Sometime during the last month I stopped queuing as a Healer/Damage for the daily random Heroic. Now I just choose Damage.
Yes, now I have much, much longer queues to get into Halls of Stone (which I get about three times more often than any other dungeon). I was trying to pinpoint the moment when I unchecked that “Healer” checkbox. The long wait for a dungeon as Damage – 10 to 15 minutes – seems like a reasonable trade off compared to completing the dungeon as a healer.
My healing set is still a mishmash of +hit items with 2 piece Tier 9.
I started choosing Damage so that I could run Heroics and enjoy my new gear. To try out my new gear in a familiar setting to see how it performs – and after a Target Dummy, a Northrend Heroic which I’ve run a billion times is where I conduct my second test drive.
After a few days of patiently queuing as Damage I had a particularly busy day outside of WoW – one of those days where you leave the house and realise 12 hours later that you’re not getting home any time soon. I got home right before midnight, mentally calculating if I had time to do the random Heroic before the day “ended”. In Blizzard time I think this is at either 1.30AM or 2.30AM server time. To speed things up I queued as Healer/Damage and was dropped into – you’ll never guess – Halls of Stone to heal.
The DPS was agonizingly slow. The tank and 3 DPS were all still in the gearing-up stage where Emblems of Triumph are the goal. We did a full clear. I didn’t complain. But I felt that this group needed me – needed me as a Shadow Priest. They gained a healer, yes, but at the cost of a significantly faster run. I tried to help out with the damage but I’ve never really mastered DPSing while healing as Discipline. It’s certainly not like DPSing once you’ve talented into the Shadow tree so I’ve never really been compelled to try.
There was once an argument covered on WoW.com: Who should heal in battlegrounds? And the answer was: anyone who can, should. Whether you think that’s true of PVP or not, I don’t think that’s true in PVE. Asking damage dealers to queue as their weaker/less geared Tank or Healer role does presumably get groups matched up and started faster. But you’re losing a whole bunch excellent damage dealers in the process.
Futhermore if it’s true that the Dungeon Finder evaluates you on the gear in you possession, whether it’s in your bank, bag or equipped, then I’m being chosen as though I’m a first rate ICC25 geared and experienced healer – which I’m most certainly not. Yes, I’m still qualified to heal a heroic. But there’s only so much “carrying” that I can do.
As my guild clears the Icecrown Citadel bosses my Damage and Healing gear sets will continue to get further and further apart. My DPS set is excellent. And why shouldn’t my future party members benefit from it? What’s the point in spending thousands of DKP to get Dislodged Foreign Object only to let it gather dust in your bags?
So now I queue as Damage only. It’s the role that I’ve perfected. I’m not one of these slackers who queue as Damage wearing full healing gear and request that everyone else passes on healing gear – if you’re one of those: get out of my party or start doing your “main spec” job now.
I have a new understanding for why so many Ret Paladins, DPS Warriors and DKs queue as DPS only when they could be tanking.