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Changes in Your Healing Team

Every so often a healer decides they want to go DPS and a new Shadow Priest, Elemental Shaman, Boomkin, or even a Ret Pally is born. Sometimes a healer has real life events that require them to hang their Benediction up. Now you’ve lost a core member of your healing force, what does this mean to your healing team?

Depending on who the healer is, this can be a pretty drastic change to your healing force. Your healing team often needs to work together as a unit. Key parts of keeping that that cohesiveness going is knowing each other strengths and weaknesses, discussing “what went wrong” and “what can we change to prevent Tank X from dying?”.

Lets say that this person who is leaving is a pro healer, or is a major contributor to these discussions, or the strategy guru, or perhaps some combination of all of these. What do you do to adjust and compensate?

If that healer is going to still be raiding, but has only re-specced and is now DPS try to view it as a positive. You now have a great asset available to you:

  • A DPSer who knows what it is like on the other side of a healing spell. They likely will have more awareness of their own incoming damage and the strain it can put on the healers.
  • A DPSer who may be able to provide good insight to changes in a healing strategy because they know what the DPSers are having to deal with and what the healers are. A converted player has a very unique perspective on an encounter; they have seen both sides.
  • Often times a healer who is going from healer to caster will still be available to heal should the need exist. For example let’s say you need another priest cooldown for Sartharion + 3 Drakes, you have your new shadowpriest who already knows how to heal the fight ready to swap over for the night.

If you are lucky, you have a group of very vocal and inspired healers who all step up and work together. As a healing leader you sometimes you need to provide a push, reach out to the healers on your team. Ask for their input. Healing teams need to work together, and even though you may have lost a member of that team, you have others who can provide valuable insight. The key to understanding healing in end game raiding is that it isn’t a one man job. It is a team effort, your team should look at this “loss” as an opportunity to shine, as a chance to step up, as a chance to improve themselves.

Once Blizzard introduces dual-spec, healing teams may see this transition happen more often than not. However, a dynamic and flexible healing crew should be able to adjust to this change. Do not misunderstand me; losing a healer or having a change in your healing core can be a tough learning curve- but good healing teams evolve and other healers step up to fill whatever void may be left.

Push forward, recruit others, but most importantly encourage dialogue.

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Written By: on January 23, 2009
  1. We had two of our strongest healers go DPS when WotLK came out. I was pretty sad to lose them, but fortunately we’ve had a few new additions step up into the breach. (And they turned out to be powerhouse DPS, which helped ease the sting.)

    Anyway, both were invited and chose to stick around the healer raid channel. They don’t pipe up much, but when we’re doing some hardcore healy theorycrafting on the fly it is definitely helpful to have two more experienced voices around to help figure things out.

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