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Seri sez: Making the Grade

March 26, 2009

making the gradeThe review process can be a subjective but necessary process for keeping a healing team running smoothly. Whether your class/role leads are reviewing performance once a week or once a month, there are a lot of things that can influence their review.

Unfortunately, reviewing healers isn’t quite as simple as checking their Heals Per Second or Overall Healing vs Overheal. There are a lot of factors at play, and while many would argue that “Did they keep their target(s) up?” is the most important question to answer, there are other factors to consider when trying to get a comprehensive view of individual performance.

How, then, is the hopeful healer to maximize their chances of making the grade? Here are a few tips:

1. Show up on time. Heck, whenever possible, show up early. Park your ass at the meeting stone, and be available to help summon fellow raiders that might be running late or are waiting for word from an Officer about a last-minute re-spec.

2. Come prepared. Bring enough consumables (flasks, elixirs, food, etc.) for the raid session, including extra if it is a progression night and lots of wipes are expected. It’s your responsibility to keep yourself buffed, so don’t depend on the generosity of your guildies to provide Fish Feasts. (Bonus points if you bring the Fish Feasts yourself… extra bonus points if you don’t wait until nearly everyone has already eaten buff food to throw it down.)

3. Enchant your shit. No one likes to see a raider turn up for a raid wearing an item they haven’t gotten around to enchanting/gemming yet. I don’t care if you won it less than 24 hours ago or if it’s better than what you had before even without an enchant… enchant your shit.

4. Do your homework. Read up on new boss fights and familiarize yourself with strategies before the raid. Assume that your raid leader is going to tell you nothing before the first attempt, no matter how unlikely that is. If you’re new to the guild, check the guild forums for information about which strategies your new guild uses. They may be different from what you are used to.

5. Ask questions. If anything at all is unclear, ask. Even if you are afraid of sounding like a chump, you’ll at least be a well-informed chump that is less likely to make costly mistakes. If you’re too shy to ask in Vent, whisper someone or ask in your class/role channel.

6. Know your healing assignment. If you aren’t sure what  it is, see #5. Some raid groups are meticulous about assigning who-heals-who, while others are a bit more loosey-goosey with free-for-all healing. If you have a healing assignment, stick to it. Try not to cross-heal much unless your healing leader asks you to. You may unwittingly be covering for a weaker healer (preventing them from being noticed/helped) or end up neglecting your own assignment at a critical moment.

7. Don’t get tunnel vision. It’s easy to zero in on health bars and fail to notice environmental hazards. A lot of raid bosses have built-in situational awareness checks in the form of blizzards, void zones, lava waves, gas clouds and other creative-but-annoying shit. Where not to stand has become as important (if not more important) than where to stand.

8. Keep yourself alive. It’s also easy to neglect your own health bar while you are watching others’. Self-healing is important too, because you can’t heal anyone if you’re dead (at least, not when Spirit of Redemption wears off). If you don’t see yourself as one of your top sources of incoming healing at the end of a raid (via WWS, Recount, or other post-raid analysis tool), you’re not paying enough attention to your own health.

9. Make full use of your class abilities. Priests are not one-button healers. We have a lot of tools at our disposal, and you should make an effort to use all of them to maximum effect.

10. Know your shit. Your class/role leader isn’t responsible for spoon-feeding you information about your class/role. Find a good blog or three. Join a forum. Subscribe to the MMO Champion and/or World of Raids RSS feeds. Any of these things will help you to become better informed about both existing class mechanics and upcoming changes that you need to be aware of to kick ass (or “heal ass” as the case may be) and take names.

What grade would you give yourself, based on these criteria? What are your weak/strong spots? Can you think of other things to suggest that I have missed?

12 comments

  1. Okay, i’ll give me an A+ ;)
    I know that it is unfair, because i am the raidleader. I make the tactics, i answer the questions from people.

    But what was first? The egg or chicken?
    Do I get a A+, because i am a raidleader or do i become a raidleader because i’ve got an A+ ?

    The only bad thing is, the better you are, the less feedback you get (and even less feedback because you are a disc priest and nobody knows how to play a disc).


  2. 11) Don’t be a drama lama.


  3. =X The only thing I tend to be short on is enchanted gear… So that’s at least an A- right? v.v


  4. 12) Don’t harass the Lootmaster about loot/dkp rules, and if you do, don’t come across as a lootwhore. No one likes someone who sounds like they are there for loot then will jump ship.


  5. Don’t be “That Guy/Girl” in the guild who is an asshat/troll/whiner outside of raids. RLs invite people they like to raid, sometimes above people who are good (depending on the content and the difference in skill), so the more obnoxious you are, the more likely it is that you’ll be benched for another healer.


  6. @ jedimax – Not all raid leaders are created equal. Obviously you’re one of the good ones, because you read WoS. ;)

    @ Myssidia – Hmm. That depends, is it totally unenchanted or just maybe not enchanted with a best in slot enchant?

    @ Tarsus, Derevka & Juzaba – Maybe I should have added a blanket ‘don’t be a jackass’ rule. I sometimes take these things for granted. ;)


  7. I’m not saying I can’t improve but I do think I’m pretty good on getting the best out of my char (by all the points listed above :P). Thou I see some of my fellow healers making faults (healing the wrong target claiming he didn’t saw the assignments… it’s a 6 line macro long! + if you don’t know your assignment before the fight you should ask for it).


  8. Good advice.


  9. “Don’t be a dick” is sorta assumed.

    Unless you raid with a bunch of other dicks. Then maybe it’s not >.>


  10. I love this post! The comments just make it all the better!


  11. an idea for a sister topic: Finding the right healer. I’m a shadow priest – I don’t heal, I don’t touch the Holy tree. And I’m a guild leader. We have 2 holy priests, both severely lacking. I’m looking for someone that knows what they’re doing to replace/teach them. But I need some details on how to score applicants on spec, gear and capabilities.


  12. As the only guild officer who is a (raiding) priest, I’m the default “healmeister.” Unfortunately, I do a LOT of cross-healing, because I can get away with it (from a mana-conservation point of view).

    So, I probably prop up my healers more than I should. Not so good, eh? Just for that, I’ll give myself a solid B. OTOH…we did one-shot Sarth+1 with only 22 ppl the other night. That counts for something, right? (I was on Sarth tank; not a lot of opportunities to snipe heals!)



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