Should healers DPS?


If you heal efficiently, there’s plenty of time where you have nothing to heal. Instead of doing nothing during that time, you should use damage abilities instead.

“I don’t have time to deal damage. If I stop healing, people will die.”

That’s because you’re healing inefficiently. As you learn to heal better, the amount of time you need to spend healing will drastically drop.

Don’t believe me? Watch Momo’s Titania EX clear, where he remarks “the healing was pretty non existent” and casts almost zero healing spells. (Log is from a different run.)

Still don’t believe me? Watch Ana Stardust heal The Weapon’s Refrain (Ultimate) without a cohealer. This is one of the toughest fights in the game, and it’s still possible to handle it with just one healer—and they still find the time to cast plenty of damaging spells.

Improve your healing, and you’ll improve your ability to respond to mistakes and emergencies—even if you don’t believe you should (or can) be dealing damage.

A few basic guidelines:

Try to follow these rules, and you won’t have to spend so much time babysitting everyone’s HP. Zyrk’s Bullshit Guide to the Principles of Healing covers these at length.

“I don’t have enough mana to keep everyone alive and deal damage at the same time.”

Yes you do, unless people are committing mass suicide and you have to raise all of them.

Avoid overheal, avoid mana-hungry GCD heals, and press mana recovery tools like Lucid Dreaming whenever they’re available—assuming you have missing MP to recover. See the short list of healing tips above.

“Damage isn’t a healer’s job. You might as well say that DPS players should be healing.”

Some DPS can heal directly, through abilities like Curing Waltz or Vercure. Other times, DPS help reduce damage with abilities like Addle, Feint and Troubador, reducing the amount healers have to heal.

Clearing fights is a group effort. Healers are the best at handling incoming damage, so they do the bulk of the work, but DPS and tanks can chip in when it doesn’t hinder their primary job. In the same way, DPS and tanks are better at dealing damage, but healers can chip in when it doesn’t hinder their primary job.

The difference? There isn’t always damage to be healed, but there’s almost always something to kill.

“FFXIV’s designers don’t design fights around healer damage. They said so themselves.”

Are you sure? They design fights with large sections of complete downtime where healers have nothing to do but damage.

“I don’t want to deal damage. If I did, I’d play a DPS.”

Unfortunately, healers in FFXIV deal damage. Don’t slow your groups down by neglecting your tools.

If you want some really demanding pure healing, try The Feast. In PvP, outgoing damage is much higher and more frequent, making it a good fit for healers that want to try their hand at some challenging triage.

“I want to start dealing damage, but I don’t know when it’s safe. I’m nervous I’ll let someone die.”

All damage in FFXIV is predictable and scripted, so paying attention and learning how fights flow can help a lot with nerves. Make sure to watch your enemy’s castbar—use Focus Target to keep boss information on-screen, even when you’re targeting your allies.

As a starting goal, try to keep your damage-over-time spell up whenever you can. A big percentage of healer damage comes from keeping that DoT ticking, and since all healer DoTs are instant, you can use an off-GCD ability right afterward to cover whatever you need.

Keep practicing, and don’t be afraid to push your limits!

“My tank is [100 ilvl lower than I am / not using cooldowns / missing half their gear]. If I stop spamming GCD heals on them, they’ll die in two auto-attacks.”

Vote dismiss them, and tell them why.

Seriously. Don’t let someone who isn’t prepared and isn’t putting in effort leech off your time and energy.

If your group disagrees with you, and your tank stays in the run, do what you can to keep it smooth. If that means putting up your heal-over-time effects and spamming GCD heals nonstop, then c’est la vie—you get a free pass on this one—but do your best to contend with the challenge!