I’ve been having to pug healers a lot recently, since my raid team has been struck with a series of internet access issues. It’s been a pretty difficult task to even find one or two for a raid night, let alone get them to come two nights a week.
So where have all the healers gone?
I spent some time on the realm forums and looked at all the recruitment threads there. Pretty much every serious raiding guild on the server is advertising for healers. A few tanks, some dps, but always healers and not in proportion to the normal ratios in raid groups. Most of the posts will have a ratio of 1 healer for each dps spot, or higher.
This wasn’t a problem during Wrath, particularly late in the expansion. However, that comparison isn’t fair at the moment – we’re not late in the expansion, it’s not possible to get epics by running heroics and cashing in points. However, even early in Wrath I never saw this problem.
I believe a contributing factor is heroics. At the moment they aren’t a walk in the park, putting particular pressure on the healer. I know several healers who were fantastic back in Wrath who don’t like healing anymore – they prefer to dps. Progression raiding is the same – until a fair bit of raid gear is obtained a lot of the pressure in the group falls on the healers. This isn’t so much about the changes to each healing class (which were significant) but about the fact that the healer has to make up for the mistakes of others, or the group fails. In many cases it is not possible to cover for people anymore, so gearing up a healer and training yourself to be good at healing can be onerous tasks.
So what can be done about it? Honestly, I’m not sure. I try and encourage guild runs with people who want to try healing, and pick up a healer or two in trade chat but these options are not having a significant impact on raid rosters. Advertising on realm forums clearly doesn’t have that much impact since guilds that are well progressed are still having trouble with recruiting healers.
I think things will get better once the 4.1 patch comes out. Then the existing Valor gear will be available with Justice Points and it will become easier to raid in 4.0x content. At this point people will over-gear some content, just like happened in the Wrath expansion, and more healers will be willing to try raids.
Is anyone else seeing this on their servers? How do you go about recruiting or training healers?