What Healers Should Know Edit
- In an instance, especially if the healer is significantly lower in level than the tank, the healer should know that he should stand far back and not attack so as not to attract aggro. Keep in mind that if there is no other healer in your group, then your death will most likely result in the death of the rest of the group that is relying on your healing.
- When you are running low on mana, feel free to request the group wait for you to drink in order to fill mana before next pull. Most group members will understand the importance of healer’s magic and will wait.
- In instances, your group will likely be pulling much faster then your regular mana regeneration can keep up with. You will want to keep enough drink with you that you will not run out even if forced to drink between most pulls, and don’t forget that a mage in your group can provide you with more water. If you do run out of drink, ask group members if they have any to spare (it is only polite to repay them the cost of anything they give you).
- Remember line of sight and casting range can be a limiting factor on heals; especially if teammates are constantly moving in chaotic battles. If you are fighting in an area with a corner or sharp bend, try to position yourself where you can see both sides of the corner in case you need to heal someone who runs around the corner. While not as often a problem allies can also run out of the range of your heals in the middle of casting. It can be difficult, but if possible attempt to keep an eye on where everyone is and be ready to reposition yourself the moment you have line-of-sight issues. If an ally is taking damage and you can't figure out where he is, remember the minimap will show nearby allies on it so looking for a dot of an ally not near the rest of the group can help you to find a wayward teammate in trouble.
- Know the mana efficiency, rate of healing, and cast time of your heals. Healers have multiple heals available to them and at first it can be difficult to know which to utilize. While learning the role of all your heals, you may want to use mana efficiency relative to your other heals as a rule of thumb for deciding which heal to use. With the exception of Paladins that utilize Flash of Light, every healer has a single-target, slower heal that provides good mana-to-healing efficiency and often serves as a primary or preferred heal. Due to the slower cast of this primary heal, other less-efficient heals will then be used when you simply do not have time to cast your slower heal. At higher levels, the amount of healing you can do in a given amount of time can also become an issue if your target is constantly taking large amounts of damage; but hopefully by this time you will have developed a good sense of your heals' strengths and weaknesses to help prioritize heals. Remember, the cheapest heal you have may not be your most mana-efficient, nor is the fastest-casting heal necessarily capable of doing the most healing per second. See the Healing Comparison to learn how your heals compare to each other.
- Remember instant cast heals such as Renew can be used while running. This can allow you to provide healing while fleeing opponents or following your group in an instance. It also is potentially powerful in PvP, being a great way to heal while fleeing enemy players or keeping a fast moving flag carrier alive in Warsong Gulch.
- Do not forget your multi-target heals. Heals that heal multiple targets or the entire group can potentially be your most mana-efficient heals and can sometimes be the only viable way of healing all those taking damage before someone dies. However, many multi-target heals also generate large sums of hate which can result in all nearby enemies focusing their attacks on you if used at inappropriate times (this is also true in large PvP situations such as battlegrounds). Try to avoid group heals at the start of a fight, and be ready to utilize de-aggro abilities after your group heal if you do draw aggro.
- You will get aggro in instances. Your heals anger all opponents at once which can easily mean that large pulls result in many uncontrolled mobs attacking you. Know your best means of surviving aggro.
- Priests are the only healer to have a proper de-aggro ability that affects all enemies, called Fade, which will be a Priest's primary means of dealing with undesired aggro. Keep in mind that once Fade ends, you will regain all of the threat you lost. Power Word: Shield can also be used both to protect yourself from attack and as a means of controlling hate generation (Shield generates half the hate of simply healing - at the expense of lower mana efficiency). Psychic Scream will rarely be a viable means of handling unwanted attention in instances or raids, although it is key for doing so in PvP. Remember, when desperate, Binding Heal is an efficient heal that allows one to heal oneself and an ally at the same time, with the added bonus of having lower hate associated with it.
- Druids in Tree of Life Form do not possess any de-aggro ability; however, a druid does have Cower available by shifting to cat form to deal with single mob aggro. When multiple opponents attack the druid, it is possible to shift into bear form to drastically increase survivability, but doing so keeps the Druid from healing any allies - such as the tank - still being attacked, limiting its usefulness in instances and raids. Abilities such as Entangling Roots and Hibernate could potentially be used to control mobs attacking you; unfortunately, most instances have few beast opponents, and neither may be used in Tree of Life form thus these abilities will often not be available to you. Barkskin can provide some temporary defense and remove spell interruption in order for the Druid to attempt to continue healing through damage taken. While not often realized at higher levels druids gain some control over healing aggro generated via proper use of lifebloom-or tranquility with talents. Both spells can potentially provide some healing without generating any aggro; however, using these heals to control aggro requires sacrifices (wasting tranquility which has a long cooldown, not stacking lifebloom spell) that may not warrant the slight decrease in aggro.
- Paladins will find they have less trouble with aggro then their fellow healers, thanks to their heals generating decreased hate. Hand of Salvation can further decrease the chances of drawing unwanted attention while healing, although it needs some time to reach its full effect. When you do get attacked, invincibility abilities such as Divine Protection and Divine Shield coupled with innately higher defense than other healers should allow for continued healing through damage taken. If you're lucky, another healer may be willing to heal your damage - thus providing you with more mana to heal others with.
- Shaman's primary means of handling unwanted aggro is through Wind Shock, although this will only work on one target at a time. Like the Paladin they have the option of using a shield and possess higher defense than the Priest and Druid, providing them the potential to try healing through damage taken. At level 80, shaman can use Hex to temporarily control one target, thus preventing it from attacking or interfering with healing.
- When you are with fairly new players, it may help to use slash commands. For instance, there's /oom (out of mana) and /helpme. Especially use /oom when there is an off-healer that may not be paying attention to your mana bar because he is busy with DPS.
- If you are not assigned to be the primary healer but your class is capable of healing, it is wise to keep an eye on the healer's HP and mana bar. Be prepared to switch roles to healing if your primary healer dies or runs out of mana. Even if you are not healing spec, your heals will likely aid the group better then any potential damage you would have done. This is possibly most important to Druids fighting in cat form as they will always have a full mana bar which can readily be put towards healing if the situation calls for it.
- Try to learn the approximate health of your allies and keep watch for overhealing. If your primary heal is consistently overhealing a particular individual you will probably want to use a cheaper heal to avoid paying the mana cost for wasted healing potential. In these cases it might be better to use a smaller heal, though keep in mind that all ranks of the same heal now cost the same amount of mana.
- As you become more experienced as a healer, you will find that, in cases where you are running out of mana or when multiple individuals are taking damage at once, triage is necessary to avoid complete group wipes. Although your primary goal should always be to keep everyone in your group alive, at some point in your healing career you will be in situations where you can not possibly save every individual in your group. In such a case, it is imperative to know which individuals are essential to the survival of the group. Remember the tank and yourself will usually take first priority for heals unless you have another individual who can readily take the place of healer or tank should one of you die. Classes providing CC capabilities are next most important with pure damage classes being of less use in most instances. Try to also take notice of the amount of available mana a class has since this can have a large effect on their usefulness in a fight. For instance, a mage with no mana will be doing very little damage, while his low armor and health make him difficult and mana intensive to heal should he be under attack; as such if you are nearly out of mana you may be forced to allow him to die in order to ensure you will have enough left to keep the tank alive. Keep in mind that decisions such as this are for the direst of situations and you should always strive to keep all party members alive if at all possible.
What Healers Want Others to Know Edit
Healers need to take a mana break from time to time. Don't become impatient and run off to another collection of mobs before mana is allowed to regenerate.
Also, healers are often forced to prioritize party members to ensure overall survival. If a damage-dealer and a tank both require attention, chances are the tank will be seen to first. Please try not to take it personally.
Classes That Have No Ability to Heal Others Edit
These classes may heal themselves by one way or another, but certainly cannot heal any others except by bandages:
- Mage (may conjure food to use and share for out-of-combat healing)
- Hunter (can heal their own pet)
- Rogue (Darkmoon Card: Heroism for self healing and Battlemaster-enchanted weapons to heal party)
- Warlock (can heal their own pet, and themselves by different methods; Healthstone provides a potion-like ability)
- Warrior (Darkmoon Card: Heroism for self healing and Battlemaster-enchanted weapons to heal party) and Enraged Regeneration, where the warrior can heal 30% of its overal health.
- Druid While in shapeshift forms (other than Tree of Life Form) cannot use any of their healing spells; Bear Form druids can heal themselves with Frenzied Regeneration.
- Death Knights All Death Knights can heal themselves by being in Blood Presence or by using Death Strike, but only Blood builds specialize in this.
See also Edit
- Official Blizzard Summary of Classes (including distinction between primary and secondary healers)
- Lightnatured Healing Forums - Resource for healers of all classes