Healers and Tanks are like Cats and Dogs

I got into a couple of particularly bad Rift dungeon groups all in one night, and they both basically came down to a fight between the tank and the healer. "You’re a terrible tank" vs. "you’re a terrible healer."

One group was in Realm of the Fae. The tank was a dwarf warrior who clearly didn’t have a tank soul setup, and played with a two-hander generating no threat whatsoever. He didn’t attempt to gather any mobs that got away from him either. He was not good. And the healer not-so-subtley let him know, too. "So we’re going with a two-hander, then?" he said, at the start. But it was RotF, so it didn’t really matter. You can get through RotF with no tanking whatsoever, and we basically did, until we wiped on Twyl at the end and then all the flaming really got started. "I’m so sick of people who don’t know what they’re doing!" yells the healer. For god’s sake, it’s the very first dungeon. Chill out.

Another group was in Darkening Deeps. Unfortunately, you can’t waltz through DD like you can RotF, and for some reason I get a perverse pleasure in watching people’s reaction to this. This tank announced that he was new to DD, but he still felt comfortable enough to play the "I’m the tank so I’m in charge" card. Usually not a problem, except it was slightly annoying when he stopped on the way down the spiral to tell us not to pull mobs before him, while we’re being bombarded by the canon thingy. Yes, yes, fine, now *move* before we all die listening to your speech!

We got to the bottom and faced the first boss – and the tank proceeds to get one-shotted, to everyone’s befuddlement. I thought it was funny. We tried again, and the tank didn’t quite get one-shotted but still died pretty quick. We should have been able to kill the boss anyway but we fell just short each time, mainly because the rest of the party wasn’t exactly top notch. In retrospect, in my support role I should have reverted to full healing, but I still kept up DPS, mistakenly thinking the healer would be able to, you know, heal.

At this point I’m thinking holy crap, I’ve never seen this happen before, even in the expert version. It was a special combination of a bad tank, bad healer, and standing in fire. Of course, the tank says, "wtf heal me!" The healer says, "wtf I healed you and you still died!" As I’m debating whether to comment that there’s some fire you shouldn’t stand in, the tank vote-kicks the healer and the party agreed. (I didn’t vote.) Before I could say, "yo it might be a while before a new healer queues" he was out of there.

Personally I was more inclined to side with the healer – this tank was getting blown up and didn’t have much health (I think around 1800). And he was standing right in the Bombard AoE. And he had that annoying tank ego on top of it. On the other hand, I’ve seen plenty of healers heal through DD damage, so that healer was not exacting tearing up the place.

Now here’s the funny part. We eventually got another healer in. We got all setup and ready to go again after much discussion and role changing so that we had *two* healers so we could handle this massive damaging boss. (Even though I was in support, nobody asked *me* to do any healing, so I just went full DPS.) We go for it – and the tank dies again. This time, though, we still managed to kill the boss anyway. (How could we not with two healers??) That seemed like pretty conclusive evidence that the healing was only part of the problem, but I kept my mouth shut lest I too be kicked for challenging the tank’s authority. After that it was a very slow crawl through the rest of the dungeon, but eventually we finished it.

On another topic, I’m having some trouble with my lowbie mage. My main 60 mage runs Pyromancer for DPS, as does pretty much everyone else in the game, because it’s the de facto "top DPS" spec. But I wanted to do something different with my lowbie mage – I wanted to explore some of the other souls that I haven’t used much before. Namely Stormcaller, Warlock, and Dominator. As far as I can tell, Dominator still has no usefulness outside of PvP, so that one’s out. That leaves Stormcaller and Warlock, and personally I’d rather work with Stormcaller just because it’s the more obscure of the two.

So far, though, neither Warlock nor Stormcaller seems like much competition with Pyro, based on the anecdotal DPS meter readouts I’ve seen. Granted I haven’t really had a chance to do a fair comparison yet. Next time I think I’m going to try a Stormcaller/Elementalist build with an Air Elemental pet to increase single-target damage.

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