Reluctant Healer

Tyranny of Blank Page

ffxiv 2015-03-11 19-16-57-98 I’ve been going through a bit of a spell the last several mornings where I get upstairs, sit down, and stare into the abyss that is a blank screen not really knowing quite what to fill it with.  So this is a post to tell all of the people that read me, that seem to think I have this limitless font of material… that sometimes it runs dry.  In part it feels like I am just not doing all that much of any interest in the games I am playing.  Due to various issues at work my in game time has been very distracted.  Often times I might be at the screen but I am doing a generally poor job of paying attention to the people around me.  Even last night while sitting on Voice Chat, it was like it was filtered and muffled in the background of my mind, taking a few minutes to pull my focus forward and actually understand what someone just said.  Suffice to say it is me, not the games I am currently playing that is causing the problem and in an attempt to make things better I went to bed pretty early last night.

The last few days have just been odd to exist in my skin.  I had a very interrupted weekend, where I did not accomplish much in the way of gaming.  Then each morning my routine is thrown off because my wife is on spring break, and while in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t change my schedule  that much… something feels fundamentally off.  It has been nice having her home during the day because it means I don’t have to figure out something for dinner that can be reheated easily.  Last night she made this amazing batch of Chicken and Dumplings, and from the sound of it the recipe was super easy.  Largely just dump a bunch of stuff in the crock pot and give it an appropriate amount of time.  The thing that frustrates me the most about my current “out of it” state, is that I feel like at any given moment I am letting down five people because I am not doing whatever they need me to do.  Between MMOGames, the fledgling AggroChat site, the insanely growing free company in Final Fantasy XIV, the guild in World of Warcraft and various sundry other side projects I feel pulled in so many places.  When I am “myself” and in my right mind, with the appropriate frame of reference… it all seems to work.  When I am in this current stupor nothing seems to function and I am failing in equal parts at all of it.

Reluctant Healer

ffxiv 2015-03-19 06-33-40-41 One of the more interesting side effects of my current mission to cap poetics every single week, is the fact that I seem to be absolutely rolling in Tomestones of Soldiery.  As a result I have been using it to bolster all of my other classes, and most recently I have been pouring it into my White Mage.  The ultimate irony is that I am sitting at 104 gear score, but have yet to heal anything at level 50.  I have to say I am looking pretty badass though in my daystar gear set.  Overall I am a huge fan of all of the soldiery gear, though I feel like I should probably be spending the points on my Bard instead.  My bard actually gets use anytime we need a ranged dps for something and not a tank.  This doesn’t happen extremely often, but far more often than I would ever consider swapping to heal something.  I have to admit that healing in Final Fantasy XIV was really fun up through Brayflox… and then it is like things got too real for me.  I had too many flashbacks to my early days as a healer, and it stopped being nearly as much fun.

I know I have covered this numerous times but I started my MMO career as a Cleric in Everquest.  For years I had played Clerics in Dungeons and Dragons and managed to turn them into these awesome holy warriors.  Picking the right deity here, and the right spells there… could turn what is usually a support class into an amazing front line battle priest.  Unfortunately this design went against everything that was Everquest, and I spent a lot of my time soloing using the good ole Root and Nuke combination.  Then when it came to raiding… I had to learn about the frustration that is the Complete Heal Rotation, where every 2 to 3 seconds the main tank is getting a full heal, so you have to time the 12 second cast so that someone is always starting up the next one.  All of this makes me really reluctant to heal anything, because I never want to get back into a mode of operation where that style of game play is the normal.  So I guess I have a bit of a mental block towards actually putting myself out there as a viable healer.  I would gladly do it for anyone in the free company, but I just haven’t really made it widely known that it was an option.

Guild Tanking

ffxiv 2015-03-19 06-43-48-08 Instead I am far more comfortable taking up the mantle of a guild tank.  In my current daze I have probably missed a half dozen opportunities to tank for guildies.  Last night I managed to catch one of these as Solaria  and her daughter Isalenne needed to run Haukke Manor.  I would have tanked anything for them, but it so happens that Haukke is probably one of my favorite dungeons in the entire game.  I love the whole Castlevania feel to the place, and while leveling my healer I seemed to get that place almost every single time I popped into the low level roulette.  As a result I have pretty much every pull memorized, and Isa commented on just how relaxing the run was compared to the average duty finder one.  I actually got into a discussion on twitter yesterday about DPS queues and class balance and I realize that I am 100% part of the problem.  I will happily don the mantle of the serious tank when it comes to my friends…   but when I solo queue for the duty finder… I do so as a DPS.  I’ve never really learned how to turn off that part of me that takes total responsibility for the success or failure for the group when I am tanking.  As such I am willing to take that burden for my friends, but cannot bring myself to do it for strangers.

The problem is I know deep down in my bones how generally awesome the Final Fantasy XIV community is.  I know that I have tanked for random strangers before while leveling… and actually enjoyed it.  The problem is I have this mental wall that I struggle to get around.  Since the introduction of the Ninja, the DPS queues in Final Fantasy XIV have been completely out of control.  If you do a low level duty finder you can be sitting in that queue for over thirty minutes as dps, and if you are a ninja… it trends extremely close to infinity as the game seems to try to stick a ranged and a melee in a group if at all possible.  The end result is a lot of frustration for newer players that just need to get dungeons running.  As such I try my damnedest to intercept people needing dungeons and make them happen among free company members.  The problem is… not all of my friends are on Cactuar, and not all of them are in our Free Company.  I really should be a better person and do more “charity queues”, which is a term we came up with shortly after release when everyone seemed to need Ifrit but no one could get a group.  Various members of our free company would queue for Ifrit and help a bunch of people through that obstacle.  I remember one Black Mage had been sitting in that queue for three hours, so really I need to step up to the plate and do more random tanking.  Knowing this however is slightly different from doing this…  but I am going to try and force myself out there.

10 thoughts on “Reluctant Healer

  1. We haven’t queued for much, but I don’t mind pugging as a tank because I always have Chaide as a pocket healer. Yeah, it kind of feels like cheating, but it’s fast queues. Though, honestly, if it came to queueing without him, I’d still probably do it as tank, because really, so long as you do the mechanics right, it’s the fault of the people who screwed up–no matter your role.

  2. I’m kind of in the same boat when it comes to healing. I don’t mind healing a low-level roulette, but I have a block against trying to heal in the higher levels — though like you my WHM has a 104 gear level right now.

    FWIW, I did queue a high level roulette not too long ago, and I was actually surprised by how easy it was to heal it. Maybe I just had a good group, but I felt like it was easier than even dps’ing on that run.

    As far as tanking goes, I’m mostly doing dungeons to grind out my tank levels since they give such high kill xp, the daily bonus xp, etc. I posted a bunch of horrow stories about the teens and low-20’s dungeons, but now that I’m getting into Haukke and Brayflox, the groups have been getting a lot better, and it’s been pretty chill to tank the randoms.

    Of course I’m always down to tank or heal for an FC group to make a duty finder queue go faster too.

  3. Be nice to yourself! It’s okay to not have as much attention for everything when something comes up. I’ve been hustling so hard lately for work that when 5pm hits I am too braindead to even play games. Instead I’ve been watching a ton of TV over the last week and I haven’t even logged into FFXIV.

    And you know what? That’s totally okay! I’ll be back shortly when my life settles down a bit. And same with you — don’t stress yourself out about it. 🙂

  4. Maybe you should take a break from the games or just do some fun stuff for a little. Go to the saucer, play some minigames and GATEs. Take up fishing as a leisury sport instead of grinding it. Just have a bit of fun and not worry about that stuff for a couple of days.

  5. I tend to run high level content as a monk, but low level content as whatever the “Adventurer in Need” is, because I like the 7500 gil bribe for doing so. I tend not to have any issues queueing low-level dungeons as a tank, and yes, the group almost always has a rogue or ninja.

    Although the other thing I’ve been trying lately is pushing other people who I know have tank classes levelled into tanking random things. I like tanking, but it’s also nice to have other people capable of performing the role when I’m not up to it for whatever reason.

  6. DPS queues are really awful in the low level. It stopped me from running low level daily roulettes because I’d spend more time waiting to get into the dungeon than doing the dungeon.

    Here’s to hoping that when the expansion comes out, that will change. A lot of people are interested in Dark Knight (which is why I think they made them a tank). But then, my worry is we’ll have a lot of tanks who are just there for the bling and don’t really know how to properly protect their group.

    The positive side? People who never thought to play existing tank classes may give Dark Knight a try and learn they like tanking. Who knows!

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