Shared Topic – Go die in a Fire?

Over at Blog Azeroth this week’s shared topic is:

When should a healer let someone die?

suggested by Ecclesiastical Discipline.

Now my first instinctive response is NEVER EVER EVER. Conditioned perhaps by five years of healing groups in WoW, I get upset with myself if anyone or anything dies on my watch. Hunter’s pets, suicidal mages and lifetapping warlocks.. doesn’t matter the circumstances leading up their demise. I always feel guilty. However I realise that is an unrealistic approach. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made for the good of the many.

My priority list for 5 mans goes something like this:

  1. The tank. Why the tank first? Well if they are at all competent they stand between the other four people and certain death. Why not me first? In five mans, quite often a tank can survive without a dedicated and specced for healer. I’ve healed a couple of heroic fights purely as a ret paladin throwing art of war procs at the tank for example. In reverse though, if your party is a bunch of undergeared casters facing a melee boss, you might not make it without the tank. Luckily spells like binding heal mean you don’t have to make that call often.
  2. Me.
  3. Sensible non-fire hugging Dpsers
  4. Anyone else

Even category four gets a couple of chances to allow for lag and/or mistakes. If they never move from anything bad or never use any relevant cooldowns to help out when things get hairy (like barkskin, cloak of shadows etc), then I’ll start to get a little grumpy. Even whilst grumpy though as long as no one else is in any danger, I’ll keep them alive.

I tend to avoid blanket statements like “If dpsers pull aggro I’ll let them die”. In my time I’ve seen some truly awful tanks who couldn’t hold aggro off a wet paper bag. Paladin tanks who refuse to use consecration because it cost too much mana even when a herd of mobs was rampaging around trying to eat healers being the example which springs to mind. In that case, any dpser who managed to pull aggro would get lots and lots of loving heals. After all better him or her than me.

So are there other reasons why I might withhold a heal from someone? Not that I can think of.  Sure I might get mad if someone was being a complete jerk but I’d rather get through the instance as fast as possible so I had to spend less time in their company. Letting them die repeatedly makes me as bad as them, after all we are both griefing others by our actions. Also I can’t help but think it’s a bit self defeating. What if the most obnoxious dpser in the group is the one doing the best dps? Trying to kill them just slows down the pace.

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6 Responses

  1. I’m similar to you, I just take a certain pride in not letting anyone die.

    However – since I’ve not had a healer as my main since.. well Karazhan.. my healing skills aren’t quite what they used to be. Nor is my priest’s gear.

    There have been times (mainly in HoR where I really do struggle if the tank isn’t very well geared once you get those bigger groups) when I have to make a decision between healing the dps that’s facetanking some add that the tank couldn’t get or healing the tank.

    Obviously the tank wins – since no tank = no kill and I hate wiping. Sorry rogue who didn’t vanish or hunter who didn’t feign.. I’ll res you as soon as I can!

    Last time I did HoR the person who died the most was a boomkin that kept AoEing every pack. It meant that the tank was taking substantial damage from 5 adds for longer since none of them died (instead they all died at similar times) and I just had to spam heal him for that much longer, leaving no GCD to spare when the druid invariably got aggro from all that AoE.

    But I digress (as I tend to do it seems). In short – if it can be avoided, I don’t let anyone die.

    Hmm no you know what – if a dps consistently and persistently keep pulling packs instead of waiting the extra 2 seconds for the tank to do it I might eventually get annoyed enough to not heal them :P

  2. Boomkins are good at the whole aggro thing :(
    Starfalling excitedly before the tank has hit everything is a bad idea. Hooray for shadowmeld.

    I keep telling myself when someone bugs me and/or keeps trying to kill themselves by standing in bad stuff, running at bosses before the tank or just generally being silly, that the next time they do that…. I’m going to let them die. One of these days perhaps.

  3. Thanks so much for your response!

    • Thank you for setting the question. I found reading all the different responses really interesting.

  4. [...] comes off when you are dead.”.  Priestage puts in his two cents.  Harpy’s Nest has a mostly never let them die perspective. And All of Them talks about all the reasons you might die…and has a cute handwritten [...]

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