Raid Leader Perspective: Leading as I heal

A healer??  Leading a raid?  NO WAY!!

Yes way!  Eluna and I have both been raid leaders.  We’re women.  We’re healers.  And we’re darn good raid leaders, too.  BUT, be prepared for a different experience, because we are not tanks.  And our view of these fights is decidedly different.

If you haven’t healed, you may not realize that healers often have no sense of what the space actually looks like in dungeons and raids – at least not at first.  While you (as DPS or tank) are running around smooshing the bad guys and wandering the halls of some immense Dwarven cavern, we are chasing you trying to keep that darned health bar somewhere over 75%.  There have been many a night where I finally get the chance to really look around and be at awe over the graphics in a particular place.  And generally, my guildies chuckle because they noticed that stuff ages ago.

For example, did you know that as you cross the bridge between the first and second bosses in Well of Eternity that you can actually see down to the ground below.  The actual Well is beautiful and I didn’t notice it until at least my 5th or 6th run.  Only because I was usually so focused on the health of the group (and keeping up since I always seem to lag behind) that I never actually looked down!

Something else we are frequently unaware of is the name of the mobs as well as the names of their spells.  We know what they do, but we don’t always know what they’re called.  We don’t target them – we target you.

So, for me anyway, when I think about leading a raid, I prefer to have been there.  At least once or twice.  I can better coach my team when I can actually describe what I need from them.  If I can not (or have not) had the chance to run the place, I will read about it.  Heck, even if I have been there, I read.  A lot.  A ton, really.  Any article I can find, I’ll read: Wowhead, WowInsider, TankSpot (I love when Ciderhelm narrates…), LearnToRaid… and many more.  For me, knowledge is power.  The more I know about the fight mechanics and raid needs, the better (and more confident) raid leader I can be.  Confidence isn’t just sexy – it’s powerful.  People will follow confidence.

I used to read the various guides and then write out my own notes for our guild.  Because we all know that each guild has different people in it – and those people have different strengths and… quirks (I refuse to call them weaknesses).  And what works for Ciderhelm and Lore and Aliena from TankSpot… yeah… that’s not really how it’ll go for us.  But, it’s enough to help me make informed decisions.

Going back to the thought that we don’t always know what the mobs names are or what the name of a particular spell or ability is…

Even being well read and knowing the fights backwards, forwards, and inside-out… I still don’t call things what they are.  Just last night in Firelands, I was caught saying things like: “Is this the snake-dude that we have to stack for?  Or is it the other one down the road?”  We’re 6/7 in FL and 8/8 in DS.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve healed us through those snake kills (and their annoying lava buddies who blow us up).  But I still cannot remember their names or the name of the ability that hurts so much.  What is important is that I know what we need to do!  We need to stack.  Does it matter, honestly, if it’s called [Explosion of Doom] or [Swipe of Kills-the-lonely-tank]?  Nope.  What matters is that I know it’s coming and I know how to mitigate it.

This actually makes for some fun “Story Time with Brae” moments.  I’ll be talking more about “Story Time” in my next RLP post.

It may surprise you to know that tanks aren’t the only people who can lead a raid.  Sure, they’re the go-to-role, since they’re the first one into a fight (usually).  BUT… healers – who are trained to look at more than one person at a time and focus on the entire encounter and not just our rotation – healers can be incredibly good raid leaders.

Just be ready to stand in that spot over there (near the thing-a-ma-bob) and pew-pew the bad guy until the puddles of owwie come out.  THEN MOVE!  😉