If you’ve been healing for any length of time, you’ll probably understand where I’m coming from with this post. If you just started healing or don’t regularly heal, I want to talk about this so that you’ll know that you aren’t alone.
You’re in your raid, scotch (or beverage of choice) flowing through the system, you’re at a boss you’ve been trying to down for weeks (cough elegon cough), you’ve been healing your heart out ermagerd we’re almost to the last phase, and you just let something slip. Tank took a breath to the face and just croaked. With this being a new expansion, careful mana management has almost been paramount – we’ve been brought up to believe being stingy with heals will be what keeps us from wiping from those “oh crap, I’m out of mana!” moments.
Of course, that opens the door for moments like this. The tank you’re in charge of takes too much damage and you just didn’t get that heal out fast enough.. It’s like time slows down for a moment.. Just for a moment, long enough for you to look at your tank’s health meter.. Long enough to bellow at the screen your choice of curse word (apologies to my neighbors, especially little Timmy, who’s vocabulary just expanded). You scramble to come up with SOME way to salvage the situation – cooldowns, that flash heal you’ve got banked, penance, shield, anythingomganythingpleasedon’tdieaaandholycrapthetankisdead.
Then.. there’s the pause. That moment of silence while people are still too engrossed in their job to notice just yet what’s happened. You could swear there was a tumbleweed that just rolled through the platform. And what’s worse.. You know the tank is doing one of two things: Performing the same swearing ceremony you just completed, or silently quaking. Like a train whistle, the pressure’s just building up for the explosion. You look for a hole to crawl in. Why won’t this hearth work?! Please dear internet god, let my connection fizzle, anything I just need to escape!
Realization starts to creep through when the other healer notices a sudden spike in damage for the other tank or worse.. The dps. Where’s the tank? Why is he dead? Somebody get him back up again! Agh, too late, the raid wiped. What happened!?
Your mind starts coming up with excuses, anything: The cat rolled on the keyboard! The dog farted and set the couch on fire and then my grandmother just sang a Kanye West song complete with explicit lyrics, my car exploded due to an errant Dalek blast and then my face melted off.. anything that sounds viable.
In the world of healing, there is no worse feeling that the literal feeling of stares through the monitor and over Mumble of these people whom you raid with.. Weighing your very soul, as the tank vocalizes the fact that he shuffled off the mortal coil far too early. You feel like apologizing for abandoning him, almost like you personally tied him up, threw him into a Justin Bieber concert 4 hours away from home and left him to be tossed around by the crowd. Not that I would know anything about that.. Ok, there was the one time in Jersey, and the guy had it coming to him.
I know for me personally, moments like that make me reconsider why I heal and even play. Sure the naked dancing on the mailbox is fun for a while, but really, aren’t there better things to do? You just pray that your death is painless and that the Gods of Internet Valhalla welcome you into their halls and didn’t hear of your misdeed.
And then you hear it. “Alright, let’s run back in, give it another shot.” I didn’t die from shame, embarassment, or shunning? I’m not kicked for life from raiding for my misdeed? I’m not posted in the Hall of Shame wall of life!??! Ok, so maybe I exaggerated just a tiny bit. But really, you just feel like you let everyone down, what do you do? First of all:
In the world of he said, she said, it’s refreshing to hear someone say “Yeah guys, I totally dropped the ball, couldn’t get that heal out quick enough.” Take ownership of your mistakes, if you’re confident you made it. On the other hand, if it happened to be someone else’s mistake, don’t immediately yell out that it was. Aunaka has a great post on the subject. First step is admitting you have a problem. and then…
Make it work for you – use that as your determination to do the “more better” that you’re known for! For those interested in the detective work, use Skada or even World of Logs if someone happens to be live updating it.. Look at the encounter and find out why the tank died! In the example above, you could look at several things, like how much damage the breath was, and if it’s less than his health, did he not use a cooldown or lifesaving device himself? Were neither of you prepared for the breath, was he too low in health to take the breath? Despite popular belief, It’s not always the healer’s fault if the tank died (cooldowns, moving out of things that should be avoided) although some would also blame the Rogue (sorry wifey).
Sometimes the tank DOES miss a mechanic, doesn’t move out of something, forget a cooldown. If you’re like me, you still end up blaming yourself for stuff like that though – If I had just threw a PW:Shield on him or hadn’t tried to heal the raid back up and just focused on him first, or threw a few spirit shell heals on him before I started raid healing, he would have survived?? You may even venture into the extreme.. “could I have lifegripped him and then pw shield to get him back in before Elegon does a raid yank, or maybe yanked the OTHER tank in!” Yes, I’m weird. In all seriousness though, in a near-future post, I’d like to talk more about reading logs and how to get the full picture, and maybe share some of my own pitfalls, of which there are many.
Sometimes, it’s just plain ol’ unavoidable death.
But for those times you just plain ol’ drop the ball, it’s not the end of the world. Everybody, healer or otherwise, has caused a raid to wipe at some point in their WoW gaming. The important takeaway is that you realize what caused the wipe, ask questions, find out how to fix it so you can progress through and get that ol’ boss down and obtain some shinies.
What experiences have you had with your raid to wipe, and how did you cope?