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Healing 2.0 How To Make Healing More Engaging.

September 17, 2010

As a healer I can admit that healing will never be as popular as DPS. I have absolutely no delusions of this mythical system that can inspire those who enjoy playing DPS into rolling a healer. Healing and tanking are less popular when compared with DPS’ing because of the increased responsibility those roles require of the player. The majority of players don’t want to know that any mistake can likely cost the lives of the entire party, and DPS typically only have to worry about themselves. It’s only logical to assume that the role which has the least amount of responsibility and is the least stressful would be the most popular. This post isn’t meant as an insult to DPS players as they are a vital part of the trinity and blowing stuff up can be fun at times. My goal with this topic is to offer some suggestions that could make healing more dynamic and exciting for healers without turning our role into something it’s not.


A return to the days of resource management would be a major step in the right direction. WoW has long abandoned having to pay attention to what spells you cast by giving it’s healers unlimited mana. This has taken one of the most tactical mechanics of being a healer out of the equation. It’s such a bad design that they’ve decided to go back to the older model with this next expansion. In a game where you can chain cast your largest spell without fear of running out of resources you promote laziness and a complete lack of meaningful healing decisions. TOR needs to make us remember that awful feeling you got when you saw that your blue bar was empty and that you were nowhere near finished with the encounter. When you have endless resources the devs have to balance the encounters around the assumption that you’re going to be spamming your most potent heal and that’s where the GCD deaths began showing up to counter the uber healers.

Holy Light…Holy Light…Holy Light…

Do not give the healers a single spell type to rely on. Giving healers multiple tools with mechanics that play off other healing spells makes the class feel far less one-dimensional. Spells like Swiftmend, Infusion of Light(pre-cast time reduction nerf on Holy Light), Riptide, and the new Chakra mechanic for Priests in Cataclysm are all extremely interesting and solid systems to help promote using more than a single spell. Also giving healers a large selection of heals such as standard cast, channeled, hots, instant-cast, AOE, group, shielding, imbued heals(Prayer of Mending) can make a healer far more appealing to play. Cooldown management should also play a part in the system it creates the need for the healer to look beyond his raid frames. There was no such thing as a good Holy Paladin in Wrath there were Paladins who could manage their cooldowns and use beacon correctly and there were those that couldn’t. Learning when and where to use the abilities you need in order to maximize your efficiency is something that can make healing much more fun and interesting.

Run, Forrest! Run!

Fight mechanics must promote paying attention to one’s environment. Standing and spamming is the fault of lazy encounter design and not of the healer who’s abusing the system. Fights like Mimiron Firefighter or M’uru( both Pre-nerf no scrubs tyvm) are a perfect example of how tunnel-vision can and should get a healer killed. More fights need to promote the need for a healer who can multi-task managing the health of his targets and his own positioning. This isn’t the fault of the healer it’s much more on the devs themselves and they should make sure all encounters are challenging for all roles. If anybody can stand in a single spot the vast majority of a fight without ever thinking about moving that fight isn’t difficult enough. Staring exclusively at raid bars and not paying attention to your surroundings aren’t behaviors that should be rewarded in difficult content. Games are much better when you have to think on the fly and something as simple as positioning and movement can make healing that much more engaging.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Burk permalink
    January 2, 2011 12:25


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