Dark Age of Camelot’s Healer – Part 1
The Healer is a versatile class and very much the backbone of Midgard. You are the life giver, the tide turner, the saviour of the living, the resurrector of the dead and you are absolutely essential in every PvP group.
There are many pretenders to your crown, but none as useful or that can truly fulfil your role. If you can master the healer you’re going to have a lot of fun.
As the name would suggest Healers are Midgard’s main healing class, but they are also so much more. Not only do you have the best healing, period, you also have the best crowd control and some pretty awesome buffs that make you and your realm mates more effective.
If you put in the time to learn to play a Healer effectively you’re going to have a lot of fun and you will find it’s a lot easier to get a group than pretty much any other class.
So before we start consider that as the player that keeps the others alive you basically have a big target painted on you and in Realm vs Realm combat you’re pretty much the first person the enemy want to take out. The best way to avoid this is to not look like a healer, more on this in the “Blending In” section below, but for now the race you choose has a bearing.
It’s recommended that you choose Norse as your race. The reason for this is that they are pretty much the most versatile race and can be lots of character classes which will help you blend in.
You’re going to want to make yourself look nondescript. When choosing the facial features and hair of your character try not to stand out. While a big bushy beard, long strangely coloured hair and being 7 foot tall may be appealing, it’s only going to make you stand out from the crowd.
When naming your character resist the temptation to include a reference to your profession. Either use a more nondescript name, or if you want to you can use misdirection with a name like Swordmaster or Songsmith. The reason is simple, when an enemy from another realm targets you they can see your name, so being called UbahHeals is pretty much a giveaway that they should kill you.
As a Healer you have 3 specialisations that you can put your points in as you level. It’s important to know what those specialisations do. As you level you’ll automatically gain some spells in each specialisation, but by putting your skill points into a specialisation you will gain extra very useful spells.
This spec line is the backbone of the Healer class. As you level you’ll automatically gain healing spells and the ability to resurrect fallen comrades. However specialising in Mending give you access to more powerful heals including the powerful spreadheal, heals that can be instantly cast and resurrect spells that bring people back to life with more hit points and more ready to fight.
This spec line is about locking down your enemies and stopping their ability to fight, otherwise know as Crowd Control or CC for short. As you level you automatically gain single target Mesmerise and Stun spells. These most basic Crowd Control spells are augmented with instantly cast versions and area of effect versions as you put points into Pacification. You also gain a buff that gives power regeneration, which means you can remain effective longer and allow your spellcasting realm mates to do the same.
This spec line is about strengthening you and your realm mates. Your base buffs which you share in common with the Shaman allow augment the strength, dexterity, hit points and armor. You also have an essential buff that makes you more effective in combat. As you put points into Augmentation you gain the celerity buff which speeds up combat, delivering more hits and damage. You also gain combat resistance buffs which lessen the damage that you and your realm mates take.
So, what’s the best combination or “Spec” for your Healer. Well it’s a matter of personal choice, but there are common combinations that people find useful. To be effective you should never go all out for one specialisation as you’ll be less effective. Although that level 48 spreadheal may look tempting it will suck a huge amount of power and you won’t have any power regeneration.
Tri Spec Healer
38 Pacification / 33 Mending / 19 Augmentation
The do all spec but with capped base buffs. Better Crowd Control but at the expense of losing a little healing ability but a good all-round spec nonetheless. Group resistances are useful in RvR.
41 Mending / 30 Pacification /18 Augmentation
Less effective Crowd Control but makes up for in in better healing abilities. You lose your capped base buffs but you still have the group resistances.
Mending and Pacification
40 Mending / 36 Pacification
An almost equal split in healing and crowd control abilities. Good spec for a primary healer that wants to have slightly more effective crowd control. The only CC spell you’re really missing is the instant area of effect stun.
44 Pacification / 30 Mending
A variation on the Pac / Mend mix that emphasises Crowd Control but still has fairly good healing abilities and the first spreadheal. This spec is for the healer that likes to be at the front of the fight blocking the enemie’s ability to fight.
Augmentation and Mending
42 Mending / 33 Augmentation
A great solo PvE spec but power hungry in groups and RvR. Great healing, buffs and resists, but no power regeneration and very little crown control. The Mend / Aug healer is a primary healer in RvR, but will need the company of a Pacification healer in the same group for power regen or will need to use power regen potions.
Levelling a Healer
A healer is probably the hardest Midgard class to level as you have little offensive ability. You have no combat styles and no damaging spells, you don’t even have quick cast like the casting classes do. So, if you’re going solo be prepared for a long hard slog to level 50, particularly if you’re not utilising the Augmentation spec line. You’re not really going to want to go above Yellow con mobs or at a push Orange. Unlike other classes a Red or Purple con mob is a big ask for a Healer.
In a group with a tank or a caster is the best way to go for a healer. Yes you can level with a Shadowblade / Hunter but they lack the damage output of a caster and they don’t have the protect ability. The fastest ways is the beginners quests to level 10, the Mularn quests from level 10 to 15 and then the battleground quests to level 30 as part of a group. At level 30 you have a choice of continuing in the Battlegrounds all the way to 50, or to go through the Glass Quests in Atlantis, both of which really require a group.
Luckily you at least have a couple of buffs to help you out nowdays and there are lots of quests available, so levelling a healer isn’t nearly as painful as it used to be.
The Healer in Realm vs Realm
The healer is one of, if not the most important class in Realm vs Realm. The casters and tanks may differ with you but lets face it they can’t claim all the glory when they’re taking a dirt nap.
Realm vs Realm Tactics
I’m not going to go into tactics in a major way, that’s for you to find out by participating in RvR. What I can say is that there are 3 basic things you need to know that will stand you in good stead to get you started.
Healing in RvR
It may sound obvious, but if you’re going to heal your groupmates then they need to be in range. If your groupmates spot an enemy you can guarantee they’re going to charge after them not caring if they go out of healing range. If you have a tank guarding you then you’ll invariably not be in range of their shield. When the group starts to charge, charge with them. Don’t get to the front of the fight if you’re they primary healer but don’t hang out right at the back flapping your arms around casting healing spells, this is a sure fire way to make yourself a target as it’s obvious you’re a healer.
Generally it’s best to run in the center of your group, that way you have the biggest chance of the most people being in healing range.
Crowd Control in RvR
For crowd control you need to be near the front of the group. Your crowd control spells don’t have a massive range so the closer you are to the enemy the more chance you have to landing a crowd control spell. Invariably the enemy are going to purge any mezmerise spell you land, so be prepared to follow up with a stun once they’ve purged.
If you get hit by an infiltrator type who hits you close range out of stealth then use your instant single target mez, and again if they purge it instant stun. While doing that, get the hell out of there. Your chances of surviving an encounter with an infiltrator are remote at low realm ranks.
Camouflage is Your Friend
As I said earlier, one of the best ways to survive longer in RvR is to not look like a healer. There are a few tricks you can use to make it difficult to tell what class you are.
Try not to use either the Healer’s Embrace of Loyal Healer cloaks, these instantly mark you out as a healer. You can use a small shield, but you can get many small shields that don’t look small. At champion level 5 you gain the ability to use Axes and Swords, as these are not normally associated with a healer they can be part of an effective disguise. I have in the past dyed all of my armour black and carried a Staff, finishing off the outfit with a pointy hat so people assume I’m a Runemaster. Healer’s epic armour is also very obvious, best to avoid it if you can.