An interesting discussion came up today in the middle of our ICC raid today.

A friend of mine (who seems to me to be a bit of a challenge-junkie) who plays both DPS characters and tanking characters, but no healers at endgame, asked about the “challenge” of healing.

We healers tried to explain it, but I don’t know that we were really successful.

The way I see it, not only are healers dealing with challenges of mana-management (although from what I understand, WotLK has trivialized that somewhat at most levels of gear) and fight mechanics, they also have the additional “challenge” of the human element. In my experience, healers are expected to make up for the mistakes of the other raid members. In a great group, this additional challenge is minimal. In a bad group? It could make up the majority of the difficulty of any given encounter.

I personally found healing the most difficult when I first hit 80 (and because of gear, mana management was a valid concern) and now that we’re hitting heroic-modes like Deathbringer Saurfang and Blood Queen. Sometimes, there’d be a significant increase in challenge when learning a new encounter, but after it’s down a time or two, it gets easier, not only because I have a better idea what is going on, but because everyone else in the raid does too, and therefore, we see less avoidable damage.

But I do think that’s kind of the opposite of where most DPS feel their biggest challenges lie. They are always trying to push out just a little more, and they never really reach that plateau of complacency that I’ve found sometimes when healing. If everyone’s all topped off, all I’m going to do by trying to push my HPS is irritate my other healers.

So, HEALERS FOR LYFE – I know you read this. Leave some comments about what you perceive to be the unique challenges of healing. Where do you find them most in the progression curve?

All I know is that every time I hesitated for even a second, or I misused a single global cooldown, I wiped the raid on heroic DBS. For me, that pushes it past the level of an “enjoyable” challenge, and into the realm of rage-inducing-ly frustrating.