This past weekend I finally had the opportunity to heal a couple dungeons with the Strawberry Friends, my Warcraft family. We did Necrotic Wake both times, once on Horde and once on Alliance. I was happy to finally be able to give healing a real go in Shadowlands and it was definitely a learning experience!
I find Necrotic Wake to be an unpleasant experience due to all the gooey undead creatures in it and the excess of mobs. I call the first boss barf boss, the next one gross doctor of repetitive nonsense and chains, the third boss is the dude on the mount, and the fourth boss can kiss my butt. Doing the dungeon was challenging as shadow priest dps and a whole lot harder for me as a holy priest. Not due to anything the Strawberries did, but because it’s such a trial by fire of chaos, as I imagine any healer’s first dungeon experience is.
As I still have a lot to learn about healing, the dungeons were a bit rough and I died a lot and we wiped a lot, and I felt really bad about that. The first time we did the dungeon it was on Horde side so I was on Srirajah (Raj) who dinged 60 in the dungeon and who has pretty decent gear.
But I was still getting familiar with my AoE heals and what sequence works best for what situation and so I made a lot of mistakes. I was extremely grateful though that our fabulous orc tank Kranna was patient with me and tried to take only small groups of mobs so I didn’t get overwhelmed. I ended up having to leave the dungeon halfway through because I had to make dinner for my daughters and myself, but I felt I’d done the best I could and learned a lot.
Then yesterday we did an Alliance run of Necrotic Wake and on blue side, I have my void elf priest Zarivia who is only level 53 and doesn’t have the greatest gear. We had different people in different roles and we were all figuring things out as we went, but I could definitely tell that Zari was weaker than Raj. They both have all the same spells but Raj has come soulbind bonuses while Zari obviously does not yet.
Fortunately, there was a pally in the group and they were nice enough to help out with heals, which I greatly appreciated! For that run, I paid closer attention to what my AoE heals did and my multi-target heals and tried to use everything in the playbook. One thing I definitely love about holy priest healing is that I can still heal in angel form for a while after I die. Considering that I’m a player who is used to being dead and useless a lot, being dead and useful is an awesome improvement!
Despite giving it my best effort, I didn’t do exactly stellar with heals and was dead for most of the last boss fight. I’m used to being dead during that fight, but it’s really bad when I’m supposed to be the healer and I’m dead, especially since they managed to beat him without my heals. In the past, that fact would’ve made me throw in the healing towel permanently. They finished the fight without my heals, my heals must suck, why bother?
But I felt something rather surprising for me after that. I didn’t want to give up and just accept defeat, I didn’t want to quit and go back to dpsing because I’m better at it, I wanted to keep trying! I genuinely enjoy healing and find it an exciting new challenge. I think I’ve improved even in only two dungeons and I know I’ll continue to improve the more practice I get. I’m getting more of a feel for it, losing my nervousness and panic a smidge, and finding a good focus.
When I said to my oldest daughter and to my bestie that perhaps the Strawberries wouldn’t want me healing again after last night, but that I still enjoyed healing, they said I should keep healing. As I learned later after expressing my dismay on Twitter, the berries appreciate my healing and want me to keep doing it too and that makes me ridiculously happy! Hopefully someday my healing skills will match my enthusiasm for healing, but I’m not there yet.
For me to be undeterred by defeat is a miracle in itself and I know I wouldn’t even be trying healing if not for the patience and encouragement of my amazing Warcraft family. Although I know I will never be as wonderful a healer as our Alla, I hope that I’ll be able to provide some healing backup for her and heals for the rest of the Strawberries when they need it. I am so grateful and overjoyed to have such amazing people in my life and I love that we’re all venturing down this Shadowlands road together.