Jov sez: Raiding as a JobFebruary 24, 2009
It’s often said that tanks and healers, as the two highest-pressure jobs in a group, are also the two roles who are most susceptible to burn-out. It’s also somewhat of an open secret around Snarkcraft that Seri (who has alt-itis anyway) swapped to rogue after a couple years raiding and healing. Having stepped into her role as both priest class lead and heal co-lead, I often find myself slipping into the thought processes that define WoW as job:
- I attend every 25-man our guild runs. While there, I’m not only handing out assignments and focusing on my own targets, but I’m also spreading my attention between the other healers and their targets. We’ve got a pretty strong healing team, and I’m always trying to make certain that I’m riding the balance of giving them assignments they can do/prefer, while still keeping things challenging and interesting. If things start to go wrong, however, the problem feels personal when I’m trying to sort it out.
- I still feel unprepared for some of the tasks I have for other classes. I need to know proper gearing, enchanting, gemming, speccing, and some idea of proper spell selection for all the healing classes, so I can 1) spot anything in advance that raises red flags to see if there’s a plan for it (I’m happy to let wacky stuff go if there’s a reason for it) and 2) figure out post mortem what went wrong in a certain encounter. I don’t spend as much time on this as I should (as I’m not NEARLY so good at this side of things as my co-leader), but it’s still there and I feel I should be making the effort.
- I blog and moderate PlusHeal. Even in my non-raid, non-WoW time, I spend a lot of time hunched over the computer, coming up with topics and wielding my ban-hammer at goldsellers and spambots.
- I generally have little patience for truly repetitive tasks. One of the reasons I love raiding is I honestly find the whack-a-mole aspect of it to be entertaining, or at least more entertaining than farming and Hodir dailies.
WoW may not be a 40-hour a week activity, but it still takes up a lot of mental real estate. Burnout may not yet be the elephant in the room, but the potential is there. How am I dealing?
- If it’s not fun, why do it? I’m a bad raider and a bad example. I’ve totally let my Hodir dailies slip, and I only do enough herbing for what I need, without my usual redundancy backlog of an overflowing herb bag. Most of my income is from Naxx runs. I don’t intend to stay like this forever, but for the moment it’s helping me stay sane.
- I’m not playing my alts to level. I play them when I want to goof off. Leveling is something that just kinda happens (or doesn’t) in the course of things. I’m not focused on getting to 80.
- I’m letting myself get obsessively immersed in other downtime activities. I’ve watched more movies in the past month than I had in the previous 6. I’ve also re-read all my manga, and scoured the net for scans of new stuff. I do what I want to do, when I feel like doing it and I’m alright with that.
So, yeah. There’s me. If I do hit the burn-out stage, it won’t be the first time. Luckily, my burnouts tend to be fairly short-lived and to involve me doing things like showing up for raid in shadow form (back before shadow priests were awesome and were stuck on healing duty anyway) or taking 2-week long enforced no-WoW leaves of absence.
The most important thing is really to remember why I do this. I raid because I love healing. I love my guild. I love the vent and raid chatter. I’m a heal lead because, while I think I know my stuff, I love to help. If raiding is a job, it’s a job I love.