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.