When you have a small guild and a small healing force, you tend to know people’s strengths and weaknesses very well.  This sometimes leads to unconventional healing assignments based on what the player is best-suited for, not what the class is best-suited for.

Pally A has trouble changing targets and changing his focus.  To use his abilities to the raid’s advantage, he needs simple instructions.  “Heal Tank 1 and beacon Tank 3.”  As long as he has a job like that, he puts out spectacular numbers and the tanks don’t die.  But don’t ask him to “spot heal”, throw out a crazy cooldown on another raid member, or decurse.

Pally B has somewhat of a “hero complex.” He must be “saving” this one or that one from their own stupidity when he’s supposed to be tank healing instead of simply focusing on his assignment, sometimes to the detriment of his assignment, and leaving the raid healer with little to do.  Eventually I just gave up and put him on raid healing.  Though a pally, he’s an excellent raid healer, probably better than some AOE healers out there.  It just suits his temperament.

Shaman A rarely uses Chain Heal when assigned to raid healing, preferring to use LHW.  It’s totally fine to put him on tank healing.  In fact, he excels at it.

Sure, I could give Pally B a lecture on sticking to his assignment, or Pally A lessons on target switching (and I do).  It would make them better players overall if they were more flexible.  But in a raid situation, if we want to succeed, I tend to assign based on the strengths of the player, regardless of what the class is supposed to be good at.

How do you do your healing assignments?


Assign the player, not the class — 5 Comments

  1. Sounds like you run your raids in an excellent way. Having a raid leader with tunnel vision, (pally healer must heal MT!), often leads to player frustration and the eventual decline of members. It's a very important point to remember.

  2. I think this is an excellent point! My 10 mans tend not to really do assignments at all (I know, we're strange). And yes, pallys can be excellent raid healers. I've seen it too!

  3. My guild tends to not do healing assignments. We all do what we're best at/most comfortable with automatically.

    The only time we really use them is on fights where the raid is spread out and healers can't be in range of everyone.

  4. My main and only raider right now is a Paladin tank/healer. I learned to heal in 5 mans, and hard ones at the time. So I can heal through raid if I need to. I have done it before, but I excel at tank healing. I also off-heal the raid and decurse though I have add-ons for that. (I know blasphemy.) My Holy Lights brings all the tanks to the yard.

    My guild needs me main tanking, but I am also learning to off-tank. They are willing to deal with the wipe, and I like learning new things. I am really looking forward to raid healing on my shaman. And my dps isn't bad in Elemental, so I could always do that.

    I think it helps to break things up. Raid healers get bored, dps wants to learn tanking, etc. I can tank heal, raid heal, and dps. Now if only I had a melee, hmm.

  5. I haven't done healing assignments in a few months now (and part of me misses it, sometimes!) but I had a method that I really liked.

    First, I took the class into account. Pallies = tank healers, discs = tank healers, everyone else = raid healers as a rule of thumb.

    Then I took the player into account. Could my buddy, the disc priest, raid heal on Mimiron Phase 2, being solely responsible for keeping one group alive? Because he is awesome, yes. Could the holy priest assigned to another group do it alone? Hell no. Holy Priest got help in the form of a struggling resto shammy.

    Then I took the group composition into account.

    In general, if we ran with 7 healers (which is admittedly a lot) and there were 3 paladins, one of the paladins was usually told to beacon someone and raid heal, while the disc priest was asked to primarily shield the raid and help keep renews/poms bouncing.

    With some real familiarity with the group, it becomes easy and obvious who should heal what and when. For instance, I stopped assigning Hand of Sacrifice cooldowns to some of the moron paladins I raided with because they would miss it ENTIRELY or they'd hit it and forget to bubble and oh look dead paladin. But I always made my disc buddy toss up Pain Suppression, because I knew he wouldn't miss the cooldown.

    I think I've rambled. But when I was healing lead in my last two guilds, things were very predictable based on who was in the raid and what content we were doing so that we all got comfortable in our roles, which cut down on mistakes, wipes and deaths on content that was already downed. :)