This is the second post in my “Anyone Can Heal” series, aimed at new healers – priests in particular – or those who have never healed before and are thinking of trying it out.
Perhaps you’re familiar with this scenario: You’re a nervous level-15 restoration druid. You have three healing spells – Healing Touch (your Big Heal), Rejuvenation (your Heal-Over-Time), and Regrowth (a mid-sized spell that heals a bit up-front and a bit over time). You just got Regrowth, and you’re not quite sure how it plays yet. You’ve got a handful of green items that you picked up on quests (and a lucky drop or two), but some of your gear is white and grey.
You zone into Ragefire Chasm to join your very first random instance group… and everybody else is in Heirloom gear and greens, with enchantments and a few blues scattered here and there. They’ve got the very best potions and buff food; you have two Lesser Mana Potions and a few Herb-Baked Eggs. At least you remembered to bring Ice Cold Milk – no, wait, there’s new water at level 15 but you forgot to pick some up. You manage to toss up Mark of the Wild on everybody and Thorns on the tank, click your own Thorns off, and sit down to drink – and the tank asks “r?”, one of the dps responds “r”, and the tank takes off and pulls without waiting to see that you’re at half mana. You don’t even have time to /sigh as you run off after the tank…*
Everybody remembers their first time in a given role, even if they don’t want to admit it. Everyone you’re running with was new to their role themselves. (Many of them, in fact, probably still are.) Unfortunately, to a lot of players, there’s a loss of face associated with admitting that you don’t know everything. In the best case scenario, they can blame everyone else. When it’s clear that what happened is their fault, it’s better to let everyone else assume that they suck than to let everyone know that they don’t have experience.
Don’t be that guy. Tell people, straight out at the beginning of an instance, “Guys, I’m new to healing as a resto druid [or whatever], so please cut me some slack and forgive me if I make mistakes.” Below is an all-purpose macro for it, so you don’t even have to type it out; just hit it at the beginning of every instance until you’re comfortable healing.
/script SendChatMessage(“Guys, I’m new to healing as a “..UnitClass(“player”)..”, so please cut me some slack and forgive me if I make mistakes.”,”PARTY”);
The truth is, people hate saying that they’re inexperienced because they feel like they’re the only ones. It’s hard to zone into an instance and see that everyone else is higher-level than you, with better gear and enchantments, and easy to assume that you’re the only one who doesn’t know what you’re doing. But in my experience, when you say “okay, I’m new at this so please cut me some slack”, the vast majority of the time, the rest of your party will say “it’s cool, we’ll throttle down” or “don’t worry, I haven’t tanked before either”. They will cut you some slack.
The only way to get experience is to get experience.
Tautologies aside, the point of this is to get you comfortable healing. By saying “I don’t really know what I’m doing” at the beginning, you give yourself some slack – the permission to not be perfect. Screw-ups happen; we just do our best to minimize them. And the more times you mess up, the less you’ll mess up in the future. Just breathe, don’t forget to smile, and pretty soon you’ll be comfortable enough that you can change your macro:
/script SendChatMessage(“Just for the record, I remember being a new “..UnitClass(“player”)..”. We’re all here to have fun, and we’ll cut you some slack if you make mistakes. Don’t worry; just do your best.”,”PARTY”);
And all of a sudden, you’re the confident one in the great gear who’s being the beacon of hope and the pillar of strength to everyone else in the party.
* This was me on Sunday night. Just for the record.