This picture has nothing to do with healing, but hey look, Worgen!

 

There are some extreme differences in how healers of Wrath of the Lich King will want to handle themselves in the newest expansion, Cataclysm. Here are a few tips that you can use to assess situations and make sure that your group doesn’t call you a nub at the start of something really cool and new.

  1. Blind healing will get you killed! Any miscues, such as incorrect targeting or improper spell, will make sure you are punished immediately in certain circumstances. A proper UI will ensure you are able to watch the screen and bars. Also, make sure you are comfortable with your key bindings and know what your “emergency buttons” are. At the least, it’ll keep you a float while you can catch your breath.
  2. Pick the right heal for the job.Health is important. Don’t underheal or overheal; we want to find the heal that fits just right. A tank may require the slow, big heal compared to the fast, big heal due to mana concerns. Another issue may be spread damage— in this case, don’t forget about party/AoE heals. Regardless of any nerfing that may have occurred, remember any unnecessary damage accrued by DPS or tanking is, in fact, unnecessary.
  3. Triage! Be smart. Prioritize. What’s more important— a DPS, or a tank, in a 5-man? What’s more important— yourself, or a DPS, in a 5-man? While DPS should get the lowest prioritization, know that if you are doing the job right, not everyone may be at 100% all the time. The name of the game is to manage everyone’s health in order to prevent a nasty one shot or two shot! This runs in tandem with…
  4. Observe damage taken. In order for us to triage smartly, we have to watch people’s health and tendencies. Does this DPS keep running into fire, or pull aggro? Maybe this is the time to kick them out for being unhealthy for the group. Watch the tank’s health during trash pulls and know what abilities they use to indicate how the tank will react to some of the damage. It’s important to know your tank, even in PUGs, so it’s also good to gain some knowledge on how the tanking stats work.
  5. Dispel those debuffs! You should always dispel a debuff. There is no less important one that will hinder your ability to heal (e.g. Flame Buffet that increases fire damage, a disease that increases physical damage taken, a curse that limits healing ability potential). At worst, you waste some mana due to not being quick enough. At best, you keep your group from dying. Pretty sure the latter is better!

Hope this helps you with your healing endeavors. Also, it might be a good idea to bring water along if you don’t have a mage…