The Big Issue with Healing Currently

So lately I have noticed in game a healing shortage for m+ pug listings. Additionally, since I occasionally watch videos for WoW, I’ve noticed a couple of videos discussing the current “issues” with healing that may be driving such a shortage. Presumably this shortage is just in PvE. Or perhaps it is most noticeable in PvE. I do not engage with PvP at all, so I am not sure if healers are needed for any queues or if they are, if there might be a shortage there.

My view of this issue on why I think a shortage is developing is because the number and quality of incentives for healers in the game is less than that for other roles. Specifically, fewer positive incentives, and more negative ones, relative to either the tank role or dps role.

Specifically for a negative incentive the new Afflicted affix in m+ is perceived as an affix for the healer to deal with. Of course when >>> I <<< am in a m+ pug on my mage, I will help the healer by decursing one add when they spawn, but often when I go into groups as a healer, nobody helps.

But the main issue is how fast damage scales, leaving the healer feel powerless to stop deaths. You all (Blizz) increased the keystone scaling per key level this expansion to 10% from the 8% it had been. Although if people read through the Dragonflight Season 1 patch notes we’d all see the insane, truly ridiculous, number of times you nerfed every dungeon in Season 1, so I strongly question both the wisdom and the intelligence of such a scaling increase to begin with.

I did lvl 20 keys in Shadowlands on two separate characters, and damage from bosses on tyrannical, and trash on fortified, never felt as scary as they feel in Dragonflight keys at only level 18. As a dps, the incentive to interrupt and properly use defensives has never been higher. This may be fine in organized groups, but you’re missing something if you think the pug scene does not matter.

So another huge negative incentive for a healer, the threat of instantly losing a party member to some random unexpected damage has also never been higher. And so, and this is key, the associated anxiety and feeling of helplessness, has never been higher. Because a healer’s job is to heal, and keep everyone alive. If you fat finger your keys as a dps or tank, a lot of times nobody notices. But healers often get the side-eye when something goes wrong and there is no clear reason why. Especially true in pugs.

Healers want to heal, if they are given time to do it, time to react.

And this brings me to the main negative incentive on healers that has long been ignored, and cast aside as a non-issue ever since Blizz decreed it to be so. You see, long ago healer mana scaled with gear. As healer item level improved, so did the mana pool. This meant they are more able to heal stupid, which referring back to m+ pugs, sure its nice if your dps interrupt, but a lot of times they don’t, or won’t, and wouldn’t it be a perfect world if they did, but maybe you just have 40 mins and want to heal a key for the day and maybe being able to carry a subpar group is a nice feeling every so often, certainly better than being in a party where the key is bricked.

And I think this lack of ability to scale healing power with gear is unique to healers because a lot of people would be inclined to argue “oh yeah healers scale just like tanks and dps. equip higher item level, number go up! see? scaling.” But that does not address scaling on the core issue of the healer’s role, which is to heal damage. Uniquely for a healer, every encounter feels the same to heal, every boss in raid, every boss in dungeon, all expansion long. There is no scaling anymore since Pandaria. The numbers you put out healing get bigger sure, but that is not the true power of healing. Healers have been neutered ever since the scaling nerf, becoming a very static role.

The new (old) classic- or vanilla- style talent trees that rolled out, was an implicit admission by Blizzard that in a lot of ways the old ways were better, and that newer decisions on how to change the game were inferior in how they make the game feel to play, so it shows there was an accidental wisdom with a lot of the original choices made in the game.

Dps really do just need number go up. Tanks are often just more complicated dps, who do some amount less damage, but also need to manage personal damage mitigation abilities, creature pulling, creature positioning, routing through dungeon, dungeon pacing, etc. That’s a lot of responsibility that seems divorced from the question of scaling, so its questionable whether people enjoying that role, value the character growth as much as anyone else. They probably do, but the answer to that question is not clear to me.

Speaking as someone who has healed for a very long time though. Healers need to feel stronger in terms of stamina, with gear. To be able to heal not just for more, but for longer, to be able to have time to heal, and heal more stupid, if there is more stupid to heal, this is what makes healing feel best.

And for proof, just think back to the race to world first of Sepulcher of first Ones, and the wall that was Halondrus. I think most people remember the crab for the memes, and how difficult it was. But was anyone on the edge of their seat worried about the healers going OOM? Would that have been an exciting thing to worry about? I don’t think any reasonable person, looking at that fight, would say so, but if they did it could only be in a world with scaling mana, because going OOM in such a world as that would actually be surprising, since everyone would know, well equipped healers have such large mana pools. But now, and we all know this, nobody ever thinks about mana at all (unless its hybrids in pvp or m+ keys subsuming the healer’s role but this is only mentioned to placate the nitpickers). Blizz have effectively deleted mana from the game by making every single fight in the game exactly the same with regards to mana, so healers never think about it.

Unless there’s more stupid than usual. In which case…they can go oom or let people die, no matter how geared they are. Its been this way over 10 years. Its just another un-needed negative incentive in this game, specifically for healers. A pointless change for the worse.


While they have balanced things from a healing perspective a lot better now than earlier in the season it was still a hell of a ride.

It just got too tiring, 100k on thrash, 100k on bosses, spiteful so u drank less, bursting so more healing or more dispelling or staggering, incorp doing f- in bosses by spawning at exactly wrong time…All the while you still have to move, cover mistakes and DPS though the last part has changed quite a bit.

Ironically enough dragon boss VP and third boss in Halls of Infusion represent the better picture of what healing should have more been like. Fun and challenging instead of being asinine and stressful.

While it’s a lot better now, they did irreversible damage by adding a ton of nonstop healing checks this season that stacked on each other. A lot of my healer friends have quit this season long ago.


I think this is a good summation. I don’t hate healing right now, and I think to a great degree they have created some well balanced encounters that offer an honest challenge without being unfair, but I think a lot of players got priced out of the game.

As much as I enjoy healing I often find myself aggravated by some of the overlaps, especially in regard to affixes. The healing challenges themselves feel very much tuned independently from the affixes and the extra intrusions are sometimes really poorly timed.

Perhaps I’m a bleeding-heart, but despite being capable of completing content for the highest possible gear, I do not find it at all difficult to see how a lot of players are struggling and not finding it fun.

Unfortunately it’s genuinely a matter of a lot of players needing to get good, but I think they ramped up the difficulty so high that most of them aren’t even interested in trying.

I have no idea how you fix it, but clearly there’s a huge problem at the moment.


A lot of people won’t like it but healers having the leeway to do damage was healthy for the game and they should have leveraged more into healers being able to do damage and also have periodic healing checks. They went way too hard into burst damage to the point where healing is more about calculating other peoples defensive use and praying for good damage prevention rather then healing because damage comes in the form of 500k damage to the face of a random player(if not the whole group) rather then through rot. Also if mass death or dispel debuffs are something that has to exist all healers should have an answer to it rather then just bringing a shadow priest for most keys.

Also fight design should incorporate more rot fights like khajin the unyeilding rather then the current “player gets hit by random mechanic player gets one shot and also damage phase dealing 135% all player health every X seconds.” Its about the least agency a healer can have where you can’t stop a player from dying, and your job is just handle predictable damage while the rest of the group determines whether the fight dies while you ration and optimize cds for the same fight forever.


The biggest problem with healing this season is the affixes. They’re nearly all seen as healer affixes. Combine that with every boss encounter requiring constant movement and how are you supposed to cast heals? Another problem with m+ healing is tanks. Everyone and their mother think they can tank which leads to terrible experiences.

It seems like they worked healing around raiding, which still is easy and boring, while ignoring how it would impact m+


Its 14 weeks into the season. Less people are playing and doing m+ all together. Healing is fine a lot of people are just playing other games until 10.2.

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Blizzard made the health/damage changes but didn’t change encounter design accordingly. We are solving the fights with spreadsheets because these damage events are too spiky to slowly heal up without CDs and overall ambient HPS is too high to account for the spike. When the healers use CDs, they are powerful but mostly wasted because the healers overheal a ton while doing 500k-1mil raw HPS.
Also, we need to get away from baked in rot damage everything. The spells like Riptide that used to move peoples health bar very fast now barely do 5% of someones health.
You can’t nerf healing because the healers can’t deal with the spikes. You can’t nerf the spikes because healers have nothing to do. Blizzard put themselves in a really bad position yet again


As Resto my mana pool goes on E extremely quick after the changes. Blizzard said they want to make everything decision based and cooldowns have more of an impact. I exhaust my cooldowns and I’m SOL. Like you mentioned riptide barely moves the needle at this point, it used to be effective for getting players topped off now it’s just a drop in the ocean. Factor in that many DPS in pugs won’t use their personals to help out and it makes a crappy situation even crappier.


How healing “feels” is the key thing here in this thread. I like challenge. I want the game to gimme lotsa damage to heal. That’s what I’m for! I like makin health bar go woom

What I don’t like is having to stare at my party’s health bars more than the actual danger in front of me because if they take a random bolt from a mob or step on something, I HAVE to shoot them back to full as fast as I can because they will not survive a follow up hit of any kind. Its like that in almost every trash pull and every boss.

I think some of the best healer encounters were when there was push and pull, back and forth to the healing checks required. You’d notice if you were falling behind as the party/raid would get lower. You’d start losing people and it would get intense.

Now you play a raid and all the healers just try to cleave and snipe the most hps from each other to look good on meters because all of them are balanced to shoot up health bars as fast as possible to accommodate the sudden, spiky damage that’s going out


The Pelter mobs in NL make my heart race, especially if nobody stuns them or utilizes CC. Healing this season is stressful, like you mentioned someone can fail a mechanic be low on life before you can top them off some pulse of unavoidable damage kills them or a cast sends them to a dirt nap.

my problem is that healers have less influence over fights in general

it was possible to easily save people who screwed up in previous expansions, not so much now

in BfA healers could save 3 people from death if they popped cooldowns
in Dragonflight healers struggle to get someone to full HP in less than 3 casts and they’re constantly forced to use their big heals on trash mobs because nobody pays attention to mechanics and expects the healer to just power through everything because they COULD in the past, it became the expectation because healers were much stronger in the past

healers got nerfed but expectations for healers remained the same and it’s beyond unfair


You assign healer CD’s using “The Spreadsheet” and MRT notes so you can solve all heal problems to cover all these damage spikes. These damage events are too concentrated, they are requiring to commit healer CDs to make it out alive. These caused 30-50% overheal on Warcraftlog depend on the fight. I checked Warcraftlog for my guild on Heroic Raszageth and the healers had 50% overheal on that fight. That was really insane.

Now, comparing that to Sludgefist in CN and the healers had 10% overheal. Hence I said Blizzard made the health/damage changes but didn’t change encounter design accordingly.

In Mythic:
Dragonflight Mythic dungeons are brutal. It was between damage is too low to care about and people suddenly dropping dead from full HP. At the point, you want to hold your personal CDs for one shot mechanics and they can’t be used to help healers out with rot damage like a magic debuffs and bleed.

The balance between HPS outside of CDs and HPS inside the CDs are HUGE difference, Blizzard needs to change that and encounter design as well. If they don’t, we will stuck with these burst mechanics, one shots mechanics and damage events being too concentrated.

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Hard disagree here. When I put groups together when it is incorporeal or afflicted I’m making my dps selections based on their ability to deal with the affix.

Yes every healer has a button to deal with these affixes and are expected to help by sacrificing the least amount of dps to deal with it there are just times they can not and dps do it.

These new affixes hurt spec that can’t help the most which are not healers.

This is the player standing in mechanics that are avoidable 9/10 times. It’s not the healers fault at all.

In 20-25 key ranges in BFA?

Or in 10s which is where the gear stopped until season 4 which extended to 15s?

It sounds like you could have dropped a healer on heroic Razzy. The shield phase is the only hard healing check anyway and you can assign cooldowns through it.

It’s also a bit funny comparing +20 keys with heroic raiding, when based on the gear item level and crests/primal focus dropped the comparison should be to mythic raiding.

A lot is the discussion on damage though boils down to infinite scaling and if the failure mechanism should be survival or lack of dps to time. In SL it was almost exclusively lack of dps to time, where DF has ramped up some damage to make it possible to be either.

And most of the insta gibbs are trash, as boss damage is fairly telegraphed and patterned.

But the infinite scaling nature, and the design of mythic+, implies if trash is less dangerous then players just pull more. There are very few individually super challenging trash pulls, but when you start combining pulls it can get out of control. And handling that chaos is what makes higher teams better than lower teams, both of which are still only real issues at key levels WAY past where the rewards end.

you can look at Mythic Diurna and Mythic Raszageth on warcraftlog. They were 40%-50% overheal average. The fight required 550k HPS, 3 healers can do that but the bosses have enough spikes where you need 1-2+ mill HPS every 45s. 3 healers can’t do that so you need 4th healer because 3 healers doesn’t have enough CDs for these damage event. 30-40% overheal are 100% normal this expansion because overall ambient HPS is too high on all fights.

M+ healing is a solo position where the healers has to handle all damage patterns and have a flexible healing profile that is able to spot heal, AoE heal, mobile heal and burst/CDs. Holy Paladin is the only healer who can do all of them and it’s the meta specs regardless of numerically nerfs.
Resto Shaman can’t do mobile heal, riptide is too weak for healing and it’s just there to buff the other spells. Resto Shaman need to stand still and cast something to healing people. All healers spec other than Holy Paladin don’t have enough flexible healing profile and toolkits to match with Holy Paladin.

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Raid and M+ healing feel completely different.

In raid it’s more of a competition at times because of how fast the raid gets topped off after damage. There’s a constant power creep of new talents, gear, etc. adding to the power of healers every patch and this raid tier has been all 3-4 healer fights on Mythic. The only hard fights to heal this tier are M Rashok and M Sark. M Sark is literally just P1 you get a crap load of group damage and then P2 you AFK. On Heroic you can already 2 heal a 20+ man raid except for Echo and Sark.

In M+ they’ve ramped up the difficulty on healing with having a lot of spiky damage patterns. Fortified NL is literally one of the hardest dungeons to heal this season because of those pelters and scorpions cleaving the group for obscene amounts of damage on-top of the worm boss.

Personally I’d like to see M+ be far less aggressive on group damage, but they’d also need to nerf healers so we’re not so powerful in raid.

If nobody but holy paladins can do it how were 27-28 timed before 10.1.5?

How were 28-29s timed last season?

For mythic+ (infinite scaling) it still seems inevitable that this happens unless either trash damage is incredibly toothless at < 20 keys so they don’t run away with scaling at the top end or they force damage requirements so high to time that survivability is never the limiting failure condition.

And the more toothless trash damage becomes the more it encourages just pulling more, because why not?

You mean Neltharus/Underrot/FH?

FH = people used the boss cannons to kill trash packs on high keys
Neltharus = pre-nerf chains you could pull half the dungeon into them. Tank invis pots/stealths ahead of the group and just back pulls everything while dps afks by the chains.
UR = already a free key

What changed in 10.1.5 is Paladins brought Blessing of Summer, big group DRs, and way more healing than everyone else. Mages/Aug Evokers were busted for 4 weeks and on week 1 they were at peak op levels.