Dear healers, dear tanks

A slightly tongue-in-cheek response to Syl’s post over at Raging Monkeys. Sorry Syl, I just couldn’t help myself!

Dear Healers, Dear Tanks

I appreciate you’re busy people and I thank you for your attention. It’s not often a lowly DPS receives this sort of personal focus from the raiding deities without a “FFS” prepended, so I’ll proceed as quickly as I can.

Many of us in the pew-pew ranks have also been reading about and/or experimenting with the forthcoming changes in the Cataclysm expansion. Some of us have completely new resources to manage, some of us have significantly changed mechanics and all of us are busily relearning. However as DPS we love to spread our attention — a sort of AoE approach to information gathering, if you will, although I understand it is considered OP and will be nerfed in in a hotfix. A large number of us have, in addition to keeping up with the changes to our ability to ‘pwn’ the ‘meters’, also kept close track of the changes to our lovable meatshields and blessed healthbots. We do this because we care. Mostly we care about ‘pwning’ the ‘meters’ but we have long since learned that when dead, our opportunities to ‘pwn’ are significantly fewer. So we too have observed with interest the tales of the new tanking order and the new regime within the glorious people’s republic of healing.

Indeed, and this may seem nigh-on impossible to contemplate, many of us play more than one character1 . Even those of us accustomed to simply rolling our faces across the keyboard, pausing periodically to wipe off the worst of the drool2 often have other avatars with which we play. Not all of these “alt”ernative characters are more damage-dealers – many of us have a healing or tanking character, or perhaps even both, and have therefore been working with the new abilities and new mechanics from a first-person perspective.

If I might speak candidly for a moment, I am very much looking forward to the increased use of some mostly-neglected buttons on my bars, and to a wide variety of challenging content. Doubtless there will be some lessons to learn for us all in the new old world, and I keenly anticipate learning them together and look forward to working as a team being more critical to our shared success. I am though, I confess, rather less enthused at the prospect of being treated like a cross between a simpleton and a disobedient puppy by those in the tanking and healing roles. I implore the colossi who hold our precious aggro and the beneficent ones who ensure our continued life in the face of raidwide damage to remember that DPS are people too. We are human, we sometimes make mistakes but if you cut us, do we not bleed3?

Whilst it may seem prudent, it’s rather disrespectful to assume that your assigned DPS are barely functional automatons. We appreciate literature, visual art and the beauty of the theatre. We have hopes4, aspirations5 and dreams6 just the same as you, and whilst we do not enjoy quite the same symbiotic7 relationship that tanks and healers do, we are part of the team and beg you to treat us if not as equals then at least not as obstacles. Besides, without us this dungeon’s going to last all week!

With apologies for disturbing you,

A member of the great unwashed
A damage dealer


  1. amazing that we’d have the spare intellectual capacity, isn’t it []
  2. The changes to retribution will save me a fortune on hardware []
  3. and shout “FFS, healz?” []
  4. to top the meters for this fight []
  5. to top the meters for this raid []
  6. to top the lists on World of Logs []
  7. some might say ‘unnatural’ or ‘forbidden’ []

16 thoughts on “Dear healers, dear tanks”

  1. Dear Ano,

    You speak of forbidden and unnatural. Well…erm….so do I. You see, as a healer I love my wonderful dps dudes, because I trust you to take down the big bad quickly and efficiently and stop me muttering “oh shit oh shit oh shit” while playing whackamole with the health bars in particularly nasty situations, and wondering if my mana will hold – which it will at present, all praise be to Lifebloom.

    It may be a warped and wicked view, this love of mine. But I shall stand by it, and defend it, and my dps, just as I defend my tanks. I love you all, for together we make A Team. (Not the A Team, I hasten to add, although I now have an image in my mind of Rem as BA Baracas…)

    A Twisted-no-longer-Tree

  2. Very good :)

    The last footnote suddenly made me envision someone writing this long post about the love story between the tank and their healer(s) *lol*

    1. Damn. I could have written a 50,000 word freak romance/orgy and called it a NaNoWriMo submission.

      Actually, it’s probably better that I didn’t. There are some things you can’t un-write (or un-imagine).

  3. Welll… sigh… see, my feelings for you dps are so mixed. I was one of you once – I still consider my mage to so important to me. And I frost nova’d mobs next to healers merrily. And then I turned into a healer for my sins.

    See, some of you make me so excited about bring y’all into the equation as something more than little portable bombs. I’ve seen mages who sheep and keep sheep perfectly, hunters who do MD pulls so skillfully the tank doesn’t even realize, shaman who know that there’s a time and place for knockbacks. And then I’ve met your… well… less articulate brethren, the ones whose vocabularies seem to be “gogogogogo” and “rez pls”. And I fear…

    Still, if you can learn, I can learn too. I promise to give you more heals than the hunter’s pet, to watch your mana like my own, to keep you buffed and happy. If I can. It’s going to be a bit of a learning curve for all of us.

    And heck, my ignore list has plenty of slots on it…

    PS – sorry, my tank and I have had our union officially blessed by the heavens, the state, and our families, so you’ll understand if I keep our acquaintanceship on a slightly less… intimate footing.

    1. My crush on LFM notwithstanding, I think I can make an exception to the “share the love” edict for you and Reversion. S’only fair!

      Yes, there is the odd rotten apple in this giant barrel ‘o’ DPS — even when I’m “just” DPSing, I find the gogogo and “REZ!” people annoying. (they made my bingo card). I just don’t want to be thrown out with them — innocent until proven guilty!

  4. As my rotation has been thoughtfully reduced from three button to one button, I shall no doubt have plenty more time to quaff potions, bandage, and jump into pools of goodly green stuff. No problemo! ;)

  5. Haha, I actually feel very happy to have inspired such a post, my friend!
    Tongue in cheek as it might be, you raise properly fair and valid points about ‘teh DPS’ out there (well, some of them!) – I know it can’t be nice to be part of a ‘group’ that is in essence just as heterogeneous as tanks and healers are as well. alas, you’ll have to live with the fact that you’re the biggest group in WoW and hence suffer from more of the bad examples than us!
    I hope you didn’t actually deem my own guide a condescending one though, like I stated there too there’s nothing nicer than having a team of great healers, tanks AND dps work together =)

    1. I did consider attempting to work in the “more of us >> more opportunities to encounter idiots” notion but couldn’t find a way to do so without making it (even more) awkward.

      As far as your post’s concerned, I had no problem at all with it — I just couldn’t resist responding to the “Dear DPS…” portion of your subject line :)

      Besides, I know how healing triage works: Yourself > The Tank(s) > Top DPS >= Nice DPS > Top DPS’s pets > Critters > DPS in the fire > The boss > “Rez plz” > “FFS healz, rez plx”

      I’m aiming for “nice”, not sub-bee pit :)

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