Healing is tough in Cataclysm, so much so that beyond just heroics, healers have a much higher responsibility in raids to handle raid wide damage, large spike damage on tanks, but also now managing their own mana at a much more micro level than ever before.
Healers not only need to perform triage and figure out who they can heal at this current moment vs. who can wait for a few more moments but they have to worry about which spell do I need to cast right now to keep people alive without depleting my mana at an exponential level.
Fact is with the new pressures in heroics and then bumped up to much higher level of difficulty come the new Cataclysms raids. The question is, is the new raiding difficulty along with the changes in healing burning out healers?
Except for the most hardcore of healers, I tend to see the healing, while challenging, is driving many healers to try DPS or even quit raiding all together. In Burning Crusade then even in Wrath of the Lich King, raid healers were given a bit of a reprieve. While mana was an issue in Burning Crusade, then not so much in Lich King, it prompted healers to almost slack off a bit. It even lent the opportunity for many players to try out healing, however Cataclysm has been much less forgiving on healers.
Tanks got the vengeance buff to help with threat, DPS is same old hat. But in an effort to make healing more fun, Blizzard decided to make mana matter more to the point where you had to triage. However even with triage, healers are still burning through mana. Which I have seen first hand and talked to many people this winds up starting a fight between DPS blaming healers for not keeping them or the tank up. Then the healers blame the DPS for either not pulling their weight or standing in the bad.
Now of course there are many healers out there who are enjoying the challenge instead of the heal spam that Lich King was. But many others are not, there are posts after posts on the Blizzard forums raising concerns that healing is too difficult, not fun, etc. Is Blizzard making raiding too hard on the healers, especially the normal mode or entry level raids? Especially early fights where people are still not getting many epics to assist making the encounters easier? Many think it is too difficult in its current implementation. Though many healers I have talked have also said they like the idea of triage and making mana matter, but the pendulum from Lich King to Cataclysm swung too far on the difficulty side.
Almost every guild on my server is recruiting healers. Talking to friends on other servers, sounds like my server is not the only one. All of a sudden healers are disappearing from the raiding ranks. Could it be healers prefer the Lich King style of heal spam? I don’t think that’s it to be honest, I really think that Blizzard made mana management too difficult. I think that if they reduce the cost of all spells across the board by a certain amount, or increase the potency of those spells, healers may not be getting as frustrated as they are currently. Is it that healers aren’t being recognized by their raiding teammates and as a result feel undervalued?
As a healer what would make this expansion more fun for you? As a raid leader do you find yourself dealing with disputes between healers and others, or even healers quitting or needing breaks?