As a little treat I’ve started levelling two new characters- actually one is brand new (a mere babe) & the other a respecced character.
The first is a human warlock. I already have a blood elf warlock in her 60s but I wanted one Alliance side so I could join the guild. Hence Welshshell was born. She’s only level 9 – hanging out with Guard Thomas at present (there’s definitely a vibe between those two – although he’s hiding it well by repeatedly sending her off to fight murlocs – but this is always a sign of a little crush I find). She has all the marks of a great character- she achieved a stupendous level 8 before her first death. I judge them all by that (my stupid rogue Swedgin- name copyrighted – taken from the way Mr Wu said Swearengen’s name in Deadwood (I loved that show) – died at something stupid like level 1 – I think he was just picking up his first quest & stabbed himself with his own dagger trying to be too clever. So he was deleted (I show no mercy when they fail me).
The second is Styleesh- she was a shadow priest but had mana problems (humiliated herself in Shadowfang Keep by needing more mana breaks than the healer). So she is now a Discipline Priest. I never knew it would be so enjoyable playing Disc. It so suits my personality- I’m all about control & forward planning. As a Disc Priest I can bubble & renew & leave the party just to get on with it, topping up when needed. I LOVE IT. There’s been the occasional frantic healer keyboard mash (when they’ve done something stupid of course….not when I got sidetracked in guild chat…oh no…never) & I’ve once had to advise a mage to try not to act like a tank (it simply wasn’t working) but on the whole it’s been awesome.
But alternating from Mage to Healer is proving interesting. Not just because I’ve confused several people in Stormwind by offering portals as Styleesh. No actually it’s the whole expectations thing. I’ve discovered that mine from the healer when I’m dps are very different from the dps’ from me when I’m the healer. In a nutshell- others expect far more than I ever would. Now I’m not crazy here – I’m not all shocked that they expect me as healer to ACTUALLY HEAL THEM (the cheek of it!) I didn’t expect to go in and occasionally bandage some light flesh wounds & leave the rest to the magic healing fairies. No I fully expect to heal. I want to heal and I want to heal well. But still ….the expectations of some dps (leaving the tanks out of this – so far so good there – knock on wood) are different from my own when I’m dps.
I started thinking about this the other day in fact when I was reading something written by a healer who was ranting (sorry writing) about how annoying all dps are – they stand in crap, expect you to heal through everything, don’t ever listen, caused every single war in the world and have destroyed the ozone layer etc. I got all affronted as someone whose main is a dps (sorry Bravetank sorry- please forgive me- now be quiet & get back in the cupboard). As a mage I try very hard not to stand in bad (I’m like one of Pavlov’s dogs in my reactions to GTFO- I move quickly and then go to the kitchen and beg for a biscuit). I actually never ever expect healing! As a mage I know I’m the lowest priority (although I draw the line at companions getting healing before me – that Pandaren monk can look after himself). I understand where I am in the hierarchy. So …I have my own potions, I have glyphed evocate to give me some healing when I use it, I maxxed first aid & always have bandages, I have and use (sometimes too much – I am a coward after all) Ice block & Invisibility. All the tools of the trade. While I’m showing what a model little mage I am can I also point out that I use Decursive to help the healer out whenever I can. I see it as the added extra a mage can bring (as well as food of course & an ever ready pop band with my Mirror Images). I know how to look after myself and so if I die I regard it as my fault (even when perhaps …dare I say it … it isn’t). And yet judging from what that healer wrote most healers would assume I expect the world from them. I don’t.
The other day in LFR I was merrily blasting some trash away when all of a sudden I sailed into the air & found myself toe to toe with the mobs. Fearing some sort of clever mob ability that would now turn me into a bomb & then decimate everyone around me I immediately blinked back out. I thought I had done the right thing. But oh no. Of course not. After the fight it emerged (from scathing comments in raid chat) that the healer had grabbed me (which ones can do that – hope it’s Disc?) to bring me close in (probably to a healing circle?) to minimise damage. But (a)I didn’t know that’s what he/she was doing (b)I did not see a healing circle & I do look for them (c)the assumption was the healer had to protect me not that I understand the healer’s main focus is the tank & that I know what damage I can/can’t take in an encounter without needing the healer & if I die (which I wouldn’t have anyway – it was all under control- don’t let the empty green bar and the fact I’m crying on my knees fool you) it would have been my fault .
Again though maybe I’m wrong here (can you tell my middle names are “totally appeasing devil’s advocate fence sitter”). I do understand all deaths slow things up & cause problems & all unnecessary ones should be avoided (but I wasn’t going to die anyway so all that’s academic …grrr …I’m arguing with myself now). Anyway I apologised in raid chat & said I hadn’t realised & all was fine. We completed LFR, I got a great staff – all good.
Jump forward a week. Magic wavy hands – I am now a discipline healer. What am I finding in dungeons? Expectations galore!! Yesterday in Gnomeregan all of a sudden the tank & mage started taking lots of damage. Both standing in totally different places – all mobs on tank – I focused on the tank & then tried to save mage. But it was too late for the latter. No problem- just needed to be ressed. Not the end of the world. But within seconds the mage had typed “Heal…”. Oooh those three dots of rebuke. How they irritate the crap out of me. The thing is it was a mage – why was he taking damage when all the mobs were on the tank? It suggests to me the mage was in the vicinity of one of those bombs they set – so whose fault is that? And yet obviously his expectation was that I would heal through that (& I nearly did- it was just the tank needed attention first). Now when I’m dps & die through standing in the bad I just apologise profusely & shamedfacedly run back in (or get lost on way back in of course- making everything feel 100 times worse) & feel (know) I’ve let everyone down. But not this mage- no. He was entitled to be healed no matter what.
This has happened a few times (not much though – most of the runs have been straightforward -and while I know they are at this level please let me enjoy the fact I was actually complimented this morning by the entire group for my healing – we were a dps/healer only group (tank had left) blasting through a dungeon with no one dying- it was great!). But now I do understand why the healer in LFR did what he did to me – firstly he didn’t want to have to waste time ressing anyway (or waiting for a numbskull like me to run back in), but secondly for all he knew I’m a dps who expects it all from the healer. Why wouldn’t he think it? That’s how it seems.
I’ve also noticed (while I’m on my weekly soapbox) no awareness of healer line of sight (I know I should stand in the right place & I do- but when someone falls somewhere random & expects me to be able to heal them…that’s just ridiculous). Also of course no awareness of healer mana (an obvious one this- won’t even dwell on it), a healer’s whereabouts & of course absolutely no attempt from other mages to use decursive (although maybe they can’t in their 30s – I should check but I’m in the flow right now). Anyway basically (just to restate my point) their expectations & behaviours as dps are different from mine.
Who is right? I know it’s not black & white but it just feels to me that everyone should first play their class properly (all aspects of it – if you can do the occasional self heal do it, use your CDs wisely etc) and be prepared to do that little bit extra for the team and not automatically assume the world revolves around you. In real life I see the same problem all the time. We have such an entitlement culture now. People expect the world & are looking to sue or blame when things go wrong. Fail your exams – teacher was crap. Lose your job- victimisation. Fall over – crack in the pavement. What about revising, working hard & looking where you are walking. I know I’m generalising. Sometimes people/organisations do things wrong & need to be brought to account. I understand that and I support that. But what happened to holding oneself to account? What happened to personal responsibility? Sometimes the fault lies closer to home and we should be big enough to deal with this.
God I feel old.