Friday, February 12, 2010

People Watching in the LFD

I admit it, I'm somewhat of a people watcher. I've never gone places specifically just to watch people, but when I am out and about I'm often paying attention to the people around me. The things people wear, the way they compose themselves, the facial expressions they make.

Since we outgear heroics, I don't have much to heal. I've taken to people-watching in the LFD. It's a sort of social experiment of mine. I am no longer quick about topping people off in a five man. I look at the damage characters are taking, and what the players do about it. Sometimes they don't notice until they are almost dead, and then they panic, jumping out of the fire and jumping all over the back of the room. Why continue to jump? I don't even know. It wasn't like they were jumping to get my attention, I was up hammering the boss!

Most of the time, if there's fire on the ground, I am happy to heal it once you get out of the fire. But like I said, I am watching you to see how long you stand in it, and how long it will take you to respond. If you die before you get out of it, I can resurrect you after the boss is down. If you jump out at the very last second, I'll do what I need to do to make sure you survive. I just wanted to see if you were going to save yourself, and how you would do it.

I stopped healing DPS death knights. That might sound inflammatory but after people-watching in the LFD, I realized the class has enough of its own abilities to self-heal and mitigate damage that death knights are on the bottom of my triage. Good death knights can take care of their own health without so much as a glance from me, and even the bad ones can keep themselves alive while standing in stupid.

I'll sometimes target a caster DPS, especially if it's a boomkin or a shadow priest, and watch them do their rotation. What spells are they using and when? I doubt I would be able to improve my rotations from wisdom gleaned from a heroic, but it's always interesting to me to see what other people are doing.

If a DPS pulls off the tank, I will prepare an emergency heal for them but I do watch and see how they respond to the situation. Healbot shows tanking-related cooldowns, so I am often able to see people's emergency buttons - either by the icon on my raid frames, or the graphic in the game. If a mage pulls but is quick to iceblock, I'm quick to get him back up to full health and DPSing again. If a ret paladin pulls and continues his max DPS rotation, and gets his face caved in without using any of those awesome utility spells I am always talking about, well, that happened too fast for me to heal through anyways.

Another thing I've taken to doing is helping the ranged DPS that pull off the tank. If I see a stray coming to the warlock or hunter, I'll start DPSing it too. If we can kill it before it kills you, I'll heal you back up. If you die before the trash mob dies, you pulled it too soon.

I know that the tyrant healer topic is raging recently, and people are fed up with healers who can demand the earth and the sky in exchange for some Flash Heal love. Not all of us are demanding the earth and the sky; even if it's only me, I just want to know that you're paying attention.

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