Part 3 – Heala Numbers, Techniques and Strategies
If you missed part I of this healer series read it first here: To be a Heala! The Guide to Healing pt I
You should then read part II of this guide to be in a healer here: To be a Heala! The Guide to Healing pt II
Now that you should have a good idea of what a healer is and how to accomplish some of the major tasks as a healer I am going to go into some of the more detailed and precise information. I plan to just hit a few of the big ones. I am sure by now you will be able to apply these to other aspects of your character.
A Good Defense
When it comes to the arsenal of the healer I am a firm believer that a strong defense is much better than a strong offense. You should always have a standard set of buffs that you throw on the group. These can save an incredible amount of damage the group takes, ultimately saving you a huge amount of work, constantly healing avoidable damage. This method will also get you past those surprise ambushes. It allows all your party members to survive a bit longer in a tough fight, giving you the time to move around the group keeping them in the fight. Some of the earliest spells you receive are the best ones in the game and should be used throughout the entire course of Dungeons and Dragons Online. One of the least-used spells is Resist Energy: a low level spell that can stop an incredible amount of damage in a single dungeon. Casting this spell will save you on scrolls, potions, and frustration, making your party much more survivable in many situations.
Here is a quick formula: Resist Energy caps out at stopping 30 points of damage per hit. Multiply that by 6 for the group, and that’s 180 points stopped every time the group is hit with a spell.
Say there are 50 Fire Elementals that will cast Fireball on the group each 1 time for 50 points of damage in Taming the Flames.
- Without Fire Resistance 30, the group will take 7,500 points of damage on failed saves. 25x50x6.
- With Fire Resistance 30 the group will take 3,000 points of damage on failed saves. (25x(50-30)x6.
That’s 4,500 points of healing you won’t need to do! Now compare that to the spell I see most Protection from Elements, which stops a feeble 120 points of damage max. There are many different examples like this in the game and I may go into those in more detail in another article on the math of game mechanics.
Enhanced Healing and Cure Spells
Make sure you have your best cure spells on a hot-bar and ready to use, alongside your best enhanced heal (the spell most benefited by your gear and enhancements). As a caster you cannot generally use your highest level spell along with the best gear available at that level to boost it. Generally you can most effectively boost a spell of one or two spell levels below your max spell level that you can cast. This is because you might be able to cast 5th level spells but you can only get a shield that has Superior (+50%) Devotion III (3rd Level Heal Spells) on it. You can use the 5th level heal when you need the big boost but your most efficient spell will be the one you can boost the most, or the third level heal. Sometimes this spell can hit for as much as your 5th but it is good to be sure that you do heal that much by using the big heal in dire situations.
There are many things that can boost your healing ability. Here are a few that generally will stack;
- Class Enhancements (Healing Amp)
- Racial Enhancements (Healing Amp)
- Items to Increase Critical Spell Chance (Healing Lore)
- Items to Increase Final Healing (Devotion)
- Items to increase Healing Received (Healing Amp)
- Metamagic Feats (Empower Healing)
As a simple example of this idea is if your highest level spell you can cast is Cure Critical Wounds you will be able to cure 21-41 hit points with it for 25 spell points. (4d6+8+ (1 HP per caster level) ) Taking the average of a 31 point heal for 25 mana means that this spell gets a healing ratio of 1.24 points (31 HP divided by 25 SP) of healing per mana spent.
However, at that level you can use a superior Devotion item with your 4th level spells. This spell will be able to cure 27-49 hit points with it for 20 spell points. ((3d6+6)+ (1 HP per caster level))x.5 ) Taking the average of a 38 point heal for 20 mana means that this spell gets a healing ration of 1.9 points (38 HP divided by 20 SP) of healing per mana spent.
- With 500 mana you can cast 20 (500/25 SP) Cure Critical Wounds for 620 HP (20 x 31 HP).
- With 500 mana you can cast 25 (500/20 SP) Cure Serious Wounds for 950 HP (25 x 38 HP).
This kind of increase in cure ability is magnified when you add all of the other boosts you can use. So make sure you are keenly aware of what gear, enhancements and feats you have to make sure you are getting the best cure to mana ratio possible.
When you get the spell Heal, that should be your new staple. Not only does it heal someone very efficiently, it also removes many effects. At this time you should have Heal, Cure Mass and Close Wound.
Close Wound may not heal much but it casts instantly and cannot be interrupted. These attributes make it the perfect spell to save a fallen party member who is unconscious but not dead. Cast Close Wound on them fast before another AE, cleave or other mishap finishes them off. It can also save your life. Make sure it is on a keyboard accessible hotkey and by hitting F1 and the hotkey as fast as you can you can save yourself from those nasty deaths as well.
It is important to carry spells that remove effects that cannot be normally removed by potions or wands. As stated earlier, it is reasonable to assume and expect everyone to carry potions to remove these effects. Your job will be to remove those effects that cannot be easily removed with a potion or clicky. You may also be called on in the heat of a pitched battle to cure these to keep the other character focused on their main role. However, outside of combat there is no reason someone can’t drink their own Neutralize Poison Potion.
Don’t forget to grab a few wands of the spells you don’t use often. That opens more valuable spells in those memorization slots that you will use more frequently. Parties will still expect you to cure effects so make sure to have those in wand or scroll form and at the ready.
It’s OK to ask for Donations
It’s ok to ask for donations if you are using resources in an acceptable way. If you are helping an under- level group push through the pit to get great XP, using a lot of wands and scrolls, you can ask for some money. It is not fine to be asking for donations when you have not buffed anyone and are wand whipping them while you are at full mana.
Normally you should not need a lot of supplies. If you have good healing practices and good groups, you should be fine. But it is a good idea to stockpile as you level up, since it’s expected of all raid level healers to have stocks of mana pots, scrolls and wands. I know healers that announce that if you do not want your “trash loot”, hand it over to them. Healers will also greatly appreciate mana pots, but be sure to announce what you’re doing so they don’t get left in a chest.
Helping Other Roles
Healers can often temporarily fill other roles and take on other non healer things such as tanking or nuking. In fact they can be quite effective in both roles. Try to remember though that as a healer that is your primary responsibility drop back from tanking to heal
someone. Hold off on the Comet Fall on the Demon Queen to raise a fallen caster. In fact you can often fill these roles in a group should you fill your primary role to perfection. If you do your party will be healed and well prepared for anything the dungeon has to offer leaving you time to nuke a few nasty ogres and charge up and smack Kobold Shaman. Just try not to get too caught up in this secondary role to much to ignore your primary purpose in the group, to be the healer.
Healers are a lot of fun. They are powerful, soloable, much sought after, and a great class to play. There are many different styles to choose from, find one or two that fit your style. Good luck and have fun keeping all those crazy groups alive. I know I do!
Quest smarter, not harder!