In Wrath of the Lich King, an abundance of healers seems to have emerged. Regardless of raiding 10 or 25 man content, hard modes or normals, you work with at least one other healer out of at least 9 other people. Even though being in a successful raid requires coordination, something else goes into a successful healing team. Not only does it take coordination but it takes understanding and teamwork. Healing isn’t about generating threat or pressing the right buttons in the right order, it takes control and a particular level of understanding and attitude.
As much as people like to argue that these aren’t important, they are; even more so with inexperienced healers. They may not be needed for some who instinctively know what role to take, but for others they are a crucial point in understanding their role as a healer. Typical assignments allow for holy paladins and discipline priests for tank healing; shamans, druids, and holy priest are typically shifted towards raid healing. These are not concrete but are a standard “healing niche” that the class/spec falls into.
Regardless of spec or class, gear can also play a significant part in the role that someone is elected to fulfill. For example, 3 holy paladins in a 25-man, the lesser geared of the three is typically shifted to raid healing. I am a firm believer in skill > gear but it is true that it usually happens this way. If the run is with a set group of people, i.e. a guild, then take into consideration a healers strong suit when assigning their role as well; this theory is a little more difficult in PuGs.
You have to have the right attitude to work well with other people…for anything. Don’t ever think that your way is the best and only way! Don’t even let the words “it’s my way or the highway” form in your mind. Don’t ever say “You…do this.” Specifically, “You beacon so and so while I do this”. Why? Because you are stepping on the toes of their healing style. You’ve not taken into consideration anything about how they feel comfortable healing. It is also rude to assume they don’t know how to do their job. This type of attitude is also detrimental to encouraging new healers. Don’t push them to addons or macros, explain ways to better themselves but never push it. I do just fine without mouseover macros or healbot and I am sure they can too.
I beacon the tank I am healing so that I can always be situationally aware (which I will get to in a minute) and not falter on my specific job. Now there are fights that this is flexible for, like Dreamwalker, but for the most part, I do great doing it my way and for another paladin to push his/her way onto me makes me anxious, hasty, and falter a little.
There is an appropriate way to handle situations where things like beacon coordination is important but being an ass isn’t it.
There is also an appropriate way to encourage and help inexperienced players have better tactics but slamming them with orders and no explanations and not caring is not it either.
Compromise and coordination are important here; this allows for the shared ability of both people allowing comfort zones and a smaller window for error. Use your words to open up the discussion with the other healer(s).
I am not saying that having an addon here is required because the standard UI has them built in, but as a healer unit frames/windows are extemrely important. You should know where the tanks are in the frames as well as other healers. When a healer is having trouble keeping the raid up, it allows for you to spot cover them (benefit of beaconing your own tank), if a healer falls you know about it, etc. These frames allow you to know what is happening in your raid.
But you also have to be aware of what is happening in your immediate zone. Healers shouldn’t DIAF, stand in a frozen orb, etc. They should be able to know to move and heal accordingly. As a healadin, when you’re standing in a fire, holy shock is a great on the move…move. It allows you to go straight back into what you were doing before moving. It’s also spectacular for Marrowgar’s Bone Storm. The last thing you want to do is be so engulfed in healing that he eats you up and you get stuck in his teeth.
The Healing Role
It is important, that before you engage in healing, you understand some of the simple facts of healing. It is your own job to remind yourself that you are important, without you, the raid would inevitably die; but I can assure you, healing is a thankless job. Be prepared to face the “What happened there healers?” and the “OMG HEALZ PLZ!” or “MOAR HEALS!” You will be taken for granted. If not all the time, or if not in your guild, someone somewhere will make you feel like a failure.
It is important to know your class, know your spec, and know your role. It is even more important to be PROACTIVE than reactive. Be prepared and you will be good. Be willing to adjust and work well with your healing team you will be great.