Aiii, Not the Face – Healers on Cata-Pain

I must confess, I’ve not hit 85 yet – stuck at 84 instead thanks to a week full of busy evenings and crazy-mad weekdays. And I’ve certainly not hit 85, or even 81, as a healer. But a fair number of people have, and it appears that hitting Cataclysm with a new healer is a bit like hitting a powerboat propeller with a club made entirely of jelly.

Zan at Altoholic Anonymous is certainly feeling the Cata-Pain. As of a week ago, he’d yet to compete a single heroic on his Paladin healer, and since then, things seem not to have improved much. He’s arguing that not only is healing brutally hard and thoroughly horrible when using the LFD system right now, but that healers have been robbed of the gratification of healing by the new paradigm:

Healers watch their unit frames and are used to see press their buttons and see things happen. In Cataclysm we don’t see that, we no longer get a noticeable change in our target’s health. We no longer get a visual gratification for pressing our buttons. This combined with the mana problems, the slow cast times, the lack of real change in the way damage is taken, and the shit healers have been getting in randoms has taken the fun out of the game for a huge number of people.

I could care less about how hard heroics are. I only care a little about baddies and being vote kicked, or even spell efficiency, but not having gratifying results when pressing my buttons steals away a good deal of my fun.

Meanwhile, Disciplinary Action (great name, guys) is also feeling the pain of  healing in Cataclysm.

You’re running out of mana every two mobs and the group keeps pulling, oblivious to your panicked squeals for mana, mana, mana! Bars are dropping. You pop triage heals on the DPS, even though you can’t spare the mana, because you know you’ll wipe for sure without that strangely tough hunter because your tanks’ health is dropping faster than a brick on fast-forward and he’s vying for the title of World’s Biggest Dick anyway.

The ‘lock Life Taps six times in quick succession, the tank pulls the boss while you’re counting the seconds on your Shadowfiend cooldown and sobbing softly while whacking the last three mobs feebly with your stick, and then it happens:

You wipe.

And then the group boots you.

They’ve been learning from the pain, the wipes, and the noobs, though, and present an excellent list of tips for surviving the Cata experience, including some suggestions of helpful communications macros to help stem the confusion and/or noobitude. And they’re even suggesting returning to Wrath instances – but just to improve your new skills in a less-terrifying environment.

Have you levelled a healer in Cata yet? Is it as horrible as everyone’s saying? And do you have any tips to help improve teh haelz?

Quotes taken directly from Zan’s posts and Disciplinary Action’s post.

Find Altoholic Anonymous here_, and Disciplinary Action here.