What’s your opinion on whether or not a shaman should be expected to heal himself if he is not the designated healer?
Honestly? It depends. For the most part though, I would say no – with some exceptions.
In a 5 man group, hybrids tend to be more hybrid-y, so I see a non-healing shaman doing more healing in that situation, particularly in heroics. With so few people, the roles of hybrids are more fluid, and so an enhancement shaman might step out to heal himself (or toss a heal) on a particularly heal heavy fight – that’s part of being flexible. This also includes a quick lesser healing wave on herself after a knockback or some such mechanic – again, adapting with flexibility to the fight.
In a raid, however, this is usually not the case. Roles are typically MUCH more rigidly defined, at least fight by fight, if not for the entire instance. If you brought a shaman as an offhealer for certain fights (with his knowledge, I’d hope) , then my expectation would be that he would heal (himself or anyone else) during those fights and not during the others. Just because a class *has* heal buttons doesn’t mean that they don’t need healing from the healer group when they are filling a DPS (or Tanking) role. Expecting them to heal themselves takes them away from the raid role that they are currently filling.
And then there are the exceptions. After a shatter in the Gruul fight? Absolutely I would expect a shaman (of any flavor) to heal herself. The 15 seconds while Leotheras argues with himself at his split near the end of the fight? Heals are on the menu. During a dive phase of the Lurker Below? Sure – as an elemental shaman I would very likely toss a chain heal or two – though as an enhancement shaman it would be more variable, as I might (depending on position) be able to continue DPS.
Situations like that, where the healers are already taxed or VERY spread out are times when a spot heal on yourself/your neighbor can keep you alive – and alive shamans do more DPS than dead ones. These are usually similar to when you’d expect a rogue/mage to pop a health potion or a bandage – situations when you are explicitly making things easier for the healers because of fight mechanics. Basically, be aware of the fight and what’s going on around you.
The rest of the time, though, I’d generally think not. For two reasons:
- If there is not a lot of raid damage going around, then the shaman that took damage will stick out, and as a healer, if someone spikes, I’m likely on it quickly as it is my job to keep an eye on the DPS, particularly in melee.
- If there *is* a lot of raid damage going around, the healers will likely be prepared for it and will have someone assigned to heal the DPS.
Basically, much like a Druid in Cat/ Bear/Lazer-turkey mode or a Paladin in Tank/Smash mode, I’d expect him to heal if and only if it were an instance of life and death. Because otherwise – if he is healing himself, he is not doing the role that the raid asked him to fill.
Of course, she can’t fill that role when she’s dead, so this is a balance each shaman will have to figure out for herself. (Again with the caveat that this is MUCH more flexible in 5 man groups).
Situational awareness, FTW!
*the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, where one would find the inscription “Know thyself“
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