MMO Melting Pot brought my attention about a new debate going on on the blogosphere : Tobold thinks that the lack of healers and tanks in LFD is due to a lack of social responsibility from people playing dps.
Not having a lot of time for reading blogs, I discovered this debate a few days late, but Tobold post is so much the contrary of how I feel about wow that I have to bring my 2 coppers to this discussion.
First, Tobold assumes that dps is the most sexy role in a group and that it’s normal than everyone should want to play DPS, and think that healers and tanks should be rewarded for doing an “harder and thankless job”. Well, that is his opinion about tanking, healing and DPSing.
Personally, I feel the other way. I love healing, and I healed for so long now it is like a second nature. Of course, healing Cataclysm heroics wasn’t easy at the beginning. But, if you’re a musician, I feel healing a new instance a bit like playing a new piece of music. At the beginning you don’t know what you’ll have to do next and you have to think hard for each new note, or for each spell you cast. But you never forgot where the C is on your instrument. And that makes you feel confident.
My guild being a bit heavy on the healer side, I had to dps a few times in heroics. And it made me feel a bad, or, at least, not a good player. I always make mistakes, like forget to run out of the bad, or forget to interrupt as I try to focus on my dps cycle. Then I look at the meter and am like “Oh man, this level 84 kitty beat me again ” . When playing a dps in a dungeon, you have to make a special effort in order to be the best, or at least, not the worst. While healing or tanking, you can’t be the worst. The team succeed, you succeed. If the team didn’t succeed, yes, maybe you made something wrong, but it may be the others’ fault too. While DPSing, you’re in a constant competition with the other DPSer. Even if you don’t care for the meters, you need to use your utility spells wisely: unlike the tank or the healer, these utility spells are the only thing you should focus about, and you don’t have any excuse if you fail. Well, that’s how I feel when I dps, but for me going out of the bad as a melee DPSer, doing my dps cycle right, using my CDs, all that every day’s stuff is hard enough to require my entire focus.
On the healer side, you just have to keep enough people alive until the boss die, and you did your job. If there’s something you don’t feel like you can do it well while healing, you just need to say it and people try to help you in your task. People won’t kick you because once you couldn’t interrupt spell A and save Mister Mage from the bad while keeping the tank alive. Generally, people don’t except the healer to do anything more than healing.
A few days ago, I did a random dungeon with my level 83 Hunter and found myself in Stonecore. I wasn’t in a big shape and didn’t play hunter in a group for a few month, so I wasn’t The-Best-Hunt-Ever. Well, in fact I was a typical huntard. I didn’t misdirect, I kept mistaking Freezing Trap and Ice Trap and aggroed a trash pack the tank had passed (he shouldn’t have passed it in my opinion, but still). On the previous instance, it was even worse. I may have casted 2 or 3 Misdirection in the whole dungeon, but I let my pet on auto-taunting (don’t do that on the 3rd boss!) and pulled a pack with an Ice Trap while the tank was jumping near Corla.
That’s just an example, but each time I switch to dps I trun into à complete noob. And that isn’t a question of class knowledge, it’s the same when I play enhance on my beloved Shaman. I do poor dps (not that pipe actually, but I feel like I should do so much better) and am unable to bring any utility to the group without screwing it up. While healing, most often I can interrupt when need, hex and bind an elemental at the same time, dispell the good stuff on the bad guys…
I digressed, but the point is : I don’t think people don’t heal or tank because it is too hard. It isn’t harder, it is different. It is much more like Big Bear said : people are accustomed to DPSing because they need to dps while leveling. Most people must think than DPSing in instance is easier because it’s like DPSing while leveling solo. They think it’s easier because they think other group member won’t notice the mistakes made by one DPSer among 3. But they’re wrong. The healer does notice if they stand in the bad, if they do half the dps of the others, if they don’t use CC or utility spells, if they pull aggro… They don’t think than in order to be a good dps, you need to compet with 3 DPSer. In order to be a good tank or healer, you just need to bring the group alive to the end of the dungeon.
Also, there’s another reason about the lack of tanks especially. And that’s a very pragmatic reason. In Wrath, in a 25-man raid, you had 2 tanks, 5 healers and a 18 DPSer. That’s enough tanks for 2 groups, enough healer for 5 groups, and enough DPS for 6 groups.
As to how solve that problem… Hey ! I won’t tell you, I love playing a healer in a world where there are too much DPSer!