This floats around in my mind because I recently encountered in a scenario the “you are a healing class ..HEAL”-yells at a shaman.. It’s always nice if you are getting told how you should play your char ;)
There is this well-know trinity of tank-healer-dps in most MMOs and everyone is used to this division of classes/careers. In WAR the careers are to some degree different than the normal healing-classes known from other games and therefore I think that some folks out there should get used to the fact that the healer is doing more than just keeping you alive.
Out of the six healing classes only the Runepriest and Zealot have no mechanics-overlay on their healing ability, leaving them to the role of the traditional healer-career. They keep standing back, watch at the health bars of their mates and move around to be able to heal everyone. Because of the lack of any mechanic you can play them as healbots, with the only allowed form of existence is that they heal.
The other four careers have additional mechanics which allow different play styles. Of course they allow healbotting if rightly specced, but it’s not the only possibility. Lets take a closer look.
Warrior Priest (side note: I think it’s quiet funny that this is translated in the German version as “Sigmar Priester” = Sigmar Priest) and Disciple of Khaine need to hit someone to be get Righteous fury/Blood essence. (Because I’m lazy I will now only refer to the WP. I hope that you DoK’s aren’t offended too much ; )) This RF is the fuel for the heals: No RF = No heal. Easy, eh? It get complicated when you are out there trying to hit stuff as this means that you aren’t back there in the more or less safety of the caster camp. If you stand back there, you’ll have to equip a book to get a bit of RF/s regen, but still need to stop healing from time to time as you need to convert AP into RF. Standing right beside the tanks or in the enemy caster camp is really fun, but also a great stress moment. You don’t only have to follow what is happening around you (and with all those melee fights around you, there is much action), but you have also to heal, select you offensive target and survive if getting focused by the enemy casters as they think of you as an easy target… This is no easy task and many players have to get used to it.. So be patient with them, especially when someone is new in the tier.
I’m drifting a bit away.. The point is, WP’s can be specced to dps more .. So don’t expect them to just healbot. This is their choice of how they want to play the game. On the other hand even a dps-skilled healer has to adjust his tactics. Getting in the thick of the fight and smashing foes is ok when there are additional healers around, so that this all works together. If there is no other healer around, the play style has to be altered as you will be prime target for the enemy. So even someone who’s dps-specced can get into the situation of healbotting. If this is a situation where the WP has to change the play style is not your decision, but his/hers. You can make the WP aware of the lack of other healers, but there is no need of a great amount of capital letters or too many exclamation marks.. with too many being more than one ;)
I focused on WP because I play one. In principle the same applies to Archmages and Shamans. There is just one point you have to take care of when playing a healer who is specced on dps.
If you choose to spec on dps, than do it! Like I’m used to say “Dead enemies don’t do any damage!”, but if you aren’t able to do a good amount of damage, then there is something going wrong. Either it’s your play style, class-balance, problem with gear, etc.. You have to adjust to it as doing not much damage and not much healing is counter-productive in two ways. That hurts more than just a dps-career which fails to do its part. Don’t stick on a label given by others or even yourself. Adapt to the situations (especially in RvR) and you can be effective as a dps-specced healer, because you do damage and additionally some amount of healing.