Healing isn’t just about pressing the buttons to make the green bars grow big again, having the correct mindset before stepping into the raid, and during the raid are key in your overall healing performance.
Before the raid there are a few things you have to accept. You cannot save everyone every time. People are going to die, while it seems like an obvious thing there is a pressure that exists on the healer’s shoulders that when it grows to large makes every death seem like the singular fault of that healer.
Know your faults as well, as a healer there will be things that either you as a player or as a druid will be difficult for you to handle. Fights with heavy sustained burst damage to heal through aren’t things that druids handle well. Know what fights that could contain such periods of damage and plan ahead of time how to deal with them. Also as a player there may be certain aspects of healing you struggle with, you may not be the world’s best tank healer or you struggle with raid healing. If you’re aware of these issues seek people out that can help you resolve them and continue to tackle these issues head on.
If you struggle with raid healing don’t hide from it by asking to tank heal every fight. There will be a fight or a night in the future where you will be called to raid heal and your previous trepidation in approaching the job will only grow as now you are forced to do it and you have no experience in doing it.
During the raid there are a few things I always try and do or think about.
1) Be aggressive
Resto druids can easily be the most aggressive and proactive healers in PvE. Our HoTs are not bound to overheals, and we aren’t forced into reactive casting as druid heals are often fire and forget. If you are sitting back only placing your HoTs on targets after they take damage you are doing your raid a disservice. Know the fight mechanics. If the 5 closest melee always take X damage every Y seconds be ready for that and have HoTs rolling them before the damage comes into play. Learn what raid members have trouble avoiding AoE portions of the fight, or which ones just always seem to take extra damage and pay special attention or toss them a HoT even when they aren’t taking damage.
2) Forget overhealing
Even though druids almost always come in dead last on the overheal meters, forget them. If you want to maximize your healing output you need to lose the fear of overheal. If you are being aggressive and proactive you are going to tread on other healers toes sometimes slipping in a heal right after or right before they do. Don’t worry about this maintain your aggressive stance and the dividends will be huge. As your reactions will improve you will be able to pick out targets faster and keep the raid at a higher overall health throughout the entire time your in the instance.
3) Be open to criticism.
I remember the first BT raid I ever went on, I was a terribly geared druid who was starry eyed at the prospect of getting to even see the inside of BT let alone actually get gear from there. However, in the middle of a boss fight I get the whisper “Hey I think you need some help you’re pulling 496 HPS.” Needless to say I was shocked and embarrassed. The healing style I had been using while acceptable for Karazhan was totally ineffective in BT and I was gimping the raid. Now I could have refused to learn stubbornly sticking by my ways citing that “It’s only my lack of gear” that was holding me back but instead I listened, I read, and I learned. Within two weeks I had jumped up a significant amount in terms of my overall healing done and my HPS without getting any new gear. Regardless of how well you think you know the game or how good you may or may not be there will be someone out there that knows more or is just a better player. Seek them out, instead of attempting to remain ignorant of their existence.
Read blogs, talk to Resto druids that aren’t in your guild or that run a different spec, don’t allow yourself to sit in the dark in an attempt to remain blissfully ignorant of your skill or lack thereof it.