After that first initiation into party healing with the guild, I knew I was still an uber newb. I was fully aware that my “success” that first time was due to the fact that I was primarily healing level 80 with raid level gear in a regular level 70 dungeon. I knew that the only way that I was going to improve was to get more experience. And that meant pugging as a healer.
Worse – pugging as a newb healer. <insert Dramatic Gopher>
A terrifying proposition to be sure! However, I had recently read something that had helped me decide it would be better to learn at Lv 70 then at Lv 80.
Heartbourne at Project Lore had written about his experience using the Dungeon Finder “to to level my Death Knight from level 75 to 80. In that leveling process, I found groups instantly when I queued as a tank, and generally other players were gentle with helping me learn how to tank”.
He also described how “The story changed when I hit level 80” when normally the Dungeon Finder would group him with well geared 80s whose first reactions were to judge his low gear and laugh at his health.
That pretty much decided it for me then that I had to at least give it a chance. It was now or never.
So I gave myself a week to prepare. I studied up on the dungeons available to me – Utgarde Keep and Nexus. I even took notes on each boss and what their abilities were – what to watch out for. I reread my how-to-disc guides again and tweaked grid.
And then, the day finally came.
With Regis’ warlock in tow for moral support and suffering, we queued for Utgarde Keep. I hadn’t read up on Azol-Nerub so I decided to pick a specific dungeon to be safe. Nervously, I selected my role as healer and waited for the loading screen to instantly appear.
Which it didn’t. In fact, our wait time was long enough for me to forget about being nervous, get tired of catching weeds in the fountain of Dalaran and consider requeing for a random dungeon instead.
How did it go?
I guess it depends on the evidence. You be the judge.
I did not come out at the start and say “Hello. I am a newb healer” or “This will be my first time healing in a pug.”
The Tank (a warrior) was a runner who did not always wait for the healer while cleaning trash. And I did not speak up at any point to ask him to wait. Maybe it was a rage thing?
One of the Melee DPS (DK) died on trash and I didn’t think of rezing them. “Oh, right… I can do that” crossed my mind when it was too late of course.
That Melee DPS later dropped the group without saying a word, I think after she had died again.
I kept the tank alive thou. Until the last boss, when the wipes began…
I started the instance with 20 x water. I finished with zero. I hear that’s a sign of overhealing… and of neglecting my shadowfiend puppy.
We got a new DPS… which didn’t die but did drop the group because they “gotta go”ed.
I didn’t use any damage dealing spells. I was too focused on the length of the green bars.
I’m not sure how many times we wiped on Ingvar. I would guess at least 3, maybe 4, times before the tank paused for a good length of time and then disconnected.
Regis says it wasn’t my fault. Supposedly the tank didn’t step out of the way of Ingvar’s Dark Smash. Personally, I think I could have done something more… like applying Pain Suppression to the tank as soon as I hear the warning. I think I probably stumbled over my buttons and just wasn’t as quick as I needed to be. I’m fairly sure that I should be able to heal though it if I choose the right spells.
Not once did anyone blame the healer. Perhaps I was lucky? It was suggested that maybe the warrior tank had thought he wasn’t getting the proper heals and that was the reason behind him dropping the group ….
The newest DPSer was a friendly DK who offered to step in as tank, in DPS gear since the Dungeon Finder was taking its sweet time to find a replacement. It had no problems finding a Shaman DPSer to finish off the party, who was kind enough to offer to throw up some heals on our improv tank. I’m not sure how much healing the shaman might have contributed but whatever it was, added to the fact that the friendly DK doged the Dark Smash, was enough to make the difference down went Invgar!
So we got through it. That’s gotta count for something! Right?
So, my dear fabulous readers, are there any other tips you could give me about learning a new Spec or Role, regardless if it’s switching to a healing role or a new DPS spec?
Or is the secret as simple as practice, practice, practice?
How do you study for new fights? Or with all of your healing experience, do you just go in there and rock it?