Jun 2, 2011

Your MMO role

As some of you may know my main is and is always likely (apart from in LOTRO) to be a healer named Yetian. I have been an MMO healer for more years than I care to remember back when the first Yetian was created in Everquest.

I enjoy healing, maybe it’s the challenge of keeping everyone alive, especially when your not expected to due to a tough mob or dungeon. Sure it means you often see less of the fight than others as your glued to the health bars of your group mates with your fingers poised to hit a specific function key to target the correct recipient of your life giving magic, but it doesn’t bother me. It can be painful solo as healers are not usually the top damage dealers in MMO’s, why should they be after all?

In Rift I am also a healer, my heal build comprising currently of Sentinel/Warden/Purifier with 45 points currently in Sentinel at level 46. The other day however when healing a group of level 50 guild mates in a dungeon I struggled to keep myself up as often the mob focused on me and I didn’t last too long against level 50+ creatures with big weapons in their hands. My surname in Everquest (before I saw sense) was Aggromagnet as if I sat down anywhere in a zone I was like shit to a fly.

Struggling as a healer is something that happens and in Rift with so many options available you need to practice to get the right setup. Sentinel is group focused with some single target heals and I have Warden thrown in for heal over time spells. I usually bung on a few HOT’s and then my healing orbs with the insta or one off heals through the fight. We had a Rogue tanking which as well as he did a Rogue tank isn’t the same as a Warrior tank so it was maybe more of a challenge, though I have to say the Rogue in question did a great job.

Not making any excuses as it’s my job to keep people standing and I failed to keep myself up a fair few times which meant others dropped also. I did say to the group that maybe they should get a level 50 healer who might survive the mobs a bit easier. I suggested my healing wasn’t up to scratch to which I received the reply “truth hurts sometimes”, which made me think.

As this came from someone who’s opinion I respect in MMO’s it made me think, am I any good as a healer? Have I just been going along healing for a while now with guildies happy to have me as I’m part of the guild and to many I hope a real life (after our meets) or gaming friend, rather than for my actual healing ability? Should I give up my healing ways and pick another primary role ? Maybe my MMO talent as a warrior/rogue/mage has been suppressed for all these years, apart from the odd alt which reached the maximum level (usually a finger waggler of some sort).

This brings me to the point of the post, if any of you read this far. What is your MMO role? Do you always make your main the same class? Does the opinion of others regarding your ability matter to you and would it make you change your role? What is it that makes you play the role you go for as your main?


  • I also tend to play healers as my main, I have for years and years now and I doubt it will change any time soon, although I do always make alts (of course). My healer just hit 40, and I have a purifier / sentinel / warden build for my instance build, with most of my points into purifier because it focuses on single target reduced damage and heals (they have a shield I use as my main 'preventative' dmg cast, and play almost exactly like the WoW discipline priest) – with the remainder into sentinel since the group is rarely taking AoE damage steady enough to warrant an AoE heal spec unless I'm healing raids and rifts. I find that healing in Rift is just like every single other game – so long as the spec is proper. It's cures, and focusing on the tank with spot heals to the rest of the group members when they require it. Most of my dungeons have been with a warrior tank but I've done a few now with a cleric tank, I haven't tried a rogue tank yet.

  • If your guildmates were too high above your current level, then it seems reasonable that you're not going to be able to keep up with the healing, so it seems like "truth hurts" person could just have been being a jerk. If you had begged, pleaded, and insisted on going with the group knowing that you were too low a level, and they had taken you along out of guilt, then maybe that response would have been justified as an "I told you so."

    Just play whatever class you enjoy playing and have fun. I guarantee you will have similar experiences and run-ins with players no matter what class you choose.

    My mains tend to be more melee in some way…usually either rogue/ranger-types or tanks. Of course, I always end up with multiple characters of everything if I play the game for a long time. I tend not to enjoy playing mage characters very much.

  • Oh, also. One thing that makes sentinel pure win for me is their end line ability. Any "over healing" you do on the tank (well, your spell target) is spread between 5 other players. I absolutely love this in order to keep other members up when I'm single target healing. Between that and the single target shield that I can instantly cast on anyone, I really love this spec for dungeons.

  • Lol, wonder who made that comment to make you question your existence as healer. You said someone you respect in MMOs so can't have been Wodge. ;)

    I thought my role was healer as well, but having played my main in Rift as a tank, I'm finding that quite enjoyable. I do have a healer alt setup, but to be honest haven't really got into it. So maybe tank is my life's calling, I don't know. :)

    What about your soul setup? Maybe that can be optimised further to improve your performance. Unlike other MMOs, I find in Rift it's not just how you play, but how you setup your character is a huge part of how well you fill your role. I've been reading a site by someone called Cinderhelm who seems to be an expert in all things tanking and some of the builds he's outlined I would've never considered. When I get the chance, I going to try out his DPS tank build :) .

  • P.S. I forgot to say stop worrying so much Yeti! :)

  • @stargrace I have purifier but only a few points in it, I will have a look at that spec tonight and have a play. I was about to buy a new mount but maybe I should buy my 4th role and rather than a pvp role, setup a dungeon heal role.

    Maybe a dungeon heal role and a raid/pvp/rift role would be nice to have rather than just the one for both.

    Oh btw did you mean purifiers end ability rather than sentinel? It's just I notice you mentioned that most of your points were in purifier?

    I play a Warden in EQ2 and the group heals come in useful there. I guess with a few points in sentinel though rather than all of them, I can get a couple of group heals for when needed anyway.

    Thanks for the tips, I'll have a rethink tonight. Maybe a future post, who knows? ;)

    @DB you always wore plate as a healer in EQ2, I reckon the tank was always lurking beneath the surface. ;)

  • Oh on another note, it's nice to know people still read the blog as I've been thinking about my blogging future. Had less time and have been playing rather than blogging.

  • Woops, yes, meant purifiers end ability, still too early to be thinking, lol. I found that I really needed a lot more specs then I thought from the start. I have a single target "dungeon" spec (the one mentioned here), an AoE Rift / Raid spec (heavy sentinel vs. purifier), a dps spec (justicar / shaman) and a pvp spec (templar, justicar, sentinel). They all do what they're meant for just fine, but if I were to try to use any of them for another 'aspect' of the game, it wouldn't work out as well as the specs I already have made for that purpose.

  • @stargrace Thanks for clearing it up, I've just been having a read and I think I might change my main healer role (role 2) to a purifier based role, just can't make my mind up on sentinel or warden as my 2nd and 3rd.

    I could make it role 4 and my group setup (rift/raid/pvp) left at role 2 but I'm a bit picky with my role order and as my dungeon one is used more I like that to be nearer to the left ;) lol.

    I will have to buy a 4th role which means I'll have : -


    Group heal/Dungeon healing


    Raid/Rift/PvP healing

    possible pure pvp tank role as 5th? When I can afford it, lol.

    It's that or just drop my ranged (inquis based) role, so I don't have to buy another role. I created my ranged role to try it out, but I just can't get on with the ranged cleric setup. That would mean I could just about afford a pvp specific role when I hit level 50 for the odd times I do PvP instances. That would likely be a justi based tank cleric setup, or a sentinel/templar/justicar role.

    I have heard of people using inquis as a 3rd soul to get mana boosting abilities for their healing role but not sure on that.

  • I play a healer…ALWAYS, and when I read "I struggled to keep myself up as often the mob focused on me and I didn’t last too long against level 50+ creatures" made me question several things…

    1. Why was the tank not keeping their aggro, and WHY was he not focused on YOUR health. Two way street with Tank/Heal…and if your getting smacked, I fear for the tanks capability.

    2. In your build do you have the threat reduction skills? No matter what, going full bore in one tree in Rift has disadvantages…and the fact you are so far into the Sentinel tree spells trouble.

    Before asking if YOU are the issue, instead look at the outliers and what may be the cause and effect.

    I have a killer hybrid with Sentinel, Pur, Warden and that seems to work best.

    Good luck and don't give up.

  • Going to try a new dungeon build with purifier as main (probably with sentinel/warden) and have current build as a rift/raid build.

    Which souls have the de-aggro's in?

  • Haven't gotten far enough in Rift yet to know any specifics about class skills at higher lvls but, not just your lack of threat reduction, how good an aoe taunt do rogue tanks get? Maybe the issue was at least partly with the tank's setup and abilities.

    I've played healers in MMOs since forever same as you, mostly druids and shamans, and I can say there's been a few times when I've been in the same situation, struggling in groups and questioning whether i am any good at it after all. Almost always these times have come when I'm lower lvl/undergeared compared to the rest of the group.

    Get up to 50, try groups with 2 or 3 different tanks, THEN start thinking you might have a problem if things are always going wrong… I doubt they will be though :)

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