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Gradishar

Grad's Take On Healing

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While I am very excited to see what ArtCraft has in store, I share some of the concerns and healthy degree of skepticism concerning the lack of dedicated healers as we currently understand the Crowfall development plan. While I certainly agree with avoiding the "fire hose" healing models used by some other games, direct in-combat healing need not be the antithesis of fun or exciting pvp encounters. Lets look back at the Shadowbane model (since so much of Crowfall is built on this model). If we were to remove the Priest from the equation we would have lost both the best CC (15s individual and aoe stuns) as well as the best direct single target heals, single HoTs, group heals and group HoTs. We would have been left with Confessors, Prelates, Druids and Crusaders carrying the healing duties. None of the other healers were as good as the Priest...all had better DD or support options and so seldom were non-Priests used as true dedicated healers. Now...if the Priest class had been removed...what impact would that have had on PvP? Minefights? Sieges? The lack of the Priests' "big heals" would have changed strategy and made things more dynamic perhaps. The SacSader would have probably been the most likely primary healer perhaps...or the Confessor with his GM O Stance...but with the numerous other offensive and support options, we would have been hard pressed to forego that damage or utility to pour pts into Restoration and healing spells. Healing would still have added to the experience of PvP...but by removing the "best" or "dedicated" healer class things would certainly have been interesting. My hope is that ArtCraft is thinking along these lines...that a few Archtypes will have healing builds as options...but that they will be sacrificing their Damage or Utility to create that healing. I also am hopeful that ArtCraft is not following the GW2 idea of "everyone can heal themselves" as I found that system ineffectual. One of the great things about SB was the interdependence of classes and the enormous diversity in builds (and Spec Groups). I believe having healing options adds to that diversity, interdependence and (ultimately) fun. Here's to hoping that the Archtypes of Druid, Confessor (and maybe Foregmaster and Ranger) having similar healing options as well.

Edited by Gradishar

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I don't see how you can make a judgment based off a game designed with/for firehouse healing classes.

 

Of course that game would be significantly affected by it. Because it was designed to have it.


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Just adding my two cents, but damage mitigation, crowd control and recovery skills can be as effective as a traditional "healing" spell when we are talking about PvP.

 

I for one look forward to see what they do with support classes. I'd be more worried if they didnt have a support class at all.

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You certainly have an interesting view on healing. Quite the opposite of what I like to see personally. I prefer to see a support type setup rather than something capable of healing in any substantial amount. Instead finding ways to assist through buffs, debuffs, knocking people away, shielding, etc.

 

 

Just adding my two cents, but damage mitigation, crowd control and recovery skills can be as effective as a traditional "healing" spell when we are talking about PvP.

 

I for one look forward to see what they do with support classes. I'd be more worried if they didnt have a support class at all.

 

Very true. Those can be both technically grouped into the same category ultimately. Given they provide similar end-goals. Hm. Maybe my views aren't as different as I first thought.


I'm not an idiot, I simply choose not to think.

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Just adding my two cents, but damage mitigation, crowd control and recovery skills can be as effective as a traditional "healing" spell when we are talking about PvP.

 

I for one look forward to see what they do with support classes. I'd be more worried if they didnt have a support class at all.

 

I like your thinking.  I'll try to make this point again.

 

Big heals, "firehose" healing and characters (including boss MOBs) with enormous health pools are products of PvE mechanics.  These dedicated healers need something to do during the fight.  Their job is to pump heals into the tank as he takes massive damage from the boss MOB.

  • Tanks absorb big hits.
  • Healers replenish lost health from the big hits.
  • Damage dealers work slowly to take down boss MOB so the fight lasts 5-10 minutes and PvE players feel like they accomplished something.

None of these things are necessary in a PvP battle.

 

As Argasoth said, mitigation and crowd control are important tools.  Wowcraft has spoiled players so much, especially with PvE, that they have forgotten how useful it is to CC someone and remove them from a fight for a period of time.

 

People are going to die in PvP.  It's not a "wipe" if one or two people die during a siege.  No need to reset the encounter.  Pick yourself up and run back.  Go find someone else to beat up.


 

Sorry you turned into a two-bit carebear whose feelings get hurt over forum banter.

 

 

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As long as the game is designed around not having healing, it will be perfectly fine without healing.

 

I hope that supports will be buff, debuff, CC and mitigation classes. It's far more interesting for fights than simply dumping mana and converting it into health for your teammates.

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 If we were to remove the Priest from the equation we would have lost both the best CC (15s individual and aoe stuns) as well as the best direct single target heals, single HoTs, group heals and group HoTs. We would have been left with Confessors, Prelates, Druids and Crusaders carrying the healing duties. None of the other healers were as good as the Priest...all had better DD or support options and so seldom were non-Priests used as true dedicated healers. Now...if the Priest class had been removed...what impact would that have had on PvP? Minefights? Sieges? The lack of the Priests' "big heals" would have changed strategy and made things more dynamic perhaps.

 

For beta / retail release, I built my Priest around CC (all the stuns, and a Centaur to chase people down!) and AOE group healing so I didn't have to target friends.  This also helped with the laggyness of back-in-the-day coding, hardware and internet.  My current understanding of "firehose healing" wouldn't preclude this particular Priest build / playstyle.  But if you built your Priest to focus heal a particular target wading through the enemy front rank, that's another story.

 

 

 

 I believe having healing options adds to that diversity, interdependence and (ultimately) fun. Here's to hoping that the Archtypes of Druid, Confessor (and maybe Foregmaster and Ranger) having similar healing options as well.

 

Ranger healing fell a bit short in the Shade-only RP Stillborn,  although lack of Summon was the biggest hurdle that could not be overcome. 


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Shadowclan did pretty well with channeler healing. It was really the stuns that we missed.


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I agree with NOT going the GW2 route where everyone can heal themselves.  It makes for a very boring group dynamic if all people do is focus-fire and AoE bomb.  I believe the goal is for healing not be a crutch where groups need to have them in order to "win." 

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it will be interesting to see how the 'no healer' bit shakes out.

 

the big thing thing that comes to mind right way is that focus fire has to potential to become...well you don't have a counter to it...as most dynamics were some type race between call target --> dps on target vs. recognized called target ---> heals on target (usually coupled with the target trying to break contact.

 

I don't think it will be that big of a deal in the open field/skirmish type encounters, as those are typically very fluid and mobile anyway (IF YOU WANT THE PRIEST TO HEAL YOU YOU NEED TO COME TO ME!!!@#$@!#@!!~!!).

 

In the set piece engagements (seiges, the bank portal thing, etc) where battle lines are actually formed and pain can be focused and put on target en masse...this is where we'll see the real dynamic change.

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I personally play healers. To me it is just easiest to lead raids from that perspective, and managing a groups health is more engaging than spamming a rotation as fast as possible.

 

I understand why they wanted to get rid of healing nukes. Because as mentioned, they are force multipliers. If you have a healing character, it HAS to be able to heal more than a single target can DPS. Else the healer is an inefficient character and would be better served doing dps. Which ends up leading to a lot of problems:

 

How do you out damage the healer then?

Resource exhaustion, IE T1 Wow Arena where Disc Mana burn was the king of arenas.

CC: No one likes their character being helpless for extended periods of time

Burst: Well now whoever gets lucky might just instantly gib a target and the conflicts are getting much closer to twitch fps with dps and healing.

 

Not having a dedicated healer means you can work around a much more common health pool / time to live of a character in a given situation. If you know each player has 100 health, then you can match the dps to do that much in the time period you would like a 1v1 match to last, or the focus fire of 2 or 3 on 1. Healers make that variable instead of 100, it is 100-1000+ which is very hard to work around.

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Healers can make fights far more interesting and long lasting, as long as they are made well.

Playing a healer can be lots of fun, but only if they are made well.

 

It all depends on how the mechanics work and how they collide with the other mechanics of the game.


"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

A solid quote, I'd say.

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it will be interesting to see how the 'no healer' bit shakes out.

 

the big thing thing that comes to mind right way is that focus fire has to potential to become...well you don't have a counter to it...as most dynamics were some type race between call target --> dps on target vs. recognized called target ---> heals on target (usually coupled with the target trying to break contact.

 

 

But there will be a counter to focus-firing.  Get behind a tank.

 

With things like collision detection, physics, and the lack of tab-targeting, focusing a person will be a little more difficult than it has been in games of the past.


 

Sorry you turned into a two-bit carebear whose feelings get hurt over forum banter.

 

 

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But there will be a counter to focus-firing.  Get behind a tank.

 

With things like collision detection, physics, and the lack of tab-targeting, focusing a person will be a little more difficult than it has been in games of the past.

 

it will be interesting to be sure...the balance conundrum when you look at scaling damage from the individual, to group of 10, or 20, or whatever...it's a mess even when you have healing. it will be fun to see what tricks they pull out and then try to break it :)

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But there will be a counter to focus-firing.  Get behind a tank.

 

With things like collision detection, physics, and the lack of tab-targeting, focusing a person will be a little more difficult than it has been in games of the past.

A tank can only mitigate so much damage.  I've yet to see a game where even a tank can survive large group focus-fire.  They might live an extra 10-15 seconds.  That's why things like debuffing and CC are so important to breaking it up.  Of course, it's all speculation since we don't know full combat mechanics at this point. 

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10-15 seconds is quite a long time. Isn't the whole point of not having fire hose healing to ensure that the fights stay relatively punchy and quick rather than drawn out ? Mitigation (shields, buffs to allies and debuffs to enemies) should be plenty to keep players alive for a somewhat acceptable amount of time. Firehose healing ultimately leads to bad positioning and strategies not being punished hard enough.

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I don't like the major heals.  This creates a necessity to have a healer with you in any fight and pretty much requires every fight to focus fire enemies one by one. I'm not looking for this to be a game where people sit around saying "I wish we could go out for a raid on the mines or whatever, but there's no point in raiding anything, we don't have a healer and will all die instantly."

 

In UO every had the opportunity to have skills to heal themselves and that worked out nicely.

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I think a lot of the design of shadowbane revolved around focus fire though. When you're talking about a game in which cone and line attacks are more common than single target attacks, and active defenses are a thing, and there's no real semblance of assist or /tar it tends to break up the need for big focus heals.

 

I could easily see a damage model where all attacks are evenly distributed across their targets rather than dealing full damage to all targets fighting internally with friendly fire to create a system where sticking close or spreading out both have real tactical uses, and focus fire not necessarily being a dominant strategy in a lot of cases.

 

On the one hand a tight formation with knights shieldblocking up front would be great against ranged attacks, on the other hand that same formation would be friendly fire chaos once enemy melee engages. In this situation you've got to manage different elements of your force intelligently, as you can't just send a meat sharge in front of all your ranged toons and have ranged be fully effective for fear of shooting your own guys in the back. You can't solely field ranged either, as that same shield formation could eat you for lunch.

 

I think the biggest part of the idea of removing completely overpowered healing is the idea of much more effecive and skillful mitigation. Healing is simply mitigation after the fact, where active defenses and predictive mitigation are preparatory actions that can have the same effect. I think this is a more fun setup, having played around with it in some newer games that take the approach, as it requires suport characters to watch and react to the battle as a whole and apply appropriate tools where needed, wheras a "healer" only really has one tool, and it only really has one strategic application.

 

Healing should be in the toolset, and as we've been told it will be, but it shouldn't eclipse ccs, shields, buffs, and your teammate's own active defenses.

 

The bulk of support should be preparatory, and about preventing damage. This is more fun for both sides of the fight when compared to a healing-heavy model where the bulk of support is actually just undoing damage. The support gets a lot more interaction with the battle, and you are rewarded when you land a big hit with that hit usually sticking rather than having to "cover" a big hit with an equally large hit, effectively wasting a lot of your damage just to fake out healers.


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A tank can only mitigate so much damage.  I've yet to see a game where even a tank can survive large group focus-fire.  They might live an extra 10-15 seconds.  That's why things like debuffing and CC are so important to breaking it up.  Of course, it's all speculation since we don't know full combat mechanics at this point. 

 

Your last sentence is very wise.  We don't know for sure, but I would predict they plan to reduce the effectiveness of focus fire tactics with friendly fire and more realistic projectile physics.  Usually people can chain cast fireballs right into the melee and not have to worry.  Same with shooting arrows from wherever, including through the characters on their own side.

 

I would guess a Crowfall tank class will close the distance as quickly as possible and "hug" the enemy line.  Focus fire in that situation may mean you kill the enemy tank, but also four to five of your own squishies that got in the way.

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