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 Amma's Basic Healing Guide

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Posts : 9
Join date : 2011-01-09

PostSubject: Amma's Basic Healing Guide   Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:51 am

Like most things in Age of Conan, healing is deceptively simple. It's easy to either think of healing in simplistic terms and miss the nuances, or to try to be too precise and end up overwhelmed. Either way results in bad healing. The real secret to good healing is understanding how it actually works. To that end, this guide will address the essential healing abilities common to all three of AoC's healer classes.

Many of the classes in in AoC have some kind of healing abilities, either for themselves or their group, but these are generally very minor. The three actual "healer" classes, which can heal themselves as well as everyone around them, are the Bear Shaman, Priest of Mitra, and Tempest of Set. These classes are different from each other in some very important ways, but fortunately their core healing abilities are all almost identical.

It is very important to note that, although all three healing classes can be feated in different ways for different purposes, they are first and foremost healers regardless of their spec. Your particular healer may emphasize dealing damage, cc ability, or survivability, but regardless of this their primary objective (at least when in a group) is always keeping the rest of the group alive. A healer that does not heal is utterly useless to a group, regardless of what else they bring to the table.

Healing abilities in AoC come in two different varieties: instant heals, and heals over time (HoTs). Instant heals simply heal an amount of health when cast. HoTs heal a certain amount immediately, and continue to "tick" an additional heal at set intervals (usually one second) until they wear off.

Each of the three healer classes has three core healing abilities. Each class can also gain additional healing abilities through feats and AA's, but these "auxiliary heals" will be discussed in the advanced guide. For purposes of this guide, only the three core healing abilities for each class will be discussed. The names for these abilities vary across classes, but in general terms are called the Green Heal, Blue Heal, and Big Heal.

Bear Shaman Priest of Mitra Tempest of Set
Green Heal Renewal Emanation of Life Healing Lotus
Blue Heal Blood Flow Wave of Life Life of Set
Big Heal Fierce Recovery Radiance Vitalizing Jolt
Green Heals
Green heals are the easiest to use and the easiest to understand of all heals. Green heals are HoTs. When a green heal is cast, it affects all members of the group within a large distance from the caster. Green heals do not affect targets outside of the group, and you do not need to have a target selected to cast one. They heal for a small amount every second. Green heals have a moderately long duration, and a slightly quicker recast time. For Priest and Tempests, green heals have a moderate cast time. For Bear Shamans, green heals cast instantly, but do not take effect until the shaman hits a target (this can be done with any weapon, even a bow).

Any target affected by a green heal will have a green ring around their feet. This ring shrinks slightly over time, giving a rough idea of the remaining duration.

Blue Heals
Blue heals are the healer's workhorse. Like green heals, they are HoTs, but they heal for considerably more. Blue heals have very quick cast and recast times, but long durations (they last as long as a green heal does). However, blue heals have some severe limitations. The most important of these is their area of effect, which is a small cone extending a few meters in front of the caster. This means that in order for a blue heal to be effective, you must be both close to your intended targets, and angled towards them (however, you do not have to have any of them selected as a target). Knowing the exact area affected by a blue heal is one of the most important things you can learn as a healer.

Blue heals can affect players outside of the group, but they do not stack. Only one blue heal (the most powerful) can be on a player at a time, regardless of who cast the heal.

A curious property of blue heals is that when one is cast on a hurt character and that character is not already under the effect of a blue heal, they will receive a small additional amount of healing (equivalent to one tick). However, this fact is largely irrelevant as will be discussed later. Blue heals also affect the caster for less than it will affect others (the caster receives about half the amount of healing).

Any target affected by a blue heal will have a blue ring around their feet. This ring shrinks slightly over time, giving a rough idea of the remaining duration.

Big Heals
The final type of heals are the only instant heals in the healers' core repertoire. Big heals have a moderate cast time (which can be reduced by feats) and heal everyone around the caster in a small area (which can be increased by feats). The amount of healing is very large. However, big heals have a long recast time, and worse, they place a debuff on everyone affected. This debuff lasts for 60 seconds and prevents the character from being affected by another big heal from the same class, which effectively increases the recast time on big heals to a full minute. This makes timing big heals very important.

Although there are some specific healing strategies for soloing and raiding, knowing how to best heal your group is most important. If you can keep your group alive, you can keep yourself alive soloing, and raid healing is largely about healing within your own group anyway.

The most important strategy for healing is called the Healer's Golden Rule.

***The Golden Rule***
Both of your HoTs shall be going all the time.

As a healer you have two Heal Over Time abilities, blue and green. What the golden rule means is that, when you are in combat, your tanks at a minimum (and preferably your entire group), should be constantly under the effects of both these HoTs. They should never be allowed to wear off. To accomplish this, it is best to cast them both together, one after another (you can cast either first, but try to be consistent), then a few seconds before either wears off, cast them both again. You can time this either by watching the healing buff icons, or by watching the cooldown timer on your green heal (which is conveniently a little less than its duration).

There are a few nuances to this. First of all, do not spam your blue heal (spamming means to cast repeatedly). It has the same duration as your green heal, and casting it repeatedly just wastes mana. Wait until the effect is about to wear off, then refresh it (but don't take too long, or you violate the golden rule). However, the blue heal does only affect a small cone area, so you may need to move and/or turn and cast it again in order to affect everyone in your group.

Heals should generally not be going at the very start of the fight, unless your tank is very good with agro control. Heals do cause hate in enemies, and can cause them to run at you if your tank has not secured them yet. Just as dps classes should give the tank a second or two to secure agro before jumping in, healers should do the same with healing.

The Blue Heal Bonus
As mentioned above, the first tick of a blue heal will heal for an additional amount when the target is not already under the effects of a blue heal. This can lead to the temptation to let the blue heal wear off completely before recasting, thus providing a small additional amount of healing. Do not do this.

The most important thing your tank can have is constant healing. Following the golden rule and refreshing your HoTs a few seconds before they wear off ensures they have this. Careful timing may provide a tiny bit of extra healing, but what if you are stunned or knocked down in that time? Even a single second of delay means that trying this tactic results in less healing. Instead, think of the bonus healing amount as trying to make up the difference when circumstances force you to heal late.

Timing Big Heals
When to use your big heals is a matter of judgement, and depends largely on the circumstances of the battle. In raids, and even for some tough group fights, your leader may ask you to reserve your big heals and cast them only when called on to do so. In other cases, however, you will need to time them to the best of your ability. Don't worry about this too much; remember that although a big heal can heal for a lot at once, over time your blue and green heals are much more important. Save your big heals for when they will do the most good, but don't hesitate to use them if your tank is hurt. If you use a big heal early enough in a long fight, you may be able to use it again later in the same fight, which can make all the difference. And if everyone in your group is being hurt badly, going for your big heal should usually be your first impulse.

Don't be afraid to dish it out
Although it's not really a healing strategy, it's important to remember that healers in AoC are not just healbots. All three classes are capable of doing very respectable damage, and dealing out the hurt on your opponents is just as important as healing up your friends. If you follow the golden rule as described, you have quite a long time between heals, and this time should never be wasted. Use your debuffs first, then hit your enemies as hard as you can without pulling their attention from your tank. Crush them with your hammer, cleanse them with burning light, incinerate them with lightning. Healers are awesome.

Last edited by Amma on Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Posts : 35
Join date : 2011-07-11
Age : 31
Location : Virginia, USA

PostSubject: Re: Amma's Basic Healing Guide   Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:21 pm

Such good information for a starting PoM. Thank you very much.
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