Friday, April 16, 2010

Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair

Since the WOW forums got class roles forums, I've been occasionally following threads there. The threads are often rife with complaints and crying about other classes being overpowered and the class of the complainer being underpowered or unviable.

While some players complain because they fear for their raid spots, or they're worried what top guilds use. Some have simply have convinced themselves that the grass is always greener on the other side, this could be partially attributed to a general lack of understanding how other classes work an obsession with the numbers on meters or parses without understanding exactly what someone's looking at.

For example: An untrained eye may see a Holy Paladin topping the meter and having amazing throughput and not factor in the meter padding that is Judgement of Light and Glyph of Holy Light. Someone with a firm grip on the class could tell you that the throughput everyone complains about isn't as big as folks say it is.

Healing meters can show someone doing well, but if they aren't doing the right thing at the right time a wipe can still happen and that means that the person, despite their high placement on the precious meters, failed.

This Alotholic has had the luxury of being able to play on and raid on all four healing classes and all five healing specs. This gives me a perspective that others might not have developed due to their sitting in one or two camps instead of looking at a problem from all camps.

These are some examples of what folks are saying about their classes. I'm likely missing some complaints, I may have actually blown them off as being senseless QQ.
  • Discipline Priests feel that they can't heal as much as Holy Paladins and aren't as viable as Holy Paladins for tank healing.
  • Holy Paladins are slightly annoyed by having very little, if any, mobile heals. They're also annoyed at not having a real group heal, that our solution is a crappy nerfed glyph.
  • Resto Druids feel like weak tank healers, they supposedly have limited "oh sh.." buttons, and in situations where there are too many other people with direct healing aoe spells (like a lot of holy priests) they may show as ineffective on meters due to others sniping heals from their hotted targets.
  • Holy Priests feel their throughput isn't as good as a Resto Druid's. They also claim to have mana problems.
  • Resto Shamans aren't terribly mobile in comparison to Holy Priests and Resto Druids. They don't have any defensive cooldowns.
There's also the complaint that X world ranking guild doesn't use Y healing class therefore that class is unviable.

I think a lot of this attitude seems to stem from meters and the concept that healing is a competition. This is not true at all. Healing is teamwork. It's not us vs them, it's all of us supplementing and complimenting each others' strengths and weaknesses to be a well oiled machine.

My viewpoint in general regarding healer QQ is: The grass is not always greener on the other side. Every healing class has good tools and a good player can utilize said class to be amazing regardless of perceived or actual pitfalls.

When I'm healing and there's a wipe that I feel is on me, I sit back and evaluate what happened.

It's rare that I can actually blame a wipe on the shortcomings of a class. The only time I could do this while feeling truthful is when I get stuck with my co-healer (or co-healers) dying and I get stuck solo healing a raid on my Paladin. (Example: Solo-healing Mimiron with a group that's learning the fight.)

Sometimes these wipes come from not having enough gear (like taking a druid barely geared enough for TotC10 into ICC10), but I try to manage my regen cooldowns, pop potions, and trust my fellow healers to heal while I'm regenning.

Usually, I can look back on wipes in my state of healing hyperawareness and say, "If only I would have done this, we wouldn't have wiped." I didn't use a cooldown, didn't throw a clutch heal, didn't maneuver, predict, or react fast enough to save the raid. I make a mental note of it and try to do better next time.

Reiterating: I failed not because of class, and probably not because of gear, but because I'm a human and humans are flawed. My failure, my problem is simply one that exists between keyboard and chair. To correct this failure, I simply need more experience, more practice, and more research.

Before you accuse your class of having problems, perhaps you should take a look at yourself. (Which is, incidentally a very catchy song.) Figure out your own weaknesses and get better.

If you think winning at the healing meter matters then you should probably go back to being DPS.

If you're so unhappy playing what you're playing after trying to get better then you should reroll. Just don't be surprised when you find out the grass isn't actually greener on the other side.

If you're just fine and having fun chasing bars, killing bosses and looting epics, I salute you.
Here. Have a kitten.


  1. You're right, the grass isn't greener! However, sometimes the player will just "mesh" with the style better, kind of like some players feel more comfortable with melee than ranged (I feel a hell of a lot more comfortable with disc than holy, with druid than shaman). When QQing about the weaknesses of your class, don't forget its strengths.

    There's always a "way" to do something with the class you've been given. It may not be pretty, but there's a way. For example, when Maexxna spins up the whole raid, and the tank is without healing for X seconds, there's something just about every class can do about it, it's just a different "thing." The druid hots the crap outta the tank right before the wrap. The disc priest uses a bubble and maybe pain suppression. The shaman refreshes earth shield, curses a lot, and then follows up with an insta auto-crit heal.

  2. Yeah... in a raid environment there is another aspect of it... the desire to take the person QQing and slap them upside the head and show them how its done. Thankfully the people I'm leading know that I play everything... so if I tell them they should be able to do something... they know not to question me.

    I do love when people start arguing with me though :D


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