Does WoW Healing Take A Toll?

Healing. Tanking. Both well-known as high-stress jobs in WoW.

And really, that’s the clue – the fact that they’re almost universally called “jobs”. But are they too much responsibility? Too much effort? And did Mists make it worse?

That’s the interesting discussion that’s blown up in the WoW blogosphere over the last day, all started from Windsoar’s review of how healing’s doing as a play style in Mists

“A lot of things that appealed to me as a tank appealed to me as a healer. Healing is a dynamic role that requires a good understanding not only of the flow of the fight, but of your fellow players, and their foibles. While you might be tempted to fall into a rotation, there are plenty of times when you chuck the rotation and do something on the fly. I feel a personal responsibility for my playmates.

What I hate, and when I know something is horribly, horribly wrong is when I have to be the savior. Sometimes it happens. Sometimes it saves an attempt. But it shouldn’t happen. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a tank, dps, or healer: all can play a vital role in saving a bad attempt, but it should not be the norm. I just want to perform my function to ensure that my raid team meets success. Nothing is more satisfying than a clean, well-executed fight.”

This is an interesting overview, but one aspect in particular stood out to blogger Stubborn – the mention of the healer as the saviour of last resort. And in a really interesting follow-up, he discussed the effect of that responsibility on his enjoyment of WoW

“The doom comes very simply; the mechanics mean that while some damage is unavoidable, more and more mechanics put the dps in charge of their own survival. As a result, the mechanics themselves put healers and their team on opposite sides of the success curve. If every dps avoids every potential damage, healing a fight would be much, much easier.

It plays out like this; every time I see a health bar fall because someone fails to execute the correct maneuver – whether it’s boss specific like kiting oozes out of expanding gas clouds or running away to avoid blowing everyone up or general like missing a defensive cool down – I build a teeny tiny “resentment counter.” Now sure, those go away, like every time I know that player did something awesome or simply as time passes and they are forgotten. I don’t really believe they even consciously register, as it’s not something I could have really written about before right now, but now I can see the small increase and steady decrease.”

I can certainly see the issue – I’ve seen people burn out playing healers, more often than any other class. Is it unavoidable? Is it a necessary trade-off?

I look forward to the ongoing discussion.

What do you think?

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Burnout: The Proof Is In The Comments

Burn out. That word’s bouncing backwards and forwards in the blogosphere like a grenade with a faulty fuse. You’re never quite sure when it’s going to go off, and if it does whether it’s going to be somewhere near you. The latest post about burnout, this time from Scott Andrews at WoW Insider, has got me a little worried.

The post itself is a pretty good guide for raid leaders who are feeling the burnout pinch. It’s helpful and above all, Scott’s being compassionate. He goes through a raiding guild master’s likely experience in WoW from the ICC marathon right up to now, with Cataclysm being so different. All through he points out that it can be a hell of an asking for one person to keep a whole guild motivated throughout the environment he describes.

The burnout isn’t the shameful part, and you should never be ashamed to admit those feelings. The shameful part is not handling it decently, by skulking away or by refusing to give up your position. If you must do something drastic to manage your burnout, then resign with dignity and give your guild a chance to succeed without you.

Scott goes on to advise on how to handle being burned out as a guild master. It’s at once comforting and hard advice any raiding GM needs to hear. All in all a good post.

But what’s really made me feature it is the comments. There are 124 comments so far. In that players are stating what’s wrong with Cata – not a small list – and over 75% of the commenters are people saying that they are a burned out GM, that their guild has crumbled in Cata, or both. Oftentimes one because of the other. That is an astonishing – and worrying – amount of guilds falling apart because of burnout. Already.

Or is it? Tell me. Is this normal for this stage of a WoW expansion, or is this amount of burnout unusual? Is WoW dying on its posterior?

_Quote taken directly from Scott’s post

You can find WoW Insider’s homepage here_

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