Once a healer…

Not sure what my main in Warhammer will be yet, but for most of my WoW career (including the last 2 years with our regular instance group) I played a pure healer. I didn’t start out that way, but in trying to put a balanced group together, I thought I’d take one for the team and take the “who’s gonna be the healer?” question off the table.

So, with the opportunity to try new things with WAR, I rolled up a placeholder Rune Priest and parked him while I tried other things. After running around as a Witch Hunter for a while, it felt a bit squishy to me, and yes, there’s quite a bit of maneuvering to do like all melee dpsers. Likewise, I rolled an Archmage, a Warrior Priest, and Iron Breaker, an Engineer and a Bright Wizard.

After futzing about for quite a while since Thursday, and seeing how poorly the mostly-Empire groups were doing in Nordenwatch — I decided to do a little experiment. I’d fire up my Rune Priest Skronk (now a proud, if for the time being a silent, member of Casualties of War), hop over to Nordenwatch and see if I could help turn the tide.

I may have done one or two quests with him, only to get bus fare from the dwarf area to Breuer’s Regiment, but then exclusively ran Nordenwatch and collected Renown Gear. Suffice it to say that it wasn’t too hard to end up finishing in the top few slots in the healing department in short order, with the XP and Renown bonuses to boot. Well out of rested XP, I managed to ding Rank 10/ Renown 10 while having a bit of fun along the way. The addition of a few AMs and RPs as well as a SM or IB or two really made a big difference.  Scenarios were popping almost non-stop.  I had to skip a few just to do training and gear upgrades.

There must be something hardwired in healers’ brains, but fundamentally, a healer’s success depends on his or her team’s success. Sure, there are dpsing AMs and RPs out there, but I suspect that just can’t be that fun in RvR. The group dependency is what makes it a challenge and the win more satisfying.

Those of you who say “I don’t want to play a healbot” should roll one and try it, especially in RvR. Its a totally different game.

With the RPs survivability, it makes doing RvR fun as a healer. I have a enough tricks that I found I could usually escape the clutches of almost any melee attacker with collision maneuvering, detaunts, instant hots and small and big heals. In many scenarios, we turned all-but-lost flag stands into victories by simply out lasting our enemies. Once in a while of course, focus fire calls you to oblivion.

WAR does seem to have made healing pretty powerful which is good. I am still dismayed by seeing the same “complaints” arise in the blogosphere about not enough healers, healers not healing, etc. Still yet to see anyone complaining about not enough snaring or not enough dpsing (though you do hear about not enough tanking, the second most thankless profession in MMOs).

Anyway, suffice it to say that the apple doesn’t seem to fall too far from the tree, so I expect I’ll be reprising my role as Skronk the healer (whether as a main or a significant alt).

And while I’m at it, let me suggest that everyone should adopt a “Don’t heal/help the Naked Dude/Chick” in a scenario rule. It was funny exactly zero times.

8 thoughts on “Once a healer…”

  1. I’ve seen a few naked chicks/dudes in scenarios so far .
    From what i understand there are tome unlocks for doing pvp while naked
    (doing damange / taking damage etc)
    However , when a big skirmish is going
    they are last on my list of people to heal .

  2. Yeah, I saw the naked thing happening some as well. A tome unlock for it? Pardon me while I grumble about Mythic encouraging that. They turned up their nose at a dance emote, but naked RvR, we’re all over that!

    I will say that, once I rolled up an Ironbreaker, I did get quite a bit of healing, especially in the dwarf RvR scenarios, which are nice and compact. In Nordenwatch you can get too spread out at some points.

    I do like the Ironbreaker skill that allows you to set an oath with another player, the more they get beat on, the faster you build up grudges. I would pick a healer to stick close to, hit him with that skill, then slay anybody who went after my healer all that much faster.

  3. About the naked thing…

    The starting gear gives a character all of 2 armor, so you might as well be naked. So until you are able to get some half-decent gear, it’s worth it for the unlocks to run around in your skivies.

  4. I am usually the healer and I appreciate your self-sacrifice. However I’d encourage you to try the ironbreaker and a few other classes also since it sounds like you needs a change of pace Scott. I really like my ironbreaker and my swordmaster. I need to try the shadow warrior and burninator (bright wizard) more.

  5. @Thallian. Oh, I like the IB too. One of my favs in LotRO was the dwarf guardian, and its not a sacrifice if you’re having fun which I am. It seemed like it WAAAAAY back when we first rolled in WoW, but whenever I grouped with others when on my alts, it made me well aware of how bad PUG healers could be and reinforced how challenging the job was. It made me think that maybe I didn’t suck at it after all since our groups mostly stay vertical when it matters. I’ve got alt-itis so I’ve got lots of variety.

    My main point was that its actually much more fun in RvR as a healer than I would have imagined judging by how much fun it was to be a holy priest in a battleground.

    @Rkik: Naked is the way to put the “I” in team. A couple of quests, a couple of PQs or even a couple of scenarios and your into quest, influence or renown gear that’s much better. You can start at Rank 2, Renown 1. Its just selfish 13 year old look at me assholism.

  6. I too have gotten the healing bug. I’ve got a Goblin Shammy and a Rune Priest I’m working up on the side. There is something satisfying about being the only healer in a 9 person warband doing a PQ and no body dies. It also gives you great participation points, I actually got three bags out of three straight PQ’s, one of them being the top bag.

    The cool thing is you can have an offensive and defensive target, so while your healing a team mate, you can dps the mob you have targeted. This is especially great for those attack spells that also heal your team members. Course, you have to select each target individually, but I hear good things about some mods coming out that should improve healing even more.

    The truest part of RvR is that Healers make the difference. As long as your healing your team, they tend to win more captures.

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