Co-operation vs. Competition

Anyone who’s healed with me, particularly with me as their healing lead, knows that I do not put a huge emphasis on numbers while healing. I don’t care who’s topping the healing meters, I don’t care who’s at the bottom. I take those numbers in stride and I don’t sweat it, so long as people are not dying due to lack of healing.

This is because I care more about defeating the encounter as a team than topping the meters. I don’t even have Recount or Skada up most of the time because I don’t want to focus on numbers. If I have it up, it is almost certainly as a quick diagnostic tool for after the pull, so I can see if people were respecting their assignments.

Please bear in mind that I’m not saying it’s not important to do your best on an encounter, but it’s not doing your best, for example, to allow Gushing Wound to stay on the tank during Alysrazor, just so you’ll have more healing to do. That’s padding the numbers and artificially inflating them at the risk of killing your tank.

At this point in the expansion, after having raided for several months with my own healing team in Apotheosis (up to a year in some cases), I just flat-out don’t care which of us tops the meters or which of us (that would be me) is occasionally outhealed by our DK tank. (Actually, that was all of us on Baleroc, sometimes…!)

My healing roster in Apotheosis currently consists of: 2 holy paladins, 2 resto druids, 1 disc priest, 1 holy priest and 2 resto shaman (one is in his trial). But I don’t look at them and say “oh, holy priest, huge buffs, God, I hate Sara for having a more powerful healing cooldown!!” Nor do I look over at Walks and curse at him for grasping holy paladin raid healing better than myself. Nor do I gripe about Kal and her amazing bubbles on the tanks when my “bubbles” are pathetic and miniscule, even with a hefty amount of mastery. (Okay, I gripe a little, but screw mastery anyway.)

I don’t get upset when Kit saves the day with a well-timed Spirit Link Totem. I don’t get angry when Jasyla or Featherwind manage to squeeze in another Tranquility for an extra few hundred thousand healing. I don’t begrudge any of my healers their successes, because when they succeed, my whole team succeeds.

On December 6th, the Holy Paladin 4pc set bonus was nerfed in a hotfix. No longer would our 4pc set increase healing done by Holy Radiance by 20%, it would now only increase it by 5%.

In the PTR notes for 4.3.2, the change is mentioned because the tooltip will now read 5% instead of the incorrect-since-December-6th 20%.

I noticed a few tweets and such about the nerf, from people who had not read the hotfixes (or perhaps they had and it just didn’t register as anything interesting at the time), basically cheering that holy paladins were being nerfed and they thought that holy paladins were being nerfed from the level they’re at now.

My question here is why?

Why on earth would you be glad to see your teammates be nerfed?

When resto druids got a 20% nerf to WG’s healing and a glyph change that is ridiculous, I didn’t cheer, I didn’t express my sheer joy. I was upset on their behalf. When holy priests complained of not having a really viable raid cooldown during 4.0-4.2, I was right there with them, saying yes, it would make so much sense for holy priests to have a real raid cooldown that matters! When they got their Divine Hymn buffs, I was thrilled!

When resto shaman got Spirit Link Totem, I was really pleased for them, same with when resto druids got the reduced CD on Tranquility. And in the early days of T11, I got spoiled rotten by having not one, but two Power Word: Barriers at my disposal, thanks to Kal and Num.

My question here is… why does the success of my class make people feel so angry that they then feel HAPPY when my class gets nerfed?

This isn’t a new thing, not at all, but I feel as though the inter-class arguments have gotten worse in recent times. I feel as though many players just no longer care about the team aspect of the game and are only out to make sure that they’re topping the meters.

Can you top meters while being a good team player? Sure. Does that happen often? No. Generally, in my six years of playing, if a healer was concerned about topping the healing meters, that healer would not follow their assignment and their assigned people would die. That’s why I don’t care about the meters. If I top them, great. If I don’t, well, did my target or targets live? If so, good. If not, then we have a problem.

I feel strongly that the WoW community has become too fractured and divisive. Tanks argue that other tanks are OP, pure DPS argue about hybrids being too competitive and healers… healers lose sight of the fact that we’re all on the same team and that, ultimately, we all want the raid to live and bosses to die.

I heal as a holy paladin because I like the class, overall. I can’t imagine relying on hots, I am bad with the large priest toolkit and the idea of chain heal is still pretty foreign to me, despite the fact I’ve done some ICC 10/25 on my shaman (and several dungeon runs/heroic dungeons since).

I won’t reroll a healing class because a certain class is OP and I won’t shelve my paladin if we’re completely ineffective. I play the class because I enjoy my capabilities within that class. (Although I miss Divine Intervention. A lot.)

So it boggles my mind when I see other healers, good healers, rejoice at a nerf to a class they feel is overpowered. It makes me disappointed in them and the community at large. It makes me wonder what happened to team spirit and being happy and pleased about the successes of your team members. When did it all become about the self?

I feel, more and more, as though my team-first attitude is endangered. I feel as though 25-mans are endangered. I feel as though the game, somewhere, changed forever and the community it’s built up since that change is filled with “gogogo” people who are obsessed with their own personal performance.

Again, I will reiterate that there is nothing wrong with maximizing your own performance, so long as the team comes first. But I have to question if other people even understand what a team is anymore. Sadly, I think a lot of people view their fellow healers as competition and not as teammates.

I celebrate the successes of my team. You, almost certainly, cannot solo-heal raids. You do it with a partner or two or five or six. I ask that you show them some respect, no matter how badly you may be outhealed or no matter how badly you outheal them. For better or for worse, they are your teammates, even in LFR, and if you don’t show respect to your fellow healers, those poor people in the trenches with you as you struggle to keep that death knight or warrior alive, then how on earth can you be a team player?

We’re all on the same team, with the same goal. Let’s remember that the next time a series of nerfs or buffs come down, shall we?

22 Replies to “Co-operation vs. Competition”

  1. Guilty as charged.

    I don’t think I’ve ever made a comment like that and genuinely meant it. For instance – I 2 healed everything up to Madness last week in 10m Dragon Soul and my partner was a paladin. We couldn’t have done it if our abilities weren’t strong enough to do and we weren’t capable players enough to do so. He picks on me for all the spells I have which don’t trigger Heart of the Unliving and I joke that his action bars are full of nothing but Holy Radiance.

    I can’t speak for other people and I understand that things get lost in translation (especially on Twitter), but I think there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun with people. We all do it. I know that sounds like a cop out, but it’s true.

    I think there’s also something to be said for knowing that you’re OP and being able to take the shots that go along with it. When people made PoH jokes back in the day about how that’s all priests do, I laughed because it was true. I couldn’t really get offended or act surprised, because I knew full well that PoH was out of control and that’s why it got nerfed.

    There are classes I don’t feel sorry for, not because I don’t care for them, or because I have an issue with them, but because I don’t feel they deserve pity. They perform well, they know they perform well, and I won’t treat them like they don’t.

    I see your point, I truly do. I just think that sometimes a joke is just a joke and it’s not always meant to imply malice or ill will towards our healing partners.

  2. I would say I 100% agree with you … and here comes the giant “BUT”.

    I agree with what you’ve said in this post but I feel that the “part of a team” line gets abused too often. I’ll say with the healing team in Apotheosis this isn’t the case at all (thank goodness!) but I’ve encountered many in the past who skate by on a healing roster claiming the numbers didn’t matter because the team succeeded. Well, yes, the team succeeded but in order to do so healer x and healer y had to bust their butt to make up for your slack. Healer x and healer y reviewed their logs and figured out how to be better players for the next encounter while our protagonist showed up and skated by again as “part of the team.”

    Make sure you still look to better yourself. A big aspect of being part of a team is doing the best you can to contribute to said team! This goes for DPS and tanks as well!

    Oh, and to answer your question about why people cheer when others are nerfed I’d like to direct you to a number from one of my favorite musicals ever… these puppets say it better than I can:

  3. O – You know, if your comment was the ONLY one I saw rejoicing about the nerf, I probably would have taken it in stride and as a joke, since I know you and how you heal due to your time in Apotheosis. Your comment didn’t bother me. What bothered me is that I saw four or five OTHER comments that really didn’t sound like joking or teasing. And the people on Twitter that I follow are generally good healers, good community people. So it really surprised me. I don’t see much QQ or whatever because of who I follow on Twitter, but if you look at the official WoW healing forum… that’s about all there is:

    When ICC was current content, a holy pally was amazing on Saurfang and brilliant on Dreamwalker. But I also knew that if the holy paladin wasn’t a good player, they wouldn’t do well on those encounters. A lot of the imbalance people see is, IMHO, skill and good use of abilities versus lack of skill and ignorance of abilities. That doesn’t mean that all paladins can’t kick ass on Ultraxion these days (because yes, we can) but it means that not all paladins WILL, simply due to not understanding the mechanics involved, either the fight or the class.

    So it comes down to people being pissed that a certain class (whether it’s holy pallies or holy priests now or resto druids last tier doesn’t matter) has the potential to do very well, numerically, and that someone actually knows their class well enough to go “oh, hey, if I do X, Y, Z, I will do a stupid amount of healing! SWEET.”

    Why are we angry and bitter that our teammates are doing better than us? I pulled 44k HPS on Ultraxion on my baby pally, topping healing meters the other week and I don’t really know if my fellow healers were pissed, but I didn’t have the impression that they were.

    I think the problem is that people view healing (or DPS) output as a measure of self-worth. Just because I topped healing on Ultraxion on my baby pally doesn’t mean I’m a better person or player than any of the other healers on that fight. Just because I can be outhealed by Chronis, our DK tank in Apotheosis, doesn’t mean I’m a terrible person or player.

    Some joking around amongst teammates is fine, I’m not saying that’s wrong. But when people actively DELIGHT in other people’s nerfs, very little good can come of that. IMHO.

    Again, if it were JUST your comment and not others… I wouldn’t have even posted this, ’cause I know where you’re coming from and generally understand your perspective. :)

    Serrath – There is such a thing as personal responsibility and accountability and by no means am I advocating getting rid of that. :) If, for example, I assign a holy paladin to a specific tank (ie: me), then even if their numbers are low, I expect that tank to effing live. I expect that the tank will be the vast majority of that paladin’s healing. I will also expect the paladin to spread heals around as they can, but that’s a bit of a bonus. If that tank dies? Problem. If that tank dies because the assigned healer was doing other stuff? Bigger problem.

    I personally put my own job first, then try to help out as I can and I pretty much expect other healers to do the same. If they’re not doing their jobs, that’s ALSO not very team-oriented and that won’t work.

    As to schadenfreude, you may very well have a point. I don’t know, maybe my sense of “team” is too large, because when someone on my healing team gets nerfed, I take it personally. I have ALWAYS taken any healing nerfs personally. Sometimes they were needed, but that didn’t make me any less grumpy. Sometimes they weren’t, and BOY, was I annoyed. I think it’s gotten to the point where I’ve learned to roll with the punches, though. I care that Wild Growth got a 20% nerf, but what can I do about it? Nothing except bear that in mind if the druids are having trouble. I care that the holy pally 4pc got nerfed, but again, can’t do anything, so I just need to bear that in mind as we get deeper into content.

    TL;DR: Schadenfreude and I are not buddy-buddy and “doing it for the team” has to mean actually performing for the team because you care about the team, not just coasting along because you can. Or something.

  4. Schadenfreude is certainly something I engage in, but on a select basis and never on progression. I mean, if it weren’t for schadenfreude I would have a lot less fun healing with shaman on my team. It definitely helped offset the pain in my lower back.

    But seriously…

    I am not worried at all about the reaction to this hotfix. The paladin hate, QQ, and selfish cheering come from proven ignoramuses I am happy to ignore. Though I admit to a wicked delight in knowing a few of them will eventually realize nothing has actually changed.

    That, my paladin friends, is schadenfreude!

  5. I don’t think looking at healing numbers on Ultraxion means anything; it’s a ‘stand still, mash your buttons on CD fight’. I don’t see how anyone’s ability to play a healer well can be judged on that encounter.
    I can only imagine that the people who want a perceived OP class to be nerfed are those in high-end progression guilds who are being benched in favour of other classes that can put out higher HPS; for everyone else, I don’t believe it’s ever a nissue, is it?

    Certainly for my own guild, we have a basic healing team of Holy Paladin, Resto Shaman, and Holy Priest. We don’t have any other healers, and no matter the strengths and weaknesses or otherwise of our classes, this is what we heal all our encounters with.
    When we 2 heal, our Resto Shaman goes dps. Not because we other two are perceived to be better healing classes, rather that he is better at dpsing (as a player) than we are. If Holy Priest mastery got nerfed, if Holy Radiance got nerfed it would make no difference to our roster – this is what we have, this is what we play.

    Someone asked me what I thought about the Paladin 4 set getting nerfed from 20% to 5%, and I thought about it for a bit before replying that I didn’t have any feelings about it at all. Blizz reckons a 20% increase is OP, so they nerfed it; I have no idea if that was the case or not, but I’m not concerned about it at all.

  6. It may have something to do with people who PVP mostly. Say I’m doing 5v5 a lot and this holy paladin always managed to keep his party alive by spamming HR, this nerf to the 4set bonus would surely rejoice me. Just saying.

    I understand the stupidity of rejoicing if all i do is PVE though. Fully understood

  7. My guild has recently gone back to 10m raiding after a goodly chunk of our 25m group bailed for SWTOR, leaving me as a priest who heals with a druid and a paladin. I find that I rarely look at meters, we don’t worry about assignments (unless a fight has a mechanic that needs a specific arrangement), and my stress levels have dropped dramatically. Our druid regularly outheals me, as she’s really good at putting out a lot of HoTs, but I don’t care – no one’s pointing at numbers or worrying about who ‘comes in first’.

    That said – I think that there are still a great deal of people who DO watch meters and use those numbers to assign ‘good/bad’ labels to healers just like they do to DPS. I’ve raided with a GM/RL who would pore over the logs every night and say things like ‘Druid X outhealed Druid Y by 5k HPS. What’s wrong with Druid Y? Tell her to ask Druid X so she can learn what she’s not doing right.’ That’s demoralizing. It also sets up a raid environment where it does become important to top meters – and when one class is cranking out heals like there’s no tomorrow, the classes who are getting pushed down the meters get grumbly and upset and start throwing around that OP label. I think that’s one of the reasons that people stop thinking about being a team and worry about how they can pad the meters to make themselves look better. I’ve always refused to promote the ‘win the healing meter’ POV – in fact, that same RL all but accused me of being a bad healing lead because I wouldn’t go harass Druid X (or whoever) over meters.

  8. Well, I must confess, I look quite a lot at the logs. I’m a competitive person and try to sqeeze every little bit out of my class. But I’m not mad if I “lose” and go cry on forums about resto druids being OP. But maybe more than with topping meters I’m satisfied with acceptable values of my overhealing. It shows much more than pure healing.

    However, what wow players, not just healers, must understand is that healing really isn’t about numbers. Remember TBC where paladins were the best tank healers but didn’t have even a slightest chance to top the meters? And there were also certain dps classes that were very important by bringing buffs to raid while they couldn’t compete in dps. THAT was about teamwork.

    Seriously, as you wrote, Kurn, healing is about keeping your assigned targets alive, using cooldowns at appropriate time while not wasting your mana. And this can be done even if your class isn’t OP or topping meters… In our guild there is a resto shamann who is constantly QQing about his class being underpowered, how paladins are OP and really – I’m getting sick of this. Moreover, imagine him writing stuff like “resto druids regen 70% mana with innervate, paladins 50%” while ignoring every constructive comment. My only luck is that I’m not on team with him. :)

    PS: I miss a lot Divine Intervention too! Can’t forget it. :)

  9. I have to agree that numbers aren’t that important to me. I pretty much keep Recount off during raids and rely more on World of Logs to make sure all of us healers are doing our job and are carrying our weight. So far our 25 man raid team is 8/8 in normal DS. As a Holy Paladin assigned to tank healing and helping with raid healing when I can I rank around number 2 or 3. All six of us are just barely off from one another. As long as I’m doing my job, tank is alive, using my cd’s multiple times when needed, and working together as a team, Im pleased regardless of where I rank for the night.


  10. I approved of the change to the 4-set, and think that holy paladins could still do with more nerfing. This isn’t because I rejoice in other healers being brought down – although I raid on all healing specs except holy priest, my pala is my main – but because I think it’s bad for the game when there’s a significant imbalance, because it leads to other classes being sat out, and people being pushed to reroll or change mains, which sucks.

  11. thats how i feel kurn!
    no one died, we have mana we are good

    even tho on occasion i do pay off the other 2 healers to let Furo or Anti die from tiem to time for comic releafe

  12. Personally, I think the issue isn’t so black and white. One aspect of the problem that hasn’t been talked about is how individual class strength impacts balancing. At the lower end of the raid spectrum (i.e. LFR), individual class strength isn’t a big deal since the “acceptable” performance range is so large. However, when you start progressing into the higher end of the raid spectrum (i.e. Heroics), the performance range closes. This means that weaker healers need to pick up their games, or if they’re already near capped on their skill, they need to class change to stronger healers. It also means that raids with more strong healers can drop healers and pick up DPS to meet DPS checks easier.

    A second, less mentioned, issue is that the holy paladin strength is exacerbated by many of the fight mechanics in DS. Personally, I think that they designed the DS fights to buff shaman healing without thinking about how shaman healing mechanics also greatly benefit the new HR. Many of the fights in DS are based entirely around group up and AoE heal mechanics. This biases the experiences we’ve had thus far towards Paladins’ HR mechanic.

  13. I really liked this post, and appreciate the sentiment you’re trying to express concerning a “team first” attitude. I agree, and think that the mentality of raiding being a team effort has slowly been falling to the wayside. The advent of damage meters and World of Logs ranking (and live logging) have put more emphasis on players to compete against each other.

    When BWL and MC were the only raids in the game, success was measured by a guild’s ability to kill bosses. I fear that over time it’s become more common to watch meters and gauge a success by how well an individual performs over the group.

    As WoW ages, the size of the raid group continues to dwindle. I think this a trend that will continue with 25-man raids ultimately going the way of the 40 man raid. Personally, 10-man raids feel better to me and seem easier for the developers to tune. The idea of having a close-knit group of raiders is appealing, whereas I have found that a lot of 25 man raid groups are “clique-ish.”

    Sorry for the rambling – just my 2c.

  14. Having every healer at level cap makes you cringe at every single nerf. Maybe that should be a prerequisite to raiding :P

  15. People cheer at other people’s nerfs because, at least in some cases, they’re afraid they’ll be sat otherwise. They hate feeling worse in an absolute sense and feeling like the raid would be better off with a different healing class or spec. Look at all those resto shaman for Heroic Rag, right?

  16. On a separate note, I saw you gemming +40 int onto Woundlicker cover and Mindbender lens, despite both of them being our BiS in this expansion. Why not +50 instead when you can’t upgrade them ever, at least not until we can play as Po?

  17. Our guild mandates our raiders to gem all epic gems onto their BiS gear (410 and in some cases 397) to help us progress. They are given 1 raid CD to get the required gems, and failure to gem correctly they would be sat or any new 410 drops would go to someone else who would gem otherwise.

    None of the 397 T13 gear or any gear that have heroic upgrades are exempted.

    Maybe the epic red gems are outrageously expensive in your server? In ours it’s about 2.5 to 3k per.

  18. Sorry for another post, i meant to say “all” of the 397 T13 gear or any gear that have heroic upgrades are exempted, not “none”

  19. It’s nice to see a team work approach supported rather than a ‘snipe and top the meters’ approach to healing. One of our druids was rejoicing about the paladin nerf, and our GM asked him why he is happy our resident holy paladin will now be less effective.

    Teamwork isn’t about ‘carrying the bad players’, it’s about working together to keep the raid alive. We had a new druid recruit in wrath who was used to topping the meters being out done by a disc priest (me) and a resto shaman. I tried to get her to understand that it all works together – a shield on someone buys a bit of time for the hots to heal up the damage for example. But she only saw the importance of being ‘first’ and ended up leaving. We don’t care about the healing meters as long as you do your job properly, but she still cared more about the numbers than a successful raid.

    If your job is to dispel the all important debuff, then your “healing numbers” may be compromised but your dispels and their timing is what matters for that fight. Some fights are ideally designed for certain classes (being a Disc priest on Valithria was kinda suckful, being a disc priest on saurfang before the shield change rocked). Some raid zones seem better designed for certain classes. I think Ulduar was where disc priests started to come into their own.

    It should never be about “bringing the other classes down so mine can succeed”. If a class or spec has genuine issues they should be raised, but not combined with a suggestion to bring down other specs to achieve ‘parity’. I do agree that if there is too much imbalance, there is an impact on filling raids in some guilds. They wont’ take the ‘bad’ class and want to stack the ‘good’ class, which is a horrible situation for those being left out.

    Teammates teasing each other isn’t really the issue. The issue is the attitude that certain specs need to be brought down a peg and the satisfaction ppl get seeing it happen. When you’re talking about your fellow guildes and pleased to see they are getting nerfed, it is divisive to a team effort.

  20. Jem’s druid teammate is the perfect example of idiocy. Yes, all the healers on a team should work together and support each other. Yes, all of the healers should carry their own weight. Killing the boss is fun. Topping the meters is fun. Killing the boss while topping the meters is great!

    Beyond expressing his (temporary? tongue in cheek?) lack of teamwork, this player does not understand his own healing environment. Paladins, since 4.3 have been nerfed in only the most technical sense of the word. First, the change to 4pc was done before anyone except LFR hackers had a chance to use it. Second, the mana cost increase to Radiance will have little effect – especially on players who already top meters as part of a competent healing team.

    I feel sorry for Druids this tier because it sucks seeing a good player get less play time, justified or not, because of nerfs to their previously great class. As much as I don’t understand Druids, the drop in their output is significant and worrying given their lack of additional utility.

    I’d be really sad if Shaman hadn’t picked it up this tier because carrying two classes would have been tough. That’s a joke, by the way. A paladin could carry all three of the other classes. ;)

    TL;DR: Anyone cheering about nerfed paladins in tier 14 exposes their ignorance. Paladins have not been nerfed this tier.

  21. Joe – Yes, the fact that nothing had changed (with regards to the T13 set bonus) is kind of amusing when you realize people were rejoicing over, well, nothing. Of course, the increased mana cost to 40% of base mana from 35%, meaning it’ll now cost 9893 mana per cast instead of 8656, will give the haters more fuel for their fire. Alas.

    AliPally – I don’t think it means a lot either. To me, being a good healer means doing the amount of throughput you need to do to keep your assignment(s) up through reasonable damage. So if your tank is dumb and doesn’t hit their Heroic Will when they have Fading Light (for example), that’s not reasonable damage to heal through, obviously. The other part of the “good healer” equation, for me, is knowledge of the class and using that knowledge to the best of your ability. As a paladin, it means knowing to judge once a minute, using your cooldowns as you can, knowing the encounter and how best your class can DO stuff in that encounter. That + appropriate throughput = a good healer, to me. To many other, uneducated souls, it means “ZOMG NUMBERZ!!!@11!!1!”

    As to the nerfs, I don’t think it’s limited to high-progression guilds. Nerfs to some classes are obviously felt less when the content is not quite so new, but I think it happens everywhere, to a degree. Certainly healers who care about their own classes don’t like the idea of being nerfed. Do you know any druids who rerolled when Wild Growth and its glyph were nerfed? I don’t know any personally, but I’m sure they exist, even outside of hardcore progression guilds.

    I have a bit of a choice when it comes to which healers I pull in to a fight — I have 2 holy pallies, 2 resto druids, 1 holy priest, 1 disc priest, 1 resto shaman and another resto shaman who’s in their trial with us. So I COULD jiggle that around if I wanted to. I think we could do any of the normal DS fights with any 5-6 of those healers, but when pushing progression, I want 6 healers there who will give me the best chance at downing heroic Hagara. I recognize not a lot of people have that option or, even if they do have it they may not exercise it, but it’s something I know can and does happen outside of hardcore guilds. (Back in Wrath, my guilds INSISTED on 2 holy paladins for H Saurfang, H Dreamwalker, etc, and you “NEEDED” a disc priest for Lich King.)

    Belvaran – It’s definitely PVE-related, from what I can tell. Do people actually use HR in arenas/BGs? The hot is so short and the direct heal is so small that I don’t think it could possibly compete with the incoming damage.

    Sierra – I’m glad your stress has dropped! That’s always a good thing. :) The GM/RLs who bitch about healing output are, IMHO, the same morons who are all “heal the tanks!” when the tanks get low. As if calling out “heal the tanks” is going to do anything. As if any decent healer isn’t already mid-cast. Healing has so much subtlety to it, so much nuance. It’s not just a win the meters game and it makes me so sad that so many people don’t understand that.

    Nibenwen – There’s nothing wrong with going through logs with a fine-toothed comb, looking for ways to improve yourself. I do it frequently, particularly with uptimes of stuff like Judgements of the Pure. But to place your self-worth as a healer (and the value of other healers) by how they do on the meters is what I can’t really understand. You hit the nail on the head — I was a great tank healer in BC and never topped anything, but my tanks rarely died (except to parry-thrashes on Tidewalker and such…). The teamwork seen in BC raid instances far outweighed “who topped meters”. There was a priest in my guild, holy all the way down to Circle of Healing (as opposed to Euphie, a great priest who went holy but didn’t get CoH — he went into disc to get us spirit, instead). We were learning Bloodboil and Euphie had said it was something like Prayer of Healing Rank 2 or something that was PERFECT to hit the group with right after the Bloodboil cast. So we put the CoH priest (our strongest, numbers-wise) on G1, Euphie in G2 and probably our weakest priest on G3, who would only need to heal through one bloodboil cast.

    Time and again, people in G1 were dying. Like, falling over, dead.

    Recount showed (and it was brand-new back then!) that the G1 priest was using CoH to heal exclusively, not using PoH.

    “Dude, why aren’t you using PoH?”

    “CoH heals for more and costs less mana.”

    “Are you downranking PoH to Rank 2?”

    “… no?”

    “Do it.”

    And then everyone lived and we beat Bloodboil and everyone lived happily ever after.

    So back then, our “strongest” priest was being outdone by a priest with a weaker spec and another priest with weaker gear, because they weren’t playing as part of the team.

    Sorry to hear about your resto shaman difficulties. :( I’d recommend he go traipsing through Wowhead to read what Innervate and Divine Plea actually do. :P

    DIVINE INTERVENTION FTW. Playing a paladin hasn’t been as fun without it. :(

    MegaCode – If only more people thought the way you do, buddy! <3

    Gladly – Thanks very much, I’m glad it resonated with some people out there. Thanks for the comment! :)

    Sebastian – I would argue that Holy Radiance’s change, while certainly different from previous iterations of paladin healing, is not what is causing the imbalance. I would argue the problem is that we have mana-free heals that exacerbate any perceived balance problems. Word of Glory and Light of Dawn make up a lot of healing that is completely free. We can gain Holy Power in ways that are very mana-friendly (or free, in the case of Blessed Life, etc) and then convert those charges of Holy Power into free heals. THAT, IMHO, is what is causing balance issues. Holy Radiance’s change was necessary (to a point, I think) so that LFR groups wouldn’t be screwed when they have 4-5 holy paladins out of 6 healers (which I’ve seen happen — hilarious!). It’s also exacerbated, as Rennys said, by the fact that so many fights in DS encourage us to group up (Morchok, Zon’ozz in dark phases, Yor’sahj on anything that’s not green, Ultraxion, lots of Spine and at least half of Madness).

    I do think it’s bad for the game when there are significant imbalances, but I don’t think our imbalance stems from Holy Radiance, I think it stems from Holy Power.

    Ains – haha, you tell Furo and Anti that they’re in good company! The priests of Apotheosis keep trying to kill Majik with creative uses of Leap of Faith (life grip)!

    Rennys – I agree that the top-progressing guilds will happily stack their raids and force re-rolls to the flavour of the month class, for sure. It wasn’t odd to see 3-4 resto shaman in a raid during Sunwell, as I understand it, for example. I think it’s not just happening in top-end guilds, but I think you see it less the less progressed a guild is. I wouldn’t ever ask my healers to switch classes, for example, but I would consider limiting that class to just one on a fight at a time, for example.

    And I absolutely agree about the fight design in DS being huge for holy paladins. Without a doubt, that plays into it.

    Sprinks – oooh, don’t get me started on ranking!! haha! I love WoL, but I loathe the ranking business of it. Of course, that’s what a lot of people like to see/care about. It’s unfortunate, but if the data’s there, I can’t blame anyone for making it available.

    When BWL and MC were the only raids in the game, success was measured by a guild’s ability to kill bosses. I fear that over time it’s become more common to watch meters and gauge a success by how well an individual performs over the group.

    THIS. SO MUCH THIS. Similarly, Burning Crusade raids were very much the same type of thing. How far did you get pre-nerf? Post-nerf? What titles did you get? You can’t GET Hand of A’dal anymore, so I wear that with a lot of pride. It was tougher to get than people waltzing into ICC these days and getting the Light of Dawn title from heroic LK when they didn’t even have to kill Putricide, BQL and Sindragosa on heroic.

    I think that with heroics and non-linear content, it has rapidly degraded into “yeah, anyone can kill those bosses on normal” and the competition starts with “I ranked and you didn’t!”. Blech.

    If things shrink to one raid format of 10-man raids, that’ll be the nail in the coffin for me, so I hope it doesn’t happen, but I fear that you’re probably right. They seem to have had a LOT of trouble tuning things appropriately for 10s and 25s this expansion. :(

    Happy to read your rambles anytime, thanks for commenting!

    Talamaur – ahaha, nice! I like that idea. :D

    Balkoth – I’ll grant you that. Resto shaman on H Rag were not, as it appears, a great choice. But I would argue that the fight was flawed for the second tier (as opposed to final tier) of the expansion. I think the devs screwed up on that one and I think we can view H Rag as an outlier. Even with that, though, yes, some healers will absolutely find themselves struggling and feeling “bad” as they progress. But that’s where it helps to have a healing lead or raid leader who understands about healing and is reassuring. Maybe that doesn’t happen in top-end guilds, but I’d like to think it happens in my own guild. :)

    Belvaran – The truth of it is that our guild bank gives out gems for free for raiders and I haven’t spent enough time in-game lately to collect red epic gems myself. They’re still anywhere from 6k-9k each on my server, so while I could optimize things by putting epic brilliant gems into my cloak and my new relic (just picked it up the other day), I decided to put that off a bit until prices came down a bit or I managed to get myself some epic gems out of my Motes rather than Jasper x2. We don’t have a mandate about it yet, although I suspect, as a bit more time passes, we’ll start making that mandatory. But right now, I’m not going to expect anyone to drop 6k gold on a single gem when there are so many gem slots to fill. :)

    Jem – fantastic comment, I agree with everything you said. I’m sorry to hear your resto druid recruit was basically a moron, but clearly your raid team was better off without her. :)

    Joe – Working together, supporting each other — that’s how I feel. I KNOW my healers have my back if I’m in an Ice Tomb. I KNOW I’ll cover for someone who’s drinking a Concentration potion.

    As to druids, our druids in Apotheosis haven’t seemed to suffer very much — but one of them is Jasyla and she is exceptional! The lack of added utility outside of Tranquility is depressing. I would love to have a tank cooldown from a resto druid, but alas.

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