Shared Topic: When should a healer let someone die?

I’m cheating a little bit with this Shared Topic, it was actually last week’s Shared, but it’s such a perfect Bossy Pally topic that I’m stretching the week a little bit so I can participate… To my greatest joy, Ecclesiasticaldisc from Ecclesiastical Discipline brought up the Ultimate healer question for our Shared Topic: When should a healer let someone die?

It’s a great topic and a lot of people joined in, so click on the links to the other posts in the thread at Blog Azeroth (I will get around to doing the Twisted Nether writeup after this) to check out what others have to say.

What I’m Supposed to Answer is This:

It’s never appropriate to let someone die if it can be avoided. Of course, prioritizing what’s best for the group (such as keeping the tank alive!) sometimes results in a few casulties, but a healer should always do their best to keep everyone alive. The healer version to one of the Great Tanking Rules ™ is this : If someone dies and your cooldowns are still up and you weren’t saving them (your cooldowns, not the dead player) for later on in the fight, then that death was your fault.

What is Closer to the Truth:


A Nicer way of Putting it:

Ok, I don’t see it as letting people die. I see it as…um…readjusting my priorities. Yes, that’s it. Readjusting my priorities.

As Ecclesiasticaldisc seemed to nervously touch on in her post on the topic, in a 5 man, healers are the backbone of the group. Very few tanks can carry a bad group without a good healer. A good healer, however, can carry 4 blundering idiots through just about anything.

I don’t let stupid people die. I don’t understand when healers say: “I let this idiot die because he was dumb!” I never let a dumb player die. They take care of that all by themselves. Hey, if I was busy healing the tank (either the apparent tank or the actual tank – the two are not necessarily the same person) and someone who’s not the actual tank just happens to jump off a cliff/run into the next pack of mobs/whatever else they might do to die despite my cooldowns, well, I didn’t let them die. Sorry.

If someone’s annoying me (which is rare, I have amazing obliviousness skills), then maybe they’ll drop down the priority list. Maybe, oooooh, maybe I’ll suddenly be preoccupied with redoing buffs until the foul mouth pally tank’s Ardent Defender procs. Maybe I’ll have a need to focus on the tank while the jackass of shadow priest stands in crap. Or maybe Hand of Protection will be on cooldown when the whiney mage pulls aggro. Maybe. ‘Cos, you know, it can happen.

Is it right?


Do I care?

This is me caring: -_-

Raids are a different story

In a 5-man, my goal is to get my badges using the least effort possible. Which means no wiping and no major dps losses. That leaves a lot of room to my whims.

On a raid boss, we need everyone. The fights are longer and even a foul mouthed underperforming dps can shave decent seconds off a boss kill. Also, I typically run raids with my guild. On an average day, there’s no one pissing me off to where I can’t find it in me to heal them. There’s been the odd occasion, on a below-average day, where I’ve showered certain non-tanks with less heals, but according to the Strict Healing Assignment Rule ™ (HAHAHAHA!) I’m not supposed to stray from my assignment (typically the tanks) anyway….

So, When Should a Healer Let Someone die?

What you should do, is you should never let someone die if you can avoid it. That’s what you should do.

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10 Comments on “Shared Topic: When should a healer let someone die?”

  1. Apple Says:

    AHAHAHAH. Yeah, you are like me at level 80. Oh man. *wipes away tears of laughter*

  2. […] Shared Topic: When Should a Healer let someone die! I don’t visit Blog Azeroth that much, I feel the RP presence there too much, thus I feel like an outcast. But I saw a topic that sparked my interest, and Bossy Pally shares with us her thoughts. […]

  3. Capn John Says:

    If the police shoot & kill someone who refused to lay down their weapon and instead threatened them (or someone else) it’s called Suicide by Cop.

    If someone is standing in the Fire and you throw a HOT on them which would give them more than enough time to GTFOOTFF and they didn’t get out of fire and so died, did you really ‘let’ them die?

    Hell no! That’s suicide, too!

  4. Arkhen Says:

    Every time a dumb DPS stands (and stays) in fire i heal once, you wont see a 2nd heal from me to that person. At least it will hurt their pockets!
    When i have to choose between a tank and a DPS then ill always hit the tank…for me its the tanks 1st, then myself, then other healers, then the tank´s pet, the healer´s pet and finally DPS…did i mentioned i hate DPS standing in fire/void zones?

    • Ophelie Says:

      In 5 mans, I’ll often heal people standing in fires, just out of boredom, but I won’t make them any sort of priority. I’m a lot more likely to let people die for being jerks, but suprisingly enough, it doesn’t happen too often.

  5. Anea Says:

    What is Closer to the Truth:


    It’s funny ’cause it’s true 😀

  6. KimboSlice Says:

    I know when I am tanking 5 mans I never taunt when a dps pulls aggro. I just let them tank and die and if they bitch Ill tell them to leave and if they continue to bitch I leave because now they have to wait for 20 minutes for a tank to Q

    • Ophelie Says:

      I usually do taunt back when a dps pulls aggro, but it’s mostly because I rarely tank and can use the awareness exercise.

      Strangely enough, I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone seriously complain about dying in a 5-man. The worst I get is some begging for battle rezzes (which says a lot in itself), otherwise it’s like players know when they deserve to get squished.

  7. antlergirl Says:

    I try not to let anyone die in any situation, however…some people really seem to be asking for it.

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