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Two Healing 10 Mans and Why I Hate It

February 24, 2010

Following a rather whiny post on the PlusHeal forums of mine, I ended up writing so much I thought it’d be good to include on Soul Warding.

The norm is now to 2heal 10 man raids. It seems that you’re a bad healer if you can’t or if you have a problem with it. In fact, why aren’t you solo healing it yet? Are you that weak? The dps DK solo healed it on his healer last week. Learn2play. This mindset doesn’t merely apply to older content that you outgear or your well-organized and communicative guild raid. It’s casual 10 man guilds still struggling through content and it’s random PuGs that you just can’t avoid.

I don’t appreciate this attitude. I’m getting grouchier about it every time it comes up. Take my post with a grain of salt. I know I’m QQ’ing.

(I do want to clarify that 2healing raids CAN be rewarding and if you’re with a smooth group and feel comfortable, there’s no reason not to. I just don’t agree with 2healing being the normal expectation and healers being forced into it when it isn’t ideal. It skews the value of a good healer and it puts too much pressure on us when it isn’t necessary.)

Raids that are 2 healed should be the happy exception in a smooth group, not the norm for everything.

I LIKE 2healing:

  • in well-organized groups where we find that there simply isn’t enough healing to go around and we’re quite comfortable with two healers.
  • when DPS stay out of fire, tanks are well-geared, and there’s a third healer available if needed.
  • challenging hard modes that require careful planning and everyone performing at their best.
  • if I’m asked beforehand if I don’t mind, and if I have the option of requesting the third healer switch back to assist.
  • if the other healer is great and we work well together.
  • older content that I overgear.

I don’t like 2healing being the norm for newer content and PuGs because:

  • The value of a healer is now determined by how well they can heal content with fewer than the recommended healers.
  • There’s an increased chance for wipes and a longer raid because, if one healer dies, that’s usually the end of the attempt.
  • Three healers could help pull the group through mistakes and random occurrences and simply get the boss killed.
  • Raid leaders think fights will go faster and some of the dps are weak, so an extra dps is better than a third healer.
  • Unless you are having trouble with hitting enrage timers, there’s no need.
  • With two healers, there’s a higher chance that a DPS will die, potentially making that extra DPS useless.
  • You allow five DPS to slack off because they can’t collectively scrape together the extra numbers to make up the DPS of one extra person.
  • Yet you expect two healers to perform at their very best and make up the heals for the missing person.
  • Some fights need three healers, particularly on fights where a healer might have to run, kite, or may get CC’d.
  • Groups now aren’t even bothering to invite a third healer with a DPS dualspec.

I HATE 2healing PuGs in ICC, VoA, or Weeklies:

  • I’m never asked if I want to 2heal. It’s just assumed that I can handle it.
  • If I speak up about it reasonably, I’m yelled at, criticized, and insulted.
  • Raid leaders rarely seek out two complementary healers with equivalent gear.
  • DPS and tanks make mistakes. I blink. People die. I’m not a magician. Stop yelling.

The expectations don’t come across as confidence in my healing and the assurance that another healer and I are strong enough on our own. It’s more “My alt can do it, why can’t you?” I feel trivialized and, until I can find a decent group that’s respectful, I’m stuck finding this attitude everywhere I turn – in PuGs, in guilds, I can’t get away from it.

It’s particularly frustrating for healers who aren’t overgeared yet.
They aren’t ready to 2heal all of the content and, honestly, if you pair me with them, I’ll be frustrated because I’m pulling their weight, my weight, and the weight of the missing healer. And it’s not their fault. It’s yours – for being a jerk and not getting that third healer. Or maybe it’s mine, for not demanding a third healer and letting you walk all over me.

When it comes to some raids, yes, I want to be lazy too. I could probably 2heal it if I did my absolute best and didn’t miss a cooldown and didn’t make a mistake. But why should that be necessary for every single raid? Bring a third healer so that we have some breathing room. Not every raid is a hardmode that we have to get down as fast as we can. Not every night should I be expected to work harder than you are. Keep it up and I’ll stop healing and just bring my warlock. Problem solved. There’s no reason why every raid must be 2healed so that DPS can slack off.

  1. Khamrin permalink

    I hope two-healing the first four bosses in ICC 10 on Destiny’s raid isn’t a source of stress for you. If it is please let us know and we’ll do it another way. We want you to have fun. I think because we were already two healing those particular bosses, we just assumed it would be comfortable for you.

    For my own part, I prefer to be in a situation where I have to work a little harder–otherwise I get bored. When there is too much healing, I more-or-less stop healing until times of heavy damage. I’m not a spammer. I cut my teeth on raid healing as a paladin in Burning Crusade. Mana management was tougher and I didn’t have Beacon of Light. I did a lot of stop casting and I still do that now. With the right amount of healing for the encounter (based on group skill and gear and incoming damage) I can open up with some massive healing.

  2. I love healing with Destiny and the 10 man raids with you guys are an example of a smooth group where 2healing is ideal. There isn’t usually enough healing to go around because everyone is competent. I also know that there are third healers available and the raid leaders are remarkably kind and understanding to any requests. It’s perfectly fine and fun to make the content more challenging by taking it down to two capable healers for the first wing. If I’m ever uncomfortable, I know that I can speak up.

    But consider my last 10 man group, where sometimes 2healing wasn’t ideal and despite repeated failures and requests to change our approach, I was sometimes met with more negativity than logic. (Not to say that it wasn’t fine to 2heal content we were comfortable with – but a paladin and a disc priest can’t 2heal Precious, Stinky, and Festergut.)

    And 2healing is risky in PuGs, where the group is unpredictable and unevenly geared or prepared. It’s also more likely that a healer will be subjected to abuse in a PuG, where we’re a necessary evil rather than a vital support.

  3. Lormatius permalink

    I am glad to hear that healing for us (Destiny on TN) is a pleasurable experience. We enjoy having you come along and want your time with us to be fun time! While healing is something I have not done much of in WoW, as a tank I appreciate all of the great healers in the world. Keep up the good work and congratulations on your new found fame on

  4. You guys are the best, Lormatius! The atmosphere with Destiny is always light and well-paced, and I feel appreciated when I pop in for raids. It’s a very welcoming feeling. And thanks! It’s been a fun, rewarding day in the WoW community. I’m amazed at the personality we have in the healer circles. Such wonderful people

    • Khamrin permalink

      No doubt I am the largest source of said amazement. You’re welcome…

      • Lormatius permalink

        You are the source of something all right. Mostly grumpiness and general nonesense! But as a side note, your tank heals are decent too.

  5. You have summed up absolutely everything I hate about 2-healing!

    • Crankyhealer,

      I’m glad I got everything! I’m amazed at how many healers struggle with it in unpleasant raids and yet we still put up with it.

      PS: Highfive for having me on your blogroll! I didn’t know that I actually had readers or that I was on a blogroll anywhere. It was a lovely surprise!

      • Ah, I found you because you commented on another blog (I forget which). Keep commenting and you will be found by others too!

  6. I very much agree, even though I’m guilty of writing about 2 healers being my preferred setup!

    I was certainly not thinking of pugs when I wrote it.

    In an environment of a regular raid with a stable healing partnership I think there are many advantages to 2 healing. While it certainly can pressure the healers, in this environment it also pressures the dps to avoid damage and it becomes obvious if anyone is particularly poor at it. In a regular raid the causes of a wipe tend to be better analysed than in a pug, and I’d only expect criticism if it was warranted (and would usually be more critical than anyone else of my own performance).

    I like 2 healing my guild 10 mans, but wouldn’t do it for a pug.

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