those very situationally-aware hybrids in your group who can pop a few off-heals to get you through.

3. If dps pulls aggro.
This really depends on whether they are melee or ranged. Melee - not much you can do, they are often dead before you can get a heal off, especially in a raid situation. With ranged dps you can sometimes heal them through it until they can use Iceblock/Fade/Feign Death, or until the tank can taunt. Sometimes, not.  I never feel too bad about letting them die, just as if I pull when I'm dps, I don't blame the healers for my death.

4. If the damage is coming in so fast, there's no time to get a heal in.
Sometimes you can tell that someone is taking damage so fast, there's no time to get a cast in to save them. This may actually come at the same time as point number 3. For this situation, I have a "holy shit" macro that combines Nature's Swiftness with Healing Touch. I usually save this for tanks who are getting low on health, but it is great for saving dps if you can get in quick enough. (I really should macro in the "/y oh shit oh shit!" part a la Gnomeaggedon)

There is one situation when I will purposely not heal to prove a point.

5. When someone else other than the tank purposely pulls.
This really annoys me. I will usually warn whoever it is, usually a hunter misdirecting or a DK yoinking mobs in - the next time you pull before the tank, I'm not healing you.  They generally get the picture.  A few accuse me of being grumpy or whatever. Pulling and generally setting the pace is the tank's job in my opinion, since they're the ones getting hit (usually). Stfu, and let them do their job.

The nice thing about Druids, of course, is that we have our combat resurrection - Rebirth. With a macro for Nature's Swiftness, it's instant cast.  If you do lose someone and if it's safe to do so, it doesn't take much to get them back up again while the fight's still on.  Just make sure you heal them like crazy once they accept the res, or you might lose them again.
#showtooltip Rebirth
/cast Nature's Swiftness
/stopmacro [nohelp,nodead]
/run c="Resurrecting %t"if UnitInRaid("player")then SendChatMessage(c, "RAID")elseif GetNumPartyMembers()>0 then SendChatMessage(c, "PARTY")end
/cast Rebirth
Find more macro info on my new shiny Macro page!
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