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Playing healers (or not)


Relmstein had an interesting series recently on why healing classes are so unpopular. I know from experience that healing classes are rare, because some days there's a lengthy queue for my time starting from the instant I log on. The following is representative of my daily login attempt -- and is usually enough to make me go log on my rogue!

Welcome to World of Warcraft!
[Guild] Friendlymage: Hey Lizzy - want to heal Scholomance?
[Randomshaman] whispers: need healer for BRD! last spot!!
[Randomhunter] whispers: LBRS?
[Randomwarlock] has invited you to join a group.
You have declined [Randomwarlock]'s group invitation.
[Guild] Lizzy: Okay!
You whisper to [Randomshaman]: Sorry, going to Scholomance.
[Friendlymage] has invited you to join a group.
You whisper to [Randomhunter]: Can't, heading to Scholomance.
[Randomshaman] whispers: pls!!! will pay 5g.
You whisper to [Randomshaman]: I can't -- I'm already committed to going to Scholomance.
[Raider] whispers: Hey, we need more priests for Razorgore, wanna come?
[Randomshaman] whispers: 10g?
You are now ignoring [Randomshaman].
[Raider2]: We need healers for BWL!
You whisper to [Raider]: Sorry, busy atm.
[Raider3] whispers: BWL?

Sure, it's nice to be wanted, but it gets old to be invited to the same instances I don't want to run day after day by people I don't want to run with. (And, yes, I have been invited randomly to Blackwing Lair -- and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to be part of a raid group that added random, unknown players to their Blackwing Lair raid lineup.) But there are more troubles to being a healer than being in high demand, and Relmstein points them out nicely.

  • It's hard to solo as a healer -- killing and questing on your own can be painfully slow.
  • In dungeons, you're essentially playing whack-a-mole with everyone's health bars. Did we just defeat a new and exciting boss? Oh, I must have missed that...
  • The healer's goals aren't important. As Relmstein says, "Healers are often treated as if their main purpose in life is to help other people progress."
  • The healer is the first to be blamed, but the last to be praised. Did your tank die? Never mind the fact that he's swinging around a two-handed sword wearing mail DPS gear -- it's the healer's fault.

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