What is Healing? How does it work? What makes a good healer, and what pitfalls should you avoid?
These are very generic questions that have been answered many times across the blogs and sites that inhabit the world wide web.
I don’t want to re-iterate any of those articles. Each and everyone of them has it’s points and I’m likely to pick them up here.
To sum it up, I think there are major 4 points to the whole healing game stuff:
How big are your heals?
How long will your mana pool last you?
How fast can you react?
How much is your latency affecting your gameplay?
All these question are aiming at evaluating yourself and your performance. Be true. Don’t over- or under-estimate yourself. Going astray in either direction will likely cause people to die.
Know your tank
How much damage can she stand?
How much damage can she mitigate?
How much threat can she produce?
Is she able to generate threat on difficult mobs? (ranged, for example)
Is she likely to break crowd controlled mobs?
Does her class feature any emergency abilities and will she use them?
All this will help you to evaluate the amount of healing that is needed to keep the tank alive. It’s important to know your tank well. Depending on gear and skill-usage the feeling of running with different tanks will vastly differ. Even if they are of the same class. Use the first pulls to get a good picture of your tank’s abilities, it will help you a lot.
Know your damage dealers
Do they watch their threat?
Will they crowd control mobs and have aggro from them once the control wears of?
Are their crowd control abilities reliable?
How much damage do they deal? (a.k.a.: How long will the fight last?)
These questions will help you to estimate the duration of the fight and the damage on the tank, depending on the crowd control. Additionally, if you know some player will frequently over-aggro the tank (or is assigned to AoE some mobs down), you can adjust your healing priorities accordingly. Don’t forget your tank, however!
Know the fight
How many mobs are there?
How much damage will they deal?
How spiky will that damage be?
How quickly will the mobs go down?
Will there be any debuffs going round that you should remove or know of?
Do some mobs have secondary target attacks that need to be healed?
Are there any mobs that may reset their threat?
Everything in this category will help you to estimate the course of the fight. It will tell you how much healing will be required, what people will need it and what else you should pay attention to.
So, with all this written down, it seems like an awful lot to pay attention to. Actually, you can’t really play at a good pace and watch all of these points actively.
The trick is: Group often, heal often, let it sink become a part of your intuition. You will soon recognize that you will adjust to different situations without any consideration. That’s the beauty of this role imho. Once you get a hang of it, it really becomes kind of addictive.
/cheer to all you healers out there!