Sunday, March 25, 2007

Why Healing Sucks, Part I

Tomas recently posted an article asking "Does Healing Suck?". There are many reasons why many people don't like healing, including social and mechanical reasons. Here are some reasons. I doubt any of these complaints will be fixed by WoW. But perhaps a future game will consider the problems faced by healers. As this will probably get quite long, I'll go one issue at a time.

Issue #1: A healer interacts with the interface, not the game.

WoW has this really pretty game, with interestingly designed monsters. Too bad a healer doesn't see any of it. All a healer sees are the raid's health bars. When I was healbotting, I honestly could not tell you what the bosses looked like.

Now, a healer still has to pay attention to the battlefield, but they have to split that attention with the health bars. And really, all you watch for are the little cues that tell you you have to run somewhere to avoid some random effect.

If you pressed Ctrl-Z and the interface dropped away, could you still play the game? If you were a tank or dps, you could. You wouldn't be as effective, and you'd probably hear a lot of "Need more rage", but you could still play. Could a healer do the same thing? No, of course not!

It's telling that one of the major reasons that I use the sRaidframes UI is that the UI will show me when someone is out of range. By making me interact with the game less, I become a better healer.


  1. I really don't mind healing a competant group. Funny jokes on vent can keep me healing.

    But a silent group that sucks and are incorrectly specced for their class.. I've hit Alt-F4.

  2. I think the most painful thing is something the 2nd commenter hit on: I am at the mercy of the group. If member are underperforming, it just becomes painful. I can't really "turn it up" or pick up slack, I'm just healing them for their mistakes. I often feel our whole purpose is reactionary rather than taking action. It makes you feel kinda powerless, or that I am just along for the ride. Even when I'm the one marking targets, explaining strategies, I still feel like others are doing it all and I'm just watching.

    I'm starting the lotro beta on friday, I was planning on trying out a minstrel, but I'm starting to think I should do something else. Not sure what though. I think i'm going to take lotro as an opportunity to just play and relax and maybe not even hit the end game.

  3. It sounds really really boring for a healer to be so reliant on the interface...