I mentioned on my post on Monday how the hilarious Tamarind at Righteous Orbs has given me a blog topic. He said:
"So Keredria, you know you have a certain ‘reputation’ as a healer, right? In a good way, I mean, for not taking any shit. "Heal like a tank", is something I carry with me into every PUG I attempt. So what I would like from you are your top tips for controlling a wayward tank, and reminding them who *really* wears the platemail in the relationship – as frivolous or as serious as you like".
Hmmm, so I have this reputation eh? Haha. I think I shall mix frivolous AND serious in the same post and you guys can guess which is which. Ok, ok I'll admit that there is probably much more frivolous than serious, but there is some serious here if you pull out your magnifying glass and look really really hard.
Now lets first look at why you may have a wayward tank, and where a tank might get the crazy idea that they are running the show and consider themselves the head or leader of the group. Well yeah, its true that the tank is the first person running into a boss or group of mobs. But does that really mean the tank is leading the group? Or could it be a bit like the miners sending canaries into a cave to test whether there was enough oxygen? Perhaps the true leader is the miner at the back of the pack who was smart enough to send the canary in?!?! :) Let's also look at another example:
Hahaha. (Actually in all seriousness I know I'm not some kid expert, having none myself, but people who actually put their kids on leashes like this... WTF?!?!) Anyways, I digress.
Now I do have to be honest in that I haven't had to heal a pugged random tank for something challenging in a long long time. Dealing with a wayward tank is definitely harder when its a stranger that you're running with. But whether you're dealing with a tank you've never run with, or a tank that you've run a million times with, at the end of the day, speak up. Let's look at a *hypothetical* example:
Let's say, por ejemplo (ooh Spanish!), that you just happen to be a kick ass resto druid who is running heroic Pit of Saron for the very very first time with oh, let's just say as a *hypothetical* example, a protection warrior tank, who just happens to *hypothetically* have a white ponytail. Now in this *hypothetical* story, let's say its been a long long time since this tank and healer had run a challenging 5 man instance. So if this tank were to *hypothetically* pull the next group of mobs when the healer is at about one third mana, how should the healer react?
a. Stay quiet and try to keep up with heals as best you can
b. Scream "WTF, you pull when I'm good and ready, got it?!?! Got it?!?!"
c. Let it be clearly known that you are perturbed with a sarcastic comment to the effect of "Ums hello... can I mana up between pulls?" And if it happens again, let the group wipe.
Well maybe different healers have different answers... and maybe the right answer depends on the situation or even the tank. But in general, I think the answer should be c. Speak up for what you need. Tell them you need to mana back up, or mention that you have adds on you (though I usually try to just run to the tank in these situations). And if after expressing what you need, the tank is still "wayward"? Well then you know what? You've done the best you can, you've told them what you need. If its still not working, cut your losses and move on. Its not any slight on your healing badge of honor.
Now if you have been running a long long time with a specific tank, I would venture that most tanks themselves recognize that it is the healer who is wearing the platemail in the relationship, as Tam puts it. The tank-healer relationship has often been compared to a marriage, because there are so many similarities. So in a similar vein, even if you know and the tank knows that the platemail actually hangs in your closet, you don't always have to verbalize it or shout it from the rooftops. Sometimes, be quite generous and make the tank think that they wear the platemail. Let them enjoy it... let them savor it. But you and I know the truth.
I've previously mentioned on this blog the idea that if a tank is thought of as the head of a raid or instance or group or whatever, then the healer is the neck. The neck can make the head turn any which way it wants.
Rock on healers, rock on.