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The life of the Healer

ArclanArclan Chicago, ILPosts: 1,494Member Uncommon

A rumor is going around that the Healer class is boring; and that everyone else gets the 'fun.' Well let me disagree. My secondary EQ character was a Cleric, and I spent thousands of hours playing him and loved every minute of it.


1. You get respect from everyone, and appreciation from your group mates


2. You help push the group into more dangerous and lucrative encounters.


3. You employ constant problem solving and decision making; deciding who to heal, when, and for how much. All the while trying to avoid aggro and, if you got it, keeping yourself alive.


4. The consequences of your decisions are high; literally holding the power of life and death.


Although I mention problem solving/decision making third, it is THE reason I loved being a healer.

Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit

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Comments

  • LissylLissyl Peru, INPosts: 271Member Common
    Seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it with very little in-between.  Personally, I love it.  I always feel useful without having to justify my position (because its self-evident) and without the teen macho epeen contest of dps meters.
  • naZchoconaZchoco athens, TNPosts: 82Member

    I've been healing since 99' as a Cleric myself. 

     

    I love the respect I get from it. 

    I love how attentive we have to be on certain fights. Aggro control, status ailment curing, heals, while all the same doing the usual waltz around red rings and AoEs like everyone else. 

    I think it's the hardest of the classes and I think it's the most fun.

    The only problem I have with it is we usually get the shaft in terms of looks. Except cleric - at least it was plate wearing :D

  • UtinniUtinni Richmond, VAPosts: 381Member Uncommon

    I kept hearing this in EQN dev panels. A notion that 1 person tanks 1 person heals and everyone else gets to have fun. Thats paraphrasing but its close to what actually came out of the devs mouth. The proliferation of everyone being a DPS class is just to garner more of the FPS, RTS, and MOBA crowd. Hell go play a ranked game in league and see how people act like its the plague to do support. Ironic that when pro players are asked what the hardest position is they all say support.

    Non-MMO players only want to DPS. Recount is all that matters now.

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member


    Originally posted by Arclan
    A rumor is going around that the Healer class is boring; and that everyone else gets the 'fun.' Well let me disagree. My secondary EQ character was a Cleric, and I spent thousands of hours playing him and loved every minute of it.1. You get respect from everyone, and appreciation from your group mates2. You help push the group into more dangerous and lucrative encounters.3. You employ constant problem solving and decision making; deciding who to heal, when, and for how much. All the while trying to avoid aggro and, if you got it, keeping yourself alive.4. The consequences of your decisions are high; literally holding the power of life and death.Although I mention problem solving/decision making third, it is THE reason I loved being a healer.
    #1 I am unsure about for today's players. In the "old days" respect and courtesy were much more commonplace.

    I have always enjoyed being a healer. Random run-by healing and buffing is my favorite activity :)

    One bone of contention I have always had is the division of XP in some MMOs. I have never been clear on how healing equates to killing MOBs. Most of the time, I do not even tag the opponent.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • WW4BWWW4BW KoldingPosts: 493Member

      There are two problems with healer classes.. One is described in this article:  http://www.rtsguru.com/game/435/article/3433/Morello-Talks-Soraka-and-Healer-Classes.html

      The other problem is the power of the class to dictate to the group. If the healer doesnt want someone in the group they arent getting in. Personally, I dont see that as a problem, but as a solution to weed out dead weight and other undesireables from the game.

      I've played healing classes in most of the games I have played. And I have always enjoyed it when I did. Even if I sometimes resented not being able to play one of my other characters due to my healer being in higher demand :P

  • WW4BWWW4BW KoldingPosts: 493Member
    Originally posted by Utinni

    I kept hearing this in EQN dev panels. A notion that 1 person tanks 1 person heals and everyone else gets to have fun. Thats paraphrasing but its close to what actually came out of the devs mouth. The proliferation of everyone being a DPS class is just to garner more of the FPS, RTS, and MOBA crowd. Hell go play a ranked game in league and see how people act like its the plague to do support. Ironic that when pro players are asked what the hardest position is they all say support.

    Non-MMO players only want to DPS. Recount is all that matters now.

      In my experience support is safe role to start out with if you are new to MOBAs. It is fairly easy to coast through a few games while you learn the ropes. And there is no presure to have 300+ CS or even a positive KDA ratio (even if a good support player will often have the best KDA since they are rarely the focus of the enemy team).

      To be a good support though, you have to know how to play pretty much every other role so you can anticipate how to best support them. Supports also set up many of the plays and have to be clever about when to go ward and they often have to keep track of the whole enemy team for their team mates. So it is extremely hard to master.. Most other roles just need to mind their own business.

  • ArclanArclan Chicago, ILPosts: 1,494Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by WW4BW
      There are two problems with healer classes.. One is described in this article:  http://www.rtsguru.com/game/435/article/3433/Morello-Talks-Soraka-and-Healer-Classes.html  The other problem is the power of the class to dictate to the group. If the healer doesnt want someone in the group they arent getting in. Personally, I dont see that as a problem, but as a solution to weed out dead weight and other undesireables from the game.  I've played healing classes in most of the games I have played. And I have always enjoyed it when I did. Even if I sometimes resented not being able to play one of my other characters due to my healer being in higher demand :P

    This is another positive, I suppose. Healers hold a certain amount of power in the group. I've never seen that be abused as far as I can tell, though; whether on my Cleric alt or Paladin main.

    Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
    In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit

  • MorrokMorrok MunichPosts: 130Member

    http://www.thenoobcomic.com/index.php?pos=193

    That is what comes to my mind...


    I play EQ too (only off and on these days), and have all types of healer-chars.
    While i even have two CLRs, so i can have one around at any time, i rarely play him as a primary.
    I think i am a fairly good cleric too, if i have to...
    But normally, he's simply the box to my my WAR since i have come to DIStrust most player-CLRs, especially most in the top-raid-guilds.
    (these, i found, rely on their gear too much to the point where they slack far too much, sometimes even on raids - and get away with it, go figure!)

    And i guess that the cleric was "so fun to play" is the reason why they introduced the rampart-buff and changed the CLR from the long-cast but massive (at it's time) CH to the different lines of heals, coupled with more... viability for the other spells a cleric has, that allow him to heal less and hav efun more.
    Or why the J5 healer merc is probably the most hired+used one...

    I think there's a reason why healers, especially clerics, are basically always "open" in ANY raiding guild!


    When it comes to problem-solving i have come to respect a lot of shamans (vs. only a select few clerics) that use their mana in a much more versatile way...

  • 5Luck5Luck Shelton, CTPosts: 185Member

    To me there is a line between healing and suport. While I do like healing I am a fan of the true suport role even more. It is very hard to define as it incorperates game lore and mythology as welll as buffs debffs crowd control and mezing. Not to mention off heals!

     

    If you want more healer love make it a duel spec class with real meaningfull suport. Think archon or bard from rift. Some of those types of ideas coupled with the nessesity of healing!

  • scarlettxscarlettx Phoenix, AZPosts: 30Member

    Loved reading this thread; so fascinating from the stand-point of someone who chose to play a Shadow Priest in WoW and was constantly being asked if I could re-spec for healing. After reading all these posts, I'm regretting that I never bothered to give it a go!

     

    The "fun factor" is something I always wondered about with healers. It seemed so stressful to worry about keeping everyone buffed and healthy, then to deal with the fallout if someone died (especially in the midst of wildly immature and/or disrespectful PUGs). While the healer was certainly someone that should have commanded massive appreciation, it often felt like people (read: DPS fiends) were very dismissive of what healers brought to the table.

     

    Which MMOs have been the most fun for y'all to play healers in?

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,727Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by scarlettx

    Which MMOs have been the most fun for y'all to play healers in?

    AoC, Bear shaman. Got the advantages of the combo system's fun factor (opposed to ToS or PoM), but still capable of healing through instances and being useful on the side.

    And I'd disagree with OP's "A rumor is going around that the Healer class is boring", I've always found dps boring. Healing, tank/off-tank, or controlling the fight is much more fun. But if you ask "the most fun", then it's AoC. TSW's fist/blood is maybe the second.

  • DibdabsDibdabs FelvershamPosts: 2,604Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Arclan

    1. You get respect from everyone, and appreciation from your group mates

    Back in the day maybe, but not now.  Every useless Tank in the world who can't handle pulls uses the Healer as a whipping boy for his failure.  I gave up playing healers in a group when I stopped playing EQ1. 

  • Neo_ViperNeo_Viper NotyourbusinessPosts: 598Member

    Tank has always been the role requiring the most skill and game knowledge. Healers are still mostly about button mashing. A way overrated role in my opinion.

    A mediocre healer will get you through the dungeon if the tank is good. A mediocre tank will make your experience a pain, even if the healer is good, because the tank's job isn't about being healed but about controlling the whole fights in a trinity system.

    My computer is better than yours.

  • ApraxisApraxis RegensburgPosts: 1,515Member Uncommon

    The real problem of the Healer class is, that it is a must have class for any group setup/encounter.

    When you do have 10-20 or more classes, and a group size of 5-8, and 2-4 classes out of those classes are must have all other classes will have a bad time. With other words your balance is rigged.

    There are two solutions for that problem:

    - either reduce your amounts of classes, so that every single class is must have for a group encounter. That would basicly come down to 3-4 classes.

    - eliminate any "must have" class.. either to get rid of that class entirely or change your group encounters, so that no single class is better or is must have then any other class.

    This problem is not only because of the holy trinity and pve, it happend in pvp as well. Little example.

    In old DAoC RvR you got a few must have clas any group really required:

    - Healer.. even more you usually required 2 of them. Healing + Buffs

    - CC, Mezz.. it was just a little bit imba in DAoC RvR and therefore absolutely must have

    - Speed. In DAoC there was a speed group buff, and only one class from every realm got that one.. and for pvp movement speed was absolutely basic need.

    With that 4 places in any pvp group where alreaday pre set, and then you could fill those other 4 places (group consisted of 8 players) could be filled from the other 15 classes. And usually the group was either a caster group, so the other 4 places was resembled with 4 Dps Caster, or it was a melee group and you used 4 Dps melees.

    Ok.. depending on your setup some other supporter could be useful, so you sometimes mixed those 4 remaining places with dps and 1-2 additional supporter (endu buff, mana buff, resi debuff, interuption or anything like that)

     

    And now to all healers.. what do you like more? A MMO with healers, but only 3-4 classes, or a MMO with a lot of different abilities and roles and a lot more classes, but not one single "must have" class.. and with that only a somewhat gimped healer? At least that is the question any serious designer have to answer.. because they don't design a game for a single person, or a single flavor, they try to design a game for different flavours and a lot of different potential players.

    Edit: Another problem with healer especially is the ability to play as single player vs. ability to play with group balance. But that is a fixable problem, without changeing everything.. the above is somewhat more difficult

  • DanitaKusorDanitaKusor AdelaidePosts: 549Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Po_gg
    Originally posted by scarlettx

    Which MMOs have been the most fun for y'all to play healers in?

    AoC, Bear shaman. Got the advantages of the combo system's fun factor (opposed to ToS or PoM), but still capable of healing through instances and being useful on the side.

    I find my ToS quite fun to play.  It can be edge of the seat close to death play out in some of the harder zone, but still fun and great dps while still healing.

    The Enlightened take things Lightly

  • PsistormPsistorm SomeplacePosts: 39Member Uncommon

    Personally I feel that healers are probably the hardest class to play, and in many ways also the least rewarding. You get to keep everyone alive, watching 5 targets on top of needing to know when the fight needs special attention on top of doing the mechanics, and if you slip up you generally get shouted at. You pretty much have to have healed a dungeon in order to be allowed to heal a dungeon, so to say. Or at least have read up on every encounter.

    Meanwhile tanks need the same kind of pre-knowledge, it almost feels as if healers/tanks aren't allowed to learn anymore in todays MMO society, people expect them to know everything up front already. They need to be more geared usually, though they don't have to do a ton of work over dps. They often are subject to different mechanics, but most games seem to give them gratuitous threat building abilities so that threat isn't really an issue.

    Meanwhile DPS can die all they like and blame others in some games, only need to do the waltz whilst spamming their rotation as fast as they can, because the tank is expected to keep aggro and stay up, and the healer is expected to smooth over any screwups the group does.

     

    Granted this is my personal, perhaps slightly jaded opinion, but in todays "don't talk, just kill stuff already" LFG experience, this seems to be what it boils down to. Which is probably why I a) really should find me a nice guild on any upcoming MMOs I play and b) will probably pick up tanking. I tried healing once and it really is a bit too much for my taste, but tanking I tried out and I like the taste of it.

     

    So what can games do to make it more fun? Imho break up the trinity, and try to make every role responsible again. And re-introduce CC and support as a major player. Make it so that DPS classes aren't pure DPS, but instead have a good helping of temporary buffs, small heals and such at their disposal, as well as some CC. Make fights revolve around those concepts, make the party turn into a scenario where people help each other, rather two people carrying three others to an extent.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,727Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Apraxis

    The real problem of the Healer class is, that it is a must have class for any group setup/encounter.

    .....

    There are two solutions for that problem:

    - either reduce your amounts of classes, so that every single class is must have for a group encounter. That would basicly come down to 3-4 classes.

    - eliminate any "must have" class.. either to get rid of that class entirely or change your group encounters, so that no single class is better or is must have then any other class.

    Not a must have class, a must have role - quite a difference. In most mmo's (except GW2's "everyone's an island", tank'n'spank fest) encounters are designed around the pen'n'paper-ish mechanism, which some call the (Holy) Trinity. They need someone bulky enough to hold off the crowd, need damage dealers, need support (either with heals, debuffs, controls, etc.)

     

    Therefore there are many "solutions" besides eliminating the must have roles, like

    -having multiple classes for each role to ensure there are enough players for each one. AoC has 3 healers (plus DT :) ok, just kidding), LotRO has 2, plus captains as decent backup healers (out of 9 classes) - in both cases ~1/3 of the classes can fill the healer role. Btw same with tanks, AoC has 3 (+1/2), LotRO has 2 plus champs.

    -designing the layouts with making every class a "must have" one, like AoC's 24man raids (2 from all the 12 classes)

    -giving the players the option to fill every role they want, like TSW or STO

  • Sk1ppeRSk1ppeR PlovdivPosts: 511Member
    Originally posted by Arclan

    A rumor is going around that the Healer class is boring; and that everyone else gets the 'fun.' Well let me disagree. My secondary EQ character was a Cleric, and I spent thousands of hours playing him and loved every minute of it.


    1. You get respect from everyone, and appreciation from your group mates


    2. You help push the group into more dangerous and lucrative encounters.


    3. You employ constant problem solving and decision making; deciding who to heal, when, and for how much. All the while trying to avoid aggro and, if you got it, keeping yourself alive.


    4. The consequences of your decisions are high; literally holding the power of life and death.


    Although I mention problem solving/decision making third, it is THE reason I loved being a healer.

    1. It's fake respect. 

    2. Bad game design

    3. It's not really so hard to heal the tank since they are doing most of the job.

    4. Not really after you figure out how to sustain your mana or whatever limits your heals

     

    P.S: Played a friend's healer character in Lineage 2 for 2 hours. My party called me the best healer they've seem. I was bored to hell. Frankly, a tank is a lot more challenging

     

    P.P.S: Just remembered L2 has more than 1 healer types. I was playing a Cardinal/Bishop

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,727Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DanitaKusor
    Originally posted by Po_gg
    Originally posted by scarlettx

    Which MMOs have been the most fun for y'all to play healers in?

    AoC, Bear shaman. Got the advantages of the combo system's fun factor (opposed to ToS or PoM), but still capable of healing through instances and being useful on the side.

    I find my ToS quite fun to play.  It can be edge of the seat close to death play out in some of the harder zone, but still fun and great dps while still healing.

    Sorry, I didn't want to belittle ToS :) just ment that ToS is very much like every other healer in other games gameplay-wise. True, it has a nice mechanic, dishing out awesome dps while healing at the same time (and Life of Set for free), but to be honest, LotRO's Runekeeper does it in a much more fun way with the attunement system. I mean the nuker / dps/ heal thingy.

    And no such thing for near death experience for ToS, that's what Aftershock is for :)

     

    Edit: khm.... ok I admit it was a long time when I last played my ToS... just logged in to check the details and to my (after)shock (lol), the feat is gone. There's however Set's Life Sparks instead, which is the same, if you die, that old Worm will rez you.

  • TheMaahesTheMaahes Marlborough, MAPosts: 185Member
    Originally posted by scarlettx

    The "fun factor" is something I always wondered about with healers. It seemed so stressful to worry about keeping everyone buffed and healthy, then to deal with the fallout if someone died (especially in the midst of wildly immature and/or disrespectful PUGs). While the healer was certainly someone that should have commanded massive appreciation, it often felt like people (read: DPS fiends) were very dismissive of what healers brought to the table.

     

    Which MMOs have been the most fun for y'all to play healers in?

    I speak from a pure-RvR perspective, but the "fun factor" comes from being completely essential to your team's success. That "stress" creates entertainment and a greater sense of accomplishment in the end. Dealing with PuGs is the same for healers and tanks, you just roll with the punches and laugh off their comments. People will tell you how awful you are consistently, but it ironicly amplifies the effects of the positive remarks. Finding a guild and sticking with them is always the best option anyway.

    The most fun I've had with healers is in WAR. RvR as a healer is extremely satisfying; your level of ability as a healer directly affected what your group could take on in the lakes and in some cases the make-up of your group. If you're healer was solid enough, your could build your group to be more offensive and that provided a number of advantages. The combination of being crucial to your team but also having the chances to present personal ability created a very satisfying gameplay experience.

    Then there was also Shamans. The most hilarious healing experience after LotD launched. I'll look for the video, but my guild was defending a keep (last one to city) and waiting for the timer of the other zone till it unlocked. The outer door was about go down and we need to distract them for another hour roughly and it didn't look possible to do. We lacked DPS and tanks and were already outnumbered. So I went out of the postern in an attempt to make a joke about how long I could distract the zerg. I managed to get the attention of all of it and what followed was a Benny Hill moment of an entire order zerg chasing a lone Shaman till the other pairing unlocked.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,758Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Lissyl
    Seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it with very little in-between.  Personally, I love it.  I always feel useful without having to justify my position (because its self-evident) and without the teen macho epeen contest of dps meters.

     I liked being a healer but did not like getting the blame if the group wiped, even if the healer wasnt at fault.

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member

    A healer in swg could be a healer, a fighter, a crafter, a gatherer,  a merchant. a buffer, or a poisoner ect... Do any of those exclusively and be as successful as any jedi killing stuff could. Pretty amazing

    One profession offered more paths to success than entire games or multiple game combined.

     

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • bizoux86bizoux86 Bangor, PAPosts: 85Member

    I always play healer in my MMO's... starting with cleric in Aion and moving to Hpally and then Resto Druid in WoW...Playing a conjurer in FFXIV:ARR now :)

    I have always enjoyed healing, it is incredibly fun and definitely gives fights a different edge from my point of view! However I have had times where I regretted taking on the healer role, people get cranky in dungeons and in pvp and they like to blame the healer for every death or every uncured condition :/ I have had plenty of instances where a dps would run out of the room and pull mobs without the tank and then die - only to come back and rage at me for not keeping him alive! People can be so immature.

    Some of the best times I ever had playing as a healer were in Aion when my hubby (the tank) and I ran with a static group of friends. We perfected our pulls, were always on vent so I was able to call out to people easily if they were out of range or if I had pulled aggro, it was just so much fun!

    I think more people should try the healer class in whatever game they play, even if they don't stick with it, they can understand the complexities of the role and learn to respect the person behind it! It is a fun role though and I am glad that I have stuck with it all these years!

  • FonclFoncl UppsalaPosts: 197Member

    I've always preferred playing as a healer in MMO's. My reasons for enjoying playing healers the most are summed up well by the OP "You employ constant problem solving and decision making; deciding who to heal, when, and for how much. All the while trying to avoid aggro and, if you got it, keeping yourself alive."

    For healing to be fun the content needs to be challenging imo, healing easy group content is boring for me at least. I enjoy games where healers have a lot of tools in their healing toolbox, keeping everyone alive you should require healers to make many decisions on the fly in order to optimize the usage of all their spells and resources.

    Unfortunately for me, most MMO's coming out lack challenge, achievement, big healing toolboxes and seem to be moving away from dependency between classes(GW2, EQNext). Combined with the trend of paying your way to glory in MMO's, the future doesn't look bright :/

     

     

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,179Member Uncommon

    I usually like playing as a tank, because you tend to control the direction and tempo of a group.

    I've dabbled with healing a bit here and there - it's not bad. You certainly get some amount of respect, and the healer and tank are more or less in sync - they both have to be on the same page, or the entire group just falls apart. In some games (and particularly in large raids) it seems like you just stare at health bars, and it's an entirely different meta game. I got bored with it fast in EQ and WoW, but in FFXIV I'm liking it a lot better.

    DPS is just kinda along for the ride... You follow the script of the event, and you follow the pace of the tank, and you try not to get the (negative) attention of the healer.

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