standing at the back in my sissy robe

May 26, 2009

fingers out of my pie, darlings

Filed under: Altaholism,Bitchin 'n' Moanin,Deathtards & Co.,UR Doing It Wrong — Tamarind @ 12:17 pm

I am starting to feel slightly guilty about this blog, or perhaps I would if anyone read it.  I do occasionally cruise other WoW blogs and they tend to be very grown up and very thoughtful, all about rotations and theorycraft and gear upgrades … aaaand here I am whinging about Players Who Do Not Appreciate Me.  Well, it strikes me that anything vaguely sensible I could say about playing a priest is likely to be better said elsewhere.  And actually I have a post about my (lack of) WoW credentials in the offing but for the moment let’s stick to your regularly scheduled eye-rolling, bitching and complaining.  There’s a rather glorious liberty in being unread.  I suppose I could connect this blog to the rest of my Internet identity but I am rather basking in the pleasure of anonymity.

I was messing around in Outland with my cow-alt last night, and wound up healing Ramps and Furnace off-spec.  I’ve run them about a gazillion times because, let’s face it, you can’t take two steps in Outland without stubbing your toe on four deathknights begging you to either tank or heal Ramps for them.  And we were all in our early 60s (levels, not dog years) so it’s not like it was going to be a challenging run.


The thing about healing off-spec is that, as long as you know vaguely what you’re doing and nobody plays like an arse, it’s perfectly do-able in a bog-standard run.  If anything, it just makes life a little hairier for you.  Usually in a competent run, there’s the faintest possibility that I am, in fact, standing at the back in my sissy robe, occasionally deigning to direct a renew or a flash heal at the tank.  But shhhh, don’t tell anyone.  Healing off-spec, however, simply means you have to concentrate a bit more.

But, of course, we had our regulation deathtard.  Deathgripping indiscriminately, taunting off the tank, occasionally charging groups of mobs like it didn’t occur to him that maybe he’d die less if maybe he waited for the tank to pull them.  It didn’t cause as many problems as it could have because none of us particularly fancied martyring ourselves to his idiocy so we’d often stand there, smirking (at least, I was smirking, maybe the others were shaking their heads sadly) and watch him die.

The worst of it though was that he kept playing like a dick and then demanding heals.  “Watch my health”, “I wouldn’t die you heled [sic] me” he kept saying over and over and oh fucking god over again.  I know this is a well documented phenomenon, and that healers across the land are united in their supreme abhorrence for it, but because it’s so well documented I think (perhaps naively) it’s actually moderately rare.  I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter it only on a handful of occasions, and this was its most concentrated dose.

But holy fuck, it’s profoundly, unspeakably, buttock-clenchingly annoying.

At first I tried to ignore it and go to a happy place of zen-like tranquillity.  But it turns out there is no happy place of zen-like tranquillity which also contains a squealing deathtard going “Heeeeeeal!  Heeeeal!”

I think every healer has a secret healing priority list in their head.  I know instancing is probably a bit like having children (in plate mail) and you shouldn’t have favourites but how can you not?  Top of the list is, of course, always the tank regardless.  Ideally,  I’d like to keep everyone alive, if at all possible, but it’s amazing how quickly being a complete and utter tard gets you falling off the bottom of the list never to be seen or heard of again.  So, losing all patience, I explained this carefully to the Deathtard.

“Just for your information, m’dear, my current healing priority list: me because if I die so do the rest of you, the tank, because it’s my job, the arms warrior because he’s saved my ass on a couple of occasions and isn’t playing like a complete idiot (take  tip, maybe), the warlock because she’s nice to me and then you because you are none of the above.”

He was pretty quiet after that.  And I felt very satisfied.  Generally I keep my mouth shut in instances unless something nice is going to come out of it because, evidence to the contrary aside, I don’t actually like coming across as an uppity bastard.  But it’s genuinely lovely to vent your frustration sometimes.   I might have to make my healing priority list more explicit in future.

Actually, having bitched out this post, I went cruisin’ for other people’s responses to the dreaded “heal me plz”, fully expecting them to all be “god, it’s so annoying.”  But there are some folks out there suffering some kind of bad treatment Stockholm Syndrome, which I would pity were they not so fucking smug about it.  Among the chorus of “oh, I wish people wouldn’t do that” you can find a fair quantity of “nobody ever has to ask me to heal them because I never let their health drop below 90%” and “i heal ppl because i rolled a healing class, and as such i dont get all uppity when ppl ask me to heal them.”

The first can simply be dismissed with a roll of the eyes and, perhaps, the gentle suggestion that a clue ought to perhaps be acquired from somewhere.  No matter how awesome a healer you are, there are going to be times when it gets away from you.  That is the melancholy life of a jobbing healer.

The second, however, is more problematic.  I know I, at least, tend to express myself in an uppity manner but there’s a degree to which it’s self-defense.  I do, actually, feel guilty and responsible if people die on my watch.  Even if they’re wankers.  Even if secretly I’m smirking about their repair bill.  Ahem.  The point is that it’s very easy to make your healer feel crap (you can complain about the size of his mana bar, for example).  But by playing like a doofus, shrieking for healing and then throwing accusations around when you (inevitably) die, you are both implicitly and explicitly expressing  your contempt for the healer.

Let’s face it, no healer – however inexperienced or vacant – is unaware that their job is to heal people.

Telling them to heal people is so irrelevant it’s actually in-your-face insulting.

I mean, really, do you think I haven’t noticed?

And it’s not like anyone is going to charge into battle yelling “attack the mobs, attack the mobs” at the DPS.

It puts the healer in a thoroughly miserable position.  I play a healer because I like healing people.  I want to heal you, I want to keep all of you alive, you  might even go so far as to say it’s my raison d’etre for the instance. I don’t instance with tank-related tunnel vision if I can help it.  If the DPS takes a bit of damage, I’ll try my best to stick a heal-over-time on them.  If they’ve accidentally pulled aggo, I’ll do my damndest to keep them alive.  But if you’ve wantonly and stupidly pulled aggro and you’re yelling at me to heal you while I’m trying to concentrate on the tank in a sticky situation … well … quite frankly you shouldn’t have made it necessary for me to weigh up in a split second whether I can pull your ass out of the fire you yourself stuck it in while keeping my tank alive.

If I ever instance with a healme-whore again, assuming I don’t throw a priestly hissy or stick them straight on my ignore list, I may have to quick bar some responses.  One of these perhaps:

Wait,  I’m the healer?  Oh God, I thought I was tanking this.

Fuck off and die… oh you have, how obliging.

Attack the mobs!  Attack the mobs!

Use a fucking bandage.

It’s only a flesh wound.

You are not only off my priority list, you’re on my shit list.



  1. “Let’s face it, no healer – however inexperienced or vacant – is unaware that their job is to heal people.

    Telling them to heal people is so irrelevant it’s actually in-your-face insulting.

    I mean, really, do you think I haven’t noticed?”

    /highlights the above

    /underlines it in neon

    /throws confetti over it

    and yes, i can see those healme-whore macros becoming deliciously overused 😀

    Comment by uke — June 15, 2009 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

    • What, no cherry?

      I rather hope it doesn’t come to that but I’m starting to put together a Failbar in my head, which will simply be a row of macro-ed responses to All The Standard Stupid Things People Say To Healers In Instances.

      Comment by Tamarind — June 15, 2009 @ 7:09 pm | Reply

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