10 reasons why Tanks shout at Healers


  1. We’re actually paying attention to you. Here am I, trying to keep the bitey things off your back and when I look round you’re … standing in a fire. GET OUT OF THE FIRE!
  2. We’re actually paying attention to you #2: dps may be nice chaps and chapesses but as soon as the fight starts, they’re deaf, dumb, and blind to everything except their optimal rotations (assuming they are paying attention at all) or will get distracted completely by the occasional high crit. SHINY! They won’t care if the healers are turning cartwheels at the back of the room. I, on the other hand, am paying close attention to at least my own health bar and probably yours too.
  3. We’re actually paying attention to you #3 (co-dependent argument): So why exactly are you not paying as much attention to me as I am to you? If I had to run up some stairs to grab a boss, I may have assumed you were not nailed to the ground and could follow? Why does nobody love me as much as I love them? IT’S NOT FAIR! Am I fated always to be losing my heart to uncaring unresponsive healers? *sob*
  4. We’re not actually paying attention to anyone except you: most tanks don’t notice what the dps are doing and won’t realise you had to run off to heal them. Whereas healers probably keep an eye on everyone by default.
  5. We’re not actually paying attention to you. Oh, you were dead? What sort of excuse is that? OK, moving swiftly on.
  6. We probably know the instance backwards. When I’ve run an instance enough times, I pretty much know what my health bar usually does in conjunction with a healer who is paying attention. I will notice if it does something radically different for no obvious reason. (This doesn’t mean not making allowances when you know you’re with an inexperienced or undergeared healer.)
  7. You just ran off and pulled a patrol by mistake? Oh, it was on purpose because you were getting bored. I see. *RAGE*
  8. I know if I made a mistake. If I’ve taken a wodge of damage, I know fine well if it was my own fault. I won’t shout at anyone for that (unless it’s to hide my own incompetence). But if I know that I didn’t stand in the fire then that dismisses one set of reasons for my health to have dropped unexpectedly. You’re probably what’s left.
  9. You’re married/ partners in RL. Nuff said.
  10. Warriors just like to shout. Battle Shout, Commanding Shout, Shout at Healers (no cooldown on this one but it doesn’t last long either). People also pay more attention if you shout at them, it’s a proven fact. Probably.

OK, so the big reason for all the shouting at healers is because tanks and healers in particular have to work together in fights. And that means sometimes you need to coordinate your efforts and communicate. And when you have to communicate quickly in the middle of a fight with no time for discussion, that may mean shouting. It also means not much time for critical thinking.

The other big reason for shouting at healers is pure frustration. I noticed myself doing this on our attempts at heroic beasts this week, and I hope I apologised to them all afterwards because I felt pretty bad about it.

In the first part of that fight, once your cooldowns and consumables are blown, you just have to sit there and take the hits. As a tank, there’s not a darned thing you can do to reduce the damage you are taking. You can’t move out of the way, there’s no avoidable damage to avoid. You just have to go through your standard tanking threat rotation and hope like crazy that healers are on top of it.

I think it’s that sense of total powerlessness that fuels the shouting. Because when people ask afterwards why you died, the only thing you can possibly say is, ‘Not enough healing.’

32 thoughts on “10 reasons why Tanks shout at Healers

  1. Not enough healing isn’t the only reason someone died. Maybe they were in the wrong place, under-equipped, didn’t bring essential poison-remove potions, got sucked under by some nasty darkling at the wrong time. Not enough healing to THEM – maybe it’s more important to keep dps up at some stages in a fight… maybe the other tank sucks, and didn’t switch aggro fast enough. Lots of reasons.

    I don’t think there’s any reason to shout at another person when you could say something just as easily.

  2. I know tanks who have shouted at healers, it’s usually anger and frustration coming out, just gets misdirected at a person rather than, say, a nearby wall.

    That said, I smiled at the 10 reasons.

  3. This made me chuckle abit.

    I think most of the time it’s just part and parcel of the whole raiding or instance-running experience. Tempers fray sometimes, it happens, so long as people are cool about it afterwards and apologise, it’s all alright.

    The important thing is to be having fun. When that stops, why bother? 🙂

  4. I only recently plucked up the courage to run CoS Heroic on my Priest. I am Disc specced with almost 1900 spellpower so I think I have the gear covered and I know what I’m doing in terms of using my abilities. However, I know how intensive that place is on healing and therefore would not do it until I felt that I was optimally geared for it, after all, nothing wipes a group faster than a bad healer. I take my duties seriously so that (hopefully) we can have a smooth run and if we don’t at least I can keep my end up.

    • Aww, don’t stress overly about it. There’s going to be a point where you have to learn (I wiped us on Meathook the first time I healed through that on my druid, I remember, and I was quite well geared at the time. For example.)

      Main thing is, don’t let other players get you down. Sometimes they’re just being dicks. Other times, they’re trying to help but really bad communicators. If a healer tells me they’re new then I’ll just take things more slowly and check they’re OK before we do anything tough.

  5. Well, weather or not yelling at the healers is justified depends entirely on the circumstances. It depends on who the player is, how they operate, and what exactly is happening.

    In my raids, there’s a lot of chatter going on during an encounter. People calling out debuffs, phase changes, spike damage, interrupt rotations, cooldown rotations, and tanking rotations. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to catch someone in the process of doing something stupid either through ignorance or negligance, and yelling is a quick and effective way to differentiate your command from the vent chatter that a lot of us just sort ignore.

    @Arbitrary, I can’t think of too many fights where the DPS is ever more important than the tank. Most phases where that occurs, such as phase two mimiron, are followed by a phase requiring a tank, so even then, the tank’s health should be paramount. If a healer is assigned to the tank, there is no reason why healing DPS should be an excuse. Either the healer was strictly healing the tank and couldn’t keep up, in which case, the healer’s throughput was insufficient and should be assigned a helping hand, or they strayed from their assignment.

  6. I am not playing to suffer someone’s frustration thank you very much. Sorry, but if you need to shout at people, you need to step back and take deep breath.
    It’s intolerable.

  7. Wotcha everyone,
    I’m with TFM on this one. I play for fun, and sometimes I just mess up. It’s part of being clumsy and random.
    If it’s my fault, I put my hand up and say sorry. I don’t expect to have ANY member of a group shout at me before or after a wipe.
    I remember a gag comment on an MMO forum that said that no matter the game, no matter the name of the class, all Healers are pet classes. Their pet is called a “Tank”. Comedy aside, Tanks and Healers have a sometimes symbiotic relationship, especially when raiding.
    Upsetting your symbiotic buddy by shouting at them isn’t the best way to keep that relationship good. Or the best way to keep the heals coming…

    • Key statement here is:-

      ‘I dont expect to have ANY member of a group shout at me before or after a wipe’

      How about during? There does occur the odd moment when a Tank or Healer (or Raid Leader or just about anyone actualy) may need to get the point across quickly when they’ve become aware of something bad/good/critical. ‘MANY WHELPS!!!’ or ‘OOOOOMMMM!’ come to mind. But there is a world of sifference to shout at and just shouting ofc.

  8. To follow on from my reply to Hawley:-

    If you’re trying to get he point across quickly and dont have time for a debate then a shout might be the only way. Dependng on your group/raid. I’m sure there are groups whyere raid coms is so strict that basrely a word is muttered through tank fights and others where shouting or not wont get you heard over the hubbub. But in most groups I’ve been in now and then CAPS or a raised voice was needed to grab attention.

    As to shouting AT healers, well I’m a healer so I have strong feelings on this. Tanks that just rant and rave and tell you bad things will get /ignored and I’ll let them die. But sometimes I do need a nudge. Did I do Firefighter last night and then absently mindedly forget to scrub poisen in ToC 5 man and let the tank die? o/ That would be me, I’ll be here all night wiping your group….

    I’m lucky in that I work with 4 very good tanks allmost exclusively and they’ve very good and if they shout at me on occasion its often needed. When I step outside of that comfort zone (Alt Tanks or (horror) PuGtanks) its eyes wide open and ready for what occurs.

    (and one of those 4 rather competent tanks happens to be Mrs Spinks who hardley ever shouts 😉 )

  9. Excellent comments. I’m a newbie tank. I will state that fact before the run. Hopefully I will learn and become better at my role. I understand that people can become excited, but in the end this is only a game…

  10. “5. We’re not actually paying attention to you. Oh, you were dead? What sort of excuse is that? OK, moving swiftly on.”

    Look Mr. B! Angels!

    Though, seriously, Can I get 30 feet high glowing shit when any healer dies? Or better yet, when a tank dies? Something that’s impossible to miss. Something that says “Oh, y’all are fucked now.”

  11. “Can I get 30 feet high glowing shit when any healer dies? Or better yet, when a tank dies?”

    RBS (RaidBuffStatus) is your friend!
    Properly configured it doesn’t work as a loud pre-encounter-failbot, but as a very useful information terminal.
    Whispers, if someone’s missing the soon expiring fish oder mage table, raid-warns when portal, healthstone, meal or tablle is going to be summmoned and informs you, if keyroles (healer/tank) die.

    Or did I missed the message?

    I almost never yell as a tank, but more often as a raidleader, just to get done, what have to be done, YESTERDAY.

    But as a bored healer it’s sometimes just to tempting to laserbeam another patrol into combat… luckily that keeps my tanks to busy for shouting 😉

  12. Is the standard attitude toward DPS really that poor? I don’t know about a lot of players, but I usually notice *before* the tank that there’s a bitey thing on a healer or squishy DPS, and I’m typically the one to go peel the bitey thing off to bring it back to the tank who’s too busy staring at a mob’s crotch to do anything about it–all this while pulling above-average DPS. And then I die for my trouble. Better that than the healer though.

  13. Personally I praise good dps who are willing to forfeit their spot on the meters to save someone.
    And as for dps never being higher priority than tank – well, if fight has any kind of enrage timer I am often in situation in which I am saving dps from certain death, assuming that tank will have some cooldown ready, or that I can heal him/her at the last moment. Sometimes of course I am wrong and we wipe, but it comes with the job, fast decisions. Sure, well-made and executed healing orders make such situation rare, but I assume that we aren’t talking about raiding in world top 100 guild.
    All in all, tanks don’t have full picture of what’s going on. And yelling “HEAL FFS!” will get them only delay after wipe as they will have to find new healer.

  14. I make it a rule to almost never yell at healers. I am bad at healing and I hate the stress. That makes it a triple no-no for me to yell at them.
    1) Don’t criticize those whose jobs you cannot do.
    2) Don’t criticize those whose jobs you would not do.
    3) Don’t add unproductive stress to those with too much already.
    I will be constructive if I can, but unless the healer is doing something very obvious wrong, I can’t offer much beyond “heal more,” so I tend to say something vague and neutral about how I ran out of health. And then blame the hunters.

  15. Dear tanks,

    Shouting at healers solves absolutely nothing, sorry. If there’s too much chatter on the channel for normal speech to be heard, then the raid has other issues that should be addressed.

    If someone screwed up, ok. It happens. Be a rational adult about it and not a whiny child with a sense of entitlement. If someone screws up often, then don’t raid with them, or at least not until they develop the skills needed.

    Healing is the most stressful and least appreciated skill in MMOs overall, and it’s also the most important. Either do it yourself, or show some appreciation for the people who are working to try to keep everyone alive.

    Constructive criticism is of course always good. Everyone can improve their skills, and sometimes a quick word can bring a distracted player into focus. However, speaking as someone who’s primarily been a healer in MMOs for over a decade now… if someone yells at me, that goes on my mental tally. If their tally gets too high, I lose interest in working with them. Generally speaking, yelling at someone is a sign of self-absorption and immaturity, and I don’t like spending my free time in a game with self-absorbed and immature people.

    I do enjoy competence and always try to do my best. Mistakes will happen and I’ll apologize if the mistakes are mine, and I’ll work to correct them. Yelling at me won’t help me improve and won’t fix the mistakes I already made. Likewise, I won’t yell at you for not paying attention and failing to peel the monsters off me. I’ll point out, reasonably, that I can’t heal you when I’m being smacked around, and that while healing is my job, I can only do it if you’re also doing your job. Sometimes my perceived failures as a healer are due to your failures as a tank. Own your own failures.

    The healer’s code: “I will do my best to keep the group alive, starting with my agreed-upon priorities. If I’m supposed to focus on one person, I’ll do that; if I’m meant to heal the whole group, I’ll do that. I’m not your bitch. I’m not your pet. I’m a person performing a difficult role that is every bit as important as yours, and I expect the same respect that I show to you.”


    A healer

  16. Lol, I like the tongue in cheek way you wrote your post – very humorous =)

    Kind of a funny coincidence but I wrote about this same subject from the healer’s point of view, a fluffy post.

  17. Being a healer, the last line struck me as hilarious. “Because when people ask afterwards why you died, the only thing you can possibly say is, ‘Not enough healing.’”

    Always look at what you yourself could do differently before pointing out what others could do. Just to be politic!

    There are so many other ways to say that, too.
    “Too much incoming damage.” (Blame the boss/RNG)
    “No cooldowns available” (healer cd, tank cd, draenai cd.. does that racial heal stack?)
    “I need more HP” (self directed)

  18. The idea of people shouting over a computer game is ridiculous yet I’ve seen (heard it happen). If anyone shouted at me, I’d just disband from them immediately.

    I usually play tanks and I’ve tanked for thousands of groups and done a few raids. I’ve never felt like raising my voice at anyone, ever.

  19. The reasons a tank yells at healer are usually 2:

    1. A wipe

    2. (in heroics) Healer can’t keep up with the pace.

    The reason 2, means: healer ran out of mana and needs to drink or doesn’t know the instance well and got lost, or stumbled into a patrol etc. Same as people treat blue geared 25k HP tanks as dirt in heroic pugs because you should link [epic] to join heroic UK of course, they do the same to blue geared healers who can heal you through this but will finish at 40% mana instead of 90% and can’t keep it up when you pull 3 packs at once. Actually timed CoS is better because you CANNOT pull 3 packs at once, spawning is gated one after another.

    The reason 1 can happen for many reasons. But it’s always healing output + tank survivability + damage incoming.

    Maybe damage incoming was too high because you pulled 3 packs at once on that “speed run” or you stood in the fire tanking Koralon and thought “doh they should heal me through this”.

    Maybe the tank survivability was too low, you didn’t use available cooldowns, turned back to adds or just your gear is borderline for the content you’re trying.

    Maybe the healing output was too low, and while sometimes it’s frustrating your personal “tank healer” DCed, be sure he hates it even more. Or maybe he had a snowbold on his back and no one bothered to take it off.

    I play a dual specced tanking / healing Paladin and that taught me whichever role I take, I never yell at the other one, unless I see he acts totally stupid. Because I know I could be in his shoes now.

    I only yell when I know if I actually were in his shoes, I’d never play as crap as he did. No, I did not forget how it is to be new, undergeared, have bad latency, but there is a point when you see people have no clue whatsoever, and even after explaining tactics they fail to do what they were told.

  20. Pingback: Sharing information in fights: Everyone’s a critic « Welcome to Spinksville!

  21. As a Shaman healer on my main, I can tell you emphatically the three things that wipe a raid most often in my experience.

    1. Tanks who pull like they are in their Superman underoos. They don’t tell anyone when they are going to pull, they run off to pull while I’m drinking, or they pull half the instance when that isn’t appropriate for the group composition. Some tanks have a “just keep me healed” attitude. Tanks are notoriously bad at math, and don’t realize that depending on the fight, I may be able to heal through 2500-3000 DPS in BURSTS, and if you get yourself into a situation where you are taking 5000 DPS and I’m the only healer I couldn’t do it if I were Jesus himself.

    2. Healers that don’t know their assignments or get their ass dead early in the fight. There’s one druid in my guild who is expert at this. It’s usually #1 above. Healers that don’t know how to manage their mana are also deadly. These are usually the know-it-all healers, which makes it doubly annoying. Also annoying are Druids who Innervate themselves when they are doing the raid healing. Come on, man!

    3. A raid that doesn’t know how to aggro/damage manage as a team. This probably should be #1 on this list, as more often than not, our raids wipe when people who should be taking aggro/damage do so, and consume healing resources. Many of my heals take a second or three. If 5 of you are taking damage, 1 or 3 of you are going to die before I can get heals off. Don’t even shout for heals. I need to concentrate on my assignment. Having to chain-heal other healers is a pain too.

    Something for everyone to remember about healing. We don’t have a bottomless mana pool. As a shaman, I can drop a totem, and in a long fight drop it a second time (cooldown) to refresh mana. I can also pop a pot. Once. So if all you happy raiders that aren’t the MT or the OT are running around taking damage you are endangering your tank and healer, and thus your raid. In the holy trinity of raiding tanks and healers are 1a and 1b, and the rest of you all are 2. Don’t agree? Run without one or the other. Rogues and huntards, I’m talking to you. Quit effing getting aggro.

    Overall though enjoyed reading that. Keep in mind that rarely is it healer’s fault any more than it’s tanks fault, or the raid’s fault. We screw up sometimes too. Too is the key word there. No one should be yelling at anyone. Especially when that person has control over your armor repair bill.

  22. Unusually short post for nugget!

    As both a tank, and a healer (and DPS for stress-free giggles), this post makes me sad inside in so many ways.

    *snuffles away, batter all soggy*

  23. VERY late reply, but I just had to say it.

    Wow @ you guys getting all up on your high horses about what you would do if someone shouted at you, and how you would never put up with that behavior, etc., etc.

    Learn to tell a tongue-in-cheek post from a serious one? It’s a humorous post and you’re sitting there getting all huffy about it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s