When I wrote about first impressions of healing as a Sage earlier, I promised a more in-depth look at the Seer tree and healing mechanics when I hit 50. Well, guess who hit 50 over the weekend?
This discussion is an analysis of what the key talents are for the healing Jedi Sage rather than a blow-by-blow analysis of what every single talent does. The talents, in my opinion, are well designed with clear tooltips – I was really pleased that I went into this blind while leveling and didn’t have to pull up any skill calculators or do any extra research to fill in the tree. Alright, talent time.
PS: They’re really skill points in skill trees but calling them skills leaves too much room for confusion so I’m going to stick with calling them talents for now.
While the Seer is our main healing tree, Balance and Telekinetics offer some fantastic options especially at earlier levels. I wanted to mention this specifically since I’ve heard the argument before of “Well the Seer tree is our healing tree and yet our first options in it as healers are: a buff to Deliverance, a spell we don’t have; or a pitiful x% increase to healing. This is awful.”
While the Seer is our main healing tree, there is no rule stating that in order to be a healer our first points should be spent in it. If we don’t have Deliverance yet, it would indeed be foolish to spend our first point into something that makes it better. This is where the other trees come in. The Telekinetics tree offers substantial benefits with Force cost reductions (Inner Strength) and increased maximum Force (Mental Longevity) while the Balance tree offers us increased Willpower (Will of the Jedi). I found the Force cost reduction to be life-saving early on.
Thinking about my talents and filling them in this way harkened back to the days of old school WoW when I first rolled a priest. I remember filling the Discipline tree first before investing in the Holy tree despite being hellbent on being a Holy priest. I actually enjoyed not being married to my healing tree early on and being encouraged to pick up the broader talents in other trees that help all aspects of game-play.
Apart from the general make-healing-better talents, there are a couple key talents in the Seer tree that really define Sage healing. I found it really cool the way they influence one another, introduce new mechanics and overall define the ebb and flow of healing.
The first of these is Rejuvenate – the center of it all.
Rejuvenate is our only strict heal-over-time spell. It’s cheap, it’s instant and it’s at the crux of the larger healing dance that follows.
Rejuvenate leads us to Conveyance, which is a handy self buff we get every time we use Rejuvenate.
Here’s where we begin to see interesting healing mechanics. Conveyance offers some fantastic benefits to not just one, but all our healing spells. It’s almost too good to be true – but with all things that sound like that, there’s a catch. Conveyance increases the effect of your next healing ability. This puts the decision-making in the healer’s hands and this is the part I find so awesome. The fact that Conveyance is good and that we want it is a no-brainer. When and how we use it on the other hand, isn’t so simple and depends on the situation.
The next big talent further down the tree is Healing Trance.
This is an interesting channeled heal spell for us – it does a decent amount of healing for starters but its real use comes in Force regeneration. This is explained by a look at the next talent, Resplendence.
Resplendence is really the crossroads where Rejuvenate, Conveyance, Healing Trance and Noble Sacrifice all work together. Ordinarily, using Noble Sacrifice takes a bit of health to restore into Force points but in doing so reduces force regeneration by a certain amount. Resplendence changes that with the help of Rejuvenate and Healing Trance.
Here’s how it works: Rejuvenate triggers Conveyance which increases the critical chance of Healing Trance; channeling Healing Trance then has a higher chance of yielding a critical heal; the critical heals from Healing Trance then trigger Resplendence which is your free pass to hit Noble Sacrifice without any….err sacrifice. This is a core mechanic that is worth getting familiar with because it is literally the only way for us Sage healers to gain back Force outside of the fixed 8 points per second regeneration rate.
The final talent, which is quite awesome in my opinion, is Salvation.
This is a really neat group heal spell that’s based on where its placed rather than targeting a certain party member. The thing to remember is that you have some leeway with where you place the circle of yummy heals – 8 meters to be precise. It took a little bit for me to get out of the mindset that everyone has always got to be smack dab in the middle of the circle to be healed. *cough* It’s a powerful heal but it also comes at a price. Lining it up with Conveyance is fantastic although sometimes we don’t always have the luxury of doing that in tricky situations.
Watching the talents and mechanics has been an interesting journey thus far. While leveling, I couldn’t wait to put the next point in and see what was next! I love the way the talents and mechanics interact with each other and put a lot of the decision-making in the hands of the player. That forms the crux of why I’ve found healing to be incredibly fun and will probably continue to do so.
In the works is a sequel to this post that takes a good look at the Jedi Sage’s healing toolbox. Until then, May the Force be with you….and happy healing!