The gnome has a point

One of the reasons why I started this blog is because I enjoy reading them aswell. I’m always suprised about the way some blogger describes a situation and you can see the imaginary lightbulb pop-up above your head and think: “Haha, it’s funny because it’s true”. I wish I can write like that one day.

I came across a mage blogger and read his most recent post about the way a shaman heals. Beeing used to play a mage, he sees healing true a different pair of glasses. I’ll repost his way of thinking and comment with my personal view. You can find the original post and blog here.

Two Extremes: Healing

October 15, 2009 by gnomeaggedon

// When I play Gnomeaggedon, it’s on from the moment I enter an instance or raid.

Buffs, tables, scorch, Living bomb, Frostfire bolt, Flamestrike, Blizzard, Hotstreak, drink, loot, move, scorch….

I always assumed it was the same for the other roles, never a dull moment, but nothing that can’t be handled by doing things right.

I dare say it’s pretty much the same for tanks. Mark, pull, gather, pump cooldowns and specials, watch and stop the runners, take opportunities as they come up… “Rage” bar full… let’s pull!

The other Extreme

It’s not the same for healers, particularly Shaman healers, from my experiences (as limited as they may be) and my reading .

See we don’t buff in the traditional “buff and forget” model. We plant and pluck our buffs in the form of totems. They don’t go down until just before the pull.

When it comes to healing there seems to be 5 distinct states.

  1. Snoozefest
  2. Odd jobs
  3. At last
  4. Oh shit
  5. OMFG, you must be joking.


Snoozefest is 80%+ of a healers life. Earth Shield is up with riptide on the tank, the tanks got all the aggro, no AoE damage incoming… Time to stare at the walls, watch YouTube, redo those toolbars.

I can’t get my mind around this stage… It is like logging in and sitting at the bank in Dalaran. Or going to the AH and doing an Auctioneer scan. It’s automatic.

Shaman healers just witnessed that imaginary light-bulb that popped up. Yeah, I must admit, when I play Fugaru (that’s my resto shaman) I sometimes wonder what I’m doing. What’s the point? Yeah, I got that Earth Shield up and make sure my totems drop and an occasional riptide. “Luckely” within Oldtimers, this part of my job is only 60% or so.

Odd Jobs

  • Yay the Mage pulled Aggro!
  • The DK Deathgripped the next group!
  • Someone did something stupid!

Once I peel my eyes back open I go a quick assessment and click, it’s done. Ok maybe there are 2 or 3 clicks. If I’m lucky Riptide or ES have dropped off the tank.

Good, something to do!

*Lightbulb* again. Yeah…that’s right, we have such a mage, that would be myself…or Akana ofcourse whenever I’m the one making sure he doesn’t need to use that Ice Block of him.

At last

Lots of manageable incoming damage.

Things are still going fine, it’s all going to plan, but now I have 3 plus party members to get my regular attention.

This is more like DPS… Yes it’s still reactive, but it’s constant.

I get to press buttons like everyone else!

Chainheal FTW!

Oh shit!

I am still not the best at these, I have spent too much time in Snoozefest I think (and maybe too much time in BGs not caring exactly who lives and dies, as long as someone lives).

But when they happen it’s like a DPS knowing there is 30 seconds till an enrage timer.

It’s like a Fire Mage attacking a boss that’s just reached 35% health.

It’s pop the cooldowns, the trinkets and go balls to the wall.

It’s exciting, challenging, but possible.

I don’t want every moment to be like this, bit I like my adrenalin to pump occasionally as well.

Bring it on!

I understand what he’s going true. I really need to work on my CD and trinket management myself. But for me this is the challenging phase I like to be in most of the time. Without this, I don’t even realize I’m doing a raid. I’m glad I can count on my fellow guild members to give me something to do.

OMFG, you must be joking

I haven’t really experienced this yet, but I’ve read a lot about how the Northrend encounters are made harder by putting the pressure on the healer.

No more Snoozefest 80% of the time, let’s have Oh Shit 80% of the time.

Then for that final 20% let’s make you wonder why you ever rolled a healer, let’s make the party hate you for not keeping them alive.

From what I can work out from my reading, Blizzard has adopted a healing difficulty approach to make the encounters more challenging.

If things tend to go out of controll our totally banana’s that means I didn’t do a good job as a raidleader. At Oldtimers we usually have a try or 3 where everyone is thinking: “***, what is going on here?”

Well it was a nice read, hope you found it usefull aswell.


~ by mrdistefano on October 15, 2009.

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