Attn: Healers. HoTs are your friend.

So, as some of you know (to others perhaps it’s a painful shock), but for the course of Open Beta I’ve decided to roll with the bad guys and see how their game is. In the spirit of doing what I definitely won’t do during release, I have not only rolled a Destruction character (a dark elf at that), but I have rolled a DPS class (a Sorceress). So I am a walking sex-pot of boom. I suppose that will still be the case after release, but the level of refinement in my sex-pottery will go way up.

First, let me say that the control has vastly improved: the short ability queue they added allows for more intuitive flow between ability uses. It’s very nice. I ran a Bright Wizard a bit before Closed Beta closed (something to do when the elf lands were crashed and broken), and I have discovered the early-level ability difference (as opposed to the graphical and theme differences) between them. The Sorceress gets a short magic-defense buff which is noticeably effective. The Bright Wizard gets an armor buff which I couldn’t tell whether it was effective or not…as soon as I came under melee attack I was dead no matter what I threw up. @_@ Anyway, I’m not here today to talk about ranged DPS classes. I’m here today to talk about healing, and what I experienced on the Destruction side that made me both frustrated and happy: there was none.

As someone who’s run a healer devoutly for a few years now, it was very frustrating to me when I would find myself running beside three Disciples of Khaine (mirrors to the Warrior Priest), and I’d be at 15% health, and NONE of them would put a HoT on me. Frankly, all three should have thrown HoTs on me! WP/DoK HoTs are cheap…and basically free, since their attacks gain power for heals and that little heal-only mana battery doesn’t discharge unless you use it. This wasn’t a one-time thing either. From level one to level ten, I can count on one hand the number of players that cast heals on me at all.

– A shaman who had gotten into an Elf tier-1 Scenario.
– A single DoK who alone amidst several other DoKs threw a HoT on me.

There were other Shaman running around, and DoKs, all of which seemed to have heals on themselves, but as I clicked (desperate for hope) through random friendly targets who could not heal themselves, I can’t recall seeing any HoTs at all. I did take trouble to comment that “Perhaps the DoKs might heal some of us?” The response was predictable…a DoK saying “Look at the healing charts, bish! (sic)”. Well, I did…and noticed that our top healer was half as good as the mid-range Order healer. Let me mention that the top healers in this scenario were Archmages.

Now, I am in no way asserting that my limited experience here at all dictates how things will always work for Destruction (or Order) with regards to healing. Nor am I here purely to complain. (Just mostly.) I’m here to comment on healing. Here is what makes a healer really a healer:

Heal over Time (or HoT) spells are you bread-and-butter. They are the true power in your arsenal…especially in a game where Action Points recover so quickly. On both my Archmage and my Warrior Priest, I pass these things around as fast as little kids pass around strep throat. Everybody I can see gets a HoT, whether or not they need it. Because they might need it within the duration of the spell (many HoTs seem to last over ten seconds in this game)…they get hit and they are already getting healed by you. This is the AoE lover’s nightmare and they don’t even know it. HoTs all over the party are the reason that I consistently top healing charts. Use them prolifically. Seriously, if you have a second to spare, refresh that HoT! If you ever played a druid in WoW, you know what I mean: stack those HoTs. Keep every HoT you have on tanks who are working; while they live, so do you.

Archmages, HoTs are instant casts – thus a fast way to build up Tranquility with which to drop a mean laser-gaze on a sucka. Early on we have three HoTs: Lambent Aura, Healing Energy, and Transfer Force. Stack them ALL on people who are taking damage. Pass out Lambent Aura’s like free t-shirts. I’m serious.

Warrior Priests, your “Holy Whup” button (a.k.a. Divine Assault) is GODLY. It is the reason you can lead charges (using the HoT component on yourself) but it can also save someone else’s butt. Also, while Divine Strike may not do a lot of damage, it does tremendous healing over time to everyone around you…it’s a great way to hit top-contribution in a PQ.

Rune Priests…well, from what I’ve seen, you *are* a HoT. You are a spam healer, a la the WoW healadin…at least at very early levels. I bet there’s more to you…but I honestly am not the guy to ask. =) I couldn’t stand playing the Rune Priest beyond lv5. Do you have HoTs? You must…right?

I can’t emphasize enough the important of wide-spread HoT usage. Try it. Throw them everywhere, whether ot not they seem needed when you cast. “Over-healing” be damned. Try it in your next several scenarios and let me know how you like it. =)

Oh, and Destruction players? Don’t change. ;)

~ by thade on September 7, 2008.

9 Responses to “Attn: Healers. HoTs are your friend.”

  1. Gogo overpopulated realm! Not wanting to spoil my main class like you, I’ve been playing every other class imaginable since Friday. It only left me feeling empty. Then I rolled a Shaman and immediately said to myself, “Screw this, I’m just going to play my character’s mother (roleplayer that I am)!” Archmages are the glue tht hold scenarios together, provided they are playing properly. I imagine if you get a bunch of Shamans who actually heal people, Destruction might actually be something more than a mindless steamroller. Right now, though, unless they have numbers, they simply lose.

  2. Most of the time, regardless what side or game I’m in… I don’t think 98% of the people that roll healer classes really know what they are doing. They let ppl i play with die so easily… I mean runepriests just healing themselves? what else are they good for…

    I played an Archmage today and got it to lvl 8. Boon of Hysh <3. and yes I do spam Lambent Aura lol.

    I didn’t have much survivability in Open RvR, but I did do well in the Scenario. I think I just need to practice to hone my supah archmage skills ;).

    What server do you plan on playing come launch?

  3. Well, hopefully those DoK’s were just trying the class out to avoid their mains for OB like I was. I like to heal, its why I chose the DoK in the first place.

  4. When you see this as being an issue in the scenario, take a look at your group to see if the healers that aren’t healing are in it. I use the party/warband interface to find people to heal, but since scenarios only show you your party it means I usually don’t see people in the other party’s that need healing. If you’re unlucky enough to get into a group with no healers then your likely not going to get any heals, even if a healer is standing right next to you.

  5. @Ylei: Speaking as a healer (and I don’t mean to be rude) but MY LIFE BAR IS FLOATING OVER MY HEAD BY DEFAULT!

    It really drives me up a wall. It’s so simple to click on a target (you do it to hit bad guys anyway) and heal instead. Everybody needs to learn to do this. Otherwise you will be a very crappy healer in Warbands or in Open RVR or in PQs where people don’t take the time or can’t fit in to the Open Warband/party that’s there, or if they’re in a different party, or something. They’re on your side. Their life bar is your responsibility.

  6. Ylei, when i was healing in Wow I got into the same frame of mind that you’re in right now. I would stare at the life bars of my groupmates on the left side of my screen and lay heals where they were needed. As such I missed a lot of the game’s highlights. With the new floating lifebar mechanic, you can literally… wait for it… watch the battle while healing.

    I’ll give you a moment.

    In Warhammer, the old, healer don’t get to see nothing mechanic, is gone. You can watch the battle and using the health bars over heads setup, heal where the heals need to be instead of pigeon holing yourself to only the people in your party. It’ll take some getting used to for every Wow healer like myself, but its a new world baby, and this world has squigs to kill.

    Ironbreaker 4 life

  7. Ylei, I am sorry if I seemed angry before; you hit me right in the pet-peeve. ;)

  8. I play a Shaman and plan on playing a Shaman into release, and I just have to say: click targeting may not be the best choice.

    With the speed of this game and the WoW-mentality of keep moving to ruin LoS (which is useless since the game will autospin you to face your target while casting if not manually spinning) I prefer the Alt-Tab method of targeting nearest friendly.

    I just have Alt-Tab hotkeyed to my mouse and tab through enemies to dot and alt-tab through friendlies to hot/heal…

    Just gotta choose whether to watch for highlighted characters or watch the secondary target frame… I do a bit of both and fair well in both dmg and healing

  9. Target-cycling your nearest friendlies won’t cut it. When people need healing, they need it now, not after you manage to tab to them.

    Trust me; if I can bounce through an entire room of guys killing everyone with the transponder (boy were people pissed…it’s why they nerfed it in later versions of UT) then I can certainly click-target people for heals. In fact, I do. I recommend you do too, in the middle of every fight, to get the habit down.

    It’s ok to use your party/war band interfaces as well, but if you’re not in the party, you can still be useful…and frankly, if you’re a ranged healer (shaman included) you shouldn’t be close enough to the front-line for “nearest friendly” to include those taking the bulk of the damage.

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