Time to heal! I intended to write this post when I was about halfway to level cap. (That was about 13 levels ago now…ha!) I wanted to have a fresh take on what healing is shaping up to be while leveling and not just what it is at the endgame. So these thoughts are more about the big picture rather than the details of what each healing spell does. I already have a future write up in mind for the juicy details of abilities, procs and other mechanics for healing as a Consular.
So far, I really love the way healing is introduced to Jedi fresh out of Tython. The pacing is slow and deliberate which I find much better than than bombarding players with two or three spells right off the bat. Healing also doesn’t start until you’ve chosen your Advanced Class at level 10. And even then, you get precisely one healing spell – Benevolence. I remember how ecstatic I was when I trained it and cried “I can heal!!” Despite the slow introduction of spells (I remember healing with Benevolence forever), healing at low levels can keep you on your toes and continues to do so all the way. I think its particularly cool how its been kept interesting with a really spartan toolbox in the beginning…and how layers of spells add complexity to the mechanics and yet still keep it interesting. A couple things about healing as a Sage struck me right away…
Fixed Force. Healing with a fixed resource – interesting stuff! That’s right, its fixed with a base maximum of 500. Two talents in the Telekinetics tree let you increase your maximum Force by a 100…and then, that’s pretty much it. Force is a little mana-like in that you don’t use combo points or anything, but it’s also very different in that its maximum and its rate of regeneration are fixed. This makes for some very interesting healing dynamics early on. For one, it keeps all your spells relevant throughout your entire journey – so, your most expensive spell at 26 will still be your most expensive spell at 50. I welcome this kind of consistency – especially if I put myself in the shoes of someone who has never healed before. Learning each spell’s role in various situations early on and building on it is a fantastic way to build a solid healing foundation. I for one, am glad I have all these levels to learn how a force regeneration of 8 points per second translates to my bar.
Triage Everywhere. As a healer in the Old Republic, I can say that I am blissfully unaware of what overhealing is. I have yet to see it. I’ve done various flashpoints with mostly 3 players and a companion and triage is the name of the game. We rarely have the luxury of keeping everyone at 100% health all the time and if we choose to spend our Force points that way, we might not last the entire fight. It’s always a push and pull between ping ponging damage between players’ health pools and watching your Force points. Keeping fellow players alive is more important than keeping them at 100%.
Health to Force and Back. With our regeneration remaining static, the question inevitably comes up as to how can we regain Force apart from just standing around? Enter Noble Sacrifice. This is a really cool mechanic that really caught me by surprise. Coming from WoW, the first thing I said when I got this ability was “I can life-tap!” It’s close but not quite. Using Noble Sacrifice takes a bit of health to restore into Force points but in doing so reduces force regeneration by a certain amount. It’s a neat ability that’s best used when you have too much health and not enough Force and your tank is inconveniently dying. *cough* Yeah, that never happens. (There are talents and procs that affect Noble Sacrifice but I’m going to go ahead and save those for a more in-depth discussion in my later post).
Interesting Decision-making. This is the fun part. As we go down the tree, things begin to get interesting as we see the interplay between procs and abilities. Rejuvenate and Conveyance share a lovely relationship that defines our healing mechanics. Rejuvenate is our heal-over-time we talent and Conveyance is something triggers every time we use Rejuvenate. Conveyance is also talented into but the most interesting part about this proc is that it has something to offer every healing spell. The neat aspect about this is that its still a proc but it keeps the decision-making in your hands – and there is no obvious right decision to make since it all depends on the situation. I find this incredibly fun to play with since it keeps meaningful decision-making in the player’s hands. (I’ll go into more specifics and details in the future post on our healing toolbox!)
All in all, healing is a blast so far and I can’t wait to see how it will be at 50 with other abilities added into the mix! May the Force be with you.