I’ve played healer since the open beta, I’ve spent my share of time on all four and in comp I almost always lock healer before anyone else. I’ve been in games where both teams vote for me, I’ve made my share of game winning rezzes. I don’t claim to be DSPStanky, but I’m a pretty good support main, and I’ve heard a lot, good and bad as a healer. I’ve put this together for… well, my amusement, but also to explain to some players why the ‘0 heal’ situation occurs.
1. Healer(s) are dead.
This one is plain and simple. Call for heals all you want, we can’t help because we got killed. We’re either waiting for respawn or running back as fast as we can. If we’re Lucio, we might be waiting a bit for someone else who also died to taxi them in. There is little we can do about our situation at this point but move as quickly as we can. Maybe an Ana will try to get that lucky grenade from across the map or fire off a scope shot to hit you, or a Mercy will look for the closest ally(and to those of you who died around the same time please be a friend and slow for a few steps so your mercy can fly to you), but it’s going to be something like 30 seconds until we’re back. Sometimes the team’s to blame, ignoring us when a Tracer or Pharah focuses us, or maybe we’re to blame, being out of position doing something stupid like trying to heal the flanking Genji or trying to chase someone who flanked in an be the hero that saved the point. either way, it’ll be a while, we’re getting there as fast as we can.
2. You’re too far away.
This is perhaps one of the most frustrating situations for a healer. On one hand, we want to heal you, that critical health or low health makes us want to go to you and heal you up to max, but we can’t. You are too far behind the enemy for us to get to you safety. The party is over here, you are over there, it’s dangerous for us to go to you. Some healers will run across the map by themselves to get to you, but in time those healers will understand this is a mistake, a huge fucking mistake. If you’re one of those healers, you should probably stop. Being alone puts us in danger, diving behind enemy lines means our chance of dying increases exponentially, and a dead healer heals no one. If you want a heal get close or find a health kit.
And this goes not just for damage but tanks too. You Reinhardts who want to charge blindly into every fight, or D.vas that pursue every kill, Roadhogs that are always flanking for the perfect hook, or Winstons that leap across the map to solo cap, you’re not getting a heal. Again, we want to heal you, but you’re putting yourself in danger and making it hard for us to heal you. Yes, maybe you have gold eliminations, but you’re also dying a lot, and there’s precious we can do to help you when you do that. Sorry. Maybe stop charging in so much Leeroy.
3. Fucking Ana grenade.
It’s impossible, there’s nothing we can do here. Ana hit you with her grenade, maybe she even hit us. We can try, maybe we’ll even throw our grenade at you to see if it clears it, but unless we have a Zarya to bubble you its going to be a little while. Pull back, get to cover, then we’ll heal you up when we can. Trust me, we’re as agitated by this as you are.
4. You’re out of line of sight.
This is kind of an extension of number 2, but very often this can be something that happens when you’re not super far away. Widowmakers, Soldiers, Pharahs, Hanzos, you heroes that like standing on high ground for your kills, yes, it helps protect you, it makes you harder to hit. Here’s our problem: it also makes you Hard to heal. Maybe we can see your head, or your gun, but you’re not close enough to the edge for us to actually heal you. Move a little closer so your Mercy can fly up, or your Zenyatta can orb you, or for an Ana to hit you, then you can pull back, but the more time we spend trying to find that one angle that lets us heal you while you’re in the middle of spaceship on Gibraltar the less time we spend healing the rest of the team and the better chance we’re getting out of position making us an easy kill. For those of you hiding behind walls, just sit there for two seconds, we’re on our way, just don’t…
5. You’re running away from us.
Please stop running. Yes, maybe you’re under attack from someone, but if we can heal you we’re also under attack, and they’ll kill us before they kill you, then no one gets heals. Move to us, not away. Diving behind every wall while we’re trying to throw a beam, or orb, or land a shot is just making it harder. Also, friendly Genjis with Anas on your team: stop jumping. Everyone in general stop jumping, but Genjis in particular, because you’re always fucking jumping and, even when we’re not under fire. I get it, it makes you harder to hit, go right ahead when you’re deep in enemy lines, but when you’re not getting your ass fired at lay off the space bar for two seconds so we can heal you.
6. We are(or trying our best).
Each healer can only heal so fast, some better than others, with Lucio without his amp and Zenyatta being the bottom. If you only have one healer for some reason, we’re spread particularly thin, but we still have to reverse the damage done to you one way or the other. You can look at the Lucio and say you need heals, but he can heal you much faster if his amp is off cooldown. A Mercy will fight tooth and nail to get your health back up, and nut it’s a losing game if you’re under constant fire. I’m not saying wrong or casting judgement, I get it, you don’t always notice when you’re getting healed, and that’s in part the game’s UI not communicating it, but sometimes we are on you, and we are healing as best we can. Sometimes it’s just not enough.
7. We haven’t noticed you.
This happens, not saying it’s good, but this is why the ‘I need healing’ button exists. If you’re being good to your healer and you’re perfectly visible and in a place for us to heal you, call it out once, maybe twice. Your healer might appreciate it, and will change to you. Please don’t spam it, if we can’t heal you it’s either because of one of the other reasons or it’s because of these last few points.
8. You’re a troll.
You probably don’t care if this is true. Making people miserable is why you’re playing. You’re not playing with your team and you’re just trying to irritate then. You know the entire team hates you and you live on it.
BUT these people are rare. Healers, don’t assume everyone who is in an off meta pick is a troll. You do that and you become the troll. If you’re in comp heal everyone, even the people whose picks you don’t agree with. Which brings me to the last point.
9. We’re being bad.
This too happens, and I know well enough to admit this. There are a myriad of reasons this could be. Maybe we’re full of ourselves, maybe we’re new, or we’re learning a new character. Maybe we’re in a game with out friends and we’re only focusing on them, or maybe we’re just having an off day, or a person is a healer because the group needs one and they’re not used to it. Maybe we’re being spiteful because you’re acting like an ass. Some healers are bad, it happens. I will admit to not healing people on merit in quick play, and once near the end of the last season with some joker that decided to troll and change to Mei to put walls up in the spawn for attack. These healers tend to be rare though. A person plays a healer to help their team, and very often they’re trying their best, just as they would expect everyone else on their team to do. Be constructive, not destructive. Work with your healer as much as you would with others on your team or even as you might be with your friends. Being a healer can be a stressful, thankless job, but sometimes we do need a bit of a kick in the rear, just don’t beat a dead horse.
Healers, this one is for us more than anyone. Learn from your mistakes, we’re not the only important people on the team. We can’t defend ourselves as well as others, but their only job isn’t to keep us alive. Position yourself well, know when to ult. Mercies, don’t just save your ult for the big rezzes, look for the small important ones. Zenyattas, try to avoid using your ult just to save yourself, but don’t be afraid to use it to save an overtime. Lucios, you’re probably not DSPStanky, song spend all of your time trying to flank. Lucios and Zenyatta, learn to communicate so you’re not stacking your ults. Anas, try not to focus on damage, you’re a healer, act like it.
I’m adding this since it has been brought up several times and it’s a good point. We want to heal you, but every healer has to learn about prioritizing people in your team. People who can self heal, your Soldier 76s,Roadhogs, Meis, will be low in a low intensity situation. Tanks who are in threat, particularly ones like Reinhardt, will almost always be at the top of our list because he protects a majority of the team. Other tanks will fall behind that with dps being a priority once tanks are fine. If you need healing immediately, do try to find a health kit. We will get to you as soon as we can, but for the most part healer can’t get everyone, Lucio can do it slowly, but there are limits, Ana can try with her grenade, but not everyone will be grouped up most of the time. Zenyatta’s heals are slow and his AOE is his ult. Mercy’s heals can only do so much on one person. We want to heal you, but we also don’t want the group to fall apart because the foundation of the group didn’t get the heals they needed. We want to heal you, and if you die it feels like we’ve failed, but be a healer is a matter of triage, and we can only do so much.
I feel like I covered most of the points but there’s one thing I want to impart that goes for everyone. Please don’t be toxic. Healers, tanks, dps, defense. I said this before, but it is an important thing to note: Most people you play with are trying their best, particularly in competitive, and if you’re in a games with them it’s because the game has determined you all belong at a similar skill level. Maybe in arcade or quick play people won’t try super hard, but try to avoid being an ass. We’re all trying to have fun, and you get a better result if you play nice rather than being rude. This is a team game, remember that, because no one wants to be on a team with someone who isn’t a good teammate, and no one wants to play against the team that is a bad sport.