I tipped a cleric last night for the first time ever.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate healing, it’s just that until recently when I saw some posts here on the subject, I never thought of paying for heals. I’ve never solicited or been offered tips when I’m playing Jall (my cleric), and I’ve never been in a party on any toon where the cleric has asked for tips, or when anyone has offered, at least publicly.
But last night I was in a really good group, and the cleric not only did an incredible job keeping us all healed through Stormcleave Outpost, but had a great attitude and was very helpful. Too bad I was on Vic, who doesn’t keep a lot of plat (I make her send most of it to Even, who does the shopping for herself and my other three Thelanis toons), so all I could give our healer was 1,000 pp. But I’m guessing no one else offered anything.
I’ve been thinking a lot about whether healers should be tipped. I know many of them spend a lot of plat and/or DDO points on mnemonics along with cure serious pots and wands. I drop a fair amount of plat on cure pots and wands for Jall, but much, MUCH more on the same stuff for Even, who as a pally is rarely a party’s sole healer (although it’s happened once or twice) but does try to keep herself healed and help out with other “minor” healing so the cleric or FvS can save mana. I’ve spent DDO points buying SP pots for her, plus all the plat to make sure she has cure wands and pots.
Victaurya, being a rogue, can’t heal anyone except herself, but I sent Even to the vendors last night to buy Vic a bunch of pots – cure mods, resists, protection from acid/cold/electricity/fire. I probably spent about 15K plat for maybe a few nights’ worth of pots; Vic will never really be completely self-healing, but for the most part she’s a pretty light drain on a healer’s resources.
A lot of the casters I’ve grouped with have gone through a lot of mnemonics as well, but I’ve never heard anyone suggest tipping them. Then there are the tanks who don’t need mnemonics but tend to have much higher repair bills than anyone else.
So should healers get tips? And if they do, how much? Should the entire party tip them? If so, should everyone tip the same amount?
A while back, I was playing Jall and got in with a group that was doing Gwylan’s. Most of the group was great, but there was one guy who took off running before we were all even inside. He angered the first group of mobs and dashed ahead to the second one. So the rest of us were trying to deal with two hordes of angry trolls and ogres while this guy was tearing around trying not to get killed since he’d obviously drawn a lot of aggro. I tried to throw a few heals on him but he was out of range, and I wasn’t about to abandon the rest of the party to go chasing after him. And then the bitching started. “The cleric doesn’t like me! She won’t heal me! Waaah, waaah, waaah!”
Damn right I wasn’t going to heal him; I was already running low on mana trying to keep everybody ELSE healed from having to fight two hordes at once. I told him I couldn’t heal him if he didn’t stay in range, and he said I should follow him (yeah, RIGHT). The party leader told him the same thing, which shut him up for maybe two minutes. But then he kept right on zerging and stirring up new mobs while we were still trying to fight the first ones, and he kept right on yelling at me for not keeping him healed.
If I’d heard of tipping clerics back then, I think I would have asked him, or asked another party member to ask him (my then-boyfriend was there, and I KNOW he’d have said something to the guy if I’d asked him to), if he’d like to contribute something toward all the pots I went through specifically because of him.
That’s an extreme case, though. If one person causes the healer to expend that much, particularly if that person could have used some brains and prevented the whole situation, then yeah, I’m all for them having the decency to reimburse the healer.
But if I try to be smart about my play, keep myself healed as much as possible and sometimes help with party healing as well, and generally don’t do anything that would create an unusual load on the healer, then no, I’m probably not going to consider tipping. There’s always an exception – a tough quest with very few shrines, a healer who does an exceptionally outstanding job – but for the most part no.
Where would it go from there? Tipping the caster who keeps me healthy with buffs and casts firewall to keep me safe from the mobs? Tossing some plat to the barbarian whose repair bill is into five digits? Giving the rogue some money because she went through a ton of resist and protection pots so the rest of us could get through the traps safely (thereby conserving the cleric’s mana, btw) and also got us some extra XP and loot?
That said, when I’m looting a chest and there’s something I don’t need, I pretty much always ask if anyone in the party DOES want it and gladly pass it on to them. Overall, though, my vote on tipping is a big nay.