Friday, January 21, 2011

Are we tolerating crap from healers?

Beru and most of my guildies have already heard me ramble about this, but a number of questions/topics that I've had on my mind for a while and want to get out.

Just to step back a bit, the recruiting for our guild has gone surprisingly well overall. I don't think that Jess and I expected the interest that we've gotten. We've added several people to the guild who look like they are good players and good fits, but also want to step back to a two night a week raiding schedule. But I think that I would feel better if we had one more healer. So I was talking about the dearth of healers in game and on our server and trying to figure out exactly why that is.

Topics that came up included the whole responsibility bit to healing, as well as the fact that more women tend to play healers and that less women play this game. Though the whole female thing doesn't apply to the fact that there also aren't enough tanks in the game either. So is it the responsibility bit? Is that why we have less healers and tanks in game?

I do think that one difference between tanks and healers is that in raiding, you tend to need more healers than tanks. So even if there are just as few tanks as healers, it seems that the healer shortage is felt more strongly within a guild or a server. And this ever present need for healers, in numbers greater than tanks... has it created overconfident and misbehaving healers?

I guess what I'm asking is... can you be a not so great healer and still be in demand on your server because guilds always need healers? And by not so great, I mean not just in performance, but in how you act. Jumping from guilds to guilds, not showing any sort of responsibility or commitment, just trying to find the most progressed guild as fast as you can to get the phat purple lootz.

Jess has said something around this several times, the crux of which is that healers are in a place where there are enough slots that they don't need to seriously compete for slots like tanks do. Healers are needed enough and there is enough of a shortage of them that one must tolerate "some stuff".

Are servers and guilds tolerating crap from healers?

The very top raiding guilds probably don't face this situation. But if you are a more casual or less progressed guild and raiding on a slower schedule, I wonder if others are seeing the same thing. It irritates me to see healers who are just ok healers (and some even with bad specs that make me sad) feel like they have this sense of power or entitlement to go wherever they want because they are in such demand.

A part of me does recognize that not everyone plays this game the way I do. I mean while loyalty and commitment to a guild is an important thing for me, I know I can't expect that everyone else is going to play that way. Not everyone is going to raid from a mindset of a group of friends working together to establish a common goal. Some people's objective in this game is just simply to get the best gear, however they can. But, I will be damned if I am going to let that attitude into our guild. That is one thing that I can control.

So if I haven't scared you off and you are a healer looking for a family atmosphere type guild, wanting to raid on a more casual schedule, get in touch with me or Jess.


  1. Healers don't exist in a vacuum.

    By which I mean, if the system didn't reward mediocre healers for just being healers, it would be less noticeable.

    But, yeah, in our current system, a mediocre healer can get in a decent slot without trying too hard.

    And until a guild says "NO! STOP, O mediocre healer, and heal mediocre-ally no moar!", they will continue to go where the highest reward for least effort is.

    I mean, if one is the sort to guild hop and all.

  2. @Grimmtooth: I think that is an awesome battlecall to use: "NO! STOP, O mediocre healer, and heal mediocre-ally no moar!"

    I love it!

  3. Hard to say... we did carry a couple of mediocre healers back in ICC when we could afford to, but current content just doesnt allow it. My guild is short on healers, too. We have four currently, and one of them is kinda chaotic, we never know when he's going to be on. So mostly it's me, our priest and our shaman. This is in a guild that, in every other aspect, could support two 10-man teams. It's very frustrating since we havent been able to recruit healers either.

    I think the early difficulty with healing scared a lot of people right out of the job. I went through it myself, but I've been a healer since my first talent point, so I somehow stuck it through and feel decent now that I'm fully heroic rigged and sport 5 or so epics.

    The upcoming patch is throwing healers a bone, so maybe we'll get some coming back to the job.. I sure hope so. Good luck on finding the right fit, Ker! I hope we find some soon, too.

  4. @Kayeri: I hope you guys find a good healer as well!

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  6. Good luck on the healer search! We got lucky and carried across 2 of our old Wrath healers + our former main tank who wanted to step ujp to the plate.
    As far as healing being more responsible/difficult than DPS am I the only one who ran back from DPS as I found healing a lot less stressful than "chasing the meters"? Maybe I havent ran enough heroics PUGs :).

  7. The role of DPS is so much more attractive for majority of the population for one big reason: you can slack as a DPS. In the context of 5 mans, if tank or healer fails, the whole group fails. But if one of the DPS's fail, there are still two others to do his job. And the way instances are designed (even heroics), you don't need the DPS of 3 good DPS's for anything more than making it faster. That leads to people who tend to fail to pick DPS roles, which naturally creates much greater demand for tanks and healers. Naturally as you said as well, this doesn't apply to high end players as there is way more competition.

  8. I think you are right at times but at the same time I think it goes the other way too - I think the tank arrogance of "do it my way or find another tank" can pervade the atmosphere too.
    I find myself more and more - in PuGs this is - as at the moment I tend to run with one other DPS, an IRL friend I'm helping gear up (a mage of some sort) - taking the lead. I tend to give the tank the first pull, see what they do with it and then go from there.
    I'll mark up, I'll tell people where to stand, what to do. I don't want to waste my precious play time wiping on things I know will work if I simply just tell people what to do. And in PuGs, where time is the essence, short, sharp statements and clear instructions work better than lengthy chats.
    For some reason I'm more willing to spend 3 hours wiping on something with guildies and friends than I am with PuGs.
    As for raiding - I can't honestly say. I've just moved guilds on to the 5th on our realm Ally wise (it's a very very horde dominated realm but I couldn't quite handle going tauren when I server transferred) so am "new" in a big, fast paced guild. But I think it's certainly possible that in the desperation to get a full raid, quality is dropping. However I know the guild recently failed a lot of their trialists - so I think people are realising that there is no carrying in Cataclysm - its better to not run than it is to run with poor quality.
    What a ridiculously rambling comment...
    (really glad to see you back btw :))

  9. This doesn't make sense. If it was easy to get by as a mediocre healer you would expect more, not fewer, healers, and you would expect it to be harder to move guilds as competition for raid spots would be greater. In my view, you are dealing with the fallout from the overhaul that healing received this expansion.

    I don't think it's a co-incidence that you're experiencing this problem now. It is harder to heal now than in Wrath. Sure, you might argue it was too easy to heal in Wrath. You might also argue that the level of difficulty of healing in Catalysm is just right now. But when you make something that people are comfortable with degrees of magnitude harder, some will rise to the challenge and some will walk away. I'm playing more dps again. I was probably an average healer in Wrath, so take from that what you will. I think there are fewer healers. And the ones who stuck with it are having to work harder. A mediocre healer in Cataclysm was probably a really good one in Wrath.

    You saw the same supply/demand issue with tanking from BC to Wrath. It got easier to tank in Wrath, and suddenly the number of tanks in LFG rocketed.

    As players gain access to better gear, as healing is tweaked through patches, and as instance mechanics are slowly tuned and nerfed, the number of healers should rise.

  10. Hmmmmm...difficult. I know plenty of people who have accepted people they didn't particularly like into their guild because "he was a healer" and there always seems to be a pressure to recruit healers. I don't know if that means people who are entitled shitheads are thus drawn to be healers because they know it's a good way to get away with crap :)

    On the other hand, healing is Cata is bloody hard right now. I mean it's interesting and I'm glad it's challenging but it's all too easy to come out of a pug feeling like you've been beaten about the head with unripe mangos. And actually to be honest most of the LFG pugs I heal these days are "groups in progress" - which I always dread because it makes me think the group is full of horrible people but usually they've been incredibly smooth and they group has just been grateful to have me.

    I don't know if this supports or challenges your theory though :)