Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Healing assignments in 10 mans?

I am curious as to whether other 10 man raiders make healing assignments in their runs. So when we have a new person healing with us, often they will ask me who they should be healing. My reaction typically starts with a pause, then an "uh", then depending on the healer I'll specify a tank or say the raid. Or more likely I'll say something like "uh, everyone" or "anyone who needs it?" in a half joking, half serious manner.

Now if things go wrong and we are wiping on something repeatedly or healers are running out of mana, yes I may take a second to consider whether we should be making assignments. And for certain fights like General Vezax for example, we do assignments as well. But the default for our raids, even when we are seeing new bosses, is to not have assignments.

Why? Well, perhaps when you're with other folks you've healed with before, you know who is going to do what in terms of healing, and that they are going to take into account the strengths of our respective healing classes. So maybe we already have silent unspoken assignments. Or perhaps I like the excitement of not being really prescribed to something and figuring out what works best, responding to the situation at hand.

Now yes, there could be drawbacks on not having assignments. Sure we could heal the same person and overheal. But if we don't run out of mana and folks are kept up, is that a problem? Or does giving healing assignments also help new healers learn? By not providing healing assignments, are you freaking out new healers?

I know assignments are much more important in 25 mans. So do you do healing assignments in your 10 man runs? And those of you who do, are you doing these 10 mans within a 25 man guild, as such being more used to healing assignments? Those of you who run in a strictly 10 man guild, do you do healing assignments? Are we just weird not to? (Don't answer that, that was a hypothetical).


  1. When I first started healing in 10-man raids, it was also my first experience healing outside of 5-mans at all. It was just me and another tree, far more experienced at raiding than myself. He gave me assignments from the beginning, and I found that incredibly helpful in learning how to heal in a raid setting. As time went on, the assignments grew less rigid, and I gave more and more input into how and who and when we healed as I watched and learned. Now my partner tree is our raid leader and tankadin, and my new healing partner is another experienced raider. We discuss a lot less because we've picked up each other's styles quickly. But having that initial assignment system was an invaluable step in becoming the raid healer I am today.

  2. by not having assignments, yes you are freaking new healers out :) but what's a raid without a little panic?

  3. My guild tends to have the unspoken assignments, if we have a new healer they are always on the raid unless their heals are crazy. Sometimes our RL will ask in vent for healing assignments to be dished out but then we just say we got it all ready when in fact we haven’t even spoken to each other. On the General fight we rotate our heals on the tank and screw healing the raid. If your on the General and take damage as a raid bandage yourself up and use pots, if you take damage and absolutely need it then we might heal a raider but generally there is no point. I use the add-on Voodoo or however you spell it. It lets me see the other heals inbound form the other healers so I know not to toss over heals on ppl. If your new or pushing it where you are then I think assignments are a must but if you are a good group and can handle it I too prefer the unassigned assignments.

  4. We do when we have one of the inexperienced healers in with us, so they know where to focus... if it's one of the core heal team, though... we all know what we do, so we just do it...

  5. @Taz: I don't recall doing assignment back when I was starting 10 man raids in Kara either. I think just went with the trial by fire route. :)

    @Nkm: Yes, my dear, yes. Need moar panic!

    @Gargen: Yeah, the unspoken thing between familiar healers is always nice.

    @Kayeri: We do know what to do, don't we? The funniest is when I am told after a wipe that someone needed heals during X. My reaction is usually "What did you think I was doing? Doing my nails or something?

  6. I guess it depends on the fight if he actually have assignments.

    Like... Ignis, we have a specific healer who focuses the tank and the crotch pot of doom victims, while another watches the raid. But on fights like Freya... it's like... HEAL WHOEVER GETS HIT KTHXBAI!!

  7. CROTCH POT!! love it

  8. In our ten mans we usually keep to our basic layed out assignment.

    Resto Druid (Me) - Raid
    Disc Priest - Raid and Tanks
    Holy Pally - Tanks

    The assignments are more priority targets than anything else. We always watch each others back and keep the Bubbles and HoTs rollin' on anyone who needs it no matter what. Like everyone else is saying. Its pretty unspoken. We have some really good synergy.

  9. At the start of any run, I make sure we have Tank healers assigned specifically, and everyone else is on raid heals. In a 10-man, we usually have one or two priests, and some combo of paly/shammy/druid. Usually, 3 healers.

    One of us has Tank A plus Raid, one has Tank B plus Raid, and the third has Raid plus Tanks. Those are our priorities, and even though we usually have the same healers, I always verbalize it so there is no misunderstanding.

    Especially when there is a "new" healer in the group (OR a new tank!), it's the considerate thing to do, and, as I've found, it saves time...because we tend not to wipe on the first pull. ;)

  10. Funny... I have never heard you discuss healing assignments outside of Vezax or Iron Council, Keredria. Usually the tanks get most of my attention, with Beacon of Light and Flash of Light spam in difficult moments on raid members and you or another healer getting Holy Shock attention. One of those things, I suppose.

  11. We have assignments in 10s.

    It's a good habit to be able to stick to your designated task and carries over into 25 mans as well.

  12. Clueless perspective incoming...

    As the outsider, inxperienced healer, I have to say it would freak me out a little if I wasn't given some sort of assignment. I know they're fluid etc. etc. but if you don't already know how to make a contribution to the group that does not impinge on other people's healing, nor include charging in all healing guns blazing in an attempt to top the meters, it's probably reassuring to have some kind recognised and acknowledged way to benefit the group.

    At least, I would be reassured :)

  13. I always thought healing assignments were important until I healed without them. Unless the boss requires it (Emalon, Thorim, etc.) I don;t see a reason to assign healing at all.

  14. 10-man strict raider here, in a relatively hard-core (light schedule) progression guild. Healing Assignments? I don't think 10 mans need them if their healers know how to prioritize themselves.

    Most of our work is done with only two healers: a mix of tree, holy priest, pally, and shaman. The first 3 have been raiding and healing together for many months now and are very well-coordinated with each other; the fourth is new (to the guild), but hasn't once asked about healing assignments.

    We do occasionally, in rare cases, push to healing assignments, but those are normally in way of "the raid is spread too far apart; I'll stand on this side, you stand on that side." Sometimes (such as Jarraxus), this occurs without us even speaking. In other cases, assignments happen because of special shields or cleanses that may be needed, but there will still likely be cross-healing.

    The one times that I feel I can truly say we need healing assignments has been on Council (a range and multi-tank issue) and on Algalon (because we're new to the fight, need 3 healers, and the tanks can go down in a snap when the healers are doing their standard cross-healing of the raid damage). Since learning Council, we've stopped discussing much in the way of assignments for it, except in cases when who the cleanser for Fusion Punch will be is uncertain.

    I don't think you're weird for your lack of assignments :)

  15. @Mikata and Gargen: Hee hee, we call it the crotch pot too. Have you ever noticed how it wiggles? ;)

    @Penkii: Yeah, its always nice when you have the long time relationship with fellow healers and things are just unspoken.

    @Kestrel: Hmmm you guys verbalize the assignments every time?

    @Nico: Yep, I know... my post is about the fact that I hardly ever talk about assignments. And if we do need to switch things up, I rarely talk about it on vent and deal with it via private whispers.

    @Tam: Yeah, maybe I've forgotten how it felt to enter a raid as a new healer. Though thinking back to my new raids back in Kara, I don't think we did assignments back then either.

    @Anonymous #1 and #2: Hmmm two more perspectives on both sides...

    @Kae: Your raids sound very much like ours in terms of healing.

    I find it very interesting to see feedback from all of y'all (there's my NC-ness) about this topic. There seems to be opinions all along the spectrum.

  16. We don't often dish out healing assignments in our 10 mans either, unless it's something that warrants a specific assignment. But even then, that is interpreted more as "this is your first priority, but helpout wherever you can and keep your first priority alive".

    Honestly, in the way 10s are designed, you almost *can't* give a strict assignment, because all of your healers often need to cover some aspect of the raid/tank healing to be successful with so few people. At least in my experience anyhow =)

    Even in our 25 man farmed content, healing assignments are fairly loose. I think this is somewhat because everyone usually does the same thing, for the most part. I often will throw out "assignments" on our farmed content as we are pulling, as an after thought.

    New 25 man content, and HM content, I almost always assign heals, and do so very carefully.

  17. The healing assignment in our 10 man guild is simple:

    1 person does tank and OT

    1 person does raid/back up tank heals

    Our healers are usually myself (tree) and a resto shammy. We do have 2 holy priests, but they never seem to be online to raid, so we have yet to use them. They were around in the Kara raiding days, although one was Disc at that time.

    We dont make a big deal about assignments, we just state in the beginning who is primarily doing what. During the actual raid, there is crossover, but thats more for backup than anything else.

  18. We run 10-mans exclusively, and generally run with 2 healers, 3 if it's a new fight that's challenging us.

    With the regular healers, we know each other's style, and just run without assignments.

    When we have new healers in the group, I ask what they'd prefer - that druid might be glyphed and talented for tank heals, or this pally just has a knack for raid heals. If they're experienced raiders, they know what they do best, and that's fine with me unless they show us otherwise.

    With a player brand-new to raiding, I will give them an assignment. It's one less thing they have to worry about figuring out with so much other new information coming at them.

    As well, we get more specific sometimes learning new fights. For example, our first kill of Iron Council came only after we shifted healers to very specific roles. In a movement-heavy fight with important debuffing and range issues, having healers focus on less targets = faster reaction times, and made the difference.

    I think that, in general, 10-mans foster a closer relationship among players, which means you quickly develop a sense of how the group plays. But that's also why it can be helpful to give a new player a role to begin with, to help them get 'in the groove.'

  19. in our guild we do 10 mans and don't really have healing assignments. All of our healers have worked together for awhile, so it is weird to us when we bring in new people and they ask who their assignment is. Most of the time we tell them Just to heal anyone with low health. But usually we have the same healers and we just know what to do.

  20. Wow, its really interesting to me to see all of these responses on all sides of the spectrum in terms of 10 man healing assignments!

    Thanks for your input everyone. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one not doing assignments, but the other comments from those of you who do gave me good points to think about.

  21. For 10 mans, I'll usually just say something in Vent real quick: "I've got MT, you've got OT; we're all on the raid" sort of thing. It simply makes it easier to know where to look first, and lessen inadvertent sniping.

    Of course, I'm talking things like ToC or Ulduar, where we're still on progression, even in 10s.

    Naxx? Hah. I can almost solo-heal it, so I don't get too worked up about it. :)