So I really liked the idea for the shared topic this week over at Blog Azeroth. This week it's group relations; how you can go above and beyond standard play to assist and protect members of your group. I want to focus particularly on what a dps can do to help me out as a healer. Little things that aren't required, but would definitely impress me, and maybe get you into my good graces so I'll heal you on trash. I'm looking at you, fury warriors!
1. Watch your threat on trash!
This seems like a no brainer, but please, please watch your aggro! It's frustrating as a healer to be playing roulette with my casts on trash because Captain Cleave couldn't wait to get going. Give your tank a second to pick up threat so your healer doesn't have a heart attack.
2. Ask for Salv if you need it.
This is more paladin-y than healer-y, and it's more of something I can do for you, but it's kind of a pet peeve of mine that no one ever asks for Hand of Salvation. If you know you're a threat rocket, ask for it early on so you can go balls out faster. This also goes for other cooldowns though. Need an innervate? Ask. Need a freedom? Remind us! We get busy and forget these things.
3. Ranged, keep an eye on your healers.
Melee, you're off the hook here cause you're usually further away, but ranged, keep an eye on us. If you see a mob running at a healer, attack it. Better for you to take a hit than the healer. Plus, if you die saving us, that's some serious brownie points for later fights when we have to pick between two heal targets, or when were choosing who to DI. CC also helps here. Something as simple as leaving a freezing trap at your healer's feet can save a life.
4. Use your healthstone.
I'm guilty of this myself, but dps, when you're low, don't forget that cookie! It can buy us some precious time to get you up. Don't forget about racial and profession heals either, such as Gift of the Naaru and Lifeblood. Every little bit counts in a hectic moment.
5. Defensive cooldowns, use them.
DPS often have some sort of defensive cooldowns they can use in a tight moment, don't forget to use them! It can buy the healers some much needed time. Warriors, make a shield wall macro. You can swap weapons in combat. Druids, you have barkskin. If there's heavy aoe, use it! Paladins, Sacred Shield yourself, especially if there's a paladin healer in your group. Every little bit of reduced damage is reduced healing strain.
I know dispelling is usually a healer's job, and it messes with your precious GCDs, but if you notice group health is low, and a large amount of debuffs out, a few cleanses can go a long way. Another situation I'm in often is getting polymorphed and unable to do anything. Watch for things like this, set special warnings on your raid frames for an incapacitated healer.
This is directed more at tanks than dps, but it's still huge. Communicate with us! Tell us when you're popping your cooldowns, and tell us if all yours are down. Were watching a lot of other things, and probably aren't concerned with your Shield Wall cooldown, until you suddenly squish and we still had Pain Suppression off cd. Calling out taunts for your healers also goes a long way. If you have to, macro a /ra message to your taunt to convey it automatically.
8. Use raid frames that clearly show range.
Nothing is more frustrating than prepping a big heal on a dps only to have them run out of range of it right before it goes off. Keep raid frames up, and make sure you have a range indicator on it. Most heals are 40 yards.
9. Watch line of sight.
Ok...this might be more annoying than range issues. Please watch your line of sight! Remember that most healers can't cast while on the move, so you can't go around a corner, or up some stairs, and expect them to follow. If it's urgent, call out where you're going so the healers know to watch out.
10. Unless the fight mechanics require otherwise, group up!
Many tools in the healing toolbox require you to be within a certain range of another target. If you stay closer to each other, then your shaman doesn't have to cry that their Chain Heal isn't bouncing, your druid is getting more out of each Wild Growth, your paladin's Glyph of Holy Light is doing impressive splash, and your priest doesn't need to worry about Circle of Healing range. I notice ranged are especially horrible at this, and I can see myself /ranting at it a great deal in cata when I'm trying to fire off my paladin stream totem and my cone heal. Stack up when you can, your healers will love you.
You should go check out RestoDude's post on this topic, as the shared topic this week was his idea. It's quite a good one. Any other ideas on how dps can help out healers? Or maybe there's something you as a dps or tank could use your healers doing? Post a comment!