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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, Raiding, Roleplay
Tanks and Healers – In character?
comment 9 Written by on September 1, 2009 – 2:37 pm

Most of the time on this site, I tackle the subject of bringing RP out of it’s “closet” (so to speak) and making it more prevalent.  Several times, the subject of how to bring RP into raids has come up.  But what about the other way around?

Can raiding actually improve and inspire RP?

I say yes.


Why?  Well, because of Aelflaed.  And, more specifically, because of Feliche (I think this is his first spotlight on the blog, so if you’re reading, Hi Fel!).  Feliche is one of TRI’s main tanks, a massive Night Elf warrior with a penchant for getting hit in the face. Back when I was spending most of my time with Annorah as a healer, I didn’t have a lot of interaction with him ICly or OOCly – though I did get quite a protective streak for Group 2 (stupid rogues).

All that changed with Lich King – Aely and Feliche both joined the Wildfire Riders, and I changed from being a chain healing raid healer to a Holy Light spamming tank healer.  (Oh, and Feliche became Feliche and not Felite (who was female) anymore.)

Around that time, a very cool thing started to happen.

For whatever reason, Feliche is my heal target 90% of the time these days (didn’t always start that way, but has kinda become the norm now.) which works out pretty well. As with any tank-healer relationship, you get used to each other, you learn what kind of damage to expect and what kind of healing you’ll get. In Fel’s case, you learn to expect him to pull like his ass is on fire all the time – which is fine when you’re expecting it, but scary for the first few weeks!

As I got used to healing Feliche and he got used to me being “his” healer – an IC friendship started to form.

Out of that very OOC situation, Feliche and Aelflaed are now good friends – the kind of friends that banter with each other constantly and have come up with a myriad of ways to suggest letting the other one die.  But Fel also will call Aely if something bad happens and he needs patching up, because he knows she’ll put him back together and not be a jerk about it.  And if you asked her, Aely would tell you that she trusts Feliche more than just about any of the other Riders these days – because she regularly puts her life in his safekeeping (and vice versa).

It’s a lot of fun, and has some really cool RP consequences (especially when one of them ends up driving a siege engine for the other).

So I’m curious – has this kind of thing happened to other people, where raid roles bled into character interactions in a way that created RP opportunities? What dimensions of RP do you think work well in that kind of crossover, and how do they affect your characters?

*image credit pixelstar

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9 Responses to “Tanks and Healers – In character?”

  1. See this is fascinating to me (being the closet RPer that I am) because it mirrors the organic growth of real friendships through the game in similar situations. My guilds main tank and I never really talked before I became a healer, afterward it became pretty interesting how we became friends as we were forced to interact in a way we didn’t have to before. I know I can call on him in a pinch and he’ll do whatever he can. Another similar thing, my longest relationship sprung from a roleplaying game. We met through pen and paper roleplaying as our characters were forced to interact and work together and eventually it grew into something bigger.

    To me this highlights how these characters truly do have a life all their own. How when we are playing them we truly are breathing life into them.

    Good post!
    .-= Lodur´s last blog ..Crusader’s Coliseum: Heroic Hard Mode Details (Updated 10:30 AM) =-.

  2. Enjoyed the post, Anna! Something like this happened between my druid and a mage. During Lurker in SSC, I’d tank and keep an eye on the mage’s sheeped naga. We got so used to each other and how we worked together that when our raid lead swapped up the tank/mage combos, both characters went ballistic over it.

    I think it’s a situation that’s easier to have happen between someone who heals and the one they’re responsible for. Healers can inspire trust fairly easily once they’ve shown they can hold their own- they’re the ones who literally hold your character’s life in their hands. My tanks could go after anything, but without a healer, they won’t make it very far. On some level they all know it, even my DK.

    I think one of the big RP dimensions involved is the one you mentioned, trust. It can affect almost any role combination and can have some lasting impacts. The characters are put in a position where they need to trust someone else, even if that person isn’t someone they know well. Trust is fundamentally one of the harder things many of our characters have to accept, and it’s a great mechanism for change and growth in our characters.

    By Kyraine on Sep 1, 2009 | Reply
  3. My currently-feral Nelf druid has just started a relationship with a human pally, and in the course of running through instances to level the pally (IC of course), they are already in the habit of- Alanon the druid rushes in and starts hitting things, Arien the pally hangs back and makes sure he stays on his feet. They fell into that trust- you have my back, I have yours- kind of thing pretty quickly. Although it helps that the pally is my sister’s toon- we’re already used to that kind of teamwork.
    .-= Sarai´s last blog ..Barraccus and Quae: Riptik =-.

  4. It’s really late and I’m really tired, so I hope that made sense. >.>
    .-= Sarai´s last blog ..Barraccus and Quae: Riptik =-.

  5. The tank-healer bond is a fantastic one, both in and out of character. Either way, it does mean one entrusting their life to the other, it’s similar to the powerful bond you can see between two long-time partnered police officers, for example. It’s just that bone-deep SURE knowledge that the other has your back and is going to be there for you. My husband is a pally tank and I’m a druid healer, and our characters are partners in that sense. That is a very special bond between two people and each case in character is slightly different. They are the friends that can literally talk to each other about anything, and even when they are apart, they know the other is there if needed. Marriage? Nope, never happens. That’s not what their relationship is, but it is as deep a connection as marriage is.

    By Kayeri on Sep 2, 2009 | Reply
  6. I actually met my long time boyfriend because I rolled a priest at the start of wow. Our guild was tiny; he was the only warrior and everyone was playing dps classes. He was helping to power level me because there wasn’t anyone to heal in instances. We eventually got to know each other outside the game context but definitely the in game relationship of the tank/healer gave it a rocket booster start.

    Some aspect of it is in the RP though. I trust him with my character’s life, to defend me if necessarily and keep the bad shit off me. He, on the other hand, relies on me to back him up, and heal the boo boos away. That sort of trust is already the basis of long lasting friendship so it’s not surprising to find tanks and healers usually become good friends.

  7. It’s tales like this that make me wish I’d originally rolled on an RP server, instead of the normal server I ended up on…
    .-= teh Khol Abides´s last blog ..Part the Sixteenth: Run Like Hell (Slight Reprise) =-.

  8. When I first started tanking for the Honorguard’s MC run, my tank partner was Stormforged. I know you haven’t had a chance to interact much with Cylinn, Anna, but she is as dumb as a bunch of rocks. She got to be good friends with Stormforged, even if he was aways playing jokes on her in Molten Core. One time, he pointed at the giant lava dog and told her to go hug it… she did. Which was the first time I tanked the stupid thing.

    Dorri and Kel’s friendship, and more, grew as their raid roles changed. And Keltyr’s habit of getting so involved in something that he falls off the edge of platforms and cliffs? that stems from one incident tanking Hydross.

    Just as you can pepper raiding with RP, your raiding can pepper your RP. It helps give depth to your character’s lives.
    .-= ItanyaBlade´s last blog ..The first Lady Grizz novel is being written =-.

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