Thursday, August 9, 2012

Healing in The Secret World

I've been reading the forums over at Funcom's site. Just like when I described soloing builds, I have some very basic thoughts on putting together a healing deck. This is going to involve a little more heavy thinking for you than the post on solo builds, but it is also hopefully going to help set you up for success.

First, unlike soloing, there are some must-haves for healing. You can heal the early instances without them, but they are just so powerful that not having them makes your build suboptimal.

1. Hot Iron: Every eighth heal is 50% more effective. This is in the fist tree. Remember that the core to healing in boss fights will involve two or three healing builders, or possibly all five. You'll be hitting eight heals routinely. Assuming one action a second, in a two minute boss fight, you'll take roughly 120 actions,  if each heal only ticks once, that means you proc Hot Iron, what? Twenty? Thirty times, mattering on things. If you get multiple heal over times on multiple targets, you can get this reliably. Take it. Love it.

2. Shadow Medic: Your direct heals are 7.5% better. This is in the rifle tree. You will want it. Accept it, spend the points. Get it.

3. Subtlety: Lowers your outgoing threat. You can get by without this if you have a good tank. But, you might as well slot it while you are figuring out the threat thresholds.

There. That's it. Those are all the "required" healing passives. Mattering on your build you'll want appropriate elites, though pretty much anyone can get by with Out of the Woods (When you heal a target above 80% of their health, your heals are increased by 27.5% for eight seconds), but you'll also pick up a good elite in the blood/rifle inner wheel for their respective weapons.

So, what should a healing build look like? Well, let's start with a fairly simple blood/rifle healing build.

You should learn your abilities by sight!
From this, you can see my basic healing build philosophy. This is a bit more of a "pure" healer. I'll give an example of a heal build using a support weapon tomorrow. But, here's the philosophy.

1. A ranged dual weapon builder, for when you don't need healing right now, and would like to get ahead on your resources. This also tosses in a little damage, allowing you to marginally contribute there. Ideally, you'll pair it with Healing Sparks or Culmination (which heals after finishing channeling a focus ability), or a similar ability, so that at least some background healing is happening. In this build, we picked Safety Off (a burst attack) over Bloodline (a focus attack) to get synergy with Anima Burst. Also, we didn't have a heal over time to keep counting up on Hot Iron, so by slotting a free HoT with Healing Sparks, Safety Off is able to do a lot for us in a single action.

2. Single weapon builder for your healing weapons. Sometimes, you may have to stop anything but healing the tank. In those cases, Anima Burst or Blood Shield will prove invaluable to let you still power out a big heal while providing healing.

3. Consumers for your healing weapons. Note that if you have blood, try and have consumers at different values. The two best blood healing consumers, in my opinion, are the ones featured here: Scarlet Arts and Exquisite Corpse.

4. A party heal. Cold Blooded is one of the best ones for this, but has a long cooldown. You could also grab Platoon or rely on rolling Cauterize/Surgical Steel HoTs across the party. Either way, you need some way to prevent group damage.

5. Utility. In this build, we're lacking in utility, except to provide leech to our DPS and damage through Exquisite Corpse's reflection. This is a much, much more powerful single target healing build.

A more group oriented healing build might look like this.
You should swap in Reap and Sow or Fired Up!

You'll note the build at the link has Fired Up! traded in for Reanimator. That's because it is better for a pure group healing build. In this build, I've kept in Reanimator to help me deal with bursts of single target healing. Notice that we're following the same basic framework as above. Here's a blood/fist build that follows the same philosophy.

When you're building a healing build with an auxiliary weapon, you have to rely on your healing weapon significantly more. We'll cover that tomorrow. For now, go back, look this over, and let me know if this sounds like good advice to you.



You'll notice that there is much more variety in the Rifle skills I picked. This is because, honestly, the Rifle skills are more versatile. Blood has only a few good heals, and everything Fist has is totally over-shadowed by Surgical Steel combined with Healing Sparks. Other abilities are viable, but I find the ones that I've highlighted here to be the best for me.

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