For the majority of my WoW life, I had a solid healing companion that I healed with. Her and I were inseparable and we healed from Wrath’s version of Naxx to Dragon Soul. She was a resto shaman who started playing in Burning Crusade, and while we did play together during BC, we didn’t always heal together all the time until about the last month or so of that expansion.
We started out Wrath with her and I facing down the health bars of our (not quite) 10 man team. Around us, we built a 25 man raid healing team. Healers would come and go, but our core would stay the same. We’d pick up various priests and paladins, a shaman here or there and sometimes an extra druid. (I was very jealous of my status as the only resto druid in our raid.) But it always boiled down to her and I with the occasional healing help from our awesome shadow priest (who dabbled in disc healing on the side).
We would complain about our lack of a useable tank related cooldown together. We grew to know each other’s healing styles and even in 25′s when assignments went out, we’d pick up the slack for the other healers as well as heal our own targets. At the end of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, we had a few other healers in our guild that would come to things, but it was mostly her and I running in the 10 man.
In Cataclysm, it was expected that she and I would continue to two heal things as we switched from a 25 man raid guild to a 10 man raid guild. But we did not understand just how different Cata would be from Wrath. We went into Blackwing Descent and failed miserably. There was a paladin healer in our guild at that time and we ended up pulling her in a desperate attempt to make things smoother. It did make it smoother. The mitigation that the paladin had access to made it so much easier to progress through the raids.
We ended up turning our two healing team into a three healing team and it felt awkward. After healing for so long with 1 person, having a new dynamic was uncomfortable and unwelcome. I was disgruntled and my shaman healing partner and I would have long talks about the ‘good ole days’ and how paladin healing is ‘too easy’. We healed with the paladin through Firelands and I never was able to get comfortable with that dynamic.
I can’t remember, now, what ultimately happened but the paladin ended up leaving the guild and we found, I believe, another healer of some flavor to fill the blank spot. By now, druids were scaling a bit better and I was able to pump out a lot of healing in a short amount of time. I ended up leaving that guild during the beginning of Dragon Soul and went to another guild where I would three heal, again with a shaman but the other healer this time was a druid.
I liked the players of my co-healers and felt like we worked as a good team. We’d take turns dpsing on the fights we only needed to two heal on and I was able to trust that they would heal the tanks and other raid members, which was something I was only able to trust my former shaman healing partner to do previously. Then, of course, Mists dropped and my healing team was switched up once again.
My druid co-healer switched to her shaman, my shaman co-healer switched to a monk but due to real life obligations did not beginning raiding with us. (He’s deployed and won’t be back until close to September.) We picked up a paladin healer and the three of us (shaman, paladin and druid) started the hard task of learning how to heal again. Or at least, I did. Since every expansion druid healing gets messed up, it took me a month or two to figure out what to do.
I ended up getting either sat or asked to dps for a lot of Mogu’shan Vaults and Heart of Fear progression kills. I ended up not feeling like a part of the healing team, which was unfortunate because in mid-November, the shaman had real life erupt and she had to stop raiding and step back from WoW completely. I had a friendly relationship with the shaman but did not feel like I was respected by the paladin since I was not in on the progression kills and I’d been struggling at the beginning of the expansion.
Now, it’s me and the holy paladin. I know that he can push numbers but I don’t have that trust in him that I had with all three of the shaman I’ve played with in the past. It might be different for me then other healers but as I have to answer to the tank when someone dies (as the tank is sitting less than 3 feet from me), I need to be able to trust that if I run out of range to chase a dps, or a tank, the other healer(s) will pick up the slack.
However, we are a good raiding team. He has the mitigation healing thing down and I have the ability to push some good numbers when needed. Plus, I can heal better on the move then he can. Though, I have had to slap him down before. (He once told me he can’t trust my HoTs so he stomps them. I told him he has HoTs too and he said “oh yeah huh.”)
I believe that being a good team involves respecting your fellow healers. You don’t have to like them (though that makes it easier) and you don’t have to agree with their view points but respect is key. I respect that the holy paladin in my guild knows his class. I believe he has some things to learn about other classes (he’s been raiding as a monk for the last few weeks, so that’s something), but not everyone has to be completely up on every single healing class unless they have the drive. (I try to keep up on healing classes, but I will admit I really suck at understanding monks.)
So, in over a 1100 words, I guess that’s all I have to say. This has been rattling around in my head for the last few days, ever since I read Buru’s blog post about ‘Your Mileage May Vary’. My mileage has varied with every team I’ve been in. Right now, I’m not entirely happy with how druid things are, but I do have a good complement to my class in my holy paladin co-healer. Even if I do want to smoosh his face into the floor every now and then for stomping my HoTs.