To pull or not to pull... a healer's perspective.

Okay, I've been healing in this here game for years (since the beginning I suppose). I have a Druid and a Priest running heroics and a Pally waiting in the wings at 71 so I am familiar with most aspects of healing.

I mainly stick to random dungeon pickup groups. As you can guess, the latest changes have been a great benefit to me in many ways. As a casual player I rarely get time for raids. This post is applies to pickup groups as raids always have a mechanism for this type of thing.

I've come across all kinds of Tanks and all kinds of DPS. One thing I've never understood is the agreement on when to pull and when to wait. Sometimes, rarely, but every once and a while this will be agreed upon in the beginning. Some times there will be the simple "r?" in party chat, other times it's just pull, pull, pull until someone says something. Here are the 3 methods I've seen.
  • An agreement before the first pull on who sets the pace of the run. This is ideal but slows things down a little bit.
  • The generic "r?" in party chat. This is bad because nobody EVER waits for everyone to respond.
  • Pull, pull, pull until something bad happens or someone says "Wait a sec...". This is bad because something bad usually happens before anything changes.
The other day in Utgarde Pinnacle I was running with a particularly eager DK Tank (I know, hard to believe) and he runs like two rooms ahead and charges into a large group. Now we were outgeared for this instance in general but he pulled the whole room, around 8-10 mobs. By the time I get there he was dead and the Pally DPS was next in line. I backed away and with a little luck, melded successfully. I proceeded to apologize and rez people. The first thing he says is... "Wow, that sucked... I didn't get one heal.".

My suggestion to every tank or aspiring tank is to make a quick macro. If nothing else just use it in random pickup groups. It will save the party from much grief and your healer will thank you, I promise. If nothing else it can just say "/y The tank is pulling now...". If you want to get creative you can throw in an audible emote. This makes things great for that errant healer that might be watching the television while drinking or alt-tabbed out to browse applicable loot. It gives just enough warning that when the flesh starts to fall, a greater heal or a regrowth should be right behind.