So, a while back, a guest writer over at World of Matticus talked about how raiding was about being part of a team.
I was frustrated today after reading a lot of healing forum posts that seem to have forgotten that raiding is not a competition against your other raid members.
The over-focus some people have on DPS and healing meter numbers usually distracts from being part of a team. The goal of the descriptive meter rankings is to show how people are different from each other, not to show what makes teams good at defeating bosses. The bar graphs are designed to emphasize the differences in numbers, not to promote having doing what they need to on any given boss encounter. You can have people who win at meters, but fail at moving when they need to, or fail at being a good part of the team (or pop green clouds on Yogg!).
What makes raiding with PUGs generally worse than raiding with consistent guild groups is that the people in PUGs are usually not playing a team sport. They include individuals who may or may not ever talk to that group of people again, which ends up just breeding a really bad kind of behavior. This kind of more selfish behavior in the PUG raiding group (ie. wanting to see who “wins”) really distracts from accomplishing their goals. It also makes loot distribution really hard because no one wants to pass gear to people they will never see again. Even people running with consistent groups made of members who aren’t in the same guild are better than random invites for inconsistent groups.
With guild runs, you are part of a team, and you can’t treat it like you would a PUG (heck, you shouldn’t even treat Pugs the way I just described treating Pugs). As part of a consistent raiding group that usually have the same core of members, you have to care about the progress of the whole team, and understand how parts of your team work together. I miss whenever one of our healing team is gone, because they fill a really important role as part of the healing team (for example: we struggled on Yogg +3 last week because we didn’t have enough magic dispels, since our pally healer was gone).
It doesn’t matter who came out first on a meter for any fight, especially for healing. It matters if the boss died or didn’t die, or if you kept alive the people you were assigned to healing. If you stood in a fire, spamming heals on yourself to look good for a meter, then you aren’t really doing your team any good at all. If damage dealers stand in a fire and expects the healers to keep them alive, then they aren’t doing their team any good even if they are normally the highest DPS for that third of a fight when they are alive.
Healing spells and other tools for priests, druids, paladins, and shaman are designed to work together in a raiding environment. They aren’t designed for competing on a healing meter. So, some days I like to forget about those dumb statistics, and just focus on being part of the team. Some days, I just review my personal performance on a World of Logs report after the raid instead of having a “recount” box taking up space on the screen (and distracting from what is important). When I have recount running, I still keep it minimized during fights, and I only pull it up to review my performance after fights when we’re waiting for the next one to start (and I really only use it to see % of healing done from what spell when I’m resto, along with my DPS when I’m moonkin).
I really wish meters could give a ranking for who reacted best to various events that happened in the fight, or who worked best as part of a team. However, there aren’t numerical values we can assign to these qualities or skills. So, when you are working with your guild (as a healer, or as DPS, or maybe even a tank!), think about what it means to be a good member of the team. Focus on what it means to work together with the other healers in your raid, rather than trying to compete against them. Everyone wins when your raid works together to accomplish the goal, when everyone is aware of their surroundings (and when they need to move!), and everyone respects the other players in their raid enough to be happy when other people in the group do well. That ends the day with less drama, less pain, and less hurt feelings.