Analogue over at Looking for More wrote this post that got me thinking. What are my triage mechanics? How do I decide who gets healed when and with what spell?
I agree with Analogue, it’s not just one simple heal-in-this-order list.
My must live list is:
- Myself. I have battle-rez, and if I hit Nature’s Swiftness first, it’s insta-battle-rez.
- HairyTank. I have to sleep next to him.
- DPS ranked by my perception of skill/necessity to the encounter.
This list does have an influence over my healing triage. If everyone is about to die, that is my priority list right there.
Who’s Gonna Die First?
Let’s just say it’s an average fight. An average boss fight. A tank-and-spank, if you will, with a few adds or spawns. Aside from HairyTank and myself, we have a DPS Death Knight, a Hunter, and a Mage.
From the outset I’ve made assumptions about armor and damage mitigation. This, combined with each character’s total HP, gives me an idea of how much of a beating each character can take. With the above list, the list from lowest-to-highest beating-taking capabilities would look like:
- The mage. I know they’re wearing cloth and probably not stacking stamina. They have some damage-mitigation, but the class is not built around it.
- Me. I wear leather, and Tree of Life gives me some armor boosts (and in an emergency I can pop Barkskin).
- The hunter. They should be wearing mail armor and might have some +stamina gear.
- The DK. If they’re not wearing plate, they deserve the incoming /kick. They probably aren’t stacking +defense unless they’re trying to DPS in tank gear. They probably also have the second-most HP in the group.
- HairyTank. He’s the tank because he can take a beating and like it.
Two and three may be interchangeable due to the bonuses of Tree of Life.
What the Heck Just Happened?
The fight has just turned south. Everyone is taking massive damage. I pop Tranquility while I figure out what the hell is going on.
Is the DK standing in the whirlwind? If so, the DK will die. Not because I want them to die, not because I want to punish the player in some way, but because I know Talfrund doesn’t have the mana or the healing throughput to heal them through the whirlwind more than once. The only way to keep them on their feet through that attack is to hit Swiftmend, Nature’s Swiftness, and Healing Touch in that order. Even then they may end up on the floor before the whirlwind stops. They may have been topping the DPS charts (I wouldn’t know, I don’t look at Recount until the instance is over), and I still have to let them die in order to focus on the rest of the group.
Maybe the DK Deathgripped a caster add off of me and back over to where HairyTank can hit it with Thunderclap. That’s a good DK. They are now at the top of my healing list.
I could come up with lists of good and bad things different classes do that move themselves around on my healing priority list. Sometimes it’s the same character, different fight.
I can Hear the Fight, Who’s Getting Hit?
Maybe nobody is doing anything that particularly stands out. They’re doing their job and DPS accidentally pulls aggro (or it’s one of those fights where the boss does a random aggro wipe). Maybe it’s the Mage. They get hit with a cleave and lose 75% of their HP. HairyTank taunts the mob back over to him, and he’s at 40% health. Meanwhile, the DK is taking AOE damage and is down to 55%. Who gets priority?
Point 1: The mage isn’t taking any more damage. They can wait a little while, but I’m not going to make them wait long.
Point 2: HairyTank’s 40% is everyone else’s 85%. He can take a few more hits before he becomes critical. I may spare him a Rejuvenation if the DK has shown himself to be pretty resilient.
Point 3: While the mage is the squishiest, it’s the DK who’s in the most immediate trouble. I toss a Regrowth at him. The large initial tick will put him around 85% and the remaining ticks should hold-off the AOE/aura damage until I get back to him.
Then I toss another HoT on HairyTank, and a Healing Touch or Rejuvenation on the mage.
It’s not as simple as Healer, Tank, DPS.