Healer vs Healer – is the “class X is OP” fight turning nasty?

I’m always interested when I see multiple blogosphere posts on a single day talking about the same issue, particularly if they’re coming at it from slightly orthoganal points of view, but heading in the same direction.

And so it has been today with Kurn and Windsoar, both of them talking about the problems with WoW healing class abilities, but from different angles.

First up, we have Kurn, who has been watching a worrying trend amongst her fellow healing commentators – an increased tendancy to cheer at nerfs to other healing classes:

“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?”

Obviously, it sucks to be on the receiving end of a nerf. And, obviously, the internets have never been short on crowing over another class’s abilities being nerfed. Hell, even the devs have gotten into the act sometimes – hence the enduring power of the phrase “to the ground, baby!”.

But I’ve not seen this sort of in-fighting from healers in the past. DPS, of course, and tanks to a certain extent, but I’ve not heard of such competitiveness for the top of the meters in the healing world before. And as Kurn says, she’s not seen it as much, either.

Why should it be happening now? Well, it might just be the result of the state of the world – uncertainty and fear are the zeitgeist in a lot of parts of the world right now, and that spreads into everything. It might be a Winter Thing. Or it might be a natural result of the aging of the game, which sees all things inexorably slide to a fight over meters.

But Windsoar’s post today – which I should stress is not one of the posts that Kurn is talking about, but a commentary on a part of the game that reflects upon the entire discussion – may provide another reason.

Windsoar has been attempting to heal Heroic Warlord Zon’ozz, and in doing so has come face to face with a situation she’s not experienced before – the feeling that the only thing she could have done better was be a different class

“Last night I went to take a look at paladins healing Yor’sahj. What could our paladin friend be bringing to the table that I wasn’t? And I found that it wasn’t something I was failing to do, it was something I downright couldn’t do. I don’t have bacon. No, that’s not right, I always have bacon… Beacon, that’s it. I don’t have Word of Glory. These are frankly, powerful healing tools that don’t stack the debuff that I can’t bring to the table. Every single one of my heals does bad things. I can’t keep Lifebloom on the tank during a purple phase. I don’t feel comfortable casting Swiftmend on anyone (which is why pets are awesome). Rejuv, Wild Growth, Regrowth, Healing Touch, Nourish: all add stacks. And don’t even go near your Tranquility button or you’ll be watching an explosion of your raid mates across your screen.”

It might be my imagination, but it feels like we’ve seen a lot of posts complaining that the balance of healing is off right now, and has been for a while. From Vixsin’s superbly-argued posts on Resto Shamans to Beruthiel’s takedown of variable-healer-number fights, it feels like we’ve been in a very unbalanced place for healers for a while now.

Maybe the crowing over what are seen as nerfs to OP classes are actually a result of too much dissatisfaction and frustration for healers, for too long?

What do you think?