Blizzard's World of Warcraft game: So You Want to make a Healer toon!
Choose your role
Anatomy of the Group
The NPC boss is fighting hard, pulling out all his tricks, to destroy your group, to end the conflict, to make you WIPE! Fighting along with you are other players who have a common goal with you, to destroy the NPC thus winning the fight. Each player chooses a role to play for their toon (character) Your group consists of players who have chosen the role of being a DPS (fighter), TANK (soaks up the damage), or HEALER (heals the group).
The Tank is usually the most in demand when creating or que'ing for a group, the healer is second in demand.
In small 5 man groups there is one tank, one healer, and 3 DPS; 10 man groups consist of 2 tanks, 3 healers, and 5 DPS; and the make up increases up to a 40 man group. Each person's chosen role plays an essential part in the fight and the success.
From the beginning, "vanilla" as they say up to the current expansion, healers have played an important part in the World of Warcraft world.
A few Healing toons
The Role of the Healer
As a healer, your purpose is to keep the combat group healthy to be able to fight. In a healer's arsenal is a variety of spells, defensive buffs, and items to keep the group and the healer too, "up" and continuing to fight.
In a 5 man dungeon the healing priority is the tank then the DPS. The healer should follow the tank and keeping up the tank's health while also watching to try to keep all or most of the DPS alive too. If the group splits up, some going one direction, others going elsewhere, the healer must follow the tank. The reason for this is the tank is supposed to keep the aggro (the focus) of the NPC (bad guys) and will take the most damage, requiring your heals. If the tank dies, quite often the group will die because the DPS toons don't have the moves or armor to survive the aggro on them.
In a 10 man dungeon the role of the healer can be different. Because there are 3 healers, often healing assignments exist. One healer might be on the main tank, another on the Assistant tank (off-tank), and the other on the DPS group. which healing class you are will probably decide if you are tank heals or group heals.
In a 25 man dungeon and a 40 man it can differ. If the group is a specifically formed group then there might be assignments for healing but quite often those large groups are made up of random players and each healer just does their best on the tanks & dps.
Don't let this happen to you
What Healers need to be aware of
Keep them Alive
Healers in any group are solely responsible for the health and subsequently the success of the fight. If the healer goes down (dies) then the group often will die; unless the group is lucky enough to have tank/dps that can self heal until the danger is over.
No matter how powerful your heels are...you are useless DEAD
Saying this, the healer needs to be aware to stay back far enough to be out of aggro range but close enough to heal the entire group. Most heals are LOS (line of sight); therefore, the healer needs to keep within healing range of each member of the group.
Mana..don't go OOM
Each healing class needs to be aware of their mana pool, how much mana each spell or debuff will take, and how to replenish their mana if needed. The worse thing that can happen to a healer is to go OOM (out of mana). A healer without mana cannot cast spells/debuffs on their comrades.
Don't go Overboard
In the midst of a fight when the healing is intense it is easy to Overheal, that is, to cast more heals on the group than are needed. Every healer needs to know the mana cost of each spell so that a lesser just just as effective heal can be used. Overhealing does nothing but drain the healer of mana rendering them useless to the group.
Warlords of Draenor Expansion
The Warlords of Draenor expansion gave rise to a new style of healing. Gone is the ability to reforge gear/weapons into the stats you need such as spirit and gone is the large mana pool a healer depends on.
Now each healer, as well as other classes, needs to know that class backward and forward and be able to pull out every ounce of power with what they have. Only a few pieces of gear have gem slots and enchants. It is definitely a challenge but does allow a player to develop their own style - no more cookie cutters.
Building Your Healer
Gems and Enchants - 2 pieces of the puzzle going into building a strong healer.
- Study your class's vital statistics, that is, which stats are the most important and in what order.
- Study the gems, what they do for your healer
- Enchants are also important. Make sure each piece gets the enchant needed.
- Ask for help, ask for advice everywhere and anywhere you can. Trade chat, your guild, and your friends may be invaluable sources of information for you.
There are numerous websites available to help. And when you see a healer with similar gear, ask them questions. Most players are very willing to share what helps them.
Healing Classes: A brief Overview
There are 5 classes of toons in World of Warcraft that perform in the role of Healer:
The druid can form any role in a group with the Resto (Restoration) druid being a healer. Although not the strongest healer in a group, the Druid has the advantage of casting HoTs (Healing over Time Spells). These spells allow continued healing even after the Druid is unable to heal, the HoT will continue. Also A Druid can cast an in-combat resurrection spell called Rebirth, giving the group a continued chance of success. The Druid is also excellent at mana efficiency if played and spec'd correctly. The Druids wear Cloth but preferably Leather armor. Weapons available are Staves (Staffs), One and Two-Handed Mace, Dagger, Fist Weapon, and Polearm. A One-Hand weapon will require an offhand weapon which varies for Druids.
The newest class of healers, a healing Monk is a Mistweaver. Better at multi-target healing, the Monk uses a variety of Mists on the targets which requires the Monk to stand still while casting. The Monk also must be within melee (close) range of the boss, which is unusual. At this point, the Monk doesn't have a huge variety of buffs to add to the group. Monks do have a statue, the Jade Serpent, that can be placed within the group, helping to heal along with the Monk. Armor available is Cloth or preferably Leather. Their weapons are Fist weapons, One-Hand Axes, Maces, or Swords, Polearms, or Staves. One-Hand weapons do require an off-hand weapon which varies.
The most complicated class to heal with, the Paladin is another hybrid class, being able to perform different roles in a group. Their healing spells are easy on the mana pool and give little threat to the boss. Most Paladin healers are tank heals if there are multiple healers. Because they are mana efficient; they have endurance to stay alive and keep others alive during a long battle. HoTs and/or AOE (Area of effect) are a Paladins weakness, they are best at single target. A Pally (Paladin) utilizes different types of heals than the other classes by casting Buffs such as Seals, Hands, and Blessings.
A Paladin wears Cloth, Leather, Mail, but preferably Plate armor. The weapons available are One or Two-Handed Axes, Maces, or Swords or Polearms. The offhand weapon would be a Shield.
Holy and Disc Priest
Considered to be the best healing class in World of Warcraft, the priest is the ultimate healing toon. A priest has the ability to shield a friendly target, to add to their power, to quickly cast a powerful heal. Priest healers can choose two different specs: Holy for ultimate healing or Discipline for healing & damage. For the Discipline Priest there is the ability to render damage on the enemy while still healing. The Priest wears Cloth, making them a bit softer . Weapons available are Wands, Staves (Staffs), Daggers, and One-Hand Maces.
The Shaman is a bit more complicated. They are able to cast single or multi target heals by themselves but in addition the Shaman has the ability to place totems within the group. Totems will heal a single target or multiple targets, replenish mana, or help to deal damage. Totems have cooldowns which need to be taken into account and each elemental type can only be used one at a time. Using Totemic Recall also gives the Shaman some mana back. Also handy is the Resurrection spell which gives the Shaman the ability to bring himself back to life. The Shaman wears Mail armor and uses One-Hand Maces, Staves, Daggers, Maces, Fist Weapons, and One or Two Handed Axes. A One-Hand weapon will require an offhand weapon; usually a shield.
Resources for Success in World of Warcraft
There are a few great sources to learn how to spec, gem, reforge, and basically setup your toon. They are:
- World of Warcraft player forums http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/1033925/
These sites contain a wealth of information for the new and seasoned World of Warcraft player. I often look at multiple sites then make my toon changes accordingly.
Now that You Know
As you might be able to tell; I am a healer on World of Warcraft. I love the role because I am able to play an important part in the success of the group's effort. The challenge of each fight is unique and my healing changes depending on the makeup of the group or the boss in the fight. I take a lot of pride in doing a great job and most important, as with any game or leisure activity, I LOVE IT!
When you play, do so responsibly. Make sure your "real life" responsibilities are taken care of, be civil and decent to other players even if they aren't to you, and again HAVE FUN!! If it isn't fun, don't do it.
Lastly..get an authenticator.
When most of us started playing World of Warcraft we simply created a user name, usually our email associated with our account, and a unique password. It was a simple and easy way to be able to log into the game for anyone....unfortunately anyone meant hackers too. These are people who hack into your account and steal your gold and the gold in your guild bank if possible. Sometimes they hack in just to cause trouble by selling off all your gear and leaving you without.
Blizzard came up with an authenticator system, available as a small device you have in hand or via your cell phone. Each time you log in a unique number is generate and you need to input that number to log in.
Get an authenticator- saved so much trouble. I was hacked and although I got everything back the process was lengthy and frustrating at best.
World of Warcraft Gameplay
World of Warcraft gives players a couple of options when they decide to start playing. One option is to download World of Warcraft and the other is to buy the hardcover version at a gaming store or department store. It should be noted that you will have to buy every subsequent expansion to become current with the game now.
If you just want to try the game for no cost, there is a World of Warcraft trial (you can level up to level 20). Currently on the Blizzard website there is a Free starter edition available which can be upgraded as you level.
Once you have the game on your computer there are different options to pay the monthly game time fee. You can purchase a World of Warcraft game card each month or have an ongoing credit card charge.