A Brief Look at Healers and Tanks as Guild Resources

(followed by a brief personal story)

Once upon a time, back before we had discovered Northrend, before we had stepped through The Dark Portal, I was in a guild that was heavy on DPS, short on healers and even shorter on tanks.

The guildies and I always tried to run dungeons together and it wasn’t easy because we didn’t have a tank or we didn’t have a healer. Frequently, we didn’t have both. This is, in part, what led me to create my paladin. I knew I wouldn’t get her up to 60 in time to help with our immediate tank/healer shortages, but I knew that a paladin could supposedly be a damage-dealer, a healer or a tank and was really interested in seeing how both being a tank and a healer worked. After all, I already had my DPS class in Kurn.

When a level 55 prot warrior applied to our guild, we snatched him up, despite the fact he was all of 13. He was the first “real” tank we had, although the guild master was busy levelling his own prot warrior. Sure, we had a warrior who had tank gear, but he was fury and never respecced. Not that we really understood what that meant, but anyways.

Everyone constantly fought over the warrior. Just like everyone fought over a priest who apped a couple of months later. We were slowly getting more healers and tanks who were being constantly bombarded to go do runs. Honestly, it’s a wonder we didn’t wear them out.

But that’s what they were there for, right? The warrior and the priest were guild resources. They were part of the guild, they had chosen their specs and their roles. So we should feel free to at least ask if they want to do X, Y and Z runs, right?

I’ve been a healer, either as an alt or as a primary raiding character, for almost four years. In those four years, I have spent a lot of time trying to balance my desire to heal (or not) versus the requests from the people with whom I play.

What I have learned, as a healer:

1) I am my own person and I am not merely a community resource who is obliged to go on thirty runs a day with various guild members.

2) The guild has a need for me in its primary focus (be it instancing, raiding, what-have-you) so that should be my first priority when doing things “for the guild”. This is all that I feel I am morally and ethically obliged to do. If I have joined a guild which is focused on 10-man raiding, then I should save my timers for the guild, raid 10s with them as I can (which should be most of the time) and not feel obliged to do a half-pug 25-man with them. Similarly, if I have joined a guild focused on 25-man raiding, I should not feel obliged to run 10-man raids at all.

3) I should feel free to take a day off, with notice, if I’m feeling burnt out. One day off does wonders for recharging your batteries.

4) Similarly, I should do something that isn’t typically expected of me every so often. If I’m in a 25-man guild, by golly, I should do a 10-man once in a while, if the opportunity crops up and it’s something I might be interested in doing. One day of doing something different with guildies does a lot for getting to know them and letting them get to know you.

I’ve actually been meaning to post about this subject for a while, now. In my previous guild, the one with my RL friend the resto druid, I was basically expected to do 10s. I hate 10s. LORD, do I hate 10s. But back when ICC launched, I was expected to do them. So I did. I got my extra Emblems of Frost, I got some achievements (Storming the Citadel, Boned, I’m on a Boat, I’ve Gone and Made a Mess) and I got abuse from the MT in 10s the same way I got abuse from him in the 25s. So I basically stopped going after about three weeks, maybe four. Healing with my RL friend in a smaller setting just wasn’t enough to offset the dickishness of the MT.

I got myself a Rotface and Festergut kill on 10 one week when the hunter officer was hard up for a healer. She’s an excellent player and a really nice person, so I helped out. But that was it. Here I am, with Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25) and only 6/12 in ICC 10.

So last week, when my new GM asked me if I’d do her a favour and I discovered that the favour had to do with helping out with an ICC 10 “power group”, I was a little hesitant. On the one hand, OH GOOD LORD, not 10s!!! But on the other hand, a “power group” with good players, most of whom I actively like, none of whom I actively dislike (I honestly don’t hate anyone in the guild)… Four hours. Just four hours to help these people get their 10-man achievements for their 10-man drakes.

I agreed to do it.

What was nice about the GM is that she initially wanted to help me get my 10-man achievements as well. I was like “no, no, absolutely not, ignore what I have or what I don’t have. I have the 25-man drake, I don’t need a 10-man.” I really was there just to help out these folks.

So what did we get done?

Heroic Marrowgar, Full House, I’m on a Boat (I actually, amusingly, already had this), heroic Saurfang, heroic Dreamwalker (on the successful attempt, I dropped my stacks not once, but TWICE!), heroic Sindragosa (oh God, I hate that fight!) and heroic Blood Prince Council.

Perhaps not quite as productive as it was expected to be, but heroic Sindragosa alone is a pretty nice accomplishment.

Marrowgar dropped Corrupted Silverplate Leggings. No one wanted them so I snagged them. I already had Lightning-Infused Leggings, which are virtually identical. But I’ve swapped to the CSL because of two reasons.

1) I like wearing plate. I like mail too, but plate is my preference, given equivalent stats. Another 1000 armor is good! I have a 60.77% physical damage reduction versus 59.72% in the mail legs. Maybe that percent damage reduction only comes in handy on some fights like Saurfang or Blood Prince Council and maybe it’s negligible, but it makes me feel good to know that I’m wearing pants that were actually designed for me to wear.

2) And they MATCH! They actually match my armor! Yes, I am occasionally girly about my toons.

So, what is the point of this post?

Well, I have avoided 10s for a long time, in general. But when my GM approached me to see if I’d be willing to fill in for a healer, I decided to do something unusual for me and help out. Most of the “helping” I do in-game is along the lines of answering questions, like that Mor’Ladim is in Raven Hill or that, yes, you still need to hit Unfriendly with the Timbermaw before you can run through their tunnel without aggroing. I didn’t feel a lot of pressure to agree to do so and I figured it would be a good way to get to know some of the guildies better and it would help them all towards getting their drakes.

Did I have a good time? It was okay. I didn’t particularly enjoy having my pathetic magic betray me on what is technically an off-night, but we got the dragon down in the end. What makes it worth it is that, on Tuesday, when most of these people get their drakes, after finishing off a couple more achievements, I’ll know that I’ll have been a part of that.

As someone who is vigilant in making sure I don’t overextend myself, I feel like I did a good job of balancing my guild obligations (25-man raiding), my personal desires to play (not a whole lot this weekend) and being an accessible guild resource. As a bonus, I don’t feel frustrated or burnt out.

End result: it was a good experience, but I don’t know that I’ll do it again and, what’s more, I’m not going to be expected to do so. Win-win situation for me for sure.

16 Replies to “A Brief Look at Healers and Tanks as Guild Resources”

  1. I am one of those people who has trouble saying no. And when I do say no, even if I really have good reasons for it, I feel epicly guilty for doing so. And then on the other hand, I never assume anyone’s GOING to do anything to help me, and if they want to say no, that is PERFECTLY FINE. Ah, double standards. :)

  2. Ah, yes, guild obligations. Since I don’t actually play that much (way too much IRL obligations, unfortunately) I don’t actually feel obliged to do anything. And in my current guild, that’s okay. They’re hardly a hardcore raiding guild, they just raid regularly.

    My wife, on the other hand, does have problems with this very issue. She seems to be a very good healer, even in her guild (which is full of people who actually don’t fail) so she’s asked for, well, just about anything. Also, as a druid, she has the ability to fulfill 3 roles. She has the gear to do it, as well. Sure, her DPS isn’t as high as it could be. Her tanking skills aren’t as polished as fulltime tanks. Her healing is awesome. But when need be, she’ll do anything she’s asked, even if she hates it. And afterwards, she’ll regret that she did it. I guess you really can’t have it all.

  3. Ah ha ha ha! I have no problems saying no, but I tend to be a not very nice person and this is why I have no friends.

    The truth of the matter is that I have this unfathomable need to play with other people. Especially if they’re playing the game because of me. If there is something I hate more than anything else in the world, it would be leveling a character and grinding dungeons for gear. And here I am, wanting to play with others (nicely) and do the personal stuff that also requires a lot of time.

    I think you’re lucky to have found a nice balance. And this was a great read.

  4. I have it easy.

    My ‘guild’ basically consists of 4 RL friends atm, and honestly, we all like playing with each other, so it’s normal for us to run 4-5 heroics in a row, with 2 of us switching around who brings a tank/healer (as only 2 of us have them currently).

    I think this is part of why I’m not in a ‘real’ guild. I don’t want the obligation to fill in for what ever, I want to do what I currently want to do.

    Side note:
    Kurn, any post coming out about the updates from the twitter dev chat? Holy Power? Light of Dawn? Etc?

  5. Mailynn – I try to help out those I bring to the game — as you may recall — but at some point, they’re hopefully going to be self-sufficient the same way I am.

    thansal – See, I do that (chaining heroics, switching toons around) with my brother and Majik and occasionally my RL friend the resto druid and a friend of hers. Which is great. The obligation to do so makes it less fun, in a guild setting, so I won’t tend to do it there.

    As to updates, I’m behind on stuff since I had a technical issue with my computer that left me without use of it basically for 20ish hours. :P I’ll do my reading and such and have something tomorrow, I believe. :)

  6. You and your adorable version of “brief.” ;D

    For the majority of WotLK, I’d run 10s and 25s every week. I hate 10s. HATE. (Unless it’s a “LAWL NAXX” run with friends. :P) And they wanted me to bring my main for them, even those I have perfectly capable alts for them. So I finally just stopped going. :P

  7. “I was basically expected to do 10s. I hate 10s. LORD, do I hate 10s. But back when ICC launched, I was expected to do them.”

    I can’t tell you what a relief it is to hear that another blogger feels this way! I stopped doing 10s around the point I had enough Emblems for my last Tier piece. I think I killed Sindragosa on 10 man a week before we got to Sindragosa on 25 man. And then I never went back into 10 mans. Even for Heroic modes. Even when I’ve been asked to.

    I’m much happier for it!

  8. It’s good to see that you finally got a plate upgrade for the Lightning-Infused Leggings. I finally bit the bullet and had them crafted for me, as I recently came into an infusion of excess frost badges emblems. (My main was the only rogue in a VOA 25 where not one, but TWO rogue T10 pieces dropped!) I was so excited when my guild’s leatherworker finally traded them back to me, my hands shaking as I clicked the icon to put them on, and that’s when my heart sank…..

    A dress.

    My pally is wearing a dress!

    Oh, Kurn, you never told me! Now my plate-wearing defender of the light is wearing…..a dress! /wail /gnash

    What was that upgrade again? ;^)


    P.S. Holy Power? Can’t wait to see your thoughts on that.

  9. P.P.S. Ever thought to giving “my RL friend the resto druid” a pseudonym for use on your blog? I’m sure that’s a pain to type out every time. ;^)

  10. Agnostique – The healadin plate leggings are a skirt, too, so don’t get your hopes up. LOL Paladins have had two tiers of dresses this expansion (T8 and T10) to make up for zero last expansion, I guess! XD

  11. Foolsss… Kill the one in the dress!
    Nefarius has been planning this for some time…

    I’m of the opinion that every piece of leg armor should be called Pantaloons simply because it’s an awsome word but that might just be me.

    Congrats on the upgrade and well done with the 10s! They obviously scale things down but because balance becomes so much more important with less room to experiment I find the 10 man versions of encounters to sometimes take more doing than the 25 man versions.

  12. Codi – That IS brief! For me! ;D <3 10s are like, the bane of my existence. I’m THRILLED the lockouts will be the same in Cataclysm. No more feeling guilty! No more feeling obliged! HOORAY! :) I’m glad you finally stopped going if you weren’t enjoying them.

    Cassandri – I have hated 10s since… uh. Zul’Aman. ;) Yay, I’m a trendsetter! ;D I’m glad you’re much happier for having declined to go back. It might be nice, once in a while, but expecting me to do the same content in a different raid configuration more than once a week makes me cranky. I was relieved they went back to a two-lockout version of ICC unlike the four-lockouts of TOC/TOGC 10/25. Hideous.

    Agnostique – I honestly never thought I’d set foot in heroic 10m ICC, so I crafted them before I came to my new guild (having 6 80s on the same server, plus one of them being a revered LW came in handy!). Now I match and have an extra thousand armor, which just makes me feel that much more secure. ;D

    I’m so sorry it’s a dress, Ag. I hate it, too. :( I can’t escape them! Stupid T8 and T10. If I wanted to wear a dress, I’d play my @)#%* mage or priest!

    Holy Power thoughts posted.

    As to my RL friend the resto druid… I don’t know. I’ve been calling her that for SO LONG now, I can hardly imagine calling her something else! :)

    Codi – Depressing, isn’t it? IMHO, Judgement legs are the only ones that should have been legs. Everything beyond that deserve to be solid-looking pants! I hate that my feet look like they’re not connected to anything when I run in a skirt. Stupid human female model.

    Lefro – hahaha, yay Lord Victor Nefarius in UBRS! Pantaloons is a great term, but I don’t particularly want to WEAR pantaloons.


    I’m not into the MC Hammer look.

    I find that 10s are more of a test of individual awareness and 25s are more of a test of overall coordination. 10s have it EASY for fights to spread out on, but have it hard on things like heroic Putricide. You CAN’T pass the plague to 12 people in a 10 and you HAVE to carefully spread out on 25m Blood Princes or Saurfang.

  13. Yeah, tanks and healers can get easily burnt out due to requests from guildies. Sure you don’t HAVE to go heal that run. But if they are unable to find another healer and the run is scrapped entirely because of lack of heals… you feel guilty even though you had every right to say no.

    There have been times that I knew the guild would be doing something I had no interest in doing, I didn’t sign up for it, and then I made sure NOT to be online at start time so I wouldn’t be wheedled or whined at… and by the time I got online a replacement would have been procured or the would-be participants had scattered to the winds.

    Yeah, I should be able to just say “no” and be done with it, but I prefer not to be the recipient of super-secret e-glares that the run would have happened if ONLY I had said yes.

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