It’s been awhile since I tackled the Blog Azeroth “weekly post idea,” but I thought weighing in on this one would be a good idea, since it’s come up before and I’m not sure I’ve ever specifically made a post about it.
I can think of two situations when I’ve knowingly let someone die.
1. I have a finite mana pool, and you are not my #1 priority.
My priority list is as follows: Me, Tank, Everyone else (in a 5 man) or Me, Assignment – usually Tanks, Everyone else (in a raid) – I can only heal one, or maybe two, people at a time. If the tank is taking heavy damage, and you stand in the fire, you’re going to die in that fire. If you do so repeatedly, you’ll probably annoy the piss out of me, but if I have mana and time, I will almost certainly try to heal you.
Because healing you takes less time and is less stressful than wiping, and I don’t get any vindication out of repair bills and an angry group. (Though I will definitely remind you not to stand in the fire, and possibly squawk loudly in chat/on vent.)
2. You are out of range/out of LOS.
If I can’t get to you, I can’t heal you. Sometimes that’s my fault. Sometimes it’s your fault. Sometimes it’s the nature of the stupid encounter and the fact that my 6 foot tall human paladin “can’t see” up 3 stairs. Sometimes it means the group ran off while I was drinking and pulled something. Either way, if someone is grey on my bars, and a few quick steps don’t get me into Holy Shock range… they’re probably going to die, and I don’t worry about it too much, especially in a raid situation where I have other healers to split up the raid with. (If someone is greyed out on my bars then, I don’t even pay attention to their health – they’re usually someone else’s job.)
Other than that, I can’t think of any other reasons to *intentionally* let someone die.
Why is that, you ask? And haven’t you joked about letting Tarquin die, or letting Izzy die, or letting the “hey ma, watch this”, aggro-pulling noob in the PUG die?
I joke about it because it’s a pressure release valve. And because, as a healer, my job is one that can be pretty stressful. Someone who seems to be intentionally making that job harder is going to get my hackles up – but I don’t let them die unless I absolutely can’t avoid it. My job in a group is to heal people. The tanks job is to tank things. The DPS’s job is to DPS things.
If someone in my group got mad at the tank and decided to sit in the corner and not DPS because he thought the tank was bad, I’d be peeved. Yes, sometimes people do dumb things – and yes, in PUGs that can be highly exaggerated. But in a 5 man group, all 5 people are responsible for the group’s success, and quite honestly, someone annoying me is very rarely worth my own repair bill and the time it takes to wipe. And then find 2 new DPS and wait 15 minutes for a new tank because people drop out of the group because we wiped on something dumb.
In a raiding situation, if someone – especially the same person – repeatedly does the same dumb thing and dies (usually bringing at least 5 of their neighbors with them), I can address it, or I’ll have their role leader address it. And yeah, sometimes the healing team will announce that anyone who stands in (X) thing isn’t going to get heals, as a way to get people to pay attention. But that seems to me very different – as well as announced beforehand – than letting someone die out of spite, particularly since usually standing in (X) will get people killed pretty quickly, and cause a raid wipe.
Besides, when it comes right down to it, in the heat of a major boss attempt, I’ve got my two/three tank targets, and I STILL can’t keep from dropping Flash of Light on a not-tank that takes some damage from something. I don’t have the time – or the mental presence, usually – to separate out that THIS yellow square should get heals but THAT yellow square shouldn’t.
Health drops, I heal it.
It’s the green bars, people!
THE GREEN BARS, THEY MUST ALWAYS BE FULL!! **
So yes. Healing is stressful and sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out. And yes, sometimes I’ve thought “man, it’d be so much easier to just let that person die”. But barring some pretty extreme circumstances, I’m not going to actually do so. I might release some pressure by joking about it, usually in the healer channel or one of my other chatter channels, but my job in a group is to heal people.
Even annoying people, or people who pull aggro or stand in fire.
Even, dare I say it, rogues, fury warriors, warlocks, and Cassamir. (Sorry Cass, it’s my job, you know.)
I feel guilty enough when someone I’m supposedly “responsible for” (in a healery sort of way) keels over. I don’t need to add to the guilt by having it be intentional.
As an aside to this, I think people often overestimate how often they’re “intentionally” allowed to die. I’ve been yelled at with “WHY DIDN’T YOU <expletives> HEAL ME?!!?!” before, and saying “you were out of LoS and I had no mana” doesn’t seem to make any difference, which is frustrating and kind of demoralizing.
In my experience in PUGs as DPS, when I’ve died, it’s almost always because I was doing something stupid, or because the shit hit the fan for the whole group. So, before we all go off railing on the healer or the tank for being vindictive and spiteful and terrible, let’s make sure that it’s actually not something WE can affect. As a DPS in a group, if I pull aggro, that is my fault, no matter how “bad” the tank is. If I stand in the fire (or pull aggro, or adds, or don’t drink a pot/eat a demoncookie) and die, that is my fault, no matter how “bad” the healer is.
Responsibility is a group thing, and we’re all in charge of ourselves, yeah?
*Group 2 is the melee DPS group in TRI most nights. When I began my career as a healer, I was the healer assigned to Group 2 because we only had one shaman, and totems were only group-wide (not raid-wide). As such, the Resto Shaman was stuck in a group with the rogues and fury warriors and ret pallies. I was their healer, and they were my /job/. Which didn’t mean that Group 2 NEVER died, but I still feel kinda protective over that group of aggro-gives-me-rage/aggro-means-I’m-winning crazies.
**It’s a sickness, I know. I do it when I’m DPSing on a class with heal buttons too.
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