Monday, June 21, 2010

Does jumping straight into heroics at 80 make me a leech?

Do you always pull your own weight in a group? Does it make you cringe if you don’t? And how do you tell if a healer is carried in a five-man group? Can he or she basically be carried at all? And is it OK to jump straight into heroics as soon as you’ve dinged 80? This is the topic for today’s discussion at the Pink Pigtail Inn.

I’m in a confessional mood today, so let’s start it from there.

The shame of being carried
I can as well tell you right away: I haven’t always pulled my own weight in groups over the years I’ve been playing. There have been moments when my mage has been crawling in the sewer below the tank, barely beating the healer on the damage chart.

And the funny thing is that for a long while I had no idea that I actually was carried. I didn’t have any damage meter or even know that such things existed. I felt ashamed when it dawned upon me, Swedish as I am.

You see one of the most conspicuous national traits of our people is the obsession with the idea of being self sufficient. As a good Swede you’re not supposed to owe anyone else anything at any time. This shows in situations which probably would look pretty hilarious to an outsider.

In other countries – as I’ve been told – it’s considered normal, polite and expected that if you’re visiting a restaurant, someone will take the bill for the entire party. They know that next time someone else will pay and eventually it will even out. But so not in Sweden, oh no! In a Swedish restaurant, the bill will be split up. And sharing it evenly isn’t enough; every one will scrutinize the receipt, not hesitating to ask the serving staff for a calculator if necessary to make sure that no one by accident will pay a single cent more than they should. I’m not kidding. I’ve seen parties ending a lovely dinner spending 15-20 minutes or even more on the payment procedure.

Coming from this, you can imagine how I feel if I notice I’m falling behind in an instance party. It makes me cringe.

It happens – rarely - that I’m in the opposite situation, topping the damage chart in my PUG group thanks to superior gear. I don’t mind at all. I will carry my less fortunate fellow dps:ers and I’ll smile happily on the way! All I ask for is that they do their best, contributing with whatever they can. So what if it takes us a little bit longer to beat the content? Given the choice between being carried or carrying others as a dps:er, I’ll go for the last option, any day.

Struggling in normals
However: the last few days I’ve once again found myself in the role of a leech. At least I think I’ve been leeching, I’m not entirely sure. Judge for yourself.

The story is that I’ve finally gotten my third character to level 80 and like most players in this situation, I boldly ventured on my dungeon-grinding tour, hoping to gear up the druid, improve my healing skills and have some fun on the way.

To begin with I only signed up for the normal modes, even though the dungeon finder would admit me into several of the heroics. After all, I was dressed in blues. Shouldn’t I at least get myself some emblem gear and a few crafted purple pieces, maybe buying some BoE:s, before stepping up in difficulty level? As the “good girl” and Swede I am, I wanted to make sure that I did the “right thing”.

And maybe it was morally correct, but it certainly gave me a headache. Far from being easier than the heroics, those normal modes were rather a super-hard mode. Every single time I ended up as the only level 80 in a group where everyone else was level 78 or 79. The tanks were without exceptions death knights, and suddenly the name of the class got an entirely new meaning. Death was the word, and my heart sank whenever I saw their squishy little bodies go “splat”. I couldn’t help blaming myself (healer guilt, you know), and I wondered if I had been foolish to believe that I would have what it takes to become a reliable tree. I won’t lie to you; it was pretty depressing.

When I mentioned this to a guildie, he just laughed at my foolishness, saying that I was doing it wrong. Why didn’t I go for the heroics, like everyone else? People are so well geared these days, he said, that they don’t need that much of healing. I would be fine in there.

Reluctantly I gave it a try. It would offer me better loot and more badges, and after all – why should I distrust the gearscore that is built into the dungeon finder tool? If I wasn’t prepared to run a certain instance, I would be locked out from it.

Leeching in heroics
My legs trembled nervously as I entered my first heroic, which turned out to be Gundrak. I greeted the party, and couldn’t refrain from babbling insecurely, asking them to take it a bit careful since I was new to healing and badly geared. They just laughed it away: “No problem, we all have to start somewhere!” and with concern about me, they also made sure to take time to do the extra boss, so I could get a couple of more badges.

My friend had been totally right. The full epic geared warrior tank barely got a scratch, regardless of how big packs he pulled. I dutifully kept dotting people with HoTs, as a safety measure, giving me something to do. But it was barely needed. We reached the end quickly enough without a single death.

Was I carried through the instance? I suppose I was. I doubt the run would have been as smooth if everyone else in the party had been at my gear level. I was relying on them.

Did the group feel that I was a burden, dragging them down? Probably not. I don’t think a better geared healer would have made a huge difference to the run. They might have skipped the extra boss if I wasn’t there, but that’s all. As long as the party stays alive, can you really say that the healer has been carried?

Strengthened by this experience I checked the heroic box for the next instance. And then I did it again. And again. The results were similar: it worked just fine. I wouldn’t do this as a tank, and possibly not as a dps, but I tell you - as a healer, you’re way better off in a heroic instance than in normal.

Yet I can’t rid myself of the nagging suspicion that I was a leech after all. In the end, there were other players who took a bigger share of the bill. I heard this little voice telling me that I should call on the waitress, borrow a calculator, and settle my debts.

This doesn’t prevent me from keep signing up for heroics though. Why would I pick the normal one when all I get is a repair bill and severely bruised self confidence?

Carrying or being carried
A final thought on carrying and being carried. It’s easy to get blinded by the dazzling, seemingly scientific, unquestionable numbers on the damage chart, forgetting about everything else. But the truth is that the guys who are subscribing for the first place in your raid sometimes are carried by they ones who always dwell in the bottom. Only in another sense.

Who is the one who provides the spirit, the force and the giggles that keeps your guild going through times of hardships? What is he if not a carrier, and what is the constantly disgruntled, unsatisfied guy who never provides anything but negative energy, if not a leech?

There are many ways to carry. There are many ways to be carried. And maybe we should do as they do abroad: take turns in paying the bill and feel confident in doing so. It will all even out in the end.


Anonymous said...

I'm much like you, but I've gotten used to the fact that much like life, there will always be someone doing the lion's share of the work. Blizzard's ingame GS does a good job of protecting you from an instance that is far too brutal for your current gear and from having people carry you through HHoR in blues. I would say that finally getting your first "hard" 5man will do wonders to boosting your confidence.

May your first HHoR be a good one!

Klepsacovic said...

Yes, but a small one. Heh, gnomes.

As a healer you're helping to speed up queue times, so even if you make for a slower instance, the net effect is faster. Strangely, the 'leeching' healer is noticed, while the bad DPS who are pushing out other, better, DPS, aren't so much.

Busket said...

I guess it's leeching but I'd say in general I don't have a problem with healers or DPS jumping to heroics straight at 80. That's assuming they don't play unconsciously, of course.

For a healer, if people aren't dying, I feel like you're doing your job. If you end up in a group and can't keep people alive, you'll probably get booted pretty fast because people love to blame healers and poorly geared healers even more. So in that sense I don't feel like you have to worry about much. You either have a successful run or get booted fast, you're not really wasting anyone's time.

For DPS, I apply the old 1500 standard. When heroics first opened about 1500 dps was demanded from each DPS, and I've had almost no problems hitting that number with fresh 80s, even when mostly in quest greens. With aoe, good skills, and the LFD random buff, it's usually not too hard to pull your weight as DPS.

Tanks are their own thing unfortunately. I'd want to be uncrittable (stupidly easy for bears) and have 30k health before I went in. Not that I think 30k health is necessary, but groups tend to get ornery with lower geared tanks and I'd just want to avoid that.

Of course, having said all that...I think there's something to be said for sticking with the normal runs if those are the ones providing a challenge. When you're the one who has to do the carrying, you get better. Healers need their mental scars anyway, toughens us up :) .

Andy said...

Think of it this way: if you'd been in full T10, with fancy trinkets from ICC25, would you still be a leech in a heroic? You'd have even less to do since your HoTs would be so much more powerful.

About the only thing a healer can do to feel useful when paired with an overgeared tank is to DPS stuff (or ask the tank to put some DPS gear on).

Perhaps a good way to go would be asking in trade chat if any new 80 tanks want to do an instance with you. At least then you'll have something to do :)

Redbeard said...

I've been carried before as a healer, mainly due to the tank and mage I've hung around with being overpowered in their own right. I developed some bad habits about healing, and I never realized how undergeared and underpowered I was until I got sent into my first heroic, Trial of the Champion, complete with Paletress. It was then that I realized how far I needed to go as a healer.

I switched to DPS instead, which was easier to be undergeared for. I haven't taken up healing as a Pally again until I started up an Alliance Paladin and have been leveling him through instances.

My experiences have made me sensitive to the needs of new 80s, so I'm perfectly fine with slowing my DPS rotation down and helping to carry a group.

I’ve seen parties ending a lovely dinner spending 15-20 minutes or even more on the payment procedure.

I guess the person who invented separate checks was a Swede, because it sounds perfect for this scenario.

Flyhard said...

I don't think that it is leeching. If you are geared mostly in blues, you should be able to bear your weight in heros. Has a healer, you are in the "privileged" position of profiting of better gear of the tanks - but even with a weaker tank, you should be fine.

Just remember not to measure yourself against what other group member do (especially as DPS). A DPS that does about 2k DPS on a boss is doing fine - even if everyone else is doing 8k.

In my opinion, leeching starts when you are equipped/skilled in a way that a full group with your gear-level would not be able to do the dungeon - and Wrath Heroics are designed for blue/green equiped ppl.

Even in ToC10 you could join without being leeching - if you make perfectly clear where you are gearwise with the char. This isn't your first char, and you are probably able to execute the Bossfights better than someone who is there for the first time, but fully geared for it. There are people who have done Ulduar in full blues (not a single epic in the raid) - and it wouldn't surprise me, if Toc was done the same way.

Pumpkin_King said...

Considering that I qued for a heroic the *second* my hunter hit 80 yesterday, I don't think it's leeching. Maybe it's a reflection of the "restaurant" attitude you mentioned earlier, but I have carried more heroics than I can count on my main. I dunno, maybe I feel as if it's owed me. :P

Dwism said...

You don't dot people with hots, you hot people with hots.
Damn damage dealers ;P

Anyway. I am having a similar experience with my hunter. He is in half greens (i kid you not) and even one karazhan neck piece. And noone cares.
Whereas on my new tank in all ilvl200+ got heckled in *every single instance by every single player*.... /sigh

Dwism said...

Oh and about feeling guilty? I run a couple of pugs on my main, then karma is set right back into place :D

Inquisitor said...

If someone turns up to a run I'm in with a positive attitude, as much competence as can be expected for their level of experience, willingness to learn where necessary, and apply learning the rest of the time...

Then I don't consider them a leech, and I don't think of myself as carrying them, no matter *what* their gear, DPS or honest mistakes.

Being level 80 and competent is enough for the group to go at reasonable speed, and that's what you're asked to provide. (Yes, this applies to the tank. I've seen some bleeding amazing tanking out of new 80s, including one who I asked what else he'd tanked on, and claimed nothing).

The 2 minutes someone saves by bringing an extra 2k DPS isn't worth as much to me as someone bringing the right attitude, and cooperative play. As with most tanks, I actually have to *slow down* when I get impatient DPS, since I need to keep cooldowns and capacity spare to deal with them potentially ninjapulling at any time, and generally need to do crazy burst-threat moves to keep pulls under control.

Ratshag said...

Heroics is the kiddie pool of WoW these days, and yets they's full of Olympic-level swimmers. Yer gonna get pulled along in the current, whether yer "carrying yer weight" or not, so don't stress it.

If'n yer trying to learn ta play yer class with an alt, howevers, I suggest running more normals. Folks there tend ta be a lot closers ta the design-level, both in gear and skill. Even if is a good crew running smooth, ya still gets time fer ta practice yer rotation or use all yer spells or whatevers. But ya gets a lot less badgers that way.

Is all a question of what yer lookin' fer.

Red said...

As a prot pally, I don't mind if people are new, as long as they can keep up, are willing to learn, ask questions, and take criticism.

I usually don't need much healing, and actually enjoy having lower geared people at times, so I get to tank something other than H HoR.

I have been "last man standing" on a few bosses in different heroics (Skadi, Cloudstrider in oculus both come to mind) because I am over geared and know the encounters fairly well. Not everyone knows there will be whirlwind or death beams to watch out for, and you just have to try to get through it.

Now, if it was a harder dungeon, and you can't down mobs fast enough (VH, HoR, for example) you may need to cut the lowest dps and find another one. As long as the tank is over geared (I have gone as dps and found woefully geared tanks) then the healer is just there to keep the dps alive.

Just remember the old saying: If the tank dies, it's the healers fault, if the healer dies, it's the tanks fault, if the dps dies, they need to watch their aggro meter closer. (of course, death lasers, void zones and other boss gimmicks withstanding)

Bronte said...

I personally feel it is incredibly hard to 'carry' a healer through an instance. A crappy tank can be made up, in part, but a powerful healer. But a shitty healer will, in most cases, lead to tank and/or group deaths.

I always feel guilty when my group wipes in 5-mans especially. We are at a gear stage when 5-mans should be a breeze, but stupid mistakes happen occasionally, or maybe its the notion of "lol itz jst n ezmode 5-mn!" that throws you off of your game. But every time a group wipes, whether it is a 50K health bear tank getting over-zealous in the gauntlet in Stratholme (happened yesterday), or a DPS'er being too careless with jumping around and into other mobs (also happened yesterday), I somehow feel guilty. Tank pulled too many? I should be able to heal through it. DPS ninja-pulled another pack? I should be able to heal through it.

Which brings me to an interesting question Larisa, is it an in-built psychological mechanism, blaming yourself for a wipe, even when it wasn't your fault, because we take too much pride in our toons? Or is it a WoW-culture induced phenomenon, where the group will always blame the "shitty healing" no matter who or what is at fault?

Anonymous said...

I just recently found myself struggling with this question myself. My holy pally just hit 80 and it was my first healer. I didn’t feel that I deserved to go to heroics because, I did not have any epics and had struggled a bit in the 78-79 runs. So, I end up doing a couple of Normal Trial of Champions runs (only because I had 2 guildmates – tank, shadow priest) because there were a couple good drops, the SP would help just by being there and in the worst scenario, the SP is dual specced and is a really good healer.

We went through a number of times and I only really had a little problem when we started getting the fear from the “memory” phase.

After that I had a couple pieces made and was suddenly sporting 4 epics. Feeling a bit more confident, I queued for regular FoS with my tank buddy. (and yes, I realize these are harder than most of the heroics…but it’s still “regular). Well, we made it through with only one wipe and a couple other random deaths. Didn’t feel too great about it, but then realized the tank was the best dps at 1800 and the one complainer was a rogue who was doing 1000 dps. That’s when I realized that I did really good considering the 3 dps’ers combined did what at least 1 dps’er will do by himself in most heroics I’m in.

So, I finally queue for my first random heroic….and it’s FoS. Got one of those tanks that rarely slows, so it’s a bit of a challenge, but lowest dps is 2800, so it’s quite a stronger group thean when I did this on regular. Long story short, 2 deaths, one on each boss. Not perfect, but feeling much more confident.

I guess bringing this back to the leech point – I’ve actually found myself performing much better in the heroics than I had in the regulars. I’m not perfect by any means, but weighing a random heroic versus a regular UP and I’m going to have to take the heroic each time and won't feel bad about it. As long as you are up-front and ask the tank to move a bit slowly if necessary, I wouldn't call anyone a leech.

-Grainger, Garithos

Christina said...

As a healer - not leeching. Yes, the group carried you a teeny bit, insofar as they didn't need you to be a raid geared healer. (Actually, in most heroics anymore I'm dpsing half the time, because otherwise I twiddle my thumbs.)

The LFG tool has no wait for tanks, and about a min or less for heals. You aren't a leech because you are enabling a group to get off the ground. You aren't ready for ToC or the icc5s, but anywhere else you are letting those hideous dps queues pop faster.

You aren't shirking your bill, you are calling the ahead and getting reservations for your party of 5.

And heroics are for gearing up as well as frost badges.

If I go in on my raid geared hunter or my raid geared tree, I expect to "carry" the group. If the tank drops, I can heal my dps through most non-icc heroic bosses while we wait for a new tank. As a dps, I can get us through a heroic quickly. If it isn't HoR, I don't care if the other 2 dps are below the tank. I'll do my thing whether I'm fighting for recount dominance or doing 70% of the damage, and if the boss drops someone upgrades instead of shards, I'll ./cheer.

Argon said...

I think the first thing people should do when they hit 80 is to chain run regular ToC. Every drop is a really good epic, and there's little trash. Much better return per hour than a heroic, at least for getting to the point where you can do a heroic without feeling bad. Most people will be about as geared as you, not more or less.

Softi said...

I feel the same as you, but as a dps in not such great gear I feel bad when I see that I'm not doing so well with my DPS. I feel like I'm being carried through. I always tell the group that I'm in if I don't know the instance too well, and so far, they take the time to accomodate me.

I've been tanking on my warrior since about level 72 and as I get closer to 80 I am starting to worry about going into heroics. If I'm not def capped I know I'll cause problems with getting critted, but how can I get better gear without going into heroics to begin with? It's a toughy but I guess I'll just need to wait to figure it out!

Bri said...

I've always found groups are more charitable towards new healers than DPS or tanks.

A new DPS player will have low DPS, which will be glaringly obvious to all the other DPS and their meters, and can be replaced in seconds. A new tank gets no end of grief as people have to wait, or God forbid throttle back their own damage.

A new healer is only really beholden to one player of the group -- the tank. And that tank knows how painful it is to start in one of those 2 jobs, so there's a natural sympathy.

You're not being a leech by starting heroics in gear they were meant to be run in, and not in gear more powerful than anything that even existed in the game when those heroic dungeons were developed.

Gevlon said...

Since you were healer, the queue was faster to them, so you contributed to the run largely. You also did your job by keeping them alive. The fact that they might be able to do it without you does not change it.

If you would be DPS, the "leech or not" question depends on "would 5 similar guys could clear the instance". If you do 1500 DPS, you are OK, even if everyone else do 5K.

Gronthe said...

When I started healing on my shaman it wasn't until I had actually collected a pretty descent healing gear set. Lucky for me the first 10 dungeons I ran were with guildies because I sucked. I didn't understand my spells, I had terrible reaction times, and we wiped a bunch.

Point is, once I learned how to play as a healer I no longer felt like I was a leech. Fresh 80's can well run heroics with or without an uber-geared group carrying them as long as people know how to play their class/spec. It seems that you know what you're doing, therefore in no way would I consider it leeching.

hound said...

This is funny because just yesterday, or the day before, I ran a heroic and someone posted a damage meter and said, "I am at number two, this is not good."

I assume it was the tank, but I really didn't pay that much attention. However I was certain that my being number three on the list was an issue.

So, I stopped giving out commanding shout and stopped sundering, since those two extra tasks were taking away "precious" seconds from my dps buttons.

The rest of the run I just spammed my heroic strike, execution, and whirlwind, and that flurry thing. Didn't get anymore complaints, didn't get another meter post, and didn't get dumped from the run.

I think it is unfair for people decked out in item level 240+ gear to crap all over lesser-geared people who are otherwise geared appropriately, just not uber.

If you can't spare an extra 5-10 minutes in the run, then get out of my leisure game.

Dan said...

Just this weekend I did a couple heroics on my second best geared character, a holy pally. In short, I did "carry" a few groups through heroics as a healer. This character's gear is 100% crafted epic, badge gear (or gear acquired in the process of gathering badges) or world drop and was told her "gear score" (addon) was in the 5.1k range. I ran an easy 6-8 heroics in 3 or 4 different groups, most of which where I far exceeded the gear levels of all others in the group, even going so far as running Pit of Saron with a tank in the average item level range of 213 who was not crit immune. One group had two VERY fresh 80s - as in hitting 80 mere hours before our acquaintance - testing my ability as a raid healer to the max.
For those not familiar, holy pallies are single or dual target healers who in a raid environment can heal a group of players standing close together in a similar fashion as a resto shaman can, but instead of using a spell designed for such use, holy pallies use a glyph which adds such an effect to our very large heal. Those fresh 80s could be healed to near full health by my non-critical Holy Lights, which hit for somewhere between 12k and 14k (crit for 18-21k) depending on trinket use. Some splash damage effects heroic bosses use require minimum health pools of around 16k to survive. These poor souls had 13-15k and were frequently lost to random targeted specials.
To be bluntly honest, I believe the healer who can best "carry" low geared players is a discipline priest. Having a tree, a resto shaman and a holy pally has convinced me that they're excellent PvE healers with their own niches but they just aren't the best in random heroics.
I'm not the best healer in the world - I've proved that during Children's Week in battlegrounds on my tree (PvP healing is a whole different ballgame - I salute healer Gladiators!) - but given enough focus, determination and practice, just about anyone can be a good healer.

Angelya said...

When I first started out healing heroics I found people were perfectly lovely and helpful when I said, "This is my first time healing a heroic, please be nice". The same goes with newbie tanks, I have no problem helping them out at all. There's nothing wrong with letting people know you're new - and if they don't think so, then they've obviously never played a healer or a tank!

Syrien said...

I'm curious, what did you do on your mage? Back when wrath was new I recall still junmping right into heroics at 80, having a blast doing it with friends. Wrath heroics are tuned so that this works. (remembering the giants in heroic Underbog early in my lvl 70 healer carrier still gives me nightmares though....)

I guess it comes down to, do you agree with Gevlon in that it is good enough to know people of your hear lvl could have cleared the place? Then you're not carrier as a dps at 1500+, you're not carried as a healer who can heal through most stuff (some dps, like mages, can be very squishy - if a mage overaggroes on a massive aoe pull, would you as mage blame the healer if you died?A few deaths like that, or people not getting out of fire, does not mean you are not good enough).

That said, 5-man-healing in a world where cc is a bannable offense can be rougher on some healers, personally I found I had an easier time as a disc priest than as a holy pally when getting the hang of the icc 5 -mans. My druid is not at 80 yet, so no idea how they are relatively speaking, but I hope the combo of knowing the places + hots works out nicely for you :)

Mister K said...

Its impossible not to leech a little unless your running with the same 5 other people all the way to 80 and beyond and then 5 to 20 more that all leveled at the same time as you. There is always going to be better and lesser geared people in every run. Its just how it goes. I feel as long as you are contributing solidly and doing your job then by all means leech away til its not fun anymore.

Larísa said...

@Anonymous: Yeah, actually I feel a bit grateful about the built-in GS. You don’t see it, there are no numbers to brag about or judge people on. But I trust on their call in this. They won’t let me inside until I’m ready for it.

@Klepsacovic: Are you sure about that? I always thought undergeared, leeching dps were much more viewable. Aren’t people just grateful about having a healer? Anyone. Rather than waiting in an endless queue.

@Busket: Haha… I haven’t been booted yet, but yeah, that day might come. I’m still very fresh and not confident in what I’m doing. I hope my bark skin is thick enough to handle it when it happens.

You have a point about that it’s better to do the harder normals than the easier heroics if you want a challenge. However: as said: the normals have been really disheartening experiences. I wouldn’t mind doing them in an all-guild group. But to enter them with my own, confronting yet another squishy go-go-go minded DK tank. No thanks.

@Andy: In one of my heroic dungeon runs we actually got a fresh 80 in horrible gear. We had a couple of wipes on trash. But this hadn’t so much to do with the fact that he and I were badly geared – the problem was that he pulled way too many mobs and played pretty carelessly, not caring at all about waiting for me to get mana, even though I pledged him to.
I felt more useful in this run, definitely.

I think the best thing would be to do all-guild runs with players at the same gear level, finding appropriate challenges. While pugging I think I’ll stick to the heroics.

@Redbeard: Yeah, I think you’re right. I might get a very harsh awakening when the more difficult heroics will be opened up for me. Not to speak of raiding, but at the moments I have no plans whatsoever to do that. I don’t think I’m qualified.

@Flyhard: I think you’re perfectly right about measuring yourself against yourself rather than to the group. Leeching to me is more about going AFK, tabbing out, not participating actively in finishing the instance.

@Pumpkin King: Hehe, payback time. You deserve it. 

@Dwism: yeah, tanking is different. The attitudes I meet when I pug with my lvl 41 tank keep putting me off. Complaints about gear, complaints about speed. You name it. It’s no wonder that tanks are few and far between.

@Inquisitor: Oh, I’d so like to pug with you. That’s a nice attitude, really.
I don’t mind when people point out mistakes I do , coming with suggestions. I’ve got it a couple of times on my druid, and I always thank them warmly and try to apply their ideas.

@Ratshag: I hear what you say. I’d love to learn my class and for that reason normals are probably better. But then I’d like to do them with guildies. I’m too soft skinned to take more of impatient pugs that go crazy after one wipe with a super squishy dk tank… If the result of that kind of experiences is that it kills my interest for tree healing, I think I’m better off staying in the heroics than to get a softer start in my healing career. Even though I’ll have to step up at some point.

Larísa said...

@Red: Hehe, I guess having done UP 30+ times on my mage helps me a bit. I know to stay out of that whirl… And yeah, there’s something in that saying. But I still can’t stop feeling guilty about any death, be it a dps standing in fire. I’m soft in that way.

@Bronte: The gult. Oh yes. I know it too well. I think they should open up a therapy clinic in Ironforge where you can slip in after your pug run and cry on a shoulder.

@ Grainger, Garithos, that was really ambitious! Maybe you’re right. I should bug guildies and see if I could assemble a normal ToC run and see if I can heal through it properly…

@Christina: ”You aren't shirking your bill, you are calling the ahead and getting reservations for your party of 5.” That’s a way to see it too. Makes me feel a bit better about it.

@Argon: It sounds like a good idea and it definitely will be challenging enough.

@Softi: It’s really a dilemma when people expect you to be super geared as you start out. There is a reason why you’re doing the instances after all – that you actually might need the gear that is in there.

@Bri: Oh, the tank-healer bond. Yeah. I’ve learned to appreciate it already! No runs are like the ones where you get along well, have the same rhythm in your blood sort of.

@Gevlon: the ”five similar guys” criteria actually is a good mark.

@Gronthe: To be honest I don’t think I know as much about what I’m doing as I should. But I don’t think I’ll learn this best by reading about it; I want to learn by doing. The ideal really would be to have an all-guild group, where you actually have time and possibility to also talk a little bit about what you’re doing and pick up good suggestions.

@Hound: oh, the e-peen waving among dps:ers. Yeah. It’s not only annoying, it’s actually destructive since it’s that kind of crap that makes mages stop decursing and counterspelling and so on. It teaches you bad habits since you eventually will play stupidly as long as it makes the complainers shut up.
Fortunately enough I don’t think I’ll see much of that crap on my healer.

@Dan: Well, I was writing from the perspective of being carried. But it sounds enjoyable to carry others as a healer as you did. You’re really master over life and death!

@Angelya: I’m considering doing some sort of macro like that to announce at the start of a run. At least I want to make a one-button macro to shout for mana break. I sometimes struggle with that. Before I’ve been able to say stop, the tank has pulled the boss.

@Syrien: well… I’m thinking about my first instance runs back in the vanilla instances when I really didn’t know what I was doing. Scarlet Monestary, Zul Farrak, Stratholm… Hopefully I’m doing better now. But it still happens in raids that require a lot of movement, such as my hate boss Hodir, that I end up far too low on the damage charts for me to be happy about it. I hate it because it makes me feel a little bit carried.

In 5-man heroics nowadays I honestly don’t think I’m ever carried. But then I basically don’t do them anymore on my mage.
And yes: knowing the instances from doing them way to much on my main probably helps out quite a deal compared to if this had been my first character.

@Mister K: Yeah. I suppose so. Just thinking a bit aloud!

Klepsacovic said...

What I meant is that a weak healer is more noticeable than a weak DPS, simply due to there not being two other people to cover for you. People are happy to have a healer, so they are consciously glad the healer is there. What they cannot see as easily is the bad DPS who got in the queue ahead of them and made them wait 10 more minutes, so they cannot appropriately dislike other DPS.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh Heroic ToC 5-man. This is a REALLY good instance for Holy Paladin practice. Did I feel guilty about seeing groups wipe when I first started in there? You better believe it. Was it worth it? I think I am a MUCH better Healadin for it. Regular ToC5 is also a pretty good starting place.

Holy Light is your friend. Stacking on P3 of Black Knight and making use of the Glyph of Holy Light should help you out.

2nd Nin said...


If you have the crafted 245 items for your class then no. Otherwise likely yes.


Its really not worth buying much beyond those now given how fast you outgear anything but the chest and wrist items from ToC so that becomes the standard...

Derkhan said...

I don't think you are leeching or anyone who actually puts effort in is doing so. Heroics were meant to be done in sub i-level blues. Its not anyones fault most 80s are geared up in badge gear. Seriously you can blow through them once you have 200 gear. So the disparity in gear is bound to be great for new 80s. Anyway I would say you are doing the team a service, maybe they will pay attention instead of zapping through like zombies. Zombies who don't talk or even try to act like the want or need a actual challenge.

james said...

I would only call it being carried if you had another healing capable person in the fight who had to help heal. closest I have come (well geared pally tank t10+ gearing) is leaving on my raid tanking gear (more health and mitigation, as apposed to the pure dps plate I replace half of my gear with normally in a pug) and running JoL instead of JoW. That is the only time to be somewhat ashamed, when someone else has to change their play style to match your gear level. The only difference you being overgeared might have made was you contributing to the dps (I had a druid once that would pop into tree form before the trash pull, hot me up and then dps for the entire pull, was a fun fast run) But at least as a tank that isn't something I expect.

And really at least in Heroics dps are a penny a dozen, as long as your tank is happy, you should be.

2nd Nin said...

Yeah, that is the other side of the coin really, heroics (barring toc5, fos, pos, and hor) were tuned to be ilevel 187, as a typical content is designed for a tier below that we are looking at 174 blues (~161 epics).

In other words they were designed to challenge tanks with ~21k health, barely making the defence cap with a healer pushing 19k mana (maybe)... now you can realistically be undergeared for these (my alts never get further than Sholozar in terms of gearing) so you can be carried through, but its not by much. Our definition of carried just changes, now a 4.8kgs wants carried through toc... when we ran it with 4.2k folks initially.

Ngita said...

No it does not, neither for dps if they can maintain that 1500-2k dps mark. Something anyone who actually has a dps spec and close to level 80 gear should be able to maintain.

The only spec that does have to be careful about when the move from normal to heroics is tanks, since the modern group tends to rely so heavily on them. Even then the game tends to be quite optimistic. I got heroic PoS as my 2nd random heroic at 80 on my most recent 80 tank.

Eaten by a Grue said...

I'm genuinely confused. What other alternative is there for a fresh 80 except for heroics?

Video Game Philosopher said...

Unless you are so bad that you are slowing the whole party down, nobody will care.

It's easy to carry a healer by having such great DPS and tank gear that healing is not needed as much.

In general, unless someone complains, don't worry about it. Most people who run randoms are so overgeared for them that its ridiculous.

-VG of

Larísa said...

@Anonymous: eh... I don't it. I'm a tree you know. No holy lights for me.

@2ndNin: well I suppose I should get me some crafted stuff. My leatherworking is pretty high so basically I could make it myself. I guess I haven't made up my mind how serious I am about this alt. But I enjoy her, so who knows...

@Ngita: I think tanks are special in this manner, although many puggers are silly cautious about it, freaking out if the tank is below 40 k health or so, which is ridiculous.

@Eaten by a Grue: The alternative is to do the instances on normal mode for a while until you've geared up with what drops in them and maybe gotten some crafted as well.

@Video Game Philosopher: I actually think I slow down the party way more in normal, since healing a lvl 78 badly geared tank is extremely mana consuming. I spend crazy amounts of time drinking there, as opposed to in a heroic, when I just run along most of the time.

Larísa said...

@Derkhan: actually you have a point about zombies. If I'm on my main I even think the run might be more fun if there are some undergeared people in it.

@James: Right now I won't dare look at any other spells, my tunnel vision is set to the healt bars... But who knows, eventually it sounds like fun to stick in some dps in between. But that's pretty far away.

Olga said...

Did you check those tanks in normal mode dungeons if they are def capped or not?
There's just one entrance barrier to instances - tank's def cap. You can heal in blues, you can dps in blues, you can tank in blues if tank is capped and can hold aggro, it doesn't matter if he is 45k+ or 25k+. What does matter is to be on close gear lvl to dpsers, cause otherwise it will be hard to hold aggro. Well, with some classes and specs.
So i don't agree with you that you was carried. After all, what could geared healer do being in your place? Go dps to make that run 10 seconds faster? :)
Not to mention that Gundrak hc is easier than HoL normal :)

Anonymous said...

"Do you always pull your own weight in a group? Does it make you cringe if you don’t? And how do you tell if a healer is carried in a five-man group? Can he or she basically be carried at all? And is it OK to jump straight into heroics as soon as you’ve dinged 80?"
Yes. Yes. Numbers. Hell yes. Hell no.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

The tank should not need to be def capped to do normal instances, only heroics and raids.

Normal instances don't hit hard enough for crits to two shot a tank, even with <20k health.

You do need to be in tank gear (meaning focus on stam and defense or agi for bears) and have a clue how to play a tank, not merely be a tank class.

what was going on in those normals where you had trouble, larisa? Did you have trouble on single trash pulls or boss fights? or did you have trouble when they acted like an ICCHM geared tank in a heroic and pulled whole rooms at a time without even paying attention to whether you were in range and LoS.

Were the pulls controlled, or was dps getting tons of aggro and other avoidable damage? Were you drawing aggro?

If the any of the latter, then either your tank was no good, or your dps were jerks.

If they were doing single pulls and keeping control, then if their gear and spec were decent, you should have been able to heal them, even in mostly greens.

That said, stepping into heroics right at 80 is perfectly normal if you have mostly blue lvl 78+ gear (or old raid epics from TBC) for dps/healers and if you are defcapped with 25k health as a tank. That's what we all had when we first saw them back in 3.0, and they've been nerfed since then.

I don't remember them being anywhere near as hard as TBC heroics were at 70 then. I distinctly recall them feeling way too easy in all blues.

Of course, I wouldn't actually queue as a tank with 25k health unless you are prepared to deal with a raft of shit.

It's plenty of course, but people don't just want a tank, they want a tank that can carry everybody by practically soloing the instance. Because a 40k+ health 3k dps tank with 50% avoidance (that's just triumph geared) can do with the 3.0 heroics. Maybe not solo, but certainly duo with pretty much anybody that can heal.

They want a tank that can hold aggro even though they do every stupid dps trick in the book, and then down the boss with the healer afk. Basically, they want a run through. and if you aren't geared enough to give it to them, they will act like you shouldn't be there.

Hell they do that with my druid bear who *can* do that (almost solo 3.0 heroics), because he's only ulduar geared, and not ICC geared. It's ridiculous.

Codi said...

It's not leeching. Heroics were designed to get you ilevel 200 gear. Therefore, you should logically be in gear of less then ilevel 200 to run them. :) Heck, when they were released, people would run heroics with -greens- and it was perfectly accepted.

Flairn said...

I've recently been in a similar place with my druid, although I was my main, so I had no crazy ammounts of gold from a rich other toon to pick up BoEs. I went into heroics, my first time, as a dps, in cat form, even though I planned to heal. I did 900 dps my first run, and got called out in chat for it "lol 900 dps drood". But I ignored them and kept on trucking. I hit about 2000 dps before finally, giving up on my cat form.

So I switched to healing heroics. I had barely any PvE gear, and was decked out almost fully in really old PvP gear. Basically only a small step above fresh blues. But, I went for heroics right away. Blizzard designs the heroics to be doable at 80, you're not a leech for hitting things you're ready for.

Also- a rule of thumb. If you're a healer, and people don't die- you are not a leech. After all, that's the healer's only job. Without out the group would wipe, even if the tank is a beast. You need that extra little bit of healing to make heroics really easy.

So no, you aren't a leech for doing your job. You're just doing your job!

Reversion said...

Don't que random regulars. Que for TOC regular. Once you have a few pieces from that go que for the ICC 5 mans. That plus a few pieces of gear you can outrigh buy and you will be heroic geared in no time.

Healers are almost never really carried. If you don't weight the group down then so what. A run with an uber tank and and a weak healer goes just as fast as a run with an uber tank and a solid healer. If the run is not any slower then you are not dragging anyone down.

Jayle said...

I would much rather carry a new level 80 ANY DAY over the person with 5600+ GS who is obviously not paying any attention.

On my mage (with lowly 4800 GS) I often out DPS those with 5600+. It drives me crazy! Do we get the instance done? Yes. Did anyone die? No. But what is the value of getting all the gear if you are only going to twiddle your thumbs? Great gear does not give someone a license to be lazy.

I will take the under-geared idiot who tries over the over-geared person who could careless and doesn't have any pride in their own work.

Holly said...

I will admit to not reading many comments just due to the sheer amount of them x.x and I'm a day late and a dollar saved....but BAD LARISA, BAD!

"I was in blues, maybe I needed some epics"


Think of it this way, probably every heroic you could get into was pre-ToC and Pre-ICC 5 mans...where everything that dropped...wait for it...wait for it...WAS wait wait wait, one epic drops, from the FINAL BOSS....because it was the goal for doing many of the heroics and the basic craftable epics? they use that frozen orb that...bum bum buuummmmmmm also drops from the final boss in a heroic.

So ...heaven help you do it at the level you should have going into wrath, no, you must outgear the content to be ready for it where badges are the -only- thing you could possibly get out of it.

So to you, I say BAD LARISA...go poke a patch history log or something and remember what the original heroics were for.

Larísa said...

@Olga: No, I didn’t. The simple truth is that whenever I enter a PUG I’ve noticed that I barely have time to buff up, shapeshift into tree form and refill my mana if that’s needed. Inspecting other players? No time. Unfortunately my UI doesn’t display who’s the tank in the group, but hovering over the players I can see what spec they have so I try to do that as much as possible. Thank’s god for bear tanks btw, when you have those, it’s clear who’s tanking!

@Anonymous: OK! Thanks.

@The Gnome of Zurich: The problems in normals are normally on trash, not on bosses. The tank is pulling way more mobs than I’m capable of healing him for. He’s taking huge, sudden damage, from full health to almost zero in a moment. Or the tank just doesn’t wait for me to mana up, doesn’t look behind, just rushes on, forgetting that healing a blue-dressed tank when your’re in blues yourself isn’t the same as rushing through an instance where everyone is overgeared. I don’t want to just blame the tank for it. But I’m not capable of matching that playstyle.

@Codi: For some weird reason my gear level isn’t displayed in my UI for the druid. Last night as I was pugging the first thing I was met by was a “sigh” by the tank. “Healer with 3k Gearscore, OMG”. So that’s apparently my level. I don’t have gearscore installed at the moment myself, but now I know. I suppose it puts some other players off a bit.

@Flairn: Thank’s for the support!

@Reversion: I hear you. I think normal ToC would be an appropriate challenge for me.

@Javle: Hehe… actually having someone in the party who actually can use the gear that drops is very nice and heartwarming. I love to see that when I’m on my +6k GS mage…

@Holly: sorry, m’am! I won’t mention it again!

korenmolen said...

It's a confidence thing - and one I don't think I have ever overcome - if someone dies, then I initially subscribe this to (my) healing inadequacy. Instead of fail tanking, or (more probably) fail DPS.

I queued for a random Heroic as DPS, and I end up in Forge. The party had at least 3 members from a single guild. We wiped on Krick and Ick. We wiped on the ramp up to the tunnel.

I didn't have GS enabled on that toon, but I have recount on all of them - I was top of the list (well, omen was shouting warnings at me, so this was not surprising) but - and this is the thing - the other 2 DPS were putting just over 1K - which is not enough for an ICC5 (h).

If I had been healing that, and the wipes had continued, I would have blamed myself for failing to keep them alive. But the fact remains that healers cannot take all the blame - DPS have to do their job too - then you don't have to heal all of them (perhaps sometimes only a tank - woo) and for a shorter amount of time.

If your heroics require less healing, because they are completed by people who all are geared, and who know what they are doing (they have run the heroics many many times, and know to get out of the whirlwind etc) then this is not being carried - it is actually that the rest of the group knew their job and did it well. That's not being carried - that's them actually - y'know - doing what they *should* do...

akiosama said...

Hey Larisa,

First of all, grats on 80! Always good to see someone branching out into utility. There are far too many people out there with multiple DPS characters, or worse yet, multiple hybrid characters that are DPS-only. Not that I'm knocking DPSers, mind you, I have a mage myself, but one sees the effects of being able to provide utility when one has a raid-viable Tank, Healer, and DPS. Generally, I end up using your Tank most, Healer second-most, and have to keep fingers crossed to get in as DPS.

Ok, I'm exaggerating a little in my current guild, but in my old guild it was the truth, because we only had about 12 raidworthy players and over half of them only played DPS at a raidworthy level. Some of those that couldn't were certainly trying, but we did still have a few whose thoughts were that Priests are best in Shadow, Pallies in Ret, DKs in DPS, and the like.

So, to see you going from DPS to utility is fantastic!

As for fresh 80s in heroics, I don't think there's too much you need to worry about with that. You had good tanks, your healing was sufficient for the Dungeons, so you shouldn't feel that you were leeching. Despite the fact that the tanks were, generally speaking, able to hold their own with minimal heals, you provided group completion (as has been mentioned before), and the ability to move a little faster with less interruptions due to casted heals being faster than most other forms of healing.

A couple of other things to keep in mind too - the group was not detrimentally affected by having you in the group; and you didn't steal anyone's drops away from anyone - you were taking gear that people were just going to Disenchant or sell, anyhow.

To the first point - the group was not hampered by having you there. Part of being "carried", IMO, is the fact that the person being "carried" must be supported by the others for their poorer output. Was that so in this case? It doesn't sound like it. Nobody was having to back up your heals, nor was the tank having to do anything differently because you were undergeared. A well geared healer in a Heroic would probably have put out similar output to what you did on your runs - as the tanks didn't need much - and not benefit nearly as much from the run, since they don't need any gear from the dungeon itself. So in that case, they got similar output from the healer, and you got gear. Win/Win.

As for the gear, you got benefit out of it. The only thing the others in the group might have lost were Enchanting mats and/or a little gold. If, as you say, they were decently geared, then they can SUCK IT UP! Gear going to someone for legitimate use is far better than the mats or gold it might produce.

So, don't you worry - you're not doing anything wrong. In fact, by making a new utility character, you're providing benefit to your guild and the server you're on. Enjoy and learn your new role, and in doing so, you will be giving back to your guild and server by filling a utility role and/or just letting someone else who typically fills a utility role DPS for a change. Both are much-needed commodities in WoW, IMO, as I see every day on my server. (My tank has huge numbers of badges (4 set T10), my healer has quite a few (3 pieces T10), and my DPS JUST got to 2 set T10.)

Good luck in your new role and I hope you enjoy it!

My 2 yen,


Dawnoffire said...

Getting carried is a perfectly fine thing, my guild has made a sport of carrying people, as most of us are on our 4th or 5th 80s, every time somebody hits 80 in our guild we roll right out, make a ToC 10 and 25, and carry the person through it to give them a push towards gearing up.

New 80s that are low on gear in heroics are fine, as long as they at least attempt to learn what they are doing. The ones I can't stand are the DKs with 71 points in blood dual wielding tank weapons. Healing heroics on my tree and getting a tank like that makes me facepalm so hard, but it is generally easy enough, if you have a half decent rogue things will go decently.

The thing that really ticks me off are the 5.5k gearscore hunters pulling 3k dps. I die a bit inside every time I see somebody like that. Curse you ebay -.-

Anonymous said...

BTW, the secret to a good leeching is to:

"VENDOR ALL HEROIC GEAR" - just get badges until you get 4T9/1T10 or 3T92T10 Then some 264 PvP and BoE gear.

You don't need better gear to get in Nax or Ulduar. Any gear less than 245 is a waste and won't help for ICC. ( I read level 78 greens will be > item level 270)

So if you get gear then the LFD will just pair you with a less geared group. And perhaps put you in Occulus or HoR.

It is a different world now. You run heroics for badges. not gear. not challenge. not fun.

Fish said...

I think the exact same thing. I think damage meters sorta ruined it for me because it showed I wasnt as effective as I looked or felt.