Why a Melee Alt Improves Healing

WoWScrnShot_021016_131655Hear me out, I know most people roll healers/ranged so they don’t have to be in the melee pile; but knowing what melee go through is important for a healer. The concept is simple; if you (as a healer) understand what makes a melee dps function and position itself the way it does you will begin to understand the mistakes that your melee raid members make. In turn allowing you to fix (sometimes) these mistakes with proper healing.

What is the idea of a melee dps?

Well for the most part it is to hit stuff really hard in the face with a big stick. A pretty simple concept that yields great results. Hitting the boss enough times with a pointy stick often results in the target falling over dead. I’d call that a win.

The reason you, as the healer, need to understand this is because of our need to be predictive. Knowing why a melee stood in the fire can give you an understanding  and prevent “Get out of the fire” spam in vent or raid chat. I am not talking about rolling a melee class for every conceivable fight in order to predict what the melee is going to mess up mechanics wise. I am simply suggesting that a well informed healer will perform better than someone who refuses to play a class that is fundamentally different; refusing to step out of their comfort zone.

My own examples and preferred Alts

The choice for which melee alt you decide to play with in your off time is entirely up to you. If you made it this far in the post I at least hope you are open to the concept. Narrowing down what alt you want to play is going to take some experimentation, and in reality you don’t even need to reroll if you don’t want to. You are a Shaman, you have tremendous flexibility in your class. Alt spec Enhance and go Storm Strike some LFR to get a sense of what being in melee is like. The difference is tremendous, and if you haven’t played a melee character before in a raid environment it might be eye opening.

If you are looking for a suggestion, I would recommend:

  • Rogue – Solid choice, I recommend Assassination as the starter spec. It is simple yet effective.
  • Warrior – Fury is simple yet effective with minimal gear, Arms is hilarious in PvP if that’s your thing.
  • Enhance Shaman – STORM STRIKE!

“Tunneling the boss”

If this were a dps focused blog, a much more informed player would probably tell you that tunneling is a situational thing that happens when it is appropriate. But I’m not a dps and I won’t ever claim to be (I find it leads straight to snoozeville). However, as a healer I need to know when the dps is “tunneling the boss” because that is most likely when that dps player is not paying attention to raid wide mechanics. I used Gorefiend as an example in a previous post but he is such a great example I’m doing it again. The Feast of Souls phase on Gorefiend is the textbook definition of dps not paying attention to anything else other than punching Gorefiend. This is good, as dps gain a bonus for tunneling during this phase. Healers, you need to be paying attention to the dps’ shifts in focus (in a broad sense) to make sure that key debuffed targets are remembering to run out and soak a soul to remove their death debuff. (This is of course in the context of mythic, if you don’t raid mythic thats perfectly ok, keep reading <3)

There are appropriate times to tunnel and there are inappropriate times. An inappropriate time on the very same Gorefiend encounter is, “anytime the boss isn’t in Feast of Souls”. Now think back to when you were on your alt and punching LFR bosses in HFC/BRF. Were you always remembering to move out for debuffs/fire patches/ect., or were you just thinking “killbosskillbosskillboss” this is what I want you to realize. That ah-ha moment where you understand; dps from every level love to kill stuff. A good player knows when to kill stuff, but most people decide right from the start that they need to be on the top of the kill stuff meter.

Today’s improvement post is for people who feel like everything is fine in an encounter then suddenly everything goes to shit and people are dying. Often times it’s not your fault (unless you caused your own death, then it is your fault). If you are looking at a wipe and seeing that a few of your raids melee died in the fire; ok, WHY did they die in the fire? Maybe they were tunneling, maybe one guy needed that last 2 seconds of his recklessness, maybe a cat jumped on his keyboard and he couldn’t move. If you have an understanding of why melee do melee things it will help you decipher the puzzle.

Thanks for reading and I will see you in the next post ❤ Nop 🙂

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Why a Melee Alt Improves Healing

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