Of egos, numbers and priorities.

This totally ties in to my upcoming Holy How-To #4: Healing Meters, but I didn’t want to complicate what will be an informative post with my own personal stuff.

My question is this: how can a guild that is practically five years old be run by people who rely on healing meters to determine who the “best healer” is?

My RL friend the resto druid is taking a break from the game due to various RL issues that have cropped up. Which sucks. I mean, obviously I support her decision and I think it’s the best decision for her, given her RL circumstances and all. Apart from anything else, not having to raid from 11pm-2am four nights a week will benefit her in that she’ll get a decent amount of sleep.

The trouble here is that she’s the healing lead. And we’re 11/12, working on getting Sindragosa on farm (most emphatically not on farm!) and getting Lich King down on 25-man, so we can unlock hard modes, etc.

When she went away on business for a couple of days, she posted on the forums that I’d do healing assignments while she was away. (She and I had talked about this, so it wasn’t a surprise, it was fine.)

So naturally, while she’s away from the game, I figured that the whole healing lead thing would fall to me. Just about everyone else who has seniority is gone or not raiding anymore; the other holy paladin ninja-transferred, the disc priest who is awesome stopped raiding a couple of months ago… Honestly, there’s two healers who have been in the guild longer than I have been at this point, and one’s attendence sucks and the other is happier to be on standby.

So I’m thinking to myself that I should write to the officers that I get along with and let them know that I’m happy to help out in the short-term while they find a new healing lead until my RL friend comes back to the game. But that it’s strictly for the short-term, I don’t want any kind of promotion, I don’t want the job, etc.

So I do. I talk a bit about how I’m willing to help for the betterment of the raid and because the resto druid is my RL friend and I want to do what I can to lessen her stress/guilt for not raiding, etc. This is all on Thursday night.

Later on Friday, the caster officer PMs me back on the boards and is like “can we talk in-game about something real quick?”

So I log on and we chat and he’s like “I apologize in advance, but do you remember me asking you if [resto druid] was going to log on, Wednesday?”

“Yeah, you asked right before she did log on.”

“Yeah, well the reason I asked was because [MT/de-facto GM] had actually asked me to do healing if she wasn’t around.”

Relief totally flooded my body. Honest to God, I was like “haha, that’s fine!” and I was all relieved and fine. I’ve been in the guild for seven months, which is a drop in the bucket compared to most people, including the caster officer (who used to heal in pre-BC and BC).

But then he said that apparently, some people actually complained that I was doing healing assignments. Complained? What the hell? It’s not like I was doing a bad job or anything. With little to no communication from Mr. MT/officers, I did healing assignments for 10/12, with only 2 wipes. One WAS my bad, but the other was due to disconnections on BQL. I’m sitting there, scratching my head as to why on earth people would complain; I was polite in my requests, I was encouraging of the healers, I allocated resources pretty darn well considering I don’t know the capability of half of these people (there are five healers who have been there less than 5-6 weeks)…

So it blew my mind when the caster officer said why they complained.

“apparently some ppl complained about you doing them because they feel like you’re not the best healer or something”

And it dawns on me. The MT felt that these complaints were justified because I don’t top healing meters.

It’s got absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I can’t manage the healers, nothing to do with the fact that I can’t allocate resources, nothing to do with the fact that I’m polite and courteous. It’s not even that I suck at healing; it’s because I stick to my assignments and do what’s best for the raid, rather than inflate my numbers.

Our last holy paladin, the one who had arrived when the guild was working on Sunwell, was a numbers whore. That’s all he cared about, that and caring about looking as if he was awesome because he knew the details of the game and mechanics — even though he didn’t. (Seriously, he tried to tell me that if MY beacon was up on a tank, that HIS heals would also be mirrored to MY beacon. Which is absolutely false and untrue.)

As a result of his priorities (his numbers instead of the raid), he would often heal off assignment, judge light (instead of wisdom, when there was always a ret pally in the raid, who could more reliably keep a judgement up) and was directly responsible for several wipes in recent memory. Basically, my RL friend was RELIEVED he ninja-transferred so that she didn’t have to deal with his stupid ass for never listening to her. You know how hard it is to type, in healing chat, while running around and healing, the words “[holy pally name] put your beacon on your assigned beacon target and heal your tank please”. She did that frequently and also whispered him a ton to get him to do it.

If I WANTED to, I could give myself the assignments that have me ridiculously high on the meters and I could judge light. But what’s the point in topping meters if people are DYING? What’s the point in wiping the raid all night in order to show off?

I’m sorry, but if we’re on Sindragosa, with a harsh frost aura ticking constantly, there is no WAY I’m going to beat a raid healer AND keep the MT alive. Not a chance. So what’s the more important thing? Healing the MT and keeping him alive so Sindragosa doesn’t turn and one-shot the rest of the raid.

This conversation has been bugging me since Friday and I just realized why. It’s not even that the MT is ignorant enough about healing that he relies on healing meters (haha, does that mean he thinks disc priests are completely worthless?), but it’s that the healers are the ones who complained. My fellow healers, the ones who are supposed to have a deeper understanding of the game and mechanics and healing assignments and the roles of various healers… THEY are the ones who complained to the MT.

So not only is the MT, who is also acting guild leader, ignorant of how healing works in this game, but so are at least some of the healers in the guild.

I could understand it if I weren’t one of the more senior healers in the guild at the moment, if I were this new recruit who, via nepotism, got the healing assignment job just because my RL friend knows me IRL.

I could understand it if I were actually terrible at allocating healer resources.

I could understand it if, instead of going 10/12 the other night, we had gone 6/12 because healing for Putricide had gone to hell or something.

But… I’m not “new”. I’ve been there longer than most anyone else. And I’m not bad at assigning healing. And my assignments proved to be done properly and well as we ruined 10 bosses in 3 hours the other night.

And yet, I don’t top healing, thus I suck?

I am agog at the ignorance that is clearly rampant in my guild. Truly, I am. I don’t understand how any healer who prioritizes the betterment of the raid could give a rat’s ass about the meters.

I’ve been wondering if I’ll leave the guild if my RL friend doesn’t come back soon. If she doesn’t, I think I just plain have to leave. It’s not that I’m hurt by the idea of the complaints, but I’m pissed off that people who should know better just don’t. After this realization that at least SOME of the healers are dumber than I thought they were, I find that I don’t care anymore. This guild is in trouble if it’s recruiting ignorant players and listening to them.

You want to point out where I suck? That’s great. Pull out logs, show me standing in fire or eating Blistering Cold or getting beaned by Malleable Goo. Guess what? I don’t eat BC. I don’t get beaned by MG. Fire and I have an uneasy relationship, this is true, but I have better environmental awareness than most of the healers. Which is SAD.

It’s like, all of a sudden, the small healer community that I THOUGHT was getting better in quality, that I THOUGHT was worth my respect and courtesy, doesn’t matter to me at all, because it’s been infected by Stupid™ and that Stupid™ is also present in the ranks of the officers.

In short, without my RL friend there, it’s clear that there’s nothing left for me. I’m going to kill LK, see how my RL friend is doing and then make my decision as to what to do.

I strongly suspect that I’ll be heading back to good old Eldre’Thalas earlier than expected.

13 Replies to “Of egos, numbers and priorities.”

  1. That is the lamest piece of monkey crap I’ve ever heard. Clearly you’re unappreciated by those cretins in your guild who probably still eat paste.

    If you’re not already in SAN, come on over and hang out. It really does help being with an entire guild of enlightened non-stupid people… as a vacation.

  2. Thanks for the chuckle, Cranky. :) I do have a toon in SAN but can’t seem to find the time to go over and play much. I tried the other night and then got a phone call and wound up timing out. >< Plus, my brother has decided to level a paladin so I'm levelling with him -- between my max-level toons and this new one, it's just hard. But I should definitely make some time this week to go hang out with people who, you know, aren't morons. :D

  3. Given the recent and very public mess that certain bloggers (I feel for Tam) have found themselves in, you may end up backing yourself into a hole from which there is no return if your guild read this :) Just my 0.02, Kurn :)

    Not that I am excusing it in any way, but if you haven’t definitely decided to leave, you may end up having the choice taken away from you …

  4. Sounds like you need a public service announcement on your guild forums regarding “Why Healing Meters Are Meaningless”. Some people appear to be grossly misinformed.

  5. Saunder – I’ve considered that possibility, particularly in light of Tam’s recent stuff. I’ve decided that I’ve been sufficiently vague and polite, actually. While certain people in my guild might not like what I have to say, I’ve been pretty good about not naming names, blurring out names in logs/screenshots, making my WoL reports private… If they’re going to kick me for bitching pretty freaking anonymously, when I’m actually right about certain things, well, I probably don’t want to raid with them anyways. Actually, without my RL friend, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to raid with them, period, but I’m sticking it out in the hopes that my RL friend comes back ASAP, and out of some silly sense of loyalty to the guild that my RL friend loves.

    Que sera, sera, I suppose is what I’m saying. :)

    Kiryn – I think that might be lacking the subtlety that is more typical of my personality. ;)

  6. I am utterly in awe of how ignorant people are in WoW. I talked to you earlier about it on vent, but this is just ridiculous. If people judged healers by their rank on the healing meter, then Disc Priests would be useless in raids because they are low in heals, but they prevent so much damage from being taken by people, it evens out. I was in a VoA 25 on my priest and I got called a bad healer because I was low on the meter. I replied that I was Disc and someone said, “that doesn’t matter, you need to heal more”.

    I think WoW should require an IQ test before people are allowed to play, lol.

  7. As a healer, former raid leader, healing lead, and someone that had to evaluate raid talent for nearly 4 years, I find it amazing that someone would use healing meters (meters in general) to determine a person’s ability. Frankly healing numbers can be easily skewed. Any healer who is focused on meters is NOT focused on the raid’s overall success; they in general are putting their ego ahead of the group. (ie yes you were the number one on the healing charts but we wiped, congrats ass-face)

    As a raid leader if you want to determine if someone is a “good” healer (worth a damn) you should first and foremost see if they can keep their assigned healing targets alive. Beyond that fact here are a few other things all raid leaders should use when evaluating healers…

    1-How well do they move, are they flat-footed or very mobile
    2-What is their environmental awareness, how do they adapt to changes
    3-Willingness to take on the hardest healing assignments, without complaining
    4-Offer feedback on improving healing coverage, streamlining healing assignments
    5-Willingness to work with other healers outside of group, preparing for future raids

    I think the issue with some of the older players in this game is that they still believe that “brute force” healing is the way to take down content. And in old vanilla and early TBC WoW that was the case. Healers pumped out a lot of healing to a group that was taking significant damage, while sucking down unlimited mana pots. Back then you could have raiders that were sloppy and the healers would just brute force heal them through the encounter if they got in trouble. That changed, late in TBC and into Wrath, but some raid leaders have not adapted.

    Today’s content, is not about bashing one’s head against a wall for hours and hours in a single night, but rather having a strategy that can be executed by the larger group, and is repeatable. You still have to struggle and the overall strategies are not as complicated as they were in TBC, but execution by everyone in the raid is much more important. You only get so many attempts in one night, so everyone has to know their role and learn it quickly. You can get through content without having the best class or healer makeup as long as you have players that can execute their job well.

    So just to recap everything I’ve said into one sentence…

    ”Execution > Meters”

  8. Osephala – I fully agree with the IQ test thing. :P I’m so sorry your idiot puggers did not understand the very concept of the disc priest.

    R – I <3 you. You were the best raid leader I ever had. I totally agree on the execution thing. Great example of that was Sarth3D. It's all like that now. I'd prefer a slightly more difficult strategy with a wee bit more leeway than an easier strat where all 25 people cannot screw up even once. It's like herding cats. :P

  9. Ose – it’s pretty awesome (or sad) when you can outheal a holy priest on recount (yeah, yeah recount schrecount). I’ve learned some tricks to beat the snot out of our resident Orange wielder.

    Then you look at WoL and it’s like… HALLELUJAH!

    And, <3 you Madders

  10. Kal – uh, you’re basically awesome, so I am not remotely surprised that you’re beating the snot out of anyone. Man, if all the healers I adore and respect come to Apotheosis for Cataclysm, no joke, we’re going to have the best healing group in the entire game, bar none. Like, to the point where I might have to DPS on my hunter or something because there will be too many healers who outheal my sorry ass. :D

    <3 you too!

  11. That’s pretty upsetting. Ever since Wrath launched and I went to disc permanently, I’ve always been discouraged and disgusted at how people compare MT heals to raid heals. Guess what smarts, I heal 1 person, not 25…naturally my numbers are going to be lower. Not to mention an insane amount of my “healing” is absorption. Kurn come back to ET please, I misses you.

    And in wrath, we’re going to dominate like we did in BC.

  12. You, sir, need to decide if you want to heal or do damage. ;) Disc, shadow, holy, shadow, disc, holy…. haha. :)

    Last night on Lich King, btw:

    Disc Priest 1 (always on shielding the raid): 10,000,000 in absorbs on his PW:S.

    Disc Priest 2 (shielding tanks, half the raid, but also was holy for a few attempts): 7,100,000 in absorbs on his PW:S.

    Things were better in guild last night and I’ll probably post an update soon, but I’ll be back on ET eventually, I’m sure. I miss you too, buddy! Here’s to healing Megress together on Mimiron! ;)

    PS: You mean Cataclysm. ;)

  13. My priest and pally tank are still on ET! I have no plans to move them so I would love to run some heroics with you Kurn! amg, moar! <3

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