Epic Education Episode 3: Healing Roles

Hello and welcome to Epic Education – a show of tips and tactics for surviving epic content.  I’m your guide Shamgar and this is Episode 3: “Healing” alternatively titled “How to heal like a god”


This Episode is the second in a series of 3 on how to play the basic roles in epic content.  Today will be all about healing.  As with DPS roles you will find that most of what I will discuss is applicable not just in epic content, but throughout the game at any level.  These are things you can start planning for and practicing now so that when you reach level 20 you are ready to venture into epic quests.  Again, remember that these are only the basics.  Actual tactics may vary depending on the quest, party style and your party leader.


So lets talk healing gear


Just like DPS Potions are important.  If theres any kind of condition you can be afflicted with bring a pot to remove it.  Of course you can always just toss yourself a spell, but sometimes you will find that spell points are tight potions come in handy.  You can use wands too, but you have to switch them into your hand before you can use them.  Curse pots are probably the most useful here for use on others, particularly a main tank fighting a boss that inflicts healing curses.


Next: bring a weapon.  I’m not talking about a twig with superior potency on it, I mean a real weapon.  It doesn’t have to be an uber weapon, but bring one with you.  I generally recommend bringing a multipurpose weapon and a two handed portal beater.  A dreamspitter is also pretty handy. EDIT: With update 9 the rules changed on how helpless states function.  Pre-update 9 a helpless creature would be subject to an autocrit state.  Post update 9 these creatures are no longer subjected to autocrits when helpless, they instead take an extra 50% damage from most sources.  This has drastically reduced the effectiveness of a dreamspitter and the life stealing weapon ability (though now as a mitigation life stealing always takes effect on criticals whereas before it had only a percentage chance to do so).


Any other gear you use is pretty much up to you.  Find the gear that fits your preferences and that you can actually acquire and go from there.  I personally prefer wearing my potency and healing amplification items instead of having them on a weapon so I don’t have to think about them when im switching between weapons, scrolls and wands.


Now then, healing supplies.  How much do you need to bring.  Ask around and you will probably get a lot of variation for answers, and really the correct answer will depend greatly on your build.  A FVS who has every bonus possible to healing and spell points will need far fewer healing supplies than say a warchanter bard who generally only heals when an extra healer is required.  As you become more experienced raiding and running high level content you’ll get a better idea of how many scrolls and pots you should be bringing.  For new healers I would recommend 100 heal scrolls and 20 major mnemonic pots as a starting minimum.  If you regularly use any mass cure scrolls bring a stack of 100 of those as well.  And then bring about 20 resurrection scrolls.  If you find that you make heavy use of these supplies in normal questing double that amount


Remember that this is for someone newer to epics.  As you get more experienced you’ll get a better idea of what you need – particularly if you run with friends and your guild on a regular basis.  A stack of heal scrolls combined with a group of melee using the main tank and off tank strategy effectively can really stretch your spell points.  You may have noticed that I said resurrection scrolls instead of raise dead.  When you are raising folks in the heat of battle, avoid using raise dead, use either resurrection or true resurrection.  Getting rezzed only to get one shot killed means stacking death penalties and that’s gonna make quite the difference quickly. 


20 mnemonic pots may seem like an aweful lot and really it is.  I would fully expect a party to wipe beyond all recovery before a half way competent healer could go through 20 pots.  There may be cases where you go through that many pots, but your party should be throwing some pots your way in such cases.  The reason I say 20 pots is more about building up that kind of a supply.  If you cant build up a stack of 20 major mnemonic pots I would tell you that you aren’t ready to heal epic content.  Why is that?  Part of it is experience – unless you have poor loot luck it shouldn’t take you too terribly long..  By the time you get 20 of them you should have a decent amount of experience at higher levels.  The other thing is that if you can’t build up a stack of pots one of two things is happening.  Either you are running with a lot of people who are draining your resources (and you probably don’t want to be running with them in epics) OR you are relying too much on these resources to heal.  In either case running epics will be very costly for you.  There will be times where you will drink a bunch of pots, but it shouldn’t be every run – if it is something isn’t being done right.


 Now its completely up to you if you want to spend turbine points on mnemonic pots and if you want to chug them all the way through epics – but I’ll tell you straight up, you can heal any epic quest, including the raids, without drinking a single pot.  You wont do it every time, but don’t let anyone give you the perception that you need to spend a lot of resources healing epics – just make sure that you have them for that run where you do.  However, you should be prepared to spend some resources – and you will probably spend more if you and/or your group is new to a particular quest on epic.


The gear is in order, so lets talk briefly about spells.  Heres my top 5 divine buffs: DW, FoM, protection from evil, holy aura, and prayer.  Being level drained, held, or greater commanded are all quite debilitating.  Holy aura protects against enemy enchantemnet and charm spells and it gives everyone a blindness guard – and monsters that are blind have more difficulty hitting you.  Prayer is a good spell for increasing the party’s damage output.  Resists of course will help mitigate energy damage, particularly from enemy weapons, but you will still get blasted by the caster types.  Other than that bring your favorite spells along with those handy cure spells to keep everyone alive.


Now lets talk about the actual healing part.


First off don’t be scared.  Think of healing epics as the next step in the evolution of your healing skills.  I find that the biggest difference of healing epics is how fast things can spiral out of control and into a party wipe.  If you are healing shrouds blindfolded with one arm tied behind your back you’ll be fine.  If you are finding high level content to be a challenge, consider playing at that level some more before you start playing epics.  Healing is one of the skills that takes a lot of practice and technique, but it also has a stylistic element to it that varyies drastically from person to person.  As you are leveling your healer find things that work for you, like cure spell combinations and how you organize your hotbar.  There will be times when you are relegated to a healbot, but you will also have ample opportunity to support the group in other capacities.


You will need to prioritize healing targets in a similar fashion to how the DPS players target the mobs.  There are 3 targets that should always be high priority but it may vary at times whom is more crucial to success at any given time.  These 3 targets are yourself, the crowd controlling player, and the main tank.  If you go down that means at best the other healers need to pick up your loss of healing until you can be brought back to life.  At worst it means theres no healing until someone brings you back to life (a situation that can be mitigated by death pact).  The main tank and the crowd controller are the 2 players most responsible for keeping everything under control.  Aside from these 3 targets, party members off by themselves should be considered less of a priority than a cluster of party members.  Think of it this way, if you only have time for one cure spell would you rather use it to save one party member or 3?


Next lets discuss reactionary healing and anticipatory healing.  Reactionary healing is when you see life bars and you react by healing.  This is by far the vast majority of the healing that occurs in the game.  Most of the time it is sufficient.  Anticipatory healing is when you heal in anticipation of the damage.  This is the skill that differentiates average healers from great healers.  Now this isn’t just spamming heals, although sometimes it may be.  This is where you heal just before the damage is dealt.  The idea is to be ahead of the damage your healing target is taking, not behind.  If you are waiting until your targets health bar goes down to a low point before you start casting a heal, you may already be too late.  The most common place you will need to anticipate healing is raid bosses – particularly with the main tank.  Because of its long casting time mass heal is a spell that often times needs to be used in anticipation of damage.  If you wait until the group of DPS is at a quarter health before you cast mass heal you are probably going to lose a few of them.  By learning to anticipate you can also effectively heal through lag.  This is a skill that takes practice not only on a general level, but on a quest and even fight specific level.  Once you’ve healed through a quest a few times you should have a good idea of how much healing is required.


As a closing let me give all of you two tips.


The first is directed at arcane casters.  Bring reconstruct scrolls.  Buy them and stick them in your backpack.  Sooner or later you will be asked to repair a WF.  If you’re a sorc I recommend memorizing at least one repair spell.  If you’re a wizard you have the luxury of swapping one or two in.  You’ll only find yourself spot healing and healing a WF main tank so you shouldn’t find it too taxing, but always be prepared.  I remember many years ago my party was saved from a wipe because my arcane friend kept recon scrolls on hand.  Many scrolls and years later he still wont let me forget how he “saved” me from death.


The second is to set up an alternative hotbar.  If you are like me your main hotbar is an even split between cure spells and other things.  My next hotbar in sequence has my same set up for the cure half of my main hotbar, and the rest of it has the other mass cure spells at my disposal.  At times where I need to enter my “God mode of healing” I switch to this hotbar.  And then I start mashing buttons.


That will end this week’s Epic Education.  If you have any questions, comments, or corrections you can email me at that’s all one word.   Join me next time as I discuss playing a casting character in Epics.  Thanks for listening.

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