It’s not whack-a-mole to me

Miss Medicina had a single-target healing post, and it’s generated comments on the two major single-target healing spec-classes, discipline priests and holy pallies.  Unfortunately, I have a tree at best, and a baby disc priest at worst. My tree is suited for raid healing, and I like it that way.  When she still healed for TSR, I remember one ICC25 Marrowgar where she got told to tank-heal.

I was so nervous.  And a little bit mad.  They assigned healers based on HPS I think, and I was like, WELL DUH REJUV EVERYWHERE.  Oh well, the TSR healers were actually outhealing the host guild’s healers, so whatever.

But after that taste of tank-healing, I loved raid-healing even more.  Granted, I’ll give it to you that I probably do not have the best tree spec ever, and it’s definitely not suited for tank-healing, I’m sure.  So go figure a non tank healing specced druid tank healing was not so much fun.

Whatever.  I love my raid healing. It’s relaxing, for one, not to be all “OMG OMG OMG” if I miss a cast once or twice because I’m not the only one healing the raid nor should the raid be taking that much damage.  Unless it’s like Decimate, I guess.  Then raid-healing is all “OMG OMG OMG.”

The point of the post? I don’t really like it when people call it whack-a-mole. I’m not fuming from my ears when I hear that name, but it’s a little more than merely annoying.

“Whack-a-mole” feels to me like chaos, which, I guess most people think of raid-healing as.  You wait for the mole to pop its head, and you whack it.  Which is part of why I disagree with the name. When I raid heal, I don’t wait for damage to pop up.  One of the reasons I love Vuhdo is that it shows me not just who actually has aggro (red outline), but I have the threat monitor up and running so that I can see who is about to get aggro.  I also pay attention to things like cast bars and the boss’s target.  Using these various elements on my UI, aside from random casts, I can get at least a rejuv off if not a regrowth on the person before they get damaged.

So whack-a-mole chaos doesn’t occur very often for me, unless it’s massive raid-wide damage.  That’s just a case of too many targets at once, for which you need OMGHASTE or priority healing if you don’t have that much haste (like me).

Maybe that’s not so insanely genius, but people usually don’t die (unless they stand in The Bad), I don’t usually run out of mana (unless I go brezzing people who die in The Bad), I give my innervates to the priesties and pallies, and people have told me I’m good.  /flex ego

So what DO you call raid-healing then, Poneria? Well, I consider it like wine-glass playing.  Y’know, fill a wine glass with some amount of water, lick your fingers, slide your fingers around the rim, you make sound.  Get a bunch of glasses with various amounts of water, you get a wine glass organ.

So raid healing, it’s a wine-glass organ. You gotta be licking your fingers when you need to and be ready to move your hands to the next note.

I don’t play whack-a-mole.  I play the wine-glass organ with my colander healing. It’s really fun, actually.

So, peeps who read my blog, do you see raid-healing as whack-a-mole?  Why/not?

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10 responses

  1. Cassie

    It’s whack-a-mole to me, but that’s because I’m a pally healer at heart — we -are- tank healers. We can provide some mitigation for one person, and it works best if they’re getting hit a lot. We can’t HoT anyone but that person. We can start bringing the hammer down before the mole is all the way out of the hole, but that’s about as organized as tank healing gets for a healadin.

    04 Mar 2010 at 05:13

  2. I’m not really sure what I consider raid healing, to be honest I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it terms like that. Granted, having only played a shammy healer in any kind of raid healing situation (and not any kind of seriously) I probably don’t have the greatest experience. For Eldi it really depend on the type of fight, if it’s something where people are more-or-less grouped up (in one or more groups) it’s pretty easy and stress-free, chain heal, done deal. But when everyone is spread out and running all over the place it gets a little more confusing and stressful because I end up either a) wasting a chain heal on someone who is standing way out in the middle of nowhere, or b) running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to find someone who’s dying out of range. I agree about raid healing in general though, I hate having to tank heal :P

    04 Mar 2010 at 06:00

  3. Tam

    I’m glad you wrote this – I’ve never liked the whack-a-mole analogy either. I think it’s something healers say to be self-deprecating and other players use – consciously or not – to undermine the value of healing, or the fact that raid healing takes FINESSE. I much prefer raid healing to tank healing, not because of the responsibility issues, but because the juggling flaming plates aspect of it is incredibly challenging – how do you save THAT rogue over there and THAT mage over there in the most mana efficient way possible. I love it. It’s awesome. We deserve respect :)

    And the wine glass organ is a great term :) I shall insist on it being thus described for any future raids.

    04 Mar 2010 at 08:30

  4. I never refer to raid healing as whack-a-mole, it does seem to diminish its value. When you think about it though, tank healing can also be described as whack-a-mole. Tank healers just whack the same mole over and over. Poor mole.

    04 Mar 2010 at 10:40

  5. Ya I agree the term doesn’t really fit raid healing. When I am druid healing I am also relaxed. Sometimes I complain that druid healing becomes mundane, and it does when you have done a fight on farm for awhile. But when you are learning a new fight, druid healing is really fun. You can determine who is going to take damage and pre-hot them up. That is what I love about druids. You really have to understand the fights in order to excel at your class. I have learned to look around the room while healing and see the incoming WW from boss, rogue not moving before hand and throw some HoTs his way for the inc dmg. There are so many ways to anticipate damage and heal accordingly, which is what a good druid does imo. So druids don’t play whack-a-mole, because they hit the mole before it comes out of the hole.

    If you enjoy healing I would recommend rolling a shaman or any other strong single target healer. I never wanted to tank heal until I saw those awesome crits on my shaman. Tank healing is a ton more fun on her. But on my druid, I am all about rejuving the raid and throwing my leaves at people with wild growth.

    04 Mar 2010 at 13:50

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  7. Jen

    I play a druid and I call it whack-a-mole every time in the most loving manner. I tried tank healing (on said druid and my pally alt) and I hate it. I can do tank healing *support* (hot the tank while someone else heals), but I love my whack-a-mole. It really is whack-a-mole to me, it’s fun having to heal everyone and bouncing for one person to another. I even do that when I’m tank healing… which is bad for the tank because he tends to die. Oops.

    05 Mar 2010 at 11:22

  8. I am led to believe it was my comment on that post that sparked this. A new light on it you have shed, to an extent.

    My alt is a holy priest so I don’t get the experience raid healing in quantitive measures enough to allow me to perfect my style other then spam the people @ less then 100% health while in a raid. Five-mans are different for me, I can inter-change and keep people topped off, but in a raid I feel kinda chaotic and dont know where to go next.

    I get where you are coming from and the more I get a feeling for raid healing maybe my “whack-a-mole” will become a symphony…cause I like music.

    05 Mar 2010 at 14:30

  9. Codi

    I think it really depends on what class you’re raiding healing with. Trees and Disc priests are “blanket” raid healers. Their goal is to be preemptive, not reactive. “Whack-a-mole” to my understanding refers to reactive, single target raid healing. As an example, if you’re assigned to raid healing the ranged DPS as a shaman and they are all spread out beyond the range of CH, you have to use almost nothing but LHW. That is -very- much like “whack-a-mole.”

    I think that the use of Healbot or Vuhdo add to the perception of all raid healing being like that. The original purpose of Healbot back when it was first was made was to automate healing as much as possible, to make it take as little effort or thought as possible. It reminds me of a Penny Arcade cartoon about healing via an iPhone application…

    06 Mar 2010 at 12:02

  10. Hiya, just came across you in SAN on Argent Dawn. My alt is druid, and I think the analogy to wine glasses is apt. Spinning plates on pointy poles is another.

    08 Mar 2010 at 03:53

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