A (Somewhat) Final Statement

I’ll admit to ranting, raving, and QQing. I’ll admit to whining that healadins are broken. I’ll admit to struggling. But I can’t admit that I’m not trying because I am, I love healing and yes, I am trying very hard to get it down. I think I have pin-pointed what it is that makes this so complex at the moment. But before I get into it, and the problems I still face, I want to share an anecdote with you.

The Setting: VOA 25

I have thought long and hard about a way to write this without getting mad again. Without getting insulted; but, it is difficult to tell you that I was told I didn’t know how to do my job. First there were 2 things wrong that weren’t healing based, that all the healing in the world couldn’t fix. DPS & tanks. The DPS was not only significantly lower than tank dps, but they didn’t switch to orbs, which means there was never a break from the orbs. The tanks, didn’t know how to taunt properly off one another, meaning their white-out stacks got extrememly high and the fight was lasting too long. No one called them out, no one said “Fix it tanks.” What did they say? “FFS HEALS!” or “WTF NO HEALS!?” but one that really pissed me off, (ps. I feel the anger in my belly right now) was “Well, apparently we need new healers.”

I was NOT the only that defended the healing but I was the only paladin healer. The only tank healer. And when the raid began to fall apart, and the good priest healer who stood up against the hate left, and they fat assed Emalon trash, I left. I had had enough…until…

I see the raid leader in trade chat LFM. His pitch went something like blah blah tanks blah blah 5k and healers that actually know what they’re doing. And dammit if that didn’t break me. You want to know why? Because for once, FOR ONCE, since this stupid patch has dropped, I was feeling confident, I was doing a good job and he needed to point his blame at someone else. I decided that I would promptly point out that his healers HAD been doing what they were supposed to and not to blame them. At which point he promptly said I cared way to much about healing numbers and was busy healing around the raid and I didn’t do my job.  After being backed up in trade, reaffirming to myself I was correct, I promptly battled him (ps. I should have left it alone but I was mad). Eventually, it ended with him telling me I didn’t know how to do my job.

But let me retort that I absolutely healed my ass off on those dim-witted tanks who couldn’t figure out what to do (ps. This is not hate against all tanks) and I attest that I felt at the time I had been doing a good job. I don’t care about the meters. Does it upset me that I had fallen so far? Sure. BUT, it was absolutely pleasent surprise to see that I had made it back up in that run to 2nd place (we wiped before and I was in fact near the bottom)  so my confidence was not unwarranted. I healed the two tanks and myself (Protector of the Innocent is massive) but the two other people I holy shocked from death weren’t reflected, and there were only two (neither of which caused a tank to die) and one person happened to be the guy bitching at me.

While OBVIOUSLY, there were other factors at play, if he really wanted to blame it on heals (it boils down further to point at his raid leading skills) I suppose he has something in his pocket (but he should have asked given the extent of changes).

I had been so confident, but as all good trolls (or D-bags) can do, he had me doubting…

So, after feeling so incredibly desolate, I read an article that Kurn wrote about her struggles. And so I asked her if she had difficulty two tank healing, hoping beyond all that I am not just a fail whale, this is what she had to say:

We can no longer, IMHO, heal two targets reliably without help. It isn’t always a lot of help that we need, but we can’t solo it.

It is difficult for a paladin to be the only tank healer when there is mass damage, Beacon of Light is NOT what it used to be. I had two healed (me on tanks) 5/12 pre-patch, but I can’t get VOA? While the utility of Beacon of Light certainly plays a part in our tank healing, I think I have it finely pinpointed a major factor.

Our problem is “Reactiveness“.

Is that a real world? No, probably not, but it is for right now.

In the paladin healing right now we are so REactive to procs and cooldowns, that it effects more of our healing choices than actual thought. The general gist is:

  • Divine Light is a good use for Speed of Light
  • Infusion of Light means you need to do Holy Light
  • Holy Shock is up!
  • 3 HoPo time to WoG!
  • Oh, hey Daybreak!
  • HOLY FLASHLIGHT BATMAN, don’t forget Light of Dawn.
  • Even the oh SH*T button is on a CD. Hello Lay on Hands (but that is nothing new)

It isn’t reactive to the damage, it isn’t PROactive for damage, it is about procs and cooldowns all the way around.

It seems that the standard rotation has become: HS – DL/HL -HL – HL/FoL – WoG but when you think about it, it would take 3 of these sequences (~18 seconds @ 6 sec CD) to get 3 HoPo for WoG if you are fully utilizing beacon and NOT healing your beacon target. If you use this as a one tank heal, you could pop this rotation ever 6 seconds but lose the utility of Beacon. That is the ultimate problem.A problem each of us have to adapt to and all the leads (raid, healing, guild, etc.) need to acknowledge.

Are we broken? No. But we are missing (at least at 80) the ability to fill negative spaces and be proactive.

I haven’t been in a raid since then. Maybe I lost my mojo or my confidence. I can admit that I am not the best holy paladin, but I am still good at what I do and I will keep at it.

This will be the last rantish type post about the holy paladin stuff. I hope to have viable information on HOW to be successful in the somewhat near future but I feel a little more confident that by knowing what the problem is, I can work to fix it.

And as a last thought, to all the raid leaders, please be aware of the healing status and strengths of all the classes that are available for your raid. As a raid leader, you should have knowledge about all situations and instances so that you can prepare your raid accordingly. What if you were banking on mage CC and you didn’t know they lost Polymorph (ps. that is hypothetical)? This is the same situation in essence.

PS. Thank you to my guild mates who stood up for me in trade chat and for the other healers who had my back.
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14 Comments

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14 responses to “A (Somewhat) Final Statement

  1. Aww- I’m so sorry to hear you had to go through that. It’s true that we’ve become predominantly a one-target healer. (Or, maybe more accurately a 1 1/2 target healer.)

    You know I was feeling really negatively about the changes and struggling, too. However, this last week, things were starting to feel a little better. I do think we’re still too dependent on cooldowns and procs. However, it does get easier and there’s hope for Cata what with the changes they’ve done in beta.

    Keep your chin up, girl! You can do it. :)

  2. Don’t let them get to you. I have been healing a long time and had my share of bumps and bruises from rude pick up raids. I read your blog fairly regular and I feel you know your stuff and the failure described here does not sound like it was your fault. Keep your chin held high!

    As far as our healing goes, you are right. We definitely are not the same type of healers we were before. A lot has changed and unfortunately a lot of people do not understand the intricacies of healing. This is going to be a rough period because we are going to see a lot of tweaks here and there in respect to our heals, but if you hang tough through it and work on your healing (which you are definitely doing by your thinking presented in this post) then you will most definitely reap the rewards of your labor.

  3. If you know you were doing right (and it sounds like you were), then literally to hell with what that idiot says.. He probably wasn’t even geared as a tank, just a dps geared person with a tank spec for crit immunity and a decent health pool trying to tell you how to do your job when he didn’t know how to do his own.

    You deserved to feel confident, from what it sounds like. A lot of holy pallies have struggled since the patch, but some of them are finally starting to come out of it and learn what they’re doing for the most part… it was a pretty big damn change, and you’ve had a lot to adapt to.

    Seriously though.. what kinda toolface doesn’t know how to taunt swap on the ice boss… blah.

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  5. AliPally

    Healers always get the blame from tanks who can’t tank. Always have, and always will. Don’t let it bother you!
    Let’s not forget, that tanks have suffered quite a few nerfs, too, so it’s not just the healers who are less well off.
    The problem with bosses in Wrath is that they are designed around spam healing, and that is something we are not great at anymore. There is no way you can be expected to solo heal 2 tanks taking high damage these days. Thinking of Heroic Saurfang makes me shudder, tbh.

    For my own rotation, I’m tending to keep 3 Holy Power stacked up as my emergency instant ( a bit like HS used to be). It might not be mana efficient, but I’m not having problems with mana unless I’m forced to DL/FoL all the time.
    Right now we are even more tank healers than before. Forget LoD as qualifying as a raid heal; until we get Holy Radiance, we are NOT raid healers.

  6. Chuffa

    i’m a few days behind the curve here and it takes a lot for me to comment in ppls blogs as I lack confidence ;) but…..

    Firstly never feel squashed by others ability to play and then being the object of there own frustration be dragged down, sounds like you as well as the holy pally community myself included are starting to get used to having the sembalance of a rotation and not just spamming a few buttons…it takes some doing after 5+ years to undo a style of play this is easily forgotten not by us behind the keyboard but by those whom received the constant spam and over heal we used to output. Its just not going to happen anymore (sad pally tears).

    Secondly…Cataclysm will change all, AoE spell are slowly getting looked at (see HR and LoD changes for one thing) this will be universal, I can feel and hear the QQ already when Druid and Priest Hots are seriously nerfed or do not do enough to keep as is at the moment everyone topped up (anyone hear our class is broken). From what I have seen and read as sadly I have no access to the beta but the raid/dungeon bosses will ofc hit harder but in a slower more controlled fashion and not as in ICC that spikey OMG manor. It will suit us better, it will slow the button mashing down and it will give use time to really think about what spell to cast and at what time.

    So chin up, keep up the a great blog and ignore the idiots out there.

    Chuffa – Ghostland EU

    • I have no access to the beta either and I keep hearing that it is all better but I think the style will change healing forever.

      With the mass damage/spike damage we saw in Wrath, it taught us to be proactive, to already have that heal going, but when it is slower and not as intense, I think it will take away some of the proactiveness in exchange for thought about what spell you’re going to use.

      Is that bad? No, not necessarily, just a complete change from what I assuming will happen.

      • Andy Mariner

        It’s not a bad thing, I still think we will be proactive, just looking at the cast times alot can happen in 2-3 secs…proactiveness with thought! God help us all ;)

  7. Tam

    God, I’m so sorry – what a horrible experience, no wonder you’re furious and hurt. It’s difficult enough being a paladin at the moment, people don’t seem to be adapting very well to the fact that paladins can no longer keep 2 tanks up while standing on one leg and doing the washing up. I’ve been in raids where paladins have lately struggled to keep 1 tank up – and that’s not a reflection on the skill of the player, I hasten to add. Also, there’s nothing like blaming the heals to show what a completely clueless RL you are. If he’d had a brain instead of a bag of dicks where his brain should be he would have recognised the very basic problems of the run – I mean DPSing the damn orbs is *elementary* stuff. Anyway, I hope writing about has helped and I hope you’re feeling a bit better about the business.

  8. Hey,

    I loved your post. Just don’t let Sh*Tbricks like that get you down. Sadly with all MMOs the random’s you meet on-line are exactly that, randoms. I recently was refused a spot on LK 10 man because apparently the raid leader inspected me and said:

    “Your such a noob, why do Paladins need Spirit”… Needless to say i had a good laugh at his expense.

    Wish you all the best and don’t give up the good fight… Holy Paladin’s for life xD

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  10. A similar thing happened to me recently. I was healing H HOR for a friend who needed a DPS piece and the tank couldnt hold agro. Also no one could follow a kill order. So everyone was taking more damage than they needed to be and I was not able to heal through it all. We wiped and one of the DPS said, “what happened?”, to which tankimus prime responded “NO HEALZ”. I had my friend who stuck up for me and the tank got mad and dropped group. I had no problems healing with a tank who was able to pick up the mobs a little faster. “No healz”, is never going to be a good explanation for a wipe. People need to take responsibility for their part in a wipe before they accuse others of making mistakes. Amirite?

    -Porkchop
    http://www.porkchopsnholysauce.wordpress.com

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