Light & Leafy

Assigning Healers One-oh-One: Knowing Your Team

Posted on: May 31, 2009


I was reading up on TankSpot the other day (for anyone who doesn’t know, they have a WONDERFUL healing forum and tanks that totally ❤ their healers), and a poster was asking about healing assignments using the Assembly of Iron as their example. I had originally read the post to mean they needed help with their assignments on that fight, not in general (as in which class does best with raid damage, etc.).

There is a definite balance when it comes to healing assignments between knowing the skills of a certain class and the skills of a certain player. Shamans may be super leet raid healers, but that won’t mean anything if you’re in 25 man Ulduar and they have their UI’s set up to only show their party. So some questions come to mind when assigning healers:

  • What class/spec are they? Don’t really want a single druid healer on Steelbreaker’s main tank trying to cover the massive spike damage.
  • Do they play with anyone they can communicate instantly with? In my guild, we tend to have people coming in groups. Most of the time, two of our main tanks have their girlfriend healers in the same room as them. This isn’t always the case, but sometimes it can be a whole lot easier to tell someone you need their mega-heal cooldown when they’re sitting next to you, and not somewhere else where vent lag can be the difference between a wipe and a win.
  • How is their UI setup? Does the healer you assigned to heal slagpots have anything that instantly alerts them to heal that hunter? Or will they fumble around trying to find the other player?
  • Have they ever told you of special needs? Do they like having their add tank marked so they can find him more easily? Can they not see raid warnings or need people with Lightbomb on them to be called out in vent?
  • Have you discussed what they feel most comfortable healing? Sit down and have a heart-to-heart with your healers. Healing is a team activity. DPS can get by with a little healthy competition, pushing each other to go a little harder. Healers work together; fighting to heal the same person or people is not always a good use of their time or collective mana supply. Everyone on the heal team needs to be able to trust and respect each other, and that begins with the heal lead getting to know each of her teammates intimately. Even in PuG’s, a small chat can be super useful. I once found a holy priest who I had been assigning raid healing with me tell me he hated the randomness of raid damage and felt much more confident about healing one of the tanks who he could constantly keep an eye on.

I’ve found actually knowing the people you play with, rather than just their class, can go a long way with trying to figure out the best assignments.

Stay tuned: next time Assigning Healers One-oh-Two: Knowing Your Classes.

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