I'm aware that there is a not insignificant portion of this sub that seems to think that healers are totally unnecessary if you're skilled enough as a damage dealer. To be honest, as a healer main, I don't really have a problem with these people, because by their very nature I rarely encounter them in-game. (People who think tanks are unnecessary, on the other hand…) And hey, if you think you can handle veteran content with just DDs, more power to you. (Incidentally, you can jump higher if you weigh less, so why not cut your legs off?)
However, what this school of thought fails to remember is that there are a huge number of players who are not that skilled. Most people are average, after all, and in pickup groups I'd wager that most people are actually below average. So I've put together a list of tips and observations I've accumulated as a healer main, intended to help you, theoretical damage dealer reading this, become a better group member in PUG dungeons — mostly by making it easier for me to do my job, which is to keep you alive so you can murder things.
- Don't outrun the tank. Don't pull aggro. As a healer, I am always going to be sticking with the tank, so if you run ahead and pull aggro, no one is going to be there to save you. It doesn't matter how slow you think the tank is going, you follow their lead, or you die. And, depending on the dungeon, everyone else might die too.
- For the love of god, don't use a frost staff. It taunts, and if you rip aggro off the tank, you are going to be in for a really bad time.
- Don't stand in the fire. You see those red spots on the ground? That's the danger zone, don't stand there. Roll, block, or just backpedal, whatever will keep you from eating a facefull of damage. I have sustain too, and trying to keep you alive while you facetank the boss will deplete my magicka, and then we'll wipe.
- Don't run away from your doctor. I can't heal you if you are on the other side of the room, and I'm not going to abandon the tank to run the gauntlet of red to try and get to you. Stick close to the tank (and by proximity, me), but if you absolutely must wander, run back towards me when you're injured.
- 90% health does not count as injured. Don't expect anything more than a HoT if you're above 80%, because I'm not gonna burn magicka for your papercut. If your max health is so low that 80% puts you into the danger zone, slot some damage mitigation.
- Don't ignore synergies. Purify cleanses debuffs, shards restores stamina/magicka, gravity crush will do a nice chunk of AoE damage. There is pretty much never a bad time to hit X.
- Stick with the group. Some of the best, cheapest heals in the game are AoE, and I can't make full use of those if the group scatters across the room. Unless you're dodging or absolutely need spacing because of mechanics, you should be sticking close to the tank, because that's where the heals are going to be.
- Resurrection is your job. If somebody dies, it falls to you first to get them up again, because the tank and the healer need to do their jobs to keep the remainder of the group alive.
- Protect your doctor. If your healer suddenly starts taking a lot of damage, check to see if it's because a bunch of trash mobs escaped the tank — and if your healer is being swarmed by trash, for the love of god, stop focusing on the boss for 2 seconds and save them.
- Pay attention to the fight. Most of the above points boil down to this. I know how easy it is to tunnel vision in on your weave, but a sub-optimal DD with situational awareness is better than a hyper-optimized DD who doesn't pay attention.
- Listen to the tank. In pretty much every MMO I've played over the years, the most competent people I've run into in PUGs have been tanks. Yes, there are bad tanks out there, and if it's clear they don't know what they're doing you obviously shouldn't listen to them. But a good tank will know the mechanics, will know how to handle them, and will know exactly what everyone should be doing — so if they tell you to do something, do it.
- Remember, it's Damage Per Second, not Bitching Per Second. I shouldn't have to explain what this means. Don't be an asshole in PUGs, and definitely don't yell at your healer or tank because you died. As a DD, if you die, odds are good that it's your fault. And even if it isn't, it doesn't matter — you're the one with the 30 minute queue times. A healer or tank can drop from a PUG with a toxic DD and get back to where they were with a new group before you get a replacement for them. Antagonizing your support roles is a good way to find yourself without support roles.
I realize that most of the people who would benefit most from this won't read it, and vice versa, but if even one DD reads this and realizes that facetanking is bad, I will consider it a success.
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© Post "A Healer’s Guide to Being a Better PUG Damage Dealer" for game The Elder Scrolls.
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