The Why of Dueg, A History of Healing

I may have mentioned it a few times, but I’ll state it again for those not paying attention.  I like healing, no, let me rephrase that, I love healing.  The thrill of seeing a health bar go from green to almost completely red and then back to green within a few seconds because of a well timed heal just does “things” to me.  Things both awesome and terrible.  But there’s more to it than that.

Just another day at the office

Just another day at the office

Now as I’ve stated before, my first character was a smelly ol’ dorf named Duegan who also a priest.  When I originally created him, I just sort of arbitrarily chose priest without a thought to the class dynamic.  I was aware that it was a healing class and assumed that I would most likely be doing some healing at one point or another, but I didn’t choose the class for that reason.

Now back then about 95% of my time was spent soloing with Duegan.  I got to do some of the dungeons such as the Deadmines and Scarlet Monastery, but those were usually isolated runs when a friend of mine absolutely had to have a healer.  I was specced shadow the whole time, even when healing so I wasn’t exactly the master of heals that I am today. 

Then came Dire Maul.

Some may not know this, but Dire Maul was not initially in the game.  It was released a few months after the launch in a content patch and for a time was the most difficult zone in the game.  So one day I was putzing around in Badlands, working on getting level 59, when I get a tell from one of my friends saying that they were at king, their healer had bailed and they needed me for the final fight.

At first I was somewhat reticent to do it.  I mean, I was shadow specced, I hadn’t run an instance since Mauradon about 10 levels previous and quite frankly, I was intimidated by it.  But my friend was insistent, saying that if I didn’t come the group would have to break up and a whole evening was wasted.  So I pulled on my big boy pants, hopped a gryphon (summoning stones were but a distant dream at that point) and made my way to Dire Maul.

The fight was crazy nuts for me.  With me getting thrown through the air and everybody and their mother taking insane damage left and right.  I seriously thought I was going to throw up, my heart was pounding so much.  However, in the end we pulled it out in one shot, downing the King and grabbing our due tribute from those cranky ogres (they just needed a hug really).  And then it happened.

Everyone in the group started talking about how awesome the heals had been and why that other healer, who had allowed three wipes, sucked so hard.  I basked in the glow of their praise, feeling even better about myself when I revealed that I was shadow spec and we had still been able to one shot one of the toughest encounters at that point.  Being level 58 when the previous healer had been 60 an unable to pull it out didn’t feel too shabby either.  It’s honestly one of my favorite memories from WoW.

A few days later, unfortunately, I had to quit the game for monetary reasons and Duegan sat at level 58 for about another year and a half or so.  When I came back after BC was released, he remained shadow spec so I could level through Outland easily, but soloing just wasn’t appealing to me anymore.  A lot of my friends had moved to Horde side, but I was being stubborn because I didn’t really want to start all over again.  But something was just missing from Duegan.  Shadow spec and soloing just didn’t appeal to me anymore.  I was bored.

At first I thought this boredom was from the priest class itself.  So when I did finally reroll horde, I figured I’d try a new class and spent a little while leveling up a warlock.  Eventually I became bored with that class, not really enjoying it either till I realized that it wasn’t the classes that were boring me, it was the soloing.  Since I had made a baby priest to explore the new (at the time) Blood Elf starting area, I figured I’d level up with him.  I was passingly familiar with priest healing and I knew that being a  healer meant getting groups.  So I dedicated myself full time to being a dungeon diver and healer.  I had finally figured out what part of the game I fit into.

Maybe it’s a bit of narcissism or maybe I just have an overwhelming urge to be useful.  At first I thought it was simply a matter of wanting to be able to get a group when I needed one mixed with the familiarity of the priest class, but since then I think it may be more of a reflection of my psyche.  I can’t get into other roles such as tanking or dps, but healing has just always felt right to me.  I can’t really explain it, all I can say is that it’s my role and I relish it.

So what about you?  I know not all of my readers are healers, but a majority are, so what brought you to healing?  Is it just because you love the color green?  Or are you a superstar and want everyone to know it?  What about those who aren’t healers?  What’s drawn you to the role that you play in WoW?  Could I possibly ask any more questions in one paragraph?  Drop me a comment and let me know.



12 Responses to “The Why of Dueg, A History of Healing”

  1. 03/16/2009 at 9:39 AM

    I often played paladins in whatever fantasy RPG I was playing, so naturally when I tried WoW I gravitated towards the paladin.

    The healer aspect came when my guild at the time had an abundant lack of healers and in order to get included, I saw I needed to respec to Holy.

    Not as dramatic as your story, but there it is.

  2. 03/16/2009 at 9:40 AM

    If you really wanted to be narcissistic, you’d be playing DPS.

    Why? Recount, that’s why. DPS tends to be the most annoying batch of people to work in and with because of that.

    But why did I decide to DPS?

    This is why.


  3. 03/16/2009 at 10:08 AM

    When I said I rolled Ambrosine for the horse mount at 40, that’s…seriously why I did it.

    Why did I spec holy instead of prot, or ret? Uh…I dunno. I don’t remember making a concious decision-I was a complete and total nubcake, after all. But I’ve always been the helpful sort, so doubtless that had something to do with it.

    I stuck with it because quite frankly, I’m needed, and being needed makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

  4. 4 Oz
    03/16/2009 at 10:09 AM

    I find that I always prefer to “protect” the group. Either by healing them or by making sure every bad guy hits me and only me (i.e. tanking). I can’t help it, its just my nature.

  5. 03/16/2009 at 10:28 AM

    I’ve been a PvP’er for 6months (rank 11 ftw…) as a hunter in the very very beginning (I even was there when AB got implemented! Now the hunter is very dusty (lvl 70, level’d her up for dailies). And I became fascinated by priests and healers (noticed they were a much needed role). So I rolled priest, level’d shadow and as soon as I was 60 I got into a MC guild. Never rerolled since, so I’ve been a healing priest for 3.5 years now and still like love on first sight (see true love stories do exist xD).

  6. 6 Tigerfeet
    03/16/2009 at 10:50 AM

    I don’t heal in WoW, in fact, even though I have a quite serviceable healing set in the bank I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve used it and still have some fingers left over.

    THAT being said, I started my MMO journey as a healer in Guild Wars. I had planned to roll a Ranger but somehow started having way more fun on my Monk.

    What spawned from that was the heady rush of what it feels like to be NEEDED. Everyone needs a healer, like everyone needs a tank. I flew through the content because I could get any group I wanted (this was when henchmen were still stupid and heroes didn’t yet exist).

    After I’d conquered everything on my Monk I turned back to my neglected Ranger and ended up going nowhere fast. I’d realized why I loved healing so much. In GW it’s an edge-of-your-seat heal fest while either popping that mesmer skill to get more energy or that warrior skill to run to get into range before your Warrior bites the big one… In the end I always insisted on healing because I knew, way down deep within my most goblin of hearts, that I didn’t trust anybody else to do as good of a job as me.

    Same with Tanking, except now I get to Melee.

  7. 7 Jack
    03/16/2009 at 11:42 AM

    Could I possibly ask any more questions in one paragraph? Drop me a comment and let me know.

    Probably. There’s no structural constraint function limiting questions and paragraphs. At least not explicitly relating the two. Perhaps once you factor in time, there is a pragmatic contraint. I would guess that whether or not you could ask more questions depends primarily on if you’ve hit that time cap.

    Sorry. Had to get that out of the way.

    It’s funny. I just, like earlier this morning, just commented on your PvP post that I first learned to enjoy battlegrounds when I went there as a healer and was needed.

    My original “main” was a kitty druid. And it was fun, but I just don’t play him much anymore because I’ve got friends online, I’m almost always able to group up with someone and no one needs dps. I mean, they do. The dps role is necessary and challenging to play well. But it’s just so dang common. Mostly now I either play the healer with a local group of IRL friends or I play a tank when I’m online with my brother. They are both tons o’ fun, but in different ways. In both roles I’m taking care of damage so the dps can do their thing. But tanking doesn’t feel as directly like I’m doing it for them. It’s just fun to fight, right? I’d be doing this anyway if I were alone, you guys just let me take on bigger fights with less downtime. The synergy is more apparent, but the action is still all about me enjoying the fight.

    The healer role is so overtly selfless. I’m not taking damage. No one’s up in my grill. Hell, I could probably just go into cat form and stealth past these guys. But the rest of you can’t. And as awesome as the tank is, he doesn’t have enough health to take the beating all five of those dudes are going to dish out. The whole healer role is about keeping the group safe. It’s a role that’s very easy to feel good about.

    That’s why I like it, anyway.

  8. 8 Light
    03/16/2009 at 11:59 AM

    I like the thrill of healing.

    My first experience was in Gnomeregan when someone fell off a platform into the slime room, and the rest of the party jumped in after him. This promptly attracted a bunch of slimes. I ended up healing everyone through that craziness (we all lived) even though I was feral. After that I knew I wanted to heal in groups.

    I like the dynamic I have with my tanks too. I’d go anywhere with them, even when they drive me crazy.

  9. 9 Anea
    03/16/2009 at 12:37 PM

    When I made Anea, I knew I wanted to heal. I wanted to help the group and be the one in that role.

    One comment a warrior tank friend of mine had mentioned while we were chitchatting was about a certain healer in his guild. How he was always so happy when she was assigned to him, because she was such a good healer he knew he never had to worry about his health and how it was so great.

    I wanted to be a healer like that.

    So, maybe it’s not necessarily only that I want to heal/help people (’cause I do) it’s that I want to be awesome.

  10. 03/16/2009 at 1:27 PM

    When my warlock was getting gear after recently hiting 60, one of my newly found friends in wow had a holy priest alt. He wanted to gear up his priest so offered to heal my instance groups. Up till then, the majority of the healers I had pugged with, were not specced to heal, and were somewhat shaky healers. It was exciting to pull things off with a non-healer specced healer, but at times it also called for wipes.
    But this friend made me feel -safe- when I was in an instance with him healing. He -knew- when I needed a pw:shield (back when warlocks didn’t have SoC and only had channeling spells). He -knew- when I had gotten my ass in trouble and needed a heal. I could relax and not worry about having to constantly keep myself alive. I wanted to be able to take that role for him on his rogue (although, his rogue was in T2 and never needed to run regular instances), so I decided to make a priest.

  11. 03/16/2009 at 1:52 PM

    I initially rolled my priest because I knew that none of my RL friends who were going to be playing WoW with me would play a healer. We wanted to have kind of a self-sustainable group.

    But like you, I’ve tried tanking and dps roles and I can’t stay with them for long. I think it is something to do with feeling needed, with feeling like you made a huge contribution to your group’s success. Sure you need dps and a tank too, but if they can’t stay alive to do their jobs they aren’t going to get very far.

    Plus it is really great to be able to find groups so easily. 🙂

  12. 12 D
    03/17/2009 at 9:16 AM

    My first “main” was a NE rogue, I was still new to the game, and I just rolled a rogue because I’ve always liked sneaky, stealthy, stabby classes like that. I got to level 18, and a new friend I had made offered to have a guildmate of his run us through BFD.

    That friend was a shadow priest, something that I didn’t even know existed. I didn’t even consider rolling a priest, because to me, priest=heals.

    But that level 70 (before WotLK) dwarf priest came riding up along the path in Darkshore, with spikey shoulderpads and fancy-looking gear.

    And turned shadow.

    And I was in love at first sight, right at the first whispery-sound.

    He proceeded to pull multiple mobs in the instance, pew pewing them all down in an orderly fashion (this was before the kick-ass Mind Sear, of course) and I watched, in awe.

    As soon as I got out of that instance, I said goodnight and thank you to my friend, logged off of my rogue, started a Draenei priest, leveled her up VERY slowly (priests are such slow levelers, in hindsight), got shadowform at level 40, and have not looked back since. This was back in September of last year, and to this day, she is my only toon above level 60.

    Recount DOES bring out the asshats who want to top the DPS charts, and I’m certainly one of those asshats – I can out-damage and out-DPS hunters, rogues, ret pallies, and mages with ease, and it feels great. I’ve respecced countless times to heal for my guild, but I always immediately go back to that shadowy goodness.

    For I didn’t roll a priest … I rolled a shadow priest. And I don’t regret it for one second. 🙂

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