After obsessively playing Overwatch every day for several weeks in a row, with Mercy as my go-to character, I’ve noticed some things. These issues are gripes that only other healers will emphasise with, and ones that I’d like DPS characters to take note of, so that healers and offensive players can all play together in harmony.
Also, I’d like to point out that although this list was inspired by my experiences with Overwatch, it could potentially relate to any MMO.
5. No one else picks the healer
When I first started playing Overwatch, none of the support heroes appealed to me. For the first few days, I would firmly pick Junkrat, and watch as my teammates chose the flashy, high-damage characters.
The “No healers” banner would pop up, but none of us cared. We all wanted to get Play of The Game, we all wanted the glory of a quadruple kill.
Except we barely ever won, because we were constantly dying before we could even charge our ultimate abilities. I realised that all the winning teams had at least one healer, because it turns out that staying alive in Overwatch is actually important (who knew!).
I began to regularly play as Mercy, but even when I earned experience and began playing with people who definitely understood good team composition, there was still hardly anyone that wanted to be a healer.
This brings me to…
4. Offensive players ask for a healer but won’t change their own character
When you’re deep in the fray of a match, resigned to your fate of having no healers on the team because just once you wanted to play as a defensive hero, hearing some Reaper state that “We need a healer!” really brings out the salt.
That’s an astute observation, Reaper. Maybe next time you die within five seconds of leaving the spawn point, you could consider respawning as a healer. Be the change you want to see in the world, etc.
Hearing this phrase also makes me feel irrationally guilty, since I know I’m a competent healer and could swap my character… but sometimes I just want a change of pace. It’s quite wearing when players who are obviously offensive mains won’t take one for the team and be the healer for even one match, and instead complain about the lack of healing.
3. People ask for healing and then run halfway across the map
I’m glad that people alert me when they’re capturing the objective and need healing, but it’s honestly pointless when they ask for healing and then move around so much that it’s impossible to help them.
This is a point mainly for excessively mobile characters who seem to be actively trying to run away from me (did someone say Genji?), and snipers who are constantly either ridiculously high up, or alerting me from behind several walls which I have no way of healing them through.
Sometimes if you need healing, you need to slow down or come out from your sniper’s nest for just a second so that I can help you.
2. The same person asks for healing every five seconds
In a team with six people, I’m trying to keep the other five players alive. This job is considerably harder when one player will not stop spamming the “I need healing!” message, even when there are other players who need my help more.
This is particularly annoying when the player isn’t even hurt yet, and is just asking you to essentially follow them around and fix their minor scrapes – or when they send the message every time they’re at least one HP down.
Another character is on their deathbed, desperately defending the objective, and this spammer is down by 3 HP, standing behind a wall, begging you to heal them. Please don’t be that person.
1. People add you after a match, and expect you to become their pocket healer
Sometimes, if I’ve been in the same team as another player for several matches in a row, the player will add me as a friend. This almost exclusively happens when I’m playing as Mercy.
I’ll accept their request, and join a group with them, and they’ll say “Hello!”. Then, they’ll continue to send this, and “group up with me!” and “I need healing!”, until it becomes obvious that they expect me to follow them around and ignore the other players.
They’re looking for a pocket healer: someone who will follow them around and heal them after every minor fight, a healer who will pretend there are no other players on the team.
I’ve indulged some people with this before, but unless you’re a godlike player, there is no way you’ll be able to repeatedly take on the entire enemy team – even if you do have a healer who’s constantly two steps away from you.
Remember that the healer is there to help the entire team, not just you.
Bonus: The gratitude
Being a healer isn’t all annoyance and misery, or I would have abandoned Mercy long ago!
It’s such a great feeling when you bring someone back from critical condition, or resurrect a player who was so close to their goal, and they thank you afterwards.
Feeling like you’re an integral part of the team, and knowing that you’re making a difference to the outcome of a match is great. It’s even greater when your teammates thank you for your effort.
Don’t let this list put you off being a healer in an MMO, because despite the annoyances, it’s such a fun and rewarding role to play.
Sure, maybe you’ll be overshadowed by an offensive character who pulled off a team kill. But that player wouldn’t have managed it without you keeping them alive.