Mages, ten-man raiding, and other things that are awesome.

Dear DPS,

I understand you. I do. There is a good portion of my personality that likes nothing better than to rip into a good imaginary monster with a gigantic fireball, or to dance circles around my enemy as I beat them to death with spells. I have been the glass cannon. I used to PvP back in Burning Crusade when you had to start out somewhere – with all my PvE gear on. It’s colloquially known as “magic toilet paper,” and for a good reason. I died. I died a lot. But by gosh, I was taking them down with me.

Christian Belt of Arcane Brilliance over at WoW Insider once remarked that he really thought fire mages would be happy enough with a spell that just made them flat out EXPLODE. Yes, it would mean fiery death. But it would also mean fiery, dead enemies. That’s all we want, he opined.

I understand the rush of adrenaline, the high of dropping someone to their knees while you are still standing. It is exhilarating and awesome!

This is a letter from me, to you, though. I don’t know if you’ve noticed me? I’m the one waving my arms in the air way in the back. You may feel a slight tingling as your health returns to you. I did that. Well, more accurately the Light did that. I’m just a vessel. I have this slight problem, though.


This warlock is fearing me to kingdom come while his felpuppy knaws on my hooves.

This rogue has sapped me, now he’s stunned me, now I use my trinket, now he’s stunned me again, now I’m dead.

I’m down on my knees, here. (And that’s no small feat, draenei knees are weird).

I want you to live! Desperately. Ardently. I am trying my absolute best to make that happen, but you’re not really working with me.

You leave me alone by myself at flags. (No problem, guys! I’ll just tickle them when they get here).

I try to join into a battle where you are fighting and you RUN AWAY and suddenly I am surrounded by ten Horde and I die horribly.

I try to defend flags with you and you let a mage free cast at me while a DK charges in from the side and the two of them flatten me in a matter of seconds.

I mean, let’s be frank here. I don’t think I’m the world’s gift to BGs. I don’t expect accolades or for anyone to act like I’m a big deal because I’m healing. I like healing! I want to heal. It’s just that, by virtue of what I’m doing – I need a little help from you in order to best help you. When you ignore my existence, I’m vulnerable. You see, the opposing team, they aren’t like you. They know who I am. Believe me – in seconds. They converge on me like a plague of locusts.

In all fairness, I know that there’s only so much you can do, DPS. I have to contribute here too. I have to do my best to stay alive, and I do. I have been getting more PvP gear each day, upping my resilience so I’m not such a sitting duck. I dual-specced Holy so I could have a proper PvP spec, and it has helped quite a bit. Learning, gearing and preparing for PvP is my thing. That’s not your job to worry about.

I get it, you’re busy. You’ve got a lot going on. Maybe you are even taking out enemy healers, and that’s good too. I am your best friend, and they are your worst enemy. But at the same time as you are homing in on the arm-waving set from the other team, take a moment at the beginning to notice me.

  • If I’m: a druid with a ridiculous amount of mana but not a moonkin, I’m a healer.
  • If I’m: a paladin wearing a spell-ey wearing shield and have an obvious spellpower weapon, I’m a healer.
  • If I’m: a shaman with a watershield or any of the aforementioned paladin acoutrements, I’m a healer.
  • If I’m: a priest not in shadowform, I’m a healer.

Some of those could also be mistaken elemental shaman or shadowpriests or moonkin, but you can always check out their specs, too. I’ll even set my role at the beginning of a BG so that you know me, in the vain hope that my name will enter your consciousness as someone who sincerely wants to help you.

I had a particularly frustrating Battle for Gilneas match where I died so many times it just wasn’t even fun anymore. Some people were offering advice in BG chat, and very uncommonly for me, I chimed in. “It’s tough when you’re trying to heal and nobody is helping you out.”

Expecting everyone to turn on me, I was the subject of unexpected sympathy from a druid. “I know, it’s terrible how people ignore healers in BGs,” he agreed. “Come smoke a blunt with us at LH.”

I took him up on the offer of a place to stand around uselessly – the match had already been decided, and I was less than useless because I am most helpful where there’s actual fighting going on.

Help me to help you, DPS. At this rate you are driving me to only want to do BGs with my buddies (who I know have got my back) but I have no problem healing strangers, too. You just have to meet me halfway.




Comments on: "What Your Healer Wants You To Know About BGs" (25)

  1. You say it like it is!
    I used to play as disc in battlegrounds and I recognize everything single thing you said. I think it was one of the reasons I stopped or felt I had to be a full blown martyr to heal in BG’s, no one cared about me, I was meant to heal and die for them, that was essentially the message I took away from all the experiences which you outlined so well.

  2. Psssst, DPS: Healers Must Die (or wahtever that addon is) will also show on FRIENDLY name plates, pointing out your own healers!

    Don’t let the rogues hug them!


    I would add in a few extra “spot the healers” notes! It works for seeing who your team’s healers are or on the other team.

    Druids – if the are in TREE FORM or are NOT IN ANY FORM, they’re a healer! (In general. There’s exceptions but this is pretty reliable imo.)

    Paladins – if they’re casting anything with an actual cast time, they’re a healer!

    Also, whenever you die, don’t just stand there – open the Battleground score card and take a look at healing done! Take a look at their names and remember them either as “people to SAVE” or “people to MURDER”. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Beautiful. This symptom is one of the many that made me stop doing BGs. Too many times I’d let people know I was a healer and not to leave me alone and they would, of course, leave me alone.

    Nothing like seeing two PvPers running at you (and suspecting there’s a druid stealthed with them) when you’re alone at the flag with nothing but a bubble to protect you (and not even a bubble hearth any more).

    Here’s an addendum.

    Dear DPS,
    If you suddenly find yourself running out of hit points, it might be because I’m manically healing myself because you have let something slip past you and it is killing me. If you want to resume getting heals, please press 1 (or whatever other keybind you wish)

    Great post!

  5. Here’s my trick: If someone turns around and thanks you, stick with them – they deserve it and are more likely to notice your presence and cooperate when you get in combat.

  6. If you can, get a pet dps. Preferable one you have in your room or over teamspeak or skype, so that you can YELL at them if you have a rogue on your tail.

    Helps heaps.

    Pugged dps… well, they’re not properly socialised yet, and a single bg match ain’t enough to housebroke with them.

    Seriously, it’s enough to make a grown adult cry.

    DPS, get a pet healer, protect him/her with your life and enjoy your newfound invincibility.)

  7. If I could package applause into text, this would be it.

    The truth is, most players in random BG’s don’t even help themselves much less healers or flag-carriers. They let the enemy draw them away from the flag. They keep running when the rogues sap off their healers. They pop speed potions and flee from the Death Knight who could have peeled the Shadow Priest off them. They have healing spells and potions and crowd control, but they don’t use them.

    As my rogue has gotten higher in level, she’s become less and less capable of simply bursting down the enemy, but more and more useful for her ability to control the enemy. I’m sad to report, however, that, like you, I’ve not seen very much in the way of support from my teammates in this.

    I promise if I ever see you beside me in a battleground, I will keep you alive, or die trying. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I will say that playing bodyguard to a healer is one of my favorite things to do on my Rogue. I just trail along, waiting for someone to try to take a piece out of my newest best friend.

  8. The problem is, Vid, you are way too nice! You need to tell it like it is and they might get the message. Might. But I wouldn’t guarantee it ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Amowrath said:

    Sing it sista!!

  10. Gah, you are bringing back flashbacks of just about every BG I have ever tried to heal in. And that’s why I don’t heal BGs often!

  11. Teaming up is the way to go as a healer. sometimes you have fruitful chance encounters, but on the whole many players just don’t mind their healers, even though they expect them very much to heal. if you’re pugging like that, it’s usually a good idea too to stay stationary in BGs like AB or EotS, so you establish “camp”-feeling with a few others. that’s usually when they’ll be aware of you more.

    Oh and, I know at least one dedicated PVP smite-spec-lol priest who’d be very offended by this post now! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. I’ve found that I don’t like healing BGs very much if I’m by myself unless it’s Alterac Valley or Strand of the Ancients. WSG is too small so I’m easily noticed. AB and its base-capping cousins are horrible because I tend to be left behind to guard a node by myself (like that’s effective!) rather than be a powerful by healing a dps who’s guarding it.

    I think saying that you’re a healer in chat is probably one of the best things to do, because most people won’t look at healing done or casing poses to find a friendly healer, but they’ll generally look at chat.

    My paladin’s all about arena now, so when I scream for a peel, I’ll most likely get it.

    • I like AB a lot. If people leave me alone to guard a flag, I say in /bg that LM needs 2 defenders because I’m a healer and headed for BS. And then I leave the flag. This does three things: it lets the team know where our defense is weak (it would still be weak if you stayed), it reminds people that there’s a healer on the team and it announces that reinforcements are on the way somewhere. In a more or less even fight, the biggest single thing that can tip the balance is for a healer to show up.

  13. Oh, this is right on the money. There’s a reason I’ll usually only do BGs with friends – I know they’ve got my back.

    I’ve more or less retired from PvP for the time being though, or had planned to – when my friend made me do Arenas (something I really don’t enjoy). Maybe if I could pick a class with which I enjoyed it. I don’t do PvP on my Warlock (which might seem odd to some), but usually on my Priest as a healer. But I don’t do anything on my Priest anymore (except the aforementioned dreaded arena), and I feel that maybe it’d be nicer to do PvP on a character I play more.

    Decisions decisions..

    Anyway, back on topic.. I feel the same way you do – I used to do BGs alone and then I’d stick around anyone who I noticed would peel off me when I got attacked. But it happened very seldom and after getting ganged up on by 3-5 hordes alone too many times I eventually gave up.

  14. WTB cross server grouping for BS.


  15. “We’ll just start off with this: all healers are your friends.

    I do not care if he is from a different server and has a silly name, he is your friend. Bad people are going to try to hurt your friend.

    Save him and he will reward you by making you immortal.

    Do not ever abandon your friend to the rogues.

    (Dusk, in case anyone needs the attribution.)

    Here’s a tip for DPS using TidyPlates – you can enable friendly bars to come on only in combat, and then fade out again when you leave it. This allows you to walk around cities without going nuts, while – when coupled with the HHTD addon – identifying your own healers in a fight.

    Here’s a tip for healers: make an assist macro. Not to assist on targeting, but to get assistance when you’re attacked in BGs. Samples:

    /y Help! Help! I’m being oppressed! I’m under attack for my belief in healing people!

    /y Healer under attack! Healer needs food badly! Healer is about to die!

    /y Healer under attack, needs assistance! Help me and I make you immortal!

    Or the ever popular,

    /y Healer under attack by %t, needs assistance!

    Keep it handy so you can spam for help. I’m surprised at how few healers I see doing it, but at how effective it can be when used.

  16. […] to fail to, you know, protect them? Vidyala would very, very much like to know, because it’s starting to drive her out of PUG BGs: I mean, letโ€™s be frank here. I donโ€™t think Iโ€™m the worldโ€™s gift to BGs. I donโ€™t expect […]

  17. I love it! Over the years of tree healing in BGs I have become very good at hiding. Healers know where to stand to be safer, I have me nature’s grasp macro’d to my panic button and my resil is aver 3700 but I still need you help. I’ll be in AB, I’m going for the achievements there.

  18. When I PvP, and I see a healer, it only takes one heal landed on me for me to suddenly become their best friend. My friends know, when they queue with me, I have a sudden love for some random paladin they’ve never heard of before.
    Me: “NOOO Randomholypaladin! DON’T DIE I’M COMING!”
    Friends: “what on earth are you doing?”
    Friends: “uhh… calm down..”
    Me: “My poor healer.. he died… look what you did…”
    Friends: “…????”
    Me: “Hey look a shiny!”
    And then I am distracted for the rest of the game stabbing the same priest over and over. Unless there is another rogue…

    If I see another rogue attacking my “new” best friend healer, I give him THE LOOK. THE LOOK is the look you give other rogues when they’ve gone and done it. Too far. You’re already the perfect candidate because I know what annoys you best, I am a rogue after all. But you done stabbed my healer. You’re going down. With many bleeds on you. Using every CD I have, no matter how unnecessary it is. ROGUE SUPERIORITY WILL BE ESTABLISHED.

    Additionally, it’s probably unfair to other DPS, but before the game starts I decide who I care about, whether they die or not… Rogue goggles activate!:
    Druid – balance. Don’t care if dies. Check.
    Paladin – Prot. Care if dies while carrying flag, otherwise no caring. Check.
    Priest – Disc. Care if dies. Check.
    Shaman – Has spell shield equipped. I am suspicious. Possibly healer. Inspect talents or their spellshield. This one is Elemental. No caring. Check.
    All other players – Do not bother inspecting. Do not care if dies unless they have the flag. Check.

    This of course will change to caring if said other players actually help me do stuff and save me from dying or do smart BG things. At that point I will also care if they die as well ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. Hilarious Vid, a great read. There is nothing like being raped by plate and leather melee while your dps is busy trying to kill that warlock 10 yards away from you… I mean like HELLO? over here???!!

  20. I have to admit, I’ve come to the point where I don’t really care whether people help me out personally, I just wish that more of them would pay attention to the damn objectives. There’s nothing like being stuck guarding a flag from an attacker who keeps failing to kill you while the rest of your team is off skirmishing somewhere on the road. No hurry guys, but you know, some time today would be nice… I can’t heal this guy to death! >.<

  21. By the way! Unless you have a peel, don’t trinket Cheap Shot. She has two combo points already (or more if she Premeditated you) and wants you to pop your trinket so her Kidney Shot will keep you in place till you’re dead. Save it till she uses KS, then hammer stun her and save yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. You’ve so got it right. I was nodding at every single point you made …
    I’m the person in AB who’s pointing out that leaving me to guard a flag solo is a complete waste of resources.
    I’m the person in AV who’s pointing out that, if you all bugger off, I’m not going to be able to defend the flag and we’ll lose.
    I have a thin bubble & a trinket with a long cooldown and not a lot else.
    But … I’m also the person who, if you bother say thank you after I save your sorry hide, will stick with you for the rest of the BG.
    Discipline priest, EU Kul Tiras.

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