Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

filed under Feature, Healing, Silly
Differing Species of Healers
comment 19 Written by on June 8, 2010 – 9:16 am

Awhile ago, I published part 1 in this series, a very well thought out and extremely serious post on Tanks and the various types of tanks you might find in WoW.

… Ok, “serious” might be a stretch… >.>

Anyway, here’s part two. The different types of healers that you might find in WoW.  Once again, I’m not talking about classes at all…


  • Quiet Healer – shows up, does his job, doesn’t say much, and manages to not be around very much outside of raids. You probably don’t know a whole lot about this guy’s personal life, and you think he might have alts on other servers or in other guilds, but you’re not sure. Still, he’s dependable and does his job reasonably well, so nobody really asks.
  • Angry Healer – The opposite of “blame the healer” this is the vocal healer that always has a word for other people that screw things up. Particularly if they screw things up in a way that makes them a) unsaveable or b) wipe the raid. Generally tolerated as long as she has solid performance, and can be combined with just about any other healer type (except possibly the Quiet Healer). If the Angry Healer is angry about things that can be fixed, and remains mostly constructive, she’s not a bad group member. Otherwise? She’s just /angry/.
  • Burned-out Healer – Has been doing this WAY too long, and is just tired of putting up with the shit that goes with healing. May also be tired of raiding in general, but may find relief in being allowed to pick up a DPS spec occasionally. Probably either very quiet or very chattery, but only about non-raid-related things. May turn into the Angry Healer or the AFK Healer easily. Burned-out Healers can be created out of Bored Healers, but also can be created out of stressed out Healers, if the raid is constantly pushing the healing team to the very edge of sanity.
  • AFK Healer – Lights are on, nobody’s home. Possibly not at the keyboard, possibly just pretending not to be there. Subsets of the AFK Healer are the Disconnected Healer, the Distracted Healer, and the Alt-Tabbed Healer. Frequently a stress-relieving mechanism for Angry and Burned Out Healers, this situation does sometimes occur with the Theoretical Healer, especially if strategy is being discussed.
  • Professional Healer – Has three alts that all are healers, all of whom are at or close to level cap, and all of whom have seen raid or instance experience as healing. Possibly carries two healing specs on some of those characters. If she wants to bring a non healer alt to a pick up raid, nobody can remember who she is. Leaders who don’t pay attention may assume her presence means healing, even if she’s playing a hunter today. Knows enough about all the various healing classes to be really helpful, unless she’s also the Angry Healer, in which case she can be kind of volatile if someone else screws up.
  • Lost Healer – Knows the ins and outs of every boss fight in the game but can’t seem to find her way out of the instance. This type of healer is very prevalent due to Green Bar Hypnosis.
  • Theoretical Healer – Knows every healing trick in the book, and is intimately familiar with any new theorycrafting that might be done for his class. May also be part of the group that DOES the advanced math theorycrafting for his class. Constantly poring over logs to optimize performance. During difficult boss fights, will mention offhandedly (as though everyone already knew) some secret little trick that makes the healing part of the fight incredibly trivial. Can also be somewhat pedantic, depending on the personality, but usually an incredibly valuable member of the healing team.
  • Bored Healer – Overgears it, knows all the fights, has been here, done this, and is really over the whole experience of raiding. Bored Healers can quickly turn into Burned-out Healers, depending on raid morale. Or they just start to sneak in DPS when they don’t think anyone is looking.
  • Reluctant Healer – Not usually a healer, the Reluctant Healer has been asked to respec or bring an alt so the raid can get off the ground. May turn into the Angry Healer if she really doesn’t want to be doing this – particularly if she’s asked to heal/bring the healing alt for weeks on end when her main is really a Rogue.
  • Flail Healer – Whether from an excitable personality or an overabundance of caffeine, he’s wound like a spring and /everyone knows it/. May be either excitably happy and flailing, or nervously twitchy and flailing. Probably talks too much, and may be new to healing. The Flail Healer can usually be found running around mashing buttons – possibly not even the right buttons. Particularly wound up but Bored Healers often become Flail Healers. While not always effective, he’s always exciting to be around…
  • Not-A-Healer – This is a non-healing hybrid, a ret pally or an elemental shaman perhaps, who – when the shit hits the fan – drops the pew pew and bails out the raid with a couple of well timed heals. Though not effective for long periods of time, in a tight spot your Not-Healers can pinch hit well enough to either get the Priest a battle rez or tick off the last 2% on the boss.
  • All-Star Healer – You’re not sure what this guy ate for breakfast, where he got his gear, or how he managed to get Chuck Norris to autograph his shield/mace/favorite tree branch, but this is the healer that can heal anything. Tank healing? Sure. Raid healing? You got it. The last healer alive on a bad boss pull with 12% health and no mana and somehow she pulls it off and you win… yeah. You’d love to hate her, but she’s just That Good. Class is irrelevant. Spec is irrelevant. This guy can heal it, and not even break a sweat.

Of course, through all of this, there is one last kind of healer. The saddest kind, and the kind that we (particularly as heal-leads and raid officers) never want to see.

The Former Healer

All joking aside, though, healing isn’t always easy. Like tanking, it requires a specific sort of situational awareness, a lot of mental attention, and occasionally a shot of something stiff to keep you willing to put up with the crap. I can see myself in most of the healers on this list, and I’m sure we’ve all had our days as the Angry Healer (and I am well known for being the Lost Healer, especially in a new instance).

Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments! (DPS post is in the works as well, but I make no promises on a delivery date.)



PS: If you’re bored and looking for things to read today during the Extended Special 24 Hour Maintenance, check out WTT:RP’s post on things to do during server downtime and Matojo’s post on Being Different.

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19 Responses to “Differing Species of Healers”

  1. Take the Professional Healer, Lost Healer, Angry Healer and Flail Healer, combine in a blender, and you have me. I’ve been known to get lost in Nexus and … um… frequently fail at finding my way back into the ICC 5-mans. ;_;

  2. I missed your “Species of Tanks” post and was having a chuckle (I can do that, I’ve Tanked my share of Instances 😉 particularly over the Drunk Tank but perhaps not for the reason you thought…or maybe it was. I’d comment over there but comments are closed so I feel compelled to go a spot off-topic here 🙂

    If you’re not already aware a Drunk Tank is not just an Inebriated Tank but is also a slang term for the police holding cell usually reserved for drunks, so that made me chuckle. But I also wanted to share my own term for a Drunk Tank.

    As another word for being inebriated is Tanked, this means a Tank who likes to drink while Tanking can also be referred to as a Tanked Tank. Ok, I found it amusing, but that may be because I’m sometimes a Tanked Tank myself 😉

  3. @Capn John – Heee! I like all of them. The reason comments are closed on the old post is simply one of convenience for me. After 30 days, comments close down, since the overwhelming majority of comments posted after 30 days are spam. 🙂

  4. Combine the Quiet, Reluctant, and Flail healers, and that would be me. Although my pally does some of the Not-A-Healer part when dpsing, if needed. Certain instances have been known to turn me into Lost Healer (I’m looking at you, Halls of Stone and Occulus).

  5. You forgot the DPS-in-Healer-Clothing Healer…

    This would be the healer who plays a DPS (or tank) and happily switches over to a healing spec to help out the raid, but really has no business doing anything other than their main role. Still, sometimes what they lack in skill they make up for in enthusiasm.

  6. *chuckle* I guess I’m a professional healer (Pally, shaman, priest) with a side helping of Bored healer in heroics and Flail healer on any fight involving vehicles (panic flail on malygos, excitement flail on flame leviathan).

    Had an all-star moment once, but alas, I cannot claim it all the time. 😉

  7. More evidence for professional healer: When I left my mage in my old guild to supervise its shut-down, nobody even knew it was me or that I HAD a mage…

    She’d been in the guild for MONTHS.

  8. You forgot the type I was before.
    Playing hybrid with dps spec only from 10-80 Fearing to dropout from shadow form in case I would get our healer angry. Everytime that someone mentioned that I should go to a spec where I have responsibility over tanks (and everyone elses) life made me tremble terror.
    One drunk night with laptop at friends place, dual spec, >200 triumph on healing gear, some hit and miss heroic runs and 2 days later I was healing ToC and loving it.

    By TheMe on Jun 8, 2010 | Reply
  9. You forgot the drunk healer, who keeps healing herself because she is too far off to notice what her targets are

    or some combination with the passive-aggresive healer who lets people die in fires, or just refuses to heal someone who for some reason offended them

    By Brenn on Jun 9, 2010 | Reply
  10. I was burned out healer in Burning crusade and now I am healer type #something, The Out of Practice Healer. This is the person who used to play his healer a lot and could have been the quiet healer, professional healer, or the quiet healer and usually advanced through the bored healer and then burned out healer and rolled (or switched to) another class. After a hiatus they are ready to return to the green bar filling life, but have discovered that their theory crafting and skills are an expansion behind and are having trouble just keeping up with everyone but afk healer.

    By Melryn on Jun 9, 2010 | Reply
  11. As a tree, I can say that flail healers work best as resto druids. I’ve definitely had a few panic moments where I got completely turned around but was saved by the fact that panicked button mashing resulted in enough HoTs going out to enable me to recover and get my bearings. And I think there’s a little professional healer in me. I find my self watching health bars and being bothered I can’t do something about them when I’m on my warlock, and I definitely play a little “Not a Healer” almost every time I trot out my elemental shammy.

    By Arbolamante on Jun 9, 2010 | Reply
  12. I am generally quiet an don’t talk on vent. I wiped the raid once, because everyone wondered who was talking.

    By Me? on Jun 9, 2010 | Reply
  13. I agree the passive aggressive healer really needs to be part of this list.
    Another category you are missing is the Responsible Healer:
    This healer has tank specs and heal specs on multiple toons, as well as dps specs on those classes where they cannot be tank/heals. This healer knows when to use which spec for which fight, because they study them all religiously. They don’t care which responsible role they have, but they are happiest in one of those roles tank or heal. The eke maximum performance out of both specs, unless they are dps. Strangely they find no satisfaction in their dps abilities and can be counted on to throw off heals and damage mitigation where needed in their dps spec. Their dps is crap when they do go dps, but on tight races where you need more dps than heals a little more is better right?

  14. Great article! I can definitely name people to match those healer types. I was the Professional Healer, then the Theoretical Healer, then the Bored Healer, and now I’m the Former Healer (and occasionally the Angry Drunk Healer but we do not speak of these things).

    I would add the One Trick Pony Healer. Whether it is Flash of Light, Nourish, Lesser Healing Wave or whatever they only ever cast a single spell and it’s not even their best hps or mps. All advice/begging falls on deaf ears. They may even know better but it’s easier or more fun just to keep doing it.

    By MichaelBerea on Jun 9, 2010 | Reply
  15. You mentioned all sorts of good healers, but one you neglected was:

    Mysteriously Bad Healer

    Has the gear, is gemmed and enchanted properly, uses the right raiding spec, can describe to you exactly what each fight requires and seems to know how to play their class, but… amazingly, no matter what encounter you’re on, people start dying. Could be a tank healer losing tanks, a raid healer losing the raid, or any healer letting themselves die. This is the kind of person you don’t want to bring unless a fight really needs 8 healers and nobody else is online, but sometimes just can’t bring to kick from the guild.

    By Osaka on Jun 12, 2010 | Reply
  16. Disenchanted Healer: Got tired of long queues for his DPS main, leveled a healer, healed enough heroics and an Ulduar boss or 2 to gear up nicely, but realized that healing takes a certain kind of personality that he just doesn’t have.

    /kudos to healers

    healing can be thankless, stressful, and (shockingly) not very much fun.

    By Bristal on Jun 14, 2010 | Reply

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