WAR: When is it OK to tell your healer that he sucks?

I think I’ve admitted here in the past that I’m not a great healer. My main character in Warhammer is an Archmage, currently about 90% through level 28. I run a lot of scenarios, and manage to win quite a few, and manage to do fairly well on the Healing chart, but there are matches where I’ll get outhealed by a fellow Archmage or a Rune Priest by a substantial margin.

Part of that is due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time; I get killed too often, and that really hurts the healing totals. Part of it is probably due to old fingers working the keyboard. But occasionally, the problem is even more simple. I’m making dumb mistakes.

If you’ve run enough scenarios with pickup groups, you’ve probably seen spirited discussions revolving around something like “OMG, why the &%*$ didn’t you heal me? What the @&$! is wrong with you? You’re the worst healer EVER!”. It was my turn last night, except the person talking about me was much more polite, even though he was really annoyed.

Last night, I was on top of the volcano in Tor Anroc, the only healer in my group. There were a couple squishies in my group; witch hunters, bright wizards, shadow warriors. I can’t remember exactly the makeup, but we only had one tank.

When things go bad in a scenario, I’m often staring intently at the group displays, watching to see who’s health starts to tick down, and trying to heal as fast as possible. With squishies, they go down fast, and if I’m not quick, they’re dead before my three-second heal goes off. Destruction was charging up their side of the volcano, and health bars were dropping all over the place. I noticed our tank’s health dropping too, but I also spotted him, out of the corner of my eye as I stared at health bars, on top of the volcano next to me. Mentally, I slotted him about three heals down, as my bright wizards were in the process of melting.

I didn’t get that far. He died (for reasons I found out a few seconds later), and I died almost immediately afterwards to the Destruction charge.

As I respawned, I saw a “Dude, why didn’t you heal me??” in scenario chat from our tank. I said something like “Umm, because I was healing other people?”, thinking I had the moral high ground. Umm, wrong. He replied “Yeah, but I had the bauble!”. Doh. Somehow, while focusing so intently on the health bars, I managed to miss that huge glowing beacon to the sky. My bad.

And he let me know about it. He said something along the lines of “Do you know how this works? If you want to win, you have to keep me healed.” I was running back to my group by then, realized I was wrong, and didn’t have time to talk it out. I said “Sorry, k”, and got back to healing. He took that to mean that I was unaware of how the bauble worked, but it wasn’t true :) I just missed it, but I understood his frustration.

To my surprise, other people in the scenario spoke up, and told him to lighten up, and it’s tough being the only healer in a group. Very cool of them, but I don’t think our tank was being a jerk. He just wanted to win, and I said so in chat. I hadn’t said anything at that point (being busy healing and dying again) that told our tank that I had a clue how the scenario worked.

I hope I managed to state, as I was respawning and running back to heal and die one more time, that a) He was correct, I made an error, b) I know how the bauble works, I just blew it, c) don’t harsh on the tank too much for wanting to win, I appreciate that in a groupmate, and d) I really appreciated the backup from other players who were giving their healer some support. I’m pretty sure it didn’t come out that well in scenario chat, but I did want to say that, yeah, sometimes it IS the healer’s fault…but it was just a human mistake, not ignorance.

So Spiff, if you happen by this blog, I apologize for missing that huge glowing beacon over your head. It was a total brain freeze, and I’ll try to be more aware :) And if anyone else who was in that scenario who spoke up in defense of their healer, or if you speak up on any server supporting your healer, it’s appreciated.

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24 Responses

  1. Love the blog added it to my own blog roll. As a Chosen, I love healers cause I couldn’t last long without them.

    Wait you were the ONLY healer on Order side. I play Averheim Destro, every fricking scenario I’ve been in you guys have like 5 or 6 healers to our 1 or 2.

  2. Being the only healer in a scenario is like trying to dig to China with a teaspoon.

    Having stuff mentioned politely is *never* a problem, though I may squirm a little if I know I screwed up. Having useless buggers who are a liability to the 11 other players there make insulting remarks about the healers… drives me round the bend. I still haven’t found a nice, yet nastily appropriate way of replying to them yet.

    There’s a difference between constructive criticism and other people yelling at you to cover up their own shortcomings. At least you had the former, not the latter. ;)

  3. Eff em all. They want healing, roll a healer.

    The problem on Order has been bad since day one. You said it yourself, a group full of BWs, WH, and SWs and maybe a tank.

    Mythic really blew it by only leaving in two undesirable tanking classes on the order side on release. I loved by IB, but do a data dive into most games and you’ll see dwarves are never the most popular race.

    Don’t get me started on the elves. I liked playing my AM, but I couldn’t stand looking at any of the elves.

    Politely offering a comment or question is ok, but it should have been done in a tell, otherwise they’re just being an asshole and deserve to get shouted down IMHO.

    To even ask the question when you are likely the only healer or one of maybe two is just being an asshole.

    Life’s too short. Like Ysharros, this stuff makes me apey. I’m always partial to the “if i’m not welcome here, I’ll just leave then. GG” or “sorry to have wasted your time. gg” and disconnect. :P

  4. Having spent a lot of time in scenarios with my warrior priest, I feel your pain. I could generally keep up the healing for people in my group who were in range (and one thing that is really nice in WAR is that healing has a nice long range).

    But for people not in my group, tracking their status and targeting them was such a pain that they were pretty much on their own.

    But all in all, scenarios are crap for group cohesion and the thankless disaster that is healing in them pretty much closed the book on them for me.

    Not that there isn’t some half-assed healing, or lack thereof, going on in scenarios. I stood defending a flag in Nordenwatch with my ironbreaker and had a runepriest behind me, in my group, stand there and watch me get ground to dust with out offering a heal for me or any damage to the one black orc I was facing, the only bad guy within sight.

    But that is the routine with scenarios; complete amateur night.

    Now, in open RvR in a warband where people were more obviously working together, I never had a problem at all when we were actually in action against the other side. People did their jobs very well for the most part, as we generally had a single clear goal. It was finding the other side to fight that was the issue!

  5. WP and DoK are not great healers when it comes to multiple people. Our most effective heal is a channeling single target combo attack, and while it’s an amazing amount of healing, it basically means everyone else around you is not getting any healing.

    On Monolith Destro side though, I’ve seen some good healers lately, staying back and just helping people out. As I’ve said for a while now, people are still learning the game, and learning that healing is actually worthwhile. This is why a pre-made group in a scenario is still so devastating, playing correctly gives you a huge advantage.

  6. A few things…

    1) If you are a healer and you aren’t running the squares addon you will never be as good of a healer as you could be.
    2) Healing the guy with the bauble shouldn’t necessarily be the primary focus of the healer. Sometimes you just got to let him go down for the good of the scenario.
    3) Warrior Priests aren’t good healers period.

  7. Even if you healed the guy with the beacon, the Destro folks would have taken down the squishies and moved to you shortly thereafter then taken out the tank. You sound like you were spread a little thin. :(

    Personally, if I saw you as the only healer, I would have bee-lined right to you and interrupted you with silence effects and all sorts of other nice gimmicks – while you’re busy healing yourself you’re not healing others. Sorry, I’m evil!

    There is a reason why there are so few people willing to play healers in PVP.

  8. Only character I played much at all was the Goblin Shaman and all the heals I had (except one s l o w -casting direct heal) were HoT’s and I could barely tell I was making a dent.

    Plus all the Scenarios are glorified FPS maps anyway and I never saw that it actually mattered if anyone lived or died, it was all about capturing the important points and getting a high score. It was aggravating when I was killed, especially when even full-time self-healing couldn’t overcome the dps I was taking, but again… did it matter in the long run? Nope.

    Open RvR? Maybe that’s a different story, but that didn’t exist on my server at the time and I don’t plan on going back anytime soon to see if it ever appeared.

  9. @theerivs – I was the only healer in my group, I think there was another in the second group.

    @smaken – I like knocking people like you in the lava :)

    @Sife – thanks! I’ll check it out.

    @ Syncain – Yeah, pre-mades are great. I usually run with some CoWs, but sometimes, if I’m only on for a little bit, I’ll do PUG’s. Contrary to Wilhelm’s experience, I’ve had some good experiences in PUG’s, but there are some exceptions. Last night wasn’t bad, though, it WAS my fault!

    @Wilhelm – I actually enjoy scenarios, even when it’s pick-up groups, but WAR and Dark Age are the only games where I’ve really enjoyed PvP. Well, and Eve, but I didn’t put myself at risk enough to say I really PvP’d there.

    @Ysh and potshot – I usually let stuff roll off my back. I prefer to enjoy time with my friends instead of putting too much energy into arguments. I use /ignore liberally :) I didn’t have a problem with Spiff though…yeah, a tell would have been fine too, but it was in the heat of the battle; we had a scenario we were trying to win! :)

  10. @Scott – Wow, I have a very different opinion about the importance of healing. It’s why I chose a healer this time around. Keep your team a live a few ticks longer than the other team, and you win. If you don’t like scenarios because they feel like FPS maps, I can understand that, but healing is hugely important.

    Did you get far into your teens with the gobby shaman? All your heals get better as you level, and there’s an art (which I have not mastered) to know when to cast which heal on which person, to conserve AP and not overheal unnecessarily. The group heal at 20, and the Morale heals, are fun too.

  11. I’ve messed around with a DoK a fair bit. I enjoy the class, but I don’t play him that much because I quite frankly suck. I can barely keep up with one guy at a time while running in and out of melee to charge my points, much less prioritize healing targets. Lately I’ve taken to just using my charge ability and doing 100% healing duty. It makes things a bit easier, but i still wouldn’t say I’m awesome. I rarely score higher than third place on the healing meters in scenarios.

    I can at least say that this is the first MMO where I’ve actually had fun as a healer, at least. That has to say something.

  12. @ Sifo: You are just wrong. Sorry to tell it so directly, but WP’s can heal (if the player understands the class, which is quiet tricky.), You don’t need Squared to be a good healer…period. Squared helps, but it isn’t soooo important. Understanding you career and position on the battlefield is way more important than that addon. Point 2) I agree with you ;)

    Now to the post.. Errors and wrong decisions happen… to everyone. Sometimes it’s really not so important to keep the “guy with the bauble” alive, if he gets too much damage and has backup, so that the bauble doesn’t go to the other side.
    Some people need to understand that the life of a healer is more complicated than that of a (ranged) dps’er. ;)
    There are setups in scenarios where you seem doomed right from the beginning. You need some tanks and some healers to have a chance to win a scenario. With pure dps you will lose. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t important, but with just one tank and one healer you will get into real trouble in a scenario ;)

  13. Tell me about it :)

  14. I think I only made it to level 10 or 11 before I left the game. Yeah, I saw that my heals were increasing with each level, but with HoT-only and what appears to be a bit of lag between the heals arriving and my health bars updating, it was difficult to tell what affect I was having.

    Being stuck in normal MMO mentality, I was doing my best spamming heals but like I said, Scenarios being the Diku-MMO equivalent of an FPS map, I never saw that healing, tanking, living or dying actually mattered. Only the score mattered, and that reset after the match was over.

    Maybe the pieces to the puzzle (classes, roles, etc.) comes together in Open RvR but with only a single Scenario ever being utilized when I played (despite the Join All ability) I never saw a use for any of it. Mythic could have released Warhammer: Age of Scenarios as a Source Engine third-person RPG “shooter” on Steam and probably had more success…

  15. [...] “When is it okay to tell your healer they suck?” @ /random – I guess the answer is “When you never, ever want to be healed again. Ever.” [...]

  16. Yea the game has really changed a great deal since you left Talyn. Healing dominates in scenarios, and if anything having HoTs is more important than single cast heals, as HoTs let you focus on multiple targets at once.

    Scenario variety is common now with the changes they made to queues as well.

  17. The one advantage to being a healer. If you suck or screw up, people will always defend you. Why? Because only us special people will play healers. (special can mean unique or retarded. take your pick)

  18. Hahaha…I know what I’m choosing!

    Talyn, I agree with Syncaine that healing is hugely important in RvR. The trick, though, is it’s like healing while taking meth. Healing in PvE is a hell of a lot more predictable, and I think I feel like I’m making more of a difference in PvE sometimes.

    RvR is so hectic that it’s tough to tell if you’re being effective, but when the scenario is over and you’ve got a TON of healing points in the summary, you gotta know you made a difference.

  19. [...] “When is it okay to tell your healer they suck?” @ /random – I guess the answer is “When you never, ever want to be healed again. Ever.” [...]

  20. Luv da healers! For the heals on my side and the kills on theirs.

    Bless you all, because i don’t have the patience for it!

  21. How about the hybrid healers? Last night a WP in a Tier 2 scenario was heavily abused by a SW even when the scenario ended. “So you want to be a WOW Paladin?” etc… I have a DOK alt. Many don’t understand the hybrid has to “recharge” their healing juice by participating in battle. Also, it can be hard to heal when the healer has a MDPS and a Tank in his/her face…

  22. I actually think the summery at the end is somewhat misleading. I mean an BW spamming DoTs and AoE might finish with the highest damage, but if all his work did nothing to actually win the scenario, he failed. Same with healers who tab-HoT everyone, huge healing score, not very helpful to the team.

    The major challenge for a healer in RvR is that you never know when someone is going to get focused. In PvE it’s easy to manage boss agro and know who the tank is, when the boss is going to use an AoE, etc. RvR it’s totally random. Your tank might run head first into the enemy, and they might target him. But they might also ignore him and run into your squishies, or focus fire the second tank you sent in. You have to react quicker, and have more tricks up your sleeve (moral heals), to be a good RvR healer.

  23. Another point: raid healing is what burns most healers out, as who wants to stand in the back and spam the 1-2 most cost efficient heals on the main tank?

    RvR healing is perhaps the most difficult thing to do in WAR. DPS is rather simple (target squishy, kill), tanking is an art with collision and taunts, but healing is the make/break of any close scenario or keep siege.

    In no game prior to WAR have I enjoyed playing a healer, I was the MT in a top raiding guild in WoW, and I absolutely love playing my DoK. Far more than when I play the gf’s witch elf even (which is also an awesome class for RvR)

  24. Syncaine,

    I also have a DOK alt. Do you spend most of a scenario healing or get involved in melee (and usually get yelled at for healing)?

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