I love to heal, but why do people yell at me for not DPSing?
The Regen Giver
DEAR REGEN GIVER:
I’m sure you have seen this wonderful gem from the Conjurer quest line.
The argument for pushing DPS as a healer has been a hot topic for debate for as long as healers have had that option in this game. It seems almost every day there’s some new post complaining about healers’ DPS or lack thereof. This sparks a massive debate which eventually (and unfortunately) ends with unending arguments on all sides of the table. Some tanks complain when they’re dangerously close to death, others complain when they’re kept at full health, some healers complain that they’re bored, and yet others complain that DPS is too slow, etc, etc.
So, to avoid being overwhelmed, remember the golden rule: a living party is a happy party. If you don’t feel confident enough to keep up the party and Cleric Stance dance, then don’t do it. The dungeon will go much faster if you keep everyone alive, than if you try to DPS and cause a wipe. Even a seasoned healer knows that some dungeons will require them to stay out of Cleric, whether it be an under-geared tank, tank aggro issues, or DPS getting hit by AOEs.
Now, I don’t mean to never drop into Cleric Stance. Quite the opposite. As a healer main, (I play White Mage, and have run Scholar in my savage raid group) I’m always blown away by those who never utilize Cleric Stance. It’s so much fun to see what you can get away with without killing your tank (a fact which I‘m sure my tank friend loves). By level 60 every healer has some kind of instant heal that they can use in a pinch if they stayed in Cleric just a smidge too long. Just make sure you drop that Cleric Stance first! A confident White Mage, for example, doesn’t even have to stop DPSing. Just throw a Benediction in the middle of a combo and move on. Scholar and Astrologian have it a bit more difficult, as they have to drop Cleric Stance to get the full effectiveness out of their heal, but with both dropping Cleric, the heals are insta’ cast. With practice, you’ll be able to weave in and out of Cleric Stance without anyone even realizing it.
The keyword here is practice. Learning to Cleric Stance dance effectively will take time. You will lose more than one tank in your practice, and that’s okay! I do, however, highly recommend finding a tank friend to practice with. Random Duty Finder tanks don’t always take kindly to being a practice dummy, and some can be extremely jittery at low health. If you’re a White Mage, remember that your Holy gives you a few seconds of Stun which (assuming the enemies aren’t immune) means zero damage goes off on the tank. Be careful if you’re healing Dark Knights however, as their Blood Price ability gives them mana back when they are hit by an enemy, a 10 second Stun at the wrong time will make for a very sad Dark Knight. Astrologian also has a Stun, albeit a much shorter duration and on a longer CD, but it will give you time for an extra Gravity if timed properly. Scholars have an amazing fairy that will be more than happy to do the work if you let her.
Cleric Stance dancing can be extremely fun if given the time to learn, but don’t stress about it! Just remember the golden rule!