MMO Endangered Species: The Healer
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Remember when you were scouting around town in the middle of the night while spamming "LF HEALS" in world chat? Didn't help much, did it? Today we're going to talk about one of the MMO world's endangered species: Healers. The number of healers is dwindling and there's nothing we can do about it. There will probably come a time when the game will be forced to enable potion spamming to ensure the survival of consumers. Come to think of it, some games already demoted healers as a secondary source of life, with macro'd potions that trigger everytime your health bar reaches a certain point.
Healers are a myth to some, and guilds normally hold on to theirs like gold due to their in-demand state. Most people say the job is too boring, as these life givers experience a barrage of heal spam while not being able to get a piece of the COMBAT action. Some on the other hand enjoy this role, keeping their party's health at full to avoid unnecessary wipes and such. But why are healers so hard to find? Is healing really as boring as most people claim it to be? Let's see, shall we?
I'd rather attack than Heal
"Dude! Why not make a healer?"
"Dude! Healing is ***"
One of the reasons why the MMO World lacks healers would be the huge array of attack type characters. Everyone wants to fight, and that is a fact. We conducted a survey of MMO players and came up with a 9-1 in favor of attacking. When playing a war game, the best way to enjoy it would definitely be at the sword-wielding end of the spectrum. Why help your allies when you can just smash your enemies? Then again, how will you smash your enemies if you die fast? People in general are stubborn about this. Well, it's hard to be good at something if you're not devoted anyway.
I BLAME HEALS
"We just wiped"
"I blame heals!"
Perhaps one of the biggest problem healers face are the flaming "forknuggets" who blame the healer for everything. Healers are mainly there to ensure the survival rate of the group. Anything resulting in death (as long as it's not an instant kill AOE) is instantly blamed on the healer. It's pretty easy to be discouraged as healers are mostly silent critters and wouldn't really retaliate on a normal basis. Kudos to the healer who actually slapped that DPS's mouth shut.
Let's face it, anything that has a secondary healing ability is considered cheap in the PVP world. They rock the world of raiding but everyone elseenjoys killing them. Remember that one time when you were so close to killing that Paladin, and he just happened to heal himself and PWND your character to kingdom come? Whenever you say "heals", it's instantly dubbed as cheap (in some cases at least). According to my sources, Healing is a woman's job. Not that I agree with the theory but I have seen a lot of healer girlfriends LOL.
Healing isn't boring!
During our weekly raid, I managed to talk to our healer to feed my curiosity. According to her, healing is better than attacking and that it is all about preferences. She did confirm my theories about being blamed and stereotypes, but that didn't stop her from summoning the green light.
"Healing isn't boring! It's actually fun and quite challenging. It's not that easy to keep track of your party's health, especially when they're too weak to kill the boss on its regular time limit. Their life is literally in your hands. I think healers are just as important as other party members; actually, I think they're more important than any of them, considering the lack of healers online. I mean, how can it be boring when everyone's counting on you to survive?"
I guess I also managed to confirm my girlfriends theory in the process as well since she is the guild master's girlfriend LOL.
The healer girlfriend
According to another one of my surveys, under-geared healers have more of a chance to get invited to do a dungeon raid than under-geared tanks and DPS. This makes gearing up slightly easier than with an attack-based character. This certifies the importance of healing, as well as the effectiveness of having one regardless of them being geared or not.
I guess that's that. Healing is definitely not something to laugh at; in fact, it was much harder for me to heal than tank. Our guild's healer did let me borrow her toon for a spin, and let's just say I found out what its like to be at the receiving end of the whole "I BLAME HEALS!" part of the raid. DPSing and Tanking was hell of a lot easier, and yet healing seems to be the most important job of all. If there are any healers reading this post, KUDOS to you! Healers probably deserve an achievement trophy just by picking the healer archetype in the character selection screen.