It's a L2P issue, probably on the tank side, but possibly on the healer side. Here's what you need to know about assassin tanks:
- They take more damage than other tanks
- They require less healing than other tanks
Those two facts are not contradictory due to the self-heal mechanic, which is a form of active mitigation and usually where assassin tanks go wrong. There are four ways that assassin tanks tend to screw up:
- Failing to refresh Dark Ward appropriately
- Failing to manage Force (often by over-refreshing Dark Ward or spamming Thrash), resulting in delayed procs
- Missing procs (or delaying their use), either due to poor rotation or oversight
- Misapplication of cooldowns
An assassin who gets these things right (and is appropriately geared) will be golden
, and you will never want to heal anything else. Nearly all assassins get these things wrong at least some of the time (including even the top progression assassins for which I've seen combat logs), and most assassins get them wrong all the time. The population of good assassin tanks is very, very low.
In as much as an assassin requires a high degree of skill and awareness to play at a high level, it also requires a high degree of skill and management from the healer. Most notably, you need to be aware of the self-heal mechanic. Don't ever
top off your assassin tank unless you have time (and mana) to spare. When you do top them off, be very conscious of the fact that you have just overhealed by a significant margin. The ideal place for an assassin to sit is around 85-90% HP. Get them there, and leave them. You'll find that their health will drop…and then rise back up again. Don't panic when they take a large spike of damage. These are rare, and you'll have plenty of time to get them back to 90% before the next one. Use the self-heal to your advantage.
Also, be conscious of the fact that a well-played assassin is going to abuse the heck out of their cooldowns. If they see a spike coming that will cause you (the healer) grief, chances are they will negate it preemptively. If they find themselves uncomfortably low, odds are basically 100% that they will take measures appropriate to their current combat situation (i.e. popping the appropriate cooldown, kiting, adjusting rotation for higher self-healing at the expense of sustainability, etc). All of these things are tricks that good assassins can (and do!) play on a regular basis. If your assassin isn't/wasn't aware of how to do this (and more), then he's not a good assassin.
I wish I could say your experience healing an assassin tank was atypical. It's not. The sad truth is that nearly all assassins are awful. People are attracted to the class often because of its strengths in PvP (which also require tremendous skill to exploit) or because of its immensely high threat ceiling (which is honestly the easiest aspect of the class). They simply fail to realize or fully appreciate the depth and complexity associated with playing the class at a high level. As a healer, you pay the price.
Assassins aren't broken. To be frank, my hat is off to BioWare for the amazing job of balance that they did on all three of the tanks…especially