“a healer I didn’t like”

I was watching a Massively OP Twitch by M J yesterday of the Otherland MMO and during the stream she mentioned that the healer class “Energizer” was, on first impression, a healer type that she actually didn’t like. That thought stuck with me afterwards as I can empathise with that being an unusual situation. Although I didn’t really play healer (or tank) at all for the first few years of MMO play, I have since played healer classes more and more.

Personally I can’t think of any healer class I didn’t actually like at least of those I’ve played for a good amount of time. I spent some time healing dungeons in World of Warcraft this past weekend so I’m back into this role once more and loving it. Looking back at my post archive this playstyle has dominated my experience of MMOs since the early WoW years – if I could play healer for any group content I have done. Here are a few of my healer characters from different MMOs:

World of Warcraft, Shaman (Restoration)

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Although my ‘main’ character initially in WoW was a Balance druid for solo, duo and general gameplay I did swap later to playing Restoration shaman for much of my group gameplay, especially for raiding. This class and spec was known for strong group heals and very good condition removal (how I miss cleansing totem!) with a positional element from the good placement of the totems.

Star Wars The Old Republic, Jedi Sage

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I leveled a healer as main in this game and actually healed a good number of flashpoints with my guild. It was, and remains, a really fun game for small group content. I never really tried the other healing styles to compare but the Jedi Sage was a fairly standard single-target healer with some damage shields.

Final Fantasy 14, Scholar

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Technically I healed with Conjurer/White Mage first in the game as until you have unlocked the Scholar job, Arcanist cannot queue as a healer. But once I had Scholar available I didn’t look back. Having a healer pet is pretty cool in this game and I prefer the slightly more hybrid healer/damage dealer style of the base Arcanist class to the Conjurer. That said after I started duo’ing the game with my husband he was playing Scholar and I Summoner so my healing experience in the game is quite limited thus far.

Tera, Priest

It's not easy to take screenshots of combat in this game...

It’s not easy to take screenshots of combat in this game…

The healing gameplay shows off the very best and worst of Tera in my view. The solo questing/levelling experience is pretty grindy and average. The game shines when you’re in a group in combat either doing BAMs (open world elite monsters) or dungeons. The negative side of this is that the game’s combat proved to be just too frantic for me, I game to relax remember, and healing in such a game is pretty stressful. It’s a shame really as I did enjoy the targeted healing style quite a bit but didn’t get experienced enough to feel comfortable in the role.

Neverwinter, Devout Cleric

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In Neverwinter I played three classes to the original level cap; Control Wizard, Devout Cleric and Great Weapon Fighter in that order. However I played the Cleric the most overall, he has the best gear and the most progression in the various campaigns. When we returned to the game last summer for a lot of dungeon-running fun with some WoW guild-mates I either tanked on my GWF or healed with my cleric. Healing in the game is similar to Tera although the game is slightly easier overall and I found my cleric’s skillset to be more versatile than that of the Priest in Tera.

The Neverwinter cleric can be built for heals, damage or a mix of both although when we were playing the healing meta (i.e. the effective builds) were centred around spells like Astral Seal (mark an enemy, anyone damaging that receives a heal). That aggressive playstyle coupled with some shields and emergency channeled heals allowed this class to be a real hero in tight situations, it was very fulfilling to play!

Do you have a favourite healer class, or one you actually disliked playing?

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2 Responses to “a healer I didn’t like”

  1. pkudude99 says:

    My favorite healer was Vanguard’s Disciple class. After that, I really enjoyed the Chloromancer in Rift. Both have a mechanic where you do damage to the mobs and this in turn heals your group. Both also have direct heals for invulnerability phases and “oh snap!” moments, but those direct heals are very inefficient so the best way to heal is “hurt that mob!” Love that style.

    I also loved playing a Fury in EQ2. During the 2nd expansion when 70 was the cap the Fury was considered to be the “worst” healer in the game, and yet I meneged to keep my group of 5 mages (and myself) all alive during a bad trash pull in the Deathtoll raid (which was the hardest raid at the time) and thus made it so that we actually didn’t have a wipe. Final heal parse showed me having over 4x the healing output of any other healer in that fight… but Furies were “bad” And yet I could also come in 3rd on the parse (out of 24 players) for damage dealing on tank-n-spank trash fights where I didn’t have to heal. I liked my inquisitor too, but the Fury was my favorite EQ2 healer by far.

    I’m liking Scholar best of the 3 healers in FFXIV. I enjoyed playing the Jedi Sage in SWTOR.

    Honestly, I can’t say that there’s ever been a healer I didn’t like at least somewhat. I’m not terribly fond of healing in TSW, but I could still do it just fine, so I didn’t hate doing it — I just preferred to be ranged dps 😉 Of course, I never got the gear to be a good Rifle healer, so I didn’t like that much, but I did just fine as a Fist healer. ESO most classes had self heals and wouldn’t fold quickly anyway, so healing there involved tossing down healing circles for others to boost their own heals more than anything, so it was actually pretty chill. Devoted Cleric in Neverwinter was similar — you’d do things to aid others in healing themselves, mostly. Especially after they nerfed that blue ring you put on the ground that was pretty much an “I win” button for healing when the game initially released.

  2. Healing is something I have a bit of an odd relationship with. I used to do it a lot, and enjoy it, but as of now, I haven’t done any MMO healing for quite a while. The reasons for that are many and varied, but I think some of it has to do with my usual complaints about the trinity and how narrow it is. I love being able to support allies and pull people back from the brink, but I don’t like having no combat ability of my own. The old issue of “What boss? All I saw was a bunch of green bars I needed to keep filled.”

    My first experience with healing was as a restoration shaman in WoW. I think that class is a great starting point because it’s kind of a “jack of all trades” healer with a little bit of everything — group heals, HoTs, single target burst heals, big cooldowns. However, then I moved onto a holy paladin, and I fell in love. I really liked how many instant cast and fast spells it had, giving it a lot of mobility and a fun spammy feel. I also liked how you could weave in a few damage spells to regenerate your mana and extra holy power.

    My paladin went on to become my de facto main in Cataclysm, to the point where my other characters fell by the wayside. I became a pillar of my guild, and together with our guild’s main tank — an excellent blood death knight — I pretty much ruled the world (of Warcraft).

    Unfortunately, this also led to some pretty severe burnout on paladins after a while. Then my guild started to break up, and the final nail in my paladin’s proverbial coffin came when I started playing TSW.

    I’m not sure I’d say that I like TSW’s healing better than WoW’s, per se, but the difference in power between a healer in WoW and a healer in TSW is so stark that it still managed to ruin me for WoW healing. In WoW, you’re an immobile turret who has to constantly worry about running out of mana. In TSW, you’re an ultra mobile demigod with no mana and few cooldowns who can heal a raid-geared tank to full with 1-2 GCDs. It’s kind of hard to go back to a more sedate form of healing after being a god among men as you are in TSW.

    Unfortunately, it’s very hard to find groups in TSW, so I don’t heal much there, either. This should change once the dungeon finder is added, though.

    I also dabbled with a devoted cleric in Neverwinter. This was probably my favourite style of healing to date: a nice balance of straight healing, damage, buffs, and utility. Less a mindless healbot and more a Swiss army knife character who can adapt based on the needs of the moment. Sadly I tried it just around the time I was burning out on Neverwinter, so again, I didn’t do much with it.

    The one place where I have been playing healer/support characters lately is Heroes of the Storm. My original main (still my second most played character, only a few matches behind Jaina) was Tassadar. He’s a bit of an unusual support: He has no healing at all by default, though he can get some through talents. Instead, he can place shields on allies to protect them from damage. He’s something of a hybrid character — in addition to his support abilities, he’s also got an incredible capacity for survival and some fairly respectable damage. I really love how versatile and well-rounded he is. Also, Protoss.

    I also dabble with Malfurion, Rehgar, and Kharazim from time to time, and they’re more pure healers — especially Malfurion.

    Support in Heroes is an incredibly important role, and you can really make the difference between victory and defeat, which I find very gratifying. The diversity in styles of support is also pretty cool.

    Eek, holy wall of text, Batman.

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