Sunday, January 3, 2010

Healers, or "The Butt-Monkeys of Pugging"

The party wipes on the first boss.
[Arishicage-Andorhal]: healer u @#$%in suck
[Glendà-Dalaran]: kick me then
[Birdfall]: I think there was aoe or something. Lots of melee.
[Arishicage]: im tryin
[Arishicage]: true but melee wasnt in poison and she needs to heal the tank
The mage leaves the party.
[Arishicage]: im not trying to be a dick but u need to learn to heal and get some gear
[Donagh-Turalyon]: get dps
[Arishicage]: lol
[Donagh]: tru that
[Arishicage]: 1 sec
[Arishicage]: glenda the good witch. leave!
[Birdfall]: Look, I've had at least two of my healer friends cry because of people putting blame on them when it wasn't their fault. So cut it out.
[Glendà:] KICK
[Birdfall]: I don't know what went wrong, but if something did we should figure out what before blaming the heals.
[Arishicage]: naa
[Arishicage]: it was the healz
[Arishicage]: if healer doesnt heal tank
[Arishicage]: pretty sure he is fail
[Arishicage]: thats like number 1
[Arishicage]: plus i have a priest
[Arishicage]: i know wut his mana and hp should be at
[Arishicage]: and he is severely undergeared
[Birdfall]: If the entire party is dying, the healer can't do much at all.
[Arishicage]: ...
[Arishicage]: u obviously dont know wut ur talking about
[Arishicage]: priests have aoe healz
[Birdfall]: Holy do.
[Arishicage]: that heal entire parties AT THE SAME TIME
[Arishicage]: so how would he have trouble keeping up one group
[Birdfall]: I have a priest with holy offspec and my sister-in-law does holy raid healing.
[Arishicage]: idc
[Donagh]: lol
[Arishicage]: this isnt worth 2 badges. sry donagh
[Arishicage]: later
Everyone leaves.

Two things. One, he says he isn't "trying" to be a dick, when he so obviously is being a massive dick. Second, he mentions that he has a priest as a way to defend his right to critique the healer and then brushes me off when I tell him I have experience priest healing, too.

I also want to point out that I didn't know what spec Glenda was (holy), couldn't remember what the other healing spec was (disc), and don't think either would be relevant to the idea that she should or could have kept everyone from dying at once. Even if Glenda didn't heal the tank, and was at fault, that's not what I had a problem with. I had a problem with him being, in his own words, a dick.

[Edit: The reason we wiped. I talked to husband and told him that we had the rogue/mage/shaman bosses and he said the rogue uses fan of knives and, in a group of all melee, there was no way the healer could have held us up -- even if we weren't standing in poison.]

Oh, and third thing, Donagh was Arishicage's yes-man. Just thought I'd point that out, that Donagh agreed with, supported, and laughed along with all Arishicage's jackassery like one of those inane bully sidekicks on TV.

The attacks on Glenda's gear also brings to mind this WoW Insider post that I think should be required reading for every player in the game and you shouldn't be allowed to PUG with civil human beings unless you agree with it.

I then made the mistake of complaining about this experience (the healer abuse, not me getting cranky) to the group I got in afterward. Epics of Scilla said he "could care less" and I had to leave that group before I started screaming at him.

I wanted to rip his head off for it. Seriously. I can't even play anymore tonight, not while I'm crying and shaking and furious. I hate how healers get treated in pugs, and I hate people like Epics who not only don't care but have to tell you that they don't care because not caring just isn't enough.

I go out of my way to compliment people when I have a good run, or even a run that messes up a lot but keeps plugging away. As long as we finish in a reasonable amount of time and everyone stays positive, it's a good run.

One of our younger teens in IVV this morning had to ask us if he was a crap healer because an ENTIRE PUG told him nonstop during an ENTIRE Halls of Reflection run that he wasn't any good. They only wiped once, but they gave him such a hard time from the start that he felt worthless.

My brother and sister-in-law gave him the best responses, imo.

[Name redacted]... first off, know that you can ALWAYS vent/rant/rage to us. We're family, you don't need to apologize for getting emotional. Second, people can be jerks... some of them actually enjoy it. Third, I can testify that HoR was designed specifically to thin the Holy Paladin population and get us all to reroll Resto Shaman or Druids. Fourth, there are things ALL of us can do to improve our play, our gear and our knowledge, but any lack in those areas is NEVER cause for suffering (or giving) abuse at the hands of malicious players.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I strongly identify with your feelings here. Try as I might, I really do care that I do a good job and get along with those I'm playing with... this is why for the longest time I just couldn't bring myself to PuG at all. The LFG tool has generally yielded decent folk for me to play with, but there have been a few jerks. Here's what I've done to "fix" the problem... and I'm not just joking around, it really does work... I utilize steps 1 & 2 on all my characters and 3-5 selectively.

Step 1: /leave Trade
Step 2: /leave General
Step 3: Ask yourself, "Is my party/raid member being a total jerk?"
Step 4: Locate your chat panel tabs.
Step 5: Click "Combat" tab.

You cannot see Party chat, Raid chat, Guild chat, whispers... ANYTHING. To add to the ambiance put on some nice music and just do your job until the job is done. The alternative, as [Name redacted] says, is just to leave and find a different (better) group.
[Name redacted] -- I was told that I was a noob idiot healer two weeks back by a tank while doing Pit of Saron. There were a few things I (and Jon/Z2) noticed-

--This guy would let anyone die who pulled aggro. Z2... our PUG paladin... me (you know, his healer).

--He didn't understand "Guardian Spirit" even after I explained that he really WASN'T about to die (he enjoyed abusing me every time he got low).

--He had a very different tanking style than others I've run with. No consideration for mana pools, line of sighting his healer or running to far away from me. He was well geared, but not exceptionally good at the "TEAM" thing.

--He was rude. I laughed and cheered and whispered our Paladin to congratulate him when he won the axe that the tank threw a fit over losing the roll on. If I had been thinking properly, I would've asked for a vote-kick the minute the guy started being rude... but oh well. I got the joy of watching him throw a hissy fit and call us all idiots, etc. It was a true delight because I have not had someone make me that angry (my hands were shaking after he'd gotten under my skin after our one wipe) in a long time.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is-- yeah, healers get trash dumped on them. We're supposed to magically prevent wipes even when we're the one frost-tombed in Utgarde Keep (this happened to me on my druid - /sigh)-- we're supposed to be super people who can be in three places, healing four people who are out of our range at once.

My advice? If they even start to come down on you-- LEAVE. It's so not worth it to run with jerks. Also see if you can't buddy up with a friend to queue for randoms. It makes the experience much better and at least someone will be on YOUR side.
So my question is: while fighting with Arishicage made me angry and miserable, and some might even say I should have let it be and just dropped group, do you think it helps the WoW community at all, or our healers in particular, to just ignore this sort of behavior?

Does even the attempt to defend someone make that person feel more welcome in this game? And is that reason enough to try?


  1. Mechanically, if the Holy Priest wasn't using Circle of Healing, he/she was doing it wrong. That doesn't mean he/she was a bad healer OR that the wipe was his/her fault, however. I think Nerdishrage (or whatever his name was) proves that the wipe was probably his fault. Overconfidence --> death. Just ask Napoleon.

    To answer your question, YES, it's worth defending people who haven't done anything wrong. It could make the difference between them wanting to quit the game and just needing to take a breather (I've been there, done that).

    I think the issue you run into is that you try to defend with emotional arguments against conscienceless morons. You need to be prepared to fight (somewhat) on their level to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed by idiocy when you argue with people like this. If it had been me in the group it would have played out more like this...

    Jerk 1 cusses out the healer.

    Healer challenges Jerk 1.

    You attempt to explain.

    Jerk 1 rants in an attempt to defend his previous vulgar ranting.

    Jerk 2 joins in support of Jerk 1.

    You realize that Jerk 1 is an idiot and has convinced Jerk 2 to join the bandwagon. You now have 4 people in the group -- 2 jerks, an offended healer and yourself.

    [Birdfall]: I'm not trying to be an Arishicage but you need to stop STANDING IN THE BLOODY POISON AND THEN BLAMING YOUR DEATH ON THE HEALER. That's PvE 101. "Don't stand in fire."

    **Birdfall has left the group.**

    Note the two major differences here. Your first response was good. It was a touch of civility in opposition to the uncouth behavior or an obvious moron. Once said moron/jerk/meleeDPS continued to rant and rave without cause, however, you ought to have cut your losses, given the healer something to smile about and left before they could get any deeper under your skin.

    Also, by leaving... and potentially throwing more vicious insults like "L2PLAY, n00b!" or "Go back to AFKing in Alterac Valley, you noskill scrub!" just before you do so... you deny the jerk/idiot/troll the opportunity to present such astute arguments such as: comparing your average gear item level, making fun of your arena team rating, telling you how many 80s said player has, and many other favorites! Denying the moron/mouthbreather/troll/meleeDPS the opportunity to insult you in this fashion will frustrate him to the point of spontaneous human combustion. It's the BEST. POSSIBLE. RESPONSE. Trust me. :D

  2. I think some healers fall prey to healer guilt - you do feel bad when people die and there's a wipe, whether or not there was anything you could do. And then, if people start ranting, it's far too easy to take the blame.

    It's up to healers to get over it. If I make a mistake and cause the wipe, fine. I acknowledge it, and I'll fix it so I don't do it again. But making a mistake doesn't make me a carpet for some A-hole to wipe his feet on.

    It can be easy to turn the tables on a ranter - just calmly ask in party chat if the rest of the party agrees. "Do you guys also think I'm a @!& heals?"

    Either they say no, and then ranter feels like the isolated idiot under peer pressure to shut up, because he's the only one who really has a problem.

    Or they say yes, in which case you elegantly kthanxbai and drop group. Let them get the healer they deserve.

    It's not a healer trait to be a bit aggressive like that, but it serves us and our parties well when we cut off the drama babies. It's a game we're playing, and we have no obligation to continue with a player who treats us badly.

  3. This post reminded me of a thread I read on the forums the other day (Some Distrubing New Trends in Instance Runs). The author mostly got flamed for 'QQing' but I have to say I agree with him, and with you. We all need to just slow down a little, chill out, and have fun.

  4. This is some kind of irony, because I actually just got yelled at yesterday for being a 'fail' healer myself. I realized afterwards it wasn't my fault (tank was undergeared and kept chain pulling anyway, didn't even bother letting me mana even though I announced I was oom), but it's still rough on me. The worst part is probably that it was a guild run, but a few of my closer friends within the guild reassured me I wasn't terribad, and after striking up some drama with a guild officer, the guy who kept telling me I was fail left.

    Still, it definitely hurts to get beat up for your healing, especially since I'm a shadow priest and I gear for shadow. I told them and they said they would work through it, but apparently 'working through it' means chain pulling and ignoring my mana pool. :P

    If someone had stuck up for me, it would've made a huge difference. It might not seem like it, but we really do appreciate it, I think. Healers are soft inside. We really try to do our job well, and even when a wipe isn't our fault, we tend to blame ourselves for it. Being told that we're fail or that a wipe is our fault when it really /isn't/ just puts more of a load on our shoulders.

    In related news, reading this really cheered me up after the jerk yelled at me and it encouraged me to keep playing WoW, ahaha. I love your blog, Birdfall. :x

  5. I've got a healer and two tanks. I've taken so much abuse on my DK tank in pugs because dps want to attack and pull offtargets that I usually run her dps spec with hubby's tank to get her frost badges. I'm much more comfortable in 5 mans on my pallytank because I can hold aggro over most people even with offtargets.

    I've also been a dps who watched the tank berate a healer when he pulled too much in OK and then fuss because she didn't cleanse poison [headdesk] and that because she was disc she was fail. She just immediately dropped, what I would have done on my disc priest. I also left after telling the guy that if he was going to treat healers like that I wasn't going to stay either.

  6. Having two level 80 healers, I do get the occaisional remark that I 'suck at healing'. I usually ask them sarcastically "If I suck at healing, then please tell me what to do because I'm doing everything I can think of to keep you up!". I would report my 'Healing Done to Target' on Recount to the party. Then I would mention how I was able to keep up a 'under geared tank' through this instance. Which is true to any instance I've done. People dont stop to think that maybe it's NOT the healer's fault but partially DPS and Tank's fault. DPS for not interrupting HUGE damage spells that would help healing/sapping/crowd control. Tank for not keeping aggro off the healer and so on and so forth.

    I usually tend to say my piece, ignore them, and finish the run. My favorite is when a person leaves and we ended up finishing the run. Like if "I'm such a crappy healer, how was it I was able to keep THIS tank up with lower HP?" or "I was able to heal you and Stuff died because people were focus firing before I went oom?"

  7. I have to admit that I have not seen healers getting picked on. And not for lack of bad healers. I have never, before using the cross server system, never had to battle rez as often as I do now. I mean, before this system, there were ranks of Rebirth I'd train, buy a stack of regents and still have a full stack of 20 when I trained the next rank. With the new PuGging, I have actually depleted an entire stack between training new ranks. And it's not just battle rezzing. On my Boomkin, I have on several occassions had to stop dpsing to help out struggling healers.

    I'm certainly not saying it's all bad healers all the time. I've run with some awesome healers. I've run with tanks who didn't know how to pull and/or couldn't hold aggro. With DPS putting up 1/3 the numbers of their fellow dpsers in the group. I've seen good & bad in all roles.

    That's PuGging almost exclusively on three different druids: a few times on a level 80 cat, some on a mid 70s resto and levelling a Boomkin from early 40s to mid 60s.

    At level 80, even the few random heroics I've done, I've seen some cocky tanks pick on the dps for being too low. Even when it was fine. Other than that, though, dps is mostly ignored in heroics. Pre-heroics, I've seen a couple exasperated comments about pulling aggro . . . but mostly no one picks on the dps.

    I've seen tanks across all level get criticized a lot. A whole lot. The Big Bear Butt Blogger has a few good posts about what he's calling "Rock Star Tanks". The guys (or gals) who think they can plow through an instance and everyone else had better just keep up and put up with their crap, "'cause what are you going to do? Wait 15 minutes for another tank? lol!" What I think I've seen is that what's expected of tanks has increased with their value. You know, "We waited so long to get a tank . . . you'd better be a good one." Bad tanks now fall under suspicion of having signed on to tank merely to get a group more quickly.

    But healers? Maybe it's different running heroics and my experience is due to such a small sample of heroics. I honestly have been having so much fun levelling the boomkin through instance running that I've been horribly neglecting my level 80. But I haven't seen healers ever being criticized. I mean, other than my own guild chat QQ, lol. Never during the run, though. Never rudely.

    Regardles of the role being picked on, I think stepping up to oppose PuGassery is the right thing to do. And I totally think Jon's advice is dead on.

  8. @Jack -- I think you inadvertently hit on part of the issue with your reference to "Rock Star Tanks." My wife and I both play healers (for raiding purposes). I've been going DPS for our LFG runs since the patch. My wife is an AMAZING healer (I'm not too shabby myself)... she pulls stuff out of the Priest bag of tricks that I've never even heard of... stuff most Priest don't have on their bars. She makes saves that would be nigh-impossible for any other class... but she still gets abused by arrogant tanks. It's not the under-geared tanks that complain, it's the ones in raid gear (usually a tier lower than my wife) who think they can LoS and out-range their healer or expect them to heal a messy pull with fumes for mana.

  9. I play a Paladin alt, aside from my Mage. I made a decision early on: No Healing, No Tanking.

    Later, I broke the No Tanking policy. But You could not pay me enough gold to spec Holy, not even if it would cover all the mammoth mounts and the Dalaran rings.

    See, Tanking is pretty easy, for a Paladin. Set your abilities in the 6-9-6 or 9-6-9 configuration, and aggro pretty much holds itself. Healing, on the other hand, requires you to actually give a damn about other players. Which, unless I know them personally, I don't.

    I love being DPS. It's what I do in every game (I routinely die in Mass Effect because I keep charging with the Assault Rifle instead of sniping from afar), and it's an ingrained thing. Anyone who's played old school RPGs knows this. Turn-Based battles are all about DPS. Or Healing. Tanking never really was a part of them.

    Healers, in my opinion, have the hardest damn job ever, I guess is what I'm trying to say. You have to keep the green bargoing to the right, not the left, and the whole world is conspiring against you.

    So, props to all you healers out there. It something I won't do.

  10. From a tank's perspective I hold with the "you pull it, you tank it" school of thought.

    It's frustrating for me when asshat dps (and in one case a holy priest oO) who can't wait for me to pull and decide they need their two extra emblems that little bit quicker.

    Iv'e been accused of being slow, needing to l2play, noob, insensitive (wait, that last one was from the wife :P).....endless list really.

    What no-one appreciates is that sometimes you need to wait for healers mana. I like to think that I look after my healer. After all, my healer looks after me :D

    My first few pugs with the new system were awesome, new people to say hi to. Ask them how they were finding the new system etc. After about 4 days the asshattery began and hasn't ended. Well not in my battlegroup anyway.

    Sorry to hijack this topic slightly, but in my experience not everyone has been affected by moronitis in the lfd system. Some of us do look after the Healz :D

  11. /hug Ohforf

    Which battlegroup are you in?

  12. Hmmm, it makes me wonder what's wrong with me that I don't care when folks call me out. Because I just don't. If I make a mistake, I'll own up to it. But I don't pay much attention to party chat in the first place. In the second place, I'M A FREAKING HEALER! If they get abusive, I'll leave the group and wait (at most) 15 minutes 2 seconds to get another group.

    As far as defending others in the party, I usually do my talking with the "don't kick" button (which was probably the best thing you could do Birdfall - you drove them CRAZY).


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