Running Heroics and The Lack of Healers

“LF1M Heals Heroic                

Fill in the blank, repeat 15 times and you have a transcript of one minute spent in the LFG Channel.  Everyone needs healers.  In fact, everyone needs them so bad, that I’ve actually considered shelving Samuel, and changing Anabelle’s spec from Prot to Holy.  I doubt I’ll do it though, despite the number of times I died yesterday.

How many times did I die yesterday?  Well, I died a lot.  I mean A LOT!  I can think of a few that I caused myself, like jumping down to another platform in the Nexus, and missing badly.  I was just following the tank (who went splat about a half-second before I did), but I should have “looked before I lept.”  A lot of the time that I died, it was due to the healer.  Now, I know that some people will read that last sentence and think, poor rogue, QQ more about not getting heals.  That being said, I’m not so focused on DPS that I forget about my own survival, so I use all of the tools available to keep myself alive…

Like any other respectable Rogue, I know when to use the standard tools like Vanish, Cloak of Shadows and Evasion to stay alive.  What I believe separates me from the average Rogue, is that in addition to those tools, I use my professions to stay alive.  I always carry a stack of 20 Bandages, and I know when to sprint away and use them.  I’m an Herbalist, which gives me a 2k HoT, and because I’m an Alchemist, I have a stack of Healing Pots combined with an Alchemists stone.  In dire times, I have on me the ability to basically heal myself from 20% to full, with a grand total of 10 seconds of downtime.  I avoid taking damage as much as I possibly can, so if I’m dying, something isn’t right.

As annoying as some of the deaths from yesterday were, the deaths that really truly upset me came in a Heroic Halls of Lightning.  I can handle dying a few times because due to learning a fight, but my group wiped 10 times on the final boss.  Normally, I wouldn’t stick with a group that long, but the DPS were all from my guild, and the tank was a good friend who used to be in the guild.  Also, we had already spent over an hour in the instance, thanks to internet issues and some wipes on the second boss, so it seemed like a waste to give up at the end.  That opinion cost me some $$$.

The last boss has an AOE lightning attack that hits ridiculously hard.  He also does damage to you based on how far away from him you are, so the best option is usually to stack together and all run out for the AOE.  This plan worked great, for everyone but the healer, who never could seem to get it together and get out of the AOE attack.  Nine times out of ten, he was the first to die.  Heroic groups do not last very long without a healer.  I would have gladly replaced the healer, but it took us almost an hour to find the one we had.  So after we spent nearly 2 hours in the instance, and the tank bubble hearthed on the last attempt, we called it what it was and left.  Epic Fail.

So what happened with all the healers?  Most of the good ones are already running Naxx, and any others that are running heroics are going with people that they know.  But, I have my own theory about why I rarely have to look hard to find a tank, but always have trouble finding a healer: It’s significantly easier to level a tank than a healer. 

I haven’t spent a ton of time leveling my Prot Paladin; however, in the time that I have invested in leveling her, I’ve noticed that mobs are dying quickly and efficiently.  Wearing Retribution gear with a shield and tanking weapon, you get the best of both worlds, DPS and mitigation.  My Hammer of the Righteous is on a 6 second cooldown,  hits for over 1k normally, and hits between 2-3k on a crit, which it seems to do often.  My block value is fairly high with all of the strength on my ret set, and by judging light on a mob, I can usually heal myself passively for most of the damage I receive.  I don’t really run into any mana issues either, as I keep Seal of Wisdom up, and have Divine Plea on a 1 min cooldown. 

Given that most time-intensive quests involve killing mobs, if you can kill things quickly and efficiently, you’re going to level fast.  Leveling Samuel was pretty easy, and leveling Anabelle isn’t much harder.  Following questhelper, I can get 350-450k exp an hour.  I doubt that there is a healing spec that can level that quickly.  And if there is, that’s probably the few people that are using the spec to its full potential.

What’s the Solution?  The Dual Spec System!  All of the sudden, every Priest can heal!  Add that to any Druid, Shaman, or Paladins with caster gear and all of the sudden there isn’t a healer shortage.  I won’t guarantee that every person that can heal will be good at it, but with a larger pool of them, it will be easier to find one.

– Sam

One Response to Running Heroics and The Lack of Healers

  1. Lyndiana says:

    Your final assesment is both accurate and insightful. It causes me (a healer) to both cheer and mourn. When everyone else can do my job, I’ll have less people begging, but then… other people are taking my job! Sounds like Sam’s lament of the “dime a dozen” problem may be INC! Good ‘ol Blizz?

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