Weighing In : Melee Healers

Or as we’ve grown accustomed to, these classes have been dubbed the Group Healers instead. It’s a double entendre as well, see not only can they effectively heal a whole group, but that’s about the number of players they can ignore in combat as well. Pretty cool I think. At least, they can if they’re guarded and are spamming their AoE detaunt at every possible cooldown. That’s the trick, no single class is invulnerable or unkillable without support. This gives the QQ’ers room to cry when they get nerfed but still gives us haters room to hate when they’re still retarded in power levels. At any rate, no class should be impossible to kill, it should take an equal amount of coordination and support that they’re receiving to take them down. If a healer is guarded it should take at least one DPS class with a heal debuff plus another DPS class focusing on him to kill it. If the healer has a second healer behind him then add another 2 DPS classes, one for another heal debuff, and one accounting for the tank guard a second time.

You can see of course how quickly things can escalate, and how powerful a well balanced group can be if they’re working together. Personally, I don’t have a problem with this. Coordination will trump OP classes 6 days of the week, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore balance entirely. Ultimately what needs to happen is mirrored classes as best as possible. Not necessarily a perfect balance, but the key abilities and roles need to be solid. Mythic, believe it or not, is coming close to sifting out the last of the major imbalances and it just so happens that the melee healers are the last pillar of disgustingly overpoweredness in the game. That being said, I don’t think simply nerfing their group heal into oblivion is going to make the game any better off. Major points of contention have come up from the players who have been a backline healer for the past couple of years. I have solutions.

First off, a Tactic that returns the group heal to it’s normal levels at the cost of reduced survivability for the healer equipping it. Sort of like a Focused Offense for healing. Alternatively something along the lines of the AM tactics that increases healing output for everyone besides yourself. Either, or both, of these tactics made available to the melee healers would quell much of the rising exodus from WAR (if any of that nonsense is truly to be believed)

There’s a sentiment out there that Melee healing is not quite up to par either, although I don’t quite agree with that. There’s a gearing issue, just like other DPS need to deal with being that they have to stack two stats to be effective at physical DPS. Casters and Healers really only need to stack Int or Will. That means for the average back lines healer converting to melee healer, they’re probably going to be a ways off from reaching 900STR and 400WS where you can start to dent things and aren’t parried so often. 

Other classes that were underperforming recieved a conversion for stats when they switched stances. SH and SW both have  a melee stance that converts their Ballistic to Strength. Runepriests and Zealots have a mechanic that flips their Willpower to Intelligence and back again with a 30s cooldown. It would make sense to me if the melee healers got some sort of core ability that added half of their Willpower bonus to Strength and Weaponskill evenly. Perhaps as a tactic, or maybe replacing one of their prayers (which would pass the bonus along to group members and alleviate the “he’s not a healer” QQ’ing). A baseline boost in melee stats, and possibly shared among the group, would be a start to converting some of these backline players into more animated members of a group.

One of the more technically interesting and more overhaul oriented ideas I’ve had about these melee healers would be a change to the RF/SE mechanic as it pertains to group healing as a whole. What I think would be interesting to see is a passive pulsing heal based on the amount of RF/SE a healer has built up that ticks every 3s. I’m sure there’s some more mathematically inclined people than myself that could come up with reasonable numbers for actual heal values, but the premise would be the same. A melee healer would be building up RF frequently, and usually sitting on it supplementing his heals as long as he’s alive. Make the radius on the pulse 50′ and he’ll be doing group healing so long as he can keep himself alive, which is typically what melee healers do best. For backline healers they’ll be more inclined to use all of their RF/SE which gives them less of a benefit and making them still reliant on their casted heals. For even more fun castery love, have the pulses double in frequency when Supplication and the DoK equivalent is being channelled, subsequently making them a prime target for disrupting as well.

There’s also dozens of other variations out there for Mythic to sift through and try to find the most reasonable solution for. They’re (probably) not suicidal when it comes to the life of the game, but the sentiment that the melee healers were significantly overpowered really hasn’t changed much. Chances are they already know what they’re going to do, but who knows what might change their mind in the end. Maybe they really do want to see how much the DoK/WP populations will drop before adding in some other kind of buff. Personally, I don’t think adding more single target heals to the heal path is really the answer. These classes should never have had the option to spec heals as a MAIN path. Kind of like how Engineers really have no business speccing Tinkerer as a main path, but that’s just the impression that I’ve had since the game launched.

One thought on “Weighing In : Melee Healers

  1. When I played WAR, my main was a WP. My biggest complaint was that the iconic mastery tree (Grace, iirc) could not effectively keep my group or close allies healed. The group heal was practically required to fulfill the healing function. To that end, I love the suggestion of using stat-conversion to boost the melee hit-to-heals at the expense of straight heal casting. I also think that the pulse heal would help a lot, drawing the WPs and DoKs into the middle of the fight. I started playing WAR because I wanted to heal my allies by bashing my enemies in the face with a hammer. I stopped playing WAR because the game wasn’t balanced to include melee healers. Hopefully, they will correct that oversight. I still have a 60 day waiting to be used.


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