The healer of our static group in World of Warcraft was otherwise detained last week and so I took up the healing mantle for the evening, a garment that I am very comfortable wearing, although I was given again to muse upon its curious properties.

The healing mantle, for those who are unaware, is an impressive item of clothing which provides an aura of invisibility to the wearer rendering them utterly anonymous to everyone else in a pick-up group. It is well known that tanks are indestructible self-healing marvels, and that DPS can sustain continuous damage, be it from AoE or by standing in pools of molten rock, without so much as putting a hair of their perfectly sculpted bouffant out of place. Everyone in your average pick-up group is a marvel of robust and rugged constitution. All four of them.

Until one of them inevitably dies.

It is at this point that the healing mantle activates its primary systems and transforms. First it disables invisibility and instead turns itself a really offensive shade of fluorescent yellow. Secondly an underpowered motor jerkily raises an electric sign on a metal pole from just behind the healer’s shoulders; coming to rest several feet above the healer’s head, the sign consists of an arrow pointing down at said head and the words “THEIR FAULT” all in buzzing flickering neon. Finally a pair of integrated loudspeakers rotate from their resting place, lock into position on the healer’s shoulders, and repeatedly squawk a distortingly loud siren alerting all the other players to the healer’s presence. All attention is generally focussed on the healer at this point and bent on determining exactly what they were doing skulking away at the back of the dungeon while these other four were valiantly fighting the good fight with nothing to keep their health bars topped-up but the aura of sheer magnificence that they project; sadly they weren’t magnificent enough to facebutt their way through the two groups of extra adds that they pulled, but that’s not the point. Thank goodness, though, that the healing mantle was there to alert them all to the traitor in their midst!

Thankfully the healing mantle is deactivated when playing with friends or other competent people – these folk seem to project a damping field which prevents the mantle from obscuring the efforts of the designated healer – so I’m happy to report that my turn as healer the other night was a suitably happy and stress-free experience.

Being fifteen levels or so above the dungeon content probably didn’t hurt either.

Posted by Melmoth at 11:14 am