I was reading a very interesting post on the World of Matticus blog titled “10 Reasons People Don’t Heal“, and one of the points mentioned about healer recognition and the almost automatic blame laid on healers when a PUG group wipes can drive people away from the role as a healer. My main is a Holy Priest, and I really do love the responsibility of having these peoples virtual lives in my hands, but thinking back there was only one single instance where I was complimented for my healing.

One of the reasons I don’t think this happens is that a healers role in a group is not immediately visible. If a tank does not perform you know all about it because the mob aggro goes all over the place. If DPS aren’t bringing their abilities to bear then each pull takes forever and mobs don’t get burnt down very quickly. But a healer? We might be keeping everyone permanently topped off health-wise but its never really noticed. People don’t tend to watch their health bars as they play because they have other things to worry about.

That one time I got a compliment is simply because my healing was in the spotlight for a moment. It was a PUG run earlier this year, an Utgarde Keep HC run. We were running that gauntlet down to Skadi the Ruthless, the warrior tank picking up the mobs easily as we were running. Then Skadi did his whole frost breath thing, coating one half of the pathway in ice. Unfortunately, the Mage in the group didn’t move fast enough, and even though I tried to save him he fell in the first few seconds.

As the Warrior is picking up all the new mobs that spawn, Skadi breaths ice again, and this time it was the Warlock’s turn to go down. 2 DPS down and we hadn’t even got Skadi off his drake yet. Finally, the Rogue of the group gets to harpoon the bugger down, and we engage him … until the first whirlwind. The Rogue failed to run away and got picked off.

Skadi is only at 70% health with just me and the Warrior tanking. The three dead corpses start discussing the run back and how they need to get out of the ice faster so that they can make sure the second attempt at him is succesful and I thought “Bugger you lot, I am keeping this tank up no matter what!”

Skadi is down to 60%. Sudden spike damage and I hit the Warrior with a Guardian Spirit. Trying my best to use my most efficient spells (3x Flash Heal and a Serendipity hasted Greater Heal). I OOM. Shadow Beast crawls out of hiding and starts sending some more mana my way. I OOM again. Runic Mana Potion. I carry on. I OOM again.

Now I am left in a quandary. I have Hymn of Hope. I can cast it on myself. But it means I won’t be able to heal the Warrior while I channel it. But I have no mana to heal him with anyways. I hit the spell and begin channeling. Thankfully, the Warrior is on his game. His Shield Wall is off cooldown, and he sees me channeling for mana, and hits his avoidance abilities while I get some mana back.

The game continues, until I OOM once more. Shadowbeast is still on cooldown. I hurriedly rush into my spellbook to get a down ranked healing spell I can carry on spamming as my mana naturally regenerates.

Skadi finally goes down. I fall back into my chair, sweating, breathless, massive shit-eating grin all over my face. The DPS that were discussing how best to tackle Skadi on the second attempt explode in text-based jubilations. The compliments come flowing in.

After sipping s0me calming Honeymint Tea, I res them all, rebuff and off we go. The rest of the run went smoothly. But since that incident I have never recieved a compliment for healing. Mostly because I have never had an incident like that again.

When I am playing on my other characters, I consciously make an effort to compliment the healer if he is doing a good job. But, to be honest, it is rather difficult to tell. If my compliment can make that person want to carry on healing the further they level, then its worthwhile. Just like “Gogogogo” can kill a baby tank, so silence regarding the impact a healer has had in your group can kill a baby healer.

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