I spoke about off-spec healing, and while writing I found that I was meandering into a post about, what I believe, are currently some of the major issues with healing.
So I finished that post, and today I'll continue with where I left off.
What is the current state of healing?
To be honest I am not entirely sure. What I can personally see is that LFRs seem to always be waiting for healers to fill up the group. What I can also see is that I would get the incentive baggy about 50% of the time if I would join solo as a healer. I see this as often, if not more often than the tank baggy.
If I look at my feelings about healing, and explore them on a deeper level I think that there are a couple of reasons for this.
A healer is no longer the hero. This is partly due to off-spec healers, but I think the biggest reason for this is the way Blizzard has currently designed healers.
I am often told that numbers do not matter. I can do a boatload of healing, but if I heal the wrong people...But, if my success is not measured in healing numbers, than how do I know if I am succesful?
If my success is measured in keeping the raid alive, but I have no influence over who lives and dies, other than doing my normal rotation as good as I can and shouting at people to not stand in the bad, than how do I measure my success?
If keeping your feet out of the fire is an individual success, than I'm back to how do you measure the healer's success?
Let me list some things that I believe could help the healer position in the game.
Dps heals should be just that, dps heals.
Limit the healing dps can do to self-heal only. And then only so much what they need in emergencies, so they can live a few seconds longer until the healer comes by and does the actual healer job. Dps should not be the ones responsible for healing, they should keep themselves out of trouble as much as possible, and be able to survive a moment while the healer is busy elsewhere, that's their job.
Find a way to bring the saviour aspect back to the healer role.
We need more woah! moments in the healer specs, instead of rotation. It will give the healers their sense of importancy back, and it might even make more people chose for the healer role. I haven't had a woah! healer moment since Icecrown btw. Lifegrip was fun in Cata, but I don't need to be a healer for that.
And even my biggest woah! heal as a monk, Revival, is used only in specific moments of the fight since the fights are built around having spells like that. As long as that is true, it is not a save people's asses move, it is a rotational move.
People should die, guaranteed, if they try certain things without a healer.
This comes with the whole, healers should be important thing. If you do not have the amount of healing only a healer can put out, the damage should be too big to live through. After all, nobody would think of going into a raid without a tank, right? Right. Healers should be necesary.
Don't get me wrong, I'm really glad that we can 2-heal the whole of Mogu'Shan Vaults, but it's pretty bad for the healer population if Blizzard starts building their encounters around having only 2 healers instead of 3 because there are not enough healers. I would rather have them spend that design time and thinking in how to make it such that enough people will want to be a healer.
Solve the cause, instead of the symptom.
Kill Mana Management.
I mentioned it earlier, but mana management is NOT fun. And only since mana management was back with a vengeance in Cata, there's a shortage of healers everywhere.
Healing, in my opinion, should be about saving people. About finding the right tool for the right situation. And if you screw up in finding the correct tool, or using it correctly, on the person who needs it, people die. Simple as that.
Healing should not be about carefully pre-planning the entire fight in your head. Holding back at times because you know if you don't it will be a wipe at a later moment anyways due to mana shortage.
I let one of the tanks die this weekend on Will of the Emperor because if I had saved him, he would've fallen over 20 seconds later anyway due to me being oom. I made the conscious choice of using mana efficient spells because otherwise I would not be able to keep up enough healing for the fight so I hoped he would pull through with the smaller heals. Not fun.
Should it go back to whack-a-mole? Maybe sometimes, yes. Should it go back to one-button healing only? No, but that's easily preventable. If one heal is dependent on the other heal to work properly (combos) healers cannot possibly be a one-button healer.
Should there be no watching your mana bar at all? Nah, if you go overboard you should run out of mana still. However, if the heals are tuned differently you should just be able to react to what the fight calls for, without worrying about your mana bar.
What I miss most?
I wish I was able to heal when needed. I wish I was able to react to the fight, without having to sit back and just let the damage happen because I will be out of mana if I don't sit back.
I am capable of more, but my character is not, and I find that endlessly frustrating.
I wish I wish...but oh well.