Do Healers Have A Bad Attitude?   30 comments

This past weekend I made the decision that I was going to finally follow through with leveling an Alliance character through the WotLK quests. I usually do try to see the “other” side of each expansion to see how things are different. Having transferred almost all of my alliance characters over to the horde (FOR THE HORDE!), rather than transferring one of them back I opted to resurrect a character that hasn’t been played since Vanilla. My level 60 Dwarf Paladin. Now, we gave him a face lift and a sex change because I kind of really wanted a space goat. And we painfully re-leveling mining to go with my engineering, after having dropped it back in Vanilla to DE some old gear.

I decided that I would level Ret/Prot this go, already having a Holy Paladin, although I am sure by the time she hits 80 she will probably be Holy/Prot, but you never know! Only I had one serious problem: I was lacking some heirloom gear for her! I was able to transfer over the shoulders and breastplate that I had on my DK, but I was missing a weapon and some trinkets. No problem, right?! WRONG! This character is on my “other” account, with the only 80 on that account being my priest. A priest who is my least played healer, and isn’t really swimming in badges!

That’s ok though, I was determined and it’s just some instances, right? No biggie! And so I decided to spend some time healing in LFD.

When Did Healers Get So Prissy?

As I queued up for my first instance, I was shocked that I had a three minutes wait time! WTF! I am a healer, I don’t have wait times! (apparently, yes, yes I do). When my instance popped up, I groaned as I saw the loading screen. Halls of Reflection. Of course – go figure. But, I bucked up, hit the “enter dungeon” key, and loaded into the zone.

To a party that was completely dead.

Great, just great. I could already tell that this was an omen…and those precious badges needed for my precious heirlooms were going to be painful to acquire. Only…it wasn’t bad. Like, at all. Sure there were a few spots where I mildly panicked and flailed to keep the group standing, and the tank in an upright position – he was a little squishy but not impossible to heal. And in the end, it really wasn’t bad at all and the instance went on without a hitch.

Which left me scratching my head wondering what, exactly, had prompted the first healer to leave.

Oh, well, whatever. Let’s queue up for the next! And I did, and more after that. However, with all of the instances that I ran I would say that I zoned into more than one-third of them very much the same way that I zoned into my first one. With the entire party dead and the healer absent. And, also very much like the first one, once I joined the group the instance went off largely without a hitch. Tanks weren’t terrible, DPS was adequate, and generally the instance was fairly pleasant.

So I got to thinking – are healers starting to feel entitled to special treatment? With all of the dungeons I zoned into the group was generally just fine. What prompted that healer to leave? Did they not like the aftershave that the tank was wearing? Did the DPS forget their deodorant? Or was the healer throwing a prissy-fit? Sadly, my healing brethren, I tend to think it’s the last.

Being a healer myself, I can certainly understand that there are certain things that just set you off, pet peeves that really push your buttons. But I get the feeling that many of the healers that I replace left after just one wipe. They didn’t say “ok, something wasn’t working let’s run back and try it again”, the just bailed on the group. And what makes it even worse, is that it would seem to me that frequently it was the healer that was likely the problem. I mean I was certainly able to step in without too much problem and finish the group out…so clearly the blame wasn’t entirely the fault of the other members of the group.

Which then leads my mind to the next point that I started to ponder as I ground out instances:

Are Healers Lacking Patience, Skill and a Desire to Learn?

If I was able to step up into these dungeons on my moderately geared priest and complete them largely without event, it seems that the prior healer was lacking…something. It seems to me that something that is lacking with a lot of newer (and sometimes older) healers is a good knowledge of the tools available to them. What they have to help them out of a tight spot. I mean, how many times have you been in a group with a disc priest that has never passed out a power infusion. Or worse…doesn’t use Pain Suppression in a pinch! Based on the happy, squee comments that I get when I pass mine out on cooldown, my guess is a lot.

To use another example, let me point to a 25 man ICC PuG that I ran a few weeks ago on my paladin. There were two druids in the raid, both could have used a good visit over to Keeva’s resto druid guide, but the one that floored me the most is the one that didn’t spec into Nature’s Swiftness. HOW CAN YOU NOT SPEC INTO ONE OF YOUR TWO OH SHIT BUTTONS?!?!?! I politely provided both druids some tips throughout the raid night, and provided them with some resources to go and check out. Both were receptive and seemed happy to receive said advice. But…we were in the final raid instance of this expansion – and these were two players that had leveled to 80! And they were missing some very key aspects of healing.

I couldn’t help but wonder to myself “why”? As I ran through instances over the weekend, I couldn’t help but wonder if the healers that had a snit fit and left their instance, leaving me to fill in, had take the time to really learn how to heal. Not only that, but I also wondered if they even recognized that perhaps they were the problem. My guess is that their impatience trumped their desire to truly learn to heal, and the first time they got a tank that wasn’t geared to the teeth and DPS that perhaps pulled threat one too many times they didn’t know how to effectively handle the situation. Not only that, but they likely blamed anyone but themselves for the groups failing.

This in itself only complicates the problem exponentially, because if they fail to realize that they have room for improvement they are likely to continue the self-delusion that they are fine and that everyone else is the problem. Which means that we then continue to start running in circles and the problem never resolves itself. Really, the only way to learn to be a successful healer is to, well, heal! You cannot bail out the first time you wipe, or if you tank doesn’t have 60k health.

Part of what I enjoy so much about healing is the challenges that it provides. Undergeared tank (that likely isn’t even truly undergeared)? Bring it on – challenge me. Force me to pull out everything but the kitchen sink to keep you and the raid alive. Why? Because that is how I will learn to become an exceptional healer. That is how I will learn what I am, and am not, capable of doing. That is how I will learn to make the impossible possible. However, it also takes some patience on my part. I must understand that wipes happen. I must understand that sometimes those wipes are, in fact, my fault.

So, Do Healers Have a Bad Attitude?

My experience from this weekend would indicate that a lot of those up and coming healers do seem to have a bit of the wrong attitude. And hell – maybe it isn’t just up and coming healers, perhaps it’s old veteran healers that feel entitled just as well. Those that feel that they are more important that the other members of their group solely because they make the green bars go right.

Well, to those people, I have a bit of a wakeup call for you: You are no more important that the other 4 people in that group. If you think you are try getting your randoms done solo. You are not immune from making mistakes, and in fact, some of the time it really is “the healer’s fault”. The next time you are healing an instance and are growing frustrated ask yourself if there isn’t something that you could be doing better. No matter what other failings the group may have, if the answer isn’t “yes” then perhaps you are a bigger part of the problem than you think.

So What Do You Think? Are healers getting a bit big for their britches? Have you run across healers who seem to just up and leave your instances for no reason?

Posted August 9, 2010 by Beruthiel in Healing

30 responses to “Do Healers Have A Bad Attitude?

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  1. I’ve noticed people being extra nice to me when I heal recently, trying to explain either their gear choices or lack of dps/health w/e without me saying a word. It seems as if they expect every healer to be a prima donna.

    Then the other I zoned into a Drek’theron Keep on my paladin and and they were sitting just outside the first boss. Turns out they already gone through 2 healers who took one look at the tank’s 25k health and left. They hadn’t even let the guy try tanking the boss. Needless to say we cleared the place easily.

    I think that a lot of healers seem to have the mindset that all tanks have 50k plus health just like the ones they heal in Icecrown citadel and that everyone who doesn’t measure up is a slacker who isn’t worth playing with. I know levelling my own prot warrior briefly made me a little harder on new tanks because the day I hit 80, I had 32k health with only commanding shout but I did spend a few thousands on the AH picking up 264 boe stuff to boost my gear. I still get a little grumpy when people don’t have gems and enchants, but I’ve never left a dungeon group yet without killing the last boss and I don’t intend starting now.

    • I do think that you are right in part of it is that some healers seem to think that a tanks health pool is directly proportionate to their skill as a tank. Which is unfortunate. A lot of people seem to forget that we ran almost all of these dungeons in quest blues!

      I am quite a bit like you – if I join a dungeon group, I’m going to stick it through. If you look at it as a bit of a challenge to yourself, even the worst group can become a little more intriguing! :)

  2. I usually like to joke with my guildmates about the rules of a good PuGee… “Rule #1, never piss off your healer; Rule #2, never piss off your tank; Rule #3, don’t be a douche.” Of course, if you piss off your healer, he/she won’t keep you alive if you do stupid stuff; if you piss off your tank, he/she won’t pick up stuff that you end up aggroing.
    After reading your post… I see that my joke only holds true to people who actually try to keep it going on the run. Of course, it’ll only matter if you piss off your healer, if said healer runs with you until the end to see you die every pull. I know I do (*bad, bad tree! :)*), I hate quitters so I strive to not be one, even if I should.
    But, yeah, I’ve been seeing my share of bad healers (and, why not, bad tanks too), being too cheeky or too full of themselves just because they’re one on a LFD pug, and if they drop, it’ll be (often) a long wait until we get a replacement. And more often than not, I must agree – they think it’s not their fault, it’s the tank who’s too squishy, or the dps pulling aggro… but never that they are underperforming.
    I think this is due to the combination of the ‘power’ that the LFD tool gives both healers and tanks (as only one of each is needed to run a pug, so if you lose either, you’re in a lot of trouble finding another one), with the ‘boost’ in power and gear that Blizz gave the new players so they can see the latest content… this way, making it way easier for them to muscle through the ‘lesser’ content, and as a side effect, making them way too confidant on their (poor) healing (or tanking) skills. So, when they get to the really challenging content, like the high-end heroics or raids, and they don’t hold their own… they end up thinking it’s not their fault. Mostly because those people doesn’t really have a reference, some good healer to look up to.
    I can say I was lucky, when I decided to roll my first healer, because I was on the same guild as some people I consider some of the best healers on Llane, or friends with some of them. Most of what I learned about healing (and my lousy tanking skills XD), was observing how Superhawk, Kurthios, Kenshi and Kinshar played on their healers and/or tanks, and adding my own ideas to it. I read blogs and articles and then went to them to see their opinion, or straight up came to them to ask how could I improve. I know now, after 3 years playing the game, I’m a good healer, even though I’m far from being the best. I’ve worked miracles (like solo-healing Sarfang, pre-buffs, from 50% to a wipe at 2%, after the other healer died due to the Mark), and I’ve caused wipes. But one thing I can count on the fingers of one hand, and not even use them all, is how many times I’ve dropped a group, any group. Even if they deserved it. And often, as I try to help, give hints and tips, or generally try to ignore the smartassery or douchebaggery of some… the sense that I get is that, yes, healers that are actually conscious about themselves and their group are a rare breed nowadays. :(

    • I do think that, as you put it, tanks and healers feel that they have a little bit of power.

      Unfortunately, as a said in a reply below, I think part of the problem is that the way the progression is currently – and the content we have to “level” and “learn” – there just isn’t a good balance for a lot of people who are recently at level to take the time to fully understand what they have the potential to do. Of course, this is aggravated by people who just want their daily random and don’t want to slow down enough to give a lot of people a chance.

  3. I do think you’re missing one other possibility. The healer was kicked by the party for not keeping them up, hence the wipe.

    • While I might buy that reason for one or two instances out of a handful, I am skeptical about it being the reason for the huge number of times I encountered it over the weekend.

  4. I have a lvl 71 disc priest who’s running wolk reg randoms now… unfortunately most people equate those reg randoms with fully geared lvl 80 heroics. Tanks chain pull, dps stand in bad positions and get cleaved/aoe damaged and think nothing of it. Then of course they blame the healer. “Look after your mana.” “It’s not my fault I ran out of los, it’s your job to keep me in los even when you’re trying to get mana.” Sadly as a disc you can heal through a lot of stupid, but that takes a lot of mana and cooldowns… like when the squishy mage thinks he’s melee and stands there all the time even when you say, hey these mobs have serious aoe damage please stay at range. So yeah I’ve done my fair share of /ignoring and dropping group. I’m a decent healer but I don’t play to be stressed to hell and put down upon by asshats who don’t take responsibility for their own actions.

    • I guess that might be where we have a differing opinion a bit :)

      I mean – I certainly won’t take abuse from people in instances. And I most definitely will speak up if I am having issues that can be resolved, such as asking the tank to slow up a bit. But I tend to view PuGs as challenges…what magic can I pull out of my hat here?! What tools can I use to “save the day”? Generally it tends to be a bit of fun – even if I’ve made the fun for myself!

      And if someone died because they did something that they could have prevented, I generally will make an off-handed semi-humorous comment about it, such as: “If you didn’t try to tank in that dress, you might have better luck ;)”.

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  7. I have dropped party a few times due to gogogo’ing

    Tanks running ahead while I’m looting the last pull then getting pissy because by the time I catch up they are dead.

    Then, of course, there is the old DPS puling for the tank trick. The DPS then wondering why I prioritise the tank who’s trying to rescue the clusterfuck of a pull over a dps who is getting their face bitten off.

    Sometimes it’s just better for my blood pressure to take a 30 minute deserter debuff.

    It seems that a lot of the time the number of purple outlines around gear icons is inversely proportional to common sense. The most fun I have as a healer are with people newly dinged in blues and greens.

    Prissy? no
    Grumpy? yes

    • Do you tell your group what is frustrating you and give them a chance to resolve it? Do you politely ask the tank to slow up a minute? If you have to leave, do you just leave…or do you give them a heads up first?

      I can certainly understand a pet peeve (I am certainly not a fan of gogogo), and I can also understand just not wanting to deal with it.

      But usually if I join an instance I’ll stick it out and just not queue for another. I can’t think of a single time that I have just up and bailed on a group…no matter how much they pissed me off.

      I certainly have a lot of purple around my icons, but I also tend to think that I have a fair bit of common sense ;)

      • Well, trying to type warning whilst the tank is running ahead is a challenge. ;P

        I made a macro that I now use at the start of runs now to warn about my peeves. I get a few “It’s only a game” comments but most people pay attention and we have a better, more relaxed run because of it.

  8. I can come up with two viable reasons why this may happen:

    First, I think many classes get tired of waiting on the LFD queue as a DPS and are trying to level/get badges by taking advantage of the vastly shorter queues as a healer. Many are healing in sub-par gear planning to ditch their resto/holy spec as soon as they have the required badges. All they want is to blow through the instance with a 50K hp tank that doesn’t take much to heal.

    Second, Blizzard has just made the game so ridiculously easy that it doesn’t take enough skill to get to level 80. After reaching 80, healing heroics is really the next step in determining if a player is ready to move on to the next stage of the game and sadly, I think that the levelling process just isn’t preparing them for the task. Players just aren’t doing the research to find out how to more efficiently to play their class because they’ve never had to.

    • I don’t necessarily know if it’s that the game is “too easy” as much as it is progress being “too fast”. Right now you can get into gear very, very quickly…but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. It’s running those instances as you level and in your infant days right after you hit level 80 that help to shape you and teach you things. I think right now everything is too rushed and there isn’t enough time and/or desire from a lot of people to slow down and learn the ins and outs of their class.

      I also don’t think that this is exclusive to healers!

    • Yes there are probably a lot of healers that are healing just for the shorter queues, but the same to be said for tanks as well. With vastly under geared tanks it’s sometimes better if they can’t keep aggro on one or two mobs since they usually won’t get one/two shot… unfortunately that means the uber dps might die. And of course the tank is usually ‘why you let me die noob?’

      Your second point is valid but I’m not sure what else blizzard could do to help prepare people for lfd heroics. leveling is generally a solo activity unless you lfd the whole way (as I’m doing with my priest… pretty fast now that I’m at level with a few other guildy alts). But even then there is not much in game literature saying. >>You arez bubble priest stack Spell power for stronger bubblez.<< If there were tags like that for each class/spec yes we'd get more people in better gear and less hunters rolling on SP gear. But I'm sure it would annoy/piss off the veteran and/or elite players just as much as the current unknowing/noob/just plain dumb players do.

      I generally try and educate players in lfd groups if they seem willing to learn. Most are just new and haven't discovered all of the learning resources out there or maybe don't have time too. This group is grateful for the help and you generally see a quick improvement. There is the other side as well, those that think they already know best and won't listen to anything. (I hate this correlation but generally there seems to be an age factor/maturity level issue with this set.) However, sometimes I'm just not in the mood for any of it so I just want to blow of some steam. Generally on those times I will change to dps and wait the 20-30mins for a queue just because I don't want the stress of healing stupid for a while.

      • I think a lot of the “are people learning” issue could be solved by just slowing down some. A lot of people seem to be in a huge rush to get their badges and their gear that instead of taking a nice progression path they just blindly charge ahead.

        To be fair to those new players…a lot of old players don’t have the patience to let them learn and instancing quickly becomes a sink or swim situation.

        Perhaps if blizzard placed similarly geared players into instances together that would help this problem. So the new tank wouldn’t get the guy decked out in 277 gear that he has no hope in hell of holding agro off of. Or the new healer wouldn’t get yelled at for not having infinate mana regen and needing to sit down and have a drink.

        I don’t know if it would “solve” any problems, but I think it would go a long ways in helping folks learn the ins and outs of their class if they were playing with like-geared and experienced individuals.

  9. As a healer as well, I’m a little sad to see you so easily dismiss your fellow healers as “prissy” healers that feel “entitled”. In any random group of runs that you ported in to a dead group that’s close to the beginning of the instance, any number of things could have happened, only ONE of which is that the healer could have had a fit (for whatever reason) and flounced out.

    Sure, the number could be low, but did we consider NEEDING to leave? (Children to attend to, for example) Or perhaps it was an instance they didn’t like (which really is bad form, but that doesn’t make them a faulty healer.) Or any number or random reasons that isn’t (basically) that “they suck”.

    I would consider my priest moderately geared as well. (She ran Naxx and does heroics every so often, but didn’t go to Ulduar or ToC or ICC or any of the new instances) and she can handle what she handles. I heal to the best of my ability every time I am in a group and I never drop a group unless someone (usually the tank) is such an incomprehensible ass that I can’t stand it. Otherwise I will always stick a group out.

    However, BECAUSE I am only moderately geared (and most likely on the low end of moderate) I can only heal “so well” and not to the standards that the highend raiders are used to with their geared out healers. They may have gotten kicked because they were deemed “not good enough”.

    As far as “not learning” – I won’t touch that. Maybe they didn’t CHOOSE to learn, maybe they just didn’t know any better. Not everyone is equipped with the knowledge of the VERY BEST way to play their class. Perhaps personal choice is involved. It’s entirely too subjective. It could even just be that they haven’t played in a while and are rusty.

    I am not dismissing the fact that there are bad healers out there… but the tone of this entire post was very offputting, coming from a healer about healers.

    • I have 4 healers that I leveled to 80 and that all have some measure of end game experience. If it’s out there to be healed, I will find it and heal it. Don’t get me wrong, I love healing. If I am in a group with a healer that I feel I could offer advice and help to, I reach out to them and see if they’d like said advice.

      What I found off putting was the enormous number of times that I zoned into a LFD instance that was already in progress and the part was dead and the healer missing.

      I certainly understand that there will be rare circumstances where the healer had to go. But when I ran probably 50 plus instances and more than 1/3 of them were me zoning into an instance in progress with a dead group and a missing healer? I don’t know…I just don’t think that there are that many times that an emergency popped up.

      I’m certainly not trying to say that *all* healers fit into this category, but my experience this weekend definitely gave me the sense that many of the healers that I replaced were less interested in exploring and growing as a healer and more interested in a quick dungeon run. I certainly don’t think that I am alone in feeling this way or thinking this either.

      And I don’t expect every last player to spend hours optimizing their play or researching “the best” way to gear/spec. But I do think that I have the expectation that they aware of what tools they have in their tool kit to help them along their journey. Is that unfair of me?

      I’m certainly not trying to put down healers, and I’m definitely not trying to put down young healers that truly want to flourish. But I do think that their is a little bit of snobbery out there. I don’t like it, and I don’t feel that I take part in it, but I also won’t treat it like a pink elephant in the room that I won’t talk about just because I am also a healer. Sadly, I do think that some healers, not all, behave poorly.

  10. Just random? 3 times this week I had a tank pull the first boss, kill with no issues and then just leave. Nothing has been said. Just boom gone. Before I stopped doing randoms as tank on my main I had a week where almost every instance I joined was partially completed.

    Natures swiftness I am notoriously bad about actually using. I allways save it for the “real” emergency, which never happens, I might have used it 2-3 this year. This is on a alt that has pugged 11/12 25 man.

    Generally on all my healers the “mistake” most likely to lead to a tank death or wipe is I stopped to loot or drink.

    • I am sure that this isn’t limited to just healers (hi! healer here!). However, I guess my commentary stemmed more from that fact that while I expected this type of behaviour from tanks – and have seen it – I largely thought that healers were a bit above it.

      I was fairly shocked to see it over the weekend. And as if to hammer a final nail in, I did two randoms tonight on my little druid. In one I zoned in with the raid dead and missing a healer (again) and the second one I zoned in to a boss fight in progress missing the healer.

      If a tank is rushing me as a healer, I tend to ask them if they can give me a minute to drink. If they cant’ be bothered, then I drink anyhow, stay out of combat, and then rez them once I’m full mana. Again commenting that I had asked for a minute to fill my mana. However, I don’t just leave the party after a wipe, mid-instance, or mid-boss :)

      • As a tank I gotta say that’s a little insulting :P I know there are a lot of prima donna tanks out there… heck I’ve pretty much sworn off running any dungeon on any toon without a tank I know. But I’m disappointed that people say they expect us to be such jerks, to the point where when I make one reasonable request such as “Please don’t Death Grip” or “Please let me pull” I get people commenting on how whiny I am or “Sheesh, not another diva tank.”

  11. I try to have a calm attitude in randoms and raids, I like healing, I like helping people and most of the time I do not care about fast runs (unless I logged just moments before raid time and I want a quick 2 frosty run)

    I do see a few people now and then when I’m on an alt or tanking on my Druid, geared 264+ that leave cause of low dps or something and it would be a waste of their time. I’m not bothered about those peeps, it’s their playtime so they decide /care

    On the other side, when I’m healing on my other druid who’s in going through lvl 40+ and the tank feels like a hero or a dps suddenly got übertank when I’m still drinking or not ready for some reason I will let them die and join the fight when I’m ready, not because I feel like I’m special and stuff but more because I’ve asked for a quick pause (I always ask in advance) and get ignored, can’t heal without mana or did that change?

    • I certainly don’t have an issue with requesting a moment to med up, and the letting the tank suffer his own consequences if he ignored me. I don’t think there is anything wrong with asking for a minute.

      But what I am questioning is why I am zoning into so many partially completed zones missing a healer (happened in both randoms I did last night!). I do get the feeling that there are a good number of folks with the mindset that Erynis described a few comments up, and that is that kind of thing that is bothering me so much! :)

  12. On Oceanic servers, 9/10 times it’s gonna be that whoever left party was dc’d.
    I get zoned in to a lot of half done instances on my baby healer too, but it’s pretty regular to finish the run with at least one toon that wasn’t in the starting 5, and it doesn’t seem to be heals more often than anyone else.
    The worst is when a tank dc’s and you all stand around for 15 minutes waitiing for a replacement.
    I have dropped group maybe 5 times from 0-80, each and every one of those was after someone chose to swear at me. On Sunday in H FoS I was called an ‘f—ing arsehole healer’ for healing a huntard whose pet had pulled a mob and nearly wiped us.
    Maybe I am a bit prissy, but ‘m not gonna hang around after that.

    • Hmmm, not being on an oceanic server cluster I didn’t really think about consistent DCing, but then again I don’t think it’s nearly as common an issue on the US servers.

      I also wanted to clarify, I certainly do not expect healers, or anyone for that matter, to suffer abuse. That is unacceptable, and I definitely would have the expectation that should abuse be taken, you have every right to leave.

  13. Pingback: My thoughts on healer attitudes | PvP Resto Druids in World of Warcraft | Oombulance @ Stormreaver-EU

  14. I started writing a response here but it ended up being too long so once again your getting a blog post response!

    http://oombulance.com/pve/in-the-defence-of-healers/

    Just my thoughts on the matter as always :>

  15. Pingback: Tank, Don’t Heal | Warcraft Mia's Squeaks

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