Posted by: innerfire | June 19, 2008

What it means to be a healer.


I’ve had a theory for a while that it takes something special to be a healer. Anyone can be a healing class, and they can be quite good. But look at the people who become Priest and Druid class leads. Look at the folks you go “damn, he’s a really good healer?” It requires a certain mentality, where you literally tell yourself, “I’m important because I help others do their jobs better.” Sort of the difference between competent and great.

Most MMOs these days have three core classes: Tank, DPS, and Healer. These three classes in varying numbers provide the formula for succeeding in dungeons and the like, with few games really breaking the mold to provide something radically different. There tends to be more types of DPS classes than Tanks or Healers, leading to something of a dearth of healers and tanks. For a long time in World of Warcraft, I noticed an utter lack of healers. These days it seems to be tanks, and I don’t blame them with some of the awful setups and requirements for bosses. But that’s a rant on the progressively (impossibly) harder instances I’ll save for another time. Healers have become more common with changes to Shaman and Druid talents and abilities, and Shadow seems to be the preferred spec for Priests where it was once the laughing stock of DPSers.

So I find myself without a job. A Druid can do better HoT than me, thus increasing mana efficiency, and Shamans can spam chain heal so they look to be doing more healing than I. I admit, I’m a little jealous. But the fact remains that we’re still all healers, and we provide a crucial (if often misunderstood) role in a group. I feel personally responsible for wipes, as if I “wasn’t good enough”… maybe if I had another 200 + healing, or whatever, we would’ve lived. I only notice that behavior with hardcore healers.

From interviewing people, healers tend to play clerics/priests/druids/healers through many games, whether it’s Team Fortress or Ultima Online. I’m curious to see if that’s true for my readers as well.

(Disclaimer: found the image on 4chan, I didn’t make it. <<; )



  1. Randomly found this post whilst googling for wotlk inner fire change, the bit on priest mentality caught my eye. I started playing this game to pvp, I have never cared at all about raiding or pve endgame or any of that stuff. My mentality has always been that my partner is a blade, and I am what sharpens that blade to cut through anything. Appropriately I found when I hit 70 that disc priest really fit the bill; I have to say of all the healing classes disc priest is arguably the most offensive. (Offensive dispel, decent DoT, PI for decent burst assist, good instants for the very crucial several seconds that are often needed to blow someone up such as PS and PWS)

    The second part about other healers being superior in some respects to priest, I feel is a bit shortsighted. IMO priests are fantastic raid healers because of their flexibility. While shamans are the kings of group healing, druids are unsurpassed in dots, paladins have unrivaled mana efficiency in single targeted heals, etc. priests are the only ones who have all these tools at their disposal. This allows me to achieve mana efficiency that is far superior to many other healers, especially paladins and shamans. Typically when I do heroics my overhealing is under 2%, in 10 and 25 mans it rarely exceeds 10% (with no communication or assigned roles with other healers its tough to know who I shouldn’t heal). In comparison many shamans and paladins I see often exceed 30% overheal. In my experience, the numbers for resto druids depends on the player.

    So the price that priests must pay for their versatility is exacted in relatively lackluster mana efficiency, and raw healing power; both of these can be made up for in becoming a more efficient healer and using your great diversity of tools in the right situations.

  2. I am a level 70 holy priest…I am changing servers as I am so sick and tired of every one totally blaming me when we wipe. It’s never the tank pulling to many or the hunter’s pet going in before it is it should, to or the DPS pulling a different mob to the tank. Yes I am at fault sometime like when I am asked to come and enchant some items before a raid. Then they say can you heal for us please please, beg, beg. I tell them I have not got my pots or mana juice as i just finished doing quests. They say nps we have a Druid to be main healer etc. We wipe, I get the blame . That is just one scenario. I know I can be a good healer. But as time goes on I feel like I totally failed priest school. I mainly quested on my own mainly & did instances to level. Now I refuse to heal for any one, I am fairly well geared I was +2k bonus heals befor blizzard changed all the gems around so I will have to try and fix that up when I move.
    Thanks for letting me babble on, it does help.


  3. hey man i feel the same way sometimes i was in Gundrak yesterday and guess what, I was blamed for the wiped on the dam boss ” he just turned 80″ one guy said and “he was slow on the heals” whell if the damed dps would stay out of the damed poision i wouldint have to heal them!! its a hard boss ive healed them on heroic b4 UGh the dps was slow as hell even with heroism…but yea i got blamed on that i have 1600 spell power at level 80 im a damed good healer always #1 in healz in raid last on over healz But hey u know its alwsy the healefs fault…always but really ur probally a dam good healer remember ..

  4. I’m a Level 80 Druid that brought up my player from scratch as a restro and a Boomkin “to do the begining quests” lol. My 1st guild needed healers so i switched to a healer and started my climb up the ladder.
    I’ve been playing for about 4 years and have come to realize that HEALERS are the most important people u can have in a group, that being said they r also the most hardest char’s to play and devlope.
    Especially when you are raiding and have to “Raid Heal” I personally have healed up to 20 differant people on a single raid.
    although there r numerous addon’s you can use :Healbot” ect you still have to pay attention to the fight and your own health which i ‘ve goofed on many occasions lmao hahah.
    Only people that r new to the game or just Jerks will blame a healer for a wipe, but most of you r right we do get the brunt of the blame, but they still need us so “Screw Em” lol keep healing and you’ll always be needed

    “Healers For Ever” :)

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