Warhammer Online Melee Healer Guide
Warhammer Online Age of Reckoning Melee Healer Guide by CthulhuSleeps
What this thread is not: I hesitate to call this a guide, as it somehow implies that this is the only way to play a Melee Healer, or worse yet, the best way; It is descriptive in nature, rather than prescriptive. I want to inject a little enthusiasm into what I feel is a fun mechanic. If you’re not a real healer at heart, you probably won’t gain much from this as it’s really more intended to help bring the Melee Healers up to par healing-wise. I’m not going to touch on the more Damage or Utility-based builds, which are just as valid, as they’re not really my cup of tea.
I won’t be covering Tactics, or even “specs” really here either, but I encourage folks to post their suggestions here as well. Again, I’m not purporting to cover everything here, just the basics.
1.) Righteous Fury / Soul Essence – Our Healing Mechanic at a Glance:
The bane of our existence, right? The Disciple of Khaine and the Warrior Priest are the only two healing classes in the game that have to manage not one pool for the abilities, but two. This balancing act can be tricky at first, but it does get much easier as you progress.
a.) Supplication / Blood OfferingA channeled ability which converts AP to RF over 5 seconds. You start off with this spell in your arsenal. This ability has two problems, however. One, it’s on a 10 second cooldown. If this spell is interrupted before completion, you’re going to be stuck for 10 seconds without any access to RF (until you get Smite, which I will cover in a moment). Secondly, as it is a channeled spell, you must sit completely still and you are unable to do anything else for 5 seconds. It has its benefits, but it’s very situational (chances are, you will not be using this one as a front-line healer).
b.) Smite / Essence LashMy bread and butter for RF-generation. In addition to building up 45 RF just for using the ability, it has the added bonus of generating an additional 15 RF per enemy that it strikes (up to 45 RF, it seems). Smite + a nice Tome with decent RF generation means that you won’t need to rely on Supplication anymore. As far as I recall, Essence Lash does not generate the extra Soul Essence per target hit, but it’s been some time now since I played a Disciple to confirm that.
c.) Divine Strike / Consume EssenceThe “poor man’s Smite.” Doesn’t hit for very much mind you, but it heals for a smidgen of every hit that you do make, while simultaneously generating 30 RF. Speccing into the Grace of Sigmar tactic makes this even more attractive, if you so choose. Sigmar’s Radiance (Transfer Essence) operates much in the same way, but heals everyone in the group instead of just your defensive target. Again, incentive to push the front lines a bit more, but might be more useful to a Grace-spec’ed WP, or a Sacrifice-spec’ed DoK.
2.) Favored Heals:
The Melee Healer is the AoE healer par excellence. Everything starts to change when you hit R20. While the Melee Healers do give up a certain amount of utility for single-target healing, one could say that they make up for it with their AoE-focus.
Again, don’t forget about your single target heals (Direct and HoT) – I’m primarily focusing here on our AoE abilities.
a.) Touch Of The Divine / Khaine’s EmbraceAs of 1.2, this one is healing for even more and is now faster than before. Although this is restricted to your immediate group, it does have a 150ft radius. Extremely potent healing output with this one.
b.) Divine Light / Soul ShieldingNot technically a “heal” per se, but it’s a nice group-shield that you can pop once a minute in emergencies. Also has a 150ft range. Absorbs even more damage now in 1.2
c.) Pious Restoration / Khaine’s VigorObtainable through Salvation Mastery Line at R25 (unless you have Divine Light already, and then R26). An AoE HoT. Decent healing output, but it really shines with the Cleansing Power tactic (not obtainable for Disciples).
d.) Martyr’s Blessing / Khaine’s RefreshmentChanneled AoE Heal, affecting all allies within 30 ft. For 3 seconds (again, being channeled it can be interrupted easily), at 20 RF a second, you are healing everyone near you. Very helpful for Keep Sieges and other areas where everyone is tighly clumped together.
3.) Suggested Healing Rotation:
If you follow my philosophy, and favor group-based AoE healing, you should still make sure to keep an eye on the other groups. In a perfect scenario, there would be multiple healers with whom to split the healing “burdon.” Regardless of your preference, I recommend throwing a Smite in after every healing spell, as long as you can afford to do so time-wise.
If the situation is dire (i.e., one group heal wasn’t enough to bring everyone out of danger), what I usually do is cast Divine Light and then Touch Of The Divine as a follow up. Don’t bother trying to cast Pious Restoration for example, to counter spike damage. Save that for when the group is not in immediate danger.
4.) Front Line or Back Line?:
Play style and personal choice, honestly. We’re really “meant” to be at the front, as evidence by our damage abilities and medium robe. I tend to push the front quite a bit, especially because of my penchant for using Smite to replenish my RF as often as possible. We’re hardly squishy, but like anyone, if focus-fired upon I am going down. I usually try and save my Morale 1 spike heal and AoE Damage Shield for true emergencies. We’re not going to be able to really single-target heal ourselves under fire, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s why you’d want to partner up with an AM or RP.
While you certainly can use the aforementioned healing tricks to stay in the back, I encourage you to try both. Sure you’re not going to be king of the damage meters with this spec and/or play style, but if you’re going to use Smite to build RF anyway, why not smack some folks in the face in the process?
Good question. Personally, I’d say that this is really going to depend on what your playstyle is. Are you at the front lines tearing it up, or do you like to hang back? Strength for me is not a very important stat anymore, at least not for my “healing suit.” None of the AoE healing abilities that I use require strength, and I’m not out there to focus on damage. Instead, I focus on Willpower
6.) Working with Other Healers:
a.) Watch everyone in a given scenario. It’s easy to get tunnel vision if you’re only doing AoE heals. You single-target healing might not be the strongest, but every little bit helps. If you’re just going to do nothing but spam Touch of the Divine though, you won’t be helping nearly as much.
b.) Know when to consrve your RF, and just throw a HoT on someone instead.
c.) Coordinate healing “duties.” You might be better suited to group healing, but it doesn’t mean you have a monopoly on it. You will occasionally run into that odd healer who cares about nothing more than topping the healing meters. The healing meters in scenarios are not the yardstick by which to measure your class, as far as I’m concerned.
d.) Coordinate rezzing (i.e., call it out in /sc or Vent). Having 4 healers trying to rez the same person isn’t going to help.
e.) WPs, encourage the tanks to Guard the squishies instead, but don’t be afraid to ask for an Oath Friend from your local neighborhood IB. Inspiring Attack on a Warrior Priest at 100 Grudges=priceless.
f.) Understand that many players have no idea what your RF mechanic is, and won’t understand that you might have near-full AP, but be out of RF (and thus unable to heal). While we certainly are able to make a difference (obviously), we lack a few of the nice “life-saver” talents that the other healers get (single-target shield, single-target large heal that doesn’t require us to me melee’ing someone). Just another good reason to run in guild groups whenever possible, and run with AMs and RPs.
I hope that some of you can take a few things out of this. I know that when I changed my play style to the above, focusing on AoE healing and less on damage, it really opened the class up for me. The downside (for some) obviously is that you become more of a healbot, but to each his own. Depending on your server, Healers are in extreme short supply these days, and it never hurts to help out in this regard!