There are some things you must learn before earning the “plus sign” role of healer. ”Dear goodness this woman is mad”, you may be thinking, “anyone can click the plus sign and get through ok enough”. You would be right, but selecting the role and earning the right to select it are two different things entirely.
Sometimes, Good Healers Must Let Someone Die
Not out of feelings of vindication “that jerk hunter won’t feign so I’m just not going to heal them”…no, that is something entirely different. However, Mr Melee shaman and tank are both taking heavy damage, if I stop healing Tank he will die! Is fine…you whisper the shaman and apologize if you feel the need, but it happens. Now in the case “jerk hunter” are you entirely sure his aggro is his fault? Because if not, you’re going to look like an ass. I’ve been there, we’ve all been there. Don’t be vindictive, but do triage.
Healing Gear is Vital
I don’t care if you are a dps spec healing your way until dual spec drops. As long as you are keeping everyone alive, most people won’t even notice. But if you’re doing it in gear not designed for healing, you’re doing it wrong. Make sure you have the mana to be able to pull it off. This is also true for people with a healing spec trying to heal their way up. Know what stats you need. Healing gear is vital, but not so vital that you should be taking gear from dps classes. Ask before needing on +hit gear. Ask before needing on gear that isn’t your intended type (ie cloth, leather, mail).
Be Vocal About Your Needs
If you need mana, be vocal about it. If you can keep going, let the tank know. Tanks have it just as hard guessing if 50 percent mana is a need to stop and drink as we do trying to reach them when they forge ahead while you are drinking. Let the group know what you need. If its your first few times healing, tell them. Most groups are pretty understanding if they know they are working with someone new, or know ahead of time you may need to drink often. If they are abusive or won’t listen? Leave. The timer is better than a group who can’t take 5 seconds for a healer to drink or use some crowd control to help even out the damage.
You WILL be Blamed
When people die, they will blame you. It will happen. It doesn’t matter that that person was standing in the fire, or tanking the mob that was supposed to be sheeped. They will BLAME you. It doesn’t matter that the tank is a ret pally in holy gear, they will blame you. Usually pointing out what actually happened can result in one of two things. The person stops doing what got them killed or one of you will be vote kicked. Don’t let it get to you. If you did everything you could and people died because their play-style is…well…bad, there’s nothing you could have done differently.
But…Sometimes it IS Your Fault
Sometimes you could have done better. It’s a learning experience. If you are having a hard time, ask if there’s a strategy you could be using to do it differently. Perhaps there is a dispel you are are missing, or a cool-down you could use to improve your ability to get through the rough part. You’ve already let the group know you’re a new healer right? Usually people will offer some pretty good insight you may not have thought about. They may have some tricks that help you out be it crowd control or interrupts or a good strat.
Know Your Abilities
If you can dispel, make sure you have your UI set up to show you when there is something you can dispel. If you have some pretty awesome spells to use on other people, read up and find out when or how they should be used. Don’t be that guy! You know the hunter who, when asked to use flare, states they didn’t spec into flare. (Yes that was me on my hunter at one time!). Healers usually have a huge arsenal of spells at their disposal, which are easy to overlook when you get used to using a few spells all of the time.
Earning your plus sign can be a hard and discouraging road, particularly with people who are not understanding. But it’s also a rite of passage. To become a good healer, you’ve got to earn it.
What other examples do you have for earning the plus sign??