Not that it's much different to any other patch or period of change, but I suppose these days we actually have a combined forum for everyone to gather together to get their collective knickers in a knot.
Healers have been at each other for a long time, it's just more evident now that they can all do it in a central location. Before, they had to sling insults across the class forum gap, or venture into "enemy territory" to complain to their nemeses face-to-face.
It's really quite sad to see so much healer hate. We're meant to be a team - not opponents. It's something that has been weighing on my mind for a few months now - well, basically ever since they gave us our new talents just prior to the expansion, and AOE healing went BOOM and I started feeling unnecessary in raids. Naxx hasn't been a whole lot better - it will probably be slightly different with the CoH nerf, but there's still far too many heals for not enough damage. So far, Sartharion and drakes has been the only encounter where I felt like I was actually having to put my hardcore healing hat on and heal my butt off.
Most of the time though, I feel bored and superfluous, and I know that most (if not all) of my team feel the same. We're only stepping on each other's toes because there's nothing else to do.
I remember starting in Naxx and it was already too easy to heal; we run with 6 healers and I think we could do it with 4-5. The competition is high - and frankly anyone who says "meters don't matter" is not being honest. Meters matter to almost everyone in some way. Nobody likes to be low on the meters. You can be objective about them and take various things into account when you read them, interpret them with a grain of salt, but everyone still likes to do well on the meters.
There's constant competition within the raid team, which is magnified by the fact that the bosses are easy and everything becomes a skillless zerg-fest. DPSers push to see how high they can go - which is fun. Healers... well, what's fun for healers if there's nothing to heal? You can only heal as much damage as the encounters do, you can't push higher, unless you start sniping and stepping on the toes of the other healers. And that's what breeds these feelings of contempt between the classes.
I saved this from a while ago, from a priest named Meia of Bloodhoof:
DPS just basically has a target dummy they can throw their all into and that's their contribution and competition. Tanking has threat(or rather did, not sure what it is anymore). Healers actually have to compete with each other since damage is finite and on a limited time. The very nature of it itself is competing with one another, that is what breeds some of this anger.
Honestly, until Naxx, I never really thought of it this way before. It's true though - dps, while competing against each other, aren't jostled around by the actions of other dpsers. The enhance shammy doing high dps doesn't result in the warlock being unable to dps. Healers though - it's not just about our skill, but also the actions of the other healers around us.
I hate healing meters. I really do. I use them to reflect and improve, and that can make them a great tool, but at lot of the time, even though I try not to care, I do get annoyed if I'm not in the top 3 healers. It's frustrating that it's not just my skill that decides where I land on the meters, but who else is in there with me, the numbers, the classes, their abilities and their skill. Obviously if someone has more skill that will push them higher, and push me lower, but not just because they did more, but also caused me to do less. Does that make sense?
If a raid is dps heavy, it doesn't matter how many rogues you have, that is not going to lower the mage's potential dps. Not true for healers - the more healers you have, and particularly if you stack a number of the same class, that can drastically alter each person's performance.
Obviously skill will still go a long way, and good healers can shine even if the odds are stacked against them, but it still seems a little disheartening that you're never truly in full control of your output and performance to the degree that dps classes are.
I don't like feeling resentful of other healers or healing classes, but it's hard not to be bitter occasionally when there's just not much damage flying around and a bunch of healers all scrambling for a piece of it. I heal because I love healing; and I don't think it's unreasonable to feel a little upset if I do my absolute best but still can't be 100% in control of my performance.
And no, I'm afraid that people saying "as long as everyone lived, that should be good enough"... is not always enough. Are the dps just satisfied that the boss fell over, regardless of the dps numbers? Yeah, fat chance.
So why is it such a crime that healers should want to be competitive, too? Why are people scornful of it? Why do you never hear people telling DPS to ignore the meters and just make sure the boss dies?
I don't want to seem as though I am playing the battered healer, but it does seem quite skewed to me. We have fewer places in the raid, finite damage to grab a piece of to heal up, too many healers doing it, AOE heals flying around, and we're not allowed to WANT to be high on the meters. If you're a healer complaining about slipping on the meters, you're either bad or greedy. I still don't like meters very much, but I think it's in our nature and not unreasonable to want to do well on them.
There will always be exceptions - gimmicky fights where you spend half the time running around and reducing your uptime - but wouldn't it be great if meters actually showed you your HPS in a vacuum? If I'm down the bottom, I want it to be because I need to improve or because my gear is terrible or because I wasn't paying attention, not because others are managing to squeeze heals in before I can or because they're bored and doing their own thing despite assignments. If I'm up the top, I want it to be because I'm good - not because I have abilities that trump the rest of the team's. Know what I mean?
I don't want to be at the top because my class has an advantage somehow (occasional domination by a class is fine, just not all the time). I don't want to be up there automatically because my heals are "easymode". I want to know that it's all ME. I want to be up there because I'm GOOD.
If performance was based entirely on your own skill and not on who else is in the raid filling up the health bars before you get a chance to, I think healers on the whole would be less inclined to lend themselves to inter-class bickering.
Something to chew on, I suppose.