Wednesday, May 17, 2017

5 Reasons Why It Sucks to Play a Healer in a Video Game

Full disclosure: 97% of the time I play a healing job. There are a lot of things to love about it. Not only do you have the power over the lives, and deaths, of your teammates, you help control the flow of battle by how well you manage your healing abilities. One of the major components that draws me to healers is that you have to be an effective multi-tasker. Apparently I can't get enough of that in my daily life that it needs to seep into my gaming habits as well. I love it!

Final Fantasy XI Red Mage (RDM) was my ultimate dream job. The RDM was set up to be a balance of melee, white magic, and black magic. A literal jack of all trades having enough power in each category to morph into the role a party needs without being too powerful. In the grand scheme of the game it quickly evolved into White Mage 2.0. The tactical gear provided was limited, and there were already plenty of melee jobs on the market. What the game was lacking were alternate healers to make up for the small number of White Mages (WHM) that were available to level. And RDM acted as a nice stand-in.

This type of activity always invigorated me. I could pour my focus into the game and tune out the world for a few hours while I played RDM. It was a wonderful stress relief, even when I was taxing my brain and fingers. Even now on Final Fantasy XIV or Overwatch, I enjoy the jobs that let me multi-task to my heart's content. So again, healers. I'm an Ana player most of the time, and Astrologian is my lifeblood on FF14...until RDM comes out in 34 days.

As much as I love to be a healer, it sucks Donkey Kong balls whenever you play with people you don't game with on a regular basis. If they are outside of your guild, it's bound to result in you head-desking or face-palming a dozen times, while you ponder if "reporting for stupidity" is an option.

Here are the 5 Reasons Why It Sucks to Play a Healer in a Video Game, and why you should avoid the job/class at all costs:

5 - No one on your team will ever listen to you. That's not a joke. It's a fact. If there's a circle of lava or poison on the floor, other people in your party will stand in it like it's no big deal. They'll just take damage over time and think "eh, the healer can take care of it." Or be completely devoid of thought and not realize they are taking damage. And you can tell them hundreds of times to move, but they won't. They'll just keep on standing there like it's no big deal. Because who cares what the healer wants?

4 - People will constantly harass you for healing, even when at full health or after you have died in game. Sometimes it's trolls being trolls. But there are genuinely a lot of people who ignore the status updates on the bottom left of the screen and have no clue that your character has died. So they'll spam you for heal requests and you're dead on the ground. Can't heal when you're dead! But even when you say "I'm dead. Respawn in 10 seconds" the heal requests don't let up. It seems like a majority of people ignore the reality and hope you'll magically spawn back to life to give them the curing they desperately don't need.

3 - The gear kind of sucks. The end-game fashion looks great, but it takes a while to get to that point. Mage gear is notorious for looking like trimmed potato sacks that sort of fit your character's frame. In FF14, from level 52-54 you can receive multi-colored, pepto-pink and green jester gear for the healing jobs. It is atrocious. Most games at level 15, if you are a tank or a melee, has some respectable looking duds. But healers? Potato sack.

2 - Speaking of gear, it's expensive. For Healers more so then any other job. And a lot of this is based on the game economics. There are so few people who play as a healing job, making and selling gear is counter-productive for crafters. Why wait on one big pay day for a healing staff that may take 2 weeks to sell, when you can pour your resources into crafting blades for Paladin's or Warrior's, make 100 of them, and get the same profit in a fraction of the time? The few bits of gear that do exist for Healer's on markets are overpriced to account for the rarity. It sucks.

1 - Everyone will blame all failures on you. It doesn't matter what did or didn't happen. If the dungeon ran too long, it's your fault. If someone died, it's your fault. If the rare gear didn't drop, it's your fault. Healer's are the ones that get the bad rep, even when they do everything right. Why? We don't know. For being one of the toughest jobs to master with so much responsibility, people are quick to blame and assume you have the easiest role in the game. "You just cast cure and nothing else." Oh...if they only knew just how stressful it can be.

So do yourself a favor. Don't play the healer. If you want people to not care about your job of choice, pick Monk. Hand to Hand specialties seem to get the least amount of flack and all you have to do is punch things. That's a win-win scenario.

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