2 heal or not 2 heal, that is the question

Thankyouvermuch, I’ll be here all night, try the veal.

Aside from the Firelands Uber-nerf, the big news of the last day has been the discussion brewing over 2-healing raids – is it a valid strategy, a horrible punishment for healers, a way to take the pressure off the DPS?

(For those who don’t know – “2-healing” means healing a 10-man raid with only 2, rather than the usual 3, healers present.)

It all started when The Honourable Gentlemurloc from Murloc Parliament posted a piece entitled You’re Doing So Well That Here’s More Work

“I hate the idea of 2-healing. To me, it feels like a penalty for doing well. We’re finally able to handle the encounter without shitshitshitshitohshit moments, without running oom halfway through, without randomly losing people, and suddenly it’s time to take a member of our team away, so we can beat the enrage timer.”

Lono of Screaming Monkeys responded with a defence of the two-healing idea

“If we go with the idea that the current DPS offering of skill/gear/puppies is insufficient, then we need to figure out a solution that goes outside L2P or DPS harder. The obvious answer then becomes to add more DPS players. So from the point of view of global raid success, if removing a healer or tank is feasible for that fight and if it allows a kill… why not do it? “

So far, it sounds like an extension of the old adage that if you really want something done, you should ask the busiest person you can find to do it – because busy people are likely to be the ones who actually get things done, and hence are the ideal people to ask to do more stuff. (There’s also a Peter Principle at work here – the idea that organisations naturally promote people who are competent until they finally land in a position where they can’t cope any more.)

But then, Tobold stepped in with a really interesting resource-based analysis of the issue

“It is an inherent flaw of the system that any excess of healing or aggro management is a waste, but any excess of damage serves to speed up the fight. If you had a raid team which was perfectly able to take down a boss and the game would allow you to take one more person on the raid, you would always chose a damage dealer. There is such a thing as “enough” tanking and healing, but there is never enough damage output.”

I suspect this discussion’s just getting going – what do you think?

All quotes taken directly from their respective articles.