Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Instant Approach To Healing

Meet Keriak, my Warhammer retrial Chaos Zealot. I've never played a healing class as my main in an MMORPG, but the Zealot (and its Runepriest counterpart) was really the class that stood out amongst Warhammer's archetypes when I auditioned classes during the game's launch.

I didn't stick to my guns the first time around for two reasons - I felt like I needed more DPS for solo'ing and I didn't enjoy being singled out for a quick and painful death. With soloing deliberately off the table and a limited time to revisit the game, I decided to give healing another shot.

Warhammer's pace is a big part of why I am able to enjoy the class. As Rohan illustrates, players in WoW die so quickly that a fraction of a second on the healer's part spells disaster. By contrast, Warhammer players are designed to stay up for longer.

On top of that, the Zealot's spells are all extremely fast casting - the slowest of my healing spells takes 2.5 seconds to cast, and he has several impressive instant-cast tools to work with. Also, Warhammer characters have a constantly-regenerating power bar (like a WoW Rogue's energy bar), rather than a fixed "use it and it's gone" mana bar.

The bottom line is that I don't feel nearly the pressure that I have the few times I've been responsible for healing or debuff removal in WoW. If the target I'm healing dies, it might be because I messed up, but it's more likely that they were simply taking unsustainable damage. Either way, Mythic has managed to make a pure healing class that made me WANT to be a healer, which is a pretty major accomplishment in a genre where it seems that healing is always in short supply.


Lyram said...

The Zealot really isn't a pure healing class. But you can play it that way. And they are their most productive when they do eschew the feeble dps they can do.

Their instant Flash heal is what really makes the class stand out. The Shaman and Disciple don't get a similar tool. It keeps the Zealot mobile, its best defense.

When I'm in healing-mode, I put my mastery points mostly in Alchemy with the rest in Witchcraft to grab and enhance the shield ritual and the insta-cast single-target shield. Most of the other healers in the game spend the majority of their time (when they're not insta-gibbed by white lions and single-target-specced slayers) spamming group heals. So I prefer to specialize in single target and spectacular saves.

Longasc said...

This guy looks pretty cool, the skin color makes him look a bit Aion-ish, though. :)

Ayr said...

When I played the Zealot's counterpart, a Rune Priest, all this changes dramatically in the latter tiers. Sure, in T1 it's all very tactical and damage is low compared to healing, in T4 it's all aoe crowd control, very high damage levels and cheesy abilities like aoe ranged pulls. It wasn't fun at all, healing in WoW is simply much more tactical and rewarding.

This is imo one of the reasons WAR failed as an MMO. The initial pace they presented had fans raving and ignoring the potential flaws, the actual reality in the higher tiers is a completely different experience.

Yeebo said...

I think Mythic is pretty smart to make levels 1-10 FTP. That's the most fun part of the game as far as I can tell from my two stints there. They won't get a ton of new tier III + subs, but a lot of players will enjoy tier I enough to take a chance on Tier II I'd imagine.