Jov sez: Raiding as a Job

February 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.



  1. Sounds more to me like it’s less of a job and more of a profession. Just saying.

  2. I’ve always considered raiding and the relationship with the guild more of a professional one. I mean, I have friends in the guild and definitely enjoy the social aspect, but when I’m on a raid, I’m “on the job” so to speak and expect professionalism from other raiders. I’m like you though in the sense that I find healing stresfull and wonder why I do it at times. I then go and level an alt for a few levels till I remember that the only class I truly enjoy playing is priest. My closes non DK alt is level 26… tell you something?

  3. I can’t even imagine getting tired of healing. I like to dps….solo…and pretty much only solo. If I’m in a group I have a need to be healing. I can force myself to play dps if it is needed, but it always feels wrong to me. I still stare at the health bars and on classes that can heal I find myself healing when I’m supposed to be dpsing…I just do it without even thinking.

    I love bad pulls…they are fun! Unexpected add? YAY! Healing is exciting to me. so exciting that I’m now working on my 3rd healing class…a Shammy. I already have a Priest and a Druid to 80. My Shammy is elemental, but then again I had intended for me Druid to be Boomkin….and somehow ended up Resto more often than not.

    All that aside…I try hard not to get burned out. I have one day a week that I do not turn WoW on at all. I also make a point to go do other things …and try not to play for too long in one sitting. I love this game and I want to continue loving it.

  4. @ Dueg — It tells me I’ve got way more time on my hands than you do. 😉

    @ Ayslin — I’m pretty much the same way with healing. It’s my one true love, as far as WoW goes. Even still, I’ve been doing it March 05, so I do periodically go through periods where I just get frustrated and burnt out. I don’t think I’m quite there yet, and as I mentioned, they’re usually short… But they still happen. 🙂

  5. To help ease up on the “Job-like” aspects of some of it; you can poke me about druid healers/healing, and if the co-lead aint around and you want another set of healing eyes trying to figure out problems… I don’t mind! I’m there, I’m paying attention and I sort of have authority. 😀

    But. well, mostly. ❤ We love our healing class leads.

  6. @ Maya — The offer is appreciated. But I don’t want to put so much pressure on you that you face burnout as well. Another set of eyes, so you can ping me if you notice anything is very much appreciated (hell, it’s like the conversation a few weeks ago with V– I can’t always tell what’s going on so if something is wrong TELL ME. 🙂

  7. I totally agree with Dueg, when healing heroics or random activities i don’t mind those “pulls that went bad” or just doing crazy/fun stuff, but when i’m raiding i definitely want everyone to do their best, and of course i do my best as well.

    Now the funny thing is, when i feel like i’m getting to that “burn out from healing point”… i go play my prot pally lol, and don’t get me wrong, i find it interesting to be on the total opposite side for a change, and it keeps me in perspective as to what my tanks need from me when i’m healing them, and someday my mage will be 80… and hopefully won’t go bandage spec haha xD

  8. […] about healing, I was tired of reading about healing I was tired of feeling like healing was my job, my only contribution to the guild and that I was obliged to do nothing else but. I barely saw any […]

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