Shared Topic: When should you let someone die?

A shared topic over at Blog Azeroth by Ecclesiastical Discipline got me to thinking about a simple yet needed question as a healer: When do I let someone die? It's a simple question yet it sometimes takes a second to make the decision and then you'll wonder, did I make the right choice?

Letting someone die can point out several things. But the first thing you need to ask yourself as a healer is who is more important in the group? In progress fights people will die, but as a healer it is your job to help the group get past the encounter even if it's only a part of the group who's alive at the end :)

Tanks and healers are in general top priority, you could do with a dps less but losing a tank makes most fights impossible and losing a healer puts more stress on the other healer(s) still alive, which then could force them to let people die because of the damage being to high for them to handle.

Letting someone die could mean that:

You are not yet geared enough to keep everyone alive;
The person who died asked for it (I like fire it makes me look shiny!);
You had to pick between two people and choose to pick the most important one;
Your mana regen does not allow you to heal the whole group much longer (this happens often when levelling in instances).

I'm currently levelling my second Druid in instances only and it's common to see a simple trash pull go bad. Mana regen at my Druid's level is close to nothing so for every spell I cast I have to consider "will I be able to cast it again". The more people I try to keep alive, the more fuel I spend and sometimes endurance wins the race, not force.


There are ways to avoid death is situations where any of the point above are in place. You could let the group know that, if they don't do something fast, you'll have to start playing God.

Crowd Control is something that seems to have left this world, but in high danger situations it might be a better idea to lock a mob out of combat rather than trying to blow it up all by yourself.

Making sure that, before you pull, all targets are marked so the tank doesn't lose control in midfight, also save loads of mana.

Running AWAY from the tank/healer when you have aggro is basically asking to die, I'm watching healbot, I don't have time to follow you around.


Take good care about your healer :) and if you do die, don't start flaming him for it cause sometimes it's the only way!


  1. Great response to the shared topic dude. Hope to see more like it in the future too when you get some time ^^

    Maybe you should provide step by step instructions on how to look after your healers :)

  2. Already in the works Gargarona :) ty for the idea!

  3. Great post. Personally my favorite time to let some one die is when they ask for it, aka standing in the fire. Really, those are the moments I know I made the right choice when I rolled a resto druid.

  4. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

  5. I'd also like to include you should let the really annoying people die, but that whole pride in my ability to heal thing keeps getting in the way!

  6. Often, on vent, I will remind my guildies about standing in bad or taking cleaves or aggro from tank. I can only heal dumb for so long then...I have to move on. I tell them that. First priority in a 5 is the tank, second is me third is the best dps, etc. I used to feel REALLY bad when someone died in a5 man..but with this expansion, lack of mana and expensive spells, I cannot take it as personal anymore.

  7. It's a very good question. Ideally healing in the game is a triage process. In practice, we only occasionally put someone in the "hopeless" third of the patients and let them go.

    In 5-mans and raids, I don't often run into a conscious decision to let someone die. I'm rarely a dedicated raid healer, for various reasons, so my algorithm is simple: heal the tank, heal me, heal the raid. This is probably not optimal, but it's how I've been doing things.

    I rarely let someone die just for being bad. I'm their teammate, not their parent. As well, healing can easily be dull. Bad players add some interest to it, so long as we aren't wiping. If we are wiping, then I'll talk about the issue before the next pull.