Comments on my travels in Azeroth (Part 1): Pre Cataclysm

Thoughts on tactical healing in MMOs:

I have always played healers in MMOs, from the clerics in EQ to the Medic in Tabula Rasa to empaths in City of Heroes to both a Priest and Druid in WoW. I love the tactical choices presented in healing, I am not one to just stare at health bars for hours on end, I like to make decisions based on what is happening: Group member C is being charged by “big hit” mob, let me select him and line up a heal before the bar drops. Cast and ability rotations bore me to bits. Throw in a latency of 400 ms+ and you are talking a very active gaming session in a group as a healer.

Most MMOs offer the standard healing spells, a big expensive heal, a smaller cheaper heal and HOTs of different kinds. This is the healer toolbox and each MMO in some way or another tackles them the same way. In WAR the Disciple of Khaine and Warpriests had melee based heals, you heal when you hit, which was an amazing turn on the whole healing thing. Of course WAR also allowed you to have two targets, enemy and friendly so you can do damage to one and give health to another through it, something I have not seen in any other MMO.


Changing shape of MMO healing

World of Warcaft seems to have changed their healing strategies in design as well to some extent while I was away.

Especially the druid healing in post 4.0.1 seems to be a much more active type of healing with plenty choices to make.

After running some dungeons with my level 71 druid, this became very obvious, I had to be very active and it wasn’t just a case of standing and pumping the tank with heals. The nature of druid healing is very much on the run with more than just one HOT to use. I am still coming to grips with this kind of healing but I can tell you this.

It is a GREAT change to the 3 button healing in Aion. At level 71 I have a stackable hot that I can only place on one group member up to 3 stacks, I have a basic hot and I have a HOT that heals in an AE around the target. I also have a button that will heal the target that has a hot as an instant cast AND it will heal those around them with another hot. I also have 2 basic heals with cast times: a short one with moderate heal plus a hot and a long heal. Plenty of tactical choices and all but two of them can be done while moving, have to love that.

I love druids, so versatile.


One Response to “”

  1. skurm Says:

    mana management is going to be a big deal in cataclysm. Choosing the right heal spell to use for the right situation is how it should be rather than jsut spamming heals as they come off cooldown in whackamole fashion.

    im tempted to try my hand at healing again. Been dpsing and tanking for a while now, and healing is an enjoyable change of pace and playstyle.

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